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


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6 hours ago, poorlittlefish said:

If the first guy was keen to spend time with you then surely he could organise a babysitter? 

Well no it's not as simple as that - he has to find one, afford one ,clear it with the mother  and some parents are very hesitant to leave their children with sitters especially if they don't know the sitter well.

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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

@Cherylyn I hear what you're saying, but I also disagree. I am myself a single mother with two children (he only has one). Dating, work, finances, ex, schedules etc are hard to juggle when you also have kids, but it is manageable. I manage. And I have dated a number of men in that situation who also managed. One guy I dated for a few months also had his kids 75% of the time since his ex also had a difficult work schedule and was not living in the neighbourhood near the kids' school, so weekdays they were always with him. We still managed to meet up on weekends, and he would get a baby sitter during the week for a few hours so we could get a nice dinner or catch a movie. 

I agree more with @poorlittlefish that if seeing me were his priority, he would find a way.

As for guy number two, he's very nice, interesting and interested. I've gone on three dates with him, and managed to somehow stall kiss/sex so far, mostly because he's stuck in a curfew situation (I'm in Ottawa and he's in Gatineau, so he has curfew but I don't). I honestly don't want to sleep with multiple people. Not even for moral reasons, but just because, having done that before, I find it very confusing and I'm not comfortable with it. I feel like I'm cheating even if no one has talked about exclusivity. 

So, guy number two, a few things:

1) I feel I'll need to make a decision soon because he did mention that next time maybe I could go over for dinner at his place. I know what that means! I think my stalling is over now!

2) I'm hesitant about him for a few reasons: 

  • I really like guy number one
  • guy number two: he reminds me a little - ok quite a bit! - of my ex husband. Same profession, dresses in similar ways, similar height, similar hair style. Except he has a much nicer personality. But because of that, I don't feel that physically attracted to him. He's quite attractive actually (my ex husband was too), but there's just a bit of a barrier there. Not sure that makes sense
  • He is currently in Gatineau, so like 5 km away from my place. But him being here is a temporary thing. He's a professor at a university in Toronto, and is currently on sabbatical. His sister lives in Ottawa so he decided to come here for the year since his research plans in France were canceled due to COVID. Anyway, he's going back to Toronto in September. I kind of casually brought this up, and he doesn't think it's an issue. He says: "I'll just hop on a train every Friday and come for the weekend. I can prepare classes or grade on the train. Maybe once in a while you could come to Toronto." He clearly thought about this. But that being said, it would still be a long distance relationship

 

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I'm not keen on either of them. The first guy has some issues with time but it's not because of that that I wouldn't be able to be around him. You mentioned he complains to you about his ex and her schedule. This is such a turn off. You'll be constantly inbetween him and his ex and adding to their problems about scheduling. The thought of adding to someone else's existing problems turns my stomach. While being patient is a virtue, adding to pre-existing drama is not so I would not go with the first guy. In breaking it off I'd mention what I'm looking for and be honest but tactful that it appears he has some things he has to work out with his ex before being in a new relationship. He might cajole you and try to convince you otherwise, that things will change and he can handle it but that's your cue to step aside firmly and remain civil about it. It "could be" does not mean that it is. 

The reason why I mentioned to be clear with him was to give yourself some time to figure out whether he's right for you and also to give him a clearer picture of how dating seems stalled or stale right now and you're looking for more. The more I think about it, he's just not ready to date.

The second guy appeared a bit more hopeful but his set up and propositions seem a bit childish and fly-by-night. Yet, maybe this might be what has you both getting along and having fun because he pairs your commitments with kids with his flexibility. 

He's currently on a sabbatical so he's got zero responsibilities right now and doesn't appear to have any kids or dependents. He's flexible, completely opposite to the first guy, but without commitments you also can't quite gauge how he'll handle himself. Him coming to meet you on weekends on a train sounds like college student dating where you're both studying at different universities and see each other when exams aren't in session and also... where you need to be comfortable with him spending nights over... already? I would say thank you for the offer but we can talk about that later. Wink at him if he doesn't get it. This isn't about sex or sleepovers. It's about getting to know one another.

Get to know this professor a bit more because he could be a bit dazzled by you and not very realistic about the long distance either. If he teaches in Europe some years, would you be doing an even longer distance type relationship? If you want to get to know the second guy a bit more, I'd say that's fine but take it slow.

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Looks like the ex and is LD/curfew-dealbreaker

Has very little time for you-dealbreaker

Best option, keep looking.

Tip: date those who treat you the way you want to be treated, and fulfill your expectations ie: attraction, availability, stability.

