General Question

Jennifries's avatar

Is this guy interested or not? Should I just move on?

Asked by Jennifries (232points) February 22nd, 2010

I will try to keep this somewhat short and sweet, but it is long and requires some back story, sorry!
So, I met this guy on an online dating site about a year and a half ago. We hit things off pretty well, and went on a couple dates. Unfortunately our lives kept getting in the way and we kind of lost touch with each other. A few months later we got back in touch, texted, emailed, IM’d, and all those things. It was going pretty well until I kind of flipped out on him…
I was going through a rough patch (I’m bipolar and sometimes medication needs tweaked…), I was afraid of how strong my feelings were for him, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I kept trying to do things that would push him away, but he resisted, so I finally yelled at him over some very minor annoyance and refused to speak to him again. He tried contacting me several times, but after about three months gave up.
In January, I try to make a list of people I need to make amends to for whatever reason. He was naturally on the list. He (amazingly) responded positively and told me I was welcome to continue contacting him, then contacted me instead. We’ve been talking since.
Now, I most certainly understand him being wary of me going nutzo on him again. However, he’s been kind of flirty (very kind of), and IMs or texts me nearly every day. He also frequently tells me he’s horny, that he wants sex or to make out, etc. I have offered. He has refused.
I did manage to get out of him that he is weird about sex, that is changes things, and that it’s kind of gross. He also (the last time I offered to come over) told me he ‘didn’t want things to get weird’.
So… What the heck is going on here, guys (and gals)? Is it just his ‘weirdness’ about sex? Does he not actually want a relationship? Should I just decide he’s mentally a 14-year-old and move on?

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33 Answers

Steve_A's avatar

Wait “He also frequently tells me he’s horny, that he wants sex or to make out, etc. I have offered. He has refused.”

I am not sure I follow the logic there…..Is this guy single?(Do you know for sure?)

I would say he is interested, and if he wanted you just for sex well he could have done that already obviously.

Maybe he is worried that his “sexual desires” might scare you off.

Jennifries's avatar

@Steve_A I do know for sure that he’s single. As far as him scaring me off… I’m always the one who tries to initiate any sort of sexual contact, so clearly I’m unlikely to be scared off that easily. I’ve even asked him if I come on too strong for him, and he said no.
And I don’t follow the logic either.

TheJoker's avatar

Before you said the whole “he is weird about sex, that is changes things, and that it’s kind of gross”, I was going to say, yes he does like you, given all he’s put up with & still shows an interest. Now, however I think you need to be very wary about this whole situation. There are many men out there who specialise in identifying vulnerable, or ‘at risk’ women & he is setting off all kinds of warning signals.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I did manage to get out of him that he is weird about sex, that is changes things, and that it’s kind of gross.

I think this guy is giving you a warning that he’s into some things that other women have found objectionable. I would be really hesitant about pursuing this relationship.

Jennifries's avatar

@TheJoker Could you explain further please? I’m personally not getting any of those warning signals, but it’s always better to have more sets of eyes.

@PandoraBoxx He did tell me that he enjoyed anal sex once, and that most girls thought it was disgusting… I’m guessing you mean things more objectionable yet..?

TheJoker's avatar

@Jennifries No worries, I will qualify this by adding that I work in mental health with vulnerable teens, so I could be being hypersensitive.
It’s just his behaviour is similar to grooming techniques used by predators. Pursuing you, even after you went ‘nutzo’ on him. Building the sexual tension through sexting, flirting etc, only to say no when you offer, a common technique for gaining control. Introducing you to the idea of something a little ‘out there’ to gauge your reaction… & possibly desensitising you to the idea of it. As I said, I could be being hypersensitive, & there are equally plausible reasons for this… I just think you need to be doubly sure given your circumstances.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If there wasn’t something about the situation that is sending off warning bells inside you, you wouldn’t be on here asking questions about it. You have a guy you met online, went on a few dates with a year and half ago. You’re throwing yourself at him, and he’s turning you down. Either there’s something that’s not quite right about things getting intimate with this guy, and he’s warning you. Making you ask for it could be a way of justifying whatever happens as “your fault.”

Or it could be that because of your volatile outburst in the past, he’s attracted to you, but not enough to see past the bipolar. Right now, you’re someone he can talk with on the phone about sex, and that’s as far as it’s probably going to go.

Jennifries's avatar

@PandoraBoxx You’re right, he’s definitely setting off warning bells, just not in the ‘eww creepy bad man’ way. Then again, the only real experience I’ve had with a relationship of that sort was when I was 14, ten years ago.

