Skip

I think I need to communicate, but how?
September 6, 2011 5:08 PM   Subscribe

New guy moving away in a few weeks--how do I tell him what I think?

I posted a question a few weeks ago about a guy I wasn’t head-over-heels for, asking if I should keep dating him or let him go. I kept dating him, and lo and behold, just when I started to get stronger feelings for him, he announces he is moving across the country at the end of the month for a job opportunity.

Bear with me, because this question might get confusing. I’m not exactly sure what I’m asking. Basically, I felt super confident and sure that he was really into me for the first two or three weeks of dating. Now, the past week or two, I have gotten more attached to him, and that security has been shaken a bit, not aided I am sure by the fact that he is about to move 3,000 miles away and I have no idea what he thinks will happen between us…

Practically, I know it’s not reasonable to start up some big-commitment long-distance thing. I personally am still not SO sure about him that I am ready to commit myself to him across such a big distance, and with no plans to live in the same city soon… but at the same time, I really, really like him and I am not ready to say that’s the end forever, either.

He is the most considerate, kindest, sweetest person I have ever dated. I still feel totally comfortable with him, we make each other laugh, and he always seems to know exactly what I want and then gives it to me. We see each other a lot: more or less every other day, except the past week we hung out every day til today. I still don’t have crazy butterflies but my doubts have shrunk considerably. Maybe these guys are crawling all over the place, but having dated mostly not-very-nice guys, I wouldn’t know it …

The city he is moving to is one I was seriously considering moving to several months ago, and one I can easily see myself in within the next year or two. I just made a big move two months ago so I’m not ready for another change yet, but when I am ready I can see myself in this city. I am young and have no real attachments. I would like to go visit him after he moves but he hasn’t asked me to yet … he has asked me to drive cross-country with him when he moves but nothing after that.

So, my problem is, what do I or do I not say about the “future” of what we’re doing? He hasn’t really brought it up… and I did text him the other day and say “I hope you don’t forget about me after you move” to which he said “I won’t forget about you… but is this really something you want to talk about?” Which in my mind, sort of means, let’s not be so serious about this …

For all I know, he could be not even considering seeing where it goes, and planning on not talking to me at all once he’s gone. It is very impractical. But if he is just planning on moving and not talking to me any more, I don’t really see why I am continuing to see him and getting more attached now. I could be dating other guys who will stay in my city and putting an end to any future-oriented fantasizing. I wouldn’t be spending so much time with him and letting myself get more invested.

I don’t want a serious long-distance commitment, but I’d like to stay in contact and leave the door open in case we do end up in the same place, and I’d like to go visit at some point (I have other friends in the city). I’m scared he just plans on moving and basically disappearing from my life forever. I’m at the point where I can’t really get more attached to him without actually being hurt if that happens. He wants to go away together this weekend, and I’m not sure if I’d do that if I knew he saw his moving as a total end to “us.”

Should I bring this up with him? I don’t want to put pressure on, freak him out, make him think I am ready to get married, etc. I feel like I should just chill out and see what happens, but I don’t want to develop stronger feelings for someone who sees absolutely no possible future with me. Is the fact that I even feel the need to bring this up a sign that I can tell he’s less invested than I am at this point?

Anyway, I am starting to feel somewhat insecure about this, and I don’t know if that’s natural and I should talk to him about it to clarify what will happen when he moves, or if I should just keep quiet and try to stop worrying about it. He obviously likes me—he texts me throughout the day, he wants to see me a lot, we joke about it when we do “coupley” things, and he tells me he really likes me. I feel on the one hand like I should just let it run its course and see what happens when he moves, but I also on the other hand feel like it’s important to know if we are at least somewhat headed in a similar direction…

Basically, I’m not sure if this is something I should discuss with him or how to do it without coming across as a needy mess.

