Confusing signals… or is it me?

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  • #913154 Reply


    Hi everyone,
    I could really use some wise advice, pls!
    I’ve been seeing a German guy for 2 months. At first date, it was so easy breezy… tons of questions being asked, laughter, natural chatter. On the 2nd, i decided to let him do the talking bc i had talked so much on the first date… it was still fine. He was a bit quiet. 3rd date…i asked him to join me. We spent the day together And did so many fun things… he kissed me at the end of the night. Afterwards, he continued to initiate all the dates, but only texts like 2 or 3 times a week to check in, say hi, chat a bit, ask me out, and that’s it. I rarely text him he usually initiates.

    We had long chats when we met online, but they seem to be getting shorter. He seems very stiff or nervous with me like hes either nervous or judging me or uncomfortable? Sometimes hes unnaturally quiet, doesn’t give me feedback if he likes me, or talk about the future at all!, doesn’t compliment me too much. When i complimented him that i line that he so affective, it felt like he just gave some sort of chuckle like he didn’t want to accept the compliment – ouch! He will say he likes my shirt or my hair here and there… he said i was beautiful and he liked me only after i complimented him And told him i like him out that I’m very attracted to him…ugh…

    I haven’t slept with him either bc i really don’t want to sleep with a guy who is this confusing even tho i really like him and enjoy him… hes really interesting and actually very adorable when this weird stuff isn’t happening in person.
    This weirdness causes my energy to get weird too and i think we kinda feed off this so sometimes we have some awkward silences when we’re at dinner lol and it feels hopeless, like maybe we don’t have things in common. We’re different in our likes and hobbies, but share pretty similar values…

    Whenever we meet, he kisses me for a while lol then i feel weird bc it’s like…i didn’t think we had such an amazing convo, And I’m so confused as to where we stand, so why is he all happy and kissing me? And he shakes sometimes when he kisses me. Same when we part.. he kisses me for a couple minutes. We take long walks… he’s always putting his arms around me, holding my hand, kissing me. Hes a gentleman, And i notice he likes to have conversations when we walk.. but when we sit down to dinner or somewhere together, i don’t know if it’s me or him, but it becomes awkward lol bc i keep wanting to know what his feelings are about me and I’m so upset that he hasn’t said anything! Ughhh
    On the 3rd date, i had asked what his thoughts were so far and he said he was highly uncomfortable being asked that question, but he went on and said something about not being into labels, but said that he’s looking for a relationship and is dating to see if anything can be developed, but he just seemed so uncomfy answering me so im afraid to bring anything else up like if we’re on the same page (remember, its been 2 months)
    He hasn’t called me once, also. He not huge into social media and neither am i. We both put our phones away when we’re together. This past week, i told him i was leaving in a week to go out of state for 1 month and he didn’t ask me out for the weekend! But sure did ask his other activities, but when i asked him if he wanted to hang out one last weekend, he responded “Yes!! Definitely!!” But said he was super busy (he said he had a deadline and had to work the weekend..i already knew about this) and could meeting Saturday evening. We went for a lovely walk in the city, but he was super stressed when he met me, but still he kissed me hello, he had his arms around me the whole night, we talked and had good convo i thought…i laughed, didn’t stress.. it went really well. At the end of the night, i said i will miss him And he reciprocated. I said I’d like him to text and call if he wants, and he said for me to keep in touch as well. Ialso said that Oskaloosa we can meet again when i come back And he said something that i forget bc i am so nervous when I’m communicating… it just feels so scary and awkward. I am NOT LIKE THIS with men lol Im a very good looking woman, And honestly, he’s not lol but for some reason, I’m completely smitten with his charming, intelligent self… and that is ask that matters, but for some reason, my confidence is not here bc im nervous he doesn’t like me… but then why does he keep asking me out (except this last time!)

    What the heck is going on! I am so ridiculously confused. It’s like he likes me but doesn’t like me enough? Is he dating other women perhaps? Is it too soon for me to get stressed? Should i be asking him what’s on my mind? My therapist said to just get to know him and not rush things, so maybe I’m rushing things? Help me understand please!
    We’re both 40, if that helps.

    Thank you all!

    #913169 Reply


    What country are you from? Are you American? There can be many cultural differences if you’re dating a European because they don’t have the formal “dating” culture they do in America.

