Two guys in love, one isn't able to pursue it

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    Mar 22, 2008 3:46 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    I rarely post on subjects like this because I don't want to whine and boo hoo, but this has been effecting me greatly.

    I met a guy back in November and we have spent allot of time with each other since, almost every weekend and at least one day during the week working out together.

    At first everything was going smoothly, we were both romantic and the sex was amazing. After about two months when we both were starting to really fall in love, he withdrew. We still see each other allot and the sad things is, I know he is in love with me.

    After numerous conversations and some tears, what his basic reasons are for no longer pursuing this as a relationship are that he doesn't have it in him, he can't be a good boyfriend, he's not able to give me what I need, he has pattern of running away when things get too serious and in the end he just isn't able to be in a relationship.

    I think that's all bullshit and I've told him that he needs to let go of past baggage and realize that he's finally met the right guy. He and I fit so well it's astounding to me that he would let fears, regret and neurotic issues prevent him from taking the plunge.

    To me it's so simple, two guys meet, they click in so many important ways, love the time they share together, spend tons of time together, enjoy much of the same things in life and are in love with each other. Bada bing bada boom...you are boyfriends! But, he just can't let go of his bullshit to allow it to happen.

    I'm anguished over this because I know in my heart that we have it all and that we're great for each other. The fact that we've both professed each others love for one another doesn't make it any easier.

    I just don't know what to do about this. Do I keep at it? Do I give up? Ugh, I've never been faced with this kind of conflict before.

    So my questions for you guys are... Have you experienced this before? How does one deal with this?
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    Mar 22, 2008 5:45 PM GMT
    i have the same situation right now..

    i met a guy, and he is great..we went out alot, spent time with each other..and we both know that we have feelings for one another and that we love each other...but he says that he isn't ready for a relationship with two jobs and school and all that going on. I dont want a relationship because he smokes too much weed, and i cant handle that life style. i dont mind it, just have some control and dont always be high.

    I spend most of my day thinking about him, or relating a song to him, before i sleep he is on my mind, when i wake up. i check his profile online alot, and i miss him, i miss him very much.

    He told me he loves me, i told him i love him too, and its always an emotional roller coaster with us. we always text saying that we miss each other, we have been on one another's mind, and yet here we are...still single..
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    Mar 22, 2008 5:55 PM GMT
    hmmmm....where do i begin? Buddy, i am in a similar situation, myself, and have been for nearly a year. Met this great guy at a party and we clicked instantly. chemistry, mutual attraction, many shared interests...and the sex was (and is) awesome. only trouble, he was just out of a 12 year relationship with another man, and has a son of 14 years of age, recently living with him.

    i understood from the start, that he wasnt ready to jump back into a relationship,but after spending a lot of time together (he does live 72 miles from me, so makes it little harder, but so worth it), we found that we were in a relationship, despite his misgivings. we found that we each had deep feelings for the other. I expressed my love for him about four months into the relationship. He edged around the subject, voicing his fear of telling me of his own love. but I knew from nearly the beginning that he had such strong feelings for me..the same i had for him...by all the little things he did and said. it was in the way he touched me. how he looked deeply into my eyes. voiced his concern for my safety when on my own at my home..and so much more. And the fact that he told me that he had deeper feelings for me than he could even begin to tell me at that time...that i had a very large part of his heart and was important to him and his life...and those feelings are reciprocated, believe me...

    anyway, my point is this...give your friend some time. be supportive and understanding of his hesitance in starting a relationship. yes, my boyfriend and i are in a relationship, but he has not actually voiced his love for me (other than a couple of times, where it was a freudian slip on his part) at this point. He says that WHEN he tells me that he loves me, i will probably cry..and i told him that he was right. that i would know that the time was right for him to verbally express his true feelings for me, and he would not be telling me, just because he knew that i wanted to hear it so badly.

