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I've been seeing a guy since 2018 but we don't seem to be progressing forward.

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 April 2020) 5 Answers - (Newest, 14 April 2020)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

I have been casually seeing this guy since 2018. I am 37 and he's 43. At first it was just sex, and since he's a truck driver and a loner, he's away weeks, months at a time. Fast forward to last summer, we started "dating" and he even attended family parties and get-togethers. He took my Mom and me out to dinner for Mother's Day and a different time took out my grandmother and myself to dinner. I met and spent time with his daughter and the little girl told me she wishes I were "daddy's girlfriend" so she could see me more (she lives with the mother).  I have also met HIS mother.  He and I would facetime while he was on the road. I felt us getting close. He confessed that he thinks he's "no good" for me and wanted to take things slow. He has a bit of a past, got into some trouble in his youth. He turned his life around and loves to work and be on the road. He simply can not sit still for too long. Well I know he has intimacy issues, and as I began to fall for him, he began pulling away from me.  Recently he has come back around and we've been seeing each other again.  We are intimate, and he enjoys holding me afterwards, touching my body. Holds my hand when we watch tv. He hasn't kissed me on my lips in a long time, though he does kiss my forehead alot. I am afraid to have the "relationship" talk with him, as I am enjoying everything right now and don't want to scare him off again.  I realize this isn't healthy.

He lives on the road, and I have offered for him to just move in with me, but he refuses. I have really fallen for this man and I am afraid of losing him. I see so much potential with us. I see us together. I just don't know how he feels about me. Or why he is so afraid. I would never hurt him. How do I make him see what's right in front of him?   

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 April 2020):

One thing- don't kid yourself- he is having multiple women on the road. That is why he doesn't want to call you his girlfriend or commit. He likes sleeping around. It comes with the lifestyle and his love of constantly new things, places, and new people and sexual partners.

He has told you point blank he won't commit. And yet you still see potential that he will. That, my dear, will NEVER happen. He won't change his lifestyle for you- he has already spent 2 years with you and he still does not want to change. He has a failed relationship with a child bring produced, he has good reason to be wary of more commitment. He knows it doesn't work for him.

The faster you understand this, the better. Please do yourself a favor and leave him, and look for someone interested in a real relationship.

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom +, writes (12 April 2020):

N91 agony auntThis is the thing. You’re seeing the potential, you’re thinking too deeply into things. If he isn’t willing to call you his GF then what are you doing? You’re wasting your life with someone who’s not on the same page as you, what’s the point?

He WILL NOT have commitment issues with someone who he feels is special enough to change his mind. It’s not what you want to hear but it’s the truth. I have been in his shoes where I didn’t want to commit and was happy with no strings scenarios until one day a girl came by and changed everything and I knew I had a keeper on my hands and I did what I needed to so that things progressed into a relationship.

If this isn’t happening for you then I’m sorry but you know exactly where you stand. Lay things on the table, you want a serious relationship and commitment or you’re finding someone who wants the same. My take is that he doesn’t see you as relationship/marriage material or else he would have already wanted to make things exclusive.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 April 2020):

Honeypie agony auntI'm absolutely in a agreement with Auntie Cindy.

He has TOLD you what he likes (as far as life-style) and you think if "only" he can SEE how AWESOME you are he will give it up, for you.

He KNOWS how awesome you are. He enjoys it, in smaller doses and that SUITS him. He sees you when he is in YOUR neck of the woods, enjoys you enough to introduce you to family and his child.

The thing is, you make the presumption that HE wants to change into a more settled way of life, because that is what MOST people do. And many enjoy. Not everyone though. A friend of my husband's lives in an RV camper with 2 duffel-bags and a dog, since his divorce 15 years ago. In winter he drives south and in summer north or east. He has had a couple of GF's but neither wanted the "nomadic" life-style and they moved on. He work odd jobs usually planned ahead seasonal jobs, he makes enough to do what he loves to do. I don't think he will ever change. He sees his kids regularly (I think they are all in their mid- 20's) - one of them spend the last few summers driving around with him before joining the Navy.

I think IF you were honest with yourself (and him) you would TALK to him. I don't think you will "spook" him but you BOTH might realize that you aren't a good fit. Because you BOTH want a different life-style from the other.

You are trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. It's just not going to work.

Sorry.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (10 April 2020):

Your guy is the kind of man who the Allman Brothers Band are singing about in the song "Ramblin man." Check-out the lyrics, and you'll see what I mean.

For some reason, women are almost magnetically-drawn to rebels and bad-boy types. They always want to tame, change, or domesticate them into ordinary-men. He told you from the very beginning he's not that breed. He wants a girlfriend who waits at the end of the line for him. He's not seeking a quiet stay-at-home life. He is who he is, and he never pretended to be otherwise. The heart has a mind of it's own, and it often makes bad-choices. That's when you've got to switch-over to commonsense and your sense of logic. It will make you see things more clearly, and face the reality of the situation; beyond simplistic romantic-notions and fantasy.

