“Should I Wait for Him?

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    December 19, 2022 at 1:01 pm #1117261

    From a LW:

    “Several months ago, I (34F) met someone (32M) at work and it was completely unexpected. It started out as smiles at each other while passing, and from there it turned into light conversation when we both had some time to spare in the earlier parts of our day. Eventually, this led to an apparent interest on his behalf, and more specific questions about who I am ensued. We learned about each other just by simply being at work and having that opportunity to communicate. After a few weeks, he gave me his number. I texted him and by that night we were hanging out. Fast forward 8-9 weeks and we have spent time with each other pretty much once a week. We both established we had a connection, chemistry, physical attraction, many hours of conversation and losing track of time, laughter, and that wonderful comfortable silence two people can have together without feeling the need to fill the void with word filler. He and I are both introverted, so discovering this was a Godsend, to say the least.

    Despite our strong physical attraction to one another, we did not actually have sex until nearly 8 weeks in. I found this in many ways to be refreshing and also a healthy sign of progress. We would always recap our evenings together, giving assurances one or the other made it home safe, etc. The good morning and goodnight texts were becoming a regular thing by both of us. In this period of time we bonded over our favorite books/movies, childhood nostalgia, and he shared photos with me of him and his son, him and his brother – all great indicators that we have reached a comfortable level with one another. He took interest in what’s next for my career and about things that were bothering me.

    For the first time in my life, I was not skeptical or left uneasy about someone’s actions. It’s all been a field of green flags. He had even mentioned on two different occasions for us to plan some getaways to some destinations we both have interest in. I was in the clouds!

    Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worst in his life. Everything was feeling so wonderful and happy between us right before Thanksgiving. During that week he shared he was feeling sad and bothered by some family issues that had come up. He apologized for seeming quiet but said he tends to keep to himself to think it all through. I understood that. It wasn’t my place to pry.

    Unfortunately, life became even worse for him and all he could articulate to me is that he was going through a lot and trying to figure it out. He continued to ask how I was doing and gave me reassurances he was here for me and that I could still come to him. Given that we hadn’t seen one another, I was, of course, becoming concerned, but also trying to respect his privacy and boundaries. It makes zero sense to demand someone explain their problems just to make you feel better….I did mention that I missed him and he said he missed me too, but he was just in a funk but would get out of it.

    The following week, while at work, he asked me how things were going about a project I was working on. He apologized for not getting back to me the night before, and proceeded to say he had family issues to deal with at home. I offered to be available if he wanted to talk but was not going to inquire until then. He then assured me he would tell me about it soon. He also proceeded to say he really appreciated me, thanked me for being so patient with him, and for being such a good friend for offering my time for him to express his problems.

    It was a bad morning for me for other reasons, and I took the “good friend” part way out of context thinking this was his way of scaling back. However, we really were just good friends in that phase perhaps before becoming exclusive. It would have been presumptuous of him to say anything more. I was just hellbent on misinterpreting everything that day…So instead of taking a moment to digest his words, I asked “Do you see us evolving beyond friendship?” and he said “I am open to the idea, but i’m not ready at the moment. Too much going on and my past haunts me, making it difficult to progress.”

    I was rattled and still not fully understanding this. I proceeded to recap the last 8-9 weeks by saying it felt like we were progressing at a healthy level and that we had both established connection and chemistry, etc. He responded with “I want to go slow. And I was good with it (my recap). Just saying i’m not ready to progress at the moment…sorry if I wasted your time.” When he clarified he wanted to go slow, I felt instantly better. This wasn’t rejection, this was him being honest. I am absolutely more than willing to take it slow. I shouldn’t have even responded until I was in better spirits.

    Fast forward a few days, I reached out to apologize for my misinterpretation of intentions. I thanked him for his patience with me, but communication was still slipping at times. This past week I told him he was cared for, thought of and missed. He then proceeded to explain everything that was going on. He told me his ex (mother of his child) has done something that “angered me” “saddened me” and “bothered me”, his mother is dealing with excruciating chronic pain but was too focused on his stepdad, and then proceeded to say his stepdad was just placed in hospice care over the weekend. It suddenly became a no brainer to me about what he had been going through. It also felt good in a way to know he told me without me needing to give him a push.

    I offered my deepest sympathies, and I also offered my assistance re: hospice as I just went through this myself. He was appreciative and expressed gratitude for my support. I left him be…The following evening, he texted me to tell me his stepdad had indeed passed the night before. I was heartbroken and conveyed that the best I could by text offering prayers and availability for anytime he needed me. He replied “thank you ❤️” and that has been it so far.

    Given how soon this has happened with just 8-9 weeks of spending quality time together before things became terrible for him, I don’t know if he wants me to stick around or have I missed a sign he hopes I fade out? He’s never once told me he has lost interest or that we shouldn’t see each other. I’ve never been ghosted by him, and 9 times out of 10 he responds in a timely manner. I have anxiety and always assume the worst. I think this man is worth all the patience in the world, but I am so afraid i’m not seeing the forest through the trees if that is even what’s happening here. I plan to give him space and time to grieve as you can’t put a timeframe on this. I also do plan to just send little messages assuring him I was here as I think that’s important for anyone experiencing loss and hopelessness. I don’t know why this is all so confusing to me. I just don’t want to be a nuisance to him if he isn’t interested anymore. I am nervous, but willing to wait! Any input from you would be much obliged and I appreciate your time reading this! “

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    ron
    December 19, 2022 at 3:11 pm #1117266

    It’s possible he is just going through an extremely rough patch, but it is very possible that his ‘ex’ is not so ex and may have found out about you. He may even be married to her. I say this because the second half of your story just sounded like he was trying to fade and when you challenged him he dumped an almost improbably long list of travails. You’ve chased after him post-fade. Perhaps stop and see if you hear from him again.

