General Dating Questions/old flame

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QUESTION: Hi Dennis,
I recently crossed paths with an old flame 7 years ago and found that I'm still very attracted to him. I had a sauna party last week and he spent the night. He wanted to cook me dinner on Thursday, but I couldn't make it so we went out for drinks on Friday. I can tell he likes me because he was mirroring my body language the whole time (or maybe I was mirroring his lol) and the conversation flowed naturally and easily. That left me with a good feeling and I want to see him again because I think we're compatible.

Anyway, he may have introduced me to his girlfriend when we first crossed paths, but I honestly can't remember for sure. That sounds ridiculous, but I SWEAR I have completely blocked it out of my memory. He never mentioned it since then.

While we were on our date on Friday he told me he was going back home the next day. He lives in another part of the state and was here looking for work (which I knew). He says he will call me when he's back in town in a few weeks. I guess I can't really ask for more than that, but it's still kinda unsatisfying.  I've texted him a couple times and he texted back. We only hung out twice so I am not expecting a lot of communication.

Still, he's expecting me to wait weeks to go on another date with him. That is forever! I am not sure how to handle the communication in this situation. I made it very clear I wanted to see him when he got back. Now what do I do? And when do I ask about his girlfriend?

Lastly, he's best friends with one of friends brothers and she has told me several times that any woman who would date him has shit taste in men and she also told me at least two stories about him cheating. For some reason I am really embarrassed to ask her about him. Do you think I should?  

Thanks for your help!

ANSWER: Hello Martine!

You know what would really be "unsatisfying"? Developing something with him living at a distance and only being able to see him every few weeks - if that!

Martine - don't do this! I constantly get letters from people who are in or have been in long-distance relationships ("LDR's"). The fact is - they simply DO NOT work out. Even worse, the people in them eventually become so scarred it often takes years to heal - if they ever do.

There are quite literally hundreds of individual problems brought about by LDR's. Relationships are complicated enough. Adding distance to that creates an entirely new set of problems in addition to those people who are local to each other face.

For just ONE example; let's say that you ask him about the girlfriend and he tells you this wonderful story about how things didn't work out and he's now single. You choose to believe him. Great, right? But, things progress and pretty soon you're missing him badly during the weeks you can't see him and start trying to fill that whole by demanding you and he talk or text every single day.

Now, that doesn't really satiate your need but it's a kind of substitute. Then, it soon becomes a burden and you sense he's becoming less engaged and willing to work to satiate your insecurity - which itself is starting to grow. Now, you're beginning to believe he lied to you about the ex-girlfriend. You start concocting all sorts of scenarios and stories about what he's doing when he's not right there calling or texting you!

Can you image where things go from there? Can you imagine how your own security begins to erode away and when you finally, angrily break up with him for "hurting you" (which was really your own emotional mind creating all of this) how jaded you're going to become over it all?

Martine - I see this happening ALL THE TIME. It's not some isolated fantasy at all. It's COMMON and even PREDICTABLE. And now, here you are expecting that YOU will somehow beat those odds (which nobody ever does).

I am sorry to paint such a bleak picture for you here. I take no pride or joy in telling you these things, but if I just help you get yourself stuck in this ridiculous situation, I'm doing you no favors either.

Thus, I can easily (now) answer your last question: "what should I do?"

Answer: find someone local who you can have a REAL relationship with and work on building that instead. Don't worry about his ex-girlfriend(s) or cheating or what your friends say. Instead, find someone else and build the great, healthy relationship that you deserve.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yeah...that's pragmatic and all, but I can count on one hand the number of men I've wanted to have a relationship with in the last 4 years. I went on a date with a different guy two days later and it was dreadful. 10 minutes into it I was looking for an exit. After I told him I didn't want to see him again he told me hated me and went on a rant about how cruel the world is. He is 32! So pathetic and immature. I live in Seattle and this kind of behavior is typical here because the men are so emasculated.

That being said, I am not exactly looking for a relationship with Guy #1. More like I want to maximize my enjoyment of the situation while he is around and I have his attention. I am quite fond of him and I feel good in his company. Unless I am busy doing something else, I don't see a reason to avoid seeing him while he's here. I will continue to date other guys as the opportunities arise. That is, unless he moves here and makes our relationship official. Without him doing that, it would just be a fling and I wouldn't take it seriously.

Right now, I am waiting to see how the situation unfolds and trying not to be too hopeful. He told me he would let me know when he's back in town. If and when this happens, I will tell him my vision of how I'd ideally like to see things progress between us. Hopefully, I can do this in a way that doesn't terrify him lol. If he likes what he hears and wants to be a part of it, then we can progress. I am not going to try to get him to commit to me on the spot. I'll just say,"Can you promise me something? Promise me that if, while you're out with any of the girls you're seeing, you find yourself thinking of me you'll break it off when them an see me exclusively."

I will find out if he has any real intention of moving to Seattle. I'll cut him loose if I don't get the answers I want. I know I am looking for a certain type of relationship and I am not going to torture him, and myself, by chasing after something that can't happen.

