He’s just not that into you – hitting the brick wall

My friend over at Misadventuresat30something.wordpress.com will get this. And I apologise for totally nicking your expression but I have just experienced the brick wall.

So I started dating this guy a couple of weeks ago. I got the ball rolling by messaging him on the dating site we’re both on after noticing he’d ‘winked’ at me a couple of weeks before (I know I’m a slow starter – I’d only just decided to pay subscription due to a hot pre-black Friday deal).

Anyway, we met up for a drink in a pub and chatted and seemed to get on OK. I gave him a lift home and we kissed. So far so good. This was a Thursday and he is also a single parent but it was his child free weekend and it was child free for me too so I suggested we meet up for brunch and a walk in the park on the Sunday morning.

That also happened and we spent about three and half hours together, had a pleasant walk in the sunshine and a lovely kiss goodbye in the car park at which point I told him he could ask me out for the next date as I felt like I’d done all the running.

I then proceeded to wait four entire days for any kind of contact from him at which point he texted surprised that I hadn’t contacted him first. I then prompted him to ask me out at which point he said “Oh I forgot I was supposed to be asking” and I had to give him my available dates again. He asked if I’d like to meet for another daytime coffee date and I replied “Yes, that would be nice – when and where? X”. His reply? “I’ve asked you out, do I have to think of where too? x”.

I then suggested a lovely country pub I know for lunch and he didn’t respond for a while so I panicked and said “alternatively can stick to a coffee – just couldn’t think of anywhere except Costa!”

Anyway, the upshot is that we met up for coffee/breakfast in his town again (which is close to mine but just a bit classier) and I got to ask him some things that had been on my mind, like for him to express what he’s really looking for in a woman right now and whether or not he’s dating anyone else. His answers were good enough (he said he wouldn’t have time to date anyone else!) and I went away that day feeling like things were progressing.

We had another date lined up (which I should have been on right now as I write this blog in fact) and we were both about to embark upon full single parental weekend duties so he warned me not to expect any quick replies to texts over the weekend.

In the event I ended up sending him a brief one on the Saturday evening telling him I’d been swimming with the boys and out to see our local football team play a home game and asking what he’d been up to with his children.

Tumbleweed.

He didn’t come back to me until 10.20am on  Monday morning and only to say “Hope you had a good weekend. Put tree up yesterday and had manic weekend. x”. Then in the evening (this is yesterday) he texted to say he’d be away in another UK town about a 2 hour drive away during the day today and wasn’t sure until when. He asked when my next free day/night would be and I replied “OK. Saturday night”.

I then asked him to clarify whether tonight would still be a possibility as I really value my child free time when the kids are with their dad and he answered “It is but I really won’t know until tomorrow. So if you want to fill that with something definite I understand. Know the value of that time so would hate you to hang around for me on the off chance and will understand. Xx”.

I left it then until I got home from work today and sent him the following message at 2.15pm “As of right now I am still free tonight so let me know whether you’re going to be around or not. X”. That was six hours ago – it’s now just after 8 at night and he still hasn’t replied.

Frankly I am pretty pissed off and disappointed with his behaviour. OK so he may be the most technophobic (but no, he has an iPhone) or laid back person in the world but leaving someone hanging like this is just rude and disrespectful and lacks any kind of empathy.

My sister says “cut him loose, he’s already altering your sense of self worth” and she’s right. It doesn’t matter what his take on it is – I have a very strong need for an emotional connection with someone and I don’t feel like I know him, trust him, I feel like he’s got a massive barrier up – I feel like he is emotionally unavailable to me and that’s just not good enough. I get the distinct impression that he isn’t really interested in getting to know me – I don’t feel like I can be myself around him and when I start talking about myself I feel like his attention drifts which makes me feel not good enough and I know that’s not true.

Brick wall men. Why is this so common place right now and are there any guys out there who want to connect with a woman on a real, emotional, human level?

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Knowing what you want, and getting what you need

I was feeling pretty sorry for myself this time last week. A Tuesday afternoon – I had a long, dark teatime of the soul which involved me weeping in front of my kids and having to tell them once again that the reason for my tears was simply “life”.