    If you are from different countries, you can ask what dating is like where he is to get a better sense of what he sees as “normal.” If it’s very different from yours and you don’t think you can come around to feel comfortable as you get to know him better, then you may simply not be compatible and that’s okay. Don’t assume the worst, that he’s not interested, but pay attention to how you are feeling. The way he shows interest may not be a good fit for what you’re looking for.

    #913191 Reply


    Hi Maddie,
    I’m American but he German living here in the US for several years.
    Thanks for the feedback. As much as i don’t want to accept it lol because i want him to love me how i need to be loved and chose me lol it makes sense. I will try not to over think but great idea on asking him about his dating culture. Mehhh

    #913285 Reply


    I have another queustion…i will be out of state for the next month. I’ve told him he can text and call whenever, And he said okay and for me to keep in touch as well. I just think, based off his lack of interest in long term stuff, and he’s not a phone or social media person… but I’ve seen him active on the dating app, that he won’t keep in touch as much as id like him to. How do i handle this? Do i text him first? Do i not text at all? We’ve been talking for two months and he initiated like 90% of the texts, and asked to meet 8 out of the 10 times…

    I want him to want to keep in touch but I’m just nervous and anxious that he won’t, and i don’t know how to act or what else to do…

    #913304 Reply


    If you start to initiate now he has slowed down you will not get to gauge how he is feeling about you. If he doesn’t text or call when you are away then at least you will know he isn’t in to you and can just move on. You can’t force a connection and it seems that things can be uncomfortable and awkward between you which makes me think that there may be a disconnect in how you interact with each other and your personalities – perhaps you are just not compatible?

    I don’t really get why you are so keen on this guy though- it just seems like you are uncomfortable and maybe it’s a bit of an ego thing? Not in a horrible way but maybe you feel like this because you want him to like you more than you like him?

    #913346 Reply


    “I want him to want to keep in touch”

    Unfortunately, it’s out of your control what other people want and how they act. That’s where establishing trust and compatibility over time help build the foundation for a stable relationship. It sounds like you’re refraining from reaching out and counting his contact to validate yourself and quiet anxiety. Are you talking to your therapist at all about having an anxious (or fearful avoidant) insecure attachment style?

    I agree that taking it upon yourself to call to manage your own anxiety doesn’t help establish anything really and also starts to force things. But never calling because you’re guessing at what he wants and trying to seem like a “cool girl” to be whatever you’re assuming it is that he wants is also not healthy.

    #913354 Reply


    I remember your post about the compliment…

    Maybe take a step back & see what he does.

    #913356 Reply


    Thanks Maddie & Ss,
    I appreciate your words of advice.

    To answer the questions, yes, i am talking to my therapist about my anxieties and how they’re based off some things that happened in childhood and how i need to center myself… it’s helping somewhat. The therapist said she wants me to learn to slowly get to know him or men…slowly, bc apparently i might be rushing to be chosen by him or any man im attracted to…i think you touched on this Ss.

    Ss, sometimes i also wonder to myself why i like this guy. i don’t think its ego as much as its wanting a man to choose me and my whole need for love since it’s always been so deprived growing up in my family. It just feels so great that it’s like i get blinded whether i like the guy, or just feel like I’ll take any guy. Now to be fair, i do enjoy being around him. I’m attracted to him. He’s intelligent, interesting, a gentlemen, thoughtful, attentive, asks me what id like to do, is eager to carry everything for me or get anything for me that would make me more comfortable when we’re together… the small things he does are very amazing and i really appreciate it. Ialso like how safe i feel in his arms. I haven’t felt that with the other men I’ve met from OLD. Our fascination and comments on life are also similar… our cynicism, our opinions.. so to be fair, there are commonalities and i enjoy this with him, but yes, the awkwardness… I’m trying to decipher if it’s him/me feeding off my/his energy or if it’s just one of us (whether he even interested) , and i really want to get out of my own way so that I’m able to see who is making this weird lol maybe it’s the combo of us.

    I do have catastrophic thinking and anxiety of a man rejecting me. I know we all do, but my anxieties cause me to waste the whole day thinking about him instead of tending to the really important things in my life.. even my hobbies that i like. I really need to tend to those more. That would probably help me. I think this month will be a good time to see how he responds… if at all…ufff..i really hope he does.

