Fell for someone who lives far away. What now?
January 15, 2013 6:52 PM   Subscribe

I met a guy who was only here for 2 weeks visiting. Unexpectedly, I really like him a lot, and I need some advice on what to do next.

"David" went to grad school in my town and now lives on another continent. He came back for a week to visit his school friends. I also happen to know those friends, so we met at a party. We ended up talking until the party ended and everyone left, then walking back to his hotel and kissing. Then I said good night and went home by myself.

We did the exact same thing the second night, and this time David asked me to come in to his room. I told him straightforwardly that I was not going to because he was not going to stay in my town and I did not want to get hurt by having sex with him and then never hearing from him again once he went home. He kept trying to convince me but also said he understood what I was saying. So, I went home by myself that night too. He ended up asking to see me every day that he was here, and we went to brunches, dinners, and parties together, and did other activities like playing tennis too.

One one of the nights, I did agree to come into his hotel room and sleep but only under the condition that we really were going to sleep and I was not going to take any clothes off. So, that's what happened. After he did that, he didn't try to get me to sleep in his room again because he said it was too frustrating. But he still kept asking me to spend time with him every day.

The biggest reason I did not want to have sex with him was that I did not want to develop feelings for him. I knew from the start that he was leaving and I thought it would just be fun to make out with him a couple of times while he was here. Unfortunately, I ended up developing feelings for him anyway, which I was not expecting when I first met him. After spending so much time with him the past two weeks I found out that he is really awesome. We have a lot to talk about, we have a ton of fun together, and I am strongly attracted to him.

He is spending the next 3 days in a nearby city and then is going to fly back home to a different continent from there.

We already said goodbye to each other when he left this city to go to the nearby one. Neither of us said anything about any of it continuing at all. He also has been telling all of our mutual friends that there is no way he can take any more trips this year, because of the academic job that he has, and he probably would not be able to come back for at least a year and a half. So, when we said goodbye, he said "See you next time, whenever that is." And we hugged and that was it. I congratulated myself on being very realistic and rational and calmly accepting the fact that nothing else was possible.

Now I am second guessing everything!!! Because I really like him and I want to try dating him and seeing where it goes. But I know that any attempt to do that would be extreme by definition because of the situation. I don't want to let him go like this because I feel like someone else is going to snap him up, when he goes back.

Should I call him and say I changed my mind and I want to come to the nearby city where he is and sleep with him before he leaves?

Should I say I want to try to have an LDR? I kind of think that would be really nuts, a really unrealistic bad idea, and wouldn't work, and I also think that he would feel the same way and say no, and then I would feel like an idiot. We just do not know each other well enough to commit to something like that.

There is one last thing. I didn't tell him about this at all, but I have been applying for jobs on his continent for the past month or so, long before I got involved with him, just to see what would happen. And, I am starting to get some interested replies back. Nothing super near to him, but close enough. Should I say something about this to him? I wouldn't want him to think I was doing it because of him. But at the same time, I'm worried that if I didn't tell him, things would fizzle out or he would meet someone else before I got there. I wish I could just reserve him or something.

Anyway, should I say something at all to him or just let it lie? I'm trying to be rational here. I really like him, and even though I meet a lot of people, it's not that common for me to find guys I really like. At the same time, I don't believe at all in the concept of soulmates, and I think there are other people who I'd like just as much as him, and I think there are plenty of other women out there for him too.
posted by anonymousme to Human Relations (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Listen to what you wrote in your last sentence and let it go. It's not worth it.
posted by alligatorman at 6:59 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think, for your own sanity, you should let it go for now. If you end up moving to the same continent as him, sure, look him up and let him know you're there and maaaaybe see what happens. Don't go to Nearby City and sleep with him because you'll just get more entangled, and you're right that starting a LDR after two weeks while you're on different continents is not a good idea.

I'm not going to say don't think about him at all ever because a little mooning and what-if-ing can be kind of fun, but try to reframe the whole thing as hey, there's a guy out there who is awesome and who I like! Great! Where can I find more of the same but in my area code?
posted by MadamM at 7:04 PM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

No, don't call him. Don't sleep with him. Even if you slept with him, his goodbye would be the same "well alright, see you sometime, maybe." If he liked you, he would have said something, anything, about being sad about not seeing you anymore. If a guy likes you, he makes it known. Especially a guy who asks you to spend the night (he is definitely not shy or awkward about this stuff). If he didn't talk to you about being sad about leaving, then he isn't that in to you. It's simple. You were fun to hang out with, but he isn't interested in continuing this.

If you get a job on his side of the world, then shoot him an email when you know where you're gonna live and when, and ask how he's doing. Otherwise, if he didn't plan how he's going to contact you after he leaves, don't bother wasting your time.
posted by never.was.and.never.will.be. at 7:07 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

I don't see anything here that says he wants a relationship now, but I also see little wrong in using social networks or email to initiate ordinary friendly contact, once he's home, in which you mention the long-running job hunt on his continent. If he sustains the conversation, that would at least say he wants to remain in touch. The only question is whether you can return to the rational POV on this. The notion of running to see him while he's nearby when his interests remain opaque sort of says you might not be able to be cool about this right now.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:13 PM on January 15, 2013

You did GREAT!! Really REALLY GREAT! You are ROCKSTAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Do nothing.

