Is he flirting? Trying to get my attention?
October 28, 2012 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Is he flirting? Trying to get my attention?

I dated a guy for half a year. We were really close–I thought. He told me he loved me & cared about me–& showed it as well. Two months ago he told me I was beautiful, intelligent, & perfect for him but something was “missing” & we split. He says he is scared because he was hurt badly by an ex-wife who cheated on him & hasn’t had a relationship for years. But he’s been divorced for 15 years!

We remained Facebook friends. Lately, he “likes” & comments on my posts daily, sometimes multiple times a day. Two weekends ago I went to a masquerade party/wedding reception & posted some pics from the party. I was wearing a sexy red dress. He commented on the album with a single word: “Ouch.”

He finds little reasons to maintain a low level of contact with me. It’s confusing and feels like mixed messages. I know for a fact he’s not seeing anyone else. Why does someone dump you & then behave like this?
posted by femmefatale123 to Human Relations (43 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's possible this is the level of romantic interaction he is comfortable with in the context of someone who actually knows him (as opposed to a fling/one-night stand) -- small comments, low level contact, flirting, looking for a bit of attention. He said that he hasn't had a relationship in years. This may be "what he does." I would ignore.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:00 PM on October 28, 2012 [9 favorites]

This behavior is pretty common. He's getting exactly what he wants: low level flirting without the 'burden' of a relationship. He might even be getting off on the assumption that he's gotten you thinking about him on a daily basis just by butting into your online life.

If he wanted to get back together, he would say that, not "Ouch." Block him from your profile(s) and end the confusion.
posted by telegraph at 2:03 PM on October 28, 2012 [17 favorites]

Maybe, for now, while he does not have you and does not have anyone else, he wants to get back together with you.

Is that something you're comfortable with? You dated for half a year and he said he wasn't feeling it and dumped you. This guy doesn't sound like a keeper. And if that's the case and you agree, I'd recommend blocking him on facebook and to stop trying to read his mind -- which is generally (and for sure in this kind of scenario) crazy-making.

There are a host of other possible explanations as well. But few (if any) of them would make it a good idea to worry about what this guy is thinking.
posted by J. Wilson at 2:04 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Don't block him - that's a hostile move.

Instead, if you're genuinely curious, ask him.
posted by Kruger5 at 2:06 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: I also meant to say that during the time we were together, we spent just about every weekend together at his house--upon his request. We did all kinds of fun things together. He also told me that sex with me was nothing like he’d had before—even with his ex-wife. When we split, he made of a point of telling me that the sex was incredible. So it’s not an issue of sexual incompatibility. (I thought it was pretty mind-blowing myself, and that’s been hard to get over.)

When we became ambivalent and we split, he wrote me a 4-paragraph letter, the 2nd paragraph of which read as follows: “As I’m writing this, I think maybe I need to have my head examined, for you’re a beautiful lady, smart, interesting, we have so many things in common—I couldn’t go to the drawing board and some up with a more ideal woman. And the sex—that’s been pretty incredible. The time I have spent with you has been wonderful.”

He went on to say, "Something was missing for me. Why, I don’t know. I’m not sure I can explain the reasons. I’m not sure if it had to do with the fact that I hadn’t really had a real relationship in 15 years and the thought of it still kinda scares the hell out of me, if I’d kinda gotten set in my ways during this time, if it’s that I was having a hard time opening after my divorce (I know I have a problem with this; defense mechanism, I guess). It’s certainly nothing you did or didn’t do. All I know is this is what I’m feeling, and it has been troubling me.”

He is 22 years older than me. I think he’s scared of me not just because of the age difference, but because I’m divorced and I initiated it. Early one Friday morning this summer, he texted me, and instead of his usual “good morning, beautiful” or “wake up,” he asked why my husband and I broke up in the first place. It was a weird text to receive because I couldn’t answer it in a reply text, and I texted him back to tell him we would talk about it that night when we were together. I explained to him that night that, although not abusive, my first husband was too controlling and possessive and critical, and I fell out of love with him. I think my initiating my divorce may be a factor in this guy’s fear and subsequent distancing himself from me.

