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His actions don’t match his words in a good and bad way?


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My experiences with men has been clingy, narcissistic, overbearing, fast moving, propose in 3 months kinda guys. I’ve also experienced a lot abuse and manipulation in these past relationships which means I’ve been really struggling to myself back out there, even though I’m quite confident and secure in myself. I get triggered quite easily. I’ve been seeing this guy for about 3 months and I really like him. And this guy is the complete opposite to anything I have ever dated. But I’m so scared that I’m misreading signals because I’ve never experienced someone who is, potentially, genuinely down to earth and in no rush. I can’t help but think, what if he actually doesn’t care and is taking me along for a ride?! It’s been 3 months and it’s so relaxed, I think my anxiety is trying to find reasons to make this a drama.

 

The first 2ish months I had made it very clear I wanted a casual relationship and he agreed. I genuinely believed that I wanted this, firstly, because of the trauma I went through I had decided to take a long break from relationships and secondly I did not expect to eventually care so much about this guy.

A month and a half ago our communication kinda faded off and I realised how much I wanted to keep seeing him. So I hit him up honestly, and told him I really wanted to keep seeing him (which I don’t think I hinted to before). Ever since then things have been great but again because of my past relationship traumas I feel constant anxiety and paranoia when we are away from each other because I can’t read some of his signals

 

Trying to keep this short so I’ll write out the positives and negatives:

 

he offered to be exclusive after I bought up how I was feeling anxious about our casual relationship status. I didn’t have to suggest it. He deleted his dating apps as well. He even implied he stopped seeing other women after meeting me.

We pretty equally plan things! 

I found when I expect him to be ***ty/distant or manipulative he has not been, he has been quick to apologise and fast to empathise with me. 

He has made comments about being worried that “I’ll put his head on the chopping block” if we move to quickly and how he wonders if he should be so comfortable and weird in front of me so early on.

he made efforts to come to my friends party’s, last minute, just to see me. All my closest friends were there and he is a big introvert. 

This week he introduced me to his friends. Friends who are basically his family. He also told me he never brought his ex to hangout with his friends cause he didn’t think it’d last. So it felt very big that he introduced me.

When we were with his friends he was affectionate to me in front of them 

we agreed to regularly hangout on Mondays

when we are together he is really  affectionate, attentive and we have so much fun. Plus we have very passionate sex. 

Regardless of the passionate sex he has frequently just come over to hangout. A lot of the time we are together we end up just giggling, cuddling and talking all night long and then maybe sex, and the sex is always incredible. He definitely doesn’t make me feel like he just wants my body. 

I went out last night with friends and got pretty drunk, I called him to see if he was up. He had work early in the morning but still told me to come over. Then he made himself late to work the next morning, he said it was because his bed was warm but then hinted it was because he didn’t want to leave me. 

he does make small future plans for us like future dates and fun things we could do 

he made a comment a week ago about how he understood why my past two exes wanted to marry me and that he hasn’t met many people that make him feel as comfortable as I do.

 

The negative things are:

 

he is a terrible texter. He will post on his Instagram after ive texted him (mostly just posting memes) and then reply to me, very often. He has consistently been this way tho, so there isnt actually any significant changes in that behaviour. Sometimes instead of replying he will just like my messages. He has never properly left me on seen for more than a couple of hours and he always finds a way to send me something or bring something up over text however I find myself waiting on his replies often. I messaged him about a big sad life event that happened and he just liked the message. I was meant to see him that night and when I did he was super caring and attentive to how sad I was but it still really got to me that he had done that.

I have told him flat out multiple times that I don’t want a relationship many many times (out of protectiveness, I’m  aware how childish this is but I can’t help it) and how much I need us to go really slow. When we had our big talk about being exclusive he simultaneously told me we can exclusive but he doesn’t have time for a girlfriend. He said that we should see where things go but also he was afraid he is accidentally walking into a relationship. He also said how he thinks he isn’t made to be in a relationship because of his terrible time management. He runs his own business completely solo and then works two other part time jobs and he was honest that he always puts that first. 

All that leads into how he is so terrible at planning. He planned this thing with his friends and I, completely unprompted by me then didnt get back to me about it until 2 hours before we were meant to be there. He will show up late to our dates frequently as well. He has apologised and said that he does value my time but it doesn’t make me feel that way. In saying that when we are together he always finds way to extend the time we have together. He is never in a rush to leave me and is always finding reasons for us to spend more time together. 

