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Over a year ago I became friend with a widower and his kids. He has 4 kids whose ages range from 4-13 and I love spending time with them playing ...The dad lost his wife from cancer over 2 years ago. As he kept inviting me I developed feelings for him ( I am also very attached to his kids). I decided to let him know about my feelings and told him face to face and went straight to the point :eek:!! ( he got scared and said he could not see himself in a relationship that he was off), I understood but then he called me back and told me that even if he was not ready for a relationship now in the future he would be open to it...Then he always ask if he can help me and says he is thinking of me etc...

This is the situation I am in right now...He keeps on inviting me at his home but I feel weird around him (not with his kids, Iam always at ease with them). I am not sure what to do and think! I deeply care about him ( his kids too)...My question is what should I do ? Should i remain close to him and his kids? or should I remove myself from this situation ( it would be breaking my heart). I get ask on dates with many men but he is the one on my mind.

Thank you in advance for your advises as I am stuck!

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You two have different goals so yes, end the friendship.

 

1. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is worth waiting around for. If a person isn't ready in the present, move on.

 

2. Staying friends is preventing you from bonding with any potential bf. And if you did manage to date, the guy won't stick around when he finds out you are friends with someone you wanted more from.

 

In the future, be cautious about letting kids get attached to you when there's a chance you won't be in their lives for a lifetime. Kids don't need people entering their lives, getting attached, and then that person quickly exits.

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Well to be honest I'm not so sure that this man is just "not ready for a relationship". Don't get me wrong, if his wife died two years ago, of course that would have been very painful for him. He did need time to grieve and move on. However it has been two years now and he's probably mo re moved on now than you might think. I imagine he's just lonely after being single the last couple of years and he's been enjoying having female attention and companionship from you. Maybe he does like your friendship because he gets along well with you. I think saying he may be open to a relationship in the future may just be out of politeness or because he wants to keep you as an option. But you're not his number one choice, if that makes sense. What are you looking for in a relationship? You seem to really like children. Do you want kids of your own? If you want to have kids then you're not going to have them with him. He already has four. I don't think you should be waiting around for him. His response to your feeling was barely lukewarm so this "relationship" may never actually happen.

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@tinydance well he told me on the phone that his kids like me...and that "he likes me too, he truly likes me". I do not understand why he keeps on inviting me over. There is a lot of mixed signals...

His behavior is confusing and sometimes two years can be not long enough, as for some people it takes 10 years or more to move on. I also have a lot of people asking me on dates so maybe I should focus more on them... Thank you for your responses!

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@tinydance well he told me on the phone that his kids like me...and that "he likes me too, he truly likes me". I do not understand why he keeps on inviting me over. There is a lot of mixed signals...

His behavior is confusing and sometimes two years can be not long enough, as for some people it takes 10 years or more to move on. I also have a lot of people asking me on dates so maybe I should focus more on them... Thank you for your responses!

 

Well in my opinion because the guy you actually like doesn't even want to go on a date, then yes you should go on dates with the other guys. I mean you don't 100% know why your friend doesn't want to date you but he doesn't. If you keep waiting for him you'll miss out on all the other men. I think maybe he keeps inviting you over because he likes you as a friend but he also likes the attention he gets from you. If he likes you as more than that then why can't he give you guys a chance?

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@tinydance well he told me on the phone that his kids like me...and that "he likes me too, he truly likes me". I do not understand why he keeps on inviting me over. There is a lot of mixed signals...

 

Because he gets to enjoy the benefits of a relationship without the commitment and expectations that would naturally come with one.

 

You would be best to end this friendship. Grief is individual and there is no real timeline for healing, speaking from experience. All you can do is believe him when he says he can't offer you a relationship. That much you know for sure. But continuing this quasi-FWB situation is not healthy for you, and really, not fair to the kids who are becoming attached to you now too.

 

Tell him you can't continue to see him if he isn't ready to actually date. Yes, it will hurt you, but it will hurt a lot more to continue this.