About the end of his marriage, he said he took his wife for granted and focused more on their three kids and so she ended up having an affair. He thought something was going on but didn’t know what. Those were pre-Internet days, and he ended up buying a recorder he hooked to the phone and recorded the conversation between his wife and her lover, a man he knew from their high school days. She ended up lying to him later, saying she wasn’t seeing the man anymore, but he knew they were. That experience is why he says he has such defense mechanisms in place.

I largely avoided communicating with him for the first month or so after the breakup, but last week I was feeling sentimental. We have communicated some, although he has not expressed a desire to rekindle. I sent him a message on Facebook: “Something I should have said earlier but never really did: thanks for all those breakfasts you made me.” He always made me breakfast every Sunday morning.

The middle of the day he responded: “Well, I didn’t want you to starve to death at my house. Might be a little hard to explain to the authorities.” Then about 8:30 last night, when I hadn’t replied, he responded a second time: “I enjoyed them also.”
posted by femmefatale123 at 2:08 PM on October 28, 2012

Best answer: People are a mess. Every single one of them. Yes, he's obviously trying to get your attention. He probably doesn't even understand why.
posted by letahl at 2:09 PM on October 28, 2012 [46 favorites]

Best answer: He's getting exactly what he wants: flirtation and your attention without any commitment or requirement that he face the issues that have dogged him for 15 years. Love doesn't fix people. Sex doesn't fix people. You won't fix him.

If you want to be friends, then fine. I don't recommend it, but okay. However any romantic feelings or intentions you have toward him are a waste of your time.

Find someone who's emotionally available for more than a Facebook relationship.
posted by 26.2 at 2:17 PM on October 28, 2012 [6 favorites]

Blocking him is not a hostile move. He probably won't even notice if he's got a bunch of FB friends.
posted by spunweb at 2:22 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: He'll definitely notice. Come on.
posted by grouse at 2:25 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: He would notice. He has about 300 friends, and we have many mutual friends, as we live in a small town. Several of us are involved in local community theatre. We all interact. We are also in a book club together, and it has a page on FB.
posted by femmefatale123 at 2:27 PM on October 28, 2012

I agree, it sounds kinda flirty or something.

Do you want to be in a relationship with him?

If you do, have you thought about just asking if he wants to go on a date / get back together?

If you don't, I guess you could just ignore it...
posted by leahwrenn at 2:48 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Before you try to figure out what he wants, maybe take a moment and figure out what you want. Do you want him back? If not, then save yourself the crazy-making hypothetical questions and ignore or block him. If yes, then that's a whole other can of worms.
posted by keep it under cover at 2:49 PM on October 28, 2012 [8 favorites]

I think my initiating my divorce may be a factor in this guy’s fear and subsequent distancing himself from me.

You deserve better, and I think you know that the fact that you ended an emotionally abusive relationship should not be a dealbreaker with the right man.

You cannot keep this relationship alive by continuing to let him string you along with oneliners that mean so much to you and probably not much to him. You obviously still have strong feelings for him, so you can ask him directly if he wants to get back together, but if the answer is no, you will be doing yourself a huge disservice if you do anything except cut off contact and move on. "I need some time to get over you, so I am going to block you on Facebook" is a completely fair and not at all hostile thing to say, then do.
posted by telegraph at 2:52 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

Answers 11 and 12 just beat me to it. It isn't clear whether you want to be in relationship 2.0 with this guy or not. Maybe have some space from him, and figure out if you do or not.

