How to take things VERY slow and not screw this up?

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  • #750620 Reply


    Hello Ladies,

    I met this really, *really* great guy the other day, off Tinder. He’s new to online dating he said, so I only went on the date out of curiously since he had strongly sparked my interest but I expected he was newly single and therefore not looking for something serious.

    I’m a seasoned dater myself and I’ve had my fair share of « incredible first dates. » This one was another level of incredible though. I’m trying to keep a cool head here but I have this really strong belief deep down that he is « it. » Everything just felt very wonderful and very obvious, and he pretty much said all the right things without evening knowing it. I’m tainted by my years of online dating but he’s not. He wasn’t guarded, he didn’t try to impress. Talking with him was effortless and fun. He’s smart, sensitive, interesting, mature. He just basically came across as a very decent, thoughtful and honest guy. Like, I didn’t think those existed still. And he’s so handsome it hurts, seriously.

    The catch though is that he’s, unfortunately, *just* out of a very long-term relationship. He knows he needs time by himself and I definitely don’t want to be a rebound so we agreed not to start dating just yet, but to keep in touch and occasionally meet so we can get to know each other.

    I know the feeling was completely mutual, he was very explicit and transparent about it. I told him I would not get in touch first because that was asking for trouble so it was all in his hands. He didn’t like to have that responsibility but he agreed. We texted a bit right after the date, he said « it’s not tomorrow yet, I don’t have to be reasonable. » Now it’s been almost 5 days and I haven’t heard from him. I’m torn between feeling happy I *finally* found a guy who’s not acting selfishly and who cares he might hurt me, and worrying a real shot at love could pass me by.

    I’ve been a rebound before, I’ve dated on the rebound too and both situations sucked immensely so I’m definitely not going there with this one. I want to keep the momentum going though. What should I do?

    For reference, he’s 35 and his recent relationship lasted for 8 years. She left but it was long overdue, he said. He seemed alright but I have no details about what happened. Something tells me he was just not ready for the next step and she got tired of waiting (I don’t want kids myself, so that’s okay.) I’m 38, I’ve been single for 2,5 years and was in a very loving and committed relationship for 17 years (I’m still close with my ex., no heartbreak).

    #750621 Reply


    look at his actions, not words. they will always tell you what you want to hear.
    they will tell you they don’t want anything serious because this and that. listen to the first bit: nothing serious. and you met him off tinder so it is obvious what he really wanted…

    #750623 Reply


    @Ewa No, he didn’t say anything I just assumed he was not. What he said was that it would be unfair on me to say “let’s try and see what happens”. He spent half the date lamenting that this was utterly unexpected and happening way too soon, and that it was “heartbreaking”. And he didn’t push for sex though we both clearly wanted to get more physical and the chemistry was off the roof.

    My own profile says I’m looking for a relationship, btw. We’re in Europe and don’t use Tinder only for hookups.

    Can we please not always assume men are manipulating liars who just want to get sex out of us? This is tiring. I want advice on making this move forward, not hear that he’s yet another bastard. I’ve dated plenty and made mistakes. I know this guy is worth the effort.

    #750624 Reply


    I am in europe too and everyone in europe knows what tinder is for .I know because I am on tinder too and my male friends also told me what they use tinder for.

    I am not saying he is a liar, but he hasn’t contacted you since so I am not sure what are you expecting from this ? men are not looking for friends on dating sites

    #750625 Reply


    @Ewa It happens that sometimes people just fall for each other. Tinder, no Tinder. Of course that he was hoping for a hookup at first, but that’s not what this date was about in the end.

    I’m expecting exactly what I explained. I don’t want to date him just yet but I would very much like to see him again and I’m aware sex will happen at some point if we do. What I don’t want is to be in a pretend relationship with someone on the rebound. Spending some time together to see if we actually like each other is a different thing altogether, I think. I’m seeking advice about that.

    #750626 Reply


    also you need to look at it as it is. you had a nice date, met a nice guy, you say he could be the one, but how much do you really know him to say that? he only said all the right things, he didn’t actually show you he is the one with his action.
    men will always try to impress, my sister always fall for words and then she ends up being deeply disappointed.

    if a man didn’t contact me for 5 days I would assume he is not interested, in fact I would forget about him after 2 days haha

    #750627 Reply


    why did you say to him I am not going to reach out first ?

    #750628 Reply


    @Ewa Look, I know women on this forum tend to be very cynical but good things can also happen, sometimes.. Yes, if it was someone else after 5 days I would be gutted but he was not supposed to get in touch right away so I take it as a very positive sign, actually… call me naive if you will but that was clear he shouldn’t and he wouldn’t. I would have been disappointed if he had, honestly.