    be patient. let him know that you are willing to talk about anything with him and assure him that you do want to spend your time and share feelings with him, above all others. And above all else..enjoy the time you have with him, no matter what you are doing. Sex is awesome, we all know that, but assure him that it is more than the sex..it is in everything that you do together. just the small,everyday things, that will help him to establish the possibilty of a relationship in his own mind and heart...

    and believe me, you will feel confusion...i have many times in the past year, as he deals with his past demons and exchanges them slowly for closeness and trust with me. but far out-weighing the confusion, is the love and happiness i experience with him, or even when we are apart. he is always on my mind and in my heart, and i find more and more, it is the same with him. I have told him that it just feels so right, that it was meant to be...destiny stepped in when we were brought together. I know things will work out for us...and it is getting even closer, as we talk of moving in together at least part-time during the week at his place and mine, depending upon schedules...

    i hope that my rambling helps you a little, to show that things can work out, even when there seems to be so much stacked against you and the desire of your heart. i wish the very best for you and your friend...good luck-
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    Mar 22, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    WARNING! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

    Tell him you'll always be there for him, and let him go.

    The alternative is to operate under the illusion that you, through sheer force of will and logic and persuasion and love and cookies and great sex and everything your good heart is telling you, will:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    I'll repeat:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    Tell me the odds of this working with your head, not your heart, and you'll have your answer.

    K
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    Mar 22, 2008 6:01 PM GMT
    DevildogTo me it's so simple, two guys meet, they click in so many important ways, love the time they share together, spend tons of time together, enjoy much of the same things in life and are in love with each other. Bada bing bada boom...you are boyfriends! But, he just can't let go of his bullshit to allow it to happen.

    I'm anguished over this because I know in my heart that we have it all and that we're great for each other. The fact that we've both professed each others love for one another doesn't make it any easier.


    This has been the story of my life for the past year, so I completely feel you. On the surface it seems simple - if he says he can't be what you need, you should walk away. But it's not that easy. Especially if, like me, you so rarely meet guys you feel excited about and with whom you share a real connection. Right now, I am just kind of letting it be and holding it loosely - I am not forcing myself to let it go but I am also going out and staying open to other possibilities. I'm taking a "let the chips fall where they may" attitude. Because, at the end of the day, trying to force something that isn't happening doesn't work - and, at the same time, trying to force yourself to let go of something you are not over doesn't really work either. If someone else comes along that sparks my interest in the same way, great. And if this guy finally gets his act together, great. Either way, I'm there. In the meantime, I'm just learning as much as possible from the whole experience so it is not a complete wash.
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    Mar 22, 2008 6:56 PM GMT
    Well Devil. Your post only shows that you have a heart and that is a good thing .. some emotional restraint is good but eventually the heart has to have some room to vent.

    These things are always hard because from the readers perspective we don't really know you or your guy. So I can share one of my stories.

    My third boyfriend and I were a mix of opposites. He was the hot head go-getter and I was the laid back calm one. As opposites we got along and complemented each other very well. For 4 or five months we did everything together as long as his work schedule permitted.

    However it became apparent that he had sexual repression issues among other things. He was married 15 years and I was his first boyfriend. When he told me I was his first I rolled my eyes icon_rolleyes.gif and he laughed and asked why. I told him being someone's first is the kiss of death. Month's later over Christmas he went to see his Grandmother in Oregon. I didn't hear from him in about 2 weeks.

    So I started called a lot worrying that something happened to him. He finally picked up the phone and explained that he had the intention of telling his grandmother he had a boyfriend (he was not out) but realized he could not. Further he said he was not ready to be in a boyfriend relationship (he was still going through his "bi" stage) and so we broke up.

    I just stopped hanging out with him for a few weeks till I was over it. Ironically the following fall we traveled together to New Orleans for Southern Decadence (right before 9/11 2001) where I met my next boyfriend.

