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Sometimes men confuse me

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cayc posted 3/24/2014 07:57 AM

Apologies in advance for the blanket nature of this statement. Really it's men in the dating world that confuse me.

A few weeks ago I reactivated my OLD profile. Saw a guy, emailed him, he responded immediately and we spent a fun week emailing, texting, calling. Lots in common. I wasn't sure I would like him romantically, but it was nice little bounce back after dodging all that napalm. So we schedule a date, and then the day before it, he texts that he had a long conversation with his ex-girlfriend and decided to get back together with her. Awesome dude. So glad that talking to me helped clarify things for you So I just said, ok, good luck, and that I hoped his work thing had gone well (b/c we'd been discussing it a lot over the week).

This morning I wake up to a rather long email from him he sent late last night. And I don't know what to make of it. He thanked me for being cool, told me I was an awesome person, filled me in on what happened at work (with pictures!!!!) and then asked about me? About how my one of my hobbies is going? How my dog is? And so on.

What? What do I do with this? My first thought is he's fishing because his reunion was short lived. Ok, well, sure. Maybe, but wouldn't he say if that were the case? But if he's really with exgf still, this email is kind of inappropriate. It's not like we'd even met in person so why reach out with such a fulsome email .... ugh, I'm just not sure how to respond. What think SI?

wonderingbull posted 3/24/2014 08:09 AM

As a guy who is not trying to confuse you I'll simply say this...

You=Backup plan


GotPlayed posted 3/24/2014 08:14 AM

On my very short stint into dating I went out with a woman as friends to start (I posted about it here). Before our second date we both realized I wasn't ready and she found someone. I had explicitly mentioned that if she found someone before I was ready she should go for it. She told me and we parted on very good terms.

Having said that, when parting she displayed proper boundaries, by telling me it would be inappropriate for us to continue contact since she was pursuing a relationship with somebody else and we had a romantic intent ourselves. I will always thank her and remember that as an example of proper boundaries.

So I think it's ok to ask him point blank. Something like: On our last letter you mentioned you were getting back to your girlfriend. Wouldn't she feel it would be a little inappropriate to continue contact with people you met online dating?

It's possible that he just has no boundaries and this is innocuous. But we do know where this behavior can lead, as we have more experience (that we didn't ask for) on where that behavior leads (i.e. Don't become an OW).

I would not waste time in attempting to teach him boundaries but I would enforce my own.

Ready_to_run posted 3/24/2014 08:17 AM

I would just ask him point blank. Did things not work out with the ex-gf?

Even if he says no I would still be leary as ex's tend to not go away very fast these days with so many more ways of communicating and staying in contact.

gahurts posted 3/24/2014 08:31 AM

OK I can be naive and I admit it. To me it sounds like he really liked the friendship you were developing and is trying to maintain that. IMO unless he actually starts saying inappropriate things then he is just chatting with a friend who he found easy and interesting to talk about. You have a topic of interest that you had been discussing, his work project. If he is sharing that and some other stuff and not being inappropriate then I really do not see anything wrong with that.

I have many women friends and I have never crossed the line with any of them. You just had one date and unless you both just went crazy (I'm not asking for details or TMI here), I'm sure it can be written off as a casual get together of two friends. He was upfront on the girlfriend angle and now just wants to keep together as friends or continue building a friendship. The romantic part has been set aside - at least in his mind. It sounds like you were not really that interested to start with and certainly not invested.

IDK, I see nothing wrong with allowing a friendship to develop. I know others disagree. I would maintain a strong boundary in that this is a friendship, nothing more. If he crosses that line then you know what to look for. And if he does come across as you being Plan B then kick him to the curb immediately and don't look back. But to me, right now that seems premature.

cayc posted 3/24/2014 09:15 AM

Well hrmz. I just can't get past how strange it was to get this email. If I had gotten it immediately after, then maybe it wouldn't confuse me as much, but a few weeks later? To me that definitely equals subtext (that as per usual I can sense is there, but can't for the life of me figure out what it means given how no nonsense and direct I am lol).

