For example, I like consistent contact. Especially if we have been in constant contact for the month we have been dating. As we are "leveling out", the contact pulled back from him and I didn't handle it well. I felt rejection when, for him, it seemed more normal. I'm finding out that the consistent contact (say…a text or two during the day, the next date planned and a phone call planned) is very important for me to feel "secure".
We have another major hurdle coming; t he will probably have to relocate for his career. Part of me has been wanting to just say, "Screw it! This is too hard." and part of me wants to see what is going to happen.
We are trying to work through it, but I wondered how others handled this? Does it feel wrong to hit a "communication style" issue at a month in? Or is it good that we seem to want to work through it…?
Since I really haven't had a very successful dating experience yet, I have no idea what is…normal.
[This message edited by cmego at 9:06 AM, May 24th (Saturday)]
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings
Ride things out and enjoy the time you have- honestly then you can see where you are both at and make the best choice for you and him.
It is one month and not to minimize but moving and weighing a relationship may not be a matter of how he feels about you but doing what is best for him.
Good luck and just let things naturally fall.
[This message edited by fireproof at 7:33 PM, May 23rd (Friday)]
Express what you need. If it’s not met, express it again. If it still isn’t there, walk away.
You know what you need, so ask for it. If the relationship is right, it'll be there.
Good luck w this one!
Throughout this mess I've done a lot of reading on personality/behavior/brain chemistry/fMRIs/whether true change is possible/Jung/etc. I know the relationship experts always talk about how important communication is, and I believe that it is, but I think even more important than that is first choosing a partner with whom you're compatible.
I also think that a lot of people who go through therapy including most BSs, especially those on this site who tend to use this forum as a type of talk therapy, elevate communication (since that's what therapy focuses on) and minimize the importance of inherent compatibility. ("We can work through anything!" -- not so much, unless you want to live in a state of constant frustration as people make promises to change and then, biologically, just can't.)
The truth is that people really don't change their fundamental personalities. We're born with it and, barring some extreme event, that's how we are our entire lives. Change is possible for a short period of time, but long-lasting permanent change is pretty rare.
Married: 11 years, no kids
Character is destiny
He is almost the perfect guy for me. Absolutely everything I've ever looked for. Former pro athlete in the sport I played in college, just finished his PhD in a field similar to my father's field. Very cute. Devoted Dad. Divorced almost 3 years and hasn't dated at all in 3 years to focus on his PhD. Amicable divorce. He is 4 years younger than me, which is my typical date/relationship age and he typically dates older. We have a ton in common. We chat like magpies. Everything was just easy. We were very happy to have met each other, and he told me that.
And, the communication was excellent.
As his stress levels have increased over the job hunt, and the reality that he is not going to be close to his dd, he has "pulled in". I let it slide for a little while, then the beginning of this week I tried to point it out and it really didn't go anywhere. Thursday I didn't hear from him at all, then Friday woke up to sweet texts like nothing happened, which, admittedly, ticked me off.
Yesterday we had a more serious email discussion.
He basically said, "You are ending this because I"m not consistent enough for you?"
I replied that consistency/security is very important to me. More than I realized. I understood his stress levels, and the loss of moving away from his child and how much he is hurting. BUT, I also need consistency. It is a huge juggling act, I get that, but that doesn't negate my needs too.
Part of me feels like a bitch. I know the guy is under tremendous pressure with the job hunt. I am supportive and sympathetic. That doesn't mean he gets a pass on how to treat me. We still have dates planned days in advance, I asked for that and he followed through.
So, I'm left with a great fit guy (except may be LDR shortly…), who is everything I've been looking for, that "click" just happened but I went in with eyes wide open, and now the communication doesn't make me feel secure probably due to his stress levels.
I know other people have had this issue too…when his dd is with him, he poofs. Almost 100%. He lives in a studio apartment, so there are no doors and no privacy. He can't talk on the phone. But, he doesn't even look at his phone. He will text/email until the moment he gets her, then I won't hear from him for days. He is 100% focused on the time he has with her. I told him all I require was a text after she went to bed…and he can't seem to do that either. Or, didn't do it last night.
The deal is, either I'm important enough to you to warrant a few texts or Im not. He doesn't see it that way, he sees it as over compartmentalization. Super focused on one thing at a time and that is all he can manage.
I"m basically asking him to change to keep the relationship going. He wants to text/call when it suits him and I need a consistent schedule so I feel secure.
It is going to suck if this breaks us up. I'm kinda just letting him think about it and working it out on SI/friends. But, yes, I will end this if he has no interest in meeting my needs. I'm not playing any games with him or wishing/hoping he adapts. Either he does or he doesn't.
