I started dating again after a long break about a year ago. I’ve met up with many different types of people from dating apps and I just haven’t found someone worth keeping around yet. A couple months back this guy hit me up on a dating app, we seemed to be hitting off in the app pretty well and I thought he was cute and we had a lot in common as well as us living so close to each other, so I sent him my Snapchat. I never give my number out right away because you never know who you will come across online. I wait to send out my number until I meet the person first. So we were snapping each other and messaging for another week. He asked me if he could take me to dinner. I accepted. A couple days before our date, I was sitting at home with nothing to do and my other plans with a friend had fallen through, so I just ended up asking if we could meet for the first time that night instead at a park just to break the ice a bit. I get nervous for first dates. There’s a lot of pressure. He was happy to, and we ended up meeting up that night instead. Honestly it felt like time stood still that night. One minute it was 9 pm. The next it was 3 am the next morning. We sat at the park until it closed just talking about life and he was a gentleman. Since neither of us wanted it to end when the park closed, he asked if I would like to maybe take a drive and listen to music and continue our conversation since we seemed to really enjoy each other’s company. So we did that. And again, we were together for hours but it’s like I couldn’t get enough of him. I’m not used to falling that hard that fast but it happened that night and I just decided to let it happen. Anyway, I finally told him I had to go home because I had work the next day. So I went to get out of his car. He insisted on seeing me again. So we made plans for later that evening. I saw him again. We talked for hours again. We live close to a lake so we took a drive in that area and parked there and sat in my car. Again, I found myself not wanting to leave. And he didn’t either. The next day was our planned date. He ended up having issues with his credit card and wouldn’t let me pay, so we rescheduled that for later in the week when he got his card issues figured out and we had a movie night as his place instead. I suppose it’s important to disclose that the first night we met we both had a conversation about intimacy and we both agreed we felt more comfortable waiting until things felt more solid and consistent. Anyways, so I went to his place that night and he pulled out some snacks and we turned on some horror movies because we both share a love for that specific genre, and cuddled on his couch. He told me if he made me uncomfortable at any point to let him know and he would stop touching me altogether. Anyway, so we’re cuddling and end up kissing, one thing led to another, and we ended up messing around but not going all the way. He initiated it and while I felt a little hesitant I figured that I really liked him and he made me happy and comfortable. Things were good at that point in time. A couple days later, we met up again and we did the same thing. And both of us consented and were comfortable so I didn’t really think anything of it. After that second time, he got distant and I knew something was off but whenever I mentioned it to him he said he was just dealing with a lot of personal things which I knew was true because he had told me about what he was dealing with before and I tried being respectful and gave him space. Finally after a week of him being weird but still talking to me, I asked him again. I told him I wasn’t upset with him but I felt like he wasn’t the same and I was concerned. He told me that he felt that things were moving too fast and that he wanted to slow things down a bit because of a past relationship he had that moved that quick and he felt like it would crash and burn. I got upset with him because I had just got a little more intimate with him and I felt used. So we got into an argument. I have past trauma from other relationships I got into where I was used so my defense wall went up. He was texting me from work and I just turned my phone off for the night and went to bed thinking maybe if I slept and calmed down I wouldn’t be so upset. The next day we had a phone conversation and he asked to meet up with me. We met up the following day and talked in person. He said he wanted to still talk but he wanted time to get himself together and asked if I would wait for him but didn’t give me any sort of time table as to how long that would be. I told him while I really like him, I didn’t know how long that was going to take and that I was going to date other people. I felt my heart and what I have to offer in a relationship is of very high value and if he wasn’t ready for that then that’s on him. I feel a relationship is a mutual exchange. I told him I respected his boundaries though. And reminded him that the nights we did get intimate with each other that it was consensual and that he initiated it. And he agreed. So we left things on good terms and he said he would still talk to me and stuff he just needed more time to get to know me more. I gave him space. I waited about 2 weeks and he didn’t make any sort of effort. I then decided to go back to dating other people. I went on a date with another man and took a photo of my plate at the restaurant we were at not thinking anything of it, and I captioned it “dinner date” with a heart emoji. Posted it to my snap story. He ended up watching it but didn’t say anything to me so I thought he wasn’t bothered because I had disclosed to him that I was going to date around a bit. Fast forward a couple weeks later, I was at a friends house dealing with a hangover, I opened Facebook and saw he was in a relationship with a different girl. So I texted him and confronted him about it. The first thing he mentioned in response was my snap story and “I was under the impression that you moved on from me”. I told him it was just a casual date and if it upset him or he was confused he should’ve reached out to me. And reminded him that I told him I was going to date other people for the time being. He told me “well I’m sorry for that and maybe if I did things would be different.” He had asked me what I wanted and I told him “I wanted a relationship with you in the future but I don’t think that’s going to happen” and then I asked what he wanted. He said “I want one too” and I was like “but not with me” he said “you said in the future though” and I found that so weird because he was in a relationship when another girl at this point and if I was dating someone I wouldn’t approve of them talking to a girl that they dated like that. Since this conversation, I’ve tried cutting things off completely with him but he always gives me a long speech about how he wants me as a friend “for now”. I typically end up believing him because we do have so much in common and outside of our relationship issues he’s a cool person. But I also feel like he continues to try and keep me around “for later”. And I’m not a fan of that. He won’t hang out with me as friends. He won’t reach out to me regularly like friends normally do. And I feel like his girlfriend has no clue I exist right now. I feel like he has this impression that if he dates this other girl for a while and leaves that I would be ready and willing to take him back and that’s not something I see happening, no matter how much I felt myself fall for him right away. Am I wrong for this? Am I overthinking or am I doing the right thing by keeping my distance? I’m so sorry this is such a novel but this situation has been really bothering me.
