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How would you interpret this?

(37 Posts)
Susurro Fri 27-Oct-17 23:47:17

What would you take it to mean if someone you had been seeing for a couple of months said that they think you are amazing and you are definitely in a committed relationship but they are 'taking it slow emotionally'? I am not at the stage of making (or expecting) any grand declarations myself, but I am developing strong feelings and am now worried that it's going to be one-sided. I'm asking for advice/clarification as I don't really get the 'emotionally slow' thing; I either feel it or I don't, and usually quickly, but i realise that's me and not everyone is the same. So I guess I just want to know that if someone says this a couple of months in it doesn't necessarily mean that the whole enterprise is doomed?!

To give a some context and avoid drip feeding... Met online, clicked online and also in real life - amazing chemistry, very compatible, values and outlook in line, all good on that score. Two hours distance involved but talk every day and seen each other consistently every 10 days or so since mid-August for either one or two days/overnights each time. He's late 30s with a young DC, I'm mid-30s, no DC.

His last relationship with the mother of his DC was a bit of a mess. She was EA, I don't want to give too much detail but it really wasn't good, although they now co-parent amicably for the most part. They stopped living under the same roof a year ago. He is, in his own words, very bruised by the whole experience (I can't give the whole story but he really had a horrendous time of it and it has had serious ongoing effects on his career) and this is the cause of the 'taking it slow emotionally' thing now. He's been through an emotional wringer and after DC, ex-relationship and work stress there's 'not been a lot left'.

Plus points, he is affectionate, consistent, honest, always proactive and keen to see me, great at keeping in contact, says he thinks I'm terrific, kind, funny, smart, beautiful etc. and that he wants to be in a relationship and have more DC etc... but emotionally he is holding back at the moment. I have not said anything heavy to him regarding my feelings at all but they are definitely there and growing and I guess I just want to know if I'm wasting my time here. He says I'm not but it's just quite alien to me in terms of how my emotions work so some insight from anyone who has experienced the same (from either side) would be really helpful.

IJoinedJustToPostThis Fri 27-Oct-17 23:53:44

I'd take what he says at face value. He wants to be in a relationship with you but is taking it a bit slow for now. In a long-distance relationship two months old with children in the mix, that's just sensible. Enjoy what you have for now, think about it again in ten months or so. Unless you stop enjoying it, of course.

FritzDonovan Fri 27-Oct-17 23:53:53

Sorry, but i read it as him putting in enough work to keep up regular sexual relations (you mentioned overnights every 10 days or so), but not wanting to commit anything further. He's probably happy with the rest of his life as it is. May change with time, but i find it a bit weird that he's deliberately told you he wants to take it slow emotionally. Surely these things happen at their own rate.

BertieBotts Fri 27-Oct-17 23:56:38

I think he is being cautious perhaps because he has had poor judgement in the past? Seems sensible. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt for now at least.

Only1scoop Sat 28-Oct-17 00:00:09

I think he's saying enough to keep you hanging on in there.

Only1scoop Sat 28-Oct-17 00:02:36

'taking it slow emotionally'? '

To me would mean

I'm happy to speed through as much sex and nice times as I can squeeze in, but don't expect owt' else.

Ruddygreattiger2016 Sat 28-Oct-17 00:04:38

He wants something casual (dressed up in pretentious bollocks) but wants to keep you hanging.
You met online and don't see each other very often so I would assume he was talking/meeting with other women.

inthenameotheweeman Sat 28-Oct-17 00:10:06

I’d try and take it to mean that he thinks you’re amazing, is only interested in dating you, but isn’t counting his chickens.

HeddaGarbled Sat 28-Oct-17 00:12:44

You are mid thirties and you want children so you are in a hurry. A couple of months is very early and still in the infatuation stage. You barely know each other. 6-12 months on, you'll have a better idea about whether this relationship has legs.

He is being sensible to be more cautious. However, dissing his ex so explicitly and vehemently is a bit of a red flag. You don't need to throw in the towel right now but be sensible, don't get carried away and don't let your biological clock blind you to warning signs.

