Relationship Advice needed: Im... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Relationship Advice needed

littleorange8 profile image

Im currently in a situation that’s giving me anxiety. I would like some of your opinions on whether you think this guy is stringing me along or simply just taking things slow.

I’ve been seeing a guy and we’ve been on three dates so far. We text daily and he is the one who initiates the dates. He’s also a huge gentleman. He says that he’s looking for something serious - a relationship that will lead to marriage and kids. I feel the same for myself.

However, when I asked him about “us” on the third date, he says that our age difference is a bit of a red flag for him since I’m still finishing university while he wants to settle down. So I asked him to clarify and he said that while he’s not pursuing any other women NOW, he might go on a date if one catches his interest. I term this “keeping his options open”.

He says that he’s uncomfortable being exclusive right now since we’ve only been on a few dates.

Question 1) Do you think he’s being reasonable? Or making excuses?

Question 2) His birthday is coming up as well. What does it mean if he doesn’t invite me?

Question 3) He has a work trip but he went a few days earlier than needed (two days before his coworkers). Is it because he wants to meet girls there?

27 Replies

1) I understand why he doesn’t want to commit to a relationship after 3 dates. I wouldn’t say he was ‘stringing you along’ as he is being very open about it. I’d say it sounds like he is seeing this purely as a casual thing at the moment - something that made lead further or could fizzle out.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s ‘ok’ - depends whether you can live with that uncertainty. Personally, I don’t think I’d be able to, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or that it’s ‘wrong’. What would be ‘wrong’ would be for him to make you feel like you and he were in a relationship and then see someone else at the same time. He would need to be honest with you if he met someone else. I also would say don’t see it as a reflection on you, because it isn’t.

2) At the moment, you don’t know whether he will or won’t invite you. Try not to think too much about that for now until you know whether he does or doesn’t.

3) Have you asked him why he went earlier?

It sounds like he’s made you feel uncomfortable and now you’re (possibly) overanalysing every situation. Maybe you need to be honest with him, tell him how you feel whilst explaining that, although you don’t necessarily consider yourself in a serious relationship at the moment, you’re finding it hard knowing that he might ‘drop you’ to go out with someone else.

I can understand why this situation would cause someone anxiety. Think about what is best for you. At the moment it sounds like he is in control, if he really likes you, he might reconsider his attitude if he understands how you feel.

Thanks for your reply! I think you’re right. He’s 33M and I’m 23M. He says that he’s been in two very long relationships (5 and 2 years), and wants to be sure about the next one because he doesn’t want to break up again.

1) i also feel the same way you do. but i asked him if he sees this as something casual and he always says no, that he wants something serious, but is uncomfortable being in a relationship with me right now.

i think he is quite honest as a person, but maybe that he doesn’t know what he wants?

3) i didn’t ask because i didn’t want to come off as being anxious or jealous. i’m really trying hard to be more laid back and go with the flow.

Also, what are some ways that I can gain control back?

Being open about how you feel, without worrying what he thinks, will help you regain some control.

You can’t control his response but if he really likes you, he will respond positively. That way you’ll have a 2-way relationship that works for both of you and is about what you both want/need. If you have an open chat and it’s not going to work between you, you can amicably go your separate ways but at least it will save weeks/months of anxiety trying to please him.

Great reply EleanorRose. x

I was thinking the same thing...

He is keeping his options open, makes sense. He is wanting marriage and children now. You are in University, you need to focus on your career aspirations, marriage would be lovely however children at this time doesn't make sense. He needs to pursue his hopes and you do too. There is someone out there for both of you. Both of you trying to make a circle fit in a square peg is will just make both of you end hating one another. Best to part as friends.

littleorange8 profile image
littleorange8 in reply to

The thing is, I was uncomfortable with him keeping his options open. So we ultimately decided that he will tell me and also end things between us if he starts seeing another woman. However I feel that this is a bit “exclusive”. I feel bad because I want him to be exclusive naturally - when he wants to and NOT because I want him to. Will it be weird if I said something like “hey remember that agreement we made to be exclusively dating? Let’s forget it because you should keep your options open”

Did he know your age when he first started dating you. If he did I find it strange that it should now become a problem for him.

Actually, you’re right. He did know my age when we first met. Should I call him out on it? lol

in reply to littleorange8

You said you are in University, are you ready to start a family now? If not, best to part as friends. The main thing is, you both need to be wanting the same hopes and dreams at the same timeline. Lots of couples crash and burn because they are hopeful they can convince one another to alter their hopes. Then, resentment etc etc. It's hard to face reality however you have both been honest. You will be heart broken if he suddenly meets someone else, especially if you let your match pass you by.

littleorange8 profile image
littleorange8 in reply to

He broke up with a girl from a 5 year relationship because she wouldn’t change her mind about not ever having kids. However him and i both want kids. He just has to wait 2 more years.

