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Please give me some advice - single for years then getting to know two men

(25 Posts)
timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 19:44:20

I desperately need some advice on this and I have no one to discuss this with. I have n/c to avoid being outed. Here goes... I have a school age child and I have been single since dc was a baby. Not even a whiff of a man and for the most part I wasn't bothered. I also felt so bad about myself that I couldn't believe that any man that I was interested in would like me.

Last year I met a man who is single, but due to other circumstances he was 'off limits' to me. I fell for him and I knew my feelings weren't going to go away, so I joined a dating sight to distract myself and to make myself consider other possibilities and just to see if there were any men that I liked that I could build a friendship with. This worked, I got to 'know' a couple of men and I met with one and it helped boost my self-esteem. I was upfront about just wanting friendship so no one was deceived.

My feelings for the original man persisted, as I had anticipated, and I got to know him better over the course of this year. I felt he respected me but I didn't know if his feelings were deeper than a professional relationship. I learned that our circumstances were going to change and that a relationship would no longer be a complete non-starter, but not necessarily without issues. So, I made a decision to ask him out at the time this change would occur and I have spent ages looking forward to it, as well as feeling pretty hopeless and anticipating rejection, but I felt I needed to do it as I have liked him for so long.

Just before my opportunity came to ask him, I was contacted on the dating site by a guy who really stood out to me. I put him off as I was busy and I wasn't really interested, but I thought I really should at least see if there could be anything between us as I thought I was a bit obsessed with the original man and I may have been just imagining mutual feelings between us. In the meantime, an opportunity to see man 1 fell through so I asked him out by text and heard nothing back. I got in touch with dating site man and it turns out there really does seem to be something. We have spent many hours chatting online and I am aware of all the pitfalls of OD but this feels very good and he has talked about meeting up more than once and I would like to meet him if the current good feelings I have continue.

In the meantime, before I started to have strong feelings for man 2, man 1 texts back and says he would like to meet up and we made arrangements to meet next week. I had only suggested something very low-key and day time, not a 'hot date'. However, my feelings have really changed and I care for him but when I think about him, I see him in a different light. Now, I know this is only a low-key friendly thing, but my original intentions were much more than that and I expect my feelings have been very plain to him as I'm not good at hiding them. I like and respect this person. I also know he is vulnerable and I don't want to mess him about. Of course, he might be thinking, ok I'll just meet her and let her down gently. I cannot believe he will think I have no agenda at all. I also don't know what to say to OD man, whom I have been very honest and open with about everything else. There is a feeling of warmth and intimacy between us and I want to be honest with him and not mess things up.

Please can anyone help me make sense of this and work out what to do?

Justmuddlingalong Tue 16-Jun-15 19:49:16

You say you asked man 1 out by text but heard nothing back. How long between you texting him and him getting in touch with you?

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 19:50:12

Three days.

Justmuddlingalong Tue 16-Jun-15 19:55:27

Man 1 doesn't sound too keen. What do you want to happen?

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:00:41

Maybe you are right. His texts have been positive and friendly but not giving anything away. I am cringing now that I asked him to meet me at all but I don't want to cancel either. I feel like a fool and I want to see him but I don't know how to handle it with my new 'lack of' agenda. If man2 and I carry on communicating as much as we have up til now, it will feel very odd not telling him about it when we have the how was your day conversation.

SlinkyB Tue 16-Jun-15 20:01:12

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Spend more time (in real life, not just text/email/Internet) with both men and see how you feel in a few weeks. You're a single woman, you are free to date whomever you fancy, surely?

Justmuddlingalong Tue 16-Jun-15 20:04:11

Did you suggest to man 1 a friendly drink, catch up as friends or a shagathon? Was it a proper date?

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:04:23

That's sounds nice! I just feel like I am deceiving man2.

ALaughAMinute Tue 16-Jun-15 20:04:42

You seem to be analysing way too much. If you don't want to see guy 1, let him down gently and move on. If you want to see guy 2, arrange to see him and see how you get on.

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:05:50

Man 1 - a walk. Very innocent, but I wanted to spent time getting to know him and letting him get to know me and to see if he has any feelings for me.

