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  1. I just wanted to update that he called me and we are now official and planning our future and moving in together. I am so so happy. Not every story has a clear linear “perfect” trajectory. The amount of negativity and judgement I withstood just staying friends with an ex was unreal, and I don’t blame people. Not to preach, but anything can happen and every situation is unique. Love is love!
  2. Sorry to ask unrelated question- is there a board similar to this but for career advice anyone recommends?
  3. Just wanna say that I basically agree with everyone. I’ve been “over it” romantically and we haven’t even discussed it in 2 years for the reasons mentioned. The romantic possibilities and feelings re-emerged recently because we’ve spent so much time together and it’s been so fun the last six months. Definitely makes you think hm why the eff are we not together, this is working so well. He feels the same. But the issue remains, we’ve been each other’s safety net and backup plan for years. If we don’t move from Plan B to Plan A, we’re just going to hold each other back from finding someone. I’m done settling for it. After you’ve known someone for 4 years, you don’t like stay up at night dreaming about them. Luckily the starry eyed honeymoon glasses things goes away, so I’m able to be practical about this. I’ll just make some changes and a push to date more if I find he’s still stalling or says no. Maybe NC, who knows. Obviously a long relationship like this is not that easy to be callous about. There’s a lot of love & support there. Lots of memories. I’d be losing my best friend etc. He’s shown more sustained care and interest in my wellbeing as a human being than any man ever has, and for that I’m grateful. So many male/female dynamic can be reduced to motivated by sex or ego, and it’s nice to have something purely motivated by care and friendship. The whole thing is and feels different from anything else I’ve experienced with a man, which at times makes me feel it’s the real deal. But if he’s too stupid to see it, then adios amigo!
  4. I definitely agree that we are both commitment phobic and a pseudo relationship feels "right" and "safe" to us both. If I'm being honest, I think we both need to feel we are single and still exploring options because we are not ready to admit this is the "best we could do." But at the same time, we both like being in a relationship so we both are, with each other. I know it sounds messed up, but I think you always get the relationship you're ready for, not the one you aspire to. And he and I are super similar, so maybe I should look in the mirror for some answers. I do feel ready for the real deal though, so if this thing doesn't move forward, I feel fairly ready to move on. I think. Although it feels like getting punched. It is trending more likely than not that we will actually for real be together at the moment. I think. Most of my optimism is purely around our age. Being this "grass is greener" optionality personality type, I think we both need to be close to 40 to finally admit ok ok maybe I turned over every rock and this is the best there is out there. I sense a HUGE difference in him and how much he cares about casual dating/sex now versus when we first met. Sometimes I think we just met too soon and never let go.
  5. It's basically mutual. I make no moves and he makes no moves, after we had many earlier years fights over commitment and jealousy when we were dating/sleeping together. It's been my sense that not sleeping together has been his hack for staying together while allowing him to sleep with other women without guilt/shame/getting in trouble with me. That's what I was trying to end with my recent outburst (which was the first time I spoke to him about being together in also 2 years). I do get slightly insecure every now and then that how could it be possible that a red-blooded man doesn't sleep with a woman that's around him all the time when he's attracted to her. He found and pursued me initially for a sexual relationship though (he's admitted that to me) and I'm his "type" based on anyone I've seen him be into. We've also had sex maybe hundreds of times in the past. So I don't know. Mixed results on that one.
  6. Aw that's sad. I wish you well too. I find him attractive, I just feel like the boundary/fear of not being intimate is so strong now that I nearly would have to be wasted out of my mind to go there. It's just too heavy now, too long, too close, too much drama and history. Hard to explain. I find it easy to sleep with total strangers but somehow with him? nope. I tried for years now to love someone, anyone other than him, but also nope.
