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Is he interested or should I move on?

(26 Posts)
SolidSnake Wed 10-Aug-16 01:19:29

Hi Mumsnet! First things first, I am in my early twenties and very much inexperienced with dating and men (i've never been in a relationship or let alone kissed anyone), so not quite sure what to thing of the situation i've found myself in.

I met a man at university a few months back. We've been pretty much talking online every day since (we met at the end of the year, so we've both currently in our home town). We've met up several times (with him travelling 2 hours or so to meet me), he's bought me incredibly thoughtful gifts, insisted on paying for everything (despite not actually being in paid employment, so I have pretty much insisted on splitting evenly!), laughed at all my stupid jokes, etc. We get on very, very well. He's absolutely lovely and we have a lot of things in common and have spent hours upon hours just talking to each other. Nothing has progressed further than a hug. I finally worked up the courage to text him to ask if our relationship was romantic. To my shock, actually, he said he had just come out of a long term relationship, wasn't ready to enter into another relationship so soon, but thought I was wonderful, wanted to meet again and continue being friends. Naturally I was disappointed, but obviously I respect his decision and of course wouldn't want to pressure him into something he doesn't want to do.

My question is this - Is the whole 'i'm not ready for a relationship' code for not finding me attractive, etc, and that I have no hope, or is he being genuine and perhaps a romantic relationship could possibly be on the cards for the future? I didn't really want to pry any deeper than that, mainly because I didn't want him to know how upset I was! He's lovely, my first university friend i've actually made (I find it very difficult to form connections with others), but feel that remaining platonic would be difficult for me emotionally as my romantic feelings for him would probably continue to grow over time the more we met up.

I understand this is all very much playground drama, so I apologise, but would like some advice!

TheNaze73 Wed 10-Aug-16 07:30:56

I don't think there's a hidden code here, he's just being honest. You're young (lucky you smile) Enjoy time with friends, other guys & him and see how it goes. I wouldn't do anything rash at this stage

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 08:01:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 10-Aug-16 08:12:08

See this is the problem. Pearlman says they "don't believe people really do wait for months and months before getting involved with someone, if they have met someone with whom they feel strong chemistry"

Whereas I have seen this happen on more than one occasion. It was just too soon after a break up, there was just too much going on so they didn't have time to properly commit, all sorts of reasons are possible. That's not to say that will happen in your case.

In other words, we don't know, none of us. Reason being, we're all different. I wouldn't sit around pining, I would get out there and if it is meant to happen, it will happen.

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 08:14:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyJanuary Wed 10-Aug-16 08:48:28

Nobody here knows for sure whether he's interested or not, but the way to maximise your chances now is it move on and work on improving your life and bring happy.

Do you look most attractive as a weepy dishrag sending needy messages, who he knows he could pick up any time he wants, or as the woman who shrugs and moves on to her amazing life? Let him miss you, let him worry that you'll meet someone else. And if he still isn't interested, well, you've moved on.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 10-Aug-16 09:04:03

Keep him as a friend but I don't think he's interested in you romantically.
Get out and about.
Socialise, join clubs and get involved with others.
Try to live your life to the fullest right now.
It's the time to do it.
Don't dwell on this guy.

Tarttlet Wed 10-Aug-16 09:15:55

Pearlman, but often they don't - because people are all different and behave in different ways, and yes, for some people (indeed, judging by people I have known and my own relationship, now three happy years down the line, for quite a lot of people) it can be too soon after a break-up to entertain the idea of a serious relationship, although that doesn't mean that the new relationship won't progress. And that's OK. But, as DrSeth said, we don't KNOW whether that's true for OP because we're not mind-readers - same as for any other thread.

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 09:21:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mybugslife Wed 10-Aug-16 09:27:10

I kind of agree with 2 of the posters on here in many ways. On one hand I've had experience of the whole ''I've just come out of a relationship and I'm not ready'' and it usually means they are still hung up on the other person and there's a glimmer of hope that they may get back together, which won't happen if there is a new relationship in the making.
However, ive also been in the situation where I've been told this same thing but after a couple more months it had blossomed into a relationship.
It could go either way, I'd say he's being honest, he obviously enjoys spending time with you but he just doesn't want to be romantically involved at this moment in time. It's hard to get over someone you have loved, especially if this was one of his first serious relationships so maybe he just doesn't want to hurt you if he's still in love with her.
Stay friends but live your life, make an effort to meet new friends and new guys and if it's meant to happen it will xxx

Elroya1 Wed 10-Aug-16 09:30:28

Not all people would say that they are interested right off the bat, unless we are talking about cheap thrills. So consider this: he's young, he's hurt, he's confused. he's unsure, he wants to spend time with her. I honestly don't see this as a code or anything, unless he's really only investing time because he has nothing better to do, in which case I would assume he'd be more ... aggressive in their relationship.

