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Is this good...or bad? Sorry, it's longish!


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Background: 3 dates on 3 consecutive weekends with a man I met on a dating site. We get along tremendously, and find each other attractive. He's very gentlemanly, attentive and kind.


Date 3 entailed spending the night at his place -- at his invitation, with an assurance that "nothing has to happen between us." It didn't. Just cuddling, talking all night and sleeping in the same bed.


That same evening, when discussing dating in general, I told him that I don't date multiple people because it becomes a comparative situation instead of getting to know a someone on an individual basis. He told me that he is "seeing" someone else he met at about the same time as he met me, but that it was "not serious." While I understand rationally that this is fine, it made me feel a little sad, because we had been getting on so well together and he had sent me an email basically telling me that he was seeking a long term relationship and asking my thoughts on the same, with the caveat that he was "not trying to rush into anything."


Anyway, it was a lovely night and morning after, and he had made some comments about us having a "future" and making inquiries about what I will do on my vacation and whether I would enjoy going camping with him. Also, conversation on moving to a sexual level at "some point." Just as I was leaving, he said, "See you soon. In September!' and then laughed at the look on my face. He then said he would probably have his kids the following weekend, but if not we would get together. If he did, we would see each other the subsequent weekend. I went home, but was disturbed by the comment about seeing me in September. Joke? I dunno...


He also said that he was "glad" nothing sexual had happened between us. Because it "changes things." And that he was happy getting to know me.


Usually he follows up a date with an email telling me that he had a good time, or a call making sure I got home OK. I got neither. In fact, I got no emails at all. This, from a man who rarely uses the phone to communicate with me -- all dates were planned via email, which was time-consuming and odd, and I wondered why he didn't phone! Now, radio silence on the emails.


Finally, I picked up a VM on my cell phone on Saturday morning. From Friday afternoon/evening (I rarely keep my cell phone on, which he doesn't know). It was him. Saying he didn't know what was happening that weekend, that he was rather frazzled from the heat, and that maybe the following weekend would be better, but that it was up to me. No mention of whether he had his kids, which up to this point seems a fluid situation depending on his ex-wife's schedule.


I had made other plans to keep myself from going crazy, so, on my way out of town, I called him back. He answered, and I told him that the next weekend would be fine as it looked like this weekend was bad for both of us as I was going out of town anyway. He told me that next weekend would be fine, and that he would call me during the week to plan. He also said that if I come up with anything that I'd like to do, I should call him.


So...now I'm feeling odd and unsettled. I've been faded on so many times in the past 12 years that I don't know whether this is an intuitive red flag or just a knee-jerk reaction. I mean, he's GLAD we didn't have sex?! Never heard that one before! And if it "changes things," does that mean, in a bad way?


And was the "see you in September" thing a warning that he's about to disappear? Or just a joke? Why was he already sensing that he wouldn't see me the following weekend as we were saying goodbye? Was he already planning NOT to see me? Because he's seeing the other person? What's up with the email silence? In fact, I think his profile is missing from the site because it doesn't show up anymore in my gallery of contacts. Is he trying to disconnect by closing usual channels of communication?


So, now I am feeling sick and anxious, awaiting a phone call to confirm the weekend date. I HATE this. I'm doing very well with it outwardly -- I'm sure he has no idea how disturbed I am. And our phone conversation on Saturday was fine -- I was actually surprised that he picked up! It's just that I am so used to being allowed somewhat emotionally close and then abruptly shoved away that I'm expecting it every second. That's why I'm trying to stay busy and am considering dating multiple people because no matter how much I like this man, I can't sit here agonizing about him. I have to have something else going on until if/when there is solid ground under my feet with him.


It's very rare that I find someone I feel so comfortable and content with, as well as being physically attracted -- I don't want this to end with a slow, agonizing fade out with no explanation! I could be over-thinking this. It may be that he simply had another crazy weekend with conflicting reports of whether he will have the kids or not and just decided to let me decide whether we would see each other, and suggested the next weekend in good faith. Maybe he's actually decided to quit the emailing thing and use the phone for a change. Maybe he really will call to set up the date, or actually agree if I call him first with plans. Maybe he is trying to slow things down because he knows he falls too fast. Maybe I'm driving myself crazy over nothing. But why do I feel so apprehensive?! Ugh!!!

