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Man unavailable, but they seemed interested (venting)


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I don't understand. I am hurt, yes. Why do they do that? I don't understand men.

 

I went and got involved emotionally. I have crushed on a man for awhile. It is a coworker. I know I sound like I'm 17. I'm not talking about overt flirting or anything. When we were in the office, I did catch a vibe, but I also got mixed signals...there seemed to be attraction, then not...I think all of us can relate to that.

 

Things advanced. We started texting outside work. It turns out this "vibe" was accurate. I was pretty excited and happy about it. Yes, I know, work relationships are not the best idea. I have posted as much on many occasions on the board. I understand the risks.

 

I think that given we are coworkers, I allowed myself to believe that this situation would not be a "player" situation and that crossing over that professional line meant this would be something that was more serious.

 

It turned out to be about the same as many of my online dating experiences...lots of talk, not a lot of action. No meet, no text....I failed my own advice. I guess because I thought this situation was different.

 

Why? Why do they do this? I am just so lost on this! Why do men pursue, make it seem like they want something serious, but they never have the time to actually meet? They talk a lot about meeting..."I can't wait until..." and the day never comes.

 

Umm, a little hint, you actually have to meet in person if you want the kissing, touching, etc.

 

He seemed interested in me genuinely. He seemed to want to pursue something serious, long-term.

 

As we were texting, I couldn't nail him down on meeting. He accelerated to intimate discussion (nothing raunchy), and let's circle back to the above sentence -- we actually have to meet in person if we're going to kiss, touch, sex.

 

The thing is, why pursue talking with me, pursue dating me, move into intimate discussions with me if you don't have the time and you are not available? WHY? Why?? What is going on?

 

When I am interested in someone, I make the time. Maybe to a fault. I don't want to lose that momentum. These guys? They talk the talk and make it seem like they really like you, want to be with you, get to know you more...but they don't have the time. Too busy. Not available until "later", and when is "later?" "Later" never comes. Why do they do this? WHY?? Why do they actively pursue a relationship if they do not have time to actually pursue a relationship? Why aren't they more excited about getting together in person, like I am?

 

So I'm hurt. I don't understand why this man actively pursued me, but he had no time. I don't understand why he moved into more intimate discussions when he didn't have the time to actually meet with me in person. I just don't get it.

 

This post is a vent and not so much seeking advice, though I am happy hear your responses. I'm mostly kicking myself right now for not following my own advice and getting lost in the idea of a good relationship, thinking because we know each other in person, he wouldn't be a jerk. Maybe some men could chime in and tell me why you do this. Why do you pursue someone when you do not have the time?

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It may not be personal. Maybe it's a work issue thing or he has someone he's more interested in (you're back up). You let your guard down thinking he was someone you could trust or someone you already know. It happens. It takes awhile but you will be okay! I know you're writing to let off steam.

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Sorry to hear this. Is he the office flirt? Often never meeting = in another relationship. Unfortunately it sounds like he was getting off on the ego boost.

 

Hopefully you've already deleted and blocked him from ALL personal social media and messaging apps.. At work, act professional, cordial, but refrain from personal conversations.

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Well to be honest it sounds like you're getting too invested in someone you haven't even been on any dates with at all. I understand it's normal to get crushes and it can just happen. I think if you don't want to get hurt, you really need to keep your feelings in check and not get super excited about someone you don't know much and haven't dated at all. I think the reason you got hurt is because you built it up in your own mind.

 

I think you also need to stop talking to someone straight away if they don't want to meet for a date. It's a clear sign that there's something dodgy going on. They're either already in a relationship, already dating too many people, or are just a flake and time waster. If he brought up sexual discussion straight away that means his intentions were not serious and he just wanted to get off on sexy chat. Or maybe he's in a relationship and that's why he can't meet, but he enjoys to flirt. You wouldn't be as frustrated if you just quickly cut these guys off and don't bother with them. If someone doesn't want to meet for a date within a week or two of texting then just get rid of them.

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I am sorry that you got dissapponted :( This too shall pass!

