Direct Answers – Officially Not dating

A few months ago I started dating a great guy. We were polar opposites, but still found a way to click with no effort. I was the happiest I had been in a very long time. We had a great time together and seldom fought. Truthfully, I never experienced a connection like this before.

About three weeks ago, he told me he couldn't be in a relationship because he had "a lot of personal things to figure out before I could love someone." He said he didn't want to stop dating me, but felt it wasn't fair to have me wait for him to figure things out.

It was hard on me because it came out of left field. However, we decided to remain friends and we still talked almost every day. When we did communicate, he usually was the one reaching out. At first we only talked about surface level topics. That shifted back to more in-depth conversations.

Recently he's reached out more, and we just spent an entire day together jumping from one activity to the next (batting cages, to drinks, to dinner, to driving around admiring beautiful homes—things we used to do all the time). He made several comments about doing this again, and the entire day I felt like there was still something between us.

He is also not the type of guy to play games or string me along. It didn't seem like things were any different than when we were dating. I'm not sure if I can be misreading things. I have never stayed friends with an ex before, therefore I don't know if he's just being friendly, versus pursuing me.

~ Robin

Robin, if a man shows up at your door with flowers and wine, you will think one thing. If he honks from the curb, you will think something else.

But what about a man who does both? What about a man who breaks up with you, then drives you around as if you are a young couple looking to buy a home? He's blurred the lines, and you'll be inclined to read things into his actions that aren't there.

Your ex took you on what sounds like a date. He wants you to jump to the conclusion it was a date. But it was not a date because he left out an intermediate step.

He was willing to sit down with you and have the painful breaking up conversation. Okay, but if he realized breaking up was a big mistake, there should have been another conversation where he told you he resolved his doubts and wants to date you again.

The way he handled this makes him look more like a man with a plan. It makes him look like a man who knows how to act to elicit in a woman feelings that are not deserved. The burden is now on him to demonstrate, again and again, this is not a stunt.

Bad relationships can start this way. One person has the other person at the end of a bungee cord. The second person never knows when the first person will jerk the cord. If you are looking for marriage, family, home and a good life, a bungee cord jerker will prevent you from having that.

Your ex needs to demonstrate this is not a bait and switch. Before you give him your heart, he needs to demonstrate he is angling for more than a friends with benefits relationship.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of March 20, 2017

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