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Could use some advice when he says he doesn't see a future


Soconfused75
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How do I explain. I met a mature male (early 50s) and I am a divorced female in my (mid 40s) 10 months ago. When we first met, he would say all the right things, compliments on how beautiful i am and how I am the perfect woman. He is very awkward when it comes to women yet he seemed to have  confidence when we first met. He told me that he is extremely insecure and would never allow us to take photos because he did not like pictures of himself. About 3 weeks in to meeting me, he asked me to be his girlfriend.  He had separated from his spouse at that time a year prior to meeting him so I figured he was ready to be in a relationship, as before me he was playing field and dating women without commitment.

 

About 2 months in, it became evident that his ' i have never been able to communicate or express his feelings" was a real thing. He grew up in a home where there was none of that, men were strong and avoided talking about their feelings and he is also not the complimenting type. He was that way initially because that is what you do when you first meet someone, then it stopped. It caused great issues for me and the confident person I once was started to have insecurity issues constantly over thinking, over analyzing and trying to pick his brain. To pick someone's brain like that, it did not go well. I was told to stop fishing, that i didn't trust him and for him trust was important. That he doesn't know how he feels, that he has issues he needs to deal with (I was told his past relationships affected him) 10 month later he has never once tried to work on his issues and refuses to go to a counselor because he has a hard time with that "crap".

About 4 months in after I had a complete breakdown he told me that he knew he needed to talk to me because he didn't want a relationship but would continue to see each other and essentially we do the same things as couples do but not in a relationship. His definition of a relationship is the "whole hog" whatever that means. I will admit that prior to this happening I had questioned him about some things that I knew based on discrepancies, he was not being truthful.  These things happened before me, but to me character is everything and I looked at his old cell phone and found all the messages and evidence to support my suspicions and confronted him. He was irate that I invaded his personal space and denied it until I told him what I had done. He admitted it and said if he would have told me I would have ran a mile. I likely would have. He was so caught up in his lies to me he couldn't tell me the truth before. We ended up having a talk and stayed together but he couldn't get past what I had done.

 

So later on he no longer wanted a relationship and said part of it was due to issues and that he doesn't know how he feels, he cares and feels something but doesn't know what and that "only time will tell". I kept feeling insecure and each time I would try to get him to talk he would get frustrated and say that we are just going in circles and clearly i am not happy and he can't give me what i want and he knew exactly what I wanted and needed but could not show affection or compliment. He said he shows it in his own way.

We had a short break and after an absence he came back with asking me if I would consider seeing each other and that please stop asking him if there are other women, he said there has never been and I need to trust him and why would he need anyone else. I also asked if he could put it past him on me looking through his phone and he said yes. I kept my promise and we resumed. He asked me if I would be happy how things were and I said well no we both need to work on thing and make an effort. He made no effort..he is a recluse and likes his alone time and we would get together on weekends and one night during the week which was fine but it was always at his place as he said my tv was not big enough.  When I would go over he would never initiate a hug or kiss unless I did. I knew he was not  complimentary guy but for someone who said he loves to kiss, he would never make the effort and when I would bring up feelings he would say I am overthinking or too sensitive and it's not like that. I always heard that, its not like that and that I don't know how feels and not to try to know

 

So just a few days ago I had an emotional breakdown and said maybe I need to walk away. He said that he does not see a future with me but couldn't give me the reasons why.  He again said he needs to work on himself and said I need to as well. When I said that absences can make someone realize their true feelings or perhaps not he said maybe, we will see. I blocked him from social media and he knew right away I had, so clearly he went to look at my profile and seen what I had done. 

 

My heart is breaking and I can't help but feel its because he just doesn't want me. I have done everything and put so much in to it. He said he has always appreciated that and it hasn't gone unnoticed. I was told he has issues in every relationship. He said to me that don't think he doesnt appreciate me and that he does have thoughts even tho he doesn't say it. 

