Join 3,494 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


And I always find something wrong, you've been putting up with my shit just way too long
June 12, 2012 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Help me get out of my head so I can let a new relationship actually take place in real time.

I've literally closed this tab then restarted posting this about six times by now. It's not implausible he reads this, but fuck it, there will be (almost) nothing in here he wouldn't suspect. Beanplating, snowflakery and sundry inside.

So. After start-fail-repeat dating I'm seeing someone where things might maybe be working. I think. I hope. It's been a month-ish and I'm at the point where I've, for lack of a better word, got a crush on him. I probably visibly light up when he walks in the room. We've done the "are you seeing other people" thing, and neither of us is right now. We're affectionate, we talk a lot and never run out of talk (this has always been the biggest clue for me when I'm not feeling it and it usually kicks in or doesn't around now), we've made some plans, I've met some of his friends, etc. All this should ease the worries, right? NOPE.

What I think is going on is that the above makes me feel vulnerable. It's like I'm already in breakup mode, all the time, focusing on something that hasn't even happened. I'm listening to practically nothing but breakup-y songs, reading stuff under the relevant tags here and comparing that to my situation, etc. He's brought up some life concerns, and it's plausible, like if I were writing a story with those conversations as plot events, that they might soon or eventually be the precursor to "...so I don't think I'm ready for a relationship right now," which could mean or not mean "...with you," but then again, it's plausible that they couldn't be. What's most plausible of all is that trains of thought like that will be visible and obvious and end up making things uncomfortable. And I know exactly why this is happening - I'm future-focused in general and worry in general and a lot of (most?) people I've dated/been in relationships with have suddenly been all "nope sorry" out of the blue, sometimes to the point of saying they lied about being into things previously, so I've trained myself to look harder for signs. Knowing why this is happening does not actually help.

Wild card: I dated someone who went to his school for a while. They share interests and are Facebook friends, and they'd probably recognize each other on the street, at least. That situation ended poorly, we're not friends, and it was mostly my fault. (Or, fuck, I dunno, maybe it wasn't, but I feel confident in saying it's at least 75% my fault and I don't want to blame where blame isn't warranted.) If these paths cross, I'd probably look rather bad. (Justifiedly!) Even the best-case scenario here would involve a pretty substantial talk about sex, among other things. (Details deliberately vague, feel free to PM me for more. It's nothing to do with, like, STDs/pregnancy/etc, though, just to head off those interpretations.) It feels like a shoe waiting to drop, and it's not like I can bring it up unawkwardly: "Hey, do you know Frank? No reason."

Anyway. This is a lot of angst. What I'm wondering is how I tell it to fuck off so I don't end up screwing anything up that didn't have to be. Or, alternatively, how to tell legitimate concerns from stress I manufacture out of nothing.
posted by dekathelon to Human Relations (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Most of the world is someone's Ex, so don't give that part of your deal another thought. If his Ex came up to you and said shit, would you believe him/her? Not even worth thinking about.

As for the rest of it, I find that actually asking questions, having honest discussions and being as up-front as possible with people is the best way to deal with stuff.

So, you like this guy, he seems to like you. Do you go on dates, or do you just run into each other? Are you "hanging out" or do you make actual plans to see each other?

If you're a dating couple, then cool, you're exactly where you need to be after a month. What you shouldn't do is get too involved too quickly. Don't focus all your time and attention on this guy. Don't call/text/email repeatedly during the day. If you've made plans, then cool, that's when you'll see him.

So what's so terrible about saying to someone, "I'm crushing on you so hard!" Especially if you are, and you're in a reciprical relationship. (Hell, I've even done it with gay guys I worked with, including flowers, people need to know these things!)

Don't be a pest. Don't be a doormat. Don't live just to hear his voice.

Get out and do stuff! Keep up your other friendships! Live your life!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:01 PM on June 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


a lot of (most?) people I've dated/been in relationships with have suddenly been all "nope sorry" out of the blue, sometimes to the point of saying they lied about being into things previously, so I've trained myself to look harder for signs.

Normally I would give different advice, but I believe you that this is true. That you've had a run of bad luck with getting involved with people who haven't been that into it, who have kind of dropped you out of the blue, and things like that.

So, I don't know that I would necessarily say "looking harder for signs" is a bad things right now. I have an inkling that it might be good in your particular circumstances. That you are getting more of a read on how it feels when someone isn't really feeling it, vs. how it feels when they really ARE feeling it.

I think a problem may be that you are kind of stopping there. Meaning that you are just looking for signs, but once you find them (his mention of his life concerns could be an example of this) you don't know what to do with that except sit there and worry and listen to breakup songs and read breakup posts and ruminate. You are just kind of helpless except to get more and more worked up and freaked out and just wait for a shoe to drop.

