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Dating for 6 months and it does not feel right. What can I do to make it work?(111 Posts)
Hi all, I've been lurking on mumsnet for a while and I finally mustered enough courage to post a new thread about a situation that I would love to get advice on.
I am 22 and graduated last summer, but I haven't managed to start a career in my chosen field yet (I work part time in a shop while I apply to jobs). 6 months ago I met a man through mutual friends and we started chatting. This man is 44 and professionally very successful, so he offered to mentor me to help me land my dream job. We started hanging out together, at first working together on things like my cv and cover letter to apply for jobs, but then things got more personal and we essentially started dating.
Before anyone assumes that he is dating me just for sex, we don't have sex. I am a virgin and I believe in waiting until marriage, we talked about it early on and he was very understanding and respectful. We have an affectionate physical relationship but we never had sex.
Fast forward to now, we have been dating for 6 months but I don't feel like relationship is progressing as I would like. We only meet 2/3 times a month when we usually spend Saturday together doing nice things and then I sleep over at his place (so he is definitely not married!). When we are together he is lovely and very caring and affectionate. However I can't help but feeling that 6 months in things should be different, we should see each other more, be more involved in each other's lives and perhaps talk about the future. Instead I feel like we are still stuck at a very early stage of the relationship IYSWIM. When I try to suggest to meet up more often he says he is very busy with work (which I guess is true, but still..). He did take me out to the pub with some of his colleagues twice, which made me hope that he was starting to get serious about me.
On top of that, I recently saw some weird notifications popping up on his phone. I don't know for sure, but I think he was chatting to a female colleague and the tone of the conversation sounded a bit flirty to me. When I confronted him about the messages he said that he was chatting with a friend from work and that there was nothing to be jealous of. However I looked for the name of the female colleague on social media and I noticed that he follows her on multiple platforms and that he liked and commented a lot of her posts and pics.
I don't know if I am being paranoid, but I feel very insecure about our relationship and I am starting to obsess about him and this colleague. I am convinced they are seeing each other outside of work and having sex, which is the one thing he can't get from me.
I don't know what I should do. I wonder if it makes sense to continue this relationship if it is still so underdeveloped 6 months in. Do you think I should end things with him? Or perhaps I should have an honest conversation with him about where our relationship is heading?
I think I am scared of what he could say. I fell hard for him and I am not ready to lose him so quickly. Please help
Sorry, but he's twice your age, sees you less than once a week, and you don't feel things are moving on. Yes, time to end the relationship. Thanks for the mentoring advice and everything. Big smile.
You're 22. Date some more people. Have some fun.
You have every right to want to stay a virgin, but he wants sex. He can't get it from you, so is going elsewhere.
You want different things, time to end it.
I agree with PP. It doesn't sound like this is going anywhere like the direction you want it to. There maybe nothing at all to the conversations with the colleague. Even if that wasn't an issue is this what you want? Really? You are so young. You've plenty of time to meet someone much more suited to you
Sounds like you're poles apart in terms of what you both want as well as age, there's no future in it so end it now with dignity and find someone more suited to you.
I doubt he isn't getting sex from elsewhere if not from you. He's twice your age, sounds a little creepy tbh. I'd run as far as you can, as fast as you can I doubt he's what he seems.
It doesn't sound as if he is interested in the kind of relationship you want.
I do think you should accept the above advice - get out and about with folk of your own age and play the filed a bit; remaining a virgin if that is what you feel is right for you.
I have to say that I would be very surprised if this chap at his age was not getting his oats somewhere.
You are very young and have your whole life ahead of you. It might be wise not to waste further precious time on this chap. Have him as just a friend if you are able; but do not expect it to lead to a serious relationship - that is clearly not what he is looking for.
Ugh, please don't pin your life on some 44 yo man when you are still so young, and a virgin!
Date other people. You are much too young and inexperienced to know which way is up when it comes to men. Move on and live your life.
Please also understand.. that "in love" feeling is not that hard to find. It can develop between any two people who spend time together. It's not a cosmic sign that you are meant to be together... seriously. It's nothing more than feel good hormones! A lasting match is much more than that!
Rationally I know you guys are right, but even just the idea of not being with him kills me. I don't know if I can do that.
As for the female colleague, so do you all think that they are probably having sex? I feel like such a fool for believing that he could be ok dating me without having sex..
even just the idea of not being with him kills me
Not to worry, that's how heroin addicts feel about heroin, doesn't mean they are actually not going to be able to detox though, this feeling is never permanent. At worst, all you'll need is a little support.
It's natural to feel strongly like this when you are young. In time, you'll learn that just because you feel a certain way, doesn't mean something's a good idea.
Don't worry about them having sex. It honestly doesn't matter at all. What some old lech thinks of you is not a measure of your worth. You are young, a wonderful life is in the works for you!
