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Are we dating? Hanging out? 26F + 38M


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Posted (edited)

Where to start... I'm a registered nurse at a hospital, he is a doctor at the same hospital. There was always something that attracted me to him as soon as I saw him at work. We always engaged in small talk here and there at work, then decided to go skiing one day with a mutual friend as he does not have a lot of friends here. This mutual friend was unable to make it and said doctor said he would still like to hang out regardless. When the time came, he picked me up and had reservations at one of our cities nicest restaurants - this was end of February. 

Since then, we have been spending time together most weekends, usually spending Friday-Sunday together - sleepover the whole weekend included as its the only time we have together. We go for walks, order takeout as we are still in lockdown, and drive to the mountains. We have slept together many times, but overall he is not very affectionate otherwise. No hand holding, not a lot of kisses, and cuddles usually when we are sleeping. We've even got toothbrushes at each others places. Sometimes it feels like we are just friends hanging out, this past weekend, we spent 3 nights together with no sex - I was convinced we are just friends. But, as it was time for me to go Sunday evening, I went to leave and he said "hold on" and gave me a peck - which he does every time I leave. That's where the confusion sets in... I don't usually kiss my friends goodbye. Then I wonder, are we just friends with benefits? but we do not have sex regularly. I may add - he is 38 and I am 26.

Occasionally he says things "oh on our second date" or "if this doesn't work out" which leads me to believe we may be dating.

And he also is not as keen on texting these days. We occasionally go a day or two without talking - but he is a very busy doctor.. working till late every night, and some weekends so we don't have a great schedule for hanging out.

I'm aware the answer is to communicate and ask him if he sees this going anywhere, just wanted to get some advice.

Edited by danielleloren
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  • danielleloren changed the title to Are we dating? Hanging out? 26F + 38M
22 minutes ago, danielleloren said:

we have been spending time together most weekends, usually spending Friday-Sunday together. We have slept together many times, but overall he is not very affectionate otherwise. And he also is not as keen on texting these days. We occasionally go a day or two without talking

Sounds like dating. After 3 mos., you should know what this is not play guessing games with signs or nuances or texting. 

Are you exclusive or are either of you dating others or in other relationships?  Do you visit each other at both your homes? 

It sounds like you are comparing him to someone. A recent ex or on/off BF? Or you simply are unhappy with the level of affection.

 You mention nothing about if you like him or what good qualities he has. Does the age bother you?  Have either of you been in long term relationships before?

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1 minute ago, Wiseman2 said:

Sounds like dating. After 3 mos., you should know what this is not play guessing games with signs or nuances or texting. 

Are you exclusive or are either of you dating others or in other relationships?  Do you visit each other at both your homes? 

It sounds like you are comparing him to someone. A recent ex or on/off BF? Or you simply are unhappy with the level of affection.

 You mention nothing about if you like him or what good qualities he has. Does the age bother you?  Have either of you been in long term relationships before?

The first time we slept together he said "I'm not doing this with anyone else by the way" and I said the same. I don't believe either of us have time to be seeing other people when we spend entire weekends together. We live 4 blocks from each other so on weekends we usually spend one night at my house then go to his, or spend the whole weekend at his place. 

 

I may be comparing him to previous relationships where there was much more "physical" display of affection. Like cuddling/hand holding/kissing, you are right about that. 

 

I am anxious about the whole situation because I really do find myself with strong feelings for him. He has a lot of qualities that I like but another red flag is that his longest relationship he said was "maybe a year" on/off. The man is married to his work. Whereas I have been in 2 long term relationships, one 5 years one 3. 

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tbh when I know a woman and sleep with her regularly, I do not feel obliged to be exlusive with her except we had "the talk". So no matter what, unless you talk to him and ask him, I don´t see why he should consider this as something more than casual dating.

