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Thread: Thoughts on how to proceed needed

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on how to proceed needed

    So he and I met a little over a year ago at work, and it slowly developed into a relationship. He came on very strong at first, consistently complimenting me, arranging dates, making me feel special, etc. This slowly tapered off about 3 months in, but he still made it clear he was into me. We always have fun together, spending most of it laughing, have tons in common, and are comfortable around one another. He is an incredibly private person, so he never divulged much about his friends or past relationships, but I do know he tells me more than he does other friends or family. I know that his last relationship was a few years ago and she ended up finding someone else and he found via social media (retrospectively this should have clued me in on his communication issues, but more on that later). Otherwise, he has not shared much. I know some things about his family, but again, he is relatively private about that as well.

    Anyway, as things progressed, his attention dwindled. I think that’s just largely who he is—an independent person who is used to being on his own and his main focus is himself. I realized retrospectively that his passiveness in relationships could have been a catalyst in his ex going on to find someone else. If she felt like I did, which was frequently unimportant and unwanted, I could see her thinking he was seeing someone else or no longer interested. Anyway, it turned to me having to arrange a lot of dates, but that was fine. Around 5 months in, I started noticing him paying a decent amount of attention to another woman at work. I asked him about it, he denied it, and we moved on. Still, something in my gut felt off about the situation, and my anxiety got sparked. In combination, the less frequent, less complimentary texts, less effort in dates, etc. just made me paranoid. I also attended one of his pickup hockey games (as a surprise…he typically told me when he was playing…that day I just saw there was a game and decided to surprise him) and one of his friends (I didn’t know who she was at the time) also went. He left the game abruptly after seeing us both there, claiming he was injured, which concerned me. I expressed that concern, and he assured me she was just a friend. I simply couldn’t seem to move past his extreme privacy and unwillingness to open up and got suspicious and insecure. He eventually asked for a break from the relationship, as he didn’t want to stress me out.

    I went no contact for two weeks, and eventually we got in touch again after that. We talked for about a month before going on a date, and we slowly picked up where we left off. His attention was back. But, as I am sure you guessed, after a couple of months, it dwindled again. This time around, I didn’t feel nearly as paranoid/upset/anxious about it, as I realized that it’s just who he is in relationships and I was ok with it. Well, around the beginning of July we started having a few issues again. He didn’t attend my end-of-residency celebration at work, to which he said there wasn’t coverage for him to go. He also found out he failed a credentialing exam that day, and was disappointed/upset. He never apologized, but I brushed it off as I could understand that situation. A few days later he didn’t talk to me for a day, when I asked him about it, I found out he was upset that I walked away while he was talking at lunch (I just stopped to say hi briefly and had somewhere to be…I didn’t even realize I had done it). We hung out that weekend and all was well. Then, the next day, I drove to his house to drop off some food items I bought that I know he likes that I didn’t end up liking. When I got to his house, there was a car of his friend from the hockey game mentioned before there. I didn’t go in, as I didn’t want to make anything awkward. I gave him benefit of the doubt, and when we messaged later that night, I asked what he had been up to. He just said he had been hanging out. When I asked if he had had any company, he avoided the topic and basically implied he hadn’t. I accused him of being a liar (not great on my part). We talked it out and he said everything was ok. I didn’t hear from him after that for several days. When I contacted him again, he said he was upset about that situation, and he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue with me. It was during that conversation I also found out that his mother, who had cancer, was not doing well. I gave him some space, and we ended up continuing, though he was definitely a bit more distant. It was understandable, as he decided to re-take his test, and had to study for that again, while worrying about his dying mother. I told him to take his space and do his thing and I’d be there. I did my best to support him—got him groceries when he worked every day, tried to do little things here and there to make him smile, etc. His mother passed away in early August. Unfortunately, this was around the time of my birthday, so he never even wished me a happy birthday or mentioned it. I wrote it off and moved on pending the circumstances. I drove him to get his rental car so he could drive to go to the funeral, bought his mom a memorial tree in Israel, and overall tried to be incredibly supportive. He said I was a great significant other during this time.

    After this, he continued studying for his test after having to take a lot of time off from work to tend to business with his mother, and eventually his car broke down, despite it being new. They had to take it to another state to fix it, and this was right before he went on vacation, which stressed him out even more. He had to borrow a car from a friend to prepare for the trip, and it was just a mess. He went on the trip, which I thought was great, and would give him a nice break. When I asked how he was going to get home from the airport, he said he would probably take an uber, lyft, or taxi. I know he hates all of those options, so I decided to surprise him at the airport to give him a ride home. When I saw him, he was with the female friend from the hockey game. Whenever we had talked about the trip, he had always made it seem he was going solo. I confronted him about this, and he again said she accompanied him for the last leg of the trip because she was in the area for business. I told him that if something was going on between them, I’d rather just know as I don’t want to impose. He said there wasn’t, but he didn’t know if he could do this back and forth with me again. I apologized, and tried explaining that I wasn’t concerned about him having female friends, but more that he had deceived me. We left things in limbo.

