Is It a Bad Sign if Things Move Too Fast?

Name: D.
State: New Hampshire
Age: 55
Comment: I just started dating a guy who is newly divorced.  We have been dating for 3 weeks and have been together 3-4 times a week since meeting for dinner the first time.  He told me on day 2 that I was his first date since the divorce and feels he needs to “test the dating waters”.  He told me he would be upfront and honest if he went out with someone else.  He had a date today to go kayacking with another woman and told me before the date that he was going.    He says that I am amazing, sexy, sassy, funny,intelligent…….The relationship is progressing at a very fast pace….I have been invited to a major family gathering next weekend at his home.  We are going to Vegas next month.  The question…Should I just be patient and let him explore his options so that he doesn’t feel trapped into another relationship and if so….for how long?

 

I’m not so sure you should be concerned for his emotional security right now. I think you should be looking out for yours. Everything about this situations screams “rebound” to me. The fast pace, the over-zealous and effusive compliments. And meeting the family? The guy just got divorced! Sure, maybe they had been separated for awhile and he’s had time to process everything. There’s no set or “right” amount of time to grieve a lost relationship. Everybody gets there at different times. But this just feels…off. Really, really off. Too fast.

What really makes me uneasy is the fact that he’s telling you how amazing you are, but also making sure you know that he’s dating other people. As if he’s pulling you close and then, just a teeny bit, pushing you away. Why would he tell you that?

Yes, he’s being “honest.” But for what reason and at what cost? It’s one thing to admit that you’re dating other people. But there’s just no need to go in to detail or alert you to every date he has. He’s doing this for a reason. I’m sure he doesn’t even know why he’s doing it. My guess is he’s just telling himself to move forward and not look back. There is no moment of introspection of self-awareness. It’s just go, go, go.

I think many of us sabotage ourselves and don’t know why. We ignore a phone call, wait too long to reply to an email, we say something inappropriate, have sex too soon, etc. Most people convince themselves that their reasons for doing these things are justified. They don’t think them through or back track because they don’t want to. That would require self-awareness and accountability. To many people that is just too frightening. So they avoid that as much as possible.

Regardless of how you handle this, no matter how much space you give him, my guess is this man will still end up feeling trapped and claustrophobic. He’s working on high speed now, going going going. It makes me wonder if maybe the reason he’s doing that is to avoid grieving or being alone.  He seems terribly anxious to announce to his family that he’s dating someone new. Why? That’s what you should be wondering. Why is he in such a mad rush to get back in to another relationship?

There are some people who can’t be alone. Something about being in a relationship provides them with a sense of security. I think many of those people just need the external validation that a relationship provides. It’s not about needing emotional support. It’s not even about the sex. It’s about the attention. It’s about proving to people that just because one relationship failed doesn’t mean they’re a failure or that there’s something wrong with them. The tell tale sign of someone like this is that they can’t wait to make it public. They’ll introduce the new person to friends and family, post photo after photo to their Facebook account, over-use the phrase “my BF/GF.”  Look closely at those photos and you can actually see them peacocking, not posing. They’re showing off their new significant other. The disconnect between the two people is obvious.

If I were you, I’d take a giant step back from this guy. You don’t have to cut him off completely. But you definitely should not be getting too invested just yet. There’s another shoe just waiting to drop here.

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12 Responses to “Is It a Bad Sign if Things Move Too Fast?”

  1. Trouble Says:

    This guy is in no way ready for a commitment to you. He’s filling a hole. He’s used to having someone there day in and day out, and spending time with you keeps him from being alone. Taking you to a family event means that he avoids attending that event alone, without someone at his side. He probably really likes you, as a person, but he’s told you clearly that he isn’t settling down. He’s “testing the waters of dating.” Don’t get attached. He isn’t.

    If you are looking for a longterm relationship, look elsewhere. He likely is not going to be ready to settle down for a long while (years). You should start pursuing other options, because he is occupying your time without any intention of committing to you, and has been pretty clear about it.

    I’ve been there, done that. (on both sides…I’ve been the crazy recent divorcee, and I’ve dated the recent divorcee.)…this story doesn’t end well for the rebound.

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  2. dan Says:

    Amen. You can see these people on facebook all the time. They not only want people to know that they are dating but who they are dating. Plus, they feel the need to post every high and low of their relationship. My favorite was this one lady who posted “I just had my first last kiss” then a few days later ” was in a relationship but single now” back to “in a relationship.” Pure craziness and comedy, at the same time

    As for me, I don’t find the need to post my life on facebook. In fact, I don’t “friend” people I date.

    As for the OP, I would retreat a little and get off this guy’s fast train to somewhere. He’ll probably crash and burn, at some point.

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  3. MiW Says:

    I don’t think the issue is really about trapping this man in a relationship – from the sounds of it I’d doubt he could be trapped. He has clearly said he is dating around, which implys casual… And I agree with the other posters that it seems doubtful he’d be ready to commit any time soon. Seems to me the OP is assuming if she casually dates him while he “tests the waters” that he will ultimately be committing to her based on his compliments and the time/plans together. This assumption is unfounded. I hope the OP is also continuing to date… Because this doesn’t sound like its headed down LTR-road.

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  4. Selena Says:

    “The question…Should I just be patient and let him explore his options so that he doesn’t feel trapped into another relationship and if so….for how long?”

    Well…you’ve only been dating 3 weeks – how do either of you know you want to be in a relationship with each other, much less “trapped” into one? You are still getting to know each other, why the pressure to make a decision?