If you do, and he does (the "ouch" indicates he's possibly having some pangs of regret), your upfront issue with him has to be "If we try this again, how can you show me that you won't unexpectedly and illogically dump me again?"
posted by Wordshore at 3:02 PM on October 28, 2012

I think he's flirting with you but that nothing will come from it - nothing serious anyway. If you want some fun, he's probably your guy, but it doesn't sound like he wants anything serious - and, because of his divorce, which as you point out was 15 years ago, it sounds like that's what he wants for the rest of his life.

You're more into him than he is into you. He is just having some fun here - not at your expense, but more than likely with only himself in mind. It sounds like it's more about how you make him feel, not so much about your feelings. I don't think you're going to get what you want from him. Try to ignore it as much as possible.
posted by heyjude at 3:31 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's simple. If you don't want to get back together with him, block him. If you want to get back together with him, talk to him.

It seems to me like both of you (whether intentionally or not) are sending mixed signals. This hovering in the middle zone between romantic relationship and clearly platonic relationship is not doing you any favors. Neither you nor he can have it both ways; clearly, he won't initiate any decision-making regarding this, so it's up to you to decide which way your relationship with him will go.
posted by krakus at 3:45 PM on October 28, 2012

He is 22 years older than me

Well, that's probably it. He found a great relationship, but with a woman he's much too old for, and he couldn't find a way to be comfortable with it.
posted by davejay at 3:53 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: He said when we split that he felt guilty because he realized I was putting “more emotion and passion” into the relationship than him and he felt it wasn’t right or fair to me. He said it was “just the emotional hand [he had been] dealt.”

However, this was someone who told me when we were together that he “didn’t believe in fate but wanted to where [I was] concerned” and we “were made for each other” and that he loved me and cared about me.

Also, only two or three weeks before we split, we were on separate trips (for business), and he was calling me and sending me flirty texts daily. He asked if I had a roommate. I did (a female colleague), and he said, “Wish it were me.” Just one weekend before we split, he invited me over to have dinner with two of his grown children and his parents, with whom I had dinner several times and grew to love. One of his sons dabbles in gourmet cooking. His exact text: "We are having a family dinner on Sunday evening. Would love to have u come."

Was he “into” me? If he was not, he did a pretty damn good job disguising it for almost 7 months. And if I didn’t “click” with someone and dumped them because of that, I wouldn’t be on his Facebook page every day or leaving a flirty comment on his photo or trying to maintain some level of contact with him, as he has with me. I’d be done with him.

About a month after we split, he sent me a message saying he was sorry and felt bad about the situation. I responded to that, asking him what he was sorry for. He said he didn't want to change anything, he just felt really bad and wanted me to know he didn't have a brick for a heart. I didn't respond to that, and not long after was when he started being on my Facebook page every day.

It just gets me because before we starting going out, he was interacting fairly heavily on my FB page--although not every day or almost every day like now. I know that he told the secretary of another lawyer (he's an attorney) who is a friend and has an office near his that he was "talking" to me on FB. He's doing the same thing now but even more often, it seems.

I would like give him a second chance with some stipulations. We live in a small town in the South and are both very liberal and artsy, and I am going to have a hard time finding someone with whom I have so much in common. I'm just afraid to approach him. Some have said if he wants you back, he'll come looking for you. But I don't know.

I think lack of self-esteem and insecurity is part of his problem. When we first went out, I met him at a club to hear a band (his son's band), and he said later he was surprised. He said he didn't think I would actually show up. I think is because of the significant age difference and because of his past hurt. I once told him I was lucky to have him, and he said, no, he was definitely the lucky one.
posted by femmefatale123 at 3:57 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: I'm just afraid if I approach him, I might lose any chance with him forever. Isn't it true that people want what they think they can't have even more?
posted by femmefatale123 at 3:57 PM on October 28, 2012

Best answer: Isn't it true that people want what they think they can't have even more?

Are you describing yourself or him? If you didn't live in this small town where he was the best option, would you date him? Would you want him so much if he wasn't playing hard to get?