Until he makes the effort to work on his issues this behavior will continue. He wanted to reconnect on social media so I agreed which makes me feel like he is just needing time to sort out what he feels. Part of me feels that he just said he sees no future because he is confused. I am aware that if a man has feelings for you that he will show you in his actions. I think he is just too messed up with himself to be able to do that and I feel that he isn't saying goodbye for good. 

 

What should I do? I feel sad for him and I am praying that he gets clarity with himself and his issues. I want to focus on me now and get strong again. Is it possible for someone like this to realize their feelings for you or am I kidding myself and he actually doesn't have any.

 

His lack of communication has shown me that he has thoughts of wanting to talk to me but never brings it up first until I have a meltdown. Yet he has always said to me, if I was not interested in you, you would know. He has stayed with me this long that I feel he is just saying this out of confusion not with a clear head. He said he tried to stop seeing twice but it never happened. 

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5 minutes ago, Soconfused75 said:

I have done everything and put so much in to it.

I take it this is the same individual from back in early November?  I recall you got excellent advice then. Never, ever "do  everything" and "put so much" into anything. Healthy relationships are well-balanced affairs, with give and take and no game-playing. 

 

9 minutes ago, Soconfused75 said:

he is a recluse and likes his alone time and we would get together on weekends and one night during the week which was fine but it was always at his place as he said my tv was not big enough. 

You ask:

" Is it possible for someone like this to realize their feelings for you or am I kidding myself and he actually doesn't have any."

I'll make it straight and easy for you.

Yes, you are kidding yourself:  And no, he can't and won't realise feelings he never had!

10 minutes ago, Soconfused75 said:

he is a recluse and likes his alone time and we would get together on weekends and one night during the week which was fine but it was always at his place as he said my tv was not big enough.

Please, OP, re-read what you have written. 

What is there to even like, let alone love, about this individual!  You can surely do better. 

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I'm not sure why you're confused. Who and how he is have been clear from early on.

The only "confusing" thing is why you keep thinking he's going to "change" when he already told you he won't.

Set yourself free from this dead end situation. If you truly want a relationship you won't waste another minute.

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Guess I was trying to convince myself he would open up. I always got the "only time will tell" and if I wasn't interested i wouldn't be here. I guess it was false hope now that he suddenly says he sees no future yet can't explain why. The last 10 months he has said he doesn't know. I am starting to think he has not had a good woman and doesn't know what to do with it. I was told by someone who knows him well, he has had nothing but failed relationships and that he likely feels like he is in control and has me wrapped around his finger. That I would have gained his respect by treating him like a dog. That he likes the challenge 

Edited by Soconfused75
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7 minutes ago, Soconfused75 said:

He is an empty vessel with nothing to give to anyone 

What is it about this that you find appealing or intriguing? I ask that earnestly, not judgmentally, as your initial post here reads like a story of you spelunking though this empty vessel, trying to mine some kind of precious mineral that even he is saying is not there to mine. There's a difference between feeling loved and trying to excavate love, in that the former is very nourishing while the latter is very draining. 

My sense here is that you have convinced yourself that there is more to him than there actually is, and that if you can be the one to find that more you will be rewarded. I hate to say it, but that's your own ego (ugly word, but think of it like your own internal novelist) pulling the strings of your heart far more than it is him. You are very connected to a story here—a story of him opening up for you—but this is the kind of story that is only real when written by two, not in the mind of one.

Per the specifics of this post? When someone says they don't see a future, I think it's on us to listen and respect exactly what we are hearing—no different, really, than when someone says they don't want to eat Chinese for dinner or go skiing on vacation. They are expressing something true about themselves. He is communicating very clearly, in short, in both actions and words. That he is not saying what you want to hear is different than him struggling to communicate.   

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12 minutes ago, bluecastle said:

What is it about this that you find appealing or intriguing? I ask that earnestly, not judgmentally, as your initial post here reads like a story of you spelunking though this empty vessel, trying to mine some kind of precious mineral that even he is saying is not there to mine. There's a difference between feeling loved and trying to excavate love, in that the former is very nourishing while the latter is very draining. 

