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Long distance dating, emotions, and sexual exclusivity


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Hi everyone, 

I am a 41 yr old gay guy in US and I recently started (4 months) talking online to another guy (32 yr old) in my home country.  For starters, I know this is long distance and there are several challenges so please advise me setting aside question if this is a good idea to begin with.   We started having a conversation because we have very similar interests that are relatively rare (interests in rare arts of my home country, philosophy, etc).  Our conversations became very elaborate and we spend hours each day talking to each other.   We have progressed from talking about arts, philosophy to about us, sexual interests, what life could be together, etc.  I planned a trip to see him next month and he was proposing a trip another month later in the US.  He even speaks of finding a position in the US (which he can) and I told him I can move home as well.   He tells me all his friends know that he is "taken" that his friends in the US want to meet me (to see the guy who has "taken" him).  I also feel the same way "taken"  but I am less vocal about it in a direct way, but show it very much in emotions.  I don't say things loosely like I am going to be with you etc., but I really show that I care.  I am aware that we have only met on video and not for real so everything is up in the air.  He agrees but he says, he is mature enough to feel that this can work if we find a way to fix the distance.  We both are trying. 

He comes the rub for me:    Since the beginning despite all this chat he goes on dates with others.   At first I didn't care.  I am aware we are only talking and not met.   Then one day (2 months since we were talking ) he said he is not going to date anyone else. He deactivated his dating profile (and at least on the app I matched on he is deactivated).  I know he is trustworthy enough that he is not lying there.  I was happy.  But he continued to meet guys for hookups.  I ignored.  One day he came to me and old he feels guilty that he had amazing sex with someone.  I told him not to feel guilty, but yes it makes me a bit unhappy.  He told me it meant nothing.   However he continued.  Last evening, he told he had another one of those.  He tells me that it means nothing these are just hooks up and that in his mind he is waiting to meet me. He told me he wants to tell me because I am important and that this is something he doesn't want to hide from me.  It's been now 4 months of talking every morning and night.  Am I wrong in feeling, I should mean something enough to not have incessant hookups?  Yes, I know we haven't met.  But are emotions so meaningless? Am I too old-fashioned. 

I am planning to travel and meet him next month.  I am convincing myself to not judge until we meet and miss out on what could be awesome.  However, it bother me that I don't matter and that this really too risky for me. I am already past the point of liking this guy a lot, so me dropping off today or a month later is going to cause more of less the same pain.  But what should I do to prepare for a loss.  I don't want to temper off the conversation as it'll be painful for me, and might cause us to drift apart. 

Advice?  Thank you for reading.

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First of all, is not a good idea to jump into these 'ideas' too quickly re: moving- when you haven't even met yet.

Is always different when you do actually meet. That's when you can get a feel of who they really are. And you have no idea yet.

As for how 'active' he seems to be.  yes, I can understand your feelings since it sounds like you've gotten close, emotionally now.

It took him 2 months to admit or say to you that he is interested enough in you to say you two are kinda like 'a couple' now?

I will say to expect a couple of problems to remain in this though, even after you meet.

1) the distance.

2) His sexual behaviour.

I say go ahead and visit him.. enjoy your visit & time together... BUT, see how it ends up after you return home.  I suggest, if he continues to be involved sexually with others after that, then consider ending it all.

Because YOU seem to have that emotional bond to him... and if he felt the same, then he shouldn't be out there, continuing that behaviour.. right?

Who knows, it may come down to you realizing it's not all you thought it would be. And you may also realize the distance is just too much.

So, see how the trip goes & meeting him for real.

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28 minutes ago, mechie said:

It's been now 4 months of talking every morning and night.  Am I wrong in feeling, I should mean something enough to not have incessant hookups?

Do you want to continue chatting with someone this promiscuous? It sounds like you would like a relationship.

