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SLREED, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 220
Experience:  MS Marriage/Family therapy. Four years as a counselor.
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Ive been seeing a man who is recently divorced after a 16

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I've been seeing a man who is recently divorced after a 16 year marriage. His ex-wife hurt him deeply. He says he adores me, but can't be with me the way I want him to be (serious relationship). He says he doesn't want to date others and just needs to work on himself. He says he wants to be in the same place I am but can't right now. He says he needs some time and space and can't be alone with me right now. He says being alone with me is too difficult for him because he wants to hold me, kiss me, etc. and is afraid he will hurt me because he can't give me the love I deserve right now. Yes, he keeps saying "right now", over and over. I don't know what to do. I love him deeply. He is my best friend, but we crossed the line. He has pulled away from me, and I'm miserable. I told him that I can't see him anymore because it does hurt me. I know I can't make him love me, but his actions have shown me that he does. What should I do?

I think that it is very honest of him to let you know what is going on with him. He could lead you on with no intention of being serious with you, but instead he is choosing to be honest with you. The first thing that you can do is listen to what he is saying. He is saying that he cannot give you what you need, he cannot give you what you deserve, he is damaged right now and cannot be in a relationship with you. Last he is telling out that he does not want to be around your right now.

I know it hurts, but the only choice that you have is to just move on. He said "right now." So it is possible that he may be ready in the future. But the only way to find that out is to listen to him, give him space and allow him to get himself together and fix himself so that he can be in a relationship.

If you are concerned about him forgetting about you, then you can check on his periodically to ask him if he is doing okay (on a friendship level) but you have to let him go. He may love you, but love does not always mean that they want to be in a relationship with you, especially if he is not ready. The only thing that you can do, even though it hurts, is to do what he ask and give him space to figure whatever he needs to figure out. Once he is in a better place he may be willing to move on with you, but you have to let him get to that better place on his own.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't understand him not being ready. We are great together. He knows it, he says he knows what he has with me. I didn't push for a relationship, he did. I had backed off a while ago, then he called and asked me out again and told me he was just scared; scared of his feelings for me, scared of getting hurt again. Things were great, then he got cold feet again and pushed me away. Yes, I'm giving him his space. Being around him hurts too much right now anyway. I don't want anyone else. I've spent 40 years looking for this man. But I love him enough to let him go if that's what he needs.

I know that you do not understand. Men's emotions can be hard, and he may not even understand. He may be fearful of getting hurt again. You can just be honest with him and let him know that you are tired of the back and forth. Tell him that you care about him and are willing to give him his space, but that this is something that has become a pattern with him and that you are not willing to do this tug of war. Tell him that you are going to give him his space, but then if he decides to return to you, he needs to be committed and no backing out. If after giving him is space he comes back and wants to continue to have cold feet then move on, show him that you are not going to be waiting around for him to make up his mind. But do like he says, give him his space first. But let him know in the beginning how you feel and that you are not going to tolerate back and forth from him. Let him know that you have a heart to and that you cannot take it being hurt again by him, and you have to do what you need to, to protect your emotions.

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