Next step between talking on OKC and meeting up (Advice, please!)

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Post by jcorozza on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:32 pm

So, I've been talking to this guy for about a week and a half, and the conversation has been going pretty well. But there are a few complicating factors: he's getting a divorce, he has a kid, and, probably the most problematic, his to-be-ex still lives in his house (he thinks she was advised to so that she could get more money). He spends evenings/nights there, and she goes out then, so they're not there at the same time, but because of this, he's hesitant to meet people, and is more interested in talking right now, at least until that situation gets less complicated (which may be in a week or so - there's some lawyer talk going on).

Here's the trouble, though. I don't want to get stuck in that "we're having a conversation but it fizzles and we'll never meet" scenario. So, how can I move things forward a bit without actually suggesting meeting (which I would have otherwise by now, but want to respect his boundaries). I've done texting as the next step in the past, but I tend to get anxious when people don't respond as regularly as I expect (and since he has a job and a kid, that would probably happen)? And how do I do it in a way that isn't pushy? It's a bit of a delicate situation, and he told me quite a bit about the divorce circumstances (really bad), some of which he hasn't really told other people, so I feel like he's putting a lot of trust in me/being fairly vulnerable, and I don't want it to seem like I'm taking advantage of that.

Any ideas?
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:39 pm

Would a Skype call be out of the question? I usually prefer just to meet up, but I've done them in cases where someone lived a couple hours away. It tends to be more personal than texting, and it gives you guys a chance to suss out each other's body language and vocal tone and all that stuff messaging doesn't tell you.
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Post by jcorozza on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:46 pm

This is a great suggestion...but unfortunately plays on pretty much all of my other anxieties. I used Google hangouts with my ex when we were long distance (after we had dated non-long distance) - even then I found that oddly stressful. And same with phone conversations. I'm not even really sure how to explain it - the silences feel longer and more awkward than in person. And I suddenly don't know what to do with my hands (oh, tea cup, you are my savior!). Would it be weird to bring up moving things forward to see if he has ideas?
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Post by Caffeinated on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:51 pm

I'd suggest telling him something like what you said here. Maybe you could move things forward by having phone conversations. Or if asynchronous communication is required, move the conversation to email rather than the site's messaging service.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that he'll not be ready to actually meet anyone for a very very long time, and having online conversations is a way of dealing with feelings and fears about getting a divorce.
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Post by eselle28 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:53 pm

Yeah, I'd agree with Caffeinated that you should tell him about these feelings and see if he has constructive suggestions. I think that his ability to work on this with you might be a good signal of whether he's possibly up for things moving forward in the foreseeable future or if this is headed more toward online friendship for the time being.
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Post by jcorozza on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:02 pm

These are both great ideas/points. Just did it. Time anxiously wait for the response!
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Post by Perlandra on Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:32 am

Aww *zen hugs*  Frankly, I think that dating someone who is sitting on a drama bomb like that sounds a bit worrisome, but moving to phone or skype sounds like a good intermediate step.  I usually move to phone after a few e-mails, and meet in person fairly quickly, but different people move faster or slower.  It's kinda funny, I actually have 3 dates lined up for tomorrow night, all in the same city!  All 3 of them contacted me in the past couple of days, and since I was going to be up there anyway, the logistics just worked out. Smile

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Post by jcorozza on Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:28 am

Thanks!  I think he's very aware of the whole drama-ness of the situation, and is taking things extra slow to avoid that.  It doesn't hurt that he's also smart, funnyish, and the way he talks about his daughter is super endearing.  I also think if it were up to him, the divorce would be done an over with, but that just isn't how this worked out.  When I asked, he asked what kind of step forward I had in mind, and also about how my experiences meeting with guys had gone, so he seems open to the idea.  

Oh man, I tried to meet up with two guys in one day once...except one was in the Bronx, and the other in central NJ. It was...stressful.  Good luck!
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Post by Perlandra on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:00 am

So, any updates on the next step? Did he come up with any useful ideas, or do you feel any better about it?

The 1st and 3rd dates went well (1st one had to head off to work, 2nd and 3rd dates were only about a mile away, and I didn't have to re-park the car between them). Not really sure if 1st guy is a potential relationship, but he seems genuinely sweet, a bit shy (but opened up as we talked more), and we have lots of interests in common. 3rd guy and I shut down the restaurant talking with each other! We'd actually met a couple of times before, years ago, when he was dating a friendly acquaintance of mine. So, lots of catching up, talking about mutual friends, asking "Oh, have you been to x/y/z places lately?"

