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Did I blow my chances with this guy... online dating vs bad past experience

(43 Posts)
oldandstupid Sun 20-Nov-16 22:00:52

First of all, thanks for patience reading this, I really need some perspective, as despite my serious age (39) I am very new to all this online dating thing!
After failed 15 year old relationship and 3 years of being single …and a couple of flings/dates with the wrong guys I finally met someone who seems to be normal and I think I really like him.
We’ve met online, been dating for 2 months, know details about our jobs and families, been to each other houses, had sex (yes!) and all seems to be going good but!
I cannot get rid of impression that for the past 2-3 weeks his interest in me is going down.
At the beginning we chatted for hours every evening, always saying good night and good morning, learned about each other through these a lot. He kept saying how much he fancies me, how much he misses me when we are not in touch and tbh I think he was much more into me than I was into him at the beginning. I was a bit reserved, bearing in mind my previous crap experience with man and OLD, but eventually dropped my guard a bit and started liking him more and more. Now, he seems to withdraw a bit. We still talk and text but there is a massive drop in length and quality of these chats, there are more for making arrangements to meet. I even asked him once if anything changes but he says he still likes me loads and wants us to meet, suggested weekend away in the near future. Now, what bugs me is that sometimes I don’t hear from him for 2-3 days until I make a contact. He always replies, but sometimes I see him online and resist the urge to write, he doesn’t write first. He is not extremely busy at work from what I know, has kids over less than myself (full time mum) and generally is probably quite used to single life, so that might explain it a bit (??).

We meet on average once a week. After our last date (dinner, then very good sex) he was to stay overnight at mine but when he came he said he cannot as has early meeting at work. OK, fair enough, normal thing, I wasn’t disappointed. Then he was out one evening with his best mate and was to pop in for a couple of hours afterwards but cancelled on the same day as they met another friend and it was too late. Tbh honest I couldn’t be upset about it either as he made arrangements with the friend earlier and my invitation was last minute, he said he would like to come but might not be able to make it.
The same week I noticed he hid his last online status on whatsapp and it all together made me feel a bit suspicious, as we usually chat on there. I started wondering if he is hiding from me because I chase him too much?? ( I don’t think I do, as I said there are days when we don’t talk at all). I have loads of insecurities about people being honest and open, as my husband of 8 years had a long term affair, was very secretive with his phone and laptop and I finally found out through snooping… and I guess these bad memories are just kicking in now.
I couldn’t resist asking my new guy if he hid his status because of me…. And instantly regretted it, felt like some controlling freak but the damage was done. He explained that it wasn’t the case, apparently he just re-installed the apps and this is how it came out. I wrote to him lengthy apologies and explanation (too lengthy, I know…) about me being a bit paranoid about these things due to ex cheating in the past. He wrote that he understood and we carried on normal chat.
We are to meet again this week.

Now: my problem and question. Did I blow my chance with him by showing all this messy insecure and controlling side of me? I do a really good job on a daily basis with keeping cool and I am not controlling by nature but ex’es affair made me a bit obsessive about use of social media, checking people etc. I feel stupid and like some immature teenager that I even brought it up with him…
And second question: how can I make it up, what to do and how to behave to make it all work – after I have done what I have? I really like this guy and I can see us possibly having a relationship in the future but surely he won’t stay around if I behave like this… how to deal with these emotions that make me wonder and question his loyalty and strength of his feelings towards me? At the end of the day it is all very early days, we started as a rather casual arrangement and didn’t even have the talk about being exclusive etc…. but it seems like I am overly investing in it all already, which might probably be a massive turn off for him and anyone, really.
I just want to be normal about these things and let things happen at a natural healthy pace, but I guess my bad past experience makes me a bit of a crazy woman at times.

ClopySow Sun 20-Nov-16 22:36:43

I'd recommend backing right off until you've dealt with your insecurities. They'll drive you mad and drive people away.

He sounds pretty flakey to be honest.

It shouldn't be this much hard work in the beginning.

ClopySow Sun 20-Nov-16 22:37:25

I mean backing right off from men altogether, not just him.

OohhThatsMe Sun 20-Nov-16 22:40:27

You sound really nice, OP, and he sounds as though he's backing off, I'm afraid. The only thing to do is to back off yourself; this might attract him more, but then do you want that?