    I do want to know, though, should i initiate at all even tho he does most of the initiating ? I told myself that I’d come from a genuine place of interest if i want to text him, not when i need validation or attention or am anxious n need to see if he responds to me, bc i don’t want to play games. I really like him and i do want to get to know him better. I just want to be sure it’s mutual so that’s why i don’t initiate. At first, it was because i tried to follow the courting rules of leaning back to see if he wants to pursue me, which he did, but then something happened midway so i don’t know what to do… he tells me i should text him too, so i don’t want to have him do all the work again. I do think it shud be semi equal at this point? Or am i wrong? I think his dating culture is all about equality and in basically making him do all the work.. not making him, but sitting back and just responding happily when he asks me out.

    Also, those awkwardness… what are those? My job is communications so i am literally a comms expert, and very good at it, and believe me when i say that i don’t have a problem making ppl feel comfortable around me so that they open up, but this guy…i don’t know. I don’t have enough to experience if it’s compatibility or something that I’m bringing in to make it awkward bc i like him so much and am insecure bc he hasn’t told me he likes me. I’ve never dated someone who is not this communicative…hmm, i wonder if this will just be a dead end. I’m really hoping not but maybe it’s 4 the best. I mean, how long am i supposed to keep trying? ,

    I do like the advice tho to see if he initiates. I think ill lean back since last week i was the one who initiated all the texts and asked him to meet… it just feels like i forced him to meet me…idk..i feel like he should have asked me to hang out since i was leaving and i feel like that tells me he not into me…see?… catastrophic thinking lol

    Thank you both. I think having these answers kind of keeps me sane in knowing that others are in it with me, so to say. I don’t feel as lonely and it makes me feel more reassured when i get it out and hv ppl who don’t know me provide outside perspective… thank you both so much! I’m going to keep this chain updated as needed lol i think I’m learning already

    #913358 Reply


    Aw, thanks Raven. It seems like it may be best to step back so i will.

    #913442 Reply


    He text me this evening to see if i had left the state yet. I text him back telling him where i was, and we text back and forth a Couple texts each… no flirting but more like saying hi, checking in, that sort of thing. I wished him luck on his project And he thanked me, and that was that. He’s def not a flirt lol and i am ok with it at this point while we get to know each other. I like that he text me at least…i just wish we had more substance to talk about but i guess at this early in the game…2 months… it might be difficult…

    #913509 Reply


    Ree I am Polish and I can tell you that German guys are not very romantic, he most likely won’t be showering you with compliments etc they are known for being quite reserved but then again I am sure there are guys in America that are just like that too
    I wouldn’t worry about his texts , men don’t really pay that much attention to it, it is more about how often you see each other and how he feels around you.

    #913626 Reply


    Ewa, if this is true about him, then you have no idea how much confusion that has cleared up for me… seriously. Here i am, wondering… we seem to be having a great time together, but then there have been no compliments, no flirting, no flirty texts, etc… unfortunately, every man I’ve been on dates with in my life has been flirty and complimentary (well, i guess look how that played out lol) so in American culture, if you’re not complimentary, flirty, more “open”, sometimes that can be taken as a lack of interest. So I’m left wondering… Does he like me? Is he interested? Am i boring? And, if he’s not interested, why does he keep asking me out?

    And because of this misunderstanding, perhaps?, i feel like i may have pulled back from him or just had a sort of frustrated energy around him, and I’ve also responded with a frustrated energy in text responses to him.

    We have hung out like once a week. I’m pretty sure i have been the culprit when he asked to hang out more than once a week and i pulled back bc of all of this other confusion. But now it may be making sense since i am noticing that he is reserved with me, but not with strangers lol.

    Do they ever open up? I’m laughing but I’m wondering if this is who he is for life? Or if this is just him in the dating phase? Now it makes sense that he so loud and boisterous and fun around his friends and in his photos.

    I feel like i need a lesson in dating German men. This doesn’t make me want to stop dating him… it does make me feel a little better, actually… maybe i just need to keep working on myself so i don’t obsess.

    Thanks so much Ewa!

    #913679 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    You seem really anxious and unsure about this guy. I don’t know if it’s just because he’s German, or it’s just who he is. I’m American and lived in Europe for a few years in my 20s and dated guys from several countries (English, Dutch, German, Irish)…they were never shy about showing affection when they were interested in me. Sure, there were some social differences in dating, but I never doubted their interest in me, or whether they wanted to see me.