If he isn't what you want now you can't change him. Walk away now, it only gets harder.
You have managed very well for 21 years not having this man in your life. You will manage very well again.
This isn't meant to be. On paper, it is all wrong. I think you know that.
Several issues -
1. The age difference is very problematic IMO.
2. The way you started dating - him being your mentor etc
3. You say you feel the relationship is not progressing, what do you feel should be happening by now?
4. Obviously whether and when you want to have sex is entirely up to you and any partners you have should respect your choices but the majority of people feel it is desirable to have sex before marriage as sexual compatibility is a major factor in a relationship and the potential success of a marriage for most people. This means it is really important that you should choose someone who has the same values re sex and marriage. Dating someone who wants to have sex prior to marriage is not necessarily going to work out well for you - you may end up being pressured to give up your own values, which you shouldn't just for a man you are dating.
And whilst it is good that you feel he is respectful re your beliefs about you and he having sex, either he is actually having sex with this OW, or the difference between your beliefs and his re sex before marriage is leading you to become paranoid and insecure. Hence why I suggested point 4 above.
Your body, your choice what happens with it. Don't feel you have to gently request respect of your choices re what happens with your body.
"1. The age difference is very problematic IMO."
Why do you think so? Here on Mumsnet I read of plenty of happy couples with large age gaps.. Am I naive in thinking that age is just a number?
"2. The way you started dating - him being your mentor etc"
What is wrong with him being my mentor at first? I am not trying to be petulant, I actually want to understand what you mean.
"3. You say you feel the relationship is not progressing, what do you feel should be happening by now?"
I think by now it should feel more like being a couple and less like randomly dating every once in a while. Our lives should be more integrated. He should have met some of my friends for example. We should see each other regularly multiple times a week. We should know where the relationship is heading. We should be making projects together (even just planning a holiday or something).
"4. Obviously whether and when you want to have sex is entirely up to you and any partners you have should respect your choices but the majority of people feel it is desirable to have sex before marriage as sexual compatibility is a major factor in a relationship and the potential success of a marriage for most people. This means it is really important that you should choose someone who has the same values re sex and marriage. Dating someone who wants to have sex prior to marriage is not necessarily going to work out well for you - you may end up being pressured to give up your own values, which you shouldn't just for a man you are dating."
I see your point on this.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about my situation
I don't think you are petulant!
He is twice your age, old enough to comfortably be your father. That age difference can lead to a power differential which lends itself to abuse. I don't believe that all relationships with such an age difference are inherently abusive, simply that there are so many people you could be with who are not old enough to be your father - why take the risk of starting a relationship with an inbuilt inequality?
Him starting as your mentor indicates he blurs boundaries or deliberately set out to manipulate you.
Re the relationship progressing I understand what you mean now and agree re most of your expectations being reasonable re 6 months of dating, with the exception of knowing where it is going. 6 months of dating, even if you were having sex, is too early to have a good idea of where it is going. Meeting friends etc, planning short to medium term stuff etc not too early but thinking about where it is going needs a bit longer.
But if he is a person who feels you need to have sex before you know where the relationship is going and you are a person who believes in waiting for marriage to have sex then really this is what could be leaving you feeling a bit frustrated.
Like you, I decided to wait until marriage to have sex, and dh did too so it's entirely possible. However, it does seem as though your partner isn't on the same page as you. By 6 months I too would have expected more integration of your lives - meeting each others families, seeing each other a few times a week etc.
Have you spoken about the future? Where does he see this relationship going?
This reads as he's not as invested as you in your relationship, and if he's not fully on board with waiting until marriage to have sex it's likely he could be getting it elsewhere. I think you need to have an honest conversation with him, as difficult as it mist be when you're in love.
Some people really do just want to hold off investing in a relationship before having sex and this is a fine way to be (though someone you would be totally incompatible with). Despite my worry re the power differential and boundary blurring and your worry re this OW, he may simply just be a perfectly fine guy who isn't able to progress the relationship without sex. If this is the case he needs to admit it and you need to both move on.
And generally the answer to anyone who is asking what they can do to make a 6 month relationship that isn't working work is to just move on!
Wildflower we never spoke seriously about the future, besides some random (tipsy!) comments along the lines of "oh Rebsemmie, you are the type of woman any man would want to marry!". Or vague things like "we should go away for a weekend in Paris sometime" but then he never really followed through.
Given his age I guess he is very experienced with sex. Also, from random things he said I suspect he used to lead quite of sexually active life in the past..
This really is not looking good is it?
6 months is really no time at all TBF.
Most partners I have had it has taken at least 2 years to get to know what kind of partner they were and what kind of relationship we had. Some things in my last relationship it took me four years to find out!
He's just not that into you. You need to move on.
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