    We ended up having a phone conversation today where he said many things. First was that my surprise visits bother him and have gone too far, and are creepy. I apologized, and told him I wished he had expressed this sooner, as I can’t read his mind. He then told me he never pushed the issue of me and that other woman I mentioned at work. Apparently she went around telling people I basically told her to stay the eff away from him (I never even had a single conversation with her ever) and he took the fall for it and had to fix the situation. This was the first time I was hearing of this even though it took place months ago. He also brought up a friend of mine that he knows of that lived with me briefly during difficult times. He claims he doesn’t care about him, but was asking me questions, and this was the first time all of this came up. He told me he felt he couldn’t have a relationship with me unless he never saw anyone female even as just a friend. I again tried to express that I would never want that ever. I just want honesty and for us to be open. He said that right now, he doesn’t want to see any woman, he’s stressed and worried about his test, and his car, and that I need to chill, or else there’s no coming back from this. He said he knows I’m stressed out about work and I need to relax and not worry about our relationship right now, as I am taking the same test as him in early October. His test is on the 23rd. He said he doesn’t want to give me false hope, and there’s no guarantee that he will feel like being in a relationship again once it is over. He doesn’t know how his stress will be. He tends to shut down with conflict and stress and is only able to focus on one thing at a time. I know a lot of this has been pent up for awhile and am equally as frustrated that this is the first time I am hearing all of this.

    We genuinely do work well together and have a great relationship, and I think that once this stress dissipates, things will be better. We aren’t together right now, that is clear. We agreed to step back until tests are over and see where things are at. I guess I’m wondering what exactly I can do to “chill” and not push him even farther away and show him from afar that I’m worth another chance. Guess I just want opinions and thoughts on all of this. I am in therapy for my depression and anxiety, and he is aware of this.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it sounds like a lack of communication. Do you live with a guy? It sounds like he feels overwhelmed by you and perceives you as being jealous. Sadly your conversation sounds like a breakup. Back off completely. Be professional at work. Do Not Contact him or try to continue forcing a relationship out of him. Relax and if he contacts you, he contacts you, but for now leave him alone.
    Originally Posted by dino7994
    First was that my surprise visits bother him and have gone too far, and are creepy.
    He also brought up a friend of mine that he knows of that lived with me briefly during difficult times.
    He told me he felt he couldn’t have a relationship with me unless he never saw anyone female even as just a friend.
    he’s stressed and worried about his test, and his car, and that I need to chill
    He said he doesn’t want to give me false hope
    We aren’t together right now, that is clear.
    We agreed to step back until tests are over and see where things are at.

  3. #3
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    I do not live with a guy. A friend briefly stayed with me during tough times when he first moved to my city. We have been friends for years with close families. I eventually had to kick him out due to drug use.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Basically "chill" means leave him alone. Do not "show" him anything, near or from afar. Do not try to prove anything. He wants space and you're stressing him out. Discuss this with your therapist. Also get a complete checkup and focus on your health and well being. Keep the focus on you.

    Enlist the support of good friends and family. Develop some interests. Join some clubs, groups, volunteer, take classes/courses, learn something new. Study for your tests. Keep busy with your own life. Avoid him. Stay no contact.
    Originally Posted by dino7994
    We aren’t together right now, that is clear.
    I guess I’m wondering what exactly I can do to “chill” and not push him even farther away and show him from afar that I’m worth another chance.
    I am in therapy for my depression and anxiety, and he is aware of this.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    If I'm being honest, it is really hard for me to reconcile everything you wrote with the idea that you two "genuinely do work well together." If that was the case, you'd just be working well together, and would be together, no?

    As it is, it seems things were pretty good for 90 days, then stopped being pretty good. The amount of times you noted the need to "brush off" moments of disconnect and discomfort—moments that other people would simply call "dealbreakers"—is pretty staggering, to the point where it's hard for me to imagine this having gone past the 90 mark were it not for your instinct to look past things that aren't landing well.