    After 2 months of dating you should have a pretty solid sense of whether you’re a good fit with this guy. I’m sorry but I just don’t think you are. You have commented on “awkwardness” with him. You say you have a “frustrated energy” around him. You said “he asked to hang out more than once a week and i pulled back bc of all of this other confusion.” Why would you not accept when he asked to see you more than once a week? It’s not this hard to date if you are with the right person, honestly! It doesn’t matter what country they are from. If you are with the right guy and you click, it flows pretty easily, no matter where you’re from.

    So I personally think this guy is not a good fit for you. He doesn’t seem to be meeting your needs. He’s probably a really nice guy, but you won’t click romantically with every nice guy out there. You should also work on your anxiety in dating because getting obsessive about a guy isn’t healthy and will get you nowhere, in fact it will ruin any potential you have with a guy if you pick apart every single interaction.

    #913681 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    “i just wish we had more substance to talk about but i guess at this early in the game…2 months… it might be difficult…”

    After two months of dating you should have LOADS to talk about, if you’re with a guy you click with. At two months of dating you are in the honeymoon period, if you’re with the right guy!

    Seriously, I’m thinking back to my previous relationships with guys all over the world (Europe, Latin America), and my current relationship with my bf (who is American, lol)– no matter where the guy was from, if we were still dating and things were going well after 2 months, we had *plenty* to talk about. I hate to be a debbie downer but like I said, dating should not be a struggle– if you are finding it awkward and hard to find substantive topics of conversation after 2 months, it’s not gonna work out with this guy.

    #913708 Reply


    To be honest, this sounds like a case of the issue is more on your side than his. But when you’re working through anxiety / anxious attachment, that doesn’t mean you should date someone who triggers it further in you (whether that’s someone who is avoidant or someone who is culturally or personality-wise more standoffish than you’re used to). It distracts you from the real issues and gives you a focus / distraction of him instead of yourself. Approaching dating as you just want a man to love you means you’re making relationship decision based out of fear instead of security. And you know you have these issues, which is why you’re in therapy, but please listen to the therapist and take dating slowly right now. It isn’t good that you feel conversation is stilted, but I’m wondering if it actually is or if you want it to be fantasy words of love, flirtation, affection, attraction, flirting, and you’re not getting it so you’re interrupting that as awkward and something is missing since you’re longing for it. Combined with it sounds like your love language is words of affirmation and his may be quality time spent together. But anyway, listen to the therapist and keep an eye on your expectations because I have a feeling you’d be responding this way to anyone who wasn’t love-bombing you, and people who are love-bombing you will be a disaster. So I’m not saying he’s right for you or that you should continue dating him, but I am saying he’s not the person who will make you feel better in this dynamic because your anxiety is stemming from your other issues, so it’s an inside job.

    #913764 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Maddie has excellent advice as always!

    You said you’re both 40. What are your relationship histories– have either of you been married before? Or engaged, or other very serious relationships? You didn’t mention children so I assume neither of you have kids?

    #913775 Reply



    #913776 Reply


    Sorry. I have tried posting but for some reason it wasn’t taking…ok let’s try this again.

    Liz and Maddie,
    I had written a thank you to you both but didn’t see it published. So thank you 4 your great words! I feel like i should really think about why I’m dating this guy. So much to say but i think ill take this month to clear my mind and really figure out my needs n requirements and if this is working or I’m in my own way with my anxiety.

    Liz, he has had a serious relationship that ended about 5 years ago where they were wanting to be married but he moved to the US And the long distance eventually ended their relationship. When i had asked about it, it seemed like he was a bit frustrated with her asking him to do everything. He ended up flying out to see her in europe once a month for a year for the entire last year before they both decided it wasn’t working. She wanted more And he said he wanted to wait to finish his postgrad work. Since then, hes only had shorter relationships.

    My last serious relationship ended in 2016. It was also 3 years. We weren’t compatible and the signs were there on day 1 and i didn’t listen, which is not shocking. Ufff

    No children for both. Both never married before.

    #913979 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    OK, I was just curious. You mentioned this guy is still on the dating apps, right? And after 2 months you have not discussed exclusivity? The general consensus around here is that if a guy wants to be exclusive with you, that conversation generally happens pretty soon ….like within 6-8 weeks or so. Of course, this is a generalization, but in my experience it’s pretty accurate, no matter what country the guy is from.

    I stand by what I said earlier that dating should not be this anxiety provoking and difficult. If your head is spinning this much, you should definitely step back and work on your inner issues. Ultimately I think Maddie’s advice is spot on. I’m glad you’ll take this month being out of state to clear your head and take some distance. Good luck!

