He Says He Doesn't Want To Lose Her But Wants to Break Up - Mixed Signals Relationship Advice

Dear Veronica,

Veronica, your advice is brilliant. I've been reading this page for the last few days and feel so enlightened. Maybe you can enlighten me some more on my current situation?

I've been seeing this guy (he is 25 and I am 21, we go to the same college, and he lives 15 minutes away from me). We met at a friend's party at the end of May. I had my eye on him that entire night, and so did he. The next day a mutual friend messaged me and said he asked who the hell I was and if I was single. I was thrilled. A week after the party, he sent me a message through facebook saying we should hang out soon. Long story short, we were having a lot of fun on our dates. Besides the fact that he's VERY outgoing and I'm a shy person, we realized that we have SO much in common - being raised in a Russian household, deaths, interests, how we feel towards one another, etc. June - July was going really well, we were hanging out 4 days a week and going with the flow. We slowly transitioned into a relationship without forcing anything. He told me he never felt this way about a girl before and that he never wanted to be in a relationship until now. In the middle of July I left to Europe for an entire month (I told him from the start I had to go to study there) That wasn't a problem at all. He told me he will wait because his feelings are strong. And we both did. We spoke on skype almost every other day and couldn't wait to see each other. He told me he wants to meet my parents and vice versa once I get back. I returned around the beginning of August, and everything felt like a dream come true. We were genuinely glad to be back in eachother's arms. Then all of a sudden, college started and reality started to kick in. He works 4 days a week and has 6 classes, while I don't work and have 5 classes. We weren't seeing each other as often, and when we did, he'd invite me to hang with his friends. I was getting a bit upset because I want to spend time with him alone and was starting to drift. I told him that I'm confused because we barely see each other often and that crushed him. He said he did not want to lose me, but he only has so much time to fit in his family, friends, schoolwork, and a girlfriend. Just to point out, he did put in effort. And I'm not a needy girlfriend at all, I do have a life of my own. He would text/call me everyday and would try to plan things for us. He was stressed about my feelings and I was kind of sentimental about seeing him once or twice a week only. A week passed after that conversation until it was brought up again. I was still bummed and tense about not seeing him so he drove to my house to talk. We agreed that we don't know what to do because he will only become busier as the semester progresses and he doesn't want up to get even more hurt. The entire time he was tearing and holding me in his arms. We concluded that we don't want to break up, but we don't want our feelings towards each other turn sour either. It seemed like a weird break up. 2 days after that, it started to eat me up. I was still confused (still kind of am), so I texted him this:

Me: Hey. not sure if you got my call yesterday or not.. Just wanted to say something (when you get a chance)

Him: Hey, I didn't your call last night. What's up

Me: I've been thinking a lot the past 3 days and I really don't want it to end especially like that - not sure what you currently feel, that's just my input

Him: I'm thinking about you a lot, I don't know if I'm ready to go back how it was. I felt like I started to get off track and we just weren't seeing eye to eye. Its not that I stopped liking you, but it started turning into something I didn't want

Me: I don't want it to be like that either. I feel like we just got really angry, without actually working it out, and dropped it on impulse

Me: I still like you a lot and it's a strange feeling knowing that and just cutting it off

Him: I don't think it was that impulse. I was kinda hurt, it happened more than 1x.

Me: We didn't find a way to work it out collectively. I'm still hurt as fuck

Him: I am too. But maybe we just need to chill back for a bit, I know I do. We just weren't seeing eye to eye. I'm not all happy over here either, been bummed as fuck.

Me: I'm so upset because I never wanted it to end. Still don't. But if that's how you feel, then that's cool

Me: It's like if we claim to like each other so much, then we can't we just look past it

Him: I was hurt. I really was

Him: I need to chill for a second

Me: I understand. I don't know where to go from this

Me: And I apologize that my actions hurt you

Him: I don't want to make another move based on impulse. I don't know where to go.

Me: :(

Him: I feel the same way. I don't want to loose you.

