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I dated a guy for a year and a half. We are both divorced with children from our previous marriages. We were both cheated on by our exes. We both put our children first and tried to see each other when we did not have our kids, although I sometimes did things with his kids while I was with him and he would do the same with my kids. That is the basic background. Now the specifics:
I met his ENTIRE family (parents, children, brothers and sister in laws, nieces and nephews) and his close friends. He also met my ENTIRE family and close friends. He was the first to refer to me as “his girlfriend”, as I did not want to be presumptive. I spent Thanksgiving with him and his kids at his parents’ house when we were 11 months into our relationship. It was his idea to buy gifts for each other’s children that same Christmas. He asked me to spend Christmas with his kids and his family, but was sad when I said that I couldn’t because I would be with my family, but he indicated that he understood. He gave me a Christmas card with an inscription that specifically said the dreaded 4-lettered word (yes, the nice one), and in that same card, indicated that he was glad that we had met, that he hoped that the following year would be as good for us as the past year had been for us. Indicating a future, right? (I need to mention that he signed it with just his name and NOT with Love, _____ )
A couple of weeks later, we went out to dinner with his brother and sister-in-law. We had a great night! When we were leaving, I stood outside of the restaurant with his sister-in-law talking and he just stood there, “beaming from ear to ear.” (Those are the words that she used when she and I talked the next day.) Finally, he reached for my hand, gave her a kiss good bye and we left. We had a glorious end of the night, if you know what I mean. That evening, I looked him in the eyes and said that I needed to tell him something, “I love you.” His response? “Uh, ummm. Oh.” He then pulled me real close and tight and we laid in silence for a while. I think at one point he fell asleep, or at least he pretended to do so. He then gave me a kiss and indicated that he had to change my light bulbs. (When we walked up the stairs earlier, before my “statement” he noticed that both hall lights were burned out). After he did that, he asked if I wanted him to take out the garbage. He did so and came back in. He then said, “Well, honey, I better be heading for home. I’ll call you later.” Prior to this, if he said he would call me later it would mean that he would call the next day. Well, as soon as he got home, he called me and said, “Just wanted to call to let you know I got home safe (a little small talk, blah, blah)… I had a wonderful evening and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Nothing more was said about “my statement.” He called the next day, like he said he would and like he did every night before this. Then he didn’t call for 2 days. Our conversation was the same and I did not bring up those words again. A week went by and there was no phone call about getting together for “our weekend” when I did not have my kids. I sent him an email message, indicating that something seemed to be different between us. (We also had a tendency to send each other email messages back and forth during the day, so this was not out of the ordinary). He emailed me back with, “We need to talk, but like you, I don’t want to discuss it in an email.”
When he called, he said that when I told him that I loved him, he started to really think about things. He felt that he was not ready for “that” kind of relationship at this time and that he needed to focus on his kids. (One of his kids would call a few times and say, “Dad, when are you coming home?” when he was at my place. And his other child had recently got into some trouble at school). He said that he still wanted to do things with me, but that we needed to slow things way down. I took it that he wanted a break. He said that at this time, we should just be friends. (At this time, it was a good month after I told him that I loved him). He indicated that he would not be calling me, as he did not want to be cruel and that he could not answer the question of whether or not we had a chance in the future to come back together, which was really confusing — was he stringing me along?
Fast forward to present. There was no contact for almost 2 years. (Albeit the information from one of our mutual friends that he would ask how I was doing). Then out of the blue, he sent me a request to be friends on Facebook. We’ve since traded kidding jabs back and forth, but nothing more than that. Everyone I know, including our mutual friend, thinks that he has something up his sleeve and that eventually something more will happen. I don’t want to get my hopes up that he wants to rekindle our relationship.
From a guy’s perspective, what was he thinking when we were in our relationship? (Some people think that he got scared to admit that he was in love too.) What was really going on when he initiated the breakup? What could he possibly be thinking now? Does he want to rekindle, want to know what I am up to? I’m so confused. I think that if he were to ask, I would probably be inclined the go out with him again, AFTER a much needed discussion. Also, if that were to happen, how would I bring THAT discussion up?
Confused to NO end!
Thanks for your question.
We can absolutely see why you’re so confused. Talk about an about face.
This is a classic example of a guy loving the IDEA of love, and loving the idea of having a person in his life, but when it actually becomes a reality he jumps ship almost as fast as you can say the three dreaded words, “I love you.”
We don’t think he was being deceitful when he was pushing the relationship forward with holiday invites and love cards, but his past behavior should certainly make you pause long and hard before getting involved with him again. He got scared, plain and simple. The origin of his fear is another whole matter possibly above our pay grade. But it’s likely he started realizing that a serious commitment to you meant he couldn’t be there for his kids—the way he felt he needed to be there for them. And since he already got burned once, he probably realized he needed to be on his own in order to figure out what he truly wanted for this next chapter in his life. The final possibility could be that up until the moment you told him you loved him he was living in a relationship fantasy world. But when it became “real” he realized he wasn’t really in love with you.
Now that he’s contacted you again, you need to figure out which one of these possibilities you think it was. Because like we said before, you should think long and hard before you get involved with this guy again. Here are some reasons a guy might contact a woman after a long break. (Where he was the one who broke up with the woman.)
1. He’s horny.
2. He’s lonely and wants company. (He’s also horny)
3. He misses her. (Which is also colored by his loneliness, which of course is impacted by #1)
What we’re saying is, you won’t know what is motivating him to contact you until you’re well entrenched with him again. It could take 6 months to a year or so before “reality” sets in again. Up until then it could all be fantasy, sex, and fun for him. So once again it comes back to you. Do you want to take a chance again? Do you want to invest the time and emotional energy into a relationship that could end exactly the way it ended the first time around?
However, it is possible he is more settled in his life, and is now more ready to be involved with you. But please proceed with caution.
Hope this gives you a bit of perspective.
ps. Let your friends know about us.