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Old 07-20-2005, 05:50 PM   #1
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dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

I've been dating this guy for a little over a month - we talked about things in the beginning, how he was messed up still over his divorce, and recently we've talked about taking it very slow, and I've agreed with him completely.We talk and talk and talk, but haven't been very physical (just a few kisses and hugs and hand holding).

I'm ready for love, I'm ready for something good and real - and I feel we really have it. I feel like he truly appreciates me for the woman that I am, and he readily agrees that he does. I normally feel good about myself, but when I'm with him I feel amazing - because he really "gets" me!

We had a talk several days ago, where he told me that he is not ready and he admitted he was seeing someone else. We talked and talked about many things... it seems to me that most of the conversation was about his fear, since he pretty much thinks I'm a great person and really enjoys being with me...

I also let him know that while I understand his interest in "dating other people" I definitely deserve someone who ONLY wants to see me and that what we have is worth focusing on.

I also told him I am prepared to meet him in the middle, ie taking it slow, understanding his recovery is still developing, etc.

We acknowledged that we both have to think things over, but we finished the conversation feeling very close, and he told me I had told him the "right" things, things that he agreed with and he really was going to think over, that were in my favor.

I've had a lot of troubled, one sided relationships in the past, with men who were not nice, and over the past year (I'm 30) I've really been working on changing that. This guy is different - he's more like I was a few years ago, wanting love and trying to please at his own expense, only he too is trying a new path.

Confused or not, he's kind and considerate, and puts me first in ways that I'm not used to (but ready for!).

Sooooo...
What do I do?
How is he feeling?
What does it feel like to be hurt and divorced and scared?
What does it feel like to meet someone when you're not quite ready?
Any ideas or strategies for taking something like this slow, without going crazy?

All imput and advice greatly appreciated!

 
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Old 07-20-2005, 08:50 PM   #2
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Sounds like he wants to put you on the back burner and only come to you if he doesn't find another woman.

You should push the whole idea aside and tell him if he's interested, to call you when he's done playing the field.

 
Old 07-20-2005, 08:52 PM   #3
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

My own personal opinion if the guy is recently divorced granted he won't want anything serious in a long long time. If you can stand that good. As for me the guy has to be ready otherwise I'm not wasting my precious time.

Last edited by ladivapr02; 07-20-2005 at 08:53 PM.

 
Old 07-20-2005, 09:12 PM   #4
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

You've expressed to him that you are a one-man woman, correct?
And he has told you that he's seeing someone else, right?

And how was this situation left after your conversation?

Last edited by Ruth6:11; 07-20-2005 at 09:13 PM.

 
Old 07-20-2005, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Hmm... thanks. Let's see...

1. We agreed on two things: We really like each other and would like to continue getting to know each other, AND that we both have to think things over and make some decisions.

2. I truly don't feel I'm on the back burner... we've been streadily growing closer with each week, seeing each other more, talking on the phone, etc.

3. And, I expressed to him that I am not interested in dating anyone else, and for that reason I am not interested in dating him if he wants to continue seeing the other person.

I have really great feelings for this person, and it's not something I'm imagining. It's based on how we talk, how we get along, the things we agree on, and this feeling that he really really likes and accepts ALL OF ME.

Also, we went out the night after, to have dinner with some friends. We didn't talk about "us", we just had a nice time and talked. It wasn't awkward, we just put the issues aside because we enjoy being together and the time will come to talk about things again, later.

Again, thank you for your imput, all comments are taken into consideration, but (ehem) I did list specific questions I am curious about...

 
Old 07-20-2005, 10:12 PM   #6
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

I can't answer your questions.. I think you have already answered them...

When you meet someone and you're not ready to be in a relationship, the worst thing you can do is get into a relationship with that person. If your feelings just are not into it, then the feelings are just not into it. It is not a bad thing, just an honest thing.

