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How to Strengthen Your Relationship/What is the status of our relationship?


QUESTION: I met Bernard last September and I have known him for awhile but we reconnected in September.
In April he came to my new apartment to help set things up and I was looking forward to this and so was he. He made his move on me...while he was helping me he tells me that he has been all over the world and says I am the most beautiful woman he has seen. He feels so blessed that he has met me and feels so fortunate and I am a gift. This is the first time I am hearing this from a man...and it tells me that he knows what he wants and he is smitten. I leaned in and kissed him and after asking him if he meant it...he looked me in the eyes and says yes. So beautiful. He tells me he is in a complicated situation because he is going through a breakup with his ex gf who he was living with. He has a 10 year old son that he has with another woman who lives in Oklahoma and he has his son for the summer.  End of May his son arrived and his mother fell into a coma and was so stressed out. He calls me one evening and he finally expressed his feelings...he tells me that he has never felt this way about a woman before (getting excited is what he meant) and he was scared to answer my calls some nights because he had feelings, he tells me that he wans to explore things with me and asked if I am interested. I told him that I felt the same way. He seemed relieved. For the first time in my life I felt like a relationship is falling into place!!! He ended things with his ex so he could take things to the next level with me...things were already falling down on the rocks for them...she is an older woman. He was telling me that they were fighting over me last week. I want to make myself clear...he never cheated. He made sure that I felt the same way so he can continute to end things were her for good...they had a lot of issues.

NOW THE SITUATION...his plans has changed...he thought he was going to send his son back at the end of July to his mother in Oklahoma but unfortunately the mother has a severe drinkinging problem where she was arrested and lost her job. She is suppose to go into rehab and she completely lost it. Now is living in the shelter and running around with these low life scum-bags. He is going to have to have his son full time and he never been a full time father before. His mother came out of a coma...thank goodness she is alright and plus he is doing a career change since he isn't selling much of his art like before even he is was a successful...very successful artist.  
He had no one to watch his son...except his ex who adores his son. She was cool enough to watch his son while he sorts out his mess...poor guy.  
He came to my apartment and I haven't seen him for a few weeks...and had the most amazing sex ever...he was kissing me, looking into my eyes telling me how amazing and how lucky he is to be with me. The next day he calls me saying that his mouth is on fire and that he is having these breakouts in the inside of his mouth. I panicked and he thought there were some type of STDs...I have been seeing someone before but never had any issues with any of my exes exept with Bernard. He panicked and later he realized that it must be from stress and from lack of sleep. He and I went to see our doctors to get tested. My doctor said that there is no sign of any recent composure. I am fine...he is still waiting to hear back from his doctor!!! He tells me that he needs to wait till we have make love and kiss because he is sick. He also tells me that maybe that is a sign from GOD telling him that he needs to take it easy and not jump into another relationship...his body was giving him a sign. This hurts me terribly because I want him so bad.

IMPORTANT PIECE... He tells me last week that we are not invovled, we are not in a relationship and that we just had sex a couple of times and this is BS because we had sex about 6 times!!! I wa upset with him one night and he walks into my room and he apolozies and understands how I feel...he says you are right I need to chill and get my head straightened out since I have been very stressed out. Another night  He tells me...I just got out of a relationship and you are not my gf and I am not your bf...things changed after I found out that I am going to have my son full time. I have to think about my future. He told his ex that we are friends. She knows that he is at my house and they have phone conversations and knows that I am present. She even went on his fb account and saw my fb and even downloaded some images of me and the work he took through our dropbox! She was telling him nice things about me. I was furious and I realized it is harlmess...he tells me that. He says I don't want her to THINK THAT I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU...i asked him to repeat himself and he went red and says,"well you know...romance." Very cute.  He tells me that it is none of her business to know his personal life, he doesn't want to hurt her feelings mostly because she has been really cool about helping him with his son which I totally understand. He also wants to show respect which I understand and a friend of mine was telling me...of course she seems cool..she has his BALLS (SON!) She made a good point....haha no wonder why he doesn't want to tell her too much about us...I support this.
My concern is that I want this to develope into a long term relationship...I told him flat out the other day that I don't do friends with benefits or you can get the fuck out...he understood and slightly chuckled. He tells me the other night that he is waiting for the test results and it did freaked him out...he wants to be sexually exclusive. I think I have to wait this out...till he gets his test results, play it cool instead of being a jealousy paranoid girlfriend. It is confusing...haha.
My question is...what is the status of our relationshiP? I know we are involved...I know he is absolutely crazy about me but backed off a bit because of the outbreak inside of his mouth which freaked him out and he is being respectful but not hurting his ex gf and doesn't want her to THINK (KNOW) that he is in love with me.


