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Should i wait until he is ready??
July 10, 2008 8:50 AM   Subscribe

He said he loves me and cares for me but is not ready to be in a relationship. He wants me to be a part of his life. Am i supposed to stick around until he is ready??

This is in continuation to my previous posting about "feeling like a rebound".
i spoke to this guy and bottom line is he loves and cares for me and wants me in his life but doesnt want a relationship at the moment. He does not know when he will be ready. He understands if i stop seeing him, but this is so utterly frustrating because i love this man and i do not want to stop dating him. But am i really supposed to just wait around until he is ready like a loser??
Although he is worth waiting for but i still feel pathetic doing so.
i do not put all my energy and attention towards him only, i have gone on other dates but nothing has ever come out of that, i lose interest or they do not get to me in a way that i would want to continue dating them.
i asked him about his ex and assured me they are done with but this doesnt make me 100% secure about us. He may be dating around, actually im sure he's dating around. I just dont understand men!!!! Should i just continue the way we are and keep my fingers crossed that he doesnt fall for some other random girl he may go on a date with?? or walk away b/c this may never go anywhere?? has anyone been in this situation or know of someone that has? Help!!
posted by SummerLove to Human Relations (55 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
He doesn't love you. He's not going to change.

I hung in there in a similar situation--right up until he married someone else. Find somebody who wants to be with you (or better still, stay off the dating circuit for a while). You deserve better than this. I'm sorry; this really stinks.
posted by orrnyereg at 8:57 AM on July 10, 2008


dudette, run, don't walk, away.

This is what guys say when they don't want to hurt the girl's feelings and want to make a clean exit. This is the "it's me, not you tactic".

If he's dating around, he doesn't like you enough. Trust me, there are plenty of other dudes out there. If he's one in a million, then there's at least 6,000 of him running around! You can find a better dude, a promise.

good luck.
posted by unexpected at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Go, go, go.
posted by Iteki at 8:59 AM on July 10, 2008


He most likely wants to keep you available for when he wants some action. You deserve better.
posted by theichibun at 9:01 AM on July 10, 2008


I have once told someone that I was not ready for a relationship. It was the truth, even though I wanted to keep that person in my life. Within a couple months I was ready, and went for it. Gee, am I glad he stuck around.

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I'm a woman. My experience with men is that they're usually more firmly decided on these things, and don't want to hurt your feelings. Again, not sure if that's relevant- some people are honest and some people just want to string you along. The fact that he's willing to say he "loves" you though, leads me to believe the latter. Sorry
posted by sunshinesky at 9:03 AM on July 10, 2008


Hi Ms. Summer love...back so soon? Since we traded messages and we talked about being in similar relationships I think you should go....I really think you and him are not in the same page.

i do not put all my energy and attention towards him only, i have gone on other dates but nothing has ever come out of that, i lose interest or they do not get to me in a way that i would want to continue dating them.

Do you think that it is harder for you to meet other people because you have this guy in your life? I think that may be the case...it is hard...you may not find a suitable replacement soon but it is the best thing to do for you and probably for him as well.
posted by The1andonly at 9:05 AM on July 10, 2008


2nding unexpected.

if he really loves and cares for you, he wouldn't be dating other girls.

leave and do not have any kind of relationship with him. sheesh.
posted by violetk at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2008


I've learned the hard way when a man tells you he's not ready for a relationship-believe him.
posted by hollygoheavy at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking as a guy, you're the backup just in case nothing else works out for him.
Stop hanging out with him and don't sleep with him.

If after a while of no contact with him, he calls you up and says he might be ready ... don't fall for it. He's most likely just looking to stick you on the back burner again. You'll date a little, it'll be fun, and then ... suddenly things will be "moving to fast" for him and you'll be right back where you started.

DTMFA
posted by Arbac at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


If he's dating around, then yeah, ditch him. You don't want to be back up for someone if you have serious feelings for them.

However I'm going to go against the grain here and just suggest that sometimes, when coming out of a long relationship, or a series of bad ones, people *just don't want the formality of a relationship*. If you can trust the guy and you think you're his only slice, then the chances of him "leaving" your nonrelationship to pursue someone else are only as good as they would be were you actually dating.
posted by shownomercy at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


i really supposed to just wait around until he is ready

Heck no. The best thing you can do is move on and continue getting a life of your own. You deserve someone's full attention. The fantasy scenario? He sees you moving on, realizes what he's lost, and gets his act together to offer you a real, decent relationship. The worst case scenario? You've stopped giving this guy the power to determine how you feel about yourself, you're living an awesome life, and you have a chance at having someone's full attention in a decent relationship.
posted by Miko at 9:13 AM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Should i wait until he is ready??