    Of course I don’t know if he’s the one. I’m not a child. The feelings I should pursue this is very strong though.

    #750631 Reply


    I think if you so like him its ok to reconnect after few days. whats the harm in doing that? wait for some days and u can casually connect thereafter and see how things go? if hes responsive or not? try to keep it casual and friendly if you can without jumping the gun. I met this guy 6 years back. our chemistry was off the roof. but he dint want to get serious so nothing happened between us. its been 6 years now since our first meeting and he still makes my heart skip a beat. we are in occasional contact. but I have accepted the fact that there is no future with this man and that sometimes things we feel have no logical explanation.

    #750633 Reply


    Only you know how everything is feeling like, right now. You sound experience and have your head screwed on right I believe. Your gut tells you this is worth it.

    On his side, he knows he just got out of a long relationship. He knows he doesn’t want to be infatuated as you both agree it’s all so fast and soon and unexpected. He took some space from you because he isn’t ready to dive into something that serious already. It was your first date after all. Also he might have matched with others and trying other women out at this time. This will take some time.

    What you DON’T do though is chase him. You’ve put the ball in his court so all you can really do is wait it out. One thing I would change though, is to not show him you’re too eager for him as he might put you on hold for way too long knowing you’re waiting until he finishes dating around and then gets back to you when he feels like it or not at all.

    In a situation like this I’d be very careful with my heart. You might have clicked but you still can’t fully trust he won’t disappoint you. I guess you can still be hopeful as it’s been 5 days maybe he is getting through the week with work and all. Over the coming weekend see if he hit you up. If he doesn’t I think it is okay to hit him up but do it only once. See what he does with it. If after all of that you get nothing but “crickets” then you let this one hop away as he isn’t on the same page as you regardless of what was agreed. Believe his actions henceforth.

    #750635 Reply


    Thanks, girls.

    He asked what our “strategy” should be moving forward but somehow I managed to be very vague about what I was expecting. I just remember that I left him with a huge smile on my face, completely fine with him waiting 2 weeks or 2 months before hitting me up again. So I think we were both very clear at that moment that this was NOT happening. Only now it’s been 5 days and I can’t stop thinking about him. I too think I should text at some point if he doesn’t.

    #750637 Reply


    @Ewa: I didn’t see your question, sorry. I said I would not reach out first so to make my intentions very clear. If he reaches out and wants to see me, it’s because he knows he can handle the fact I want something serious down the line — providing that our next meetings confirm our initial spark.

    #750654 Reply


    If you specifically said you wont reach out, then you should leave it to him. Im not sure this is the best way to avoid being a rebound but i do think your gut was telling you he is rebounding and pretty much told you that. So to stop him and be very clear about the fact you are looking for a relationship is a good thing. The problem with it though is that guys rarely bond on one date. Like, lust, attraction yes but i doubt it goes beyond that at the moment. And it wont develop for now. I also see some issues if this guy is so attractive. If thats the case he will have a lot of female attention. You have to keep telling yourself that you dont really know the guy and his dating intentions
    Only option i see is leave it to the universe. Your paths will cross again if its meant to be

    #750659 Reply


    @Newbie I hear you. I think it’s the same with us though. It’s just a first date, however wonderful it felt. The whole feeling you get from it is based on good vibes and physical attraction. It’s not enough. Which is why I want to keep the momentum going. Even I, I’m wondering now if that night actually happened. It was so… well, surprising.

    #750678 Reply


    1. Since he’s fresh out of a relationship and says he knows he needs time by himself, why is he on a dating site? If he’s not looking for a relationship, what IS he hoping to get out of it??

    2. You said you wouldn’t make contact, but would leave it all in his hands. To me, that takes a lot of the fun and anticipation away, coming up with these rules and restrictions right at the beginning of getting to know someone. Too much seriousness and pressure.

    3. I always cringe when I hear a woman describe a man she just met and barely knows as a great guy. It’s wayyy to early to tell who this man really is.

    #750679 Reply


    I would enjoy the present with him, don’t think about the future and go forward. Keep dating others.

    My ex got into a relationship[ a few months after we split (20 years….) and it’s going strong. She was technically his rebound, but a very good fit for him. OTOH, we have all had incredible runs of 2 or 3 dates that went nowhere. I had that happen. This guy was everything and effortless. It didn’t pan out and we hung out a year later and it was just flat. I’ve had amazing first dates and the second fell flat.

    #750680 Reply


    @Andrea 1- He’s on Tinder after a LTR. He wants to know what it’s like to be flirting again, just for fun, and could do with some sexy company as well, I suppose. Happened to the best of us I think, nothing unusual here. He didn’t seem convinced by Tinder but I’ll take that information with a grain of salt.

