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Divorced and now online Dating: Am I booty call or more?

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Hi Guys,

I’m in the middle of a divorce after 16 years of marriage. It’s been months since I’ve been with anyone. I decided to check out a dating website. I met this very nice looking man. (We are both in our mid 40’s.) It started with small talk and then we decided to meet up for dinner and talk. (It was strange for me.)

Turns out he’s been divorced for 7 years. We both have children and have busy work schedules but, we managed to meet each other and things went well. We said our goodbyes and a few days later we met again, just for a few hours. He came to my place and met my children and we talk and kissed some and that’s as far as it went.

He left town for a couple of days after that but we stayed in contact and he said he wanted to meet up when he got back. And of course, that’s what we did. So for the third date he ended up coming to my place and we had the place to ourselves. We ended up having sex, which by the way he said was nice and thanked me for it? I’ve never had a man tell me that before. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing?

Don’t know what to think or do?

Becky

Dear Becky,

Thanks for your question.

Jumping back into the dating scene after being married for a long time can be confusing on many levels, and maybe even a bit surreal at times. Sometimes the confusion stems from not being clear what the plan is. So what is your plan Becky? What do you actually want from a relationship? We’re not saying that you should know exactly what you want before you begin to date again, we’re just saying that once you figure it out, certain questions will be cleared up.

For example: If you’re just out to have a good time with no strings attached, it wouldn’t matter to you if not everything was clear between you and this guy. Meaning, you’d evaluate the facts only: you had a good time with this man. And you wouldn’t be wondering what he means by thanking you for sex. (Yes, that is a bit “different” but it’s not a bad thing. When is a Thank You a bad thing when the person actually means well?)

But if we really want to get into the nitty gritty of nuance we’d say that his “Thank You” seemed an appropriate thing to say since you did something very intimate together but he doesn’t really know you that well. It’s a response from someone who is trying to acknowledge the disparity between your “interaction” and your relative lack of interactions. Make sense? We think it shows a sense of awareness and caring not often displayed by guys. But it doesn’t mean anything other than that. He’s not necessarily saying he wants to have a relationship, nor is he saying he doesn’t want to see you again. The two of you would actually have to have a discussion about those topics. (If you wanted to that is.)

Our advice to you is figure out what you want out of dating right now. (This will likely change.) Once you figure out what you’re looking for, find someone who wants the same thing. (It could even be this guy?)

But for now, it seems like you’re having a good time. Enjoy it.

Leave us a follow up comment and/or question. (In the comments section here.)

THE GUYS

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18 Comments on Divorced and now online Dating: Am I booty call or more?

  1. Samantha // July 5, 2012 at 11:55 am //

    I recently broke up with my bf of 6 yrs. I had been forcing myself to stay in the relationship with him for almost a yr because we have a child together. I knew that I needed to end it because it wasn’t fair to him to continue living in a relationship that was basically a lie. I still love him because he gave me a beautiful child, I’m just not in love with him anymore.

    Well…the past couple months I had started talking to another guy I met online who lives in another state. It was only talking, but I still felt like I was doing something wrong. I loved how flirty he was and and how he made me feel. I finally got the nerve to tell my bf (now ex) how I felt about everything. We ended everything on good terms and it made me feel more at ease with everything, so I started talking more with the other guy that I met online more.

    Things have definitely picked up with the new guy and he jokes about us needing to meet a lot. We’ve even exchanged pics, sexy and just regular. No matter how I look he always tells me how pretty I am or how he wishes he could be here with me. He’s so hard to read though and I can’t tell how serious he is. He’s a little shy and I’m the total opposite, so sometimes I feel like I can be too aggressive with questions and conversations. I’ve asked him before to tell me if I’m ever too pushy or if I am making him feel uncomfortable, but he always reassures me that I’m not. I really like him and I’m willing to try a long distance relationship. I want to ask him what he is really wanting from this…but I don’t want to freak him out. I’m just confused and curious about it all.

    I’m trying to figure out how much I should allow myself to get attached. That may sound stupid, but it’s not as easy when you have another little person to look out for too. I obviously really like him and love talking to him everyday…but I’m not sure if he wants to be more than friends or if it’s all just a bunch of flirty talk? Should I just flat out ask him? I just don’t want to scare him away, but after a few months of talking and getting to know each other I would really like some kind of clarification. I just don’t know how to ask or if I should just wait and let it play itself out.

  2. @Samantha….We’re in agreement with you. Your child comes first and you need to always look out for him/her. Some people rush introducing new people into their child’s lives, but we think it’s always good to move slowly in that department. With that said, this new relationship sounds promising. But still, we’d let it play out. He should be the one to initiate anyway. That way you’ll really know where his head’s at. (As much as you can in the situation—long distance AND online.) Still, we think, even if you do get together with him, you should hold off on introducing your child to him until things have progressed a bit. Good luck. Feel free to ask us a follow up question anytime. And please keep us posted as this progresses. Also, please let your friends know about us. Thanks!

