Help me escape the mind f*ckery and move forward.
June 25, 2018 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Casual relationship is making me crazy. Am I asking for too much? What is wrong with this guy? I’ve never met anyone quite like him and I am so conflicted. What do I do here?! Give me your opinion and your insight on how to deal with this. Way more below the fold.

Met this guy online in December. I was looking for casual but ongoing and so was he. Went out for drinks and hit it off very well. He’s extremely attentive and affectionate when we’re together. I feel amazing when I’m with him, there’s plenty of mutual attraction. We live near each other, have a lot of things in common, enjoy spending time together. He compliments me all the time, every time (maybe too much). Hookup arrangements were always very easy and very mutual. I learned very early on that he was a loner (REALLY likes his alone time like no one I’ve ever known before) goes camping alone, adventuring alone, frisbee golf alone, very protective of his alone time. We’d spend 2-3 hours hanging out, have really awesome sex for about an hour or so, cuddle for a while and then he’d pretty much kick me out by saying things like “it’s getting to be that time.” I found that somewhat jarring as I’d never really encountered it before. I found it odd, but I was cool with it. I never wanted to hang out all night, spend the night, etc. I have a lot of my own obligations to take care of.

Helpful background info: He is 39, I’m 34. He is a bar/restaurant manager and therefore works late hours, and generally has two days off during the week. I work an office job and have a small child to care for. Since we started seeing each other, he has been letting me know when he has his “weekend” during the week and I choose one of the days, this happens usually every other week, sometimes every two weeks. I can tell he has some commitment issues and very well might be emotionally unavailable. I assume he is seeing other women, I don’t ask, I don’t care as long as I don’t know. He made mention recently of the fact that we had been “seeing each other” for 5 months, to which I responded “I take it most of them don’t hang around for this long?” He laughed and said yes… FWIW he has told me he likes to be a “dynamo” in bed and he is very clearly dominant. I cannot decide if he is a man whore or not, which normally I can tell from a mile away. We talk when we’re together, but he really doesn’t let me in too deep and when he does I sense him pulling back afterward. I’ve never had someone quite like that. I do not get clingy or attached easily. I generally know when a guy isn't into me, or when I'm in a bad situation, I'm not new to the games guys play. My heart is tough. I have my shit together, I have my own life and definitely stay busy so I'm very uncomfortable with the amount of thought I'm giving this. I’ve dated several men over the past 6+ months, and now I guess I have what you could call a rotation, (we’re talking 2-3 guys I regularly see, this guy included). I’m finding I have a hard time being interested in anyone else lately. He really does it for me and I would forsake the others for him even though I try very hard to remain balanced. I was thrilled at how well this was working for the both of us until recently.

Throughout the winter and spring we continued seeing each other about every other week/every two weeks (though now with the warmer weather we’ll go longer stretches without seeing each other-he always told me he was never home during the summer on his days off, he’s always out doing his thing). He has opened up to me a little more as far as his family, himself, etc. Shared a medical scare he had with me over the winter. We text to keep in touch, probably once a week or so, though lately that has decreased. Sometimes we’re just checking in, mostly we text to make plans. He has texted me that he misses me and that I’m always on his mind, that I'm amazing, that he'd love to see me, he's craving me, etc.) He says I'm unforgettable. I haven’t had a connection like this with someone in a very long time.

I’m not in love with him, but I find myself wanting more from him. I want consistency, like seeing each other with some predictability. I’m not interested in going on dates really, but if we could hang out without a 3 hour limit that would be cool. He keeps telling me he’ll take me for a ride on his motorcycle or we should go camping (when he says that, I wonder how he’d be able to spend that much time together). There are times when I feel like things are progressing, but then I feel like we take a step back because he gets scared? I don’t necessarily expect progression because this isn’t a committed, long-term relationship, but the way he acts when we are together confuses me. We both have an undeniable connection and when we are together it is pure love drunkenness. I float for a day or two on this high and I know he does too. I usually will hear from him the day after. When we’re together he talks about when we’ll next see each other, often spouts off that I should come over tomorrow, etc. Of course this never comes to fruition. When we aren't together it's crickets. What is this shit? I’ve never had a guy act like this. I can usually tell when I’m being played.