  7. FYI I've also dated other people during this time and I still loved him probably the whole time through
  8. Hi all. Will try to keep this short. It's gonna get tricky. Buckle in. I met this guy 4 years ago. Things were going great. Four months in, after a small fight where I was demanding, he broke up with me, saying he "can't give me what I want." He, however, continued to call/text and see me, EVERY.day since, regardless of what we have gone through, for nearly 4 years now. In the first year and a half, we were in a constant grey zone, and we would make up to break up. We had another six month long honeymoon period at one point. But the issue was always the same. He wouldn't commit to me, and always seemed distracted by what options he had or imagined to have. He then moved far away for work. I was sure this would be the end, given the unstable relationship. But nope. He called me every day, multiple times a day, for the year he was away, and then moved back. He visited me about 6 times in that year; I never visited him. We hooked up the first time (almost 2 years ago) but never again since. While he was away, he got a girlfriend and she moved in with him back to our town (!). This was a huge shock to me when I first found out because he was legit calling his ex everyday. We all tried to be "friends" and meet and hangout. The minute his girlfriend met me and saw our interactions and how close we were (also she was threatened because I was too hot, she told him that), she threw a tantrum that we could not speak anymore. At this point, he tried to get involved in work stuff with me, as his only excuse to see me. Two months in to not being allowed to talk to me, he broke up with her and sent her packing back to her state. He tearfully told me how hard it was for him to be away from me and that they fought about me constantly. At this point, I was super fed up with him and kind of over his mess, but I've also truthfully never stopped loving him. I love him a lot. So, in the six months that have followed their breakup, him and I got super best friends status with each other., repairing any distance that was caused. Our relationship is closer and more healthy and loving than it ever was. We went on a month-long overseas trip together that brought us very close. He is very close to my family and friends. I regularly skype with his parents. We adopted a pet together. We openly and clearly tell each other we love each other all the time. Honestly, outside our families, we are each other's first call, and have been for years. I am his partner and he is mine. We spend almost everyday together. People think we're married all the time. All of this is happening under the guise of "friendship" and we have not been physical in almost 2 years. A week ago, in a drunken night, (I was drunk, he wasn't), we slept together naked but did nothing but cuddle. Physical touch seems EXTREMELY scary to me now, given the depth of emotion, length of time and pain from the past. He went on a date recently and I snapped and called all of this "best friendship" a sham. Told him I can't go on like this anymore. Told him it's stupid to watch a love get squandered away. We want all the same things, in terms of life values and future visions. We are nearly twins. He was quiet when I first brought it up, which made me feel like crap, but he's brought it up himself several times since, telling me that he feels the same, he agrees, I'm right, it just means he has to get off the "carousel" of online dating (he's quite the player, but much less in recent years, seems to care less and less, he's 36 now), he's "warming up" to it and to give him time. We have talked very seriously about hypothetical visions of what our future would be like together since. It's been now 2 weeks since I first brought it up. Still up in the air. Meanwhile, he's moving out of his apartment in 6 weeks, and planning to squat in mine for a month before he takes a trip (that he also invited me on) and makes any decisions on where to live. He also has offered for me to share his car with him...and I'm like how... I literally cannot make sense of this. I have never known anyone to have this situation. Can anyone help explain this? I was kind of ambivalent there for a long time when he lived far away and then the girlfriend and such but now after our trip and everything, I think we are soulmates and I nearly can't imagine life with anyone else. Our bond seems very REAL relative to the phony online dating firestorms I get that implode after a month or two. He really does feel like my "partner." I am 100% sure he loves me a lottt. As I do him. He's been there for me through surgeries, car accidents, family deaths, job losses, therapy sessions, everything. What's the hold up?
  9. Don’t worry. I think he still likes you and there is still a chance. He’s just more cautious and reserved now, understandably. If he’s strategic, he’s pulling back on purpose because he’s smart enough to know cold works better on you than warm. I can tell that from this thread. Your anxiety that he’s left is convincing you that you like him.
