Counsellor Charmaine Saunders is available to help with advice on relationship matters and issues affecting your love life. You can email Charmaine and each week she'll answer reader's questions on this page. You can also take advantage of Charmaine's experience in providing real solutions to life's difficulties with personal online counseling. You might also like to visit the Dating Doctor for more relationship advice.
Does He Just Want Me For Sex?
3 January, 2012
Q. I met this guy last year, he's going to be 27 and I just turned 23. Everything was perfect, and I fell for him so fast until he told me he wasn't looking for a relationship because his ex really broke his heart but he wanted to continue seeing me. I understood what he was saying so I agreed. As time passes he starts to introduce me to his family, friends, still continued to go on dates and it was almost like we were in a relationship. Months later, he tells me he knows I fell for him, and he doesn't want to hurt me if he ends up in a relationship and that I'm a good time. But he still decided to contact me and sleep with me after he said this. After that I realized nothing was going to change and ended it, deleted his number and wouldn't contact him. He would contact me every so often to see how I was. This past Friday, I decided to go and see him, and it was like old times, slept over, talked, went to dinner, he kissed me goodbye. I fell for him again, and would do anything for him but I don't want to be heart broken in the end. Should I continue to see him? Is he using me just for sex? I'm so confused. Please help!
A. You did a self-loving thing when you broke it off. He has made his feelings clear, that he only wants to be casual as he's not ready for a proper relationship. If you accept his terms,. you can't really say he's using you. You decided you couldn't put up with it but then you succumbed to his charms and your feelings again. Your current choices are clear - break it off completely this time or see him on his terms. I normally wouldn't recommend the latter but if you enjoy being with him, it's an option. The only way you can be heart-broken is if you insist on hoping for more and deluding yourself about the way he feels. It could change in the future but the reality of the current situation right now has to be faced. Then you can make a healthy decision either way.
Internet Mystery Man
7 December, 2011
I'd been off the dating scene a long while, and decided to try internet dating. I contacted a man who lived several states away, and we seemed to have a lot in common. Later, he told me he was a soldier and was stationed overseas (his profile did not mention this). He suggested we Skype, and we began calling. He seemed too good to be true: everything he said was so far verifiable. We connected on Facebook as well. Here's where it gets weird. We talked for about seven months. At first he seemed really into me. He had mentioned marriage, as a what-if scenario, we both agreed we didn't really want kids. To tell the truth, I kind of laughed when he said, "Marriage", because we didn't really know each other, but he just frowned, and I said, "Oh, you were serious?" He says, "why not?" But he also said, when we knew each other for a year, maybe we should talk about engagement if we still liked each other.
Later, he had to make a choice to stay overseas for another year, or come home. We had planned to meet in July on his leave time. He discussed the idea with me, but didn't really include me in the decision. He wanted to stay overseas. When I found out his choice, I wrote him a letter saying I was happy for him, but that I was disappointed that I couldn't see him more than twice a year. I asked him if he wanted to continue a relationship, or would he rather just be friends.
This led to a Skype conversation where he basically accused me of wanting to get engaged to him! I told him that HE was the only one who had ever mentioned marriage in the first place, and that I was only wanting to know his feelings. He said he could not tell me how he felt, if he liked me as a friend only, or as a potential date. I was pretty insulted, since he had taken the lead at first. He didn't feel it was a breakup since we had never met, and said he didn't want to lead me on. But the damage was already done. He invited me to meet him on his leave, still, but said he could not promise me anything. I have planned a vacation elsewhere for that time and let him know this. Because I feel there would be too much pressure on me (he says, "what if there is not a spark?")
I "hid" his profile on Facebook, and we have emailed little since then. I still like him, but feel the need for him to make a move if he wants me back. I blamed myself a lot for his running away. Am I wrong to think that way? Should I even try to get him back?
A. That's the catch with internet dating. I'm asked all the time whether it's a good thing. It is, if managed properly. These are some of the pitfalls - elements of fantasy, no way to gauge personal energy, many risks of miscommunication and misinterpretation. I think what happened with this guy is that he got caught up with the fantasy then he got cold feet. This can happen even in normal dating. People get hooked on romance but when reality sets in, they run! I'm afraid this guy doesn't know what he wants. I wouldn't advise you to change your plans to suit him. If and when it's convenient, by all means, meet up with him but don't let him call all the shots. Of course there may not be a spark but that applies both ways. I completely agree that he should make the next move. If he doesn't, let him go and don't waste any energy blaming yourself.
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