Wow. This Stung. Any thoughts?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2012
Wow. This Stung. Any thoughts?
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 1:52pm

nearly 3 months ago I meet a guy and we go on a date. He too is divorced with children (as am I). He has sole custody. His ex wife was an alcoholic. within the first 20 mins of the date he tells me he has a bad habit of choosing unavailable women. He has been divorced for 8 years. He told me one girlfriend lived in another country entirely. he met her when he was working on a project where he would have to travel there and would see her maybe once a month. One girlfriend lived completely cross country and he said that worked great until she wanted to move to his coast. His most recent girlfriend of 2 years was coming out of a marriage. Separated, but kind of married and living with her ex husband. She has since divorced. I knew better. None of this sounded good.

I asked if he is still dating unavailable women. He says he is not which is why he is sitting there with me. The nagging inner voice is screaming at me that i don't know that anything is changed but i decide maybe its different now. his kids are older, 14 and 16 and he has more free time.

The date goes great. We have the same sense of humor, same interests, at the end of the night we kiss passionately and it's great. Now we are starting to date. We see each other once a week which is what our crazy single parent schedules allow. We text and email every day. we occassionally skype. We start sleeping together. its amazing. But something feels WRONG. even though when we were together it felt very intimate and RIGHT, when we weren't it just didn't feel like a regular relationship.

One night he asks me if I took my online dating profile down. He said he looked for me and couldn't find it. I said i did. Did you? he said no, but he was thinking about it. He said he wasn't dating anyone else at all but it wasn't about that. He explained to me that he was in therapy trying to make different decisions and take things VERY slow and date rather then get involved very quickly in bad relationships. He said he had a habit of choosing bad women and going in fast and furious. This time he was trying to take things slow. He said he really liked me, but  he had to learn to just "date". He said while he wasn't dating other people, he wasn't ready to be exclusive and understood that it wasn't fair to ask me to not date others. I was upset but was going off his actions, which were pretty great. A week later he took down his online dating profile and told me about it. I asked why and rather than say "because I am happy with you" he said "i just wasn't into it." fine.

Last thursday he came to dinner at my house. I had been thinking about whether or not I could handle a relationship with someone who seemed so into me when he was with me, but still wasn't taking steps to include me in his life in any way. He was making future plans. Dinner on the 30th at his friends dinner party etc. but still, something seemed like there were blocks up. He also knew I was still dating other people, because he had told me to, but i didn't want to. It felt weird at this point. I was developing feelings for him. He asked me at dinner if I had been on a date the night before. I said i didn't want lying in the mix and yes, I had. I then said no one had a chance because I liked him and didn't want to be dating other people but i was doing it to make him feel comfortable. I also told him that i didn't know if i was happy in this relationship because i wanted to just go with it and wanted two people to enjoy each other, and i felt like i had to not be myself to protect his issues surrounding commitment, exclusivity, etc. He told me the truth is he may not be ready for a relationship. He had worked hard to get to a place where he was doing well as a single dad, not involved with terrible women, etc. It felt like he may not be ready for a relationship with ME, but i had to remind myself of his history with unavailable women. Long and the short of it was...I asked if he minded if I was sleeping with someone else. He said at this He couldn't expect to be in a non exclusive relationship and me to not sleep with other people. even though he said he was not. This was the final straw. I asked him to leave. I told him we both clearly wanted very different things and i could in no way be in a relationship where i was intimate with someone and they didn't care if i was sleeping with other people. I ended it. 

It crushed me cause he didn't care. He said he was sorry, it's just where he is now. He is not ready to be in a relationship and wants to take things slowly. It's so hard for me to understand. I want to so badly put this on me and say "it's not that he doesn't want a relationship, it's that he doesn't want one with me", but again have to remind myself of our first date where he told me directly, "I choose unavailable women".

Anyway, I am crushed. I am crushed that he is just willing to say goodbye to us and it suddenly seems like it meant nothing to him. Any thoughts or advice would help me greatly.  Thank you.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 4:22pm

I think you did the right thing. At least you didn't waste three years.

It seems like the three month relationship centered way too much around him and his "problem." Here you were, dating other men and didn't even want to, just to please him, to make him comfortable. Forget that. What about your needs? Early on things didn't seem right to you. I'm a big believer in listening to your gut. And how convenient that 20 minutes into meeting you he says he has a bad habit of choosing unavailable women. That way he can always say, "Well, baby, I warned you!"

I would have to say the guy has serious commitment issues, and that may have led much more to his divorce than just his wife's drinking (although that's a biggie). Eight years is a long time to spend with unavailable women, so I hope for his sake he works it out, but I'm not sure he's trying too hard. Why is he on a dating site if he's not ready for a relationship? I suppose not everyone on dating sites is seeking a committed relationship, but still. Dude, work your issue out then date.

I think he would be this way with anyone. It's tempting to think "I'll be the one who changes him," but that rarely if ever happens. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2012
Mon, 11-12-2012 - 8:19pm

Thank you. I know you are right on all counts! It's so hard not to turn it inward and think, he wants a relationship...just not with me, you know. but you are right. And I def did the healthy thing by bailing. It's unlike me so i guess i am getting healthier :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2011
Tue, 11-13-2012 - 8:56am
I think it's remarkable how well you were in tune with the reality of the situation and you took charge by ending it. Give yourself some applause! That kind of awareness is rare, people usually go and on thinking things will change while making excuses to placate things. If you stayed for three months or three years, the outcome would have been the same.
He sounds like he is in love with his "unavailable women" problem and is glad to talk all about it, but doesn't want to change. That would be someone who isn't capable of real attachment and finds situations that guarantee he won't have closeness. He'll probably soon go back to his distance relationships or find someone equally as troubled as himself and the pattern will continue.
So what happened has nothing to do with who you are. And again, I admire how you took charge by recognizing things and got out.