You’re The One Making Dating Complicated

Name: Maryhollowayjudge

Comment: Alex and I knew each other since high school, about 15 years. He dated a couple of women that I’m friends with when they were really young. Nothing serious tho. After my 10 year relationship with a former spouse ended, Alex and I started talking. I never wanted to pursue anything with him because he dated my girlfriends and I didn’t want to be known as that friend that dates others exes. Anyway, somehow we managed to talk often and ended up sleeping together. From then, we talked everyday, a couple times a day. We saw each other every week, hung out, went to the movies, had dinner, sex, etc.

During this time, he would always tell me that he really likes me and enjoys my company. We talk to each other like we r dating with babe, miss yous, etc. However, it was a secret and no one knew about us.

After about 2 months, I said it was getting complicated and asked him what he wanted from this. He said that he was going to leave the country for an extended period, and asked what I thought he wanted.  So I assumed that meant he doesn’t want anything. I already knew he was leaving for an extended period. Anyway he kept messaging wanting to talk and saying he misses me and wants to see me. I snapped and said I wasn’t an item that he can just see and have sex with whenever he wants. I don’t get it. U either want to date me or not. From all the signs I really thought he’s into me. But now since our last convo, it seems like it may be just sex? Was I reading the cues wrong? I told him that I can’t do this cuz eventually I’ll have feelings and get attached. He hasn’t called since. What does that mean? I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her. Is that true?
Age: 28
City: New York City
State: New York

I never wanted to pursue anything with him because he dated my girlfriends and I didn’t want to be known as that friend that dates others exes. Anyway, somehow we managed to talk often and ended up sleeping together.

Yes. Somehow you managed to end up sleeping with this guy even though you insist that you’re not the type of woman to sleep with exes of her friends. Not that I think you did anything wrong. If the relationships were that far in the past, then I don’t see the problem with you dating this guy. It kind of sounds like he’s made the rounds of your social circle and that nobody else worried about stepping on toes. So why should you? My point in bringing this up is to highlight how we often like to tell ourselves one thing, but actually believe something else. If you didn’t feel comfortable sleeping with  a man who dated your friends, you wouldn’t do it. Period. If that were a true standard that you held, you wouldn’t have strayed from it. Now your perspective is put into question.

He said that he was going to leave the country for an extended period, and asked what I thought he wanted.

Make note of how he responded to your inquiry. He didn’t offer a direct response. He deflected and turned it around on you. Pay attention to behavior like that. He’s trying to get you to say that things would need to be put on ice while he left the country. He wants you to bring it up so he doesn’t have to. It sounds like he just assumed you would take the hint and know that, since he was leaving, things would eventually end. He didn’t so anything to make sure you and he were on the same page because that would hinder his ability to get what he wanted.

However, it was a secret and no one knew about us.

I just..okay. Whatever. More drama.

I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her. Is that true?

l do believe that that is true. I just don’t think this guy is as taken or invested as you think. You’re romanticizing this situation. Will a guy move mountains to be with a woman he loves? I think so. But that kind of love is not something that develops this quickly. Maybe in movies guys have that light bulb moment when they realize they need to run across town so they can get to that party and kiss the girl they realized they can’t live without at midnight. But in real life? That just doesn’t happen. And when it does happen this swiftly, I happen to think it’s suspect.

He knew he was leaving. That right there should tell you what he was looking for and, frankly, what you’re dealing with.

To be honest, it sounds like you know where you stand. You know this guy is leaving for an extended period of time. You know you’re getting attached. The solution to this seems obvious. Either detach and appropriate your expectations or walk away. Instead you want to re-enact some plot line from a rom com.

I’m 99% sure this will not end with him getting off the plane and running through an airport to get back home to you.

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18 Responses to “You’re The One Making Dating Complicated”

  1. Selena Says:

    - You knew the guy had dated some of your friends. You claim not to date friends’ ex’s, but you slept with this guy anyway.

    – You knew he was leaving the country for an extended period, but you slept with him anyway.

    – The two of you kept the ‘relationship’ a secret.

    – He doesn’t declare his undying love for you when you put him on the spot after sleeping with him for 2 months.

    What were you expecting out of this Mary? He is leaving the country for an extended period of time. That alone should tell you that this situation was only going to be short-term. If it was more substantial, why keep it a secret?

    You’re pouting because he’s not offering you something to hold him to while he’s away. He does sound like he’s into you, but he knew there was a definite end date. You did also, but now you don’t like it. This was a fling. If you don’t like flings, don’t get involved with men you KNOW will be leaving.

  2. CoolDude Says:

    I can tell by the way this girl types that she’s a moron and a drama queen. Guy made the right move.

    CoolDude ouuutttttt.