Here you are at DC, asking us how to change him. Stop and think. Why should you have to convince a man you're the woman he wants? I believe that's up to him to decide. You're his female-companionship waiting for him at the end of the haul. These guys often have a woman waiting in every other city or state. You're the lady respectful enough to introduce to his mother and daughter. Otherwise, when the visit is over, he's back on the road. At the end of the Allman Brother's song, they repeat "Lord, I was born a ramblin man" four times. All through the lyrics it's repeated to drive the point.

He meets too many women on the road. He hangs-out in roadside bars; and sleeps in his truck, or in motels. A guy like that would get itchy-feet and very restless; if you try to make him sit-home and be your hubby. There are men and women in the truck-driving profession who drive long-haul; but the happiest times of their lives are spent traveling interstate highways. The people who decide to marry them have to learn to wait for them. Those with an unsavory or questionable past, don't really change that much. It can be very lonely when he's gone weeks at a time. Just like when you marry a soldier; the better part of a relationship or marriage is spent apart. The strain of distance and pressure of wondering what they're doing when you are apart gets to be quite difficult. Everyone needs love, because we're wired to yearn for companionship. Not everybody is wired to be a faithful, trustworthy, and long-term companion. If they warn you that's not how they're made...believe every word!

Trust me, when a guy tells you he's no-good for you; you had better believe him! I was told that. I was crushed, and it took me awhile to get-over being blindsided and dumped...and those were his parting words. "You deserve somebody better than me. I'm no-good for somebody as nice as you!" I didn't hear those words until an hour after he said them. I was in shock, and the sound seemed muffled as they were actually being said. Then it hit me. He left, back in 2013; and I haven't seen or heard from him since.

I met someone wonderful. Words can't describe the love I've found. Had I not moved-on, I dread the thought of what I might have missed. I've been helping people here on DC since the time I got my heart broken. I had to let-go, and I've survived.

I know what his little-girl said rings in your ears. It touched the very bottom of your heart. If he kisses you on the forehead, he has already detached his feelings; and he is likely to simply disappear someday. He would do it for your own good; and because he knows you deserve better, sweetheart. If anybody answering your post knows how your heart feels, I bet it's me.

I think he was earnest and fair, and I think you should start pumping the brakes. It may be best to ease-back and prepare to let-go. If you won't, he will.

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy +, writes (10 April 2020):

CindyCares agony aunt Does anybody remember an old ( 1978 ) song by Townes Van Zandt, called Flyin' Shoes ?

" I get so tired of the same old blues, same old song..

baby it won't be long 'fore I be tying on my flying shoes .. "

Some people are just like that. They've got itchy feet. The road calls them. They are really happy only when they can be " away from it all " for weeks, months even - but then of course ( they are human too ) knowing that they also have somewhere to go back to and reconnect, a sort of safe haven.

Maybe your guy is like that. He found what works for him, and wanting him to change and become more domesticated would be like demanding that Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider ditched his chopper in favour of a position as bank clerk.

What you are living is not necessarily unhealthy- it's just that it suits him but not you. He likes the way things are- but you don't , you want something very different.

In a way, he is sort of commendable, he did not make the mistake which so many people make , to change their job, living place, habits, hobbies, lifestyle just to be able to keep a relationship. He did something sensible : he found just the kind of job and life and schedule that works well for him, with the kind of closeness ( not much ) that he can handle and the way to relate to women which feels good to him- then if some woman wants to carve her space in this set up and does not need more intimacy and more time than he is used to give- then fine and dandy, she's welcome.

The problem is- obviously what works for him does not work for you. I think is a matter of compatibility, not who's right who's wrong. Different people have different need in terms of space vs . intimacy , and that he may be far from you on a space/ intumacy spectrum, is a bummer but not necessarily makes him a bad person, or shows that he has issues. Just that you want different things.

How do you make him see what's right in front of him. You don't . You can't make people do anything that they don't want to do on their own ( unless you keep them at gun point, which I suppose is excluded in your case ). I think he has , in fact seen, what's in front of him- and he appreciates it and likes it- to a point. The point until it does not interfere with his total freedom. Btw, another thing to take into account is that this probably also includes sexual freedom. If he stays away months at a time, I doubt he will abstain from sex until he is back to you. Also considering that you have no formal obligation, no mutual committment to be faithful. So he may also be reluctant to give up his unfettered indipendence for any particular woman.

You don't know how he feels about you ? no, you know. He feels less than you feel for him. He feels that you are lovely and everything, yet not the woman he would want to live with : he refuses to move in with you. You are even afraid to bring up the matter of a possible " committment " - because you fear that you'd scare him off and you'd lose him ! Just for mentioning what you'd want ideally ? ...He would just vanish into thin air, instead than having a mature , kind , amicable conversation about why he thinks this is not a good idea ? ...Then, heck- you know what he feels about you : not nearly enough for what you want and deserve.

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