Dear Nice Guy and Fuckboy,
I met this guy at a local bar. I am 23, and he is 25. When we initially met we were both really drunk.
We chatted, exchanged numbers, and later in the night, I realized he was only trying to take me home, so I wrote him off as a typical player and went on enjoying my night.
The next day, he texted me, apologized for coming across like that and said that wasn't how he is.
A week went by, and he texted me to see if I was out, and I ran into him that night. We laughed about the week prior, and once again, he apologized and said he wanted to take me out.
After a week of nonstop texting, he seemed pretty great. He flirted, said he wasn't here to mess around and was asking questions that made him seem genuinely interested in me. I even slept over once, but I told him I couldn't sleep with him yet, and he was understanding about it.
Now, about a month-and-a-half went by with constant texting and occasional phone calls. He was asking me to hangout pretty much every other day.
Then, on what I call our "last good night," we had a perfect date. We laughed, drank and chatted more in depth. He wanted to meet my family and asked to be my date for a wedding.
Then, we got home, and we finally slept together. But it didn't go all that well. I wasn't as ready as I thought I would be, but he seemed to understand.
After that, he would continue to text me everyday, but he became very short in his messages. He just stopped asking me to do things, and he became very flaky.
I even gave him the opportunity to be like, no, I'm not interested anymore. But when I asked if everything was OK, he said he had just been busy. Over the next two weeks, I would only see him on Saturday nights.
You probably think I was just a booty call at this point, right?
Well, one night, he didn't even sleep with me; we just hung out. I thought, "OK, I'm not even a booty call."
So I asked him what was up. I said, "All I want is some of your time, I don't know how serious you think I'm trying to be." And he responded, "I thought you were just trying to be serious." I didn't hear from him for a couple of days after that.
The next few weeks that followed made no sense.
He initiated the conversations, but he only texted me briefly throughout the days. But he still wasn't setting up dates.
Eventually, I asked if we could talk in person, and he said we could, but he would not set anything up. So basically, I called it quits there.
I told him via text that I did like him but this doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and it sucks for the both of us.
Two days later, I did hear from him. He said I was getting serious too quickly (even though I've only seen him twice in the last month, and he was the one asking to meet my family), but I just agreed that we could relax for a bit.
Then, the following week was even more confusing.
For four days straight, he asked me to hang out, but I didn't because I am actually busy, and he just told me I was becoming too serious. He also started telling me things about dating and how he would be a good boyfriend, so I assumed he was just messing with me (because he literally just told me I was being too serious).
Eventually, he went right back to his flaky self and disappeared. I called him out on this behavior, and he made plans with me later that week.
But then, we got into a fight. I told him I felt like he was just leading me on. But he told me he was just confused. He told me he doesn't want me to go, but he also didn't say anything about us becoming more.
I apologized for some mean things I said, and he said he understood because he's "all over he place." He also told me to "hang in there."
My question is, what happened? Was he just messing with me? If he knows I want something more, but he doesn't want it, why keep at it? Why constantly contact me if you just want to hookup? Why say all those things in the beginning if you don't mean them?
Can he actually be that confused or just really not interested in me?
Never been so confused
Hi Never been so confused,
I think the closest you've come to figuring things out for yourself is when you said, “I felt like he was just leading me on. But he told me he was just confused. He told me he doesn't want me to go, but he also didn't say anything about us becoming more.”
What I'm saying is, this sudden confusion is very convenient for him.
I do think he has some form of love/respect for you that makes you more than just another pair of panties to add to his coveted collection, but I also think he likes telling you things he knows you want to hear (i.e. being your wedding date, meeting the folks, etc.) so you don't think he's playing you.
Let me explain: When a man begins discussing a future with you before you've done the deed... that's a pretty big red flag.
Put simply, this is a man's smoothest path toward the bedroom. He knows the more you think this prospective relationship could get serious, the more likely you are to sleep with him. So he says and does what he needs to do to accomplish his goal of getting laid.
On the opposite side of things, he will tell you things are getting too serious when you push for exclusivity to stunt the relationship's growth.
So there you two are, sitting pretty in an ill-defined, not-quite relationship that's confusing the shit out of you.
