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Afraid to let go, afraid to hold onto him

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Relationship advice I met this man online about eight months ago. He's in his early 40's and I'm in my early 30's. To get it out the way, he was open with me and told me he is an alcoholic. I am talking about the negatives more than the positives to hopefully help myself realize what choice I need to make...


I pursued him as I was physically attracted to him at first. We talked for about a month before we decided to meet up for a date. The date went well. Spent most the day together and ended it with our first kiss. We met up a couple times after that and hung out at his place. We became friends. Two and a half months after meeting each other, we ended up becoming friends with benefits and spent every weekend at his place up until now during this whole relationship. (Eight and a half months total


A month after we became friends with benefits, I found I was developing feelings for him. Around that time another female came into the picture and I took the opportunity to open up about my feelings to him. After that, we didn't talk for over a week as I wanted to move on from the situation. We got close it seemed because he still contacted me while he was with the other female. Another week passed and he told me he left the other woman and wanted to see me. We reconnected as friends with benefits for about another three months until I noticed another female was calling his phone that he kept sending to voicemail. I questioned him on it as I explained I was not okay with sharing partners.


He opened up to me and explained that he enjoys my company and that feels that he has developed deeper feelings for me but was not that attracted to me and looking for something better. I was devastated and my self-esteem was shot. The next day he sent me a message on Skype asking how I felt. I vented to him that what he said hurt and almost unbearable to deal with. He went on to say he was sorry and that he did find me beautiful the way I was and that he was drunk when he said everything the night before. He also said that I became his best friend and he didn't want to lose me. We didn't talk for another week and I decided to send him a note.


I explained that he and I are on different pages and that I would need to cut all ties because I was certain I wanted more with him. I expressed that my feelings got more deeper over the months and that I could tell he had an attachment to me. I told him that I would feel horrible if he was only trying to keep me around by not seeing other women when that is what he truly wanted to do. I didn't want him to resent me just to not lose me. It was hard but I was deciding to just let him go so I wouldn't torture myself holding onto him when he told me in a couple ways he didn't want to be held onto.


A couple days after I sent that letter he asked if I could come over so we could talk. He dropped a bombshell explaining that he has commitment issues but feels he has developed deeper feelings for me too but is also feeling unsure. He repeated he didn't want to lose me and that I was his best friend. I told him again that I wanted a serious relationship with him and asked him if his feelings meant he would want one too. He said he could see us being in a relationship down the line. So we continued our relationship and were taking things slow or so I thought.


I never invited this man to my home as I wanted to make sure the relationship was going to go somewhere beyond what we were doing. Until I knew for sure, I didn't want him to know where I lived. I was supposed to have him over this past weekend but something told me to pay more attention to his actions. I noticed that he was getting alerts on his phone for messages he received on the dating site (he never tried to hide his phone from me and would leave it on the couch). I know I'm wrong here but as more time passed during this relationship, I didn't think to keep trying to see other people because I am a one guy dater. Anyway, I decided to log into my account and noticed he was still active. It didn't surprise me much as I already noticed the alerts pop up on his phone.


I brought this up to him and he said he just seen us as really great friends. Once again, I was devastated but swallowed my pain and told him then and there that I didn't want just half of him and saying he could see us being in a relationship down the line a couple months ago was deceiving. During the eight months, spending almost every weekend with him and sometimes spending weekdays and nights together we just got so attached to each other. We opened up to each other about our insecurities, our pasts, our fears, our emotional pains, childhoods, values and beliefs and we just got attached because we were so open to each other. We have some kind of tie to each other that just got really strong.


I've been hot and cold all week with him. He must've been drunk the night things blew up because he texted me during the week like everything was okay. I told him over and over I can't deal with having half of him with my feelings and watch him be with other women. He then opened up more to me saying he doesn't know what he wants (which I feel he does know if he doesn't want to be with me), he has intimacy issues and that he hasn't been in an intimate relationship since 2005, doesn't think he should be loved with his issues and said he isn't ready to be in a relationship because he doesn't see himself being monogamous now.


We had our last face to face talk a couple days ago and I came to terms with my feelings. I let myself get so attached to him that I want to keep him to myself. I came to terms that I love him and I have to let him go because my feelings are making him and myself unhappy. My feelings got too deep and I feel like I may be doing something controlling by talking to him about all this to make him see I want him to be with me. I swallowed my pride and I told him everything regarding this because I really don't want to control or manipulate him.

So now he knows I love him. I honestly hoped that telling him that I love him would scare him away to make this easier. It didn't though.


However, in our last face to face talk a couple days ago and with knowing I love him, he said he doesn't want to lose me out of his life completely because he has never opened up or connected to a woman before like he has with me. He said he's just curious about the other women and said that seeing them may give him a better perspective about what he wants when it comes to me. I want to believe that so much but it's hard for me now with how things have happened over the months.


