Seeing a guy who is moving at the end of summer. Had sex on first date. Should I continue things or terminate entirely?
May 24, 2012 2:50 AM   Subscribe

The quick and dirty: I'm seeing a guy. We slept on the first date, he brought up dating exclusively and we were both in earnest, mutual agreement that neither of us were looking for a FWB type of deal. Caveat: He's moving at the end of the summer. How best to proceed? Details behind the cut to fill in the blanks...

And, the extended, not-so-quick and dirty to the best of my abilities:

We met via online dating site; a week of innocuous messages led to a great first date that ended with romp in the hay and a healthy amount of post-coital cuddling. He is divorced (LTR --> marriage --> divorce after cheating spouse). I am 8 months out of a 6 year LTR as a result of somewhat similar circumstances.

While there is no scientific method of proving or disproving the following, I am more inclined than not to believe that he is not in the market for a casual fuck. However, it is obvious that the chances of a LTR is slim (if not dismal), as he is moving to another state within a few months. He did bring up the issue of exclusive dating, something it seems he feels goes hand in hand with sleeping together, and "seeing where things go." As far as stereotypes and superlatives go, he is just unequivocally an all around "good" guy. Very forthcoming, honest, sincere.

So, here we are two dates in, with a third date set for this week. He brought up coming over to my neighborhood this Friday; but, he called tonight to amend plans. He forgot that he had made plans with a friend to attend a baseball game, but would be free to come over to my place later (give or take 10PMish). Apologized and said he didn't want to make it sound or feel like a booty call. I was, admittedly, a bit taken aback and in the moment, I said I'd still like to see him and that would be fine.

Obviously, some hours have passed and the idea isn't sitting too well with me. I know there have been many iterations of such stories, so I appreciate any and all feedback.

The pertinent issues:

a) Should I cancel Friday entirely? Assuming his story passes the shit test, is it plausible that his intentions have changed (e.g. seeing this as FWB rather than some beginnings of what could be a fruitful relationship)? FYI, we live a fair distance apart from one another.

b) I realize that sex changes everything. Enough girlfriends have chastised me for it. Yes, this is my first foray into the dating world. I'm in my mid-late twenties and have been in monogamous, LTRs since I was 17. Again, LTR chances are slim. Should I request that we transition this into a FWB while my emotional investment in this is nominal?

c) Does this warrant another awkward conversation between both parties? The previous conversation pretty much covered the aforementioned (not looking for a fuck buddy; we both like one another and want to continue seeing each other), so I'm not sure what another one of these conversations would entail.
posted by chloe.gelsomino to Human Relations (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't really see his change of plans as a big deal to be honest. I have forgotten I made plans before and met up with the second person later than expected. No biggie. Sounds like the "this isn't a booty call" comment was meant to reiterate that he is there to hang out with you, not just for a quickie. Being the random internet stranger I am, that is pure speculation. I don't see any red flags in any of this, sorry.

So after the conversation where you told him you weren't interested in being fuck buddies, you now want to turn around and tell him that you do want to be fuck buddies so your feelings don't get hurt? That seems odd to me. Why not just stop the beanplating and enjoy the moment for what it is? I have dated folks who kept bringing up the "what ARE we?" conversation early on and it pretty much killed things.
posted by futureisunwritten at 3:18 AM on May 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

It seems you really like him, but are (in my opinion) really over-thinking and over-planning things considering that you two have had only two dates. Who can really make promises about the long term after only two dates? Why not just take things casually as they come? Big proclamations and promises and awkward conversations (awkward because they are too early) don't need to happen right now. If you have a day with him, just enjoy it! If you have a day that doesn't include him, enjoy it too!

If someone tried to "close the deal" with me after two dates, I'd be pretty freaked out and exit quickly because I'd figure something is seriously wrong with the person, the situation, the expectations... something, and I wouldn't stay long enough to find out what.

If you are so afraid of being hurt, which is understandable, then maybe you aren't ready to jump into the dating pool just yet.