ANSWER: Hello Alison,

Before I even finished your message I felt compelled to respond to the first paragraph. I think there were red flags IMMEDIATELY! He is interested in you and makes a move BEFORE he has ended it with his girlfriend. You also imply that he wanted to see if you were interested before he broke it off with her. That leads me to believe that if you had said "no" he might not have ended it with her. That means he was stringing her along until he found something better.

On to the second paragraph, it seems like this guy needs to focus on other aspects of his life before he tries to get into a serious relationship. He's got his kid in his life. His mom is recovering from a coma and he's looking for a career change. He may be the greatest guy, but if he doesn't deal with these things first, they WILL become issues down the road if you two commit to one another. It would be a different story if the two of you were already committed for a year, and suddenly his son arrived, his mom got sick and he needed to find a new job. That would put a strain on any relationship, but if it were already established, you could be there to support him. He's just taking on too much with all he's got going AND trying to start something with you.

After reading the last portion of your message I realize that you probably aren't liking my response so far. It sounds as though he realized that he may be in over his head with all that's going on in his life. He was gun-ho about being with you, but is now back-pedaling because he's got to get his stuff together. But, he's not willing to cut you off completely because if his out-break checks out, he's hoping to continue having sex with you, and I bet he's also hoping he can convince you to hang in there with him until the dust settles and he can really finally commit to you full time.

If I were talking to you face-to-face I can imagine you'd tell me that you don't want to wait, that you really care about hi, and that you don't want to lose him. My response would be from the most sincere part of my heart, and I'd tell you not to push him, not to try to make him commit to you before he's ready. I would bet that if you two tried to make this a committed relationship now, that within a few months, things would just start unraveling. Both of you would be frustrated and this would not last.

If you want this to last, if you are really serious about him then you need to let him get things straight. That means you need to be there with him until he gets his diagnosis. You need to support him as he helps his mom. You need to take up the slack as he looks for a job. You need to see what you can do to help his son make the transition to being with Dad full-time. And, if he's not telling his ex that you are his girlfriend, don't sweat it. if it's meant to be, it will be and she'll get the picture soon enough.

So, to answer your question, the status of your relationship is (and should be) up in the air until he can get the rest of his life together. Hope that helps.

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

QUESTION: Thank You so much for your understanding. I absolutely agree with you that I need to chill and let him figure all of  his stuff out. These things didn't happen until he expressed himself and his life does change rather quickly. I feel bad for the ex but they both agreed that they are not right for each other. I can wait for sure since I have things that I need to focus on however it just hurts my heart that he denies that we are even involved which we are...perhaps he is trying to be reasonable and protecting us from getting in a messy situation.
Thank You for understanding...after I spoke with my best gf she helped me realize that the ex has his balls since she has his more control for her. I also realized that there is nothing for me to worry about and I need to chill and be supportive till he straightens his shit out. I have a life and need to continue living it.
By the way...he has his eye on me since 2010, sweet story. :)

Hello again, Alison,

So glad you are good with this, and even more pleased that you have more going on in your life but him. So, you keep doing what you need to do. Let him do what he needs to do. Support him the best you can. If he's had his eye on you for five years, he'll be willing to be open about your relationship when the rest of his life dictates that. In the meantime, take care of you, as long as you see him making strides in his own life.  

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