Five dates – overreaction – help with confidence


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    UK girl

    I’m in my late 20s, and I left a six year relationship and marriage around 4 months ago.

    I know logically I have a lot to offer. Of course it is all objective but I’ve been told I’m very attractive, intelligent, witty, passionate, adventurous, empathetic…but I struggle with my confidence because my husband rejected me in the bedroom (he had problems in this area). However, I do come across as a very confident, outgoing person, it’s just in my head that I’m struggling!

    After going on some dates with people I know, I decided to try internet dating…

    I met a man who I knew of through mutual friends. He’s 40, never married, no kids, has had long term relationships before. His last relationship also ended about 4 months ago. We texted for a few days in the lead up to the date. The texts were infrequent, and sometimes a day would go by and I’d hear nothing. I assumed he wasn’t big on texting/also didn’t want to talk much before we met.

    After our first date, he kissed me, held me tight for ages and told me that in his 40 years, he’d never had such a stimulating and easy conversation and would like to see me again. He wanted to see me as soon as possible (we actually had to wait 6 days).

    In between dates, he would go quiet for a day and a bit. Almost like clockwork. I let him lead all the texts. He would then come back asking how I was, and would always arrange another date. He was never online much.

    Each date went progressively well – amazing conversation, lots of kissing, chemistry etc. Our interests were matched in so many areas.

    On the third date I went to his place, and when things were heating up I said I didn’t want to sleep with him just yet as I was interested in something more than casual sex and that I wanted to get to know him more. He told me that he completely understood, that I needed to have some trust that he wasn’t sleeping with other people, that none of his other dates had reached this far, and that he really really liked me, and the last woman to have this many dates with him he’d been with for 2.5 years. He also said he found me completely ‘magnetic’.

    I left and the usual happened – a day and a half went by without any message. Then he texted on NYE and arranged to see me the next day.

    He also told me that he’d told his family about me, and had also asked our mutual friend about me.

    When we met, we were both very tired from the previous evening. He seemed a bit ‘flat’ and stressed. We went back to his, had a good time but then I told him again that I wasn’t ready to sleep with him (also I had my period which I told him) and we ended up having a serious talk as a result. He asked me if I wanted something ‘full on’ after being recently out of a marriage. I said I wanted something that would ultimately lead to a relationship, not casual sex. He understood but said sex wasn’t so sacred to him. He obviously interpreted me wrong because it isn’t for me either, but I don’t just want to get immediately into bed with someone before a connection is made.

    After I left his house, I had a bad gut feeling. I knew that he panicked at the serious conversation. I let the usual day and a half pass, then I sent a friendly message asking how his day back at work had gone. He replied, chatty and friendly with a question. I replied and asked him whether he;d have any time to meet up in between his exciting new projects? He replied ‘Yes, that sounds cool :-) x’

    The next morning I woke up to a text saying that he’d been thinking and that he was very worried about our early expectations, that it was clear I wasn’t happy with the ‘pace’, that he wasn’t sure he could currently offer me the kind of relationship I’m looking for, that he really did ‘enjoy’ meeting up with me but needed to ‘currently step back’.

    I sent a reply that I understood but was worried that there had been a miscommunication during our last conversation, that I wasn’t really sure WHAT I was looking for, that rushing into something full on would be detrimental after leaving a marriage, that I was happy to let things happen organically, without pressure. I asked him if, knowing where we both stood, he’d want to meet? I was surprised to read that he was happy to meet.

    We arranged to meet the next day (sat night). About an hour before he sent a message saying that he wasn’t feeling good, and that he wasn’t cancelling but needed to have an earlier night. So I said I was happy to meet a bit earlier.

    When I saw him, he was completely wound up, stressed, tight body language. He said he was worried about being responsible for my happiness, that women projected things onto him, that he was worried he couldn’t deliver. I reiterated everything I said in my text. I wonder why he’d bothered to meet me. I asked if he didn’t want us to see each other again? he said he wasn’t saying that.