 

I think people can behave like this for a multiple reasons and there is now way of knowing what was really going through his mind. e.g. to me it sounds like he might have been in some kind of a rebound and /or trying to fill in a void in his life through your communication but ultimately not being ready for a real relationship. Imo, it is not safe to form preconceptions about coworkers regarding how they will behave in their personal life. A person can be excellent at their job yet turn out to be all kinds of rubbish when it comes to romantic relationships.

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I found myself in a similar situation after my first marriage ended. It didn't go quite as far as your situation, but I finally found out that he'd been dating another woman in the building, different agency, and they were keeping it secret to prevent gossip. He sent out all the vibes and would seek me out at work. I had just begun being friends with this woman and she's the one who told me the story after the fact. They broke up 10 months later because she said he drank too much and it caused problems. I would've never known that about him, so sometimes things you want so badly don't happen, and it's really for the best.

 

Because of that and witnessing others who have gone through this, I believe the guy likes the ego boost of you having a crush on him. But he's just not that into you or is taken and you don't know it. Either way, his behavior if very uncaring because he's a cat having fun batting around a mouse.

 

Just as in OLD, if they don't ask you out in 2 weeks, tell them you're not into texting to be pen pals, and so the communication will be ending.

 

When I met my future husband, I appreciated him all the more after all the dating disasters I had. I wish the best for you that you don't have to wait too long for that to happen. The journey, of course, is different for each of us. Take care.

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Sorry about this.

 

I don't think this is a man thing, so much as a human thing, a romance thing, perhaps even a thing made more common through modern technology, much as that may not be what you want to hear. I say this as a man—one who, I'm sure, has left some women feeling as you feel right now, but who has also felt this way, plenty, in experiences in trying to connect with women.

 

It's very hard not to get jaded, I know. But personally I think there are very, very few people who wake up in the morning and think: "I need an ego boost, so I'm going to string Person X over text for a bit, then skirt off." It's murky, in other words, not intentional or malicious, and I like to lean on that for comfort when I'm feeling less than comfortable. Someone starts texting you, genuinely curious, but for some reason they get spooked, disinterested, whatever. Same thing happens in actual dating: a good month, a good year, a good stretch, but then some deeper murk gets stirred, someone pulls the rip cord, and someone's heart wheezes.

 

Genuinely sorry, again. Words don't really soften the sting of this, I know. I think it's awesome to be excited about the potential—of people, of places, of whatever—so I hope this doesn't dampen that spirit inside of you for too long. I also think it's equally important to learn to temper that excitement, to know that anything only becomes as real and rich as time allows. For this guy it was some fluttery texting: he showed his shallows quick. Sucks. But it means you keep going into the depths, so you can be met there.

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This one really stings, and I'm having a hard time with it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, support, and opinions...I appreciate it!

 

I'm sorry you're disappointed! I was very careful not to get my expectations up that someone was interested in dating me unless he asked me out on a proper date. Until then, sure he might be interested in flirting, in having a chat buddy, etc but he wasn't interested in dating me because he wasn't asking me out on a date.

 

Just like the past several years as I try to make new friends in my newer city there are many women who express much enthusiasm about meeting in person (meaning pre-covid, I get that now there are so many obstacles!) but when it's time to make the actual effort they're flaky or go MIA. Why do they do this? Who knows. Some are in denial -meaning they express how much they're looking to make new friends but are not honest with themselves that they're not going to make it a priority to take the time to plan to meet and show up. Some tell themselves that what they are doing is "trying". etc. I am very selective about what I invest in these newer friendships. When I find someone reliable I really appreciate it -so that's the silver lining.

 

i met my husband at work originally. I think the workplace is a great place to find a partner as long as the person isn't your supervisor/you don't supervise him and you don't work closely with the person.

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You need to set boundaries. That means cutting to the chase. When they start getting too forward sexually, you need to put your foot down and say that is not what you are looking for, that you are looking for someone to take you out on a date. Be firm. IMO if they start being like that, you block/delete because it's in appropriate behavior and it's going nowhere....don't put up with it. Some guys will do or say anything to fish out an easy lay, and I suspect this is what you are running into. Stop it in it's tracks.

