Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Share your experiences of attempting a relationship when you or they are " not ready"

(53 Posts)
PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 10:42:53

I have another thread about my feelings re this. ( can't link on phone )
My bf of 9m , ended things this weekend because he felt he was not fully over his separation. I knew this was difficult for him all along, but hoped that in time it would work out.

I know he had and has feelings for me. I know this isn't personal and that he is being sensible in seeking space for himself . He says it would not be fair for me to hang on in hope , accepting less than what a relationship should be. He doesn't want to have to be concerned with anyone else's feelings and needs to be selfish .
I get it. But I am so disappointed and hurt .
Last month , he told me he had reached a point of feeling ready to move ahead, and that he was falling in love with me.
We planned to introduce our dc in the next few weeks.
It is a shock for me, and came out of the blue.
Please share any similar stories from either side of the experience .

SoThatHappened Tue 05-Jan-16 10:51:16

I've had the not ready speech....but I've had it fast. In less than 3 months and in less than 6 weeks in one case. They started dating, realised it wasnt right for them and they ended it. one of them was lying as he simply met someone else

But at 9 months. It he was capable of having a reationship with you for 9 months and last month he was falling in love with you and ready to introduce children? All of a sudden he is not ready. I dont know. How long had you been separated? Are you sure he isnt back with his ex or seeing someone else?

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 11:05:53

I am sure of both, yes.
It was his first Christmas as a separated dad, and also the first anniversary of a major and sudden bereavement.
He is grieving . I know this. Maybe he is taking control of the only part of his life he feels he has control over. I don't know.
He messaged me this am to apologise again and offered to meet me later to talk. I am hugely drawn to go. Of course, I want to see him.
But I fear that there can be nothing new or helpful to say, and that he wants to offer me comfort to make himself feel better / less guilty. Or to observe my grief in order to reinforce that he is in no position to engage in my life whilst he is absorbed in his own.
I know he was surprised at how upset I was when he told me. I know my upset was deep because of triggers to past pain. But I did not beg or wail. I did sob though.

JellyTotCat Tue 05-Jan-16 12:04:33

Sorry you've had this upsetting experience. I think he is right when he says " it would not be fair for (you) to hang on in hope , accepting less than what a relationship should be." I think 9 months is a decent length of time that you were together and enough time to know whether it was going to work. Sadly for him it looks like he didn't feel it would work. It would probably be better to say you don't want to meet him so he's not calling all the shots, although I'd understand if you did. I'd probably have done the same. I hope you can move on from him and find someone who's more sure of his feelings for you. You don't deserve any less as he said himself.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 12:55:14

Thanks JellyT . I am finding it hard to accept , because such a short while ago, he was saying he was sure .
I guess I have to work on accepting and letting go. Meeting him will not help me do this. Right now, all I will be wanting from a meeting , is to hear something which raises hope. Yet if I did , it would only show how undecided and therefore unreliable he is. My guess is that he would still meet and spend time with me, if I were able to be casual and fun.
But I have proved to myself and him that I can't .
Life's too short to keep hanging on without some sort of reciprocation . I'm late 40's. I really don't want to be alone any longer and have worked so hard on myself and my life. I began this situation believing I knew what I was worth, then thought I had found it. Or begun to.
It's so bloody hard .

JellyTotCat Tue 05-Jan-16 12:59:19

Good for you. I think you are right not to meet on a "casual and fun" basis. I tried that once, but i was selling myself short and deserved more. We can't just switch off our feelings like that.

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 13:10:18

hello there

so sorry you are going through this, OP. I have no constructive advice, but wanted to add that I am in the same boat as your (ex?)BF.

Started dating someone 3 months ago, after being in a LTR. I really like him and can feel myself falling for him. He knows my reservations, that I am scared of jumping into another serious relationship (he has said he will wait for me), but our relationship is getting serious nonetheless, and I don't know how to stop it. Its bloody great and I love being with him, but sometimes I break out into a cold sweat and panic and want to end it. I haven't (yet) and I am not sure I will. I am very confused. Would it be the right thing to end things? Is it cruel of me to carry on seeing him when I am having these panicked doubts? I don't want to mess him about.

I don't mean to hijack the thread I just thought you might benefit somehow from hearing things from 'the other side' so to speak.

dumdidumdum Tue 05-Jan-16 13:28:00

I think you're right that you need a take a clean break, end contact with him and start looking for someone else.