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:08:59

I think on the one hand that I have made a mistake by having very intimate (as in personal, not sexual) online chats with man 2. On the other hand, neither of us are interested in superficial chat about hobbies or flirting, so not sure what I should have done differently.

ALaughAMinute Tue 16-Jun-15 20:09:58

Don't worry about deceiving guy 2, you haven't even met him yet have you?

As for developing strong feelings for a guy you've never met, I think you need to slow down. shock

Justmuddlingalong Tue 16-Jun-15 20:10:20

I would still go for the walk. If you are worried about deceiving man 2, be honest and tell him you are dating other men. He might be fine with that, but he might decide that's not what he wants. You don't owe either of them any big commitment, so go with the flow. Get out and enjoy yourself.

something2say Tue 16-Jun-15 20:10:24

I get where you're coming from. I could never have two interests at the same time either.

No advice from me then!!

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:11:38

Yes, I completely get that. But the strong feelings have already developed between both of us, so not sure what to do now. It's different to anything I have experienced on OD before.

Thenapoleonofcrime Tue 16-Jun-15 20:13:51

You need to meet both a couple of times, you don't even know if there's any real chemistry with the online guy, so your worries could be for nothing. You also don't know what type of person he is, people show themselves by their behaviour over time, which you haven't seen, so really I wouldn't fall for someone you've never met or know little about in reality (I once went on a date where we got on amazingly, long chats for hours situation and there was zero chemistry).

There's no decision to make really at present, you aren't deceiving anyone, you are just starting out with tentative dates, you aren't in a physical relationship. Don't spend any time on this til you've met both and there is a genuine offer of potential relationship in the offing.

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:14:43


I think I will tell man 2 that this was arranged a while back (I don;t need to say exactly when) and I don't need to explain more than that. I do want to see man1. He's a nice guy!

Thank you all. It is so hard to think this stuff through on my own.


Thenapoleonofcrime Tue 16-Jun-15 20:15:49

It's possible to have amazing conversations, very deep and meaningful and bonding, and then meet up and nothing to be happening whatsoever chemistry wise. Unless you are the type of person that falls for everyone! It's very unlikely you will feel equally about each guy once you've met them, and if you do, then to be honest, neither will be quite right for you, there's usually someone who looks like a good long-term prospect/better chemistry.

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:17:26

I have met man1 many times, but in a professional situation.

Trills Tue 16-Jun-15 20:18:48

You don't have to tell man 2

I'm going to go for a wlk with a man who I used to fancy

you know.

It's not his business.

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:18:53

I think I would like to meet man2 sooner rather than later, now. So I can work out of there is any spark or not.

Thank you all again. I have to go and see to dc!


Trills Tue 16-Jun-15 20:19:48

It's also entirely possible that man 2 is talking to other women.

You don't yet know each other.

You have made no promises to one another.

You have had some good chats and there is potential - that's GREAT but don't assume that it means any kind of commitment or promise or expectation.

HidingFromDD Tue 16-Jun-15 20:38:53

I'd be concerned that Man2 has 'talked about meeting many times' but you haven't actually met yet. It's entirely possible that talking online is what he's good at and meeting up would be entirely different. If he's asked and you couldn't make it that's one thing, if it's always a 'we must meet soon' without actually setting a date I'd suspect he's also chatting to a number of others and keeping you 'warm'.

Meet up with both of them and then decide

timescrossword Tue 16-Jun-15 20:47:23

I'm back!

Trills: You are quite right, he could be but he'd be hard pushed to as he is spending so much time talking to me in a very immersed way. I think I should bear this in mind though.

Hiding: I don't suspect that he is keeping me warm. I will soon find out though if I suggest we set a date to meet.

Sallyingforth Tue 16-Jun-15 20:47:39

There is no harm at all in meeting both men on a casual basis, just to see how you get on as friends.
If you feel drawn closer to one of them after a few meetings, and he reciprocates your feelings, then you can gently break it off with the other guy.
If you try to decide which is better for you right at the start, you may very well make the wrong choice.
Try to enjoy the dates for themselves, rather than consider them as interviews for a relationship. That way if neither works out you have at least had some fun and not wasted your time.
Good luck!

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