Hypothetical (Ha! Ha!) Dating Dilemma #453

So…..what’s the right thing to do here?  Is there more than one right answer?  I’ll set the parameters, but read on and decide for yourself what you might do in this particular situation.

What do you do if you are dating/seeing someone (whatever they call it these days)…not “officially” in a relationship…whatever that means, but seeing them pretty regularly several times a week?  They are not seeing anyone else, you are reasonably sure.  You have not been seeing anyone else, but not because you’re all that into the person you are seeing.  You just haven’t seen anyone else, just because.  (It could be for any reason that you are not seeing anyone else but not for the reason that you are really, really into the person you are seeing, because you are not.  No matter how hard you try, no matter how great you realize they are…and they are great…you just don’t “feel it”.)

So, it appears to be an exclusive situtation on the outside (to everyone else, maybe even to one of you), but it isn’t.  At least, there’s been no real discussion about that or about feelings for each other or what not.

There’s been no discussion (does there need to be?) about the direction things might be going, but we all know things can’t stay in a holding pattern forever.  Things haven’t really moved forward for about 4 weeks now. Do they need to? Should they?

You enjoy being with the person, they really are wonderful and kind and enjoyable to be around, but you’re really in the end just not that into them…at least…not in the way you need to be in order to be something more significant than very, very good friends.

You know it probably isn’t going to mature into something more from your end, but the other person is really, really into you.

What do you do? 

Have a talk and tell them straight up how you feel? 

Chill, say nothing till they bring it up and keep seeing them? 

Chill, say nothing and stop seeing them?

Begin phasing out your contact with them?

Some other approach?

What would you do if you were in this predicament?  Have you ever been in this predicament?  How did you handle it?

13 thoughts on “Hypothetical (Ha! Ha!) Dating Dilemma #453

  1. I’ve been there and I just rode it out. It ended for the best and that pretty much was that. If there isn’t anything there, even if there just isn’t anything on your end, then he’ll sense it. Don’t fake the feelings, just be you and see where it takes you (hmmm…don’t I keep saying pretty much the same thing?). If there really isn’t anything there, it is probably about to fizzle out.

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    1. ispyu,
      About riding it out…what if it doesn’t fizzle? What if the other person doesn’t sense it, what then?
      Fizzling out would be the easy option, I would think…but it doesn’t always work out that way…does it?

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  2. First of all, if I wasn’t “officially in a relationship” I wouldn’t be seeing the person several times a week. Twice would be it.

    Second, if I knew in my heart he wasn’t the one, I wouldn’t spend my time going on “dates” with him, I’d let him know up front that was how I felt, and I’d free up my time.

    Nature abhors a vacuum and why let your time be filled up with the wrong guy when the right guy may be waiting?

    I read a book a long time ago and it used the analogy of a train station. Let the wrong train leave the station so the right one can come along. And always remember, there’s another one in 10 minutes.

    Anyway, that’s what I’d do and I think that’s what you asked.

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    1. Little Miss,
      How does one know they are or they are not “officially” in a relationship when all has maybe (big maybe) been assumed and nothing has been said directly.
      You make great points about being up front and freeing up time.
      The trains run further and further apart as the night wears on and it is well past rush hour when the trains ran 10 minutes apart.

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  3. In my world, unless the “talk” has occurred, then you aren’t in a relationship, therefore, only two dates a week. If you aren’t talking directly, that’s a big problem, don’t you think?

    And the trains running further and further apart? I don’t buy that for a minute. The better I feel about myself, the more I do my own thing, get out, be confident and happy, and *forget about looking for a man* the more attention I get. Just saying from my experience. I think it’s all in one’s attitude.

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    1. Little Miss,

      In my world, unless the “talk” has occurred, then you aren’t in a relationship, therefore, only two dates a week.

      Hmmmm, two dates a week? What if it works out to have three on one week, none the next? Rigidly adhering to two dates a week seems a bit OCD, don’t you think or, like, playing games? 🙂

      If you aren’t talking directly, that’s a big problem, don’t you think?

      Hmmm, define directly. Do you date someone for three weeks, a month with most of that time spent with other people and then suddenly say, “Hey, let’s go steady?” Not sure what directly would look like, sound like here.

      Agreed about the attitude but, nothing about asking questions indicates a negative or otherwise attitude, does it? Admitting you grabbed the bull by the horns and now you’re not quite sure how to let go without damaging the bull isn’t the same as having a bad attitude is it?

      One thing keeps cropping up in your comments to me….the statement, “forget about looking for the man”. I know you are referring to yourself here, but the implication is there simply because it comes up so often in your posts to me. Is this an area you struggled with and that’s why you keep bringing it up? It sometimes sounds as if you imagine me spending hours on online dating sites searching for and contacting men, then corresponding with guys, and then meeting them for coffee and wondering suddenly if this one will be the one. Or going to the grocery store in fishnet stockings and stilletto pumps. (Hmmm, now that I think of it maybe that’s the approach I’m missing.) 🙂 Or hanging out at the local brew pubs checking to see who shows up. Maybe another way I’ve gone wrong. Not meaning to rant, just curious about that.

      Anyway, good discussion! Thanks for the comments.

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  4. I guess that my dating philosophy is a little different. I’m not looking for that instant heat, I’m looking for the slow burn. I do want to feel the heat, but the heat is only a small part of it. I want the whole package and you can’t get to know the whole package in a matter of a couple of weeks. You have to give that a chance to see what, if anything, transpires. During the time that you are taking to get to know each other, either heat ignites and eventually explodes, or it fizzles. It takes both of you to create that explosive heat. If only one of you have it, it will fizzle.

