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Thread: Should I wait on him a little longer or start dating secretly?

  1. #1
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    Should I wait on him a little longer or start dating secretly?

    I need some advice.

    My ex and I broke up after a year last summer. We met whilst I was working away from our home town about 3 hours away. The entire relationship was long distance and towards the end, things started to fizzle out. We both felt the distance was the route cause of this, as we both still had feelings for each other. But I'd say he instigated it.

    We didn't see each other whilst we were broken up, but stayed in touch. I'd hear from him 3-4 times a month.

    I ended up getting a job and moving back to our home town before Christmas. And he came to help me move (first time I had seen him since the break up, 5 months earlier).

    We have spoken about getting back together and he's take on it is that he wants us to spend time together as friends and explore where this might lead in time. We have agreed not to see other people in this period of exploration. So far it has been a month, and 6 months a part in total.

    I chose not to date whilst we were apart as I still had strong feelings for him, and didn't think it was right to involve anyone else in my emotions. He on the other hand, told me he had gone on one date. But when he heard I was moving back, didn't take things further with the other person.

    Here's what I would value advice on. Just before we reconnected I had come to terms with the fact that we may never get back together and was okay with that. When said he wanted us to take our time, I was okay with that. But I now feel ready to get back out there.

    We live in a buzzing capital city, with so much to offer. I am freshly back after 6 years away so I am keen to meet new people, make friends and get romantic. He's not ready for the latter, but I am. If not with him, then possibly with someone who is.

    My dilemma is that I don't know how to tell him that:
    A. Without coming across like I'm putting pressure on him. I don't want anyone like that...I only want to be with someone who wants to be with me.
    B. Without jeopardising the potential of getting back together. Which would be my preference. But I was in a long term on and off again relationship where the guy would make me wait on him, until he cheated and is now engaged to the girl he cheated with. I know they different people, but something about this is triggering bad memories and I don't want to repeat that mistake.

    So, should I start dating again, and keep it to myself? After all, I am single.....and ready.

    Thanks for reading xxx

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    I vote for option 1) Date new people and leave the past in the past. Particularly that it was strain, on/off and you will miss out on meeting more appropriate matches. Your love life is your business, try to distance yourself from him as an old friend. Keep him off your social media.
    Originally Posted by Darlington
    I am freshly back after 6 years away so I am keen to meet new people, make friends and get romantic. He's not ready for the latter, but I am. If not with him, then possibly with someone who is.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darlington
    he's take on it is that he wants us to spend time together as friends and explore where this might lead in time. We have agreed not to see other people in this period of exploration. So far it has been a month, and 6 months a part in total.


    He on the other hand, told me he had gone on one date.
    So, he came up with the terms and then broke them?
    The deal was broken by him but you wondering how to run things past him?

    The whole thing about not wanting to be in a relationship, being friends and not dating others was his idea. I have to say it sounds pretty suspect to begin with. Add in he didn't hold up his end, it appears he's navigated this to benefit him. He's successfully put you on ice and you've agreed to it. I am going to call b.s. on it. Sorry.

    If you can go as far as to admit out loud that you no longer see a future together, then I don't know what the hesitation is, exactly.

    You have enough good reasons to look out for yourself and do what you think is best for you. After all he wasn't thinking of you when he went out with someone else.

    Sitting on a shelf waiting when you can't trust the other person to do the same is a waste of your young valuable life.

    Maybe he's not all bad. . .I don't know. But just be transparent with him and yourself and tell him that as much as you'd hope you'd find your way back to each other, you will be taking the opportunity to meet and date people in the meantime.
    Honestly,if your connection is that strong and two are meant to be, you two will survive this.

    On the other hand it won't survive if there isn't trust and there isn't anything other than a long distance friendship.
    Sometimes being an adult and doing the hard thing. . .is the right thing to do.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I wouldn't date again and keep it to yourself, since that is kind of fancy talk for lying. You agreed to an exclusive arrangement, no? If I doubted my exclusive arrangement with my girlfriend, I wouldn't start dating and keep it to myself. I'd end our arrangement first because I realized it no longer served my truth.

    About your arrangement: It is a curious one, I have to say. He doesn't want to get back together, doesn't want to date, but wants to be friends and see where it goes, but to do that exclusively? Sounds a bit convoluted. Almost like the opposite of having your cake and eating it too. Not quite sure what anyone gets from that, save for a validation of emotional unavailably and skittishness—not the juiciest of stuff to bond over.