This does actually bring up a couple things I’d forgotten about, though. First, shortly after I met him, my sister came with me (safety in numbers!). She informed me he seemed ok, but really ‘bossy’.
The second happened a few days ago. He stopped talking while we were talking on instant messenger for a while, so I made a comment about it. He snapped at me and told me I was possessive of him, and that every time he didn’t say anything for (x) amount of time, I did the same thing. I apologized but he still stopped talking to me for a couple hours.
He also refuses to befriend me on facebook, telling me he hates it. He hasn’t realized that Facebook informs me every time he adds a friend (because of the pending friend request). It sounds kinda petty, but it’s also very secretive.
Hmm. I’m definitely starting to see the grooming behaviours now that I’m looking for them. You’ve all made me paranoid! I’d threaten to go off and don my tinfoil hat, but I think that might be a bit over the top.

It seems like my best course of action at this point is to confront him and demand to know exactly what he wants from our relationship, then go from there. It also seems like I should keep my facebook status as ‘single’, no matter what he says.

Cruiser's avatar

Something is not all right there on both sides of the equation…plus you say he is weird about sex even gross…is that something anything you really want to pursue? Go find something that can bring stability that would be supportive of your needs.

partyparty's avatar

Just a minute please….. are you talking about a relationship here i.e. friendship, loving and caring, or are you talking about sex. Two very different things.

It would seem from your question that you are ONLY interacting with this person for sex.

Find a person who is more interested in you as a person… the sex comes when you know the person better.

Jennifries's avatar

@partyparty No, I’m talking about an actual relationship, complete with the friendship loving and caring, etc. I do like him in terms of personality, we’ve always gotten along as far as that aspect goes. We most definitely have long conversations where nothing sexual is mentioned, implied, whatever.
Maybe I do just need to put my panties on ice, but almost two months of ‘talking’ without even a single date..? It doesn’t make any sense.

janbb's avatar

It does sound to me that he has hang-ups about sex of one kind or another and maybe a friendship makes more sense if you can/want to keep to that. If you can’t, I would probably advise you to move on although I realize one becomes emotionally invested and this is easier said than done sometimes. You don’t want to be with someone who thinks sex is gross or weird.

partyparty's avatar

@Jennifries Perhaps he isn’t the person you think he is. Perhaps it is all a lie. Who knows.

Ask him outright when and where he wants to meet up with you. If you don’t get a direct answer then I would move on.

But most certainly I think I would act with great caution.

jrpowell's avatar

A relationship this early shouldn’t be this hard. I would move on.

FutureMemory's avatar

”..Maybe I do just need to put my panties on ice”.

Best quote ever!

plethora's avatar

Both @TheJoker and @PandoraBoxx make a lot of sense. There is definitely something going on here that you don’t know about. I would take seriously your sister’s impressions since she actually met him. That is reinforced by his Facebook behavior and his deferring to get together again. Befriending you on FB would definitely give you a closer look at him and his contacts with others, which he does not want you to have. The FB thing and his deferral to see you makes me think he already has something going on with someone else and is keeping you on ice for awhile til he sees how that goes. His snapping at you and your sister’s impression, along with the rest suggests there are just lots of red flags here. I’m not in mental health, but I would take seriously @TheJoker ‘s comment re sex. If you do confront him, you might want to be very direct about what he considers weird about sex and why he thinks it’s gross. My bottom line feeling however coincides with @Cruiser . Move on.

DrBill's avatar

OK brace yourself. from reading all the previous post, and taking all this in, combined with a long history of relational psychology I have a new avenue for you to consider.

It sounds to me like a gay man in denial. He is trying to have a relationship with a woman to either “test the waters” to see if he can relate to a female sexually, or to hide his sexual preference from the masses by pretending to have a girlfriend.

His preference for anal sex would reinforce this theory, as would his refusing you on FB.

I would recommend the next time the conversation turns to sex, just ask him straight out “what do you mean when you say you’re weird about sex?” or “What kind of sex do you prefer?”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

How ‘bout if you just get rid of him and find someone worth your time?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Why not just move on, continue perfecting your own life… and then see if he’s interested.

Buttonstc's avatar

There are all different possible explanations for his behavior, sexually speaking, and many folks have keyed in on different possible scenarios.

But there is one irrefutable constant here which you DO know for certain. Your sister picked up on it intuitively and you have pointed out the reality of it in his behavior toward you. He is bossy and a control freak. That is his personality and unlikely to change. It reveals his basic disrespect of and attitude toward women and what he feels entitled to in his relationships to them.

That is the type of relationship which you will be having with him. The best case scenario would be if you like being the submissive in a D/S relationship and it ended up that way with mutual consent from both of you. Somehow, my spidey sense tells me it won’t be that rosy an outcome unless you really are a submissive masochist. I have seen no indication that that would interest you in the slightest.

The far more likely outcome is that this aspect of his KNOWN behavior would escalate. I think the Joker has a very valid point about recognizing grooming behavior, whether it’s conscious or subconscious.

Domestic violence is not an accident. Men who feel entitled to abuse their partners (either mentally, emotionally, or physically) don’t start out exhibiting this full force in the beginning of a relationship because that would immediately alienate most potential partners.