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22 hours ago, mechie said:

Hi everyone, 

I am a 41 yr old gay guy in US and I recently started (4 months) talking online to another guy (32 yr old) in my home country.  For starters, I know this is long distance and there are several challenges so please advise me setting aside question if this is a good idea to begin with.   We started having a conversation because we have very similar interests that are relatively rare (interests in rare arts of my home country, philosophy, etc).  Our conversations became very elaborate and we spend hours each day talking to each other.   We have progressed from talking about arts, philosophy to about us, sexual interests, what life could be together, etc.  I planned a trip to see him next month and he was proposing a trip another month later in the US.  He even speaks of finding a position in the US (which he can) and I told him I can move home as well.   He tells me all his friends know that he is "taken" that his friends in the US want to meet me (to see the guy who has "taken" him).  I also feel the same way "taken"  but I am less vocal about it in a direct way, but show it very much in emotions.  I don't say things loosely like I am going to be with you etc., but I really show that I care.  I am aware that we have only met on video and not for real so everything is up in the air.  He agrees but he says, he is mature enough to feel that this can work if we find a way to fix the distance.  We both are trying. 

He comes the rub for me:    Since the beginning despite all this chat he goes on dates with others.   At first I didn't care.  I am aware we are only talking and not met.   Then one day (2 months since we were talking ) he said he is not going to date anyone else. He deactivated his dating profile (and at least on the app I matched on he is deactivated).  I know he is trustworthy enough that he is not lying there.  I was happy.  But he continued to meet guys for hookups.  I ignored.  One day he came to me and old he feels guilty that he had amazing sex with someone.  I told him not to feel guilty, but yes it makes me a bit unhappy.  He told me it meant nothing.   However he continued.  Last evening, he told he had another one of those.  He tells me that it means nothing these are just hooks up and that in his mind he is waiting to meet me. He told me he wants to tell me because I am important and that this is something he doesn't want to hide from me.  It's been now 4 months of talking every morning and night.  Am I wrong in feeling, I should mean something enough to not have incessant hookups?  Yes, I know we haven't met.  But are emotions so meaningless? Am I too old-fashioned. 

I am planning to travel and meet him next month.  I am convincing myself to not judge until we meet and miss out on what could be awesome.  However, it bother me that I don't matter and that this really too risky for me. I am already past the point of liking this guy a lot, so me dropping off today or a month later is going to cause more of less the same pain.  But what should I do to prepare for a loss.  I don't want to temper off the conversation as it'll be painful for me, and might cause us to drift apart. 

Advice?  Thank you for reading.

You’ll have to make up your mind about whether you’re still attracted to him. He gave you the impression he wasn’t seeing anyone else and then springs sex with other men on you. Are you comfortable with that? No. Do you feel yourself withdrawing? It sounds like it. 

You’re already hurt and you haven’t even met this person. Think with your head a little more. Your heart hasn’t caught up yet. He sounds like trouble and isn’t what he says he is. 

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Thank you all for the responses, that too so quick.  Really appreciate. 

@SooSad33  Thank you for a clear reality check.  Yes, the distance is going to be an issue.  I had a chat with him for the first time expressing my discomfort at the idea of his activeness.  So far, I felt it was not my place to say anything because no matter what we haven't met.   The conversation went decent, at least level headed.  He has asked for status quo to not change until we met because he wants to give this a try.  Since we never spoke about this (sexual exclusivity) before, he said he didn't restrict himself but was increasingly feeling some guilt which is why he had shared with me information about the hookups in the first place.  He said he'll put an end to this but I didn't harp on it too much.  I still think it would be unfair of me to ask anything of him.  

@Wiseman2 Your comment has been helpful for me to start conditioning my heart and mind.  I didn't look at it as a lack of desire to be in a relationship because we both started the conversation saying that was our goal, that either of us are looking for relationships.  I will think about it more.  

@Rose Mosse  Yours is probably the most critical response.  You might be 100% correct that my heart is not catching up.  I don't think he is pretending to be someone else but I think I am reading more than I should and assuming he is more invested than he is.  So yeah, my heart is leaping ahead and my brain is trying to rein it in.  This has been my constant problem--wearing my heart on my sleeve.  I am 41  and even after multiple such crashes in the past my heart is yet to learn a lesson.  I rarely meet people I like and when I do, I go all in too soon.  I am not sure what to do.. perhaps I need some therapy... 

Overall I will go ahead with meeting.  I knew I would.  So my rational goal is to think about how to prepare for a likely failure/heartbreak more than how to prevent one.  

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Well this is my opinion and probably how I would feel about this situation (and I have actually been in it so I can relate). I think that if you think you really connect with thus guy, you think you have a lot in common, and it's been going well on video call and talking, you should probably go and meet him. Otherwise you won't get closure about whether it could have been something or not.

