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Is he playing me???? Advice solicited.


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About three weeks ago I got back together with a guy I dated last fall. We originally met online and from the moment we met he was pursuing me very actively. We went on some dates and he seemed to be pressing for a commitment. The chemistry was also very strong so the physical side of our relationship started out pretty early too. After dating for about a month and him asking repeatedly whether he could 'keep me' I finally told him I thought we should be in a relationship. What surprised me is that when this occurred he started to back peddle and say he wasn't sure he was ready for that. This caused a lot of suspicion on my part so I started getting more nervous about what his intentions were and where he was when he wasn't with me. He had also failed to introduce me to any of his friends at this point and was spending a lot of time on the dating site where we met. I ended up breaking it off with him after he went out on a Saturday night and didn't answer my calls or texts... At this point we had already agreed to be exclusive and I found the combination of exclusivity and all these other factors to be a major cause of concern. When I brought up these things to him he told me he thought I was being paranoid and had serious trust issues but wasn't really able to talk about any of the concerns I had in much detail.


After this we didn't talk at all for three months but I really regretted how things had turned out between us because I really liked him and when we were together everything was really perfect. Together as in - spending time in the same room/on a date etc.


So after a while he started to comment on my facebook page and I then messaged him about some of his belongings I still had. I offered to mail them or drop them off and he suggested we meet for coffee. We ended up meeting up and spent an hour talking. Everything was really sparky and he kept repeating that he liked me over and over and then suggested he call me at some point. Long story short we went on a few dates, and once again rushed into the physical aspect of things and agreed to be exclusive. The base of it was neither of us had met another person we liked as much while we were apart and we wanted to give it another go.


Now its only been a few weeks but there are a couple of things that have raised some red flags for me. We've been talking almost every day, and have been seeing eachother multiple times a week. We are exclusive as I said but he sees the situation as still being short of a relationship because he "isn't there yet." Whatever that means. He made a point of taking me to a party at his friends house this weekend because he remembers this was a point of contention last time we dated. Now for the weird stuff. In the last week he has changed his dating site profile to 'seeing someone' but only after I appeared back on the site myself with a single status. Before he changed it it said single but his profile had a caveat which stated: "I am sort of seeing someone but as you would say on Facebook: It's complicated." I didn't mention anything about seeing it to him because I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt - maybe he put it there when we first got back together. He also seems to log onto the site on all the days he isn't with me and often stays on for long periods of time. I'm not sure how concerned to be about this. The site is fairly interactive and I suppose its possible he has pen pals or people he chats with about non-romantic things but it is still a dating site so it gives me some pause. I've been putting off mentioning it because I don't want to accuse him of anything.


In addition, he had invited me to a dinner party last weekend but said he wasn't sure if it was happening. Then he never brought it up again and went by himself... I don't know if he is just that blond and thought I wouldn't notice or remember... then he mentioned he went to a dinner party when we were out this weekend. I didn't say anything at the time because I wasn't sure what to think of that.


I guess primarily what worries me is that he spends so much time on that dating site. It seems weird considering how complimentary he is, and how into me he seems, when we are together.


I like him a lot but I don't want to get manipulated by him if that's what he is doing. Let me know how concerned you think I should be or how I might be able to handle the situation diplomatically without shortchanging myself.


Thanks so much for reading this.

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It sounds like he wants to have the best of both worlds - (1), he has this "exclusive" relationship with you, and yet (2), he is fishing for something else too. I hate it when men don't volunteer an explanation for what they did. And then they say we are being paranoid and simply leaping to conclusions at something that wasn't even there to being with. If only they could be honest for once?


Have you pointedly asked him why he is still spending time on the dating site?


If he can't give you a good answer, I'd say, you should cool it, don't blow your top, but just withdraw for a while. Maybe a time apart from his presence will give you a fresh perspective on things?

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Hey there,


Bellantuna, what you're going through sounds very similar to my current dilemma (have a look at the post I just started, if you need a point of reference).


I can't really offer a solution but can give some thoughts which, I hope, may be of some use.


Just looking at what you've written, it seems clear to me you know all is not well and I think when the alarm bells are ringing enough to make you post on this site, perhaps this isn't the relationship for you.


The girl I'm kind of seeing at the moment is very similar to your BF. Unreliable, elusive, afraid of commitment. I really think the way he backed off that time at the start of your relationship, the way he still hangs out on this dating site and the way he's kept you away from his friends shows he's not sure about the relationship even now. I realise I can hardly say it, given my troubles, but I would walk away -- and walk away now. Doubtless, this will upset him and, judging by his past behaviour, will make him come running back to you but, from where I'm standing, this guy will cause you nothing but heartbreak. It'll take guts to finish things but I bet you'll start feeling better right away.


