Why would a guy stop wanting to have sex with a girl he's been casually dating?
April 16, 2007 5:52 AM   Subscribe

Why would a guy stop wanting to have sex with a girl he's been casually dating? A little long...sorry.....

I have been casually dating this guy for a couple of months and things were great. Both of us went into it not wanting a serious relationship. When we first started dating I knew he was seeing others and I was totally fine with that. Initially I was not dating others because I barely had the time for one person, let alone anyone else.

About 3 weeks ago, things in my life became less busy and I had more time for dating so I started dating others as well. I told him I was dating others because I felt it was important to be honest about everything (he had been doing the same in return). He said he was cool with that and acted like it was no big deal, just made some comment like "I hope they aren't as charming as me" and admitted to being a little envious but he figured I would be dating others because I'm a "sexy, smart hottie" (lol)....

Well, a couple of days ago he out of the blue tells me he doesn't want to have sex with me; he just wants "to be friends". It seems like things got a little weird about a week or so ago after he wanted to make plans with me for the following weekend and I couldn't because I had a date for both Friday and Saturday..... I think that bothered him.

I'm a little confused as to why he doesn't want to be sexually involved with me....we were just casually dating. He was seeing 2 other girls on a semi-regular basis when he met me and I am 100% certain he is not getting serious with either one of them, nor is he seeing anyone else. When we were initially dating he made it a point of telling me how flexible his schedule was but now he supposedly doesn't have time for me in addition to the other two.

I have not chased or pursued him; I have not initiated any phone calls (only returned his calls), have not made any sort of comments in regards to wanting a relationship, where is this going, etc. so I don't think he thinks I want to get serious. I was perfectly happy with the way things were.

After talking this over with another guy friend of mine, he said the first thing that came to mind is that the guy could be developing feelings for me and because I'm dating others, he doesn't want to get hurt.....or at least the thought of me with other guys bothers him that much. Does this seem feasible?

The sex has been inicredible (his words were "I just can't get enough of you"), the non-sex chemistry amazing....we just clicked on pretty much every level. I've wracked my brain and cannot come up with a logical explanation (which is why I'm here). And for the record, I have not been sleeping with anyone else I'm dating, just him (although I'm not sure if he knows that...).

Why am I so bothered if we were just "casually" dating? Because, the truth is.... I really really dig him and could see myself wanting to be with him.... even exclusively down the road (which freaks me out a little because I have no plans to even live with someone, let alone think about something more serious).

Just wondering what others take on this is? Thanks in advance.....
posted by fosho7707 to Human Relations (57 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
You're never going to know until you ask him. Anything we say is mere speculation.
posted by desjardins at 6:00 AM on April 16, 2007

Does this seem feasible?

posted by Partial Law at 6:01 AM on April 16, 2007

I've wracked my brain and cannot come up with a logical explanation (which is why I'm here).

There are no logical explanations when it comes to relationships. It could be any of number of things from the fear of getting to close to you, to a desire on his part to become celibate to try to realign his chakras.
posted by drezdn at 6:02 AM on April 16, 2007

It sounds like he really wasn't OK with you seeing other guys and has developed feelings for you. Now he is just trying to protect himself. If you really like him now is the time to tell him before he convinces himself that those feelings weren't real.
posted by caddis at 6:04 AM on April 16, 2007

Either he's squeeked out that you may be boinking other people, or he's sensed how much you dig him and is backing off. Pick one.

Or Both.
posted by vonliebig at 6:05 AM on April 16, 2007

Sounds like chapter one of a long story!
FWIW I've had irrational jealousies in similar situations. My mere speculation is that he may have found that he was operating a double standard - didn't feel comfortable with you doing the same as he was - and did something to address the cognitive dissonance.
posted by Abiezer at 6:07 AM on April 16, 2007

It sounds like you may have more feelings for him then you're allowing yourself (amazing sex, amazing non-sex, clicking on every level) ... You should have the conversation. Maybe the other women were 'time killers' until you had room in your life for something more.

Non-serious can turn into something real very quickly, there are no rules.
posted by softlord at 6:08 AM on April 16, 2007

This is one of those questions that makes me feel very, very old.

