I have never used a forum before so please bare with me.
This may come across as being very long winded but really need some advice
I have been in a relationship with a man that I work with for about 8 months now. Our relationship is secret. This was my decision at first as I wanted to get to know him without work colleagues interfering. He was not happy with this but understood my reasons why and did respect my choice. Recently I have found him becoming more distant from me. I partly feel I am to blame in some respect. My work place is notorious for gossip. I had heard that he was flirting with another women and had noticed myself that he was looking at this women the same way he used to look at me. I could be being completely paranoid. I approached him about this. He looked completely shocked and hurt when I brought this up. He told me that he loves me and that I was being silly. I apologised and made a point that if I was in the wrong then I was deeply sorry. However he does have a very flirty nature. I don't feel we resolved the argument at all. Since then things have really changed. He has really taken a step back an is becoming very distant. this is not like him at all. I was always made to feel special before. He rarely texts. I would always get a message greeting me home from work as our shifts are slightly different. I seem to be the one to have to text. I always get a polite reply to all my messages but that's about it. He used to always want me to stay with him now I find that I am the one asking when I am going to see him. I never really get any firm plans till the last minute. I bought up when he mentioned a conversation he was having with a work colleague about me that he should have told them that we were in a relationship. He replied that he did not want people knowing now and make a joke comment as to why not. This was like taking a bullet. I could go on forever but things are not the same at all. I have tried to bring it up but he gets annoyed saying I am being silly and that he loves me. We have also not met each others family and friends. I have a daughter that still lives at home and I really don't think he wants to get to know her as he never comes to visit. This is the first relationship I have had for many years due to a bad relationship in the past. I really have fallen in love with him but I am feeling so insecure recently and feel that our relationship is about to end. The funny thing is we are both in our 40's. I thought that relationships would be plain sailing at our age. I feel foolish reading back at this but I really need some advice.
So right off the bat a big problem I see here is you are dating someone you work with. I get it, on paper it sounds reasonable. And work seems like the ideal place where you could meet people. I'd been more open to that idea myself until more recently, but in the past few years I've realized a couple of really good reasons why people avoid dating coworkers. It may not be impossible to do, but it seems rough.
I find it odd that your partner initially was unhappy with your decision to keep things secret, but in the time since he has decided that he doesn't want others to know about it. Of course there's any number of reasons for this, so I'm not sure what caused this change for sure.
It's also kind of strange that he has known about your daughter all of this time, but has never suggested coming to your place or getting to know her. All of your meetings have been at his place, and lately are on short notice. He hasn't met your family or any of your friends in the 8 months you've known each other for, either. Have you made an effort to introduce him to your people, or to meet his?
Some of the thoughts that are swarming around in my head now are... Maybe he is uncomfortable with dating mothers, or maybe he has come to the realization that he feels more uncomfortable with others knowing about this than you originally did. Maybe in these 8 months of dating he has come to realize that you aren't quite what he is looking for? Or maybe you both just clashed from the very beginning when you decided to keep the relationship secret, and he felt that the whole sneaking around thing was kind of immature? It's hard to know for sure, they're just some guesses.
This guy is still talking to you. Yes, maybe he hasn't been as responsive as he used to be and maybe he isn't initiating things, but he hasn't severed ties with you or blocked every way you have of communicating with him. That means you can still try talking to him about this and try to get answers about how he feels about what you have going on now - and if you even have anything going on now. Communicate while you're able, but try not to assume too much - just try to find out where each of you are at with things honestly.
You know, I'm sorry you're steal dealing with this in your 40's. I think everyone is different, and honestly age is kind of just a number. But I think some communication with your boyfriend is key here.
Thank you ALTREAL for your advice.
I was reluctant to get into this relationship at first due to the fact that we work together. I personally didn't think it was ideal to get involved with one of my co workers. It took along time for me to give in to him. but I was glad that I did.
I honestly thought we would have a greater chance of this working if we kept it low key for a while. While typing this up last night and was calculating the time we had been together, I thought where has the time gone. I think with trying to juggle a full time job working awkward shifts and a relationship that is always based at his home.It has been exhausting to say the least. I have most definitely lost track of time.
I am going to talk to him and make him listen. You are definitely right about not assuming to much. I am my worse enemy with over analysing everything.