Anyway, a new neighbor moved in next door, and at first I hated him (he would turn the radio on at 5 a.m.!!!). Then, we hung out a couple of times, having beer or wine at his place or my place. I could see the red flags from far away! He’s 47, twice married (still married, but separated years ago), he had just ended a long-term relationship with a woman — they had actually lived together, and so when he moved in everything was brand new. One time we were talking in my apartment and drinking beer. He had come back from a party, and had some drinks on him, so he was more than tipsy. We ended up kissing passionately, but then we called it the night. The next morning I wrote him a message telling him it would be best if we would forget about the night before and he agreed. (We hardly ever text or talk on the phone.) Then one Sunday I showed up at his apartment and tried to invite him for some coffee when he told me that the night before he had gone to another party and run into his ex girlfriend and that they had talked a while and then decided they wanted to explore if they could get back together again. (He also told me he was wondering if his relationship with his ex girlfriend had become toxic, given that this was the second or third time they had broken up.) That day in question he was actually waiting for her to come over, so I went back to my apartment, packed a suitcase, and drove 150 miles to my sister’s place — I had two weeks of vacation time — and I wrote him a lengthy message telling him I understood toxic relationships because I was in one and that I hoped his wasn’t one or wouldn’t become one and That I wished him the best. In that text I also confessed that I felt attracted to him!!! And it is true!! I hadn’t felt like this in YEARS!!! Like butterflies in my stomach, like going to bed thinking about him, remembering every single thing he said or did…
The next day he called me and told me he misses seeing my car in the parking lot, and what the car represents, but I couldn’t take his call so he hung up after I told him I was busy (and I truly was). Anyhow, that was last week. I came back on Tuesday and again on Wednesday we were having drinks in my place and listening to music. He came over to my apartment two days last week. We talked for hours, we listened to music, and we laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. He played with my hair, grabbed my hand, told me I’m pretty, said he likes my smile, etc… On Saturday, I was on the patio doing my laundry—our patios are separated by a thin wall, so we can hear each other—and he talked to me through the wall and we had a long conversation, about nothing and everything. I invited him to come over, but he refused, although he said he would like to have coffee. So, we had coffee, toasts and a wall between us. We each went back into our apartments; I was making dinner and he was getting ready for a party. While I was cooking, he came to my apartment three different times, like asking for advice on his outfit, etc. His ex-girlfriend was going to pick him up, and yet he was lingering in my apartment!!! On Sunday he was out all day spending time with his ex girlfriend (I know because she picked him up).
On Monday afternoon/evening I was working on my computer in the living room and I heard someone at my door. To my surprise, it was HIM!!! He was drinking a glass of wine and wanted some company. So we spent like two hours talking and listening to music and, again, flirting. I ended up placing my hand on his leg but moved it immediately, and he grabbed my hand and put it back on his leg. Then, around midnight or one-ish, he went back to his place. Last night he came home and, seeing that I was not home, he texted me, saying he thought I had gone camping as I told him I wanted to do. But I was out running some errands. I come home less than an hour later and I have to admit I invited him for a drink. So he came over to my place, saw I have only three beers, and told me we should go to the supermarket and grab some more. I agreed, and we got in my car. He hugged me in the supermarket, and then when we came back, I made some dinner and we ate together while drinking. Again, we spoke for hours (something he tells me he likes doing with me, talking and talking, making him feel like time flies). Because I was out and about earlier in the day, I had makeup and a cute dress on. Once he saw me he, started saying I looked cute, that he liked my outfit, that I was attractive, blah, blah.
Anyhow, while sitting on the couch, he would constantly pull my dress to cover my knee (I wasn’t sitting in a bad manner, or showing too much leg, just sitting normally). I asked him if I was making him feel uncomfortable and he said no. Just before midnight, we were saying that perhaps it was time to call it a night, when all of a sudden he came closer to me and gave me a big kiss. We kissed and I liked it! I didn’t want it to be over!! He stood up and said he was leaving, so I went with him to the door, because I had to lock the door, and we kissed again, long and tender. And this time he put his body closer to mine, and I could feel he was enjoying himself as well. Again, I didn’t want the kiss to be over. I wanted to kiss him more and more, and I took the liberty to touch him, touch his head, touch his back, touch his ass… and I could feel his body all over mine, pressing me against the door. But he held back and went back to his place.
Early this morning he texted me asking me if I slept well. I said I did and replied that I hoped his hangover wasn’t bad. He replied saying he had no hangover, that he was not drunk nor tipsy at all the night before. So when he kissed me he was fully aware of what he was doing.
Well, today I was visiting some friends and when I came home at 8 p.m., whose car do I see parked outside??? His ex-girlfriend’s!!! So, I realized he is not really into me, or he’s a narcissist, or he takes advantage with the fact that I confessed feeling attracted to him! I now understand I have to keep my distance from him, but how do you that with your nextdoor neighbor? And should I tell him I need to keep distance from him? Should I tell him we should no longer share more time together? For the sake of my wellbeing, and the sake of his fractured relationship with his (ex)girlfriend?
And please, please, tell me how to find you on Twitter. — Come and Knock on My Door
I’m not on Twitter; I think Twitter sucks. You can find me on Instagram or Facebook, which also kind of sucks but not as bad as Twitter.
Listen, don’t you think you’re a bit old for all this nonsense? At 39 and with plenty of life and love experience, you should know not to ignore red flags, particularly when they are waving right next door to you. You should know that flirting and kissing and even sex isn’t a sign that someone wants a relationship with you. Talking all night isn’t a sign of that either, although all these things would indicate that there’s at least some interest. It sounds like there’s also some interest on your neighbor’s side in his ex-girlfriend, which he’s confirmed to you when he said they were talking about getting back together, so I don’t understand why you’re acting all shocked to see her car out front. His pursuing her doesn’t mean he’s not into you, just as his kissing you doesn’t mean he’s not interested in getting back with his ex. These things are not mutually exclusive. Clearly, it’s not unheard of for someone to be interested in two people at the same time or to like different things about different people or to mess around with multiple people when he’s not committed or monogamous with one person. At 39, you should know all this.
At this point, your best bet is to stop having drinks and long talks and kisses with your neighbor. You don’t have to make some big proclamation that you’re keeping your distance; just do it. Be cordial when you see him and be “busy” when he stops by or acts like he wants company. Wear headphones when you’re on the patio, and don’t engage him when he tries to engage you. If he asks what’s up — and he will, because if there’s one thing a guy like him cannot resist it’s a woman who isn’t interested in him — you don’t owe him any explanation and shouldn’t give him one. Just tell him you’re busy. You definitely don’t need to pretend like you care about his “fractured relationship with his ex-girlfriend.” Come on, already, seriously? You don’t care, and why should you? Just move on with your life, act your age, and quit ignoring red flags – or men who tell you pointblank that they want to get back with their exes. It really is that simple.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.