Here is an email from a reader (in his late-twenties and recently divorced) seeking dating advice. He is seeing a woman who is 7 years older than he is. The two have known each other for awhile, and she reached out to him when she heard he was divorced.
After she had reached out to me, I asked if we could get together over a drink/dinner to simply catch up. We ended up meeting for dinner the following week. What I was anticipating would be a 2-hour semi-professional meet-up ended up lasting 8 hours. We spoke about every topic under the sun, and at the end of the evening, ended up passionately making out for a half hour. It surprised both of us, but we both really enjoyed it.
He then goes on to say that he had to go out of town for work for several weeks. While he was gone, the two texted every 4 or 5 days. Also while he was away, he sent her flowers and she reached out to thank him.
A day before my return home, I asked her on an “official date” the following Saturday. She responded that she “wanted to put the brakes on officially dating for a while” as she felt she was (or is) still recovering from a bad break up.
No date has occurred, but we continue to intermittently text every couple of days. To my pleasant surprise, she invited me out last week for drinks with her and her friends. Same story; we spent a couple of hours together, had fun socializing with her friends, and we ended up making out again at the end of the evening.
Because I am hopeless romantic, I decided to send flowers to her office again the following day. The same story; she texted me she really appreciated them. I asked when I could see her again, and she simply stated, “I don’t know…text me.”
Am I just a victim of poor timing, and is she truly “emotionally unavailable?” Am I wasting my time? It kills me, because I genuinely have an interest in this woman. I’ve been on dates over the past couple of months with a few different women, but nothing has quite felt right. Spending time with her (the woman I have been talking about) has felt right. I even told her that while I was gone for nearly a month, thinking of her, and the anticipation of seeing her again is what motivated me to get out of bed every day. I am very torn right now.
Here are my thoughts. You’ll have to excuse me for being really blunt. This woman is PISSING ME OFF!!! This guy seems so sweet and genuine, and she is sending VERY mixed signals to him.
Think about what she’s done:
1. She reached out to him first (when she heard he was divorced.)
2. They go out and it sounds like they really had a great time.
3. He has to leave town but sends flowers and is clearly communicating that he can’t wait to see her again.
4. She shoots him down.
5. She then texts him and invites him out again, and makes out with him again.
6. He sends her flowers again.
7. She shoots him down again.
This woman sounds toxic. I’m not going to say she’s a bad person, or that she is doing this on purpose. What she sounds like is VERY VERY confused. Ok, so she’s still getting over an ex. That’s understandable, but can’t she see what she is doing to this guy? He’s getting over a divorce! Does she not get that? She is being very selfish, whether she means to be or not.
I can completely relate to this guy, as several years ago I was in a relationship like this and it killed me. I cried a lot, I was almost always disappointed, and I felt like I was constantly on a rollercoaster, the highs so high and the lows were depressing. I was like a dog waiting for crumbs. And all it did was make my self-esteem go into the garbage, and make me not like myself for continually trying to get this guy to love me.
How did I get out of it? I sobbed really hard one night and decided I had had enough. The next day, I asked a bunch of people I knew to set me up, and I began going on dates. I knew I deserved better, and I knew I had to get out of the toxicity. Would you believe the guy never ever even tried to contact me again? Not surprising at all.
What I learned over time is that he isn’t a bad person. It was either bad timing, or he just didn’t feel it with me. Maybe he went back and forth because he was trying really hard to have feelings for me because he liked me, he just didn’t feel the attraction and/or the potential of love.
But I used to wonder if he ever knew how much he hurt me by acting this way. There have been times in my life that I did this to guys too. In other words, I was the one sending mixed signals. And I’m not a bad person. It was just bad timing. AND, I realize that I was hurting these men, either.
In my opinion, this reader sounds like a total sweetie who is ready to meet someone and try out a relationship. That’s great! But this is the wrong woman. He deserves to be treated so much better, with more respect, and with warmth ALL of the time, not just half the time.
What’s funny (in a sad way) is, if he just stops calling her, she will call him and try to get him to meet out again. If he says no, I’d say by the holidays, she will have major regrets and try to get him back. I’m not saying he should play a game with her, because I could be wrong and she might never look back if he ends it. But, he owes it to himself to find a better match: a woman who is more ready for a mature relationship with no mixed signals.
I want to hear in a few months from this guy that he has met an amazing woman and they can’t get enough of each other. That the attraction and spark is mutual, not just for a night here and there, but every minute of every day! The kind of relationship at the beginning when the texting is obnoxious and nauseating to others!! He deserves that after having been through the devastation of a divorce! Anyone who wants that deserves it.
I truly hope he starts opening his heart to other women, and stops focusing on someone who just isn’t there at this point, who is giving mixed signals because she is just plain old mixed up.
Like this article? Check out, “Dating Advice: What’s Attractive and What’s Not”