I’ve been seeing this guy, we’ll call him Charlie, on and off for the past two years. I think I’m in love with him, actually quite sure of it. And, at the risk of sounding delusional, I think he has feelings for me too, although he’s never voiced them. Which, again, I know how it sounds.
When we first started dating, I was non-committal. I’d cancel dates last minute, blow him off. I’d run hot and cold. He couldn’t predict when or where I was coming. And to be honest, I was too immature to date. I was scared of getting close to him, but I wanted him to prove to me he actually liked me. I was terrible to him in that sense. And he was always chasing me – for three months.
We finally started dating on a regular basis, and even though intuitively I knew it was coming, he seemingly called it off with me out of nowhere.
I tried to recall what his reasoning was – but I was struck by the blow. Something along the lines of not being easy to read, not telling him how I felt. He said I was perfect on paper, but he didn’t feel close to me.
That moment, I felt an incredible loss. I did whatever I could to distract myself – worked a ton of hours, and when I wasn’t working I was drinking. I dated a ton of guys, and felt nothing toward any of them. I lead them on, only to disappear after a few weeks, leaving them wondering what happened. Charlie was always on my mind. Like he was torturing me with his memory. I never contacted him once during our breakup. I thought it was the end, even though there was a glimmer of hope I’d run into him again and get a second chance.
Nearly a year later, I did. At that point, I started therapy, quit one of my many jobs, started yoga, drank less, tried to make my apartment a home. I stopped dating the many, and started to focus on myself and was starting to date a nice guy (who later turned out to be not so nice).
It was then I run into Charlie. It was nearly a year later, and I pass him on the street. I actually didn’t even know I did. It was Charlie who noticed and sent me a simple text that read “I think I just saw you.”
It was funny, really, because I remember waiting at the crosswalk, thinking about him, and wondering what I would do if I ever ran into him again.
Well – we started dating again. Except this time he tells me he’s moving to New York by the end of the year. I don’t know if I even should get involved with him again in the first place, since the last breakup took nearly a year to get over, which was interrupted by dating him again.
We continue to see each other until he leaves, which left a terrible memory of him in my mind. The last night I see him, he invites me, or so I think, to his going away party. I arrive only to find out the party has ended, and I’m there with him, and his friends to finish out the night bar hopping. Instead of making a big deal out of it, I decide to make the best of the night and be sensitive to the fact this is the last time he’s going to be seeing his life-long friends in a long time. I swallow my pride and I have a good time. He asks me what my plans where for the holidays, and he was trying to make plans to visit me.
When the night was over, and we had a chance alone, I tell him I have feelings for him. And I ask him what that means for us. He looks at me, and with a hint of scorn in his voice, like what do I except to happen? He’s living 3,000 miles away. Hurt, I replied, so you want to do your thing and I do my thing and see what happens? He said he thinks it’s best.
I said I just “wanted to give him first right of refusal.” I vowed never to talk to him again after that night.
Obviously that didn’t happen. After a month of living in New York, I get text from Charlie saying that I reminded him of the heroine in the book he’s reading. That was enough for me to talk to him again, and I ask him about the last night I saw him.
He said he felt bad because he felt he didn’t treat me fairly, because he was “unwilling to confirm where we stood from an emotional standpoint.” His exact words. He said that he was so overwhelmed with saying goodbye to his life in California that he didn’t know how to say goodbye to me.
I said I shouldn’t have brought it up, and he said there is nothing to apologize for. And he’d keep me posted next time he’s out here.
We send a few text exchanges, and he finally confirms his trip out to California. I see him the day after he lands. It was an impromptu visit, and he had been drinking.
He tells me he misses me, that I’m beautiful. That he’s so happy to see me. He spends the night holding me in his arms. He takes me out to dinner the next night, and the same thing happens.
We are going to see each other again in the next few days, after he visits his friends and family. No matter what, I want to see him. But I feel foolish sometimes. He hasn’t said a word about how he feels, and I’m afraid he may be using me. I can’t imagine him being that cruel, because he must know how I feel. Am I stupid for seeing him? How should I handle this situation? Should I tell him again how I feel?
Seems like neither of you really trusts each other with a "serious" relationship - and no wonder. There's been really erratic behavior from both of you in the past.
Now there is the pressure of a long distance relationship and trying to figure out how that might work.
He's not taking YOU when visiting friends and family? That ought to tell you that he feels that he still doesn't know you well enough to let you into his life completely. You are a "side" thing right now that he's trying to figure out. He's got his guard up, for sure. It really sounds like he's taking it slow and won't be pushed into anything.
Just see this for what it is. Continue to take care of yourself (bravo for that!!) and if he likes what he sees as the "new you" he will make moves to keep the connection with you and make it grow. You, on the other hand, can take this time to figure out if he is the one to deserve the "new you."
Thank you so much SusieDQQ! This was the best advice I've ever received on this situation. I'll just continue to focus my attention back on working on me, and see where things go with us.
Thank you again!