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Lost in Love

(27 Posts)
Man45 Wed 20-Jun-18 11:09:11

I am not a woman and nor do I have children although feel that I need guidance and feedback from people who have survived the dating scene and ultimately found their life partner.

I am 45 although been told I don’t look my age, have a full head of hair and a thirst for life and adventure. I do not really date and have not ventured down the internet dating world as I remain sceptical on the absence of ‘tells’ you can get from meeting someone face to face. I work in a male dominated industry and occasionally do meet women. For work, I have been part of a team where a particular person has been present on three separate occasions (over the last three years). At the last meeting about eight weeks ago, I decided to speak to her and after asked if she would like to meet for lunch. This went really well and received an email thanking me for the time. Recognising that we have a mutual interest in historic buildings, I replied asking if she wanted to see a national trust property sometime. I received a positive response several days later.

Since the initial lunch, we had been on five wonderful dates where each one was no les than 5 hours. We talked and talked and I thought we really hit it off on a number of levels. It actually surprised me to have found someone with such similar views, morals and aspirations. A far cry from a previous seven relationship where I felt like I had to fight to keep us together despite differences.

I got to understand that at 35, this person had been out of a relationship for a few years and didn’t really date people either. She is eccentric in her own right with a left field humour to match mine.

Date number five was a key moment as we had such a wonderful time together at the gallery, followed by a romantic dinner and late drinks at an intimate club bar. Recognising that it was after midnight and the tube network was about to close and we had to dash to catch the last train when I asked when she would let me kiss her - her response being whenever I wanted. We kissed under the midnight sky and ran for the tube.

What I am genuinely struggling to understand is the following weekend where we met on the Saturday to peruse a special event I had arranged followed by a visit to a village fate visit and a cup of tea at mine nearby. All seemed to go very well and held hands a few times and snuck in a few kisses. I was nervous but it seemed to have been a successful day resulting in her asking to meet me the following week for a dinner at mine. I didn't speak to her until the Sunday when she told in 3 minutes into the conversation that she wanted to be friends. There was a pause on my part as I truly was not expecting that. When I enquired, she mentioned that there was something missing and thought we should be friends as she would miss not having me in her life. The difference in 24 hours has left me lost.

I don’t fall in love often and never felt like I had met someone with whom I had so much in common with. I have had few partners in my life as I am after a soulmate with whom I can share the rest of my life. I have been described as being slightly eccentric as I don’t really fallow the pack. Meeting someone where there is a true connection is therefore more challenging and rare.

The thing is, I don’t know what to do. I am beside myself with uncontrollable emotions and really only want to be with this person. Please help.

StaplesCorner Wed 20-Jun-18 11:18:30

When you're 16 and this happens this is hard enough, but when you're 45 ... I am so sorry OP it just hasn't worked out. Maybe just send a message saying you'd love to meet up again some time and leave the door open, but I think you have to put this behind you, painful as it clearly is.

Kinunir Wed 20-Jun-18 11:27:57

This is going to sound really harsh but by waiting for 5 dates and then asking permission to kiss her you friendzoned yourself. It will be next to impossible to undo that and get back into a romantic frame.

CardsforKittens Wed 20-Jun-18 11:50:34

How disappointing for you, especially when it all seemed to be going so well. That's very painful.

I wonder if the search for a soulmate is perhaps a bit too much pressure both for you and for any potential partner you might have. When I met my partner (he was 46, I'm a few years younger) we both felt from quite early on that there was the potential for the relationship to be very long term (or 'forever') but we didn't push it too fast. I think these things evolve over a long time: it takes years to get to know someone. You can't really know you love someone until you know them quite well, including their shortcomings.

So if you want advice I'd say: date as many people as possible and when you find someone you want to spend more time with, take it slowly - without too many expectations about the future at first.

eightfacesofthemoon Wed 20-Jun-18 11:53:58

Unfortunately if she’s made a decision there isn’t a lot you can do. It’s shit, but it’s life. I guess it’s down to how you feel if you can stay friends with her. It might be too painful for you.
Perhaps just have some breathing space, and I guess remember ultimately you are grieving for what you thought you could have together. Which we all do.
Sorry, it’s a shitty thing to go through

Durianfruit Wed 20-Jun-18 12:03:50

OP, in the nicest possible way — and I am your age exactly — you sound terribly formal and old-fashioned. I recognise that some of this may just be your writing style, which sounds like a solicitor’s letter or evidence being given at a trial (‘I received a positive response several days later’/‘to peruse a special event I had arranged followed by a visit to a village fete followed by a cup of tea’), but in combination with your reticence about kissing, perhaps this gave her mixed signals, or misled her as to the intensity of your feelings?

