Too Much Too Soon, How Do I Tell Him?

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  • #702718 Reply


    I met a man through an online app 1.5 months ago. He is 10 years older than me. He’s been consistent ever since and we have been on 7-8 wonderful dates as yet. He has told me he really likes me and has followed up with his actions. He takes me on lovely dinners, shows, etc. Overall, he does almost everything I want a man to do and is a nice man. That being said, he is very successful but not at all handsome while I am attractive and get significant attention. I don’t care about looks provided the man treats me well but I sense him getting insecure at times.

    My issues are below:

    1) It’s been only 1.5 months since we started going on dates and since date 6 onwards, he’s been hinting at me moving to his place and/or staying over. For me this is way too soon. I have been burnt enough in the past to move so quickly to a man’s place.
    2) On our last date he got pretty clingy and he even said “sorry I am so clingy, it’s just that I have not felt like this in a long time”. I am not a clingy person so this again threw me off.
    3) During our last date, we both had a bit much to drink and then we went back to his place for the first time and fell off asleep. In the morning, we tried to have sex but it was a disaster since I had a terrible headache and he was a hungover so nothing happened. Then we had a long breakfast and chatted. When I was about to leave he apologized for not being able to ‘perform’ sexually. On the other hand, I didn’t even think of him not performing since I knew we both were hungover so I told him not to worry about it.

    Here’s the thing – I enjoy our dinners but I am not ready to get exclusive with him, move in or commit. I have some critical issues going on in my life which I need to resolve. These issues consume me and my emotions and he knows that. I have been vocal about those and he’s been very supportive.

    I have fun during our dates, they serve as a nice distraction from my issues and I love the support but I have too much going on to focus on a relationship or emotions. He’s a nice man but I feel he may be making too much of our dates way too soon. At this point, I can’t tell if I really like him in a romantic way or if it is the fun and company as a friend that I enjoy with him. My question is how do I tell him I want to continue going out on dinners/shows with him but I am not ready to sleep with him without making him feel insecure or bad?

    #702719 Reply


    OK ladies, this is how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot. This is how it looks and feels on the other side when we are being too forward with a man.

    You haven’t ruled out a relationship with him, but let’s be honest, you really aren’t all that keen on him. May I ask why you were on a dating site if you have so much going on in your life? If it’s just because you were looking for some casual fun, then you need to be really honest about that upfront, because it sounds like this man really likes you. If you want him to keep dating you and taking you to all these nice places and you aren’t sure about where this is going, I’d start sharing the cost or planning dates where you pick up the tab. Men hate being used for free meals and things like that when the woman has no intention of being serious about him.

    How long will this “issue” of yours take to resolve? You might want to take the time out to handle it and then get back to him.

    Just be fair with him and don’t take advantage. And be honest with yourself about how you feel about him and if you would really entertain a relationship with him.

    #702720 Reply


    Sure you enjoy the attention, courtship, support, dinners and drinks but not ready for a relationship. In reality you are not ready for it with “him”. It is, indeed, the shoe on the other side.

    You are using him for your pleasure, not a nice thing to do.

    #702721 Reply


    @Jenny – I am on dating apps because I had stopped going out and was getting into depression. My dating profile clearly states that I am looking for something casual and for a friend initially with the potential of things developing over time.

    I have been as honest with this man and early on told him that dating serves as a nice distraction for me given my issues. I offered splitting meal costs but he refused and told me he feels happy taking me out. I haven’t hidden anything from him because I don’t want to mislead him or anyone. I have been hurt by men quite a bit. I know how pain feels so all the more reason I don’t want to hurt anyone.

    Though I have told him everything – my issues, my need for space and time, I worry how insecure he got about his ‘non-performance’ so I don’t want him to feel that I am asking him not to rush because he couldn’t perform. I am just wondering if there is a nice way of telling him I am happy to hang out with him but don’t want to rush anything more without making him feel insecure.

    #702722 Reply


    He likes you and you have issues so you’re emotionally unavailable at the moment. What do you want from him? We can’t answer that question. You have to decide x

    #702731 Reply


    Next time he asks you to move in or come to his place “I’m not ready for that type of relationship right now. I am still looking for something fun and casual and enjoy our dinners out and time together”.

    But I think you need to soul search and ask if you would EVER be ready to commit to this man.

    Do you date other men?

    #702735 Reply


    I agree with the others-you really don’t sound like you are in a headspace to date. If you just want a friend,a dating site seems like the wrong place for that. He seems great and you are likely giving him “false hope”. even though you explained things,he likely thinks you will come round to romance soon-and I doubt you will.
    Since you appear conflicted,I would stop seeing him. Tell him you can see him from time to time,casually if he likes, but he should date others. Then get to work on your issues.
    He does not sound insecure-just like a guy falling in love.

