Relationship advice, please

So… Here’s the short version of the story. (There is SO much more to it) My ‘guy’ and I have known one another for about 13 years now. He had a girlfriend then, and had them throughout the times we knew each other. He was engaged twice, each time the girl leaving him, and meanly.

So… things between us eventually go from friends to flirty. Then more.

Then he got really sick. The medicines he had to take had an emotional side effect. For 6 months I was the only person he spoke to other than his parents. Plus he was so hurt by how these other women did things to him in the past.

Um, did I mention I had a crush on him forever? Heh.

Anyhow, so we kinda… Moved past friends. And I knew he wasn’t ready for a girlfriend. He was recovering medically and emotionally. This was four years ago.

He won’t go out with other girls. We talk every night. We do something every week. But he won’t say I’m his girlfriend. Every time we talk about it, he is just so amazed at how time has passed so quickly, and how he’s just not ready. So I don’t ask anymore. It’s too good how things are to risk ruining things.

Physically, things were great, though no sex. I don’t think he wants to; not yet. He’d be my first. I think that’s a lot of pressure. Though we’ve kinda waned on that… Though I think that’s how it goes with how long it’s been! Hehe. Plus with my medical stuff, I kinda changed, too. I’ll have to get that back on track.

He’s been with me through my ongoing illness, now, and this year… For the FIRST time ever, he bought me a Valentines gift, and took me out.

I’d love to move things along. Any wiley womanly ways to do so? And I’m kinda sad… He’s going to buy a house, and I’d love to be in it.

My response does not exactly answer your question, but I’ll try my best. Remember to pay attention to the way [B]you[/B] feel when you’re around him because that is the most important part! You clearly care about him a lot. Don’t feel as though you’d be sacrificing what you have with him now in order to tell him how you really feel. Be completely honest with him, and most importantly, yourself! He’ll never know what you’re thinking or feeling unless you tell him. He may not be in a good emotional position for a relationship for a long time. You just need to decide if the companionship he’s been giving you is worth the wait!

I don’t know what sort of advice to give you, but i have to agree with gatorjade - [I][B]you[/B][/I] should feel good in that relationship. I’ve been in long term relationships before and was in love twice before i met my DH. Every time, no matter what the other person told me, it never felt good in my guts. I was in love with one for 5(!) years and it was awful “relationship” and i was 3 years with the other. The guy told the most beautiful things, said he loves me all the time, BUT he couldn’t make a commitment, he couldn’t say “we’ll move in together etc”. He never spoke in future in plural. And no matter what - i kept waiting and waiting and having that awful feeling in my guts. Finally, i had a serious talk with him about our relationship and he promised to move in together in 4 (!) years. He dumped me a month later :!!!:I felt sooo bad about it, it hurt so much, but eventually i realized that this relationship wasn’t going anywhere, because his life was always about him only. When i met my DH, the second time i met him i knew i was going to spend my life with him and he felt the same and i DIDN’T HAVE THAT ICKY FEELING IN MY GUTS!I felt great and confident in my relationship. So, do you feel you want to wait? Because you sound really serious about him and i’m not sure this guy will ever be ready for a new thing. You don’t have to be afraid or feel like you’re walking on glass. One of the most important things in relationships, IMHO, is honesty and the ability to talk about your feelings.
Good luck :hug:

Wow… Everyone keep the responses coming. I’d love to hear some more opinions.

But I value the ones given to me already. Thank you both so much. :slight_smile:

I do feel good with him, most times. Most important to me, he has been with me through so much and though he sometimes says I’m pessamistic (and I can be, with how awful I’ve physically felt over the last year and a half) he has always tried to keep me grounded by telling me, heh. He’s always saying how he wants me to be better and he’s stuck with me.

I dunno. I know it’s rough. Sometimes I feel as if things are different, but I know that this much time does change people. And what we’ve gone through. But I can’t help feeling a bit sad when I know his exes have seemingly gotten so much further with him than I have… But who knows. I didn’t know them very well.