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I think in this day and age the moment someone leaps to sexy talk before they can actually arrange an hour for a cup of coffee is a pretty big fat clue of what's in store. . . .and what's not.

 

I'm sorry you are disappointed. You're a smart woman and you wouldn't have gotten in this deep without good reason.

 

No matter what, I would have pumped the brakes at the sex talk. It's usually a sign that you're being tested.

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How long Had he been putting off meeting up? Did he suggest any get togethers?

 

I also think that he is either involved with someone else or doing It for an ego boost. The dude is a big waste of time. Sorry for the disappointment.

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There are superficial individuals out there who are looking for ego boosts in the written form or from afar. I agree with the others that he may have been running with a mental fantasy of you with those intimate exchanges over text but it was overall a thoughtless or more reactionary response. You were simply available to share in it and he went along with it for as long as he could and then the bubble popped because you were seeking something a bit more tangible and real. I think both men and women do this. I've been told men experience the same thing with women who don't end up wanting to meet or go on a date.

 

I know you're down because of the wasted time and effort and he was a disappointment but he could have wasted more of your time meeting up with you, actually developing an intimate relationship with you and then being hard to trace or leaving you behind to pick up the pieces. If it was going to stop, thank your lucky stars it's now and not later.

 

And... if you are frustrated and annoyed, give yourself a pat on the back. It means that even though you had a momentary lapse of judgment and let someone in over text, you reacted appropriately to him feigning interest in making excuses or not being available to meet.

 

I always like to think of the glass half full and lady, it sure is. So drink up that lemonade (it's refreshing). Move on and don't lose your sparkle.

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I think in this day and age the moment someone leaps to sexy talk before they can actually arrange an hour for a cup of coffee is a pretty big fat clue of what's in store. . . .and what's not.

 

I'm sorry you are disappointed. You're a smart woman and you wouldn't have gotten in this deep without good reason.

 

No matter what, I would have pumped the brakes at the sex talk. It's usually a sign that you're being tested.

I agree reinvent! Its just like the people that love bomb with compliments.... I have yet to meet one genuine person that ever did that.

 

Whether on line or in person. a BS-er is a BS-er. Consider yourself lucky you didn't get more involved. you're disappointed but you were gonna be by this guy no matter what.

 

I know it's hard. you wanna meet someone cool and it sucks. but don't waste your tears or feeling bad on him.

 

You are better off!

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When we were in the office, I did catch a vibe, but I also got mixed signals...there seemed to be attraction, then not...I think all of us can relate to that....

 

...I think that given we are coworkers, I allowed myself to believe that this situation would not be a "player" situation and that crossing over that professional line meant this would be something that was more serious....

 

...Why? Why do they do this?

 

I have no idea. It's not just men; women do it too. I've done it, I'm sure. I think it's a maturity thing. Yes, even people over 30 can be immature in some ways.

 

I think I can totally relate to what you went through, and I sympathize. I could easily have fallen prey to similar circumstances at my last job.

 

I had a male coworker who sought me out for the most random things. We barely knew each other. He just decided one day to start talking to me. It went on for months, and I started to think he might like me... but his signals were so mixed.

 

My saving grace was that I had a boyfriend who I loved and was happy with (still loving and happy to this day). I was not inclined to become involved with anyone else.

 

But had I been single, it may have been a very different story. My coworker was attractive and charming. Like you, I would have probably let my guard down under the assumption that he was as fastidious with his relationships as I was.

 

In hindsight, I believe that my coworker is just a messy opportunist when it comes to relationships, doesn't really know what he wanted, doesn't have great boundaries, etc. Basically a nightmare for a lonely woman looking for love. Never once did he talk about a significant other. But he frequently mentioned female friends.

 

Actually, he talked about friends a lot, both male and female. "My friend this," and "My friend that." I think that's why I believe it's a maturity thing. At 35, why are you soooo involved with your friends?