Myusernameismyusername Sun 20-Nov-16 23:02:57

I do really feel for you because it's just SO HARD to really know and trust someone isn't it? You have invested something of yourself here so it's ok to want reassurance that it was the right choice and that everything is ok, but it can also be overwhelming for the other person giving the reassurance. Also, when does it end, when is enough reassurance enough?

I try to believe that you sometimes have to take these risks with your feelings on someone and some times it just doesn't pay off. I am open and very much like you in a lot of ways - I get anxious and worry about interpreting things. But I have learnt when it is sensible to put those demands onto another person, and when to try to deal with them myself. It's also easy to become so invested that you become consumed by looking for details.

I read it and I am really not sure I can comment either way whether he is backing off from you or just not really quite ready or sure about what to do or say.

This also depends on the person he is and how he communicates. He is still making arrangements with you, which suggests he likes you BUT he might not be ready for a serious commitment of feelings yet, and you haven't decided whether this is a long term path to take. I am seeing someone who I feel sometimes fluctuates in communication and his mood but you know what - it's not for me to try work out. I just need to carry on being me. And if I don't like it I should end it for that reason.

The best best thing I ever did turn off my own whatsapp time stamp. And limit myself from looking. Also to realise that some things just don't work out and it's not always something I have said or done.

It has only been 2 months, so you are over investing. And it's possible that your keeness is scaring him a bit. He hasn't yet run away. I think you might need to open up a chat about exclusivity if you continue to date if it's important to you - it is to me if I have sex with someone.

I do think that you could do with maybe reading up about self esteem and opening yourself up to letting go some of your anxieties, maybe dating isn't quite right for you yet.

Boolovessulley Sun 20-Nov-16 23:05:12

I agree with clopysow.

TheNaze73 Sun 20-Nov-16 23:08:56

It all sounds far too much like hard work.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 20-Nov-16 23:09:20

Also to some degree this drop off is normal. I have been seeing someone I met online since August. We definitely text far far less now. Maybe little jokes or things throughout the day - or longer gaps and not always good night or good morning (I tried not to start this up because it's always disappointing when it 'ends' and it is not sustainable long term and someone gets upset when it doesn't happen)
We chat on the phone sometimes but not regularly. We don't always have sex. We try to meet once a week. I try to avoid texting him when I feel 'oh god is he ok?' By telling myself I know he is driving/working/zoning out tired and 9/10 he texts me when he is free.

It's not sustainable to keep up that level of interaction all that long, but equally you don't want to get too comfortable too early on - and 2 months in is 7 or 8 meetings?

Cricrichan Sun 20-Nov-16 23:14:36

I think you should always be yourself and if he doesn't like it then he's not the man for you. Though it's weird that his dropping off of interest started when yours amplified.. maybe he just likes the thrill of the chase?

BoxingHelena Sun 20-Nov-16 23:24:53

Back right off, do not meet, make an excuse and cancel, say you forgot you had something on for that day and go out with some dear friends.
Like others said it does sound like he is still very much active on-line, but hey ho, no harm in trying to rescue it.
He cancelled a few times, do not make excuses for him, it comes across that you were disappointed. Go back to the place where he was doing the chasing. Sounds like he does like you but things went too full on too soon.

I am a firm believer in never try to explain when you have a "moment". to much info too soon makes you more vulnerable.

oldandstupid Fri 25-Nov-16 22:47:50

OK, update... It's done, I said thanks to this gentleman as clearly he wasn't as honest and into me as he claimedsad

We met on Monday, stayed in and watched movies. He didn't want sex, OK, I was actually hapy to have a 'normal' date, so it's just not only about sex. Cuddles on the sofa, holding hands, all very nice and relaxed evening. At the end I asked if I am staying over (as previously he would always said stay as long as you want) - but this time he said nothing, so I said it wasn't probably the best idea.

Anyway, I collected all my courage and said to him peacefully that I feel like something is off, cannot name it but I feel like he is changing towards me and it confuses me, as I like clear situations.
No blaming him, I actually rather shifted all the blame on me, said it was my insecurities and bad experience kicking in.
I said that I am no way into rushing anything but ideally in the future I'd like a proper relationship with someone, so I hope we will take things slow and use that time to get to know each other and have fun. If it develops into something serious - great, if not, no hard feelings.

