Name: Tied Up
Question: I met this guy online in December. Immediately, we had great email, great banter, and I looked forward to his emails every morning, and he told me he looked forward to mine. That went on for a couple weeks–he’s divorced with partial custody of kids, so I understood it might not be the easiest to meet up with him. We talked on the phone, and against my usual good judgement, we talked for several hours the first night, and then several more the second. We met the next night, Tuesday, even though we had planned our first date for Wednesday. We had a great time, and there was clear physical chemistry. We hugged good night, and went our separate ways. Wednesday night, we still held our date. Things got a little out of hand, and we ended up both have a little too much to drink, and I took him home with me. We kept up the regular calls and texts whenever he had his kids, and we were together anytime we were both free. We had several talks about how neither of us had really experienced this type of connection with someone so quickly, how natural it was, and while it was scary, we just needed to go with it.
Jump to two weeks ago, I was going on vacation with my family. I talked to him when I could, but since I was out of the country for most of it, it was just too expensive for me to call. The same thing with texting. But in the beginning of the week, when I did hear from him, he’d end all his communications with ‘miss you’ or ‘wish i could see you’. Then I texted him the night before I came home, and asked him if he was still planning on coming to my place the next night. He was clearly distant in his responses, so I knew something was off.
The next day we chatted for a few minutes, but it was mostly about the plan for the night. He wanted to meet me somewhere for a beer, so I knew there was something wrong. I guess I should have just asked him then and there what was wrong and saved us both the time, but I was confused. The short of it is, he met me at the bar and told me that while I was on vacation, his ex girlfriend contacted him and said she left something at his house. I thought the timing was coincidental, but his birthday was also that week, so I’m wondering if that also triggered her getting in touch with him. They were together for a year, and she broke up with him about 4 months ago, because she didn’t want a serious relationship. I’m not really clear on what went down, but he told me they met for a movie and afterward she made a compelling argument for why she wants to get back together, and that he loved her and wants to give it another try. But he wanted to stay in touch with me, and that breaking things off with me was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.
I told him in a text the next day that I don’t think I should stay in touch, because it would be too confusing for me. He said he understood and would respect that. But I’ve been heartbroken. Against my better judgment, I sent him a text yesterday that I hoped his medical procedure went well, and we’ve exchanged a few texts since then about what’s going on in my life mostly.
In my head, I know I’m just setting myself up for more heartbreak, but I am having trouble not holding out hope that his relationship is going to fail and we’re going to have another chance. I was with someone who didn’t want a commitment, and he would show up every few months or so when he got lonely and it would always go the same way. And that’s what I keep thinking will happen with them. But I also remind myself that if she’s really committed, they could be married in six months.
Do I need to stop all communication and just accept that this wasn’t meant to be? How do I get past this? I’m usually a pretty level headed person and can walk away, but I’ve never experienced this type of head-over-heals feeling.
What you’re experiencing is the after-shock that comes with false hope. I’m not sure what actually went down while you were away. Seems a little sketchy that the minute you’re back is turned he’s entertaining his ex-girlfriend, though. I thought that he was the one who as all, “I’ve never felt like this before!” Orly? Not even when you were with your last girlfriend that you still love and that you dumped everything for because she suddenly showed interest in you, you twee?
Something about his story doesn’t fit with me. Which makes me wonder if he made it all up because he found himself in an instant relationship and didn’t like it. I mean, parts of the story could be true. But if he had been so smitten with you as he claims, then he would have just dated you both. So he was either lying then or he’s lying now.
The heartfelt admissions. The fast connections. That’s not normal operating procedure. Adults don’t talk like this. These are utterances that come from young people whose whole idea of dating relationships has come from books, television and movies. They aren’t real and neither was this relationship. If you were the one saying these things and he just agreed, that’s not the same as if he came out and said these things himself. You realize that, right?
What I think happened is that he had some time to come down to earth while you were on vacation. Not being able to talk to you meant that the cloudy haze he had been functioning under was gone. With that particular curtain pulled away, he realized that he had gotten himself into something he actually didn’t want. The girlfriend ex machina is a little too convenient for my tastes. Plus, how much of a pussy is he if he just bails on the women he’s dating after the woman who dumped him snaps her fingers and asks for another chance? No. Sorry. He’s lying. I’m calling it now.
Breaking things off with you was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do? Really? Huh. I’d thinking telling his children that Daddy was no longer going to be living with Mommy was the hardest thing he had to do. This guy is all over the place.
Now, what were the red flags?
1. The fact that it took two weeks to meet each other - Look, it’s an hour or so of his time. Unless he’s The POTUS, he can finagle that. He was dragging his feet.
2. The hours long phone calls/chat sessions – I don’t understand. He was too busy with his kids to meet you but could spend hours on the phone. Inconsistency.
3. The Ex-Girlfriend Story - Haven’t we all used this one to get out of a sticky situation? You’re not clear on what went down because nothing actually went down. He lied. 4 months goes by before she realizes she left something at his house? I don’t know about you, but when I stop seeing someone I do a final sweep of the apartment to make sure every toiletry, sock and t-shirt are with me. If I miss anything, it’s his. What could she have possibly left that was sooooo important that she had to have it the week you were out of town?
4. The level of investment/interest so soon - Nobody gets this wrapped up in someone they just met. If they do, that in and of itself is a red flag. Only someone truly lacking in experience or someone with a history of poor judgment would build up those expectations and encourage you to follow suit.
It’s going to sting for a couple of weeks. You’ll eventually get through that once you accept the situation for what it was, which is not what you thought it was. You’re sitting there thinking that you came thisclose to having something ideal. You didn’t. It was an illusion. I don’t think this guy intentionally tried to lead you on. I don’t think he has a clue what he wants. and is probably kind of a mess. When he had a moment to think without the white noise, he realized that this wasn’t what he wanted after all. Unless there’s more to this story that you’re not revealing, this is a simple case of building your expectations too high thereby creating a longer and harder fall.