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Dating guy since two months - he seems to have little time for me


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Hello. Would love some advice on this guy that I am dating.

We met about two months ago through an online dating app. We hit it off right away, and he seemed eager to see me again as soon as possible. However, we have been seeing each other inconsistently: one week he would only have time for a lunch date, and the other week we would meet for dinner and he would sleep over. 

He is very busy, and is taking care of his daughter basically 70-80% of the time. His ex doesn't seem very involved. Plus, she is a nurse and he says that one week out of two she has evening and weekend shifts. That is usually the week that he wants to meet up for lunch only.

I have several problems with this situation:

1) I would like to see him more often. It was ok at first, but as we are getting to know each other more, I would like the relationship to progress a little bit. At least have one decent date per week, and not just every two weeks. Or him to have some time for me on the weekend during the day. Even when his ex is not working, he seems to not want to be away from his daughter, or says he has work to catch up on. 

2) I understand his situation, but wonder if he's really available that little, or if he's just not that eager to see me.

3) The work day lunches are not really working for me anymore since they usually end up being 3 hours, and it's affecting my work.

I should also add that:

- He's very very affectionate when we are together. He seems to genuinely like me. He shows effort. He also communicates via text every day. That being said, given it's only been two months, and we actually only saw each other 8 times in that time period, we didn't have the exclusivity talk yet.

- His schedule with the ex is not set. Because of her work, they just play it by ear around her schedule basically. I find this very frustrating to be honest. (also, they've been separated two years. They were not married).

- I would like this to go somewhere and become more serious. I am not in a rush for this to happen, but that being said,would like the relationship to slowly progress, not stagnate. Given that I feel uncertain about the potential future of this relationship, I have continued dating. I haven't slept with anyone else. That being said, I have met someone else that I went on two dates with. It's not the fireworks that I have with this guy, but this new man is so communicative, eager to spend time with me etc., and that makes me realize what I am missing with this guy.

- I would rather things work out with the first guy, but at the same time wonder if he's ever going to make me happy. 

Would love your feedback!

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Thank you everyone for your replies. It's good to get other people's opinions sometimes. When we're in the weeds of things we don't always have a clear view of things. So, had a little chat with

I would speculate the first guy is hoping to reconcile with his child's mother. The fact that the time is never "right" to discuss a set custody and visitation schedule with her leads me to believe he

I think your expectations of him are very unrealistic.  He has a child who is his top priority.  He is barely apart from the child's mother.  He has to undertake the very time consuming process of get

I understand you like the first guy more.  Maybe it's because you've had more time to come to this realization or it's the whole  "he's unavailable makes him more attractive" thing. I would explore this & understand my own feelings on this....

Separate from that,  I think if you want to be with this first guy, you need to acknowledge and accept that you are not the priority. Right or wrong, his ex wife, his child and their schedules are the priority.

He's fitting you in where and when it works for him.  Affection, while great, is not always an indication of commitment. He could just enjoy being affectionate and casual sex, for it is a human biological need. 

I'd give more of a chance to the second guy, as he is actually meeting or at least trying to meet your needs and you are more like equals in the relationship.

Stop sleeping with guy #1 & accepting lunch dates, as neither will get you closer to what you want with the guy... rather the opposite.

if he stops calling all together, there's your answer.  if he asks what's up,  you will have the opportunity to say, due to his lack of involvement you're seeing others and its not your style to sleep around. 😉

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We desire most what we can't have. Been there done that, after 3 weeks of only seeing them once a week I dumped them and moved on. There will be other guys girl. Never settle for the guy that doesn't have time for you.

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@melancholy123 They are definitely separated. Since they were not married, they just kind of settled things without mediator/lawyer etc. They were together only like 5 years or so. It seems that she got pregnant by accident, and then moved in with him and things didn't work out, so she moved out again. He has been talking in the last few weeks that he would like to have an official kind of notarized agreement about their child. Kind of a separation agreement I guess. In that document, he would like to agree on a schedule with the daughter he says. He brought this up several times, and keeps saying he will have a talk with her, but then when I ask how the talk went, the answer always seems to be "the moment wasn't right. It'll have to wait"

Edited by Hora
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Sorry but the first guy sounds sketchy. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, he is showing you clearly that his life is in flux, that he is busy raising his child and that no, he doesn't have time for you the way that you want and will not ever have that kind of time for you. His child will need him for a long long time. Basically, his child, the relationship with the mother, work - all these will always come way before you. If that doesn't work for you, walk away now and don't waste more of your time getting attached and sucked into this.