It would be great if you could sit him down and talk about things but, I'm guessing, you don't want to do that for fear of looking weird or clingy. I don't think you're either of those things, for the record.


You mention paranoia and suspicion, both feelings I've had lately, and I always think these feelings are horrid to have to deal with, as in 'Is it just me? Am I going crazy?' Take it from me -- you're not, you're just responding as anyone would to such a difficult situation.


I hope that helps. Be strong and the very best of luck to you.

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You sound quite shy and submissive. Speak your mind and make him accountable if he says he is going to do something with you and fails to and THEN does it by himself. In honesty I would be cautious here..he sounds like he has more than one egg in his basket. And even though he may well like you and enjoy being with you he sounds like he is still actively pursuing the possibilty of other women..You should not have these concerns and if you are always quiet and do not speak your mind you r doubts will eat you alive. Start asking questions... he will be likely to be shocked...I have strong doubts about any serious intentions from his side...i hope i am wrong but you only have to ask him to gain most of your answers ..so do it..you are within your rights......good luck

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Facebook is not a dating site per se, more of a social networking site where people keep in touch with other people. So i wouldn't assume he is using it to date other people just because he uses Facebook. Married people and familes use Facebook too to keep in touch with friends and relatives.


You are also early on in the dating process with this guy... You've only seen him a month or so, and don't really know him. I personally think it best in early stages to not fall into sex immediately or see each other all the time and expect too much from the relationship because you are just getting to know the person. If you do, you don't know whether the person is just in it for the sex a couple times a week, or whether they are really into taking their time and getting to know you.


So if you feel you don't know him and can't trust him, then ramp back and slow down the sex and other things that might make you feel used if you discover he is not someone you want a long term relationship with. If he really likes you as a person, he will still want to see you and agree to go slow, but if he's just in it for the sex and is still looking around for other women, he'll quit coming around.

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Thanks guys. Yeah I should ask him about it. I guess I didn't want to seem like I'm being weird since we've only been back together for a few weeks. Last time things didn't work out it was because I totally set him on fire over everything that was going on and he seemed really run over by a truck. I guess I thought this time maybe he'd be more hesitant to make me that mad...


BeStrongBeHappy - it is a dating site that he is on all the time - in addition to facebook. Facebook I know is normal but the dating site thing seems weird.


Anyway, sounds like you guys think its fairly suspicious so I should probably have a chat with him about it and prepare myself for the worst.


Thank you for your advice.

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HI Bellanutella,

I think a couple of things...

*. perhaps you shouldn't be exclusive with him. If he is on a dating site all the time, that doesn't really show you exclusive commitment, right? Perhaps you can suggest to him that you remain sexually exclusive, but open to dating other people - and then YOU really do make time for some other men.. just fun and casual dating. If he's not ready to give up his dating site, why should you close yourself off to the the possibility of a man that Will give you what you are looking for?

*. on Facebook there is an app that I really like that shows the compatibility of you and your friends. (as friends, as well as, as lovers) Its called "best friends and lovers". Its from the match matrix people, and offers some interesting insight. It only does 20 people a day, so it might take some time to get to his rating.. but you might find it interesting.

*. It seems that some men "spook" pretty easily from the "where is this going?" talk, but if you go into it knowing what you want to say, and what outcome you're after - your not really asking him to define it for you (as he may not be ready to).

Know what I mean? I'm not saying give him an ultimatum - ie: "get off the dating site, or we're done" - type of thing, but more along the lines of - "perhaps we should take things slowly and talk about commitment when we both feel ready, but lets stay physically exclusive" type of thing. (meaning, I'm not going to be Just yours until you are ready to be Just mine).


I certainly know how tricky it can be - Good luck to you!!

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Since you were all so nice about giving me advice I thought I'd give you an update. Basically I fear you may be right. Since Sunday he has been acting really bizarre and is now on the dating site like every moment of the day (It's starting to look like being on there is a stress outlet for him or something). His communications have been curt with me and pretty rude. I asked him what is going on and he claims he almost quit his job Tuesday and is experiencing a ton of work stress and doesn't really want to talk to anyone. It's hard not to take that a stab in the gut after the past week. It was a great week for us in general and Saturday night he spent a ton of time singing my praises and going on and on about how much he wants to be with me. Maybe its just classic player talk but I guess I'm so stunned and feel so sick to my stomach right now I'm feeling kind of paralyzed.