If you like him so much, and he presumably likes you, why not ask him if he wants to be your boyfriend? It's not like this will involve signing a contract obligating you to marry him in the future!

Seriously, it sounds like you guys had a good thing. Why not try to make it a little more permanent than "casual dating"?
posted by myeviltwin at 6:08 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think you guy friend is probably right. He probably doesn't think you are actually interested in him, since despite all your awesome chemistry, you've decided to date other people. What sort of message does that send?
posted by chunking express at 6:09 AM on April 16, 2007 [4 favorites]

If someone is comfortable "seeing other people" when they're the one doing the seeing, that doesn't guarantee that they'll be comfortable when you're doing the seeing.
posted by OmieWise at 6:10 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

I second 'ask him'. It could really be anything- chances of guessing right (you or us) is like winning the lottery. Maybe he's going to join the priesthood? Maybe he got serious with one of his other girlfriends and decided to stop screwing around? The thing is... you just don't know. Some explanations are more reasonalbe than others, but you should just ask.
posted by pissfactory at 6:11 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is it possible that the guy really wasn't dating anyone else, but was just saying he was to keep up with you or make you jealous?

Also, guys will say anything (e.g., "I just can't get enough of you.") to get what they want, (e.g., a girl he thinks is perfect). When it becomes clear they won't get what they want (e.g., that the girl's not perfect, or can't get the perfect girl), what they said isn't worth diddly squat.
posted by milarepa at 6:18 AM on April 16, 2007

Seconding chunking express.

You started out by saying this was a casual thing because you didn't have time for something serious. And yet, when you found time on your hands you went and dated other people instead.

He tries to act nonchalant and tell you it's no big deal, but he does tell you he hopes they aren't "as charming" as him. But clearly, after a couple of weeks you are still dating these other guys so that tells your man, in fact, they are as charming as him. To be quite honest, I think he's doing the right thing backing off and if you like him as much as you say you do, stop dating those other guys and ask this one if he wants something with a little more substance.
posted by like_neon at 6:23 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Does this seem feasible?

Feasible and likely.

Kids these days.
posted by pracowity at 6:26 AM on April 16, 2007

***wow...thanks for all the feedback so quickly! To clarify .... I have *not* been "boinkng" anyone else (lol).

What chunking express said:

He probably doesn't think you are actually interested in him, since despite all your awesome chemistry, you've decided to date other people. What sort of message does that send?

I recall having a conversation with him a few days ago where I told him point blank how much I enjoyed sex with him .... and his words were "I'm at a loss for words.... I had absolutely no idea I made you feel like that" and that he can be "pretty clueless at times to behavior/observations" . Perhaps he doesn't know how much I dig him.....
posted by fosho7707 at 6:27 AM on April 16, 2007

"I don't want to have sex with you..." is his idea of playing an interesting little game where he attempts to determine how much control he can exert in the relationship. A man does not say "I don't want to have sex with you anymore" to a sexy, smart hottie unless she has visible sores and protrusions (I exaggerate). From my perspective, it seems as though he wants something from you, and has decided that this is the way he's going to get it - at the least, he's testing the waters to see how difficult you're going to make it for him to get it (it=you). From what I can tell (this long post, your obsessive worry, your newfound realization that you want to be with him), he is winning the precious little game that he has conjured into existence. As a result, he's exerting his control over you by manipulating your emotions.

This is what people do (more so when they're young, less so when they get older). It's all a game until it isn't anymore.
posted by billysumday at 6:32 AM on April 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

It seems to me like, deep down, you both want to commit to each other. Stop beating around the bush and do it!
posted by infinityjinx at 6:35 AM on April 16, 2007

He was seeing 2 other girls on a semi-regular basis when he met me

The key word there is was, as in it was something he was already doing when he met you.

Presumably the past tense also means that he probably stopped dating them once he realized he liked you.

And then you rejected him by saying you had decided to see other people.