He listened carefully and denied that he changes towards me, he even laughed and said that I am silly and how can I think that way!
He said that similarly - he doesn't know where we will end up but he is happy for what it is now and enjoying our time together.
I told him I have noticed that he spends lots of tme online but doesn't feel like talking to me and suggested that he maybe met someone else, more appropriate for him, which is fine as long as he is honest, so I know where we stand. I asked if he wants to carry on meeting, as I'd hate if he was just keeping me on the back burner or even worse - forced himself to do it just to see how it goes, so he doesn't hurt my feelings etc. I asked if we still are to plan this weekend away and he said yes, to all of that, of course he wants and of course we are going away etc.. That was Monday.

Tuesday and Wednesday was no contact at all. I was checking his Whatsapp and he was often online, even around midnight.
On Thursday I wrote a quick message of how are you doing type, have you got any plans for the weekend. He replied after long delay (when I still saw him online) that he is not sure yet (previously he was saying he cannot imagine doing anything better than meeting me on Sundays.
I said I am free to meet if we wants, he answered of course lol, what do we fancy doing. I suggested cinema or meeting at mine or his. Then an hour passed, and he was still online, so I wrote again that it's clear to me that he is not that keen on talking/meeting and honestly, it's ok, as long as he just says it, no pressure.
So eventually he wrote: ' I'm not sure if it is for me, I am not feeling it anymore'. I said ok, fair enough but can I ask why - and he just answered That he doesn't know, there is no particular thing but he is just not feeling it.
No sorry, no thanks. I wished him good luck and thanked for good time. He later responded with the same.

I fell rubbish. Will be fine but cannot understand how can someone change that quickly. 3-4 weeks ago he was all over me, saying things such as: I could kiss you all night, the sex is amazing, I feel so comfortable with you, love your company both with your clothes off and on, and it's rare etc.etc. And why not saying _ thanks but no, thanks earlier... especially when he knew I do actually feel his attitude changes? Oh well... will be hard to trust a man again for a longer while, so disappointed that people just string you along and then you don't really know what happened, and probably will never knowsad(((

Tiredbutnotyetretired Sat 26-Nov-16 00:55:37

Be thankful that you are rid he sounds like a game player, making your head spin. he knows what he is doing he has weakened down your defences and now you're left feeling confused n rejected (maybe). If i was you i would honestly just cut contact it is doing your sense of self worth no favours.
Sounds to me that hes probably gotten kicks from stringing you along and love bombing you only for him to pull the rug from under your feet just when you start to get comfortable. I have been in your exact position op and i was warned by a lady who works at a womens charity that he was a "very dangerous man", i ignored my gut and i ignored her advice and my life became a mess.
Please just try and forget about him, the longer you involve yourself the more damage he can do, and it will likely be a pa ttern he repeats to keep women unhinged.
My thinking is that he'll be back in touch very soon to say he misses you (needs sex) , and dont initiate any more contact with him, our explain yourself to someone youve barely known, you owe him nothing.
Cut your losses

Sn0tnose Sat 26-Nov-16 02:08:04

I would agree with an earlier poster that you should forget about dating anyone for the time being and concentrate on sorting yourself out. The way you're feeling is going to intrude on any relationship you enter into and it's not going to work if you're looking for someone to fix you, rather than fixing yourself.

And then, have a look on the on line dating threads on here. If you meet someone on line, they spend weeks telling you how amazing you are, bombarding you with hourly texts telling you that you're the most amazing woman they've ever met and how they can see themselves settling down and growing old with you, they are 99.9% guaranteed to lose interest and do a disappearing act the very minute you start to believe all the old flannel they've been giving you. Almost without exception. It's one of the few occasions that you can believe that it's not you, it's them.

oldandstupid Sat 26-Nov-16 14:57:11

The thing is, it still is very confusing to me and I cannot decide if it was totally his fault or if I actually did put him off somehow.

The beginnings were really good but I'd say that all his efforts seemed to be genuine, there was nothing over the top really. Apart from that he seemed to be so open about his life, he is a good caring dad, he told me many many stories about his family and friends, and it all seemed so normal. We had similar taste in music and films, and I am thinking -how come someone who seems to be so genuine - can behave like such a dick? Or maybe it was me, eventually? I wasn't pushy or anything though, he knew I have busy life, work, social life and that by no means I am desperate... I only wanted openness and honesty and what did I get?

