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Calm and steady man back after series of awful relationships... What would you do?

(18 Posts)
Sophie628 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:04:15

I have had a string of disastrous relationships. People who have been abusive or just emotionally unavailable. I seem to thrive on these, I enjoyed the game and the chase and being on my toes.

I have had therapy. I worked out I was scared of commitment. I get it now.

I’ve realised over the last few days that I threw a away a man that was totally and completely and fully into me...I loved conversations with him, we talked for hours and hours. The sex was good but not amazing. As soon as it ramped up and he wanted to put a label on it, I became terrified, pushed him away, felt unattracted to him, the list goes on.

Weirdly and coincidentally this man has contacted me to ask if I want to meet when restrictions are lifted. It’s come out of the blue and we have had some short text exchanges about it.

I am worried that if I meet him I will be stringing him along as I don’t know if I see him if I will feel that settling fear - which is sad because literally all I want in life if to be settled - I don’t want to go on another date and flirt all night with a stranger. I want to be with someone that makes me feel safe and I can build a future with. I am scared I would be leading him on though and also I feel conflicted because sometimes people say wait for the person who sets your heart alight! I have never felt like anyone has set my heart alight AND made me feel safe and loved, at least not in equal proportions. Am I being a failure to give up on that X factor and to see this man? Am I clutching at straws hoping I will feel differently or has anyone had this realisation and gone on to build a life with someone that is calm and steady?

OP’s posts: |
Sophie628 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:06:07

I love chatting with him and I love his family values, I love doing the same things in life he does, he’s kind. I just don’t have the X factor with him... the chase, the drama.

Do I give it a chance now I know what is important in life or is this a hiding to nowhere?

OP’s posts: |
allasion Sun 26-Apr-20 11:17:56

A relationship is a trial for both parties. It is there to help us overcome out shortcomings and bring out the better is is. It is a constant, a chance for each of us to work on ourselves. It is not just about physical attraction!
I have been single for many years now but am just about being able to commit to never say or do anything that would upset the other and instead be always happy and supportive. Is this doable? It is hard, and you need your own space and time, but I think this is the best way in order to achieve harmony and bring out the best in me and the other rather than the ugly.
The past is there as a constant reminder of what happens if I act or talk otherwise.
Only the time will tell.
Good luck, whatever you decide!

allasion Sun 26-Apr-20 11:19:44

Sorry for a few typos: to bring the better in us!

Sophie628 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:20:25

I’m not worried about being able to give my all to him, I just get scared when someone tries to do it back.

People always say wait for fireworks but the fireworks relationships I’ve had have all ended very horribly.

OP’s posts: |
Menora Sun 26-Apr-20 11:25:01

Waiting for fireworks is misleading really. It is scary when you find someone who is stable and secure when you have never known it and I understand about finding them unattractive when this happens but I often feel myself that I never really fancied them but hoped I would do in the future... which is not a good way to start!

Can you just be friends with this man for now. Tell him it’s friends and you want to take things slowly. Be honest that you are working on yourself and don’t want to rush into anything

CreamWhitecakes Sun 26-Apr-20 11:29:09

The sex was good but not amazing. As soon as it ramped up and he wanted to put a label on it, I became terrified, pushed him away, felt unattracted to him, the list goes on

Be honest OP you probably didn't want it because he didn't do it for you. I think you'd be settling for this guy. You've already said the sex isn't great. Just because he's a nice guy it doesn't mean you should be with him.

Personally I wouldn't go there
Wait until you meet the whole package. It might not be fireworks but you won't let this person go.

ThePlantsitter Sun 26-Apr-20 11:32:19

I would say it depends on what your background is like. Lots of people say 'when you know, you know' but I think those people have probably had very stable, loving upbringings in which being straightforwardly loved is absolutely normal.

When you haven't had that -even if you couldn't say your upbringing was terrible or abusive - it sometimes feels scary when you come across someone who just wants to love you and feels a normal living relationship is what you both deserve.

The drama/intense excitement feeling is sometimes just the yearning feeling from childhood coming back. The one that feels familiar and you associate with love instead of normal stable security.