It's real misguided to view these as the same situations. If I was him, I'd stop dating you too. Except I'd also stop being your friend.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 6:38 AM on April 16, 2007

Also, to further clarify, I don't mean that he is trying to manipulate your emotions in a negative way. Rather, he has realized that he likes you. He believes that you might like him more than other men, but he isn't sure. So, instead of talking with you about it, he told you that he doesn't want to have sex with you anymore. Of course he still wants to have sex with you. But he's taking something away from you that he knows only he can provide, and he's waiting to see your reaction. It's like conducting a little experiment. He is hoping that you will give him a positive result - that you will tie yourself up in knots over his decision and ask him to please start having sex again and maybe also could we start dating exclusively? What this done, magnificently, is it has shifted the power from you (dating other men) back to him (which is how the power dynamic in the relationship originated). What a clever boy you have!
posted by billysumday at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2007 [2 favorites]

billysumday: it could be that, or it could simply be self-defense. You like a girl, you find out she's seeing other guys, you might want to distance yourself until you know what the fuck is going on.

It sounds like fosho is sending some insanely mixed signals. The fact that she doesn't seem to understand what she's doing wrong clears up a lot about
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 6:49 AM on April 16, 2007

So why are you talking to us and to that other "guy friend" instead of talking to the guy you like...?
posted by Robert Angelo at 6:51 AM on April 16, 2007

It could also be both - both defensive and manipulative. He is saying to fosho: "I do not desire you unless you desire me greatly." Then he waits to see how she responds - if she claims that she does desire him greatly, then he has won her; if she does not say that, then it was her fault that the budding relationship fell apart. I am trying to think of a way that fosho can reassert her power in the relationship, or at least attempt to get it back to 50/50. Ultimately, if he is strung along enough, he may break. If fosho stops seeing other men, but does not actively pursue the man she likes, and instead waits for him to re-affirm his attraction to her, then I think balance could be restored. Over time, people realize that the only way to really work these things out is to discuss them - until you find that out, though, you have to play these games.
posted by billysumday at 6:59 AM on April 16, 2007

I'm a little confused as to why he doesn't want to be sexually involved with me....we were just casually dating.

Maybe he has a double standard and thinks he should be able to see other people. Or, maybe he's a little bit passive like I tend to be and was hoping you'd ask him to stop seeing other people, or ask if he still is. Look, you've had a casual relationship, you suddenly have more free time, and you've made it more casual by seeing other people. He's noticed that what you have has lost some definition so he's playing it cautious. Can you blame him?

Some people feel out relationships by seeing where the other person will check them. It's part of finding the boundaries and links between yourself and others. You've tested the waters and he's shown you a boundary.
posted by mikeh at 7:05 AM on April 16, 2007

billysumdy I see your point, but I think it's a tad overthinking. Fosho ou told the guy the sex is awesome and... that's it. Only told him about that. Nothing about the great chemistry. Nothing about how he makes her smile. Nothing about how happy she is to hang out with him.

I know this sounds kinda funny, but telling him this and then dating other guys she's not "boinking" tells him that he is being used and he doesn't need to put up with that.

Fosho, you're sending the poor guy mixed messages. Get off the computer and go have a chat with him.

BTW, "something serious" does not have to involve living with someone, not sure where you got that idea!
posted by like_neon at 7:06 AM on April 16, 2007

A. He is falling in love with you and doesn't want to get hurt.

B. He has an STD.

C. He is falling in love with someone else.

D. None of the above.

Both of us went into it not wanting a serious relationship . . . The sex has been incredible (his words were "I just can't get enough of you"), the non-sex chemistry amazing....we just clicked on pretty much every level.

Gosh, why aren't you two serious about each other? That doesn't happen every day.
posted by LarryC at 7:10 AM on April 16, 2007

Tacos, he's seeing three girls, with an explicit agreement that this is "casual" (i.e., dating others is expected). She is not sending mixed signals. She is sending agreed upon signals.

Unfortunately fosho, it seems like the agreement does not fit what he is actually comfortable with. Either this means that he wants to see other people and doesn't want you to see other people, in which case you have to decide whether you are comfortable with that. Or he likes you, is willing to be exclusive, but is afraid to tell you, for whatever reason (like_neo's explanation seems plausible).

