First-time trying fwb, failing badly
November 10, 2013 5:46 AM   Subscribe

Please help me see my fwb situation with clear eyes. I am starting to fall for him (see a plausible future with him) and feel as if I should end it, but he doesn't want to let me go just yet.

I met this guy through friends 2 months ago. He and I had an immediate chemistry/connection, exchanged contact info, went out on a handful of dates during which I had to really fend him off, and then 1.5 months after we met, I invited him over for dinner at my place and we had sex. And now he's been coming over for dinner, sex, sleepover, breakfast indoors and leave in the early afternoon about once a week.

From the beginning though, he was very clear he was not in a situation stable enough to accommodate a girlfriend. (Is that just a line that masks that he thinks I'm not girlfriend-material?) And he really isn't in a stable situation: (1) he's only mid-20s, I am early-30s; (2) he just moved to this city/country and doesn't have a proper visa; (3) he's really focused on getting his fledgling business off the ground first; (4) he's broke as hell. He told me it wasn't personal to me, it was his situation... but I don't know...

I understood, and thought I could just keep it "fun and light". Initially it was because I couldn't honestly see a future with him, despite our chemistry. Our cultures and ages are pretty different, I think he's much more attractive than I am, I could see him settling down with someone much more glamorous (and frankly European) than me, and at first he seemed kind of superficial and I really see myself with a "big-picture" intellectual kind of guy. For those into Myers-Briggs, he is ESFP and I am INFP.

But the more we hang out, the more I see why he could be good for me. We share the same interest, and he is much more experienced at it than I am, so he gives me tons of useful advice. However, he's more on the commercial/action/glamour side, I am more on the humanitarian/journalism side, so I'm not sure how well we could work as a future team. (I think with the future in mind, always, and he doesn't). But at the same time, he pushes me to just DO things, because that is how he is -- he never sits and thinks about something if he has a good idea, he jumps up and makes it happen right away. And he's already accomplished so much at his age. I really love that about him.

To confuse things further, he is very, very affectionate, passionate, talkative, communicative, open, and honest. He goes out of his way to do me non-sex related favors. We share lots of kisses, especially him asking them from me, cuddles, hugs, and he tells me everything, sometimes too much, and it's starting to hurt when he talks so openly about other women (exes, friends, random women he thinks is hot). Almost all his friends are female and either past or future lovers, fwbs etc.

He's always had an easy time with women, and has had 3x as many partners as I have (and I've had a few). He is a big-time flirt (that's a large part of his part-time job). But he also tells me he's very loyal, that he's been monogamous in all his relationships, except one (and that one was strangely the 'love of his life' yet he cheated on her many times... he told me she really let him be himself, but she was only told about his philandering after they broke up, and they broke up badly, to the point where they don't talk anymore.)

He's begun to open up about his dysfunctional family background (abusive step-mother, from whom he ran away at age 16), his odd health/body image issues, his future wishes (I really wish he hadn't told me he wants to build the furniture in his house himself because that's always been one of my dreams)... all of it is strengthening my connection with him and making me feel like I want more from him, even though initially I just wanted him to be his free-spirited self. Sigh.

So he's obviously not a great candidate for a stable, long-term relationship right now, or for me, and I should break it off before I get more emotionally attached to him, right? But every time I tell him I don't think I can continue this without feeling inappropriate feelings, he cajoles me into continuing this thing we have. He wants it to last at least through winter. He praises me for my sexual skills, cooking skills. *roll eyes* (But he also "negs" me cheekily too -- I know, big red flag). I feel like I'm giving more than he is, with my heart. This thing we have is causing me to question my worth. Am I not beautiful enough for him? Not accomplished enough? I was in a good place, when I met him: lots of fun hobbies I was pursuing, a great journalism class I was taking, lots of talks and events I was attending, and still am doing all that stuff. Despite that, now I feel like I'm not enough again...:-/

Do I end things now? Do I stay for the advantages he brings to the table, knowing that it'll end in a few months (I think)? Could I just be friends with him now that we've been lovers? Is he just stringing me along with his expert way with women? At one point, it was easy to think of "dropping him", but the more I get to know him, the harder that decision becomes.
posted by Sa Dec to Human Relations (40 answers total)
 
But every time I tell him I don't think I can continue this without feeling inappropriate feelings, he cajoles me into continuing this thing we have. He wants it to last at least through winter.