(Also, I disagree with your friends that sex changed everything. You didn't have anything to change before you had sex. There is barely a relationship now, not to mention on your first date. I wouldn't worry about that as part of your looking for a great sign that Things Are Different. Nothing is different -- you are just getting to know each other better.)
posted by Houstonian at 3:33 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Transitioning into a 'FWB' instead "wihout emotional investment", sounds like a great idea, if you have any idea of how you would make that happen. Saying it doesn't make it so, so I don't see how a FWB would be any less complicated.

He is moving. How about you be as open and honest as you can be until he moves, and treat this a little like a 'rebound relationship'. You're just getting back into the game with someone else, the stakes are low because he is leaving, so you can really try and speak up for what you want out of a relationship. You can be emotionally vulnerable in a way you might be reluctant to be if it wasn't ending so soon, and by the same cause, more assertive about your needs and wants.

It could turn out to be a huge learning experience - it did for me, anyway. (It took me awhile to get over it, but that's because it was the first time I'd ever let myself fall in love. And opening that up in myself? So worth it.)

So yeah - be honest with him about whatever you're feeling. You have nothing to lose!

(And enjoy the hot, hot sex!)
posted by Elysum at 3:35 AM on May 24, 2012 [8 favorites]

Can't you just say 'oh you're busy Fri, let's do Sat instead?'.
posted by bquarters at 3:39 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

he is just unequivocally an all around "good" guy. Very forthcoming, honest, sincere.

A couple thoughts here:

Perhaps best to dial back your assessment until you've spent more time with the fella. You two are really still in the early stages of sussing each other out. He may or may not turn out to be an all-around good guy; time will tell.

Given that he's leaving in a few months, I'm wondering if you are setting yourself up for long-term pain after short-term gain. Meaning, a few months is enough time to really bond with someone, and form a strong attachment. When he leaves, you are going to have some heartache, no?

Dunno, kinda sounds like a sweet deal for the guy (he conveniently gets to lock you down in an exclusive arrangement until he leaves), while for you, there is an opportunity cost to focusing on this one guy to the exclusion of all may miss out on someone who is available for a long-term relationship.

I take it from your history of LTRs that you've not been in a FWB situation in the past. Are you sure you would even be up for it? It seems to go against your preferred style of romance. And frankly, I simply don't hear of too many cases where a FWB situation doesn't end up causing pain, though I'm sure those cases exist.

No advice per se, just some things to consider.
posted by quivering_fantods at 4:04 AM on May 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

2nding bquarters. i might make such an offer not so much cause i wanted to move a relationship into the friends-with-benefits zone, but because i wanted it to be clear that i really was going to a game with my buddy i forgot about promising to go to, and not cancelling with you to go out with a different girl. the "i'm free after 10" might just be him trying to make that clear, the "i don't wan't this to sound too booty-callish" was maybe him trying to give you an opportunity to say "well heck, lets just meet on saturday then"
posted by messiahwannabe at 4:05 AM on May 24, 2012

Dude in his excitement to see you, forgot he had plans from a month ago. Go over there.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:01 AM on May 24, 2012

If only we had the luxury in life in knowing when things would end, it would make enjoying the now so much more important. I say enjoy the now, and learn from it.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:58 AM on May 24, 2012

Meh, my bullshitometer is buzzing - I'd cancel Friday unless you're ok with meaningless sex with post-coital empty promises.

As for the rest of it, this is totally a FWB situation. I wouldn't even bother having another conversation about it. Just enjoy it for what it is and treat it like a rebound-whatever, your re-initiation into the dating world, if you will.

posted by floweredfish at 6:43 AM on May 24, 2012

I'm brain is having a hard time with this. Why is guy on a dating site when he's relocating in just a few months? Either he's looking for company until he leaves, which is fine as far as it goes, or he's looking to fall deeply in love and somehow convince whomever (you) to do so too. Either way, it's not something I'd want any part of. YMMV.

What do you really want from this? You keep saying that it's not FWB, but by dint of the fact that the man is leaving in a few months, how could it turn into a LTR. Do you WANT to have a long-distance thing?

