Are my expectations out of whack? Is this guy a jerk?
August 23, 2013 4:07 PM   Subscribe

I've been very casually involved with a guy for the past couple of weeks. I am not a subscriber to the "He's Just Not That Into You" theory for a variety of reasons, but my patience is running thin and I could use a little outside perspective. How do you know if a genuinely busy dude is blowing you off? How do I bring this up if/when I see him this weekend?

I'm a woman in my mid-twenties in a major US city. He's a dude in his late twenties. We did not meet via online dating, but at a local cultural event. I am very pretty and work in an appearance-based industry. I have some serious hang-ups about my attractiveness and feeling like "just a piece of ass" and so on. I have been described as "intimidating." I have other hang-ups about being bad at dating and not being lucky in love.

The guy has a very demanding job, and is (I think) pretty cute. I like him, I think he's attractive, but I don't know him very well yet and I'm not impressed by his dating etiquette.

Sorry for the wall of text:

After sort of sniffing around each other for a few weeks, we hung out in a group setting, exchanged numbers, and tried to hang out that weekend but he screwed up his plans and it didn't happen. No big deal - life happens. We reschedule for later that week. He calls me in the evening and says that he is too tired from work and we decide to hang out that weekend. I am bummed, but forgiving. We hang out that weekend. I have a super fun time. We make out a little bit.

I hear from him that week, but in a very non-committal sort of way. We plan to meet up at the same cultural event, it's a bit awkward, and I have plans for later so I have to leave. He says he'll call me the next day. He does not call me the next day. I find myself unexpectedly free the following night, I call him, and he texts me back later and I think, "Fuck it" and we hang out. We go to the beach, we make out like crazy, and we go back to his place but I won't have sex with him. I have an embarrassing amount of hickeys. It's a weird night.

And then . . . radio silence. But! He just started a new job, and I know that it's a crazy job. I wait for about a week, and then I shoot him a text, we text back and forth a bit, and he invites me over to watch a movie that evening. Then he calls me as he's leaving work very late and says that he's super tired and has to be back at work really early and can we raincheck? I tell him that I am really booked up for the week - which is true - and that I'd be fine just chilling. He says okay. Then, right after he hangs up, he texts me basically a wall of verbal diarrhea about how he's so sorry and he's so tired and he knows that he can be kind of a loner and . . . WTF?

I tell him that I might be free for a bit this weekend. I find out when I'm free and I let him know within the next day or so. He texts me back that he might be going to a big music festival with his friends, but he will let me know today if he's free when I'm free. I am annoyed, but I wonder if I'm right to be annoyed. It's a super rad music festival that's kind of a big deal here, and if I wasn't so broke right now, I'd go. But I'm still annoyed.

I am not a priority for him. But wait! We don't really know each other, and he's not a priority for me, either. But I think I'm more into things than he is at the moment. Or something. Is there room for shades of gray? Is this a slow start, or a non-starter? I do want to date with the goal of finding a serious relationship, and I'm not interested in something that's going to stay super casual.

I'm spending too much time reading the tea leaves - he always picks up the check, he disappeared for a week, he works long hours, blah blah blah - and I feel like I'm missing the Big Picture or something. I feel like if he was really uninterested in me he wouldn't try to make plans, but if he was more interested, he wouldn't break them and would commit to them earlier. Ugh.

I've found that the guys who called when they said they would and were super into me at first turned out to be crazy, needy, manipulative weirdos. My only serious relationship came out of a one-night stand, and I have heard the word "date" used so rarely that the one time I asked a guy out and used the word "date," we both started laughing uncontrollably. I feel like there are no rules, and I don't know what to expect, and I worry that my friends are just blowing smoke up my ass with the "Any guy would be lucky to have you!" stuff.

My feeling is that I should just let him lead from this point, but I know that if we both play it too cool, nothing's going to happen. But I also don't want to make an ultimatum. And I also don't want to dangle in purgatory. And I also want to fuck him, but I don't want to feel bad about it.

What do I do? How should I frame this issue in my mind?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (40 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If this is how it begins, then forget it. This is giving you.far too much heartburn and you guys aren't even that into each other. Find someone you can spend time with. it does not matter if he is that into you... he isn't giving you the chance to be into him.
posted by orangutan at 4:13 PM on August 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

"He says he'll call me the next day. He does not call me the next day."