I think he's scared. You're a catch (younger, great chemistry, share the same interests, actually interested in making a relationship work). If he lets himself get too invested in a relationship with you, what is he going to do if you break his heart?
posted by rhythm and booze at 4:06 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think he's flirting with you but that nothing will come from it - nothing serious anyway. If you want some fun, he's probably your guy, but it doesn't sound like he wants anything serious - and, because of his divorce, which as you point out was 15 years ago, it sounds like that's what he wants for the rest of his life.

Hi! Yeah, this answer seems to fit best. Maybe not necessarily because of the 15 years post-divorce, sans marriage (especialy since some of those dudes who find themselves divorced by 21 end up just taking their time and gaining relationship relationship experience like never-married folk), but because nothing in this doesn't sound like he wants to get back together.

It more sounds like the lingering ramifications of the divorce were just a convenient fiction that he used to never get serious about your relationship in the first place. But...You are 22 years younger, and hot, and keeping your attentions directed at him is probably a nice ego boost, and a little fun for him, to boot.

If we were in a casino and I had to bet in this, I'd say he IS being flirty, but because he wants casual sex, or to keep some sexual dramarama alive between you. But I don't think he want to revive an actual relationship; if he did, he would be acting differently.

So: don't know what you want from him, but that is, from my guess, what he wants from you.
posted by vivid postcard at 4:07 PM on October 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ask yourself this: If you're going to lose any chance with him forever by telling him you want to be with him, is that really, really the kind of relationship you want?

In my experience and observation, when someone tells someone that they are breaking up because they feel guilty that the other party has more emotional stake in the relationship, the issue is that they don't feel strongly enough about the other party to be in a committed relationship with them. Again, ask yourself whether you want to be in a relationship with someone who is ambivalent about you.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:08 PM on October 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

He is trying to set you up for booty calls.
posted by LarryC at 4:11 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: Booty calls? He's 60.
posted by femmefatale123 at 4:13 PM on October 28, 2012

Oh my. You're saying "I guess I'd give him a second chance" as if he's asking for a second chance. He's not! He said he wouldn't change anything (that includes breaking up with you). He's a grown ass man who knows what he's doing and obviously isn't shy. If he wanted to actually be with you, he would make it happen, he'd talk to you about it. Yes, you guys formed a bond. And yes, he misses sex with you (how could he not if you're 22 years younger than him??), but clicking 'like' on your Facebook page is not indicating that he wants to be with you. So now that you know that... Yes, he's flirting. He's flirting to test out the waters to see if he can get together with you because he's been single for a while and it'd be convenient for him. It would probably go nowhere again. If he wanted it to go somewhere, he'd have a talk with you about it like any mature man worthy of getting back together with.
posted by at 4:17 PM on October 28, 2012 [7 favorites]

Booty calls? He's 60.

I have an acquaintance/colleague who is 62, still attractive and active, and who is constantly on-the-prowl. He has a thing for 25-year-olds, and often ends up with them, and manages to score a lot of booty. Technically, he's one of those old school, non-euphemistic "lifelong bachelors:" hasn't been married since he was 30, and often has multiple girlfriends, sometimes at the same time...

Age ain't nothin' but a number, and all that.
posted by vivid postcard at 4:17 PM on October 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

I think he was into you - still is into you - but not to the same extent you are into him. He told you that when he broke up with you - listen to him!

I think you're clutching at straws with the Facebook likes - if he wanted to, he has your number, he can call you and ask you out. Publicly commenting on a pic is an ego thing - privately picking up the phone and talking to you is, yes, scarier, but more meaningful. They don't mean the same thing.

If he's scared, he has to sort through that - he needs to work out his own self esteem issues, you don't do that for him.

And, yeah, at 60, given what you've described about your sex life so far, I'm sure casual sex with a woman 22 years younger than him is very much on his mind.