Obviously no strangers on the internet are going to know what changed in her thinking to make her decide that a sexual relationship was off the cards — possibly she was also seeing someone else casually, possibly the prospect of sleeping with you when she came to your place made her realise there was no spark? — but perhaps you’ll keep a friend?

Dan89 Wed 20-Jun-18 16:50:09

The only thing you can really do is say something along the lines of you've really enjoyed spending time with her, you were looking forward to seeing how things developed and if she changes her mind give you a shout.

Kudos for meeting someone single in real life, though

Livelylass Thu 21-Jun-18 00:08:43

Man45 the whole of your message is written so formally and you sound very intense. I think for starters you seem very fixated on this lady and what might have been, yiu could well have scared her off. I think you need to assume that this will not go any further and work out how to move on, a mutual interest in old buildings is not the greatest foundation for building a relationship on. At 45, single and presumably with a good career you will find some nice ladies on OLD, you just need to be cautious and careful.

I have replied to you because you remind me a little of my current OH (we are in our 50s). I am very carefree when it comes to intimacy and he is very very shy. In a way I’m not that sure why we ended up carrying on dating after meeting via a work project. We have a mutual interest in history and also music and went to various events together. He never really showed any interest, didn’t touch me in any way but sometimes I got the feeling he wanted to but he kept his distance. After about three months I started losing interest as I had hoped he was boyfriend material though happy to be his plus one at events. I think I had decided even if it went further he was not going to be the kind of lover I want and need. One evening after yet another nice meal where he walked me to my car then started to turn away I kissed him completely on impulse. I thought he would pull away in surprise but I was very wrong because after that he just wanted to be with me all the time. Turns out that having passed the fear stsge everything clicked. He told me later that he just couldn’t get past the shyness.

I wonder if your lady has been testing you out and because you have struggled with relaxing and getting in to an intimate situation she has given up.

Before you completely lose her maybe you could be honest about how you want things to go further but are struggling to get there. She may give you another chance, she may have made up her mind. Life’s too short not to at least give it your best shot.

TeacupTattoo Thu 21-Jun-18 10:03:00

Your post sounds so like my husband. He had got to 40yrs old without having met somebody who saw the real, honest, caring man he is. He believed he would never would and would never be a father. He now has me and his daughter and is so proud of us both and never realised I'm as proud of him due to insecurities.
My advice? Tell her how you feel. If she still feels she can't reciprocate then sadly it is what it is but you won't be left with any what-ifs. Maybe your signals haven't been that you feel any passionate spark and age needs to know you so but have been being decorous
Oh, and my Dad was 50 when he met my Mum, 55 when he had me, and they were together 35 years. Please don't give up.

Cricrichan Thu 21-Jun-18 10:09:57

I'm sorry to hear that. It has only been a few dates though. Maybe try and lose the formality and try and woo her a bit. Maybe take her out for dinner and have wine instead of tea?

cricketmum84 Thu 21-Jun-18 10:12:29

I think you should tell her how you feel. It sounds like the saying so far has been quite formal and maybe just maybe she wants to be swept off her feet.
In all seriousness I think you would regret it if you didn't tell her.

cricketmum84 Thu 21-Jun-18 10:12:55

*dating not saying!

Disquieted1 Thu 21-Jun-18 10:17:39

"She mentioned that something was missing..."

What was missing was passion! You're a red-blooded male, show it.

Tell her you have enough friends, thank you. You're looking for a passionate lover.
If this doesn't work, then it was never to be. But whatever you do, don't cling on as a friend.

SheerKhan Thu 21-Jun-18 10:19:52

Can I just nip in and say that having lots in common with someone of the opposite sex doesn't equate falling in love with them. Often it really is just a buddy thing.

LapsedHumanist Thu 21-Jun-18 10:29:54

The date after the kiss should have been an evening one not daytime. And a few evening dates with more kissing before the “I’ll cook us dinner at mine”.

And you don’t have to agree to be friends if you don’t want to.