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@Rose Mosse about the second guy,I don't think the distance is the main issue here necessarily. Reasons:

1) he is still in the region till September, so that's another 6 months to get to know each other (if I choose to do so) before he would be going back to Toronto. So, in that sense, if he were to come on weekends and sleep over after 6 months of dating I don't think that would be too soon

2) his sister lives here, so he wouldn't necessarily have to stay with me. He also did his undergraduate here, so has lots of friends in the region so wouldn't be dependant on me for his social life

3) he's not gonna go teach in France. He will have another sabbatical in 6 years. That's a long time

4) while I would, of course, prefer to date someone that lives in the Ottawa region, profs schedules are quite flexible. They have 6 weeks off teaching over the Holidays, and their teaching terms ends early April and only starts in September again. So, he only needs to be in Toronto 5.5 months per year. 

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That's good. See how things go with the second guy then. You seem to get along well with him too. I wouldn't worry about his resemblance to your ex although it might seem disconcerting to start. I think when we first start dating someone we naturally pick out details that seem familiar. As long as you see him as someone new and are open to getting to know him, I think you're on the right track. It doesn't sound like an issue because there are a lot of other things about him you like. 

 

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On 2/23/2021 at 9:36 AM, Batya33 said:

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.

Someone without a property custody agreement is often always on edge.  There is typically money and time at stake. Any wrong move may be costly, financially and emotionally due the relationship with the child.

Some couples can this.  Most can't.  There is always some misunderstanding or one partner being taken advantage of.  After all, if they were able to work well together they'd probably still be married, right?  

Having said this, this is what you signed up for.  His child is priority and without any schedules or boundaries he's on call to step up 24/7.

It's ok to decide that this arrangement isn't working for you

Edited by reinventmyself
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7 hours ago, Hora said:

@Cherylyn I hear what you're saying, but I also disagree. I am myself a single mother with two children (he only has one). Dating, work, finances, ex, schedules etc are hard to juggle when you also have kids, but it is manageable. I manage. And I have dated a number of men in that situation who also managed. One guy I dated for a few months also had his kids 75% of the time since his ex also had a difficult work schedule and was not living in the neighbourhood near the kids' school, so weekdays they were always with him. We still managed to meet up on weekends, and he would get a baby sitter during the week for a few hours so we could get a nice dinner or catch a movie. 

 

 

 

Granted, dating people with children isn't impossible; it's just more inconvenient for obvious reasons.  Sure, you can juggle work, finances and kid schedules.  However, it isn't easy, there's less time, less money until the kid reaches at least 18 years old, less energy, less attention and most of all, no exclusivity.  A parent is pulled in dizzying, multiple directions which makes relationships stressful and not relaxing.  Getting a baby sitter requires extensive scrutiny by the mother in particular; all of which make dating parents more complicated compared to those without children in the mix.  Parenthood is fatiguing and adding dating on top of that is mentally exhausting.  Of course, it's doable if the date has the patience of a saint.  Most people don't have that type of tolerance and endurance long term.  I'm sure there are successful stories out there but it is rare for a reason. 

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On 2/23/2021 at 9:58 AM, Hora said:

would like the relationship to slowly progress, not stagnate.

Unfortunately, during this time of covid, most things with most people ARE stagnating.

Especially given that his ex is a nurse--her schedule isn't likely to stabilize any time soon.

He's either worth keeping in your life for an occasional date, or not, but you're aware that his daughter is his priority, and most parents are NOT having a very easy time of finding balance in their lives right now.

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What about guy #3?

Someone who doesn't have all sorts of custody complications with an ex and isn't a fly-by who's only around part time?

It sounds like you've managed working, single parenthood and dating all quite well.

However these 2 options have built-in roadblocks to getting anywhere relationship-wise.

Perhaps move these 2 overly busy and overly distant guys to the back burner and continue talking to and meeting less complicated men?

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@Wiseman2 haha! To be honest I'm keeping an eye open for a possible #3. That being said, I'm feeling a bit exhausted by the whole dating thing, and I don't want to be in forever FOMO limbo. Since my separation with my ex husband just over 2 years ago, I've met over 30 men (and that's just the ones I met, you can imagine how many I chatted with online!). I've dated a few. One for a year but he ended up being bipolar! Another one that I dated for a few months was a workaholic (he was working 60-70 hours per week) and also turned out to have a dark past with drug addiction, then a third I dated for 3 months was still grieving his past relationship with his ex wife. 

My problem hasn't been at all finding men to meet, or going on dates, or even having men want to do date #2 and #3 etc. I don't know if it's the age-range (40s), or just bad luck, but it seems that every single man that I meet and like and want to see again, comes with a bunch of red flags. It's just so exhausting and discouraging.

Sorry for the vent! 

