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Why Do People Lie About Wanting A Relationship?

Matched with a guy online both looking for a relationship. Over the course of 2 months we meet 6 times and go on walks. Those walks end up being some of the best dates of my life and we really click and form a friendship along the way. He is transferring to another province/state for his career but we don’t know when.

The last time we met up we brought up the fact that he could be transferred as early as a month or as late as 1-2 years. His goal was always to transfer back to his home province. He ended up crying (twice) saying he feels strongly for me but can’t let these feelings affect him because he stayed longer than he wanted to last time with his ex and it didn’t work out. Now he’s been here for much longer than he ever wanted and is having a hard time transferring back. He told me it is not about me, that he really likes me, but fears that he will get too attached and it will be hard to leave when he inevitably does. I told him that moving to his province is not off the table (he asked, I answered).

He still insists we stop seeing each other so we don’t feel the inevitable breakup that is coming for us. The connection was so strong, we both expressed that it was unlike any other we’ve ever experienced with anyone else. He says the timing isn’t right, despite the fact that I said I would never ask him to stay and I would also consider moving depending on how our relationship goes. He said he needs to stay focused on his goals and he already lost track of that with his ex. I told him to let me know if he changes his mind. What do you think about this? Is he the one that got away? Did I dodge a bullet? I need help.

I think this is a case of someone who got in over his head, realized he’d let things go on longer than they should, and was now to trying to gracefully break-up without hurting your feelings.

That he takes on the responsibility for the breakup and chalks it up to his fear of getting attached makes him less of a bad guy. To be honest, I don’t think he’s a bad guy, just a guy that wasn’t really sure what he wanted until he got it and realized it wasn’t what he wanted after all.

My guess is this happens in a lot of early dating situations. People jump in head first, everything’s great, and then that thing comes along that reminds them they now have someone else’s feelings to consider. That’s the moment when hey realize they’re in too deep and need to turn back. It could be as simple as getting invited to a wedding to a full-on argument. When it’s clear there is now someone' else’s feelings to consider, that’s the moment people seize to sever ties.

That’s what I think happened here. When you old him you’d consider moving should the relationship progress, he immediately shut the idea down. You offered a reasonable solution and he came back with another reason the break-up had to happen now. He hopped from his fear of getting attached to not wanting to put his goals on hold like he did in his previous relationship. He kept upping the ante because you weren’t backing down. Had he truly been invested in the relationship, he would have at least tried to make things work. Especially since, like he said, it could be another year before he’s transferred.

The future transfer was his out so he took it. Simple as that. It’s nothing you did or said. He just wasn’t on the same page.

The over-arching problem here is that people do this all the time. They don’t have a clear idea of what they want. They go into dating with an abstract desire to find a relationship and stop there. They don’t ask themselves just how much of themselves are they willing and able to give. They also don’t consider the schedule and emotions of those with whom they match.

The best way to find what you’re looking for is to know - with crystal clear precision - what you can offer. Start there then back into the idea of what your ideal relationship looks like. That way, you’ll waste less time and won’t impair someone else’s attempts at finding love.

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