What do you do when you're developing feelings for someone that isn't looking for something serious?
We're long-distance friends, we've been romantically involved for a couple of months now (via phone, text, email), we have talked about meeting, but he's told me on several occasions to not expect anything, not invest too much or have much faith in him. I know he's still getting over his ex fiance who left him for another man, then strung him along for months afterward. He's not mine in any sense of the word, and I've told him that I was doing this just for fun like he is and wasn't hoping for much. We're both still officially open to dating other people.
Yet, when he talks about past dates, or mentions that he's in the midst of dating to others (not specifically referencing me), I hurt a little. I don't like the idea of him going out with other girls. It's gotten to where if he's silent for a little too long, no matter how much we've talked the last time, I get nervous and begin to wonder if he's interested in someone else or is getting ready to drop off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. I admit this is paranoia at work, but I just can't help my feelings. I want to tell him, but if I do, I'm afraid he wouldn't want to date me anymore. I don't know if that's how he'll act, but I am afraid. So far, he's proven my fears wrong each time, but that doesn't mean they'll never be confirmed.
Funny thing is, a co-worker today asked me if she could set me up with a friend, and I find myself completely uninterested in even the possibility. I was polite and agreed to at least meet the guy, who's fourteen years my senior and has kids and a grandchild. He too was screwed over by not just one, but many women (one apparently took everything and left him bankrupt). My co-worker said he wasn't exactly looking for anything serious and could just be a friend, but you never know.
I don't know why I always end up with guys who want to be romantic yet not serious or falling for those who aren't interested at all. It's frustrating. I want to stick with the one I'm 'dating' now, but I'm afraid I can't hold on to hope that anything will happen. He could have feelings for me too, but is also afraid to admit it, so afraid that he keeps telling me to not have any faith in him to keep me at bay. I've gone with the flow. Now, I want to see if there's a way to take it too the next step: becoming exclusive. How can I do that when I don't know what his feelings are, and I'm too scared to ask? I'm almost too scared to ask anyone here because I might not get the answer that I want. What do you guys think?
This man just needs a friend at the moment, someone he can just talk to, but your needs are too strong to make this situation work out. He has been upfront and honest that he doesn't want a lover but you deeply need to be loved and wanted. You will chase him away with your needs. Find someone who wants to be romantically involved with you. This is just a fantasy you are having about someone who doesn't want the same thing as you. When you feel less insecure and more confident about your lovability, you won't be so desperate and needy when it comes to men. Deep down you have a fear of being involved with anyone so you attract men who also don;t want to get deeply involved. Fight your fears and insecurities if you really want to find the right person for you.
I do enjoy being his friend. We're both introverted and prefer having only a handful of friends and the rest acquaintances. The funny thing is, he sought me out in the beginning. I did have a crush on him, but I didn't show it. I even got mad at myself for that at first because I knew it would've been impossible and thought about slowly backing out. Then he began hitting on me and mentioned dating. I was elated at first, but then he told me he doesn't want anything serious. It was a huge let down. However, at the time, I thought it would be okay. If something did develop, then great. If not, then we would still be good friends.
I don't beg him or anything. In fact, the only time he pulls that 'don't expect anything' line is when I say something that day that would've been perfectly okay the day before. I remind him that I don't expect anything. I just don't know what to do with my feelings. In the beginning he said that he wasn't going to simply disappear on me, and so far he's held to that. I do have days where I am very busy and don't let myself become preoccupied with him, and he contacts me out of the blue (strange thing is, it always happens when I think about him for a moment). It's just that sometimes I get really down about there not being anything more than just a casual romance between us.
He has admitted recently that he thinks about me a lot (romantically, not love), and the last time he's pulled his line was nearly three weeks ago. It was about me asking if I could call. Then two days later, we were on the phone for well over an hour. I does make me wonder if he's slowly changing his mind, or if it's just us becoming closer friends. I guess that's what has triggered my paranoia. I hate not knowing. The only reassuring thing is that he hasn't given up on the idea of meeting sometime in the future, but even that might just be part of us being friends.
