how would you act?

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  • #780151 Reply


    long story: we know each other 20+ years (we are both first part of 40ties). We had kind of high school romance, but then life separated us – we both got into long relationships etc. I have been basically single for last 10 years, he broke up from his long relationship 1,5 years ago. I had someone last year, but we broke up this spring. During the years we remained important persons with the guy about the topic is to each other – even though we saw rarely, always that massive chemistry, attraction, spark and good communication was between us left. While we were in relationships with others we never crossed any lines though. He is amazing man – a man of my dreams actually for many many years. Honest, calm, loyal, good values etc etc.

    When I broke up in spring I was so heartbroken, our ways with current guy in topic crossed again, he was a good distraction and helped me to get over the ex, we hanged out here and there, were physical sometimes, but nothing too serious at that time. Within past month we have become closer, he started to put more effort into me, we went out with my friends many times, well, he was acting as almost a boyfriend, making plans, being present etc. Our communication is always nice and caring.

    I heard today from a mutual (trustworthy) friend that on last weekend there was some girl/woman who came to pick him up by car from the event where he went. It wasn’t just a female friend, it was something more. Fine, we have not discussed exclusivity and at this point he is not even doing anything wrong, but well… it’s not a good knowledge. Ca a month ago when he started to be more present I asked is he seeing someone else and he said he doesn’t and at that point he probably even didn’t. So this has to be someone new (or might be even someone from the past, he had some girl ca 3-6 months ago, but they never were too serious).

    He knows I have feelings for him (I have always had!), so it’s not a big secret. I actually think he has at least some kind of feelings towards me too, caring and attraction at least, he likes me. I really would like us to become more serious at some point – just the timing has been really off for both of us so far. Anyway, I don’t want to go into panic mode (as I have done so many times in my previous relations) and accuse him or act stupid. How would you proceed the information – would you ask something about the weekend and the girl who was with him and how would you do it? Or just pull back and see what he does?

    And please don’t suggest me dating others as well – I would, if there would be somebody who measures up; unfortunately I don’t find those men so often that I could do multiple dating or something like this. I do have lot of (male) friends though, it’s not that I don’t have a life, just romance wise I don’t have anyone else in sight atm. Im not from US either, we don’t usually do this kind of classical dating in my country as in US.

    #780153 Reply


    I would not ask about the woman. That’s a little jealous/reactionary/accusatory.

    It’s probably time to woman up and ask him about exclusivity/where is this going. It’s not an easy conversation, but its also not fun to be into someone and worried about if they are with someone else. Otherwise, just continue to date him, enjoy it and put her out of your mind.

    #780185 Reply


    I would assume hes seeing others. If he is, that means he does not love you as a lifetime partner. He knows you well enough to know his feelings for you.

    He also knows his own mind and knows what he wants. He hasn’t said I love you, obviously, or you wouldn’t be worried about another woman.

    I suggest you wait and see how he acts during Christmas. Will you exchange gifts? You can certainly tell by what he gifts you, if anything. Also, will he lock you down for the holiday get togethers, if he sees you two as a couple.

    Be prepared to accept what he shows you.

    #780189 Reply


    about saying I love you, no he hasn’t and I haven’t too. I think he has some feelings, deciding how he treats me, how he looks me, how he is always around me when we are together, holding hand (in front of friends too), hugging, touching, but it’s not enough to call love this point, of course, I know that. Even though we know each other long time, the situation is still kind of new for both of us. We both got out from relationships and heartbreak not too long ago. We both are better now though. He has said to me that I am really important to him.

    About the Christmas – we both are a bit Grinch type, not putting significant importance into gifts and Christmas stuff; we both even don’t have much families with whom to spend Christmas. He did give me a really nice gift for my birthday though.

    But other than that, yes, I think you are right. Even if he was not seeing someone when I asked ca month ago, I assume things are changed now. And yet it was him who was pushing things closer, I didn’t force him anyhow. So that sudden change is unexpected and a bit hurtful of course. We know each other so long that we probably can’t just disappear from each other lives completely, but I think timing is not right once again.