    The moral of the story is that sometimes people are just a part of the pathway in our life but not the final destination. Certainly, you can maybe tell, if someone has problems and you can stick around to help them sort through the issues. But sometimes walking away is an equally justified thing to do. The process of deciding what to do with a relationship is as important as the relationship itself. They say wisdom is a good companion to valor.

    As the patron Saint of the torn and broken-hearted you have my blessing to do whatever makes you truly happy.
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    Mar 22, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    So Brokeback Mountain.....Good luck, man.
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    Mar 22, 2008 8:24 PM GMT
    He said it-- he can't be in a relationship. Regardless of what the underlying issues are, if he really believes that then it's true.
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    Mar 22, 2008 8:33 PM GMT
    First I'd like to thank all who've shared their experiences. There are aspects in them all that I relate too greatly.

    innerathlete,

    I have to say, you hit the nail right on the head! You're going through exactly what I am. What you say about letting the chips fall where they may has been something I'm trying to do. And like you said, just letting him go is hard, especially when meeting a guy you connect with is so hard.

    We're both at our cores, deep thinkers, masculine, creative, cultured, caring and adventurous guys. He's also a great looking and sexy guy who isn't wrapped up in materialistic shit and vanity. We're both just guys and not into gay scene crap. When we are out we're rowdy, fun and engaging and when we're alone it's so easy to be around each other it's like we've known each other for years. All of which, are aspects so hard to find with a guy like myself.

    All of that makes it so hard to dismiss him. Normally I would have but I can't in this situation. My heart and mind tells me that this guy is special. My fear and from what he's told me, is that he doesn't feel that himself. He seems to feel incomplete and lacking the essential aspects that a person needs to love and be in a relationship.

    When he withdrew, the sex and kissing stopped but we still hug, cuddle and touch each other allot. All the real tests of intimacy are there and alive. I know he's still very attracted to me and probably still has sexual desires for me but is resting it because he's afraid it will allow this to progress. It's such convoluted thinking.

    In my view, relationships are organic and no matter what his issues are, we can work around them. He fears commitment most of all. What I wish he could see is that our commitment isn't based on monogamy or heteronormal standards, but to each other. In that sense, we're already as committed as we could ever be.

    But, like you said, I need to keep my options open. I'm trying to do that and keeping myself open to dating others. I even tried hooking up recently but I couldn't go through with it. I don't desire anybody else.

    In the end, this is someone who will be in my life for a very long time. We've both said we're here to stay and I believe that wholeheartedly. I've never become enemies with those I've dated and I'm confident that we could be friends if it didn't work. But to be friends now seems like a waist. I'd rather try a relationship and fail than to shoot it in the foot before we even get the chance to see what happens.
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    Mar 22, 2008 8:51 PM GMT
    If he says that he's not ready for a relationship, then it might mean that he's not ready to face the ugly side of a relationship. He'd rather stay in the safe zone, fall in love, have a great time, and not deal with an occasional fight or fit of jealousy.

    Or, he doesn't want to be tied down. While he says he loves you, it may not mean he's ready to commit to loving you. He may want the privileges but not the contract.

    It is baggage, which may stem from an unpleasant experience or from hearing all the horror stories. Whether you stick around or ease away, there is still the risk of losing him.

    What to do really depends on how much pain you can take.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Mar 22, 2008 9:07 PM GMT
    Hard as the truth may be to accept, I think he told you what you needed to know, even though it wasn't what you wanted to hear. In your mind (and heart) you may have romanticized this to be something more than he is willing or able to feel. If he felt the same way, the result would probably be different than it is. These things just can't be forced.
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    Mar 22, 2008 9:38 PM GMT
    I am just blown away at the variety and quality of great advice from some of my 'brothers' on RJ. Even with a psychology degree - I don't have anything better to add to this thread. I've never seen a place - whether on-line or in circles of friends where there is this much care, knowledge and sharing.