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Take a break then if you're not feeling it. Dating is in stages and waves. Part of the beauty is that you don't need to be set on anyone because all you're doing is getting your feet wet and meeting people. 

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2 hours ago, Hora said:

@Wiseman2 haha! To be honest I'm keeping an eye open for a possible #3. That being said, I'm feeling a bit exhausted by the whole dating thing, and I don't want to be in forever FOMO limbo. Since my separation with my ex husband just over 2 years ago, I've met over 30 men (and that's just the ones I met, you can imagine how many I chatted with online!). I've dated a few. One for a year but he ended up being bipolar! Another one that I dated for a few months was a workaholic (he was working 60-70 hours per week) and also turned out to have a dark past with drug addiction, then a third I dated for 3 months was still grieving his past relationship with his ex wife. 

My problem hasn't been at all finding men to meet, or going on dates, or even having men want to do date #2 and #3 etc. I don't know if it's the age-range (40s), or just bad luck, but it seems that every single man that I meet and like and want to see again, comes with a bunch of red flags. It's just so exhausting and discouraging.

Sorry for the vent! 

I found dating in my 30s exhausting -part time job -I met men through on line sites and in many other ways -went on over 100 first meets, had contact with hundreds.  I did not meet my husband that way but he did sometimes have an online profile and he's an excellent person as is my ex boyfriend before him who also did.  I have several friends who met their wonderful spouses through online sites.  But yes it can be exhausting!  For me I had very good and efficient screening procedures so I prevented jadedness for the most part.  Also my goal was marriage/family so it was 100% worth the effort.  Good luck!

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I think it's also has to do with maturing.  We can call it baggage, red flags, but we sometimes need to look at it as life experiences.  The longer we are on this planet the more complex we become.

There is always going to be 'something'   You just need to pick what you can live with and what you can't.   Waiting for that fresh slate may keep you waiting for some time.  A clean slate shows up occasionally.  But not often.

 

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4 hours ago, Hora said:

@Wiseman2 haha! To be honest I'm keeping an eye open for a possible #3. That being said, I'm feeling a bit exhausted by the whole dating thing, and I don't want to be in forever FOMO limbo. Since my separation with my ex husband just over 2 years ago, I've met over 30 men (and that's just the ones I met, you can imagine how many I chatted with online!). I've dated a few. One for a year but he ended up being bipolar! Another one that I dated for a few months was a workaholic (he was working 60-70 hours per week) and also turned out to have a dark past with drug addiction, then a third I dated for 3 months was still grieving his past relationship with his ex wife. 

My problem hasn't been at all finding men to meet, or going on dates, or even having men want to do date #2 and #3 etc. I don't know if it's the age-range (40s), or just bad luck, but it seems that every single man that I meet and like and want to see again, comes with a bunch of red flags. It's just so exhausting and discouraging.

Sorry for the vent! 

Venting is always good. Vent away! No apologies for that here. 🙂

That said, read back carefully what you wrote.

Sitting in the bleacher seats, it seems like you are consistently choosing men who are in some way unavailable. I'm guessing that what draws you initially is that they are charming or charismatic.....but it's a shallow thing. Underneath that, they are not available for a healthy relationship.

Usually, when you are drawn to these dead end type relationships, it's because deep down you aren't emotionally available yourself at the moment. Maybe take a step back and just....be single and breathe and relax and ease up on looking? Sort yourself out and get comfortable just being solo? If I'm reading the timeline correctly, you've jumped into looking for your next partner as soon as you got separated from your husband?

This could be why your picker is off.  It's not an age thing or a luck thing, it's a broken picker thing. Ask yourself - what's the rush to couple up anyway? You are a whole person already.

Edited by DancingFool
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@DancingFool I hear what you're saying. Attraction is a difficult thing though: you can't help being attracted to some people and can't help not being attracted to others, even if objectively you think that the one you're not attracted to is better for you. And unfortunately I couldn't make myself sleep with someone I have no attraction for, therefore one of those charismatic men will have to be more than just a disappointment or else I might just remain single forever! haha

And speaking of being single, I broke up with that guy I was seeing for a year in June, and although I was dating since then, I didn't date anyone exclusively. So, I have actually gone solo for the past 8 months. And I'm not doing badly at all. I have lots of friends that I manage to see despite the pandemic, I have quite a few hobbies, I have my kids. I also have a great community of other parents in my neighbourhood, and we often plan outings together with the kids from drive-through zoo to summer camping. I therefore do consider that I'm doing pretty well on my own.

I am looking for a partner not because I need one. I have a very nice house, a great career. I am not looking for marriage or for someone to move in with me. I wouldn't mind if those things happen, but I'm not specifically looking for that. I would just like to have a companion in my life to do things with from movie nights to lazy mornings to going on trips. And of course, like everyone, it would be great to be loved and to have someone in my life that loves me in return. I don't understand why wanting this and looking for it makes me emotionally unavailable?

