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How do I lay my cards on the table? He wants to go into the Navy but I think he's missing a good thing in us!

Tagged as: Breaking up, Long distance<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (18 October 2017) 9 Answers - (Newest, 31 October 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Hi. I'm sorry for the long email - but I feel like I need to get loads of details into this to give afull picture.

Here's my story: I'm a 25-year-old woman who struggles to meet guys that I'm attracted to and have a really great connection with. Doesn't help that all of my friends are in relationships - some even engaged/with kids - and I feel like I'm going to be alone forever. Anyway, back in July this year, I matched with a guy on Tinder. He was one of those 'what the heck' swipe rights if you know what I mean - kinda found him attractive from his pictures and seemed like we had stuff in common from his bio. Plus he came into my life just after I'd been rejected by someone I'd previously liked. We matched, and hit it off instantly.

After about 3 weeks of constant messaging back and forth and getting to know each other, he asked me out on a date (the longest time someone had waited to ask me on a date too), but he'd previously spoken about wanting to go away travelling so he said should we just see how things go? At the time I was planning on moving closer to where I worked (about an hour away from the city where both him and I live). I said yes, because I thought 'what's the harm? You never know how things will work out.' He'd previously told me he had one girlfriend whom he was in a serious relationship with for about 3/4 years during university (they were friends first), but had never been on a real date before where you meet the girl without really knowing her - I was his first. Him and his girlfriend broke up about 18 months/2 years before we matched, because she moved back to where she was from after university and he couldn't deal with long distance.

So we went out on our date and it was honestly the best I've ever been on - he was perfect. I fell head over heels for him very quickly and over the following weeks I even met his family and some of his friends. Although I was trying not to get ahead of myself because of the possibility of him going away travelling, but naturally I got swept up and got well ahead of myself. It moved very quickly and I just loved spending time with him because he made me so so happy. He never mentioned travelling to me in person either, so I kind of felt like that was off the cards. I also put on hold moving away because I knew I wanted to see where things went with him - I didn't tell him this though.

He was never one for making plans, and more often than not I felt that I initiated a lot of our dates - in the beginning I thought this was a red flag, but the more I got to know him, the more I learned he was just a little bit lazy, and didn't make plans with anyone. But he never said no to going out on dates with me - he was clearly interested. We were lovey-dovey, had nicknames for each other, all the usual cheesy relationship stuff. We spoke every day for the past three months and when we were together it was just so natural - I enjoy his company and i'm very attracted to him.

From speaking to him, he'd not had much dating experience - for one I was his first real date. Secondly, he had only had one night stands from Tinder, but never really spoke to the girls much longer after that. So the fact he was putting in so much effort into seeing me over the others, texting me daily (when he said he's a terrible messaging girls back) this obviously made me feel like I meant more to him.

A few weeks ago, back in September, we'd gone out for food together. He'd said from day one that he absolutely hated his job and wanted to find a new one. But on this evening, he mentioned that he was thinking of joining the Royal Navy. Obviously my heart sunk, but considering he never mentioned travelling to me in person, I didn't think he'd actually go through with it.

A few weeks down the line and we're planning on going out for food again in the evening, and he suddenly changes the plans and wants to talk about us, saying it's not a good talk. We meet, and basically he says we need to nip things in the bud now because he's meeting with the Royal Navy careers advisor in a few weeks to talk about his options and he doesn't want for us to go further down the line and end up being more hurt in 6 months when he has to leave. He said it was really hard for him to say it because he really likes me but it's not fair on me. He also said that he's scared of commitment - I think this goes back to when he was with his ex, who he said he should've ended things with way before they did, because of his feeling that there's more to life than just sitting at a desk from 9-5 for the next 40 years.

The thing is, he's not been accepted into the Navy yet. He has to go through loads of aptitude tests, fitness tests, interviews and background checks - all of which could take months. Plus, from my research, there's always the chance that he could be faced with a waiting list anywhere between 6-24 months before he gets his training start date. He may not even get in.

I can't help but feel he's jumping into this serious decision very quickly. It's only been a matter of weeks since he first brought it up, and said someone he knows is part of the Royal Navy and that it pays well.

I'm not ready to give up on him and what we have. It's difficult these days to meet people you have a real connection with, and I don't want him making this massive decision like this, sacrificing a lot of time with family and friends and a normal lifestyle, because he's unhappy in his current job. He says he feels low quite a lot, and it's all because of his job.

I know I can't change his mind - but I want the best for him and I really do believe that he's throwing away something that has so much potential.

I know this Navy recruitment process will take a few months - especially with Xmas in the way. But because I don't want to give up on him, I want to keep seeing him knowing that there's this possibility that he may or may not get in.