This is emotional manipulation. Listen to your gut instinct here. There are lots of guys with whom you will have great sexual energy, and they will understand your emotional dealbreakers.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:53 AM on November 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


If he was interested in more than FWB with you, he'd suggest it.

He's not. Sorry. If you want more, you need to find someone else.
posted by modernnomad at 5:54 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but "I don't have time for a relationship right now" usually means "I don't have time for a relationship with you"

When people value their romantic relationships that much, they make time. Or at very least, they will usually make it official just with the caveat that they are a very busy person.

I would highly advise leaving him and going no contact. Judging by the fact that you have tried leaving him before and he talks you back into it, no contact might be the best way to go. You can achieve this by deleting his number from your phone entirely, sending his emails directly to the spam folder, and blocking him on facebook. It sounds extreme, but he seems like the type of person to request booty calls and it's easiest simply to reduce contact opportunities in such a situation.

In brief, think about all the time you are wasting with him that you could be using to find a guy who is totally smitten with you.
posted by donut_princess at 6:01 AM on November 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


But every time I tell him I don't think I can continue this without feeling inappropriate feelings, he cajoles me into continuing this thing we have. He wants it to last at least through winter. He praises me for my sexual skills, cooking skills. *roll eyes* (But he also "negs" me cheekily too -- I know, big red flag). I feel like I'm giving more than he is, with my heart. This thing we have is causing me to question my worth. Am I not beautiful enough for him? Not accomplished enough? I was in a good place, when I met him: lots of fun hobbies I was pursuing, a great journalism class I was taking, lots of talks and events I was attending, and still am doing all that stuff. Despite that, now I feel like I'm not enough again...:-/

So don't be cajoled and charmed and manipulated into continuing something that is already starting to affect you in a negative way. He is getting much more upsides than you and he is already showing a clear disregard for your feelings and your desire to protect yourself from pain...please don't let him do that.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:04 AM on November 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


End things now. This is actively hurting you right now, as you've identified yourself, and if you stay on, it looks to me like you'll be doing so because you're hoping he'll somehow come around and want a long-term relationship. He's given you every signal that that is not going to happen.

It's possible that someday you might be able to be friends with him again, but not necessarily right away, and you may need to go no-contact for a while first.

Once a long time ago I was in a situation somewhat similar to yours. In my case, the guy insisted on breaking it off though I wanted to continue and try to find a way to make it work. After some weirdness, we're friends again, but whenever we interact I'm reminded of why we would have been terrible long-term partners. He was right about our potential and I didn't want to see it at the time.

I'm really glad we didn't drag that thing out longer than we did. It would have hurt more and probably made it impossible for us to be friends again now. I don't regret it happened either, though. It was a lovely and valuable part of my life, just a brief one.
posted by shattersock at 6:19 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


he just moved to this city/country and doesn't have a proper visa;

That makes him an even worse candidate for a relationship. Get out before he proposes to you.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Don't worry a moment about who is the more attractive one of you two. For negotiating your main question, this is the wrong approach.

All these things: chemistry and surface attraction, your sex- and cooking skills versus his way of being affectionate etc., are momentary things that indeed may last through the next winter, but what's the benefit of it?
If there's no echo of all this someplace deeper in, for both of you, you two are not likely a good match. You seem to feel some echo. He doesn't (or so it seems). I think I would walk away. Friendly handshakes, goodbye, and all that.
posted by Namlit at 6:27 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thing we have is causing me to question my worth.

Nothing that is good for you will cause you to question your worth. If it was right you'd feel better about yourself, not that you weren't good enough in any way.

I really feel for you because it's obvious that you have a lot of strong feelings for him, and it sucks that it doesn't sound like you're on the same page in life right now. It is HARD to walk away from chemistry and connection and it will take a lot of guts. But you need to put yourself first and take steps to protect yourself. End it and be firm, go no contact, and think of it like an addiction - have a plan ready for "weak" moments, a support network around you, plenty of things to do if the urge comes over you to call him or invite him over. Think what you'd tell a friend in the same situation - "you deserve more, the right person will make you the priority, they'll never make you feel less than the amazing person you are". Be that friend to yourself. Good luck.
posted by billiebee at 6:31 AM on November 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Don't tell him you're thinking about ending it. Stop answering his calls. Block his number if you can.