Yes, part of me agrees with you. Best to end now and keep looking.
What I"m holding onto is that he IS willing to talk about it and pays attention to my needs when I requested we have dates planned in advance. He hasn't closed the door or walked away, he says he didn't even notice the change. Where, it was huge for me. But, I also know I"m super sensitive to being treated poorly, so if the guy missteps, all of my senses are on high-alert. I am the first person he has dated post-D too. So, he is getting used to the "juggling act" of parenting/responsibilities/dating. He, for 3 years, just turns off when his dd is around.
I'm at the point that I"m leaning to just ending it. I made myself very clear yesterday. He has his dd this weekend and we are supposed to see each other on Tuesday. I've told him I do not want this to end and I do really like him…but this is very important to me.
We discussed "love languages" very early on, and he rushed to take the test. He is "quality time" and I even pointed out that I KNOW that is "his language" and how I adjust to make time for him. Well, security is my "language" and that he may have to adjust a little to speak it. It really isn't "change" per se, but more an adjustment. In everything else we are extremely compatible.
You have been going out a month. He is about to change jobs and relocate. Even a long term relationship would go through some adjustment time. As far as picking up the phone when I have limited time with my child and may in the future I most likely wouldn't answer my phone.
Maybe you need someone who communicates with you more and that is more than ok and he might step up. But after a month and with a huge life change in front I think it would be unique for someone to care about something that is still fairly new and could be challenging due to distance.
The thing is I have noticed that the more you let go and be happy yourself you figure out to let things fall naturally and they turn out or they don't but you learn.
You may surprise yourself or be surprised if you just enjoy the time and if you truly like him for him then have some room for you all to grow.
I am hoping he steps up for you but I don't know if for you it is a good thing because of what you need. I am not saying to break up only to see things that it is a month- for you do you know him well enough to put in that effort of a LDR?
Do what is best for you- I doubt this makes sense but I would like to see you continue to enjoy your life, see someone who may move on, and focus on her and let things fall especially with his unknown move. You are most important person and it is not based on what he does or doesn't.
[This message edited by fireproof at 9:26 AM, May 25th (Sunday)]
The relocation isn't an absolute yet. It could take awhile as he is hoping to find something close. Or, it could be a fairly short term relocation as he will try to find work back this way ASAP since his dd is here.
I have a full life, he knows I can't relocate and I keep my life going. We work in time together when we can.
I told him that all I really want to do now is play some ping-pong (something that many of our dates start with since we both love the game) and enjoy the time we have. The future is unknown and I'm not asking anything of him.
I need to learn to stop worrying so much and just be in the moment. Hard for me to do.
I need to learn to stop worrying so much and just be in the moment.
I'm glad to see you say this. At this point, with this guy, it's unfair to make him responsible for making you feel secure all of the time in the relationship when it isn't his actions that make you feel insecure, instead, it's your marital history (the lying that brought you to SI), tendency to over think, and past dating experiences that cause it.
He's not driving this bus and if you place all of your feelings in his hands, you are forcing him to and that's really not very fair. It's setting him up to fail. Some of this consistency in communication needs to come from you.
To me, this thread is about you working on your reaction rather than about getting him to change. Getting him to change is pretty much a fool's errand. Not that people cannot change, I believe they can, but that their own permanent real change comes from within them. If you demand it, it's not going to stick.
I wouldn't say this if his behavior was egregious, but gently, you have essentially been complaining that he's not meeting your text quota nor contacting you while he's with his DD he barely sees and may be moving away from and going two days not hearing from a guy you've known less than 2 months. And yet, even from your thread updates, it's clear you two talk often and talk deeply so it's hard to really see a communication problem emanating from him.
He seems a decent sort. From everything you've said I'm not hearing disrespect or manipulation or really anything negative about him. Plus, you enjoy his company. You deserve some fun! Let this be fun for you! Summer is coming and having someone around to make it sweet is pretty darn cool.
My fiance doesn't communicate as often as I would like when he has his son. Just like your guy, doesn't look at his phone, etc. I've heard this complaint from several of my girlfriends when they date dads. I've spoken to my fiance about it, he said it is simply the result of men can't multitask like women and don't have the driving need to communicated as much. He does do a much better job than before, but I've had to adjust my expectations on Thursday nights when he has his son.
Just my IRL experiences :)
I have 50/50 custody with my dd, alternating weeks. I was communicating with this guy online, trying to establish a connection. Well, one of the weeks I had my daughter, she was doing her homework and we were texting, after she finished her homework she wanted me to help her with her hair. I told the guy that I had to help my daughter and that I would talk to him another day. He asked if I could text later that night and I said ok. Well, the hair took longer than I expected and it tired me out. She started a conversation about the ongoing gossip at school, so of course I wasn't going to miss that. Long story short, we both fell asleep and I stood him up.
