Is he telling me the truth or just trying to spare my feelings?

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Hi Guys,
I stumbled on your website when looking for some information about relationships and advice. I desperately need some advice.

I met a man at my old job. He was a consultant and would come to my place of work and I worked closely with him. We had a good working relationship. I had no interest in him at the time. He was married. Fast forward three years and I switched jobs and moved to a new town. I got a random email from him and we exchanged emails for a while. I didn’t realize that he was trying to ask me out, even though he did tell me that it was now just him and his daughter for almost a year. A couple months later after our last email exchange, I contacted him and asked to get a drink sometime. He accepted.

Drinks wound up turning into dinner, and we talked for three hours. We got along well. He hugged me goodnight. We went out a few days later to a movie, and enjoyed each other’s company. This continued on for about a month, and at that point we decided we were going to be an exclusive couple.

The whole entire time we were together, it seemed like he was happy, that things were good, he enjoyed my company. We saw each other often, introduced our kids, and things were going really well.

I fell in love with him over the summer. Our kids started back to school and the school schedules made it hard to see each other as much as we were during the summer. Then he decided to retire in September.

Upon retiring, I noticed that things changed a little between us. He didn’t text as often, slept a lot, and seemed a little distant at times. I thought it was just a transitional phase, so I was trying to give him his space. We went out one night, and he was acting affectionate, kind, and the whole nine yards. Then, after I got home, he kind of started texting and they were not in character with how we normally chatted at night. The next morning, he broke up with me and said that sometimes he just likes to be alone. (At most we saw each other 2-3 times a week). I was floored. The next day, he told me that it was too soon after his divorce to be getting serious with someone.

We talked for the two weeks after the breakup and he told me that this was hard on him because he really likes me, and it would be much easier if I just hated him. I went 10 days without talking to him and then we spoke again and he started only responding with one word responses. I apologized for if I came across as needy or anything and he maintained that it really was not me, that it was too soon after the divorce and he wasn’t ready for a commitment.

So, it has been 6 weeks now since the breakup, and he doesn’t contact me, and a week since we last spoke.
I guess my question is, could it really be he wasn’t ready? Or was he trying to spare my feelings? Is it possible that he could come back or have I lost my chance for good?

Thank you,


Dear Ashley,

We’re sorry. Breakups are difficult enough, but when it feels as if you’re being deceived, or lied to, it can be even more difficult. Hopefully we can shed some light on what is going on.

Yes, it’s very likely he could be telling you the truth. In fact, it’s more typical for a guy to enjoy his freedom after a divorce rather than to jump right back into a serious relationship. Of course, we use the term “enjoy” liberally, depending on what led to the split, and how difficult the process of parting was. The point is, after a long-term committed relationship, many guys want to come and go as they please, and many enjoy just being alone. And be careful not to fixate on the term, alone. Alone, just means, they only want to think about themselves, not have to consider a partner. Basically, it’s a selfish time in a guy’s life, and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about the bad timing.

You ask: Could this have something to do with you? Well, that’s always a possibility. But it’s more likely that the timing is just off.

You also ask: Is it possible he could come back?

Sure, anything is possible. Clearly he cares for you and likes spending time with you. But we’ll be honest. If he does, it won’t be anytime soon.

Here’s what we suggest: Don’t second guess yourself. You didn’t do anything wrong. We do think this has more to do with where he’s at in his life rather than any shortcomings you might have. He just isn’t ready.  We are sorry. You take care of yourself Ashley. Let us know if you have any follow-up questions.


ps. We hope you’ll share our site with friends. Thanks.

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4 Comments on Is he telling me the truth or just trying to spare my feelings?

  1. Thank you. I guess it is just hard because I asked him if he was sure he was ready for a relationship when we had the talk about being exclusive, and he said he was. Then five months later, he determines he isn’t. I won’t hold my breath, I am just disappointed in how it turned out. I appreciate your feedback. My teenage daughter seems to think he will be back. It has just been tough. But I thank you so much for responding.

  2. @Ashley…..You’re welcome. We wish we could have been a little more upbeat. Question: So if your daughter ends up being right and he does come back, what will you do? Will you be able to trust him again? Will you be able to open yourself up again?

  3. The truth was what I was looking for. Upbeat would be immaterial. Prior to submitting my question here, everything I read online indicated “too soon” or “not ready” we’re just lines men use to soften the blow, and protect your feelings. And while in some cases that may be accurate, my ex was always straight forward, and probably one of the most honest people I have ever met.

    If my daughter is right, and he does come back, I think it would take some time, but I could trust him and open back up. My fear is he won’t come back. I have never cared this deeply for anyone.

    I feel as though I may have messed up with the last text that I sent him, and that may prevent him from coming back. In it I told him I was disappointed that the relationship ended, and the situation had been difficult for me. I also said I understand and accept the breakup, and I would not contact him any further because I knew I needed to move on, but if he decided he wanted to give this another try, I was willing to discuss it in the future, but asked that he not contact me unless that was the case. Was that bad to tell him?

    Thank you for your support. I know in time, I will heal, but it is comforting to think he was as honest in our breakup as he was in our relationship.

  4. @Ashley……You did NOT mess up. Your text was completely reasonable. And trust us. If he wanted (or wants) to be with you, it would take a lot more than an honest text to hold him back. So stop second guessing yourself. And hang in there.

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