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It is only three dates but you are both thinking about the next step. I am of the mind that if I am going to move to the next step we would have to be exclusive. If he is not ready for that then can you be ok with that? From your post you have that in the back of your mind and it is bothering you. He will not want to share with you when or what he is doing with other women and you probably don't want to know. I don't think there is a right or wrong here it is just what you are comfortable with and setting expectations. Decide what you can live with and if you need a change from the man tell him, maybe it will be easy for him, maybe it will be a dealbreaker. Either way you and he are better off with an honest relationship and realistic expectations. As far as the no sex thing, I think he is right it does change things, not sure if he really meant he was glad you two had not had sex or was glad things had not changed yet. If he really is withdrawing I guess it could be a bad thing but maybe he was just trying to convince himself it was ok to have slept with you but not had sex with you. Maybe send him an email stating you miss his emails and see if the start back up. Good luck figuring this guy out, keep communicating, and stay true to yourself.

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Thanks for the response, April. It's good advice.


Yes, definitely, we would have to be exclusive before moving onto the next step, which is what I told him. Also, STD checks. In fact, I said that he would have to stop seeing the other woman he mentioned and he said, "I'll work on her!" and laughed. So, who knows...


I haven't heard anything about the proposed date this weekend, so, since he told me to call him if I came up with anything I wanted to do, I'll find something and call him and then I'll know if anything will happen this weekend. I generally don't initiate anything, but since he left the door open for me to, and I can't wait much longer for him to call, I'll do it -- I'm on pins and needles.

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I have found that the only thing that really gets a man off my mind is another man lol. If you're feeling this tense about the situation, start talking to another guy. You don't even have to date, sometimes the communication alone is enough to boost your confidence and ease your mind. I'd see where things go with this guy, but don't get your hopes up. Also, don't put up with him continuously canceling plans. If he says he's going to do something, hold him to that. No woman needs an unreliable man.

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Toes, thanks for your response.


Actually, this man has NOT been unreliable, and only rescheduled our initial meeting because of a child care issue. Last weekend when we didn't see each other, he had already said earlier that if we didn't meet because he may have his kids, then we go for the next weekend (which is coming up). When we spoke this past Saturday, he again indicated that this weekend would work for him. I'm just waiting for the call saying when and where...or he gave me the option of calling him with date ideas. So, he has always been there when he said he would, and has not left me hanging when he couldn't.


It's probably just my own anxiety that is making this so difficult. I guess I am just dreading a call cancelling or telling me that he's thought better of ever seeing me again because it's happened so often. If he hadn't altogether stopped emailing me, I guess I wouldn't be so crazed. Makes me think something is up. Dunno...!


But yes, I have scheduled a date with another man for next week. And more in the works. This guy is my first choice, but like you say, another man works wonders to keep your mind distracted!

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I understand your fundamental reasoning for wanting to date one person at a time. But unfortunately, in the real world nowadays, it can lead to problems like this. Becoming exclusive, making that initial commitment, means just that - and until that time, you are both free to see and date whomever you want. I don't think it diminishes the value of your individual dates. They are what they are, and will become whatever they will become. The important part is it keeps you from putting all your eggs in one basket. If you were dating someone else right now, you wouldn't be dwelling so much on his phone call.


I think you're playing it well with him so far. I would call him today with a suggestion, and keep the conversation short and casual. Let him wonder why you were a bit shorter than usual. Let him miss you a bit. And good for you for lining up another date. That will go a long way to keep you from worrying about what he's thinking, or why he didn't email, or what his child care issues may be, or how he feels about his other date, etc. Keep it casual because that's all it is right now. Breathe!

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Richpart, thank you for those wise words!


Honestly, even though I really, really like this man, I don't want things to go too quickly at this point. Every time that it has, they've ended just as quickly. He loves me today, MIA tomorrow, no explanation. I don't want that to happen here, so it's just as well that he seems to be backing off a bit. Better now than later.


And you're right: It IS casual right now, no matter how strongly I may feel. And dating multiple people is probably the best solution. Until there is a commitment, there's no use in fixing on one person. Until they're equally fixed on you, you're on dangerous ground.


I will wait until Thursday evening to give him a call. He will ask to see me a week in advance, but doesn't actually make the plans until later in the week. It's understood we're going out, just not when/where. So, I'm kind of holding out until the last minute to see if he ponies up. If he doesn't, I'll call with my suggestion and what will be, will be!


But richpart, you've made me feel better by putting this into a sensible context and reminding me to breathe!

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