  3. I met this guy on we chatted,exchange contact,i met him and we went on a date,he invited me to his place,one thing lead to the other we had sex without protection and he wanted it to continue,but he did not call me ontill the night of the second day,then i told him what if i get pregnant wiat happens he said he wouldnt want to have a child with someone he is not married to,he was being honest,he did call me the third day.am i a fwb to him because he want another date with me.pls what can i do?

  4. @Sonia….We’re not sure what you’re asking us. Are you wondering how serious he is? If so, we think he’s out for sex, and he’s likely a player. Please be careful and use protection if you have sex, whether it’s with this guy or someone else. And if you really are looking for a serious and committed relationship, you’re not going to find it with this guy. Your thoughts? ps. Please share our site with friends. Thanks. We appreciate it.

  5. I apologize for the lengthy message. My heart is broken and I need a separated or divorced man’s perspective. Please.

    I began dating a man 3 months ago. He’s wonderful. Handsome, talented, loyal, hardworking, gentle. I met him at work, and before he asked me out he made it clear that he has 3 children and is separated from an ex that has made the custody situation difficult on him and the children. He said that he had recently (and finally) made the decision to begin dating again. We were so struck by each other and the connection we both felt that I said yes without hesitation. Our first date was magical and so were the next few months.

    The children do not scare me. Neither does the fact that he had been married before for 15 years. I am not afraid of these things because I grew up witnessing several divorces with my parents and I feel equipped to understand and know when I will need to provide space.

    He said he was not scared either. He spent those months verbalizing how much he feels for me. He’s in love with me, he wants to be with me in the longterm, he has never had sex with a woman the way that we do, he has never been as open sexually with a woman as we have been, he feels it is an honor to be with me, he has never met a woman like me, he isn’t afraid of the largeness of all of this, etc. And I believe he meant every word. He’s incredibly kind, focused, gentlemanly, loyal, and every other adjective I have always wanted in a man for myself. I do not like the bad boys, and he is definitely not one of them. He is a very, very good and decent man.

    He has also been very honest about his situation, keeping me apprised of all that is going on with the divorce so that I will not be surprised when his children finally are able to occupy more of his time. I want this for him. His heart is hurting because of the separation from his children and he is working very hard to finalize the divorce and push his ex into accepting the terms of custody, which has been an uphill battle for him for over a year. Their story is an emotionally challenging one that lasted 15 years. He is ready to move on but I can see that he has been acquiescing to her every demand for a long time and he’s only recently found his footing when dealing with her. I do truly believe that when he met me he saw a light at the end of the tunnel. I am light and fun and also fully capable of discussing emotional issues to their deepest depths. We are on par with each other with intelligence, creativity, talents, desires. Everything.

    The first two months were like a dream. He did and said everything first and paved a way for me to follow suit with my feelings. Then Thanksgiving happened and he began to pull away. He was definitely contacting me just as often (and I mean often) and was wanting to be with me as well, but I could tell his mind was preoccupied and his heart was heavy with the increase in the heated situation with his ex.

    Then, just before Christmas, he became more and more preoccupied and it seemed as if he was putting on a brave face for me when we were together. He stated that he only has so much ‘bandwith’ and that since their Christmas break began, he has been unable to think of anyone or anything but them (and work and his unstable ex, but mostly them). This statement coincided with his ability to spend far more time with his kids, so I understood, of course. It is hard to be a parent of three children under 10 years old. I cannot pretend to know the amount of mental energy and focus it takes to spend as much quality time as possible with his children (I do not have children and have never been married). But my heart is very, very full with love and understanding so I got it.

    That night, I was comforting and sweet and told him that I would be open to anything he thinks he needs from me. I then gave some lightheartedness to it the next day. He said that he felt much better just having told me and that he was just freaked out a little, but being open with me made him feel better. Before I left for my homestate the next day, he spent the day with me and he was very normal and affectionate and wonderful.

    I must say now that I am prepared for less time with him so when he is with his kids. I have my own life, friends, work and plenty of things to keep me occupied. I did, however, spend far more time without him in the beginning. I was the one that wanted to take things slowly and he was the one that was unable to keep the romance to himself. I caved. I fell in love with him and, like any other woman in love, I let myself spend as much time with him as he requested. We both relished in it, but also discussed what it would be like when custody is finalized. I assured him I am prepared for less time with him and that it will be okay, and he assured me that he is prepared for it too and would do anything to make sure I remain in his life. It all felt very mature and well-thought-out and definitely genuine.

    Then …

    I am with my family for Christmas. The first two days away were fine. Plenty of texting, sharing photos with each other, hour long phone calls. The third day, I heard from him much less and it continued like that for the rest of the time I was away. I knew he was with his kids so I didn’t make any attempts to occupy his time. But there was a moment that did hurt my feelings and I said as much, thinking it would only be a moment of clarity for him and he would snap back into his usual self. I wasn’t harsh at all (and he would be the first to say that was true), but he took it harshly. I know that men do not want to disappoint their women and I know that they pull away when they see they have done so. The conversation turned into tears on my part and I’m not exactly sure why. On the same note, he could not articulate what was bothering him.

