Confused and I know I’m not helping matters

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  • #944119 Reply

    Hello everyone. Sorry in advance for the length of this post. I may just need to air things out for myself.

    I met and started dating a man in January. We took about a 6 week or so break in March when another man and I started getting more serious. I ended that relationship in late April and reconnected with the first man. When we reconnected I told him I didn’t want anything serious right away because I am working on myself and still getting over the failed relationship. I am in theory right now too, as I told him, because the next time I get into a relationship I want to make good decisions. The problem is that I have feelings for this man and if I felt that I was ready to be in and could be in a healthy relationship I would want to be with him.

    He’s told me he is also focusing on himself and has reiterated to me at times, “you know we aren’t in a relationship right?” In response to which I’ve reiterated that I can’t do that right now either.

    I want to tell him how I feel about him but I feel like I’m getting mixed messages from him. Mainly it’s that when we are together he acts one way but when we aren’t – he doesn’t always respond to my texts. It’s strange. He’ll call me on the phone and we will talk sometimes for an hour or more. Sometimes he will call bc he knows I’m driving and wants to keep me company. But then won’t respond to texts. The last two times we’ve hung out we’ve done so at his place bc he has a young child and it’s tough for him to get a sitter. Both of the last two times he’s begged me to spend the night. I never had before and said no the first time but did stay this past week (we see each other once/week at least.) One of those nights it was pouring when I got there. He came out to get me with an umbrella. He asked me to go with him in a few weeks when he gets his first tattoo. He invited himself on a recent work trip of mine and I had to tell him no. One night when we were together he called his brother on the phone (he lives far away) so he could introduce me and have his brother tell me old stories about him. This past time when I got to his house he was on the phone with a college buddy. He gave me an AirPod so that I could be part of the conversation. I need some work done at my house and I told him I would be calling my handyman – he offered to do it instead. I go to the beach most weekends in the summer. He asked why I don’t invite him. He told me I’m the only woman he’s dated who has met his son. But then he said something to me recently that really confused me. He said he’s not dating anyone else but that if I met someone and decided I couldn’t do this with him anymore to just tell him that. That comment made me feel like I’m just a hook up to him and he doesn’t care if it ends or not.

    Maybe I’m being selfish but I guess I really just want to know if he cares about me or not because I do care about. I don’t want to ask him because I don’t want to be confusing given I really don’t know that I can be in a healthy committed relationship right now. But at the same time, I don’t want to keep doing this and falling for him if it’s not potentially headed somewhere eventually. Anyone have any advice re what to do? Thanks so much.

    #944120 Reply

    Theory = therapy. Sorry for the typo.

    #944121 Reply

    This isn’t a him problem, it’s you problem.

    “I really don’t know that I can be in a healthy committed relationship right now. But at the same time, I don’t want to keep doing this and falling for him if it’s not potentially headed somewhere eventually.”

    You are trying to have it both ways at the same time and that’s impossible.

    You dumped him for someone else once. That will put anyone on guard. He was your second choice, which isn’t flattering. He seems to want the GF experience but is also not going to get too far in with you.

    Honestly – this isn’t really a good dynamic for either of you, both of you are playing some weird head games and I’m wondering if this is just about NSA sex and both of you needing to be with someone – anyone. Why are did you go back to him if you know you’re not ready for a relationship?? The changes of this working out to be a healthy, lasting relationship are pretty slim. If I were you, I’d stop seeing him, stop dating completely and spend some time ALONE dealing with your issues.

    #944122 Reply

    Honey, hugs and a gentle slap are coming your way. He is not committed to you. Always believe the less committed of words and actions. You are free to date others and wr are not in a relatuonship is very clear. Read that again… you are free to date others and we are not in a relationship is crystal clear. None of the rest of it matters. But why is he doing these other things? Because he enjoys your company. He is dating you and casually at that.

    But back to you. This is on you… you broke up with someone and ran to someone else to heal you, instead of healing yourself. You told this person nothing serious, and here you are, nothing serious.

