the distance was too much for Ian

Mr Ambivalent shows some emotion and explains his actions 

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I remained confused about Ian’s general ambivalence. He’d sent me a Happy Mother’s Day text but then not much else. The Tuesday morning afterwards I texted “Good morning – you’ve been rather quiet.”

No response.

Later that night, laying on the floor all angry and hurt about Tony, I enjoyed a (brief) moment of levity when not 5 minutes before he showed up, Ian called. I didn’t answer the phone.

Later that night I saw he’d texted “hi” at 10:30 then later, “you have time to chat?”. The next morning when I woke up I texted that I would call him later that day. No “oh sorry I missed you”. Wasn’t feeling it, so didn’t say it.

I called him a few minutes before I had to go to a meeting. He launched into a story about helping a buddy put in some flooring. Yes, really. So at some point when he seemed to not be moving off that topic, I said “hey sorry to interrupt, but I have to run to a meeting. Are we still ok for Friday?”

“Yeah, of course”.

He said he was surprised I had said he’d been rather quiet. “But it was only a day”, he said. Which was wrong, but there wasn’t much point in arguing.

The next day I sent an evening text referencing a fun suggestion my colleagues had for our date. No response. Thursday he sent me a text about being stuck in traffic. Yes, people, this is scintillating romantic stuff. I responded to him and asked if he wanted to chat about our date the next night. No response.

Friday morning at 9am I texted “Hey Ian – let me know what you’re thinking about tonight when you get a chance? I will be downtown for work but will likely head home afterwards.”


Until 3pm, when he called me. Again he launched into a story about something, until I said “so are you still at home?”. He replied “yes, and I’m not coming into the city. I’m not feeling well, and I don’t think we should date anymore.”


He kept going:

“I don’t think it’s going to work with you being in the city and me here. I have been thinking a lot about what I want lately. I need someone accessible, and dating you is going to mean lots of driving. Next weekend I’m away, and then the week after that I’m just in the city one night. It would be two weeks before I can see you again, and that’s not much at all. I’ve been doing soul searching even before I met you.”

“Well Ian, to be honest in your profile you said you worked in the city, or else I would not have reached out to you.”

“Yes Ann, that’s true, but it’s seasonal. While I’m there all summer, what will happen when September comes? It will be a long distance relationship.”

“Sure, I understand that Ian, but I guess we approach these things differently. For me, I think about finding someone with whom I want to have a next date. Frankly if we got to September then I’d deal with it then.”

He said “look Ann, we have a great time together. I need to figure out what will make me happy at the end of the day. A year ago, I wanted to put the family dynamic back together. It’s all slipped away. I dated someone for a year but then changed my mind; it just didn’t feel right. I know I’m missing an opportunity right now with you.”

I said “you’re right Ian, you are. But it’s okay, I understand. I’m not going to push someone to date me, that’s for sure. And honestly I picked up on a lot of ambivalence from you the last time we were together, and you aren’t exactly that communicative. But I’d decided to just see how things played out leading up to today. And here you are, bailing on a date two hours before we were supposed to meet.”

He said “I’m so sorry about that. After dinner, as we were in the car going home, I got a text from my ex girlfriend. It sent me into a tailspin. It was harsh, I shouldn’t have read it. She was angry.”

“What did it say, Ian?”

“We had decided to be civil after our breakup, but she had redeveloped feelings for me, but the way things ended things weren’t good. She was torn between having feelings for me and knowing the end goal of the family and white picket fence wasn’t there. I care about her, I didn’t want to take the next steps in our relationship and move forward. I got cold feet and jumped overboard. I need to have a family. I don’t want to be single my whole life. I’m so sorry Ann, I think I was having a panic attack. I wanted to talk to you about it but wasn’t sure I should.”

I reassured him I could understand why a third date may not have been a good time to open up that way, but told him his behavior was confusing and caused me to doubt his interest. He was very apologetic. “Ann, I’m not a great communicator. I wanted to share that night but just needed to take it in and figure out what it all meant. Sorry for having you go through this.”

We talked for a long time about dating and life. I felt like a therapist or dating coach. He said he needed to dig into what would make him happy, and the more he talked about all the things he didn’t know and hadn’t sorted out, I realized it might not work between us anyway.

