throwing the diceOne of the things I learned about dating is that in order to survive, you need to be able to smell the BS coming from a mile away otherwise assclowns a plenty will suck up your time, reduce your self-esteem, and end up making you believe that dating is for suckers. One of the classic BS lines is when a guy tells you by way of reassurance that he’s not seeing/dating/sleeping with anybody else.

Now this should be good news…or is it?

The only time when this is good news is when he really isn’t with someone else but he is actually in a bonafide committed relationship with you, or is making a concerted effort to date you and move things forward. If either of these things are absent, it is likely that you will take the information, swallow it whole, and live under the misguided assumption that if he’s not with anyone else, then he must be with you.

This is the trouble when we oversimplify things – we are so eager to hear something, anything positive, that it doesn’t occur to us to examine this piece of information further.

The reality is that these words don’t mean anything if you are already living in inaction with him. He is telling you this to pacify you, reassure you, shut you up, and most importantly get you off his back so that you don’t question his lack of input into the relationship.

I’m here aren’t I? [Yes but I actually don’t know when I’ll see you next]
I’m with you aren’t I? [Are you? It sure as hell doesn’t feel like it with these crumbs you’re throwing me!]
I stayed over with you last night, didn’t I?[Yes because I made you/because you had nothing better to do]
Didn’t we spend last week together?[Yes but I’d hardly seen you for the previous month!]

This all equates to him Buying Time. Say it with me ‘He’s Buying Time!’

If you know that he’s not actually giving you the relationship that you want then these words don’t mean a thing! The fact that he’s saying this to you in the first place should get your spidey senses on high alert anyway!

What he is actually saying to you is that he’s not seeing anybody else, he is spending time with you, but that doesn’t actually mean that he’s committed to you. If you pushed the issue further and asked if this means that you’re in a committed relationship, he’d probably cack his pants or dodge the question!

When men say this they are playing to your ego and insecurity. They think that all we really want to know is that they’re not screwing someone else and that as long as we know this nugget of information, we’ll stay invested.

Don’t make the mistake of being literal or taking BS statements at face value. It’s not about turning interrogator or acting suspicious all the time (although some of us could benefit from this!) but it is about recognising when someone is telling you something that is in conflict with the reality of how you feel and the reality of what you know that you’re actually experiencing.

Ladies, we are too quick to let words pacify us or cloud our judgement. Be true to what you know and don’t act like you’re happier than you actually feel because after a while you’ll no longer be in tune with who you really are and what you feel and you’re likely to feel resentful.

It is very easy to take a basic BS statement like this and find yourself suckered into the emotional wasteland that is being involved with a Mr Unavailable. Don’t allow people to tell you that black is white and white is black. He may not be seeing anybody else, but is he actually with you?

Want to know more about emotionally unavailable men? My ebook Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl is now available to buy as an instant download. Find out more.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

23 Responses to I’m not seeing anybody else.Yes but he’s not actually with you either!

  1. Karen says:

    I really love this blog. I am on day 12 of no contact with the EUM that I was with for 2 years. Reading these posts and comments daily gives me the strength to keep up with the no contact. This in particular was a favorite saying with my EUM. He made it clear he was not with any other women. I have to admit, it was one of the reasons that I stayed so long. I never worried about him cheating, it was one of the “positives” to the relationship. But the fact was, he wasn’t with me either. I saw him 2 or 3 times a month. At the most 4 times a month. He kept promising that someday he would have more time for me, but he never did. For a long time he texted, called or e mailed daily, but lately that had stopped doing that as much. I was getting so lonely. What is the point of having a significant other that doesn’t cheat if you are alone almost all of the time anyway? I realized that sooner or later I was going to be the one to cheat out of loneliness and that is not who I am, so I ended it.

  2. cheekie says:

    Amen lady, amen!
    My ex (of 5 yrs-duh for me) used to say this frequently.
    “I’m with you aren’t I?”
    pffft. Physically yes, emotionally and mentally? He wasn’t even with himself…let alone me!
    Another good one.
    Don’t ignore your spidey senses ladies, don’t freak out at him, but be sure to let him know.
    And don’t let it build up, ask as soon as you feel that gut react. In the calmest, most confident way possible. Trust me, NML is so right about this one.

    :)

  3. Brad K. says:

    The part that makes relationships work, I think, as opposed to recognizing when he is playing you for an easy date, is a combination of things. First, other than the relationship, is he truthful and honest, with no shadings or slyness or deceit toward anyone, friend, family, or other. If you can trust his word, then continued trusting is probably the right thing to do.

    But.