 

I suppose I am also one of his 'friends' now. We both no longer work at that company, but he tests me almost daily--seemingly career related, but really just fluff. I think he likes the attention. Which is fine. He's a nice enough guy.

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I am with others on this... ego boost.

 

There are times when you do meet someone and you just click with this person. And it's a good feeling to talk to someone who is a) interesting/charming and b) attractive. How could it not be a great dopamine fix to the receiver? I am guessing you're attractive and smart and this colleague likes you but not enough to pursue anything real. He does like that you make him feel good and that's where you have to set some boundaries, like others have mentioned.

 

Those boundaries are going to help you save a lot of time and energy.

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A similar situation happened to me with a co-worker.

 

The guys who are married or have a GF act like this to a T. They just like the ego boost and attention. It helps hem with boredom and monotony at the office. The same old routine, route to work, etc propels some folks to spice up their days. What is better than chatting up some attractive women at the water cooler?

 

This married guy was always stopping by my desk, bringing candy and leaving house plants on a regular basis. Turns out he was chatting up quite a few other women too.

 

If they never ask you out - they are just being friendly - and have no interest in dating or developing a real friendship.

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IMO he was simply flirting for the sake of flirting.

Flirting is done for one or both of two reasons.

 

Flirting to let someone know you are interested.

Flirting to gain compliments.

 

My guess is you flirted with him for both reasons.

He flirted with you for the latter only.

 

Flirting escalates.

There is only so many times you can tell someone they look hot or have nice eyes etc

So the flirting progresses to the what I would do if you were with me right now lol

And so on

But that’s still just flirting , not an intention to meet.

 

When one eventually suggests meeting and it’s rejected then game over.

 

Saying I’m too busy , sorry can’t tonight etc without suggesting a firm alternate date is rejecting that suggestion to meet.

 

It’s then up to you to realise that it’s just flirting with no further intention and bow out if you are looking for more?

 

I agree also with Sarah Lancaster that he might have been fishing to see if you were up for no strings fun and that perhaps you mentioned something that made him realise you weren’t?

 

All in all , I don’t think it’s something to be hurt over , esp as you have never dated him.

Disappointing yes since you had hoped for a date and more.

 

He didn’t go out of his way to hurt you or disappoint you.

At the end of the day neither really got what you wanted out of it?

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He seemed interested in me genuinely. He seemed to want to pursue something serious, long-term.

 

As we were texting, I couldn't nail him down on meeting. He accelerated to intimate discussion (nothing raunchy), and let's circle back to the above sentence -- we actually have to meet in person if we're going to kiss, touch, sex.

 

So I'm hurt. I don't understand why this man actively pursued me, but he had no time. I don't understand why he moved into more intimate discussions when he didn't have the time to actually meet with me in person. I just don't get it.

 

With respect, he didn't actively pursue you.

 

Flirting over text message is not active pursuit. It's an attempt to hook you into something salacious or a bit of sexy distraction, but it's not what a genuine pursuit looks like. That would involve actual dates.

 

The same can be said for the assertion that he is after something serious and long-term. That may be true in general, but if he wasn't actually asking you out, he wasn't looking for that from you.

 

I don't say any of this to be harsh or unkind. I can understand why you're disappointed. But I think part of the problem is that you are mis-identifying what real interest looks like from a man and getting your hopes up when there is little tangible evidence to suggest he wants to get to know you on a deeper level. Men know that to move things forward, they need to actually spend time with you in person. And if they're not trying to spend time with you in person, they're just looking for a sexting/digital-flirting buddy. That's your cue to write them off.

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The guys who are married or have a GF act like this to a T. They just like the ego boost and attention. It helps hem with boredom and monotony at the office. The same old routine, route to work, etc propels some folks to spice up their days.

 

I guy I went to graduate school acted like this for two years!! When we first met, I learned he had a girlfriend of several years and filed him under "Off Limits." But he was so friendly, and almost doting towards me, and for such a long time, that I wondered if they broke up right after he started the program. Actually, nobody was sure if he still had a girlfriend--but he did!! And he married her after we all graduated. Most of our class (myself included) went to their wedding!

