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Casual relationship, do they ever turn serious? Not sure how to approach things...

(74 Posts)
myteadontlie Wed 12-Apr-17 11:23:30

I will do my best not to drip feed; situation I am in is very confusing but due to its nature I guess
I have enough time to think (and sadly obssess sometimes) about it.

In early December I met a guy on tinder. We both were looking for something casual. We quickly hit it off, chatted for hours daily and decided to meet… we met almost 2 months later due to family commitments and distance between us.

He is 40, no kids, had 2 serious relationships in his life, one lasted 2 years, the other 5. He ended things with previous partner in June last year, mutual decision as it turned into more friendship like relationship and they just knew they were not right for each other. He comes from a place 1.5hr drive from me but currently lives 3hrs drive, 4 on the train away. Owns a house but rented it and currently rents further away with his married brother.
When we met, he said he is looking for someone nice he could get on with, to meet up now and then mainly for sex but if things turn into something more, he is open to that possibility in the future. Explained that this year is crucial for him as he is developing his own business and he just doesn’t have time for a proper relationship. It suited me just fine then, actually he was more 'romantic' to start with, I was like: no, I really want just a casual thing. I don't think anything more will happen for me in any nearest future, gave up on love etc. But things changed pretty quickly and I started falling for him before we even met.

Me: 37, 1 primary age child, separated almost 5 years ago, DC dad is present , we are civil atm although he cheated, fathered an unwanted child with the OW, did loads of really nasty things to me and basically totally ruined our life and my self-confidence. He was my only proper relationship, we were together for 12 years. I have my own house and regular ‘9 to 5’ work.
Since the split I had a string of dates and 3 of them turned into meaningless arrangements, fwb ones, all of them were helping for short as I felt wanted but at the same time they continued to ruin my self-esteem, as I just felt so unworthy of love and as if I just didn’t deserve anything more. All these fwb ‘finished’ things with me because I kind of showed them that maybe I would eventually want something more (which I know I do) and they just didn’t want. All of them were not right for me, I always knew they were just tossers or not partner material, initially I didn’t even fancy them that much but was desperate for male company and sex was ok and I didn’t want to be lonely. I don’t have any regrets or sadness they finished, I was just sad and humiliated that they decided they don’t want me as a partner, nothing more. Deep down I crave family life or proper decent partnership and I know it was wrong to go on with these arrangements, as I knew they were not right potential partners.

With the new man I knew pretty quickly that he is different. I tried to convince myself that I am just desperate&lonely again, but meeting him took the things to a whole new level. He is just great in many ways – I fancy him massively, we get on so well, we always have stuff to talk about and the sexual side of it is amazing. He seems to be the most caring and respectful guy I have ever met, has his faults but I am old enough to know there is no such things as perfect humans. When we met, I knew pretty instantly that he is more than I could actually wish for... I calmed down a bit since then, as feelings were very intense and a bit overwhelming for me to start with, but I still see him in a very positive - yet realistic light.
I fell in love with him. He knows it although I never said it upfront.

Now, problem. He cannot commit. Says he doesn’t want to be in a serious relationship now, that he has too much on his plate to deal with now, he just wants to stay in touch, meet when we both can and ‘see what happens’. Says that when we met I was everything and more he could ask for but we are in different life stages and he just doesn’t know now what will happen.
The thing is we meet very rarely, once a month for a couple of days and in the next 4/5 months it might be even less, as I have lots happening on too with my job and he has his family commitments and work. He is very close in a good way to his family and brothers, so he does find time for them and his business is his main focus. Due to its nature he works evening and weekends a lot, there are certain times every day when he needs to be on the computer online, he needs a couple of computers to work on, so him working from mine is not really an option. Realistically we can meet for 2/3 days every couple of weeks that he needs to book as days off and make up later. We met a couple of times so far, once stayed at the hotel, twice he stayed at mine and once I visited for him for 5 days, he had to work almost 3 days of that. So in total we spent about 10 full days together since we first met 2.5 months ago. Only the brother he lives with know that we meet, his family or friends don’t, we are not friends on fb. We talk quite a lot about my child but he doesn’t want to meet her (anyway, I would not introduce her that early and never ever though about it with the other guys but with him I do, so in 6months, why not…).

I know most of readers probably already think that he is using/will use me and I should end it, as clearly I want more and am not totally happy. Yes, I am not happy and it’s frustrating but on the other hand I enjoy our time so so much and I do care about him so much… the fact that he is honest and doesn’t play me or promise me stuff makes me even more attracted to him.