Time to re-evaluate the whole thing. My algebra teacher loved to talk, and one of his favorite things to talk about was relationships. "If you don't want to be married to a gas station attendant, don't date a gas station attendant." Words to live by.

If what you want is a LTR with someone who is in your area, then you are settling.

If you can be in a casual relationship, and not fall in love, then enjoy it for what it is. If you know that you can't, then best to end it sooner rather than later.

As for the "booty-call", I'd make plans with friends and reschedule with him.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think the capacity for human delusion is pretty massive, especially where romantic potential is involved. I have met a lot of people on first dates who have, in the same breath said: 1) Yeah, I'm really tired of casual stuff, I'm looking for a real relationship... and 2) oh yeah, I'm applying for jobs in other cities.

I don't think these people know what mixed signals they're giving off. But it's pretty loud and clear to me that they are NOT personally experiencing any cognitive dissonance with these statements, and the reality of their situation.

He was clear about leaving at the end of the summer. Fine. And from that, you've extrapolated appropriate information about the (nonexistent) potential for a LTR. So now you need to know what to do with that information. You have options. You need to be honest with yourself about what you want, and then make an appropriate decision from there.

1. Don't see him again. Great option if you really want an LTR. Since, well, you're not going to get that from him. I must say, however, that you're still well within the rebound period from a major LTR, and this wouldn't be an optimal time for ME to be looking for an LTR. OR, more accurately, I could be guaranteed to sabotage it all over the place until I was in a better frame of mind.

2. See him again, exclusively. This could be a great way to have a mini-tiny-fake-temporary relationship. It could also be a terrible way to become emotionally attached to someone who is going to leave in a couple months, at which point you could find yourself right back at square one of single-hood. However, exclusive sexy relationships have an upside. After all, sex is better after practicing regularly. And since you should be using safer sex techniques ANYWAY, it is easier to agree on that with one partner rather than having to have the talk multiple times with multiple people, probably with varying degrees of success.

3. See him again, non-exclusively. You're a free agent, and you just exited a serious relationship. You're just dipping your toe back in the water after a long time out of the game. So you could look at this as good practice, if you feel capable of keeping it casual. ?Seeing other people could also help you avoid becoming too attached to him before he exits, Stage Left. Just be careful with this. I dated a guy once who was trying to keep up a casual relationship with someone else while getting to know me. When we eventually got serious, we agreed to be monogamous, and then he subsequently pined for his casual partner. It eventually broke us up. Keeping someone in the wings can be tough to juggle. So if what you really want is to find someone to date exclusively and have a LTR with, then you're probably better off nixing things with this guy to make sure that you are fully available if/when someone similarly available comes along for you.
posted by jph at 7:20 AM on May 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Here's a concept I learned here on ask.mefi that I love: the 100%. Why are you arguing from every angle? You only know your side. What is your 100%? What do you want? If you could get 100% of what you want in this situation, what would that be? Don't ask for what you think you can get. Ask for what you want. That 100% is what you want to be happy. If you don't ask for what you want, you're not going to get it.

So, start with Friday night. That's easy. What do you want? I want our original plans. Well, he can't do that, he's offered up 10pm on Friday night. That sucks. I'm going to be tired and I don't feel like entertaining at 10pm and I don't feel up for a booty call. Good. Done. Tell him to have fun at the ball game and you'd like to see him later this weekend. Go out with your friends and sleep well.

FWB? Why does this stuff need to be all written down and codified? What's your 100% here? Do you want a no-strings-attached relationship? Yes? Then go for it. Whether you have any more sex with this guy after that declaration is up to you. Just because you've slept with him once doesn't mean that your 100% is to keep sleeping with a guy who doesn't have long-term potential.

If this were me, which it so isn't, I'd be pretty happy just enjoying my summer, keeping my options open and letting him know that I am doing so. I'd only sleep with the guy if I wanted to and I wouldn't promise him anything. If you're already getting so attached then ask yourself what your 100% is, is it a long-term relationship? Ask for it. Seriously. That's your 100%. Listen to his answer and then re-assess.