    Devildog, you're a truly great guy - with a whole lot to offer some lucky, deserving hunk. If it turns out that it is not this current guy - don't despair - because I'm thinking you are up for someone as amazing as you are, man.
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    Mar 22, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    iguanaSF saidWARNING! DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

    Tell him you'll always be there for him, and let him go.

    The alternative is to operate under the illusion that you, through sheer force of will and logic and persuasion and love and cookies and great sex and everything your good heart is telling you, will:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    I'll repeat:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    Tell me the odds of this working with your head, not your heart, and you'll have your answer.

    K


    Wow man, this is really REALLY wise
    I hope I can remember your advise when I need it icon_razz.gif
    But it makes so much sense when you look at the issue rationally....
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    Mar 22, 2008 10:28 PM GMT
    If he's in a position to look into counseling, that would be a great start. It's nothing to fear...it's really just an avenue to help you be conscious of your feelings and thought processes. It helped me in couples counseling. Even though I was doubtful at first, I've kept a few positive things with me for years now.
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    Mar 22, 2008 10:41 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidI am just blown away at the variety and quality of great advice from some of my 'brothers' on RJ. Even with a psychology degree - I don't have anything better to add to this thread. I've never seen a place - whether on-line or in circles of friends where there is this much care, knowledge and sharing.

    +1icon_wink.gif Thanks, G
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    Mar 22, 2008 10:56 PM GMT
    Hey man,

    I feel for you. I am going through the same thing just like Moudi. It seems like this is a very common thing among gay men who love each other or something. With my experience, we both love each other but my boyfriend just told me that he is not ready for a relationship because of school, depression, family conflict, etc and all that. But I think that is all bullshit. If you love and like someone, you would still want to be with him and support each other. Plus mine has a history of being a player. Even planning on spending time together is already a hard thing to do. In other words, I just got tired and exhausted from all the excuses even though I understand that he has so many things going on with his life. I wanted to be there for him and support and love but I can not force myself, that doesn't work. Last night, I finally asked him if he wants me to be part of his life, but then again, he was still confused....and I finally let him go because I am already exhausted and frustrated. Now, I focus my energy on taking good care of myself, yoga, gym, martial arts, anything that makes me better as a person...I know someone out there is the right guy for me and you! Time will tell.
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    Mar 22, 2008 11:00 PM GMT
    He's just not into you.
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    Mar 22, 2008 11:03 PM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Tell him you'll always be there for him, and let him go.

    The alternative is to operate under the illusion that you, through sheer force of will and logic and persuasion and love and cookies and great sex and everything your good heart is telling you, will:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    I'll repeat:

    Change him even though he's not ready to change.

    Tell me the odds of this working with your head, not your heart, and you'll have your answer.

    K


    I have just gotten out of a simular situation from what this post is about and it was exactly what iguanaSF said above that got me through it. We could not meet eye to eye and doing what is mentioned above was the only painful solution.
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    Mar 23, 2008 11:25 PM GMT
    I hate to say this because it's not what you want to hear. I'm speaking from the other perspective, the guy who's drawing away.

    The human psyche is hard to understand sometimes. Understanding ourselves is hard sometimes.

    On a couple of occasions I've gotten into a quick relationship where everything seemed to click and all the fireworks were there. Only to realize two or three months into it that there were things I found didn't click as well as I thought.

    I still had affection for the guy and liked him as a person, but the sex was the first thing to go. I withdrew sexually, just like this guy is doing. Even though hugs, cuddling, kisses, etc. were still happening.

    I don't like that I've been this person and now you're dealing with someone who's doing that to you. But speaking for myself, that was the way I dealt with waning interest and not being able to be direct about it. That's obviously not the best or most mature way to handle it, but that's what happens sometimes. I have a hard time being direct if I know I'm going to be hurting someone's feelings.