Yup, he's just not that into you. This is just basic politeness, so if he can't even manage that...
posted by Jacqueline at 4:15 PM on August 23, 2013 [8 favorites]

I'd frame it as "It's his turn." He has your number, he knows how to make plans, but he's a bit of a flake, and it's his turn to put some effort into it and make something happen. If he doesn't, then yeah, he's not into you enough to be worth worrying about.

The "verbal diarrhea" text sounds like a classic get-out-of-jail-free card - the "I plan to behave badly and I'm warning you now so I don't feel guilty about it" thing that people do all the time. The trick is... believe him. He's busy and isn't good at socializing and clearly doesn't plan to change those things, plus whatever else was in that disclaimer.

You don't have to give him an ultimatum, just stop doing his work for him. Let him make plans with you, and have backup plans when he does, because he's a flake. And don't turn down anyone new because you're waiting on this dude.
posted by restless_nomad at 4:15 PM on August 23, 2013 [43 favorites]

Move on. While it's nice to date around when you're young, you should date people who are really excited to be with you.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:34 PM on August 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

I am not a priority for him. But wait! We don't really know each other, and he's not a priority for me, either. But I think I'm more into things than he is at the moment. Or something. Is there room for shades of gray? Is this a slow start, or a non-starter? I do want to date with the goal of finding a serious relationship, and I'm not interested in something that's going to stay super casual.

I read this as a dude who has a busy life and doesn't dive into relationships head first. I don't see it as him not being into you.

If his behaviour is really putting you off, then yeah, forget about it. This is probably the type of person he is. But if you like him and are just trying to figure out if he likes you back, I'd say give it some more time. He probably likes you but is smart enough to know better than to put someone he just met ahead of his career and social life.

Everyone's going to say dump him. But people are weird, and they're especially weird at the beginning of relationships, and they're especially especially weird at the beginning of relationships when they have a lot of other stuff going on at the same time. Go on a couple more dates and see if something develops and he gets better at making time for you.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 4:36 PM on August 23, 2013 [13 favorites]

It kind of doesn't matter what is going on in his head. You cannot make him do anything. All you can do is decide what you want and if he is a source for that. If he isn't "showing up", you can decide to stop wasting your time on him.

If it were me, I would probably give it a bit more time unless something better came along. If it wasn't costing me the opportunity to be doing something I value more and it met some of my needs, I would put up with some flakiness. When it hits some point of too annoying or not worth the hassle (or better guy on the scene), dump him promptly.

You don't need to know if he really is busy or just not that into you. You just need to do some cost-benefit analysis and decide if you are willing to pay the price for the sex/attention/whatever he does give you. Yes? Stay, for now. No? Bye!
posted by Michele in California at 4:37 PM on August 23, 2013 [8 favorites]

The "verbal diarrhea" text sounds like a classic get-out-of-jail-free card - the "I plan to behave badly and I'm warning you now so I don't feel guilty about it" thing that people do all the time. The trick is... believe him. He's busy and isn't good at socializing and clearly doesn't plan to change those things, plus whatever else was in that disclaimer.

Oh Lordy yes. This this this.

Also: I strongly suggest sitting back and letting him make every move from now on, and if he doesn't get a whole lot more (consistently) enthusiastic very soon, forget it.
posted by Salamander at 4:40 PM on August 23, 2013 [12 favorites]

Speaking as someone with ten years and a lot of dating on you: this is probably never going to work out, like, for real. It doesn't matter if he's a flake or he legit is really busy or he's a deep deep loner, whatever, he keeps disappearing. I wish someone had sat me down when I was 18 and said, "if you have to come up with elaborate excuses for his behavior on a regular basis so you can talk yourself into believing there is a way this will work out, it's not going to work out."

Sleep with him if you want to, without guilt, but do it knowing that, in all likelihood, right now, this dude is not a Relationship Guy. It doesn't necessarily make him a jerk, and doesn't have anything to do with you or your looks or anything you did -- you've hardly had a chance to do anything yet! -- but that's just what his deal is right now. He keeps cancelling, disappearing, and making excuses for not hanging out with you. That is not going to improve with time, probably. I'd let him come to me, with the knowledge that this is probably never going to miraculously turn into a situation where he doesn't pull this kind of shit on the regular. (If it were me, at this point in my own life, I'd write the dude off, but I have little tolerance for flakes anymore.)

