Do I have the wrong expectations of dating?

So it has been 5 months since the dissolving of my engagement. I can't say I am entirely past the hurt, I believed that finally I had found someone who could actually see me and knew me and loved me because of it. Instead, he thought I was so many things I am not and clearly never knew me or really saw me. Something typical in relationships and dating for me, people like their idea of me but not really me. My ex has claimed he was making all these changes since our separation, but in reality nothing had changed. His brother and family who were involving themselves in our lives negatively still live with him. He had the gall to tell me that he "always" put me first, I was confused because in the end all he had to do was put me first and he couldn't. He couldn't choose me to start his new life and family instead choosing his childhood family. He said he couldn't put his brother out on the street (by giving him notice to move out, a grown ass middle aged man) but he was totally okay with changing everything on me and my children without any consideration of the effect on our lives. Needless to say, that was all the confirmation I needed to know there's no going back.


I did start dating again and I met someone that I quite like. He's a good communicator and I feel comfortable telling him when there's an issue or something is bothering me. He's very intelligent, my therapist has recommended I stop dating people who can't carry their own in the intelligence department. But...(there's always a but isn't there?) attentive he is not. There is a real lack of effort and although he acknowledges it when I bring it up, it doesn't seem to change.


I am unsure though, dating is not something I did a lot of when I was younger. I was married at 22 for 14 years and then dated, and if you read the blog you can see how well that has gone. It appears to me that everyone has an easier time finding love than I do. I either can't attract it or when I do it is full of lies and hurt. Even the chef I dated years ago has found "the one" and he was jealous and controlling. Dating this new person, I thought, maybe my expectation of having regular contact early on isn't how it is supposed to be. Maybe it is normal to go days or a week without talking or seeing someone. For me I seem to take it as a lack of interest or effort. All I really want is to feel special, that someone is into me and wants me to know it. This might be the regular progression of things while dating, why rush into something serious right away, why is it so bad to take my time? I am not having kids again and after the failed engagement I don't think that is likely ever again either.


I have chased the idea of feeling loved and special most of my life. My parents did not provide a very loving home and future relationships very much lacked love and effort. So, it is possible now that I am projecting that fear of never being loved or feeling special to somebody onto my relationships now. I wish I knew if my expectations were normal. I have talked about bread crumbing before, and although normally I just stop talking to them and move on, with this guy I am dating now it doesn't seem entirely like bread crumbing. He contacts me every day by text or phone call, says he misses me and compliments me regularly. The thing that seems lacking is the effort to see me in person. Not only that but if he does make a plan with me, it usually changes quite a bit by the time we meet and he is ALWAYS late. I sometimes take that as a lack of really caring about my time and my impression of him as well.


Slow moving Saul we will call him. Tall, dark and handsome with a great smile. Intelligent, has a career and is passionate about the people in his life (clearly not me...yet). Our dates lack planning and excitement, he doesn't put much effort forth in making it a fun or special time. He did say he thinks romance comes after getting to know someone (which is hard to do when you don't spend much time together). Truthfully, I started dating to get out more, not to spend time waiting for someone to want to see me. He has asked me not to date other people so I guess we are exclusive but then give me a date!


Red flags...

  1. Always late

  2. Uses WhatsApp for most communication (has a lot of out of town friends and family)

  3. Loves self help stuff

  4. Not good at making plans and keeping them

  5. Tells me a lot about him and his life, less interested in me and mine

Am I learning from this to be more patient or am I in denial and dealing with another bread crumber? I wish I knew. I'll be going on a trip this week and will be busy when I return for my daughter's birthday, we will see if he makes any effort to try to fit himself into the mix. Who knows, during my trip he may just fall off as bread crumbers do. I hope not, I do quite like him, and so far the communication is still on track even if we don't see each other.


In dating him for a little bit there are of course some murdery scenarios one could come up with...

  • We go to the gym together sometimes, murder by dumbbell, blunt force trauma although he'd be caught really quickly

  • First date, he walked me back to my car in a dark underground parking lot. This gave him opportunity but he only took the opportunity for a first kiss

  • Watching true crime docs together, the sound from the TV could mask a murder taking place

This is still very new and in the world of online dating he has, so far, been one of my better experiences. I will have to wait and see if patience is all I need and this is just a normal progression or if I am once again a place holder until they find something better. I will remind myself although I am in my forties, there is no rush and I am not desperate, we will wait and see. Stay tuned for an update...wish me luck!


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