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Guy seems like model citizen but clearly has avoidant attachment issues towards women - how to approach/help him?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi all, met him through work, polite, confident, bit shy, great listener, genuinely wanting his clients to get value from his service (job is professional), several signs of suppressing neg. emotions. We kinda connected.

Asked him to catch up for 'strictly business' dinner, he misunderstood and took as date. He was very different, over-confident, well-rehearsed list of 'screening' questions about my dating preferences, humble-bragging, fishing for compliments, careful to not reveal too much. Clear signs of hidden low self-worth I think. He mentioned only toxic on/off 2 relationships of 1.5-2 yrs each, blamed women for being too controlling. At least one of those ended many years ago so seems strange he mentioned it. I also think they were engaged but never married. Possible traumatic heartbreak?

Travels nationally/overseas for work most days each week. Very unsettled, lifestyle seems like endless escape. Has almost no online presence (i.e. social media), we don't have shared contacts, I can't verify his statements. I decided to assume he's a typical 'player' with women in every town - I put my walls up. Since found out that some of the info I didn't believe is actually true.

Attractive, nearly 50, lives alone, never married, no kids. Huge family in US he seems close to, his siblings married for 20-30 yrs with mostly adult kids. Christian schooling, family living those values still. Older siblings and parents all high achieving in work/school, he perhaps struggled bit more, it's possible he felt/was made to feel like he wasn't measuring up to expectations. Siblings probably not still living at home when he was in high school. Yearbooks reveal he wasn't in in-crowd but very involved in extra-curricular activities: various team sports, 2 Christian community service clubs, new student peer counselor, marching band, chess & language clubs etc. Then BA and MA, good unis, financially well off, still plays sports competitively, surf lifesaver, donates to friends' fundraisers, job is broadly about helping people be/do better in life/work. Clearly cares about people around.

Nothing in this screams asshole/bad person - except how he relates to women is in complete contrast! No obvious trauma except maybe the failed engagement or missing out on girls who favored the 'bad boys', or too many girls?

Please give me explanations for this discrepancy? How do I get him to trust me and open up?

We are not dating. I'd be happy to be just friends until he sorts himself out.

19 Replies 19

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Grandy,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am sorry to hear about your husband and I truly hope you are in a better place now!

I understand what you're saying, and while I don't think this is the case with him, you never know until you know I guess... At least I took a self-defense class this year. I will keep your point in mind!

All the best!

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks again Juliet,

These are all very valid points! I am trying to remind myself of my values and needs and actually do lots of things that make me happy on my own, but even when I'm out and about enjoying myself, my thoughts are still with him (as you said, wondering why, and if I did xyz would it help him etc) and I find that hard to stop.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Doolhof,

Your post pretty much sums it all up! 😉

Then you agonize and just when you've made your decision to go, he calls and sounds more sincere than before...

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
blondguy said:

I have been overly cautious with my past relationships and doing so has only given me high expectations which only made things worse when the relationship didnt work out

Thank you Paul. We do click and have things in common, but only time would tell whether there is enough substance to that...

I will have to think a bit about what you said regarding too high expectations above.

Hi alfa*star

Its great to have you as part of the Beyond Blue family! Just for myself..I used to have unrealistically high expectations of a girlfriend which prompted me to respond to your thread

My brother has always set the 'bar' way too high as he always wanted 'Miss Right' and fair enough for him at the time when he was in his 20's...........(30 years ago)

My brother is now in his 50's and met a girl he was over the moon with.......until she informed him that he wasnt what she wanted as a partner....He didnt see that coming..and is still single......oops!

Thats all I meant when I mentioned 'high expectations'

Thanks for taking the time to reply too!.....Relationships can be difficult...I understand your situation

my kind thoughts


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi all,

this might be taking my own post in a slightly different direction...

Does anyone have any practical strategies to share that have helped you turn your mind from a certain topic (in my case obsessing over what 'might be wrong with him')? I'm really bad at mindfulness so no need to suggest that lol. Even if they just helped you to refocus for a while so you could get on with more important pastimes?

Thank you

Hey alfa*star

This is your thread and no worries about changing direction...ummm....It depends on how strongly we feel about a certain situation...If it is consuming our day to day life then seeing a counselor is an excellent way to 'retrain our brain'...so to speak

I dont think anyone would mention mindfulness to you alfa*star as it wouldnt be helpful to your question

Can I ask if you can confide in your GP?.....This can be an invaluable tool for a 'tune up' when our thoughts are overly focused in a certain area. Sure a psychologist can be a big help too...GP's have a greater understanding on these matters than even 10 years ago and dont have the waiting period and costs involved

just a thought through my own experience alfa*star 🙂


Just a note for your info alfa*star

If you ever wish to change your thread topic title Beyond Blue have super kind moderators that can do it for you



Community Member

Please be careful, trust your ' gut feeling' walk safely and listen to those that you love and trusr, I would be very wary going by his 'resume' of life. Trust you and your heart,that will give you the truth 🙂 please stay safe x

trust you and listen to ludovcio eunodi - that is my healing when i walk m dogs each day. Yes, pleased that you enjoy, it's about you and your family! be safe, sure and happyx (unfortunately I have no connection but if you meet him please let him know that he saved my life ) xx Four Dimensions xxxxx