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New relationship with man of my dreams, he has pulled away due to stress


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I recently (a couple months ago) decided to give dating a try again after many failed relationships. It has been since 2014 that I put myself out there. I went on 2 dates with one guy who just wasn't right for me and then met the guy I have been seeing since July. He's 36 (divorced), I'm 28. He immediately actively pursued me, we were finishing each other's sentences by the 3rd time we hung out. He started asking me to spend the night - every night of the week. We go out to dinner or open mic occasionally but mostly enjoy our time together eating pizza. He isn't much of a texter but he, no matter what, always replies at some point and always calls me back as soon as he can. He has been very swamped with work lately and is planning a move to Florida for the winter. We have already talked plans of me visiting and when he will be back in the area. After spending every night at his house about a week ago he ignored my phone call for the first time. I didn't hear from him for 2 days after that. He texted me that he was beyond stressed, he was sorry for lack of communication, it wasn't my fault and he was mentally and physically exhausted. I completely understood and told him to take it easy, I was there if he needed me. I attempted to check in with him a few times and he would not answer the phone. I texted him a positive text about how I was feeling but didn't demand answers just wanted to know if he was ok as this wasn't his usual behavior? He texted me back that night saying "He is just so stressed, it was no excuse, he was sorry and he would call me tomorrow (that being last Thursday). We did end up talking on the phone Thursday and he said he would call me later if he was feeling up to it we could hang out. He did call me, I went over, spent the night, told him it was okay if he didn't want to talk or have sex if he wasn't feeling up to it. I gave him a call Friday and he answered but was very short and said he would call me when he got all his work done. He never called and I haven't heard from him since. I have sent 2 text messages in that time- one just saying hope everything is alright and the other letting him know if he needs space but hasn't expressed it, I completely understand, am there for him, care about him and am a phone call away if he needs anything. It is now Monday and I've heard nothing. I have become emotionally invested with him and have shared things with him I don't usually share because I trust him. Is he pulling away for good? What do I do? I need some advice!

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Spending every day/night together in two months' time is a lot for a new relationship. Sure, in the beginning, we tend to do these things. Lots of late into the night calls, seeing each other more, but at some point you've got to get back to reality and deal with the regular things you need to do in life, like laundry and chores, maybe some time on hobbies, friends, etc. Staying up late and being tired the next day takes a toll after awhile. There has to be some separation. Here you are at the two-three month mark, which is one of those stages where the honeymoon phase wears off and reality checks in. Maybe he's not into you anymore, or maybe he needs space to deal with his life. Pizza and sex every night isn't working as well as it was.

 

It hurts but there's not much you can do. He's phased out at this point, it sounds. Plus he has plans to live in another state. The only people I know who can live in two households are retirees; very few people I am aware of can live in multiple locations...it's not normal but maybe for his job it can happen, but I suspect his thoughts might be a permanent move. Are there kids involved? He needs time for them too. Can you work around a relationship with someone who's gone six months out of the year?

 

It seems like a lot happened all at once, and people who start off hot tend to burn out just as fast. I wouldn't hang on to this one working out, sorry. I've been in this place, and they seem okay with the together time, but let's be realistic, it's not sustainable. I would suggest not spending every moment together no matter how badly you want to, in the future. You've got your life to deal with as well. Errands, housework, laundry, gym, friends...do you have more time than he does? It sounds like you do. People less busy have a really hard time with people who are very busy. You have to decide if you're getting what you want out of this and if you can be patient with him; you'll naturally progress to more time later, one would hope, like eventually blending lives...move on if it's not working for you. It's especially hard when you start out one way and then it drops. The question is if it's a permanent drop or if he's still into you but needs to scale back on the amount of time together. You've reached out a few times to be met with crickets, and I think you need to expect the worst. Also decide if you want to be with someone who, after 2-3 months, just pulls a disappearing act with no word or discussion or explanation. I'm sure if he reemerges, you'll be back on board, but please pay attention to future behavior, as this is unacceptable. You'll be on this constant yo-yo, trying to figure out what's going on when he goes dark like this or consistently has other things he needs to deal with. You can do better.