 

She must have drawn the line with him or something. I found out about her because he brought her to our studio on a Saturday, I think specifically to meet me, because he and I were usually the only ones there at that time. She was very friendly. She knew my name, she'd heard about me.... And I was at a bit of a loss! I think my surprise must have shown. After two years of him not mentioning her, I had sort of abandoned the idea that she existed.

 

After that, he dialed back his attention towards me a lot. I felt very glad that I never actively pursued him, because I would have been even more confused than I already was, and probably very embarrassed! If I hadn't sworn off dating to concentrate on school, I probably would have returned his (seeming) affection and gotten myself hurt.

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I have no idea. It's not just men; women do it too. I've done it, I'm sure. I think it's a maturity thing. Yes, even people over 30 can be immature in some ways.

 

I think I can totally relate to what you went through, and I sympathize. I could easily have fallen prey to similar circumstances at my last job.

 

I had a male coworker who sought me out for the most random things. We barely knew each other. He just decided one day to start talking to me. It went on for months, and I started to think he might like me... but his signals were so mixed.

 

My saving grace was that I had a boyfriend who I loved and was happy with (still loving and happy to this day). I was not inclined to become involved with anyone else.

 

But had I been single, it may have been a very different story. My coworker was attractive and charming. Like you, I would have probably let my guard down under the assumption that he was as fastidious with his relationships as I was.

 

In hindsight, I believe that my coworker is just a messy opportunist when it comes to relationships, doesn't really know what he wanted, doesn't have great boundaries, etc. Basically a nightmare for a lonely woman looking for love. Never once did he talk about a significant other. But he frequently mentioned female friends.

 

Actually, he talked about friends a lot, both male and female. "My friend this," and "My friend that." I think that's why I believe it's a maturity thing. At 35, why are you soooo involved with your friends?

 

I suppose I am also one of his 'friends' now. We both no longer work at that company, but he tests me almost daily--seemingly career related, but really just fluff. I think he likes the attention. Which is fine. He's a nice enough guy.

 

I had a situation like that in my 20s -guy was in his 20s. Flirted outrageously with me and back then the line of what was "inappropriate" was much narrower - anyway I decided to ask him to have lunch with me outside the office -I was single, assumed he was too -why not? We were summer interns. He agreed. Outside the office he was amazingly quiet, distant, seemed so self conscious. He may have mentioned a girlfriend -I really don't remember because it was completely platonic -two coworkers having pizza. So I knew he loved the attention -he always flirted in front of the other interns, had this big personality, so handsome - had little to do with me I guess. It was all fine just the difference outside the office was startling. I'm glad I got my "answer".

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Aww, Purple, I'm sorry to hear this. Timewasters are why some of the first questions I ask anyone who pursues flirty convo with me, in an equally flirty manner, is "Aww, that's kind. So are you available for dating these days, or are you just trying to make a girl feel good?" I'll follow any (potentially patronizing) response with, "Are you in a relationship right now?"

 

I get that these aren't foolproof screeners for deliberately deceptive people, but my antenna remains up until I flush out whether someone is just a talker who's accustomed to laying it on thick.

 

But the alarming thing about your story is the intimate convo. I mean, ANYone who throws that at me prematurely is an auto-ditch. By premature, I mean before we've even dated or learned enough about one another to venture there. Before then, any comments about wanting to do ANYthing to me or with me is a dealbreaker--not because it's some moralistic insult, but rather because it shows lousy judgment, and I'm just not interested in that.

 

Crushes happen to the best of us, regardless of how appropriate, and we are each learning over time how to best handle those. In your case, staying pleasant as you drop any further convo with the guy beyond business matters is your best bet. Even if he tries to pursue more non-work related conversations with you, you've already learned that his sincerity and judgment are the pits. So what's the attraction beyond a temporary brain fart that's easy enough to recover from if you decide to do so?

 

Head high, adopt your best dignity and resilience. You'll thank yourself later.

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