Me: I don't either.

Him: I don't want you to think I just said fuck this. This took a lot out of me.

Me: It just hurts because we can't work it out. I want to see you now, and I can't. Blows

Me: was what we had really so tedious?

Him: No, but I didn't want it to be.

Me: It wasn't even torture being with you

Him: It wasn't torture for me. I had to go with how I felt. It doesn't have to be worst scenario

Him: I can't be around enough to be a good bf or a full time bf w/e. This isn't easy for me either

That's pretty much it. Do you feel that it is best to forget us? I'm not sure what he means by us needing to "chill out". I'm so confused right now. Ah. Any thoughts would be appreciated :)

- Kara

Dear Kara,

Thanks for commenting on my Hub He's Too Busy For Her, Should They Keep Dating.

Your situation is different from the ones I broke down on that Hub and it's different from most of the ones I've discussed in many other Hubs. I get many emails and comments from the ladies asking for some insight because they are so confused over their guy's actions. They write what they're going through and claim they have no idea what to think because his signals are so mixed and they can't figure him out.

Usually I read what they have to say and I don't see any conflcting signals. Usually the boyfriend is saying something fairly clearly and the girl just doesn't want to hear it. So she rationalizes what he says, angles it, polishes it, buries it under projections and hopes, and says gee how confusing. But it's not confusing.

Your case, however, is the exception, which is why you got your very own hub. He really is saying mixed messages. I can still interprett them for you, I know what he's really saying. But I do understand why you're confused.

I'll cut to the chase. Yes, it is best to forget him. These are the important things: He said "I know I do" regarding the chilling - or cooling off - thing. He lives 15 minutes from you and goes to school with you and isn't finding time for you. He said it became something he didn't want. He said he "can't" be a "good" bf or a "full time" bf, or however you want to translate it. He's saying he can't. Won't. Doesn't want to. Won't make time to, won't try, isn't doing this.

I do get the feeling from your note that you were a lot more demanding and smothering than your note lets on, by his saying it happened more than once and it became something he doesn't want.

Had he just stuck to that and been honest about it, you'd have a clear answer that you could take to the bank and not be left with the ability to be confused. Yes, that's right, it's an ability he gave you with all that shit about how he's hurting and he doesn't want to lose you. Stating he doesn't want to lose you is very mixed. He's throwing that in there so you can have just enough doubt in what he's actually saying, to open the way to blame yourself.

This part isn't uncommon at all. Instead of manning up and telling you he doesn't want to have a girlfriend while he's going to school and working and hanging out with his friends, he wants you to think maybe it's your fault.

Why do boys do this. Well, partly because they don't want to stomach the blame. They don't want to be at fault. Just like a kid arguing with his mother why he shouldn't be in trouble for being late because she never bought him a cell phone which would have a clock, or because the kid he was hanging out with lied about a ride or the time, or some other shit. They blame and point fingers and tell tales all to avoid being in trouble.

They learn how to do this by age 4. They have it mastered by 14, and then they carry it throughout their lives. They use it with their coaches, their teachers, and bosses, and partners and wives. They want you to take the blame for their screw-ups, and even when they didn't screw up, when they just want something different or have a change of heart, they want you to take the blame for getting hurt, they don't want to take any responsibility. Please note that I have not said that MEN do this. I said boys. Age doesn't matter. I know 55 year old boys that have never outgrown this.

If you want to get some real kick in the head examples of what I'm saying, check out my hubs Affairs with Married Men, and Unhappily Married Men - Kids Change Everything. There are comments from guys on both of those hubs that actually blame their wives for their own infidelity. It's kind of mind blowing.