  10. Haha this is the flip side of my thread “Sudden Rise & Fall?” You should read it for a window into what is going on in his head because I am in his shoes, and I am responding and would respond in exactly the same way. I also got POed after a last minute flake and seeming indifference and have gone silent. I’m not sure how long you let the silence last but the longer it was the more chance he had to solidify you as a “lost cause” in his mind. He gave up on you partly because he sensed sh*tty behavior/red flags/lack of interest from you, and partly to protect himself from getting hurt or wasting his time. Now you’re back and he has lost a level of trust and good faith in you, while he’s still probably curious what you have to say. I think you can do damage control here and you have to carry the load until he is warmed up to you again. He probably still likes you but also thinks you may suck based on how you acted lol. The more important thing to focus on I think is the intimacy issue of finding him less appealing when he expressed availability/interest (ok maybe too soon). Then immediately regaining that desire once you got insecure you lost his attention/affection. Usually this type of behavior/dynamic is very toxic. You’ll find him repulsive again once you have him convinced again, maybe. He either is smart enough to know that and realizes he has to act semi cold to you to keep your interest indefinitely. Or he isn’t, will be himself and fear getting pushed away again. Hope this helps!
  11. Thank you:) Agreed. All of it is a high stakes game but at some point something has to work out right!! Come onnnn, Cupid!
  12. I think it really depends on how long it takes, what he says happened and how he acts in general. If he gives me reasons I can be sympathetic to and acts well consistently, I’d give it a shot. I’d be a lot slower this time around though!! I might even say “let’s take it slow” which are words never spoken by me in the past :-P #lessonlearned
  13. @Katrina, I’ve also had that happen to me. I’ve had men withdraw and then come back and tell me they can’t handle falling for someone again and the emotion scares them. Then they tried to bargain for something more casual and it ended lol.
  14. So, if you google this, “guy was in heavy pursuit and withdrew,” there are articles that pop up with lists of 25 possible explanations lol. There’s no right or wrong answer, and everything besides what the direct source has actually said, bad timing/busy right now, is pure speculation. The intimacy freakout is my personal read of the situation because I had to try to find some explanation for myself and that’s the only thing I could identify. Our last encounter was noticeably more intimate. I was ecstatic after and immediately texted my BFF that we “went to the next level” and “broke through walls.” Boy, did that backfire. He responded to that feeling opposite of me it seems X-) I have no issue with the pride thing of he’s just not that into you and changed his mind. I pushed him to tell me that and even accused him of it. I wanted an exit. He denied it and insisted that’s not the case so we can say he’s lying, who knows. This whole thing has thrown me for a serious loop (hence this post) because in my 16 years of dating experience nothing like it has happened. I’ve been dumped or not liked before sure, but it’s usually at a logical inflection point. Date 1: tons of drop offs. Month 2-3, when you first realize if he’s serious and will commit, drop offs. Year 1-3, when you see deep values and compatibility issues, drop offs. But, randomly going from date 5 to 6, or 10 to 11, or 18 to 19, when nothing is different about you, that makes no sense to me. Who knows though, all is fair in love and war, maybe I farted in my sleep 😭 It’s also irrelevant why too (as some of you said) because I’m not going to contact him anyway. It’s a win win not to. I’m already halfway over it so if he disappears forever, I’m saving myself the heartache and additional struggle. If he does come forward and redeem and explain, well awesome, hope he doesn’t have a push/pull pattern and we actually get along.
  15. You’re right. I need to work on not getting swept up so fast. I think I’m dealing with the loss of thinking someone was bf material (too quickly) and then seeing signs lately that oh maybe he isn’t. Anti climactic and it’s never happened to me before that I got pushback so quickly and erratically. The vibe I’m picking up from him is “HOLD.” Not go or stay, but wait. It’s like he wants to put me on pause until he is ready. I don’t think he even wants me to check in while he is on his little sabbatical. Whether it’s caused by life/work stress, emotional/intimacy freakout, someone else or loss of interest, who knows. Issue is I’m not patient. I don’t operate well in low frequency “wait” or “keep it vaguely alive” modes. I’m in or out. What will happen is I’ll mentally check out to not get preoccupied thinking about it. And when he’s ready to reconvene I’ll have major reservations and trust issues about him pulling another one of these on me. I’ll keep y’all updated. For now I’m about to leave the conference without seeing or speaking to him.
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