Notsandwiches Sat 28-Oct-17 00:13:13

How do you know his ex was Ea?

LineysRun Sat 28-Oct-17 00:15:26

That means you've only seen him about six times.

Josuk Sat 28-Oct-17 00:15:42

If someone I met a couple of months ago and started dating - seeing them once every 10’days - which means you can still count the number if times you’ve been together on two hands - so if someone like that started talking about ‘feelings’ and growing them - i’d scream and run.
Or, think that it’s someone who is a bit immature and wanting to be ‘in-love’, in general, not with me specifically.
And if I had had a previous difficult relationship, and a kid - then even more so.

At 16 - falling in love took a look. A smile. And that’s how it was supposed to be at that age. Because back then - love was just that - a careless and carefree, and consequence free emotion.

In late 30s, with a life history, a child; a career, bills to pay and a clear understanding of life complexities - it’s not a matter of a look and a smile. If he didn’t take things slowly - after being battered by life - it would be worrying.

You need to relax and let things develop. There are no guarantees in any relationships. You can’t ask or expect it.

beepboopbeep Sat 28-Oct-17 00:22:07

How many times have you seen each other? Ten? It's such early days. But another couple of months down the line there's nothing wrong with saying 'I want a boyfriend. And children. I'm not saying I want that now or even with you but if that's not what you want too then let's knock it on the head.'

I know a lot of women would say 'any man would run away screaming at that' but if a man did then bye bye. If he's not mature enough to take something like that on board then jog on mate- you're never going to meet my emotional needs

The distance would do my head in. A couple of months in I'd want to see each other at least two nights a week, and a whole weekend every few weeks at least. Endless text and phone chats are no match for properly hanging out and talking

Do you have proper dates?

NC4now Sat 28-Oct-17 00:24:31

I like to be travelling at the same speed to my partner. Admittedly I tend to fall fast, but if it’s slow going, that’s ok too, if we’re on the same page.
I think it’s ok to give this one a little bit of time. It sounds like he is being upfront with you. Just keep in mind your own feelings and don’t feel your own wants and needs have to take a back seat to his.

beepboopbeep Sat 28-Oct-17 00:25:54

I'm reading your op again - he tells you he wants to be with you, compliments you, he wants more DC... what is the problem? What does he mean by 'holding back'? Ask him. 'What do you mean?'
Is he just scared?

Susurro Sat 28-Oct-17 00:56:15

Wow, thank you all. Mixed responses it seems, which are the two extremes that I'm vacillating between.

Just a few things that stood out, we've probably seen each other 10 times or so, sometimes it's been every week, sometimes 10 days in between. He's not seeing other women and he's not using me for sex. Friends, family and his ex know about me and he refers to me as his girlfriend. We do other stuff, date stuff - walks, bike rides, cinema, restaurants etc. I have met his DC (there's only one, still very young) once, in a neutral location as a 'friend' which was fine, neither of us want to rush that. The distance is shit but there's not much we can do about that at the moment, luckily it's an easy drive. As I said, I haven't mentioned anything about my feelings to him at all, I'm certainly not going on about it. He doesn't diss his ex, he's told me what happened and from the obvious impact her actions had on his career and from talking to a colleague/friend of his who has known him for years, I have an overview of it.

I guess all I can do is give it some time and see what happens. I appreciate all the responses and it's very interesting to read everyone's views on it.

MyDearAnnie Sat 28-Oct-17 04:33:59

I think you're confused because he's saying one thing (take things slowly emotionally) but doing another (introducing you to his child and as his girlfriend to friends and family).

Fwiw, I've just split up with someone because I want to take things slowly emotionally, he thinks that if you genuinely care for someone then you want to integrate them fully into your life almost immediately.

We went out for 12 wks. He ended it because he hadn't met my friends, I hadn't told my children about him and he didn't think I made enough time for him in my life (saw each other twice a week). It was only 12 weeks!

I would love to have a relationship. I would love to love and be loved. But I'm also 42, have two children, work and have friends and hobbies. I would be telling anyone I met that I wanted to take it slowly too.