Finally: I've found that the guys who called when they said they would and were super into me at first turned out to be crazy, needy, manipulative weirdos. Two things here. "Guys who call when they said they would" = more than likely are just reliable people. "Super into me at first" = THAT'S more likely the red flag. Calling when you say you will DOES NOT = "super into you." And there is a LOT of room between "super into you at first" and "making plans, canceling plans, calling, calling back and canceling." So don't confuse someone who does the bare minimum of, like, calling on Monday if they said, "hey, I'll call you Monday" with being hella crazy super into you and ergo possibly a needy lunatic.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 4:40 PM on August 23, 2013 [22 favorites]

You should be more of a priority, even at this early stage. I get that he's busy but he's already blown you off too many times to indicate he's really interested. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I might even think he's already in a relationship. I'd walk now. And, um, unfortunately I've found there's a lot of validity to the HJNTIY thing. If you ask to ask if someone is interested, you usually already know.
posted by kribensa at 4:41 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

If he has time to go to a music festival with friends and have other weekend plans that get in the way of spending time with you, he has time to make dating a priority--and in this case, specifically make dating you a priority. He's choosing not to.

That doesn't make him a jerk, but neither are your expectations unreasonable. This is just a mismatch.
posted by Meg_Murry at 4:48 PM on August 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

Yeah this is way too much work. It's one thing if you're completely passive and expecting him to make all the moves and he doesn't. But that's not what's going on. You've tried to set up times to meet him. You've tried to get him to go out with you. He's either too flakey or too busy for any kind of relationship.

Flag him and move on.
posted by Justinian at 4:50 PM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Feel free to sit back and let him make every move, just don't be surprised if all he initiates is "hanging out" at his place late at night with little notice. That's all he sounds interested in right now.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 PM on August 23, 2013 [15 favorites]

My admittedly very cynical opinion is he'd be there right now if he thought you were going to sleep with him. Don't. Find someone who can be bothered to make an effort.
posted by Space Kitty at 4:58 PM on August 23, 2013 [6 favorites]

I am not a priority for him. Stop making him a priority for you. It's hard to read people accurately at first. Listen to his actions - he makes some time available to see you. If you want to see him, fine. But don't wait around, don't put a lot of effort onto trying to make time for him unless and until he makes it clear that you a higher priority. If you want something different, find someone who has it to give. It might be him at some point, might not.
posted by theora55 at 5:05 PM on August 23, 2013

Stop judging him on how you think he feels about you and start judging him on his actions. It doesn't matter why he flakes him being not that into you, really busy, a flake, or someone with horrible social skills it all leads to the same behavior and the behavior sucks.

Its entirely in his capacity to act in a less flaky manner, yet he doesn't and if he's legitimately too busy maybe he shouldn't be dating. In the end its his responsibility to act in a way that isn't rude and confusing not your job to make excuses for him.

There are lots of guys out their who won't pull this kind of crap, go find one.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:06 PM on August 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Like Countess Sandwich, I think you need to realize that "guys who call when they say they would" is not AT ALL the same as "guys who were super into you at first" --- the first is reliable, responsible dudes with good manners; only the latter group, the super-into-you-from-day-one guys, are your manipulative weirdos.

But this dude you're posting about belongs to neither one of those groups: he's just someone who, if he doesn't have anything better going on, will accept your company as a clear second-best. Notice how he's willing and able to make plans, as long as those plans do NOT include you? The only times you've spent with him are times that A) YOU arranged everything and YOU went TO HIM, plus B) he didn't have anything else already planned with his friends.

Want to prove exactly how much he cares about you? It's easy: don't call/text/whatever him; wait to see how long --- if ever --- it takes him to call you with a definate, clearly-scheduled request for a date, not merely some sort of 'maybe we can hang out sometime'. I'm sorry to say, I doubt he'll even notice you haven't called.
posted by easily confused at 5:18 PM on August 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

I get the impression that he feels rather "meh" about you. Not disinterested, but not really interested enough.

It's likely that if you pursue this guy, and have sex with him, you're going to feel less than satisfied afterwards. He's barely making the bare minimum of effort to get to know you know. I bet it'd be much the same between the sheets.