We both have the same sarcastic humour and we tease each other a lot. And he sometimes makes weird flippant comments about our relationship that seem uncaring but then will back track later and say something nice. I always joke about how we are “just friends”. He got kinda bothered by it today so i cant tell if he is pretending to be cool or actually doesn’t care about the relationship 

I’m not sure exactly how long but I know he broke up with his ex relatively recently. More than 6ish months ago. They still have photos of each other up of each other on their Instagrams. They don’t follow each other or talk but I know communication isn’t 100% cut off from between them. However I do believe him that he is over her. He speaks kindly of her but she definitely was abusive, physically and mentally to him. Even though right now he doesn’t phrase it like that. 

 

I don’t know where to go with him from here. I feel like things are naturally progressing but also there is resistance or maybe fear on both sides? Or perhaps he is simply stringing me along? 

The texting thing really bothers me but I feel uncomfortably bringing it up if it is just something he genuinely struggles with. I don’t want there to be any expectations between us just yet because we are so chill right now. 

I am simultaneously so terrified of putting my foot in it and showing my needy side but also I refuse to be stupid and try act like he is ready to be anything for me if the signs are so clearly pointing toward him not being ready for a relationship 

His actions don’t match his words in good ways and bad ways? Sometimes his texting is great and fun and when we are together he makes me feel like his girlfriend but then his texting seems so careless and his occasionally flippant comments about us makes me feel distant from him sometimes. 

 

Do I let it naturally progress or bring up all my little anxieties and risk being overbearing??

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After a series of abusive relationships, something even resembling normal will feel very off to you and uncomfortable. You are used to crazy and pushy and whirlwind and anything less than that will feel like something is not right. Up to you to realize that the not right is coming from you being used to toxic behaviors rather than the guy you are dating.

I actually don't see much wrong here at all, even in the negatives you are listing.

I do think that you need to stop blaming men and take a loooong look at yourself and your own needs and choices because those are the things that drive you to choose toxic relationships.

The texting thing? This guy is being normal. What you want is the toxic whirlwind. You won't get it from him and that's a good thing. It's on you to fix yourself and deal with your anxieties if you want your relationships to become more healthy.

The snark - you are both kind of the same and when you are busy pushing someone away all the time, yes, people will get defensive and eventually their feelings will get hurt, and eventually they'll opt to walk away from you. So, stop punishing him for your own bad past choices and your ex's. He is being a flawed human in response to your own toxic behavior. Basically, don't act toxic and then complain how someone responds to that.

Bottom line is that all I see here are two flawed humans who like each other trying to make a relationship work. I do think that you are carrying not only a lot of baggage, but also have personal issues you need to address if you want to make this work or have any kind of a healthy relationship at large. I don't really get the whole "jumping in thing" - you are already in an exclusive relationship. Hate to break it to you but you are in the pool and been swimming for a while already. 

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Sorry this is happening. When someone is on/off with an ex, it will be the type of headaches. heartaches and drama you're describing.

 If someone has a laundry list of negative points, simply end it and move forward.

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1 hour ago, Totesgoats said:

All that leads into how he is so terrible at planning. He planned this thing with his friends and I, completely unprompted by me then didnt get back to me about it until 2 hours before we were meant to be there. He will show up late to our dates frequently as well. He has apologised and said that he does value my time but it doesn’t make me feel that way.

Well you are well aware of his crazy, busy lifestyle, so you need to expect this.. He is trying...

 

1 hour ago, Totesgoats said:

he sometimes makes weird flippant comments about our relationship that seem uncaring but then will back track later and say something nice. I always joke about how we are “just friends”. He got kinda bothered by it today so i cant tell if he is pretending to be cool or actually doesn’t care about the relationship 

I say he got 'kinda bothered', because it's you saying this stuff.. instead of just letting things ride at ease.  If you are not careful, you can jeopardize this relationship.

 

1 hour ago, Totesgoats said:

I am simultaneously so terrified of putting my foot in it and showing my needy side but also I refuse to be stupid and try act like he is ready to be anything for me if the signs are so clearly pointing toward him not being ready for a relationship 

Maybe... neither of you are ready.

