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Relationship advice: Dating older men (Also check out our video on the topic. See our video page)
Hey guys, (Sorry in advance for my long message!)
I met this guy almost a year ago online. We soon started talking and it developed into cyber-romance of sorts. A few months ago we decided to meet up after I told him I would be vacationing in a city near where he lived. We met up, had an amazing time, got intimate, and decided that once I went back home we would try a long-distance relationship. During that time, I applied to a study abroad program to be closer to him. Then things got…interesting.
We started arguing, over various things; his work is very high-stress and that may have contributed, but certain misunderstandings and insecurities started manifesting, and eventually we decided it might be best to end our relationship. It was his decision, and although it hurt me, I saw that it was probably the best thing since at this point it seemed to be all negative with very little positive to balance it out. Although we were very happy when I was there, the positives didn’t seem to be around quite so much when I wasn’t.
We’re still friends, and perhaps due to the experience, are closer than ever. I recently got accepted into one of the study abroad programs I had applied to (what timing, eh?) and I’ve decided to go: partially because I still care for him and partially because it’s always been a dream of mine.
I’m just a bit confused because, since I’ve told him I’m going, he’s been showing some signs that he might like to try again. We talk every day (we never stopped talking every day) and he has expressed that he’s not over me and for some reason can’t seem to get over me. He’s made various long-term plans with me, and confides in me more than he does anyone else. (He’s very closed-off with most people). There have been times when he’s admitted we’re more than just friends, and yet there are also times when he assures me we’re just friends. We’re still very attracted to each other and recently when we were having a discussion he said, “Why didn’t we work better than we did?” I explained my thoughts on it and then asked what he thought, and he said, “I think some day we’ll work it out. We just have to let it happen naturally. We can’t force it or it’ll ruin what we have and I don’t want that.”
I see that he cares about me and I still very much care for him, but I don’t know the extent or the sort of feelings he has. He’s very much a “head over heart” type of guy and expressed that he won’t allow himself to give me another chance at this time because he’s afraid of being hurt; but he also tells me constantly that he doesn’t know what will happen when I’m closer to his vicinity.
Maybe I sound a little pathetic, but I thought maybe you guys could help me out and give me a little male insight.
Thanks for your question. You don’t sound pathetic at all. In fact you seem like an intelligent and intuitive young lady.
Long distance relationships seem to amplify every insecurity and fear two people have. (As you know) Some people are able to suppress these emotions as they crop up and focus on the bigger picture. (You seem to fall into that category.) Other people are not able to. (Your Guy) It’s clear the long distance piece of the relationship was too straining on your guy. It made him feel out of control, so he ended it.
Relationships are hard enough, but without a solid foundation of day-to-day, face-to-face time, they’re even more difficult. You conducted 95% of your relationship online before you met in person, so we can see how this was difficult to make the leap to a long distance relationship.
From what you describe your guy is definitely still interested. It’s clear he’s attracted to you, and you’ve said there’s strong chemistry between the two of you. Sure he’s giving you mixed signals but mainly because he’s not sure how it will be when you live nearby, since most of your relationship has been via email, text, or phone. And he’s nervous. You’re just going to have to wait and see, but we think it’s a very good possibility he’ll be ready to give it another shot shortly after you arrive.
The best thing you can do is be open to possibility, and make it clear to him that he can trust you emotionally. We realize it’s hard to open yourself up because it’s easier to get hurt if it doesn’t work out, but it’s really the only way to move forward in any relationship.
And please keep us posted with a follow up comment or question.
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