    #914299 Reply


    Hi Liz,
    Im pretty sure he is still on the apps, but i disconnected with him a while ago so im not positive. he was when i was still connected with him.
    i dont think i would feel comfortable being exclusive with a man after 2 months, regardless… i do think we should have discussed something, esp since were not in our 20s, but nope. only bc we’re also both seriously busy in our jobs. we both work like 12 hours a day, and now ive left the state to respond in another state and will be gone a month UGH

    i do agree with all of you here…heck, id be saying the same thing to a friend… “girrrl, how is this many dating you two months and he hasnt raised any questions about wanting to be exclusive with you? screw that little boy!” lol

    so i see your point…emotions are a strong thing. i have to say, though, being out of state makes me less anxious since its like out of sight, out of mind. he hasnt contacted me in 3 days, and even if he does contact me….i mean, his texts are just so lame and boring LOL lets just be honest. sometimes im too bored to respond to him, but i do to be nice. lol

    i like him but i feel hes either holding back, or isnt as interested and may just be responding out of being bored as well. oh well. now that were not forced to hang out, lets see what happens.

    im moving forward, and after a month (will have a couple of sessions with my therapist to discuss these things) ill better understand whether its me or not.

    man, love is so hard, and if its not supposed to be, thats really hard to understand as well bc ive never seen love not be hard…from my upbringing, family, etc…

    thanks all! ill keep in touch. :)

    #914323 Reply


    Life is challenging and will always toss challenges your way, whether you’re single or partnered and facing it together, but love and the relationship itself shouldn’t feel hard most of the time when both people are emotionally healthy and when the partnership is compatible.

    #914327 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    If you feel he’s boring, and that you’re “forced” to hang out with him, why are you even bothering with this guy? Something to think about!

    Maddie is 100% correct that a relationship isn’t hard when you’re mentally healthy, and with someone you are compatible with. You will have challenging moments, of course. But as a general rule, a relationship should flow easily. It should feel comfortable. It should enhance your life. It should not make you feel anxious, or frustrated, or bored. Those are all signs that either the person isn’t right for you, or you need to work on yourself– or perhaps both those things! Good for you for doing the work and pursuing things with your therapist.

    #914414 Reply


    I just have to say… you two have been really amazing in all your knowledge! I can’t get over it. This is like free therapy right here! Lol

    I am starting to wonder whether it really is me bc love has never been calm in my life. It’s always been argumentative, choppy, passionate, tug of war, fighting, etc… how sad for me. I have really grown over the past few years with a therapist i got for my family stuff and childhood issues.

    I probably thought this guy was boring bc he was so calm lol so bad. Slapping myself on the forehead, i swear, but! I do renege there was this other guy i was dating along the same time as the German who was sooo similar to me in sooo many ways. We just flowed together like water. In the end, i think we both realized he was still in love with his ex, so it didn’t work, but for a quick minute there, i did start to understand how easy it would be with someone i was kind of similar to in personality, interests, temperament, values, lifestyle, etc etc
    And i was proud of myself in quickly being able to cut it off when i smelled some fishiness.

    And i know it’s not right, but i was kind of comparing the two and realizing i was so compatible with this other guy, and the German any i had a lot of serial and physical chemistry, And i think we really respected each other, but it just didn’t flow… it was kind of hard to have fun conversations lol

    He was waltz, theater, science, calm family.
    I was hip-hop, parties and rebelling, politics, dysfunctional family.
    Everything i loved he didn’t…i engender i asked him once if he liked motorcycles n he said… no theyre dangerous. I had to laugh to myself. I have never heard of a man saying that, and i realized. Oh. It’s probably because every man and woman i hang around has always loved motorcycles… just one example lol
    Once he told me “you seem like the type of woman who would smoke cigars. ” lol I’ve also never heard that stated to me. He must have been coming up with crazy assumptions about me in his head, which… half were incorrect.

    Oh well…i look forward to when time will tell why i was this attached to the German.

    Night night. Talk later!

    We are so different in almost every sense of the word “different”.

    #915058 Reply


    Well… he hasn’t text since Monday… unbelievable! And the guy i only met once has already text twice…freaking unbelievable!

    #915136 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Well, there’s your answer. He’s not feeling it, and from the comments you have been making about boredom, awkwardness, feeling forced, etc– you are not feeling it either. So stop forcing it. Let him go and move on. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but you two don’t have a connection. And, more importantly, continue to work on yourself and work with your therapist.

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