I met this guy about 3 years ago- he liked me then but I wasn’t so into him at the time. He recently asked me out and I decided to give him a chance and we’ve been seeing each other for about 3 months now. He said he loved me a couple of days into the relationship and would say it often, but sometime during the relationship he completely withdrew for no reason.
He stopped calling or texting and stopped picking up my calls. We eventually made up after I made the standard girl mistake of sending him numerous texts about how much I loved him.
The problem now is he hardly ever calls. Sometimes 3 to 4 days could go by and I’ll get no call from him. We live and work at different ends of town and I know that makes it difficult, but he hardly asks to see me or makes the effort to make time for us.
When I tried to talk to him about it (over the phone) he said he was always busy with work, got upset and hung up. Now he’s withdrawn again and I refuse to be treated the same way again so I haven’t called or texted. Its been almost a week now and no word from him. I don’t know if I’m handling things the wrong way or if he never really loved me in the first place. I need a way forward.
Read our guy’s response after the jump!
From what you’ve told me, it sounds like he was infatuated with you for a long time. On top of that, you weren’t all that into him when he first liked you, which probably made you appear irresistible in his eyes… It’s a funny thing about people – when you deny someone something, they almost become obsessed with trying to get you.
I think that’s a topic worth looking at. You weren’t that into him at first and he liked you. When a guy is in a situation like that, he usually never stops liking you like that unless:
1) he finds another girl who he thinks is incredible (and focuses all his attention on her)
2) you fall from grace dramatically to the point where even he isn’t attracted anymore (and once he’s hooked, that takes a lot!)
3) he finally gets you…
Let’s talk about #3. Imagine this… You’re this guy and you see this girl who you think is pretty, smart, fun, intelligent, etc. You like her and you’d love to spend some time with her and see where things go. You try to make it happen and… she’s not that into you.
So now you’re in a situation where you like this girl and she isn’t feeling you. It’s not that she’s mean… she’s nice to you… but you just know that she feels no kind of attraction whatsoever.
For a guy, that’s WORSE than a girl flat out rejecting you in a mean way. The reason it’s worse is because if a girl is cold or mean about the way she rejects the guy, at least he can say to himself, “Oh it’s just because she’s a cold/mean person.” Of course, guys use a more colorful vocabulary, but that’s the meaning behind it. A guy can recover pretty quickly from a gut-punch like that. At the very least, it implies that she is not attracted to his approach, but she at least thinks he has the strength to handle rejection.
When a girl is nice to a guy overall, but just isn’t interested in him in a romantic sense, it is crushing! It’s crushing because it’s as if he feels something for a girl, but he’s “not good enough” for her to feel anything back. And since she’s nice to him, it comes across that she feels bad for him. Few things could make a guy feel more pathetic and pitiful than having a girl feel sorry for him for liking her.
And what’s worse is he doesn’t know why it is! When people talk about reasons women are attracted to men, words like chemistry and confidence and coolness come up.
But for a guy, chemistry and confidence and coolness aren’t products you can buy to look more attractive to women. A guy can’t spray on chemistry like perfume, or apply confidence like it were lip gloss or throw on some coolness as if it were a push-up bra.
I’m not trying to be superficial here… I’m just trying to illustrate a sad point about today’s society: When a man isn’t able to attract the woman he wants, it’s very very difficult for him to know why. Men don’t have countless racks filled with magazines promising him ways to be sexier to women, understand women better, etc. In fact, there’s almost a stigma against a guy that wants to look for help with attracting women. After all, he’s “just supposed to know”, right?
I’m talking about this here because I want to illustrate what it’s like for a guy in his position. He’s confused, he’s embarrassed and he doesn’t feel “good enough” to have what he wants. Just imagine feeling all that… and now imagine feeling all that every time you see the girl you like or think about her. And you can’t help but think about her since after all, you like her and you can’t have her. As a result, all the guy wants is for that awful feeling in the pit of his stomach to disappear. All he wants is to just feel good enough.
So he works and he works. He tries to be the best man he can be in the best ways he knows how. He gets better and better at the game of life.
Time goes by and he feels like he’s on top of his game. Still, he does not know for certain if he is truly “good enough” – he doesn’t know why he wasn’t “good enough” in the first place and he doesn’t really know if he’s “good enough” now. However, he does know that if you like him back then something changed and now he is “good enough”!
Oh, to be “good enough”! What a sweet, sweet victory and relief that would be… To release all those years of pain, sadness, loneliness, confusion, anger, shame… all those emotions that men wouldn’t dare showing when they don’t feel “good enough”…
So you come into the picture again and things start looking good… promising… And he is so excited to finally be able to dump this awful feeling that he is elated! Ecstatic! He loves this feeling!! And because you are the only one who can release him from it… he loves you.
He loves you… well… does he love you? I guess it really depends on how closely the goddess he’s created in his head matches who you are in real life.
That’s the problem. When someone is infatuated with you for a long time, they fantasize about who you are and what it would be like to be with you. You become a fantasy in their mind and you will remain that way in his mind unless reality replaces that image of you in his mind.
Think about it… how in the world could he possibly love you after two days of dating? Well to him, he’s been dating the fantasy image of you and the idea of “being good enough” for three years now! That’s what he loves…
On the other hand, that is NOT to say that I don’t believe in love at first sight and that sort of thing. I do – sometimes people just click and they just know they’ll truly love each other. But even in those cases, I think it starts out as something different that we just label “love”. I would say what we call “love at first sight” is really “strong infatuation at first sight with a ton of relationship potential.” :)
Speaking to the point, from what you’ve told me, it sounds like he was dealing with his own issues and you happened to be the girl who he thought he couldn’t get. Once he got you, all that motivation and momentum changed… he no longer has that sickening feeling that he wants to get rid of. And once the euphoria of that wears off, he’s onto the “next thing” he wants to address in his life.
Meanwhile, you’re wondering where all the infatuation went… Where all the attention went… Where’s the love?
Well, as long as he believes that he’s “good enough”, he feels secure and happy with that area of his life. For him, his problem is solved. For you, a problem has just begun: Why did this guy who was so into me just go cold? And now you’re probably thinking, “What did I do wrong?” And you might even have thought that you’re somehow not “good enough” for him now.
It’s a vicious cycle. The fact is, being good enough or doing the right thing never had anything to do with how you related to the other person. It has everything to do with how you relate to yourself.
I think the best thing you can do is to step back and put your attention on other things. Create some space for him to come back to you – occupy yourself with doing things you enjoy, spending time with your friends… loving life in general.
It sounds weird to say, but sometimes I feel people are like cats – when you take your attention off of them, they come back to you and will do anything to get you back. I’m not saying to be manipulative with that, but I think it’s worth noting.
Worst case scenario is he doesn’t come back. But if that happens, at least you’re living a life that you’re truly enjoying, instead of waiting around for a man that isn’t putting the time and effort into the relationship.
Hope that helps.
– eric charles