I'm not a therapist or anything and it might be wrong in your case but this is definitely how it went for me. It was a quicker process than I feared to squash the fear by ignoring it. You don't have to commit to marrying him straight off do you.

NotMyNigel Sun 26-Apr-20 11:32:36

Can you just be friends with this man for now. Tell him it’s friends and you want to take things slowly. Be honest that you are working on yourself and don’t want to rush into anything

This is good advice .

Sophie628 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:33:23

It’s been 3 years and we stayed in contact. In those 3 years I have been with men that simply didn’t want to commit to me.

He’s asked to meet when we can and I am questioning it because the sex was good before I felt pressure, the dinners were fun before I felt tied down.

I have realised this now but of course I’m worried that maybe there wasn’t enough of a spark for me. How can I know.

OP’s posts: |
Menora Sun 26-Apr-20 11:35:03

You can be friends with him
Then you will know in time if he’s just a friends or more
But be honest about it

Sophie628 Sun 26-Apr-20 11:35:15

Yes friends sounds a good idea

OP’s posts: |
Menora Sun 26-Apr-20 11:36:53

I keep saying the friends thing as I am doing similar right now. Crap relationships and not sure what I can offer and I am working on myself so I am just offering men who are interested a friendship with an open mind to it leading to more. But I am being honest with them if I don’t want to be friends anymore or it will never be more than friends

YourNameIsSenNow Sun 26-Apr-20 11:37:43

Be honest.

Tell him you've had a rough time with men and you've taken a step back to evaluate things.

You're happy to meet up on a friendly basis for a meal to catch up and you never know where things may lead in the long run but you want to take things slow and without pressure.

Longtalljosie Sun 26-Apr-20 11:42:35

As a survivor of an abusive relationship, I would say to give it a go - with therapy.

One of the trickiest things to navigate in a “normal” relationship is abusers are very good at making you feel special. It’s the “up” side of the cycle of abuse. When you’re not a slag and the antichrist etc etc you’re just so beautiful / special that he has no choice but to behave so awfully. Normal everyday regard in the early stages of a relationship is very different. But really your perception of what attraction is has been skewed. Go with it - you and he can give this 6 months of proper commitment. You owe it to yourself to try.

happinessischocolate Sun 26-Apr-20 11:50:28

I'm in a similar place to you but without a lovely guy waiting in the wings wanting to meet.

I say meet him, be honest and see how it goes, what is there to lose? He's still interested after 3 years so is probably more aware of what you are like than you realise.

Good luck, hope it works

Dery Sun 26-Apr-20 13:07:21

Have you read Robin Norwood's "Women Who Love Too Much"? She's very good on the addictive nature of abusive relationships and how a mature functional love relationship can initially seem dull in comparison. In a sense, it probably is dull in comparison because you're not cycling between ecstasy and misery the way you are in an abusive relationship, where the good times are intensified by just how awful the bad times are and you're just so grateful for them. Also, abusers can love bomb like there's no tomorrow - they have to do that to make up for the appalling treatment they mete out when they're being abusive. But it's a deeply damaging and unhealthy dynamic even if it feels amazing some of the time and it can destroy a person.

It sounds like the relationship which you were having with this man was a healthy functioning relationship which actually ticked a lot of boxes. I suppose good sex isn't great sex but perhaps that was again because of the general air of calm and groundedness which this man brought to the table, though perhaps not.

You don't owe this man a relationship. But you do owe it to yourself to experience a healthy, functional relationship where you don't run away (btw, have you done some reading around Avoidance Addiction and Love Addiction? - often two sides of the same coin) and it does sound as if this man may be offering that. And if your feelings grow into something stronger, then all well and good. He's suggested meeting up - he hasn't asked you to marry him! You're allowed to date him for a while and see how you feel after that. It may work out or it may not, but as long as you don't keep him dangling for months on end without any intention of committing to him, I don't think you can be criticised for giving it a go. And I do think you will kick yourself if you don't.

WarmFunKindStrong Sun 26-Apr-20 13:08:16

He is only asking to meet you at the moment. I think you may be overthinking things.

Do you want to meet him? If yes then do that.

Don't try to figure out the eventual outcomes, that's quite a leap.

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