I met a guy from an internet dating site in March. We went out from about April until August. I took my profile off almost immediately, but his profile was still on the site, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and I didn’t want to mention it initially, but finally he made his profile invisible after a few weeks. I must admit I did check the site on occasion to double check the profile was definitely not there. But after a few months into our relationship, I did a random check and his profile was visible again. But he seemed to be checking it only every few days.

I was very distressed and didn’t know how to approach him. As when he was with me everything seemed fine, he was also mentioning moving in together and buying a house down the track. So I was very confused. He did have issues, as his long-term partner had left him a year a go, and he had just finished the settlement and child support arrangements. His mother had died a year ago of Parkinson’s, he’d changed careers, and moved house all in the space of six months just before I met him. Things were slow between us initially, but suddenly they got really great, we had a lot in common and good bond and he seemed really happy, he called me his ‘resucer’. Everything seemed good, except he was back on the dating site.

I couldn’t take it any longer; I didn’t understand why he was looking for somebody else, when everything seemed fine. I emailed him and asked him why he was still on the site. I told him I was sad, hurt, disappointed, angry and taken for a ride. The next day he emailed me back and totally denied he’d been on the site since he’d met me. I was so annoyed as he’d now lied to me, so I didn’t speak to him for a week. He eventually emailed me, complaining that he’s been waiting for me to call him, and he didn’t understand why I had gone cold turkey on him. He was bewildered and disappointed. As I had not been in touch for over a week, he presumed it was over between us, and he would probably be better off on his own. He was thinking of moving interstate anyway.

I emailed him again to try and explain, and indicated I was probably being too sensitive for my own good. I didn’t want to totally loose him. I asked if we could talk, but he just texted me, and said he wasn’t ready to talk. That was 5 weeks ago. I did email him 2 weeks ago saying I missed him, but haven’t heard anything. I feel sad because it broke so suddenly and it was all done via email. I know I should have asked him face to face, but it is hard. He didn’t let us talk about it. Will I ever hear from him again? And what was going on with him?

NML says: This guy is screwing with your mind. You know that what he is doing is out of order yet you are buying into his crap and he has turned the tables on you where YOU’RE chasing him and YOU’RE feeling guilty when it should be him.

If he is not looking for a new partner or keeping himself open to the possibility of meeting someone new, why is his profile still active? The fact that he then lies about being on the site is ridiculous and this is where I feel that he is a bully and controlling. People like him challenge your truths and browbeat you into believing the falsehoods by making you feel bad about yourself. Technology means that these sites let other users know how active the person is on the dating site by letting you know how recently they have logged in. Is he saying that it’s not him and that he has a ‘site sitter’ that checks in for him and waters the plants? If you continue to keep your profile active, it means that you don’t have both feet in the relationship and are keeping your options open. These aren’t the hallmarks of a relationship that can progress!

This man has a lot of stuff going on and they all scream ‘red alert, abort mission’. We all have a bit of baggage but when we wheel them out as something to excuse our behaviour or to keep us at a distance, it means that we are not good for a relationship. I don’t deny that he’s had a difficult year but sometimes people try to do too much and it’s clear that he is not emotionally ready for a relationship. Rather than wait for him to tell you, you should take the signs and the hint and don’t try to make a silk purse from a pigs ear. You can’t fix this and he needs to deal with his own issues. The fact that he calls you his ‘rescuer’ is not a good sign. Being rescued feels good initially but he won’t want to feel rescued forever…It sounds like he could do with rescuing himself….

Let me spell something out for you. You have every right to be annoyed. You chose not to speak to him for a week where others would have dumped his ass. You told him how you felt about his actions and instead of owning up to it, he denies things and then demands to know why you haven’t been in contact as if your conversation didn’t happen. This is more bully and control tactics. Why was he waiting for you to call him? If he felt that bad he could have picked up the phone. On the flipside, you need to decide what you are doing with this guy because if you didn’t speak to him for a week, you had your reasons. If you wanted the relationship to continue, wouldn’t you say so? Wouldnt you say “Let’s talk in a week as I need to digest this and figure out things?” He probably was right to presume that it was over, not just because you weren’t in contact for a week though, but because of the conversation you both had, but most importantly his actions. He may sing a different tune but deep down he knows that he is in the wrong.

My biggest concerns though is that you don’t stand by how you feel and what you know. You are very quick to sell yourself down the river to a guy that can’t even commit enough to remove his dating profile from the website where you met him! Why do you feel you are being ‘too sensitive’? You’re not. If you’re in a relationship where there is talk of moving in together and buying a house, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re not just casually dating and keeping yourselves open to other prospects. You say you don’t want to “totally lose him” – well you can’t half lose him and you deserve better than to concede on the basic respect levels in your relationship and live the half life with him. He is playing silly buggers now by being the one in control of the contact and the best thing that you could do right now is sit on your hands and cease contact.

You may well hear from him again especially when he senses that you’ve started to forget about him. These guys are like boomerangs with a sixth sense for recognising when you’re starting to move on and get happy. He is trying to manipulate you and him doing his whole “better off on his own” and moving interstate thing is just emotional blackmail. If he wants to move, let him move. He can’t have been that serious about you if he was thinking of moving and you weren’t in those plans. You feel sad because there isn’t proper closure and he hasn’t allowed you to own how you feel. But you can get closure and own how you feel without him. Never let somebody, man or woman, tell you that black is white when you know the score. Always have boundaries and acknowledge when they have crossed and put yourself first instead of someone who doesn’t care enough about you.

Recommended reading: The 10 Commandments of Breaking Up and Why do men blow hot and cold?

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