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Sorry to hear this. 🍕 It sounds like he was mostly interested in netflix and chill. This was way too much way too soon. Never start spending every single night with someone after 3 dates. Don't over-saturate like this to the point of being completely sick of each other in a few short weeks/couple months

 

Unfortunately he may have another life in FL and this was just a short term thing. He is pulling away mentally, emotionally, physically and geographically but using the "stressed" and "busy" excuses to extract himself, rather than end it honestly.

 

It would be best to ignore him, go no contact and delete and block him so you can and move forward. Date local men normally without virtually moving in after 3 dates. 😵 Slow down, take your time and go out on dates.

He started asking me to spend the night - every night of the week. mostly enjoy our time together eating pizza. is planning a move to Florida for the winter.
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Thank you for the advice! I forgot to add that before this happened he had made it clear to me that "this" (whatever it is) was not just about fooling around, he genuinely enjoys my company and hasn't felt this way in years. He has no children, just a dog. I go to his house even when he isn't there and spend time with her as she's grown very attached. We haven't had sex every night or day that I've been there, he is very respectful about my body. He did end up contacting me yesterday (Monday) saying thanks for understanding, I really care about you and feel bad I am this way in my life right now. He has also told me a few times he did not want to take his stress out on me. I completely understand this went from 0-10 very quick and he may have gotten cold feet. I have put in place the no contact rule (unless he contacts me first) and even if he were to have called yesterday or today I would NOT go over there. If I'm going out I need to know that I did something "right" and for once not drop everything for a man. Also, as of a week ago I did delete him off Facebook and he is not stored under my contacts in my phone. Every phone call and text have been deleted so it makes my attempts to contact him much more difficult.

Edited by newatthis90
Forgot to add info
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The two month wonder, it happens. Often it takes three months, but there are always exceptions and it can happen sooner.

 

Yeah, things happened way too quickly. Spending every night at his house, planning how you will fit into his life after he moves to Florida? Way way too much, for only two months in.

 

This guy wasn't "stressed," he felt suffocated, boxed in and was turning off.

 

After he told you the first time he was "stressed" mentally and physically exhausted, and needed space, that was your cue to leave him alone. Tell him to contact you when he feels better, period.

 

Instead you insisted on being the "perfect" girlfriend, continuing to call, being understanding, telling him you're "there for him" etc etc etc all of which made him feel *more* suffocated, cause what this guy needed was distance and space!

 

I'm sorry but he's out, he's GONE. Too much too soon.

 

Going forward, beware of men who push hard right from the get go. They're fantasy-driven. As soon as reality hits, around 2-3 months, they're off and running to their next fantasy.

 

Sorry. I would suggest you block and delete him and move on.

Edited by katrina1980
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Yes what Katrina wrote. I don't mean to undervalue his stress but guess what - life is full of stress and crises. It's when you know - well it's one time you know -if your relationship has legs, a strong foundation. Yes, some people need space when they are stressed but even at those times they want the other person to know "this is temporary -I just need some space and I will call you/see you very soon and it has nothing to do with you." I dated two men who needed space in the beginning of the relationship and in both cases they reassured and they got in touch ASAP -like within a day at most -to reschedule a plan they had canceled. In neither case did we move too fast though.

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That I was raped as a virgin in a portapotty when I was 16 and have never really had an experience like the one we were having. Basically, I'm sober and my anxiety was getting bad so some of the time that we had sex i would umm..tighten up/panic mildly. Usually, in the past, I have just had like one night-week stands and it typically always involved alcohol. I wanted him to know that I was making an effort to curb that anxiety, that it wasn't his fault, he doesn't hurt me, etc. I'm afraid he sees me as damaged goods maybe or isn't happy that I sometimes can't perform sexually in the way he would like. Now, if that were the case, there's no way I'd ever talk to him again. But, I don't think it is?

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That I was raped as a virgin in a portapotty when I was 16 and have never really had an experience like the one we were having. Basically, I'm sober and my anxiety was getting bad so some of the time that we had sex i would umm..tighten up/panic mildly. Usually, in the past, I have just had like one night-week stands and it typically always involved alcohol. I wanted him to know that I was making an effort to curb that anxiety, that it wasn't his fault, he doesn't hurt me, etc. I'm afraid he sees me as damaged goods maybe or isn't happy that I sometimes can't perform sexually in the way he would like. Now, if that were the case, there's no way I'd ever talk to him again. But, I don't think it is?