    #780191 Reply


    Anon, thank you for your input. We can speak with each other pretty openly and from the heart usually. Unless I screw it up and go into panic and weird mode (I have never done it with him, but has happened with my previous relations). But if during the conversation he says he is seeing someone else too? What should I say or do? There has been a great amount of friendship between us too, I don’t want to cut him off as a person completely. My feelings towards him have always been there in some amount, during all the years; im not madly in love or deeply hurt and I think there is a great potential to form into something great, we as a persons are good match, just perhaps it’s not a right time now again… Plus I am single, I don’t see anyone who rocks my world stepping in from the door nearest time; he is single, we both like each others company, I would like to continue to see him, but I can’t deal with other people being involved in the long run.

    #780209 Reply

    T from NY

    If this guy has not decided to lock you down yet I don’t think he ever will. Timing might be something that happens once or twice MAYbe. But right now he’s been wide open to take the opportunity to make you his girlfriend. And the regular rules of waiting patiently for a few months do not apply. He knows you. You’ve spent ample time together. He absolutely knows if he sees a future with you. You can keep giving him your amazing company and friendship with no commitment or figure out exactly what you want and straight ask what he wants. If it’s anything short of commitment – hes just coasting.

    #780214 Reply


    Anewmode, we have never had a relationship with him, we have never been separated etc! Although we know each other for years, it has been for people who know each other and are friends level. We met in person pretty rarely before this summer, maybe once in year.

    First time during our adult lives our ways crossed romantically again in this summer, but I was still dealing with my break up and he was dating around, so we didn’t push it further. But we remained in contact still.

    Then he went to abroad for the few months and when returned in November he started to be more present… until last weekend.

    Why i think timing is wrong – he finished 15+ years of relationship 1,5 years ago. And even though as a persons we have amazing match in every box, I think that deep down he is not ready for commitment yet. He doesn’t put it into words, but he’s actions speak it. Just it was him who started to push things closer and deeper, acting as a boyfriend in front of my friends etc… obviously it lead me to hope that there’s a chance.

    #780215 Reply


    Ps! From that ca 1,5 years after previous long relationship (marriage actually) he was pretty hurt until this spring. They still lived due to the circumstances under the same roof until late spring. He is ok now with that the marriage ended, feeling good about it. But perhaps it takes more time to want a new commitment than ca 1 – 1,5 years.

    #780219 Reply


    General Rule:
    Take the length of the relationship, divide it by 4. That is how long it takes to be ready to really enter into another relationship…

    #780220 Reply


    Cat, it doesn’t sound like he’s ready. How long was his marriage? They say for every 5 years it takes at least one year to recover and its so true! I was married over 20 and it took almost 4 years to even think about another relationship, irregardless of how awesome I thought the man was the DESIRE to be tied down wasn’t there. Because of my mindset I intentionally remained single and there was no one who could change until *I* was ready to change it.

    I do hope you continue to meet and date other men and not hold onto false hope that when he is ready it will be with you. The danger I see for you is that while your waiting he meets a lady that knocks his socks off, gets into a relationship with her, and you end up destroyed over it—never give a man that kind of power over your life.

    #780255 Reply


    I just wrote a long message here and poof, it disappeared :)
    I wait a bit before starting to write it all over.

    #780256 Reply


    I do not think this is going to progress. I suggest you have a what are you thinking talk. Do not accuse him about another woman.

    The whole – he looks at me this way, he is near me that way stuff is NOT AN INDICATOR THAT HE IS FALLING FOR YOU. It means he enjoys your company or is enjoying the moment with you, nothing more. Him being into you is acting and talking like a real boyfriend. Do not date others etc. That is the only true thing that tells you the truth.

    #780261 Reply


    I think you two should sit down and talk about where things are going.
    In your head you may have created a whole world of possibilities and he may not be on that same page.

    The last thing you want to do is be friend zoned and not know it. Your time is precious get some answers. By now he knows you well enough to decide if he wants to go there with you.

    If he gives you any answer that’s not a yes, its time to move on.

    He’s not he only man out there should this not materialize into anything.

    #780277 Reply

    c.a.t (the one who started the topic)

    Khadija, you wrote: He’s not he only man out there should this not materialize into anything. Of course not… just I haven’t found that man 10 past years, none of those have been right for different reasons. This one has actually so much potential, intellectually, physically, mutual values wise. Just again… not the right. It’s sad actually.