    2- I get what you say but he knows where I’m coming from and why I had to be firm here. Maybe it’s not fun but it’s not fun either to be a rebound. He got that. Now I can bend that rule a little, but I was hoping for some advice on how to proceed once I do that. I was going to offer we do brunch soon, but what should happen after that? How often should I see him? Idk, I just need a little guidance here.

    3- Context matters. He’s a *great guy* in the context of a first date. It means he *seemed* to show some qualities I seek in a man that I haven’t seen in other *great guys* I’ve been on a date with but didn’t gush about.

    #750681 Reply


    @anon Yes, my ex of 17 years met another woman (on Tinder!) only a few months after we separated, and she’s now having his baby ;)

    I know what you mean. Which is why I don’t want to let this just die out on its own or wait and get news of him in 6 months when I’m involved with someone else. Bad timing is a real thing, as I learned many times over.

    #750684 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree with Andrea’s 2nd point, you are overthinking this and putting way to may restrictions and rules on someone you just met. If you want to see him, you should just go with the flow and not start thinking about “where this is going”, or whether you will be his rebound, or whether it will end in a serious relationship.

    I’m sure this guy isn’t going into it thinking that you will be his rebound. Is it possible? Yes. It’s also possible, as anon points out, that people sometimes connect with someone right after ending a serious relationship and it winds up working out. It’s a risk you have to take if you want to be out there in the dating world. There are no guarantees with anyone you first start dating that the intensity of your feelings will be reciprocated.

    It’s wonderful that you had amazing chemistry, I know how rare that is! I think if you want to explore this, then you should. I tend to subscribe to the philosophy “it’s better to regret something you’ve done, than regret something you haven’t done” ;-) But you seem to be projecting too much in the future and you need to rein it in some, I think. If you wind up going out with him again, fine; but as you say “what should happen after that?”- you’re getting ahead of yourself. One step at a time. The 2nd date might not be as magnificent as the 1st. Just enjoy each date/moment for what it is, and don’t over-invest your emotions right away (which is what I see you doing here).

    #750685 Reply


    @Liz Thanks. You are absolutely right. It’s really that I’m just SCARED I’ll screw up. It always looks so obvious where you went wrong… in hindsight. I felt I should get in touch soon, but I needed reassurance coming here first… I’m rather confident but dating has got me second guessing myself a lot, I have to admit.

    @Andrea again: I’m not sure he knows exactly what he’s looking for anyway, it’s too new. I didn’t know either the first time I was on Tinder (and oh boy, what a mess it was). I think it’s no coincidence he matched me. I don’t match that often since I state I want out of Tinder ^^

    #750687 Reply


    Ok. Others have been supportive of your ‘strategy’ I feel differently. You basically told this guy you would be waiting around and available should he decide to actually date you. That isn’t attractive or enticing. It means you have nothing else going on. And it makes a man wonder why.

    I agree with others that this attraction you felt is based on infatuation and that you don’t know anything about this man nor if what he said about his past relationship is even true. You also don’t know if he is just very smooth or not. I tend to think he’s smooth because I’ve never dated a man who wasn’t and threw such a load of crap at you such as how he didn’t want the responsibility to reach out to you first? That’s funny. What does that even mean? Of course he would reach out if he wants to date you.

    And now no contact in 5 days? Because he’s chatting or seeing other women. Are you willing to wait around for a year or so for this man to sow his oats and then maybe decide to see you? Are you ok being a friend and having him tell you about his dates?

    Here’s the thing. And I’ve been with guys fresh out of marriages. In fact I dated and eventually married a man straight out of his divorce. So I don’t believe 100 percent of situations end up being rebounds if you are the right person and match. Especially in situations where the other relationship was emotionally over for a long time, as in your guys situation. Him agreeing to hold back in seeing you speaks volumes because it says he didn’t feel the same way you did on that date. A man very much into you would have approached this more aggressively. He wouldn’t agree to occasional meetups just to keep in touch. And besides, as he keeps meeting other women he just might meet ‘the one’ and that leaves you in the friend zone for good.

    I don’t see a way in this situation to go slow. Men don’t go slow when they find something they want to go after. That’s just a fact in the majority of situations. And if the feeling was mutual with him as you think it is, he would never put you on the back burner and risk losing you to someone else since I assume you will still keep meeting other men online while sitting in this holding pattern.