Any tips on sussing out his real intentions? Cos seriously, I am not joking or lying. If he isn't willing to move here then we're done.

Thanks for listening!

ANSWER: Hello again Martine!

You've spent 4 years and have only found a very few guys you'd want to build something with? Doesn't that tell you something? What you're doing is chasing someone who you don't really even know! You've concocted a complete fantasy that SEEMS so real you're actually willing to chase it and ignore any real possibilities right there in your own backyard. I know this is difficult to see clearly; but see it you must! At least if you ever want a chance at making a good decision.

You're right about many of the guys there in Seattle (I talk to them all the time) and elsewhere around the country - and world! However, there ARE great guys there but it takes more than just being lazy about it to find them. I know because I talk to them all the time too.

I can fully understand why this guy holds the attraction he does for you. He's not "real" in the sense that; at a distance you've built him up in your mind, filled in the gaps, and have begun to see him very differently than he really is. If you enjoy his company, sex, etc., and are really able to keep it just that (and to be honest, I don't think you can) then fine. Do it. But just remember I was the guy who told you how things really are when you begin to see them for yourself.

To that point, DO NOT ask him for any promises! Don't ask him to break anything off for any reason unless you both are in a situation (as in; you're both living in close-enough proximity to have a real relationship) and are in a relationship where such a promise is reasonable. It is NOT reasonable to ask him to do that if these conditions don't exist! OF COURSE he'll promise you that! You know damn-well he will. You also know; deep-down, that he's under absolutely no obligation to keep that promise. This is just one of those "tests" where you get to throw it back in his face if YOU get hurt. Not only isn't that healthy, it's not reasonable to make someone else responsible for your feelings when you aren't able to give that back to them.

As to determining his real intentions - yes, I do have some tips!

First; realize that you, alone, aren't motivation enough for him to move. I know you're a great girl, but that's simply not enough considering that he already has a life where he is. Even if you get him to profess some undying love for you it's nothing more than a wisp of smoke in the breeze. It may help your ego but it won't help your situation.

He needs something far more tangible to move - like a solid job offer, a place to live, a love of the climate, friends and/or family, etc. By determining if he has those in place and seems compelled to purse them you'll know how real any promise he makes to move would be.

Even with that my advice is always: don't fall in love with it until you own it. In other words, until he actually DOES move don't try to rush into anything! Any move will be stressful enough by itself. To have a preordained, established girlfriend with her own needs and expectations is likely to be too much up front.

Consider however that once the move is done (if it gets that far) and he chooses to be with you that's a pretty-damn-solid promise.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok, so I guess I wasn't very clear.

First, I knew him fairly well a few years ago. We lived in the same small town and had many mutual friends. We used to go out relatively often. I accept that he has changed in the interim, but I know his general tendancies. Second, HE told me he wanted to move to Seattle for work; I didn't come up with that idea myself. Third, he has a girlfriend! I would only ask him to break it off with other ladies if a. He moved closer (or was in the process of doing so), and b. He seemed interested in continuing to see me. I would not ask any guy something crazy like that over text from 500 miles away. It's not a test, I would never ask about it again. The idea would be that he mentally start keeping track of how many times he finds himself thinking of me and hopefully he would decide I was a good choice for him.

I am going to be surprised if he makes it back here in the next month, or even in January. Until I see him face to face I am going to assume there is nothing good on between us. While I like I feel hopeful, I think you are right in saying I need to face the reality that probably nothing lasting will come of it. I *should* try to meet more guys here. It's just not as exciting for some reason.

Thanks for your thoughts!

Answer
Hey Martine!

OF COURSE it's not as exciting! How could it be? How could anyone compete with the fantasy that's in your head?

That's why these LDR's are so dangerous. It's one thing to have some basic standards. It's another to have the huge expectations that LDR's bring - and expect any guy to ever be able to reach them. No, not even 500-mile-away guy.

Best regards...

Dr. Dennis W. Neder
CEO/Executive Producer
~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.
BAM! Productions
Remington Publications
323.638.4145
http://beingaman.com
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”

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Dr. Dennis W. Neder

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I'm able to answer any sort of question related to the approach, meeting people, dating, sex, relationships, break-ups, non-legal marriage and divorce questions, and anything in between. I've helped over 30,000 people with their individual issues. IMPORTANT: Please, PLEASE don't ask me, "what was he thinking..." or "why did he say..." types of questions! I DO NOT READ MINDS! There are 1,001 reasons why someone does what they do, says what they say or thinks what they think. If you *REALLY* want to know what they were thinking, saying or why they were acting that way - go ask them! Be sure to check out my FAQ's on my website at: http://beingaman.com. You can email me directly at: dwneder@beingaman.com.

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I am the author of the books "Being a Man in a Woman`s World I & II" and "1001 Places and Techniques to Meet Great Women" and 11 others. I`ve spent the last 20 years studying the art and science of every aspect of relationships, and have answered over 30,000 letters from readers all over the world. My main focus is men`s relationships with women, but I also have many female readers and answer questions for them regularly as well.

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Doctor of Philosophy

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