Thanks!
posted by queens86 to Human Relations (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don’t want a serious long-distance commitment, but I’d like to stay in contact and leave the door open in case we do end up in the same place, and I’d like to go visit at some point

Basically, say this to him. And stop worrying so much, you're only causing yourself anxiety and stress.
posted by Mr. Papagiorgio at 5:18 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


For all intents and purposes, consider this relationship to be set to expire when he moves. Enjoy the time you have remaining. Say to him "aww, I was really starting to like you, too bad you're leaving! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted, thanks for that! Hope we can stay in touch :)"

To yourself, yeah well it might happen that you two can pursue things later on if you moved there, probably not though - odds are, life will get in the way, you'll date other people. That's ok. Doesn't render the last few weeks worthless, not many people get a short sweet romance that ends on a good note. Aim for this. Live now.
posted by lizbunny at 5:19 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"...but is this really something you want to talk about?"

Cut bait. Delete. Block. Move on.

(I just think that is totally callous and insensitive and I don't think you should ever date him ever again. You should be polite if you run into him in a bar or club years from now, but that is about it.

YES. Your feelings matter. Anyone who wants you to pretend your feelings don't matter is a person who should not matter to you.

Go out there and find someone who likes you and shows it!)
posted by jbenben at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Cut bait. Delete. Block. Move on.

Over a text? I think that'd be a huge overreaction.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:33 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


"...but is this really something you want to talk about?"

With a remark like that, I'd say he is just not that into you. :( Cut your losses and move forward.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 5:36 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Over a text? Whoa. I could totally see writing that with a completely different tone in mind. Maybe he's surprised, thinking that she was all casual and not that into him and suddenly she's making comments and he's not sure what's up.

Maybe it's just me, but a one-line text like that is too ambiguous. Cut out the texting and next time you get together, have an honest face to face talk. Maybe he'd be thrilled that you wanted to leave the door open to future possibilities, maybe he's just ready to end it and move on... I see a lot of conjecture and projection in this thread and very little in the way of concrete from the horse hay.

So, you know, do the old-fashioned thing. Talk. Either way, it should bring clarity.
posted by canine epigram at 5:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


"...but is this really something you want to talk about?"

Umm, why does this comment have to be judged negatively? You have already admitted being hesitant with your commitment to the relationship. He likely has picked up on this. You could just as easily interpret this comment as 'wow, I didn't think she cared very much but she is asking me to remember her, does she want more, i'm surprised, does she really want to talk about more?'

Plus he asked you to drive cross-country with him for the move.

Delete. Block. Move on?? Seems unduly harsh.

Seconding the others who have said just talk to him. Be honest. Discuss together what the future could look like and what you both do or don't want. Be open. But also be ready for an ending and be happy with what it was.
posted by pixlboi at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seems worth talking about. I mean, if that doesn't work then what, it's over? But thats probably true if you don't talk about it too. So there's not much to lose that way.

But yeah, actually talk, not text. Text is really bad for anything serious, it's very easy to misread tone or intention (among other things, maybe he meant "do you really want to talk about this now, over text messages?").
posted by wildcrdj at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2011


I think These Birds of a Feather said it better than me: "I'd say with a remark like that, he's just not that into you."

People totally misinterpret stuff over text messages all the time, yet I think the OP's guy meant this statement the way it sounds. He's not interested in anything serious, nor is he even keen on having the basic conversation about the future that the OP deserves.

The OP might mention that the text was kinda harsh (because it absolutely was, especially in context) but I'm not sure what the OP is hoping to get out of that conversation with this particular fellow under these particular circumstances.

If he was worth her time now, or worth hooking back up with in the future, he would have initiated the appropriate relationship conversation with the OP when he told her he was moving, or soon thereafter.

The fact that he hasn't broached the topic thus far speaks volumes. This text message he sent is entirely inline with his other behavior.

Why sleep with a guy who treats you like that?

OP - move on now. You don't need to be this guy's support system during his move if he can't find the respect and decency to talk to you about the relationship. You should not have to bring it up because you're not the one who announced you are moving 3,000 miles in 3 weeks!