    “I am with you, aren’t I?” is not the same phrase as “You bring such joy to our home!” That is, he is defensive – you *already* know something is wrong. At this point your goals may not match (one of you might think the relationship is just casual) either from the start, or one of you has changed their goals. Or the relationship has gotten past the point that one or the other of you doesn’t know what to do next, or doesn’t care what comes next, or isn’t capable of proceeding (EUM or involved with someone else).

    So I have to agree wholeheartedly. If you hear the words “But I am with you, aren’t I?” he is weaseling around. Even if his intent is to make up an argument, his approach sucks pond water. He thinks it is about sex, and he wants to reassure you he isn’t (regularly) having sexual intercourse with – one particular? any? – other female. The *first* problem is that for a relationship to exist, he should have been concerned to reassure you his affection, his trust, his respect, and his desire are all present, strong, and centered on you. Especially look for where his trust and respect show – these may be the important aspects. The *second* problem, of course, is the Bill Clinton definition of cheating – We Only Did it Once, It Wasn’t Intercourse, I Didn’t Love Her, etc. Weasel words that deny everything that fidelity, honesty, and respect bring to a relationship.

    And, really, I would want to be dead certain sure that each of you agree that cheating includes any inappropriate touching, sexual contact, conversation, time spent alone with someone else, or anything else that feels intimate with someone else. If he is telling his problems to another woman he is cheating – that is time and intimacy he need to be sharing with you. Intercourse, oral sex and other shadings of sex be damned – that is cheating. And vice versa.

    Karen, luck to you.

  4. JohnofScribbleSheet says:

    A always, an interesting read.

  5. virgo princess says:

    Brad K. you’re killing me with the Dr. Phil talk; are you trying to trump NML; this is her blog; not yours! :-)

    Just kidding! (but not really)

  6. lisaq says:

    wow! great post! this is definitely something to think about and, to be honest, something i hadn’t even considered which really is kind of stupid considering i’ve heard that crap about a bagillion times…

  7. Elsie says:

    Truer words were never spoken. It amazes me how these guys seem to pop off an assembly line preloaded with the same phrases:

    “I’m with you, aren’t I?”

    “You’re the only one I’m sleeping with.”

    It’s 100% true, folks. These guys aren’t in a relationship with you, they’re waiting for someone they consider better to come along.

  8. Tulipa says:

    Wow can I see myself in this post, always hearing the phrase you will be the third to know if I have sex with someone else.. even though I have heard and remained quiet about him kissing an ex girlfriend the reason why because he told me quite clearly that I wasn’t his girlfriend … I haven’t let this relationship go yet but I’m getting close . I just read the question ‘ well what benefits are you getting out of the relationship ?’ and obviously its something otherwise like any other self respecting lady I would be gone leaving the man in no doubt of his emotional immaturity …

  9. Kim says:

    You are awesome!! And FUNNY! I found your old site while researching “emotionally unavailable” men and that led me to this, your new site. I am 48 and just recently figured out what emotionally unavailable means. I’ve been in a couple of these relationships and was always left wondering what was wrong with ME. Wasn’t I fun enough? Attractive enough? Interesting enough? Sexy enough? Was the new woman he’s flirting somehow better? How is SHE better than me? [gag]

    I have tortured myself with self-doubt and knew I had to figure this out so I would not do it again. Instead of focusing on just ME and my flaws I decided to pick him apart a little bit. I had to stop seeing him as wonderful and exciting and desireable and ‘everything I wanted’ and ask myself honestly what kind of guy he really was. When I was able to admit to myself that he really was not all that great I had to think about why I wanted him. Your site is helping me a lot.

    Thank you so much.

  10. NML says:

    Hi Kim, I’ve been meaning to reply to your comment before now so apologies for the slow reply. I am glad that I’ve been able to help. They do leave you wondering what you could have done differently and the reality is that short of never giving them the time of day, there isn’t anything else! We worry too much about what they think instead of about what we think. Good luck on your revealing journey and stay true to you x

  11. Joe says:

    An unbelievable eye opener. I ‘ve been going out with a woman who is emotoinally unavailable.At first, it was really good, then the trouble started. She told me “i don’t do monogamy well”,that she boes easily, every relationship she’d even been in ,she cheated. Then came the emotional rollercoasterI’ve been on ever since.I used to tell myself she has a lot on her plate( 3 kids, dying mom, angry ex-husband who keeps taking her to court for every little thing) I would just be there for her, be a shoulder for her to cry and lean on,show her what a good and genuine guy I was. Well we had tons of things in common but always felt she wanted to do what she wanted to do without the slightest consideration about me and my feelings. Now her mom has maybe 6 months to live and she feels I’m just anothe rthing demanding of her time, that I was pulling her down ,in addtion to everything else she has on her plate. She needed space, I gave it to her.she told me she couldn’t give me what I wanted,I didn’t listen. I thought that she couldn’t because there was everything else demanding a piece of her,demanding her time. i spoke with her recently and went to see her. In the midst of a possible reconcillation, she gets a phone call from this guy she knew from college and that she had dinner with a month ago. I thought it was innocent. She leaves the room we’re in and speaks with him for a while.It was like a knife in me. I deserve better. My friends who ‘ve been consoling me told me to RUN! But now I find myself rationalizing her behavior.Am I being a fool for her?