If you want that - go for it. But it sounds like you want more. You're not going to get it from him.
posted by heyjude at 4:22 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: I realize that, vivid postcard. But this is a shy guy. Very reserved. He told me the cheating and divorce destroyed his self-esteem.

And he hasn't had a relationship with anyone for 15 years. He's hardly dated. One of our mutual friends said it shocked the hell out of him when he found out we were together. He's always gone stag to parties, and this guy was not used to seeing him with anyone.

He went in the opposite direction with me. It was all out when we were together. We traveled a good bit on the weekends, went to concerts, and he even went abroad with me for a week earlier in the year to attend an event I wanted to attend.

When we first got together, he was nervous about sex. Said he had emotional blocks and he hadn't "really had a situation like that before"--which I took to mean he hadn't had sex since his divorce. He said I'd have to be patient, and if it didn't work and I wasn't happy with it, he'd understand. It didn't take long, and we worked it out--with some pharmeceutical help, and the sex was phenomenal.
posted by femmefatale123 at 4:26 PM on October 28, 2012

Response by poster: But heyjude, we never talked much on the phone. When we first got together, he wanted to call me during the week sometimes, said he wanted to hear my voice, but I'm not much of a phone person. We talked occasionally on the phone, but we never got in the habit of talking on the phone regularly.
posted by femmefatale123 at 4:28 PM on October 28, 2012

Mod note: OP, AskMe isn't intended to be a discussion forum - it's time to step back and let people answer as they will. Thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:30 PM on October 28, 2012

This is a classic post breakup Ask Metafilter question where you have minimal interest in advice and a lot of interest in having strangers on the internet tell you what you want to hear. Unless your next response full of details and excuses reveals that he has told you that he wants to get back together, you aren't going to convince me that he wants to get back together.

You've described textbook behavior by someone who does not care about you that much. He contacted you after the breakup because he felt guilty for hurting your feelings, not because he wanted to date you again.
posted by telegraph at 4:30 PM on October 28, 2012 [18 favorites]

OP, I've asked a few relationship questions here and my feelings always go the same route: I asked, didn't hear what I wanted, rebelled against the advice given (in my head at least), thought everyone was wrong (because really, they don't know this guy, I DO!), and then in the end...everyone was right. Seriously.

People are suggesting that you listen to what this man's said to you, how he's explained his feelings (or lack of), and his actions since you split. Seriously, step back and breathe for a second. LISTEN. I'm not saying they're all right...but it seems to me, when I add up your question and your subsequent replies that quite a few here have hit the nail on the head in regards to this suggestion and you just don't want to hear it because it's not fitting into what you believe is going on with this guy.

Good luck to you. This is tough, I know.
posted by youandiandaflame at 4:45 PM on October 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You already have none zero no none never NO chance with this guy.

I am very very sorry. Truly.

Everything he is doing is textbook. He's been divorced a long long time. There have been others he's played this card with. This is not the first time he's backtracked unexpectedly with a woman such as yourself, I assure you.

His divorce was 15 years ago. 15! That's a lifetime. His reasoning for his actions and feelings are bullshit. If he were that bad off, he'd have gotten himself into therapy 14 years ago. In truth, he is probably pretty comfortable with the structure of his life as it is - the thrill of the beginning, and then falling back on his ex wife's betrayal as an excuse to avoid commitment. It's narcissistic, immature, childish, and emotionally stunted.

On top of which, he should NEVER compare you to his ex wife, or any other woman.

Whenever any man does that, it is manipulation, even if the man claims he isn't (self) aware of what he is doing.

(This is a dealbreaker, always. Worthwhile partners don't bring up the ex that hurt them, especially just often enough during the relationship to keep you working hard to be more "special" than the ex. It's con to get you working to prove "you are better than she was." It's a con. Always. Don't fall for it in the future.)

And one more thing...

Stop believing that he's still this emotionally damaged after 15 years, without any agency or power over himself. Stop believing his excuses, taking on his burdens.