You are not overthinking it. You are right to keep your distance. It’s easy to become infatuated, and think of the other person is perfect. Time passes, and then you start seeing the person more realistically.
It sounds like this guy wants to keep you on the hook so he has someone in reserve, in case his present relationship doesn’t work out. If he did come back to you, what do you suspect the odds are that he would try to keep someone else as a “just in case” girlfriend.
He might be a cool person, but it sounds like he hasn’t matured enough to sustain an exclusive relationship. I think you are better off moving on.
That’s why I’m so hesitant to believe him in the first place is because I already felt he lied to me before. I feel like he already knew this girl and was waiting for her to become available and the second she did, he dumped me. He was probably dating around to fill the time and didn’t expect things to escalate with us at first until it actually did. Of course he won’t admit this to me because it would ruin the image he’s trying to maintain but I would’ve had a lot more respect for him if he was more honest. When I saw them become Facebook official, I went to her page and saw they worked at the same place and had mutual friends. He tried telling me he had just recently met her but there’s no way that’s the case.
From the “nice guy” perspective, I had a relationship heat up too fast and burn out, and it left a mark on me. In that same relationship, I was also the other guy on the hook, and that taught me to be skeptical. Since that relationship, if I saw that a girl I was interested in was on a “dinner date” when things were awkward between us, I wouldn’t reach out because I’d feel embarrassed, and I’d bail before she could hurt me. I understand where he’s coming from.
That said, this “in the future” bullshit is extremely immature and demeaning. So is the “friends for now” thing, because when dating is involved that’s never a reality. Anytime a girl said “I’d still like to be friends,” I answered with “just let me know when you want to hang out.” Not one of them ever responded.
I know it sucks, but a little disappointment now will save you heartbreak later and pave the way for something even better. Just a few weeks after I met my wife, a “later” girl texted me to say hey what’s up. I was a little apprehensive when I was typing out the text that I had just started dating someone else, but sending that text was so satisfying and empowering! Don’t waste time on someone who wants to keep his options open, on someone who wants to make you an option. Someone out there will be ready to commit to you without hesitation.
Thank you for this. The thing is when I went on a date with someone else, I had no idea he was interested still and when I told him I was gonna go back to dating because I didn’t see it as fair to have to wait around if he didn’t even know if we would be together or not, he told me he was comfortable with that. I had given him 2 weeks after this conversation to put in a bit of effort. Maybe send me some texts. Check in. And he didn’t. So I took it as him not being interested. I’ve heard the “not ready for a serious relationship” thing before and most of the time it means “not ready for a relationship with you”. And that was probably just my insecurity. But in my defense, I was trying to give him space and let him come to me which is why I didn’t reach out first. I think if he would’ve just communicated more with me instead of completely shutting me out things would’ve went so differently. I feel like he jumped into this other relationship because he already had his eyes on this girl before we met…either that or it was his way of getting back at me for hurting him when I didn’t even know I did in the first place. If he would’ve reached out to me after I posted that photo in my story and let me know he wasn’t comfortable with me seeing anyone else, I probably would’ve worked things out with him because I did see a lot of potential. But now it’s just a mess and he’s determined to keep me around but won’t talk to me regularly or hang out just as friends. I’m not the type to disrespect someone’s relationship no matter how much I want to be with them. I will say though he watches my social media accounts though. So I do feel like he’s trying to save me for later.
In the short time that you have known this guy, communication between the two of you has been full of problems. There is no clarity of expectations or commitment. I don’t think that will change as long as he himself can’t figure out what he wants. The reason you had no idea he was still interested is because he was not interested in communicating with you in a straightforward way.
I suspect that if you were in a long-term relationship with him, communication problems would be an ongoing occurrence. Therefore, I believe you are wise to leave this relationship behind.
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