Did She Scare Him Off Or Was He Always Going To Leave?




I started dating this guy I met on Hinge in the beginning of October. He worked in another city a few hours away, but he often came home for weeks on end close to where I live. We had three great dates, and then his father suddenly died. I assumed he would withdraw, but he continued to talk to me every day and open up about his feelings/ask for advice even when he returned to his city. We both expressed that we only date one person at a time. Our conversations got deeper as time progressed. Right before Christmas, I spoke to him on the phone while I was a bit drunk. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I believe I was making hints that Id want us to be more serious (We had a sarcastic, sassy banter and I remember expressing it in that sort of way).

I apologized the next morning for whatever I said, but he did not respond. I had a weird feeling, so I later re-downloaded Hinge to find that his location updated to the new city he traveled to for work. I impulsively sent him an emotional text calling him out, which I later profusely apologized for. He responded a few days later saying that he was very anxious with his new assignment and tends to withdraw when he gets anxious, and that my impulsive message made him withdraw more.

We haven’t spoken in three weeks now, but I miss him and feel like I messed up a good thing. On the other hand, I am angry that he redownloaded Hinge instead of telling me the problems he had with whatever I said.

Did I mess up? Should I reach out again?

You didn't mess up.

Whenever situations such as these come undone, we always think there was something - some specific action - that tipped the scales out of favor.

That's not how these things work.

This guy was always going to do what he did. Your so-called impulse messages might have made him take a step back, but they are not what compelled him to change his location on Hinge. More than likely, he did that long before you hinted at things being more serious. The fact he hadn't taken his profile down at all tells you this guy probably wasn't planning on ever making things serious. In fact, it's highly probably he's been dating other people all along.

Three months is a significant amount of time to know if you'd like to pursue something more serious with someone. Three in person dates, however, isn't. I'm not sure how often you two actually saw each other in-person. That's not what matter here, though. What matters is you;re blaming yourself because you think an innocent text conversation somehow upset fate's design and ruined your chances with this man.

It didn't. Even if he wasn't as invested as you were, had he shared the same sense of optimism and excitement for the relationship, a drunken text - even one that might have been a little too assertive - wouldn't have been the thing to make him reconsider dating you. When you're interested - truly interested - you give the other person some wiggle room for having a bad day, feeling frustrated, etc.

This guy has been coasting for months, praying you never brought up taking things to a more serious level. He was enjoying the companionship and support. You were an option. You just weren't the option.

That text conversation was the thing that gave him an excuse to not just pump the breaks, but blame you for it so he could slow things down while at the same time not taking any responsibility for how much space he'd intentionally and consciously taken up in your life.

This is not your fault. You didn't mess up. This was how this situation was always going to play out.

No, I wouldn't reach out again. You'll just get sucked back in and end up exactly where you are down the road.

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