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Online dilemma

(27 Posts)
stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 18:54:28


Hope you're all well. I'm sorry to ask and that I sound like a 12 year old but I'm very inexperienced, have nobody to ask and am feeling a bit fragile tonight.

I'm in my forties and a man started messaging me on a chat forum last autumn. I wasn't looking for anything but always reply to polite messages. He lives 3 hours away.

After a few months it was still going on and he asked if I'd be open to a zoom call. I agreed and we had a nice chat. It wasn't awkward at all. We had a laugh. Another two followed at my suggestion but he was keen and they were equally as fine. We agreed it would be nice to meet up when restrictions lift.

The last three weeks though, it's changed and seems more distant. I did ask if he was okay but he didn't really answer. Last week when I asked if he'd like to do another call in two days time he said he couldn't and "maybe on the weekend" which sounded vague and I was a bit surprised so I left the ball in his court.

I haven't been needy or desperate at all and have played it cool as it's best to take these things for what they are and not get over invested. I left it two days before replying a bright and breezy message as I'd been very busy and didn't mention another zoom call. I'm not suggesting it all the time and running around making all the effort with people anymore like I've done in the past.

After three days he's messaged today saying he'd been feeling fed up lately as he's been trying to get back into online dating but not getting any interest which is getting him down.

We're hardly in a relationship as I've not even met him but I had a feeling that was the reason for his cooling off. I'm taking that as he's clearly no longer interested and dropping a hint. He doesn't owe me anything but I feel now he was just killing time with me during lockdown until a 'better' option came along.

I won't pretend I'm not disappointed and a bit hurt on the quiet as we seem very similar. It would have been nice to meet just to see if there was anything there after 6 months. I've been let down by people generally most of my life and he said the same so it's a little bit of a kick in the teeth when he knows I'm genuine.

Please may I ask, how would you play it? Would you carry on as normal messaging, ignoring his comment as if you don't care and see how it plays out? But does that make me look like a mug who's happy to hang round until he finds somebody? Or would you send an "all the best" message and leave him to it?

I'm really stumped at how to reply without sounding like a spoiled brat! It's like it's a bit of a game but I really don't want to play games. I don't want to waste time if there's no point when I could be doing other things. Tbh I've had enough of being messed about by most people but don't want to develop a bad attitude. It's just I don't want to be a dormat anymore and am getting better at spotting the signs sooner. It's how to deal with it in a polite but with boundaries way is the issue!

Thanks for reading and any comments are most welcome.

cornishpatsy Tue 30-Mar-21 19:00:43

Maybe he just saw you as a friend and wants to continue as a friend whereas you sound as though you were hoping for a different relationship.

If you want to keep him as a friend then just chat as usual but accept that it will not be what you were hoping for.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 19:21:23

Thanks Cornish, yes I think you're right. It's a shame as he did steer the convo round after a while to wanting to become more than friends but think I've been friend zoned.

EllanVannin Tue 30-Mar-21 19:30:20

Put it down to experience and move on.

Grandmabatty Tue 30-Mar-21 19:30:56

You have never met this man and owe him nothing. Two things to consider: I would not reply and leave it to him to get in touch then decide whether you want to reply then or not. Or block him as he's playing fast and loose with you.
If it was me I would block him. Life is too short for this sort of nonsense.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 19:40:24

Exactly ladies. Thanks for that. It's my gut reaction too. He messaged this lunchtime and I've not long seen it and haven't yet replied. He won't reply unless I message, he's not the type to chase and neither am I. I'm lonely but not desperate and yes, owe him nothing either.

We deserve somebody who wants us, eh? He's very quiet and polite and isn't a player type but said he's dated a fair bit and has been hurt. Pity he couldn't recognise a good woman though.

Polarbear2 Tue 30-Mar-21 19:47:51

His loss. You sound very nice. Plenty more fish in the sea and all that. ❤️

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 19:48:50

Thanks a lot Polar. You sound lovely too.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 19:54:19

I know I'm an idiot to most. An idiot and a joke for others to kill time with. Just a shame when you think you've met somebody like minded.