Just as in those Hubs, your situation has a circumstance that has occurred; a reason that your boyfriend seems to gravitate towards for his change of heart.Just like the guys on those Hubs, and yes technically physically they are men not boys, but you know what I mean. Emotionally they aren't really mature men, they are 14 year old boys pointing fingers and blaming everyone else. In their situations, maybe the wife changed. Maybe she shifted her priorities, stopped taking care of herself, expected to much, whatever. I stress in both hubs there may be very valid real reasons for the guy to be unhappy. He may have real reasons not to want to be in that marriage anymore. That's fine. What isn't fine, is handling it like a coward. What isn't fine, is lying, cheating, sneaking around, instead of just manning up and telling the wife he isn't happy and he wants a divorce.

Your boyfriend is the same. He should have just manned up and told you he doesn't want to be in this relationship anymore. He should have just come clean and let you know he just does not prioritize being in a relationship right now. At his young age, that's perfectly normal. He should be focused on school, and hanging out with his friends. It's great that he puts time into his job. There's nothing at all wrong with his wanting to be 25 while he's 25, and not be seeing one steady regular girl 2, 3,  or 4 times a week. He could have explained that something way more causal is all he's up for. And he could have pointed out that he sees by how you've behaved that what he wants is not going to go over with you. You want more than that. You are more demanding of his time than he's willing to deal with.

You would have argued, you would have refused to hear what he was actually saying, you would have rarionalized. But eventually, you would have understood, and you would have been able to have clarity on this.

Or would you.

I do get a good handful of emails from the girls that do wind up with a good man, that tells it like it is and gives it to them honestly. And I will admit that most of those girls don't "hear" it. And again, notice I'm saying girls, not women.

I don't mean to play the semantics game, and I'm sure you'll find many places where I call a woman of 45 a woman even though she's behaving like a teenage girl. I' just trying to stress to you that sometimes this is really a matter of experience and maturity. You obviously sound quite together for 21, but at 21 I'm guessing your experience with this sort of mixed signal excuse thing has been limited.

But so much of why guys never learn to man up and own their shit, is because the gals don't believe them when they do.

Many girls go into relationships with an agenda. They are focused on what they want. They really don't want to hear what their boyfriend wants. If the guys tells them, they dismiss it. I think the root of that problem is that the girls don't see things as to different opinions. They see what they want as right, and it's all just a matter of getting the guy to do the "right" thing, like make a commitment, or step up the commitment.

Since that isn't the healthy attitude it takes to build a partnership, the guy is sort of left with the few defense mechanisms he has in order to be heard at all. And his best defense is deflecting blame and causing confusion. He thinks he can't level with you, so he does something else to extract himself from a situation.

Kara, getting back to your very specific situation, he'd like to hang out, but in a very infrequent and casual way. Don't pretend you can do that. You can't. You kind of proved that to him already. You're not in a casual headspace. It would be great if you were. At 21, that would be healthy. But you aren't looking for a date every other week with this guy. You're looking for several times a week and being his priority. Not gonna happen with this guy. Not now anyway. The best thing yu can do is let it go. You said you had a life - which I celebrate and I am so happy to hear that - so it shouldn't be too hard for you to move on here.You sound sincere, and adorable. And I'm sure you'll be just fine. Thanks for your comment.

Do you have a relationship dilemma? Ask me about it. The best way is to email me through my profile. Thanks!

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16 comments

Kara 6 years ago

Wow, I've never received such a personal and insightful advice from someone on the internet - I'm sure you get that all the time, heh. But who knew there's a resourceful person on the internet ..out here.. somewhere

Just to clarify -

When we were starting, he told me he sees so much potential with us and is planning to stay for a while. So he never wanted it to be a casual thing from the beginning. What's most confusing to me is that there really was no form of closure (maybe there was, and I'm just overlooking it) and what I can't comprehend is what exactly is he hurting over - not being able to sleep/stressing so much over our serious talks? It's all contradicting when he says he doesn't want to loose me.

I've said what I had to him, and it's really all in his hands now. If his feelings are there (as he claims), then it will be evident by his actions.

Ah, I feel so much better. Thank you once more, Veronica! :) You're a gem.

Thanks again!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Kara,

BINGO.