WOW - I don’t really know what to tell you if this has been the status quo for 4 yrs. Have you ever made dinner together? Hang out at your house to watch movies? I think making dinner together with a glass of wine is very sexy (love a man that is not afraid to take direction in the kitchen) and then hanging out to eat popcorn and watch a movie. Turn the lights off and light candles. Maybe since he gave you a Valentine’s card get him a random “thinking of you” card and mail it to him. The hubby and I used to do this all the time dating as we lived over 2 hrs apart. I know you are not physical, but do you hold hands, does he put his arm around you when your standing in line at the movies? If other women approach him do you get closer to him and as my hubby says “pee on his leg” to make sure women know he’s yours? OH - if you go look at houses with him (maybe even suggest going to an open house one weekend) talk about where you would put furniture or colors you would like to paint things.
Now, I may take some flack for this and I don’t know how old you are, but I think we put to much pressure on each other for the “you’ll be my first” or trying to make the first kiss or first time together so movie perfect and in reality, it’s just not all that (IMHO). I spoiled an otherwise great night in college by trying to make it the “perfect” first night like in the movies. After that I waited until I was in my 20’s.
I know there is a lot more to the story than you have shared, but I don’t think you’ll ruin what you have as friends if you end up in a physical relationship or try to be his girlfriend. You need to be able to talk if you are going to have a relationship so can you just tell him - Hey, it’s been 4yrs and I really like you - will you be my boyfriend?

K, I have a question here and it’s like sorta personal n stuff… but, why haven’t ya’ll done the deed yet?
No need to answer in the forum but something ya’ll can think about. I understand if it’s for religious reasons n stuff.
I know relationships shouldn’t be based on that sort of thing, but it does come into play sooner or later.
Just how long have you guys been a “couple” as it were? 6 months? a year? 5 years? It’s sorta hard to tell from what you describe. I would think that if it’s been like close to 5 years, umm things aren’t gonna change.
Why should they? Unless change is required, most people won’t.
If you are happy the way things are then cool, but if you aren’t you really have some soul searching to do. Do you really want things to stay this way for the duration? If he’s still obsessing over those other girls then there are some problems that need to be addressed.
Well, good luck either way hun!! I hope for the best. (sometimes that’s not what we want but what we need).:hug:

Well, I can say a bit of this is my fault. I’m 28 years old and was asked on a date only one other time in my life, at 19. I didn’t have a first kiss until I was 24 (yeah, it was him). Guys just… weren’t interested in me, heh. shrugs

Have you ever made dinner together? Hang out at your house to watch movies? I think making dinner together with a glass of wine is very sexy (love a man that is not afraid to take direction in the kitchen) and then hanging out to eat popcorn and watch a movie.

Well, he would give ME directions around the kitchen. He has cooked for me; he cooks wonderfully! So we have done that a few times. Though he does NOT like movies (and I love them, the one big way we are different).

talk about where you would put furniture or colors you would like to paint things.

Hehe, doing that now, in fact. And I didn’t say we weren’t physical at all… We can get pretty hot n’ heavy and all that. blushes But he won’t… you know. That.

I dunno, I’m so akward when it comes to this stuff. I have zero experience with this and I’m afraid it’s ME that’s the problem. I don’t know when to do what! I never had a boyfriend before, or anyone interested! I’m so lost, that’s why I need help.

I think it’s quite possible he feels the same way, but, considering how his other relationships ended, he might be too afraid to admit he feels the same as you, and, with you two being such wonderful friends, he might be afraid of losing that if the relationship progresses to something more.

I think you guys need to have a heart to heart. The only way you’ll know for sure how he feels towards you is by talking to him. Maybe go out to dinner together or something, someplace totally casual and bring it up casually. I wouldn’t pressure him for a response, just let him digest what you have to say and allow him time to think on it if he doesn’t respond right away.

Communication is the key to a relationship, and, I believe that should be established from the beginning.

Hoping for the best for the two of you!

Well, as a guy I can’t offer any “womanly” advice, but I’d say let the relationship evolve on it’s own.

I’d say let things develop. It’s the emotional things, the day to day things that make a relationship. Granted, every woman likes to here those three words. But give it time. Imagine if things progressed, could what you have now be what it will be like in the future, if so then it’s possible that you are already there.

Good Luck.

I feel like I posted under someone else’s name haha.
Growing up guys just weren’t interested in me either. Then again, books, school and theatre where more interesting to me than guys.
I didn’t get my first kiss until I was 25 (regret that one) and on my first date at 26. I ended up dating the guy I went out with, and two years later, marrying him.

We were friends for 3 years, ‘sweeties’ for 2 and have been married for 2 months.

There were many times when, similar to you, I felt like the relationship wasn’t going anywhere. Things just…developed.
I moved to SD to pursue a Nursing major, and he was stationed here. Then he received transfer orders and decided that he didn’t want to leave w/o me, so we got married.