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    December 19, 2022 at 3:50 pm #1117267

    This guy just isn’t really into you. If he were, he’d show it by seeking out your company more than he does. He’s got unfinished business with his ex, for sure, and they may even mean she isn’t really an ex. whatever the status, he is not physically or emotionally available to you. He’s told you you’re a friend and that he’s open to more but isn’t ready. That’s just what people say when they aren’t being completely honest about their utter lack of availability. He’s keeping you as an option because it’s zero work to do that but he doesn’t care if he loses you as an option and he would easily let you go if you were to ask him to actually invest some effort into dating you.

    I would just move on. If I’m wrong and he actually is really interested in you or realizes your value once he’s lost you, he will make an effort to win back your attention. If he doesn’t, then he was never that interested anyway.

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    December 19, 2022 at 4:19 pm #1117268

    Yeah, I don’t think this guy is into you, either. But instead of telling you so outright, he’s telling you “maaaybe one day, but not now.” And even if everything he’s told you is 100% true, I don’t think you should wait around acting like his therapist and rationalizing his behavior like you’re doing now.

    If you’re looking for a relationship, have you tried dating apps? You sound very, very available, which I don’t mean as a slight — just think it’d be nice if you found someone willing and able to give back to you in equal measure. This guy isn’t going to.

    ETA: I’m not an expert in this, but I did recognize my 20-something self in how you rationalized away this guy’s behavior. I learned by reading the book Attached that I have an anxious attachment style. It may be a worthwhile read for you, too.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Avatar photoCopa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Avatar photoCopa.
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    December 19, 2022 at 5:51 pm #1117271

    I lot of rationalizing of the guy’s disinterested behavior and a lot of apologizing for her own expectations and needs and desires. And then the whole “I’m more than happy to take things slow,” which isn’t really true. Things are slow now and she isn’t happy. LW, you will get so much closer to fulfilling your desires if you start by being really honest with yourself about what those desires are and then not settle for something wildly different. Or something that isn’t at least moving in the direction you want and at a speed you’re satisfied with.

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    Kate
    December 19, 2022 at 6:25 pm #1117272

    Things were extreeeeemely slow. Going 2 months with seeing each other almost weekly, that’s super slow and not in a good way. It should be progressing at that early stage and you should start to see each other more and more.

    And the not having sex, well, it’s probably because he still had a girlfriend or wife he was involved with. After you did have sex, he started giving you all this line about his family problems but not telling you what they were. That’s exactly what people do when their “ex” is in the picture.

    What Wendy said!

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    peggy
    December 19, 2022 at 7:58 pm #1117273

    Yes,sorry but I agree with Wendy and the others. Let him be and see if anything happens from his end,,as it likely will not.
    IMO a guy who was really “into you” would have kept you in the loop more specifically, and made sure you knew he wanted to pursue a relationship with you. He did the opposite and most latter contact has been from you to him.
    In a time of crisis he turned away from you,not to you. Find a guy who wants to be all in.

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    Kate
    December 19, 2022 at 8:07 pm #1117274

    I know it’s cliche, but it’s true: if you’re confused, the guy is not that into you. Guys make it really clear when they like you and want to be your boyfriend.

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    Ange
    December 19, 2022 at 8:58 pm #1117275

    Yeah the fact he started fading away basically the second you had sex… well.. M

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    LisforLeslie
    December 20, 2022 at 7:55 am #1117278

    Agree with the others – the timing is off. Sure his stepdad passing – that has nothing to do with the timing of this relationship, but a troublesome “ex” (are you sure she’s actually an ex?) and a mom with health issues and a sick stepdad – maybe you were just an escape.

    Because as soon as you had sex, then all the woes came out and with those woes came “I can’t commit to this relationship.” You asked for next to nothing. And he couldn’t commit to that because he doesn’t want to. Sorry he’s a jerk.

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    Anonymousse
    December 20, 2022 at 9:10 pm #1117280

    Can I recap?

    You started hanging out 8-9 weeks ago.

    He went cold after you had sex, about a week ago?

    It really is true, for the most part that when a guy is unclear and confusing he’s not interested. I knew it when you said you didn’t pry into his problems. Why didn’t you ask? Why wouldn’t he tell you? You’re friends, right? He told you he was sorry he wasted your time. That all you need to hear to know he is a aware of time.

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    Anonymousse
    December 20, 2022 at 9:26 pm #1117281

    You started hanging out 8-9 weeks ago?

    He went cold after you had sex, about a week ago?

    He told you he was sorry he wasted your time. That’s all you need to hear to know that he is a giant waste of time.

    Don’t spend your life wondering about people who aren’t choosing you.

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“Should I Wait for Him?

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