Surprisingly though, I think I may have very quickly scrolled through the stages of grief coming out the other side not too much the worse for wear. It may have even helped to find out what I did because it has allowed me to let go of something which, up to this point, felt like a defining moment – a relationship with someone too good to be true who I couldn’t quite let go of. It’s a lot easier to let go of someone who turns out to be deeply flawed.

I actually looked him up on Meetup and copied a photograph from a recent event he attended which shows him looking over-weight and unattractive. My sister said “he was hardly God’s gift” – I said “God’s gift comes in all shapes and sizes and it was his way of being within a relationship that made him the perfect man”. Knowing what I know now about what was going on in his head in the background throughout our relationship means that he wasn’t God’s gift in any respect so why waste any more time or words on the man?

I checked out the discount situation for Match and lo and behold they were heavily discounting a month’s membership at the knockdown rate of £4.99. Despite my misgivings, I couldn’t turn down such a bargain.

It was interesting to see what kind of contact I’d missed out on with my free (read: entirely locked down) profile. Winks and favourites and messages from the most oddball bunch of guys imaginable. Twenty-somethings, people from far flung lands, people you wouldn’t want to bump into in a dark alley…

I waited until someone vaguely attractive sent a wink then messaged a brief hello “I’m ready to date again if you are?”. (It’s tough knowing what to say – I need to be better than “Hi” but spending ages crafting a thoughtful message doesn’t seem worth the stacked odds that you will be ignored and left hanging.)

He came back to me quickly “How would you like to be fine wined, dined and thoroughly seduced by me? J x”. I thought, blimey, no beating about the bush there, and followed up with a simple “why not?”.

The next thing that happened: tumbleweed. After 24 hours I told him “I assume this means you’re either married or you got a better offer”. To which he then responded, “no, not married, just been busy. When did you last have sex?”. AHEM!

To cut a medium length story short, the conversation descended to him pretty much downgrading his offer from fine wining and dining to just straight sex.

I said thanks but no thanks and swiftly moved on. I mean I miss sex, I think about it a lot, sometimes at work I have to read and assess some pretty graphic stuff and it can send me into meltdown (ha ha!) but having said that, I’m not about to hook up with a stranger I met on the internet for sex. If I wanted to do that, I’d be on Plenty of Fish!

I took another chance, I messaged another man – someone who seemed a little more down to earth – not spectacularly good looking but what I’d call “just normal”. Kind of what I’m looking for in a man right now: just normal, honest, kind, decent. Of course he needs to have a great sense of humour and a whole load of other qualities too but there has to be a baseline.

On the plus side he lives in the next town over, he’s a couple of years older than me which is preferable, he seems to be gainfully employed and he has children just a couple of years older than mine which is important to me because I think it really helps to be at a similar life stage to your potential partner. Someone with adult children has moved past where I’m at right now and someone with no kids is never going to fully appreciate the rollercoaster I find myself on.

We had a brief chat on Match and he continued to seem normal, so I invited him out on a date and he said yes. As far as I know we are meeting up for drinks this Thursday (although I’m well aware that this is internet dating and he could drop out and disappear at any time, before or after [hopefully not during 🙂 ].

So watch this space.

 

Black mirror

Have you ever had an experience that you believed passionately represented one specific thing in your life only to have a black mirror held up to show you a darker reality?

To be fair I’ve never been cheated on (to my knowledge) so I am probably simply experiencing what a lot of people have gone through and there’s nothing new or shocking about it. But there is for me.

It started when I decided to place a picture of myself as a vampire into the shared photo album I had with my ex – M – on Halloween. The album was empty since he deleted everything else in it so I commented “Happy Halloween from a ghost”.

To cut a long story short this prompted a text conversation which followed a pattern he has established since he dumped me back in March. He is out of contact for 6 weeks or a couple of months then he contacts me and quickly turns the conversation to sex.