The things he says really fuck with my head: When can I see you next?, I’m so glad we met, you’re beautiful, we have so much fun together, I really enjoy our time together, I’ll see you very soon, we should cook together, he recently told me to tell people he's my boyfriend, he’s asked if my friends know about him, he tells me, you’re the best at…). The progression and regression messes with me hard core. And now I feel as though I’m being kept on the hook. Sheer mindfuckery. My other casual relationships have never made me this crazy or unsure. I feel like he says all this stuff so that I’ll fall for him, but in the same breath I feel like he’s pushing me away. For a while now I've tried to ignore the shit he says and focus on his actions alone, but I can't shake the stuff he says.

I recently wondered if things were fizzling out (I’ll admit I have been in a negative mindset about things lately because I’m so confused by him). Since last month we haven’t seen that much of each other. The last couple of times I’ve seen him he has had some issues with his performance which has never happened before (though as an aside, I suspect there may be all kinds of things I am not aware of with his health, both physical and mental, and methinks he drinks too much sometimes/all the time, I don’t know) . He assured me it had zero to do with me and that he had a lot on his mind but as usual wouldn’t elaborate and tell me what exactly was going on. We still had an awesome time, but I could tell he felt as though he disappointed me. I tried to make it clear that he didn’t. I told him that it scared me how much I liked him, in the context of; I like to just hang out with you too and it’s not all about sex. He said he really liked me too and he was so glad we met.

After some reflection, I realized that lately I was the one doing all the reaching out and decided I’d like to see some effort on his behalf, though I felt it wasn’t fair not to reach out after he probably felt a little sensitive about his performance. I waited about a week and then texted him and when it was clear he wasn’t going to make plans I suggested that he let me know when he was free. This has happened a few times throughout and usually I hear from him within days setting up a time for us to get together. He ended this conversation with “You’re always on my mind.” After about a week I wrote him off. It hurt more than I thought it would and things felt very unfinished. And then of course after about 10 days or so, he finally texted me. He said he’d been thinking about me. I told him I had too and he said that we should do something about that. I asked when he was free and he told me probably not till next week (that was last week now) that he was using his “weekend” to go camping. He also informed me of his upcoming vacation time later in the month. I said I’d love to see him one of his days off to which he replied “Just one?”. I told him I knew how he was about his time, so I didn’t want to push it. He said “yeah, but it’s been too long for me and you. We need to catch up” I told him to let me know if he wanted to hang out next week and that I’d love to see him on his vacation and that it was good to hear from him. He told me he’d let me know and then said “I can’t ever forget about you” and a minute later “you f*ck me too good.” I never heard from him, which didn’t really surprise me. I texted him last Tuesday to see how his camping trip went, he responded right away that “it was awesome”. I told him I had some free time next weekend (the weekend that just ended without a peep from him) and Thursday afternoon. To which he responded “I am on vacation x-x date smiley face emoji.” No shit, I know, you told me you wanted to see me! I didn’t respond that way even though I wanted to. I just said, okay well, let me know if you want to get together. He said “F*ck yes I do.” There was a little more sexual banter and then the conversation kind of ended. No concrete plans or dates to speak of. I’m pissed at myself because here I am, still waiting. This is becoming torturous. I’m sad because this worked out so well for such a long time and I hate to lose it, but I value my sanity more. All I want is to be able to see him consistently whether I want it or he wants it like it was up until recently. I guess I feel like I’m being played with and I am starting to get pissed.

I’m so tired of overanalyzing this and overthinking it. I haven’t ruminated over a “guy” this much since high school. I feel as though our interactions are more favorable when he is the one who reaches out and I know that isn’t good. I get super anxious these days when I text him and that isn’t good either.

Initially I decided I should wait and see if he’d firm up plans with me while he was on vacation (he's off work until Sunday) and that I would have my answer depending on whether he did or not. I find more recently that I am sick of waiting for an answer I might not even get, and I feel like he should have the decency to tell me if he’s done with this or at the very least not insinuate that he’d like to see me and then never follow through. I really feel like I have to come to some kind of decision here for my own well-being. I know closure is overrated, but do I really want to stress all week about whether or not he is going to get a hold of me and what to say when he does? Do I just let this die a slow death? Do I block him? Do I owe him an explanation or a goodbye?

I’m currently wondering if I should be proactive, end the suffering and text him “Hey, I’m trying to plan my week, do you want to get together Thursday afternoon?” That way I am not waiting in limbo for him to reach out and I’m in control. If he wants to get together, obviously I intend to let him know that this isn’t working for me anymore and go from there. If he doesn’t want to see me (makes an excuse, puts me off, whatever), I definitely feel like I’ll have my answer, but how do I respond? Do I tell him, “Hey, this isn’t working for me anymore. I wish you the best.”?

