How to Know if He/She Really Likes You/Reconnecting
Thank you for your time and attention. Here is the background: I met this man 2.5 years ago on Match. As it turned out he taught at the middle school across the street from the elementary I teach in. We met up but there weren't romantic sparks. Within those two years we'd see each other around the community every now and again but nothing every stuck. This past April, I realized I had two younger siblings in my class whose older siblings were in his class (I teach pre.k, he teaches 8th grade math). I messaged him about it and we starts talking everyday. Finally about a month into this we decided to go on a date. It was almost two years to the day of our first date. We both had grown and I really liked him. Then when school got out and we were going on summer vacation, he hurt his shoulder pretty badly. Slowly, we started drifting apart. We saw each other only once during the summer. About 3 weeks ago when school started again, I messaged him and it seemed like we were on a good path again. But on the first day of school (for students) he messaged me "I just want to be honest. If I seemed distant it was bc I was seeing someone. I was unsure about my feelings." It hurt so much I told him I'd rather us not be friends, even though it was a past tense statement and I had also dated other people while we weren't talking. For a week and a half I there was no contact. But I got some bad news at work and since I can see his school from my classroom window, I reached out to him. He was attentive and supportive. But again, I thanked him and closed our friendship. Out of nowhere he texted me Friday night. I was short but he told me his itinerary anyway. It included making himself dinner and watching a movie alone. Was he just being nice and I'm reading too much into it? Half of me feels angry that he "saw" someone else when we were on a path to date and he sorta disappeared. Half of me understands we weren't committed and i also dated. Then another part of me wonders if I'm a consolation prize now that that's over. And another part of me wonders if I'm wasting my time wondering anything at all and he's just a guy being cordial. What do you think? I like him a lot but I haven't resolved my feelings about being runner up.
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Let's dive right into your question, shall we? :) First, let me just say that there is undeniably some chemistry and romantic attraction on both of your parts, here. Even though this fellow did go out and date someone else, you are still on his mind much of the time. However, you are definitely on to something in feeling you are the runner up, so to speak, because he is coming back into the picture here for two reasons: one, because he genuinely has feelings for you, but also two, because you're a source of comfort to him. If I were to give you my honest opinion and assessment, I would predict that this cycle will continue to go on, with him coming in and out of your life like this. It seems like it's ten times more difficult when you can just feel the attraction and the connection between the two of you, but ultimately, this kind of back and forth connection is not healthy for you. When it's good, and he's in your life, it feels good, it feels connected, secure, and safe. But when he's not, you feel just the opposite, feeling unsure, insecure, and just downright miserable. I honestly don't want you sacrificing what you deserve, only to be happy with him, sometimes.
So my dear, now comes the part where you have to seriously sit down and think about this. Think about what it is that you're looking for in this stage of your life. Are you only wanting to date casually, or are you looking for a more serious relationship? Part of the issue here is that it seems as if the two of you are not on the same page as far as this is concerned. It looks as if you were just about ready for an official relationship, while he was still looking to have his autonomy and date others. If you're going to have a successful connection with him, you're going to need to be on the same page about the outcome you're looking for, otherwise, one or both of you are going to be terribly unhappy.
So, after you've gotten clear on what it is that you want, honestly ask yourself if he's capable, ready, and willing to give that to you. So if, say, you want a real committed relationship, you'll need to ask yourself if he's ready and able to share that kind of connection with you. Ultimately, the answer to this decision will help guide you towards what you need to do to move forward one way or another. Lastly, once the answers to these questions are clear, then you need to communicate this to him. Be careful not to vocalize it as if it's an ultimatum, because ultimately, that will push him away. Say for example, you've decided you want a relationship, you can simply tell him that you're not longer looking for the more casual, undefined type of connection, and you're looking for something more serious now. If he agrees, fantastic! If for some reason he says that he can't or doesn't want to, try your best not to be upset or angry, because we can't help how we feel. If this is the case, you can simply tell him that he deserves to have what he wants, but so do you. If you truly don't wish to be friends, you'll need to say that as well, and wish him the best.
I know this can be a little bit scary, my dear, but I need you to trust yourself, and your ability to make the decision that will make you the happiest. Never settle for table scraps, when you deserve the whole meal (complete with dessert!) ;)
I hope this helps Pamela, and if you have any more questions, I'm only a click away. :)