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Am I just being paranoid?(28 Posts)
I’ve met a very lovely man. I’m going through a divorce and was planning on staying single for the foreseeable but this man turned up in my life unexpectedly. He’s really nice - clever, funny, kind and amazing in bed.
But I can’t help this nagging feeling that he’s only seeing me until someone better comes along. His long term partner left him over a year ago and he’s not been with anyone since then, mostly due to lockdown I think. He keeps saying things like ‘I just love waking up next to a woman’, ‘I forgot how nice it is to have someone to chat to when watching tv’ or ‘It’s so great to just hold someone’s hand walking along’. To me that just sounds like he’s been massively lonely and I could be absolutely anyone. I haven’t mentioned it at all yet.
Would this ring alarm bells for you? I really like him despite my better judgement but I just can’t cope with being tossed aside when someone better comes along. I don’t know if I’m being paranoid or if I should listen to the little voice in my head telling me that he doesn’t like me as such, just likes being with someone.
That is very offputting. He does make it seem like any half decent woman would do to fill the space.
Yes, you are being silly and a bit insecure.
This is a new relationship for both of you. Both have baggage and past hurts. So - I am guessing, just like you - he is also threading carefully. By the sound of it - like you he wasn’t expecting to be in a relationship so soon after his breakup. This is what his worlds mean to me.
So Just enjoy it.
No one knows how the relationship develops. It’s way too early to put pressure on it to try to define its seriousness or whether it’ll last. This is no different to any other news relationship.
You may possibly not be ready for a real relationship yet. But it so happened that you met him. Try to quiet voices in your head and go with the flow.
If you haven’t received counselling - for your divorce or otherwise - I think you can benefit from a bit of it. Just so you can feel stronger and happier with yourself.
Men aren’t always great at wording things so I can see how one of the comments he made might of sounded like you’re just filling a post until someone else comes along...
But on the other hand, it sounds like he is appreciating you and this new relationship and is trying to work out if you feel the same.
I have only felt like this about one man I have dated and I was right. He didnt dump me when someone better came along because I ended first. But it was clear by exactly that sort of comment that it wasn't me he liked doing those things with it was having someone to do those things who that he liked.
It didn't improve and it would have damaged my self esteem if I'd continued with it.
I disagree with MMmomDD
It seems to me that your self esteem and strength are in tact which is why you have picked up on these things. Otherwise, you'd just feel grateful for hearing it and be spinning it into something you needed to deal with, as she is suggesting.
If this nagging feeling is always there, tugging at your sleeve and whispering, "There. There you go!" everytime he says something like this, then listen to it.
Would you be happy with it as a FWB situation or not?
He is implying that is what he is offering. I would ask him outright having already decided if you would want that or not.
Thank you. I think I’ll try and speak to him about it. I’m not usually needy and I hope it won’t come across like that but I just want him to be aware that I’ve noticed it. I’m sure it’s not something he’s doing consciously and if he doesn’t especially like me as anything other than a generic woman then that’s ok. I enjoy his company and the sex so hopefully can continue with that even if he does just see me as a stop gap.
I've had this.. a man who was pining for another life. It is soul destroying. Everything was measured- affection, time spent together, etc.
Maybe he is awkward with his words, or playing it cool.
Perhaps give it a bit of time- it sounds like you are switched on, so you should be able to see ( with time) if he is genuine or not.
He’s either being insensitive or very honest. Either way, he wants a someone, you or whoever.
That would put me off big time.
I think I’d be happy with a FWB situation. I’m not sure if he would though. He certainly talks about a future with us as a couple though which is why it’s confusing. Talking about holidays he’d like us to go on after the plague and he’s even booked some flights for us to go somewhere in February. But again, I’m not sure if he’s just trying to convince himself.
Why do you want to be someone’s stop gap? I’m sure there are men out there who want a meaningful one on one relationship with you. Value yourself, otherwise no one else will.
Nothing wrong with FWB, but stopgap sounds sad
It sounds like neither of you are that bothered about the other to me. Both are happy with anyone /an arrangement so maybe an explicit conversation about how you feel is needed.
It’s such early days OP I think you are reading too much into it tbh and should just enjoy what you have.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to speak with him in general terms about where he sees things going?
