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Dear Wendy

Should I contact him?

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice Should I contact him?

  • This topic has 34 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 day, 8 hours ago by avatarKerri Parker.
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  • #880585 Reply
    avatarAnne
    Guest

    I’ve been dating this guy for two months. Sparks flew immediately. I’m 32 and he’s 33. He’s a resident Pathology physician and I work at the same hospital, but in different departments.
    We have amazing physical chemistry and we would text each other constantly throughout the day and evening. He would tell me that I make him nervous and that he thinks about me all the time. He told me he really likes me and his actions matched for a while.
    I started to notice that he can be somewhat not thoughtful. Despite the amazing time I have just talking and looking at him and how enamored I am by him, this part of him began to bother me. For example, when he pours himself a drink he won’t ask me if I want anything. He doesn’t eat breakfast and he never offered me any food in the morning when I stayed over at his place despite knowing that I like to eat in the morning but still wanting me to stay until early afternoon. He just lacks some thought and sometimes those thoughtful things, even though they are small, make you feel special. So I may have hinted around that I wanted some of these things in joking ways (ex: saying “thanks for offering me one,” when he pours me a drink). Not the best way to say it, so I realize its not ideal; but I’m sure he got annoyed with it or sensed it. I probably said something like that 3 times in total. Anyway, I am so encaptured by him that I didn’t let that bother me enough to end anything. The last two weeks have been a little strange at times. He’ll randomly wake up and act very distant. This will be after having morning sex, and after a seemingly normal night. He won’t want to touch me and is just more quiet. I’ve said things twice about this asking if something was wrong and making sure everything is okay and he always claims it is and makes me feel crazy for bringing it up even though there is such an obvious lack of warmth suddenly. Of note, he also recently broke up with a long distance girlfriend of about a year 3-4 months ago. I found out that he didn’t tell his family he broke up with his girlfriend in a super awkward speaker phone convo with his family and he hadn’t told them about me either. I did have a talk with him about this and just wanted an explanation and once he told me he felt uncomfortable telling his family and isn’t super close in those ways with him, I let it go. He then became even more distant at random times the 1 week following that, but would still see me about 2-3 times during the week and have sex a lot with me (2-3 times each visit). One morning he acted super cold again and I brought up if everything was okay and he said it doesn’t seem like a good sign we keep having “relationship talks” so much and that maybe we’ve lost curiosity for each other. He also noted that maybe because of the pandemic and not being able to go out or interact with friends on group dates ever that it also may play a part. It hurt me when he mentioned losing curiously. I asked him what that meant and asked why he’s lost curiosity and he said that I’m automatically saying a negative statement assuming the worst. He said I often just assume the worst with him and bring up things, but if someone is acting way off- is it bad to ask? We ended up getting through that convo and had sex. He left and I didn’t hear from him in 24 hours ( not at all typical). I texted him asking if we could talk after another day passes and he said he would be good to talk at all and is tired and wouldn’t be a good listener. I asked if we could just cuddle and go to bed and he said , no I am not in the mood and it’s late. (It was 830). I had no idea where this behavior was coming from so I called him to make sure I wasn’t reading the text harshly when it wasn’t intended to be so. He got super annoyed and frustrated I called him to ask that and said I was doing exactly what he didn’t want… to talk. We probably spent 10 mins on the phone. I said I’m sorry I’ll hang up and we ended the call and I haven’t heard from in 4 days. I also did not contact him after the call to give him space. I don’t know what to do? Should I reach out or not? Is it likely he wants to break up? I am looking for advice how to handle this.

    #880589 Reply
    avatarDiana
    Guest

    Sorry this sucks, but sounds like he lost interest and is trying to get you t break up with him. If he hasn’t called you in 4 days, he may just be pulling fade and hopes you will let it go. Either way he sounds like thoughtless jerk and you are better off without him.