He will never be ready, not for you. For someone else, possibly, but your ship has sailed. I fear you are holding yourself back by maintaining the relationship, as demonstrated by your inability to click with other guys. Cut him out of your life completely and get on with living your own.

Hint: you feel like you're a rebound girl because you ARE a rebound girl. You're his comfortable always-there-if-things-go-bad backup. Stop letting him treat you like this. This is not the behaviour of one who's truly in love.
posted by Meagan at 9:15 AM on July 10, 2008


However I'm going to go against the grain here and just suggest that sometimes, when coming out of a long relationship, or a series of bad ones, people *just don't want the formality of a relationship*.

i think this is only valid if they aren't dating other people. i mean, the fella i've been seeing the past four months are essentially in a relationship (calls, spend most of our weekends together, i watch his dog during the week, etc) but aren't "formally" bf/gf—but we've also talked about the fact that neither of us are interested in dating anyone else.
posted by violetk at 9:15 AM on July 10, 2008


I suspect he just doesn't have it in him to say "it's not happening," and is hoping you'll lose interest. Walk away.
posted by idest at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2008


violetk, that was my point if you read the second part carefully. If he's not dating around and she can trust him on that point, then her chances are as good in a normal relationship to not have her heart trampled on.
posted by shownomercy at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2008


The answer today is the same as the answer two weeks ago and what the answer will be two weeks from now; get out.
posted by Justinian at 9:23 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Relationships aren't suppose to suck. You deserve to look across the room at your guy, thinking "I'm the luckiest person in the world", and know he is thinking the exact same thing about you.

Do not settle for less.
posted by socrateaser at 9:26 AM on July 10, 2008 [26 favorites]


Listen to Arbac.
posted by milarepa at 9:27 AM on July 10, 2008


You can't be in a relationship by yourself. It's like trying to row a boat with one oar — you'll just go around in circles. Very frustrating and a waste of time. Let it go and get on with your life.
posted by orange swan at 9:27 AM on July 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Your username, even, gives you a hint. You were a summer fling. Move on.
posted by notsnot at 9:33 AM on July 10, 2008


Hmm, well, he wouldn't mind you dating other people, then, would he? Why don't you wait for him but at the same time, go date around, just like he's doing?

If you sit at home while he's out carousing around it's going to look pathetic, and it's not going to be any fun, and boo to that.

Think about him all you want, but get your ass out of the house and enjoy yourself without him.
posted by sondrialiac at 9:38 AM on July 10, 2008


agreeing with pretty much everyone. Get out of there. He's too much of a coward to be honest with you and you deserve SO much better than a coward.

More importantly, you need to want and demand more for yourself out of your relationships and life in general. No one else will do it for you.
posted by gwenlister at 9:50 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You two are in a relationship. An unhealthy one. Which seems fated to result in escalating levels of resentment on both sides.
posted by desuetude at 9:51 AM on July 10, 2008


To all the folks saying that if he is seeing other people then he is not that into you....i just want to say what is the difference of a "relationship" and "exclusive dating?"....


I think the poster wants a relationship or at least a guarantee that even though they are not dating exclusively now they will be dating exclusively sometime in the future...they guy cant do that for her because even though there is some degree of affection for her he is just not sure of where the heck he is going to do at the (otherwise he is just leading her on which we cant say by reading HER post).......If to her this is not acceptable she should leave the frame...but all this other talk of if he is seeing other people he doesnt love you like that is not exactly valid...It is very possible that he is only seeing her and not seeing anybody else and still know in his heart that he doesnt "love" her, or see himself getting into anything more serious....

quite frankly.... monogamy does not equal love or commitment...which i have a feeling is what ms. Summers wants to get an assurance of, if not now...then somewhere down the line....
posted by The1andonly at 9:52 AM on July 10, 2008


Notsnot - you are correct, so i should probabaly wait till labor day.....

sondrialiac - this is what i've been doing and obviously not working because it has led me to this website to ask for help.

Thank You all for the advice.
posted by SummerLove at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2008


Notsnot - you are correct, so i should probabaly wait till labor day.....

what? what kind of logic is this? it's not a summer fling to you. you obviously want more. why stay in it and get even more emotionally involved because of some arbitrary end of summer date? wtf?

get. out. now.
posted by violetk at 10:20 AM on July 10, 2008


violetk - lol i was being sarcastic. Either way Now OR Labor day doesnt make much of a difference. i am already completely emotionally involved.