    #780286 Reply


    It seems to me that you are laser focused on this guy because many men just haven’t measured up.

    The thing is while you see potential in him does he see that in you.
    I really urge you to have this conversation sooner than later, to clear everything up.

    #780253 Reply


    Yes, i think you all are right. That’s why I think the timing is not right, because he is not ready to give that commitment to anyone at this point. Although that relationship length divided for 4 doesn’t always apply: for me it was much easier to end my 10 years relationship than my previous 6-months short relationship – i suffered much more and longer with the previous one. After finishing 10 years relationship I was ready for new one pretty soon after it ended. So it can all depend.

    Which just doesn’t fit into my head: the current guy in topic knew about my previous one, how much I suffered etc. He knows I like him and that I do have feelings for him (I haven’t confess any big love or too deep feelings, but in casual talks which we had during months I have been pretty open about my feelings). It was him who started to push things closer and more serious, knowing this all. He gave my a gift few weeks ago which includes him also and which I could use in the future (so he had to have in mind that he is staying around longer). He invited me to his friend’s Christmas dinner which should be around Christmas time. So he made plans to be around.

    Ca month ago when he started to be more around and invested we discussed that we talk about everything if something bothers or something changes, I even told him that if he at some reason should change his mind he won’t just disappear, but let me know (my previous relations have made me careful about this). None of those talks were heavy, all it was natural and easy to discuss, because this is how we usually are with each other.

    And once again, he is a good guy generally and not some player or a**hole, so all those discussions were in respect and mutual understanding.

    He has been silent since Sunday now. It’s not too uncommon, during past month we sometimes go 3-4 days without talking/writing (and then meet and have nice and meaningful time together). But I’m wondering does he really do silent exit this time? If so, it’s really hard to trust anyone for me anymore.

    If he writes me at some point, how should I proceed?

    Mod update: Hi Cat, I saw your post attempts and I’ve rescued this from the “trap”. The posts were being caught due to use of the word “a-hole” — avoid that word! :) (We know it’s a popular word to use for a lot of these topics – but certain large search engines blush at certain words showing up so those words go on “the list”.)

    Thanks, carry on!

    #780370 Reply


    ok, no a**** words anymore :)

    well, I changed my post multiple times because people gave me more answers meanwhile, but those posts didn’t come trough.
    Anyway, what I clarified more was that he knows that I don’t want to have just a hook up thing, it has been discussed. Why it didn’t went any more serious during summer when we started to communicate again more was because I wasn’t over my previous one, he was dating around etc. But we kept communication on. Then he went abroad for some months, we continued communicate sometimes and when he came back he contacted me instantly. And then he started to be more invested and around, I didn’t push him into that.
    I even asked is he seeing somebody else that time when he came back and he said he isn’t. I always thought there is more time for more serious topics, because everything was going well. Until this weekend.

    Anyway, Im feeling hoplesness today – not only because of him, but because all the failed relations which I have had previous years – especially this year. Those two guys with whom I have started something, both have failed and it’s weird, because I was honest with my intentions and they were too (at least at the start). They are not players, they can have long committed relationships, just somehow I never reach to that level. Im a nice person, I don’t play games, I don’t have that wishy-washy feminine side; i like things to be nice, easy and clear. I don’t think Im needy or pushing, I let men initiate and be nice, respectful and receptive when they communicate/spend time with me and I do intitate sometimes too. But seems that being my true myself is backfiring. So my wisdom is kind of over.

    Not a word from him still. If it would be a random 1 month new acquaintance, I would write it off. But we can”t completely disappar from each others lives, we have mutual friends and it’s a person with whom I have had good understanding and mutual respect before. Taking this into account, would you contact him at some point and ask clarification and if so, then how? Can’t drop the questions bomb within the first sentences.