I do not know what to do, though. Should I just keep meeting him and let things develop if they are meant to be, or should I let it go? A part of me tells me that he is worth waiting for and I am just insecure, negative and obsessing and overthinking. The other side of me (the ‘experienced’, hurt and bitter one) whispers that it will end up in tears as he won’t commit…. And I should just end this.

The thing is I don’t want to end this. I want to give it a chance and I am happy to wait for him till he sorts himself and his life out, I am just angry with myself that I cannot slow down and enjoy things more and that might scare him off. Saw him last weekend and we spoke about it, I got a bit tipsy and got a bit excited and so on, no drama or tears but he said he does feel a bit less comfortable now as he doesn’t want me to hurt in any way. And it finished with him stroking my hand and saying ‘slow down’…

For now I decide to wait for as lnog as I manage and try to take any pressure off him and myself. Meet when we can, enjoy time together and focus on my life… and see what happens. Then, if he still want this loose arrangement in 6-9 months, decide how I feel and finish it if he doesn’t want to be with me. By being with me I mean being an official couple and start talking about meeting our families, not moving in together or marrying! Is that a good plan?

PS. Yes, I know I am insecure and have issues and sound desperate for a relationship… My self esteem is very low, due to having weight issues and being a ‘giver’ (that wasn’t good enough for my ex, obviously)… I am receiving counselling and try my best to fix myself. It all stems from my totally fucked up marriage failure and, despite having a secure childhood and upbringing, developing this anxious attachement style in my adult life… I know I have issues and need to focus on myself, but on the other hand something tells me I should not give up on this man, as he definitely is a keeper.

Cricrichan Wed 12-Apr-17 11:39:09

You haven't spent much time with each other so it's still the early stages. However, he's told you very clearly that he wants nothing serious and is wary when you show your emotions.

This casual thing would never work with me. I'm an all or nothing person and i think that if you're not wanting to spend every second with someone in the beginning of a relationship then one or both of you is not that into you.

Having said that, because you live a long way away and have a child, a relationship with you is not that simple. He knows that he/you both need to be very sure as it probably means a big upheaval in your lives if you were to get together. It'll also mean him becoming a father or taking on a fatherly role. Also, is his business fixed to his location?

Nomoreworkathome Wed 12-Apr-17 11:50:22

If he is telling you he doesn't want anything serious then you need to listen to that. Without sounding all doom and gloom I can't see how he will reconcile his current stage in life with yours..... very different IYSWIM. This r'ship will do nothing for your self esteem issues and I would advise you to walk away. Do you think you are even in a good place to be pursuing a r'ship? Would it not be better to give yourself time to find some inner peace and strength? I don't think this man is a keeper. You may be setting yourself up for real heartache further down the line.

myteadontlie Wed 12-Apr-17 11:56:04

Right, his business is not fixed to his location but it's a very specific field which involves loads of research and hours spent on going to places, so he must travel a lot anyway. He wants to earn enough in a couple of years to be mortgage free and enjoy life more, as in the past he used to always adjust his life or where he lived to others (moving houses with his ex many times as she wasn't happy with her career and then being in a long distance relationship, which was very hard, he says).
He knows I would be willing to move to where he is in the future, but its to early to plan this, obviously. With regards to him being a dad... my daughter has a relatively involved father and within next 4- 5 years will be a proper teen, he doesn't need to relpace a fatrher for her. He would want to have his own child or children, I would want one more too, he knows this... but again, it's too early to consider this, timing is wrong, we kind of spoke about it in joking way that we might have one together and in a serious way that we defo would want more kids.
He is definitely a family man too, but he also said that most of his adult life he was single... and in certain ways he was happier/calmer then.
200 mile distance is a killer, I know. I am trying to be as realistic as possible, but in a way I am convinced I should still give it a try... especially not to rush with any decisions at it has only been 3 months!

Kikikaakaa Wed 12-Apr-17 12:14:15

I think reading the whole thing you seem to have mislead him and yourself about what you really wanted? You knew you didn't want FWB but convinced him you did.

If casual doesn't work for you why on earth have you got into this situation?

He is who he is, he's giving you what he said he would.