I had a BF who wasn't in the right place for a relationship so ended things but we stayed friends. I never let go of the idea that he might change his mind and therefore never looked for anyone else. But i also sometimes resented him for being there but not wanting to be with me. Eventually he decided that he was ready for a relationship but it wasn't going to be with me. He needed to reinvent himself and wanted to start afresh with someone new who didn't know about his previous relationship issues. Me staying in contact just prolonged the point where i had to let go and i wish i had walked away from him when he first told me he couldn't commit.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 13:51:43

Chris that is very helpful to read , and just the kind of reply I am interested in. You are describing exactly what he explained to me - on more than one occasion .
dumdi thank you for sharing . I know I risk placing myself in the same situation you describe. I knew this at the start , but he eventually told me he was sure . Now he's not.
I have emailed a dignified and hopefully positive sounding goodbye and thank you. I know it is not entirely honest . I am still hoping he will wake up and decide he has made a mistake and wants me after all. But I don't want him to think of me sitting around weeping over him. It is his loss , even if he doesn't think so.

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 14:44:28

I really feel for both of you - its a horrible situation. I often find myself wishing I had met him months from now, once I had sorted myself out and felt ready for a full on relationship again.

But as it stands right now I spend 90% of my time enjoying and loving being with him, and the rest of the time panicking about it. I really don't know what to do for the best. I keep thinking that if I am not ready for a relationship then no matter how great it is now - it is doomed. Eventually it will end (probably badly) - although I must admit that is quite a negative spin on it.

I am in turmoil about it TBH

Sorry, again, I am not sure how useful this is for you. If you have any questions please let me know. Its actually quite therapeutic for me to write about it.

flowers for you

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 14:55:58

We planned to introduce our dc in the next few weeks

I might be wrong but this may have been the trigger to him ending things. Whenever I have a serious talk like this with by BF, although I am happy with it at the time, when I go away and think about it - I panic. Big time. And then think I should end things.

Like I said, I haven't ended it - but then we haven't gone as far as discussing introducing DC. I panicked when he said he wanted to introduce me to his parents, and again when he declared his feelings for me. These 'serious' talks (i.e. anything that isn't jokey or about nothing in particular) has made me want to run for the hills - although at the time of these conversations I have been really happy. Its weird.

Newyearnewme2016 Tue 05-Jan-16 14:58:58

I think it can be a genuine reason to end a relationship. When I split with exh I thought I was fine only a few months later. I had a few short relationships but started messing people around eg cancelling arrangements, not deliberately but it just wasn't the right time for me to meet someone else. I didn't have the headspace for another person with everything else going on eg divorce, kids. Now nearly four years on I have been on my own for a year and it is exactly what I needed.

If your man is separated he has all the divorce upheaval to go through which can be stressful plus he needs the time and space to adjust to what has happened.

I would give him space and let him go which you seem to have done. Don't hold out too much hope for him coming back because you need to accept it to be able to move on.

Duckdeamon Tue 05-Jan-16 15:04:39

Clean break is best. Perhaps he wasn't honest with you (or himself) during the relationship. It's better now than after DCs had been introduced.

How long had he been separated?

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 15:13:10

sorry if I am hijacking - but to those who are saying clean break is best - what would you say about my situation?? Should I end things with my BF?

Maybe I should start a new thread...?

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 15:15:32

Thank you so much Chris . Again , you are saying word for word what I have heard from him. It was the conversation about the Dc , I think. His ex gave her support , and initially he was delighted. We had a fabulous weekend away and I was really happy and optimistic. I sensed a change a week or so later if I'm honest. He says he noticed my anxieties and felt terrible for causing them.
He said in a long discussion on Sunday , that he feels like crap for putting me through this , but cannot see how he / we can proceed now that cards are on the table - ie, we have both been totally honest about my feelings and his fears. He says he wishes he had met me a year from now, and he cried about this and was telling me so many lovely things.
It is so so bloody painful.
I said I would be happy to hang on and wait . But he said this would be unfair on me and would now be a pressure on him . He says he has kept going for 9 months because he truly thought it would work eventually. And now he doesn't.
Newyear that is what he told me. He had counselling in the summer, and this came up then. But he was full of hope at that time and we did lots when the weather was fine. The bad weather has forced us to stay indoors, and he has become more reflective. He says he has no energy to give me.
It really hurts. I have had so many losses in my life and 9 months of feeling happy and hopeful. I will be fine of course. But this is so painful.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 15:20:17