Because we are in this “situationship” I find it shitty that we have to have a serious discussion about the fact that I feel dicked around (or maybe not so much, no pun intended). I keep thinking of something I read here once: “You can’t say the right thing to the wrong person and you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” Your thoughts?

I appreciate all your answers and advice!
posted by Pineaway to Human Relations (29 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
"I feel like he says all this stuff so that I’ll fall for him, but in the same breath I feel like he’s pushing me away."

He wants you to fall for him and then enjoys pushing you away. This is a classic way to keep someone on the hook.

Your relationship sounds like it's causing you more pain than happiness. He isn't going to change. I would be tempted to just ghost him and move on.
posted by parakeetdog at 1:43 PM on June 25, 2018 [27 favorites]

You're a booty call to him (which in fairness is kind of what you signed up for). It's normal to catch feelings in situations like this, and I think you should just end it now. He's looking for someone who will come over and have sex and hang out for a couple hours and then leave, once or twice a week. This isn't going to go anywhere.
posted by cakelite at 1:52 PM on June 25, 2018 [26 favorites]

Agreed that he's stringing you along. I'd put it out there that you need more consistency, and see where it goes. If he changes, great, and if not (as I suspect he won't), then you tried, and oh well.

I would not ghost anyone after six months, much less after trading fluids, as I don't see that as an adult way to handle relationships (absent any legit, pressing need to avoid the person). But that's me.
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:53 PM on June 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

I don't think you're being honest with yourself, and I think you should be. What do you really want from this guy?

You've written a LOT here about a guy who is giving you not a lot of his time, effort and affection, and much of it actually reads like you're arguing with yourself over whether you like like him, or whether you'd be perfectly happy carrying on as a casual thing.

I saw a guy like this for a little while a way back, and could have written the same post. After a while, I dropped contact because I met someone who actually valued my time. He saw me out with this other guy and sent me a cutesy-sad little message on facebook along the lines of "I guess that's why I haven't heard from you in a while". I was so irritated! NO DUDE - you haven't heard from me because you haven't been in contact yourself, nor generally offered me anything other than loose arrangements to meet up and do not a lot except That Thing, you know? Anyway I didn't actually reply - by then he'd dropped off the bottom of the list of people Worth My Time.

I think this guy should drop off your list, because with this many paragraphs he is definitely taking away more from your life than he is putting in.


I haven’t ruminated over a “guy” this much since high school.

High school relationships were largely drama-fests, and because of the drama took up tons of mental bandwidth. The same thing is happening here. You deserve better than a high-school relationship.

I get super anxious these days when I text him and that isn’t good either.

No, it isn't. Improve your life! Stop texting him.
posted by greenish at 1:54 PM on June 25, 2018 [47 favorites]

Have you brought any of this up with him? It may be that you're working on playing it cool in order to match his playing it cool, and now he believes that you are feeling as cool as you look. Or it could be that he's a PUA who gets off on the power stuff and stringing you along. But you should just ask him! Ask what's the deal, what he wants, etc., and speak as plainly as you can.

You are correct that you can't say the wrong thing to the right person: if he gets defensive or tries to make you feel weird for bringing it up, there's your answer.
posted by witchen at 1:56 PM on June 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

When he gets in touch after 10 days and tells you he's been thinking of you and you're always on his mind, the proper response isn't "aww, yeah, me too!!" it's "really? doesn't seem like it! why haven't you called me back?"
posted by aimedwander at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2018 [37 favorites]

what he has is what he wants. the choice always open to you is to tell him what you want, and say he can have you on your terms (or compromise terms) or not at all. it's the same deal he gave you, so he can't complain. though he can say no.

If you can't face the direct approach, you could always try seeing him one last time and leaving before he dismisses you. see how he takes it. it might clarify whether he enjoys the casualness or the control most.

he recently told me to tell people he's my boyfriend

ha ha ha he "told" you? if he wants to be your boyfriend, he has to ask and you have to agree, he can't just declare it. might as well tell him to tell people you're his wife and see if he obeys.

btw please don't call people "whores." unless an individual guy asks you to call him that, I guess.
posted by queenofbithynia at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2018 [18 favorites]

He sounds like junk food; you feel compelled to go back for more, but in the end it leaves you with a queasy stomach.