This alone should really really turn you off, that he's not adult enough to take on the responsibility for his own emotional landscape 15+ years out from the end a busted relationship.

Furthermore, the guy dumped you out of the blue, he's not a good bet now because he can NOT get his shit together romantically. No one can fix anyone else in this department, and you should be ambivalent towards him to the point of almost not remembering his god damned name for the way he toyed with you in the past, and for the way he is toying with you now.

If he wanted to be with you, he would be. He's a conflicted asshole and you've already let him get away with being wishy washy with you once. Please, for your own sake... shut down his attempts to go for round two, sooner or later you will still be in the exact same place with this guy. He's not a keeper.

Let me tell you why his attempts at getting back together should be throwing off giant neon red flags for you:

(And this is what pisses me off the most about all of this, aside from the whole thing being so difficult, your updates are so genuine. It's breaking my heart a little.)

Instead of straight up apologizing to you in a genuine and respectful manner, and then humbly asking for an honest second chance, this guy dicks around on FB and makes YOU do all of the difficult emotional lifting because he's too "scared."

Oh, honey. He's never going to come through for you. Just run.
posted by jbenben at 4:50 PM on October 28, 2012 [19 favorites]

Mod note: femmefatale123, we're serious here, please do not use this thread as a discussion opportunity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:29 PM on October 28, 2012

Best answer: OP, my big fat ego is going to assume your latest update was in regards to my answer to your question.

Upon reading about this guy's dating history, the rest of my answer still stands.

You can't fix what you did not break. That works on every level here.

The truth is that if he was worth getting back together with, and he really did want to get back together, he would be approaching you respectfully and with humility.

All of his blaming of his ex, his excuses, and his current wish-washy behavior (writing "Ouch" in response to what was probably a lovely photo of you, as if only his discomfort mattered, never mind that writing that would stoke your fire for him and get your hopes up unfairly...Geez what a dick...) is ALL indicative of someone immature and unready to be a partner or more.

You may go in circles with this guy for years if you wish it, but he will likely never be your ideal partner.

He hasn't done the work on himself necessary to be there for you, or anyone else. That much is clear from what you have detailed throughout this thread. He's got work to do on himself that you can neither help him with, nor do for him. Sorry.

(I appreciate that you say he might not have openly dated anyone since his ex wife, if it all... and yet, whether he dabbled with a relationship or two discreetly, or really never sought out any romantic companionship ... Wow. There's nothing healthy in either of those extremes, is there?

The in-between is where he more openly dated someone who pined for him and couldn't make it work in the past, just like you pine for him now but can't make it work. You know, because of his ex wife's betrayal.

Anyway, this will be my last comment in this thread. OP, you sound lovely. What is happening here is not your fault.

Try and see this guy more clearly. His story sounds absurd to anyone closer to his age than to yours. Only a fool wastes 15 years when help is readily available on the internet, in the self-help section at the library, or in a therapist's office. Whatever else, this is true.)
posted by jbenben at 6:29 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

What you want to do is not Block him but Add him to a Restricted List on FB so he cant see your private posts. He will see certain things that you make private but not most of them. He will literally be in private group of 1 that can't see most of your updates anywhere.

Go to:
Choose Your Privacy Settings-->Manage Blocking
And then pick the first option: "Add friends to your Restricted list"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:33 PM on October 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

Yeah, my comment about the phone was not so much about literally talking on the phone - I'm not a big phone talker either - but rather that your interactions would be a step up from Facebook likes and comments.

As jbenben said: "If he wanted to be with you, he would be."
posted by heyjude at 7:07 PM on October 28, 2012

Best answer: If you're still interested in this guy and you're not sure what his ongoing contact means, invite him to meet up for coffee and ask him.