You don't need his permission to end it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:31 AM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Carol Anne: He already has a female friend who's "sort of in love with him" who told him she would be happy to marry him to give him a visa (as a last resort). *cringe* The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn't phase him, like it would me, and I wonder if that's a sign of misaligned values as well?

Namlit: by deeper echo, you mean "seeing a future"? And he probably doesn't see one with me. I would have been like "no DUH" before, but the more I know him, the less "ridiculously unlikely" the idea of a future with him sounds. But that's just me, and for him, it's a different story until he says otherwise.

Yes, the thing I regret the most is how my self-confidence seems to have tumbled lately. To my genuine surprise.
posted by Sa Dec at 6:36 AM on November 10, 2013


He's not the one. If you can't have sex with him without thinking of all the other stuff then you know that you need to end it. He's not going to because he wants to keep having sex with you. You're going to have to rip this bandaid off yourself.
posted by h00py at 6:37 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


He wants what he wants (free dinner and free sex and free breakfast) and doesn't care if you get hurt as long as you keep giving him the goodies. He's way more interested in the benefits than the friendship. This is not someone you should be hoping for a future with.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 6:44 AM on November 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Here's the thing with FWB. When one person wants/needs to end it because they are getting too emotionally invested, the other person needs to be sporting enough to let them/help them end it.

Like a tennis match where you see the other person isn't finding it fun anymore- or they look pained, if you respect who you're playing with, it stops being fun/good for you too, because it is a game you're playing together.

If you've told him this is hitting you in the heart zone, and you're all like, "Dude, I think I need a break" and he's all like, "Come on, best two out of three!".....then this guy isn't a friend anymore, but a guy who thinks you are really great in bed and is a little more concerned about him feeling good than you feeling bad. Since he isn't a friend anymore, there is no friend with benefits situation anymore. Friends, in friends with benefits situations, understand that what happening to you is a totally normal possibility, because, oxytocin, and in such moments they end it - if they are really classy you have a last dinner together to say thank you - and everyone steps back for a while.

This guy. Not doing that. Which means that you're going to have to be the one to step back and deal with the withdrawal pangs. I'm sorry. It will suck less over time.
posted by anitanita at 6:57 AM on November 10, 2013 [60 favorites]


Carol Anne: He already has a female friend who's "sort of in love with him" who told him she would be happy to marry him to give him a visa (as a last resort).

Run away! Run away quickly! This guy loves having women be in love with him and playing them against each other.
posted by xingcat at 6:58 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Frankly, I think the question of whether he's into you or not is beside the point. Maybe he's not and will never be. Maybe if you kept playing it cool for a year, he would come around. Maybe he's madly in love with you and too scared to tell you. Some of those scenarios are more likely than others, but given what you've told us, they're all technically within the realm of possibility, along with a million others.

Here is what isn't in doubt:

That little kernel of misery that you feel when you write "I feel like I'm not enough again..." That is the only fact about of this relationship that matters.

Being with this young, hot, fun person isn't making you feel younger and hotter and more fun, it's making you feel, in comparison, older and duller and more insecure. That isn't right. It's not the way relationships are supposed to work. And it's not a dynamic that would vanish if this guy called you up tomorrow and said he wanted to be your boyfriend.

Maybe these feelings are triggered by the fact that he sounds like an egregious flirt. Maybe they're triggered by the fact that he sounds quite emotionally manipulative (negging? really?). Maybe it's because it sounds like you cannot make yourself heard in this relationship: I hear lots and lots and lots about what he's saying to you (compliments, flirtation, advice, negs, unilateral decisions about the style of the relationship and how long it should last) and almost nothing about what you get to say back to him.

Regardless, that feeling? That sad, insecure, unhappy feeling? Underneath all the charm, that is what this guy has to offer. It doesn't matter how he feels about you. You can do better than that.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 7:03 AM on November 10, 2013 [33 favorites]


Well, for what it's worth, reading through your description of him, I feel like I'm reading a really rose-tinged account of a person who is essentially an asshole. I'm a bit worried that the asshole bits of his personality seem much less salient to you than the appealing parts.