  3. Howard Says:

    Snapping at people never works. It doesn’t work with lovers, friends, co-workers, siblings, relatives, and just about most people. You come off as an asshole or a bitch or whatever nasty name, your victim has to come up with in his or her head, to re-establish balance for themselves. The person may not respond to you, and trust me that’s worse for you.

    I don’t know what he wanted, but I know he doesn’t want someone snapping at him. This nonsense about “I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her”, needs qualification. Yes, That may be so, if you create a situation for that to happen, and he actually does want that type of relationship with you. It’s not going to happen in spite of your failings.

    I often wonder why women play these casual things when they know they are ill-equipped to handle them. Casual can turn into something more, but that takes very skillful maneuvering. What people like about casual is the supposed lack of drama and strife. Any attempt at turning a casual situation into a serious relationship has to be done in a way, where no drama or strife creeps in.

    I can expound at length about your contradictions, as Moxie outlines, but those place you in a position where you can hardly complain about the outcomes.

    Do one of two things, Move on, or go back to a strife free place with this guy. If you pick the latter, the ball is in your court, because it was you who created the last rift. Apologies, acknowledgements or olive-branches are good places to start. My gut feeling is that you should move on. After all, he is not even going to be around. Waiting for someone where a great relationships exists is hard enough. I see no good purpose in waiting and hoping, when nothing exists.

    • C Says:

      “I often wonder why women play these casual things when they know they are ill-equipped to handle them. ”

      Exactly. If you want a serious relationship, dont agree to a casual one. The vast majority of the time you will not be “cool with it” for long, he wont suddenly decide he is in love with you, and it wont end well.

  4. Tinker Says:

    Couple of thoughts:
    – Not wanting to date the ex of some friends, but sleeping with him in secret instead is shady. You are that kind of girl- own it (dating a friend’s ex from hs doesn’t make you a bad person by the way)
    – He may have liked you more in the beginning, but it sounds like you requested the secret ‘unofficial’ status you have now. He’s probably surprised about your change of heart
    – You have no reason to snap at him- You haven’t exactly been clear here and that isn’t his fault
    – In the future be more honest with yourself about what you want from the beginning. And don’t get mad at folks if you try to change the game in the ninth inning
    – Enjoy him while he’s here, but start preparing to see other people

    • greg figueroa Says:

      She’s in a secret friends with benefits situation and now wants a secret relationship that will only frustrate her even more. Who chose to keep it a secret?

  5. D. Says:

    I’m not entirely sure what the question here is. It seems like, as Moxie pointed out, you know what the story is, you just don’t like it very much and are trying to understand what happened. With that in mind, and based on my own experiences, here’s my take on what may have happened.

    This guy probably does like you, at least enough to spend 2 months dating you, which involves hanging out, talking frequently, and yes, sex too. When you mix all of those things together, you call it “dating,” usually. Now, it may be that he saw it differently, but from what you described, yeah, you were dating. Not necessarily exclusively, not necessarily “officially” or whathaveyou, but you were dating. Casually, short-term, the way people do sometimes.

    My guess, based on what you wrote, is that he made it clear to you that he was leaving the country for an extended period of time down the road. You knew this (as you say), and he knew it. Now, the missing piece of the puzzle is whether he told you that he doesn’t do long-distance relationships, but that’s usually a pretty safe assumption at your age, particularly when you’re only 2 months into things. Thus, to his way of thinking, the implication was that, no, this would not become a long-distance thing, and it would only go so far, after which point it would end.

    I’m betting he assumed you realized this. It also, as Moxie pointed out, spared him the necessity of issuing some unpleasant caveat where he explained that this would only go so far, and if you can accept that, great, let’s have fun, but if not, let’s call it off. I suspect if he had put it in such stark terms, you would have called it off. But, he probably told himself, you’re a big girl, and he’s not responsible for managing your feelings, so if you’re not asking him about it up front, he’ll just assume you can put two and two together.

    What I’m also betting, though, is that deep down, you DID put two and two together. You just hoped you’d be proven wrong. When a guy says “let’s date. P.S., I’m leaving the country in two months,” what do you really think is going to happen? Because it goes exactly like what’s happened here, usually.

    As for the guy still contacting you and saying he misses you and such, well, maybe he genuinely DOES miss you, and he STILL doesn’t want to be your long-distance boyfriend. The two are not mutually exclusive. And as for “But wouldn’t he pull the moon from the sky for me if I asked him to?” stuff, no, he wouldn’t, not if he’s just having fun dating you and even if he cares about you and misses hanging out with you. A guy can miss you and want to hang out, while still only wanting things to go so far.

