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Hi y'all. I could really use some insight from you :)

 

Six months ago I met an amazing guy and we really hit it of. We have so much fun together, and he is the sweetest. But when things got serious (aka, he asked me if I would like to meet his parents), he got really anxious. His ex broke him really bad and, as he says it: he doesn't want to get hurt like that again. He gave his all to her and 'that wasn't good enough'. So he doesn't know how to do it right this time.

 

I can relate to that feeling and I have no problems with going slow. But lately he's been asking to meet my family out of the blue, and if he can come to my friends birthday party. But when I say 'yes', he backs off last minute, because he 'is scared of not making a good impression'. We stopped kissing and having sex, and when I asked him what the heck is going on, het told me that he doesn't know what's happening. He doesn't feel able to fall in love with me now. But at the same time, he misses me after a day apart, and he thinks that everything is better when I'm there. He want's to take me everywhere and meet everyone in his life. He wants to know everything about me and cuddle all the time. 'I don't want to lose you, this hasn't happened to me before', he said.

 

We were very honest with eachother for the first time last weekend. He told me he is too afraid to be vulnerable and totally open up to me. And he had a hard time with us not being intimate anymore. I told him that's exactly what I want to do with him, but he scares me with the hot and cold behaviour. He stared at his shoes trying to tell me something, but he couldn't get the words out of his mouth. I told him that I can't see him anymore. He asked me if we could meet in a couple of weeks, to catch up and see what's there between us. But I told him, no. I know it sounds mean and it's not what I actually want, but I'm emotionally drained.

 

When we said goodbye, he held my head and started kissing me. We slept together and cuddled and talked all night. He asked me if I wanted to come to his parents the next day and talked about going on a holiday. The next morning he seemed a little distant again. But he called me everyday since and asked me to come to a party this week. I told him he should take someon else. I'm afraid I can't deal with this hot and cold behaviour any longer. But I truly feel love for him and I don't know what to do except distancing myself from him.

 

I understand if all the advice you can give me is: walk away. But I really would like to know if anybody has gone trough this before, and if there's a way to work such a thing out. (Maybe stop for now, and meet in a couple of months?)

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You're instinct is spot on. I feel for you, I just got out of a short term thing with a guy like this. He seems to have all the signs of a commitment phobe. You might find more answers in the attachment theory, look into avoidants.

 

If he falls into this category, there is little you can do, it's his problem, and he has to want to change and even if he does, it'll take time. I can't give you advice as to how to handle it, I have no idea. His actions just reminded me of those of an avoidant and I would be more than happy if I had that information sooner in my case.

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He may be sweet as apple pie but he is talking too much about his ex, his problems, his hurt etc. If that's the case why is he even dating? You need to look long and hard at the walls he's putting up and why he positions himself as a victim and damaged goods. Do not take the bait and try to fix or change him.

 

If he states he's too "hurt" to be in a relationship, believe it at face value. Never forfeit your happiness to buy into someone's pity-party. 6 mos is a good time to cut your losses. You should be having fun at 6 mos, not wringing your hands about all his problems, hurts, whining, etc..

Six months ago I met an amazing guy and we really hit it of. We have so much fun together, and he is the sweetest. His ex broke him really bad and, as he says it: he doesn't want to get hurt like that again. He gave his all to her and 'that wasn't good enough'. So he doesn't know how to do it right this time
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Oh just to clarify, I agree with Wiseman, you can't fix him. I just mentioned attachment theory for you to see what what it might be like if you proceed, and it is not good.

 

I would let it go and maybe check in in a couple of months (probably more). If you keep this up, you'll be basically enabling him to not change at all. Not that if you leave he will, but you shouldn't be "awarding" him for his hot and cold behavior.

 

First and foremost, you stepped away because you can't handle it, hats off for knowing your boundaries and sticking to them!

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he got really anxious. His ex broke him really bad and, as he says it: he doesn't want to get hurt like that again.

 

he doesn't know how to do it right this time.

