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So so so so SO confused!

I met a guy at my work who I really like. He isn't my type at all. I usually try not to have a type but I can tell you this guy usually isn't what I would go for. He is a little awkward and really REALLY nerdy, but I found it more endearing than off putting. Anyway, I was in a training class for two weeks that he taught. After I left the class I requested him to be my friend on facebook. We started chatting a little on there, mostly me starting the conversations. I found out that he is kind of shy and gets social anxiety. He is okay teaching a class because if he studies something he feels comfortable, but one on one conversations can still bee a struggle for him. Again, this didn't really bother me because I understand we all have our own issues. A few days after we started talking I let him borrow a book I thought he might enjoy. We continue talk a week or so later and finally he asks me out. He invites me over to his house to watch a movie. I made a joke that it "took him long enough" since I thought it was very apparent that I was interested in him. He laughed it off and made the comment about he was slow on picking up things. So, the morning of our date he sends me a message on our work IM saying he got food poisoning the night before and he still feels ill and we will have to rain check. I tell him I am sorry to hear that and I heard it can be really terrible and maybe this weekend we can try and do something if he feels better. He then says he has a roommate moving in and he may need help but he will let me know. Well, about two weeks pass and I hear nothing. It kind of felt like he blew me off but he honestly doesn't seem like the type. And when we were talking on facebook he said things like "You are amazing, there isn't anything that would stop me from wanting to get to know you".

So last week I casually brought up to him if he had started reading the book I had lent him. He said he carries it with him and he has been reading it on his breaks and at home when he gets the chance and he likes it, but if I needed it back to lend out to someone else he would return it. I told him not to worry about it, that there was no rush and let me know what he thought. Again, that was the last I heard from him. He has me really confused because he seemed really interested in me. He even invited me camping with his family even before we had went on a first date. He actually went camping the entire week of 4th of July and I am wondering if he was worried about upsetting me for going without me when he had invited me previously but I honestly couldn't care. It seemed like a huge leap to me anyway when we hadn't even hung out together once. I guess I am not sure how to handle this whole situation. I am the type of person who can't let things go so this is driving me crazy. I still like him and would still like to get together but I don't want to look like I can't take a hint if he really in fact changed his mind for no reason.

(Also! Even though he gets social anxiety he has had a girlfriend before who lived with him but they broke up about a year ago, so he hasn't been completely devoid of female interactions.)

UPDATE: I ran into him at the gym at our work. He was friendly and we talked for a little bit about the book I lent him. This is the first legitimate conversation we have had in weeks. When he left he said goodbye and acted normal. I sent him a message tonight saying it was good to see him and catch up. It says he read the message a few hours ago and hasn't responded. I know facebook can be unreliable about that though.

NEW UPDATE: I bumped into him today at work and of course he was super friendly as always. I decided to send him a message on facebook since I don't feel that talking about personal matters at work is very professional. I pretty much told him that I hoped things were okay between us because they seemed a little off since we weren't able to meet and I hoped I hadn't said anything to offend him that I wasn't aware of. I also said I am still interested in hanging out and getting to know him but if he had second thoughts I would understand and it was okay I just wanted to clear the air. He got online for a few minutes, read it and then signed off. If he doesn't respond this weekend I am going to feel embarrassed and not know how to act when I see him at work. It will make things way more awkward than they already are.

Comments

( 13 helpers — Give some advice )
1_2_suckerpunch
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:43 am (UTC)
He and his live-in girlfriend broke up "about a week ago"?!!

There ya go...
anrui_ichido
Jul. 16th, 2014 11:47 am (UTC)
Haha my thoughts exactly! I think you need to give this guy some time to heal and figure out what he wants; he was living with someone! Why did they break up and were you pursuing him when he was still with someone?
sweet_mizery
Jul. 16th, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
Sorry, it was a year ago not a week. LOL! And from what little I know they broke up because she lost her job and started mooching off of him, not trying to look for other work and pretty much using him as a doormat so he made her leave.