    The day that I came home, I was under the impression all was okay and that we had just had our first real tiff of sorts. I’m the type of woman that will either say sorry or accept sorry and all is okay again. He seemed to take it very seriously. He made a very huge statement: “It is becoming increasingly apparently I have no business being in a relationship this soon.” I was shocked at this statement. We have not had many problems (just the usual getting-to-know-you stuff like, “Do you mind closing the door when you get ready in the mornings so I can sleep a little longer?” type of things, but he had made it sound as if he was messing up time after time after time. He even mentioned that he’s always making me cry, but that was only the second time I cried in front of him and it wasn’t even that big of a deal. He’s been in a marriage before so I’m thinking he should know that people just have their things and move on. I didn’t anticipate what was coming, though I should have.

    He told me that he needed some time apart. That he has so much happening with his divorce and children that he is incapable of tapping into the feelings he has for me, and he is incapable of reciprocating in a relationship. He said that I am too good and understanding to have to endure that and he doesn’t see it ending any time soon. While logically I understand this, my heart is broken. I love him and I do truly believe that he spent this entire time loving me. I cried, of course, now making it the third time in front of him and all I could think of was how I was making it worse. I had never asked him for more, but I had pointed out when it was becoming less, and I feel so regretful for having done that. I know he was feeling this way before showing it, but my woman brain cannot help but feel remorseful and as if I caused my own demise.

    We talked for an hour or two about it. I thought he was telling me it was over completely, so I was unable to control my tears. He later said he feels conflicted because walking in and seeing me and my smile took his breath away, and feeling my love for him and happiness with seeing him made him falter in his resolve. I’m wondering if he meant to end it altogether but then recanted just to soften the blow, or is he actually conflicted? I asked him if his feelings changed for me and he said no, that he does love me, but again that he’s unable to tap into those feelings right now. He said he is maxed out and overwhelmed with the custody, the finances and his “crazy” ex (yes, there are mental instability issues now coming to light). He said he cannot bring his feelings to the surface until something else gives way.

    I read your answer to “Tot” in the question “Learning not to be insecure”. Most of her situation is exactly mine, albeit far less wordy. Your answer was so great and insightful. My main question is what if I already blend into his life? What if I already am patient and understanding and completely get his need to disconnect until this custody situation is resolved (their mediation is next month). What if I have no issue with time with his friends or hobbies or work? What if I, myself, am not looking to get married or meet his children, but only to continue in this relationship with a loving heart? What if I am okay with is current inability to see further than a week ahead or see outside of his situation? What if I only one time felt the sting of less contact? Don’t I get a break for mentioning it just once? I feel he took that and ran with it because he was already thinking of these things.

    I am confused. He said that if I am okay with putting things on hold until he can think more clearly then he is okay with that. He said he is not going to see other people and asked that I do not as well. That he just needs some time to figure everything out.

    I love him and feel I’ve been waiting for him my entire life. This may sound ridiculous, but it’s a feeling I cannot describe.

    Other than the obvious, which is to give him his time, what do I do with all of this information?

    Thanks for reading this very long message. I just feel at a loss.

  6. @Scared………We see hope and possibility in your situation, but if it happens it’s going to take some time, and some extreme patience from you. Is that what you want to do? Are you going to feel resentful if/when he finally comes around? First of all, you didn’t cause any of this. You both have professed your love for each other; and love usually comes with a good deal of understanding. So you cried a few times. That’s not enough to derail love. However, we’re surprised he actually thought he could manage a divorce, a custody battle, time with his kids and a relationship. And maybe that’s a testament to you, and that he sees the kind of person he’s always wanted in you, so he ignored the bad timing and just went for it. But as you know, you can’t fight timing forever. Right now all he can think about is the loss of his kids. And for many guys, that’s the only thing that keeps them in a bad marriage—the ability to wake up and see their kids, and come home from a long day at work and hug their kids. The fact that he can no longer do that on a day-to-day basis is creating a profound sadness in him. That’s a hole you cannot fill no matter how wonderful and loving you are. He may not be explaining this fact to you, but that’s the emptiness he feels. And that’s why he’s having trouble tapping into his feelings for you. The loss of predictably is killing him, and he’s trying desperately to create a new world for himself that restores some of that day-to-day predictability. And that’s why he’s saying he has no idea how long this could take. You must realize that his ex has him by the balls—sorry, no other way to say it—and he knows it. (Unfortunately for men, that’s the court system in this country. USA) And he’s probably very angry about. So not only does he miss his kids, his soon to be ex-wife holds power over him and that’s emasculating to say the least. Your best bet is to hold on. Don’t burden him with any needs you might have. Just be there as a support and see what happens. Of course, this isn’t the greatest scenario for you. We can easily see you becoming resentful as this drags on. And frankly, he might be what you’ve always wanted in a man, but if he’s not willing or able to give to you what you give to him, it doesn’t matter that he’s amazing. What do you think? Any more questions? Ask away. And hang in there.

  7. Thank you for your response. It feels positive and validates my overwhelming desire to hold on. I know in my heart that I will not feel resentful when he comes back around; I will welcome him with open arms, mind and heart. I can tell, however, that he is worried that I will resent his need for time away and I am unsure how to quell his worry and prove to him that will not be the case. I do not want him to think this is all we are going to talk about from now on, because it won’t be. I miss laughing with him and all of the discussions about music and science and art we have, and I want him to know that he can come back to that and this will not be the topic of discussion.