My sense here is that you have convinced yourself that there is more to him than there actually is, and that if you can be the one to find that more you will be rewarded. I hate to say it, but that's your own ego (ugly word, but think of it like your own internal novelist) pulling the strings of your heart far more than it is him. You are very connected to a story here—a story of him opening up for you—but this is the kind of story that is only real when written by two, not in the mind of one.

Per the specifics of this post? When someone says they don't see a future, I think it's on us to listen and respect exactly what we are hearing—no different, really, than when someone says they don't want to eat Chinese for dinner or go skiing on vacation. They are expressing something true about themselves. He is communicating very clearly, in short, in both actions and words. That he is not saying what you want to hear is different than him struggling to communicate.   

Thank you ...if that is the case any insight as to why he would respond "maybe, we will see" to the absence could have him realizing what he is missing? If he sees no future and its done why still offer that up or want to still be connected through social media 

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3 minutes ago, Soconfused75 said:

Thank you ...if that is the case any insight as to why he would respond "maybe, we will see" to the absence could have him realizing what he is missing? If he sees no future and its done why still offer that up or want to still be connected through social media 

Why?  To keep you on the hook.  I presume you've been giving him sex and companionship and he doesn't even have to commit to being in a relationship with you.  What's not to like about that?

I had an ex tell me "You know, a woman can come over and bring pizza and beer and give me sex and afterward I'd feel pretty good.  But that's not love".

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1 minute ago, Soconfused75 said:

Thank you ...if that is the case any insight as to why he would respond "maybe, we will see" to the absence could have him realizing what he is missing? If he sees no future and its done why still offer that up or want to still be connected through social media 

I'd ask a different question. Why is "maybe, we will see" enough to keep you this interested in someone who has offered you so little emotional nourishment for the better part of a year? All in all, "maybe, we will see" is the sort of thing people say to get someone to stop pressing them or slip out of an uncomfortable conversation. 

As for social media? I'm personally of the belief that the moment we are trying to gauge anything about our own lives, or our life with another person, through such means is the moment we are grasping at straws, inhaling fumes, full lost in a the fun house maze. 

"I thought we were over, but he/she kept following me on social media," said no one, ever, describing a journey toward everlasting romantic bliss.  

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1 hour ago, Soconfused75 said:

He is an empty vessel with nothing to give to anyone 

I am asking again, OP. What are you going to do?  You are wasting valuable hours (and minutes) of your life with this dead end.

I can't believe you are even asking this: "why still offer that up or want to still be connected through social media." 

Probably because it is convenient in the moment, or just is something to say, meaningless words. He's stringing you along, for heaven's sakes. 

Yes, Bluecastle. That's exactly it.

". That he is not saying what you want to hear is different than him struggling to communicate.   "

Edited by LaHermes
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2 hours ago, Soconfused75 said:

I will admit that prior to this happening I had questioned him about some things that I knew based on discrepancies, he was not being truthful.  These things happened before me, but to me character is everything and I looked at his old cell phone and found all the messages and evidence to support my suspicions and confronted him. 

What did he lie about, and what did you find in these messages? 

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He's not into you like that. Your feelings are way too deep for the situation and too out of balance. Continue keeping him at arm's length if you're too emotional about this man. I think you both want different things from your connection or friendship. 

Let it go. There's better for you out there and someone else will be more on your wavelength (or want the same things you do). 

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Ok he has basically said he is not interested if he doesn’t see a future with you. You also keep having breakdowns in front of him which is not appealing.  Why not take a break from dating, work on yourself for a while and meet someone else?  If a guy tells you there is no future, it is basically a break-up conversation.

It is not good for your mental health to keep going back to someone who is expressly stating he is not interested. Certainly there is someone out there who will treat you better than this?