I think you may be worried about finding out for sure how he feels, because if he's not interested in resuming the relationship, you'll be disappointed. And you're right... you'll be disappointed if you don't hear what you want to hear. But you know what? It sounds like you need that additional confirmation before you're ready to walk away for good. There's nothing wrong with that -- so just ask him to coffee and have an honest conversation.
posted by summerstorm at 11:41 PM on October 28, 2012

He told me the cheating and divorce destroyed his self-esteem.

That is just a line that allows him to screw around without commitment.
posted by LarryC at 6:17 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I understand this isn't a discussion board. I promise I will follow that rule, but I had to post an update:

I forgot to say that after he responded last week to my FB messages (above) thanking him for the breakfasts he made for me when we were together, I replied to his last message about enjoying those breakfasts, telling him I missed conversation with a like-minded individual. And the sex. I know. Probably shouldn’t have said that, but I did. I did that before I posted here.

Then Friday night I went out on a first date with a guy to a local bar/music venue. When we first arrived, there weren’t many people there, but when it got closer to time for the band to start, the place began to fill up. I had my back to the door. My ex must have come in after we arrived. We were sitting at the corner, and I don’t think my ex knew I was on a date with this guy.

My ex came up to me, put his hand on the small of my back, and said, “Hey, how are you?”

I said, “I’m fine. How are you?”

He said, “Fine.” Then I think he realized after the fact that I was on a date, and he kinda slunk away. For the remainder of the time, he stood back behind us in the crowd, almost as if he had positioned himself so he could see us. He wasn’t with anyone. When I turned to the side to watch the band, I could see him from my peripheral vision. I had to pass right by him once going to the bathroom.

Late Sunday night, two days after he had seen me at the bar with the other guy, he replied to my FB message from earlier in the week. He said, “I, too, miss the conversation…and the sex.” I haven't responded.

I hardly doubt at 61 years old he wants to just go out and "screw around without commitment," LarryC. He's been divorced for 15 years and hadn't had sex with anyone in a LONG time, so he's not a player. (I know he hadn't because he told me I'd have to be patient with him, but with some pharmaceutical help, he overcame the problem, and, as I said, the sex was great.)
posted by femmefatale123 at 9:40 PM on October 30, 2012

Sounds like he's not ready to let you go to date other guys, he's still staking a claim on your heart and making sure you spend a lot if time thinking about him.
That does not mean he wants to be with you for earnest, it just means he doesn't want you to be with someone else.

Which is kinda selfish.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:43 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm late to this, but I want to say I understand your objection to any suggestion that he is/was "just not that into you".

I think it's an unfortunate catchphrase which places too much importance on his level of interest and not enough on his actions. For all you know, this guy could be obsessively fantasizing about you every waking moment, but his track record shows that he is never going to act on his interest in ways that satisfy you.

I have always recommended that a better catchphrase would be "he's just not good enough", because he isn't.

And now he's inviting himself along on your dates with other people?!? You say you "don't think" he knew about this date... is it physically possible that he could have found out? Or known where you were going to be that night? If it is, then what he just did was invite himself along on your dates with other people!!!


A friend of mine once made a joke about some guy who was trying to treat me like this - that next he'd start inviting himself along on my dates with other people. I laughed and laughed because obviously this is so outlandish that nobody would ever do it. And now your ex has done it?!? This is a completely laughable thing to do.

Your obsession might want you to think that it shows a high level of interest/being "into" you, but actually, it shows that he's not good enough for you because if he were good enough, he would have asked you out on a date himself. Failing that, he should be going to greater lengths to stay away from you. All this slinking about, standing behind a rubber plant, sending you FB messages - he's really making himself ridiculous and I hope you can see that.
posted by tel3path at 9:15 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would like to add that I greatly empathize with your pain and confusion. When I say your ex's behaviour is ridiculous and laughable, it probably feels like I am saying you are ridiculous and laughable for being hooked by this guy. I'm not saying that at all.

I take your suffering very seriously, but the cause of your suffering is not someone that should be taken seriously and I hope it will help you if you can see that.
posted by tel3path at 9:23 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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