The only difference is that I wouldn'tbe introducing someone to friends and family because that is not taking it slowly to me!

So I think you're getting mixed messages.

Timefortea99 Sat 28-Oct-17 05:05:42

Unless I am missing something, isn't he just being sensible and honest. You have seen him 10 times. You barely know him.

HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 28-Oct-17 05:20:08

How could you possibly know he’s not seeing other women?! I think there’s a little bit of naivety on your behalf if I’m honest.

I think he’s giving you incredibly mixed messages especially by announcing to friends and family you’re a GF but wants to take things emotionally slowly, doesn’t add up.

I’m afraid I am cynical and to me it sounds like he’s saying enough go to keep you loyal to him but I truly don’t feel like he wants to invest in you long term.

I would keep on looking and meeting other people as well if I were you. Especially if you want to meet ‘the one’, settle down and have kids. You don’t have time to waste say a year on anyone.

ladylouanne Sat 28-Oct-17 08:02:01

OP, I could have written a similar post to this two years ago.

I'd met someone having had quite a few single years. I'd been widowed, but my marriage had been very unhappy for some time beforehand. However, when I'd met my husband (many years ago), it was very intense from the start with early declarations of love, seeing each other often, committing to a future together etc.

When I met my new man, it was very different. It was me rather than him who was bruised by EA, but he is also widowed so had his own difficult history. Having only every really experienced the 'whirlwind' type of relationship, I found my new relationship moved very slowly by comparison. Like you, we're a distance apart and that in itself slows things down I think as you can lose the intimate connection when apart, even if you are in regular contact.

Anyway, I think took around 7 months for him to say he loved me. Previously, he'd said lots of lovely things and his behaviour towards me has always been kind and thoughtful. Very different to what I had known before. However, he had also said early on that he was cautious because no one wants to get hurt.

Fast forward and we are still together. We still live apart (work commitments make it impossible to do otherwise for the time being), but we are very happy and the love word is used regularly. However, we haven't had the conversation about our long term future and I am chilled about that for now (having got used to the pace of our relationship) but in a year or so I might want to move that on.

The main difference in my case is that I am a fair bit older than you and have a DD in her late teens. When I met my new man, I was past the stage of wanting (or being able to have) more children so that takes off some pressure. If you do want children of your own and you are in your mid 30s then I'd probably give it another 6 months or so to see how things develop but don't hang on for years if you want your own children.

Dozer Sat 28-Oct-17 08:04:08

Do you want DC? If so, given your age, you don’t have time to waste on this one.

Dozer Sat 28-Oct-17 08:05:52

A colleague/friend’s view of his ex and their relationship isn’t gospel.

He is not being U, a year out of a serious relationship and with a DC to consider, not to want a serious relationship. But you are mid 30s and want DC.

TheNaze73 Sat 28-Oct-17 10:00:42

Dozer is bang on the money.

I think a year out of a relationship, I wouldn’t want to be rushing in to anything

Susurro Sat 28-Oct-17 10:32:14

I do know that he's not seeing anyone else. We've discussed it and apart from anything else there's generally 1 day a week when he's not with either me or his DC (50/50 custody) and we are in regular contact on that day (as per every day). He went on a few dates before we met but had decided to come off the dating site at that point anyway. He deleted his account literally as soon as we exchanged WhatsApp details, as he had planned even if he hadn't 'met' me.

I know that a friend's view isn't gospel but it tallies exactly with what he told me and with what I can see for myself. The ex has diagnosed issues. Considering what happened he's actually very fair about and towards her (not that we talk about it all that much).

I do want at least one DC and obviously my age is now a factor so I definitely need to set a time limit on this (in my head!) and review at that point. I think another 6 months seems to be the way to go.

crimsonlake Sat 28-Oct-17 10:43:31

I do not understand why people are in a rush to introduce their children to their very new partners. Surely that should only be done after a great length of time and when you both have decided you have a future together? If you have only met 10 times and are spending the nights together neither of you have held back in any shape or form. He may want to hold back emotionally but expects a sexual relationship almost from the start, seems he wants his cake and eat it.

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