The red flags:
- The only woman he ever rampantly cheated on was the woman he loved most in his life (What..?)
- Flirty (probably not just because of the job requirement)
- Dysfunctional family background
- "Cajoling" you when you tell him you need to break it off because you're getting emotionally involved

Forget the "wants to build his own furniture" bits and look at his behavior towards you. The building furniture together isn't going to make you happy, but being treated nicely by someone could. You talk about him like he's this great guy and a real catch, and I think that's the part you maybe need to re-evaluate. He doesn't sound like a great guy at all. He's telling you what he thinks you want to hear with that cooking skills and sexual skills stuff. Make him pony up if he wants to woo you or don't give him what he wants if you're not on the same page as him.
posted by mermily at 7:25 AM on November 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Why are you with someone who makes you feel badly about yourself? It doesn't matter what he feels or why; the fact that your don't treat yourself well when you're with him is all you need to know. Remember too that this attitude often spills over to other aspects of your life; if you aren't kind to yourself, other unkind people will pick up on that and act accordingly. Take care of yourself and cut this off.

Also, you should never have to "fend anybody off" in a romantic setting. This guy is screaming "bad for you;" figure out why you're ok with that.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:27 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Thank you, Mefites. I'm glad I wrote to you guys. It's confirmed my doubts, and the confusing haze/rose-colored glasses I was seeing him with is gone. And I want to end this thing with him for sure. I was getting pretty sick of thoughts of him and our up-in-the-air thing interfering with my focusing on my goals and interests anyhow. It's over. Not that much lost anyway, for what it was. I can do all the things I wanted to do with him on my own anyhow. :)
posted by Sa Dec at 7:52 AM on November 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


RUN.

(That's my personal experience talking. He's using you Big Time. He has no deep feelings for anyone of the type you (or he!) ascribes to himself. He is not what you think he is. He is not the type of person you think he is. He is very likely somewhere on the sociopathic scale - probably due to childhood trauma + natural inclinations that can not be undone. His internal workings are NOTHING like yours. Please please RUN.)
posted by jbenben at 7:52 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


run away. believe people when they warn you. unfortunately, sometimes it seems like people think that such a warning gives them a pass to engage in activity that would affirm your view of him as a possible partner. i think that's uncool, but whatever, the main point is run.
posted by angrycat at 8:14 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have the feeling that if and when you end it, he will become VERY interested in something more with you. Humans (or maybe just men) seem to work that way. The old emotional push-pull.

If this happens, it does not mean that he'd be good for you. Say you break it off, and all of a sudden he reveals he's in love with you. Then you take him back, and he'll reconsider, either privately or outwardly, whether he's really in love.

So that is my take on it, from several like experiences where I was that guy.
posted by Danf at 8:19 AM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Danf: Yes, one thing I have to be prepared for is his reaction to my ending things. I know he'll try to convince me otherwise. Pull out all the works: puppy-dog eyes, kisses, hugs, trying to get me to tell him *why* so he can argue against it, of course, sex and his tricks of seduction...

But my brain does tell me like someone said above, even if he made things officially bf/gf... it wouldn't change that gut feeling that I have that he's *not* the right one (just so many flags, plus circumstance, plus personality, plus his behavior), though after all that intimacy I really want to rationalize that he *could* be (and if only he could be... * *). But I'll be firm and stick to what my gut says.
posted by Sa Dec at 8:36 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


By "deeper echo," I mean that being together with a person should make you feel good all around, and not instill any doubts. Attraction to the personality is what I'm talking about. This is patently not the same as attractiveness according to some external standards (what-the-mirror-tells-you being one such external standard).

To be together with the "right" kind of person makes your day easier, not more complicated.

[And, frankly, the idea of a marriage of convenience is terrible. If he is only moderately strategically gifted at all, how would you be able to assess whether he's "honest"?]
posted by Namlit at 8:43 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You know, we were fine until this:

But every time I tell him I don't think I can continue this without feeling inappropriate feelings, he cajoles me into continuing this thing we have. He wants it to last at least through winter.

So basically, he says he can't have a relationship, you tell him you need to break things off because you are developing relationship-type feelings, and then he convinces you to stay in this non-relationship? This is really selfish - he's prioritising the convenience of his calendar over your mental health and emotional well being. Kick him to the curb and go totally no-contact to guard against being manipulated.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:06 AM on November 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I have to be prepared for is his reaction to my ending things. I know he'll try to convince me otherwise. Pull out all the works: puppy-dog eyes, kisses, hugs, trying to get me to tell him *why* so he can argue against it, of course, sex and his tricks of seduction...