If you can financially afford to go back to your home country and meet him, I would really do that ASAP. I think the longer you don't meet, the higher the chance that it's just going to fizzle out. Maintaining purely an online relationship is really hard and especially if you've never even met. I don't think it's necessarily an issue that you're in different countries but you need to meet in real life and then one of you will need to really commit to move to the other person.

I think actual plans need to be made, for example you booking the flights to see him and let him know exactly when you'll be coming so that he knows you really are coming. That way he can have peace of mind that you are really invested in this and it's not just an online "fantasy" type of thing.

In terms of him hooking up with other guys, yes I think that's a hard thing to figure out because to me it seems like a bit of a grey area. On the one hand he's being honest with you that he's seeing other people. Which is maybe good because he's not lying to you and being upfront about everything. On the other hand though, he's telling you things like that he had amazing sex with other guys. I mean, do you really need to hear that? He knows you really like him so I think telling you stuff like that is insensitive.

Also you mentioned you're more old fashioned and you're 41, but this guy is 32 so he's younger and maybe slightly more from a different generation. I guess maybe he has different views on hookups than you I'm the sense that he doesn't think they mean much or that you can do that if you're not actually in a relationship with someone. Because to be fair you aren't in a relationship because you've never even met. I'm not sure that you can ask him not to see other guys because you're not really together.

I definitely think you should travel to see him ASAP. The longer you leave it, the more the chance that he might meet someone else. Most people don't want to be just in an online relationship so if it goes on too long it probably won't go anywhere. 

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Thank you @Tinydance.

You summarized the situation very aptly.   What you said is the actual issue.  He told me that, him being honest to me about his sexual encounters is an indication of his interest in me.  Other than that he feels that random sex and relationship (with sex in it) are two different things for him, until there is a commitment.  Once there is commitment the other thing should stop.  He said he looks forward to chat with me eagerly but can go and have sex without any thought because the latter matter was disconnected from the former for him.  I guess, I didn't realize how much it bothered me until it happened a few times, particularly when he said it was amazing. 

In any case, I am going to meet him in a few weeks.  I offered ASAP but previously he had told me that he has a busy work period this next month and family commitments.  We have set the date I will meet him and plan to spend about a week together initially.  I hope it goes well. 

Unfortunately, I am the more vulnerable one here but that can't be helped. 

 

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On 7/27/2022 at 7:20 AM, mechie said:

Thank you all for the responses, that too so quick.  Really appreciate. 

@SooSad33  Thank you for a clear reality check.  Yes, the distance is going to be an issue.  I had a chat with him for the first time expressing my discomfort at the idea of his activeness.  So far, I felt it was not my place to say anything because no matter what we haven't met.   The conversation went decent, at least level headed.  He has asked for status quo to not change until we met because he wants to give this a try.  Since we never spoke about this (sexual exclusivity) before, he said he didn't restrict himself but was increasingly feeling some guilt which is why he had shared with me information about the hookups in the first place.  He said he'll put an end to this but I didn't harp on it too much.  I still think it would be unfair of me to ask anything of him.  

@Wiseman2 Your comment has been helpful for me to start conditioning my heart and mind.  I didn't look at it as a lack of desire to be in a relationship because we both started the conversation saying that was our goal, that either of us are looking for relationships.  I will think about it more.  

@Rose Mosse  Yours is probably the most critical response.  You might be 100% correct that my heart is not catching up.  I don't think he is pretending to be someone else but I think I am reading more than I should and assuming he is more invested than he is.  So yeah, my heart is leaping ahead and my brain is trying to rein it in.  This has been my constant problem--wearing my heart on my sleeve.  I am 41  and even after multiple such crashes in the past my heart is yet to learn a lesson.  I rarely meet people I like and when I do, I go all in too soon.  I am not sure what to do.. perhaps I need some therapy... 

Overall I will go ahead with meeting.  I knew I would.  So my rational goal is to think about how to prepare for a likely failure/heartbreak more than how to prevent one.  

I think you already are “preparing for a likely heartbreak”. You’ve been preparing for awhile feeling hesitant about him. I don’t agree that you’re leaping all in. Despite your self-described vulnerability you appear to know exactly what bothers you and what more, you’re even seeking to prepare for the worst. 

What hurts is feeling like you’re not on the same page because you’re different people and may be incompatible in the long run plus feeling strained due to distance issues. 

Take one step at a time. Let us know how it goes.

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