He Flirted A Lot - Then Got Cold
Visitor's Question from a 41-50 year old Female
I am 41 and have a 53 yr old co-worker who lives in another city who came on to me like gangbusters out of the blue one day. It started with causal flirting with me providing training and him constantly stating I had a sexy voice, then it quickly turned to serious flirting which I must admit was shocking but fun.
Then him asking to meet me in person and marry him almost everyday. He would say things like sometimes life is strange and wonderful when I would question why he suddenly started showing interest in me personally. He started out by calling me hun (which I thought was sweet), then quickly went to "my love" and "my goddess". This quickly intensified in a 2 month period and became very very intimate. I was just waiting for a free weekend to come visit him.
Then suddenly he started calling me "kiddo" one day. I was just about to find a free weekend to come visit him, when suddenly he went back to talking to me like a co-worker only. I tried asking him what happened and he always acts like he doesn't know what I am talking about or changes the subject. The problem is I think I am in love with him and like everything about him. I now feel used and hurt but still in love. I just needed him to tell me he wants to just be friends and I would have sadly, but easily let it go. But he won't do that.
It feels like he is just trying to keep the peace since he started an inappropriate relationship with a co-worker. I think I am being used (not sure) but he leads me on, then goes cold again. I am now thinking about him every second of the day wondering what happened. I am feeling humiliated as I am pouring my heart out and I get nothing in return. But when he seemed interested I sent him pictures of me and he never sent me pictures.
I do feel confident he is a nice looking man and that its not looks (maybe?) and I know its not my looks at all (sounds bad, but its true). I just know we would have made a good couple and we obviously have a lot of chemistry and similar values. I thought the way we met was the best way (when you least expect it). He was attracted to my abilities in my job, thought my voice was sexy and thought I was very funny. I am an attractive woman and this was the first time I knew someone was attracted to me for my intelligence and personality, and not looks. I made it clear to him I was open to re-locate if it came to that.
I don't know if I can go on not knowing what happened. When I ask him about my invitation to meet him, he ignores me or changes the subject. He is so good at that. Now he only calls me when he wants to vent about something or needs my help for work. I keep calling or sending him messages letting him know I care and that I miss him. I can't avoid him like I want to do because we work together and are on call.
I am torn between wanting him back or ensuring that he knows he treated me poorly by not saying something and is now undeserving of my friendship. Is there anyway I can get him back or at least some satisfaction of him knowing what he has done and throw away without seeming like a stalker or anymore humiliated then I feel right now?
P.S., this is the first time I have every been so open and quickly fallen for someone, especially never meeting him in person.
Long distance relationships always have an element of fantasy in them. You don't have the real live person there with you so you have to fill in the blanks. It is very normal, but it can also of course lead to misunderstandings, confusion and upset feelings.
It seems he was in a lonely stage of life when he started heavily flirting with you. You provided a safe outlet for him, someone to pour his loneliness into, someone who would respond. He could build fantasies about you and it was completely harmless (in terms of commitment). But just when the relationship was about to BECOME real he backed off. He - for whatever reason - didn't want the real relationship part. He was apparently quite happy with the fantasy, it gave him everything he needed.
I wouldn't say you were being used - I would say that lots of people build fantasies about "easy relationships" and it is normal. The key is of course that both people have the same expectations. In this case you didn't, you thought it was going to lead to something more real.
You can't make someone change. I know it's really hard, but it's one of those sad truths we all have to accept at some point. He wants to be your friend and nothing more. He's making that very clear with his every action. When he saw his "harmless" flirtation was getting out of hand he put on the brakes. You can't make him want something he simply does not want.
If he is using you as a venting ground, that's not fair. Your job in life is not to be a depository for other peoples' trash and anger. So I would start there. He wants all the benefits and none of the responsibilities of a relationship. If he calls just to vent, explain politely that you are on a "no complaint" month quest and could he please find someone else to vent to. If he calls to be friendly, then be friendly! By maintaining that pair of responses, you will help him learn not to treat you as a doormat.
In terms of the romantic side, I would have a good cry and accept that it wasn't meant to be. You can stay friends with him, and who knows, in a few years he may become lonely and decide he does want someone "physically" in his life. But he may be very happy with a solo life, and have no desire to change. If you are at a stage where you want a real person in your life, you need to start being open to other sources.
-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com
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