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I need your input please

I met a nice guy in a chat room a year and a half ago. I told him I wasn't interested but he pursued me. (He lives on another continent but I thought I was wise to LDR since my last one was also long distance and ended badly).


The difference was, this guy seemed completely opposite to my last one and I felt a little more confident.


Ok....he was persistent. enthusiastic, incredibly expressive and open and we talked daily on the phone, on webcams, primarily and through some IM's and the odd email. I discussed all the pitfalls of idealizing people from afar...romantisizing someone and to be as realistic and only say what is real. There wasn't one fear that I didn't mention and discuss with him and my very real reticence about getting involved.


I was petrified of getting hurt again and I told him all my fears and commitment phobic men.


He told me he was seriously viewing me as a long-term partner that would lead to marriage (after we met) of course and this relationship was not a game and shouldn't be taken lightly. Since we had so much in common on so many levels, I decided to trust him after 4 months of constantly testing him to see if he was for real or not.


We spoke everyday for a year and a half.


We discussed everything under the sun and although he seemed very taken with me, I constantly reiterated the pyschology of LDR's and their pitfalls. He insisted that we would meet but he was changing jobs and it would be expensive and he couldn't take the time to meet.


We could see eachother through webcams but of course, being in person is always different.


In June,05, I decided to fly over to meet him. He seemed genuinely thrilled to meet me but within hours began to send me mixed messages. He was very shy (360 degrees to the guy I had been talking to for that long) and didn't offer me too much eye contact.


Just to confuse things, he would be amourous...then shutdown. He invited friends to join us wherever we went. After a number of days...he rejected affection and tried to make me feel guilty. His messages became incredibly mixed throughout my stay. One minute, I was meeting the whole family (which he said was serious)...the next, he refused hugs claiming I was being pushy and this was turning him off. This back and forthing nearly drove me nuts. At times, he was downright cold, then somewhat apologetic.


By the way, that cellphone and text messaging went on and on and on and on. His friends told me he is always on the net or on the phone.


When I queried him about this total change of attitude, he tried to make it my problem. I wouldn't have made the effort if I had known this was to take place. I even bit the bullet and asked him if if was a lack of chemistry on his part? He denied that but still felt I was pushing him (asking for affection, expression). I don't see those things as a marriage proposal do you?

I eventually asked what he wanted from me? A phone pal? a wake-up call? A serious relationship? I brought up all his words but he didn't want to go there. He didn't answer this directly. Once more, he felt that these things should come from him when he was ready. They never did come but he spoke a lot of future talk (without any specific timelines) regarding the two of us. (HUH?)

Since my return, I have only had a few emails from him.


I am in a lot of pain to be sure, because I have no real answers to his behaviour. Is he a true commitment phobic who sets up woman only to be scared off by reality or was he just "not that into me" and hurting me by pushing me away?


PS.....Yep, I got the message and no, I will not be contacting him again.

The question is also.....can the internet set up a beautiful arena for genuine commitment phobics who can have relationships without expending too much of themselves realistically other than paying a phone bill?

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In answer to your question - yes, it can. But in this case it sounds as if the chemistry wasn't there and he lacked the courage to tell you. Not a good situation for you. But don't get downhearted - there will be someone that you click with - perhaps someone you have overlooked who lives nearer than this guy does and is easier to check out face to face.

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Sure people CAN...but I think your case seems more like a casualty to what happens when a relationship is built up online and reality is just different.


I have nothing against online dating, I met my wonderful partner that way. However, I think that you need to ensure that you move it OFFLINE very soon to accurately know if the relationship and the person is right. Basically as long as it is online, it is fantasy - you only see the "best of each other". You don't see how they behave in real life, their reactions to situations, how well their conversation flows...everything. Even with pictures, phone calls, chats, emails....real life IS different. And it sounds like for him the reality did not match his fantasy of whom you were, and what you two were.


I think he honestly meant those things he said, IF you really were what he had built up in his mind, only for some reason something was MISSING in person but he felt too bad to tell you, or maybe did not know WHAT it was, just that there was something.

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thanks for the posts!


OK..here is where I am confused though. During my stay, he rejected me then lured me with talk of moving and future plans. If he wasn't "into me" would a guy still say those things? I offered to move into a hotel and he pleaded with me not to go. (does this sound normal?) I met his family and he said that was a big deal for him. I am aware committment phobics love to do the push/pull thing.


One minute he was affectionate, the next - shutdown. One minute serious, the next avoiding me with diversions. So much conflict!


We did have our share of disagreements over a year and a half but always managed to work through them.


Oh well.

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I think they have given you some very sound advice. I would like to add to it by saying dont feel like this thing is your fault. It really looks like he built up this fantasy image of you in his mind. I read somewhere that this is when a relationship takes off or breaks off. Once you see this person you imagine as perfect as a real human being you have 2 choices. You can either try to see past the ideal projection you've created and love whats underneath or reject the other person and hold on to that ideal projection, waiting for a new person to come a long that you can imagine as 'perfect'.


He obviously chose not to take the next step and love you for real. Its gotta be a crappy situation for you, because youve attached yourself to this guy and really like him! Time will sort things out, hang tough and soon enough the pain will go away.

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I was petrified of getting hurt again and I told him all my fears and commitment phobic men.

The question is also.....can the internet set up a beautiful arena for genuine commitment phobics who can have relationships without expending too much of themselves realistically other than paying a phone bill?

I recently skimmed a book on commitment phobic people, (but can't remember the title, sorry). And what you've described really does seem to fit what was described in the book. In one case a man strung a woman along for years before finally pulling the switch. And it can definitely happen even without it being an internet relationship. I guess the internet makes it easier in some ways, but it seems those with this problem will find a way regardless.


I was reading that book trying to understand a different type of push/pull scenario that keeps happening in my life, (and still haven't found the book that perfectly fits what I've encountered, but this one helped because there are many similarities). But I've now got a clearer understanding of commitment phobic people. Sounds very horrible. When commitment phobics are in that "pulling" stage, it seems they can be amazingly convincing, and no amount of careful assessment by the other person is adequate enough to detect the eventual abandonment that will happen. It seems very confusing and frustrating, and even interferes with our ability to trust ourselves to accurately assess people.


Sorry for your pain and frustration, and I do hope you're able to move on from this to find something better.

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