    Get it together. Either renegotiate with the understanding he is most likely not interested or accept it for what it is without confusion.

    How many times does a man need to flat our say.. I am not committing before you get it.

    #944123 Reply

    Touché. Thank you both for your responses. I know I have work to do on myself. To clarify though, I ended the relationship in favor of the other guy the first time because I felt like this guy never really opened up to me about how he felt and some things about his past that I knew about but didn’t know much about. When I ran back to him to get over the most recent ex (that is completely true – I did indeed do that, you are right) I told him that I felt that way before. That I never knew how he felt about me and that I felt like he always kept me at an arm’s length. When I told him that he told me everything. All of the things about his past that I knew were in the way before. So it’s been different this time and I have let myself feel the feelings that I didn’t last time. I think that’s why my mind has changed about him. You both are right though – he’s saying “we aren’t in a relationship” ect so I’m listening to that. I’m just wondering if he’s only saying that bc I am. It’s gamesmanship on my end and I know that to be true too which is why I guess I feel like maybe I need to just come clean and be direct with him.

    This post is coming off the heels of an argument he and I recently had. A disagreement over something trivial that lead him to say he didn’t want to see me anymore. When I pointed out that what had happened wouldn’t have happened if we were actually dating/in a relationship and that we aren’t – his response was that that fact didn’t
    matter to him because it told him what things would be like if and when we were actually in a relationship. He later called and apologized for his reaction and we worked it out.

    I’m inclined to stop this with him altogether as you guys have suggested. It’s just hard because I do enjoy his company and I have feelings for him (that quite frankly I did not expect which is the main reason I wanted to rebound with him in the first place.)

    #944124 Reply

    I agree with Angiebaby and Tallspicy. You’re both one foot in and one foot out, probably because you both have commitment and emotional availability problems in general. (If he didn’t also have issues with this, he wouldn’t have continued seeing you after you were so wishy-washy and then you came back not even making declarations of love and apologizing for making a mistake but instead explaining you still can’t commit and aren’t really offering him anything.) It’s common for two people with issues that match in that way to find each other and then have a rough time, whether that’s a confusing relationship full of friction and bad communication or it’s a situationship. Keep working on yourself and going to therapy (good for you for taking that step!), and consider dropping whatever this distracting mess is. Once the therapy is really working for you and you realize you are growing and making better decisions, his guarded behavior won’t be attractive to you anymore anyway.

    Also consider that he’s at least honestly telling you you’re not in a relationship, so things shouldn’t actually be confusing. You’re just not listening when he says what you don’t want to hear. Talking about how you interpret and respond to inconsistency between words and actions is a good topic to bring up in your therapy. It is a common problem that comes with the types of issues you’re describing working on and ties together with everything else.

    #944125 Reply

    I read your next response after I already posted.

    “he’s saying “we aren’t in a relationship” ect so I’m listening to that. I’m just wondering if he’s only saying that bc I am.”

    No. If he were emotionally healthy and actually wanted a relationship, he’d have chosen to move on and not be in this situationship. He’s not only saying this because you are, he has issues too. In fact, he may be comfortable doing this with you because he’s only attracted to unavailability and what he can’t have, and anyone being fully available would turn him off because it would scare him. I agree that walking away from this will be better for you in the long run.

    #944126 Reply

    Lordy, you have been dating for 8 weeks by my calculations and you have already had a breakup of some form. Nothing was different from before. Never confuse honesty that is an explanation as an excuse. You told him he kept you at arms length and told you … yep I did, and I won’t do anything to be different. Those things were in the way before and are now too. Unless he has done a lot of self work and wants something different.

    #944127 Reply

    Believe his words not actions,I was in the same situation 2 years ago and even though I had a nice time with this guy, he told me he doesn’t want a relationship but proceeded to see me for over a year haha He even introduced me to his brother, parents, his friends … so now I know when a man says no to serious relationship, he won’t change his mind. The only way he will is when you leave so he can experience life without your company.

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