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In continuation to the 'So I've been talking to this guy' thread

 

I met the guy, and we really clicked. Ended up having around a handful of dates then I started pulling back. To the point of being very indifferent.

 

He wanted to be exclusive all of a sudden after 3 dates and having it be so unexpected, I ended up brushing things off since I thought it was too soon.

 

One of the last times we were meant to hang out, I ended up cancelling on him extremely last minute.

 

Now he used to msg me first every time and we would talk a lot, as well as lots of hours on the phone but after the last time we hung out, he just went silent.

 

Because of this, the last few days, I started thinking about him alot more so msged him. He replies within a few mins, but seem pulled back himself. I apologised for my behaviour and we talked about something random. He then went silent for like 3 days so I msged him again saying 'when he's free tonight, let's chat on the phone, that I wanted to ask him something.' He replies instantaneously and we end up talking it out on the phone for nearly an hour and a half. He suggested we meet up.

 

So now that I'm going to see him, how should I proceed? I realise now that I do like him, but I don't know how he feels about me. He used to like me, but then again he started going silent so im very unsure.

Edited by Honeycomb8
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He's following the 3 date rule and the prelude to that is the 'exclusive talk', so you feel more comfortable having sex. He's not looking for a friend.

He wanted to be exclusive all of a sudden after 3 dates. He suggested we meet up.

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I met the guy, and we really clicked. Ended up having around a handful of dates then I started pulling back. To the point of being very indifferent.

 

He wanted to be exclusive all of a sudden after 3 dates and having it be so unexpected, I ended up brushing things off since I thought it was too soon.

 

One of the last times we were meant to hang out, I ended up cancelling on him extremely last minute.

 

Now he used to msg me first every time and we would talk a lot, as well as lots of hours on the phone but after the last time we hung out, he just went silent.

 

Because of this, the last few days, I started thinking about him alot more so msged him. He replies within a few mins, but seem pulled back himself. I apologised for my behaviour and we talked about something random. He then went silent for like 3 days so I msged him again saying 'when he's free tonight, let's chat on the phone, that I wanted to ask him something.' .

 

When he shows you interest you back off, when he goes silent you are interested again. Things rarely work in these cases when that happens.

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My guess is that if you want to keep this going, you're going to have to initiate contact the most, at least at first. You were cold and aloof towards him, and after he backed off and "took the hint," you suddenly became interested again. He knows very well this newfound interest could be short-lived, and so a couple things are happening: He's letting you take the lead, which means you'll have to do a little more work until he's comfortable, and he's avoiding getting invested because you could bail again when things start moving in a more serious direction.

 

Of course, I really have no idea what he's doing or thinking, but I have been in his shoes, and the second time rarely works out differently than the first, so you can enjoy the time and see where it goes, but your level of motivation wanes significantly, and the ability to be vulnerable, the trust...it will take time.

 

For all we know, when he's comfortable and starts initiating communication and starts behaving in a more serious way, you'll get cold feet and back off again. Maybe you'll decide he's not the one...there's a reason things didn't kick off the first time, but you didn't recognize it at the time.

 

I think you should just proceed to have fun. Don't plan on rehashing the past and your apologies over and over, just enjoy, reach out, and let things unfold. Expect you might have to initiate more often, but don't be excessive to a degree that is unsustainable to your lifestyle. You don't want to set up unreasonable expectations. This includes not dropping everything for him all the time as well at his request. Sometimes we do, but sometimes we can't. Again, don't set up something that is unreasonable or unsustainable long-term. One day at a time.

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You brushed him off, then cancelled last minute. Then you decided you do like him.

 

From my perspective, I would consider you a flake and avoid you at all costs. Sorry, that's not to be personal, but it is realistic. You can't jerk people around then wonder where they went. If he came on too strong, and it made you comfortable, then dump him. But then leave him dumped.

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Sounds like a lack of communication to me - by which I mean if you both knew clearly where each other stood, you could make an informed decision about whether to pursue this or not.

 

You mention he told you what he wants, and he knows you are not "the type". But you also say "He's not like that". And you are unsure about how he feels.

 

Ask him.

 

If your intentions are not aligned, then they're not, and you can both move on without the drama.

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I might pull back if someone came on too strong like he did.

So let me ask you, if this is his style to fast track things and you don't like it, why exactly are you now feeling a renewed interest in him?

 

I only ask because I used to do something similar.

Being rushed made me uncomfortable so I would do something (much like you) to change the pace.

What I ended up with is someone who still had a different style that didn't mesh with mine.

I just created a situation that allowed me to not look at it for the time being, until it came back and bit me in the butt later on.

 

I learned this early on it was better to just observe someone's actions and not try to change the dynamic to suit me.

All these things are important information that you need to take it in to decide whether or not to move forward.