I don't know what part of me screams needy. Like I said, I don't beg, and I'm very reserved. I can still be talkative and smile without my emotions completely overwhelming me. Even if we were just friends, if he suddenly stopped talking to me, I probably would've been upset anyway. I've had friends who did that and never give an explanation. If there is a guy out there that can fulfill my needs, he's yet to make himself known. I've been on at least three different dating sites (not necessarily at once) and never captured anyone's interest. I had instances where I would start taking interest in a guy I just met and start wondering if he's with anyone, and sure enough, the girlfriend or wife with a kid in tow walks up. I hate it.
I think we're both insecure. He's had his heart broken by someone who had been his friend for about eight years before they even started dating. He's lonely and spends most of his spare energy on his writing and trying to get himself published. I admit I have this abandonment issue even when it comes to friends. I had a breakdown back in December (basically a build up of numerous things), and he took it in stride when I dumped it on him in writing. He gave me a serious talking to earlier this month on the phone (it was about Mom and her death, and he was encouraging me to focus on my goals and to take joy and celebrate Mom's life).
We're both probably living in a fantasy right now. We do seem to click romantically, but we aren't in a position for anything more, as much as I would love it. As far as I know, he isn't dating anyone else, and hasn't since I've known him. The fact that he doesn't want a real relationship is probably the reason he's sticking to me right now. I seem to fulfill some sort of emotional need. He'll tell me when he's going on the road for a business trip or meeting family (he travels a lot), and he'd contact me while at work or even if he's currently staying with relatives. He would do it even if he had company. I'm the only friend he contacts via text. It seems like he does treat me like his girlfriend at times.
You're a very blunt person, Captain, and I honestly appreciate it. I occasionally need a good 'slap in the face' to snap me out of my funk. The possibility of finding someone better suited to me is next to nil right now, so the only thing I can do is back off or at least distract myself with something, like my new job. I don't want to give up a good friend just because my emotions are running wild. I do care about him and wish to see him succeed. He's appears to feel the same about me. I remember you telling me to be patient a while back. Patience is hard for me, and it takes me a while to settle down after getting upset about something. I'm not very proud of it, but I always try not to let people be affected by it. I sometimes think I shouldn't be with anyone at all.
Anyways, just some thoughts to throw out there.
P.S. I realized after posting the first time I signed with a different name. My real name is Stephanie, just to let you know.
Stephanie, it is no coincidence who we attract to us. Like really does attracts like. Something in your subconscious mind is broadcasting the message "I do not want to engage in a serious committed relationship with anyone". When you find out why, you will understand your love life better. I feel you like this current man because he does NOT want a committed romance with you. Are you just worried about being alone, rather than being married or in a committed relationship? Maybe you prefer the thrill of the chase to catching a partner. Would a faithful dog or cat make you feel loved and safe, and suit you better? Could it be the loss of your mother that is making you feel you want to be looked after? Do you want a man there all the time? Dig deep to confront your real motivations. You don't HAVE to be with or commit to anyone if you don't want to. It's easier and more socially accepted for men to go from woman to woman, but a woman who has different partners gets herself condemned and vilified. I often think the love game can get a bit like a meat market and that we are all really just looking for soulmates whom we can love, be ourselves with, and be spiritual with, without romantic or sexual complications.
You do have to grapple with impatience, with feeling that life is not moving fast enough for you. You tend to get a kick out of excitement, drama, conflict and explosive situations so a 'sedate and predictable' relationship and life is not for you. Your greatest strengths are to be found in your daring, creativity, and courage and in your generosity and empathy toward others. You like a challenge and when it comes to love, you might enjoy the thrill of trying to catch unavailable partners more than settling down with them. In love, you are attracted to creative, hardworking people who know their own mind and who are not afraid to open their hearts and express their inner feelings. The only downside is that you don’t thrive in relationships where there is constant harmony; if things are going too well, you are not above stirring up trouble to keep the adrenaline pumping.Try to focus more on the spiritual aspects of your life; this will help you move into the deeper, more profound aspects of yourself. After the age of thirty, your focus should have changed to a more pragmatic and rational approach, with a desire for a life that is still very fast moving, but slightly more settled and orderly.