    We spoke on the phone last night. I told him that I owed him an apology of sorts: That if I had known he was in crisis mode I would have never asked why the contact had waned. It was Christmas and the decline in contact was so abrupt that I panicked and my mere mentioning of the feeling of disconnection was probably magnified in his mind, and if I had known what he was feeling I would not have compounded the issue. I was out of town and could not see his pain and panic. He said that he hadn’t wanted to burden me while I was with my family, but he now sees that all he had to do was tell me and I would have understood. I told him that if what he needs is a week or two to get through this part and we come back together to reassess, then that is no big deal to me and that I will be here to support whatever he needs. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted from the space between us (but that could just be one-sided, I don’t know), and he thanked me for saying all of it because it made him feel like less of an asshole knowing that I can be willing to understand. He said he never meant to make this seem apocalyptic; that when he came over to tell me he couldn’t keep doing this that he had hoped we could have come to that conclusion together at that time, but he just didn’t know how to articulate it the way I am now. It’s just a couple of weeks. It’s okay. He wondered why he couldn’t have just said that in the first place instead of making me feel as if he was ending everything.

    Of course, my fears are running rampant through my mind.

    I am having difficulty understanding one big thing. His kids are with their mother and her family for the next five days, which will give him some much needed time alone to think and feel without the influence of others. My brain completely understands this, but my heart stings with the knowledge that he has no real need to be near me during this time the way that he was for the first three months of our relationship. For three months, the idea was that when he’s with his kids we are physically apart, and when he is not with his kids we are physically together much of the time. He couldn’t stay away from me and wanted to see me every night. I had to be the one that would have other plans now and then in order to slow him down a little and keep things slow and steady. But with this space he is needing, I am confused. I thought it was because he needed to be with his children and not feel pulled in other directions during that time. It is hard to reconcile how he could have no desire to see me or speak to me when he has several days without them. He voiced his plans to connect with some friends during this time, which also stings. I did say that I hope he knows he does not need time away from me in order to be with his friends. I would never keep him from doing that (it’s never been an issue before so it wouldn’t ever be). He said he knows that about me and that it’s not a mutually exclusive issue, and that being with his friends is not the same as being with me. That it’s a different type of relationship. But it only makes me feel as if he just doesn’t want to be around me ever again.

    I feel confused. I am worried that I have now come to represent difficulty in his mind because we have a relationship, and it is a relationship he is having a hard time managing. The thing is, he has been just great this whole time. He hasn’t been a bad boyfriend or difficult or disappointing. He’s been absolutely wonderful to me and I tell him this frequently. This self-imposed disappointment is nothing like reality. Can I do anything to make sure he knows he’s not disappointing me? He thinks that he will in the long run.

    After three months of a ‘good morning, beautiful’ text from him at 7:30 every day, texting all day long, calling all day long, his wanting to see me all of the time, his constant sweet words all day long … I am crushed that he is feeling no compulsion to speak with me or be near me. I feel there is something I should be understanding here but can’t because I am a woman.

  8. *The phone conversation ended with him telling me not to worry and that we will speak soon. He called me ‘baby’. As a woman, I will read into that term of endearment to no end, but I am trying very hard not to. It is difficult to not send him innocuous links to news articles or funny things I’ve found, just to take the edge off and show that it does not have to be a constant discussion about the nature of what is happening. But I am not sure if we are in a no contact phase and I am not sure if it would just push him further away. Do I stay away completely, sitting on my hands or do I make a soft attempt to prove I am in this to love him regardless of his situation? Women would want the latter, but am I wrong to think he might too? Or would he just want the former?

    The other night, I joked that I will fail at my task and breakdown and contact him and he said that he hopes that I do. We smiled, kissed very passionately and it became very sexually heated and charged. It is extremely difficult to understand how anyone can not want to be around someone they are in love with. Or am I a fool?

  9. @Scared……What’s unclear is what this “break” is really for. Is it for him to figure out his family situation? Does he just need time alone to recharge and hang with his buds? Or is he reevaluating what he can handle and what he can’t? It seems you’re getting very mixed-signals and that’s what’s confusing. However, our sense is: All of the above. He’s overwhelmed by everything that’s going on in his life but doesn’t want to tell you straight out that you’re part of that. (He might not even be aware of it.) We’re not saying his feelings have changed, and we still think he’s into you, but you need to give him some space—no notes, or links, or whatever—so he can figure out what he wants. It won’t be easy for you, but ideally, you want him to return because he misses you and realizes he has to have you in his life, not because he feels guilty or pressured. (We’re not saying you’re doing this, but you don’t want him to feel this way.) He knows he’s putting you in a tough position, and probably he’d feel resentful if the roles were reversed. (That’s why he’s brought it up.) But your plan should be to wait and see. The relationship is at its first crossroads. And as you know, this happens. If the relationship continues moving forward, then you know you have something real. If it doesn’t, you’ll know that it had more to do with the newness of the relationship. Both of you have to choose the relationship. You’ll have to wait on his decision. ps. Two weeks is not very long. We’d be careful to put a time limit on this. It could take much, much longer than that.

