i have been seeing this guy for 2 mos. originally he said he wasnt sure where he was going/doing but continued to see me and sleep with me. he stays over my house alot. has introduced me to several family members. cuddles and such. he always helps me out with things. he told me he loved me a couple times. but then he backs off, not alot, but some. after being with me pretty much every day, this past week he hasnt came over for 3 days. we still talk on the phone. he calls me quite a bit. im confused by his behavior. i gave him an out and told him if he wanted to break up/stay together let me know. to stop being hot and cold. he chose to stay. he thinks my friends want him to break up with me, but he says he doesnt want to, that hes not going anywhere, that i need to slow down. he still says we are dating, but it seems more like a relationship. my friends dont like him. his divorce was final feb 2011. what is going on here? is he truely interested in me? or am i a hold out till someone else better comes along? its hard to relax even though he says everything is fine, dont worry, hes not seeing anyone else, or intested in anyone else and is not going anywhere just enjoy the moment and hang out.
It looks to me that maybe you have an inkling what is going on but don’t want to admit it, so let me spell it out: you are the best option he has right now, but he doesn’t want to close himself off to other possibilities that might come around. One of the warning flags is that he is happy to sleep with you and stay over but has not been able to reassure you about the security of your relationship. The ‘slow down’ signals indicate he is trying to keep a lid on the commitment at his end, but only from his side – he still wants to enjoy all the ‘benefits.’ If he is relatively fresh out of a marriage, he may be a little commitment-phobic, but too many guys use that as an excuse to play the field. My advice is to push back on the relationship until you are both at a mutual level of commitment. If he wants to be more casual, keeping regular contact and helping each other out, then great. But the week-long sleepovers stop. If he wants to spend days (and nights) together then he needs to come to the party with more certainty about where the two of you are going. If he can’t or won’t, then keep those boundaries in place until he can.
I wasn’t too sure of things, until you said “his divorce was final in February 2011”, and that changed the whole landscape and made it much clearer. I’m guessing you are one of the first women he’s dated since the divorce. The vast majority of people’s first relationships after divorce are doomed to failure. How do I know? The brother of the first woman I was in a relationship with after my divorce, who was a counselor, told me that a few times. I got the feeling he didn’t care for me much, but I digress.
The reason it doesn’t work out many times boils down to the fact that he is trying to re-learn how to date/be in a relationship. Obviously it didn’t work the first time, so he’s constantly evaluating what he’s doing, how he’s doing it, and if he’s comfortable with what he’s doing.
Without knowing what’s going on in his brain, but pulling from my own experiences, I’d say he does genuinely like you, but he’s afraid that any false step is going to hurt him or you. To him, “just dating” and “being in a relationship” are the same thing, which is why you and he aren’t seeing eye to eye on your status. I’d take him at his word – he’s not focusing on anyone but you, but he’s comfortable with your current status quo for now.
Here’s the hard part – you have to decide if that is really what you want out of this relationship. If you’re ok with how things are, and are prepared for them to not change for the next couple of years (yes, I said years), relax and enjoy yourself. However, if you are wanting to escalate to something more, he’s not ready, nor will he be for quite a while.
Regardless, you two need to have a long conversation about how you both view dating and relationships. Understanding each other completely is going to be the only way you come to a resolution.
It looks like this fellow just went through a divorce and more than likely he is hesitant about commitment so soon after his freedom. I would also be concerned that this is a relationship of convenience. If your friends don’t like him have they given you a reason why? Are they concerned that he is using you and is not truly committed? Maybe it would be better to not to waste a significant amount of time in a relationship that may not go anywhere. Relationships can end up lasting 2 or 3 years and eventually end. Can you afford the time at this stage of your life? I also sense that you are not in love with this person and that it is hard to relax and enjoy the relationship. A truly wonderful relationship should not be fraught with anxiety. Move on my dear!
Let’s try to look at this situation from the guys point of view. He has probably spent:
– 2-3 years dating his ex-wife before they got married
– 1-7 years married, with the last 1-2 years being a complete emotional roller coaster
– and for the last year he has been working on finalizing his divorce.
Now that the divorce is final and he can look back and reflect on his life. There are probably a few things that will cross his mind:
– how hard his relationship was
– how emotionally exhausted he is from the relationship and the divorce
– how he can’t be sure about his feelings because obviously they were wrong the last time
– perhaps he needs to grow as an individual which is why his marriage didn’t work.
With all that going around in his head, this guy is not ready to jump back into another relationship, but he is still a human and he still has needs. Which is why he seeks your company, but when things become too close to being a relationship he backs off. He is not trying to hurt you, he is just not ready to start another relationship.
What you need to do is ask yourself what is important to you? Is being in a committed relationship important to you? Do you want to get married? If you answer yes to these two questions, then this guy is probably not for you. As Mike said, it will take years before he will be ready, so unless you are willing to spend years waiting, you would be better off finding someone who is more open to being in a relationship.
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