If he likes you and wants to try an LDR, he'll get in touch with YOU.

If you get the job on his continent, contact him AFTER you move.

In the meantime - face book or similar?

This sounds the start to an awesome adventure for you (working abroad!) whether he materializes as anything concrete romantically or not.

You did good. Don't screw it up now by losing focus on your priorities!!

I wish I was you way back when. You're excellent!!!!

Stay the course. Stay the course.
posted by jbenben at 7:18 PM on January 15, 2013 [15 favorites]

Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

You did not experience the beginning of a great relationship; instead you experienced a unique set of circumstances that allowed you to spend an ample amount of time with someone with whom you got along well, are attracted to, and who you will most likely never see again. I think that because this guy was introduced so quickly into your life and then so quickly disappeared, you're infatuated with the idea of this relationship rather than the reality. Here is the reality: You hardly know this person, and the time you did spend with him is not enough to warrant rearranging your life to be with him.

Sure, if you do happen to cross paths at some point, it wouldn't be totally crazy to re-establish contact, but for the love of God, do not visit him and sleep with him and tell yourself you'll keep your emotions out of it because you probably won't (I went through a similar experience with someone who was leaving for basic training) and this whole encounter will take on a life of its own in your mind. I am not trying to be harsh and condescending. You already feel like this would be unrealistic and a bad idea because it is.
posted by thank you silence at 7:20 PM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

Absolutely if I met some awesome fun guy that I really clicked with, and even if he was leaving the country or getting executed in three days or joining a monastery or having a sex change or WHATEVER, I would ABSOLUTELY hustle over to said nearby city and sleep with him immediately! Maybe it'll be terrible and then you can stop thinking about him. Maybe it'll be amazing, and you can have a great email correspondence until fate finds you near again. Maybe it'll be awkward, or funny, or dumb. Maybe you'll regret it, and then you'll laugh about it. Who knows!

How can we, as humans, bear to put practicality ahead of romance? How can we turn up our noses at the wonder that the universe offers?

I really respect you wanting to protect yourself. But it seems to me that everyone is so conditioned to be concerned about games, and appropriateness, and being safe, and how people "should" behave if they want a long-term relationship and all this jazz. I would like to cast a vote here for risk, for romance, for valor, for fun, and for human closeness.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:23 PM on January 15, 2013 [9 favorites]

I meet a lot of people, it's not that common for me to find guys I really like

Of course you should go for it. You met someone you really enjoyed on multiple levels. And, judging from the amount of time he spent with you while abstaining from sex, it looks strongly that he likes you too.

For relationships of distance, it first takes someone to initiate the idea of a LDR. Be the one - you have nothing to lose. Good luck.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:25 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

One of my best relationships lasted all of one week because of geographical issues like you describe. It was wonderful at the time and we are still good friends, we acknowledged the situation as it was and accepted its limitations. Sure, it was a little bittersweet at the end but that's not the end of the world.

Sometimes you need to just launch and see where you end up, without any preconceptions. It sounds like the journey might be fun.
posted by deadwax at 8:21 PM on January 15, 2013

You've just had an unconsummated fling.

I wouldn't assume that spending that much time with you indicates that he likes you so much he wants to start an LDR, maybe he liked you and wanted to have a fling.

Or maybe he would be interested in an LDR? Frankly, none of us here on the green can answer that. But you've left an important consideration for that out of your question -- do you have the time and money to date someone on another continent who won't be able to come see you for 1 1/2 years? And do you want to spend that much time and money on someone you don't know very well, who you are worried will meet someone else, when you think there are other guys out there that you would like just as much? Just some things for you to consider for yourself.
posted by yohko at 8:22 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were you I would do the following:

Sleep with him.

Expect to get hurt.

I did this once, and I was hurt, and I do no regret it. Bear in mind, you and I are different people.

Consider the social fallout that may come from this with your mutual group of friends.

Consider also that you claim to not find many guys, and perhaps you picked this guy in part because he was "safe" and nothing could realistically come from it.

Your two options are: sleep with him AND hurt a lot (you will hurt, a lot)


Don't sleep with him, let it all go, and hurt a little (and perhaps endure a bit of regret for a week to a lifetime)
posted by irishcoffee at 8:41 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Keep in mind, that he might have only been interested in sleeping with you because he was leaving and knew there would be no strings attached. If he was interested in a relationship, I think he would have made that clear, given the circumstances.
posted by empath at 9:38 PM on January 15, 2013 [8 favorites]

It's only 3 days in a nearby city. You have to go and see. What this is or could be.