I'm struggling to deal with losing him. He's made such a big impact on my life in a short space of time. And there's nothing wrong with him - he's been completely loyal to me, he makes me laugh and he's generally a lovely guy. That makes it harder to comprehend with all of this. It was such a quick and out-of-the-blue decision he made - I had tiny inclinations that he may have been thinking about things because there was a slight difference in his behaviour on text. But it wasn't a massive difference. He said when I'm with him I make him happy, but as soon as I leave, he slips back into his low mood.

We live only a few miles apart. I'm going to be miserable not seeing/speaking to him and just doing nothing at home, and he probably will be too - it just makes me feel like what's the point in us both moping around for potentially months (maybe years) when nothing is even concrete with his Navy plans when we could still be enjoying each others company? I completely understand why he's done it - it's a very adult decision to make. And I know that if we were to carry on seeing each other it would be difficult if he were to leave. But it's the 'what if' that kills me. And not knowing what would have happened if we'd just tried.

I told him I couldn't just cut him out of my life cold turkey and that I'll have to speak to him - almost as if I need to wean myself off. He says give it a week, and we can see how we go from there in terms of staying in contact. He says he's happy to stay in contact but we'd have to be careful.

It also doesn't help that I've recently lost one of my best friends and her funeral is in two days - a time when I'll really need his comfort.

I think we have a lot of potential and he's making a decision now because he's scared and panicking because he doesn't want to be a failure and let me down/hurt me. He doesn't have bad or diagnosed mental problems, but he does suffer with the usual depression and low moods we all get, possibly a little worse - but it takes a lot for a guy to admit that to anyone. I know I make him happy and I want to be in his life so that I can continue to do that. He doesn't really have anyone to talk to other than his younger brother/sister or grandparents. His parents live abroad and I don't know about you, but they are the people that I feel can really comfort and provide reassurance to you. But he says he doesn't talk to his mum about how he's feeling because he knows she'll only worry and can't do anything about it.

I just don't know where to go from here, what the best decision is and what's also fair to him. In a week's time (this break-up happened last night-Tuesday), I'll have to message him and see if he wants to meet up for a coffee/chat. I need to see him, for my own benefit. I want to have the chance to get all of my thoughts onto the table so he knows exactly how I feel about his decision and what we could do from here onwards. I know it sounds dramatic, but I just can't face him not being in my life in some shape or form. I feel like he made that decision based on what he thinks it's going to do to me - and obviously he's scared to commit and wants to protect himself too - but it's my life and I want to tell him that he means so much to me that I don't want to stop and if he wants to carry on, then I'm willing to take the risk.

Is this selfish of me? How do I best approach it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

View related questions: best friend, broke up, engaged, his ex, long distance, mental problems, navy, one night stand, text, university

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (31 October 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntHi OP off course you will have better luck, you just need to remember that a guy should treat you well and don't settle for anything less. You are only young OP so enjoy your youth.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 October 2017):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks everyone for your advice. Tough to read, and breaks my heart even more, but I guess you have to be cruel to be kind and I need to stop looking at him through rose tinted glasses.

I've not contacted him since (he hasn't contacted me either) and I will continue to distance myself. Like you say, he's already given up on me; why should I waste my time and energy on someone who won't appreciate it?

Hopefully I'll have more luck in the future with men - keep your fingers crossed for me :)

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (20 October 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntI am sorry OP but if he wanted to be with you he would be. He is not scared off commitment, if he was he never would have been in a relationship for years. He simply does not see you as a long term partner. I am sorry but if he did, he would fight for you and make it work, not dump you and tell you its for your own good. Something tells me you are still going to meet up with him and beg him to stay with you, something also tells me you are going to get really hurt.

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A female reader, Anonymous 123 Italy + , writes (19 October 2017):

Anonymous 123 agony auntI'm going to try and answer this as best as possible without being harsh.

OP he couldn't be more clear but he doesn't want you in his life but you are not ready to leave him and in the process coming across as a really desperate and clingy. There is absolutely no such thing as "scared of commitment" and that is why he wants to protect himself. I cannot say this enough...if a guy wants to be with you then he will do anything and I mean absolutely anything to be with you. There will be no "fear", he will not be "scared of commitment" and what is there to be scared of? Think logically!! This is a way of letting you down gently and one of the more tried and tested ways like you know, "it's not you it's me".

For some reason he has realised and decided that it's not going to work out with you and the Navy thing is just an excuse.

You on the other hand seem to have decided that it's difficult to meet good guys that you're compatible with and since he fits your bill and all your friends are getting married and engaged and having kids, so you don't want to let go of him! Just because YOU think that you have a very good thing going on, you are almost completely ignoring and sidestepping the fact that he thinks absolutely otherwise! He doesn't want to be with you but you want to be with him because well, that's what you have decided is best for you.

