Is he gaslighting me or does he really want me to be his girlfriend?
I’ve been dating this guy for about 8/9 months. We’re 9 years apart and I don’t notice the age difference. We get along like a house on fire, always laughing together. He tells me regularly ‘I laugh so much with you’, I know his friends, his family know about me but we haven’t been able to meet due to Covid. He invites me to all the 'big' things in his life. A few months into dating, he asked to make sure that we’re not seeing other people. He isn’t into casual sex and I think exclusivity is important to him. A few months ago I was anxious about what we were - he hadn’t asked me to be his girlfriend and I thought this is something that he would’ve wanted to do. He’s traditional, wanting something serious such as marriage/family. We had a few talks about the direction of our relationship, he said there were a few things he was a bit concerned about, a few things we maybe didn’t have in common (he’s very risk-averse and overthinks everything). His concerns were things like ‘I like anime and you don’t’ ‘I like fiction books and you don’t’
After that conversation he said he would decide at the end of his exams, his exams have finished now. He went away recently with some of his University friends, he was unsure of whether to go (seemed like he wanted to be with me, haha) and wanted to see me before he left. I’ve felt good about everything between us post exams as I had a feeling he was going to slowly contact me less and less and try and see me less - due to his uncertainty.
So the other night on the phone, I told him that I wasn’t quite sure whether continuing to have sex with him was a wise idea as we aren’t boyfriend/girlfriend. He was confused that I said it was casual. I said ‘well, we aren’t in a relationship’ and he said ‘you are my girlfriend’ I’m certain he went onto say ’I thought we’ve known this since we started dating’ so I then asked him ‘well if I was to meet a new friend of yours that I haven’t met, would you introduce me as your girlfriend? And he said yes.
I just wonder why he had this hesitancy a few times when we had the discussion a few months back though? There was even a point where I suggested we should end things because he wasn't so sure and he agreed. There were just some uncertainties on his part. He said he could've been overthinking it. As a result, it sort of made me more anxious and I suggested we should end it.
You both need to communicate better. You want him and he wants you, that's very obvious from what you have written. It's not hard to see. You both want each other. That's you answer, politely speaking. I'd also like to extend on how important communication is - simply talking to each other and learning from each other. This helps to nurture your relationship and helps not only to develop your commitment, it also brings you both closer and bond on a deeper level.
Speaking with empowerment. Good luck.
wow truly difficult with the hot and cold experience
i'm not quite sure what to make of it either - although he could have just asked you to be his girlfriend if that was important to you - maybe he didn't have enough courage or clarity but in return he made you feel insecure - that is the effect such behaviour would have on anyone.
Do you still like him or want to move on? I'm sure it's been frustrating and it's totally up to you if you want to try again - or to let it go and make a boundary.
Happy to hear from you on the forums - and what a pickle you are in!
At the moment, you are mostly 'friends with benefits', with a little caveat on exclusivity. When you questioned the status of your relationship, the differences he described were more analogous to you having little in common with each other ('fiction' and 'non fiction'? Really!).
So, essentially you are nice to have around, good for a laugh, and generous in your contributions. But how do you feel about exclusivity, commitment, and marriage? - you have only referred to your boyfriend's ideals. Do you see him as a long term prospect or a convenience yourself? Perhaps the answer rests in your comment: "I’ve felt good about everything between us post exams as I had a feeling
he was going to slowly contact me less and less and try and see me less
- due to his uncertainty"
I think you were very wise in holding back privileges to draw a response and determine if his interests in you extend beyond recreational sex - this, alone, will not build a strong foundation for the future. Halfhearted commitment is something to avoid for both parties and I feel you should be honest with yourself also to ensure decisions are made with the proper intention.
Nevertheless, I hope things work out for you both for whichever path you follow.