Hey, so I've a complicated one. I've been madly in love with this fella since the age of 11 and back then he also liked me. We became friends. Fast forward to our late teens and we would share the odd drunken kiss. Also we ended up having a one night stand. Fast forward to our early 20s we found ourselves in a weird situationship where we basically partied and slept together, he had practically moved in with me for a few weeks. He liked one of my friends and she liked him so I did the right thing an I stepped back and set them up. I wanted to see him happy.
Ten years later we have found ourselves in the situation again. I had lost all feelings towards him, always a soft spot of course. He came over to mine a month ago to catch up and he instigated a hook up. Asking me why we never got together and telling me that he's always liked me. After staying 3 nights I left him home and he asked what this was between us, I answered it was only a bit of fun. Because I genuinely thought that's what it was. Second weekend, the same thing happens. He spends 2 nights with me. I'm not catching feelings. It's just fun.
Third weekend (valentines), he produces a rose for me and we are then each others valentines. He tells me that he's exactly where he's meant to be (when lying in bed beside me) and that he had an inkling something would happen between us. He's showering me with compliments and telling me that he smiles knowing that I smile because of him. We text 24/7, he calls me to check up on me and see how I am. He has mentioned that we should go to Amsterdam together, etc. So, like making plans for the future, but is it as friends or what? I ask him last weekend (valentines) what this was between us to which he replied he doesn't know yet, he reversed the question on me and I gave him the same response. So now I've caught feelings.
This weekend was different. He blurted out last night as we're cuddling on the sofa watching a movie, not even on the topic, that he's afraid of commitment and when I asked him what does he mean he went on to explain that he feels he's not at his peak yet, how he wants to get back into shape, stop smoking and drinking and have savings to build a house before committing to a relationship. And how he feels that could be in 3/4 years time. In other words, he wants to be his best self to give to someone...... So now I'm left wondering what the hell last weekend was all about.
Where do I stand? I know I'm setting myself up for heartbreak. Again. But I also feel he wants more but then he pulled back. We're really good friends though. We get on well on all levels. We share the same weird sense of humour. He says he can totally relax around me and we are extremely comfortable around one another. Help me
See, I want to believe this guy is just having some cold feet, but there’s something nagging at me.
Why does he spend consecutive nights with you on the weekends?
I’m just jaded, right? I’m your stereotypical cynical New Yorker always looking for the angle.
This story doesn’t sit well with me. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I really do, because I don’t want to see you get your hopes up. However…
I don’t like that he…
…would sleep with you then start dating your friend that really, truly bothers me. Side note: she sucks, too. I hope she’s no longer your friend. I don’t care that ou were young-ish. Early twenties is plenty old to know you don’t do that to someone. Christ, we learn that in middle school.
…answered your question about wanting to define the relationship with, “I don’t know yet” - a non-answer - then flipped the script and asked what you were looking for. You were brilliant, though, because you responded with a non-answer as well. Good. Give that man nothing.
…out of nowhere announce he’s afraid of commitment after he was the one to initiate, oh, EVERYTHING then played the “I want to be a better man” card. Thereby throwing you off balance. That is never a sign of a healthy relationship.
I need to be very clear about something: he is not your friend. A friend wouldn’t sleep with you over and over and then date one of our friends. Yes, I know, you gave them the green light but that doesn’t matter. We know the difference between right and wrong at that age and he was WRONG.
Could he have matured since you were younger? Sure, but his behavior is not that of a mature adult. I know that you’ll take what I’m saying to heart. I also know that, like most people - including me - you’re going to want to see this through. You’ve invested a lot of thought and emotion into this guy. That’s normal. But please try to manage your investment in this man in a way where you can maintain some objectivity.
Right now, you’re seeing the good stuff. You get on, you have similar interests. You have history. That alone would cloud anyone’s judgement. Things feel out of whack because he’s behaving in a way that is inconsistent. The red flags are ALWAYS in the inconsistencies. People are allowed to be confused. They’re allowed to be scared by the premise of finding someone they could really let their guard down and be themselves with. Intimacy of that kind is scary.
What they are not ever allowed to do is toy with someone else’s emotions or take advantage of someone’s kindness. Those two things make someone an inherently bad person. Yes, good people can do bad things but there’s a line. In my honest opinion, he’s crossed it too many times for me to believe he has good intentions.
There’s just too many instances of this guy being - at the very least - unkind. And thoughtless. And selfish. He’s not putting your feelings first. That’s what a friend - a true, good, kind friend - would do.
My read on this is:
The whole staying multiple days at a time with you makes me think this guy needs a place to stay on weekends or is escaping from somewhere else. He asked what you were looking for to feel you out. He announced his hesitancy to commit to warn you that, at any time, he could leave.
Please put yourself first here. I know it’s hard to let go of something that feels good and makes you feel wanted and important, but continue down with this path with eyes wide open.
Like my advice? Subscribe to my Substack. Free subscribers receive these public posts before anyone else. For $5 a month you'll get access to 2-3 private advice columns per week and bi-weekly exclusive podcast episodes for members only.