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Do I give this a chance or walk on?

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Karmafan posted 1/31/2021 10:55 AM

I met someone IRL. As crazy as this sounds, it really happened and it created a conflict within me that I can’t seem to be able to settle. I hope you can point me in the right direction with your infinite wisdom!

Let me give you some background. I split up from my long term boyfriend last August, Covid being not the main factor but certainly an accelerator. It was the typical relationship where you spend more time trying to convince yourself that things are not so bad than actually engaging in said relationship. So I left the house and embarked on a self-discovery journey which has been wonderful and insightful in many ways. I found peace and serenity and self acceptance, or at least the key to unlock them all....

I decided early on that I would take time on dating, at least until I was strong enough, and happy enough in myself, to enforce boundaries if necessary.

And then four weeks ago, it happened. I met someone in the Hospital where I work (a patient, nonetheless), and things have progressed very naturally towards a friendship that has the potential to become something more. This guy is sweet, mature and a good listener. We talk easily and he is engaging and soothing at the same time. We have been having coffees and, today, he drove to my town and we had a very pleasant socially distant walk in the local park. Last week he sent me flowers at work (‘to a beautiful friend’), however, he’s never overstepped the mark.

Now to my dilemma. Do I stop this in its tracks, and carry on with my reconnaissance, or go with the flow and see where this leads? I really like this guy, but at the same time I am not sure I have done enough work on myself to be in, and sustain, a healthy relationship. For now, it’s just a really lovely friendship and it will stay one if I decide so.

Can you guys help me figure it out?

EllieKMAS posted 1/31/2021 11:00 AM

My vote is to just keep going slow, keep an eye out for red flags, and see where it goes. Worst case, you spot something and end it. Best case, you have a new friend that could develop into something more.

It sounds to me like you have a good head on your shoulders.

Justsomeguy posted 1/31/2021 11:55 AM

Be honest and forthright with where you are on your journey. There is nothing wrong with a longer friendship/courtship. In fact, that is how it was done a long time ago. Why rush? If you are worried about being in the friend zone, then discuss that. Slow is smooth.

Tallgirl posted 1/31/2021 12:11 PM

I agree, honest and slow. The very worst that can happen is you make a friend.

SallyShrink81 posted 1/31/2021 12:40 PM

I agree with EllieKMAS. Everyone always has some work to do. The best relationships allows us and even encourages us to grow. This situation could be a good opportunity for you to see what a healthy relationship could be.

Karmafan posted 1/31/2021 15:13 PM

Thank you all for your input.

He’s been texting me all day saying how lovely it was to see me today. I am conscious that I might be leading him on without having made up my mind. So this needs to happen sooner rather than later. And indeed, if I decide to continue with our acquaintance, it has to be with an open mind about its outcome.

[This message edited by Karmafan at 3:13 PM, January 31st (Sunday)]

Ichthus posted 1/31/2021 19:45 PM

OMG!! stop with the "trying to do the right thing".... there is no right thing. Just a choice, so pick something and go with it.

You will learn something either way.... so have fun.

Ichthus posted 1/31/2021 19:48 PM

I had the same idea as you, but I met someone who i had actually known about for 7 years just never really talked with her. Turns out it was amazing and caught me off guard. 2 years later I am engaged to her.

Karmafan posted 2/1/2021 00:43 AM

OMG!! stop with the "trying to do the right thing".... there is no right thing. Just a choice, so pick something and go with it.

Ichtus, just to clarify , I am not trying to do the right thing just by me but him too. Happy it’s all worked out for you and you found the one.

[This message edited by Karmafan at 5:03 AM, February 1st (Monday)]

countrydirt posted 2/1/2021 10:45 AM

I met one of my friends about 5 months ago. We've gone out for dinner a few times, ridden bikes together, kayaked, went fishing, went on walks, been to a couple of wine tastings, cooked for each other all with very clear expectations that we are friends first and foremost. Its only been in the last couple of weeks that the nature of the friendship has progressed into a more intimate relationship. Even with that progression, we both agree that friendship and adventures are the main thing we both need, anything else is a bonus and neither of us have the time or energy for the drama associated with a "relationship.

My only advice is to be clear just as soon as possible. If you aren't ready (I know I wasn't before and still am only sort of ready to do a few more things) let him know. From my perspective, being a friend first was so important that I ignored cues from her about other things we could do and even told her repeatedly that friendship and adventures were top priority - probably mainly to keep myself under emotional control. She has the same goals. Now our friendship is growing in new and unexpected and really fun ways.

You'll be okay, no matter what.

Karmafan posted 2/3/2021 08:05 AM

Countrydirt, I have just read your thread and understand how you might not feel ready for the next big thing yet. But kudos to you for allowing things to evolve naturally. I think when you are ready to commit, you’ll just know it....it’s almost like a physical sensation.