Edited by reinventmyself
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So now that I'm going to see him, how should I proceed? I realise now that I do like him, but I don't know how he feels about me. He used to like me, but then again he started going silent so im very unsure.

 

Oh Honeycomb, unlike some others I don't think you were flakey. I agree with reinvent, he came on pretty strong, wanting exclusivity after only three dates, which would have had me on guard too, and perhaps even losing some interest, or believing I was.

 

So naturally you pulled back, and in turn he did, which was actually smart of him. It gave you some breathing room to think about him, wonder about him, miss him.

 

I also think time and space allowed him to re-think how he handled things also, coming on too fast and strong. My sense is he still likes you a lot, same as before, but realized he needs to dial it back.

 

I think how you should proceed is indicating your interest while maintaining boundaries. If he starts moving at a pace you're not comfortable with, let him know! Don't just brush him off and break dates, let him in on what's going on in your brain!

 

On the other hand, don't go overboard trying to convince him you're into it now, just be same as always, minus the breaking dates, and brushing him off.

 

Remain consistent, again showing interest and enthusiasm, but maintaining your own boundaries with respect to how fast you want it to go, how much "space" you need.

 

Keep it balanced and you'll be fine! Have fun! :D

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I think if someone moves too fast for your comfort and you otherwise like the person/see potential then you directly and simply communicate "I'm not ready for that yet" and if you feel tempted to pull back/act cold you don't give into that temptation. You simply walk the walk -you continue to treat the person with respect, continue to be reliable, and if he is asking you out every day you decline with respect and without a lecture. Simply 'I'd love to but I can't that day -how about (day in the future)". Then you see what he's made of -if he's respectful of your boundaries great and if he keeps persisting then it either is time to reiterate the "move too fast" again or call it a day and move on, depending on the situation. It's not fair to punish someone for moving too fast by asking you to be exclusive - by playing games - he didn't mean to crowd you or make you feel overwhelmed - perhaps others had been happy to be exclusive that early on. You said you were indifferent and cancelled extremely last minute and there presumably was no emergency or crisis. Seems like he's willing to give you another chance so from here on in I'd just see how things go and behave in a respectful, thoughtful and reliable way from here on out.

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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!

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That day, he expressed that he liked me and asked what I thought of him. I told him I didn't know. That I honestly don't know what to tell him. When he asked to be exclusive, I asked him if he always asks this quickly, and he said no. He normally waits at least 6 weeks to two months and he is just asking cos it felt natural. I didn't react to this at all.

 

On the phone he told me he felt like there was a wall I was putting up that made it impossible for him to get closer to me. That when he expressed his feelings he felt like I didn't respond or give anything back. Which I would have to agree with. I think I'm just very pulled back these days and aren't easily swayed.

But I thought seeing that he's replied and said we can meet up and talk about it in person, is that a sign he still likes me? Or at least willing to hear me out. I mean he clearly has slowed down on the messaging.

 

I know my behaviour was flakey, it was horrible and I shouldn't have been so abrupt.

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That day, he expressed that he liked me and asked what I thought of him. I told him I didn't know. That i honestly don't know what to tell him. When he asked to be exclusive, I asked him if he always asks this quickly, and he said no. He normally waits at least 6 weeks to two months and he is just asking cos it felt natural.

 

On the phone he told me he felt like there was a wall I was putting up that made it impossible for him to get closer to me. That when he expressed his feelings he felt like I didn't respond or give anything back. Which I would have to agree with. I think I'm just very pulled back these days and aren't easily swayed.

But I thought seeing that he's replied and said we can meet up and talk about it in person, is that a sign he still likes me? Or at least willing to hear me out. I mean he clearly has slowed down on the messaging.

 

I know my behaviour was flakey, it was horrible and I shouldn't have been so abrupt.

 

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.

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On the phone he told me he felt like there was a wall I was putting up that made it impossible for him to get closer to me.

 

It's been 3 dates?!

At a 3 date mark I've only decided that I might continue to date you, not commit myself to you.

 

Heck. . for that matter my current boyfriend probably kissed me on the cheek for the first time.

 

But we were weird that way. . lol

 

Don't let him sway you that you've done anything wrong.

Can you let down your guard a little? Absolutely. But I still think he's pushing a little too much.

 

I hope your date goes well and I am reading this all wrong.

The takeaway here is you backed up for a reason. Don't dismiss that entirely.

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On the phone he told me he felt like there was a wall I was putting up that made it impossible for him to get closer to me. That when he expressed his feelings he felt like I didn't respond or give anything back. Which I would have to agree with. I think I'm just very pulled back these days and aren't easily swayed.

 

HC, per an earlier thread, is this what caused you to consider that you might be "emotionally unavailable"?

 

Have you thought any more about that being a possibility since creating your thread?

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When he shows you interest you back off, when he goes silent you are interested again. Things rarely work in these cases when that happens.