    Then I got bored of the heavy conversation, assumed it would be over in 30 mins, but decided I was going to show him what he was missing for the last 20 mins while I finished my drink. So I accepted what he said, and changed the conversation. After 20 mins, he was relaxing, and he offered to buy me another drink. During the next hour, he completely changed. We were laughing, joking, getting on like a house on fire, he moved closer to me, he put his arm around the back of the sofa, he put my hand in his. It was like all the stress had gone and we just completely ‘clicked’.

    At the end he said ‘let’s go!’ and we walked arm in arm back to his, laughing. When I came down from the toilet he had my favourite album playing, was pouring me a drink, and kissed me in the kitchen. Then we lay in each other’s arms on his sofa. After a while, we started kissing and I decided that I was going to sleep with him. It was incredibly close, passionate and intimate. Afterwards he stroked my hair, held my hand and we fell asleep with my head on his chest, cuddling.

    The next morning we slept together again, he made me tea, and we lay in bed chatting and laughing for another hour or so. He said all his illness had gone away (remember he texted to say he wasn’t well), and that he was feeling completely ‘blissful’.

    Then he made me breakfast and offered to give me a lift home.

    On the way home, he said he was reading a book about thinking (all his books seemed to be about thinking), and that it was saying it was important to ‘think very slowly’, and be patient in decision making. I asked him if he was alluding to something? And he said no, but I can’t help but feel he was trying to tell me he struggles with overthinking.

    Outside my house he kissed me and wished me luck for a job interview I had the next day.

    The next day, the day of my interview he texted ‘Good luck today :-) (no kiss)’. I replied at the end of the day saying thank you for the positive vibes, that they’d worked and I was currently sitting with a glass of champagne in my hand! x’. He replied ‘congratulations with a party emoji, and no kiss. So I didn’t reply – what can you say to that? there wasn’t much opportunity to respond.

    Now over a day and a half has gone by. I am completely unsure of where we stand, because the conversation where it was essentially ending, changed into the best date we’ve had.

    Do you think I will ever hear from him again?

    This man is moral, we have friends in common and he’s not a player sort. I suspect he may have some commitment problems…

    I am very wound up about this man, he’s under my skin and I like him enough to be patient.

    Please don’t be too harsh with me…I am looking for advice as I have read lots of good advice on this forum before.

    Thank you in advance!

    #735473 Reply

    Louise

    Firstly, breathe.

    You slept with him and you’re panicking, but men often retreat for a bit after sex. Sometimes they do it to see if you go crazy.

    If you can count in hours since you heard from him, it’s fine.

    However – what *do* you want from him? If you don’t want to rush, why does it matter that you’ve not spoken in 36 hours?

    You can only control YOU – your thoughts, your actions, your behaviour. Forget about him, work on you – and if he pops up, proceed with more caution.

    #735474 Reply

    Missy

    Why did you give in? Hard to say. He could contact you again, but the message you sent him with your actions is that you are fine with casual sex. He already told you he doesn’t want more. Sorry, but from an outsider’s view, he emotionally manipulated you into getting what he wanted. Next time, stick to your guns! If the guy disappears, then you know that’s all he wanted. Better to find out sooner rather than later. A good guy, who wants a relationship, will wait. Every time. Live and learn!

    #735475 Reply

    Missy

    And…just a suggestion, but if you don’t want to sleep with a man right away, stop going back to his place. Keep it in public locations. You are not wrong in wanting what you want. Don’t ever let a man make you think that. And if you’re afraid you’ll lose him if you don’t, then he’s not worth it. Plenty of men out there that WILL wait!

    #735476 Reply

    Andrea

    This man was clearly buttering you up with meaningless words in order to get easy sex. You did right initially by stating you were not looking for anything casual and refusing to put out. He responded by withdrawing. At this point you should have cut communication and looked elsewhere. Instead, you did what so many other women do these days, you had sex before getting to know him better and securing a relationship or at least sexual exclusivity. He didn’t have to invest much time or effort before sex, so I don’t see him deciding to so now. But who knows, maybe your situation will be different.

    #735478 Reply

    anon

    He gave you an out and did the right thing by retreating when he realized you weren’t looking for casual. He is one of the MANY men you will meet who enjoys your company and sex but isn’t looking for the full commitment of a relationship. So you can’t expect it going forward.