So, I recommend this alternative. If you aren't feeling 100% secure that there are no wonky signs... okay scratch that, for now, let's say 80% secure... then don't just sit there helplessly waiting for his actions. You take actions of your own. Keep at it. Keep going out, keep meeting more people, keep going on dates. That way if it doesn't work out with guy #1 you're not just twisting in the wind and you're not just sitting there waiting for his pronouncement. You may have seen this on MeFi before but it's a good thing to keep in mind: it's good to try to reframe things to yourself from "Is he into me?" to "Am I happy with this situation as it is right now?"
posted by cairdeas at 1:11 PM on June 12, 2012 [5 favorites]


Even the best-case scenario here would involve a pretty substantial talk about sex, among other things.

I've been a guy my entire life, and not once have I discussed with my friends any 'substantial talk about sex', nor have they shared any of that with me. That's sort of a no-go area, probably out of some sense of mutually-assured-destruction.

Plenty of insubstantial talk goes on. But talk about actual people, actual situations? Involving actual facts? No way.

I think you can rest easy on that part.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:26 PM on June 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've been there, where you are, and I've found that being on the other side of that changes things: when you meet someone, think you're into them, things are going well, and then you sort of realize you're not that into them and navigate your way out of the relationship. It sucks being on that side, too, because you don't want to hurt them.

Where that helps is that it adds some perspective that these things happen, and there might not be anything that either person did, and there might not be anything that either person could do, to change things. Sometimes... shit just doesn't work out. If you feel like you're on the receiving end of that a lot, part of that could be how you perceive it because you either cut things off when they're not working for you or you just don't notice or care, and part of it could just be a lousy string of luck that is bound to end by the law of averages. It doesn't mean that you're defective or that this is going to be your lot in life moving forward.

Ultimately, reading tea leaves and trying to read signals and hints and thoughts that the other person might not even be thinking yet is crazy-making. So I think your thought to tell it to fuck off is absolutely right. Which is a lot easier said than done, but seriously: actually say to your brain "fuck off" when you start having those thoughts. It's like, ok, I'm thinking this again, I'm not going to get mad at myself for it, but these thoughts aren't the boss of me and they can just go to hell.

You can't really tell legitimate concerns from stress you manufacture out of nothing until after the fact, absent something much more glaring than what you have presented here (he has discussed life concerns with you, I take it? none of which resulted in him saying that he doesn't have time for a relationship or anything like that?).

Try also to keep in mind that it's a good thing to be excited enough about someone to have hope for the future (which necessarily means being vulnerable).
posted by J. Wilson at 1:55 PM on June 12, 2012


I dated someone who went to his school for a while. They share interests and are Facebook friends, and they'd probably recognize each other on the street, at least.

I have a lot of college-era Facebook friends. I have a few close friends. I, a guy, would not talk about my past sex life with any of them in casual conversation, especially the casual Facebook friends I'd only recognize on the street.

Embrace the happy butterflies in your stomach and get rid of the moths of possible-future misery that are forming in your head. Spend time with him, or with other friends, or get involved in something by yourself, but do anything you can to change the internal discussion when it turns to "how will this relationship crash and burn."

If you're really idle and want nothing more than to read people's questions and listen to music, force yourself to skip the tales of woe. If you find yourself reading terrible questions, go to the next question, or read one at random. Or go to the blue, read the front page, or a post at random. If your musical selections are achey-breaky, select a new album. Try to make yourself as happy as possible, listen to your guilty pleasures, something to make you dance and/or grin like a loon.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM on June 12, 2012


I'm future-focused in general and worry in general and a lot of (most?) people I've dated/been in relationships with have suddenly been all "nope sorry" out of the blue, sometimes to the point of saying they lied about being into things previously, so I've trained myself to look harder for signs.

There's a bit of the following thought, to me, in your post: "What occurs to me is this: if I've been smart enough to predict this disaster, I should have been able to prevent it." (Russo, Straight Man)

That's probably not too healthy. One can be focused upon the future without reaching towards pessimistic outcomes. Enjoy what you have now, in a budding relationship, and resist the urge to give into Cassandra Complex-esque urges when they present themselves. What if this experience turns into something absolutely brilliant, wonderful, and long-lasting? You can't predict the future. (Or I'm completely wrong, and you can, in which case, mefi mail me, because I need to talk to you about this week's Powerball numbers. $240 million ain't no chump change.)

In my times around the block, I've found that repeatedly indulging the idea that something terrible is imminent, instead of disabusing that line of thinking, changes my character and provides me less to give to the other person. Maybe this holds true for you, too. I would stop looking for signs concerning the future and concern yourself with what you have. Enjoy your positive feelings; some people rarely get that opportunity.
posted by peeet at 7:14 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks. To answer some questions: it is a standard dating situation, for whichever value of standard. There are plans being made, most of which he initiates, and there's a good deal of contact between plans.
posted by dekathelon at 10:06 AM on June 13, 2012


« Older How do I embed code from the F...   |  I’m thinking of selling my 15&... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.