This guy of yours, he is seeing someone else. He is not over his divorce. You have nice times when you avoid the issue of you two being together. I think you already have your answers, that you are just scared to admit it.

You know, it is okay to be friends with someone without being intimately or romantically involved with them.

Besides, if you are all tied up into this man, who doesn't want what you want, then how is the guy who will and does want what you want, come into your life? Take it from me, I missed a lot of great guys dealing with the bottom of the barrel.

 
Old 07-21-2005, 04:02 PM   #7
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

I think the guy is stringing you along. He wants to see you, but he is still looking around the corner for something better.

It's good to give a man some space, but if he is seeing other women, then he's not interested in a serious relationship with you. I think you are really putting your heart out on the line with this man.

I would see other people myself, and just ignore the guy for awhile.

 
Old 07-21-2005, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Regarding your specific questions:

>> What do I do?

You seem to have already made up your mind about what you are going to do -- more or less... nothing. You're going to let him have all the control in the relationship and just sit back and hope and WAIT for him to come to a decision. If you can live with that -- go right ahead. It's clear that at this point, even though you are asking for advice, almost certainly you are going to allow your emotions to overtake any logic.

>> How is he feeling?

Only HE knows how he is feeling. Hasn't he told you? You claim he says he's scared. I'm betting there is a great deal of truth to this. However, since he is dating someone else, he's not THAT scared, is he? Almost certainly what he's afraid of is a serious relationship, not casual sex or flirting or female companionship. He's already withholding emotions and that is unlikely to change in a short time. Can't blame the guy for wanting to play the field if this is what he needs to do -- it's his life, his choice. Sometimes after a divorce or the end of an unmarried relationship, a person will go out and just have fun, refraining from commitment for obvious reasons. He is not leading you on to a great extent, though he SHOULD KNOW BETTER. He's GOT to see that you are FAR more involved than he is at this point. He's been honest with you but at the same time he is sort of skirting the issues and using his fear and his divorce as a (real) excuse to avoid exclusivity with you. Again, that is HIS choice. YOUR choice is whether or not you can live with that.

>> What does it feel like to be hurt and divorced and scared?

That all depends on the nature of the divorce. If both individuals couldn't stand each other and the split was mutual -- the feeling can be great relief, freedom, happiness, etc. If the split was not mutual there can be feelings of loneliness, distrust, fear of attachment, general jaded outlook, depression, confusion, you name it. Everyone is different. We cannot tell you exactly what HE feels.

>> What does it feel like to meet someone when you're not quite ready?

Again, everyone is different. We can't say how HE feels about the situation. He may be intrigued, he may be indifferent. He may want to see how things pan out, he may want to end it all fast and enjoy his new life as a single man. He may think you have potential but he may not want to jump right into anything at the moment. He may be trying very hard not to hurt your feelings and is currently working out a plan to let you down easy. He may be giving this all serious consideration and is confused himself and therefore his actions and words cannot be given any sort of definitive explanation.

>> Any ideas or strategies for taking something like this slow, without going crazy?

The question should be: "WHY am I MAKING myself crazy about this?" You already KNOW what the situation IS. Even though you don't know WHY he feels the way he does, or even exactly HOW he feels, you understand the bottom line: he is NOT ready to commit to you. He has interest and enjoys your company and personality but he's not about to dive headfirst into ANOTHER relationship immediately after a FAILED relationship.

He's being FAIR and honest about all of this -- yet he's being somewhat unrealistic, too. I'm sure he KNOWS that you are getting FAR too attached and that is only going to do one thing -- push him FURTHER away. The more you tighten your grip, the more sand slips through your fingers...

You entered into this relationship knowing full well that the man was recently divorced. Now you are of a mind to continue the relationship knowing he ALSO wants to date other women.

I think it is perfectly clear that you CANNOT handle that.

That's OK -- you shouldn't have to.

THIS is your dilemma. You WANT something and you are simply NOT going to get it right now. If you FORCE it, you will also KILL it.