I just don't understand how come he lost interest just like that and didn't even have enough respect to me to say that he is not interested anymore, I had to basically squeeze it out of him.

Re me sorting myself out... It has been really long time since I became single. I thought I was ready to start something new and I REALLY took my time with this guy, kept the right distance, let him chase me but all in really healthy way, nothing over the top... there wasn't bombarding with texts and God knows what, his attention built up slowly, too but it all seemed so natural, finally, after all previous big fails with men. We started as fairly casual dates, hence sex came into picture fairly quickly but it was him who said first he is open to more than that, not me.

I only started showing my insecurities when he shown a number of signs that something changes in his attitude towards me. Like, all of a sudden he said that he doesn't know if he will ever fall for someone to that level that he wants to live together and share life with that person. And at the beginning he was saying about being lonely, how nice it is to wake up next to someone, that he misses intimacy and he was even boasting about how nice his house is and joked if I want to move in!
All very very confusing, me thinks.

I actually feel tempted to send him a short text that he didn't treat me right and he should consider his approach to women and people, as he obviously has a very high opinion about himself but that's not how he actually behaves... (being laid back and heart on the sleeve, patient - his own words). Well, I'd say that laid back people with their heart on their sleeve don't behave like that. I ended it in a short and I think 'classy' way by saying thanks and good luck, and probably shouldn't contact him, but the more and more I think of it all, the more pissed of I am. And I actually kissed, cuddled and had sex with this man, and let him in in my house, he was sending me pics of his kids with him...
Dunno really if it's me being pissed off or me missing these crumbs of closeness and intimacy it all gave me. Maybe I am more sad about what I am actually missing in my life in general (decent relationship and all perks of it) than what it actually was.
Yes, I need to sort myself out... It wasn't even 2 proper months with this guy and I've already been through mourning after 8 year old marriage... how come I tricked myself into it all again...

LesisMiserable Sat 26-Nov-16 15:15:06

Look its natural to want to.analyse but.honestly, in a nutshell , he went off you. Was it something you did? Maybe. Was it just that he's not capable of a proper relationship right now?' Possibly. Who knows. It doesnt matter if you're the most annoying awful insecure person on.earth, the right person will find you adorable. (I'm sure you're not by the way!!) This isnt it for you. Please don't lose anytime thinking about it, the good thing is your instincts were bang on. You prompted the end of it because you knew it wasnt right. That's a really good thing.

Vagabond Sat 26-Nov-16 15:25:21

Ah, poor you....what a horrid letdown. It really sucks. I was reading your thread and hoping for a happy ending but I almost knew from your first post that there wouldn't be one.

Don't write to him. Just don't.

All I know about love is this: If a guy wants to be with you, he will move heaven and earth to be with you. And if he can't be with you when he wants to be there, he'll text and text and re-arrange and make you feel wanted.

I'm sorry, but this guy isn't your man. And you did nothing wrong (although I would avoid telling someone you can see them online so 'why this, why that?').

I feel sorry for what happened to you. There are so many assholes out there. Feeling for you. x

slenderisthenight Sat 26-Nov-16 15:38:51

You did rush this massively actually. No way would taking your time involve so much intensity and time commitment. That sets you up for anxiety because you're investing without commitment. What on earth would you be like in a rush?!

He sounds dishonest.

oldandstupid Sat 26-Nov-16 15:49:17

What do you mean by saying I rushed? We were meeting once a week, chatted every day 1-2 hours in the evening when kids were in beds, in between chores. I carried on with my normal life and never texted him first, he always initiated contact for the 1st month or so.

Emotionally... I guess first 4 meets was me basically considering him as someone to carry on meeting with, really friendly, I didn't fancy him physically that much at first (he is much older) and I even still remember how awkward it felt when he stroked my hand in the cinema on our 3rd or 4th date. It was after about 1 month that I started feeling a bit romantic about it all and believe me, it is slow for me as I usually fall for men really quickly if I fancy and like them. It was him who was much more intense.

What would the slow pace be like then? For me it was really normal healthy pace and I wish I could keep it like that for longer, but I guess it's hard with sex and all that attention on the table...

