In many cases, he’s just taking it day by day, week by week, doing what feels good or what feels right for him about whether this really makes sense for him and for the both of you long term.
And so, unfortunately, you experience the effects of his wishy-washiness. And being in a relationship with a separated man who is going through a divorce is going to be—by default—shaky ground because his life and his whole family are undergoing a tremendous amount of transition.
This week’s article is in response to a question from a reader (via Ask Melissa!
(And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with having needs, requirements or expectations; we all have them and they are necessary for us to be aware of so we know what makes us happy and fulfilled in a relationship) But it can really throw us for a loop when he he’s not ready for a relationship yet his behavior seems to tell us he doesn’t want to let go.
What do you do if he says he’s not ready but he still “wants to be friends,” wants to “keep talking” or still wants to see you? And yet a screwing with you because, ultimately, they don’t want to be alone or go without the “girlfriend experience.” As I mentioned in my article, How to Avoid Being the Rebound Woman, in most cases he’s not aware of what he wants or fully aware of his readiness for a long-term committed relationship.
They have two kids, he has the house, and the divorce will soon be finalized. Recently, he’s voiced to me that he realizes he’s not ready for a relationship, but wants to keep talking to me (he thought he was ready, and realized he’s not.) He wants to be friends, and refuses to let me walk away. I don’t believe he’s seeing other women as he does work six days a week, and has the kids half the week. He told me it would probably hurt to see me with someone else, but he can’t tell me not to date other guys just because he’s not ready. I’ve brought up where we stand a lot, and I’ve pressured him on it too much. He told me I pushed him away, but he likes talking to me. I’m going out of my mind trying to figure out if I’m a rebound and should let him go, or keep sticking around. Should you stay with him and wait until he’s ready for a real relationship or do you cut your losses and leave? And makes it all the more confusing when he’s sweet, respectful and amazing yet he’s sending mixed messages at the same time.
But here’s my take: When he says he’s not ready a relationship, take his word for it.
For the first few months, I kind of pushed him to the side (we hadn’t met yet) and answered other guys.
Fast forward two months later, and we decide to meet. I’ve met his friends, and his brother, and he’s met my friends. He is going through a divorce, and has been living separately since January (we met in person in April). There has not been a day that’s gone by that we have not spoken. He’s been nothing but respectful, he’s so sweet, and I could see a future with him when he’s ready. You’re not alone in your struggle with this question.