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He doesn't seem to know what he wants


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So there is this guy...let's call him Tom.

This all started on 2012 when we first met in college. I was having a thing with his friend at the time but it was casual. I really wasn't checking for Tom at the time but I always got the feeling that he liked me. He just looked at me different, and he always acted nervous and shy around me. Anyway, so his friend ed me over and then left the country in early 2013. I was hurt and had no eyes for anyone else at the time.


Tom was kind of like my saving grace during that year after his friend left. I don't know if they ever talked about me, but I got the feeling that Tom knew that I wasn't in a position to get involved with anyone else. He really seemed to just want to be my friend, and never tried to exploit my vulnerability. I told him I was going celibate for a while and he respected that - he didn't try anything with me, ever. We would just hang out, and listen to music. I would sleep over at his and he would sleep over at mine sometimes, and at no point did he ever try to get physical with me. He was still shy as ever, but he was beginning to open up and I loved seeing him slowly begin to trust me... Or so I thought.

Fast forward to the end of 2013 and we ended up having sex. After that I ghosted because I told myself that he didn't care and that was all he wanted from me anyway. So I went back to my home country for the December holidays and changed my number so that he couldn't reach me.


2014 I was back in school for the year and he asked one of my friends for my new number so we would talk every now and then. The talking became more consistent with time and eventually we ended up speaking almost everyday. Occasionally would ask me if I was still celibate, and how long it had been since I had gotten some. I would always lie and make it seem like I'd gotten some action just because I didn't want him to think that I was sad cz honestly he was the only person I had had sex with after his friend left. Also, I knew he was sleeping around because he has that reputation. He's not a player cz he doesn't date, but let's just say that he gets lucky with the ladies quite a bit.


So we started hanging out again. I told him I wasn't ready for sex and he said we didn't have to do it because "we've hung out without having sex before anyway" he said. 6 months into the year, however, I told him that I wanted us to be friends with benefits. He was down with that, obviously. And we kept at it every weekend. He was still so sweet and nervous around me though. I found his shyness so cute, and I couldn't for the life of me understand why he was still so shy even if he got to sleep with me regularly. And sometimes he would look at me for longer than a few seconds and then shake his head with a smile on his face.


The fwb situation continued into 2015. Though by late 2014 we started to speak a lot less than we used to because I started to ignore him alot (cz I started to think that he doesn't care, and I didn't want to show him that I did, because I thought it made me look stupid). He took the hint and we ended up only speaking when we wanted to have sex. Early 2015 he really pissed me off, because I was desperately looking for a place to stay and when I asked him if I could crash at his for a few days till I found my own place, he seemed to ditch me. He said that he had to ask his housemates (which I understood) but then only got back to my at 9pm (I had asked for his help in the morning) with a 'what are you up to'. I didn't respond cz I thought he was being a horrible friend and I was already booked at this motel for the night. What angered me was that as my friend he couldn't do me one little favor.


So I stopped speaking to him for a while, but that didn't last too long. As soon as I found a place I called him over and we ended up sleeping together again. And it went on for a while until I snapped and tried to end things...over text. He asked me why and I told him it was because I was catching feelings and I didn't think it would be best to continue. Next thing I knew, he was at my door. He tried to talk about it but I shut him down so he dropped the issue. A few days later I told him that we should continue with the fwb situation and he said cool. One night he comes over drunk as hell, and he started telling me that I didn't give him a chance to say how he felt. He then went on to tell me that he wants me, like "really" wants me. And a bunch of other sweet stuff. He told me that he would rather have a night of no action with me than hang out with another girl. But he still held himself back from saying certain things. Like he would stop himself mid sentence whenever he was about to say something too personal. So he still left me with a lot of questions.

On one other day when he came over with his friend to hang out, he looked at me and said "I don't like this. People think I can't be a romeo [by which he meant boyfriend]. I can be a sweet lover boy." I acted like I didn't hear a thing and changed the subject. There have been countless times when he has dropped little comments and done little things that just made me feel like I really did matter to him.


Anyway, we kept at the fwb situation for a while, and every now and then I would get scared and try to end it, then back slide into it. He just played it cool. This whole time the time we spent together stopped being about the sex and became more about just being able to be around each other. He would ask to come over and cuddle sometimes and even if he was coming for sex, all we ended up doing was making out, maybe he would penetrate me for abit but we would end up just cuddling. And when we met each other outside my bedroom, he would be really touchy with me. He would hold me hand, and put his arm around me, even around his friends. And he always had this goofy smile on his face. But we weren't hanging out as much, and he only spoke to me when he wanted to smash so I didn't want to think that I mattered to him.