 

going slow

 

hot and cold

 

We stopped kissing and having sex, and when I asked him what the heck is going on, het told me that he doesn't know what's happening. He doesn't feel able to fall in love with me now.

 

You should be aware that these are things a person on the rebound says and does. A man on the rebound may not be ready to love yet, might act flaky (people in love are consistent), and might drop you without warning and break your heart.

 

And it sounds like he's dragging your heart through the gutter with his flaky behavior, rejecting you again and again.

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He is not ready for a relationship. If you continue, it will be crazy making and painful.

 

I woud move on. And, you cannot be friends, or in any sort of contact.

 

How long had he been broken up, before yo started dating?

 

Maybe, you can reconnect in six months, not a couple- nothing will change in a couple of months.

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It seems like the triggers for him stem from family and friends outside of your relationship and those relationships to those friends and family members. There's something seriously bothering him about spending time with each others' support network outside the relationship that's triggering severe reactions from him.

 

I'm not sure if he's recognizing them himself or completely blind to them (as is often the case with anxiety). I understand you feeling drained. You should understand that this has very little to do with you and everything to do with anxiety. He hasn't worked these out or had the chance or the courage yet to face them. He has to understand his triggers or he won't move past these in any relationship he has now or in the future.

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He's way too broken...like most people, they just get over it, but he can't. That should be a red flag to you.. he lacks coping skills. Ya sure life is tough, but if you can't toughen up, then life will always be hard. I think you should move on because you dodged a very big bullet. IMO you should never be a fixer. Go out and meet a nice emotionally stable guy so your relaitonship can move along smoothly, and happily. No guy is worth the grief he's been putting you through.

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Just from what I've gathered I'll have to agree with others. He is incredibly broken. He is not over his ex. He lacks self esteem within himself.

 

It's that age old thing of "if you can't love yourself, you can't love anyone else". He doesn't love himself very much.

 

He seems to want to rush into the long term comfy feel of a relationship with friends and family but truth is it's all an act.

 

I think he will remain hot and cold until he sorts out his demons.

 

I do genuinely think he likes you but clearly is battling some inner demons.

 

It may be hard but some time away will be good. Will do you the world of good having some rest from his hot and cold behavior as it must not be easy for you.

 

The break away may be the kick up the bum he needs to sort himself out. Or it may not. We won't know but I feel like it will be worth it for you if not him.

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This is a broken dude, end of story. Try to make something work with something that's broken and what happens? Nothing good. Just as there is no point trying to ride a bike with a broken wheel, or to pour water in a broken vase, there is no point trying to date someone who is broken.

 

It's hard, I know. Always is. Some people can hide their brokenness well and it's only once we're attached that it comes out. He, at least, is the opposite, the type who wears it as his suit for anyone to see. He wants someone else to dust him off for him.

 

If there's a lesson here, I'd say it's to always be wary of people (a) who talk a lot about their exes and (b) who say things like "I never want to be hurt like that again." This can feel like "being open and honest" but it's not. It's just nonsense, something to walk away from, no matter how sweet the person is.

 

Life hurts, and the heart takes some licks along the way. Strong people learn to process that, and grow stronger in the process; weak people hold onto pain, let it define them, and find others to be their nurse. Like smackie pointed out, this guy showed you some very questionable sides of his character, and that alone should be reason to be walking away without worrying about if there's another chapter down the line.

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I think it's really sad that someone can completely devastated and heartbroken from an ex, and people just want to label him as "broken."

 

Maybe he's just...heartbroken?

 

There's a HUGE difference. A broken heart is NO JOKE. It can WRECK you. It can make you feel like there is a glitch inside of you.

 

We don't know what went down with his ex. It might not even be his fault. Some people just have a way of being emotional vampires...and sucking the life from you. Maybe that's where he is?

 

I would suggest watching a ton of youtube videos out there on getting over an ex, getting over the fantasy of who you think your ex is, never take your ex back, etc. If he watches enough, he'll start picking up tidbits of good information that he can start to lay as a foundation to rebuilding himself.