 

I don't think he would see you as damaged goods for this unless he is a complete a$$hole... almost every woman has something like this as part of her story.... the damaged goods thing has more to do with how you see yourself.

 

Possibly he might be struggling with how to be supportive of this with you and still get his needs met... maybe he is afraid of hurting you or creating more anxiety.

 

At the end of the day the too much too soon thing is the most likely reason that he is pulling away. Give him his space and wait to see if he contacts you after having a chance to breathe.

 

The other side of this is... after you give him his space, if he does contact you, communicate how you feel about him pulling away and set a boundary if you guys decide to continue the relationship.

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I think your plan to go no-contact is the best plan. I hope you stick to it.

 

Thank you for the advice! I forgot to add that before this happened he had made it clear to me that "this" (whatever it is) was not just about fooling around, he genuinely enjoys my company and hasn't felt this way in years.

 

Here is why it's irrelevant that he made it clear to you that this wasn't just about fooling around:

 

Some people lie.

Some people change their minds.

Some people don't know what they really want so they just point and shoot at anything that seems to make sense.

Some people are jerks and don't want to admit this to themselves (and certainly not to you!).

 

Unfortunately, none of these people walk around holding signs that identify which type of person they are. They look and act just like everyone else. It's usually not possible to tell which one you have until months have gone by and the hormones have calmed down.

 

That I was raped as a virgin in a portapotty when I was 16 and have never really had an experience like the one we were having. Basically, I'm sober and my anxiety was getting bad so some of the time that we had sex i would umm..tighten up/panic mildly. Usually, in the past, I have just had like one night-week stands and it typically always involved alcohol. I wanted him to know that I was making an effort to curb that anxiety, that it wasn't his fault, he doesn't hurt me, etc. I'm afraid he sees me as damaged goods maybe or isn't happy that I sometimes can't perform sexually in the way he would like. Now, if that were the case, there's no way I'd ever talk to him again. But, I don't think it is?

 

I'm sorry that you had this traumatic experience. It's not surprising that it is such a governing force in your life. But I doubt this guy is reading into your sexual anxiety as much as you are. To be frank, your anxious quirks would barely be a blip on the radar for someone who liked you and respected you in the way that you deserve to be liked and respected.

 

I'm not saying that this guy didn't like or respect you. I'm just saying that he probably has a limited capacity for like and respect--probably something ridiculous, like a thimble-full, whereas most people have at least a pint or a gallon capacity.

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Thanks honeycomb8, however were you in my position, I think you'd feel differently as I about my timing in telling him. And although I accept all this advice and continue to push forward, I was quite shocked last night when I went my local open Jam to see him there. He doesn't usually attend open Jam, I've dragged him there (not really) on Weds nights a few times necause he knows I enjoy the music. I've also gone myself while he stayed home. Basically, it's not his favorite thing. I showed up and didn't see him anywhere, went to use the ladies room and when I came out he was at my table. I said hi to him and our mutual friends and then my friend asked what I was drinking, "kombucha" I said, it's really good for you! Tim has one in his fridge of mine you can try" picked my drink and purse up and walked outside. I sat a table out there practicing breathwork for anxiety purposes and figured by the time I went in he'd be gone? He was at the bar unplugging his phone, looked up and asked me "where did you go?" I said "outside" and then he got on the phone and was outside pacing. I went back to the music and when I turned and looked in the parking lot his car was gone. SO, if I didn't need enough of an answer with that one!! I surely got it! I still have no idea WHY he would've shown up there as he knows I go religiously every week!!!

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He has poor communication...period. whether u hung out way too much or moved too soon... The fact remains. Hes pulling away, not giving you a straight answer. Everyone has stress and they can still be able to communicate that. Theres something more to it but he could be more direct. I wouldnt wait on him. You sent 2 messages that show you care. I wouldnt send anymore. He is 36,been through a marriage....he knows how things work.

