Me - BS, 57 Him - XWH, 70. Married 15 years, no kids. My first marriage, his second. DD#1 July 2016, DD#2 June 2018, D final 09/18/18.
I need a dating coach (long!)
Or a relationship coach. Or possibly just an overall life coach, or at least an adulting coach. Because I'm 54, but I'm really twelve in relationship years. I have no idea what the heck I'm doing. I think there is an amazing cross-section of folks on this board and I know you'll provide sound counsel.
I should probably give a quick back story, as I haven't been around in a while: XH cheated, I took him back, rug-swept for about 18 mos, XH cheated again, I confronted and asked for divorce and made an offer, negotiated, divorce was filed and final 9 days later. Divorce has been final for 18 months and I no longer have any issues, regrets, or nagging anythings re the marriage. Rearview mirror stuff for me. My problem is looking forward, hence this post.
Over the last year or so I've reconnected with a friend I've known for about 25 years. As introverts with similar personalities, he and I have always been in one another's "circles" -- very, very small groups of people we trust implicitly. I supported him when he divorced his cheating wife 15+ years ago, and he supported me through my divorce. (I also had something of a crush on him early on before I knew him well, but then he popped up engaged to the girlfriend from college who later turned into the cheating spouse, but I digress). I should also add that he's super bright and somewhat awkward, so I never count on him doing anything the normal way.
Since then, as people in their mid-fifties do, talk has turned to what in the heck we single people with no kids and no close family are going to do regarding retirement and aging. To be fair, he may be a bit obsessive regarding his worry on this issue. He lost both of his parents in the last year and I think that has done something of a number on him. In general discussion I said I didn't think I would get married again, but I'd like to have a relationship of some kind once I had my $#!t together. He said "I think that ship has sailed for me." Door seems closed, right? But wait, there's more.
In conversations (primarily text) it's clear he envisions me as a part of his future. Trying to sell me on moving back to where he is (additional complication: 1,250 miles away), where I lived for 27 years before moving away 6 years ago, etc. "I really think you should just move back here." I puzzled on whether this meant something more, or if he was just grasping and wanting a close friend nearby. After several months of this I mustered up my courage a month ago to send him a note somewhat recapping our conversations, that we clearly see ourselves in one another's lives, so should we be considering a relationship? I did say this more nicely of course, couched in terms of there's no wrong answer, that I don't want to lose the friendship, that there's no rush to respond, etc. It was crickets for a week. I mustered up courage AGAIN to touch base and ask him to confirm I hadn't caused his head to explode. He said "no, it would take a lot more than that." And we were back to chatting, but not really as deeply, and never addressing the question. I took that again as a door closed, but was happy to keep the friendship.
But then in the weeks since, he's on again about how he's not happy (he is the brooding type), and if I "would just move back it would solve a lot of problems." "I really wish you could find a job here," etc. Fast-forward to this week he's talking about moving HERE and wanted me to see if I could put him in touch with a recruiter in his field (which I did today). He's come into some money and can buy a house without having to sell his current place first. He's exasperated with his current place (post-divorce condo) which he has outgrown. He's looking for houses there and here.
Do people just up and move across the country and change jobs and buy houses just to be near a close friend they haven't even seen in person in three years? Maybe they do. Or, maybe at least he does. And if that's the case, that's lovely, but does it mean that he sees me as terminally single, just like he sees himself, and that I'll be the buddy who's around and available indefinitely when needed? Or that he doesn't even see me as gendered at all, or as someone who could find some completely different man and not have as much room for him? I'm slightly miffed by that. I mean, I'm not an android. I do have prospects of some kind, I'm sure. But he's an oblivious kind of guy anyway, so I'm attributing some of that to his nature.
But on the other hand, if I'm not just a close friend, shouldn't there be some discussion on that front or expressed desire to be "with" me rather than just in the same general area in his own house?
Does he have his head so far up his own a$$ that he doesn't realize how confusing this is for me? Or is there some sort of unspoken top secret relationship here that I just haven't picked up on? Or something else entirely? What the heck is happening here? I'm so confused and require the wisdom of all of you.
[This message edited by risingtide at 10:44 PM, March 11th (Wednesday)]
9 comments posted: Wednesday, March 11th, 2020