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I can't "read" men

(13 Posts)
Nicola2505 Tue 12-Jan-16 06:38:33

Ok, it's a bit of a long story but here goes.
Met a really nice local man on a dating site. He was very nervous as not had anything serious for a while and had become quite independent but due to circumstances things moved fast.
Met 2 of 3 DC (older) quickly but only because they live with him and I was at his house a lot.
At Christmas his family invited me around for dinner (mine live a long way away so wasn't seeing them). So pre Christmas (23rd) we went away overnight, then spent Christmas Eve at his, next day at his families (brother, mum etc) Boxing Day and next day also doing stuff with his family inc a party he wanted me to go too so I could meet his other DC. All the time I stayed at his only popping home to feed the cat.
Then on the Monday he said he needed a little space, just some time to himself, which I didn't panic too much about because I understood it was moving fast and we'd already talked about his fears.
Then 2 days later (there was lots of texts and FB messaging in that time, just normal stuff) I got a message saying the "wobbles haven't gone away, it shouldn't be this hard, didn't want to call or F2F as he'd bottle it but it was over, one of the loveliest people he knows, want to remain friends etc"
I was understandably upset and annoyed, that's a shitty thing to do IMHO. I said I didn't want to remain friends. Also we'd been planning to see my sister that week so I found it humiliating going on my own after the big build up
But he started messaging again a couple of days later. You know the stuff, "I know I said I wouldn't contact you but hope you're alright" etc. He also spent a lot of time looking at my FB profile and asking if we'd gone to the same places as I had with an ex, I'd joked about him stalking me (I don't consider it stalking really, if you put it on FB then stop complaining if someone looks at it I say)
However, we had tickets for a show last weekend and gradually started chatting again and ended up going, after meeting the night before just to check that when I saw him I didn't feel like punching him in the face.
So, we went, all was nice, like it was before but without the physical contact.
He asked me to go to another show later in the year with him and now we've bought tickets.
The thing is, I really like(d) him and I'm still not sure the friends thing works for me, it feels forced. I hope I would have the strength not to have him back if he said that's what he wanted but I don't know.
We message constantly, like we did when we were together inc xx at the end of each one.

Sorry to burden you all with such a petty problem but I just need some dispassionate opinions. What the hells going on here?

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 12-Jan-16 06:55:01

He's messing you about and you're putting up with it because you like him and are hoping he'll come round to wanting to be with you again.

He upped the ante because when you said being friends wouldn't work for
you, you didn't respond in the way you were supposed to. So now he's manipulated you into it anyway.

You were right when you said friends wouldn't work and should have stuck to that.

12purpleapples Tue 12-Jan-16 07:01:28

He sounds hard work. If friends doesn't work for you then you shouldn't feel like you have to be.

MostIneptThatEverStepped Tue 12-Jan-16 07:02:20

He's a head fuck. I recommend you steer well clear if you really can't handle the just friends thing. I was briefly involved with someone like this recently and eventually just went NC in the middle of a text conversation because I could see it dragging out unsatisfyingly and pointlessly for ever.
Please don't let someone like this have control of your happiness, you deserve so much more.

TooSassy Tue 12-Jan-16 07:47:21

Oh OP.

He's really messed you around. Stay friends with him by all means but only if you understand that it is highly unlikely you will get back together. He may also try and sleep with you occasionally under the guise of "friends".

Something has happened. Either he is spooked. Or he's met someone else. Or he wants the freedom to meet else.

It's a huge let down but you'll get past this. I wouldn't continue to be friends with him. Right now you're giving him the best of both worlds. He gets your emotional connection and support but without a relationship. Go cold turkey and sever all contact for a period of time. Month? And reassess how you feel after a month of time away from him (I guarantee you'll have gone absorbed the shock, moved through anger and will be much more detached).

Offred Tue 12-Jan-16 08:16:40

I think when men do this it is because they are both insecure and sexist.

They feel they need a woman for validation and when they meet one they like they rush in throwing 'everything a woman wants' at the relationship to try and keep her and then freaking out that they are feeling 'controlled' and overwhelmed. It literally does not matter what you do or say during this time because the idea of 'what women want' (commitment) and 'how women are' (controlling, overwhelming) is fixed in their heads so they make it happen through their behaviour but they still don't want to be alone and still like you as a person so they don't want to let go completely - hence the stalking, asking how you are and creeping back into your life.