    #780373 Reply


    I know he says he’s not ready and probably it’s true but beware of Lane says. He might suddenly meet someone else that knocks his socks off and decide he wants a relationship with her. Don’t wait in line. If after some time a guy doesn’t commit it’s clear. Once I thought I was in a relationship and it turned out I wasn’t. The funny thing that it’s just wording yet so important.
    Back to your case, I know how you feel overall. About all your guys. Sometimes relationships just don’t work out and we have no idea why. Just don’t start play any game because someone has to fall for your authentic self which will show up sooner or later.
    I will tell you this, while it’s honest don’t tell a guy that if he has a change of heart and doesn’t like you anymore to let you know. It’s nice of you and him but puts him on pedestal. Reverse the roles, how would you feel. Having all the power.
    I understand not multiple dating (different dating cultures).
    I’d wait a few more days then asked something neutral. If he’s indifferent then you know the answer without asking. If he replies willingly I think you can ask him out and then have the talk. It’s time.

    #780377 Reply


    Avalance, thank you for nice input. Well, he hasn’t put into words that he is not ready, it’s my thinking. He had to have at least some kind of thought about his readiness when he started to push things more intense. Or maybe not, who knows.

    …/I will tell you this, while it’s honest don’t tell a guy that if he has a change of heart and doesn’t like you anymore to let you know/… – well Im trying to give here overview with my own words at the moment. I even don’t remember how the actual conversation about this was, it was among other things we discussed during natural conversation and bottom line it was that we talk with each other if something starts to bother or changes. But yes, I got your point.

    And if someone is wondering why Im having so much trouble to ask things from a person with whom I actually can talk openly – all of those conversations have formulated naturally, during other conversations about life and relationships generally, lot of times he has said something and I had just put my input to that, so it felt easy and then I can speak about these things. I’m not a good talker in the situations when it needs to discuss some concrete problem or thing, it’s much more forced and of course, uncomfortable.

    …/Just don’t start play any game because someone has to fall for your authentic self which will show up sooner or later/… – I agree and I have (at least tried) to really be my natural myself with those 2 previous ones. Just after so many failures Im starting to doubt that it’s the right way. I know Im a great person in relationship, just it’s really hard to get to that level being that honest, simple and real me. Men seem to need to have that chace and experience wishy-washiness and thrill which some women know how to do naturally and I don’t.

    #780461 Reply


    Ok, he called me. He has been working 12 hours days past week which is true, he has new project and the work is physical and demanding. Or maybe Im just finding excuses. We will visit mutual friends tomorrow. I try to bring up the topic if I have a proper chance after. Still no idea how to do it or what to say, but I guess I just have to improvise.

    #780467 Reply


    Well thats a good thing. The way you described this guy he doesnt look like a guy who would suddenly go for another woman right after you and him got closer past month. Exactly how sure are you that the woman and him were more than friends. Im not very convinced honestly.
    For now he came back to you. I think you do need to talk about where you see this going but i wouldnt force myself to absolutely have it tomorrow. Just ask him about his week.
    Good luck

    #780497 Reply


    Newbie, thank you! :)
    At this point I don’t know nothing more than that some woman went to pick him up from his friend’s gathering. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just a female friend, but who was it – new or old acquaintance -, where they went or what did they do, I have no idea. Maybe they went just for a coffee or just to talk, who knows. Technically we both are single, we can meet and do whoever and whatever we like.

    There is something I have to reveal about myself to give more perspective. 12 years ago when my long relationship ended, I got into “relationship” with a guy who was a pathological liar and cheater. My long relationship was full of trust, I didn’t know how bad things could go before I was su**ed in (maybe that word is not allowed to type in here too) so deeply, that it lasted ca 5 years before I could step out from it fully. It wasn’t bad all the time, we had nice times too, amazing connection and passion and common stuff… but those lies and doing stuff behind my back during those years damaged me eventually really badly. Im not going into details, because it’s not a story of current topic, but my mind probably doesn’t work as a normal undamaged person mind. If someone says that he is at home, tired and can’t come to meet me for example, my subconscious mind starts to doubt, looking for hints is he telling truth or not, doubting that there is someone else at his place etc. It’s sick, I know, and I have put massive work into myself to remind me that not all people are cheaters as my ex was. I’m able to trust a new persons… but for a millisecond that subconscious doubt is always there from the wounds from the past. It’s something with what I probably have to deal with rest of the life. Adding here those guys who have ghosted or lied etc later – well, Im always scared in new relations and afraid that it will happen again.

    Even today when he called – my stupid mind goes wondering that he didn’t sound too excited etc… (actually conversation was nice, he just truly sounded tired)…but realistically he has been physically working since monday 12+ hours, being responsible of the people who might injure themselves, he said he has been overworked, so probably he is truly tired. Just it’s my stupid mind which goes always assume the worst.