So I agree wonderingbull, it felt a little back up plan-y given that it's been a bit since the "sorry, I'm getting back together with the exgf" text. And that it came late at night.

I'm thinking my response will be to respond nicely but include that I appreciated him being upfront about reuniting with the ex, and that I'm assuming that is still the case so that since my interest in him is not purely platonic, it wouldn't be right to keep chatting. But that if he finds himself free again to let me know.

I'm not offended by the concept of post-D relationships circling the drain a bit to finally be done, afterall, think napalm & how even with that I had to go through it more than once to get it to stick. But I don't want to be hanging around while it's happening.

gonnabe2016 posted 3/24/2014 09:23 AM

But that if he finds himself free again to let me know.

I'm not so sure that I'd include this part. He already brushed you off once because of his ex and this almost sounds as if you're giving him permission to continue bouncing back and forth, kwim?

Did he even address the ex thing in that latest email? The last you heard from him was that he was getting back with his ex.....and then he sends you a message a few weeks later and doesn't allude to that situation at all?

norabird posted 3/24/2014 09:43 AM

I don't think you need to respond to him at all frankly. Seems like cricket time to me.

SBB posted 3/24/2014 09:54 AM

You=Backup plan

This. Sorry but if he finds himself free again please do not contact me. I will never again be with someone who has the habit of having backup plans. They are the tadpoles of affair toads, no? No prince here. Move along.


cayc posted 3/24/2014 09:59 AM

I'm going to respond somehow, but am still mulling it over. I'm not a fan of crickets for people who haven't done anything wrong to me, after all he cancelled the date and said why in a timely manner.

I just thought this email was odd. It was written as if we were friends or something, instead of OLD pen pals for a few weeks.

SBB posted 3/24/2014 10:16 AM

I'm not a fan of crickets for people who haven't done anything wrong to me.

Me too - unless they are strangers on the internet. Especially if that stranger has an on/off GF and is trying to either recruit me as a backup plan or an OW.

Whilst I have zero problem with someone trying to get back together with an X I do have a problem with anyone who thinks continuing comms with someone they met on a dating site whilst trying to reconcile with an X is in any way OK.

Does his GF know he's chatting to someone he met on a dating site? If he's just broken up again and is already trawling do you think maybe he might have a fear of being alone?

You really see no red flags here? Unless I'm missing something these two red flags are burning my eyebrows off.

cmego posted 3/24/2014 10:24 AM

I think he saw how awesome you handled his "thanks, but no thanks" and is thinking…"hmmmm. That woman is kinda cool. This may have been a mistake."

I do think there is a little bit of wiggle room for people who "come back". It showed a lot of character to let go with dignity and grace, and he sees that. I also think (men especially…sorry for the blanket statement) come 'back'. I don't know why, but it has happened with every singe relationship I have had post D. Dating post D is confusing for everyone.

But, you are no one's back up plan. I would point blank ask what he wants. "Since we met and were potentially going to date, if you are with your exgf, I'm not interested in pursuing this any further…." type email.

cayc posted 3/24/2014 10:24 AM

You really see no red flags here?

Yes, I do. That's why I posted, because I'm trying to figure out how best to respond. I've never in my life dealt with a situation like this so I have no instinctual response. Hence the asking for others' thoughts.

EDIT: I guess I should add that I have this weird habit of meeting people via OLD that I probably would eventually cross paths with IRL. This guy is one such so that affects my decision calculus.

[This message edited by cayc at 10:35 AM, March 24th, 2014 (Monday)]

7yrsflushed posted 3/24/2014 10:25 AM

Guys are not really that confusing. You are making this more complicated than it needs to be. We, guys, are actually pretty "see through" if you take a step back and really look at us. Wonderingbull got it right in his response. This guy broke off a date with you and told you he was getting back with his girlfriend. Then the next day he sends you a long email to keep you on the hook but never mentions his girlfriend. He's trying to set you up as a plan B, "side piece", future date, whatever you want to call it. Sure he could be multi dating but why is he contacting you if he has a girlfriend. You are just getting to know someone and they drop the girlfriend thing on you, red flag city. Take him at face value or at some point you will get the "but CAYC you knew I had a girlfriend" speech.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 10:27 AM, March 24th (Monday)]

SBB posted 3/24/2014 11:02 AM

Ugh. Super polite people - I'll never understand them.