  10. My biggest fear is ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

    I’ve been single for 6 years and meeting a man like him in the city I live in seemed like a miracle. It is hard to let it go with no certainty if it will ever return. I guess it is all that I can do.

    Thank you for your response. I very much appreciate it.

  11. @Scared….We don’t get that sense. In fact, it seems you’re very much on his mind. It might be, “Out of sight, continuously on his mind.” We know it’s very hard, but try to be patient. Hang in there and definitely keep us posted. Feel free to use us as a sounding board. Take care.

  12. Hi, again. I wanted to follow up and ask for additional insight because you helped me so very much before.

    You were right on all points. He did come back rejuvenated and seemingly in love. Everything was back on course with us for the next two months. He acknowledged all that happened, his need for space and why, and he thanked me for being so supportive and understanding. He seemed happy, was lighter, excited about the future and verbalized my place in that future. I took it slow and let him lead because he had his divorce mediation date coming up and I knew I might need to brace myself for his need to take more space. I was even happy and proud that I would have another chance to give space with new insight this time. He just kept getting closer and closer, telling me again that he’s in love with me and that I am The One. He wanted to spend more and more time together and it felt real again.

    Then, the mediation. It was rough, as expected, and almost nothing was resolved. Although he expected this, I also think he had great hopes that it would go well and he would now be divorced. Still, things are progressing with his kids. He spends more time with them and has lots more scheduled time to look forward to in the future. For a while, he was still okay with us. Then he pulled away again. I was prepared, but it has lasted for a few weeks now.

    The progress with his kids did not keep him from bouts of depression about his kids and, most of all, finances. We were spending time together but I could tell that something was not right. I waited three weeks through his back and forth communication with me, staying supportive, listening, waiting for him to ask to see me, to come back around. Then after two very surprisingly attentive nights with me, I was my usual happy-to-see-him-when-we-wake-up self, and he was completely blank in his eyes and expression. He spoke but with zero feeling. I asked him if he was alright and he told me that I deserve someone who tells me he loves me every minute, but that he just can’t say those words to me right now; that I’m the perfect woman for him, but that he just can’t tap into his romantic feelings for me (again). He said he feels terribly guilty all of the time because I’m so wonderful and loving towards him and he’s not able to reciprocate but only able to think of his children and his work and money. I noted that he does interact with me like a man in love, that there are such positive strides with custody, that his kids seem to be forging through and are adjusting (they are … his kids are amazing humans and are doing far better than the adults), that he’s doing a great job with it all, and that I don’t need more time or attention than he had been giving (before pulling away). He knows this logically, said that he does love me and cares for me deeply, but cannot love me any more than he loves his close friends at the moment. I asked if this meant we are just close friends, and how is that possible, and he immediately said of course not and that I am his girlfriend. I cried. I told him I am confused but I heard him. He said he understood and heard me. Later that night it was awkward, weird, sad. He was as far away from me as possible in bed, but in the middle of the night woke up and grabbed me and held me tighter than I have ever been (we often wake up in the middle of the night already making out and groping each other … it’s both odd and awesome). The next morning, it was awkward and sad again. I witnessed his anxiety the next morning with all the things going on in his life and I just watched patiently for two hours. It was gut wrenching how much he had going on just before 9:00 AM. I decided to leave and let him be with his tasks. He kissed me so passionately. I left terribly, terribly confused. All I could think about were the words “close friends”.

    Then nothing from him for two days. It was painful but I let him be. To the point where I was almost unsure if he had silently broken up with me and I didn’t realize it. But he began texting again, then calling. I am being open and welcoming when he calls, but I decided to be less available this time around because I need to know for myself that I am not pressuring him. I cannot play games, but I also cannot remain confused on a daily basis. So I forced myself to lay low. Of course this has made him call more, but still I have not seen him in a week. He finally asked if he can see me in a few days and I will see him, but I’m grappling with what my role is. Am I a giving woman in love who is learning more everyday about how to support a man in his situation, or am I a fool and missing the biggest hint of my life? I can no longer tell what I am to him. I know he fell in love with me. Anyone that knows him knows that he did too. I want to do what is best for me as well, but a woman’s love doesn’t usually work that way. It gets clouded with feelings for him.

    I see how hard this is on him and the guilt he feels with me. I’m dynamic and noticeable and “everyone” knows me (just like they do him), and he thinks he’s disappointing me that he does not have the time or capacity to romance me or give more. I tell him all of the time how happy I am to be around him and how much fun I have with him. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that I love him for who he is as much as the way he makes me feel. He frequently says that I deserve so much better than this.

    He’s now calling me more. He says Sweetie and Baby and Sweetheart. I can see how busy he is with work and kids. I can feel how overwhelmed he is. It will have been almost two weeks by the time I see him again. Yet still, somehow, I remain confused. I can’t tell if it’s best for me to leave the relationship or stay with it. I want to stay the course, but all I hear from friends (who love him, by the way) is how it’s not the right time for him and I should move on.