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2 hours ago, danielleloren said:

We have slept together many times, but overall he is not very affectionate otherwise. No hand holding, not a lot of kisses, and cuddles usually when we are sleeping. We've even got toothbrushes at each others places. Sometimes it feels like we are just friends hanging out, this past weekend, we spent 3 nights together with no sex - I was convinced we are just friends.

Friends.. with benefits, maybe 😕 

2 hours ago, danielleloren said:

"if this doesn't work out"

Okay..so what if? ( does he say this a lot?)

Do you know anything about him?  His track record? Recently out of a relation?

 

I am guessing you are kind dating, you two do seem 'involved' enough, to assume so.

 

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From a guys point of view you are a casual girlfriend.  Meaning that there is a connection but it is purposely being kept at arms length or it could be this is all he has in his tank emotionally.  I think it is the latter.  He is devoted to his career and unfortunately you are a small part of his life he shares.

  Instead of wondering if you are his gf or fwb or whatever you should be thinking about compatibility between you two.  It sounds like you would like more emotional and physical connection like more frequent passionate sex, non sexual contact (cuddling, hand holding, kissing, touching) but he is colder on that front.

  Think back to your other long term relationships and all the things you loved about being in them and then look at this whatever it is.  How much do you see that you love?

  I don't think you two are a good match for a few reasons but it only matters what you think.

 You shouldn't ask him what are we until you decide if he is even the guy for you.  You get to choose because it is your life.  I think you want more than he could ever give, it just isn't in him to give.

  Lost

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I'd also like to mention that it's odd for a 38-year-old person with a lucrative career to have only been in a one year on and off relationship. Doctors make good money, have prestige and education and so, unless he's got some major personality or physical flaw, it's odd he's been in one short term relationship. 

It's seems like he's more of a bachelor than a long term partner potential. 

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11 hours ago, lostandhurt said:

From a guys point of view you are a casual girlfriend.  Meaning that there is a connection but it is purposely being kept at arms length or it could be this is all he has in his tank emotionally.  I think it is the latter.  He is devoted to his career and unfortunately you are a small part of his life he shares.

  Instead of wondering if you are his gf or fwb or whatever you should be thinking about compatibility between you two.  It sounds like you would like more emotional and physical connection like more frequent passionate sex, non sexual contact (cuddling, hand holding, kissing, touching) but he is colder on that front.

   I think you want more than he could ever give, it just isn't in him to give.

^ This is worth repeating.  Totally nailed it, imo. He's married to his career and usually when that happens relationships don't last long.

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On 5/30/2021 at 9:10 AM, lostandhurt said:

From a guys point of view you are a casual girlfriend.  Meaning that there is a connection but it is purposely being kept at arms length or it could be this is all he has in his tank emotionally.  I think it is the latter.  He is devoted to his career and unfortunately you are a small part of his life he shares.

  Instead of wondering if you are his gf or fwb or whatever you should be thinking about compatibility between you two.  It sounds like you would like more emotional and physical connection like more frequent passionate sex, non sexual contact (cuddling, hand holding, kissing, touching) but he is colder on that front.

  Think back to your other long term relationships and all the things you loved about being in them and then look at this whatever it is.  How much do you see that you love?

  I don't think you two are a good match for a few reasons but it only matters what you think.

 You shouldn't ask him what are we until you decide if he is even the guy for you.  You get to choose because it is your life.  I think you want more than he could ever give, it just isn't in him to give.

  Lost

I think you hit this one right on the nail . 

Today he sent me a message as I had asked him to hangout and he seemed distant. He stated he's really busy with a lot of different things and that for a long time relationships have been very low on his list of priorities. He said "I'm not looking to mess around and I'm not interested in "playing the field" but I'm also not looking for a really serious or intense relationship."

The truth is, I just got out of a 3 year relationship, and I'm not looking or anything "serious" or "intense" either. Then why is it that this rejection kind of hurts?