Unfortunately all relationships are a risk. From experience I’d be more concerned if he was love bombing. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been told ‘we’ve got something here’ in early days only for them to dump me via a one line text or ghost shortly afterwards.
flittingaboutagain I really like him. I wasn’t planning on seeing anyone, certainly not actively looking to meet anyone for a really long time. I wouldn’t be worrying about it at all if I wasn’t bothered about him. Just trying really hard not to let myself get hurt as I’ve had an incredibly touch time lately
I'd just tread carefully. I had this with a guy who made a point of telling me "how good it felt to be touched again" as if it'd been ages for him, turns out he'd been sleeping with someone else as well as me, she felt pregnant early doors, they're now married and blissfully happy 🤣 men do talk crap at times.
I mean, it depends on lots of things, but the wording of his texts .. I wouldn't like either.
Why can't he say 'I love waking up next to YOU' instead of 'a woman'? Or 'I love holding YOUR hand' instead of 'a woman's' hand?
I actually would bring it up with him, as it might just be unfortunate wording on his part with no particular meaning behind it, but depending on the situation I do think he might just be lonely - he's basically been lonely and unable to meet anyone since his partner left him, and a year isn't all that long if it was a long term partner.
Sorry I took it that you're not interested in a real relationship if you'd be happy with a FWB situation instead. Personally if I wanted to love someone I couldn't set myself up for the heartache of having sex with them whilst they wait out the time to find someone to love if you see what I mean.
He's forgotten what it's like to be with a partner after just a year spent alone? Or had he not shared a bed with his ex for years?
If you've only been with him a short time, then he won't appreciate it being you yet, and might well leave you ("toss aside" seems a bit dramatic to describe that!). I'd probably just judge him a) for making it sound like a year alone is unbelievable torture and b) for not having the emotional intelligence to realise that being praised for being "a woman" is not a heartwarming compliment.
I think I would notice the comments as being a strange way to word things too. BUT just because he phrased it in those generic terms doesn't mean he doesn't like you. Probably, he was in a headspace where he got comfortable being alone and now is reminded of how nice a relationship is. I certainly said generic things like this to my ex bf - i met him after my divorce, was enjoying single life, and then marvelled at how nice being in a relationship was. I definitely liked him though, wasn't looking for anything better, and ended up falling madly in love with him. It ended for other reasons.
I mean, you can read anything into his words. Best is to just check in with him how he feels about you/the relationship. You've both got baggage so an honest chat is probably the only way you'll cut through all the defence mechanisms at play here. It's the only way you'll know for sure!
The examples I gave are things he’s said out loud. When he messages me (which is quite often as we only see each other once a week atm) he always writes really nice, personal messages.
flittingaboutagain I think you’re probably right, maybe I couldn’t cope with a FWB situation. I don’t really have a lot of experience with relationships as just had my marriage and not much before. So just feeling my way in the dark, I guess.
Hang on. You're really making a leap here. When I met my now DP I really liked him but I also liked having someone to plan things with, go for dinner with etc.
Maybe you are filling a gap, maybe you are his ideal woman. You need to proceed with caution and be patient while getting to know someone. It takes a bit of time. Wait and see how it pans out.
I wouldn't have a Serious Talk with him. I'd simply smile and ask "a woman? Or this woman?" next time he states something like this.
He could have not realised he wanted to meet someone and genuinely surprised at how much he loves the little normal relationship bits.
Having said all that, being with him should make you feel good. Keep an eye on yourself and if you are feeling more anxious than happy then it simply is not worth it.
I honestly think just have a gentle chat with him. Everyone can surmise and no one can tell you but him. Just ask him.
I'd be a bit alarmed by the holiday talk and flights - it's all a bit quick, isn't it? How long have you been seeing him? Being rushed along, too much too soon and fast-forwarding the relationship are red flags.
Put the brakes on and see how he takes it.
What was your previous relationship like? Have you really had time to deal with the fallout?
I think @Isthisnothing has it right. If it’s generally going well (and it sounds like it is) why rush to pick holes and try to work out the correct label?
He could equally say all the right things but still bugger off. I would say his actions are more important and it sounds like he’s getting a lot right from that perspective.
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