In my experience, emotions rarely follow what is fair and equitable, so if he wants to see other people but wants you to be exclusive, that's neither a "bad" feeling nor a reason to be suspicious of his potential boyfriend quality. The question is how he deals with those feelings.

If he has a reaction like some of the people answering here, that somehow this is *your* fault for sending mixed signals, run for the hills. If a guy cannot be honest enough with himself or you to admit that your actions make perfect sense based on the information that he gave you, he is either too immature for a relationship or a serious manipulator. But you are going to have to talk to him about what you would like from the relationship, and what you are flexible about in order to find out.
posted by carmen at 7:14 AM on April 16, 2007

I agree with carmen, but would add: This "getting your power back" idea is silly and counter-productive, but "being honest" is not. If you actually *do* want to see him exclusively, then tell him that. If you do *not* want to see him exclusively, then you are currently doing what you want to do and it does not matter why he backed off; for whatever reason, whether out of good intentions or bad, he can't handle your doing what you want, and that's not a good thing for a relationship.

But it sounds, from what you're saying, that you're not actually doing what you want, which would be to date him exclusively (that is, it sounds like the casual thing was his idea, and you went along with it, rather than vice versa).

Figure out what you want, and *then* talk to the guy about how he fits into that.
posted by occhiblu at 7:28 AM on April 16, 2007

Yikes. Ok, here's a bunch of things that could be reasons for what happened. It could also be none of these things:

1) He has a double standard. Says it's fine for you to date other people, but gets a sour taste in his mouth when you actually do.

2) He actually secretly likes you, but doesn't realize it. So when you started dating other people, he was hurt subconsciously but didn't realize why, and figured that it meant he wasn't sexually interested in you any more.

3) He *knows* that he likes you. You dating other people has hurt him, and he knows it. So it's time to start distancing himself before he gets hurt more.

4) He figures that you are losing interest in him, hence the reason why you are dating other people. So he is doing a pre-emptive strike and becoming the breaker-upper as opposed to the break-uppee.

5) Despite the casualness of the relationship, he still may have gotten used to your more frequent availability in the past. When you weren't available on a Friday *or* Saturday night on the same weekend, he may have decided that it was time to move on to a more reliable bed buddy for his weekend needs, and can't really squeeze you into his weeknights. You mention that he brought up his flexibility when you started seeing each other, but perhaps in the intervening months he has settled into a routine with the various girls in his life, such that they are unavailable on weekends.

Of course, it could also be any of a million other reasons that you'll never find out unless you just ask him. Don't make it a needy thing, just say something like "Out of curiosity, why all of a sudden the 'just friends' thing? As your friend, I'd genuinely like to know what's up in your life that precipitated the change because it didn't seem like anything had changed in our relationship."

And it does sorta seem from your initial posting that you would be interested in pursuing some monogamy with this guy... that certainly doesn't have to mean living with someone, or marriage! In fact, usually that ISN'T what it means at the start. In a normal healthy relationship, any way.
posted by antifuse at 7:33 AM on April 16, 2007

Listen to occhiblu.
posted by klangklangston at 7:41 AM on April 16, 2007

I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he doesn't want anything to do with you anymore. You've been giving it up to him and he hasn't had to do any work for it... When this happens I never look at the girl again as someone who I would want to go out with. Many times guys are looking for sex and women are looking for relationships but say they only want sex. Sometimes its hard for girls to fathom that a guy can have sex with a girl a bunch of times and still not feel any emotional attachment forming, but I think for girls it can be harder. He probably is freaked out and is getting what he needs somewhere else. Sorry if this is not what you want to hear, I hope I'm wrong.
posted by pwally at 7:46 AM on April 16, 2007

pwally: Sure, that might be a possibility, but I can't see how he could have possibly gotten the idea that she was looking for a relationship with him. If anything, the opposite would be true - she was exclusively seeing him, then moved on to dating other people. In theory, she is coming off as LESS interested in him now than she was before.
posted by antifuse at 7:58 AM on April 16, 2007

Which, of course, is very much a possibility as the explanation for why he decided to just be friends.
posted by antifuse at 8:00 AM on April 16, 2007

I was in a similar relationship and in my case it was because he had a long-term girlfriend I didn't know about. I found out by accident and it made a lot of his sketchy behaviour make sense.