It starts off with all types of small controlling behavior, kind of testing the waters. Then it continues to escalate to eventually horrific levels.

It’s like the old story of boiling the frog in water. If he were plopped right away into a pot of boiling water, he would immediately jump right out. But just put him into pleasantly warm water and very gradually increase the temp a few degrees at a time and eventually he’s cooked.

Forget about what is the deal with his attitudes about sex etc. You may never crack that mystery. Just focus on what you know for certain. He is unreasonably controlling and bossy. Is that what you want in a relationship ?

Do you honestly think that will change? Do you think you can somehow love him out of it ?

That’s what every woman in an abusive relationship also thought. This part of him will not change. The only thing that will change is your level of denial. In other words, it’s the level of excuse-making you’ll have to come to in order to justify to your saner inner self why you continue to tolerate his behavior. His little hussy fit over nothing and then punishing you with his silence is just the beginning of much worse yet to come.

He is clearly exhibiting the classic behavior of an abuser. This is how it starts. Remember, abuse is not LIMITED TO JUST the physical. Even if he never lays a hand on you (unlikey but possible) he can do just as much or more damage.

Get out of this situation before you get boiled alive. The first time someone is abused, they’re a victim. After that, if they continue to tolerate it, they are a volunteer. That may sound harsh, but sadly it’s the truth.

Why would you want to volunteer for this ?

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve found that people with bipolar disorder often have a certain kind of relationship—short, hot and intense. We don’t know how to love halfway. We can’t control ourselves very well, because we need the intensity and we need the love and we’ll do just about anything to get it.

People can take advantage of us because of this. The sex, however, is incredible.

I have no idea what the weirdness that your BF reports is about. I’d never heard about this as a technique for sexual predation until @TheJoker wrote about it. I was thinking that he was shy or insecure or had been abused or something until I read that. Now I have no idea what to think. Since bipolar people tend to be attracted to others with mental health issues, it could be anything that causes a pathology.

I’m not sure I would worry so much about him being a sexual predator. We can be pretty scary when we want to be. And we’re usually very good at knowing exactly which buttons to push to drive someone away. We can really hurt people without hardly breaking a sweat. It’s not a talent to be proud of, but it does give us strength at moments when we might need it.

My idea is that you could take charge. Call him (not IM or text). Invite him to do things. Take the initiative. Make him get out of his house. Invite him to your place for that matter. It’s your territory. You have more power. In any case, tell him that it is very important that he talk about his sexual issues. Maybe you can work them through together. Call his bluff. Take control.

If you are going to do this, you need a frame of mind where you are truly prepared to do whatever you say. You’ll walk away if he doesn’t come through. Be honest. This is what you need. Can he give it to you? ‘Cause you can’t spend any more time with him if you don’t know what his shit is. If he won’t talk, then stop the relationship. It’ll be toxic. It’s not worth your time.

Just_Justine's avatar

Well we all have issues, you had your bipolar outburst, he forgave you, he has some strange sex issue, it’s up to you really. If you can tolerate erratic or strange weird sex issues. Other than that, accepting it or not I cant say. It’s up to you.

Violet's avatar

(coming form someone who is bipolar) You have enough going on already. Bringing someone else with issues into your life would be too difficult.

plethora's avatar

@Buttonstc Very good answer. I think you are right on target.

Jennifries's avatar

Thank you, everyone.

As I said I would, I’ve confronted him on his behaviours, asking what the hell his intentions are, and what his deal is with sex. His response:
“I don’t know”, “I don’t know how to explain” and “What do you mean”. Along with other variations until I was just about ready to slap him.
I finally told him he needed to tell me straight forwardly if he even wanted a relationship, and if so, if he would be willing to work through any issues that arose (trying to keep it neutral). I was informed that he believes in ‘letting things happen’, and doesn’t like to think in definite terms like that.
He’s currently trying to convince me that I need to relax and just let it happen… I agree to an extent, but he’s thus far done his best to prevent ‘it’ from happening. He says not, but…

plethora's avatar

Drop the guy… this the kind of life you want to lead? It’s not gonna get better.

Jennifries's avatar

@plethora I told him it clearly wasn’t meant to happen since it wasn’t him that was preventing it… It seems to have gotten the message across, and if he tries to contact me again I’ll be telling him to buzz off.
I have enough issues in my own life, I don’t need to be dealing with his, too. Especially since it seems likely they were fairly toxic.

Response moderated
Jennifries's avatar

@evandad That’s not very nice.
Besides, I suspect I’m far more crazy than he is, especially if I stop taking my meds.

Violet's avatar

@evandad neither are crazy. Just because she is bipolar, doesn’t mean she’s crazy. She has a chemical imbalance that is hard to control, even with medication.

plethora's avatar

@Jennifries Good for you…:)

ChaosCross's avatar

I think before you decided weather or not to leave him, talk about his stance on your relationship, get his opinion, and work around that.

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