I’d say, let things happen naturally. I agree with what some have said, that maybe he’s feeling a little uneasy entering a relationship when his previous ones haven’t worked out too well. Give time some time :hug:

Okay, I don’t want to hurt your feelings at all, but I want to be very honest in my opinion (which of course, you don’t have to take).
If the relationship has not evolved by now, it may never evolve at all. It sounds like the only thing holding you guys back is him and he has clearly had the opportunity to develop a relationship with you by now. I find that men are not too complex. Women just complicate things by overanalyzing (I do it too!) and making situations more complicated than they are. If he wanted a relationship, you would be in one. He has had some difficult breakups in the past, but so have most people and generally they don’t stop anyone from loving again, especially after so long and with such a sweet girl around.
I think the best thing to do, and it won’t be easy, is to emotionally disconnect yourself from him. It doesn’t mean you have to stop talking to him (although that would help), but I think if you accept that it may never happen you will be a lot happier. It will be difficult to accept this, but it will make your life a lot happier. You won’t be wondering if he wants more or will he do this or that. This will also allow you to maybe be interested in other people. You say that no one has been interested in you, well this could be because you’re so emotionally invested in this man and it’s clear to those around you too.
Also, if you distance yourself from him and try to get used to life without him you may meet new people and your man might realise how much he appreciates you.
I don’t want to come across as rude and you definitely don’t have to listen to my advice, but I just wanted to give you that angle to the situation. I hope everything gets sorted out soon, there’s nothing worse than being caught up in something like this for years and years. Get on with it!

First of all, I commend you for not having sex with him. Personally, I believe that this should wait until marriage. I think it’s good that this hasn’t happened since there’s no commitment on his part. Please continue to save yourself for your husband, whoever that may be.

Now, that said, here’s what I think. I don’t think that there’s anything you can do to push this along. It sounds like he knows how you feel. If you care about him so much, don’t do anything to pressure him into making a decision.

Perhaps some distance from each other will allow you two to explore other options. Sometimes distance makes you realize just how much you care for a person. It puts perspective on a situation.

If you really love this man, don’t give up totally. My brother-in-law loved my sister from the day he met her. He’s my husband’s brother, and he met her when my dh and I started dating. She was in high school. She married, had a child, and then divorced, and he loved her through it all. She knew how he felt but was commited to her marriage. When it fell apart (her ex cheated on her many times and was physically abusive), the feelings of friendship changed into a deep, romantic love. As she’s fond of saying, “God zapped her with love for him.”

Hang in there…love is a double-edged sword. It can bring much joy, but it’s also the source of great sorrow at times.

And…please stay pure. That will be the best gift of love you can ever give your future husband. :thumbsup:

P.S. I read a wonderful book. It’s called [COLOR=red][B]I Kissed Dating Goodbye[/B][/COLOR]. I suggest you read it. It puts a different spin on dating.

How old is he? I know you’ve said you’re 28. So are you both at an age where you would be thinking more long-term with relationships that you are in?

I think if he knows he would be “your first” that it puts pressure on him. A pressure he doesn’t want. He obviously cares enough about you to not take that matter flippantly. He knows there’s no going back after that happens. I think he sounds like a great guy. Don’t put too much stock in sex as showing how much someone loves you. Most of the time it can be the exact opposite. “Love 'em and leave 'em” ring a bell?

Does he ever speak about other women with you?

Have you ever told him that you think of him as your boyfriend? If you haven’t and you’re getting a vibe from him that he thinks of you as a friend (with benefits) only, perhaps you should mention other guys that you like in your conversations with him and see how he reacts. It might take him a while to digest such information so don’t expect a strong reaction one way or another at first.

You don’t have to say you’re going out with someone, just plant the seed that there may be a potential suitor that you met at the gym or at the supermarket or something. Tell him you were hit on by someone. If he gives you a reaction that he doesn’t like that you would think of seeing someone you met so casually (or someone else at all for that matter), tell him you don’t understand why he would react that way; that although you’ve thought you’ve made it plain that you want to be in a real relationship with him, as you see it he seems to have made it plain that he doesn’t think of you in that way. See where the conversation goes. In essence, if he gets so upset about you seeing someone else it shows how he feels for you even if he doesn’t know how to express it. It forces him to have to express it -one way or another. Then you’ll have your answer. It may be sneaky, but it’s a “womanly way”.

Another man’s view,

FYI, virginity in a female is a positive pressure for a guy not a negative one. The only negative is for a guy with a conscience looking for a one night stand, but without a conscience it’s even a huge plus for a one nighter.
It’s been this way for thousands of years, further back than there are written words to document it. I’m surprised this isn’t known by women.