And let's say that I'm wrong, and he's just a loner/slow starter with a demanding job but he really likes you and wants to get to know you? Next time he calls or texts you to hang out, ask him if he digs you and see if that's what he says. Then proceed according to your comfort level.
posted by sm1tten at 5:25 PM on August 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think some people are afraid to be direct or hurt people's feelings, so they drag things out more than they should. They might seem to make plans with no intentions of following through in order to not deny you blatantly and hope you'll fade away after a while, or they might postpone when they'll see you to an indefinite date. He could just be busy. He could be trying to play some hard to get game. It's hard to tell. But I think most people are eager to be around people they like. I don't think that nothing will happen if you both "play it cool." You've already done something, and he'll do something if he wants to. If not, then you know he doesn't really like you that much
posted by wholecornandsalt at 5:29 PM on August 23, 2013

The way I plan time is that I have existing commitments (work, basic self care like sleep, my close friends and family) that get scheduled first and take priority, and then I have new or optional things that fit in around that. For that second group, I'm maybe a bit flaky, e.g., if work exhausts me, I'll skip sewing class or whatever. To me it sounds like you're in the second category, which is probably fine and appropriate as a new acquaintance. But things from the first category take up 90% of his time and keep overflowing into the other 10% time when he thinks he'll probably be free. He's not making dating (the activity) into a priority and blocking off time for it. To me, this would be understandable and nothing I'd judge or take personally. If I was in the same headspace (dating as a low priority), then it'd work great. But it would not work for me if I was really in the mood to focus on dating. In that case, I'd want to find someone with space in his life for dating/someone/me. If I were you, i'd try to make him a lower priority, so that you two are putting in more similar levels of effort and focus. Devote your planning efforts elsewhere (hobbies, friends, finding other people to date), but sure, hang out with him if you feel like it and happen to be free. Maybe his time will open up, or maybe you'll get busy too, and this will fade away.
posted by salvia at 5:59 PM on August 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have an embarrassing amount of hickeys. It's a weird night.

If you are old enough to drink you are old enough to know how to not give a hickey, let alone multiple. This is just emblematic of someone who doesn't have their shit together or care that much about you. Fuck 'em.
posted by munchingzombie at 6:02 PM on August 23, 2013 [13 favorites]

I dated this guy. In fact, I spent 8 years making excuses for why he never had time for me but always had time for his friends, work, drugs and alcohol etc. Learn from my huge huge mistake and run now. Because my guy started off just like yours and never got better. Sometimes what you see is really what you get and there is no deeper reason. Run, run like the wind.
posted by Jubey at 6:09 PM on August 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

There are other fish in the sea. Nicer fish. More reliable fish. Fish that have time for you.

Time to grab that rod and reel, sister.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:18 PM on August 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

You know you are very pretty. You'll attract someone that will enjoy your personality as well your outer beauty. Don't waste your time.

I used to get together with guys that seem to be interested and as time went on, I would feel it fizzle out for them. I'd hit them with an "I think you have lost interest in me. If that is so, it's okay." It was way better that way. I didn't have to feel hurt by something stupid he would do and he wouldn't have to feel awkward. Everyone walked away relatively unscathed.

Hickeys? That's just disrespect for you.
posted by Yellow at 6:24 PM on August 23, 2013

Please don't take 20 years to learn what it took me 20 years to learn: If he is interested in you, he will make time. The end.
posted by nubianinthedesert at 6:31 PM on August 23, 2013 [7 favorites]

I came in here and began reading prepared to make an impassioned defense of the busy guy who has an irritating, non-fixed work schedule at a job where i regularly end up stuck for an hour, or even hours after i thought i'd be out the door. I've been the guy who had to cancel plans after i made them and thought i'd be there for sure, or who was late 3 times in a row(sometimes even in the same week!) when it had nothing to do with flakiness, but just immovable walls of obligations that popped up.

Hell, i could even see the music festival things. I've had friends call me up the day before events like that and go "Hey, so and so bailed and now there's an extra seat in the car and a ticket, you wanna go for super cheap/free?" and i ended up bailing on more casual in town plans because woah, holy shit.

But, Really though, i made it that far and i realized... If he really gave a fuck, why wouldn't he just offer to bring you along in some really casual way? like "Hey, so my friend unexpectedly invited me to this festival, and i was thinking it would be cool if we went there and hung out. I can get tickets for both of us, wanna go?". It's not like that's some super huge commitment or incredibly intimate activity, and it also gives you a lot of room to part ways once you get there if it doesn't work out or spend more time together.

I can't help but think that in basically every scenario of him being otherwise occupied he could have worked you in. I've been the super busy guy and worked in a crazy job, band practice, and going out and hanging out with someone i liked.

The dick-ist answer i can think from being a more upstanding busy guy, but also knowing actually flaky "busy" guys is that he's seeing how little effort he can put in and still probably end up fucking you. It's probably worked a lot of times in the past.