Trying to figure out what his motivations are and what you should do and whether FWB is required is making a mountain out of a molehill. You're coming out of a string of LTRs. You've probably been thinking about other people's feelings over your own for a long time. Be selfish this summer. Be open. Be true to your 100%. Asking yourself what is your 100% is not being a dick. You should also ask what your partner's 100% is. It would be illuminating here and far more accurate than anything you can imagine.
posted by amanda at 8:09 AM on May 24, 2012 [23 favorites]

Call me old school (I'm a guy), but he should have stood his friend up, not you. As it is, given the circumstances, it just sounds like a FWB situation by any other name.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:46 AM on May 24, 2012

Welcome to the dating world!

I'm not sure why you don't think that he's only looking for casual sex, but sleeping with you on the first date+canceling plans but inviting you over late on a Friday+moving soon=casual sex.

You may be the exception to the rule, but don't assume that you are. When words don't match actions (and the current situation), call bullshit.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:55 AM on May 24, 2012

Maybe I'm missing something here, but what's wrong with a short term low-intensity exclusive relationship? If that's not what you want, that's fine, but I'm confused as to why the only options are FWB (with presumably no emotional attachment) or LTR. Neither of you want fuck buddies and you both want to continue seeing each other so... do that? It's not as complicated as you make it seem.

As for the whole cancelling plans thing, if I'd agreed to do something with a friend and then scheduled a date on top of it, you bet I'd move the date - especially if the friend activity involved the purchase of tickets. He likes you enough not to feel bad and to offer you the opportunity to hang out anyway, which you took. I don't see much of a problem here from his end.

Again, if this relationship doesn't work for you then it doesn't work for you but I don't see this guy's behaviour as breaking any social code.
posted by buteo at 11:00 AM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

I think it's very possible that he simply got caught up in the moment and forgot about his preexisting plans, has happened to us all at some time or another. If I were in his shoes, I might ask to reschedule the date as well, particularly if I had made the plans a long time in advance with my friend or spent a lot of money on tickets.

As for the other issue, I agree with what several other people have suggested - why not just treat it as a short-term low-intensity relationship? Instead of obsessing over the future, enjoy the time you have together, keep things light and fun, and cross the "he's moving" bridge when you get to it. Just my $0.02, as someone who has been in your situation - in the end it didn't last but no regrets whatsoever.
posted by photo guy at 3:00 PM on May 24, 2012

I think you should stop seeing him. I highly doubt you'd be able to successfully transition to a FWB without investment, especially given that it's already been stated that no one here is looking for that. You're already looking for reasons to doubt him. You sound like you are the type of person who likes for "dating" to lead "somewhere." That's okay, but this situation is sounds like it is not for you.

Also, FWIW, I have little issue, I don't find it problematic that he's on a dating site when he's moving in a few months. There are people who can, and do, enjoy casual, short- and long-term dating. You/we have no idea what he's looking for.
posted by sm1tten at 4:37 PM on May 24, 2012

*oh, to add, if he presented himself/what he's looking for misleadingly that's a different can o' bees.
posted by sm1tten at 4:59 PM on May 24, 2012

To expand further on my earlier post, I would be the sort of person who was always trying to figure out where the relationship was going, wanting to commit, but not wanting to commit to someone who wouldn't be right for me, because once I'm committed, I'm pretty damn committed.

A relationship with someone who was leaving the country in a few months really helped me let my barriers down, because I didn't need to pull back - that plane ticket would do it for me. I confessed to my feelings, and was more assertive in what I wanted than I had been in other relationships, because the 'risk' was taken away. And then I had my heart broken when they left.
And it was so, so, worth it, because I realised that's how love works. Yeah, ok, it took til my late 20s for me to get it. But you have to throw yourself in, and be willing to be hurt, to actually build that level of love. You have to commit emotionally, before you know it's 'completely' safe, and that may lead to heartbreak if you realise you're not suited to emotionally attached too, but without the risk, you're not getting the gain, and that is being emotionally open and attached to someone.