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21 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

what draws you initially is that they are charming or charismatic.....but it's a shallow thing. 

Charisma is shallow, charm is shallow, appearance is shallow, IQ is shallow, talents are shallow... is there something that is not shallow? I think it's better not to obfuscate emotional unavailability with personality traits. In my opinion there is no correlation.

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When you meet someone who checks all the boxes you won't have these questions, I reckon. Give it time to develop. Dating local and finding someone with the same priorities, schedule/free time, approach to life etc is a good start and I think you already want all those things. It's just a matter of time and a little luck. I think it's great that you are meeting these people and giving it a lot of consideration. 

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My two cents -if marriage/long term commitment is not your goal then meeting people through online sites is not worth the immense amount of time/effort/aggravation.  Given how you described your life I would ask your many friends to look within their networks and introduce you to eligible quality single men.  I can't relate to your connection between having a very nice house and a career to not "needing" a partner.  Obviously no one should look for a partner for financial reasons.  I didn't "need" a partner but I knew my goal was marriage and family -I had a very successful career and was financially independent when I was dating in my 30s,  I wanted someone financially stable and someone with the same work ethic as me, etc but not because I needed a partner in any financial sense or to live off his successful career.  

I never ever thought the time investment for dating sites was worth it for the type of relationship you describe - I know you're not against long term/marriage but unless that's your over the top enthusiastic goal i don't think it's worth the time investment or aggravation FWIW.

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I agree the best way is to meet people through friends and family...you don't have to announce they should introduce you, just let them know your struggles and that will spike some interest in helping you. I met my husband through friends.

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5 hours ago, dias said:

Charisma is shallow, charm is shallow, appearance is shallow, IQ is shallow, talents are shallow... is there something that is not shallow? I think it's better not to obfuscate emotional unavailability with personality traits. In my opinion there is no correlation.

Charisma and charm in particular are shallow, superficial and pretentious traits.  What's important and most enduring are the following:  Empathy, emotional intelligence, integrity, values, principles and very moral character.     

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On 2/23/2021 at 1:27 PM, Hora said:

I think what's difficult here for me is that I don't really know how to assess the situation.

That's because it's impossible to assess a situation like this after only two months of knowing him. You have no history, no context, no common acquaintances.

Put this in perspective. All you have is information that he provided. The rest is all assumption on your part. That 'connection' that you feel with him has more to do with hormones than it does with who he is as a person.

You have to take a step back, and keep your options open.

It's not about being "too needy" or "too clingy." It's about recognizing your wants and needs in a relationship and putting yourself in a position to achieve those things.

Unfortunately, you have rushed into this. Your over-investment has placed you at a disadvantage, because you are now off-kilter.

On 2/23/2021 at 2:11 PM, Rose Mosse said:

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.

Yup, that's basically the only thing that you can do with this guy, at this point.

It's been two months. You've slept with each other. You should be able to have this conversation. 

And if he doesn't change his behavior, you have to be your own advocate and move on.

Don't linger in an unsatisfying situation. 

Other than that, keep your options open! Guy #2 isn't doing it for you, but your choice isn't just between these two men. There are literally billions of other men on the planet. Certainly there are at least ten other options in your immediate vicinity. Get the train rolling here. Start lining them up and meeting them.

On 2/23/2021 at 1:27 PM, Hora said:

But I've always, when I really liked someone, found ways to make it work.

 Exactly. Don't forget this.

 

Edited by Jibralta
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I also divorced in my forties and my dating experiences paralleled yours in many ways. I do remember chatting with someone on OLD who told me he had his five year old every Wed. and every weekend. I told him I was looking for a companion I could spend a lot of time with, and so that schedule wouldn't work for me.

If I were you, I wouldn't go into some long discussion about his schedule. I'd just say: I'm looking for someone I can see more regularly, so I've come to realize I'm not happy with how this has been going. If your arrangements ever change to allow this, feel free to call me and if I'm single, we can try this again. Otherwise, I wish you well and it's best we go no contact.

It doesn't sound like you're into the other guy, so I'd end that too.

I did meet my husband who was about date #30 on OLD. Shortly before that, I'd gone on some Meetup.com activities for singles in my age group and enjoyed that. I didn't meet anybody of interest on those outings, but different people would show up each time, and I might've eventually met someone had I remained single and continued to go. If you have any of those groups in your area, check them out. Other ways? Volunteer work like environmental cleanups. Zoo or museum docent. Co-ed sports team. Dance lessons.

I know how frustrating it is, like sifting through tons of sand to find the treasure. Good luck.

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