And yes, I am not going to contact him, makes no sense. Will focus on not repearting the same pattern and mistakes again.

Amandahugandkisses Sat 26-Nov-16 15:50:11

I think he's been pretty shitty but yes you will drive yourself mad questioning if it's something you did or didn't do.
I hate guys who are not honest enough to tell you straight. I had a similar experience, it's like a cat playing with a mouse when you know that person likes you. It's horrible X flowers

memyselfandaye Sat 26-Nov-16 16:01:01

He sounds like he wanted some no strings no pressure sex, which is great, but he was'nt upfront with you.

However, you come across way too intense and incredibly needy.

You had a fling, move on.

I had a thing with a bloke a bit like you, always wanting to text, analysing how long I took to reply, make plans, questions, questions questions.

I bombed him off after a few weeks, he was like a bird that would'nt stop pecking a milk bottle top, really irritating.

Amandahugandkisses Sat 26-Nov-16 16:09:02

Me I don't if that's fair.
The OP doesn't give that impression. She felt attached and he led her on.
But it's done nowz

Ellisandra Sat 26-Nov-16 16:21:57

You didn't even fancy him to begin with!
I don't think he was necessarily a player.
I think a lot of people get all excited when they meet someone new.
Then they calm down and realise it's not for them.

They might get to know them more and see incompatibilities (not faults, just not good matches) or they might realise themselves that they're more into the idea than the reality. Honestly, it sounds like you were just trying to make it work to begin with - you wanted a boyfriend more than you wanted him.

I have definitely been in that situation: date 1 "OMG this is the man I'm going to marry". Date 2 "I can't end this fast enough".

A mature person recognises that this happens and reins themselves in a bit.

It's quite possibly that he was caught up and then changed his mind. It happens, but I know it hurts. But just keep in mind the fact you didn't even fancy him to begin with.

ocelot7 Sat 26-Nov-16 16:23:55

OLD is a learning experience...
Pls train yourself not to get so involved so quickly, it sounds way too intense. Once you start meeting, you are likely to message much less & not chat on the phone for so long so often.
You need time to get to know someone & it should be mostly face to face. And to be open to the prospect of trusting someone & not project what yr ex did. I think your insecurities have affected him though its hard to know if you were onto something. Communication shouldn't be hard or forced but neither should you (feel the need to) be checking him on social media constantly. Maybe you are not ready or maybe he was the wrong guy.

slenderisthenight Sat 26-Nov-16 16:31:52

I think talking to someone you've just met for 1-2 hours everyday is unsustainable and intense. Not to mention morning and evening texts - that's behaving like a very loved up couple with someone you don't even know IMO. How could that possibly not be using most of your free time? And how could be possibly know if he wants to keep that level of commitment going with someone he has met face to face only a handful of times?

I think not rushing things would be a date once a week or so, not sharing the minutiae of your lives, perhaps the odd phone call every few days. That is plenty to go on with for months and months!

SmallTownTwirl Sat 26-Nov-16 16:42:55

You have my sympathies. Something very similar happened to me in the summer. All seemed good for 7 weeks and then he suddenly withdrew and it was torture trying to decipher the real meaning of the excuses. Like, after 8 weeks when somebody says they're tired or busy do you dump them instantly for not being jazz hands 24/7? I stuck with it for another 10 days knowing he'd withdrawn and I got dumped for giving him the benefit of the doubt.

I met the man on line too and the problem was he wanted some body not as good as me, not that he wanted somebody better! He wanted somebody who'd accept that his children came before my children, that his time was more precious than my time, he wanted somebody who'd shag him no questions asked on saturday night so in the end i got dumped for being too good for him.

Dating should be fun and it should be easy and on line dating has taught me that dating and dinners for 7 weeks are the mere tip of the ice berg getting to know somebody.

No idea what I'll do next time but I can't keep going through this cycle. Great excitement to meet somebody, all fabulous for 7 or 8 weeks then suddenly they just withdraw and go cold. Been there rinse repeat rinse repeat three times in 2016!

If I meet somebody new I won't have sex with them after 5 dates because it always feels right after five dates. it takes a lot longer to know if it is right or not.

Hoping 2017 is the year I meet somebody who knows his arse from his elbow

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