- 2 months ago
QUICK SUMMARY: Relationship of 3 months started off with guy having strong convictions I was the one for him, talk of a family, meeting his sister, going on a trip with his best friends and their wives, and when I began reciprocating and it seemed more like a relationship, he told me he was scared of intimacy (first serious relationship for him after asking his ex of 4 years to marry him and being rejected) and needed space, but has since dropped off a ton in communication.
Last Christmas this guy and I started talking, seemed to have a lot in common and to be quite honest with one another about our desire to have kids/family, and after missing each other one weekend he offered to drive the 5 hours from his city to mine to stay overnight, took me to dinner and a theatre, and stayed the next night to take me dinner again, at an oyster bar because he remembered it was my favourite. Things escalated quite quickly – after about 2 months of dating we were talking on the phone for an hour or so (sometimes more) several times a week, good morning texts from him every day/texting first, and on his end, very strong convictions about me and the relationship, how good of a fit we were, how he had never met anyone like me, had told, his mom about me and she wanted to meet me and was excited for “us”, joking about if I would change my last name to his, saying he told his colleague I wanted five kids and he offered to give us his old baby clothes, etc. Throughout all of this, I would wave him off, saying he promised to go to slow, that I wanted to be single for a year, etc.
I met his sister and he took me a family spring break trip to Florida with his three best friends since kindergarten, their wives and kids – they took us seriously, told him how much they liked me and that he should keep me happy. He talked to them about the kids I want, told colleagues at office about me and how excited he was for our trip, and described us to friends as how his sister was engaged to her husband after 8 months and ‘when you know you know’. For those reasons I thought it was more serious than just wanting to sleep with me.
I got anxious at the airport on the way home (the last time I saw my ex-fiance of 5 years was at an airport before he did a total 180 and bailed on the relationship) but wrote it off as flying anxiety. That week there were good morning texts, he sent me his ‘favourite pictures’ of us from Disney, etc., and I was a bit standoffish, but then explained it was because my last relationship ended suddenly and I realized in Florida that I cared about him and there was a possibility I could get hurt; he said I should always be honest, he truly felt like the entire week he enjoyed being with me and never felt he had to, and 2 weeks later drove 5 hours again to spend the weekend with me, so I took that as a positive sign. There had been less future talk and more sexual talk but with everything as a whole I just thought it was the relationship developing.
I let my guard down, cooked boeuf bourguignon, baked a chocolate cake for a big win he had at work, we cuddled with the dogs, he asked to stay an extra night – weekend was relationship-y but good. I loved cooking for my ex, it was nice to have hope again and do those things. He texted me thanks for a great weekend, thinking of you, etc the day he left. The next day (2 weeks ago) everything changed.
No more good morning messages (I took it as a healthyish sign of getting comfortable with one another), but with drastically reduced contact from him over 3 days, I gently let him know I noticed we weren’t talking as often and if he wanted space that was totally fine with me, but if something else we should touch base. He apologized, admitted he had been distant, and it didn’t have to do with me, but intimacy/relationships generally. He told me he thought it might be similar to how I was anxious at the airport, and shared how he had been thinking everything got better for us when I opened up to him, so he was trying.
He told me that I was the first person whose house he had stayed at since his ex two years ago (He asked her to marry him and she said no, and he was depressed for a year), and as he drove away, realized ‘Wow, she is an amazing girl, and this could really go somewhere’, and a wall went up. I am the first serious relationship he has had since her, and it seemed both of our families were gunning for the relationship since we had our hearts broken in similar situations).
I asked how he felt and what he needed calmly, explained I totally understood and that I had been terrified to open up to him but he was worth the risk. I told him I wanted him to be happy and asked what he needed. He wasn’t sure, and I said I totally understood him not knowing what he wanted and needing time, but that if it was an indefinite thing, I had been turning down dates to focus on him and it wouldn’t make sense to do that (like if he wouldn’t know for months). He quickly clarified he needed 2-3 days, I said that’s totally fine, take a week if that’s what you need and we agreed to talk this past weekend. I joked about him not being allowed to send me his usual selfies and updates, but he still sent selfies during the week and said he was glad we had talked, etc. I didn’t text him at all and gave brief replies, aside from letting him know I respected his space but was thinking of him one morning. He texted me late Saturday night and Sunday about working overnight, with a picture wearing the socks I bought him and cake I made him, but I was still waiting for him to call for the conversation.
At 6:30 Sunday I texted him to say my understanding had been that he needed space and we were going to talk this weekend, and checking to see if he still planned on calling? No response, and I thought it was important that after me respecting his needs for space that I set a boundary. I knew he was home and would have received the message.
Monday morning at 8:30 I texted him to say sorry I missed him, and opened up about my feelings – I let him know how when I first met him he was so open with sharing himself, sending me video messages, and even opening up on our second date to tell me how when he had back surgery for his scoliosis as a kid, he had to wear this huge cast and would eat his lunch alone in the library – I told him how he had always let me see him for who he really was and I fell for that person, and that he had made me really happy and I had seen a future, too.
I explained that somewhere along the line he had stopped sharing himself, and that I wanted him to be happy and it seemed like he needed to go away and be on his own for awhile to really figure out what he wanted. I said I didn’t think intermittent texting was healthy for either of us, but when he was ready he could reach out, and that he deserved the things he told me he wanted (to be a dad) and if there was something holding him back (i.e. trust issues) I hoped he could work it out. I ended the note by saying that I hoped I was still here when he was ready, but that until then, I know I need someone who is completely in – I give all of myself and deserve that back, and I don’t want to be with someone who is not 100% sure about me.
This was yesterday at 8:30 AM, and while I am proud of myself for communicating in a healthy way, setting boundaries, and standing up for what I need as well as respecting his needs…. I am SO CONFUSED about what happened here, and what I should think about the whole situation. I know I was extremely unhappy with the sudden hot/cold shift and that that’s not a good sign, but on the one hand it would be so much easier if he had just wanted to sleep with me. Instead, he told his mom about me, took me on a trip with his closest friends, and after a week together and hours of phone calls still chose to drive 5 hours to spend time with me, only to suddenly go cold. I am 32 and want to settle down and have a family more than anything, and I finally felt like “my ship had come in”.
ANY insight into this situation would be sincerely, sincerely appreciated. Thanks for listening.