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He was at the bar unplugging his phone, looked up and asked me "where did you go?" I said "outside" and then he got on the phone and was outside pacing. I went back to the music and when I turned and looked in the parking lot his car was gone. SO, if I didn't need enough of an answer with that one!! I surely got it! I still have no idea WHY he would've shown up there as he knows I go religiously every week!!!

 

Definitely don't get your hopes up over this ambiguous nonsense.

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'I really care about you'

 

I really care about you = 'I am not in love with you but telling you this would hurt you and I don't want to hurt you'.

 

Re: relationships developing quickly: I was madly in love with my husband by week 4 of us being together. He asked me to go and meet his entire family and all of his friends in his country of origin by week 6. At 6 months we were sharing a life. 14 years later, we are as in love with each other as we were then. So yes, quick start relationships do sometimes work out.

 

Sorry OP.

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Maybe he showed up because he knew you would be there, but instead of talking with him, you went outside and disappeared. I don't understand what's going on. Are you still trying to see each other or have you ended it? Deleting him from FB is a pretty big indicator you're done...was that your intent? Did you talk to him about this, or anything? I guess my confusion is you stated you'll engage with him if he contacts you, but you won't reach out to him, which I think is fine at this point, but here he was at your favorite place, and I doubt by pure accident, and you left. Were you hoping he'd seek you out on the patio? When he didn't, and then he left, you seem quite surprised by this...though you made no efforts to engage with him. If you're not interested in seeing him anymore, fine, but if your thoughts were to see how things play out, you're kind of going about it a little wrong.

 

For whatever it's worth, I haven't had much success with these guys that pull a disappearing act and reemerge. What is going to make the second time any different or better? Life is stressful. Is there ever a good time, or is it just not the right connection? You have to make the decision if a lifestyle or relationship going to work for you and pull the plug if it's not, of course. If you want to give it one more try, actively avoiding him isn't the way to do it. Maybe this was his last attempt to pull you back in? Keep you on the back burner? Genuinely wants to pursue something? Who knows? He's not exactly going about it right if he wants more with you, though.

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Yeah, I'm not sure if that was the best move either. I didn't want him to come to the patio. I have anxiety issues and I knew I needed to go outside and breathe before I got too close to him. My intentions were to let him know I respect his space. I told him I would give him space. Maybe he won't come back because of this, oh well, my fault. My intuition says that he will but maybe not for a while. It's okay though, I need to focus on me. He uses his Facebook for business mostly (selling/buying). I have not seen a personal post from him in over a year. Also, when I went to add him as a friend after we met, we were actually already friends. Strange how things work but I'm going to let go and let the universe guide me...if I feel like I need to reach out to him I will but at this point I've done my best. :)

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The longer you hold out for him to come back and revolve your actions and thoughts around him, the longer you will forestall meeting someone who wants to be with you and didn't dump you.

 

It's not about the universe, it's about letting obvious facts and what you really want in a relationship "guide you".."Fate" is how you ended up being hurt like this.

My intuition says that he will but maybe not for a while. I'm going to let go and let the universe guide me...if I feel like I need to reach out to him I will.
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Hi ip, I hope you are doing okay. Im sorry for the experience you had in your teens ehichbmust have been very traumatising. Itcsoubds like you try as best as you can to mive on from that.

 

You might find it helpful to read some nlibe articles on attachment styles - especially if you read upnon the dynamics betweenboeipkecwith an "anxious attachment style" and people who dall into the continuum of beibg avoidant.

 

I think it likely that even if you had known this man longer, the outcome would have been the same. I had a similar pattern in so many of my relationships. In a ptevious relationship - where I had known a man for over a year before becomibg involved, he pushed me away. That eas after him oursuibg me. Tellibg other people he lujed me so much, even crying once in front of me saying he was scared I would walkb way.

 

I wasted far too much of my life trying to work him out.

 

For my own sake, and also because I just couldnt keep doing that pattern of relationships, I had another longish stretch of being alone.

 

Depending on your outook on life, a lot of ua see ourselves as works in progress.

 

I was always getting involved with menbwho were avoidants. Im currently seeing someone who I dont believe is entrenched in that behaviour (which is a way they cope witg their own issues). The anxiety for me is something Im working hard on.

 

Good Luck X

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