This one night he randomly texted me to ask me to tell him what I thought about us because it was really confusing him. I liked him. In fact I could go as far as saying that I love him, but I told him that I just wanted us to be fwb, and I didn't understand why it such an issue for him cause at least he could sleep with whoever else he wanted. That was when he told me that he wasn't really sleeping with anyone else...and neither was I but I wasn't going to let him know that because again, I didn't trust him and I thought he didn't really like me, because despite the sweet stuff, he still had a way of showing me that I wasn't really a priority so I didn't want to give him reason to think that he was one to me. Prior to that he had tried to have the same conversation with me face to face but I shut him down for the same reasons I stated above.


Fast forward to early 2016 when we are back in college for the year and I find him and his friend crashing at this flat I was sharing with 2 guy friends (they are our mutual friends). I liked being able to see him everyday, I won't lie. But I didn't show it explicitly. I would make excuses to be where he was for a few minutes but I didn't ever stay for long enough for him to think that I wanted to be around him. Sometimes I would flat out ignore him because I didn't want him to think I cared. But when we were together, alone, and about to get naked, I would let the feelings that I couldn't say show. I was soft, and giddy, I was caring. And he was the same way. In fact he didn't have a problem being like that when we weren't alone either, but I could still tell that he was holding back. And I understood.

On valentine's day he acted really weird. In the morning, he came into my room like he wanted to say something but when he saw that I was engaged in a call he quickly walked out mumbling "I'll talk to you later". Then later in the afternoon, he came into my room, and stood there for a while, while I was texting my friend. It's almost like he wanted to say something but was nervous, so he walked out. I had no one to spend valentine's day with and I didn't mind, but since he was around, I told myself that I could let him think I'm some sad lonely girl so I called up some guy and went out with him for the evening. He did the same thing and I saw him walking past the restaurant I was at with some girl, and he saw me with this other guy. We were both back home before 8pm because none of us got some action that night. I knew that he was doing the same thing I did, and the way he looked at me when I came back made me feel like I was messing up something I really didn't want to mess up. I would give him everything and more if he just showed me how he felt once and for all. If he just gave me a reason to trust him.


A few days later he calls me late at night and asks me if we can hang out the next day. Just hang out, and that he wants to confess something to me but he is really nervous. So I ask him if he's drunk and he says he isn't. Then i ask him if he's just trying to smash, and his says that he wants more than that.

Long story short we didn't end up finishing that conversation because I kicked him and his friend out of the house after I found my room in a mess. Apparently his friend rummaged through my stuff looking for my stash of weed. He was drunk so I'm not really mad, but I still think that was a childish and disrespectful thing to do so I kicked them out.

After that we didn't talk again for months. And when we bumped into each other he was so awkward. Eventually I reached out to him, and let him know that we were cool. After that he stopped acting awkward but he still didn't bother reaching out to me. This hurt me because I felt like he was maybe over it and me now. So I reached out again after a couple of months just to say hi. We talked for a bit. Then a few days later he texted just to say hi and said that I surprised him when I texted him last time. He wasn't expecting it so he thought I was just making a bootycall. After that I tried to meet up with him to f*ck but he would claim to not be in the mood for sex. After a while I started to feel like he was just trying to ditch me so I told him that if he doesn't want to do this anymore he should just tell me. He said that he does want to have sex with, he just hasn't really been in the mood lately. So I dropped it an waited for him to let me know when he is ready. He tried to meet up with me later that week but we kept missing each other either cause I was asleep or busy. But eventually we did get to meet up, and he was more affectionate than I ever remembered him to be. He said he missed sex with me, and after sex we spent the rest of the night talking, kissing, and cuddling, till we fell asleep.

The next morning he said he had to leave early cz he is the only one with the keys and his housemates need to leave the house. But he said that if I wanted him to come back, he would. I said nothing. I didn't believe him.


So after that night. I decided that I was going to confront him once and for all. I knew that he didn't want a relationship, and honestly as much as I love him, I don't want one with him either. And I told him that. I told him that all I wanted was for him to tell me what he acted the way he did, and why he said the things he did. I told him him that if he really doesn't care, he should leave me alone. He just downplayed it and claimed to be too hungover for the conversation. I told him he could take his time to answer. He ended up not getting back to me. 3 days later I confronted him again, telling him that he should just cut me off if he knows he doesn't really care about me. He then responded with a "I respect your feelings and I think we should just be friends". That shocked me because he certainly hadn't been acting like we were just friends. But I said alright and then went on to ask him why he said and did certain things. He blatantly denied everything, claiming that he doesn't remember, basically making me look like a crazy, obsessed woman. I couldn't believe it! Then he said that he thinks my girls are putting ideas in my head. I told him that wasn't the case, and concluded that since we were never friends I will just leave him alone to do his thing, and that I wish him all the best.