You want someone who is an adult and treats you the same. Go find that.

Good luck!
posted by jbenben at 6:21 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"If he was worth her time now, or worth hooking back up with in the future, he would have initiated the appropriate relationship conversation with the OP when he told her he was moving, or soon thereafter."

I disagree strongly. There are a thousand possible reasons why he didn't instigate this conversation. Maybe he's shy. Or afraid of rejection. Or convinced that the OP is just not that into him (which she basically admitted was her take for most of the relationship). Why would he go out on a limb only to be crushed.

"You want someone who is an adult and treats you the same. Go find that."

I also disagree with this. It's a great sentiment, sure, but frankly neither of you have been perfect communicators (and that's okay--you sound like you're young enough to still be figuring this kind of thing out). To DTMFA because he didn't live up to someone else's perfect standards of adult behaviour is a bit premature when you yourself have been unable to openly communicate how you feel about him and the relationship.

I think this:

"...but is this really something you want to talk about?"

could easily be a straight-up, literal question, hinting that he does want to talk about it, but only if you do. It sounds like you've strung him a long a bit while you've figured out how you feel about him (nothing wrong with this per se), so he may just be afraid of confirming that you never really liked him anyway.

Here's the deal queens86: you need to talk to your boyfriend. See what he thinks. Tell him you like him, but are not sure about the long-distance thing. He's probably feeling the same way. Make this decision together.

Don't make it based on what some Internet stranger tells you.
posted by hamandcheese at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Basically, I’m not sure if this is something I should discuss with him or how to do it without coming across as a needy mess."

p.s. - There is nothing "needy" about talking to someone you've been dating about where things stand. Get that idea out of your head.
posted by hamandcheese at 6:44 PM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can and should ask if you will stay in contact after he moves. (I would assume that "seeing other people" is probably going to happen, but you should clarify it.) But some guys just don't want to deal with any kind of LDR contact, and if he doesn't, then stop dating him right now. You sound borderline attached already and while he might be a decent dude while he was staying local, he did just kind of spring this on you and then seems to be out the door mentally already with that remark. Like the other folks here, I take that as a bad sign.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cut bait. Delete. Block. Move on.

If someone's greatest fault is not wanting to stay with you permanently, that's really not justification for this kind of unilateral petulance. There are many people like this and they still deserve to be treated decently.

Make this conversation happen. There is a fair chance that he is also baffled about what exactly to say. If you want to keep this door open for some time in the future and he doesn't, you'll probably feel better with that closure. If he is interested, talk about what kind of possibilities you are interested in.

That said, you should probably keep your expectations low.
posted by Winnemac at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK! OK!

"So, my problem is, what do I or do I not say about the “future” of what we’re doing? He hasn’t really brought it up… and I did text him the other day and say “I hope you don’t forget about me after you move” to which he said “I won’t forget about you… but is this really something you want to talk about?

I can totally see how maybe he was being cautious or shy!

Something about the whole flavor made me think as I read those last words that the OP had it right the first time. When I read it, before I read OP's interpretation, I immediately thought, "Whoa!"

But I seem to be wrong. So, eh!
----

hamandcheese really nailed it!!

OP, there is nothing needy about about talking to someone you've been dating about where things stand. This is exactly what I meant about finding someone more "adult." OP, I can see how this sentiment applies to you, too, upon everyone else's comments!
posted by jbenben at 9:13 PM on September 6, 2011


Something about the whole flavor made me think as I read those last words that the OP had it right the first time. When I read it, before I read OP's interpretation, I immediately thought, "Whoa!"

posted by jbenben at 9:13 PM on September 6 [+] [!]


Also, jbenben, I really wished I had said "Don't make it based on what some Internet strangers tell you.", rather than "Internet stranger." I didn't mean to pick on you so much. Your original interpretation could be spot on. I just don't feel any of us have enough info to really say.