Maybe *you* are ready/wanting something more in a relationship, and are trying to make it something that could happen here. But it can't. Honestly your description makes this guy sound like he's got Baggage with a capital B, has coped with it by closing himself off to any emotional risk (instead of seeking help/growth) and emotionally shut-down men can be a special kind of hell in a relationship.

Stop thinking about him and start thinking about yourself. What do you need? What would make you happy in a relationship (casual or otherwise)?
posted by emjaybee at 2:00 PM on June 25, 2018 [11 favorites]

"I was looking for casual but ongoing and so was he."

Well.. you got what you wanted? If you want something else now, have a conversation.
posted by Leon at 2:02 PM on June 25, 2018 [17 favorites]

This is a really well written question. You've thought a lot about this, and you've approached it really logically and intelligently. You're obviously smart. And you know what's going on here. "You can’t say the right thing to the wrong person and you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person.” Discussing this isn't going to change it. Man, what a lot of time you've spent on this. Think of what else you could do with that time moving forward!

This isn't a good or healthy situation and it's gonna suck but... you can just drop this entirely. Tell him you need to focus on yourself and you can't see him anymore, wish him luck. Then block his number. Think of it like an addiction from which you need to go cold turkey, because it kind of is -- his use of intermittent reinforcement has seen to that. Pick up a hobby, stop dating for awhile and get yourself flowers every week, throw a little money at the situation and buy yourself a present, be nice to yourself for awhile, and work this dude out of your system. You're fucking worth it.

Take care.
posted by sockermom at 2:19 PM on June 25, 2018 [31 favorites]

His actions are telling you plainly (his lack of initiation and response) that there are other things/people that are more important to him than you are right now. That may or may not change over time. You are telling us (if not in so many words) that this guy means A LOT to you. The power is all in his court. Its up to you what you want to do about that. If it were me, and I valued my bad ass, independent life, I'd ghost him. You dont owe him an explanation, but I wouldnt waste time feeling hurt or bitter about it. He didnt owe you anything either.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 2:27 PM on June 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

I think you know that if you ask for anything you want directly, or fail to comply with the easygoing flow he has with you, he will react badly or avoid you completely. If you stopped mirroring him in this veiled enthusiastic way I think you know what would happen. If you had 'performance issues' and couldn't fuck him the best ever at X, I think you know what would happen.

Sometimes to find out about a person's capacities for what you want is to tell them with no artifice or drama. Just state the true thing "I feel that Casual/Ongoing relationships still need to demonstrate respect for the other person's time, and it involves planning and follow through. Is that something you can do?"

The answer you know already, is 'no' even if it comes laced in longer sentences, or maybe even a tantrum. I reckon you see a person's unveiled character by simply not going along with something that makes you unhappy and contributing to an interaction style that is unbalanced.

[It's fine for others to write this off as 'well you wanted casual/ongoing so suck it up buttercup' but that's not how he's verbalising things to you. He's verbalising relationship ladder things like vacations, cooking, calling him your boyfriend. As you've correctly identified, this is mindfuckery. When casual ongoing hookups have veered into the relationship ladder verbal trickery, I've just said 'hey, let's just say True things to each other, ok?']
posted by honey-barbara at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2018 [54 favorites]

Restaurant Manager + your estimation of his alcohol use = Alcoholic = Hard Pass.

Source: restaurant and hospitality professional.

This is not a "hot take" but years and years and years of experience. I am not wrong. You don't need this. RUN.
posted by jbenben at 2:44 PM on June 25, 2018 [24 favorites]

A fun casual FWB set-up shouldn't require 11 lengthy paragraphs of analysis and worry, especially when the friend in question is probably out playing frisbee golf without a second thought. Think of all the productive shit you could get done if you decided to stop worrying about this man and lose his number.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 2:46 PM on June 25, 2018 [18 favorites]

Also. Fuck waiting on him. Fuck all of his privacy and withholding of time, information, and intimacy.


It was great while it lasted. It's done.
posted by jbenben at 2:47 PM on June 25, 2018 [21 favorites]

I had a thing like this that started in my early thirties and lasted 17 years. I regret none of it because it was fun as helllll! But if you think you might want to use your reproductive organs to, like, reproduce? Drop this gadabout pronto before you get in any deeper.

If you just want to dick around for the unforseeably lengthy future and possibly kill a decade or three, go for it and have as much fun as you possibly can. (It helps if you can consider this angsty obsession you're doing as fun, which, in retrospect, I actually do. In the moment I thought it was anything but.)