I felt really bad, but our attempts at getting to know each other fizzled because I just didn't have it in me. I work more during the weeks that I don't have her and less when I do have her. I'm saying all of this to say, don't underestimate his time spent with his daughter. A young child would wear me out When he has his visitation, he probably sometimes goes down memory lane, or laments the fact that he will not be in her life like he planned. That could be emotionally and physically exhausting.
I know that some of us came from situations where our needs were not met, but sometimes meeting someone else's need might just be the tipping point for divorced people. It's hard enough just establishing a new normal and getting to know ourselves and our own needs, then having to factor in another persons needs. Relationships are hard.
If this is a need, then so be it.
What I'm reading, however, is he is almost perfect except for this.
Well, everyone has a flaw- is this flaw an acceptable one?
I also read that his non communication triggers your insecurity. If that is the case, that is 100% your issue and not his to fix.
Current guy I'm seeing is a sparse texter ( I was use to more verbal types) he wouldn't text on Saturdays and I would just be an insecure mess ( I was the one home with kids, he has none) I finally recognized it was my personal trigger. My ex, during separation when I was desperate to win him back, wouldn't text or email on days he had dates.
I recognized the need to self sooth and work on my own security and not appear to be this needy hot mess that I sometimes fall into.
Just my experience her. We are 9 months in, he's still a sparse texter, but he makes up for it in person.
I am feeling the "fear/flee" feeling and not recognizing the underlying emotion of panic. Panic at whatever, that he "is done" or that we aren't going to survive a LDR. I do really like this guy, and he is by far the healthiest I've ever dated.
BUT, with that…is knowing that he is clueless about the fear/panic/stupid shit that infidelity brings…along with my second whammy of gayness. No knowledge at all except that his Dad cheated on him Mom when he was little and left the family. All he ever said was "It destroys families, I would never do that."
The other guys I have dated with some seriousness were also BS's. They GOT the fear, the "what-ifs" the shit that fucks with my brain. We could relate to each other. So, I've found myself trying to appear as normal as possible so I don't freak HIM out. We have talked about it some in the past, about some of my "ghosts" that I have. He understands at whatever level he can and is…great about it.
The light went off yesterday, I could mesh my subconscious brain (this is all you and your insecurity being drug in, this has nothing to do with him) and my conscious brain (FLEE!! He is going to hurt you!!!!) and "ding!". I got it. I can clearly see where I fucked up and was tying to get *him* to make *me* feel more secure.
Yes, the communication did slightly change. He is dealing with major life decisions and we were going really fast and needed to slow down a little. I didn't handle it well…I knew that much. That part I recognized, but couldn't get my brain wrapped around the rest until yesterday.
I made a serious apology to him last night and will just have to see what happens.
He made a kinda faux pas about 2 weeks into us dating. He inadvertently blew off a date with me. Kinda a long story, but we had plans to meet and celebrate when he completed his Boards. I couldn't meet for several hours because my sitter couldn't' get there any earlier. He ended up very drunk and across town with his friends and at the last minute, as I was walking out the door to meet him said, "Can we reschedule??" Let's just say that overall I handled that really well. I knew it wasn't intentional on his part, but I took some space and thought about it and we worked it out.
People make mistakes. I made a mistake. I've apologized and I need to just wait to see what happens.
Do the work you need to heal that part - get busy so you can tell if he and you will be worth the effort of an LDR or if you really like him.
I say that because if he decides not to continue or if he does this whole thing helps us to play it out in the sense of navigating a relationship. We will have learned and found happiness in the possibility of life.
I think more than the apology letting go and just being relaxed about what is happening I think you might find he may not be the one or you might find you like him more and continue the relationship LDR.
After everything liking someone because they are good people or won't cheat doesn't mean we like them for the whole essence of who they are.
Good luck and remember you are important!
First of all, I think we need some guys to comment on the communication thing.
Okay so here I am. What can I help with? Let me start by saying I don't want to say I represent every man and how every man thinks. But maybe I can offer some light. Maybe not.
So what I hear from Cmego and other women here is that there are some insecurities when communication goes silent. So the lack of a text all day or he didn't call his usual time. I make no bones about it that I am very busy. If you date me you know right up front I have a lot going on and that includes specifically my kids. There are a number of times when I may go silent on you. (1)If I have my kids and I am giving that time to them. (2) If I am super busy at the office/home and need to focus. (3) If I find I need to decompress/think/reflect on something.