    Most likely, he will withdraw a bunch and your “dates” will become about sex.

    #735479 Reply

    kaye

    You just got out of a marriage 4 months ago. You don’t say you’re actually divorced so I’m guessing you’re not. Truthfully you shouldn’t even be dating right now!! You should take some time to heal, figure out what it has taught you about your next relationship and what you will and won’t compromise on. Also you don’t need to kid yourself about what you are looking for. Are you okay with a casual relationship with great sex to boost your self esteem while you heal or are you only okay with monogamous long term relationships? If you are only looking for a bit of fun and want to wade into the dating pool then why not choose an emotionally unavailable 40 year old who’s never been married! But if you are looking for another long term committed relationship then a man who has never been married at 40 is a glaring red flag. Not only that but he’s more than a decade older than you too.
    You are both out of long term relationships and odds are he’s looking to play the field a little. He’s not wanting to get tied down to the first girl he dates seriously. He’s probably finding that it’s pretty easy for a decent guy to get no strings attached sex and that’s what he’s doing. He even managed to do it with you too because you were too scared to scare him off by making him think sex was sacred to you. Now you’ve just had sex with a man who you already felt was backing off (he missed his day and a half texting deadline) told you he wasn’t ready for a “full on” relationship, was afraid of any “expectations” you would put on this budding relationship.

    You made the classic mistake most women make when they first start dating after a divorce. You set up good boundaries like not having early sex, but then throw those out the window as soon as you feel a guy stepping back!! If a guy can’t wait for you to have a connection and agree to exclusivity BEFORE sex then he’s not the guy for you!! Throwing yourself at a guy who already seems luke warm and tells you he doesn’t want a full on relationship or want you to have any expectations of him is a recipe for heartbreak!! The reason you are confused on where you stand is because you don’t stand anywhere with him!! You can’t sex a man into wanting a relationship with you. And you have absolutely no commitment he even wants to take you on another date.

    If you can’t do casual sex without getting bothered about whether the guy will ever call you again then don’t have casual sex. Take some time out of a relationship to figure out exact what you want before you start dating. When you know what you want a 40 year old never married guy with committment issues wouldn’t even have gotten a first date with you!!

    #735481 Reply

    Sensy

    I’ve learned not to drink the water until you truly know they are a good guy and love you. He is 40 so likely has a problem being vulnerable.

    #735482 Reply

    Khadija

    I thinking dating shouldn’t be your priority at the moment.

    Focus on ending the marriage legally and healing from getting a divorce.

    Also, some therapy couldn’t hurt to rebuild your confidence and gain some insight about your past relationship.

    #735483 Reply

    peggy

    What the others are sayimg-plus do not text him. Leave all contact to him for now and only meet him if he offers a proper date.

    #735485 Reply

    Pearl

    How did I know this would end up with you sleeping with him. He told you that he had to back out then you started initiating and pinning him down to meet with you then you had sex with him going against your original statement of not wanting anything casual now you’re panicking because he has pulled away. He sounds uptight and like too much hard work to me but on the other hand he was honest with you and then you went chasing after him because you were afraid to loose him. You need to spend some time on your own, dating just 4 months after ending a marriage is not ideal. Stop worrying about this one and when or if he will contact you again, concentrate on yourself.

    #735487 Reply

    Raven

    2 things:

    You’re only out of your marriage for 4 months. You need more time to get your groove back & reground… What’s the rush?

    You did not listen to what he told you…

    #735490 Reply

    Newbie

    I agree with others about the guy and that youre not ready to date. A guy doesnt have to be a player, to just want omly sex and a superficial connection and move on after a few months. Also, youre saying youre attractive, smart etc but youre not feeling it. And i believe you, you have to build up your selfesteem first to know what you are and want. And when you build back your confidence, then you are ready to date. Otherwise you may end up with a long string of losers who just want to prey on you. You have time, youre only late 20, no hurry to chain yourself to classic 40 year old mr unavailable

