he says he is interested, i don't feel he is


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This topic contains 5 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  mama 1 month, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #928763 Reply

    Sunday

    I dated this guy 6 years ago, but things didn’t work.
    For me it didn’t work that i thought he never listened to me and was self-centered, always all about his needs. For him, he thought i demand too much of him, that i was needy.
    So we both agreed we needed different people and we called it off but remain friends, for 5 years. At first we didn’t have much contact, he moved away and we really didn’t have much to talk I guess. But for the last 3 years or so, because of his work, he was driving a lot and during those rides he used to call me and we talked a lot. We become really good friends, he actually listened to me on those calls and empathized a lot with whatever i would be going through.
    Even dating, we gave each other advice and support and i really started considering him a really good friend.
    Fast forward to a couple months ago, he breaks the news that he is coming back. He was convincing me that we should try again. I really didn’t want to at first because he is now a really good friend and what i am to lose is much more. But somehow, here i am…

    He comes back and we met right away, just to chat and went on a walk. After that we met a couple more times with stay overs and that’s… two weeks ago.
    He started back to work and he says he has been very busy. I know he is, he has all his family here and all his friends and they also probably missed him.
    But it just doesn’t feel right to me that he hasn’t made any time to meet me in all this long.
    He is also a bit special, he gets overwhelmed easily in relationships or around people, as i explained above that’s what didn’t work for him, so i have been patiently waiting for him to come to me. In that line, he is also very last minute, planning freaks him out, in case he needs his solo time.

    He writes me every day asking me for my day and he has asked me to meet up a couple times for a run half way between us (we live 1h away) but always last minute and I haven’t been able. I joked about the fact that we seemed to not to be able to find time for each other and he called me very apologetic about it, but saying things will get worst because of this or that.

    This weekend he is traveling for work, next weekend he is here. I told him i could stay around if he wanted to do something or i could join some friends on a trip, the following i am out for work. That just is enough for freaking him out, he said he didn’t want to make plans in case he didn’t want to do anything at all because he may be stressed out from work… so i joined my friend’s trip, it just didn’t feel right to make space for someone that may not feel like seeing you. Although my experience with him in the past, is that he always tells me to do something… but always last minute.
    In any case, it means that for the next 3 weekends we won’t see each other… making it to a total of 5.

    So i don’t know what to do or what to think. I have my things too, which may not be a good fit all together. I am impatient, although i have worked on it over the years, but sometimes i have difficulty recognizing if this is affecting my judgment. It’s fair that he has to spend time with his family and friends. I also understand his planning fear comes with being him and although that’s a hard thing, he cames with a lot of other awesome things that make that one tolerable… if we ever see each other.

    And i also suffer from relationship anxiety, i tend to withdraw rather quick when i can’t understand things because i kinda think it would be less painful if i am the one leaving first. Instead of just doing that, i thought i would write here and see if i can have some more objective opinions that give me clarity.

    thanks for reading!

    #928765 Reply

    Maddie

    It sounds like you both have quirks and/or issues that just don’t fit together well romantically. You can care about you each while not meeting each other’s needs well or having different needs than the other person and that’s okay. You don’t need to make excuses for him or force yourself to accept something that isn’t actually working for you, it doesn’t change the fact you care about each other but have tried a couple times and it just isn’t a good fit, it’s okay to be better off as friends. To me it sounds like if you’re trying to understand why it’s not working better, either a clash in attachment style issues or maybe something like he has ADD (which can impact how someone thinks about scheduling and planning and can be overwhelming to them) could be options to look into and read more about. But I don’t think that changes the dynamic, which for the last 6 years hasn’t been working for you beyond friendship, so what would have changed to make it any different now?

    #928767 Reply

    Sunday

    Thanks for your answer Maddie, it is really helpful.

    My main worry is not filling up certain needs, i am very independent. I would love to spend much more time with him, he is the sweetest guy i have ever been with and he is very fun to hang out with.

    It’s more about understanding if this could fit into him actually being interested. Any relationship advice you find online would tell you he is not and that feeds my relationship anxiety.

    I am worried to bring it up so early on and give him PTSD from our previous time together. At the time, I had just moved to the country, with not many friends and absolutely no family. I had an entry level salary that would not allow me to do many things with him and his friends (i don’t like men paying for my things) and i would feel very lonely at times and i was very insecure with him because i thought he was way too good for me. In 6 years now i climbed up to be second on board at my job and i started a side business. I made a lot of very active friends and i barely spend time at home on weekends, either with friends or my business.

    So i thought all this would help to make things better this time around, but what haven’t seemed to have changed much is my overthinking and my need to understand if things are going well or what, AKA relationship anxiety.

    He knows this, during those 6 years and he would be the friend who would tell me things are going well with that guy, stop worrying. I don’t have the friend that tells me this anymore.

    I am going to read into the two topics you mention above and i will give him some more time.

    #928768 Reply

    Sunday

    yep, i am anxious type and he is avoidant. Although not by the book either of us. He needs a lot of cuddling and hugs, way much more than i do… hahaha

    #928770 Reply

    Maddie

    I don’t think it’s as simple as he isn’t interested, I think these other issues with the anxious and avoidant styles of relating are getting in the way. But in a way it doesn’t matter, because the outcome still ends up the same: he doesn’t consistently show up for you in the way you want and deserve in a romantic relationship.

    This doesn’t have much to do with you, it just has to do with different experiences, needs, and mindsets that shaped the attachment styles in the first place. His distancing will happen at some point with whoever he tries to date, because if he has a (fearful) avoidant attachment style then he craves intimacy and connection yet also fears it and needs time alone to re-regulate… so he’s often overwhelmed and never fully emotionally available to you. It seems very likely that reconciling a romantic relationship with him would repeat the past relationship patterns, since they’re clearly still there for you both. Nothing is worse for triggering relationship anxiety than having an inconsistent partner, one who is hot and cold and with words and actions that don’t match.

    Your first instinct to just stay friends is a good one. If you go for it anyway, try to keep your focus on yourself instead of on him when he isn’t seeing you as much as you’d like. It’s more than okay to want to see someone you’re dating more than once or twice a month, and if he responds to you requesting to see him with leftover PTSD from your last romantic relationship together, then you clearly have your answer: he can’t give you what you want and what you deserve so trying again isn’t a good idea. Which saves you time and heartache, even if it’s scary to express your relationship needs!

    #928803 Reply

    mama

    Sometimes people are better as friends. I’d suggest drawing a line in the sand that you only want to be his friend. You guys aren’t good for each other the minute you get into a romantic situation. Keep your friend. Lose him as a love interest.

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