I let him visit me a couple of times over the summer. To be fair I wasn’t over him at all – he’d been the best partner I’d ever had albeit for a very short four month time span. I would have let him come over a lot more than he chose to. Then he went quickly cold, told me that it all felt wrong and wasn’t for him after all and disappeared.

This time he did the usual, ask for pics, ask to come over and “cuddle” me all night long. He also told me, when I asked, that he’d had sex with a “friend with benefits who is no more” six weeks previously then became evasive on the subject. I was more conflicted this time than ever before. When you realise that you are feeding a toxic cycle and chances are you won’t even really enjoy it, it makes the whole thing a lot less appealing. But I acceded because, well I guess I thought I still loved him.

I discussed it with friends the following day and decided to back out but before I got the chance to message him, he beat me to the punch. I had another contrite message taking back all the assurances he’d given the night before and telling me “I really have to get you out of my head. It’s wrong of me and unfair to keep contacting you like this once in a while. I will delete all those lovely photos you sent me and also delete your number.”

I was upset and angry despite the fact that it sounds like he is being self aware here – he has done this before three or four times this year and it has really messed with my head. The worst thing was that he blocked my number so I couldn’t even have the last say.

I then did something crazy – looked up his previous ex on Facebook and sent her a long unsolicited message telling her what I’d experienced with him and asking if she had experienced anything similar.

It was a risk – she could have been angry with me but she wasn’t. She responded “You described almost exactly what happened to me” and gave me her number.

I called her the following day and we talked for two hours. We both found out some shocking truths. During my relationship with him (which started up just six short weeks after he dumped her completely out of the blue after a loving, seemingly perfect two year relationship) he was constantly texting her trying to persuade her to become a friend with benefits. She gave me specific dates and this was happening during what I thought were really special times for us as a couple: a romantic weekend away; Valentines; the point at which he first told me he loved me…

This whole year she says he has continued to be in touch with no more than a two or three week gap which is a huge contrast to the almost half hearted effort he has made to keep things going with me – maybe I just made it too easy for him, but then again she played a lot bigger role in his life, supporting him through chemotherapy (he dumped her after he got the all clear).

The way she described it he sounds almost obsessed with her although he told me that he had popped round to see her once after their break up to help with a job in her house and then had no more to do with her. This obsession does not, I hasten to add, mean that he wants her back – he just seems to want to keep her on the string and continually try to wear her down so she’ll sleep with him again.

You can imagine how I feel. Not only was I well and truly downgraded to a fuck buddy – one who got to have no say in when or how often, or to what standard – but I wasn’t even important to him when we were together – he clearly never intended to have a long term relationship with me or treat what we had seriously. That hurts like a fucking dagger in the heart. It makes me feel de-humanised, less than.

His ex told me that up to the point where she received my message she had always had a question mark over the possibility of getting back together with him – exactly as I had. She said he was the perfect partner to her – never put a foot wrong – and even when he dumped her his entire family were dumbfounded and his mum was angry with him.

Now she knows what he’s been up to and how he seems to have set up a Meet Up group so he can take his pick of potentially vulnerable, lonely women that join up (and apparently already has started a new relationship) she told me she thinks he’s a complete piece of work, a scumbag.

I can’t help but feel not good enough except everyone I’ve spoken to, including her, has told me it’s not me, it’s him. He obviously has issues with controlling all of us like some kind of back catalogue (his third ex from years ago is probably the “friend with benefits” who he described to me as someone who knows him better than anyone).

Both his ex and the first friend I spoke to about this told me that they would put money on him unblocking my number at some point and when he does I have this message to give him:

M, you are not the man I thought you were. You have been playing a cruel game and you should be ashamed of yourself for playing fast and loose with other human hearts. I feel sorry for any woman who gets involved with you – I feel sorry for G & J & S (and the children caught in the crossfire). How dare you portray yourself as some kind of perfect partner whilst sneaking behind your “lover’s” back to fuck someone else. Every nice, kind, romantic, thoughtful thing you ever did is tainted. I am left with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth. 

One thing is certain, keep going the way you are and you’ll never be happy.