The1andonly - thank you.
posted by SummerLove at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2008


Agreed with all - leave. Don't wait till Labor Day, go now.
posted by taliaferro at 10:30 AM on July 10, 2008


Run run run. No one that truly loves you would treat you so terribly.
posted by banannafish at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2008


run
posted by ZackTM at 10:32 AM on July 10, 2008


I was willing to entertain some "waiting around" on the theory that there might be something there (heck, maybe he's just not ready and has some stuff to deal with, right?) but then I got to the part about "he's dating other people". And then I was done.

This is a clear DTMFA.
posted by rokusan at 10:35 AM on July 10, 2008


The feelings aren't reciprocal in this situation. He doesn't love you, but wants to keep you around for backup. You deserve better! Look at this as an opportunity to get this big hunk o' negativity outta your life and move on to something better. Life is too short for this crap.
posted by Ostara at 10:37 AM on July 10, 2008


I just dont understand men!!!!

There's nothing to understand. He's a prick. Some people have string after string of bad relationships and chalk it up to Mars Vs. Venus or "women/men are all asses" or some other bullshit. Or they've seen one too many Hugh Grant movies and believe in some "he's my soulmate, and my destiny is to fix him" mega-ultra-super-grand-bullshit.

The truth of the matter is that there are decent men all over the place, but you have to be in a good place in your own life and willing to respect yourself in order to be able to see the forest from the gnarly-ass, deadbeat trees.

Love is a limitless, renewable resource. Time is not. Spend your love and your time on someone who can return it. And if that's not possible, spend your time becoming the best, most caring, most loving, most confident and most interesting self that you can be, so that other loving, confident, interesting guys will be attracted to you and so that you can have a reciprocation of those traits. And even if that doesn't work out right away, you still just spent your time becoming AWESOMER and AWESOMER, which has got to pay off in all kinds of ways throughout one's life.
posted by Skwirl at 10:42 AM on July 10, 2008 [32 favorites]


You can be deeply emotionally involved. You can also kick him to the curb. This, in fact, helps you be less emotionally involved.

Perhaps you are not the kind of person who is used to making these kinds of choices and being this assertive. This is the time to try. If you think you can't do it, just pretend for a bit that you are Bette Davis or Sophia Loren*. These women don't take shit. Get him out of your life and fall to pieces later, but make it clear that you also do not take shit. Keep this attitude up and you will have less and less of this problem with men in the future.

*In another thread a while ago I was accused of encouraging someone to confabulate and recreate their past-- this is not what I am encouraging here. Don't go around pretending to be someone else on a regular basis, unless that is your job. But there is strong evidence that visualization and self-talk helps people through strain and emotional difficulty.
posted by oflinkey at 10:51 AM on July 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just dont understand men!!!!

What is hard to understand? That you cannot force your loooooove upon him by sheer willpower? Welcome to life, you don't always get what you want. People are not your puppets. He said he doesn't want to be in an exclusive relationship with you. So, he's not being in an exclusive relationship with you. Wait around for him if you're ready for a happily ever after with a guy who wants someone who loooooves him at the expense of the rest of her life.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:52 AM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am i supposed to stick around until he is ready??

No, it means you should stop having your entire life hanging in balance waiting for his decision and continue to live your life in a rewarding fashion, as it were. He's not ready for a relationship, that's great -- so you go meet other people. The planet is filled with millions of interesting men to occupy your time ( along with many other things ).
posted by the_ancient_mariner at 10:53 AM on July 10, 2008


Ms. Summers: You are very welcome. I have the feeling that you already know what to do and just have been delaying it for a while. Think about it.....sleep over it tonight...and be ready to do it soon.

Skwirl: Your answer is great..somehow it reminded me of Jack Black in Kung Fu Panda.....awesomer and awesomer baby!
posted by The1andonly at 11:01 AM on July 10, 2008


I agree with the "go" chorus. I had a good friend who, after breaking up with her long-time boyfriend, decided not to date anyone else for a year. 6 months into that, she met another guy she liked, and he asked her out. She told him she wasn't dating anyone for 6 more months. He said ok, and then called her 6 months later. They're now living together, and quite happy.

But the point is not that these situations can work, but that she didn't string this guy along for six months, and he didn't wait around for those six months either. He just said, "ok, we'll talk in 6 months," and they did.