 

Rose also had some great advice about triggering. That's deeper level stuff, but you might be tapping into his heart when you guys get close, and that short circuits him.

 

I have been where your bf is. And I have a BFF who is like you. And sad to say, but she needed to get away from me for a while because it was draining too. I would try to pull her back in because I missed her, but then when we got too close...I'd need to go away because it hurt. It was all kinds of f##@ed up. I was at least aware of it, and the damage it was causing. There's also the possibility that as great as you are, you're not as great as his ex...so he's never going to see you as "worth it". You're just "good enough" to not be alone.

 

My advice would be to help him heal, but be his friend. Let him know you won't be having sex, or being affectionate. Not until he is better. Let him see you date other guys. Let him see that life goes on, and he will need to work on himself before he is ready to date.

 

I'm so sorry for you OP. Sometimes really great people can just get messed up with their exes :-( And it takes a crazy amount of dedication to fix yourself.

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I think it's really sad that someone can completely devastated and heartbroken from an ex, and people just want to label him as "broken."

 

Maybe he's just...heartbroken?

 

There's a HUGE difference. A broken heart is NO JOKE. It can WRECK you. It can make you feel like there is a glitch inside of you.

 

We don't know what went down with his ex. It might not even be his fault. Some people just have a way of being emotional vampires...and sucking the life from you. Maybe that's where he is?

 

I would suggest watching a ton of youtube videos out there on getting over an ex, getting over the fantasy of who you think your ex is, never take your ex back, etc. If he watches enough, he'll start picking up tidbits of good information that he can start to lay as a foundation to rebuilding himself.

 

Rose also had some great advice about triggering. That's deeper level stuff, but you might be tapping into his heart when you guys get close, and that short circuits him.

 

I have been where your bf is. And I have a BFF who is like you. And sad to say, but she needed to get away from me for a while because it was draining too. I would try to pull her back in because I missed her, but then when we got too close...I'd need to go away because it hurt. It was all kinds of f##@ed up. I was at least aware of it, and the damage it was causing. There's also the possibility that as great as you are, you're not as great as his ex...so he's never going to see you as "worth it". You're just "good enough" to not be alone.

 

My advice would be to help him heal, but be his friend. Let him know you won't be having sex, or being affectionate. Not until he is better. Let him see you date other guys. Let him see that life goes on, and he will need to work on himself before he is ready to date.

 

I'm so sorry for you OP. Sometimes really great people can just get messed up with their exes :-( And it takes a crazy amount of dedication to fix yourself.

 

It is not her place to play therapist. he needs to do this on his own. Also, it is not fair for her to stick around helping him, as it is painful to her. I'm sorry, but you are advising her to be co dependent and that is never healthy.

 

"Let him see you date other guys. Let him see that life goes on, and he will need to work on himself before he is ready to date.' This is also very manipulative. I hope that yo do not do this type of game playing!

 

OP, just walk, and find someone who is emotionally ready.

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If your goal is to be a GF, not a therapist, then this guy isn't ready. I'd tell him that he can take all the time he needs to heal and work out his old business. If he ever finds himself ready for a committed relationship and would like to try again with you, he can let you know. If you're still available then, you can meet to catch up. Otherwise, you wish him the best.

 

The goal of dating is to screen OUT bad matches, and timing can figure into that. We can't manipulate a wrong match into becoming a right one, but we can give people the time and space they need to reach higher ground. If it's meant-to-be deal, we'll meet them there. If not, then isn't that something we should learn before investing?

 

Head high, walk forward, and if the guy is ever capable of giving you the relationship you want and deserve, he'll have no trouble catching up to you. Read my sig.

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Thank you all so much for the advice! You really helped me trough this and it means a lot!

 

I decided to walk away for now. I can't stay around just to make him happy, he should make me happy too. I almost lost myself in the last months, so I cancelled all plans we had made for the next weeks, and we haven't had contact for almost a week now.