Pay attention to what he is doing, not what he is claiming.

If you want a guy who has a set schedule, who can see you more, etc., the first guy is not the right kind of a man. He can't even if he wanted to. So you may like him and there may be a spark, but you are not compatible where it matters.

I'd drop this guy completely, so you can clear your head and give other men a better chance. It's going to be impossible for you to feel that spark with someone else who is actually a better choice for you overall, when you are hung up on this guy who is unavailable to you. Cut him lose and move on to better greener pastures.

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I'm sure you know dating or getting your feet wet out there does mean that you run into a great number of individuals who sound great at first but don't work practically with your lifestyle or your own schedule. I think it's a mistake getting involved with a man who is so limited for time. He's honest with you. You're trying to make him into someone he's not. 

I'd chalk this one up to experience and let First Guy go. Call a spade a spade. I think you also sound emotionally attached to this person so taking it slow with the other guy is a good idea. Let things unfold naturally. 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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55 minutes ago, Hora said:

@melancholy123 They are definitely separated. Since they were not married, they just kind of settled things without mediator/lawyer etc. They were together only like 5 years or so. It seems that she got pregnant by accident, and then moved in with him and things didn't work out, so she moved out again. He has been talking in the last few weeks that he would like to have an official kind of notarized agreement about their child. Kind of a separation agreement I guess. In that document, he would like to agree on a schedule with the daughter he says. He brought this up several times, and keeps saying he will have a talk with her, but then when I ask how the talk went, the answer always seems to be "the moment wasn't right. It'll have to wait"

The funny thing about emotionally unavailable people is they may be able to explain things very logically and all their explanations seem sooo reasonable. 

its almost like to challenge their actions, would make us seem unreasonable like we don't understand. And the last thing we want our paramour to think is that we don't understand or support them. 

You're being patient, bending, accommodating and that's all great and makes for a great partner... but! Are they!?!?

You said they were "only" together for 5 years.  That's actually a long time and a child resulted. Be careful you're not being sold a bill of goods....

Edited by Lambert
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2 hours ago, Hora said:

His ex doesn't seem very involved. Plus, she is a nurse and he says that one week out of two she has evening and weekend shifts. That is usually the week that he wants to meet up for lunch only.

So it sounds like he is the primary care giver here, she gets visitation... OR is this when she is working?

It sounds like HE is a busy man and either you need to accept as is, his life expectations - or walk away. 

Has only been 2 months.

I'm curious.. If you are so into him, why are you going out w/other guys? ( Is this because of your frustrations with this guy?)

 

 

 

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I think your expectations of him are very unrealistic.  He has a child who is his top priority.  He is barely apart from the child's mother.  He has to undertake the very time consuming process of getting an actual schedule in place.  No, he should not take time away from his daughter on a weekend to see you.  I would tell him you are available to date him once he has a set schedule with his daughter and once he feels like he can date you properly - once or twice a week - that you understand his priority has to be his family right now and you're not a person who can accommodate his situation right now.

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@SooSad33 

17 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

So it sounds like he is the primary care giver here, she gets visitation... OR is this when she is working?

It sounds like HE is a busy man and either you need to accept as is, his life expectations - or walk away. 

Has only been 2 months.

I'm curious.. If you are so into him, why are you going out w/other guys? ( Is this because of your frustrations with this guy?)

 

 

 

They don't have a schedule. Daughter is at school during the day. He has her evenings whenever his ex works evenings, which seems like most days. She also often works weekends. So, she takes the daughter when she has time and no other plans. He has been complaining about her schedule to me, but I feel that he's letting her get away with it. She's been a nurse in that hospital for 15+ years, so clearly she could arrange her schedule a bit differently. I work in the medical industry as well, and I know that she has a say about her schedule. I'm pretty sure he knows that too. So, he's not putting his foot down. He's enabling her I find.

 

As for why I'm going out with other guys, well, I slowly started seeing a pattern in his availability, and realized that things were not really developing/progressing.  He kind of swept me off my feet when we met, and then slowly I started to feel a little naive thinking this is gonna work out. So I felt I needed to take a step back and consider my other options. 