I don't know which road to guide you down from here, but what i will say is i have a seriously hard time believing he couldn't make a hell of a lot more time for you if he wanted to.
posted by emptythought at 7:38 PM on August 23, 2013 [5 favorites]

Embrace dating; embrace rules. Dating is what adults with obligations, options and ambitions do to evaluate each other's relationship merits. And one of the best things that dating does is bring with it a set of rules which are very easy to know, and very easy to follow -- and, hence, the breaking of which is an exceptionally useful piece of evidence that the rule-breaker is not worthy of further attention.

Despise ambivalence and flee the ambivalent. No worthwhile single man is going to be ambivalent about pretty and (of course we shall assume) intelligent and charming woman he recently met.
posted by MattD at 7:43 PM on August 23, 2013 [8 favorites]

He's having a casual thing (sex?) with someone else. Not a relationship, but there's def someone else in the picture.

He's not courting you because that would mean he is interested in A Relationship, and he's not. He's nice enough not to have sex with you under false pretenses, but that's about it.

He's not doing any work because he doesn't want you to get the wrong idea.
posted by jbenben at 7:47 PM on August 23, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you like him, stay in touch but don't make yourself crazy. Keep your options open. Given that he is so busy, maybe he hasn't had time to think. Feel free to impress him somehow. Don't close yourself off from impressing other guys.
posted by amtho at 8:02 PM on August 23, 2013

Why are you making someone a priority who only makes you an option?

If he's into you, he'd be head over heels courting you.

He's not, because he's not.
posted by matty at 8:54 PM on August 23, 2013 [6 favorites]

He gets to make the next move, not you. If he never makes a move, then you'll know the truth.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:05 PM on August 23, 2013

Response by poster: Does it matter why he engages in this behavior? It's inconveniencing and annoying to you. Would you want a relationship where it was the status quo? Maybe he's not interested. Maybe he has a crazy job. Maybe he's bad at time management. Maybe he can't form short-term memories. Maybe he has narcolepsy and falls asleep all the time. Maybe there are a dozen other girls he's seeing. Maybe those dozen other girls are cats, and he's taking care of a massive feral cat colony that eats up all his free time. We can come up with a thousand scenarios about why he's behaving the way he is, and the end result is the same: whatever the cause, his behavior is incompatible with the kind of relationship that you want (and the kind of relationship most people want, for that matter).

You are allowed to say "I don't give a shit about the reasons, this isn't working for me." It is way too early in the relationship to put up with this. Pack up and move on.
posted by Anonymous at 10:26 PM on August 23, 2013

I can understand feeling a bit bewildered by dating and not wanting to worry about "The Rules" or "He's not just that into you." Especially in your early-mid-twenties, which is a big transitional time when it comes to relationships/dating. But the thing is, you (like everyone) need some sort of guidance to help you figure out who to pursue, and who to not, who is a good match, and how to navigate the often-confusing early stages of a relationship.

So here's something I took my whole twenties and several years of my thirties to learn: when you're first getting to know someone romantically, there are really two important things to know. 1. How do I feel when I'm with this guy? and 2. Do I like how he treats me?

#1 is important because I can tend to be a bit anxiety-ridden in the early days of a relationship, and do a lot of that "he did this so he must like me, but he did that, so I'm never going to hear from him again!" This is exhausting and not really helpful, because it has nothing to do with the guy. So I try to focus on how I feel when we're together. Is it fun? Do we have a lot to talk about? Do I want to touch/kiss him? Do I feel tingly and excited?

As for #2, this is how you get around the Rules-type stuff. You don't have to worry about what anyone else thinks your relationship should be, or any outdated ideas about how men and women act. You do, however, have to try to be honest with yourself about how you feel about his behavior. It doesn't really matter what any of us think about the behavior you outlined here - all that matters is how you feel about it.

What's helpful for me about these two things is that it takes the focus off trying to figure out how he feels about me and puts the focus on how I feel about him.

It sounds to me like 1. you're ambivalent about how you feel with him, and 2. you don't really like his behavior.
posted by the essence of class and fanciness at 10:47 PM on August 23, 2013 [14 favorites]

I would frame that as totally annoying behavior from someone I wasn't going to hang out with anymore. Shit, by your telling this man has blown you off four times on pre existing plans? And you still want to hang with him? I wouldn't keep a platonic friend who blew me off so many times in a month unless they were hospitalized or something. I would certainly not keep a new makeout partner who acted that way. Who needs the aggravation?
posted by feets at 12:32 AM on August 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

What Countess Sandwich said.