    He, however, does not share that ability. He breaks up with you, repeatedly. He told you today, on the phone, a lot of things that, from these seats, sound most generously as a list of reasons why two people are not compatible. He also, it seems, relates to other women, if not the world at large, in ways that most people would find detrimental to a sustained romantic connection. You seem to share that view, save for the fact that you're still trying to find a way to sustain a romantic connection with him. Maybe something to bring up with your therapist, or not, as you see fit.

    Hard to understand what makes him appealing to you, to be frank. That said, he is. So I guess all you can really do is sit back and stay open, for as long as you can. Maybe he puts a foot back into that door. Wether he's got it in him to put two feet through any door, or to not have one foot in one door and another in another—well, that's to be determined, or already determined, depending on your point of view. Or maybe he just fades out, or you get tired of waiting, and one of those two more melancholy—but, perhaps, healthier—outcomes gives you what you need to move forward from this connection to make space for another.

    As you wait and give space, thought, make sure to give yourself some space to look at this all from a few angles and ask yourself some questions of whether you really think you can genuinely work well with someone who is distant, conflict averse, easily stressed about life, and, for the time being, interested in cultivating nebulous relationships with women that you don't understand and struggle to be comfortable with.

    Personally, I always think it's a dangerous state of my mind to think that things might be really good once x or y happens—in this case the notion that "once this stress dissipates, things will be better." It means you're more into an idea that a person—always seductive, always limited. Someone else might translate that to "Once he becomes someone who he is not, things will be better."

  7. #6
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    Does this person make you feel loved at all?

    This is what he can offer, stuff all effort and he’s rather trip by himself or with his lady friend than you. He doesn’t like surprise visits, he hasn’t engaged with your life and I agree with him, he can’t date at the moment. I think you deserve someone who can love you like you love them (spoilers, they’ll love surprise visits and spending time with you because they love you)

  8. #7
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    Well, you've seen him with that same girl 3 times, when he did not expect to see you. That should tell you something! My guess is he went on holiday with her for the whole duration. He doesnt sound like a good partner, and I cant figure out what you see in him.

    If you really worked well together, you'd have sorted out your issues. I honestly think you need to move on from this guy.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Any chance you developed depression and anxiety due to meeting this person?

    Or... perhaps you have a track record of developing friendships/relationships with inconsistent or unstable people.

    This person is not consistent and has all kinds of walls up for unknown reasons. He is definitely not comfortable around you for his own reasons. I have a very strong feeling that you're an over-sharer and he's mentally underdeveloped (socially and intellectually). In other words, he doesn't get it and neither do you.

    The rumour that started about you with that coworker of his is a nasty and rude piece of work. I think you should count your lucky stars you are not in their company anymore. His ability to discern reality from gossip and get to the truth seems a bit lacking. If it concerned you and he wanted to date you at any point, he should have confronted you or directly spoken to you about the issue. The way he handled it doesn't look good for him. He is not that smart and definitely not a catch. I also have to wonder if he was using you for anything. Sex? Cash?

    What concerns me most is that despite his discomfort around you he continued to see you and things continued, well, carrying on. Was it you who was spearheading each reconciliation or patch up or was he as into it each time as you were? Just because someone is ill or dying does not mean it gives us a license to be uncaring and thankless towards others who care for us. He might have acknowledged you as a great SO but he sure didn't walk the talk later on. I didn't see anything wrong with your surprise visits either. That he's so up in arms about it only suggests that someone's poisoned his mind enough for him to think ill of you (he's not that great at parsing information apparently) or he really does think badly of you. Neither of those ideas are in your favour and it probably also reflects on him as a person and how poorly he conducts himself or isn't capable of making decisions for himself.

    My suggestion: Work on more self-respect and confidence in yourself. You should move on and keep working with that therapy. Don't get suckered into being around anyone like this.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by melancholy123
    Well, you've seen him with that same girl 3 times, when he did not expect to see you. That should tell you something! My guess is he went on holiday with her for the whole duration. He doesnt sound like a good partner, and I cant figure out what you see in him.

    If you really worked well together, you'd have sorted out your issues. I honestly think you need to move on from this guy.
    Not to defend him, but I do know she is apparently a friend he has had since early college. He also said that he is close to her family. Not that that means anything, but that's why I'd understand if they're close and spend time together.

  11. #10
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    You all inspired me to do a bit more digging, as your points all made too much sense. I had a gut feeling something was off, and it was. TripAdvisor posts on an observatory he said he went to on his trip yielded a review from a woman from our area of the country, who reviewed places throughout their trip, from Utah to Arizona. She referred to my ex as her "boyfriend."
    Now I guess I'm even more unsure what to do. Do I contact this woman somehow and let her know?

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