This is something the OP will have to work out herself.
posted by hamandcheese at 9:30 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Where do you see this going?" Ask the question (and have your own answer!) and at least you know. As others have said, text messages can be misinterpreted although I understand why you'd find it easier to do that than ask face to face (possible rejection etc). The fact that he wants you to drive cross country with him says something... I'm not sure what but a conversation will certainly clear things up.

For what it's worth, I started seeing a guy and had only been out with him less than half a dozen times when I had to move across the country for work. He told me he didn't want anything serious, I told him I was leaving so it was what it was anyway... a year and a half long distance and 6 years later, we're married and expecting our first child. I'm not saying that'll be your story but stranger things have happened.
posted by Jubey at 9:45 PM on September 6, 2011


He wants to go away this weekend? GO!

And have that talk about his move, where things are going and that you are really into him. Also, if you drive across the country with him, you may find things just kind of work themselves out - the fact that he asked you to join him implies that he doesnt want to leave you (behind).

Just don't go in the conversation and shoot yourself in the foot before it starts (don't say: "so I guess its over" Do say: "In an unconstrained world, what would you hope would happen in our relationship?").

GOOD LUCK and have lots of fun
posted by zia at 9:58 PM on September 6, 2011


he is about to move 3,000 miles away and I have no idea what he thinks will happen between us…

Ask. Just like this. Rip the band-aid off! And don't do something silly like ask via text.

Don't go away for the weekend until you have this talk. If it goes badly you will want to come STRAIGHT HOME.

I don’t want a serious long-distance commitment, but I’d like to stay in contact and leave the door open in case we do end up in the same place, and I’d like to go visit at some point (I have other friends in the city). I’m scared he just plans on moving and basically disappearing from my life forever.

See, you basically know what you want, so having the talk shouldn't be that scary.

As for people disappearing though, there is just nothing you can do about that but wait and see. Sometimes people really do just fall off the face of the earth. But mostly they end up turning up again. Usually about at the point when you realize how wrong they really were for you.
posted by hermitosis at 11:22 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I disagree strongly. There are a thousand possible reasons why he didn't instigate this conversation. Maybe he's shy. Or afraid of rejection. Or convinced that the OP is just not that into him (which she basically admitted was her take for most of the elationship). Why would he go out on a limb only to be crushed."

No no no no. If he was really interested in her he would risk putting himself out there, especially since she already sent out an interested feeler when she said, "I hope you won't forget about me when you move." Why would he kill the opportunity if he were interested? Makes no sense.
posted by timsneezed at 11:34 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


But he could easily have interpreted "I hope you won't forget about me when you move" to mean "...because we obviously won't still be dating at that point." Saying "don't forget about me" is a phrase you'd use about an amicable break-up, not a continuing relationship. This plus the fact that you weren't that into him at the beginning means the possibility remains that he'd like to do something long-distance but is worried about pressuring you and making you uncomfortable if he expresses his feelings.

Anyway, you don't know what you want and you don't know what he wants. I don't know about the former, only you can figure that out, but the only way to find out the latter is to talk to him.
posted by hazyjane at 4:09 AM on September 7, 2011


Okay, I hope you guys have all been in suspense, because we talked :) It was really hard for me to bring up, but I basically told him what I said here: that I really like him and I want to stay in touch even though I'm not ready for a serious long-distance commitment and that we should both date other people once he leaves. He agreed and said that he wants to keep talking and if I visit his city, hang out, and if I move there, see where things go.

I am really proud of myself for having the guts to bring it up, and he responded so sweetly :) He said thanks for being honest with your feelings and told me I'm awesome. Really, even if things don't go anywhere with him, I'm happy I met and dated him because he is kind of blowing my mind in terms of what dating someone can be like.

I just needed that extra push to communicate ... and got it here. Thanks everyone!
posted by queens86 at 10:06 AM on September 7, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hooray! Just remember that 'no texting' rule for serious discussions and you should be in good shape.
posted by canine epigram at 5:45 PM on September 9, 2011


« Older What is the plant depicted in ...   |  We are looking to do a two nig... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.


Post