    I think you need to realize, as much as things clicked at first, this guy's interest has waned and he's not able to tell you directly. The best thing you can do is start that conversation and get some clarity for your own peace of mind. So then you can move on.
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    Mar 25, 2008 12:23 PM GMT
    Okay, not really experienced here, but I find iguanaSF's advice makes the most sense.

    You can't change someone who just isn't ready for it.

    If you try to keep him even though he isn't happy with it, it'll only make you both unhappier in the long run. Not to get into flowery metaphors here, but think of him as a caged animal. As his 'owner', sure he loves you, but in the end someone who still has the thirst for freedom will never be happy in the cage. He'll try to be happy, but it just won't be enough until his thirst has been quenched. Someday, he'll turn on you for keeping him caged.

    Let him go. If he really loves you, he'll come back, and all the more wiser for the experience.

    P.S. I do feel for you, man. Damn... I hope it works out. Wishing you all the happiness in this world.
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    Mar 25, 2008 12:57 PM GMT
    I personally would back off a bit to see if he misses you in terms of the intimacy. If he does and wants to make a go of it then it sounds like he has some past issues to deal with. The question is do you want to be the one to go through them with him? If you do that is great, just be prepared for some emotionally turbulent times.

    To be honest I sort of relate to your bf, not the commitment part (that was never an issue for me), but the lack of confidence in being in a relationship. I had a challenging home life growing up which resulted in me being closed off emotionally from other people. Couple that with a loner personality, made me realize I had some characteristics that would make it difficult to be in an intimate relationship. If not for a very patient partner who loved me I would probably be single today.
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    Mar 25, 2008 1:07 PM GMT
    Relationships are hard work. But if the work starts to feel like overtime hours...that's when you know it's time for a new job.
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    Mar 25, 2008 1:24 PM GMT
    This thread makes me sad. Only because I know my friends (and I) have been through the same thing. If he's not ready, he's not ready. He is, at this point, unable to give you what you want out of a relationship. He doesn't look like he's going to change, and no amount of coddling (by allowing yourself to continue giving him affection) is going to change that. He's a "beautiful disaster."

    So one of my favorite phrases is "know thyself." If it doesn't work for you, then it doesn't work for you. and if he can't change, then that's it. The decision may be hard, it always is. But it's the right decision for you. You're getting hurt by his actions and issues.
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    Mar 25, 2008 1:29 PM GMT
    Hiya Devil.

    Sounds like you are in a bit of a pickle. That is unfortunate, especially since it concerns that of another.

    I hate to be the one to tell you this but relationships are not as easy as you described as to say it's not as simple when two guys meet and "click" and become an instant couple. Your potential BF apparently has some reservations about committing himself to a worthy person (you). I'm gonna assume you know why he feels so guarded and reluctant to want to be your BF so I won't ask out of respect of the situation. Your potential BF cannot let go of past hurt and as such you need to understand that. I don't know what happened in his life nor do I know what's happened in yours but it seems that if you truly love this guy you will be able to wait until he feels ready to make that leap or you'll have to move. Those are your options and as simple as they sound I assure you they are just as hard to deal with.

    Until he is 100% sure that the possiblity of never being hurt again is garaunteed then he will have these feelings. When people get hurt (and I mean hurt deeply) it's the sort of thing that leaves a scar and it never heals properly or completely. In your eyes, it might seem simple and probably real easy to fix but different people handle different situations differently and to him it might seem like he was on the brink of death. No matter how much you give it it won't be enough until he's ready to let go. it's admirable but wasted unless you get something out of it.

    All I'm saying is if you feel he is worth it then you will be there to help him overcome it. Sometimes loving someone requires you to let them go and if that is what is needed then you might want to consider it. If you love him that much to give him his space to figure things out then hopefully you'll love him enough to take him back when he's ready to make that leap.

    I hope and wish you the best.
    (in case you are wondering, no, I've never been in a situation like this. I've never been in relationship).

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    Mar 25, 2008 3:06 PM GMT
    Nice work Javaman. Great advice as always.