    I think you can express yourself to him in much the way you've expressed yourself here. No pressure. Just let him know that you're enjoying this exploratory period, still open to see where it all leads, but that you've realized putting a label on a purgatory doesn't really make sense any more. You want the freedom to make new friends, date new people. Boom. Done.

    When it's right, with him or with another, it really won't be this confusing. You'll just date, rather than kinda-sorta date to see about maybe dating to see about...whoa, I just got dizzy.

    Don't sell yourself short, in short, to accommodate his shortcomings.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    We have spoken about getting back together and he's take on it is that he wants us to spend time together as friends and explore where this might lead in time.
    and did you agree to not have sex in this exploring together as "friends" period?

    I'm wondering why you don't just tell him this and then let the chips fall where they may:
    We live in a buzzing capital city, with so much to offer. I am freshly back after 6 years away so I am keen to meet new people, make friends and get romantic. He's not ready for the latter, but I am. If not with him, then possibly with someone who is.
    ... and then ask him is he still just wanting friendship or is he ready to commit and explore the City with you as your committed partner (you can use your own words of course).

    I think its magnanimous of you to not want to feel you're pressuring him but it's stupid of you to not honour your own end dating goal to do it. So: Be honest with him about what you want and if he doesn't want the same thing then its best you just end this trial all together and work on your romantic goals.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for this. There's some really useful advice here. I like how you phrased this:

    "as much as you'd hope you'd find your way back to each other, you will be taking the opportunity to meet and date people in the meantime".

    Just to clarify, when we broke up initially is when he went on a date. When we reconnected a month ago was when we both said we wouldn't see other people.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darlington

    Just to clarify, when we broke up initially is when he went on a date. When we reconnected a month ago was when we both said we wouldn't see other people.
    Thanks for the clarification. Sorry if I spoke out of turn!

    But honestly, if you two are currently only friends then it might loosely be defined as dating. (yet you aren't able to do that)
    You should be open to date other people in the meantime, especially if that's where your heart is at.

    It makes no sense to create any restraints that don't fit and aren't in alignment with what feels right for you.
    And doing it on the sly isn't handling it with integrity.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    One of the things with long distance relationships is that there is a kind of theoretical quality to them: they exist just outside the bubble of reality, and are fueled, in part, by the intoxicating prospect of things getting really great, and really real, once the distance is bridged.

    Tricky part, among many tricky parts? When the distance is closed that fuel supply of intoxicating potential is cut off.

    I say all that because I'm wondering about this present dynamic you're in, how much it's a way of recreating the long distance dynamic without the distance. It makes the whole thing almost real, but not quite, but maybe real...eventually.

    Makes me wonder if, deep down, you kind of doubt the potential of this. It was pretty good, long distance, and then it hurt. Sounds like you processed things well, are ready for a deeper high, but that you might have to let go of the contact high to get it.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I wouldn't date again and keep it to yourself, since that is kind of fancy talk for lying. You agreed to an exclusive arrangement, no? If I doubted my exclusive arrangement with my girlfriend, I wouldn't start dating and keep it to myself. I'd end our arrangement first because I realized it no longer served my truth.

    About your arrangement: It is a curious one, I have to say. He doesn't want to get back together, doesn't want to date, but wants to be friends and see where it goes, but to do that exclusively? Sounds a bit convoluted. Almost like the opposite of having your cake and eating it too. Not quite sure what anyone gets from that, save for a validation of emotional unavailably and skittishness—not the juiciest of stuff to bond over.

    I think you can express yourself to him in much the way you've expressed yourself here. No pressure. Just let him know that you're enjoying this exploratory period, still open to see where it all leads, but that you've realized putting a label on a purgatory doesn't really make sense any more. You want the freedom to make new friends, date new people. Boom. Done.

    When it's right, with him or with another, it really won't be this confusing. You'll just date, rather than kinda-sorta date to see about maybe dating to see about...whoa, I just got dizzy.

    Don't sell yourself short, in short, to accommodate his shortcomings.
    OMG'ssss!!! You've hit the nail on the head. That's totally how it feels "kinda-sorta dating to see about maybe dating to see about...whoa". I am dizzy too, which is why I reached out here. I just don't feel like I can keep doing this. Not with the history and not with the emotions. I can either be girlfriend or strictly friends (the latter will need me to take some time out to get there), but I can't be a cross-breed between the two.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Darlington
    I can either be girlfriend or strictly friends (the latter will need me to take some time out to get there), but I can't be a cross-breed between the two.
    Well. . .according to him you are strictly friends, correct? Friends with rules.

    Rules that don't suit the situation.

    No wonder it doesn't feel right.

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