    #702738 Reply


    You’re really not that interested in him.. I would let him go.

    I’ve dated lots of guys like this.. YOU know when you are interested in him. It’s really not fair to let him treat you to dinners when a relationship is probably never going to happen. I have always let these guy go as soon as I can. I never want to use people for entertainment.

    Eventually, I think they(he) might get mad at you if this goes on and he realizes you were ever interested in him for a relationship.

    #702748 Reply


    You say he’s not handsome and that you’re attractive. Your dating profile states you’re looking for casual dating. You’ve only known this guy 1.5 months and yet after a night of drinking YOU GO BACK TO HIS PLACE. In the morning YOU CONSENTED TO SEX. You had a headache and you were both hungover. My question is: Why didn’t you ask him to take you home that night OR in the morning why didn’t you take a pain reliever and go home?? Then you say you can’t tell if you like him in a romantic way or you’re just enjoying the fun and company. However, most women know rather quickly if they are physically attracted to a guy or not!

    Since it seems you’re not attracted to him and might be using him only as a distraction. Like Peggy suggested, it would be kinder to stop dating him. BUT, if you think you could eventually develop deeper feelings for him, you need to let him know that you like him and enjoy your outings together. That it would be nice to go out OCCASIONALLY, but you need time on your own to work through your issues..

    #702753 Reply


    This is going to sound kinda harsh, but looking at it from his perspective, how would you feel? Would you want to get involved with someone who is looking at you as a distraction from his problems, doesn’t find you at all attractive, and who signed up for a dating app because they weren’t going out and were “getting into depression?”. Oh boy. The way to deal with depression (I’ve struggled with bouts my whole life) is therapy, spending time with friends, exercise, learning to love your own company, getting involved in your community, achieving goals, possible seeing a dr about medication. it’s not finding a man who you don’t intend to get serious with to wine and dine you as a “distraction:.

    If I were him and I understood where you were coming from I’d be so sad and possibly feel a bit used. I think you need to put yourself in his shoes and then you’ll have your answer.

    #702775 Reply


    @Joe – I am not proud of the fact that we got drunk and I went to his place. I did have a pain killer but needed to eat before I went home the following day. I was not feeling good. Clearly I didn’t make the best decision the night before or the morning after for which I take% responsibility but crap happens in life and I realize it was a mistake.

    For the remaining people who gave advice, thank you. One critical thing I didn’t mention is that in one of our conversations on date 4 or 5, he did tell me he too got on dating apps looking for a woman friend he could share dinners and go to shows with. He said he wasn’t looking for anything sexual but for a fun friend, someone chill he could go out with because he didn’t want to go out alone. All the more reason I continued to go out with him because I thought we were on the same page but now I feel that’s not the case. Prior to this last date, I thought all his comments about moving in were said as a joke or light flirtation. I really didn’t think he would be serious.

    I was asking for advice because I know I need to be careful with how I tell him (yet again) I am emotionally unavailable, particularly because he is feeling insecure. I don’t want this to scar him.

    Either way, I have decided I am going to have an honest chat with him and let him know I am not ready for anything more other than being friends and having fun.

    #702778 Reply


    If you really think he’s falling for you it may actually be kinder to not just tell him you aren’t ready for anything more than “friends and having fun” but to actually cut it off. I only say that because as we well know from so many of the posts here, people hear what they want to hear and will agree to less than they want in the hopes they will change your mind. I’m not saying you are doing anything ethically “wrong” by continuing to see him after giving this disclamor, just, I dont’ his feelings are just gonna stop just because you say that. He may, like many men when they can’t have something, actually step up his efforts to impress you in a sense to try to win you over. You might be saving him some heartache and yourself some potential drama in managing a man who got too attached by you by just not pursuing this at all. i say this having dealt with persitent guys, and also having been the one that was like “sure” when a guy said he just wanted to see how it goes… and then getting more attached and hurt. Perversely probably half the reason he is interested is because you ARENT available. Seems to be human nature.

    #702779 Reply


    *especially* since you slept/or attempted to, I’m unclear if penetration actually happened, with him. I have been where you are (started dating someone and slept with them once and then realized i hadn’t been ready and didn’t want a relationship and didn’t want to hurt him) and tried to be friends. The guy continuously tried to turn it into more, wouldn’t give up, and I wish I would have just cut it off. He became pretty obsessive and finally when I told him to leave me alone because he was starting to make me feel really crowded and uncomfortable in a borderline creepy way, he got furious at me for “leading him on”.

    Men know women are less likely to sleep with someone and have it mean nothing, so I bet he’s going to kid himself that you really DO like him more than you think you do, you just need time, etc. etc.

