Slowing things down

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Slowing things down
8
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 3:17am

A guy with whom I've been exchanging e-mail since last Monday is recently divorced. I've never before communicated with anyone whose divorce was final less than three months ago. He is obviously uncertain about the whole dating scene. (He was married for almost 30 years.) I can understand that. I'm still uncertain too.

We've been having good e-mail conversations since Monday of this past week. He is out of town this weekend, but he has kept up the e-mail. He is intelligent, we are interested in a lot of the same things, and he seems like he would be good company. We're talking of meeting next week when he gets back.

My concern is that he is beginning to get too personal. In his initial e-mails (and his profile) he talks about taking it slow, but he isn't saying that any more. I am also concerned that he has started telling me about his bad marriage. I generally respond with something vague and change the topic, but it keeps coming up.

Any suggestions on tactful ways to (a) keep the relationship platonic until he is "over" his divorce and (b)encourage him to stop talking about his ex to me? He is someone I would like to get to know better, but I definitely don't want to get very involved with him right now. It would just be asking for trouble.

Bela

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 11:26am

How did this connection begin?

Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 2:17pm

I think these kinds of sensitive topics are better covered in person, or at least over the phone rather than by email.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2005
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 11:05pm
I'd also wonder if he was really ready to be dating. I never had the patience to wait for someone who wasn't ready for me.
Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 11:17pm

Yes, it was a dating site. I don't know about the "shoulds" and "should nots" about corresponding with women while the divorce is still new. A lot of people start trying to date before the divorce is final, even.

Also, he isn't using me as his therapist. I think what he is doing is telling me what went wrong in his marriage because he doesn't want to be involved in that same kind of relationship. For example, he mentioned that she had been messy and he knew he could never live with a messy person again. I just wish he would do it more indirectly.

What really bothers me is that he doesn't want to do a "meet and greet" coffee meeting--he wants to take me "someplace nice" and so on. It feels like he is rushing into this. He's an interesting guy and I'd like to know him better, but he needs to slow down or the whole thing will not work.

Dabela

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 11:28pm

When he contacted me, he said that he wasn't really interested in anything but casual dating/friendship at the moment and that seemed sensible to me. The problem is that now he is talking more like he is going to go into "courtship mode" and I think that is too soon.

As far as the stuff about his wife goes, I may have given the wrong impression. He isn't talking about her all the time or expecting me to be a shoulder to cry on. It's more that he keeps mentioning things about her/their marriage that he really didn't like and doesn't want to experience again. So far it's been things that I wouldn't be likely to do, but I think it's too early to be talking about what I would/wouldn't do in a marriage, so I usually say something like, "I can see how that would be frustrating," and change the subject.

You are right that I need to make it clear that I am not planning on getting involved with him (or anyone else who is only just out of marriage).

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Sun, 08-09-2009 - 11:41pm

Well, I'm not dating anyone at present--it's hard for a woman my age to find guys who don't have a lot of problems and who are interested in dating women their own age. This guy doesn't seem to be lying about his age, he is gainfully employed and doesn't whine about the cost of things, he is intelligent and interesting. That is very rare. The only "minus" he has on paper is that he is short. But I am not tall, and unless he's lied about his height a lot, he will still be taller than I am.

So I am willing to wait and see with this guy if he will take it slow like he said he would when he first e-mailed me. But I think that he is going back on his plan to take it slow and that is going to be a problem.

This is the story of my life. When one thing is right another thing is wrong and I am really tired of something always being wrong.

The last guy who was "going too fast" became a real nuisance (on the phone and e-mail only, but it was enough) and made me regret ever having communicated with him. The last guy I really liked and dated for a few weeks suddenly went silent inexplicably.

Why can't I just have a normal friendly relationship with a guy and see what develops from there?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2009
Tue, 08-11-2009 - 12:17pm

I don't know if there is a tactful way to get a man to stop talking about something that annoys you. The most tactful you may be able to get is to gently tell him that you aren't comfortable hearing about his ex so much. Or that you would rather the two of you didn't mention exes so often. That you would like to start off fresh with him and not have the past dictate how your friendship will play out.

Also, if you want to move slower with him, can you just let him know on the phone or online that that's what you wish? You can say that you need to make sure anyone you're dating is willing to let go of the past and will not bring up past relationships often.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2009
Thu, 08-13-2009 - 1:23am

That's a good suggestion about suggesting that we let go of the past and focus on the present. If I can make it sound like I am just interested in HIM and not his past, it may sound flattering instead of reproving.

Though I am not sure about this guy. He seems to be a bit full of himself in other ways, and I'm thinking the constant talk about ex and his assumption that we may be going to have some sort of a relationship without waiting to see how it goes are just part of the general egocentrism.

We'll see. I'm probably going to go out with him this weekend. (He has invited me. I am trying to decide if I want to go.)

Thanks.