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I think you're getting caught up in playing at being a therapist and analyzing him because it gives you an excuse to stay.  He's an adult.  People move towards pleasure and away from pain.  If he wanted to be with you - he would.  If he chose to express emotions or open up to you, he would.  It's not "can't" it's "don't want to/don't feel like it/not worth the effort."  If you find the analysis of his childhood fascinating and enjoy musing over why he is the way he is maybe that's the universe's way of telling you that you're really interested in psychology/parent-child relationships,their effects on the future, etc - if so, go for it.  Just not with respect to this guy -you're too biased.  Find a class to take virtually, read some books, whatever - but resist the temptation to indulge in analysis when the basic answer, he's just not that into you and certainly not as much as you are into him.  I'd move on.  I'm sorry if that's disappointing.  (Also if you stop the analysis then if you find out in 6 months or so he's madly in love with someone and it's obvious he's "open" with her it won't sting as much because you would have done what you needed to do to move on emotionally).  

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"He was so caught up in his lies to me he couldn't tell me the truth before. We ended up having a talk and stayed together "  Whyyyyyyy?!   He lies and deceives and does not want a commitment, yet you continue?  He doesn't take you out and does not communicate.  What draws you to this guy?  I don't get it!  

BTW, he is a married man!

You need to dump this clown and address your self worth.  This is unhealthy, demoralizing, and awful!

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8 hours ago, Soconfused75 said:

And when I would try to explain myself his response would be I'm sorry and I am sincere when I say that. He is an empty vessel with nothing to give to anyone 

You have known this for a long time, yet stick around.    You have no one to blame but yourself.  Please seek some counseling.  

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Seems like YOU are constantly 'breaking down' over this untrustworthy, emotionally unavailable man- and you were much aware of his 'faults' early on.

BUT you continued to stick around & wreak havoc in the process :(.

Going thru his phone and pestering him about 'his issue's.. and about your... trust?

If no trust.. just will not work.

Time you walk away and work on accepting.. it is not working out.. correct?

Be strong and leave ALL alone now.. sadly, you've let this go on wayyy longer than it should have... causing yoruself unnecessary distress :(.

Seriously.  Get away from it now.

As mentioned, seek some prof help.  This is no way to live.. lost over some dude that does you no good.

 

IMO, you both have some issue's that have been proven to affect a relationships ability to flourish.

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14 hours ago, Soconfused75 said:

. I met a mature male (early 50s) and I am a divorced female in my (mid 40s) 10 months ago. .  He had separated from his spouse at that time a year prior 

Sorry to hear that. Unfortunately this is an inordinate amount of drama for 40 weeks dating. 

Even after 16 weeks, you needed a break from it.

Dating is to get to know someone, not to fix anyone.

Step way back from this. Rather than focus on all his faults and deficiencies, focus on what you want in a relationship.

"Having a breakdown" just months into dating may indicate that you need to review your divorce, your satisfaction with life, friends, family, work, etc.

Rather than implore him to get to therapy to fix him, you may benefit from unpacking and sorting out some unresolved issues from your divorce.

 

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17 hours ago, Soconfused75 said:

I am starting to think he has not had a good woman and doesn't know what to do with it.

Don't go down that road. What are you going to do? Teach him? Sorry, not gonna happen. You've been ensnared by your own vanity. This kind of thinking is keeping you stuck here.

17 hours ago, Soconfused75 said:

I was told by someone who knows him well, he has had nothing but failed relationships and that he likely feels like he is in control and has me wrapped around his finger.

His relationships failed because he sucks. 

You do realize that he is in control, and that you are wrapped around his finger, right? 

This is such a bad deal for you. You have to get out of this.

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10 hours ago, wearred_ said:

It’s clear this man is dismissive avoidant... look at attachment theory; you’ll find all the answers there. 

I think that we should leave the evaluations for the professionals.  There is also the great possibility that he is not into her, which is more likely.

The bottom line: she should  have ended this long ago. 

Edited by Hollyj
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