So, I wouldn't kiss this guy off in an bridge-burning way. He truly may not be ready for a relationship. And when he is ready for one, it may be with you or with someone else. So just let him know that, when he is ready, he should give you a call, but that you don't want to hang around until then. Don't tell him you'll wait for him. And then, and this is just as important, really don't wait for him.
posted by lunasol at 11:40 AM on July 10, 2008


Two questions on this slump now? Are you waiting for a thousand people to tell you to walk away? You want a theory from a man? He's enjoying playing the field but you seem likely to hang around to be his back-up girlfriend if things start getting dry.
posted by nanojath at 12:07 PM on July 10, 2008


This is really a hard situation. You have to ask, frankly, of yourself, what is in it for you? Also you need to ask if it is too painful to stay around hoping for something you don't have.

The answer is that if you find spending time with him as more of a plus than the pain you might feel if you don't get what you want, then stay. But if you find that the potential pain factor outweighs the benefits you are getting now, then let it go.

I'd also suggest the following book: Intimate Connections.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:08 PM on July 10, 2008


I don't see why the guy is now the MF of the proverbial DTMFA.

He made it clear how he feels about the situation. The OP is asking if she should ignore what he said and ignore what she really wants and stick around anyhow. The answer to that is definitely no.

But that doesn't mean he's necessarily a MF. Just sayin.
posted by the jam at 1:07 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You don't understand "people"- not just "men". Normal people are not monogamous.

And what this post above mine is dead-on. He's laid it out for you. Ignore the angry, bitter women on this thread and decide for yourself.
posted by Zambrano at 1:20 PM on July 10, 2008


said ^
posted by Zambrano at 1:22 PM on July 10, 2008


In agreeing with just about everything above - However, I would like to see you capitalizing your "i"s in future when you refer to yourself. It struck me as odd. I know should't presume things but it was so repeated I thought it worth mentioning. Love yourself, and others will follow.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 1:30 PM on July 10, 2008


Boy, that was some bad bunch of typos above, but you get my drift.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 1:31 PM on July 10, 2008


If someone says they love you and don't show it...well thats the most dangerous combination of all.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:59 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


2nding Zambrano and the Jam
posted by The1andonly at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2008


You don't understand "people"- not just "men". Normal people are not monogamous.

Bull. Some people are monogamous. Some are not. Popular culture and social pressures like to pretend that ALL normal people should naturally and happily monogamous, but the falsity of that presumption does NOT mean that NO people are naturally and happily monogamous.
posted by scody at 2:08 PM on July 10, 2008


(and "normal" should have been in quotes above to signify that there is no one, monolithic "normal" for all people. Sheesh.)
posted by scody at 2:09 PM on July 10, 2008


Don't wait around on this or any other guy.

Without even knowing you, I can confidently say that you are worth more than that. You know why? 'Cause anyone is.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:10 PM on July 10, 2008


the jam- thank you.
He is not a MF. As i stated from the beginning, HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR. I am not completely blind when it comes to "Love". I have been with assholes before i know a MF when i see one.He could have easily just told me what i wanted to hear so he can continue sleeping with me, but he didnt. This is who he is, he has always been honest from the beginning. Not only with me but with others in general.

Point here is, everyone, almost everyone is saying to DTMFA. But i also forgot to mention this is about an 11yr friendship. Not only am i letting an intimate partner go but a best friend as well. This is why it is so hard to just let him go.
Thank You all though for the advice, but i am pretty sure what my decision will be.
posted by SummerLove at 2:13 PM on July 10, 2008


HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR

If that's true, then he'll come around on his own while you proceed with your life. He told you it's no go. He's not waiting for you. Friendship or not - he's given you every signal you need to have to back away and get out of his life for a while. At least. If you aren't taking the hint, you're volunteering to get hurt.
posted by Miko at 2:25 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


HE IS WORTH WAITING FOR

Based on his behavior, he doesn't appear to think as highly of you.
posted by scody at 2:34 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thank You all though for the advice, but i am pretty sure what my decision will be.

if you had already made up your mind, what were you hoping to get out of askme? sounds like you pretty much came on here hoping to hear what you wanted to hear and when you heard overwhelming advice to the contrary, you decided to ignore it. twice. i'm sort of thinking we'll get this question again in another month or so.
posted by violetk at 3:00 PM on July 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I dont think this question is coming back....Ms. summers already chose one answer as the best answer and it pretty much has to do with getting her SH*T together and awesomeness and all of that....without the boy around.
posted by The1andonly at 3:12 PM on July 10, 2008


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