    Here’s the thing to remember: dating isn’t always a binary choice for all parties. Granted, what YOU want from HIM is pretty binary. Either he dates you according to the terms you want (which apparently involve maintaining things long-distance), or he doesn’t and cuts off contact with you. But what HE wants, apparently, is to date you until he leaves, and maybe kinda stay in touch here and there, but not be tied down while he’s abroad. You want different things.

    That, by the way, doesn’t make him a bad guy, nor does it make him someone who “just wants sex.” The fact that he doesn’t want to date on the terms you want to date doesn’t make him a villain or a manipulator. You are a grown-ass woman who can read situations and make her own decisions accordingly.

    Making him the “bad guy” in this story absolves you of any responsibility for the choices you made in this, and simultaneously puts you in a very passive position where you’re just a helpless victim. And that is just a load of horseshit. You’re not a victim. You made choices, and things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to. That’s not being a victim; that’s just being disappointed.

    So, lesson learned, dust yourself off, and move on. You two are at an impasse, it seems. You want one thing, he wants another, and the two positions cannot be reconciled. He’s not likely to change his mind, so, make your choice accordingly. If you want him gone because it’s just too complicated, then ignore his calls, delete his texts, and move on with your life. If you want to stay in touch, fine and dandy, but make it clear it’s on a platonic basis only. You have all the information you need. The choice is yours.

  6. Goldie Says:

    He’s leaving. There will not be a relationship. He made it clear. He’s still offering you to continue hanging out in a casual way until he leaves. He cannot offer you anything else, because, like he said, he’s leaving! Take it or, well, leave it.

    “I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her. Is that true?”

    Anything like what? Kill? Rob a bank? Walk out on a pregnant wife and five kids? Cancel his out-of-country plans that he’d had long before he and you got together, that probably have to do with something serious like his education or career? Nope, that’s not true, a guy will not do *anything* to get you. And, if there is a guy out there who will really *do anything* to get you, that’s the guy you do not want. You want a man who has his head on straight and his priorities in order, and doesn’t turn his life upside down because he just met a girl he really likes.

  7. Yvonne Says:

    So what is the point here? That the guy pursued you? Said he really liked you and kept messaging you? We women have to be honest with ourselves and see the red flags, rather than pretending that they don’t exist and then getting angry when they resurface again.

    To say that you “ended up” sleeping together despite the fact that you don’t date friends’ exes, is to absolve yourself of any responsibility. Either decide that sleeping with a friend’s ex is okay under certain circumstances (like the friend now has a new boyfriend), or don’t do it. if you know the guy is leaving for an extended period, accept that he is leaving. If you can’t handle that, keep your distance from him.

    “I told him that I can’t do this cuz eventually I’ll have feelings and get attached. He hasn’t called since.” Can’t you figure out why he’s not calling you?

    Ask yourself why a man would want to keep his relationship with you a secret. Then ask yourself why a relationship under those terms would be okay with you. I’m not sure that you misread the cues, as much as you were not fully honest with yourself about them.

  8. C Says:

    Sorry OP, but youre not living out the plot line of a romcom and the guy isnt going to wake up one day and realize he is in love with his hookup. Maybe your guy thought he was living out the plot line of a James Bond movie where all the hot chicks are just happy to spend the occassional night with “the hero” before he is dispatched on a new mission.

    “Are you sure you dont want to stay, Bond? Make a life here with me?”
    “Sorry nameless tocken hot chick. Duty calls.”
    “Ok. Take care of yourself, Bond. I’m just going to stroll off into the sunset looking all sexy and not drunk dial you, throw a shit fit, or send you any crazy emails.”

  9. noquay Says:

    Somehow you ended up sleeping together (what! by osmosis?) you knew he was leaving. There never was a relationship, period. Yep, he texts, so what? Means absolutely nothing. Reminds me of a saying “if you love someone, let them go, if they love you, they’ll return, if they don’t, they never were yours in the first place”.

    • manwich Says:

      I agree, sex never “somehow ends up” happening. Sex is a choice. Being alone in a room with a bed and an attractive person is a choice. When the socks come off it’s a choice. The total lack of accountability in that statement belies the OPs willful naivety.

      Women need to realize that the most seductive players are the ones who make it feel like a lucky accident. If you cling to the romantic notion that things somehow end up happening, you will get used. Women should decide what they want, and what their standards are instead of waiting around for some bold confident guy who makes it all feel “right”. I sense a player here. Dude probably didn’t even leave the country, that’s just part of his game.

      On the other hand, if the OP had clearly stated her intentions, she wouldn’t be so confused. maybe the guy really liked her. Waiting for a guy to initiate commitment is like waiting for a girl to initiate sex. If a girl hid me from her friends, I’d assume she wanted NSA. She should have told him what she wanted instead of passively waiting for him to want it.