They separated years ago for a year, but got back together . He says it was a disaster from then and they agreed to separate and formalised this several years ago and made plans . Then a close family member died suddenly and it was put on hold . He moved out in May. Yes , very recently.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 15:23:14

When we met, he said he had been longing for a relationship for several years , and that his xw had found someone some years before although that is no longer ongoing.
He now says he thought he was ready then , but the reality of having to give headspace to what I deserve is too much. He says it's nothing I have done or could do differently at all. He says he made a mistake in trying. That is very hard to hear.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 15:26:48

Chris how would you feel if your BF ended things with you ?
What if he met someone else ?
What if he told you he needed more from you than you are currently giving him , or some assurances ?
Would this be a relief , or would you want to hang on to him ?
Do you miss him when you are away for a while ?

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 15:28:03

OP your posts are very difficult for me to read, and my heart goes out to you. But it's also giving me food for thought. I just don't know what to do. I really do not want to break up with him, the thought of not seeing him / talking / texting is horrible. But am I being unfair to him by carrying on when I have these doubts / panics? Am I being selfish? Would you have preferred for him to carry on even with his doubts?

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 15:30:55

sorry x post

I honestly don't know how I would feel if he ended it / found someone new. I think I'd be pretty devastated (but maybe a bit relieved?)

If he wanted assurances - I would panic and perhaps back away. I think he knows this and has not asked anything of me. I have always been honest about where I stand.

Yes I miss him when we haven't seen each other. Even when we haven't text / spoke on the phone in a while.

2rebecca Tue 05-Jan-16 15:31:20

Hmm, he's been separated for several years and doesn't feel he's ready? I'm not sure what difference another year will make. If you both want to be together you could keep things casual without kids meeting up etc. Relationships don't have to progress to living together in a family unit.
If he doesn't think things will work out eventually then maybe his feelings for you have changed.
It sounds as though you mainly want different things though. You want to reform a family unit and committment and living together, he wants someone to have fun and sex with.

Duckdeamon Tue 05-Jan-16 15:33:05

So he lost his family member a year ago, while still living with his ex, and only actually moved out in May? Not ideal, even if we assume their relationship was largely over well before that.

I don't think he's doing you any favours with the stuff he's saying.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 15:54:55

Chris you could be him. He has said all that you have said . And I think he has backed away because of the implications of the dc meeting.
2R yes. I raised this point during our discussion .
But actually , I do not really want a conventional set up , and he knows this. I have no wish to share living space anytime while my 5yo is still young. Getting dc together was about maybe meeting in the park some Saturday's or doing outings in the summer . I want dates and weekends away when child free . This is what we have been doing - at his place or mine . I am not conventional and have led quite a wild life . He was and says he still is , attracted to and by this. His life has been more conventional . He is loyal and decent to his family and I fully support this. My house is rather bohemian and my dc fathers are not around. Maybe the two worlds clashed in his longer term reality.

PysgodMawr Tue 05-Jan-16 16:48:53

Chris - I would have preferred him to carry on yes. I would have been glad of an honest talk, and to revise the thoughts re DC .
I think he has thrown away some good stuff, which I would have been happy to continue to experience for a while yet.
I didn't particularly want assurances; it's only been 9mo. In my view there was still a lot of getting to know each other to be done, and I was looking forward to doing that, and would have been happy to adjust what he was worried was becoming a routine - of seeing one another on fairly regular times, and of chatting online or the phone several times a week for long periods.
We share some particular interests which I do not have anyone to share with now. Where I live, it will be difficult to find like minded people. It was before we met. That was mutual. But he currently says he has no wish to do anything except focus on practicalities. He does have many to face and deal with. He says that seeing me was enabling him to put stuff off, which he needs to get to grips with.
Not nice to feel like I've been a distraction.

ChrisCrossey Tue 05-Jan-16 16:54:40

PysgodMawr - thank you for your honest answer. Thats what he said. He said he would be willing to wait, that we could stop seeing each other for the time being, while I got my shit together. Or we could just be friends. Or we could carry on seeing each other but with no expectations, no pressure, and taking it slowly. He has been so lovely and understanding and that has made me fall for him all the more.

And so we have just carried on seeing each other (I couldn't not) and things are good. He got me the most amazing christmas present I have ever been given - so personal and thoughtful and touching. Seemed to me that it 'sealed the deal' - although unspoken - and while I absolutely loved it and was so grateful, and fell further for him for it - it also made me panic that things were going too fast. Seems I can't be bloody pleased. What is wrong with me??

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now