    I am also not talking about being deceptive. You need to be talking all along, but come on. Who has deep conversations right away? That is weird and scare factor material to tell someone after only two weeks that you like them but you don’t think they are the one for you. Maybe you need to go back and re-evaluate (or maybe you already know) whether that is what dating is for you, too, cuz it isn’t for me. I don’t date simply to find the one. I date to get to know the person and to better figure out what it is that I am looking for in “the one”. Personally, I don’t see myself getting married for at least another 10 years, so again, my dating philosophy may be totally different than yours which would make anything that I have to say completely pointless. I have plenty of time to wait for the right train to pull into the depot and am in no hurry to rush it.

    I do agree with Little Miss that it’s all about the attitude. We send off very clear messages when we are interested or not. I know when I am looking, I have a lot of interest/flirting directed at me. When I’m pre-occupied with my life and minding my own business, I don’t get much.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying, “This isn’t working.”

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    1. Great comments, ispyu,
      I do have one question for you though. Is there ever any room to take into account that one’s choices in the past may have been based on faulty expections, ideas, hopes, whatever and that because of that one might be a bit “off” in their ability to recognize a good thing when they see it??? Or, to put it differently, the very thing you are looking for is so very different than what you expected when you are suddenly face to face with it?
      Just curious about that.

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  5. I almost hate to inject any testosterone into this conversation, but…

    You are not into him and you see him how many times a week? If this is really the case than I would get it down to once a week and maybe skip a week sometimes. You are literally “spending” time on something that you know is not a good investment. Once the time is reduced, I think either of the options offered above is viable. It may fizzle, but if it doesn’t, you have at least reduced the fuel load. Or you could have the talk and he would not feel like he was going from 60 to 0 in one date.

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    1. Excellent comments, Signifier,
      I think Little Miss was making the same kind of point earlier.
      I like the idea of taking a step back in terms of amount of time. If anything, the fact that it is becoming so time consuming (well we saw each other twice this week, but that was enough) is becoming a strain for me. I don’t feel like I’m able to keep up on my family duties and stuff I want to do for me.
      I have no idea how to broach the subject of “a talk” since this is definitely the relationship where so much has never been said.
      I suppose, in my bumbling way, I could just put it out there.
      But how would one go about doing this when the precedent has yet to be set?
      Just wondering. There is so much room to be really misunderstood here.

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  6. Signifier tied everything together and said it well. Nice job combining the two female perspectives and solidifying it. 🙂

    Cat,
    We need to constantly take our past and faulty choices/expectations into account. Maybe that’s why I’m so slow going about finding Mr. Right and jumping into anything because every man I’ve ever managed to have a serious relationship with has turned out to be a VERY bad thing. Actually, if I am completely honest, my dating during the last couple of years has been more of a tool for me to learn to listen to my gut feeling, something I have been terrible about in the past. My last two relationships, when I ended them or pulled way back because of gut feelings, I turned out to be dead on despite the fact that the men were saying otherwise. That’s a relief in itself so hopefully I’m growing there.

    I can’t advise you on finding the right thing or being surprised when you find it by it being different than what you are looking for. I haven’t found the right thing and have no idea how to. LOL Really, I think it’s a matter of keeping an open heart and I think you do yourself a disservice by ending things too quickly…but that’s a matter of a finding a balance, too. If it’s obvious that it isn’t going anywhere, there is no point in dragging it on and on either.

    I hope that somehow in the midst of this rambling I give you some food for thought! 🙂

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  7. Dont you just hate people who wait until the conversation is over to put in their two cents?

    I read somewhere, and I take this to heart, that through rejection comes perfection. Every little setback brings you closer to what you really want and need. You might be the one rejecting or the one being rejected, but either way, the process creates, chisels, refines, defines who and what it is you are looking for. Although it’s not a bad thing, someone is always on the receiving end, and that can hurt.

    But I think the real problem with us “older folk” is that we think too much. In high school we had very few experiences to define us or what we were looking for. The list for qualifying as my girlfriend then was…She’s cute. Bingo, That’s all that mattered.

    But now, having been drug through life and marriages and relationships, our list of what we want, will accept, or won’t tolerate, gets longer. Funny, because all of us carry around so much stuff, the qualifying list should be getting shorter. Hey! We are all running out of quality time here! Let’s get on with it! But no, we think too much and keep adding to the already, hopelessly long, list.

    You can’t go from 0-60 in 4 seconds, or maybe even in 4 weeks or 4 months. If the guy has many of the things you seek, then stick around and invest and not try and make it all happen this week. Why not look at him a different way. Instead of comparing him to other guys, or this guy in your head you are looking for, why not make him the standard, and measure all others to what he offers you. Use his good traits, not his shortcomings, to build upon.

    If you are not willing to do that, then he needs to know how you feel.
    And he needs to know right now.

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    1. Nothing in my post indicated I was trying to make it all happen. I mentioned two things that weren’t working for me and I’m reasonably sure those two things will not change over time.
      I’m not comparing him to anyone, I’m actually looking at how I feel. That was the disconnect for me. I tried to express it in my post. Maybe I wasn’t clear. When I do compare, this guy doesn’t really fall short. When I think about my gut and how I really feel about it…something’s missing…two things actually: conversation and connection.
      Thanks for the comments, no matter how “after the fact” they may have been. 🙂

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