Blmoon last edited by
what a beautiful name. And do not sell your lovely self so short. You are too passive with your boundaries and send the message that you ABIDE! I read your post in the pond but decided to respond here. When someone shows you who they are believe them and state your boundary. Otherwise, why would this man change if he can have his cake and eat eat eat. All he wants! The only way you would have known if he was willing to rethink his intention is if you were honest and said...oh, I see and I respect your honesty but truth is I am attracted to you much more than friendship and it would be painful to put myself through that....I can't do that to myself. Then you walk away. Now is the moment of truth if he calls you after that statement, you can rightful say then, does this mean you are interested in more? If he says no but.......then it is your love for yourself that says to him, sorry, but I can not just be friends. You get back from the universe what you put out. INTENTION. Is it your intention to suffer pain? Rejection? Sometimes we choose things from our blind spot. Our shadow. He told you no. You must take responsibility for deciding to hop on that pain train. Once the universe gets that you are not into pain the committed one will knock on your door. This issue is a symptom of something deeper than your relationship with him....it's really about your relationship with yourself. To sign on for something that you know will hurt you needs to be brought out into the light. BLESSINGS PS....not in a judgement way but with loving detachment. Avoid any self flogging it just feeds the beast!
There's a lot for me to consider here. Been praying over what I should do. I don't know if I have the right words right now, and we're both under pressure (him with getting published and me with my new job). When I'm under stress, the little things get to me. I've already had one breakdown (again, a combination of many things) at the end of last year, and he endured it with incredible grace despite what he was going through. We touched on it a couple weeks ago when we got the rare chance to talk on the phone, and his tone was that of great understanding. The spiritual aspects of our relationship aren't always blatantly present, but we certainly don't shy away from talking about our faith when the subject happens to come up (we're both from the same denomination, believe it or not). The conversation will have to happen eventually. My biggest worry now is if it doesn't work out, will I not only lose a romantic partner but a good friend as well. Friends are precious to me, even when they do things they really shouldn't do.
My sister knows about him, and her suggestion was to simply wait out the "honeymoon" period (about 3 months) and keep it casual until we finally get a chance to meet. She's been telling me not to put a lot of hope or expectations into it as well. She's been a witness to a number of interesting relationships among her large pool of friends and seems to have a great intuition about these things. I'm normally a very observant person, until I'm emotionally involved then I'm a roller coaster. One minute I'm rational, the next I'm a blubbering mess.
There's so much more I want to learn about him, and I can tell that he's very curious about me too. We've both shared things we never told anyone else. A lot of mixed signals going on. This is why I wonder if he's really just afraid, and those instances where I seem to randomly trigger that "don't expect anything" line, is really him catching himself from going too deep. A big trust issue on his part. On both our parts. Again, we'll have to confront this head-on eventually.
Thanks to both of you, Captain and Blmoon. It took a couple of reads for things to really sink in. It's funny how you start to agree the second time around. I WANT stability, but my life has been anything but stable since I was little. It's what I'm used to. This man has given me bouts of happiness that I've never experienced before, but the hills on this roller coaster get steeper as my feelings grow.
I think your sister makes good sense (except that the honeymoon period is not exact and can vary with each couple).
Especially when you haven't actually met each other face-to-face. Because of this long distance, any relationship is more fantasy than fact.
Yeah, my sister is pretty wise for her years. The honeymoon period can certainly vary. I want to meet him to get to know him better and see how it goes from there. Make the fantasy more realistic. We've talked about it a lot and decided to hold off until the weather improves (he's up north and I'm way down south). I am feeling better about it, at least, for now. I'm hoping to talk to him again soon, and hopefully clear some things up.