Cricrichan Wed 12-Apr-17 12:16:34

Timing isn't wrong though. He just hadn't found the right person. You've told him that you would accommodate him by moving, having another child etc so timing isn't wrong at all. He's​ not that into you op.

I would finish it op if i were you. You're really falling for him and he's going the other way.

Kikikaakaa Wed 12-Apr-17 12:17:35

Also you are planning your entire lives together, after 2.5 months. Read back what you have written, the detailed thoughts into this. It's very full on

I don't think he wants what you want. He's not using you, you just want completely different things from life

TrippyMcTrapFace Wed 12-Apr-17 12:18:13

I find it interesting that he's fully aware of the difficulties in LD but he's seeing you after meeting you on Tinder, while he lives 3 hours drive away. To me that's the action of someone who DOES NOT WANT a committed relationship. Like he's told you. Creating distance is the best way to make the point.

He's been upfront with you. When you met he was looking for something casual. He's told you recently that he doesn't want anything serious. What else can he say that would make you believe that he doesn't want a relationship with you?

This is casual, so you are both free to see other people. I think it's safe to assume he's doing that, I hope you are too.

I don't think you're going to break up with him, but how long are you going to hang round as his FWB when in actuality you've said that what you want is a committed relationship? You're wasting time staying in this situation.

TrippyMcTrapFace Wed 12-Apr-17 12:19:12

x posted fully agree with the 2 PP.

Adora10 Wed 12-Apr-17 12:40:31

You sound slightly obsessed with needing a man to validate your existence and feel good, that's really sad, this guy is just like all the others, he just wants a convenient shag; he knows you have feelings and has told you nut, casual; if I was you I'd end it, I think it's heading that way anyway; he's not suddenly going to change his mind now, it's been nearly six months.

I'd not waste my time and spend it finding someone that wants the same as me, and specifically me exclusively.

Kikikaakaa Wed 12-Apr-17 13:54:44

Adora I don't see what the guy has done wrong initially to make him 'just like the others', he was upfront. The one thing he is doing wrong is not being kind enough to end it with you seeing that you want something completely different. He can clearly sense this and that's what's giving you this false hope that he might be ok with it; or might come round. It's probably the case he hopes you will come round to accepting this is the most he's going to give you.

Adora10 Wed 12-Apr-17 14:04:07

Never said he has done anything wrong Kik. He's like the others cos he only wants a shag, I think I've made that pretty clear so no idea why you are quoting me.

Kikikaakaa Wed 12-Apr-17 14:17:48

I meant it in the way of I don't think he's set out to be a user for sex, he thought OP wanted the exact same thing. He should not keep leading her on if that changes

Adora10 Wed 12-Apr-17 14:37:38

Well in my book any man wanting nothing more than FWB wants nothing more than sex; the clue is in the title.

myteadontlie Wed 12-Apr-17 14:53:21

OK. I let myself to start 'feeling' for him simply because he gave me the green light. Before we met, we talked every day online and a bit on the phone and he was smitten with me... ha said first that what if we might develop feelings, isn't that worth trying then? He said at some point that he feels like he is falling in love with me. And apologised for it later. After first meet we had a long phone convo, he said that it was such an intense buildup and he enjoys our time together a lot, but the distance is massive and also he is mindful he cannot offer much atm.
That was when we chatted if I'd consider moving somewhere else in the future.
When I visited him he said he has just too much to deal with now and doesn't want to think of future now. I said if he realises that I already start developing feelings and he replied 'but I have feelings for you too, wouldn't drag you all way here if it wasn't the case'. When we met last time I asked him if it is just sex, if he is really coming just for a shag 4hrs and he laughed and said of course not. If I didn't like you and wanted only sex, I'd find someone much closer.
I pointed out his eagerness at the beginning, talking about love and future... he apologised and said he shouldn't have made such remarks, he would be more careful now. He said: I just don't know now, I don't know what I want. I am confused but I care about you and wat to stay in touch. If I feel like I am hurting you, I will stop.
Sooo confusing...

myteadontlie Wed 12-Apr-17 14:59:13

He also said that the long online buildup, as great as it was, was like a fantasy. When he came here he realised I have pretty much fixed and stabilised life here while he hasn't and is at a different moment career and life wise. And that he doesn't want me now to make any decisions based on our arrangement as it would not be fair on me. He said we don't know now,we might be together, we might not. Slow down.
Thats why I see him as honest and the keeper... but yeah... he probably is not that much into me... when I asked if he sees ne as needy or dislikes anything about ne he denied and said its me, not you.