Relationships tend to start as they will go on and end as they begin.
posted by tel3path at 1:50 AM on August 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

People are generally on their best behaviour during the early parts of a relationship. If you don't like this guy when he's at his best, then you're just not compatible.
That WTF moment you had? That's a sign from your Dating Fairy Godmother, telling you that this guy isn't for you. If you're saying that to yourself this early on in the dating procedure, look elsewhere.

This guy is not the only guy. He's also very probably not the only guy nearby. Quit driving yourself up the wall trying to figure out the deeper meaning behind him not contacting you, and look for another guy nearby who is actually interested in you. This guy is not that special, honestly.

Dating is a numbers game. You have to meet lots of people until you find one who you're compatible with.

Stop yourself getting into this any deeper by finding someone new to think about. This situation isn't worth any more of your time.
posted by Solomon at 2:08 AM on August 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sorry, but if this guy is behaving this way before you have even slept together, it is definitely not going to get any better. He should be on his best behaviour, if only for the crassest of reasons, and if he's not--or if this is his best--there's not much to look forward to.
posted by rpfields at 3:09 AM on August 24, 2013

I've found that the guys who called when they said they would and were super into me at first turned out to be crazy, needy, manipulative weirdos.

Free advice which is probably worth exactly as much as you paid for it: good guys and bad guys both call when they say they will; mostly only good guys won't call when you say they shouldn't. A person who respects your boundaries from the start may not end up being great for you, but they probably won't be too crazy or too needy.

So, this guy. I read this as: he was sufficiently attracted to you to want to sleep with you and to make a few attempts at private time; when you said 'no', he observed correctly that you wanted to create a deeper relationship and, for whatever reason, that doesn't interest him much. He makes time for his friends because he wants to hang out with his friends. He doesn't have a lot of time for you because what he wants from you is private sexy time, and he doesn't have much opportunity for that because of crazy job and friends and everything else. That's what he's apologizing so much for, that he can't create the right amount of time that suits his desires with regard to you without also feeling like he's leading you on in some way. He wants to fuck you; he does not, as of now, want to be your boyfriend.

I didn't understand from your question what would make you feel bad about fucking him if you did, so I think the thing to ask yourself is: if I slept with him once or twice and that was that, would I be upset by it? If not, cool, you have an extremely intermittent booty call option. If so, well, stranger things have happened, but I don't really see this working out the way you appear to want, and I don't think you're going to fuck him into wanting a deeper relationship with you.
posted by Errant at 5:14 AM on August 24, 2013 [5 favorites]

I frequently refer to this saying: "People tell you who they are. It's up to you to listen." Listen to this guy. It's coming through loud and clear.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 11:33 AM on August 24, 2013

If you've had a conversation with this guy about what you want and what your expectations are, and he said he was interested a non-casual relationship, then yes, this is jerkish. If not, his behavior is in line with someone who's looking for a casual relationship with you, which means that your expectations and his aren't compatible. That doesn't mean that your expectations for someone who wants to date with a relationship in mind are necessarily out of whack, in general, though.

Countess Sandwich is spot-on: keep seeing him if you want to, but don't expect continuing to see him to mean that a relationship is going to develop. I'm not going to categorically say it couldn't -- I've had casual relationships deepen over time, but it was only when both parties were happy with where things stood throughout the relationship. It doesn't sound like you're happy, and that to me is a good indicator that you should be looking elsewhere for what you want out of dating.
posted by EvaDestruction at 4:28 PM on August 24, 2013

You sound like you are in NYC and you are dating someone in investment banking. Tell me I am right!

If he is in a job that is very demanding, then it will continue to be so. You will get to be his priority only if you are in a serious relationship. It's just the way some jobs are unfortunately. But know that the hours are unlikely to improve.

And if you are looking for a more meaningful relationship, it's generally a wise idea to hold off sex till a reasonable amount of time has passed getting to know him. If you are looking for great sex then it may be wise to keep your mind clear of any expectations.

re music fest: From his perspective its ok to hang out with friends at an event - he perhaps made plans weeks in advance and he is not spending time with friends usually so probably craves it. I read it as a healthy sign that he's not a workaholic.
posted by Spice_and_Ice at 7:23 PM on August 26, 2013

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