 

This reminds me, I meant to comment on your last thread about your tendency toward push-and-pull behavior. You seem to date guys who have the same pattern. I meant to comment on this back when you posted, but I forgot:

 

It brings to mind the stereotype where an overly attentive wife caters to a stoic, remote husband. But there are so many other ways for this to play out. Many times it involves a struggle for validation, where one person wants validation badly (and often hides that need) and the other withholds the validation. I see it on these forums all the time. I think this pattern is actually somewhat encouraged in our society, where no one wants to appear needy.

That's an interesting point. I think that was the dynamic back then with M. I wasn't emotionally healthy then and since have worked through a lot of my issues. I think he would give it to me in doses and then out of fear would pull away. He was always afraid I'd cheat on him so held back often until we broke up.

 

Consider for a moment the possibility that it wasn't fear that caused M to pull back, but simply the fact that he had gotten the reaction he wanted from you and didn't need to give up any more validation. Maybe he didn't want to give you any more than the bare minimum amount of validation required to butter you up. I'm not saying you didn't deserve validation. But maybe he was just plain stingy. Or a jerk.

 

I hope that you do really consider this because you also said something very similar about D. D won your trust and then disappeared, leaving you feeling foolish. But as with M, you overlook the potential character flaw in D and call him an "amazing bf" who also "probably got scared:"

 

The thing that happened with D really affected me because he proclaimed a lot, and backed it up with actions. I'm normally quite skeptical but he really made me trust him. Then one day he just abruptly disappeared. It was very confusing for me and I felt taken for a fool. I now realise he probably got scared and ran for it but it really did affect me because he was an amazing bf.

 

You seem to end up in this situation a lot. I think you aim for guys like this on some subconscious level.

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I really don't know, M was cheated on and that scarred him. He also had a lot of former emotional and depressive issues so I would say it's more due to those reasons. I realise now dating such a damaged individual was a bad idea, but I did fall in love with him so I stayed. He would write me cards and letters to express how he felt, and his last letter explained fully why he acted the way he did. It was his fears, but who knows really.

 

Not every guy I properly date go hot and cold haha. The guy that went overseas was very reliable and D was always so until the end. Guy this year was also consistent as.

 

But maybe I do seek drama. I know the reason I'm pulling back is because I'm scared that what happened with D will happen again.

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HC, per an earlier thread, is this what caused you to consider that you might be "emotionally unavailable"?

 

Have you thought any more about that being a possibility since creating your thread?

 

I feel uncomfortable when anyone expresses emotions, it makes me skeptical.

 

I eventually got very expressive with my last long term ex and that didn't go anywhere, it just lead to a lot of pain.

 

So I hold back now. The ex this year was safe and he would have probably gotten very serious with me but I didn't want serious with him. I wanted it with the previous guy but I was so let down.

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I think it depends on what emotion is expressed and how and in what context if a person telling you he likes hanging out with you after a first or second date would make you want to run for the hills then there either on you or it’s just that you don’t feel the same way. I’d need you to be more specific about what you mean by expressing emotion.

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I feel uncomfortable when anyone expresses emotions, it makes me skeptical.

 

I eventually got very expressive with my last long term ex and that didn't go anywhere, it just lead to a lot of pain.

 

 

These comments are interesting.

 

On your thread re emotional unavailability I recall telling you when you meet the "right" (for lack of a better word) man, you will welcome the expression of emotions, it will feel right, non-threatening and comfortable.

 

But that was just me projecting, because while I have questioned my own emotional availability at times, this is what happened to me. When I met the "right" man, it all felt comfortable and I welcomed it.

 

That's not to say I wasn't nervous or scared, I was, it's scary feeling that vulnerable with someone, but I didn't push it away or run from it, which was my typical MO with men I had been dating.

 

But I am not you and haven't experienced what you have, specifically the pain you felt when M disappeared. I have been ghosted by men I've emotionally attached to and that hurt, but probably not to extent of what you felt with M, and it sounds like you still haven't quite recovered from that.

 

Hence, the mixed feelings you have about men since him, up to and includng the present.

 

I don't know the answer, have you sought any sort of professional counseling since your RL with M ended?

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Oh M didn't disappear-he was the one I dated for nearly three years. D was the one that was very reliable and an awesome bf until the end. Those were the two things that affected me the most the last few years.

 

My last long term ex was M.

 

I haven't sought therapy cos I'm over it. It's more the fear of what happened with D that gets me a little.

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Oh M didn't disappear-he was the one I dated for nearly three years. D was the one that was very reliable and an awesome bf until the end. Those were the two things that affected me the most the last few years.

 

My last long term ex was M.

 

I haven't sought therapy cos I'm over it. It's more the fear of what happened with D that gets me a little.

 

Oh sorry I got my letters (lol, men) mixed up.

 

I meant what happened with D, it doesn't sound like you've quite recovered from that (which you admit which is the first step).

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