You're looking for a magic bullet here online, something to help you cope or to give you better insight into HIS mind so that you can do your best to give him SOME of what he wants, with the exception that you won't let him date other women. Unfortunately, I'll bet a million bucks that dating other women is what he wants MOST of all.

This is why EVERYONE here is telling you in such a kind way that you should drop this.

I doubt you'll take that advice, though.

You really only have two choices:

1) Stick with it -- see if he picks YOU whenever he is ready to pick someone, IF he is ready to pick someone at all. If you do this, you have to be able to deal with the emotional repercussions of such a choice.

2) Leave him. Tell him to give you a call sometime if he feels like he is ready to date ONE woman exclusively, namely: YOU.

You both want VERY different things right now. It's admirable that you want to understand where he's coming from, but in the end... that won't help you at all. Even if you understand it, the fact remains: you cannot CHANGE it.

You have already told him you want a man who is interested ONLY in you. Now, get his answer: yes or no. He can date JUST you or he can date anyone he wants BUT you.

It is frustrating because this is OUT of your hands -- but there's isn't a thing you can do to change that. It is HIS call to make -- with one exception: YOU can make the choice first and let him go, then see if he comes back to you.

You want a strategy for taking this slowly, "without going crazy." Well, look inside yourself. Can you handle it? Can you sit home some nights and NOT hear from him and wonder if he is out with another woman? Is that something you can deal with?

I'm sorry -- I don't think you can. And that's OK, too -- again, you shouldn't have to.

So... the strategy is to be HONEST with yourself. Can you handle it? If you TRULY can -- then get used to WAITING and try to just HAVE FUN. If you cannot -- get out NOW before you get even MORE involved.

It seems obvious that you are in a hurry here. Unfortunately, life doesn't always allow for us to hurry things just because it suits our present needs to do so. HIS needs are important, too, even if you don't agree with them or understand them.

So... how long has he been divorced, what was the nature of his divorce, and what does he tell you when you tell him that he can only date YOU and no one else?

 
Old 07-21-2005, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Hi ScruffyGuy...!

You're right about everything, and I appreciate your frankness...

Yeah, I know want I want to do. I want to keep seeing him. I realize I have options, like breaking it off myself, or seeing other people, or just not worrying about it...

I used to push alot, and a few years ago I pushed really hard for a long time and ended up in bad shape.

I don't do that anymore, and I'm relieved to see that while I'm definitely thinking alot about this situation, I don't feel any need to call him or talk to him, or push things with him.

You are 100% right about the Magic Bullet...! I want the One Answer, the Solution. Or just reassurance Of course, I know. There is no magic bullet... nothing anyone else can tell me will change the situation.

I am in a hurry, and I'm not sure what to do about that.

I'm trying to be honest with myself. Yes, I know what I want, and I know what we have. I'm not sure where halfway is, or if I go there.

I know I don't want to be pining away for him, while wondering who he's out with.

I do think I'd like to continue the great conversations, and the good feelings we have.

*sigh* I guess all this expended energy isn't doing anything for me.

For now, I am waiting. I'm waiting for him to contact me, I'm waiting to see how I feel about things each day, I'm waiting to see how we are the next time we see each other, and I'm waiting to see what happens.

And I don't feel bad about the waiting for now - it feels fine, like leaving well enough alone.

I feel good that we have established enough of a friendship for me to feel secure. Taking things slowly really does have its advantages. Like, I'm not sure what will happen, but I feel pretty sure we will figure it out, even if it means not seeing each other or (really) only being friends.

Scruffy, thanks (again) for specifically answering my (ehem) questions. To answer yours, he was married for about a year, after having been with her for a year, and they separated (different countries) 9 months ago, and the divorce has been final for 5 months. We haven't yet discussed their relationship in full, but what he tells me is that he couldn't make her happy, and he exausted himself trying. I realize that could mean many many things.