    Also this forum can sometimes backfire a bit – when everyone says that by now he should know me already so well to know what he wants etc… I have to remind myself that despite of that we know each other from school, we started newly communicate more closer than just acquaintances in our adult life in this summer. During summer we met maybe once in month and sent random texts here and there. But that really getting to know each other phase started only ca month ago – even I don’t know him so deeply yet to know do I want to be in a lifetime relationship with him. I would sure love to continue that road with him to find it out though. We are still discovering each other, how we think and act. And my logical mind says that his rational mind wants to explore around after being committed long time, but knowing him (at least a bit more now), he is a person who needs closeness and physical part related with feelings, meaningful conversations, trust etc. Am I this one for him or would it be even enough at this point, I don’t know and probably he doesn’t know either yet.

    Anyway, this can go this or that way and perhaps Newbie suggested right that maybe that conversation where things are heading doesn’t have to happen yet tomorrow. I will see how everything goes when we meet and decide by that.

    Old me would have sent a accusatory message to him already on Monday saying that I heard that someone went to pick him up and that I want to step out if it’s like this etc. But I try at least to become more balanced person, I took few steps back to cool down and think, I continue to observe and pay attention and try to formulate my concerns into normal non-accusatory discussion when the suitable moment comes.
    If I wouldn’t know that information about last weekend through a mutual friend, then other than that I have nothing else to “accuse” him – when we are together he always treats me really well and affectionate.

    #780501 Reply


    Cat please stop talking about it!

    I understand the overwhelming desire for woman *too talk* and try to find out how a guy is feeling but in the flip side “silence can be golden.”

    Men don’t want to talk about feelings or relationship stuff, they want to LIVE in the moment, be in the moment, and create more moments where if they enjoy them they will want to create more of them whether they like you romantically or not. Try to learn how to let go of your objective (him), take a time out, just live in the moment, don’t go deep, keep it light, airy, smile, flirt, engage in an activity that keeps you from talking about heavy stuff, relationship stuff, how he feels, or what he wants. Its not pleasurable for most men to feel like their being put in a pressure cooker. Let out the steam, chill, keep it friendly and light while continuing to live your life whether your single or not.

    #780503 Reply


    So really its been about a month where things have gotten bona fide official dating?

    I’m so glad you won’t do as y said you formerly would have done and demand an explanation.

    That would be disrespectful.

    #780512 Reply


    Lane, I haven’t talked anything which includes questions who are we or where is it going etc! Im not big talker anyway and all what I have revealed about my feelings and wishes towards him has come naturally during our other conversations or questions asked by him etc. So all of this has been natural and on on the point at that concrete time.
    Of course he knows that I like him, it hasn’t been a big secret and that is how I act when I’m with him – Im giggly as a school girl around him, we hold hands on the street, are affectionate with each other publicly (and privately too) etc. No hard topics until so far. This why this forum can be sometimes confusing- some of repliers say you have to talk with him, some say don’t etc… After all I have to use my own head obviously.

    Dangerouse, to be honest, coming from a culture where we don’t officially DATE or call it dating at least, I even don’t know what bona fide dating exactly means :) We have done stuff together – he invited me to movies and called this a date (don’t laugh, it was actually super cool taking into account our school time history – it was kind of being back at that time, sitting in the back row and holding hands and kissing during all the movie), we have gone to nice lunches, brunches or dinners only 2 of us or with my friends, we have gone out to parties, visited friends, drank wine and talked about life at home etc… We spent 2 full days in row together 2 weeks ago, went out to dinner with friends, during all dinner he held his hand around me (we were sitting next to each on the same bench). I don’t know is it dating or not, but perhaps it’s not so common in my country to call it dating that much anyway.
    Well, we have spent nice time overall and every time we meet. That’s why I was surprised about what I heard about what happened in last weekend. He either doesn’t want to be tied down or it’s still too early – who knows.

    But yes, I’m improving myself and constantly learning how to stay normal in situations like these. Because in the end it actually doesn’t matter is it a question about him or someone next – I have those wounds and fears from my past and Im constantly dealing with these in every new relationship. I know that.

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