Adora10 Wed 12-Apr-17 15:05:18

OP, I am sorry but you are hoping for something that is just not there; he knows how you feel; he is still saying he can't commit; he is still saying he just wants sex, nothing more; you really need to cut the contact and go find a man that thinks you're worthy of having a relationship with; it's not hard if you like the person, this man clearly is not into anything other than sex.

He gave you all that BS at the beginning to get into your knickers.

Sack him, off, you may even find he develops more interest if he sees you are an independent go getter.

confusedat23 Wed 12-Apr-17 15:14:23

The problem is OP he is one of those non-committal guys... he is 40 and the longest relationship he has had is 5 years? and what I would think of thta is it got to 5 years and he did not want to commit so she left? I know it is a big assumption but I am pretty sure it would be along those lines.

You need to start a relationship not under false pretenses. If you want a FWB then that is fine but it doesn't seem like that is what you want so really you are just setting yourself up to be hurt. It is not shameful to only be in it for the long run!

Deadsouls Wed 12-Apr-17 15:14:35

its really quite simple. You want a relationship and developed feelings for him. He doesn't want a relationship. You're hoping if you wait around long enough, be good enough etc etc that he'll change his mind. In the meantime, he's all for keeping things on a casual basis as he gets benefits but without the commitment.
This seems like a one way road to pain...for you OP.
If you can, I'd say cut him off. But I know it's easier said than done.
He doesn't want the same as you, and he's told you that.
If you hang around waiting, that's exactly what you'll be doing...hanging around, obsessing, hoping, waiting, counting the days till you can see one another. Do you think he does the same about you?
Give him the old heave ho, it's not going anywhere, no matter how good the company, sex etc

0live Wed 12-Apr-17 15:15:40

Sorry I'm a bit confused.

If you want a partner, why are you getting involved with a string of men ( including this one ) who only want no strings sex and are " too busy" for a relationship ?

Or have I misunderstood ?

Deadsouls Wed 12-Apr-17 15:18:29

All the details about work schedules, distance away, etc etc are irrelevant. If he wanted to be with you, he would be. I'm being blunt because you need to save yourself from further heartache and take care of YOU and you child. (Not suggesting you don't), but you say you already suffer from low self esteem, this situation will rob you of what little you have as you'll be waiting for crumbs.

Deadsouls Wed 12-Apr-17 15:20:47

OP - you mention the beginning and the things he said to you, the intensity, the build up etc. This is called 'love bombing', he did this to hook you in emotionally.

myteadontlie Wed 12-Apr-17 15:21:47

Right... I know it all sounds like I am just hungry for a relationship and I probably am in a way, but I do work on myself! I managed to tame high anxiety with regards to this situation and I am very aware that my past experience make me just a bit of a mug... but it's because I desperately want to be objective and do not let my past shit have impact on how I see people. My past and my shit is just my problem, he knows about it all and has shown nothing but understanding towards me. He has never cancelled or changed our meet ups, he is very caring and unselfish... both in bed and outside bedroom. We normally go out for meals, cinema, walks, shops... we don't always have sex, sometimes when we are tired or when I was ill, we just cuddle. We talk a lot about life and he is a fab listener. I can always sense when people are fake and he is not. That is why I see him as a decent and honest guy.

NurseButtercup Wed 12-Apr-17 15:26:07

My advice:

End it before you get even more hurt and then spiral deeper into depression.

Take some time to be alone and live without a man and do some personal development and/or seek counselling.

Invest in a good quality vibrator for days when you're feeling horny and indulge in a session of self love.

laughingcow123456 Wed 12-Apr-17 15:28:08

I had a similar situation. I held on and literally saw him when he could fit me in hoping it would be more eventually but it didn't. In the beginning this guy acted super keen, I thought I'd met the 'one' after a messy divorce and literally fell head over heels but after a while I realised it wasn't going anywhere and when I pointed this out to him he said we want different things and he didn't want anything serious, I continued to meet him but when your heart wants more it really does hurt when your given snippets and eventually I turned into nothing but sex so I had to end it, block him and walk away. It hurt like mad because in the beginning he was keen, he did the chasing and I couldn't get my head around the rejection.
Trust me if you are the one he will be in a relationship with you and he will find the time and he will commit but it sounds like it's nothing like that and you will just end up as I was, used and feeling like crap about yourself😔😔

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