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Am I not taking the well-disguised hint?


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I am desperate for an outside, unbiased opinion.


I must warn you that it's a pretty lengthy story.


This issue dates back to June. And some of you will probably wonder why I've maintained it for so long.


I met a guy (we'll call him Bill) at the Jersey shore and really hit it off with him. Over the past few months, we have been dating on a very sporadic basis (about once every 2 weeks) but talking regularly, almost every night. We've both chalked it up to being busy, he with work and sports and I with work and school.


We had never discussed any type of real commitment, and I assumed he was dating other people as well. BUT I was (and am still) very comfortable with how casual things have been since I had gotten out of a 2-year relationship 2 short weeks before I met Bill.


Two weeks ago, Bill and I went out and, as usual, had a great time. We went back to his apartment that night and were kissing and he blurted out "I love you." Now, this was a little bit of a shock to me. It wasn't unusual for him to make "I miss you" comments or tell me I'm an "amazing woman" here and there, but this was heavy. My first thought was that he'd been drinking and probably now was biting his tongue, so I just kept kissing him and never replied. The night still went out without any awkwardness, and I left him feeling butterflies as always.


Fast-forward to this past weekend. He had surgery on his ankle last Tuesday and is off his feet for a couple weeks. He asked me to come see him this past Saturday, but it did not happen b/c of a miscommunication (not important part of the story).


Anyway, I talked to him on Sunday and this is where the disappointment begins. We somehow got on the topic of me being so young (21) and already working as a nurse. And it snowballed into him saying the following things:


- "I feel like you got shortchanged because you've done so much with your career so early on and didnt get the chance to go out and go crazy"


- "I think this is why I am so afraid to move forward with us"


- "I REALLY like you, and I haven't been in this situation for a long time, if ever and I'm nervous"


- "I feel like maybe you'll get into this deeper with me and wake up one day realizing you're a completely different woman and this is not what you want"


- "I know you probably think we should have established something by now, and I dont want to hurt you. I just think maybe we should keep things where they are"


... That's pretty much the jist of his end. Of course, I responded to these things. Ultimately, I said I was fine with keeping things how they are. But this is the crazy part: I have NEVER pushed him for a commitment, so I wasn't sure why he came out with all that.


Also, I gave him a couple opportunities to cut things off by saying "You're allowed to tell me you don't want to date anymore" and "I'd rather just know now if your intentions are to cut things off".. But he kept saying that's not what it is at all.


I really like him and in no way want him out of my life.



So I considered the following 2 things:


1) He is being a coward and is really just not that into me


2) He's petrified of commitment but actually does like me




This is my PLEA for advice or feedback or insight. Whatever you will offer!

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Welcome to ENA littleL_RN! Great to have you around here...


You want unbiased? You'll get that here...


My thoughts (as I read your post):


1) Two-weeks out of a 2-year relationship is nothing. This sounds like a rebound situation to me, whether you realize it or not...


2) An unreciprocated "I love you"....SUUUUUUUUCKS...and sucks big time.


3) The man is insecure and has probably been really hurt before, maybe or maybe not in a relationship, but in some close, intimate situation. He is afraid...but by him sharing with you tells me he is also a strong man underneath that...


Now, I think these issues, and the "I love you" situation, need to be addressed in a completely open, honest, face-to-face conversation viewed not as an argument, but as an attempt to figure out the truth of this matter. Do this ASAP...


I also think you should at least acknowledge things he says when he says them. You say you "never responded to these things". I think it would be better to address them by saying what you told us, which is the underlying theme here: I really like him and in no way want him out of my life.


Now, have the talk, and see how that goes. It is necessary. You might also try being a little more open with your communication as things are unfolding. If you are taken aback, tell him. If you need time to process things, tell him. If he says he loves you, maybe say something like you are taken aback and don't even know what to say! Leaving this man hanging, especially if he is a little insecure and especially if you like him a lot and want things to continue is probably not the best way to go.

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Frisco - Thanks for the guidance! Sometimes, you just need a new pair of ears (or, in this case, eyes) to get the valuable advice you're looking for.


I feel like you're probably right about it being a rebound situation, but is it always true that rebounds never amount to anything?


I do actually like this guy. And I do reciprocate the 'I miss you's' and other things of that nature. But the 'I love you' definitely blew me away.


But again, you're right. I have been conveniently avoiding an opportunity to actually address the situation.

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I think you should make sure the grief has been properly processed from your last relationship. You don't want issues popping up after you've gotten in deeper with this guy. Make sure you let yourself grieve for the loss. It is easy to find a new relationship to mask the feelings of the break-up or replace the intimacy that you had. It is sort of like taking aspirin for a knee that needs surgery. You can keep taking aspirin or you can get the surgery...


I think you can do that and still continue to see this new guy, especially since things are going relatively slow and especially since you haven't specifically alluded to your "past" interfering here.


This situation with this new guy needs to be addressed. Don't be afraid of doing that. I know it is very hard especially when you perceive risk of the losing someone you really like and care about.


Try thinking of it like this. Think of it as finding an answer and that answer exists regardless of the talk. The truth of this is already there and the talk is just a way of finding out what it is. And better to find the truth now before deeper feelings cloud your judgement of how to handle the situation, whatever it may be. And better now before things progress, making it easier to avoid, and easier to potentially get stuck in a bad situation. Thinking of it like this, that you are seeking discovery here, should take off some pressure of the communication. You won't be so worried about "what to say" and "what not to say"...


You really want communicate and find understanding this, and keep doing so. By doing this you will essentially be watering the flower that is this relationship instead of avoiding it and letting it fend for itself...

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