I just need some advice...I'll try to make this short. I met a man on vacation a few months ago. We've been talking quite frequently since then and have seen each other a handful of times b/c of the distance. He is a little more than 10 years older than me and I am in my early thirties. I am not sure if his recent inconsistent behavior is due to having problems with his job and managing his children....b/c he is divorced (for 5 years) and has dual custody of his two children.
At first he was very smitten with me and called me all of the time...this was when work was going well. I was actually casually seeing a few other men at the time when I met this person and when we first began talking. I did tell him about the other men after about a month into it b/c I thought it was fair to do. He reacted by not calling very often, not always returning my calls, and being very sarcastic when I did talk with him. It's never been the same since.
I finally ended my other casual relationships b/c I felt like I had more potential with this new man. I told this man about that. Meanwhile he was losing his job and trying to find another one. He has seemed very stressed out and still doesn't always return calls ..although he asks me to call him and forgets he tells me certain things. Is he just not that into me, does he have too many other commitments to take on another one, or is he scared of getting into another relationship again---something he has told me, and/or is he worried about me finding someone else. Any advice/personal experience is appreciated. What would you say/ask him or do about this situation?
Sounds like it's a combination of all of the above. Losing a job can be very very stressful of course. And dealing with time share kids and all that. Plus, he seems to be very emotionally raw, reacting the rather immature way he did when you told him he was not the only man in the picture. I don't have all that much experience with divorced men, but it sounds like he's just not emotionally available to really devote himself to any kind of real relationship at all right now.
This is a difficult one. There is some guesswork here to be done. One problem is that this is a long-distance relationship, if I have understood it, and most of your interaction is through e-mail or over the phone, right?
Thinking in terms of cause and effect: it may be true that your mentioning other men in your life has somehow scared him away. Did you make it very clearly that you had stopped seeing these other guys because you were interested in pursuing a relationship with him? If there is still a loose end here, so to say, it is understandable for him to keep away from you. However, I don't get the sarcasm. It could be self-defense, it could be the masculine pride speaking up, but anyway this sounds to me a little bit too immature. And I also don't understand why he doesn't break up completely, either. Is he playing hard to get?
I don't much buy into the idea that a divorced man is scared of getting into another relationship again. Actually, I would say that men can't live with a relationship, even though their definition of a good relationship may be quite different than a woman's. A divorced man may not want to live together again, but I don't think he will have become afraid or tired of the company of a woman.
What about his job, did he find another one? A jobless man can feel embarrassed and ashamed, but to me this is no justification for coldness towards someone else, especially in a romantic relationship that is in its first stages.
Maybe you have to get together with him again and explain clearly where you stand and ask him where he stands. It is only by talking to him that you may find the answers to your questions. I wish you luck. But try to get over your frustration if he keeps playing these games and gives you no satisfactory response. In that case, you may have to admit that you did not have that much potential with him. Not your fault, anyway.
I'm curious why you thought someone living with distance from you, with two childdren to actively parent, that is losing his job was a better companion than people living closer to you, with more time and effort to put towards seeing you.
Thank you everyone for your advice...I truly appreciate it. Any other advice is welcomed...especially "male" advice. To answer your question as to why I got involved with him in the first place....I just thought we had a great connection and he convinced me of that.
The initial phase of 3-6 months without much distance involved is infatuation. That's "your desire for me, attention to me makes me feel so great about myself, I can't get enough of your attention."
That's not a period of objective evaluation of character, but it's a great time to revel in how yuou feel about yourself - thanks to them, and about them by association.
You told him you were dating other people, I assume in closer proximity. And he's become more distant, despite you now telling him you've ceased to date other people.
So my point is that distance, a lack of funding, and his obligations on his time with his children - are going to keep him from seeig much of you in person, and spending much money on you when you to - or to have much contact.
He might very much want to see you - but he has an obligation and hopefully desire to attend to his children from that marriage and give them what they need - more than indulge his own desire for attention and gratification with you.
I don't think you had enough contact to know whether he ever wanted a relationshpi of comitment, or a fling for gratification, or a long-standing affiar with distance in the mix by default of his "real life" where he is.
But it would appear that you've ceased to pursue other options on dating despite not knowing what he wants or intends, becuase you want "him"....so you'd want to realistically evaluate do you want a reltionhsip with im - if it involves the distance, sporadic contact, and very little interaction of any sort becuase of his obligations/situation elsewhere.
You're right I do have to ask myself those questions...and I think he got me hooked in the beginning b/c of all of the promises he made but hasn't followed through with...and you're right it is the infatuation stage. I haven't stopped thinking about pursuing other options---(I could be answering my own initial question here)...one just hasn't presented itself at this time.
HEre's the thing - promises made by someone who's character you don't know - don't think of them as promises - those people are thihking out loud about what they'd like to do someday, maybe - if everything keeps on as it presently is.
But those arne't promises about what you two will do or have or become, there's no knowledge of one another yet to make those statements anything but a wish list, or an idea, or thinking out loud.
When someone maks what you think are unrealistic promises in light of the amount of time you've known one another etc.....realize they're "unrealistic" - they think with feelings. They allow what they feel to dictate what they say and do in the present - and they're going thru life with that living ONLY in the second they are in right now.