 

He started liking my old Instagram pictures though and it almost made me want to reach out. But I won't. I actually only want to hear from him if he has something serious to say about us, like he'll work to get better. I feel a little guilty for leaving his life like this and I truly miss him, but at the same time I feel so much relieve for taking charge of my own happiness. I deserve something real :)

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He is not ready for a relationship. If you continue, it will be crazy making and painful.

 

I woud move on. And, you cannot be friends, or in any sort of contact.

 

How long had he been broken up, before yo started dating?

 

Maybe, you can reconnect in six months, not a couple- nothing will change in a couple of months.

 

Thanks so much for your answer:) He was broken up with her about 2,5 months after being together for 7 months. So I'm not sure if that was too soon.

 

You're right about not staying in contact, that would be too painful, but I'm having a hard time doing so. He seems to be doing just fine, started posting all his activities online for some reason, and liked some of my old Instagram posts like that is super normal thing to do...

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You're instinct is spot on. I feel for you, I just got out of a short term thing with a guy like this. He seems to have all the signs of a commitment phobe. You might find more answers in the attachment theory, look into avoidants.

 

If he falls into this category, there is little you can do, it's his problem, and he has to want to change and even if he does, it'll take time. I can't give you advice as to how to handle it, I have no idea. His actions just reminded me of those of an avoidant and I would be more than happy if I had that information sooner in my case.

 

I read into it. Sounds pretty much like the problem he's having... thanks for the information :) It helps understanding what's happening.

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It seems like the triggers for him stem from family and friends outside of your relationship and those relationships to those friends and family members. There's something seriously bothering him about spending time with each others' support network outside the relationship that's triggering severe reactions from him.

 

I'm not sure if he's recognizing them himself or completely blind to them (as is often the case with anxiety). I understand you feeling drained. You should understand that this has very little to do with you and everything to do with anxiety. He hasn't worked these out or had the chance or the courage yet to face them. He has to understand his triggers or he won't move past these in any relationship he has now or in the future.

 

What do you mean with the triggers? That he starts to doubt everything when family comes into the picture? Or maybe I understand this wrong:) he's not entirely blind for his anxiety, but he's also not doing the amount of work to get over it. He describes is as: 'the moment I think, this is amazing, I like her so much - that's the moment I want to run away'.

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I think it's really sad that someone can completely devastated and heartbroken from an ex, and people just want to label him as "broken."

 

Maybe he's just...heartbroken?

 

There's a HUGE difference. A broken heart is NO JOKE. It can WRECK you. It can make you feel like there is a glitch inside of you.

 

We don't know what went down with his ex. It might not even be his fault. Some people just have a way of being emotional vampires...and sucking the life from you. Maybe that's where he is?

 

I would suggest watching a ton of youtube videos out there on getting over an ex, getting over the fantasy of who you think your ex is, never take your ex back, etc. If he watches enough, he'll start picking up tidbits of good information that he can start to lay as a foundation to rebuilding himself.

 

Rose also had some great advice about triggering. That's deeper level stuff, but you might be tapping into his heart when you guys get close, and that short circuits him.

 

I have been where your bf is. And I have a BFF who is like you. And sad to say, but she needed to get away from me for a while because it was draining too. I would try to pull her back in because I missed her, but then when we got too close...I'd need to go away because it hurt. It was all kinds of f##@ed up. I was at least aware of it, and the damage it was causing. There's also the possibility that as great as you are, you're not as great as his ex...so he's never going to see you as "worth it". You're just "good enough" to not be alone.

 

My advice would be to help him heal, but be his friend. Let him know you won't be having sex, or being affectionate. Not until he is better. Let him see you date other guys. Let him see that life goes on, and he will need to work on himself before he is ready to date.

 

I'm so sorry for you OP. Sometimes really great people can just get messed up with their exes :-( And it takes a crazy amount of dedication to fix yourself.

 

Thank's so much for your honest story. I was just wondering: would you ever consider your BFF, the one that wanted to stick around and help you, as a serious option for dating when you feel better? Or is she in the nursing friendzone by then?

 

Cause I really want him to be happy and help him, but I won't stay around just for his convenience, so he can drop me later and find another girl who didn't see him when he was down.

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