ASK REAL GUYS
To Stay or Not to Stay
Dear ASK REAL GUYS: I met my now ex-boyfriend, who is also 35, online and we dated for about a year. A month into our relationship he lost his job, and I was more than supportive. An employment opportunity finally came along, but it was 1200 miles away. He asked what my thoughts were on him relocating, and I said that I could not make the decision for him. I also mentioned that I would be sad to see him go, but at the same time I would understand.
He decided to take the job and asked if I would be up for a long-distance relationship. We ended the conversation by agreeing that if things went well I could possibly move down with him. Nearly three months later he asked me to relocate, so I put my condo on the market as I couldn’t afford to move until it sold. Three more months went by and I was still visiting him as often as I could.
Unfortunately we started to get into meaningless tiffs often and he felt that we needed to work on our communication. I explained that long-distance dating is difficult and that no relationship is without drama. He began to make new friends and never bothered to include me in anything. I feel like crap really hit the fan in July. One night he was out with his friends – who are like his family – and before leaving he told me he just wanted to hang out for a bit, and then we would meet up. By 9:00 p.m. he still hadn’t called, so I texted him and he said that he was drinking with his boys and that he needed more time. 11:00 rolled around, and I texted him once more and he yet again replied saying he needed more time. I got very upset since I wanted to spend time with him as well, which in turn upset him. He started saying that I just “don’t get it” and that he can’t be with someone who doesn’t trust him.
He has since mentioned that he has done everything he can to make me feel beautiful and special, that he has never cheated on me and I am still not happy. It’s not that I was/am unhappy, it’s that I wanted to spend time with him and he couldn’t see it. He felt that I should seek counseling and said he would be more than willing to get back together if he sees a change. I agreed, thinking he might be able to see something that I can’t. Around this time both an offer for a job and my condo came up. He made me feel terrible about each situation because his logic was – why bother if we’re not currently dating and you’re not moving in with me? In my mind that’s what we were working towards, so I wanted everything to be perfect.
Soon after he bought me a plane ticket for my birthday, and I wanted to have a great time but I noticed that there were condoms missing in his room so I brought it up. His explanation was that he gave them to a friend, and even if he HAD used them it was only fair because we were technically separated at that point. Since then it’s been very downhill for us. He keeps saying that he’s not sure if he can be with me anymore. I know he cares about me because I am the second person that he has ever really been in love with. Recently we got into it again and he said he can no longer take the fighting or constant discussions about our relationship. I don’t understand because I have not done anything that can justify his level of rage. He said it felt like we were his parents – who used drugs and divorced when he was young. I reminded him that that is NOT us, but he hit back by saying he refuses to be in a relationship that will make him miserable forever.
It’s really depressing that my condo sold and my job came together but he still did not want me to move in with him. It’s not fair that he kept giving me false hope by saying we would work on things. Maybe he’s unable to see the bigger picture, or maybe I am. He has said that if I do take the job he will help me move into to my own apartment, and that perhaps we can start over if he feels like things have progressed. My employment opportunity is decent enough; I am mostly interested because it will look good on my resume. But should I move 1200 miles away from everyone I know to take a job that may not satisfy me?
I felt like he was “the one,” but now he’s not making me feel too good. When I went on my third and final interviews I stayed near him and he mentioned that even that made him uncomfortable. The whole situation was “overwhelming” to him, so I left. He offered to drive me to the airport but I declined, and I have not spoken to him since.
I’ve never given anyone my heart like that before; what should I do? Should I move? I feel lost, and I feel like he took the easy way out by being cruel. Do you think he will realize that he made a mistake?
Avery: Your (ex) boyfriend is very confused about what he wants and does not seem to be willing to give you what YOU need in this relationship. Moving to his new town may not be the best thing for you, but since you’ve already sold your place and gotten a new apartment and a new job (which you say will be great on your resume), you may want to give it a shot. If your (ex) boyfriend makes no effort to see you and do things with you, the message is loud and clear that he’s moving on. You can also look at the new city as an opportunity to make new friends, join a new social circle and move forward in your life too. You’re certainly at an age where you should know what you want, and with him being 35-years-old too, he should be able to know and communicate what his needs are. He may have some growing up or some personal development to do, and that can only happen on his initiative.