I would recommend you game his feeble ass as hard as he's trying to game you. Never text first, never use a tone that is anything other than blasé and noncommittal, always leave before his bullshit three hours are up, laugh lightly and in a way that's just barely discernible as maybe derisive but maybe... not...? Reveal nothing, seek nothing. Get your own goddam motorcycle and find your own somebody to ride on the back of it with you when he's "spending his weekend camping."
posted by Don Pepino at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2018 [16 favorites]

This is neither what you signed up for, nor the beginning of something better. It is just a pain in the ass. I think it’s time to move on.
posted by eirias at 3:05 PM on June 25, 2018 [2 favorites]

When can I see you next?, I’m so glad we met, you’re beautiful, we have so much fun together, I really enjoy our time together, I’ll see you very soon, we should cook together, he recently told me to tell people he's my boyfriend, he’s asked if my friends know about him, he tells me, you’re the best at…)

This does not sound like something that is involved in a casual, but ongoing relationship. If he wants you to say that, he would have to meet the expectations you have for a boyfriend, and it does not sound like he is at all. You can lay that out for him, what you would want, but he isn’t really even behaving in a way that you like now when he has no commitments or obligations. I think you know how he would respond to you telling him things you expect of him.
posted by Regal Ox Inigo at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2018 [5 favorites]

That ringing in your ears is the sound of your bullshit detector going off.
posted by Coaticass at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

He's totally taking advantage of the fact that you have chemistry—whether he's just this oblivious or he's outright using you, his actions are obnoxious. The way he turns cold and turns you out at the end of the evening, the way he starts something and gets suggestive when he feels like it, then disappears when you reciprocate and chalks it up to being on vacation or getting busy or just really needing his space or whatever... Everything feels like it's on his terms. This also feels like one of those things where he gets ahold of you when he happens to be horny, because he gets off on saying sexy things to you, and he'll say anything to keep you as an option, even though he clearly has no intent of getting serious or even following up half the time. Be done with this, because even the fun part doesn't sound fun anymore.

I saw this Instagram post earlier that reminded me of a relationship I was once in somewhat like this, and your post definitely brought it to mind again. He's letting you project all kinds of things onto him that may well have little to do with who he actually is as a person. He might not even be self-aware enough to know who he is as a person or have any consistency. He sounds kind of unreal, and I bet he likes it that way. You knowing little about him and projecting your dreams onto him, or at least continually wanting more from him than he wants from you, completely gives him the upper hand. He doesn't sound communicative or like someone who shares much of himself—being "scared" is an excuse dudes like this use (or let you imagine on their behalf) to avoid having to figure out what to do or say to be a real person. Don't be with someone you have to be afraid of "scaring off."

Cherish your memory of the fun parts of this, because of course it's nice to hear all those things and enjoy that kind of head-over-heels chemistry with someone, but just be done. Don't waste your time and your headspace on someone who keeps you on the hook with intermittent reinforcement. See also.
posted by limeonaire at 4:37 PM on June 25, 2018 [11 favorites]

I'm usually pretty anti-ghosting, but... ghosting is your friend here. Don't contact, don't reply. Although, just be prepared for him to never make much effort to get in touch. I've been there. It hurts. A lot. But that's exactly what you've got on your hands at the moment.

Even IF he were just "scared" of relationships, and just needed some sort of nudge in the right direction, he would need to actually want for that to happen. If he can't be bothered to work out his problems enough to even start a relationship of sorts (or, be even slightly decent), then you're going to be the one attempting to drag him along on everything else in the future, too. That sounds like a miserable existence to deal with. You can help other people along on their journey, but they ultimately need to do the bulk of the work on themselves. And he's clearly not interested in doing that.

There is one tiny thought I had while reading this, and admittedly this is my own weird perception, but that maybe it's possible he's aromantic? That is, not interested in romantic relationships (like, ever)? The fact that he's also apparently an extreme loner is kind of what makes me ponder this potentiality a little bit (Although.... are you SURE he's going off into the wilderness by himself, or is he just telling you these things so you won't ask about other friends, family, an actual wife on the side, etc ?)