    #735494 Reply

    Newbie

    Also, you need a lesson in the way mr unavailable talks: afraid he cant make you happy, youre not happy with the pace, he cant fullfill expectations, sex is not sacred to him (he wasnt misunderstanding you, he was telling you he wants to get laid), that he is slow are pretty much all cliché disclaimers a guy wont commit. You can look up Nathalie lue or leu baggage reclaim site. Its very helpful in the dating jungle

    #735496 Reply

    Newbie

    And, sorry for the triple post, think of this as a: yayy i got laid again, and treat it as a one night stand

    #735497 Reply

    alia

    What was your desired outcome of this? You seem like maybe you need some time on your own before you go into a new serious relationship. Dating can be a confidence boost, but I wouldn’t rely on that. Try other things first, try a new hobby, take a new class, etc. Trying to play an emotional detective five dates in does not make for happiness. If you have to write on this forum five dates in, rest assured something is up. I think this man is specifically dating you because you are fresh out of a relationship and will be majorly freaked out, when you form an attachment to him, which you inevitably will, if you keep seeing him.

    #735524 Reply

    Sisi

    This man only wants sex from you… he clearly told you that, and you have in for fear of losing him..

    Nothing more, nothing less…

    And he will contact you again for more sex..

    #735526 Reply

    Kim

    So you told him you wanted to wait a bit until you slept with him. He retracted a bit after you told him that so you threw everything you said before out the window so he would know what he’s missing? You don’t show a guy what he’s missing by sleeping with him love. This guy has done nothing to earn your trust and you’ve rewarded him with sex basically. He obviously doesn’t want the same things as you from the relationship so as others mentioned why go back to his place? It sounds to me like he’s gotten what he wanted and that’s it.

    You have just come out of a marriage. Take some time for you and don’t worry about anybody else. It doesn’t hurt to be single for a minute.

    #735527 Reply

    April

    Hi UK girl,

    Ok so you just got out of a marriage, if you need time to process things, fine! or if you want to go out and start dating, fine! You do you, do what makes you feel good. So now, you started dating this guy and the moment you ask “Do you think I will ever hear from him again?,” you’ve already lost in this situation. Take a step back and figure out what exactly do you want right now – is it a relationship or a time to be alone to ‘fill your own cup’ again?

    In this day and age, enter a relationship for the right reasons and not based on fear, lonliness, or societal pressure to have somone. So, do you think you’re dating for the right reasons? Let that question sink in.

    If you are looking for a relationship then be firm with your boundaries (ie. not sleeping with them until you’ve established exclusivity). You can still be playful while turning down their home invites (“ oh my, so tempting to go back at your place but remember we’ve talked about this? :) assuming you’ve clearly communicated it with him) But then you went against yourself and slept with him – relax! You’re only human! Don’t beat yourself up. You enjoyed the sex anyway. Now, learn from that experience and do it differently next time.

    The man who really wants to be with you will not have any issues if you’re not ready to sleep with them yet unless there’s exclusivity, they would even respect that and not pressure you in any way. But then again, know yourself – be clear with what exactly do you want right now at this point.

    #735547 Reply

    Anne ohio

    I read your post. Sounds like he didn’t want to work for the sex, so he tried to end it. Then you backpedaled, begging him to change his mind, and completely did the opposite of what you claim you want.

    Also you mentioned no kiss emojis. I find that kinda teenybopper mentality. I think emojis are stupid and dorky.

    #735550 Reply

    Jenny OG

    He got what he wanted. You said you didn’t want to sleep with him, went on and on and on AND ON about why and blah blah blah and he said “okay then go”, you said “no, let’s just hang” and he knew right then that your words were just that, words with no substance. He pulled out all the basic tricks- drinks & music, and you caved with little to no effort. It’s honestly not respectable from an outer standpoint. If YOU don’t even respect yourself enough to stand firm to your claimed beliefs, than why would he??! Now he gets to say “I TOLD YOU I didn’t know if I could live up to your expectations, I TOLD you sex wasn’t a big deal to me” this turns into “How is this MY fault, I didn’t FORCE you to do anything YOU didn’t want to do!”. He drops you after a few, you cry all shocked and blindsided, he thinks you’re mental because he thought you “understood”, you think he’s an as*hole because he used you for sex… the end! Lol. Sorry if I sound a little brutal but I don’t see it playing out many other ways. Let it go and in the future maybe REALLY figure out what you want then DO NOT WAVER. Good luck!

