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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3784
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Professional Coach
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A few weeks ago I met a guy online. We arranged a date but

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A few weeks ago I met a guy online. We arranged a date but he cancelled, saying that he wasn't ready. I was expecting it to end there but we kept chatting and it turned out we had more than a little in common. We went to the same high school, share some of the same friends, both have three boys of very similar age, both have an autistic child of the same age, both have similar issues with our mothers and the list goes on. He opened up to me a lot about his life and told me about how he met someone after his marriage ended. They were together just a few months but she admitted she still had feelings for her ex so he ended it, not wanting to be second best. She's unwell so he still sees her as a friend to help her out and is clearly not over her. We were texting until the early hours for days and I asked him if he would like to meet, just as friends (which is how I saw it at that point, given his ex). He was really enthusiastic about the idea and came to mine one evening. Again we chatted until the early hours and got on amazingly well. He stayed over which was pre-agreed since we had a few drinks but it was supposed to be in separate beds. We ended up in the same bed, just cuddling since we couldn't stop talking. We really did just cuddle all night. Nothing else happened. I woke up at one point with his hand on my bum and told him off a little and he stopped. That evening he also told me that he said to his ex that nothing would ever happen between them. He said he cares about her but it was never love. I'm not sure he said that to hint that he would like more or was just telling me. The next morning he had to leave early but said he had a really good time and hoped to do it again. I text him later and said I liked our cuddles. He replied and said 'Yes I know what you mean, whilst my head is shot at the moment that was really good!'. We texts lots for the next couple of days still but then things went quiet. He didn't text me for a couple of days. I eventually text asking if all was ok and he said it was but he was still struggling a bit. He avoided entering into a convocation. After another couple of days of nothing I text him again (hate feeling like I'm chasing him or seeming needy) and we started a little convocation & joked around a bit. I offered him some spare kids day out tickets I had and he suggested that we all go together which I wasn't expecting. This makes me feel even more in the friend zone as we talked about how neither of us would ever introduce a potential partner to our kids for a long time because of their condition. We don't really flirt. He has said he likes my profile picture and asked me to send more. I suppose he has said some lightly flirty things but I've never really responded. I don't know how to initiate and I think I've shut him down by not responding in the past when he tried. Not that he tried very hard. With our texts, I rarely respond right away unless it's the evening but he often doesn't read them for ages, even though I can see (whatsapp) that he's been online loads or he reads them but won't respond for ages. It makes me feel like I'm just bothering him. Surely if he really liked me he would want to read them or respond. It's what he was doing when we first started talking and around the time he came to mine. So I wondered how you think he sees this? I'm starting to really like him but I don't want to make a move and blow it if he doesn't feel the same because he is potentially a very good friend and one of the few people who I know that understands life with an autistic child. I feel like maybe since I've said we are just friends at the start and been unresponsive to flirting he feels he doesn't want to push it. On the other hand I'm wondering if he is too messed up and really doesn't want a relationship. I was thinking about asking him to come over at the weekend again but I don't want to be doing all the chasing so I don't know that's a bad idea.

A couple of friends have said they think he tried to make it clear he was interested when he came over here and we were cuddling as thats not just a friends thing to do but because I was unresponsive and don't respond to his flirting (or lack of) that he thinks I don't want anything more and he's afraid of being rejected.

It sounds like you are both building something and feel for one another...right now as friends and possible more in the future. He initially said that he wasn't ready for a relationship so we need to keep that in mind. You are both dealing with a l lot and things need to grow between you in a natural way and not by being forced. I would text or reach out to him when you desire and let things progress as they will. In time, it will be evident in which direction this is heading. Be natural, not forcing and let it all come to be. There is a connection for sure..let it flourish naturally.
As you spend more time as friends and ti feels safe you can always let him know you are enjoying what you are building and hope it continues and can become more. I am not sure now is the right time, but as the connection/friendship deepens it will feel right.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I felt that for the price paid and the time taken to reply, the answer was very short.
Not sure what about my response and support warranted a negative rating from you. Please let me know how I can help you in addition to my initial thoughts above. You didn't respond back, but only gave a negative rating.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I just didn't feel that the answer was very long. I've never used this service for relationship advice before but usually when I pay for a detailed answer they're much longer.

For example do you think I have missed his lead when trying to be flirty? I've never spent the night that close to a guy and all he wanted to do was to cuddle and touch my bum. I felt as though I could have taken it further than night and he would have been responsive but I didn't want to jump into anything. Most guys have been obvious when flirting but then most guys have only wanted one thing. He seems much more reserved.

I like to begin a dialog...long doesn't always mean response is to engage you to talk further. I think when he put his hand on you when you were cuddling, he was trying to have more with you, but you weren't ready. There is no harm in that.
He is reserved because he has a lot going on and isn't sure what he is capable of right now
He has been open about that...would it feel more comfortable for you at this point to be open with him about what oyu desire for the two of you?
And it may not have been the right night to take it further...if you did and then he pulled back, it would have been worse for both of you and that is why i believe talking with him when it feels right and letting things develop naturally is the way to go here.
Even if you missed a cue or a desire on his part doesn't mean that you cant reach out and ask what he desires and see if it is in line with your desires.
He is cautious and has been up front with his feelings about that...but I do feel like there is a connection.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks you. I'm sorry for the negative response to start with. I don't like to ask further questions because I feel like I'm being a bother but you have been really helpful.

You are not a bother...this is why I am here and available. We can turn that negative rating around at the end...when we are done, you can rate again. So, I am here and can answer some other things. All is well. :-)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** he stayed over and we cuddled, he text loads for the first two days and then pretty much stopped texting or reading my messages as often. To be fair I didn't text lots either but I have had to be the one to reach out to him.

If he had initial interest on the evening, why does it seem to have died down so much and so quickly?

Should I invite him over at the weekend or should I leave him to make the moves. As you can tell it has been many years since I've done this and I'm really out of my comfort zone, feeling like a teenager again.

I think both of you are out of the game a bit and he has been hurt and dealing with other things...could cause you to both dance around the other one. It seems to me like he is not the move maker, so if it feels okay for you then I would ask him over to share a meal and laughter and let things progress..if he makes a move and it feels good for you then go for it. If you invite him over and he declines then it could be an indication that he isn't interested in developing something more than friendship. It is hard to be the one to pursue, I know that....but you enjoy him and like him and it may not be his style or he may have been hurt in the past where he retreats. Life is short and I am from the mindset that you put it out there if it feels right and go from there.
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I am here if you need me again. Be well and good luck with it all.