Now having said that, I would not intend for it to be a whole day without contact. I would hope I would at least send you a text or email to let you know I was thinking about you. Just maybe not focused on you. And I will also tell you this, when you have time with me, I am focused on you. My phone will rarely ever come out unless it's my kids or I'm looking up that word you threw at me in our conversation that I failed to understand or I'm checking the weather so we know what we're in for, etc.
I believe you said I need to live in the day. Great advice. One day at a time, enjoy the day you have. I'm a planner by nature so looking down the road 5 years, 10 years comes natural to me and I have some discomfort myself when it doesn't look right. But a lot of thins change in a year, don't we all know that all too well from our experiences? So I take care of what I need to today. I have a running list of things to take care of tomorrow. If I don't get it done tomorrow, guess what? Stays on the list.
Don't settle on what you can't live with (crazy double negative - bad engineer, bad!). But don't penalize either if, upon reflection, is just a bump in the relationship road. There will be lots of bumps, we have to decide if they are worth traveling over.
Also I've been told that the first 3 months are the chameleon phase. Everyone on best behavior, trying to show our best sides. To some extent this is true. But I believe in getting deal breakers out in the open right away. So I would hope any guys at this age would be able to communicate what is a deal breaker and answer honestly if you presented him yours.
I hope this helps. :)
I have nothing to add but wanted you to know I am following along!
AND (slight t/j) LOVE the tone and voice of Dadtryingtocope! I enjoyed your perspective and the disclaimer.
So, essentially a month without seeing each other and little contact since he is overseas (email only, we had already discussed this…) and lives in a studio apartment. He has no sitters, and has no interest in getting one. He has been single for 3 years and enjoys every second he has with dd.
I get it, he wants to spend time with dd while he can. I get it.
When we met, none of this was on the books. His intention was to stay very local, there was no overseas trip (a gift from his family when he completed his doctorate) and no wanting to spend as much time with his dd before he has to leave, therefore picking up a ton of extra visitation while he is job hunting and she is out of school.
We didn't talk about the future at all today. We just hung out, and enjoyed doing what we like to do together. Talk, play ping-pong.
At this point, I don't know what to do. It was a little awkward today…he seemed to be doing a lot of chattering, and that was probably because I was quiet.
Decide for YOU if you want to continue dating him here or where ever he is or if he is with his child or not.
If you don't know enjoy the time and let things fall naturally. There is no need to do anything but develop and enjoy time with him.
If you know then decide but understand wanting something full blown after a month and the possibility of a move will have less to do with you than him.
Whether he stays or goes the power is yours. It might be a good time to navigate a equal relationship.
We are all different- with your mindset you are going to get hurt and wonder what happened. You are going to talk yourself out of this. I have no clue if he is a good guy or a crazy guy but I do know if you enjoy his company then continue. Assume you may end due to relocation so what do you have to lose. It may end up better than expected.
Or after you might realize you want to date someone who has more time and possibly no children and travel.
In the same scenario I would be excited about his doctorate and bought him a travel book and a cute note or picture of us. Your view of it feels like he is purposefully leaving or having his child and maybe I am wrong but it isn't.
A healthy secure relationship and friendships are those that don't count on time together but quality.
Enjoy your life for you! Who knows you might have a fantastic month and realize that you didn't like him really or you might find you miss him.
You are still early in a relationship.
I don't think I should date others unless we have that conversation, because I think that HE believes we are OK. He is very used to LDR's as he and his exW were in one for 4 years. *I'm* the one wondering if I can do this. I'm not sure I would have gotten as far is as I have been if I knew he was leaving. When we met, he was going to be local and was very certain that he wanted to continue with me.
I'm working on just "being" and see how I feel. I have a busy few weeks finishing up a grad class (I was actually glad he was leaving as I have a tough paper to finish), then I'm going to head to the beach. But, in my head, I was going to see him in two weeks when he got back before I left for the beach. We hadn't specifically discussed it, but had discussed my beach dates…
I'm having a problem letting go of everything that IS right, it is timing that is wrong. At least to me.
I don't see how this would work. I live close to his dd. So, if we are in a LDR, every time he came to see me, he is going to want to see his dd. And, I would want to see him if I know he is just an hour away…SO, that leaves me traveling to him because it isn't fair to ask him to see me vs. his dd. No brainer…see your dd. How am I going to handle being full time grad student, primary full time single mom, with a house and a dog…and travel once or twice a month to see him for a few days here or there? I will be exhausted.
I just can't wrap my head around that yet. If I felt that I could do an LDR, I would just ride this wave out knowing that he is a great fit for me. We are easy together and that hasn't happened to me yet.
I think I'm just going to BE for a while and see what happens. I do like him. Very, very much.