Regardless, this wouldn't excuse the way he's been acting. To be clear: he's deliberately not making concrete plans because he's waiting to see if something better comes along at the last minute. You are clearly not a priority. He seems hella charming, which is why he's able to keep stringing you and probably a lot of other women along. But if it makes it easier to stay away by thinking of his behavior as an unchangeable orientation, go for it. It's time for you to put yourself first.
posted by TrickOrTreat at 8:15 PM on June 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

Humans are hardwired to believe that the scarcer something is, the more valuable it must be, and the harder we have to work for something, the more valuable it must be. Sometimes this is true, but rarely in relationships. It’s also the reason women are told to play hard to get, because apparently no one should value something that comes too easy.

This guy is using all of these ideas (whether consciously or not) to make you think he’s someone worth chasing, he gives you just a little taste, just a bit of intrigue, just a small amount of charm/ego boost/endorphins before shutting you down so you’re always left wanting more.

But let’s follow it all the way to end, and assume you do actually get him in the end. What’s your amazing prize? A with holding, game playing dickweazel who disappears for days on end to god knows where, who can’t communicate, who isn’t emotionally honest with himself, let alone you and as jbenben has said, is probably hiding a raging alcohol addiction to boot.

And that sex that has you so hooked? Well, nothing kills that high more than getting what you wanted only to find out you actually won the dummy prize. See how much you still want to jump him when you’re in a committed relationship and he still won’t tell you where he is or who he’s with, because this guy won’t change even if the status of your relationship does.

Oh, and I know it’s barely mentioned in your post, but as you’ve said, you have a small child to care for, and if you don’t deserve the endless bullshit drama, they definitely don’t. Please don’t let this guy into your life even a little bit. Block and move on.
posted by Jubey at 8:55 PM on June 25, 2018 [10 favorites]

He kind of sounds like a narcissist to me. Love bombing, future faking, intermittent reinforcement, pulling you in then pushing you away. Everything's on his time. My guess is he's doing this with multiple people and he goes to you when his other supplies are busy. I think that is the "alone time" he's actually talking about.

Whether or not he qualifies for the diagnosis, he's definitely using strategies narcissists use to manipulate people. I don't think you should tell him you're moving on because he'll hit you with all of these techniques even harder and, trust me, it can be difficult to resist. And once you do truly move on there's a good chance he'll turn really nasty when he realizes his bullshit isn't working anymore. Or he won't even respond and simply vanish.

I think ghosting is the safest route to take. I'm sorry you have to go through this.
posted by blackzinfandel at 9:02 PM on June 25, 2018 [18 favorites]

Before you even mentioned his alcohol use I though, "he sounds like a guy who is hiding an addiction." Don't waste any more of your time with him.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 11:38 PM on June 25, 2018 [4 favorites]

I agree with others that he has exactly what he wants. He doesn't want to take it any further. If you aren't ok with that (and it doesn't sound like you are), then you should extricate yourself from the relationship.
posted by thereader at 11:53 PM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was looking for casual but ongoing and so was he.

He is what you signed up for, and he never even pretended to offer you more.

I think it’s a case of your mind pining for something you can’t have. Hence the essay-length of your post. Let this one go and concentrate on the other men you’re seeing casually.
posted by Kwadeng at 3:48 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

yeah no. you are this guy’s narcissistic supply. i think he might also have an alcohol problem.

his actions toward you remind me of someone who is having an affair, honestly. i don’t think that’s the case here, but the contrast between his intermittent effusiveness toward you combined with a lack of any substantial intimacy beyond sex is telling.

read the link i posted in the first paragraph. pretty startlingly uncanny, hey?
posted by hollisimo at 5:17 AM on June 26, 2018 [11 favorites]

Such great advice for you here. This guy has more issues than the New York Times. I wish I had had this kind of guidance about a similar pattern I once had, and still feel the echoes of. If you find yourself consistently attracted to emotionally unavailable men, it might be enlightening to explore the possible reasons for it with a therapist. (In my case it was all about my attempts to replicate, and then rewrite, the horrible relationship I had with my cruel and withholding narcissist father...)

I don’t think you really want a casual relationship. At 34 with a child, you’re ready for someone who wants to take walks with you and the kid in the park, etc. Set the bar high, for your kid’s sake as well as your own.

Say, you should change your handle here from Pineaway to something more powerful. It’s east to do and it’ll give you a lift!
posted by cartoonella at 9:45 AM on June 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is pretty run of the mill casual and ongoing bootycall stuff. Bootycalls with actual chemistry are great if thats all you want, but it sounds like you started wanting more.

You don't even see him that often. Cut ties an move on. I would just not text him and if he texts you, just be straight and tell him that you are looking for something more serious and consistent.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:59 AM on June 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

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