I'm very conflicted today as I thought I could try to be his friend while he dates other women but I told him I need to disconnect from him because I can't handle it. I don't have friends that can give me advice on this as they have not had relationship experiences like this. He and I have been talking but today I keep going back and forth. I asked him if we could talk a little tonight with the thoughts I'm struggling with and he said we should wait a day or two. I know I'm at a point where I'm annoying him now and annoying myself even with this. He may need time to think this stuff over too so I'm fighting to leave him alone for a couple days.


I have moments where I think I'll be okay with it and moments where I think I won't be. I need help.

Afraid to let go, afraid to hold onto him

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I am really really sorry to say this, but I think he is playing you for a fool.

He is telling you what you want to hear until you come close enough to sleep with, then shoving you away when he ''has something better'' lined up.

To be honest I am surprised you have put up with him this long. You must care deeply for him, and I am sorry that this is hurting you.

You deserve better. You accepted him even though he is an alcoholic, you forgave him for sleeping around, and saying really hurtful things.

But I just don't think this is going where you want, or deserve to honey.

Try and cut loose now before you get sucked further in.

Afraid to let go, afraid to hold onto him

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"During the eight months, spending almost every weekend with him and sometimes spending weekdays and nights together we just got so attached to each other. We opened up to each other about our insecurities, our pasts, our fears, our emotional pains, childhoods, values and beliefs and we just got attached because we were so open to each other. We have some kind of tie to each other that just got really strong."

Oh, how great for him. He gets everything a boyfriend would and should get, but in return doesn't have to give you everything a girlfriend would and should get ("wheyhey!"). I.e. he gets all the male perks and you get, er, some of the male perks and none of the female ones, bar sex and conversation (which has more meaning to you than him, clearly, or else even that on its own would be something he'd demonstrate he wished to preserve and protect and *not* just when there're no other options at the time).

Do you realise you could get sex and conversation whilst meantime charging anything upwards of £100 per hour?

It appears he doesn't care how you feel about him one way or the other just as long as you're still opening your legs and your armchair-therapist's booth. Which you do keep doing.

Listen, if he's not ready to commit, even to a woman whom he himself claims has strong feelings for as makes it possible (so he says) for him to envisage having a proper, actual relationship with - not unless and until he's first sampled enough *other* goods in the shop in order to (so he says) be certain - then he is not ready full-stop. Or so he says...but then when he's getting everything on his terms, what do you *expect* him to come up with as a female-acceptable answer?

Life truth: you do not need to have sampled sex or a relationship with any other woman to be certain you're in-love with woman A. You're just certain. It's intrinsically innate...instinctual.

I'm sorry you love him and therefore want badly to be steadies, but it's not reciprocated, fact, because, if we believe his plausible-sounding explanation, he's not ready to be relationship material, fact. And you have a life, including a love-life, to be getting on with. Why on earth would you be okay about waiting around for whatever indeterminate period, possibly months, possibly years, when you really don't have to and when you could feel everything you feel for him *and more* with one of a multitude of men out there that *are* ready?

What you're doing is tantamount to an employer wanting to keep on a newly appointed typist whose trial period has proven hasn't even finished learning how to type, just because he's nice to have around and brings to the table a certain few perks, unrelated to the business at hand (of making a profit enough to guarantee yet another year of trading)?

HE CAN BARELY TYPE. YOU NEED A TYPIST. OR DON'T YOU? WHICH? You have to make your mind up, WHAT DO YOU WANT? That you *can* have, I mean?

You're 'annoying' him? What does he think he's been doing all this time to you? Answer: destroying, chip by chip, your sense of self-worth in the eyes of marketable males and in your own. Insulting you and your attractive qualities in and out.

I expect the real reason he wants you to wait a day or two is the usual, that being, because he's got bigger and more immediate fish to fry and doesn't want to turn up to those dates looking and acting (his perception) *hassled*.

I know it's really, really hard when you've already attached to that depth, but you have to face the facts, and those include that in this part-liaison, part-free prostitution service,...this one-way street,... is making you feel far more miserable more of the time than it does happy and life-enhanced for the rest of it. Case closed... a relationship should do you GOOD. So what you have to do is go cold turkey. And I say that because you've already tried and failed more than once to wean yourself off, meaning, there's no other solution available.

However, I imagine that, COMPARED TO NOTHING/NO-ONE, he's preferable, yes. So there's your problem, then. You need to take this one back to the shop for one that actually works in accordance with what it says on its tin. However, if you can't be a*sed to get off your bum and 'start again' with sifting through the frogs then, sure, stay as you are, ONLY, cease with the expectations of this going anywhere. Use him like he's using you, whilst and just until you meet someone VIABLE.

Can you do that? If you can't, then... DUMP.

Afraid to let go, afraid to hold onto him

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Thanks for the replies. It's taken about two days to get replies on this and in that time I have come to terms with everything and doing better. I let everything sink in and I'm done. I wrote this out at the peak of the pain and that has eased off a bit.

Afraid to let go, afraid to hold onto him

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Fairenoughski. Glad you're over the shock and feeling better. :-) Feel free to pick your thread back up if ever need be, though.

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

B-3