You just hit it right on the head. It's like you have crossed over the bump in the road. What is he so hurt by? Exactly! Nothing. That's just a deflection attempt. He's not actually so hurt by anything. He's just saying the things he's saying because he doesn't want to just say he has changed his thinking, or has come to realize he doesn't want to give a relationship priority, or admit that he got swept up in the beginning and now it's back to reality and he doesn't want to be a "full time" boyfriend.

I'm sure you're right, I'm sure he didn't want something causal in the beginning. But that's changed. And that's common for a 25 year old: they change. And he's telling you he can't and won't be a full time boyfriend. He's trying to confuse you, that's why you're confused.

Believe me, if he wanted to be with you he'd be with you. There's no secret code to crack. There's nothing you can do to make someone want to be with you that doesn't want to be with you.

Instead of debating and wrestling with the things that are confusing, listen to the places where he's actually telling you clearly what he's thinking:

"He said "I know I do" regarding the chilling - or cooling off - thing. He lives 15 minutes from you and goes to school with you and isn't finding time for you. He said it became something he didn't want. He said he "can't" be a "good" bf or a "full time" bf."

I appreciate what you said about my advice very much. I hope you'll keep us posted. Good luck.


kims3003 6 years ago

What an excellent post. Love your style of writing! You are most gifted! A++!!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

Thanks so much kims3003!


Kara 6 years ago

Hey Veronica!

I ran into him on campus on Wednesday. I was sitting on a bench and he approached me. He sat right next to me and the first words out of his mouth were, "I've been wanting to contact you, but I just don't know what to say ..I didn't want you to think I'm a jerk and play with your mind" I told him the feeling is mutual and suddenly a boulder was lifted off my shoulders. He also said, "Someone told me that we aren't going about this the right way". We were vibing off of eachother very well. He told me he misses me very much and wants to get me a gift for my birthday (which is in a few days) His birthday is a few days before mine, and I asked him what he is doing. He said he is going to drink with his guys at a bar - to which he invited me when we were still "together", but he didn't ask me if I want to come this time. We grabbed lunch during our school break, talked about what we did the days we weren't speaking, read together. I had a peaceful time. Neither one of us brought up where we should go from here. He left by hugging me very tightly and saying he'll be seeing me soon. As he was walking out the door, he looked back and so did I..

I didn't hear anything from him that day ..and the day after. So I texted him casually on Thursday and we discussed what we were doing. A very short, yet sweet conversation. Yesterday was his birthday celebration with his guys after work and I haven't heart anything yet.

Hmm?


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

He didn't initiate contact, you bumped into him. He said things again to deflect from his being the bad guy and to thwart off any confrontation, and to confuse you, just exactly like he did before. Then afterward, he did not contact you. Again, he did not want to contact you so he did not contact you. But you texted him. Yesterday was his birthday and he did not want to spend it with you, so he didn't.


Kara 6 years ago

I was thinking the same thing, just needed reassurance. He knew where I stood on this issue and still couldn't contact me. Hey, nobody was trying to make this situation a pile of confusion. His words are speaking louder than his actions are ..and I'm starting to drift off

Oh, the opposite sex. I need to "chill/cool off" myself.

Thanks, Veronica :) !!!!!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 6 years ago from NY Author

You are awesome, Kara. xo


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 5 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

I love the way your put it - boys and girls - not men and women. Some people never grow up.

You are insightful.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 5 years ago from NY Author

Thank you Neil!


donnaleemason profile image

donnaleemason 5 years ago from North Dakota, USA

Excellent Veronica, Neil is right, you are very insightful.


Veronica profile image

Veronica 5 years ago from NY Author

Thank you donnaleemason!


Huh 5 years ago

Loved this post. Insightful and accurate.

