Advice For 30s Relationships

Dear Rob,
Can you tell me what is going on here — please???

I was very casual friends with this guy for a few years then last year I saw him out and something clicked.

I started emailing him and for two months straight we emailed each other every day – all the time. Then the emails sort of switched to text messages ™ because it worked better w/his work situation. I called him a few times but our conversations were mainly electronic. Then we went out one night and I put the moves on him (kissed him) and he was really happy about that and we went out soon after that and things were really great – but we still continued w/the tm.

Then his strange behavior started creeping in. I’d say something that he didn’t like when we were out (it could be something so stupid) and he’d ignore me for a week – I wouldn’t know if I were ever going to even talk to him again until he got in touch with me again.

One time he blew me off and supposedly his cell phone wasn’t working and he hurt his back so he couldn’t get up from the couch to call me from a pay phone — so I, for a moment, got mad at him for being so insensitive and not calling me to cancel — but he has a way of turning situations around and in the end he ended up mad at me about the entire situation. It’s like we’d have a good week of tm’s and I felt like we were getting somewhere and then something like this would happen and we’d be back at square one.

I kept telling him that we had to stop tm., that we had to talk on the phone and have real conversations. he agreed – but all he did was tm. tm. tm. I tried to tell him about my feelings & tried to ask him about our *relationship*, granted I did this via email b/c it was too much to tm & I didn’t know if I would say that stuff if I were out with him – and he called my emails ‘ridiculous’.

He said I created too much drama and sometimes I believed him, although in the back of my mind I got the feeling that he was the drama queen in the *relationship*.

This dragged on for almost a year. We would see each other occasionally, depending on how things were going – but never more than a few times a month. I broke things off with him a few times b/c of how he was acting – but he always pleaded his case and I kept up this pitiful thing or a relationship. So I hadn’t seen or tm him in a month but stupid me tm him last week and we went out last night.

I called to find out what time he was going to pick me up – he was telling me his workout schedule for the evening, etc. so I was being sarcastic (his favorite word since he claims to be mr. sarcasm) and saying stuff about his schedule. So all of a sudden he says “Well, if this doesn’t work for you maybe we can do it another time that will”, and I said ok and he said ok and I said bye and he said bye and hung up the phone.

I waited awhile and was fuming so I tm and said something along the lines that he can dish out the sarcasm but can’t take it. He replies with: “What? I don’t know. I thought I was going to take you out & cool down your hot body. or something” stupid like that (I’ve never slept with the guy – he’s gotten mad at me in the past b/c sometimes he’ll take forever to go to bed and when we finally get to bed it’s like 3am and I fall asleep – so then he’s mad b/c I don’t make-out with him — ok, 1. he shouldn’t have been up so late when I was over 2. He’s there as much as I am, why is he blaming me? He could have kissed me!) so fine, we end up going out.

For some reason he has decided to put me down the entire night. He’s never met my friends (I once met a few of his friends b/c he needed a last minute date to a Christmas party) so he claims that I have no friends and the friends that I do talk about are ones that I have made-up. He’s made comments like this before and I told him that I don’t like it and he stopped for awhile but he’s back at it.

I’m 35, he’s 32. A lot of my friends are married w/kids, they don’t go partying every weekend. I’ll admit – I don’t have a lot of friends to go out with but I do have friends. He just so happens to be a fireman and all his single friends and his fellow firemen buddies, so of course he has other guys to go out with.

He was also commenting on how I didn’t know how to hold a conversation. This was a new one to me. My friends (yes, friends!) find me quite amusing – so I don’t know where he gets the idea that I can’t hold a conversation and he doesn’t like the topics that I talk about. I’ve been on this earth long enough. I should have more things to talk about other than my sister, my nieces & nephew, my dogs, etc. this really hurt because then I was seriously questioning my conversation topics.

Then he was calling my hair color dark brown, when it’s not, it’s blonde — he was just saying a lot of those little things that he knows gets my goat.

So what the hell is up with this guy??? I mean, if he hates me so much and thinks I’m such a loser than why is he wasting his time with me?

Bigger question is why am I wasting my time with him? But honestly, I really do like him. when I’m not talking to him I can’t stop thinking about him. But why does he have to be so not nice? I’m not like that towards him, although last night I did tell him that he was going bald, just because he was pissing me off so much. Honestly, all I want to do is love him and make him feel good, so I don’t understand why he wants to knock me down.

Hi Irene,
The “man” you’re trying to date and move into a more serious relationship is a “semi-adult” preferring his own ways and own way of doing things. He’s a teenager in a man’s body.

You won’t be able to change him without changing yourself but I really see no hope for the relationship as it is.

You both want different things right now.

He wants a “party girl” to counter his time with his single male party friends and you want a lover that will honor and respect not just yourself but the things in your life that you hold dear, friends, pets, job, family.

He puts you down to avoid any intimacy issues. Maybe he had an over-protective mother, older sister that relied on him for advice, something that now makes him keep his distance from you despite his love for you.

And you are countering through sarcasm, riling him into being a man of action, which just isn’t in his nature.

Face it, your in different places.

If you do want your relationship to be able to continue you’ll both need counseling, or at the very least in some-depth talks about where you are now, individually, and where you want to be in 1 year, together? Single? Engaged?
And how you came to be where you are with the relationship perspectives you both have.

Do you honestly see yourself in the same relationship under the same circumstances in a year, 5 years?
No, of course not.

This will take work to salvage, or it’s time to end the on again off again relationship and take some time to yourself to understand why you revert to sarcasm to hide your true feelings. And why you pick powerful men in your life that can’t be romantic and fulfilling in a relationship.
You’ve travelled this road once too often. You need stability, not a “Johnny com lately” type of guy, like the guy you described.
You deserve better, you just have to find out a way to tell yourself this and actually believe it. Break the “jerk” cycle and find the true rewards of a happy relationship.
Best wishes,

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