    #880629 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Sounds like you’re incapable. Also sounds like he’s an introvert who needs space so he gets “distant” You take it personally and bug him when he needs to be alone. You need a partner who’s more clingy and he needs a partner who’s less clingy. Call if you want, but you’re probably better off as friends with this guy. Probably no accident his last relationship was long distance. Some people just need distance

    #880631 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    He’s definitely done. Unfortunately, you two weren’t a good fit, and it also sounds like he might not have been over his ex, or who knows. What I do know from his behavior is he’s completely done with the thing he had with you. It sounds like it wasn’t as serious for him as it was for you. He wanted sex and companionship but not the responsibility, attachment, and intimacy of a serious relationship. You kept trying to take it off his terms and that just frustrated him. And that just made you needier. He sounds like kind of a self-centered jerk who, once the novelty wore off, didn’t want to deal with you in the context of a girlfriend with needs.

    #880632 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Also, I think you’re infatuated with your fantasy of him, and not the reality of who he is.

    Don’t reach out.

    #880635 Reply
    avatarron
    Guest

    Don’t contact him. With Covid-19 this is an incredibly busy, stressful, and outright dangerous time to be a hospital physician, including pathology. You were demanding a lot more than he was prepared to give. Perhaps he could have given more in more normal times, perhaps he is enough of an introvert that he never could, or perhaps he simply lost interest. In any case, you need to assume it’s over and back off.

    #880644 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I’m going to blunt, so pardon me while I get right to the point.

    I think you’re incompatible. He could be on the introverted side. I think your methods of communicating sound kind of….too much. Like, if you want a drink, ask for one or make one. You’re an adult. Yes, he should offer you a drink but not everyone is a thoughtful or considerate host. One sarcastic comment is easily forgotten and makes the point. If you’ve been having sex and staying over for two months, I’d assume you know where things are and can take care of yourself to a certain extent. I am a good host, though. I always offer food and drink. Maybe he’s clueless, rude or has never learned manners but your passive aggressive sarcasm is kind of immature as well, IMO.

    And the entire- “are we okay, are you okay…” anytime he’s not being warm or affectionate…that’s sounds exhausting. When he tells you he’s tired and it’s late (sure, 8:30 doesn’t sound that late, but I know a lot of hospital workers who work insanely long shifts. Not to mention the pandemic and it’s stress and exhaustion.) why would you then call him and press to have yet another relationship talk, when he said that is not what he wants?

    Now, full disclosure, I’m on the introverted side. I don’t particularly feel the desire or attraction to have to explain every nuance of my behavior or feelings at every moment or even many moments. I’m sure with a stressful job, in this stressful time, most people want relationships that feel somewhat easy and effortless right now. Having to constantly reassure you would be exhausting for me.

    I want to be clear that I’m not trying to say he acted in a mature or great way either, he hasn’t, but I think that’s been covered already.

    Is there a way that you can try to quiet the voice that wants to attach a negative feeling to perfectly normal moments of a perfectly average beginning of a relationship when someone is tired and maybe being a little cold? No one is going to be warm and physical at all times. That expectation is too much.

    I’d also maybe advise you to do some research into body language or maybe emotional intelligence and try to read someone instead of constantly asking them how they feel about you. He or any other guy can really like you but still not want you over all the time. Or want to talk about the relationship every time they see you. I think he did try to tell you that he didn’t have the bandwidth to discuss it once again, and tried to do that in what to me sounds like a pretty neutral way- and instead of dropping it or backing off, you called him and pushed the subject on him once again. Learn to read the room, you know?

    I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you. It’s a really weird unprecedented time, and maybe the stress of life right now has affected your relationship anxiety. I’m sure it’s affected him. Take care of yourself, be good to yourself and work on your bounce back. He didn’t sound like the right type of guy for you. Good luck.

    #880646 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    He told you flat-out what the issue is. You keep bugging him to have relationship talks — at the two-month point! “What did you mean when you said exactly what you mean?” is an exhausting conversation to have.

    Even by your own narrative, you’ve wanted to have a talk four times in the first two months of dating.

    #880648 Reply
    avatarEssie
    Participant

    This is an interesting companion piece to Wendy’s column today. Hoo boy, “anxious attachment type” indeed.

    LW, you seem like you needed a LOT of reassurance in this relationship. And I have to agree with @anonymousse (and I’m also an introvert) – I found the neediness exhausting. You seem to have spent most of the two months you were with him looking for signs that he was losing interest, and asking for reassurance that things were OK, instead of just enjoying what you had.