    The fact that he gives you compliments along the lines that you are “all that and a bag of chips” must feel good, but then he turns around and tells you about his dates with other women. What are you – his potential girlfriend, or gal pal? He invites you to a major family gathering, and a future trip to Vegas, while making it clear that he needs to “test the waters of dating” – are you interested in having an open relationship? Because that’s what it sounds like he’s angling for.

    This would feel icky to me and *I* would cut the guy loose. You might want drop any expectations and just see how you feel about him in another few weeks. I agree that if you want to keep dating this guy, you should also be keeping your options open. And it’s okay if Mr. “testing the waters” is aware that you are.

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  5. Vox Says:

    I’m sorry OP, but prepare yourself for getting brutally dumped. Well, it will seem brutal to you. He will be fine with it, because he has been honest with you about his intentions towards other women. Listen to him. You are the first woman he dated after his divorce. He will find someone he likes better than you, period. He doesn’t even know what he likes yet, much less can he properly evaluate you. You are an experiment, a rebound.

    This, by the way, demonstrates why I don’t like to jump in to sexual relationships too early. If I start sleeping with a man I really like, and I see him on a regular basis, I will get emotionally attached. At that point, I will not date other men and will instead put myself in a wait-and-see holding pattern, because my desire to date other men will completely disappear. I know I don’t speak for all women, but it certainly seems to be the case for the OP, which is why she is so filled with questions about her future with a man she barely knows. It’s way too early to be concerned about this man, which is why I suspect sex has clouded her judgment.

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  6. Jen Says:

    Date other men and take it slow with this guy. We all know how difficult that is but you need to lead with logic and not intense emotions.

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  7. Paula Says:

    People vary in their capacity to move on, and move into a new healthy relationship. One person’s rebound is another’s new and improved.

    But, a hallmark of rebound situations is the inability to develop appropriate boundaries, and this has “no boundaries” written all over it. It’s going to be up to you to establish what you can handle, whether it’s no talking about who he’s dating, or limiting the time you spend together, or holding off on getting acquainted with the family. If you can’t keep the distance necessary to do that, then, everyone here is right….it’s going to end badly.

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  8. Angeline Says:

    I think the OP’s timetable is just as compressed and rushed as the guy’s. “Should I be patient and *let* him explore his options …” as opposed to what? Lay down an ultimatum after three weeks?

    I think he’s nuts to invite some he will have known less than a couple of months to a family gathering. OP, I think you’re reading into that that you mean something special, because ‘meet the family’ seems like a milestone, when the reality is more likely what Paula said, he doesn’t want to go without someone on his arm. This is in no way a reflection on how sexy, sassy and fabulous you are, because he can’t possibly really know and appreciate that in 3 weeks. He’s just being complimentary and saying the things that will keep you around. I don’t think he’s being deceitful, just that he’s caught in a haze of infatuation and need.

    OP, I think one of the first things you ought to do is shut down the detailed notification of other dates. “I know we’re new, so dating other people is the accepted norm, but I don’t need a detailed accounting. We’ll just assume that to be the case.” Please note that doesn’t rule out you dating others as well (which I think you should be doing). You don’t need to know or have someone state on the first couple of dates that they might also be seeing other people. You need to ASSUME it. You have no claim or right to demand otherwise of someone you just met. Whether you are entitled to demand it at some standard predetermined point of time is a whole other can of worms.

    The “should I be patient” has an implied “before I yank the chain” behind it. Please be advised that the attitude that you’re ‘allowing’ him to dabble around before he straightens up and flies right is not going to work out very well with *most* men in our age group (I’m about the same age as you). I think it is unpleasant at any age to treat men as if they are unruly children, but men who have lived long enough to have grown children themselves find it especially offensive.

    You will need to acquire some ability to step back and slow things down, and take things as they come. See other people, get involved in other activities, relax.

    3 weeks!

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    • Angeline Says:

      Sorry, Trouble made the observation about having someone on his arm at the family event. My bad, it’s early.

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      • Paula Says:

        That’s OK, I would have said it if Trouble hadn’t beat me to it…if someone is used to always having someone with them at family events, facing them alone, especially after everyone knows about your divorce, can be difficult. I can’t blame him for wanting company, but the OP should know that’s what’s happening.

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  9. nathan Says:

    Although I basically agree with what’s already been said, here’s a slightly different spin. It could be that he really does like the OP, and wants to take the relationship to the next step, but is in no place to do so (given the recent divorce.) What I see is the kind of contradictory signs I have experienced in a past relationship. On the one hand, he’s inviting you to family gatherings, and on the other hand, he’s going on dates with other women to “test the waters.” I’ve been in this very place with someone who I know wanted to have a relationship with me, but just wasn’t emotionally available to actually do so.

    I don’t know if just slowing it down is appropriate, or if she should end the relationship, but whatever the OP decides, it seems really important to remember what is that you really want, and to not give in too quickly to something that might be just a house of cards.

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  10. Denise Tucker Says:

    OP here. He hasn’t posted anything on facebook, has only told co-workers that he is dating someone…..no names. I have gone out on 2 other dates and told him so to which he showed great surprise. I also told him I do not want to know if he goes out again. I am slowling pulling back a little at a time. I am not “that vested” in the relationship at this point. I realy like him but at this point in the relationship, if it ends, it ends. I was just looking ahead to see how to handle the situation.

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