This is a good to be aware of. But don't just try to brace yourself for this reaction and vow to stay firm; plan to call it off with him in such a way that he won't be able to try to manipulate you in the first place. Basically, you cut him off at the pass. I'm generally not a fan of the public breakup, but in this instance I think it's 100% the way to go. Meet him at a cafe or someplace similar, set aside a few minutes for The Talk, and then leave. If you think there's a chance you might still waver, make an appointment to call or (better yet) meet up with a friend shortly after your breakup appointment, and if they don't hear from you, give them permission to come to the cafe to GET YOU.

My best to you. Remember, no matter what he might say to you: you're doing the right thing for you, and that's all that matters here.
posted by scody at 10:37 AM on November 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


What scody says - do not put yourself in a position where kisses, hugs, sex, seduction are even possible.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:53 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is someone not respecting your attempts to protect yourself. Bail.
posted by ead at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course he wants to keep it going: He's broke as a joke, gets to come over, have dinner, have sex, spend the night, have breakfast (and I can believe there's more sex in the morning or early afternoon -- or both).

You're being used.
posted by ambient2 at 11:21 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, definitely end it with him ASAP. I know that personally, when I really like a guy I have a troubling tendency to convince myself that he is a much better match for me than he really is. I start to see all of his quirks as Everything I've Always Wanted In a Man and Never Realized It, and I assign too much importance to small things we have in common (e.g. furniture-building). Without exception, once it's over I realize that I was totally deluding myself. There may be a little of that going on here. Run away girl! You'll thank yourself later.
posted by désoeuvrée at 11:33 AM on November 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Not everyone is emotionally equipped to be casual about a sexual connection, some people are doomed to fall even if the other party has made it clear there's no chance of a real romance or relationship. Me, I'm in the same boat of having fallen in love even though he's made it clear there's no future in it. In fact, next week he's supposed to fly out of the country to be with the woman he actually loves. I thought I could handle it because he was up front about everything (they had an agreement about taking lovers casually while they were apart, it ends once they're together).

I've known for 2 months that this was coming yet still it is agony because even with the days counting down, he still treats me as if I mean something more than just sex. He is tender and sweet and loving, and when he sleeps he holds me so tight I have to wake him up to let me go if I have to pee in the middle of the night. He is amazing, everything I ever wanted, even things I never knew I wanted before.

I have to tell myself that probably I'm not actually in love with him, that my brain is just telling me it must be love because he does embody so many things I've wanted. I think maybe I've built this fantasy around him, hoping he'll change his mind and decide to stay with me instead. He has never said anything to make me believe this. The only thing he's done that I think might explain why I can't let go of that fantasy is the fact that when I talk about saying goodbye, he changes the subject or outright ignores me. He refuses to even discuss the fact that it ends soon, even though I've told him all I want is one last good day so that I can let it end with a happy memory and get some kind of closure.

There's no point in begging him to stay or asking him to choose me instead. There's no point in trying to convince him that our relationship should be anything more than what we agreed it would be. I think it may be the same for your situation. Maybe try one last honest talk with the guy and let him know you're developing feelings that make it difficult to continue a casual "FWB" arrangement with him. Let him know you'd like it to be a real relationship if he's open to exploring romance, but otherwise it has to end because its hurting you too much.

Everyone deserves to be with someone who genuinely cares and wants to be with them, sometimes that means having to deal with a broken heart that comes with being strong enough to walk away from someone we care about.

Good luck. I got lucky in not having a choice about walking away, all I have to do is stay here, and be glad that he's never been to my house so I have nothing here to remind me once he's gone.
posted by myShanon at 11:39 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


But every time I tell him I don't think I can continue this without feeling inappropriate feelings, he cajoles me into continuing this thing we have.

I noticed in one of your previous questions something similar, where you said that you had "tried" to break up with your ex-boyfriend but he wouldn't agree to it. I think this is something you need to turn your thinking around on. Breakups aren't negotiations. If you don't want to be with someone, you tell them that then you stop seeing them. I think you need to assert more agency in your relationships.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:45 AM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


If he wanted to be in a relationship with you, he would be. When he eventually does want a relationship, it won't be with you.
posted by J. Wilson at 11:50 AM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Echoing what scody advised, but taking it even a step further: If you feel that breaking up with him in person might expose you to more of his dubious charms, and possibly lead to you losing your resolve, it is A-OK to end things via phone, or even email. This isn't one of those situations where you need to stand on ceremony or etiquette for it's own sake -- you just need to get yourself out of this situation ASAP and protect your own best interest.