I'd say just continue doing what you are doing and try to discuss things with him, often not even directly. See what troubles him exactly and so on.

candybar007 Wed 10-Aug-16 10:45:56

He is willing to travel 2hrs to see you and is generous towards you with thoughtful gifts even though he is isn`t in paid employment and he has been honest when asked a question. I`ll say give it time but keep yours eyes open.

SolidSnake Wed 10-Aug-16 11:00:30

Thanks for your comments, everyone. I guess the answer is not to dwell too deeply on things!

For further context - the relationship was for 4 years I believe (which I suppose is a lifetime at this age!). They have only been split up for a few months (they were in the process of splitting up when I met him, I think)

I'll definitely accept his offer of friendship because he is very nice really, and i'd be in the loss if I didn't.

MorrisZapp Wed 10-Aug-16 11:05:19

I don't understand this. He buys you lovely gifts and hugs you, but doesn't kiss you? Do you mind me asking if you are both religious?

In my world, single people in their twenties who fancy each other shag each other. Or at least go in for a snog.

Somerville Wed 10-Aug-16 11:32:01

Well done for texting to ask him.

You say you're inexperienced and young, but actually that was a mature and courageous thing to do and it stands you in good stead for the future - with him or someone else.

How people act is usually more indicative of their real feelings then what they say. And it sounds like he likes you but is perhaps rather immature himself and hasn't realised yet that you can't just put other people on hold.

Much as you want to be friends, if you feel your feelings deepening or it stops you from looking out for other potential relationships then you'll end up getting hurt and should tell him that this isn't working out for you now.

In fact, much as I hate game playing, the thing that might make him realise that you can't put other people on hold is if he sees you going on a date with someone else. Likewise, if he doesn't blink an eyelid at that, you'll know he does just see you as a mate. Just saying.

candybar007 Wed 10-Aug-16 11:57:35

Somerville he lives 2hrs away so that game wont work unless she tells him then he could think all sorts and cut loose and run.

TheNaze73 Wed 10-Aug-16 12:52:02

Game playing won't work OP

Somerville Wed 10-Aug-16 13:00:26

I agree that game playing usually backfires.

But in this instance I think that trying to see other people is actually the right thing to do. It could come across as game playing if she tells him, but it depends how she tells him. If he suggests getting together on Saturday and she can't because she has a date, it would be fair enough to say that. Seeing someone else just to provoke a reaction and not really liking the other person would be game playing and unfair on all concerned.

That's what I'd be telling my teenage daughter if she's in this situation when she gets to university, anyway. When she goes back for Michaelmas term to make it clear she's taking him at his word that it's just a friendship, and keep an eye out for other people to pursue a relationship with.

Mybugslife Wed 10-Aug-16 13:04:57

I agree game playing does not work the only person who ends up getting hurt is you. I stand by that you should not put your life on hold for him. If he comes to his senses and sees a future with you then he will make a move. If you've already moved on then that's his problem. X

Pearlman Wed 10-Aug-16 14:41:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Wed 10-Aug-16 15:24:20

Anyone tries any sort of game playing, it's sayonara. Life's too short for shit. Leave games for children and teenagers.

SolidSnake Wed 10-Aug-16 16:29:57

Thanks for the replies, everyone! Yeah, i'm not sure if i'll go down the game playing route... Too much potential to hurt myself and anyone involved!

Lilmisskittykat Wed 10-Aug-16 16:40:03

Read the book ... He's just not that into you... I found it quiet enlightening and wished someone had given it to me in my 20's! Would have saved a fair bit of heart ache

Lilmisskittykat Wed 10-Aug-16 16:41:18

Ps I'm not saying that he's not.. X

SolidSnake Wed 10-Aug-16 17:55:28

Thanks kittykat, i'll take your recommendation on board!

MorrisZapp Neither of us are religious at all. To be honest, I did feel that it was a bit odd to buy me things and then profess no romantic interest, but there we go!

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