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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 722
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hey.So where do I start, I met this guy over a year ago.

Customer Question

So where do I start, I met this guy over a year ago. We seemed to be really happy until the topic of commitment came up. He said he didn't want me seeing anyone and neither did he want to do the same. However, few weeks in I found out he had actually started seeing and dating someone else during our "off period" which I obviously found quite upsetting.
Months down the line I managed to get over it and just continue talking to him which then became a situation of just sex. It didn't bother me at the time because we both had agreed that's all it was. Over time however, is almost like I started falling for him again. He always treated me with respect and just pretty much acted like a perfect boyfriend to me. Over the time I realised that this was more to me than it was agreed to be and so we had spoke. He was kind of frustrated but not really to the point but insisted relationship was not something he wanted. It was a constant back and forth for a long time. He always said he didn't want to lead me on but strangely continued his "perfect boyfriend" role. We went on vacations together and as you would expect in a "just sex" relationship, I thought sex would obviously be a big part of it. I was wrong, it felt like a romantic vacation, holding hands, opening the door for me, sharing meals, pecks and gentle kisses, perfect gentleman and no sex what so ever. I was so confused and whenever I spoke about it I would get the same response. So at this point I'm obviously like OKAY I get it maybe it's all in my head. He started speaking to some girl and so I told him I needed space to break through my feelings for him. After a while we started speaking again and everything went back to normal.
I mean, we sleeping together again but I try not to allow myself to feel anything for him again because I feel like he was just playing mind games. But behind all that, is almost like I know him better, and know that he's not a kind to play games. I cant help but look at everything that is happening though. I mean, the sweetness of his actions. I sometimes catch him just looking at me when I'm watching tv, or he'd always go and cook for me when he visits, he holds my hand in public and is ever so nice and patient. He understands me, or tries to find out more about my problems and help me through them. And when I mention him visiting - well he if financially in bad position - he has lost a lot of weight as he has no money for food. BUT regardless of this he still spends money to come and see me and always wants to pay for food for me etc. I don't know if I'm going crazy with the idea of him possibly liking me but what am I meant to think from his actions? I'm scared to bring up the topic to him again because that may lead back to square one - telling me he doesnt want a relationship or to be with me.
Has he just become so comfortable with me that it means nothing to him or is there a secret behind his actions that he's not ready to share with me?
I need a different person perspective on my situation in order to determine if my feelings should be allowed out or if I should stay back?
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 2 years ago.
That's a very frustrating situation for you, and there's a slight chance that it's also frustrating for him. I'll get to that.But FIRST, what you're feeling is the most normal and natural way for the human heart to respond: It's LOVE, and it always grows with extended quality time, especially when sex has been involved. (There's a popular wisdom among youngish men that you can have sex without love pretty easily--though a solid 40-70% of American guys can't have sex without feeling close, safe and liking, so they're going to be in love unless and until they convince themselves that they can get laid without feeling that. And even if couples use alcohol to dull their feelings during sex, they'll get to the safe, close and liking state pretty soon if they sleep together after sex-- or without ever having sex. (Abraham Lincoln as a young lawyer had a 3 year love relationship with the owner of a boarding house, Joshua speed, because they shared a bed (after his first engagement had broken up. But he wasn't gay: it was just cleeping together that made them feel like "litter-mates in the animal kingdom.)So you are experiencing love together. Now there are 2 possibilities for what's going on with your boyfriend:1. He's "not ready" for commitment with you because A. he had a terrible mother of some sort, or a possessive mother and he's unconsciously afraid of what could happen if he ever got in too deep with another woman, and/or B. he's got a partner-type in mind that's different from you, so he's using you for his safe harbor in a storm (or "back-up woman"). He's unconsciously already attached to you, so his occasional attempts to find the "right-mate" for him always run aground on the reality that they're NOT you. OR2. He has a reason for not feeling ready to marry, that might have something to do with his lack of money. His self esteem might be damaged because he doesn't have a respectable job, so he can't pull his weight in the kind of relationship that is the only way forward for him. If he won't tell you much about his financial situation or his work-life, or his goals in life, that could be a window into this aspect of the problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He has a really close relationship with his mother but he doesn't really talk about his dad. He told me he was a child of a one night stand and his dad has never really been there for him. I guess he kind of comes and goes whenever he wants. But I don't know if its's possible that's part of his issue?The girl he started seeing whilst off with me was a friend of his who wanted to be with him for a long time and he said he was pressured to get with her. So I felt like I wasn't good enough for him to commit to me but he was able to with her. He never admitted to seeing her when I asked anyway, I kinda found out the hard way. It's crazy that despite all that I still see a nice guy but I know theres something deep down that speaks for his actions.Another thing is, he did tell me he had a girlfriend in the past who cheated on him which broke his heart. I tried to find out if what he was doing right now was because his girlfriend got away with it so he thought he would but he said he didn't know. (he slept with me whilst he was in relationship with his friend)When i asked him about why he doesn't want to commit to me few weeks/months ago, he said he just didn't bother to take it that far. Is like saying, everything is perfect but I can't be bothered because you're already there for me. However, after we decided we'd just leave that topic be, few weeks in we kissed and he said he loved me and wanted to see how things naturally develop. But weeks later, he completely denied this. It drives me insane to not have a clear answer!And I completely agree with the lack of money, career has been an ongoing important thing for him since we met. He's always been crazy about finding a job he really wants to do and I understand that. But, he's only 24.