 

He said hes not interested in dating apps or seeing other people and that he's definitely not interested in being friends with benefits as we shared a bed all weekend without having sex. He says he enjoys hanging out with me and that he hasn't thought about things like intentions, and that he has always had a hard time being expressive.

He stated he is not interested in being in a situation where hes obligated to do anything for anyone, and that he is not in a place where his work/stress can take a back seat.

I felt sad because I knew he had dated girls previously and I wondered if it was just me he didnt want to date. He said hes dated others, but never for long, it never worked out because work always got in the way and he hated choosing between the two.

 

He tried to remind me that he works excessively and that I am the only person he even sees outside of work. He spends any free time he has with me.

I told him I have just felt lately that he has not been putting in much effort, and he stated thats the way it always goes, and that level of intensity cannot be maintained. 

I find it hard to believe this man will ever find someone to spend his life with. Any thoughts on what I should do? Although I am not looking for anything serious and I really do enjoy spending time with him, I'm worried about getting hurt in the long run.  

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Go back to the drawing board about what you want out of romance and relationships in general. You are dating casually. He's not interested in taking it seriously or collaborating further with you. It's a take it or leave it situation. I think he's looking for someone who's equally married to their job and he probably won't respect or let his guard down around any woman who's willing to live and breathe for him. She has to be more concerned about her own profession and career.

Step 1 - re-examine what you want out of romance

Step 2 - dial this back and stop initiating contact

Step 3 - start engaging with other parts of your life and never make him the center of your universe

Step 4 - let him come to you

If he doesn't seem interested in you, delete his number and date others. 

Dating is about learning what works for you and what doesn't. If this is an incompatibility issue, let it go. Don't be afraid to check things out and then walk away if it doesn't suit you. Remember that this person doesn't dictate what you do with your life or what you're going to achieve anyway. You're your own person long before he ever entered the picture. 

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9 hours ago, danielleloren said:

I find it hard to believe this man will ever find someone to spend his life with.

And maybe he's totally fine with that, OP. Some people really aren't into the lifelong-commitment thing. At this time, finding someone to spend his life with doesn't appear to interest him. 

I would bow out here. He's been clear this is only casual and not going to develop into something more. It's already starting to hurt you, so sticking around for more makes no sense. 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, danielleloren said:

 I'm also not looking for a really serious or intense relationship."

 find it hard to believe this man will ever find someone to spend his life with. 

Sorry this happened. At least he leveled with you that this is a for now situation.

Sounds like you are on the rebound and still have a lot of baggage/hurt left over from that.

He'll be fine. He'll be happily married to the right woman one day.

It's sour grapes and ludicrous to think because he's a busy professional,he won't have a relationship.

Step away since you need a simple 9-5 guy who'll never work long hours. 

PS. This may interest you:

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Edited by Wiseman2
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You mentioned he doesn't have many friends in the area...Is he fairly new in your town/city? What it seems like to me to be honest is two things. One thing is that he doesn't seem like a relationship type of guy. He's 38 and he's only been in one longer relationship, only one year on and off. If he's successful, looks good and is not a bad guy overall, how can he have been in basically no relationships at 38 years old? Many men who have a good job like him are actually married by 38 because women really want to be with a guy like them. So my guess is he hasn't really been in any actual relationships by his own choice.

The other thing is that if he doesn't know many people or have friends in the area, he's probably enjoying having you for sex and companionship. It doesn't mean he doesn't like you as a person but I also don't think he has actual romantic feelings for you. If he did then he wouldn't be saying all the things he said. Like that he doesn't want a relationship and so on. He still has free time because he spent whole weekends with you. So if he wanted you to be his girlfriend, there was nothing stopping him. I know he said he's not on dating apps or seeing others but for what reasons? That he's really committed to you? I'm sorry but I don't think so...I think he's not seeing others because he simply doesn't have the time to see others. 

If you want an actual boyfriend then this guy is just not it. No harm in enjoying sex and hanging out. But if it's upsetting and hurting you then why do this to yourself?