  12. Gaynor says:

    Joe,

    I would follow your friends advice and “RUN!” She has already told you she doesn’t “do monogamy well,” and that she’s cheated in all of her relationships. She’s given you all the information you need, she is clearly an EUW. You deserve a lot better than this!!!!

  13. Joe says:

    Thanks,Gaynor. I feel like my heart’s been ripped out. Every day I think about her. Don’t get me wrong , there were really good times. We had a lot in common,common background, likes and dislikes,and when I saw her for the first time, something clicked inside of me.But I should seen the signs and I did but kept telling myself she’ll come around. God,was I kidding myself! And throughout all of this, I still think she has it in her to be better than she is now. My mind and my heart are at constant war with each other. I know what I have to do, just get on with my life but she was such a big part of it that I feel so empty. Nothing gives me joy. I choke down food not really tasting it, lost so much weight(which is a good thing) it’s not even funny. I walk around as if I’m in a trance. This just sucks.

  14. Gaynor says:

    Joe,

    You’re feeling are as mine were some months ago (weight loss, confusion, pain). The only thing I can tell you is that time and No Contact are the only things that will you move on from this situation.

    Unfortunately, these people rarely change unless they come to the recognition-on their own-they want a normal, healthy relationship. I suppose they need to hit bottom.

    My ex told me he loved me and that we were working back toward a relationship but all I really had to do was look at his actions, or should I say inaction to know he wasn’t a man of his word. This man has a lot of issues and is incapable of incorporating anyone into his life, and will continue this vicious cycle. Joe, these people don’t care who they hurt, they just go from relationship to relationship using, lying, cheating, and deceiving. I know it’s hard but you must love yourself enough to cut this woman out of your life completely- it sounds like she has moved on to her next victim anyhow.

    Don’t let the father’s sickness be any influence in your decision making, if it is, ask yourself if she would be there for you in your time of need.

  15. Betterwithouthim says:

    Joe-I agree s/Gaynor you have to initiate NC and then start working on yourself and owning up to your piece in all this. You deserve better, and she will bounce from one guy to another to get her ego strokes, some attention, get her quick fix then disappear.

    This cycle will keep happening until you take control of your own life, she has no consideration for your feelings, needs or anything else. Just from what you’ve described her life is just one big drama. That’s the way she likes it, but don’t join in or get sucked into all that. Don’t be weakened by her sudden (self absorbed) kindness, it’s only a ploy to get you to play her game. Please disengage, don’t sleep with her or anything else.

    Interaction with her is toxic, and you deserve better. Just focus on yourself, get your own house in order. Find a new hobby or get back up to speed on an old hobby. Call buddies and keep busy. You’re worth all that effort and she’s not.

    all the best!

  16. Joe says:

    Thank you both for your kind and helpful words. I don’t have to tell you how hard this is for me. You both see it. I wanted so bad to talk to her today but I can’t do this. I know I can’t. I would just be doing myself a disservice allowing myself to get sucked back in again.I was a happy go lucky guy before all this nonsense. I was happy with myself,cocky, wouldn’t put up with this kind of nonsense if you paid me. I ask myself and my friends ask me, what happened to that guy who was so sure of himself and I really don’t know where he went.But I’m trying my damnest to find him again.It’s like she sucked the spirit right out of me.Every day is a struggle but I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This is so not me, to despair this way.Little by little, step by step I guess this pain will go away and I really can’t wait for that to happen. I really feel bad for her and in a way, very , very sad. She had a good and genuine guy right in front of her, who would have done anything and everything for her and she didn’t see it. Again my thanks to you, Gaynor ,and to you,Betterwithouthim for your kindness ,for your advice(which I will heed) for your caring,giving a damn about a person that you’ve never met and who you”ve both managed to touch very deeply with your words. I can not thank you enough nor shall I ever forget

  17. Gaynor says:

    Joe,

    We’re here for you. Stay strong!!!!