If you have feelings for him you should tell him. If he can't take it, then you're better off without him. Trust me.
posted by loiseau at 8:03 AM on April 16, 2007

the simplest explanation is usually the correct one -- i'd go with:

"he thought 'casual' meant he could get to sleep with multiple partners, but when he envisions you getting fucked by some other dude, suddenly 'casual' doesn't seem that cool anymore."

it wouldn't be the first time. welcome to the male psyche.
posted by modernnomad at 8:13 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Maybe he figures someone else will be going to the well and he doesn't want sloppy seconds.

Or he found a more reliable source for his casual sex since you weren't around when he wanted some.
posted by konolia at 8:17 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Tacos, he's seeing three girls, with an explicit agreement that this is "casual" (i.e., dating others is expected). \

This is not what she wrote. She wrote:
He was seeing 2 other girls on a semi-regular basis when he met me
Note her use of the past tense. Maybe she wrote it inaccurately, but I'm just trusting her words.

But even if you ignore that fact, there's a difference between a pre-existing condition and actively seeking a new one. most people do not seek out new, additional relationships, unless they aren't particularly satisfied with their existing ones.

As such, it is a complete and total mixed signal. You're great in every way, but I have to look for somebody else? WTF is that.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 8:28 AM on April 16, 2007

Male here.

This is pretty easy really.

He was seeing you and some other girls casually (my inclination says because you didn't have enough time for him, but that's a guess), having great sex with you, and going out of his way to tell you about that.

You get some more free time on your hands, so instead of ramping things up with him, you go out and find a couple of other new boyfriends.

You've wounded his male pride and hurt his feelings, that's all. His ego has suffered, because you didn't come running up to Big Daddy when you found yourself more available.

Now note I'm not saying you did this on purpose, or even saying if this is a legitimate response on his part or not. That's another discussion.

But this is clearly what has happened. Anything more complicated, and you are overthinking it.

You hurt his feelings. Go tell him how much you enjoy being with him, how great the sex is, how you click on every level, and you're not banging any of the "new boyfriends".

Basically, tell him what you told us.

And to echo those above... what the fuck, fosho? You have this guy you mesh with so well, and your first response is to go out and get some new boyfriends?

God this guy is so great, we really get along, the sex is incredible, I think he's awesome and sweet and we totally get each other. I should start seeing someone else.

Kids today. You are all on crack. I know this.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:31 AM on April 16, 2007 [4 favorites]

C. He is falling in love with someone else.

I would say this is entirely possible-- it might not be about you at all-- except you say, "I am 100% certain he is not getting serious with either one of them, nor is he seeing anyone else." In which case either you're wrong and he is seeing someone he's falling for or he's jealous of your other guys.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:38 AM on April 16, 2007

I'm male and have been in the same exact position you are. I was in an "open relationship" or whatever you want to call it with a girl. She was actively dating other people and I wasn't because, well, I'm really picky and lazy. Anyway, I eventually found somebody I really like and suddenly my primary relationship came to a grinding halt.

The first date I went on with this new girl, I came home to find my girlfriend crying her eyes out in bed and talking about how I obviously liked the new girl more than I liked her, etc. The problem was, none of this was true and I was madly in love with the main girl. She wasn't willing to give up her other relationships, though, and things ended up falling apart even though we were in love with each other and very compatible.

So, I guess my point is-- don't make my same mistake. Several months after we broke up she and I started talking again and she told me that she finally realized how silly she'd been to insist on this other relationship that she knew was going nowhere when things between us were so good and I realized that I was really into her and should've known it then. My pursuing the other relationship was, as people above said, more of a test, at least subconsciously.

If you guys are both retarded about each other, just admit it and try to run with it. If you tell him how you feel and he rejects you, oh well, you're pretty much in the same spot you are now except with possibly a slightly more bruised ego but also some closure.
posted by atomly at 9:42 AM on April 16, 2007

IANIACRWTGOAO (I am not in a casual relationship with this guy or any other), but it seems like he probably either started to have feelings for you or started to be jealous (maybe because he developed feelings for you) and decided to cut his losses before he gets attached.