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6 minutes ago, Hora said:

@SooSad33 

They don't have a schedule. Daughter is at school during the day. He has her evenings whenever his ex works evenings, which seems like most days. She also often works weekends. So, she takes the daughter when she has time and no other plans. He has been complaining about her schedule to me, but I feel that he's letting her get away with it. She's been a nurse in that hospital for 15+ years, so clearly she could arrange her schedule a bit differently. I work in the medical industry as well, and I know that she has a say about her schedule. I'm pretty sure he knows that too. So, he's not putting his foot down. He's enabling her I find.

 

As for why I'm going out with other guys, well, I slowly started seeing a pattern in his availability, and realized that things were not really developing/progressing.  He kind of swept me off my feet when we met, and then slowly I started to feel a little naive thinking this is gonna work out. So I felt I needed to take a step back and consider my other options. 

I would reserve judgment here.  You have no idea what other kinds of family or life responsibilities she has or how her particular place of employment is. He might not be enabling.  He might be really scared of losing custody or visitation especially since they weren't married.  You don't know anything relevant about her.  And you barely know him and you're judging what kind of father he is.  All told I don't think you two are a match other than it was fun for you to be swept off your feet. I'd find someone you admire and respect -or you see great potential for that -and where you have compatible lifestyles.  

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Well, if this is how they 'work', I feel is up to you whether you are okay with it.  They've been involved a long time, I gather.. YOU have only been involved w/ him a cpl of months- and now see his life & expectations.

How they work this out, is their decision.  If it works for them, that's what matters.

Can you handle it?  I don't think so... then just walk away & don't ream him out about anything.

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15 minutes ago, Hora said:

He kind of swept me off my feet when we met, and then slowly I started to feel a little naive thinking this is gonna work out. So I felt I needed to take a step back and consider my other options. 

What's in bold is a huge red flag and it seems that now your instincts and more rational self is kicking in telling you the same. Listen to yourself because you are actually giving yourself the best advice here - move on and look at better options.

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I think what's difficult here for me is that I don't really know how to assess the situation. @Batya33 I hear what you're saying. I know quite a bit about her life actually. I don't know for a fact that she can change her schedule although I'm 90% sure that she has some say. I also know that she doesn't have other family obligations. And she lives with another man that has no children. She's a bit of a introvert and doesn't have a big social life. She mostly spends her free time at home. 

@SooSad33 I guess part of my hesitation is that I'm wondering if I'm asking too much, if my expectations are unrealistic. I have children as well, and I know it's not always easy to juggle life, kids, work and dating. But I've always, when I really liked someone, found ways to make it work. But I guess not everyone has the same scheduling skills. And, how can I put this, I just want to make sure that I'm not expecting too much too early, that I'm not being clingy and needy by wanting to see him least once a week after two months, and wishing this to progress. I don't want to be impatient. I could be patient if I knew things were heading to a better place. But you're right, if someone told me that we would only see each other for a real date once every two weeks for the next 3 years, then I would walk away. This is not what I want. 

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I think you should be clearer about what you want with this guy or he's going to think that you're okay with everything the way it is.

Be more vocal and clarify that you're looking to spend more time with someone and get to know someone more. This means... (insert number of times you'd like to see each other or that you'd like to see him at least one weeknight). Ie. Seeing each other 3-4 times a week or 2-3 times a week during the weeks and doing more things together like x, y, z. Offer examples of things you'd like to do more of. Be clear and tangible. Don't let this be about his ex or what you think of her. I wouldn't talk about stagnating or progress or use those words. It sounds too cold and results-driven and can come across as having an agenda. I'd just be clearer about wanting to spend more time with him and paint the picture of what that time spent together would look like.

Put the ball in his court and let him have that moment of realization that it might work or that it's really not going to work. 

He may not have dated a lot of other women and so he doesn't know how inflexible he appears or what that lack of effort means. If you can't respect him or treat him as an individual smart enough to make his own decisions or navigate dating, childcare etc, this isn't going to work. There's not enough respect there for each other.

 

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4 hours ago, Hora said:

That being said, given it's only been two months, and we actually only saw each other 8 times in that time period, we didn't have the exclusivity talk yet.

