I know it's long, but...
I've been seeing a guy off and on for nearly two years now. We have fantastic chemistry (a waitress once commented on the sparks coming off of us, that she'd have to go get a fire extinguisher), tons of fun together, great conversation and banter, are both in business successfully, and compliment each other really well on the whole.
I have a penchant for being really honest and forthright, as he also has. We've both stated that this is a characteristic we both value in the other. In the past, I have pushed for an exclusive dating relationship. He has stated that he's "not ready to hang his boots up yet". We will go weeks in between communicating, and I have tried not to take him too seriously after our third date last year, which was the first time we had sex, and after which a few days later, he told me he was not interested in having an exclusive relationship with anyone then.
Our talks and meetings, which do not always involve sex, have covered everything from personal interests and silly banter to possible future children and expectations in relationships, etc. Really light stuff to really heavy stuff. We know each other pretty well, or at least I feel like we do. We get along incredibly well on an inter-personal level, but it does seem like he's testing the waters at the beginning of every meeting, which, in turn, makes me cautious at first. But we always warm up very quickly.
Over dinner about four months ago, he hesitantly produced a prescription bottle from his pocket, and somewhat embarrassedly, told me he suffered from anxiety issues. He said he'd had panic attacks in the past, and would get very anxious in certain situations. I was very accepting of it, and I figure everyone has issues of some sort, whether there's a name for them, or not. It's a matter of if and how you can deal with them, whatever they may be. He also said that night that he just couldn't bring himself to commit himself to me, but then said, "I know I'm going to call you up one day, and you'll be hooked up with someone else, and I'm going to go smash my head against a wall."
Finding out about his anxiety seems to explain a lot of his behavior, based on the little I've read so far about general anxiety. He seems to care about me, has been there for me in some tough circumstances, has many moments where he seems to get really close to me, but then (sometimes suddenly) backs off. Last night we went out again, for the first time since he told me. (We've messaged in between a tiny bit.) After about an hour in the restaurant, he got kind of quiet, and then said to me he was feeling uneasy, would I mind if we left. I said no, but wanted to use the restroom quickly. He went as well, and took a little while longer than I. Maybe he was having a little episode? If it was dinner repeating on him, I would've heard about it, lol! (We're pretty open about stuff like that
I was thinking for a while that he was an emotionally unavailable player, a few of which I've run into in my time, and that I ought to just get out quick. But I really doubt he'd be advertising his emotional issues, as well as actually pointing out an episode, to me. From what I've read, anxiety can affect your self-confidence, which he came across with quite a bit of bravado for the first few months. As I got to know him better, he started admitting some vulnerability and weakness, and eventually his "problem".
I read also that it can affect a person's relationships in many ways, including taking the quick way out via avoidance or just shutting things down completely to avoid being hurt, which he's done, ie: "We both know we're on different pages, lets not bother meeting." And then I insist we do, and he drives the furthest and we have a good time. He also wrote off his car coming out on a date with me last spring, when we'd agreed to chat about exclusivity, and he'd stated that there was another issue that he'd like to share, and that it would help explain why he was the way he was, but he wanted to tell me in person. Perhaps he worked himself up, and piled the car up, because he's a great driver normally. And it was two meetings later that he shared this with me. I know his last relationship ended in a shambles, and that his ex really drug him thru the mud. He's never really elaborated on that, and I haven't asked him, but it sounds like she cheated on him for a while before he found out.
Anyways, this is really long, but I wanted what I thought were important details down. I really dig this guy. He makes me feel things, good or bad, like no one else I've ever met. He pointed out once that maybe I just wanted to be with him because he was unavailable. And I thought about that, and it's not true. I've gotten past a few people I was crazy about, who didn't reciprocate my feelings, and it's never taken more than a few weeks or a couple of months. Him and I have been apart for as long as four to five months. And the fact that he said that also indicate his wanting to shut me out. This was in the same convo as the "smash my head against the wall" statement. And then I didn't call him, and he called me a few weeks later to see how I was.
How does one deal with someone who's all over the map? Who seems to be slowly coming around, but so slowly it's ridiculous to many people? Does this have something to do with anxiety disorders? Or am I just a smo in love with a player? Have I unearthed this because I have the patience of a saint? Seriously...
Thanks again for reading this far, and for any feedback, advice or ideas you may have!