  18. Astelle says:

    Joe, she will keep using you at her convenience if you stick around.
    Stick with NC and with time you will be back to yourself.
    Isn’t it amazing how these type of people can do a number on your self esteem? Don’t feel bad for her, she chooses to be that way. You learned – like a lot of us – a very hard lesson and I believe you will be able to identify this type of person once you start dating again.
    There are good women and men out there.
    Keep reading here, there are so many great posts, so much great advice. Stay away from her or she will suck you dry.
    All the best to you!

  19. Joe says:

    Thanks Astelle. I do feel usedand I feel so stupid that I ignored the signs thinking all the while she’ll see me for who I am not what I could do for her. The amazing thing is that she’s not young,youthful in appearance and spirit but she ‘s 50 and I’m 51.I have no drama in my life and she would always comment about that. That she envies me , that I have no drama, that I could pick up and leave anytime I want,go places and do things without answering to anyone . I mean the signs were there . She started talking to me on this dating site while she was still living with her husband at the time. I guess I was the rebound .I didn’t know she was still married ,thought she was divorced. Then she moved to her mom’s house and things were good for a while . Something was always off emotionally though.I should have seen it, and in fact, perhaps I did and choose to ignore it,thinking she would come around. I was just being silly and blind. I see the good in people.It’s just the way I am.And you’re right I feel like I was sucked dry. Great sex though or so I thought . I think back on it and it was always me giving and her taking. How could I have been so blind? Thanks to you wonderful and kind people I AM getting better and stronger. I thank you all again for being there for me when I most needed it and I will never , ever forget you and your kind and moving words.

  20. Joe says:

    She wants no commitment and I want an emotional commitment. It’s not like I’m trying to trap her into anything. I know she wants to have fun but you can have fun and be emotionally committed to each other.Was that too much to ask? She doesn’t have it in her to do that.It was her upbringing. her mom was passed out drunk on the couch and her dad was a drinker too. he was of the mentality”you got yourself into this ,you can get yourself out”. If her father tried to show affection or any kind of emotion or love ,her mom would push him awayor tell him to leave her alone. that’s the root of it right there. she never grew up in a loving , caring household, so how can she know what love really is. She doesn’t know the difference between loving someone and being in love with some body. It’s just sad. We’re just on different pages,different stages of life. I just have to move on with my life.

  21. gina says:

    Yep, these men seem to have exact patterns. Two of the EUables said this to me. I was confused because I wasn’t pressuring them for committment — and just came out and said “they weren’t seeing anyone else”… I admit, I didn’t have enough self esteem at that point to be like “oh, so does this mean we are in a committed relationship?”… I find these EUMs do it early on so this way if you did confront them, they would say it’s too soon to get committed. The truth is, if you aren’t committed and not sleepng with anyone else, that’s his choice but it doesn’t mean we should invest any more into it, or draw up sandcastles in the sky (love that phrase). I remember the EUM said he wasn’t dating/seeing anyone else, then when I mentioned we should discuss whether or not we are committed after 3 months at least, he said “he doesn’t think there should be a time limit” — meanwhile we were sleeping together, spending alot of time together… I guess it was a good thing I spoke up, because that’s when he was luke-warm, then got cold!

  22. gladys says:

    I love this article. I found it just in time. I realized that i had dated a string of EUM’s and i have decided to stop this pattern. I just left an EUM after 3 months who seemed like a nice guy. We knew each other through mutual friends and we were at a lot of events together in the past. Easy right, boy was i disappointed. He only called once or twice a week and text messages in between. I started to liked him and wanted to know if he could see this going anywhere. He said wanted to take things ‘slow’ and see what happens. But the minute he said this my stomach twisted. I was in an emotional roller coaster since then wondering, thinking it was too soon to bring up the commitment topic.
    We did some one on one time like once a week but this month i didn’t see him for three weeks because he had other events to go to. I would think at this point he would invite me at least once but no his excuse was that he thought i wouldn’t enjoy myself. And he live thirty minutes away from me. And this was the last straw. NML you are right. Actions speak louder than words and if a guy ever says they are not sure if they wanna be with me and are not actually doing things to make me feel we’re on the same page, i will run for the hills. Thanks a lot.

  23. systah says:

    I am sickened to know this was the guy I was with for 8 months. He even went so far as to do a laundry list why he was with me… Not in the romantic way, more like I’m doing you a favor by being with you sort of way. I later found out that week he had seen another woman and asked another out for dinner even though he made it clear I was not “allowed” to do that to him because he was cheated on before. I now realize it was his way of keeping me on a leash while he played around.. Oh, He too didn’t think oral was sex. Makes me nauseous thinking about it. Knowing his lips and tongue were possibly on someone else while with me. Yes, getting tested for all stds.. knowing full well they can be transmitted orally to my you know what.

    I am so angry with myself and him. It is killing me.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.