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Sorry to hear this. If he says he's not ready, he's not ready. Distance yourself and stop hanging out this much. Consider him a friend, if you can but otherwise, date other men for a relationship.

said he could not see himself in a relationship that he was off. Should i remain close to him and his kids?
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Maybe give yourself time to cool off and a few days to think. You're expecting yourself to come up with immediate answers for emotions that can't be easily whisked away overnight. I agree with Andrina's two points. I'd read and re-read them because they emphasize you as the focus, not your friend.

 

If you're hot for dating right now then minimize your contact with him. It's a bad sign that you're referencing other potential dates and getting hit on by other men. I can feel your frustration there and wanting to be in a romantic relationship. It means you're not happy in this situation nor do you really understand or accept your friend's inability not to be in a romance right now. I think it's best that you move on. This situation isn't suited for you and both of you are on different wavelengths.

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Thank you for all of the replies, you are right...I am going on a date today :).

I think I will drop all of my expectations and stop try to read between the lines, and see them a little bit less. I still want to be there for the kids though if possible as they already lost their mother, they are wonderful, and touching. I think I could understand the dad if there was a better communication and i do not want to force it either as I know he is still in pain from the death of his wife (he is still wearing his wedding ring)

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I'm not sure how fair you're being to anyone by keeping in touch with the kids. You're not their mother but seem to be taking on that role. Are you feeling maternal or as if your clock is ticking? Move on completely if you want to date other men. It will appear very awkward for you to keep visiting this person and his kids while you're creating a new life for yourself.

 

A lot of your thoughts seem to be centered on guilt and pity for his situation. If you want to move on, do it with your whole heart, not with bits and pieces of yourself stuck in another situation.

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@ Rose Mose I will distance myself step by step. I know I am not their mom and never thought i was, but I think it is also unfair for them if i abruptly disappear, but I am open to any suggestion,if it is best for them I will do it for sure. I saw them like they were my nephews...I also wanted to be there for the dad and help him too as I felt for him. It is hard for a man to raise four kids of different age and grieving his wife at the same time and try to earn money. I just cannot imagine, i still think he is a beautiful person no matter what.

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In my view, that line is crossed. You're not just a friend anymore but someone with strong romantic feelings. It's difficult while you're going through it but I don't recommend keeping in touch with him. You can point him in the direction of help or support if he needs it but again, I think you're shouldering a lot of guilt and pity. It is very sad what's happened with his wife but I don't think it's healthy for you to keep holding yourself back or sabotaging your chances on meeting someone seriously to date or spend your life with.

 

As Andrina pointed out earlier, I don't think any future partner would be too thrilled to know that you're keeping in touch with an old flame or someone you used to have feelings for.

 

Maybe some space and distance and time will help. I think you need to treat this as a break up and cool off the sting and rawness of those feelings you have for him. How else would you be able to open your heart to someone else without constantly thinking of this other person?

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He's not the treasure you think he is. Otherwise, he wouldn't be stringing you along so cruelly. You're too close to the situation to see it. A caring person would realize it'd be best for each of you to go your separate ways when you want something he can't give.

 

He's getting something from the arrangement, whether it be free child care, or you're occupying his kids time so he can be free for other things, and if you're giving him the gift of your body (you didn't say) without ties.

 

One day he will likely be ready to date, and it's more likely it will be with someone else--not you. And what if it's another two years before that happens? Then it'll be the case that his new woman will inch you out of their lives and it'll be harder for the kids because your presence in their lives stretched from 1 year to 3.

 

Do what's best for yourself and the kids. Make a clean break now. It's on him if he didn't realize he should be asking relatives for help, or making it work without a "friend" who clearly has a crush on him helping out.

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I think he keeps inviting you on outings to help with his children. Coping with the loss of his wife & 4 children must be very hard, so having you along to keep the kids occupied is a huge help to him.

Dont let him use you like this. You arent a free babysitter!

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