    At this point, now, he’s definitely pulled away. But I think some of those early silences that worried you so much were just someone lost in their thoughts. No partner is going to have you at the top of their mind 100% of the time. He’s a busy doctor in a busy, stressful time. What you perceived as distance may have just been him mentally planning his day.

    Especially at a time like this, anyone with his job is going to need a bit of mental space. Insisting on having the Serious Talk – again – when his brain is melting down from stress was probably the end of the line for him.

    So no, don’t contact him. He’s made it pretty clear that he’s done, and it wasn’t going to last anyway. Your personalities are too different.

    #880652 Reply
    avatarmellanthe
    Participant

    When it comes to how thoughtful he is, it’s the same as with other habits – you can only do two things – tell him something bothers you, because it doesn’t make you feel thought of, or let it go because that’s just how he is. I personally think consideration is important but there are other habits that might bug others that don’t bug me in a man. But don’t be passive aggressive – it just makes people feel criticised for what may well be a simple oversight.

    It sounds like you’ve had a really intense first couple of months – but it’s *only* been a couple of months! You still barely know each other. There shouldn’t usually have to be lots of “serious couple talks” so early on in a relationship – after all, this is the fun part where it’s all dates and carefree sex and learning what you both like. I’d argue that although relationships become settled and comfy (when you’re no longer on your toes dreading being dumped over minor crap and fart in front of each other etc), this doesn’t usually happen a month or two in. If you find yourselves growing distant during the early honeymoon phase, it’s probably because you’re very different people or want different things, or maybe things are just waning after the initial excitement. Not every match is compatible, and not every sexual chemistry is meant to last.

    It sounds like he needs more space than you. Most people are different degrees of introverted – some people need more contact to feel loved than others. But you have to find someone who is similar enough to you that you’re not tearing your hair out when they need alone time. And maybe what you need is more experience at being in relationships with different kinds of people – introverts, extroverts, to gain more experience in reading when people just need space versus when they just aren’t keen on you.

    I think the fact that he hadn’t told his parents about you is irrelevant – it’s been two months. He may not even talk to them often. I’ve never even thought about whether a BF in the first few months has told his parents about me – probably, but at that point it’s none of my business. It’s not like I tell mine every time I tell my parents something!

    However, it’s a strange time and everyone’s probably more anxious. Maybe, like me, you’re a bit more of an anxious person than most – in which case you need to work on it. I’d look up or buy some books on CBT- if you worked on not worrying about your relationship (this one or another one) as much, it might help you work out when things really need to be addressed, and when someone really is just tired. It could be that you’re reading his slowly pulling away correctly, or it could be that because you’re worried about things, you’re interpreting every little thing as The End – and that’s a ‘you’ problem, not a ‘him’ problem – only you can change how you think so you aren’t convinced he’s dumping you every time he sleeps in or feels too tired for sex. There may be times when that is the case in a relationship, but you have to be able to date without thinking every quiet moment is the end, even if a lot of quiet moments can sometimes mean it is. In short, you have to be able to spot patterns rather than freaking out at any one thing. One night every once in a while of being too tired for sex or not feeling up to talking – not a problem. If it happens every day for months? Problem.

    I suspect it’s a combination of both – he’s losing interest, and that’s causing your anxiety to ramp up as you try to address things as if this was a 12 year marriage, and find him pulling away even more. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this is just him wanting some alone time, at least, not now.

    #880653 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Yeah, so I don’t know if you’re typically like this, or you just got into a bad push/pull with this guy because you’re infatuated and he’s kind of distant, but yeah, if you’re needing to have ~talks~ every week or two in the first months of dating, something is wrong, it’s not working. And if they say they’re tired and don’t want to talk, don’t call them. Give some space.

    #880660 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    Also, you’re wondering why he hasn’t told his parents about you after only two months. He is a physician, not a teenager, and not all adults tell their parents every little thing. Sorry, but at two months, this interaction you’re having with him is not tell-the-parents material. I would be freaked if someone I was dating wanted an “explanation” as to why I hadn’t told my family about them.

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