But this relationship limbo women hate is actually the sweet spot for men.
In our minds, we've dodged commitment, but we've also leaped over one of the highest hurdles: sex. From here on out, it's smooth sailing in his opinion — or at least for a few weeks.
What most guys like to do at this point is keep things this way for as long as possible. We're pushing commitment away while you're pulling it in close. It's a tug of war.
However, this relationship limbo has proven time and time again that when it comes to what happens next, the answer all depends on which kind of man he is:
1. A man who knows he's ready to settle down and is actively seeking a partner.
2. A man who falls hard for somebody without any intention to.
3. A man who steers clear of relationships like I do small talk with teachers in public.
While options one and three are very much cut and dry when it comes to his intentions, most guys tend to fall under the second category.
Want to know how we start to fall hard? Persistence.
Now, I'm not saying we're prizes that need to be wowed. I'm just saying some of us need to realize commitment isn't all that bad, and we aren't any less of a man for being “soft” because we've developed strong feelings for someone.
In my instance, my fiancée persisted by making the first move after matching on an app. She saw what she wanted and went for it (which I still find incredibly sexy).
I had always been skeptical of love and was reluctant to embrace the idea of a relationship at the time.
Now, after three years together, we're getting married this fall.
The same thing happened to my best friend. He met a girl while a bunch of us guys were on vacation in Cuba and found out that she lived in a city not too far from us. By the end of the trip, they exchanged numbers, but he didn't really think much would happen aside from a few more hookups.
Well, due to her persistence (and let me tell you, she persisted), the two have fallen hard for each other and will be celebrating their one-year anniversary next month.
Whether you ask for his number, make the first phone call, go in for a kiss and even initiate sex, men (95 percent, 93 percent, 95 percent and 93 percent, respectively) love these acts of bravery because there's no guesswork on our end.
So my advice to you is, if you like him, persist (within reason). Don't make a fool out of yourself in doing so, but fight for what you want, damn it! Some guys need more of a push than others do.
And if you think this guy is worth it, why not?
Best of luck!
I have no idea how you screwed this up specifically, if you ever had a chance, what's going on in his life or any of that. But I'm glad you wrote us because you're falling into a very common trap.
You're confused — which is totally understandable — mainly because you're operating under this impression that he's also confused, right? That he can't sort out his feelings for you, his wants, his needs or his intentions.
In your understanding of it, he's helpless in a way, paralyzed by indecision and emotionally stunted by circumstance.
Confused: It's an effective way to brand yourself when you want to fuck multiple women. Trust me.
But it's all marketing. It's exactly the image he wants to portray. Even if he screws up, it colors him as slightly sympathetic and worthy of another chance, if he were to want one.
He's pulled off a nice little trick here, spinning what you'd normally perceive as timidity into a position of control.
Here's what you do: Throw that word “confused” out of your description of him. Confused means he's battling different thoughts in his head — that he's unsure.
He's not confused. He's conflicted. There is a huge difference.
His actions don't line up with his words, which you're taking at face value. But he knows what he wants to do and what he wants from you.
He doesn't dislike you, but he also doesn't like you enough to want to be with you. He wants to keep you around without committing and without you hating him and leaving completely (though he knows you want all of him or nothing).
What he wants and what he knows he can get are two different things. That's conflicted.
But if you can't understand his actions, that's confused.
See the difference?
And notice how, once you remove his boy-who-just-needs-a-little-help image, he looks like way more of an asshole.
I've told girls plenty of times that I was confused. But it mostly meant I was conflicted or caught in something or another. It's a lame excuse — kind of like our versions of “just friends” — but it works on girls who think they can fix guys.
So if you want to slow things down, you say you're confused. It's self-deprecating and kind of inarguable, and hey, it can happen to anyone right? It's just human nature. And girls who want to fix guys are all about the human stuff.
Once you plant some of that "confused" stuff in their heads, they are willing to give you second, third and fourth chances and often ride the thing out until the end... which we then prolong.
Texting every day becomes every few days, and then once a week. Dates dwindle. Then, you're only coming over on Saturday nights, until, eventually, we've figured it out. We're not confused anymore.
By that point, you've figured it out, too.
And we're gone.