It's time to exit with dignity OP. If someone doesn't want to be with you then you should never force yourself on that person. By doing so you are just setting yourself up to be treated badly, you are setting yourself up for more rejection then you have already suffered and you are giving him a chance to tell you things that no one would like to hear. It's bad enough that he has told you that he doesn't want to be with you, don't allow him to hurt you further.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 October 2017):

I agree with the other posters, you can make all the excuses in the world for him as to why he's not wanting this or that but at the end of the day if he wants you then he will come to you but the more you push it he will run!

Let him contact you and if he doesn't then move on.

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A female reader, femmenoir Australia +, writes (19 October 2017):

femmenoir agony auntI've read your msg two times over and i have to admit, this guy is trying, in the most polite way to say goodbye to you.

He isn't looking at you as long term material, even though this is what you'd give anything for.

When a man is sincere in intent about a woman, the first thing he'll do is chase her, not allow her to do all the chasing.

He likes you and respects you as a person, but he's not falling for you, nor taking anything too seriously in his life.

The fact is, he's still young, he's wanting to carve out a future career for himself and as much as this concerns you, you must come to accept and know.

One of the most beautiful parts/aspects of a new relationship and falling in love, is when the feelings are fully reciprocated, however, if you find yourself even needing to question your relationship with somebody, then you have to admit that something is wrong.

Men know what they want and this applies to the woman they wish to spend their time with.

They know, even if you aren't aware.

You should focus on yourself more and not revolve your life and time around his to such a degree.

You are becoming way too co-dependent on this guy and in the end, you'll only be seriously battered and bruised emotionally.

I would strongly encourage you to go with HIS FLOW and not try to push or convince him otherwise.

You know the old saying, if you are THE ONE, he'll come running back, but if he doesn't, then you'll know exactly where you stand.

You have your pride too, right?

Don't belittle yourself and make yourself look too co-dependent nor desperate.

This type of behaviour displayed will only turn him off even more.

Start re-focusing on yourself more and do more things for yourself and have your own life and independence.

This is the best you can do to move forward and to gain your own sense of self and inner strength.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (19 October 2017):

Honeypie agony auntWhile it's tough, you are going to have to let him go.

He is going to try out for the Royal Navy and whether YOU! want to keep seeing him until he gets in or not, that is not what HE wants. He thinks it's better to end it now so there is "less" hurt. He has tried that situation where someone moved away and it didn't work and he doesn't' want to try that again.

You have to accept and respect that.

Are you being selfish, surely. But it's also understandable you feel like you found a real gem and now that gem "dumped" you, and you hope to keep it a while longer.

WHY prolong the pain?

Instead, IF I were you, I'd focus on YOUR own life. You gave up a move for work for a guy (you ar the time didn't really know) - that is a bit of a desperate move.

If you REALLY want him in your life it might HAVE to be on his terms, which means stay in contact but no more being a couple. Can you handle that? Or is that just rubbing salt in the wound?

I think if he felt YOU were "the ONE" for him he would have risked the long distance and he wouldn't have broken up before even knowing if he can get it. Don't you think?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (19 October 2017):

Totally agree with the uncles post. You are clinging to something that's not there. Tinder is a hook up site. Get off there please. Guys don't look at girls as potential wive's or gfs on hook up sites.

Plus you can't make someone stay in touch .. esp if you dated and weren't friends.. say you had been friends and went hey let's try and few dates and one or the other went nah, just isn't working then you can go back to friends give after a lil bit of time .. but that isn't where your at .. plus of course he dates his friend .. friendly mets are friendly mets dating is so different. And they did date .. stop trying to make out " your the first " your not ..

It easy to see how much you like him but honestly your going have to let him go and see if he misses you any .. and makes an effort . If he doesn't you have your answer .

If I were you I wouldn't hold my breath and get on out there - and of course there other guys - just like there other females

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (19 October 2017):

N91 agony auntYou may not be ready to give up on him but he has given up on you.

If he wanted things to work, he would do believe me. I have been exactly where this guy is in regards to no commitment, I would make up any excuse in the book to get rid of someone which is exactly what this guy is doing here, when I wanted to keep someone around longer, I would put the effort it, it's as simple as that.

You made all the effort to schedule dates, you saw this as a red flag and then disregarded it, this should of been something to warn you off him.

This guy isn't interested, if you keep speaking and meeting you're only going to hurt yourself more, believe me. There is NOTHING you can do to change his mind, it's already made up and there is absolutely no future for you and him. If there was he would be doing everything in his power to make it so.

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