  13. @Scared……This is one of those situations where you could ask 50 people and they’d all have different answers, and just serve to make you more confused. We agree with your friends. If he really wanted to make this work he’d make it work. But of course this is your call. How long has this back and forth been going on?

  14. For three weeks. The first was forgivable because his head was all over the place, but the last two have been the most difficult to read and were subsequent to our having talked about it.

    He’s now texting and calling almost as much as when things were great, even flirting for the first time today since two weeks ago. So, he’s on the upswing of his back and forth right now but I still feel confused. I’m not used to feeling confused, so that makes it even more … confusing.

  15. @Scared…..Hang in there. You’re going to have to decide what you want and then be clear with him. Otherwise he’s going to keep doing this.

  16. Dear Guys,

    Six months ago a met a new man and he let me know pretty soon he was recently divorced (less than a year) and he was sharing custody of two children under 5 years old with the ex. He is 43 and I am 40 and have never been married or had children. After our initial meeting I didn’t really think much of it and went on about my life. After some work-related travel I came home to find a message from him. We began dating, and early on things blossomed.

    Before long I was staying over his place several times a week, enjoying each others company, cooking, conversation, great sex…the works. We are extremely compatible and I love taking care of him, we also have a lot of fun together. Early on, he wanted me to meet his kids (2 and 5) which I was really not ready to do. I love kids, and I am great with them, but I just thought it was to soon in our relationship. He nicely kept insisting, and before long, I was spending time with him and his kids. This was a bit of an inconvenience for me at times, because he is never relaxed when he is watching them, but I went along and did my best.

    More than anything, I wanted to help him and keep him company on the days he had them and I know he appreciated that. We have had a couple of minor arguments in our relationship, but nothing at all earth-shattering. He is in constant contact with the ex because of the kids and he pays her a pretty hefty monthly child support. Also, he has custody of the kids quite a bit, as they are flexible with each other and it seems to me she takes advantage of the fact he works from home and can always watch them. She does not work but is supposedly looking. This all puts a lot of stress on him.

    I have fallen in love and I know I have brought some light into his life. Although I am childless and never been married, those things aren’t exactly what I want either. My attitude is more to just let it flow and see what happens. At this point in my life, its ok if those things don’t happen but I definitely do want love and passion. I do not look my age, take excellent care of myself, and live in an exciting city, so my social and dating life is always pretty active. (In fact, I have seen pictures of the ex who is slightly younger than me and there is no comparison between us in the looks department, she is not hideous but plain and overweight. My boyfriend thinks I am “hot”). We are both in the arts/creative industries. We are extremely affectionate with each other. We have incredible sex every time.

    There are times when I have felt insecure because of the fact his divorce is still so fresh. I know that he and the ex still share some accounts and things. I do think she manipulates him a lot though. I never felt comfortable butting into his personal life so whenever I have made comments it has always been in a respectful way without getting too much into it. I feel that I am just there to support him and give him love and I absolutely love to do that.

    A few weeks ago things started getting rough for him financially. He works for himself so he has been boggled down with work, searching for new clients, and of course his child support payments. He mentioned he was worried about saving up for the kids’ future. During this “rough patch” there was tension with he and the ex-wife (P.S. they were married 7 years and his family strongly dislikes her). She knows about me, and I don’t know if she was doing it on purpose, but she was giving him the kids a lot!

    This caused tension between us as well; I was feeling neglected and also I did not know what to do when he was under stress. Sometime, he looked like he was even on the verge of tears. Wake up, take the kids to school, come home, work from morning to night while taking care of the kids. I tried my best to help, I cleaned up his apartment, went to the store to get stuff for him and the kids, gave massages, asked him out for drinks/dinner (I make plenty of money), and was always just trying to be there for him. I know by the intimacy level we shared and the time we spent together that he loved or at least deeply cared for me.

    I don’t know what happened. At some point I started to feel a little resentful of the ex for taking away time from me and my boyfriend (due to the kids and the money). There were times when days would go by without seeing each other because he was so busy. Like I said, I was starting to feel a little neglected. I just missed him and wanted so much for us to spend some relaxing time together alone. Again, the ex told him he would need to take the kids for 10 days. The craziness continued.

    We had a fight and things really seemed to go downhill. I had been invited to a fabulous party by a client and asked him to attend with me. He agreed to. When the night of the party came, he said he had forgotten and that now he wasn’t sure because of money, and time etc. I immediately got offended by this because I felt I had done so much for him that he could at least do this one little thing for me, and of course that the event was 100% free. He did then agree to go but by that time I was already upset and feeling let down and I just ended up going without him. I admit that may not have been the most positive reaction. After that, he gave me the silent treatment a few days to the point that I was freaking out. He said he was upset with me but we did eventually meet up.

    We went out to our favorite spot (where we met) and had an amazing time. I felt as though I fell in love all over again. I love that he makes me feel like a little girl sometimes, and I just sat on his lap and we made out like two teenagers in love. He didn’t want me to get up. I stayed at his place that night and it was wonderful. The next day was a nice afternoon, he worked, I went to the pool. At night we had one of our great conversations. Everything was fine. The next day was Sunday and I was planning on staying through the weekend, but then, the ex called. She needed him to pick up the kids right then. He politely let me know I had to go as he didn’t want the kids to come over and me be there already. I was ok with that—I understand he has responsibilities as a parent.