Keep away from a man like this, he will only mess with your head as he is incapable of allowing you to have any input into whatever relationship or friendship you may think you have with him.

Nicola2505 Tue 12-Jan-16 08:24:17

Thanks all. You're all really saying what I know in my heart to be true. I left out a couple of incidents in my post because I didn't want to taint you against him but early on after we met a very good childhood friend of his professed her wishes to start a relationship with him, despite knowing he was seeing me. He has always described her as a very attractive gym bunny (which I am definitely not) but said its like a brother/sister thing so he told her no.
The night before the fateful dumping by FB message he went out for a drink with a friend but I don't know if it was this girl. The day of the dumping though the messages were no different until the last one which made me believe nothing happened.
Ahh well, let's see what happens. Suppose I'll hit the dating site again. Should I tell him if I'm going to do that?

Offred Tue 12-Jan-16 08:29:59

No. Don't feed the troll, which is essentially what he is to you.

Just get on with it and don't give him any further thought.

This kind of man is only ok with demanding your over commitment and returning scraps. If you tell him you are going to date again this will satisfy his perceived need for control over you and his entitlement to remain uncommitted whilst demanding said control.

Just dump and move on IMO.

bodenbiscuit Tue 12-Jan-16 08:47:49

Whatever the reason for his behaviour, he'll never be any good for you. Getting someone to spend time with your family/children is a very odd thing to do if you're not sure about them. Even if you got back with him you'd be constantly worried he was going to do this again. He sounds very self absorbed to me.

bodenbiscuit Tue 12-Jan-16 08:49:17

Also you've got to wonder why he was not with the 'very attractive gym bunny' before if she's a childhood friend and he knows her so well and she wants to be with him. Instead, he was on a dating site.

Offred Tue 12-Jan-16 09:11:39

It's someone he already has a certain level of intimacy with, who he would need to be accountable to and for because they have grown up together - much scarier prospect for someone insecure.

Offred Tue 12-Jan-16 09:19:41

If he is how I think then being in a relationship with him, you'd just get into a game of him seeing her as a primary attachment despite her not being with him and you not being good enough in comparison but him not wanting to actually be with her or let you go.

There would be lots of him spending time together indulging his feelings for her in a safe way, some lying to you, faking a future because 'women want commitment' and making you out to be unreasonable and jealous, unflinching loyalty to her in any argument about his relationship with her and blaming of you for most things that he had engineered to go wrong. 'You should have known' for things he lied about 'you shouldn't tolerate that' when he can't deny bad behaviour...

Lots of telling you 'it's not a competition' whilst placing you in direct competition even while you resist that role...

Ahh... Can you tell I have had recent experience of a man like this... They are crazy making... Do not give an inch, he will take a mile if he is similar to the one I knew...

Cavaradossi Tue 12-Jan-16 09:29:41

Honestly, OP, he sounds bad news, and you should put him out of your head and stop paying any attention to his attempts to see whether he still has you on his hook by pulling the line at intervals - BUT, having said that, if I'm reading your OP correctly, this all moved waaay too fast.

How long had you been seeing one another before Christmas, when you were essentially living at his place over the holidays, and attending all his family events, and humiliated because you now had to go to your family event without him? You say 'circumstances meant' that things moved fast, as if neither of you had any control over said circumstances! Obviously, especially if he had doubts, there is no way he should have invited you to family stuff and had you to stay for days at a time, but I think that from a purely self-protective, common-sense point of view, you should have not rushed in so fast either.

And I do feel very strongly about not meeting children too soon or too much - a friend's sister whom I saw over Christmas is dealing with the fallout from a breakup of a relationship of nine months during which she had distanced herself from all friends and family to concentrate on this man, whom she adored and who has now ditched her - only she had been essentially living with his young children several days a week from early on, and they got very attached, so now there are two heartbroken children, too.

I say this not to be critical, but to urge you to emotionally protect yourself better in future, OP.

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