Dating with eyes wide open (warning: relationship advice sought).

I’ve been dating a guy that, I believe, isn’t all that interested in advancing the relationship. I usually don’t hear from him for several days in a row. We tend to make plans to go out at the last minute. We’ve gone out together approximately twenty times, and I’d think that would be more than sufficient to determine whether or not there’s a reason to continue seeing one another. I should say he’s generally pretty considerate, but my gut feeling is he is just using me as someone to go out with until someone better shows up. I should say that I also have a tendency to overreact to things so I could be wrong. The previous guys I’ve dated have been extraordinarily clingy, so I am not sure how a normal relationship functions.

Anyway, he’s the first guy I’ve been interested in dating regularly for quite a while (at least among guys willing to go out with me). But I’m not sure what to do. Should I continue to date him, aware of the possibility that he is using me? I emailed him a few days ago, saying that I was looking forward to seeing him again, and that I thought about him a lot. I haven’t heard back from him yet, which I take as a less than propitious sign.

I realize that it’s a decision I have to make myself but I am looking for some opinions.

Based on the information given, it’s obviously up to you to determine whether he’s using you. If you are asking whether you should just stick it out in the meanwhile because at least you are not lonely and he gives you something to think about, I’d say don’t. I’ve done the “love the one you’re with” thing and it turned out to be a complete waste. Don’t waste your time being consolation prize.

You’re not wrong. His actions speak very clearly – he doesn’t want a serious relationship with you. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if you don’t mind dating someone casually without any expectation of a future together. If you’re having fun, I don’t see any reason not to keep dating until you feel the relationship has run its course. However, recognize that this relationship is just a temporary thing you’re in because you enjoy it. As soon as you stop enjoying it, dump him. Or just dump him now, and save yourself the time.

In a normal relationship, things can certainly start slowly, without the other person calling every day. However, it doesn’t take long to tell what type of relationship you’re in: temporary and casual, or one with potential for more. Neither one is bad, as long as it’s what you want.

The way you feel about this man is a gift that he can do with whatever he wishes. He may act foolishly, but your gift of friendship is still wonderful. If he can’t appreciate it, it is entirely his loss.
Why would you want to continue to gift someone who is unappreciative?

Is going out with him fun? Is it getting in the way of something else you’d rather be doing (whether pursuing another relationship, or washing the cat)?

If the answers to those two questions are “Yes” and “No,” respectively, you may as well continue to date him – hell, not every relationship has to go somewhere. If not, it’s probably time to nip it in the bud.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I should mention that my own record with relationships is so abysmal that you should probably take any advice from me with a grain of salt.)

You need to have a serious talk with him either over the phone or face to face. Don’t leave it to email. And do not beat around the bush. Be blunt and honest as to what you’re looking for and how your relationship with him isn’t meeting your needs. Put the guy on the spot and see what his response is.

FWIW, from the little you’ve presented it sounds like the guy is just using you.

You could try dating with eyes wide shut – kinky fun ahead!

Well, on one hand, you can usually tell whether or not a guy takes a relationship seriously by how he talks to you. When you ARE with him, do you have meaningful conversations? Does he pay attention? Or is it just “fun” stuff, like dancing at clubs and movies?

On the other hand, a guy who doesn’t call doesn’t seem that into a relationship. Are you usually the one calling him?

What does he do for a living? Does he travel a lot? Is this his busy time of year? Both of those things might be keeping him from spending more time with you.

Also, you didn’t mention how long you’ve been dating. Going out 20 times in 3 months is a lot different than 20 times in 6 or a year. Maybe he doesn’t understand your expectations and doesn’t want to seem “pushy.”

Basically, I think you need to talk to him. Although I wouldn’t be too serious or heavy-handed about it. If it sounds to him like you want to get married next month, he’ll probably run like Hell, no matter how much he likes you.

If you are both having fun, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Some relationships do take a while to get “serious.” When d_redguy and I first started dating, things happened VERY slowly. Turned out that he had some personal issues that he was dealing with. So, there’s hope! :smiley:

It isn’t the length of time between get-togethers that are important, but that you are both agreed on the necessity of having one, and knowing what’s happening.

An extended absence, where one doesn’t know what is happening with the other, harms a relationship.

Thanks for the opinions, they have helped. I think I’ve decided what to do.

You’re going to wrap him in duct tape, tie a rope around his ankles, and dangle him over the edge of a bridge above a river until he agrees to marry you?

Ooh, Ino. Such ideas. I’m fresh out of duct tape, not to mention visqueen. But I do have that rope I bought a few weeks ago for my bondage sessions…

Naah. I’m just gonna let him go.

“Naah. I’m just gonna let him go.”

You gonna tell him or just let him wonder where ya went?

Haven’t decided that yet, handy. Probably will disappear for a while and see if he notices.

Ask him if he missed you and look for hesitation and non-comittal tone. That could tell you a lot about his feelings.

Closed per request of OP.