    #702783 Reply


    @Dee – Thank you. It’s such a tricky situation. Yes, I agree it’s very possible he may try harder or be even more supportive if I tell him I just want to be friends. Penetration did not happen because I wasn’t ready and had a headache so I couldn’t get turned on and he too was hungover. For some reason he took it personally and blamed himself for “not performing”. That’s why I want to soften the blow for him because he is already insecure. I don’t want him to live with the fact that I bounced because he couldn’t perform.

    I wonder if I should go out with him once or twice more and then tell him my issues are getting the better of me to hang out even as friends. That way at least he won’t feel I stopped seeing him because of his non-performance.

    #702787 Reply


    Ah, ok, yeah, that’s nice of you to not want him to internalize that!

    You could always frame it as “hey, in thinking about it in addition to not feeling well from the hangover, I realized that the reason I couldn’t get into it was because I’m really not emotionally ready to be dating after-all. I wanted to be ready, but I’m not”

    ie. put it back on you (because honestly don’t you think the fact that you are not super hot for him has something to do with you not getting turned on as well? But you don’t want to say that, just say you aren’t ready to date ANYONE).

    Just an idea.

    Worried if you go out on another date he’s gonna push for sex again…

    #702788 Reply


    You don’t want to ‘scar him?’ I’m peeing my depends! If he’s successful and has money he not have any trouble finding apretty lady to take out to dinner. And I thought I had an ego!

    #702789 Reply


    @L – He is successful but like he told me, he doesn’t want to go out with any woman out even as a friend. He wants to hang out with a fun and intelligent woman with whom he can have interesting conversations. He said most women he met wanted something “more” and he just wanted someone to hang out with. That’s why the confusion.

    @Dee – I like what you said, that is to put it on me. I’ll do just that. We are meeting soon but I already told him I have an important meeting the following morning during which I will be the main presenter so I can’t stay out for long.

    #702790 Reply


    You aren’t being consistent. You said he isn’t everything you want in a man and does all the right things. That doesn’t tsound like a woman just looking for casual fun. Because casual mean you don’t need consistency and you go with the flow As friends.

    I also don’t think you have been honest or clear with are totally usinghim and you know it. You say he acts insecure but I don’t read insecure from what you write. He was trying to meet your needs. Would you feel better if he ignored the fact that sex didn’t happen? Staying overnight is a far cry from asking you to live with him. Which is it? Then you say you don’t want see but you go along with it. You are all over the place, if you are such a hot commodity then go find another man for fun And games, if you feel he is coming on too strong then back off and find another man who can do the casual that you want. I think you underestimate this man.

    #702791 Reply


    Successful men typically aren’t the pushovers you want to think they are…been with several and they will surprise you. You might think he is falling for you yet he has other women in the background . I used to be naive too.

    #702793 Reply


    @Jan – Oh lord… seriously, you don’t need to be so harsh. You didn’t get the entire picture. Sure he is everything I WOULD love for a man to do for me including being consistent but RIGHT NOW I am not ready to be in a relationship.

    I completely understand the difference between sleeping over and moving in aka living together in one dwelling. That’s what he asked me to do… move me and my things to his place. I have been very clear with him with what I have been looking for. I not underestimating this man. He is smart and successful. I am only trying to be human about his feelings. Assuming you are a woman, would you want a man to tell you he doesn’t want to hang out with you anymore particularly after the last time you hung out you think you made a terrible attempt at sex and didn’t perform?! Wouldn’t it scar you? I am just trying to soften the blow.

    Yes, I am attractive and I can get men rather easily BUT that is not the point. I only put the attractive part to give context to the situation so please don’t get all sassy about it. I DON’T want to play games with or hurt anyone; that’s why I was honest about what I am looking for on the first date itself. If I wanted to simply play games, I wouldn’t be asking for advice on this forum on how (I repeat) to soften the blow.

    Sorry you just don’t get it.

    I am asking for help on how to remind him I am looking for a male friend and not boyfriend without hurting him.

    #702796 Reply


    Jan, even “very successful” men can fall for someone quite easily (esp. if the person seems a bit out of reach!) and the OP doesn’t sound full of herself at all, just trying to avoid hurting him.

    #702799 Reply


    Oh and I am no longer naive. I have dated quite a few successful men as well but this one is an anomaly when it comes to being secure. That’s why I am being even more cognizant of his feelings. Had I believed he’s dating other women, I wouldn’t be worried at all about bouncing. It would actually make it easier.

    #702800 Reply


    @Ali – Thank you.

    #702803 Reply


    Be honest with him. Be clear but don’t make excuses or false promises (like, I’m not ready now but I will be at X date). As long as you are polite, it’s not your responsibility how he reacts to the information.

    #702808 Reply


    @Jessica – Thanks, yes I plan to straight up with him – no excuses.

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