Blinko Tue 30-Mar-21 19:58:29

You are not an idiot. Don't do yourself down. I shouldn't think you want to be feeling left high and dry, not knowing where you stand. His loss. I hope you find a more satisfactory arrangement soon flowers

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 20:04:14

Thanks Blinko. Exactly, that's the worst. Even if somebody said they didn't want to bother it's hurtful but you know where you stand. It's the messing around.

It is and we're both rather niche where it's hard to find somebody with the same interests so no doubt he'll be wasting his time looking round when he let a decent one go flowers

Jaxjacky Tue 30-Mar-21 20:12:00

You’re not an idiot, he sounds bored and seeking a bit of attention here and there. I agree with EV, ignore and move on.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 20:16:08

Thanks Jax, he does. Thing is he hasn't had much success on dating sites. I haven't used them myself as they sound a brutal bearpit which he agreed with, so silly he's thrown me over to go through all that again. He won't get much attention there and when he realises that, I won't be around to talk to.

Shinamae Tue 30-Mar-21 20:44:46

I have experience of on line dating and if this was me I would not reply to any of his messages but I would not block him either because that would show that he’s got to me but we’re all different,to me I wouldn’t put up with it...And please don’t put yourself down..??

GagaJo Tue 30-Mar-21 20:49:38

Look up the phrase 'catfishing'. I suspect he has pretended to be something he isn't, in one way or another.

I agree with Shinamae. Don't block him, but don't ever initiate messaging again. You'll soon find out if he is real or not.

CanadianGran Tue 30-Mar-21 20:56:03

I'm sorry you've been hurt, but I agree with others that he was keeping you on the back-burner and still playing the field to see who else was available.

Let him go. I know these are difficult times socially but I would rather know someone was excited about a potential relationship than being strung along.

janeainsworth Tue 30-Mar-21 20:57:20

I know I'm an idiot to most. An idiot and a joke for others to kill time with

stayanotherday you really need to change that conversation you have with yourself.

Try ‘I’m an intelligent woman who’s a good listener and whose friends value her.’

As for your online friend, I would just play it cool. Reply to his message in a friendly way, but don’t suggest meeting in the future.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 21:06:30

Hope you've had luck on there Shin and good advice. We've been emailing for a while because the forum closed. He won't message again until/if I reply. I was thinking of replying, not confrontationally or for a few days but because I'm fed up with being let down and to lead somebody on and waste their time for six months is unfair. I was thinking of saying something like "What a shame we won't be meeting up after all this time and all you said as it would have been nice to hang out and I thought you were one of the good guys".

I won't be there to provide support, company and attention though while he looks around or mop his tears when it all goes wrong. That's on him. Thank you flowers

Katie59 Tue 30-Mar-21 21:15:01

As he lives 3 hours away even meeting is going to need a determined effort - by him!. You really need to think seriously only of men closer to home, don’t get strung along, if they sound a good prospect meet within 2 or 3 weeks even if you make the first move.
Realistically not much is likely to happen for a couple of months because of Covid.
The only other advice I can offer is make sure they are single

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 21:30:43

Thank you ladies, so much. I Googled him, out of curiosity. I believe he is what he says he is but without the nice guy part. Absolutely, he should have been. I was looking forward to meeting up. The online world is transient but he's clearly lonely and fed up of the single life. It's just sad when somebody throws a genuine and loyal person away to see what else is available after complaining of being ignored or not meeting somebody suitable. He could have given me a chance and it would have been see what happens.

Playing it cool is better thanks and being then gradually being more distant. Better to let them think it hasn't bothered you. No, no more suggestions of anything. Thanks for saying about changing the self talk. Sorry I'm not coming across well. Just a bit shocked and not used to dating. I might be socially inept from having grown up in the sticks.

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 21:35:18

Thanks Katie for the advice. You're right. Covid aside, I travel a lot near to where he lives so would have been prepared to do that, providing he came here too! Have no intention of trying dating sites. Will stick to the friends I have, real friends.

Shinamae Tue 30-Mar-21 21:41:21

I think a lot of men treat online dating like a candy store, they will be happy with a Malteser to start with but will always keep an eye out for a Ferrero Rocher!....?

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 21:45:11

Brilliant Shinmae, those nuts can be lethal though!

Shinamae Tue 30-Mar-21 21:51:54

Nuts being the operative word!! ?

stayanotherday Tue 30-Mar-21 21:58:17

It sure is grin