    I don’t think you should be offering him brunch or anything. He should be the one chasing you. Why you ever agreed to the terms you did puts you in a very weak position. You friend zoned him and then left it up to him if he wants to meet as friends. My guess is that he’s not on a dating app just to meet more friends. All you can do now is wait and see if he gets back in touch. Five days no contact means you aren’t top of mind. Plus I don’t understand your approach at all. You knew before you even met that he was fresh out of a LTR and yet met him? For what purpose if just to say to him you won’t date him? Bizarre.

    #750690 Reply


    I think you will look foolish and flakey teaching out to him after you made such a big deal and drama about not reaching out and making that his responsibility. You are putting way too much emphasis on one single date and really do not know if this man even sees having a second date with you. Considering you don’t know him and he doesn’t really know you you might want to calm down and see what he decides to do. You sound all over the place and for all you know he has three more dates lined up. If he’s that great and attractive I’m sure he has no problem finding women to see him who will be more encouraging than you were. Him saying he knows he needs time to get over his last relationship was a cue to you that he doesn’t want to lead you on. So he actually set the boundary and not you. All you did was agree with him. Trust me if he thought you were the one for him as you do for him he would not leave you hanging for almost a week.

    #750699 Reply


    @Gail Hmm… I don’t agree with most of this, if only because I was in his position myself at some point. You most often need time after a long relationship ended. That’s just how it is. Rebounds can turn into real relationships though, that’s also a fact but you need to proceed with caution, I think.

    I hate when women do that on here, telling you that what happened was in your head and the guy isn’t actually into you. Frankly, he’d have to be quite deranged if that’s the case, lol. I’m actually 100% sure he felt more strongly than I did, just for the simple fact that I’m used to men getting a little crazy and this never happened to him before (in the last 8 years, at least). I’m not going to get into the details of everything that was said and done, I just know and I don’t see the point of you trying to make me doubt what actually, factually happened.

    And no, I didn’t tell him I’d be sitting around waiting for him. What a funny idea. I said let’s keep in touch, that’s all. In all humility, no man can believe I’ll stay single for long.

    I am EXTREMELY wary of men who just go after what they want like you described. It might sound flattering at first but it’s just them being utterly selfish, it’s not actually about you. I don’t want someone like that AT ALL. He did acknowledge it would be very selfish of him to proceed with dating just because it felt so good, that he could not promise he wouldn’t end up hurting me even if he didn’t want to. I think he knows perfectly where he is at and he’s just being very considerate. I loved that about him.

    #750700 Reply


    @Wow all over the place? No am I not. And I will reach out. And probably won’t look foolish at all. Lol.

    And you don’t have your fact right because you were not there and that’s not what actually happened.

    Also, why are we debating if he wants to date me? And why are you throwing this in my face like there’s something I didn’t get about the situation? We said we wouldn’t for now. That was the deal. I’m not worried he didn’t text or anything, that wasn’t the subject of my post. He wasn’t supposed to!

    #750704 Reply


    Let me bring you down to earth. If you are the type of person who believes everything a total stranger tells you, you will get hurt. I’m always amazed at how naive women can be about such things. In fact here’s an example. Whenever a person shares a story about a break up, ever notice how they always end up looking like the good person? The victim? It’s because you are only hearing their side of the story. And yet we take on faith that their version is absolute truth. And it isn’t. Because somewhere between their version and the exes version is the real truth.

    You did basically tell him you would leave it to him to reach out which implies if he does you will be there for him. I think he’ll take his time and test this if he does decide to stay in touch.

    Again I think you missed the real cues. A man who says he is afraid he will end up hurting you is man code for him not being that into you. As I said, I don’t care if he’s out of LTR if he really wanted to be with you he would make the effort to do so and fully court you. Especially if you say you are so marketable.

    I honestly don’t know why you would date a man you believe to be emotionally unavailable. And in his case he’s pretty much verified this when you met in person.

    I wouldn’t call it considerate as much as realistic. You have this fantasy of loving that about him but from the outside looking in he informed you rather directly that he’s not looking to get into a relationship (with you) but will be in touch , maybe, after he’s done playing around.

    I know this sounds negative, but your head is in the clouds and missing the most salient points which are he agreed not to date you and informed you he will be dating others. That’s not a man who’s really into you. Sorry.

    Here’s the thing, it was one date and men day all kinds of things in the moment that later on never come to fruition. As others pointed out it’s best to judge the man by his actions more than his words. This guy could be having a date with another woman tonight and say the same exact things to her.

    If he felt that strongly for you, and as you say more strongly than you did, he wouldn’t have left you hanging for five days. Plus I’m not even sure outside of pure infatuation that his feelings were much more than that and lust because he doesn’t know you! He hasn’t spent time with you! Anyone can be on best behavior for a first date.

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