At any rate, I would echo what others have said and just talk to him about it. Although, from what you said, it doesn't seem like you're invested enough in him to broach it. If you aren't into him enough to confront the situation and then maybe date him for real, why bother?
posted by sneakin at 10:05 AM on April 16, 2007

It seems like you're multi-dating out of an economy of fun/pleasure; it seems like he is/was multi-dating out of an economy of indecision; it seems like he's figured this out before you. You've made the decision easier (although still, perhaps, difficult) for him.

If he was including you in his multi-dating out of an economy of fun/pleasure, he wouldn't have closed shop. It's not economical.

The signs you have given to him almost universally read as you either having a different root pretense for the relationship or being unstable and/or immature. In either case, I, Tacos Are Pretty Great and most of his friends would likely advise dropping you like a rock.

You're bothered for the same reason; the common pretense you thought existed wasn't really there. Now, something you enjoyed and had gotten used to has been upturned by this discovery. It stinks. I hear ya. But it happens.

From what you've written, I doubt the "telling him how you really feel" approach will work, because you've essentially already told him how you really feel or at least what you've told us you really feel. If you don't really want to pursue an exclusive relationship with him, don't pretend to because a bunch of us dorks on the internet have seen a few too many romantic comedies.
posted by pokermonk at 10:09 AM on April 16, 2007

i think he dumped you. enjoy your other boyfriends and move on.
posted by thinkingwoman at 10:15 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

He's into you. You guys need to talk.
posted by matildaben at 10:17 AM on April 16, 2007

Tacos: perhaps you should try reading her words instead of trusting them. You cut off

"and I am 100% certain he is not getting serious with either one of them, nor is he seeing anyone else."

The sentence taken as a whole implies that the other relationships were in place when they started seeing each other, and continue unchanged in the present.

But even if you ignore that fact, there's a difference between a pre-existing condition and actively seeking a new one.

Where on earth are you getting this? If the conditions of the relationship are "it's okay to see other people" then that doesn't mean the number of other people has to remain constant for either partner, especially if one starts at 0.

The thing is that casual relationships are emotional minefields on both sides. Without a great deal of honesty (that is, with the self and with the partner), elaborate dances emerge around trying to maintain equivalent emotional (dis)attachment. Blaming fosho's current situation on her is ridiculous not only because both sides are being unclear with each other, but also because the situation was prompted by his mixed signals (i.e. it's okay if we date other people--whoops, not for you!).
posted by carmen at 10:24 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Unfortunately fosho, it seems like the agreement does not fit what he is actually comfortable with...

... nor does it seem to fit what fosho herself is actually comfortable with.

To me the 'dating others' problem is secondary to the fact that people aren't honestly communicating how they feel to each other (or even to themselves?). So I'm nth-ing the 'talk to him as openly as you talked to us' suggestion. I wish you luck.

Given the lack of communication, the "his fault/her fault" comments seem even more pointless than usual.
posted by foobario at 11:01 AM on April 16, 2007

If I had an ounce of feelings and was in the situation described above, I'd be bailing quicker than I could say "let's be friends."

You will have to ask him straight up. Only way to tell.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:29 AM on April 16, 2007

***You guys are awesome - I knew I would get brutal honesty from you guys which is what I need.

Apparently I am a dumbass which is odd because I prefer being a smartass, lol. Amazingly, I am not on crack, lol.... maybe I should start.

Why was I seeing other guys? A couple of reasons..... #1) Right from the start it was made known that neither one of was looking for something serious (we met online, lol, and we both had that in our profiles). I've always been told that when a man says "he doesn't want a serious r'ship" he means "I don't want a serious r'ship". So I figured a r'ship isn't going to happen so I *should* be dating others. #2) I figured if I wasn't dating anyone else, it might scare him off.... as in "geez, she isn't dating anyone else, she must be serious about me, I don't want anything serious.... AAAAAaaack". I wasn't *trying* to send mixed messages in the LEAST... I've been strung along before just like everyone else and it hurts --- a lot.

At the start of this, I truly WAS NOT wanting anything serious and had been casually dating here and there for the last couple of years with no problem (when I met him there was no one else). But then I met him.... (sigh) Our first date we sat at a bar and talked for 5 hours... and the only reason we left was because it was closing time.