When I told him I only want to date him if he only dates me, we basically agreed that he needs to make a decision. He also chose that moment to let me know that other person had just recently let him know she has a 6 year old son. He told me he wasn't sure how he might deal with that.

 
Old 07-22-2005, 08:08 AM   #10
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Hi! I would like to offer some advice as I have very recently came out of something very similiar. I have known this guy for over a year, he is 32 and was going through a divorce. We hung out and did friend things until the divorce was final in February. WE went through a lot with all this. Once the divorce was final we started dating. And said all these wonderful things to me how when he found something good he held on to it and that I was wonderful and just what the dr ordered. Well, over the next couple of months he began pulling away. He broke it off end of May and said he just wasn't ready to commit to a long term relationship. A month later he is seeing a 21 yr old girl who has a toddler and is not even divorced yet. I am having a rough time with all this.
As for your question what do you do? I agree with Scruffy that you already know what you want to do. That is all well and fine but PLEASE beware that if he is telling you that he was seeing someone else that there is strong possibility that you may get hurt. I would not want you to get hurt like I did. I am still struggling through it.
As far as the guy feels. No one knows but him. I can honestly believe that he isn't gonna want what you want in a serious relationship. My ex claimed he didn't either and now is in a relationship with someone even younger and claims he is sooo happy. I am jsut not convinced. He hasn't even been divorced a year. How many men do you know jumped back into a serious relationship less than a year after divorce.
Just PLEASE be careful. I really don't want you to be hurt!!

 
Old 07-22-2005, 05:47 PM   #11
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Thank you very much for you honest and detailed response!

There's a level of introspection contained in what you wrote that is often NOT seen on these boards -- too many times a generalized statement gets taken way too far. Your understanding of the situation from an OBJECTIVE as well as SUBJECTIVE point of view is highly admirable. Kudos!

I think you're doing exactly what you need to do right now -- just hang in there, wait it out, see what happens. But as you know, this is NOT easy and Gamecock expresses valid concerns for your ultimate emotional state as this situation escalates (because it WILL ultimately escalate -- it is NOT over yet).

Through all of this, and through whatever is yet to come, just do YOURSELF a favor and put YOURSELF first, OK? If you can keep focused on what is good for YOU, you'll come out OK on the other side. If you start to feel that you are sacrificing too much by waiting or even by ultimately BEING with him, take a moment and step back, analyze your situation, and REFLECT before you act, OK?

And I should correct one thing I wrote -- even though right now you are giving him control, YOU can also take control, at least of YOURSELF. If you think the waiting game is unsuitable and undeserved, don't forget that YOU can put an end to that at any time! But it will take courage to walk away yourself. It IS an option, though -- so remember you have a few weapons left in your arsenal if you need to use them.

Look out for yourself and focus your energy on YOU and the others in your life that you love.

A casual side comment here...

He wasn't married all that long. This MIGHT mean he will get over his divorce sooner than some who had been married a very long time. No guarantees, though! But it IS possible, should want at least SOME bit of hope. I'd caution to avoid putting ALL your hopes on this, though...

Which leads me to... your statement that the gal he's seeing has a young child and his slightly negative response to that. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think you are also looking at this new information as something to HOPE for, that she and he will NOT work out together. I'll agree: it IS possible as well -- but don't waste your life sitting around WAITING on that to happen. It is important for you to keep the focus on YOURSELF. Don't forget that.

You're on the right track -- and you've got a good head on your shoulders, too. That will get you far in life. And remember, we only get ONE life to live -- you don't want to waste yours by letting someone else have COMPLETE control of you. You don't have to actively search for ways to diminish HIM and what he's doing, but you CAN look for ways to ENRICH yourself. And should he come back to you -- KEEP on enriching yourself: this is a process that should NEVER need to end. Other people can bring us great joy and personal fulfillment, sure... but we can maximize the benefits of a good relationship by being HAPPY with ourselves.

Best of luck to you!