    #735568 Reply

    Emma

    Boy oh boy do I agree with everyone. Everything everyone said. This is so rare.

    The dude made you sleep with him, emotionally “tricked” you so that you started clinging on to him. It cost him nothing and now you are all anxious and sitting looking at your phone. Duh

    Look at 40 never married how many “experienced” do you think he had? That’s right.

    He knew what he was doing and he played you like fiddle. I am sorry to say/

    You said no and then IMMEDIATELY back peddle because he started to cool off just a little bit. OMG girl you’ve got to learn, and do it fast!

    You have a lot to offer, a lot ,more than he does. You are young, pretty and all those other things, well now is the time to get emotionally smart LOL

    Read this forum and see what’s going on in the dating world. You are not ready. You are so naive and so gullible, and have no clue about the “market” and its “value”.

    40 year old dude never married is someone a woman in your age should not even reply to. Even if he says funny things. He knows what to say. These dudes are bad news in 99% of the cases. And you can do better. Much better

    Not all younger men are stupid and immature, many are funny, smart and emotionally available. But those usually don’t wait until retirement to settle down LOL

    Do not reply to every dude who compliments you LOL

    And stand your ground. When you decide something, stick to it. Do not worry that he would run away. He won’t. And if he does, buy him a propeller so he runs faster. LOL

    You have a lot to offer!!

    Right now you are stuck on him because he tricked you. Understand that and get unstuck. All his “charm” seems charm to you because oyu out of a long-term marriage (and like most marriages tend to do in time, I assume yours got boring), so any warm body sounds exciting to you.

    Stop this nonsense with kissing emojis. If you expect them, then you’d feel disappointed all the time. Most grownup man do not use empojis other than a smile and a couple of other that are like “intonation signs”.

    You have a lot to offer, too much for this dude, and he knows it. So he is playing it by the book, playing “hard to get”, as if he is not really that interested, and you took the bait, you started chasing him.

    Well, learn from it. LOL And do the same net time. Or better this time. LOL

    #735573 Reply

    Stephen

    Playing hard to get,tricking you into sex? I don’t think so. I am disturbed by the overt display of cynicism shown by all but Emma. Emma just churns out boilerplate ‘ ‘man bad’ nonsense which in my opinion became stale a long time ago.

    I think that he was supportive of you, wishing you well for your job interview and then congratulating you on getting the job. If he was only in it for the sex why would he have bothered doing the above.

    I think that he detected from you a definite whiff of desperation. Now I am not saying that you are desperate just that he may have thought that you were. In my mind he seems a nice guy and the not being married at 40 means little these days. Perhaps he is shy with women? Perhaps he was burned by a woman once or saw a close friend or family member burned by marriage? Or perhaps he simply has high standards and hasn’t met a woman he considers marriage material? Perhaps he has mother issues?

    OP you should bear in mind that most of the women here are American and the Americans have by British standards a very mercenary view regarding dating. They constantly and consistently urge women to date as many men as they want at the same time and then choose the best of the bunch or reject all of them. I find this view of dating cold-blooded, reptilian. As a fellow Briton OP I wish you success in your dating/relationship future.

    #735574 Reply

    Jenny OG

    I also don’t agree with the 40 year old comments. The men *3* I dated before my current boyfriend were all older, them late 30s, early 40s, me just turning 30 and I thought they were wonderful. They’re aware of what they want, they’re established in their careers and yes, obviously when not married and no children, they’ve been there, done that. But I will say, 2/3 were men that would NEVER in any way, shape or form continue to come on to me if there were ANY indication of hesitancy. The one that did one time said it was because he found me “challenging”. I’m just saying, yes, a man CAN have you just because HE wants you, but the good ones make sure your mindset is taken into account and they only continue if it’s mutually for the right reasons

    #735575 Reply

    Jenny OG

    It’s called integrity. And unfortunately ego seems to outweigh that more often than not these days

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