Do I keep dating this guy?
December 10, 2011 11:13 PM Subscribe
Do I keep dating this guy?
posted by dolce_voce to Human Relations (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm attracted to a guy I met recently who is 20 years my senior (I am in my mid-twenties). Our chemistry - physically, intellectual, emotionally, spiritually - is pretty strong on both sides.
He is quite a lot bigger than me physically, and on our first date, I found myself trembling when we got close and afraid to kiss him (this was related to my own history around men, and not about him at all as I was actually attracted to him). A few days later, he told me he didn't want to pursue things because he "wants to be someone who inspires trust [in me]" and disliked my fear. A friend of mine said that this was pretty narcissistic of him; that my emotions should be more important to a potential partner than his self-image. We had been on only two dates, so I thought it was a bit premature and made one attempt to reach out, which he didn't warm to, then let him have his decision.
In the last week, though, he has been contacting me. He seems very attracted to me, but he is clearly conflicted about whether he wants to date me, or even date at all, he says. He's still interested in kissing and cuddling with me, and is even on a dating site that he regularly checks, on which he says he's looking to fall in love with someone amazing that he can be with for a long time, and describes a relationship much like the one I can sense we could possibly create together if we were both committed. The last time we met, he told me I'm too young for him. He's interested in finding a woman he passionately loves that he can see himself marrying and having kids with. His friends have told him that if he wants a serious relationship, he needs to date women over 30. He says this is another reason he has pulled away even though he has not met any women over 30 that he feels the same chemistry with as he does with me.
I'm thisclose to laying down some ground rules - I don't want to get closer or even spend much more time with him unless he is serious about me. But when he talks about his reasons for not wanting to get closer, it seems as though he is confused and that extending my patience here may be worth it. I've offered that if he is confused about whether or not his fears are worth listening to, that he talk with me about them to get a better sense of whether or not these are real concerns - I'm willing to be perfectly honest if I don't match up with what he wants. For example, he may be ready to have kids within the next few years, whereas I may or may not be ready within the next several. Many of our mutual friends have said that I should not date him for varying reasons: one said she doesn't trust him, a couple have said he is full of himself, another says he is too complex, and the consensus was that I would be good for him but he wouldn't be good for me.
As for my own desires, I'm happy to have a steady partner I can rely on to show up and be happy with while I finish grad school over the next 3-4 years, and if we are still together then, discuss it from there. Trust, mutual attraction, financially stability, and shared passions are all important, of course... a simple and functional partnership is ideal to me, and I have a lot to offer when it comes to creating it with the right person. I could definitely see marrying the right person, but would want to be with them for at least a couple of years first. And I know I won't be considering having children until (well) after school, and have also been considering moving to another country (it may or may not be worth mentioning that the fellow I'm talking about loves to travel).
So, do I keep trying with this guy? I'm pretty sure I'm going to pull back and let him make the next move if he so desires, then tell him that I need him to be serious about me if we are to continue seeing each other, and take it from there... Is anything I've mentioned a red flag? I like the idea of my faith in him being a gift to us both, and am excited about what we could possibly create. It could be a very beautiful partnership. But I dislike how he doesn't seem to value me as I am and has been trusting his own fears instead of talking through them with me directly.