That was a couple of days ago. I'm sure he won't reach out to me. So it's done now. For good. But I just wanted to know, from the perspective of someone else, was being crazy in thinking this guy had feelings for me? Was he just using me, or playing games with me? This whole time! He really fooled me into thinking we were friends. Is he just scared? What do you think about this situation. Be completely honest. Even if it isn't something that I might want to read.

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We really didn't need that much info, but anyway, you are not ready to be in a relationship when you don't feel good about yourself and put up so many barriers and conceal your true feelings. What is this nonsense? I don't want him to know I love him. He tries to get closer and says he might want more, and I push him away, even though I want more.


Work on your self esteem until you feel like you are the treasure and that anyone who doesn't treat you like gold will not be allowed in your life. Be honest with what you want in life. If you want a boyfriend, then let the barriers down and date and see if a person has the same dating goals and meets all of your must-haves. Be clear about what you're looking for. Be confident in your choices. A man who is crazy about you will make it clear that he wants to build something beautiful with you.


Hanging out and having sex is no way to gauge that. Actual dates and delaying sex for at least a few months is a good way to weed out the players. If you like a person, show it. Don't get bogged down by "I can't let him think I like him since I'm not sure if he likes me or not." If you are not at the place where you can open your heart to someone, just be by yourself a while. It's too exhausting for someone to chip away at that wall you build up.


For this particular guy, tell him what you want and see if he's on the same page. If he's not, he's not the one for you. So you will feel embarrassed and awkward if he's not. So what? It's better than wasting your time on someone you're going nowhere with. You're going to have to realize that revealing your true feelings is not being weak. It's being real and it's saying: This is what I want and if you're not on board, I wish you a good life and I'm moving on. It's called being in charge of your life.


You're not happy with FWB status. Those situations are meant to be temporary, not a lifelong way of living. Yours has gone on way too long. End it to be free to pursue what you really want.

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Unfortunately it sounds like he was stringing you along. It would be best to cease all contact and block him since he can't give you a straight answer about being friends, fwb, dating, whatever.


It will help you heal and move on to someone whose words and actions are clear and don't require all this deciphering of double talk/mixed messages.

I knew that he didn't want a relationship, and honestly as much as I love him, I don't want one with him either. "I respect your feelings and I think we should just be friends".
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Okay, I get that. But the biggest question running through my head is why string me along when I was the one who said that I wanted to be fwb? Stringing me along wasn't getting him anything that he wasn't already getting. So I don't understand why he would. I'm just trying to understand the logic. Also, 3 years is a long time to string someone along...even as a woman who has been guilty of doing it a few times to men I'm not interested in, I have and would never keep it up for that long. That's what messed me up the most. He invested all this time just for an ego boost!? REALLY!

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You both were playing games (ignoring, etc) for a very long time... I don't think he 'used' you. You both used each other. There's no 'stringing along' in a FWB situation (especially when it's spoken and mutually agreed upon) unless one party secretly wants more than the other.


I wouldn't waste any more time even thinking about this guy, much less wandering 'why?'... you've already wasted YEARS of your life on this dude... who you say you don't REALLY want, yet you're obsessing over.

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Okay, I get that. But the biggest question running through my head is why string me along when I was the one who said that I wanted to be fwb? Stringing me along wasn't getting him anything that he wasn't already getting.


Hearts can change quickly, especially when people are quite young.

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It seems OP is the one giving the mixed messages. He tried to speak with you several times about his serious feelings for you but you shut him down every time. I don't understand why you lied that you wanted to be FWB when you don't and he's clearly showing that he doesn't either.


I feel he's been pretty clear. She's the one who keeps messing with this guy. You went out with someone else on Valentine's Day for what reason? None of this makes sense. Literally every one of your actions towards him was the opposite of your actual feelings. I would be insanely confused if I was him.

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I just didn't trust him. So I didn't let him in. He never gave me a reason to trust him either. Yeah he was pretty good at saying all sorts of sweet bull but at the end of the day, I don't think he really cared. If I was really confusing him, then wouldn't have the fact that I confronted him about the feelings I had encourage him to be honest about his? But he acted so cold with me when I did. He completely shut me down and made me feel like I was imagining everything.

So at this point I'm thinking, it's either he simply doesn't care, or he is just a coward.

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You went out with someone else on Valentine's Day for what reason? None of this makes sense.


Because he didn't ask me. If he did, I would have dropped everything in a heartbeat and spent the day with him. I was scared of making the first move, just as I'm guessing he was, hence his awkward behavior.

For a really long time I thought we were alike in that we were just two hurt people who were too insecure to show how much we cared about each other out of fear of rejection. It's ridiculous, I know. And after a while I got fed up. I thought that if I came forward, that would get him to be honest too. But he flat out told me that he "doesn't remember" ever saying he had feelings or any of the stuff I told him he did. I couldn't believe the blatant dental! But I guess that was his truth. So I let him be.

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