He's shown he's willing to overleap and undermine your boundaries (by cajoling you out of your previous attempts to end things). You don't owe him a formalized "proper" breakup. Short, sweet, to the point is all that's needed.

"I've enjoyed spending time with you, but it's clear we want different things. Please respect my wishes, and please do not contact me."

Sounds a bit harsh perhaps, but I think you need to close that door firmly and lock it tight so he doesn't try to jimmy his way back in.
posted by nacho fries at 12:04 PM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


This arrangement seems to be all about what he gets out of it. Glad to hear you are going to end it. Since you are susceptible to his charms when trying to end things I'd suggest breaking up by a phone call and definitely make it a clean break. Then when it's over do some soul searching, especially if this is a pattern, as to why you are giving waaay more than you are receiving. That is something to work on because sadly people will take advantage if you let them. You need to stop letting them.
posted by wildflower at 12:43 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


He sounds very fun and charming and I'm glad you had a good time with him. These men who know how to please and entertain, they're lovely, and it's no shame to break your heart over them. It's no good either, but it's your heart to break!

My thinking is that when the pain gets to be more than the pleasure, it's time to go. It sounds like you're there. No shame, no judgment, have a tearful goodbye now and be able to look back at this with fondness instead of seething resentment.
posted by Salamandrous at 3:17 PM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, what salamandrous said. Don't beat yourself up. Sounds like it was fun for a while there. But it isn't any more, so moving on is the right thing to do. Good for you for posing the question and best of luck in your follow-through and please remember that if a relationship makes you feel worse about yourself, even a little, it is the wrong relationship.
posted by fingersandtoes at 3:32 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


When one person wants/needs to end it because they are getting too emotionally invested, the other person needs to be sporting enough to let them/help them end it.

He has not locked you in a basement. If you intuit that he does not want more since he hasn't asked for more, then by the same logic he wants exactly this since he fights for this. You cannot hate him for telling you what he wants.

If it hurts you so much, then it's up to you, years older than him, to have the backbone to leave. Other people are not responsible for your weaknesses.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 4:52 PM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


He already has a female friend who's "sort of in love with him" who told him she would be happy to marry him to give him a visa (as a last resort). *cringe* The idea of a marriage of convenience doesn't phase him, like it would me, and I wonder if that's a sign of misaligned values as well?

Well, he is the one who "needs" the visa. That supplies a built-in bias against the idea of a marriage-of-convenience bothering him.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 7:11 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, so the situation may not be good, but unlike so many similar situations I saw something very positive in your question that I wanted to mention.

Sometimes it's very hard to see the reality of a bad situation, and there are tons of questions here that are just filled with people pointing out major red flags over and over again, but to no avail. Or sometimes people are in so much denial they just can't accept the answers. But you do know what the reality of the situation is.

As a matter of fact, you may have given yourself the best answer!

  • From the beginning though, he was very clear he was not in a situation stable enough to accommodate a girlfriend. (Is that just a line that masks that he thinks I'm not girlfriend-material?)
  • He told me it wasn't personal to me, it was his situation... but I don't know...
  • We share the same interest, and he is much more experienced at it than I am, so he gives me tons of useful advice. However, he's more on the commercial/action/glamour side, I am more on the humanitarian/journalism side, so I'm not sure how well we could work as a future team.
  • it's starting to hurt when he talks so openly about other women
  • he's been monogamous in all his relationships, except one (and that one was strangely the 'love of his life' yet he cheated on her many times...

Honestly, even your (understandably) hopeful attempts to sort of explain away these things is pretty half-hearted, but I'm sure you know this. I'm sorry this isn't working out for your, and that it's painful, and sad, but you now know that your instincts are good. Just keep listening to them.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:56 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Carol Anne: He already has a female friend who's "sort of in love with him" who told him she would be happy to marry him to give him a visa (as a last resort).

xingcat: Run away! Run away quickly! This guy loves having women be in love with him and playing them against each other.


I could not agree more with xingcat on this - in my experience, this is absolutely, 100% true. I think you'd be a lot happier without him in your life in any capacity.
posted by luciernaga at 3:15 AM on November 11, 2013


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