So I was dating this guy for literally only one month basically I was apprehensive about stating this person to begin with because he is usually different from what I would normally go for in the sense of his age being a little younger than what I typically go for but he still older than me. He’s 28. I’m 26. We started talking early December and I wasn’t really paying too much attention to the relationship because I felt like he was very low effort but ultimately I ended up giving it a chance because he spent Christmas with me and he also spent New Year’s with me and it genuinely seemed like we connected very well.
He told me that he does have feelings for me after I did attempt to break up with him because there was something that happened that I didn’t like and I just felt like we wouldn’t be a good match but because he was so receptive and open to hearing my criticism on how I felt, it made me feel like he was genuinely workable. He also told me that he’s willing to work on being with me and he apologize for coming across as ignorant to what I was upset about. Ultimately I gave him another chance because of his receptiveness to everything. On Christmas he did get me a gift and I didn’t get him one because I was still on the fence even though I felt like we did communicate well, he was very direct in telling me that he wanted to see me on Christmas which I did appreciate because one of my critiques was that I felt like he was too passive when he would ask certain things so him basically fighting for me back after I try to break up with him and telling me that he still wanted to see me made me feel like he actually did care.
Fast forward to New Year’s he invited me over to meet all of his friends and I didn’t think anything of it because I assume that’s what guys usually do but he basically revealed to me that he has strong feelings for me and that he never invites people to meet his friends and I thought that was interesting because I didn’t even mention anything like that also I want to keep in mind that he did tell me that we were exclusive three days after Christmas meeting that he was only seeing me and then he deleted all of his apps in which I didn’t even know he had dating apps to begin with so for me I felt like it was an effortless progression that he just seem to really like me. Literally 1 week later from New Year’s I felt like the energy had shifted and I literally still don’t even understand why and basically I asked him if I can leave some stuff in his bathroom so that I can have it to shower because him and I are very athletic and we like to work out a lot and he said it was completely fine but I felt like while I was putting some stuff in there he was acting weird and ultimately he ended up calling me two days later when we were actually supposed to be hanging out and basically told me that he feels like things are not working.
When I tried to get him to explain nothing he was saying made any sense literally at all except for him saying that he felt like I was progressing the relationship because I left that stuff under his sink and even though he did give me permission and he did understand I was doing it out of convenience he felt like I was pushing myself onto him because I left some thing under his sink in his bathroom and I was very confused by that because I’m not the one that said we were dating exclusively he is the one that told me we were. So I actually was very relaxing my approach in my opinion because I didn’t see a need to rush the relationship because to be honest I felt pretty secure in it because I felt like I knew where his head was at but then literally out of nowhere it just changed in 1 week.
I am experienced enough in dating to know when a guy is actually lying and trying to gaslight me for his own motive what I find very interesting and unique about this dynamic is that this person genuinely seemed very in sync with me and what I wanted and then it almost seems like he got very scared and backed out. It doesn’t sit well with me intuitively to genuinely think that me leaving a toiletry bag under his sink, resulted in being a deal breaker..... what are your thoughts?
If I'm being completely honest, it sounds like you overwhelmed him and he needed to step away from the relationship.
For this amount of conflict over the pacing of the relationship to occur in under a month means you and he had drastically different expectations. To me, it sounds like this guy was genuinely trying to accommodate your needs and was constantly being told it wasn't enough.
He spent both Christmas and New Year's with you. He agreed to be exclusive. He bought you a Christmas gift. He introduced you to his friends in a month. You don't seem to be acknowledging any of that. Asking to keep a bag of toiletries at his apartment was the tipping point for him. For him, that was too much. With that gesture, you were encroaching on his personal physical space. To you, it was just a small bag under the sink. To him, it was one-step closer to co-habitation, a move he's not ready for yet. It's not uncommon for people to feel uneasy when they're autonomy is threatened.
I don't think you were intentionally trying to force him into anything. He was giving you signs he wanted the relationship to progress. He just wanted to set the pace. He offered as much as he felt comfortable giving. The toiletry bag was his line in the sand. People are allowed to move through stages of a relationship on their own preferred time frame. That goes for you, too, of course.
There was nothing wrong with asking to leave a nag of toiletries there. There also was nothing wrong with him saying no. That's where he messed up. It's not on you that he didn't properly articulate his boundaries. That's his responsibility.
You could contact him and say you understand his concerns and that you appreciate the efforts he's made so far and see if that helps. I think maybe acknowledging to him that you see all the effort he's made might alleviate some of his concern.