    The next day he texted me to let me know that he was sorry about cutting the weekend short and that there were some things he “needed to digest” between us. He thanked me for being there, and for the considerate little details I always take care of for he and his kids. I had bought his daughter a doll and he wanted me to give it to her in person. He ended the text by inviting me over and saying he missed me. I was so happy to get that text. I told him that I completely understood his position and not to worry because I had really enjoyed the time I did get with him. I also let him know what a great Dad I think he is and that he is doing an awesome job. It was late, so I didn’t come over, but everything seemed fine.

    Then I started to notice there was more time away. Again, he had the kids and was busy. We couldn’t get together. I really missed him. He was barely returning my texts. Finally I reached out and asked if things were ok. I had the feeling he was depressed. He said that he needed me “to guide him into happiness” and that if I did that, that he would “live by you unconditionally.” I replied that I do everything I can to make him happy, but that I want to be happy too, that we have to make each other happy. After a few more days of silence I called him and asked if things were still ok with us. (Now this hurts)…he said that I wasn’t making him happy, that there was no joy and he just wasn’t “feeling it.” I told him that was unfair and that he was too hard on me and too demanding. We agreed to meet in person to talk.

    Once we met, I let him know that I was not responsible for his happiness and that there were a lot of things going on in his life making him unhappy which had nothing to do with me. I told him that I will stand by him no matter what as long as I feel loved and that I belong to him which is true. He said I wanted to get married which is not true. He said that sometimes when we fight he even thinks about going back to his wife which he immediately followed by saying that is something he never wants to do.

    We expressed our feelings very cordially, and in the end he ended our relationship. He said things were only going to get worse. I argued they would get better. He said that this was for the best and that we needed a fresh start. We said our goodbyes, I took my things and it was over. When we hugged, I said I loved him but he stayed quiet. In fact, I didn’t even feel that he was truly hugging me back. He said that we would see each other again. It was friendly but it all felt so cold, like he couldn’t wait to see me go. Later that day, I sent him an email saying that it was wrong to blame everything on me, and that I was good to him and had a lot to deal with from him. I said that I was proud of myself for the way I handled things overall and that he had been selfish. I wished him well and that was that. I will not contact him again.

    Some of my questions are:

    Is he right, was it my fault???
    Was this about me or about he and his ex?
    Was I just the rebound?
    Does he actually really want to get back together with her?
    Did he meet someone else?
    Was our whole relationship on his terms only?
    Is there a chance for us to get back together?
    I love him, what do I do?

    It has been less than a week and I plan on having zero contact. No texts, no calls, no social media, zero contact. I am staying away from our spot indefinitely. That is the way I deal with break ups. Besides, I am giving him what he wants. But I truly think there was so much there that could have worked out. I understand this is a rough period for him, so fresh from divorce and what he said was a miserable marriage. There was something special between us. I am resentful of how easy it was for him to let me go. Many times I felt he was pushing me away. Right now, I want what we had back. I can see a future with him. Please let me know, if its worth it? Is it hopeless? Should I hold hope or just buckle up and move on?

    SF

  17. @SF……We’re sorry. We know you really care about this man. We hate to simplify this, but your situation seems much about timing. Or rather, bad timing. Most guys, as recently divorced as him, aren’t ready for any sort of serious relationship, let alone something that could lead to something long-term. That’s about the last thing they’re thinking about. The fact that he even considered any sort of relationship is a testament to you and what you bring to the table. (Intelligence, good looks, creativity, warmth, etc.) But he’s in no place to be able to really appreciate the depth of what you have to offer, which is someone who will support him and love him and be there for him. (Probably something he didn’t get so much in his marriage and maybe doesn’t even understand about.) Factor in his money issues, which are wearing on him emotionally—and his ego—plus his two young kids—taking care of toddlers is beyond stressful—and you’ve got a guy who is reeling and overwhelmed. Fitting in someone else’s needs is impossible for him right now. That said, this was NOT your fault. In fact, you went above and beyond to make this work and to support him during this difficult time. He didn’t appreciate that. And he began to see you as someone who drained him rather than boosted him. This is not about his ex. She’s out of the picture emotionally. But she is involved in his life because of his kids, and thus, she’ll always be hanging around manipulating him and making things difficult. (As long as he allows it, which he is.) No, he does not want to get back together with her. But he’s connected to her. That connection might take a long time to be broken. This is how we see this guy and this relationship: He’s selfish. And that’s how he needs to be right now. Once again, timing. But you have to ask yourself, do I really want to be with someone who doesn’t give me what I’m giving them, or doesn’t love me the way I love them. We’d say, NO, to that question. You deserve better. And maybe down the road he could be that guy, but we’re talking years. Don’t settle, even if he has a lot of great qualities. To us, you gave, gave, gave, and he took, took, took, and then he put this on you. And you were right to tell him that he is responsible for his own happiness. And that’s what worries us about you, and this relationship. You seem like such a giver that you could easily fall into a situation where you’re trying to make it all good and then get stuck. What do you think?

