I had three amazing dates with this guy and he claimed he really liked me. We were intimate after the third date but I pulled the brakes the next day. Since then he was hot and cold, then he said he wasn't ready for a relationship. Instead he proposed a casual relationship without major expectations in the short term. But if I didn't want to, then fine. He added that should things get very intimate, it wouldn't be casual for him any more and we would be exclusive. Can I trust this guy?
To be fair to this poor confused creature, you've been a bit hot and cold too. You should have been clear from the start about how intimate you wanted to get with him. Once you've given out the good stuff, it's difficult to then take it back and pretend it didn't happen without someone getting offended. I'm confused about what you want from him. Do you want him to be your friend or do you want to date him?
It sounds like you've hurt his feelings and he doesn't know where he stands so he's started going: 'Yeah, well I don't care. I didn't want to be in a relationship anyway because I, like, totally don't even care'. You backed off first and now you're surprised that he's doing the same. Decide what you want from him and spell it out. It's your best bet. Maybe he's worried he'll get hurt by you and your indecisive faffing so has put some distance between you; or, he can't even contemplate going without sex for more than half an hour and so you're not as much use to him anymore.
Either way a 'casual relationship' without any level of intimacy is pretty much what I have with my postman and the woman who works in the newsagent. So if that's what you want it is very easy to maintain. I almost never have to call them, unless I need to go and pick up a package from the sorting office or I need to know if Total Carp magazine has arrived.
I shall paraphrase the story you've just told...
You meet a guy and sleep with him, then you stop sleeping with him and he instantly loses interest, before giving you the ultimatum: casual sex or nothing. Can you trust him?
And in a way, the answer is yes — you can trust the fact that he is mainly interested in sex. Anything more serious doesn't seem to be floating his boat.
This is possibly a reaction to you having sex with him after three dates and then backtracking. That kind of u-turn can make a man all confused and frustrated — it's like giving a bear a bowl of sardines and then hiding them as soon as its back is turned. The bear would scratch its head thinking: where on earth are my bloody sardines? Then it will start punching stuff with its paws.
So now this man is similarly grumpy and you're in a bit of a catch 22. If he really likes you, he should be willing to have a 'casual' relationship that doesn't involve sex. But at the same time, you can hardly blame him for not really liking you because after all, you only went on three and a bit dates. He may need more time before he considers you relationship material.
So your options are stark: either start sleeping with him again and hope it develops into something serious, or say goodbye. And if you take the first option, bear in mind that many, many women have tried that method and failed miserably — especially if the man has already taken the view that there are plenty more sardines in the sea.
Or check out past responses to readers' dating dilemmas.
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