Sorry this is happening. Since you are not exclusive, continue talking to and meeting others. Also given it's only 8 weeks, it may be time to consider cutting your losses.

He claims he's too busy and he seems to talk way to much about his child's mother, their situation, etc. unfortunately 3 is a crowd.

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@Rose Mosse Thank you for this! That's actually really great advice. I was considering having a talk with him, but I guess was unsure about how to phrase things. I have an unfortunate tendency to over explain myself in these situations, which doesn't always have the best outcome. But I know that making too many compromises won't make me happy, and therefore if we can't meet me at least halfway I will not want to pursue this. 

As for his dating history since his separation, I know he has met some other women, but he hasn't mentioned dating anyone else in the past years. 

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I would speculate the first guy is hoping to reconcile with his child's mother. The fact that the time is never "right" to discuss a set custody and visitation schedule with her leads me to believe he doesn't WANT a set schedule. He's hoping she comes back.

Yes, I'm sure he said that relationship is over but what he says and what he's doing don't match.

You are wise to date others rather than sit around waiting for that man to "change".

Edited by boltnrun
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3 hours ago, boltnrun said:

I would speculate the first guy is hoping to reconcile with his child's mother. The fact that the time is never "right" to discuss a set custody and visitation schedule with her leads me to believe he doesn't WANT a set schedule. He's hoping she comes back.

Yes, I'm sure he said that relationship is over but what he says and what he's doing don't match.

You are wise to date others rather than sit around waiting for that man to "change".

I agree. But please check your judgment and assumptions -you've only known him for two months -you barely know him and you insist you know a lot about the mother of his child?  I mean maybe you have a different definition of know as in I "know" a lot about the ripeness of an avocado just by touching it for five seconds.  She's a person, a mom, a nurse and many many other things you know nothing about and you only know the snippets her ex (?) boyfriend has told you and he is of course biased.

I don't think he's right for you.  I do think he's still involved with the mother of his child in some way.  I don't think you have better scheduling skills than him or her - you might have excellent scheduling skills of course but i'm just not sure why you need to keep critiquing these strangers especially the mother of your new boyfriend's child.  It's not a contest.  You're doing a great job as a mom and as a potential partner for the right person.  He is not the right person for you.

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Well the issue I see here is that if he has his daughter, for whatever reason, the ex is at work, etc. - he can't actually go on dates. Unless he brought the daughter on the date. This might explain why he goes on lunch dates while his daughter is at school. It's hard to know if he is truly so busy or not that interested but I think that part probably doesn't matter. What matters is this guy is hardly seeing you. You want to see him once a week minimum, so you are not getting that from him. He's potentially the wrong guy for you. His daughter will always be his number one priority, not you. I think the only thing you can really do is say to him that you want to see him more often and make that known. Unfortunately you have no control at all over what he chooses to do about his ex and her schedule. You are right too that if he super liked you, he would push for his ex's roster to get sorted out.

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I am a married mother.  My mother was a single parent.  I speak from experience.

This guy is extremely busy as a single parent and there are only so many hours of the day.  He has to coordinate his work schedule and life around his number one priority, his daughter.  He has to constantly confer with his ex-wife because he is very much part of his ex-wife's life throughout their daughter's childhood and he will still have a relationship with them or at least their daughter even after she grows up.  You have to wait on the sidelines whenever it is convenient for him to squeeze you into his frenetically paced life. 

I'm sorry to say this but you do not have much status in this guy's life.  You have to share him and you are lower in rank than his daughter and his ex-wife whom he must have contact with because of their daughter.  You're basically left with crumbs and whatever little time, attention and resources spared for you.  You have to take a backseat and accept this low priority for yourself as you date a single parent. 

Either remain patient and realize this guy's juggling act to fit you in whenever time, energy and resources permit or date a guy who doesn't have any strings attached.  Your current guy is a package deal and he has baggage.

Also, keep in mind, there's less money to spend on you.  This guy most likely pays child support, food, clothing, random items, his daughter could need orthodontic braces, he has to help pay for soccer or organized sports memberships, Girl Scouts and other endless expenses which crop up raising a child.  This means less money for him to date and socialize with you.  His resources will be stretched thin.

Remain realistic.

 

 

 

Edited by Cherylyn
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