 
Old 07-22-2005, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

And my question is now:

When is he to make this decision? What is the agreed upon date when he will tell you his decision?

If there is no date, there will be no decision. He can continue to see you both...

(Many attaboys to Scruffy for wonderful input)

 
Old 07-23-2005, 03:39 AM   #13
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Hi...! Saw him tonight, with a group of friends. We socialized nicely, with each other and with others, and then went out for dinner around 2 am just the two of us.

(I had decided to "control" my half of the situation by not making the slightest inquiry as to what we had so recently discussed, by just not giving it importance at the moment. I was even prepared to tell him - if he brought things up - that I would like to have some more time to think before talking about this, but that was all unnecessary)

After chatting in the restaurant he let me know directly and without prelude that he stopped seeing the other girl. There were a few different reasons, but the one I like the best was that it just felt like the "right thing to do".

Then he asked me, "But... I don't know what's next... What do we do now?" I just told him more of the same - getting to know each other, having fun and communicating. And that we'll just figure it out day by day, but (for me) it'll be so much easier to do all of that if it's just the two of us. He agreed.

I'm pleasantly surprised... I'm so pleased...! I'm even a little scared now myself (you got what you wanted, are you ready?) but... well, we can just keep taking it slow.

You know, in the big conversation we initially had had about all of this, I made a number of statements to him that clearly demonstrated to him the degree to which I value myself. Those are some of the "right" things I said which he said helped him make his decision. He wants to be with someone who knows what she wants and deserves (another great side effect of healthy self-esteem!).

And yes, I intend to be careful, and feel things out bit by bit - we both agree taking it slow is good for many many reasons, not only because he's recently divorced.

I'll continue to post - I know there will be more to come. Thank you again for all the positive imput. To be honest ScruffyGuy, I felt defensive about your first response, but I know how hard it is to read into whats really going on in these posts, so I just tried to share a little more of what I really think - as opposed to my initial panic of my first post.

Thanks for the kudos

Last edited by victorita; 07-23-2005 at 03:42 AM.

 
Old 07-23-2005, 05:47 AM   #14
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamecock360
Hi! As far as the guy feels. No one knows but him. I can honestly believe that he isn't gonna want what you want in a serious relationship. My ex claimed he didn't either and now is in a relationship with someone even younger and claims he is sooo happy. I am jsut not convinced. He hasn't even been divorced a year. How many men do you know jumped back into a serious relationship less than a year after divorce.
Just PLEASE be careful. I really don't want you to be hurt!!
This is excellent advice. From what I have read and heard from grown, professional men, most men are not ready for a serious, monogamous relationship for at least one year after a divorce. I'm not saying your man is the same way, but I would proceed with caution, like Gamecock says.

Proceed slowly, and try not to get too emotionally attached until you know for sure what his intentions are. He could be on the rebound and you definitely don't want to be another one of his rebound rejects. Good luck!

 
Old 07-23-2005, 06:42 AM   #15
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Re: dating recently divorced guy ... we're scared...

Quote:
Originally Posted by victorita


After chatting in the restaurant he let me know directly and without prelude that he stopped seeing the other girl. There were a few different reasons, but the one I like the best was that it just felt like the "right thing to do".


Those are some of the "right" things I said which he said helped him make his decision. He wants to be with someone who knows what she wants and deserves (another great side effect of healthy self-esteem!).
After reading this post I'm still confused about somethings. I understand he quit the other girl and he wants someone who knows what she wants and deserves but you never said that he said it was you.

I also didn't understand you to say that he said he only wanted to date you or that you brought that point up. He didn't sound very clear on these points to me. It seems like he continues to skirt the issues. What exactly is his views concerning these issues? DOES HE ONLY WANT TO DATE ONE WOMAN (i.e. you) OR NOT? Or is he making up his mind about wanting to date only one woman? Will he continue to date other women while he sees you?

As previous replies stated, we don't know what he is thinking so you have to get clear answers.

Good luck

 
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