Yeah.... I'm an idiot on a number of different levels and I take all the blame in this one. As scared as I am, I will have to have a talk with him. I know there are no guarantees and chances are I've screwed this up beyond repair... but I would rather spill my guts and have him know how I really feel than wonder the rest of my life "what if.....".

Thanks for all the feedback... you guys ROCK!

~ fosho <------ aka dumbass, suffering from cranial rectal inversion
posted by fosho7707 at 11:35 AM on April 16, 2007

There are two important rules for any open relationship:

1. Each person needs to know themselves. You need to know what your own expectations are, what you can and can't deal with, wether this is irrational or not. If you have an irrational issue and it's not addressed, this causes massive problems. This would be the double standard situation.

2. You need to be open about all this. The challenge and beauty with these sorts of relationships is that there are absolutely no predefined boundaries or rules. You create your own, tailored to the individuals involved. This is a process that can't happen without openness and honesty.

So, all the speculation in this thread is useless. You need to talk to him about it. Even if you are breaking up, talking it over is a useful thing.

Real world example: My last relationship ended over a period of a couple weeks, during which we talked a lot. The day we finally put it to rest was one of the most purely affectionate moments of our relationship, because we still cared for each other, and had put the effort into understanding the reasons and reactions on both sides. We get along very well, and breaking up didn't change that.

We're not, of course, reflective of the average relationship. Not everyone can deal with things in the same way, but you don't know how you can deal with it until you talk it over. Everyone's different.
posted by Arturus at 11:40 AM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Don't take this so hard. Being clueless is par for the course in sexual/romantic relationships. I'd talk to him quick!
posted by Ironmouth at 12:23 PM on April 16, 2007

fosho: All of us are dumbasses when it comes to affairs of the heart.

Love is like Global Thermonuclear War. The only way to win, is to not play.
posted by Ynoxas at 12:53 PM on April 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

i've dated girls casually and simply just felt like it was time to move on despite how much fun things were. It's just human nature, sometimes your mind just says 'okay look either shit or get off the pot with this one' out of the blue.
posted by ZackTM at 1:53 PM on April 16, 2007

oh and PS, I don't think its irrational to try dating other people when you had more free time. He's dating other people and trying not to get attached, why is it wrong for you to do the same thing?

anyways, since you said you revealing you were dating other guys made him upset, i bet he likes you too.
posted by ZackTM at 2:01 PM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

You're not an idiot, it's not all your fault. You're right, you were taking him at his word, and that's a good thing. You just also need to remember to figure out what you want, and factor that into the equation, too.

Good luck!
posted by occhiblu at 2:01 PM on April 16, 2007 [1 favorite]

Seeing as how you've gotten the whole gamut of responses, it's obvious that your appropriate course of action depends a lot on your personal outlook. If you're cynical, call it quits; there's plenty of fish. If you really care enough to take a risk, you should tell someone (if not him, at least a friend who knows you and can give better advice than the internets). Personally, I'd rather make a fool of myself and fall flat on my face than believe the shallow motives suggested by some of the commenters above. But it sounds complicated, so who knows. Makes life interesting, right?
posted by Chris4d at 5:36 PM on April 16, 2007

He seems to want a full bottle and a drunk wife.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:33 PM on April 16, 2007

My friend and I call it The Tango. It's the most mindblowing thing you could ever watch. David Attenborough should make a documentary. Funnily enough the girl who opened my eyes to it unbeknownst to her is aptly nicknamed The Beast. And she gets 99% if not more of the guys she has persued with it. It works just like a tango she makes her intentions very very clear and then proceeds to ignore them, then they persue her (aptly named The Beast remember) and so it begins endlessly countlessly without fail... fucking amazing. Anyway sounds like that's what you were doing but it got fucked up somewhere along the line and you're both retreating but it is somebodies turn to advance. Simply that and nothing more.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 8:08 PM on April 16, 2007 [4 favorites]

Oh, and don't forget to update us on how things turn out!
posted by antifuse at 1:45 AM on April 17, 2007

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