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Thread: I don't know what to think

  1. #1
    Member Skylark89's Avatar
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    I don't know what to think

    Not sure what to think anymore. Am I overthinking? Is he stringing me along?

    I've been dating a guy for a little over a month now. We have a few mutual friends. He seemed really interested in the beginning - texting a lot and eventually calling often. He's still been texting, but he hasn't called me since last week. Yet, I know he's had a lot going on lately - his dad's in the hospital and he's been stressed and busy with work. I haven't called because I didn't want to bother him. I've tried to be understanding and give space...but I can't help that nagging feeling. Lately, I feel like his interest has been fading. Even before his dad was in the hospital, I felt like his interest was confusing.

    Sometimes, he'll text frequently. Other times, he'll take hours to respond or never respond until I text again. Yesterday, I ended up texting him, "Hi" to which he immediately replied with a "Hi." However, he didn't say anything else. Roughly an hour later, I texted, "What did you do today?" and he never responded. I was puzzled again. (I realize it probably would have been better that I had called, but I already sent the text. So, I decided not to call. I don't want to come across as needy or clingy.) Per advice online, I decided to give him 48 hours to respond. If I didn't hear anything, I would know he wasn't interested anymore.

    Well, he replied this morning. "Just working and trying to keep my thoughts on that. If friends ask where I've been, just tell them I'll be back soon."

    Okay... Do I reply? I don't know what to reply. (And he's capable of telling them himself. :/ ) Should I just take it for face value and continue giving him space? Should I call him?

    I miss talking to him. :(

  2. #2
    Gold Member SarahLancaster's Avatar
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    I think that you should stop communicating with him. He's clearly not in a place (for whatever reason) to engage with you.

    He knows how to get in touch with you. Also, don't let him continue to have inconsequential texts with you. Tell him that when he's ready to see you in person on a date, to give you a call.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Give him lots of space and time. He has a lot on his plate right now with his dad in the hospital, stressed and busy with work. Cut the poor guy some slack. Not everyone has brain space and time for texting and a relationship while juggling so many balls up in the air all at once. There are only so many hours in a day.

    Follow his cue. When he's ready to resume regular contact, then go with the flow.

    As to what to reply, reply this: "Just thinking of you and please let me know when we can meet for a meal or take a walk. Thanks!" Something like that and wait a few weeks. If he's unenthusiastic to meet you after several weeks, there's your answer. He's not interested in dating you. He's not willing to invest his time, energy and resources into you. His actions or lack thereof will speak louder than words. Take a hint.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    At a little over a month, I don't think you should be his secretary, wife or mother. You can be kind but assertive and start to draw some boundaries in your relationship with him. Do you have any other examples of how his interest seems to be waning aside from the slower texts and lull in conversations? In future, if you're going to text someone, I'd add a little more there from the get go. I don't think there's anything wrong with texting him if that's your main form of communication - just make it seem more personal or like a voicemail if you're going to do the same thing checking in on him on a weekend again. I'd ask him if he wants company on a Friday or Saturday evening or when you both are usually free. If he keeps declining, I don't think this person is sorted or ok to support dating in any minimal sense of the word. You shouldn't feel obligated to stay.

    I think what you might be looking for unfortunately is the same chatty and talkative man or the same guy who used to be an upbeat or interesting conversationalist. If his dad's critically ill or in palliative care for example, it's likely not going to happen. That kind of shadow hangs over a household for awhile and hurts the whole family. I don't think work stress should be an excuse for lack of communication while dating.

    A lot of people won't come out and explain what they're going through if they're going through a tough time. There's all that haze and the only thing going through that person's mind is what they're losing or what they're about to lose if it's the loss of someone. During that time the only things that appealed to me were listening to others who had been through the same thing. I was very cognizant of that though and my rejection of most of the outside world. He should be honest with you too eventually and if he doesn't have the strength to do that, you take care of you.

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  6. #5
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    All of this makes me so so happy I didn't have a cell phone when I dated (I was a late comer) and while I used instant messenger and email it was not the same need or even desire for constant contact/checking in. Once I'd dated someone several times and it was clear we were exclusive or soon to be, typically we spoke by phone most nights if we weren't going to see each other than night, and emailed some during the day. That's it. We got to know each other mostly in person. We didn't know all the mundane details and plans of daily life nor did we need to. Even now, married and with a child, I often will email him the mundane stuff he needs to know so we don't bore each other in person. When we were dating we liked to talk on the phone for around 20-40 minutes daily, in the evening, and we emailed a few times a day. And when you feel secure with someone you don't worry if you don't hear from the person -other than being concerned that the person is ok if he misses a typical time to call you, etc.

    You're too available to him and you're overwhelming him at a time when he has tons of stuff going on. I'd move on for now, assume if/when he wants to see you again he'll be in touch. Let him miss you a bit and come to you.

  7. #6
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    Have you met?

  8. #7
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    His dad is in the hospital. You are being selfish

  9. #8
    Silver Member LootieTootie's Avatar
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    Let it go.

    This guy is in no place to entertain or pursue you. His dad is ill and in the hospital and his lack of interest should be obvious that the man doesn't have the time or energy. If you want to be patient, leave it and wait for him to reach out.

    Texting a random Hi to someone you are interested in but who is also going thru a tough time, is going to get ignored.

    In the future, communicating a thoughtful message will help you even if the guy doesn't reciprocate... maybe along the lines of: "I know you are busy and under a lot of stress with your dad and job but just wanted to let you know I am here if you need anything."

  10. #9
    Member Skylark89's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help, everyone! I sent a message per @Cherylyn's and @LootieTootie's suggestion. And I agree with you @SarahLancaster.

    @Rose Mosse Yeah, I have a few other examples that I could give. They probably don't really matter, right now. Usually, I try to give a little more than inconsequential texts. I just wasn't sure what to write. Like I said, I don't want to bother him too much. I understand his dad is top priority, right now.

    @Hollyj Yes, we've met.

  11. #10
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    I would give it some time. He has a lot on his plate. I also think you should allow him to reach out.

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