  18. Dear guys,

    Long one here but I need your perspective please. I met this guy online over a year ago. Right when we started talking I had a lot happen in my personal life (mom was in the hospital, received news she was dying).. I was a basket case and not in a place where I was interested in starting anything. We decided we would just be friends. He himself just ended a 17 year marriage (he is 42, I am 32) and was not looking for anything serious. We finally met about 2 months later. After our 3rd time hanging out, we had sex. It became a once every 3-4 weeks thing that we saw each other. We would go out for drinks then to his place. Sex is unbelievably great. Chemistry is absolutely insane. It has stayed this way, a no-strings-attached arrangement, for 10 months now. The past 2 months have been different. He started asking me to stay the night. Said he wanted to try slow and sober (we usually drink a fair amount before doing the deed), which was definitely different. The last few times we were together he asks me what’s on my mind.. in a digging kind of way. We’ve also been seeing each other more like once a week now compared to the 3-4 weeks we were. He even kept asking to come over to my house (we always go to his house… I have a 5 year old child and am funny about having guys over), and I finally let him. He started calling me “baby” and doing things like brushing my hair off my face and gently kissing my forehead, and holding my hand. Keep in mind, these things were never done in the 8 months before, so there is no need to do this to woo me into continuing to come around for sex. We both have been open about other people we are seeing from the beginning. But the last few times I asked out of curiosity, he won’t answer and says “why do you care?” or “why do you want to know?” He recently asked if I remember the first time he kissed me and told me that was the first thing that really stood out was the feeling when he kissed me. Last time we were together, he says “things are about to get weird.. are you ready? out of all the women I have ever kissed in my whole entire life, you are my favorite. What do you think that means?” I didn’t know how to respond, so I just said “I don’t know, what do you think it means?” He says “it has to mean something, right? I really think we have something here”. All of this was leading me to think he has developed feelings. Am I way off to think that? It’s just such a change all of a sudden from how it was for 8 months. Now, I have been through a lot in my life, and I keep my guards up pretty high and never ever show my emotions. But he had a point… there is something I can’t out my finger on. I mean sparks fly every time and they just get stronger and stronger. However, the flip side to this is that we only text maybe every 3 or 4 days, and most of the time it revolves around sex. Myself not ever being the “just for sex” type mixed with his mixed signals got all confused, and well, I started having feelings and letting my walls down. Then things got sticky this past weekend… I’m a pretty straight-forward person when it comes to something I’m not happy about. He travels a lot, both for work and also to see another “friend”.. this I have known from the beginning and I’m ok with it as long as it’s made known up front.. I don’t do secrets well.. He came back home this past weekend, and immediately texts me. Told me how his trip went, etc. I asked when I get to see him again. He asked “when do you want to?” I said as soon as possible. He started talking all revolving around sex… I said that’s not what I meant. He asked what I meant. I said nothing. He goes “Lie. Try me.” So I told him I just wanted to see him in general, and that there is more to him than just that.” (very unlike me to put myself out there like that) I then told him I kinda missed him and asked if that was weird for him. He laughed and said not at all. Asked if I wanted to come over and again made it about sex. I got irritated and said “there is more to me than (enter exploitatives here).. I know you don’t want to believe that and all.” Anyway, he kept bringing the conversation back to sex. And I continued to make it known that I wasn’t thrilled about it. The feeling of being seen as nothing but a sex object gets old after a while and after the way he had been acting lately, threw me for a loop. So I didn’t see him. Next day, we made plans to meet up, but he ended up having his kids later than he expected, so it didn’t happen. Then out of clear blue the day after that I get a text saying he just wants to be honest with me. When he goes out of town it is to see someone sometimes. It’s someone he has been kinda seeing off and on and he thinks they are starting to go down a more serious path. The last thing he wants to do is lead me on. And if he is starting to get serious the last thing he thinks I would want is for him to try to have sex with me, it wouldn’t be fair to me, even though he would still want to. So to be fair to all parties involved, he should probably just back away until things kind of sort themselves out and to please don’t be mad…. WTF?! Where did that come from? I thanked him for his honesty and he said sexually he is really sad about it but he was sensing I wanted more than that and that I am a sweetheart and way too nice to be taken advantage of….. I AM SO LOST! HE was the one that started making things feel like more, and I just gave into that. I would have never said the things I did or act the way I did if it weren’t for that. Were those not signs of feelings from him or am I totally nuts? What was that “I think we really have something here” BS and then a few days later goes out of town and now “thinks things are starting to go down a little more serious path” with this other chick???? and really? “until things kinda sort themselves out” ugh… I just wished him luck and he said “ok ttyl” and that was that. Oh, and he has an article of my clothing that I left and he subconsciously if you ask me made me leave it there on purpose. As he was closing his door when we were leaving, I told him I left my tank top in there. He said “you don’t need it right now, do you?” before he even closed the door. It was right there, I could have just grabbed it. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me some insight. Does this guy have feelings or am I imagining it? Thanks a million guys!

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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