I vote crickets.

If you're afflicted with super politeness then perhaps this. Then block him.

I really appreciated your honesty about your situation. I am not at all comfortable about continuing to communicate given you either have a GF or are very recently single again. I hope you understand.

I wish you all the best for the future.

If/when he responds asking you to change your mind: This will be my last response to you. I am not comfortable communicating with someone either in a relationship, or very recently single.

Crickets feels like the cleaner response. If you do bump into him you could brush it off with a "you had a GF, dude - what did you expect? Haha hee har <<that's a fake laugh, BTW.

[This message edited by SBB at 11:03 AM, March 24th (Monday)]

hummingbird8 posted 3/24/2014 11:28 AM

I agree with those who say do not send anything back. He wants you as a back up, at least until the next person comes. It's not confusing and if you say contact me if you are free it will look desperate. In fact I think pretty much sending anything back looks desperate. Teach people how to treat you. It's not confusing. There is no subtext. It's not a possibility he is now wondering if he did the right thing.

cmego posted 3/24/2014 11:30 AM

To me, if a guy "comes back"…then I give him 1/2 a chance and I'm hyper aware.

I probably blew off a good guy or two when I was trying to figure out my fSO, because I was "in heat" and could see little else. When xSO came back the second time, I DID give him a 1/2 chance. When I could see that it was the same song, just a different dance…I ended it. Then my eyes were probably more open to the opportunities around me. I needed to "be done" before I could really be ready to let someone else into my heart.

Same with my exH. He got one solid chance, when he blew it…then I walked and didn't look back.

People are human and do make mistakes. Sometimes you need to go back to an ex to just…confirm…that they are in fact, an asshole.

But, how many of us here were screwing up a lot of things in the beginning, totally know we didn't treat someone well, and would probably be a completely different person if healed and given a second chance on a good person? I'm just sayin'….

Totally up to cayc.

Jduff posted 3/24/2014 11:57 AM

Would I respond? No. Not at all.

Why? Because this...

This morning I wake up to a rather long email from him he sent late last night. And I don't know what to make of it. He thanked me for being cool, told me I was an awesome person, filled me in on what happened at work (with pictures!!!!) and then asked about me? About how my one of my hobbies is going? How my dog is? And so on.

is a conversation he should be having with his GF if he was really reconciling with her.

Find guys who have moved on already, because YOU deserve their full attention. Not this waffling bullcrap.

InnerLight posted 3/24/2014 12:27 PM

I had a guy do this with me and I felt angry because I really felt like he was setting me up on the side. I was insulted. We had emailed a bunch, then met, and then he wrote me a long letter late at night saying he was getting back together with his GF and then all the fun things we could do as just friends.

Damn it pissed me off royally. Who the hell did he think I was to be OK with this little side dish designation? I let him know how insulting this was to hear and I never heard from him again. Good riddance.

Nice guy + sketchy boundaries = nothing but trouble.

If I was more neutral in tone would say, 'thank you for your message. Since you told me you were back with your GF I would prefer not to be in contact as it seems inappropriate. I wish you all the best.'

I am not naturally someone quick to anger, but I was breathing fire when I wrote back to the guy who pulled this one. I guess it triggered the infidlity shit. When my xH started this 'just friends' crap with the OW I'm sure it started 'innocently' as in we are just sharing common interests. I felt like this guy was setting me up to be an OW. Perhaps unconsciously rather than deviously. But holy shit, lets get real here. This is fucked up behavior.

ProbableIceCream posted 3/24/2014 18:05 PM

I know crickets means silence, but I think it would be funnier to literally say [crickets].

Like your ex tries to pull you into an unwanted discussion and instead of ignoring him/her you just say "[crickets]". :)

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