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, danielleloren said:

He stated he is not interested in being in a situation where hes obligated to do anything for anyone, and that he is not in a place where his work/stress can take a back seat.

He sounds completely self-centered and self-absorbed. You would think that a doctor would have empathy and compassion, and be attentive to other people. But unfortunately, many people become doctors for the money, and society gives them a big fat pass on their lack of humanity. Are you going to give him a pass, too?

Edited by Jibralta
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

, many people become doctors for the money, and society gives them a big fat pass on their lack of humanity. 

Really? This is the worst sort of bull.

Really? Hundreds and thousands of dollars for education, then spending at least 8 years in school and 4-6 more years in training to save lives is greedy and selfish?

Worst crap I've ever read on here.

Edited by Wiseman2
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28 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Hundreds and thousands of dollars for education, then spending at least 8 years in school and 4-6 more years in training to save lives is greedy and selfish?

They are not doing it for free.

 

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Well to be fair just because he doesn't want a relationship with her doesn't make him a terrible doctor or terrible human being in general. He just wants companship and FWB and he actually said that with honesty. It's not like he lied to her.

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11 hours ago, danielleloren said:

The truth is, I just got out of a 3 year relationship, and I'm not looking or anything "serious" or "intense" either. Then why is it that this rejection kind of hurts?

Because you want him to want you even if you're not looking for anything serious.  It's totally fine that he doesn't want a relationship or a relationship with you.  Doesn't make him a bad person.  But IMO you should do your best to be a good person in this sense- be honest with yourself about what you want and don't want and don't get in your own way by pretending you're ok with casual sex if you're not, or casual dating if you're not, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Really? This is the worst sort of bull.

Really? Hundreds and thousands of dollars for education, then spending at least 8 years in school and 4-6 more years in training to save lives is greedy and selfish?

Worst crap I've ever read on here.

I too wouldn't generalize about any profession -there's enough of that negative generalization -especially about people who make more $ because of their chosen profession (many of course have to pay back loans).  I know of doctors who work in inner city clinics and/or do not make a lot of money, others who do, everything in between. 

I'm not a doctor.  Never wanted to be one or in the medical profession -my father was, and I have the utmost respect for health care providers.  In the past 12 years since my son was born I've had the following empathetic/compassionate encounters with doctors - just some examples - one who suggested I follow up on a potential genetic link to a condition I had, our friend who's a busy ER doc who stopped everything one night to have us bring our son to his home because our son had a really high fever (we avoided an ER visit this way), another who told my husband how to get me to go to the ER for my issue when our son was a newborn, and the number of times my oral surgeon saw me when I was in so much pain and didn't make me wait.  

There are bad apples in every profession -lawyers, doctors, plumbers, electricians, teachers. Generalization especially targeting those who are perceived as making a lot of money (which may or may not be extremely well deserved) doesn't make a lot of sense.  This guy was someone she agreed to be casual with.  That may have been a mistake on her part. He's given her a lot of those "it's not you it's me stuff" but at least he actually stepped up and expressed this to her rather than radio silence. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, danielleloren said:

I find it hard to believe this man will ever find someone to spend his life with.

Not your problem, OP.  

 

3 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

He's been clear this is only casual and not going to develop into something more. It's already starting to hurt you, so sticking around for more makes no sense. 

What Wiseman says:

3 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

At least he leveled with you that this is a for now situation.

Sounds like you are on the rebound and still have a lot of baggage/hurt left over from that.

He'll be fine. He'll be happily married to the right woman one day.

And as Tiny says:

3 hours ago, Tinydance said:

So my guess is he hasn't really been in any actual relationships by his own choice.

 It doesn't matter what his profession is. If he doesn't want a relationship then he doesn't. That's his prerogative. 

What TonightMajestic said above:

"It's seems like he's more of a bachelor than a long term partner potential. "

And that's fine too. 

Edited by LaHermes
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