2nd guy was a bit stilted but still seemed pretty nice. I had to go use the restroom, and when I got back, he said that his Mom fell and hurt herself, and he had to run off to the ER to check up on her! Uh-oh TBH, with the way he'd been reacting before then, I'm not sure if it was genuine or an excuse to get away, though it seems waaaaay overdramatic if it was the 2nd situation!

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Post by jcorozza on Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:05 am

So, I made a suggestion, but haven't heard back. I know he's reading my messages...but hasn't responded. I don't if he's just busy or thinking or what (some days I hear from him several times, and others not at all), but hopefully I'll hear back at some point.
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Post by Perlandra on Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:49 pm

Weeeellll...even giving him the benefit of the doubt that he's thinking over suggestions, IMO he should have at least written back to say so. However, you're the one who needs to be comfy with him, with how he responds to you, etc., not me. I wish you luck in sorting things out, and I think it's worthwhile to consider that intermediate step between e-mail and meeting anyway, even if you wind up not meeting him.

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Post by jcorozza on Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:53 pm

Yeah, it doesn't look good at this point. Considering how long we've been talking, and the level of emotional involvement, he should have at least said he was/wasn't comfortable, or just was generally not interested. It seems like a weird time for a ghosting. Sigh.
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Post by Perlandra on Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:11 pm

*hugs* sorry things didn't work out, but from what I understand, disappearing shortly before the first meeting was planned is actually pretty common in OLD. I've been fortunate to not encounter it myself, but I know a lot of people who have!

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Post by jcorozza on Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:03 pm

He actually reappeared - apparently his to-be-ex hired a fancypants lawyer and he thinks she's going after custody, so he's been...preoccupied. And apparently very anxious about the whole thing. Which is understandable. So, someone I'll continue talking to, but not someone I'm going to pin all my hopes on or anything. On the other hand, I did come up with an option of a "Netflix date", which I used to do when I was long distance, where you watch the same show at the same time and chat on IM - it's still a shared experience, but a little lower pressure.
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Post by kath on Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:23 am

Oh that sounds like the part of When Harry Met Sally where they watch Casablanca!
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Post by jcorozza on Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:26 pm

So that whole thing kinda blew up in my face. After another week of talking (and learning more about the divorce/his kid, etc/), I brought the subject up again. And mentioned that my dad was in the ER. And 4 days later, though I know he read my messages...nothing. I actually de-activated my account because I'm so tried of getting emotionally invested with guys who disappear.
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Post by readertorider on Sun Jul 26, 2015 2:47 pm

Ug. So sorry. That sounds awful. Also best wishes for your dad.
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Post by jcorozza on Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:42 pm

Thanks - he ended up being totally fine, just dehydrated, luckily!
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:20 pm

This is one of those things I'm extra-cyncial about. Maybe its because I know a bunch of tarot readers and "he's going to leave her really soon and he wants me to move out there to be with him. Should I?" is such a common question but. . .
if he's still living with her, there are kids involved and he's getting a divorce "soon", the only thing you know for sure is that he is married and living with the mother of his children. You can never be sure, short of talking to his wife yourself (talk about awkward!), that he's not just looking to get a little extra on the side. I realize this guy has already fallen through but for future reference, people getting divorced "soon" will still be available when they're really single. You deserve better than the drama and mistrust necessary to date someone in that situation.

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Post by jcorozza on Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:35 pm

Eh, I think in this case it actually didn't really have to do with the wife - she had not only cheated on him while pregnant with their kid, but had stolen his identity and maxed out 5 credit cards in his name - I don't think he actually lied about any of it (maybe I'm naive) - he didn't go so into detail that it sounded made up, or leave it so vague either. I think he really just wasn't ready to date again, and wasn't adult enough to just say that, so he just avoided it. I've encountered quite a few guys lately on OKC like this, and none of them were getting divorced. I don't know if my douche-dar is off lately or what.

At the same time, I also have a friend who's getting divorced (granted they don't live together) but since her to-be-ex is a shit and won't sign the papers, she has to wait until they've been living separately long enough for it to be official. I know she's thinking about getting back into dating, and it would kinda suck if everyone assumed she was lying about her scenario, which she has no control over.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:50 pm

Fair enough and living separately is obviously a big point in favor of truth, a big enough point that I personally probably wouldn't object to dating someone on that position. I suppose I should say something more like "if your instincts give you the slightest idea that something is fishy, don't brush it off and talk yourself out of it."

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Post by Perlandra on Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:11 am

Yep, listen to your gut! I personally wouldn't be comfy getting involved with someone who is still married, even if the divorce is in-progress, but I recognize that other people have different feelings about it.

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