General Dating Questions/He stopped contact
QUESTION: Hi Karen,
I am writing to you because I am very heartbroken, and I hope you can give me some advise. I have been casually daying this guy for about a year now. We always had an amazing time together and he has told me that he has had some of the best time of his life with me. However, after about six months of casually dating he started pulling bac once I had the relationship talk with him. He told me he likes me a lot but that he tries to keep a distance between us because he was hurt before and he never wants to have his feelings hurt again. We continued to see each other casually even though he stoped texting as often and it seemed that I had to be the one to initiate contact all the time, but we would still have a great time each time we met. Our last date was a month ago. All good, I did not get any weird vibes, however, I decided to stop txting him and wait for him to make the first move. I still cannot believe that a month has passed by and he has made no contact with me.. I have not said anything either. Is this his coward way of letting me know it's over? Last time we went on a date he even made plans for our next date. I am confused and cannot believe that if I dont say anything, he won't say anything and that he chose to keep quiet after one year of dating instead of politely telling me he does not want to see me anymore. Is it over? Should I say anything to him to clarify things and get closure? I am feeling very upset and hurt right now, and as much as I try to forget him, I cannot. The fact that he stopped contacting me and I don't know what is going on drives me crazy. What is your advise?
ANSWER: Hi Dana,
What an unfortunate situation to be in. However, the key point is that he told you around the six month mark that he wasn't interested in a relationship with you. Whether this is due to the reason he gave you, or something else, when someone says they do not want a relationship, a majority of the time, they're being honest about it. We have a habit of wanting to mould others into what we want/need, as if it will somehow make them a better person. We can't change people or what they want. The fact he carried on seeing you must have been extremely confusing for you but the fact that he did, doesn't mean he meant to hurt you necessarily, it makes me think he took it as that the fact you still wanted to see him, you accepted that you had a casual thing. I sincerely hope that all your dates did not end/only consist of sex or intimacy. If so, you were rewarding and reinforcing the idea that it was acceptable to reap the benefits of a relationship without actually committing to one with you. You indirectly would have also said that you were happy to have casual sex with him too.
It took me a while to understand all of that myself but I think that you're one month towards your healing process and getting over him. Contact him if you wish but it seems as if he hasn't spared your feelings or cared. It's a hard pill to swallow, I understand that. There could be many reasons as to why he hasn't contacted you (maybe he didn't have the guts to break it off, maybe he fell in love with another woman he was also seeing casually, maybe he's testing you) but as long as he is alive and well, that's all you need to know. It should never be about who contacts who first or how long it's been when you care. However, it should be about whether you should continue if the other person has completely abandoned ship. How can you be expected to make the effort if the other person just isn't there anymore?
It gets easier as time goes on (time is an amazing healer) but you should date again, once you feel ready. Live your life and start loving yourself again, allowing others to love you too. After all, you weren't in a serious relationship, by his definition. If he does re-emerge, the choice you make is up to you but I would have some questions to ask.
All the best!
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a detailed response. I wanted to give you an update on what happened, and I hope you can advise me on what to do next. I eventually texted the guy after one month of no contact. I felt that after one year of dating that was not the right way to end it(with complete silence) and I also wanted answers. To my surprise, he replied right away to my invitation to get together over the weekend. When he saw me, he acted as nothing happened. We went and had dinner and after I mentioned that it's been a while since we've seen each other, he told me that he has been very busy with work, that he basically worked 24/7 for the past month and that he did tell me he was going to be busy.
Karen, there was so much I wanted to tell him,but I kep quiet and here is why.. He told me from the beginning that he can only see me casually and that at this point does not want a relationship, and I feel that by continuing to see him, I have agreed to his "terms" and have no right to demand more because he was honest with what he can offer. I just don't want to push him back even more...
What bothers me is that from one time a week, we went to once every two weeks, and now once a month get together. And that is a little too casual for me. I understand that he does not want a relationship, and that is fine, but I would like to see him at least once a week as we used to in the beginning and to at least get a txt from him to see he cares and that he is still interested. I didn't mention to you...we agreed that we're casually dating, but only seing each other..This guy has the ultimate situation, really! And I don't buy his too busy at work excuse. I do believe he was busy, but come on, we all take breaks from work!