He told me it wasn’t that he didn’t want to see me, but he didn’t know how it was going to work. He thought the distance and our differences in lifestyles was too much. He said he was ashamed at how much he collapsed and stressed out.

Then he said “can we stay in touch?”

Laughing, I said “why?” and then realized he was serious. Jesus. What’s with these men who want me in their life like this?

He said he didn’t want to write me out of his life, since we had a connection and he really enjoyed talking to me. I was non-committal.

I was pleased to find out why he had been acting so strange, and to know it wasn’t about me. And while the distance would have been a pain in the ass, I was still slightly disappointed we didn’t get a chance to date a bit more.

But mostly, I was peeved I now didn’t have plans for Friday night.

29 thoughts on “Mr Ambivalent shows some emotion and explains his actions 

  1. You and Madeline seem to be living parallel lives. 🙂
    I would be pissed just on the fact that he continued forward with you while knowing full well the distance would be (or could become) a factor for him. Men always seem to be cracked when it comes to relationships and communication – or at least decades behind women.

    • She and I have also talked about that – both waiting for long overdue (to us) texts…communication is the theme of the last couple of weeks! The thing that pissed me off is he told me he worked in my city and had a place in the country. Well, he has his kids 50% of the time there. And it’s seasonal and job specific so he’s only here when he’s working on a job here. I never would have connected with him if I thought for most of the year he didn’t live here and then even when he did, wasn’t here that much.

  2. “What’s with these men who want me in their life like this?”

    You are addictive online. I can only imagine how it would be in person…..and after being intimate…..? *GULP*

  3. I’d wondered why I couldn’t comment before. I hope you enjoyed some quiet, alone time on your last-ditched Friday night.

  4. You’re peeved about being alone on Friday night? Geez, romance is fickle.

    Nah, I’m calling bullshit on his excuses. It’s exactly the sort of crud I’d feed women as I strung them along.

    I’d bet good money that he met someone local shortly after he met you. His “you’re in the city” is the giveaway; you were always in the city. What’s changed?

    • He hadn’t dated someone non-local to him before, so this was new and he wants someone more accessible. Not everyone lies, you know. It doesn’t really matter anyway. He wanted to keep in touch with me and I said no. He wasn’t trying to string me along, he started the conversation saying we weren’t going to be dating anymore.

  5. >>Laughing, I said “why?” and then realized he was serious. Jesus. What’s with these men who want me in their life like this?<<

    From my observations, I'd say that at least 90% of the time (I'm probably being conservative with that number) tt means that they want to keep you as a Backup Plan. Y'know, "Just in case…" I see it all the time. A lot of men REALLY have a problem completely writing off a woman, especially if she has shown some interest in them (and often even if hasn't), there's always this tiny idea in the back of their head that they might be "missing out" on something,

    Don't bother. This fellow sounds like a mess, you are right to just move on (and, as I've said before, LDR's are a pain in the buttocks anyway).

  6. Well Ann it’s better that he told you now rather than later. No more wasted time or gas on someone who isn’t willing to give it more of a chance. And good for you seeing Lewis and getting well fucked to get past Ian and onto better things! 🙂 He’s out there!!! He just hasn’t found you yet.

  7. Ian’s are cursed…I try to warn women but everyone likes to still figure it out for themselves 😂

    …moving right along.

    Do you feel like dating after this or are you taking a breather?

    • What do you mean about Ian being cursed? What would you have warned me about him based on the first two dates?

      I am already taking a breather from dating, relatively. I wasn’t on any dating apps for almost a month – and I met Ian right before I deleted Bumble, which I was in just for a couple of days. I went back on to Bumble briefly after the shitty third date with Ian but (as you will read) really only engaged with a couple of guys on the app and only took one of those interactions to a date. All that to say, I did take a breather and Ian was a toe back in the water. I’m not diving back in just yet.

      • I wonder if there is something missing in school where we don’t learn about ourselves. We don’t learn how to make ourselves happy and content just being “me.” I know many guys that were so wishy washy because they didn’t know themselves.

What do you think?