MiniTheMinx Thu 21-Jun-18 10:43:14

What was missing was passion......please don't agree to be friends and then suddenly jump on this woman. No.

Maybe you should tell her how much you like her and fancied her. Tell her your feelings for her are romantic and sexual. Let her digest this information and wait for her to come to you. If she never does it's because she really only wanted you as a friend.

She will either leave you to it and you'll never hear from her, keep contacting you on the pretext of being friends. If she is as decent and genuine as you make her sound then if she continues to try and see you I think it will be because she does feel the way you do. At that point I would say very clearly "do you want a relationship with me?" Because I can't just be your friend.

NobodysChild Thu 21-Jun-18 10:44:08

I came to the same conclusion as @Disquited1. There's no passion. I enjoy historic buildings etc, but I also like other things. It gets boring doing the same repetitive things and they become mundane. I would also want a man to show a little romance. Even a simple act of just taking my hand in his as we walked along. To me, this signifies that there's an unspoken connection and that both parties are comfortable with each other. I would message this woman and tell her that you have feelings for her and would like to take her on a date. Book a restaurant, go for drinks afterwards and invite her back to yours. Shyness can be crippling and it's awkward for both parties. You sound like a nice guy, but you're lacking in showing emotion. if this woman declines your invitation, then move on.

bluebell34567 Thu 21-Jun-18 10:54:22

passion and spark missing. try one more time, if it doesnt work move on.

Fevs Thu 21-Jun-18 11:08:01

I very much enjoyed reading your story and writing style (until the end of course) and because she enjoys your company and clearly reasonates with you on a level I don’t really understand how your formal tone has anything to do with this. As you say you don’t follow the crowed and are slightly eccentric so please don’t change who you are, be it in your writing or in person.
As someone else has said, it is tricky for us to understand why she decided to turn this into a friendship. She may be seeing someone else or she may have decided that she simply prefers your company in that way.
I tend to agree with those who say you should be honest with her and explain how you feel. If it’s a no go then I probably wouldn’t pursue being friends. Now your true feelings will be out in the open and I imagine it will be hard to move on from that.
I would encourage dating more though especially online. Depending on the site you can definitely meet a wide variety of people and I don’t think have anything to lose!

Man45 Sat 23-Jun-18 08:25:18

Thank you all for your feedback it has helped me motabolise events and make some sense of the situation. Apologies also for my style of writing and suspect that this has more to do with a long career in a certain industry.

I am a romantic at heart (although this clearly fails to show through my writing) and fairly good at coming up with unique activities - several of which my date was very impressed with. I must also confess that I am hopelessly sensitive but ironically not shy.

Recognising that I had nothing to loose (other than my dignity, self esteem and emotional well being) I sent a text suggesting a meet up. Sadly no was the answer. I followed up with a message that thanked her for a lovely time together and that she stired certain emotions which I have not felt in years. I wished her all the happyness for her future.

I will never forget this unique person.......

DisplayPurposesOnly Sat 23-Jun-18 09:33:23

That's a very graceful exit, Man45. I think your op did show how romantic you are - 'kissing under the midnight sky' was a dead give-away wink

numptynuts Sat 23-Jun-18 09:41:55

Man you will find someone. Stay as you are, you sound like a proper gent!

Durianfruit Sat 23-Jun-18 10:13:56

Good luck for the future, Man.

Zaphodsotherhead Sat 23-Jun-18 15:18:23

I had it done to me Man - only by a bloke I'd slept with! He told me that he enjoyed going out with me, that the sex was fantastic but there wasn't the 'spark' he was looking for and he'd never fall in love with me.

If he'd only said it before we'd slept together (many times, by this point), I wouldn't have felt quite so used.

So at least you got Friendzoned before you actually totally opened yourself up to this person. Keep your dignity and walk away, hopefully you'll either meet someone more deserving of you, or she will realise she made a very very stupid mistake...

AsleepAllDay Sun 24-Jun-18 03:47:35

Good luck OP. Next time I would aim for a kiss by date 3 and maybe a few more 'tells' that you're actually attracted/interested - a few touches, meaningful looks, being keen to set up dates etc so she's not in doubt

But what you've described is universal for most people dating. You have a few great dates and see potential while the other person isn't feeling it.

I do suggest OLD, just to open up the field a bit. Don't spend too long writing and sending texts - start with a coffee date and if you like them keep going.

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