Since you didn’t say there were religious reasons,
My gut says he’s gay and you’re his cover. You can do a lot to him, there are certain things he won’t do with or to you.
I checked with a gay friend before posting and that was also the first thing he said.
4 years of heavy petting never leading to the deed says something is up. 4 years, no deed and a refusal to say “GF” really says something is up.
Gay guys having straight women who are deemed undesirable by society as friends that also serve as a cover is very common.

Don’t let the engagements fool you. They can be made up, they can be covers, they can be attempts to deny it to himself.
Marriage isn’t even proof.
I went on a date with a girl who’s parents got divorced because he was gay. I knew a gay guy who got divorced after having kids, he said he was always gay but didn’t admit it to himself because of society.

The only way you can know for sure is if he admits it. Hobbies, mannerisms and friends are not good indicators. Only one thing separates gay from straight, then you throw in “experimentation” and bi and even throws that out the window.

If you know any-out-of-the-closet gays in real life I would ask them what they think. They usually have pretty good “gaydar”.

But even if I’m right all is not lost. The valentines was a good sign. That says he’s leaning towards a relationship. (It also says I’m leaning towards being wrong on my gut instinct.)
If you’re willing to accept things as they are and have nothing better to do it could be worth it to wait.

Mike - I was asking my hubby for his input at lunch and he said the same thing !! I asked him if he would have waited 4 yrs to try and sleep with me and he just stared at me…umm no
Knowing a little more of the story now and that you guys are physical, just not having sex I would say it’s time to branch out and be a little less available to him. I’m not saying ditch him, just have other plans sometimes when he calls. I know it can be uncomfortable to meet new people and trust me I hated dating - the stress, the expectations etc. I say enroll in an evening class at a community college. Something you might not normally do - pottery, photography, basket weaving. Call an old friend or coworker and head out for lunch and a movie one weekend. I don’t know your religious background, but can you get involved with a church and the adult forum classes and many even have singles events or knitting groups.

Unfortunately, my advice comes from experience. I dated a man with commitment issues. I was sure once he was married things would change. After all, how much more committed can you be once you’re married?! We finally got married, and the last 20 years of my life have NOT been easy. If I had it to do all over again (except for my 2 kids), I would have walked away and never looked back.

I know that probably wasn’t what you wanted to hear, but I felt compelled to share my experience. I wouldn’t want you or anyone else going through the same thing.

I believe in letting relationships develop at their own pace. Dh and I were married just 10 months after starting dating (we were acquaintances for a year before that)…my friends dated for 6 years before they got married.
I will say that at this point, your relationship is probably where it will stay. You guys have known each other for a very long time, and have been romantic (sort of) for 4 years. He’s found his comfort zone and you’re in it.

If you are happy with the way things are, by all means, continue. There is nothing wrong with this relationship as it stands. IF YOU ARE BOTH HAPPY AND CONTENT WITH IT. If you are at this place because it’s what he wants, then you need to think about it alot. Are you willing to sacrifice dreams of being married, of living together, of being someone’s publicly recognized significan other to be with him? Good relationships are ones that progress in a way that makes BOTH people happy.

Don’t settle because you think you can’t do better. Don’t settle just because he is a great guy. Great guys aren’t always the right guy, ya know?

From my experience with a commitment-phobic guy (and my guy may be different from yours), if it’s been four years and he’s not made any moves toward commitment (whether you’ve slept together or not), then he’s not thinking that you’re “The One.” A great girl, nice to hang out with, attractive, etc., but not The One. If he’s thinking of buying a house, but isn’t talking about you in the house with him, that’s not a good sign for a future with him. If he’s not dating anyone else, that’s a sign in your favor, but I doubt that without some serious wake-up call that anything is going to change. And sometimes that wake-up call comes when The One finally shows up.

He may just be afraid to mess up what you guys have. if as you said he been through some really messy breakups and you have been the only constant in the past 13 years, he may just be REALLY afraid of losing YOU!! Sometimes the hardest thing is switching from friend mode to boyfriend/girlfriend mode and then if you breakup you grieve twice, because not only did you lose your boyfriend/girlfriend you just lost that friendship you had previously and many times its too hard to go back to that. You may be the one for him and he may know it but if he is scared of losing you, you are going to have to evaluate if you two break up can you still be friends? because sometimes the thought of losing the friend part of you is actually worse the losing the girlfriend part of you.