At the beginning, I agreed to the “we’re just having fun” terms, even though our times together felt more like a date. Our paths have never crossed in public until recently. Last month we twice ran into each other in a bar and he was very friendly. After the first time we ran into each other, we had one typical and great night together. A few days later we were about to have a major snowstorm. Just as friendly banter, I sent him a text telling him I envy him because he always has a freezer full of great home-cooked food and my grocery store was empty. His reply was simply “storm won’t be that bad.” That’s it! I ran into him the next week and he appeared to feel awkward when he saw me. Two weeks passed, so I asked if he could talk. He granted me five minutes on the phone. I told him that he had appeared to feel awkward when he saw me, which he denied. He said he hadn’t seen me, but I’m not sure I believe him. I told him I was glad to hear that as I didn’t want any weirdness between us, and he said everything was fine between us. I haven’t heard from him since.
I suspect that he’s done with me, and I can’t understand why. I’m wondering if it was my joking text about the snowstorm (perhaps he thought I was hinting for an invitation to get snowed in together?) and that freaked him out. Or perhaps our phone call. We got together three consecutive weeks before the snowstorm, and had a great time as usual. My feelings are very hurt, and I admit that I started to like him a lot almost six months ago because he just seems like such a great guy. He’s always been fun, sweet, and decent.
I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but what are your thoughts? What would you do at this point. — Wishing For a Crystal Ball
You say that in the beginning of your relationship — and, casual or not, having three intimate, overnight dates a month for fourteen months counts as a relationship — you agreed to the “we’re just having fun” terms, but at some point, since the relationship seems to have ended, it stopped being fun for one or both of you. We can assume it stopped being fun for your friend since you haven’t heard from him in a few weeks. You want to know why and when. But, does it matter? Would it change anything? It wouldn’t change the outcome of this relationship. Would it change your behavior going forward? Would knowing that it was your text that sent him running stop you from sending a similar text to a future potential match one day? Because… that would be really sad. If you felt like you couldn’t send a friendly/flirty text for fear of scaring off someone you’ve been sleeping with for over a year, then I’d take that as a sign the guy wasn’t a good fit for you anyway.
It doesn’t matter why or when this relationship stopped being fun for your friend, but what is more relevant is why and when it stopped being fun for you. My hunch is that at some point, when your feelings became deeper than you felt was “allowed” per the terms of your agreement, the relationship ceased being fun. It became more of an internal struggle. “Am I saying the right thing?” “Does he like me as much as I like him?” “Would he be open to redefining the terms and being more serious?” Your friend may have sensed this internal struggle — and certainly sensed that your feelings were growing deeper, and, eventually, that affected the level of fun he was having. That’s your why and when. Maybe. It’s also possible he had a rotation of men he cooked dinner for and had sex with and the terms of his relationship with one of them changed, thus changing the terms for all the others.
So, what do you do now? I’d move on. You might run into him at some point, and, if you do, smile and say hi and be glad you don’t have a parting text or phone call to internally berate yourself over. What would be the point of a call or text now? To check the temperature of a dish that has most surely gone cold? Why? Just move on. And in the future, if you agree to terms in a relationship that stop working for you, redefine those terms and move on if they don’t serve you. YOU are 50% of every relationship you’re in. Your feelings matter. They matter at least half as much as the other person’s, and, if you aren’t getting what you want and you find that the two of you aren’t on the same page, you need to express yourself and move on.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.