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Calling all couch psychologists...

(53 Posts)
MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 20:15:18

I've been dating a guy for about three months. I really like him but I am wondering whether to cut my losses. Basically, I wonder whether he is capable of an intimate relationship...

I have a history of trying to save people and i don't want to get involved in another losing battle.

A bit of background about him...he is early 30s, his parents died when he was young. He had a very tough upbringing. He had a 10 year relationship and his ex cheated on him twice.

He is a very outgoing and happy person on the surface but admits he gets angry in work and is known for losing his temper with his staff. In his personal life, he professes to be very laid back and says he lets everything wash over him. He has spoken of times when people he has dated have actd "crazily" and he just walks away and cuts them off.

He says he wants a relationship and to settle down. The sex is very good but he doesn't cuddle. He'll hold hands when I do but he doesn't hug or initiate much physical contact. He never talks about feelings about anything.

He says he has dealt with his past by just burying it. He says he got through it thanks to his friends who are his family and he will never settle for a relationship where anybody tried to come between him and his time with his "family" in the pub.

We get on great, there is physical chemistry but I am not sure there is emotional chemistry. I am very attracted to him. But I do get the feeling the relationship is very much on his terms. I know its early days but we really only see each other when he can fit me in. Although, he is in contact all the time. Sometimes I don't know if I am being paranoid or he is blowing hot and cold.

Am I on to a dead end here?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 20:35:32

I think a three month relationship shouldn't be throwing up these kinds of questions tbh. It should be fun, light-hearted, & everyone on best behaviour. The amount of personal information you know about him already... the childhood, the relationship, wanting to settle, 'angry in work' (red flag), dealing with his past by burying it.... at exactly what stage of a date does someone work all this dismally self-obsessed stuff into the conversation? hmm Sex and no cuddles... that's how hookers do it, isn't it?

Dead end. Dead loss. Dead BORING! smile

MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 20:46:52

I see what you mean cog but isn't the first 3 months about learning about each other too?

"are you close to your family?" is a pretty standard early date question, we've both spoken about our pasts. I just wonder whether his means he is actually capable of a decent relationship.

the lack of cuddling in bed gets me though. two minutes after he gets up to go for a shower. and then theres no cuddling or anything after. my ex did that as well, but he also had several issues. I've always wondered if that is normal?

PlantsAndFlowers Fri 15-Aug-14 20:49:41

That is not normal. One night stands cuddle for fuck's sake!

AtrociousCircumstance Fri 15-Aug-14 20:51:37

I don't think it looks promising.

The temper, the coldness, the absolute hard line 'My friends come first', calling his exes crazy....

I'd back off.

DistanceCall Fri 15-Aug-14 20:52:44

Hard to tell so far. He could probably do with some kind of therapy ("burying the past" is really not a good idea - it just festers there). That doesn't mean that he's not a good person or that you can't have a good relationship with him.

You might want to tell him about your concerns in some way - that you'll never come between him and his friends (it's not an "either... or" choice), but that you feel that he is keeping you at a distance. See how he reacts.

VeryLittleGravitasIndeed Fri 15-Aug-14 20:53:48

The only guys I've dated who didn't cuddle were emotionally constipated arseholes... Not to say that cuddling is my only selection criteria but there does seem to be a pattern.

You're very uncertain for the 3 month stage. At 3 months with DH I had already moved in with him and was head over heels.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 20:53:50

Learning about someone does not equal letting them dump all their crap on you. hmm What he's telling you is very personal and I even wonder if he's used to talking to therapists. Why on earth, for example, would someone in a date context tell you that they have a filthy temper at work? Is he proud of this behaviour? Are you meant to be impressed? Intimidated? Is it a warning?

Re the no cuddling. There's no 'normal' but if you like to be cuddled and he doesn't then don't waste another day hoping he'll warm up. You say you don't want to be a rescuer so set the bar a lot higher and ditch him and his very boring issues.

scarletforya Fri 15-Aug-14 20:54:15

he will never settle for a relationship where anybody tried to come between him and his time with his "family" in the pub

It's a no brainer. Waste of time.

MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 21:02:45

Ok I see what the general consensus is, TBH the main reason for me posting was because I didn't know if I has unrealistic expectations of a three month relationship...

I thought maybe it might be too soon to expect him to prioritise seeing me or to expect those nights you spend in each other's arms in bed just talking about all sorts etc.

And to be fair to him, I have a past too which I have also spoken about

DistanceCall Fri 15-Aug-14 21:03:52

Everyone does have a past. However, it's not unreasonable of you to expect him to, well, pay attention to you and meet your needs (or at least some of them).

wyrdyBird Fri 15-Aug-14 21:04:02

I wouldn't take this one further. This is the best of him, and he won't get better. He wants sex on his terms, so that's how you have it: he wants the relationship on his terms, that's how you have it. Your needs and wants are not high on his list.

Armchair psychology wise: being angry at work, and telling you about it, is a warning to you. If he can't control his temper at work it's very unlikely he is laid back at home.

The definition of dates 'acting crazily' is very open to interpretation. If it has happened to him more than once, and he feels it necessary to tell you about it.....then odds on he's the one who acts crazily.

heyday Fri 15-Aug-14 21:16:23

No relationship is perfect but you are finding out quite early on what the possible difficulties could be.
I guess not all men are into cuddling but this is something that, quite rightly, is important to you.
If his parents died when he was very young then perhaps he was never taught to cuddle.
He is a man who quite evidently has a lot of issues. He may be very reluctant to trust women after being cheated on by his ex.
You are going in with your eyes open. Things may not get any better and his issues could cause all sorts of difficulties in the future.
Only you can decide whether to carry on in this relationship. If you stay just make sure you stay in an emotionally strong enough position to be able to walk away if things get too awful. It is not your place to save him or any other man for that matter.

MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 21:22:28

I had thought that myself heyday that i know what the pitfalls are, he talks as though he is really together so I've just been thinking that everyone has a past and I could live with that.

i think it is his complete insistence that he has no issues though and that nothing phases him. it makes me feel as though he will never be bothered about me, which makes me feel insecure sometimes.

i don't think i am particularly needy but sometimes i don't know if he is blowing hot and cold. and then i see him again and everything is great, until the next time we're texting or talking and he's either cool on the phone or stops texting midway through a conversation and i don't hear from him again until the following evening.

heyday Fri 15-Aug-14 21:32:50

I think you have serious doubts about this relationship and quite rightly so. I think his unusual manner is starting to make you feel unsure and insecure. It's probably time for you to back off a bit. Ask yourself if this is who he is can you really be happy with the situation.
It might be worth baling out now before you become too emotionally attached. Perhaps just put it down to experience.
On the other hand you may get used to his slightly aloof ways. Perhaps his ex cheated on him because she was in need of emotional connection.
He may be covering up his past pain by saying everything is ok and this can be a coping mechanism. It does not bode well though if he cannot open up to his emotions at times. You have lots to think about at the moment.

JellyMould Fri 15-Aug-14 21:42:43

Well it sounds to me that he's laid his cards on the table. He doesn't want to prioritize a relationship over friends in the pub. So it depends on whether you want to be lower priority than friends down the pub. Doesn't sound like the basis of a LT relationship to me.

Meerka Fri 15-Aug-14 22:07:05

hmmm. one of the markers I watched for in people was what they got fazed about and how they handled it. From stuff like someone cutting them up to the big stuff like relationship arguments.

If he does get angry at work, he does get fazed. You just haven't seen it yet.

He might be ok but he might not, it's a bit moot because he's not fulfilling your needs. Best to look for someone who does. An affectionatless/cuddleless relationship is a cold place.

Meerka Fri 15-Aug-14 22:07:24


CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 15-Aug-14 22:36:00

THREE months in the words 'blowing hot and cold' shouldn't even be entering your head. This is the time when people are usually a bit nuts about each other, can't wait to be together and that kind of thing. Not keeping you dangling and telling you he'd rather be in the pub.

He's a cold fish and a head-fuck. No he doesn't have any issues because in his world - the world where he bullies the people who work for him and dates are allegedly 'crazy' - he's perfect. hmm

Do you really not see this stuff?

MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 22:45:01

Thanks everyone, this is all helping out it in perspective.

I'm starting to cog! Bear with me I'll get there...;-)

I get confused with my own desires and feeling of loved upness (a new word if you don't mind) and also my head telling me, we're in our 30s, I have a child, it needs to go slow.

So even though I feel like I want to bat for more attention and time off him, I think the sensible thing is to go easy! We do have a nice build up between dates, telling each other were looking forward to it and a bit of sexy talk but I feel he is a lot more content then me when it's a week or sometimes more before we see each other.

The more I write it down the more I think never mind his issues, he's prob just not that into me. He acts like he is tho

lavenderhoney Fri 15-Aug-14 22:52:40

He won't change. He'll always prefer the mates down the pub and the superficial relationship he has with them, based round alcohol.

You sound as though you want a different kind of man, and 3 months on is quite a normal time to think " hold on, this is not what I want"

The negatives far outweigh the positives -.and already he is very much take me as you find me for I will not change. He also won't talk about stuff. That's his problem tbh, and you'd be doing yourself a favour today by saying " this isn't good enough for me"

Its not. Stop trying to make it so. Before you're sat home waiting for this man who won't cuddle you when he finally rocks home from yet another night out down the pub. Or you're sat in the pub watching him talk shit and thinking " what have I done?"

You sound nice. Find someone else who is nice. Otherwise, you're better off alone.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Fri 15-Aug-14 22:52:50

...says he lets everything wash over him. He has spoken of times when people he has dated have acted "crazily" and he just walks away and cuts them off.

A bit of a contradiction there: cutting people off is not letting everything wash over him.

He says he has dealt with his past by just burying it.
Burying it is not dealing with it (ask anyone on Stately Homes thread), think again on that: it is also a contradiction.

He is a very outgoing and happy person on the surface but admits he gets angry in work and is known for losing his temper with his staff.
Another contradiction.

He says he wants a relationship and to settle down.
he will never settle for a relationship where anybody tried to come between him and his time with his "family" in the pub.
Oops he did it again...Also a contradiction, making note of the word "settle" in both ways.

Imho, he operates on the "look at what I say, not what I do" mechanism.
Might be ok for a fuck buddy you would have a better time with a toy, but I would not invest in hoping for a real, authentic emotional connection with him. Actions speak louder than words.

What scarletforya said: he is a waste of your time.

TheGoop Fri 15-Aug-14 22:56:01

Have you met any of his family's. Remaining family. Or his friends?

wyrdyBird Fri 15-Aug-14 23:09:16

Blows hot and cold, stops texting midway through conversation, content to go a long time before seeing you = probably someone else on the go. sad

You deserve a better man than this, Melinda.

MelindaBarey Fri 15-Aug-14 23:45:14

I've met a few friends. TBH I didn't really like them, one of the girls I met seemed very fake and she and his best mate were just bitching about other people in the bar we were in! They all spoke in innuendo all the time, really rude talk, which I've nothing against but im not witty at all in that way.

BUT he was very sweet and attentive and wanting to make sure I was ok. I thought, well I'm not dating his friends but
Maybe it's inductive?

I haven't met any family. He doesn't have any

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