  10. LostSailor Says:

    What Moxie—and most of the commenter–said.

    The claim that Mary didn’t “want sleep with her friends’ exes” is completely disingenuous, since he dated them what sounds like over 10 years ago.

    But by my calculations, Mary must have been in a relationship that turned into a marriage starting before she was 18. Now she’s back on the market in her late 20s and has, it seems, little experience in actual dating.

    She knew this guy was leaving the country, so his response to her “where is this going” was completely predictable. Her “I assume he didn’t want anything” is also completely disingenuous. She’s trying to manipulate him, for what I’m not sure she even knows. Yes, it’s an effort to generate vom-com drama. That’s the inexperience talking.

    The whole thing about it was a secret and no one knew about us is another red herring. Was that an explicit choice on his part or even on her part (based on her not wanting to date her friends’ exes)?

    I don’t get it. U either want to date me or not.

    Yes, Mary doesn’t get it. He was dating her: hanging out, going to movies, going to dinner, having sex. Sounds like dating to me. He clearly wasn’t in it just for the sex. Even after the “where is this going” chat, he was still engaged. At least until she “snapped” and started making demands. He hasn’t called since. What does that mean? She went a little cray-cray on him and he’s not putting up with it.

    The kicker, of course, is I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her. Is that true?

    Yes, it is true…to a point. He won’t do anything, but he will make extraordinary efforts for a woman he loves. But they’ve only been “dating” for 2 months, and that’s way too early for that kind of devotion, especially if she’s already amped up the cray. Mary is definitely looking for the vom-com fantasy.

    Bottom line: She’s trying to manipulate him into either changing his plans to leave the country or taking her with him. He is wisely not biting…

    • Selena Says:

      Ah yes. This is what it is about. “Don’t Go!” “Take me with you!”

      After 2 months of secret dating. Some things one just needs to live to learn. And will.

  11. G Says:

    I’ve just got to chime in on “I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her. Is that true?”

    Frankly, it’s not true. At least not in the romantic fairytale Disney way, or those cheesy, even cringeworthy FB status’s.

    If every guy did this, it would be mess. Take 2 guys… one you find attractive and like him, the other, frankly, you don’t.

    If both of these guys did “anything” to get you, persisted and wouldn’t quit until you said yes, then what would be the outcome?
    For the first guy, I’m sure you’d say how sweet he was, how romantic, how he’s the most amazing guy ever.
    And the 2nd guy? Creep? Stage-5 Clinger? Stalker?

    At the end of the day, a guy has to know when he’s beaten. I’ve known plenty girls who just made things too hard to be with them. In the end, guys can hardly tell if she’s being difficult to play out this fantasy of him chasing her to the end of the earth or if she’s just not interested and he should walk away.

    The thing is, for a guy with options, he’ll most likely walk away and try to meet someone who isn’t “testing” him so much and just likes and appreciates him too.

    I don’t know why this struck home with me. It just seems to be the way, as was already said of creating drama where there doesn’t have to be any. Why make it so hard? You’re only losing out yourself!

    • manwich Says:

      “I always thought that if a guy truly wants u he will do anything to get her”
      …yeah, I kinda rolled my eyes when I read that.

      Guys are people too. We have feelings. We have dignity, and pride. We know when to take a hint. If I’m in a serious, committed relationship, I’ll slay dragons and build castles, but I wouldn’t change my life plans over some secret FWB who doesn’t seem to know what she wants.

      G is right that a man has to walk this fine line between being assertive enough to build intimacy, but not “clingy”. Do you ladies realize how hard that is? What if job interviewers were turned off if you seemed too eager to work? “hey, i was just walking by and I had this resume in my pocket, maybe we could just hang out some time and you could give me a pay check”. Nothing great is ever accomplished by accident. Easy come easy go. A relationship that begins with a casual accident will end that way too.

      OP should think back to the last time she rejected a “nice guy”. If you want a man to boldly peruse you, date him. Men with dating experience, and social skills have learned to play our cards close to the chest. It seems like she wants it both ways. She wants to be effortlessly seduced by a charming player, who then magically transforms into a sincere committed husband(starring Gerard Butler).

  12. Aksarben Says:

    Gotta adamantly disagree with Howard. This lady is not “Ill equiped” for the situation – she craves it. That post reeks of drama queen. She’s loving every second of this.

    I have two women in my extended family that are huge drama queens and both of them have gotten involved with something very similar to this. One of these DQ’s had a leaving the country situation last August and she’s Still obsessing over it to this day. “Guy leaving country” is drama queen catnip. Its the only reason OP got with this guy in the first place. OP’s answer is to break her drama addiction. Its chick porn.

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