We both enjoy each other's company,and I do not want to break it off with him. But how do I tell this guy that I would like to see him at least once a week for this to continue to work out(without sounding pushy or needy?)
I am the one who texted him after one month and that is also why I haven't questioned him. It would have been different if he wanted to get together after so long..I am not sure if he is just waiting on me to let go or what is going on here since no one likes to talk about feelings?
I wanted to add that he has always reffered to me as 'friend.' And uses the word friendship when he talks about our casual relationship.
I am so confused, but if he wants to keep seeing me, he needs to pick up the pace..and the phone! How do I communicate this to him without making him pull back even more?
Thank you for your advise Karen! I know I wrote a whole book! Sorry! :)
I hope you have a nice day!
ANSWER: Hi Dana,
You two are not merely friends, it is a complete farce to label what you're doing as friendship. Have you ever read/seen He's Just Not That Into You? Or even 500 Days of Summer? (Both are food for thought when it comes to dating and loosely apply to your situation.) I'm not saying he's not into you, because he might be, but when a man (or woman for that matter) really cares about someone, they aren't hung up on the past (you become a welcome distraction) and they most certainly aren't afraid of letting everyone know you're together.
If you really do want an exclusive relationship with him, you need to tell him. You have no idea what he could be doing the rest of the month, despite your agreement that you'd stay exclusive to one another, yet casual. How about asking him where he sees you and him going? Or maybe stating that you'd like a relationship, it could just be in passing. You may not want to stop seeing him but you will get hurt if you want more and he is unwilling to take it further. This will continue as long as you let it, right now you are the puppeteer, you need to guide this situation and find out if he'll follow your lead.
If you don't tell him what you want and need, there's 0% chance of getting it. You need to know where you stand and you're entitled to that. However, if you do lose him, you're opening yourself up to the chance of meeting someone who won't be afraid to tell everyone that you're dating.
All the best.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
I finally wrote an email to this guy, expressing how I feel about this lack of contact and increasing distance. I emailed him because I never know when I'll see him or hear from him and it was easier to express my thoughts that way. I will summarize what I wrote to him and then I will paste his reply to my email. I basically explained to him how his actions don't match up with his words. Two people who like each other want to spend time together and will always find a way to see each other no matter how busy.(his too busy with work excuse was overused!) Then I also told him how he's got the ultimate situation..a great friend with all the benefits of a girlfriend...And I told him how this wall that he has created between us is hurting my feelings greatly. In the end of my email I told him to let me know what his plans are for I cannot continue to accept the minimal he has to offer.
This is what he replied:
Thank you for expressing yourself and sharing your thoughts.
I know that I did not mislead you in anyway or set any expectations. I was very clear from the beginning and nothing changed from my side, and nothing is going on in my mind.
I agree that we shared lots of good and fun memories together for over a year now. I think you deserve someone that can be committed to you and not just a casual friend. I am sure you will find you someone that will be committed to you because you are a smart and beautiful girl.
Best of luck my friend.
Karen, this was like a stab in my heart. My only expectation from him was to see him before a lot of time passes and to actually hear from him...
I cannot accept to see him only once a month or only when I reach out to him. Please help me write an email back to him. I am shocked by his reply, and he made it clear it's over, but I would like to say something wise and well composed back to him. It looks like he felt like I pressured him into a committed relationship again, when all I wanted him was to spend time with me if he really liked me as much as he used to tell me!
Thanks for your advise Karen. I really look forward to your reply.
My advice would be to not send him another email. I agree with what he has said and he told you what he wanted.
If you were to answer though, I would tell him that your intentions were never to pressure him into anything he didn't want, merely to tell him how you felt and enjoyed his time. Focus on the fact that you did enjoy your time with him.
I think it would be unwise to try and win him back. It is obvious your feelings exceed what he feels for you and you are most likely, if you haven't already, going to fall in love with a man who may not be capable of doing the same. He backed out of your casual dating with ease and as much as it hurts, let sleeping dogs lie. He is right, you will find someone who can give you what you deserve and want - letting go of this allows you to do so.
All the best