I am still processing a bad relationship which exposed me to a different kind of abuse to what I was used to. Not the shouty
kind my XWH was a master at, but the controlling, manipulative and ultimately silent type. And I am still coming to terms with how I allowed that to happen to me....again.

But none of this is the guy’s fault, and when I meet him tomorrow, I will be honest about my need to take things slowly and start from (and possibly remain at) friendship. I owe him that much.

[This message edited by Karmafan at 2:06 PM, February 3rd (Wednesday)]

newlife03 posted 2/3/2021 11:31 AM

But none of this is the guy’s fault, and when I meet him tomorrow, I will be honest about my need to take things slowly and start from (and possibly remain at) friendship. I owe him that much.

Sounds like a great plan to me! You are aware of what you need and you're letting him know. It'll be up to him now if he wants to go slow with you or move on to someone who wants a relationship right away. I really like that you're very aware of what you need

Karmafan posted 2/7/2021 06:11 AM

Interesting development. I told the guy where I stand, that I need to take things slowly, and possibly stop at friendship and he replied that ‘friendship’ is all that he had in mind

I now feel quite silly for assuming he wanted more, when he was probably just looking for connection, and my gut reaction was....disappointment. And that made me realise that there is still an element of neediness I need to work on. I am still not completely happy with being alone. So all in all, this was the best possible outcome.

countrydirt posted 2/7/2021 09:40 AM

karmafan, this seems like its working out in the way you want. We're fragile at this point and likely overthinking or over analyzing almost every part of our lives.

I told my friend last week on our ski weekend that despite my fuzzy romantic feelings toward her and my awkward and bumbling attempts to move it along, I never actually pictured her and I becoming intimate until a few weeks earlier. She admitted that she had thoughts a bit earlier than I did but also was enjoying the developing friendship.

You gave me some advice earlier in this thread:

But kudos to you for allowing things to evolve naturally. I think when you are ready to commit, you’ll just know it....it’s almost like a physical sensation.
Thank you for that and read it like I am saying to you now. You'll know it.

In the meantime, enjoy your freedom and the adventures that await!

AnnieOakley posted 2/7/2021 10:29 AM

Karma,

I completely agree that taking things slow is probably best for you at this point but based on what you wrote...sending you flowers and calling you beautiful plus texting all day about what a lovely day he had with you...that is not usual actions from a man that is just looking for a friendship.

Or at least not the kind of platonic friendship that I have with males.

Don’t be so quick to chastise yourself re neediness...none of my male friends have ever sent me flowers nor called me beautiful! I think he likely back pedaled out of himself feeling awkward (which speaks to his emotional maturity).

You did the right thing for yourself and where you were in healing from the last breakup, now just watch what he does with that information.

allusions posted 2/8/2021 16:12 PM

I told the guy where I stand, that I need to take things slowly, and possibly stop at friendship and he replied that ‘friendship’ is all that he had in mind
He may have been following your lead because you said you wanted to take things slowly. Sending flowers and texting you all day isn't really something a platonic friend would do (would he be sending flowers to one of his male friends and texting how lovely it was to see them that day? Probably not!)

Karmafan posted 2/9/2021 12:45 PM

Countrydirt, thank you for your input. I do think our cases have some similarities and you understand where I am coming from when I say I am not ready. I jumped into dating almost straight after XWH left and made some serious errors of judgement, so I was adamant there wouldn’t be a repeat this time around.

Annie Oakley, your perspective really is precious because I don’t really have any male friends (I am an introvert and girlfriends are what I am most comfortable with) and the dynamics of platonic relationships largely escape me. My ex never gave me flowers (‘waste of money’) so I was unsure of what to make of that either.

Allusions, you are right in that he might have just wanted to spare me (and himself) some embarrassment by saying that his feelings for me went beyond what I was able to offer. At least I hope you are

So I decided not to make contact but he reached out the very next day asking when he could see me again, as if nothing had happened. So we are having another walk tomorrow. Truth be told, I am really glad he’s sticking around, and we can hopefully resume from where we left off. At a pace that works for me

newlife03 posted 2/9/2021 15:05 PM

Fablegirl posted 2/12/2021 19:09 PM

I like him. Go for it. I have some serious envy going on because he is romantic and has healthy boundaries. A corrective experience is always good. Keep us posted.

Karmafan posted 2/14/2021 13:24 PM

So, I have seen him twice since my last update. Always outside and always within the limits of the very strict lockdown we are having here in the UK. He’s so thoughtful! I only need to mention something and that very thing materialises the next day. Last night, I made a comment about having run out of wine, and this morning he shows up with a bottle of my favourite wine!

Today it was actually a bit awkward because, being Valentine’s Day and after the conversation we had had about taking things slowly, I didn’t know what to expect. But he was a perfect gentleman, chatty and friendly without crossing the line. I still feel very vulnerable and not ready to take things to the next level, but I am really glad to have met him

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