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TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3769
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

Customer Question

A few weeks ago I met a guy online. We arranged a date but he cancelled, saying that he just couldn't do it. 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. He says he hates seeing her in so much pain but can't just walk away and it's messing with his head. 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. This was his idea. I was reluctant but it felt right. We really did just cuddle all night. 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. At the time I thought nothing of it but now I wonder whether he was saying that to make it clear he was open to being more than friends. 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 but I ignored him. I suppose he has said some lightly flirty things but I've never really responded. If he is reserved and he was trying it on that night he stayed over but I knocked him back, maybe he doesn't want to push things? I don't know if I am just seeing what I want to see. I really felt like the signals were all there that he liked me and we could have taken it further but I didn't want to. I don't feel like he was after just one thing either which makes such a change.

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? I'm not texting him loads. It's just one text for each of his but over the past few days the texts feel pointless and I wonder whether he just replies to be polite and secretly wants me to stop responding. Today I decided to bite the bullet and invite him over at the weekend. I said 'Would you like to meet up this weekend? I promise not to be good. I could also really do with the company'. He replied almost right away but just said 'ahh, are you ok?' I told him I am but he hasn't replied even though he's been online.

I really felt like we were getting somewhere on Saturday. It's been a bit over a week since then. Can he really have changed his mind already? i'm feeling really lost and it's been a very long time since I've liked someone like this so any advice would be great.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome back. I am sorry to hear that things are still feeling shaky for you. I am glad that you out yourself out there and invited him over for dinner. He seems scared to me...scared to open up, scared to let his heart be open and scared to make those moves as we discussed. Did he change his mind? I don't hear that it is about that and more about him feeling scared. So, what to do? I would sit back now and see if he reaches out. I know that is hard to do...but give him some time and space to figure it out for himself. I am here.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 2 years ago.
Let me know if you want to talk further.