I really don’t understand what the big deal is. He says that in 2 years he’ll be 35 years old and the older men get, the more likely for the child to have problems. But honestly I’m pretty sure this only applies for women and even so, I know a lot of uncles who stayed with their wives even though they couldn’t have kids, because they LOVE them.

in reply to littleorange8

Yes, us women are the ones with the clock. 2 years is a short amount of time. If this continues to be a issue, it might be a sign of what is to come for the relationship however if this is compatible, thumbs up. Good luck, you two sound very sweet, the best wishes.

littleorange8 profile image
littleorange8 in reply to

The thing is also that things like drinking alcohol and smoking can also affect sperm quality. But yet he doesn’t lessen those (he drinks beer and sometimes smokes marijuana, which has the same toxins as second hand cigarettes). Yet he thinks choosing someone who can have kids soon is the answer. It’s so dumb!

The only legitimate excuse is that he doesn’t want to feel like a grandfather to his son.

The man knows what he wants. He is saying he wants a family soon, that’s all. His timing is legitimate. My dad was 47 when I was born, so ya, that was like a grandfather.

in reply to littleorange8

Do you want to have children with him?

littleorange8 profile image
littleorange8 in reply to

not right now no. but eventually yes

in reply to littleorange8

You both have your plan. You want school right now, thumbs up, good plan. Marriage anytime, then children. Children at the bare minimum 2 years from now. Concentrate on school and do you and he has his plan, he needs to do him. Weddings take about a year to plan out and babies another year later. You guys could get engaged and follow that plan and both of you will be happy and have your plans united, in sink :)

Hi, I have read your other posts and it does seem like you have insecurity issues which go deeper than this current situation you are talking about.

Have you thought about taking a step back and looking at what is at the root of your anxious attachment style with people? It seems like you are very low on self esteem and maybe need help with counselling to deal with this; otherwise all the scenarios you describe are going to keep on repeating.

I wonder how much you really want to get to know this guy and how much you are just reaching out for security? Are you sure that you are ready to get married for example ?

Just some things for you to think about...

Gem x

As to your original questions 1) he’s making excuses; 2) if he doesn’t invite you, he’s not that into you; 3) that’s your anxiety talking.

I think your gut (intuition) is speaking loud and clear. Listen to this, no need to second guess your good judgement. If he is saying he’s uncomfortable being in a relationship with you right now, hear him. You want him to want to be exclusive naturally, you are correct in that. Never force that, never ask for it, never beg for it. That is how you stay in control. That’s how you know he wants to be with you.

The thing is that he already agreed to be dating me exclusively, just not officially in a relationship yet. But I kind of feel like he agreed just because I said I’m uncomfortable seeing other people. So should I tell him I change my mind and he can keep his options open, or just keep things the way they are now?

“Dating exclusively” but not “officially in a relationship”, this is something new. It feels noncommittal which personally I wouldn’t be comfort with. I’d aways be wondering where we stand. But this decision is personal and only you would know if you are comfortable with that. I feel your gut is not okay with it and that you are more comfortable being exclusive and official. Listen to your gut to be the most comfortable with yourself, otherwise I think it will cause anxiety to stir.

I mean he did say that three dates is too early.. maybe he wants more time to make sure he knows me better first? We didn’t know each other before the dates

It sounds reasonable to me, to take things slow and see where it goes. This is the time to enjoy getting to know each other. I say best of luck. He sounds like an honest man.

How does he talk about past relationships. If a past gf was crazy then that’s your red flag in the setting you’ve given us.

Maybe he doesn’t want you to feel pressured since you’re just finishing school. He doesn’t want you to base your future on him. Ask him.

He talks about how nice his relationships have been.

Even if you both want children today, ten years is a sizable age gap in a relationship. That he's thinking about how this will play out in your relationship is a good thing. I would encourage you to do the same.

It's only been three dates. Don't be in such a hurry to get to the end of this story. Remember to enjoy being with this man now.

I just wanted to say it sounds all very serious already for a 3rd date. I would of thought he would still be trying to woo you if he likes you. I get he's being open n upfront from the start but if he really wants a wife and kids why would he go on a first date with you who has commitments to your education and is still so young.

I just feel uncomfortable with how he seams to be calling the shots so early into this.

you should be having butterflies not anxiety by date 3 if things are going well.

It just doesn't feel right to me. It not very nice to be on a date and mention you might see someone else if they interest them. I think you deserve a bit more than that.

I think you deserve someone a bit more fun, respectful, considerate.....I could go on

Butterflies not anxiety

All the best to you.....cos you deserve it


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