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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3392
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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Can I ask someone about this very strange behavior from a man

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Can I ask someone about this very strange behavior from a man I was dating?
We met in January and he took my number. He seemed like a nice, gentle guy. Not a player - more of an underdog and insecure but also very smart and kind. He wanted to date me, but I said no. Partly because I didn't find him very attractive, partly because he was 8 years younnger than me (27) and partly because from the first conversation we had he told me he was not looking for a full relationship with a lot of commitment because he was not in the right place in his life.
That said, we carried on talking and we came to be friends. We talked on the phone, video chat and he was always asking me out. Not pushy but persistent and he said he just felt we would be good together. I told him I was looking for something long term, and he said he knew he couldn't offer me that but that he could offer me 6 months or a year of "wonderful" where he would try his hardest to make me happy.
So anyway, after 7 months or so I started to like him. He was a really deep and interesting person who seemed SO honest and humble but he was also kind and supportive to me and didn't seem to be a pushy player like most guys, so I agree to that date he had been asking for and figured maybe a short but wonderful affair with a man I really liked and cared about would not be the worst thing on earth.
Based on what he had said about his commitment issues, I expected it to be kind of "friends with benefits" arrangement, but he suprised me with how he acted. First off all he never wanted to leave me. He would stay whole weekends, just cooking and talking and kissing and watching movies. He was completely love struck in his behavior...like running back to my house for one more kiss in the morning, or making little presents for me. He wanted me to meet his friends right way. His friends were fascinated as I was only the third woman he had ever dated.
All of a sudden, I started to really like this man and wanted to be in a relationship with him. At that point I panicked, because he was telling me it would only ever be temporary and that was not acceptable for me, so I decided to be smart and end the relationship before I fell in love.
He was honestly so upset and he begged me to reconsider, and I liked him so much that I did and we decided to just take each day as it comes and not worry about the future. I let my boundaries down and started to accept we were together. We became "exclusive" and although it was a messed up situation we made each other happy.
Then all of a sudden he went cold on me. Less available. Evasive. I felt like I was chasing HIM all of a sudden and when I called him out on it, at first he said he was just busy and when I got really upset he finally said to me that he was confused. He said he'd gone into our arrangment with a relationship off the table but he had liked me much more than he expected to and felt in danger of falling in love so he had created a distance between us so it did not get too close.
Shortly after that conversation, he pulled away from me completely, and then very openly slept with someone in a way he knew I would find out. He's not in a relationship with this girl - she actually lives 5000 miles away :( she doesn't even seem very attractive compared to me and I don't understand what the point was f hurting me so much for something so frivolous.
I was left completely devasated when he did that. I didn't understand why he would chase me for 7 months only to screw it up right out of the gate like that and I obviously felt rejected, used and betrayed by someone who at the very least I felt 100% sure would never lie to me or deliberately hurt me.
At first he tried to repair things with me. He apologised and begged me to give him another chance and said he would do anything and was at my mercy, and I refused to listen to him so then he said he would give me time and space...but I noticed that he unfriended me off social media and totally disappeared as if I never knew him.
He did sent me a letter to apologise and he puts it all down to fear of getting close to someone, but I can't help feeling like dirt.
It's left me feeling so confused!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sara. Thanks for putting it all out there...you sound like a wonderful woman with a lot of great qualities. He has acted in a way exactly how he said he would act. He knows he is not capable of more, even with you being so wonderful. clearly you both were falling in love and it terrified him because somewhere he knows that he just cannot give you more. He wanted to be with you and in his way..kind of like having his cake and eating it too, but when his feelings started to explode the only thing he could do was flee. Of course he wanted you back because he felt all those great things, but it terrified him. Why sleep with someone else? To have you make the decision to rid yourself of him. You have done nothing wrong..you are not dirty. You are open and full of love and he knows that!
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
Tell me more about the confusion....Confused as to why if he was in love did he leave? Because he could not handle how strong he felt.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Jen

I suppose just confused about why a person would want you for so long, and then discard you as soon as things were going great and you were happy.

I know the stories people say about being afraid of comitment and intimacy but I find that hard to understand, I thought it was just simply a case of if you like someone you enjoy that experience and feel happy about it.

I would really like to think he felt the same for me as I did for him, but can't help feeling like somehow I was really unimportant to him and he just wanted to have sex with me!!

you know..it's horrible to feel like that :(

And also, now he ices me out...cut me off social media...feels like such an act of discarding another person like trash.

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
Yes you can see all of that rationally because you don't have the same worries about being exclusive. Whatever is in his past has created this space for him. think of it differently...it is because of exactly how wonderful you are that he has needed to ice you out. If you were meaningless then he would carry on because there would be no worry about it progressing further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So you think he sabotaged this intentionally? Fear based?

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 1 year ago.
He was up front about what he could offer...knowing his limitations. He then felt so strongly and couldn't deal, so what better way to cause a lot of distress and a true ending than to sleep with someone else. Yes, I think this is all fear based. Fear of his feelings for you, fear of exclusivity and fear of settling down.
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