You still seem so uncertain about a lot! 😕 ... 3 months in is enough to start seeing how the other person is.. and with you reacting to every little thing - will push him away.

IF you feel he is not all in it.. then just admit it.  That you don't feel right.. BUT, I feel you haven't given this much of a chance , yet.

If your uncertainties are over ruling, maybe you should back out of this whole thing.

 

This is what concerns me:

 I’ve been really struggling to myself back out there, even though I’m quite confident and secure in myself. I get triggered quite easily.

 

I don't think this is good for you.  Maybe you just need to remain single some more.. and continue on your healing path.

In time, I'm sure more things will start bothering you- and this has only been 3 months.  You are still so anxious, aren't you?  Not good.

Maybe look into some professional help, to help you work through all of that, which is going on up there... give this all some more time.

Nothing wrong with being single for some more time.  Knowing you are not quite ready.. and still have those issue's.

 

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Seems to me you want it both ways.  Go slow, but text me back faster. Don't pressure me, but give me lots of confirmation of your feelings. 

You're wanting him do all the work and put all the trust in. Not gonna work.  It's you jump, I jump, Jack.

You might want to talk to a therapist.  Some of your concerns may he valid. Some you may be creating. You say you're confident but it didn't sound like it. 

Sounds like you're trying to protect yourself and sure, we all do that, but maybe you need time to heal and have more trust in yourself and in your own judgment. 

 

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Showing up late to dates would be a dealbreaker, considering how late or how frequently. I would bring that up and mention that. If you think there may be good reasons for it and you both have some arrangement, that's fine, but as a general approach - no, that is not ok.

If you have issues with his texting, think carefully about what you're expecting with those text messages. Casual banter? Memes and jokes? Longer, more thoughtful messages? While it may not be anything to mention now, your discomfort or uneasiness about this is valid. Are you comparing texting in the past with whirlwind romances to be incessant and constant? 

Two hours is a very reasonable time to get back to someone.  Consider whether you're used to the volume and frequency of texts in those unhealthy relationships as opposed to what's happening now with this guy. 

The other thing I'd note is reducing the number of times you both talk about your exes. Just because he introduces you to his family or friends doesn't mean he has to interject about his ex in an effort to get you (or anyone) to understand that it's a step in the exclusive direction. Completely irrelevant whether he introduced his exes to his friends. 

 

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Decide what you want.

Either you are casual material or you are relationship material. The mess comes when you conflate the two, saying casual but applying relationship standards to that.

If you get clear about what YOU want, then you can communicate that freely, and you'll also feel free to measure your own satisfaction by those standards.

It's when you play the 'casual' game (and keep moving the goal posts on what that means) that does a number on your own head.

From there you feel scattered even while you hem yourself into a corner in order to avoid behaving as scattered as you feel.

So skip that stuff. Decide where you privately stand, and then ask the guy you're dating whether he feels the same way. If not, walk away or accept that your standards won't be met.

Clarity can only come from being honest with your SELF first, and from there you can be honest with a partner to learn whether he's a good match, or not. Otherwise, you'll keep trying to read tea leaves, even while you're too afraid to learn the real answers, and that's a pretty stressful way to live.

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So I noticed your typo and then realized in a way you meant it.  

On 5/6/2021 at 11:03 AM, Totesgoats said:

And this guy is the complete opposite to anything I have ever dated.

He's not a thing he's an "anyone".  But as I read more I got the strong impression that while you recognize he is a human being not a "thing" the way you write about this and describe this I don't get the sense you like men -meaning I don't think you have good friends who are men, want to have good friends who are men - you have all these negative assumptions about men and about him so that I don't get the sense you like him as an individual person.  You like how he makes you feel.  You like having sex with him.  You like the idea of him and the challenge of him.  You like the thrill of the chase and also hate it.  But you don't like him as a person and you're not terribly interested in getting to know him as an individual person, am I right?  A little right?

You actually think he might be stringing you along? How? You agreed to have sex with him. You pursued him when he backed off and he then continued seeing you.  You're comfortable having passionate sex with someone you don't trust?  That's what I mean - I don't think you like him as a person and because of that you're intensely focused on keeping score, on hyper-analyzing all his good and bad points. As if he were a thing and not an individual person.

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