This is the chat we had today while he was at work (chatted with him last night and he barely responded except to say he was really frustrated with his job and was in a bad mood):


me: hey you


him: hey, what's up?


me: how are things going? any better?


him: eh.. going I guess


me: aww, man must be really lame at work. if you're this down about it.

well, i don't know what's going on but i wish you'd let me know whatever it is.


him: just way too much work for the amount of time I have

everyone needs everything yesterday

and they can all go * * * * themselves as far as I'm concenred


me: man that sucks.

well honest, if you want to vent or need a de-stress session let me know.

i might take off to cali tonight - but its 60/40 right now.

just fyi

but if you needed back rub or something that might weight the scales


him: what are you headed there for? just a friend visit?


me: escape, my house is unbearable right now and i have a final to study for. i think it might be more productive to be in cali - unless i can think of something else. stress makes you want to bolt sometimes >


him: ahhh

then why is it only 60/40?


me: seems kind of out there to do that


him: to go somewhere else to study?


me: to go out of state to study! lol


him: eh, it happens, right?


me: wow you are in a weird mood


him: I guess... I dunno


me: I'll put this out there. We don't actually have to continue seeing each-other. It's nice but sometimes I get this sense that you might feel cramped by the whole exclusivity thing. Just let me know if this is the case ok? I totally get that you may not be that into the situation and thats really ok. But I don't need to be here if you don't want me to be. I know it might seem out of place but I wanted to say it - in case this is adding to your stress or mood.


Because honest you're acting a little funny.


him: it's something I'll think about

I'm trying not to make any decisions about anything in my life for the next few days since I'm in an absolutely terrible mood

(I almost quit my job yesterday I am just so pissed at the world right now)

... so I am in a weird mood, and we'll talk

I'm just recommending we don't now since I'm not the most rational person at the moment


me: That makes sense and I respect that answer. Let's talk when you have a cool head. Just to give you a heads up - I'm not likely to stay in the situation if you're not really into it and being shut out when there is stress in your life is a bit jarring for me. Especially coming off the week/weekend we had. I can't say that I'm not really confused and hurt right now. OK, just so that doesn't hit you from left field when we talk.


21 minutes


him: I'm sorry if you're hurt and confused... I've just had a hell of a time and haven't wanted to talk with anyone yesterday or today

we'll talk soon




So whats most strange about this is that on Sunday he was really really happy to have me there and everything was happy, happy and now this. Guess he was just playing me all along. I'll give you guys another update after we talk. Any suggestions on how to handle this strategically?


Right now I'm just so upset and paralyzed ... I'm trying to hang in there and focus on my life but it's been really hard.


I'm an idiot.

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I guess a big part of the fact that I haven't acted yet is that I'm still in disbelief and on the other hand I don't want to give him the satisfaction of breaking up with me but I also want to have the upper hand in any discussion because I really want to come out of the situation being the one in the right.


What do you think would really get back at him the most? Me making him face the situation and talk to me about it in depth about how he hurt my feelings, or me sending him a curt email. Something along the lines of:


Hey _____,


I've given it a lot of thought and I think I'd like to see other people. Things were exciting at first but it's become clear you're not right for me. I thought it would be better for me to get this out there before finals. I really don't have time for drama.


He already got me bad once before, like really gutted me but I still really wanted to believe he wanted to give it a real go this time and now I feel like a fool. Argh... so upset.

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Jeez, some of this advice I'll take for my own situation!


Anyways the email sounds good if you're going to send it. I would just take out "I really don't have time for drama."


And maybe the "I thought it would be better for me to get this out there before finals."


Just the first part and your name - or initial whichever feels better.


Doesn't need to know that it would stress your out before finals just straight forward and done.


And you won't be engaging him any further. If you guys were dating longer I'd be all for confronting him but he doesn't really deserve your energy at this point especially as he isn't giving his.


Good luck!

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There's always a chance he's totally stresssed out about work... But the solution to that is looking for another job, not looking on dating websites.


I'd be more direct with him... don't offer him sympathy like you're his loyal wife, then turn around and say, so maybe we shouldn't date... you're sending mixed signals yourself.


Tell him outright exactly what your concerns are, as in, 'you are spending a lot of time looking on dating websites... does that mean you want to date other people?'


Just don't pull any punches and be very direct, otherwise there's lots of talking around the issue rather than confronting it directly and resolving it.

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Tell him outright exactly what your concerns are, as in, 'you are spending a lot of time looking on dating websites... does that mean you want to date other people?'


Just don't pull any punches and be very direct, otherwise there's lots of talking around the issue rather than confronting it directly and resolving it.


I agree with this, but I think it would be considerate to give him some time too.

Men do deal with their issues much differently than women in most cases.

I think if he's saying that he just can't talk right now, give him a little time.

Perhaps let him initiate the next contact.

And, if you don't hear from him in a few days, or a week, or however long you feel is enough - Then send the email.

If he wants to be your bf, then he would understand that you are not going to be ignored for days on end... and if you want to be his gf, I think you'd have to accept that sometimes he might just need some space to be cranky.


Keep us updated!

Good Luck!

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