Edited at 2014-07-16 02:58 pm (UTC)
anrui_ichido
Jul. 16th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
LOL, okay that makes more sense! Well I would chalk a lot of this up to anxiety too. Like the poster says below (mine isn't severe but I have bad days) it can account for a lot of avoidant behaviour or not initiating or afraid to make/keep plans.
sweet_mizery
Jul. 16th, 2014 04:01 pm (UTC)
So if I were to imply that I am still interested in meeting up that wouldn't come off pushy? I myself get anxiety but not social anxiety so I really can't tell if he was genuinely nervous and canceled or if he changed his mind for some reason and I am supposed to be taking a hint. That is what is so confusing, he is hard to read.
anrui_ichido
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
No not pushy. :) I often really appreciate when people reach out like that as someone with anxiety, because I often feel like I'm going to be bothering them if I reach out first! It makes me feel more comfortable doing it in the future over time as well.
sweet_mizery
Jul. 16th, 2014 09:36 pm (UTC)
I guess the only reason I am hesitant is because a few days after he said he had food poisoning I sent him a message saying I hoped he felt better and he never responded. I also gave him my number and he has never text me or called. I think using a phone is preferable than facebook honestly.
lupinelullaby
Jul. 16th, 2014 01:18 pm (UTC)
Social anxiety + just got out of a serious relationship? Those two things alone explain his behavior pretty clearly.

Especially if he has fairly severe social anxiety, which it seems he does from everything you've said. It can be absolutely debilitating. When I first met my husband, I lost 20 lbs because I couldn't eat. I was so sick to my stomach all the time. I absolutely adored him, but it was very hard for me to push myself to see him when I was physically ill all the time.

It's also very hard for someone with social anxiety to reach out to other people. If you really like him, just give him time and if you feel comfortable doing it, continue to reach out to him. (I'm also curious why you didn't ask him out yourself instead of waiting for him to do it?)

Unfortunately, people with social anxiety end up pushing people away because they get so nervous talking to and being around people. I can't tell you how many times I've panicked at the last minute and made an excuse not to go out somewhere. If that's not something you can deal with, that's completely understandable. But if you still want to give it a try knowing he has this issue, just be patient and don't take it personally when he is quiet or can't bring himself to go out somewhere.
sweet_mizery
Jul. 16th, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
I had to go back and edit my post because it was a year ago he lived with this girl, not a week. But, I guess I didn't ask him because he knew I liked him. I made it a little obvious and someone from work also blabbed to him also. He insinuated he was attracted to me but never pursued it. That is why I started chatting with him on facebook and found out about his anxiety. I don't know how severe it is. He never really elaborated and I thought it too personal of a subject to pry. My best friend has really bad anxiety so I can understand where he is coming from. And why I didn't ask him out is because in the past I have had really bad experiences where I make the first move. I didn't know about his anxiety until later and things made a bit more sense. I worry about being insensitive or coming off too pushy or desperate if I ask him out again, and if his anxiety really is that bad that he has a panic attack at the thought of being alone with me, how do I know he won't continue to cancel?
daninater
Jul. 17th, 2014 07:59 am (UTC)
I'm almost positive he's not trying to send you signals he's not interested. I think you should keep approaching him, be unusually patient.

Consider this angle to help explain his behavior. The part of his mind that's designed for fight-or-flight reactions responds to anxiety triggers with such a strong force that it feels immediately better in the moment to shy away from what's causing the fear. In doing that it reinforces the behavior and pushes him away from what he may want in the bigger picture. He's pulling his hand away from the burning candle underneath it, like when he's not messaging you back on Facebook or being hesitant to make advancements. Anxiety feels like you've just been in a car accident, adrenaline, fear, panic, and that's your baseline emotional state everyday. Everything is made more difficult. But your heart can be in a totally different place while this is all going on. Those are two separate things.
sweet_mizery
Jul. 17th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the metaphor. That makes more sense to me. I guess it's weird because at work and in the gym he is very friendly and social with me like nothing ever happened between us. I don't know if he is mustering up strength to act ok because he is at work and really he is freaking out or what. I don't really know how bad his anxiety is. He said it was worse when he was young but has improved as an adult but he still has issues with it sometimes.
diana_molloy
Jul. 21st, 2014 02:26 pm (UTC)
Honestly at this point be polite friendly like with a coworker but let it be. You've asked a few times and he's not replying.
katzendame
Aug. 4th, 2014 01:32 am (UTC)
I agree with this. Yes, he may have crippling anxiety, but it's not your job to save him or put in ALL the effort that goes into dating someone. If he can't get past whatever is going on for him (if it is indeed anxiety), then maybe this isn't the time for him to get into a relationship and he needs to let this ship sail (and so do you). If he wants to make the next move, he needs to work on his own issues and gather up the nerve to honestly address what's going on. Until then, just be your normal friendly coworker self and leave it at that.
( 13 helpers — Give some advice )

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