I met my current boyfriend a scenario somewhat similar to yours. We spent a weekend just talking while we were out among mutual internet friends (I was in a nearby city, he was on his way to somewhere else). We chatted online for two weeks, just getting to know each other, as friends. Then on an invite and a whim, I went to his somewhere else city for a week. Now he's where he lives permanently and I'm where I live somewhat temporarily, which are both islands, separated by over 1000 miles. It's a ridiculous situation, not easy at times, but it works so far!

However, it absolutely wouldn't have worked for a lot of reasons. The first visit could have been a slow-rolling disaster. But we spent the time getting to know each other better, being super communicative about who we were, where we were at in life, and we wanted. This wasn't overt per se, fairly natural but out of a need to know I suppose. It turned out that there was/is so much compatibility in so many ways that are important to both of us that distance and current goals don't seem so impossible to accept, work out and line up (and believe me, that's a never-ending discussion in a LDR, so you need to be up for it).

I don't say all of this to get your hopes up about what could be for you two (LDRs are f'n HARD in ways you can't even see yet and that thought should be a hope-dasher right there). There is so much stacked against you both in your situation. The three days will most likely will be the consummation of a neat romantic adventure, hopefully with a nice long distance friendship borne out of a shared experience this one time. But I told myself then and tell you now, nothing is possible at all if you don't go and see. I personally knew I couldn't live with myself if I didn't, even if it was just to have a funny story of a thing that didn't work out.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:26 PM on January 15, 2013

Oh, one more thing. Since you are only half of this equation, it could be that he's not open to finding out, for whatever reasons (and there are lots of them, given the scenario). I had what could have possibly been another similar situation a year prior. The guy was living only three hours away, and despite all other things being equal (mutual interest and perhaps compatibilities too), just wasn't willing to do a LDR. The whole thing was over before it began and that was it. Never got a chance to see. You may not get one, and you can't force it, by bargaining or moving or whatever. As you say, there are a lot of other people out there anyway.

So I want to hedge my earlier statement and say, see if you can see. If so, go see. Have fun!
posted by iamkimiam at 11:36 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh jeez, if I had a nickle for everytime I had a connection while I was on vacation...I'd have a bunch of nickels.

My friends and I used to call it "Out of Town Piece Syndrome." It's easy to have fun when you're on a vacation. You're not being overwhelmed by your day-to-day life. You don't have to wake up early to get the donuts for the meeting, you don't have a deadline and need to work on the presentation for next week. You're getting plenty of sleep, eating yummy food and sampling the wares of the locals.

Here's what you do. Don't go visit dude in nearby city. Instead, if he's really, really interested in you, he'll email, text and call you from his hometown. Here's a hint. Don't wait for that call.

If you really like this guy, take time to get to know him. If he really likes you, he'll take time to get to know you. Then, if, after he returns home, it seems like your friendship is turning into something more, you can explore a LDR.

Save yourself the heartache though. Don't sleep with him on a whim, if you're not that kind of person.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:45 AM on January 16, 2013

Look, this is harsh, but if he really liked you that much, he would have invited you to said nearby city. Do not follow him. If you did, it would be weird, and a little stalkery - and with no expectation of good return.

Also, do you know what he was doing those nights he was not spending time with you? The whole "Well, no need to see you because I will be frustrated if we can't sleep together" sounds like he was looking for a fling and funtime activity partner, but kept his options open so he could have more potential sex if he found something.
posted by corb at 8:38 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Out of Town Piece Syndrome" 

"500 miles of freedom" rule
posted by Kruger5 at 8:39 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

So, when we said goodbye, he said "See you next time, whenever that is." And we hugged and that was it.

If he liked you, this would not be how he said goodbye. Sorry if this is harsh, but it sounds like you're reading way more into an unconsummated fling than you should.

Personally, I would have had a week-long torrid affair with the guy because I am Slutty McSlutterson and sex with random dudes doesn't hurt my feelings, but that doesn't sound like you at all. Put all this in a suitcase in your mind, pack it up, and forget about it.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 8:41 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Honestly, from your description he doesn't sound like all that great of a dude. You told him you didn't want to have sex with him and he argued with you about it? That's a red flag in my world. When you told him you'd sleep over, but would leave your clothes on, I'm betting he agreed thinking there'd be a chance you'd change your mind. When you proved you wouldn't, no more sleep overs. When he left he flat out said "see you whenever". From here it looks like he enjoyed your company and hoped to have some sex while on vacation, I see no signs of him having any interest in romance.

Having sex with him will not make him want to be with you, so I'm not sure why you'd be thinking of running over to the next city to do that. You clearly believe having sex with someone who doesn't return your romantic interest who will then head home with a "see you whenever" would hurt you, why jump onto that particular bed of nails?
posted by Dynex at 11:09 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thank you all. I have decided that I am not going to sleep with him, I am going to feel sorry for myself for a few days, and then I am going to keep meeting new people and try to just let it go. Forward!
posted by anonymousme at 1:10 PM on January 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

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