I'm in a weird situation in my life and just wanted such clarity. I hooked up with a man 10 years my senior (I'm 27) a couple of times. He liked me a lot to start with but I'm a painfully shy and reserved person and wasn't really interested so I stayed away. Then something horrible happened in my personal/family life and I just wanted to get my mind off it. Some friends suggested hooking up with him and I thought "why not?" So we did a few times. He tried to talk but I didn't respond much. I also barely looked at him. Then he went away for a holiday and came back announcing that he had fallen in love with a girl he had known for some years. I was okay with it and bid him the best.

Thought the matter was over. Now I find out that he talks about me to everyone. Painting me as a heartbroken person. He knows how reserved I am yet he always greets me by booming out my name and hugging me whenever we happen to meet. I thought if id meet him and his new gf, he'd see how okay I am. So I go and have the most awful time ever. His gf hovered around me like a satellite. She kept alternating between smiling and giving me sad looks and trying to start conversation with me. I usually don't talk much so I didn't feel inclined to talk to her and didn't. He ran around telling ppl not to congratulate him on finding love as it would hurt me. I awkwardly stood around. Everytime I glanced up he would be staring at me. He then tried to talk to me but I think he got upset that I was being polite. (He told me he's madly in love with her and also told me I was too "tight"for him, for which I had no sensible reply). Well out went the concern and he got all clingy with his gf infront on my face. It was uncomfortable, but not because of any heartbreak.

Since then I have been avoiding him. But since he's very outgoing I'm scared if I run into him, I'll be embroiled in drama again. I also can't understand why a casual hookup would matter so much to a guy newly in love. I'm also sick of having his friends try and get in my face with overfriendliness.

I look forward to some sort of explanation for this. I know I kind of walked into this, but can I walk out somehow? It might be trivial but I'm the sort of person who wilts under too much attention. Is there any way out of this? Should I try talking to him?


POULOMI DUTTA profile image

POULOMI DUTTA 5 years ago from HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA

I AGREE WITH VERONICA WHEN SHE SAYS GUYS DONT SEND MIXED SIGNALS, THEY TALK CLEARLY BUT WOMEN TWIST THEIR WORDS OUT OF SHAPE IN ORDER TO BELIEVE WHAT WOMEN 'WANT TO BELIEVE', WHICH MIGHT BE THE EXACT OPP OF TRUTH. AND YES, WOMEN DO RATIONALIZE MEN'S MIXED WORDS.

WHEN A GUY SAYS HE WANTS TO BREAK UP BUT DOESN'T WANT TO LOSE YOU, IT MEANS HE WANTS TO BREAK UP AND DOES NOT WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOU.HE IS JUST AN ARTFUL SPEAKER, LOVES TO PLAY WITH YOUR MIND, LOVES TO PLAY WITH YOUR FEELINGS AND BREAKING UP WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED IS LIKE A PSYCHOLOGICAL VICTORY OVER YOU.AND HE IS SAYING ALL THIS CRAP SO THAT HE CAN PASS OFF ALL THE BLAME ON YOUR SHOULDERS. BELIEVE ME, THESE SWEET TALKERS WILL CONVINCE YOU THAT THE RELATIONSHIP WENT SOUR BECAUSE OF YOU, NOT BCOZ OF HIM!

STOP BEING SO EMOTIONALLY AND SENTIMENTALLY NEEDY.THE DAY YOU BECOME PRACTICAL AND HARD HEARTED AND LEARN TO SEE THINGS WITH A CLEAR MIND, YOU WILL FIND HOW WAS HAVING FUN WITH YOU.

I MAY NOT BE 100% CORRECT IN MY ASSESSMENTS, BUT MANY GUYS R OF THIS TYPE AND THEY MAKE A LIVING HELL OUT OF A GIRL'S LIFE.

JUST MOVE ON AND 4GET THIS GUY.AND IF YOU MOVE ON, HE WILL COME RUNNING BACK TO YOU TO FIND OUT WHY YOU ARE NO LONGER SLOBBERING OVER HIM ANYMORE.


speedbird profile image

speedbird 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Great hub, keep up the good work Veronica!!


Veronica profile image

Veronica 5 years ago from NY Author

Thank you, speedbird!

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