You may not need that lesson, but yeah, I got others out of it. The relationship had to work for both of us, here and now, or there wasn't any point to it. No leaving a question or something til later, if it was worth doing, it was worth doing. I was also able to be more easy going about some traits that I'd thought would make us a little incompatible, because it was just a short term relationship, and was surprised that they were not, and would probably never be problems, so was better able to evaluate what is important to me in a partner.

Now, now I'm love for the second time, and there is no safety net of my partner leaving in a few months, and it feels a little like free fall. Odd, right? Because you'd think it would be the other way round? But now this is someone who seems like they are shaping up to be something like, the person I might want to do something like spend the rest of my life/a few decades/buy a house with. And it's exhilarating, but it's pressure, because I want everything to go right. But I've learned that there's not point holding back, if it needs to be said, I'm better off acting in a fearless fashion, and saying it.
Ummm. I hope that didn't turn too much into my issues versus yours. But, just talking about how this can be very useful. You can practice being wildly committed until he leaves, whereas dating casually can sometimes be practice in holding off commitment until you've found the 'right one' who would be easiest to be wildly committed to (but you may not know what that last bit looks like).

Anyway, good luck! And remember, there are plenty of people out there who would be so happy with you, and you with them.
posted by Elysum at 5:05 PM on May 24, 2012 [5 favorites]

See if you can make the relationship work for the both of you. You have to be flexible in what that relationship is for it to work, and you force someone to behave a certain way if you don't want them to. I will start best case scenario and work my way down different types of relationships. At least, this is what works for me. It is basically listening to your emotions and mirroring what they have to offer. If you both really hit it off, there will be no doubts. Proceed with BF/GF relationships. Long distance can work in this situation. If you aren't sure yet, just keep dating and having fun. Enjoy life! Don't really tell him your intentions or ask his because you probably both don't know. Maybe the guy will lie so you don't run off and accidentally act more committed or not sure and become emotionally withdrawn even though he might grow feelings. If you know it ain't gonna work than don't fit a square peg into a round hole even if that is your 100%. I mean you can only date guys that are looking for marriage or just looking for sex, but then you miss all inbetween. If you know from the get go say for whatever reason, you couldn't date him seriously, than just make it a friends with benefits.
My FWB usually start off as dating. I know there isn't long term potential so I do the date thing until it gets sexual. Then it usually turns into late night movies sex as our dates and not so much going out. This continues till someone else better comes along or you move away. This has worked well for me and not saying it is for everyone. I basically pigeon whole my partner into casual sex if I don't think they are the girl for me.
Other wise, I've gotten serious with girls, done the long term thing until the relationship dies. I figure this will continue till I get married.
posted by mrfawcet at 7:40 PM on September 18, 2012

I read other post and it talks about serious committment. Im similar that once I committ then I'm super committed and it really hurts when it doens't work out. I think the main thing is, if you really start liking someone a lot, and the reciprocate, then it is worth the risk. Their feelings may come around and they may be just as involved. A red flag would be that they aren't reciprocating or the relationship is unhealthy. In other words they aren't meeting your needs. This will end in disaster over time. If the person is unsure is one thing, or if there feelings change over time is also another. That is the risk you take when you really like someone and well worth it. It's all about risk reduction. You have to take a chance but if the red flags I mentioned are present, it is a for sure only a matter of time before things go bad. Talk that over with a friend and they will let you know if you should take a chance at love or if it is better to swallow your emotions and get out while it still won't hurt to bad.
posted by mrfawcet at 7:49 PM on September 18, 2012

Sorry to keep adding, thoughts are comming to me. If I really liked the guy, I'd try and put the moves on him. If he reciprocated, then there is no need to ask. If he didn't or I wasn't feeling him, then I'd just keep it casual. If he is withdrawn, then just ask if he wants a FWB and that would be fine by you. It is what you want. If you guys bump heads, then there will have to be the compromise with the less committed person winning, other wise they will be unhappy and walk away. The more committed person can choose to have partial needs met or walk away. Or you can just look at what is offered as what you want and then you always win!
posted by mrfawcet at 7:54 PM on September 18, 2012

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