I’ve been dating this guy casually – no commitment. We’ve both established we aren’t looking/ready to jump into anything serious. It’s pretty fun! He’s smart, talented, nice, and a huge gentlemen.
The downer is he’s constantly reminding me that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. Every time we see each other he’ll bring up stories about a girl he dated that got too clingy. He’ll say stuff like, “I don’t text a lot. I should probably text more you more.”
I’ll respond with, “No it’s fine the way it is.” because I’m fine with it. Really.
I can barely give him a compliment, say nice things, do anything affectionate/nice for him without him *thinking* I want to “be in a relationship” and have a commitment with him. One time I said something like, “we’re dating…” something to the effect. He said,”but we’re not really dating.”
Here’s the thing, I’m on the same page as him. I’m okay if we see each other 3-4 times a month. I’m okay if we text/call 1-2 times per week. Gives us more to talk about and spend time on our own lives.
I’m writing you because I feel like I need to talk to him about his relationship paranoia. Maybe he thinks all women want a relationship? Maybe he thinks I’ll get obsessed with him (which would be really narcissistic).
Any suggestions on how I should handle this, because it’s really starting to get on my nerves.
Don’t Want You Long-Term
Dear Don’t Want:
Somewhere in ancient history when dinosaurs roamed the earth, some misguided cave man wrote a hieroglyphic guidebook to other clueless lads, and told them “all women want to tie us down. Make us make babies and provide cave. Women all want long-term relationships. Make sure they understand that you are there just for the good times. Remind them repeatedly lest they get confused, and start trying to pin you down by asking ‘what are we doing?’ or some such lameness. Men beware. Ugh.”
So throughout history, century after century, other guys, being totally inexperienced about the female mind and lacking knowledge of how confident women operate, came to believe that such ancient utterings were in fact The Gospel of Women, and written in stone by Moses himself after he jotted down The Ten Commandments.
So these poor male souls, being the single minded one trick ponies that they are, follow that script because they know no better.
Dudes like him get on my nerves too. I mean, I could see him coming out with the constant reminders if you were one of those chicks confused about the boundaries of a friends with benefits relationship – always trying to pin him down, smother him, getting on his case for not calling you or not seeing you “often enough”, or if he heard you complaining about feeling used or wanting more.
But since you have neither exhibited such interest nor voiced such desires, what he is doing is projecting his fears onto you, and responding to you as if his fears of commitment were reality.
So my suggestion is that the next time he says that silly mess, give him the Stop Sign hand. Then look him dead in the eye, and say with stern confidence: “You keep saying that and it’s really getting on my nerves. I heard you the first time. I agreed with you. I’m not trying to be with you like that and don’t care what you do or who you do it with. Dude, you really need to get over yourself! I like spending time with you, but so what? I like spending time with my dog, too. And I’m certainly not trying to get with him. So now I have to ask … are you trying to remind ME about no commitment and relationship, or you trying to convince YOURSELF?”
Because that would be where I would go with his incessant reminders. Lacking the intelligence of a worm or good hearing, there would be no reason for someone to repeat the same phrase to you over and over again as if you were stupid.