Q: We were in school together but not very close although friends used to tease us. He finished school and went on to do a diploma and then got a job where he excelled. He travelled a lot while I continued my studies. We chatted on Orkut and he asked me to be his girlfriend but I refused. We still kept in touch although I refused to go out with him. In 2014 he called me drunk at night several times and told me he loved me, but denied remembering it in the morning. Then he quit his job and went offline. I met him somewhere but he didn’t give me his new number. In May 2015 we met again at a wedding and spent time together but again he didn’t give me his number until a few hours later. After that we began to chat again, and went on to be sexually explicit. We met once and kissed but I felt guilty and drew back, at which he began to cry. We decided not to meet again. He went abroad and returned after a few months. We decided to become no-strings-attached friends. We chatted every day. I told him I loved him but he said he was committed to someone else. Then he later told me he’d broken up with her.
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I wanted him to commit to me so I told him my parents were arranging a marriage for me. We met for sex at a hotel after that. We continued to keep in touch. He’s back on Facebook and has met a couple of girls there. Now we don’t talk as often and we don’t meet.
We are on-again and off-again and I am totally confused. Are we in a relationship? Does he love me or not? He’s no longer keeping me posted about every move, but he did wish me for New Year’s.
A: Yes, these unspoken on-again, off-again relationships can certainly drive one out of their mind. I can understand. But reading your story, makes me want to ask you, who do you think started giving out mixed signals? He asked you out, you said no; then when he told you he loved you, you didn’t respond, yet you seem to have felt bad that he didn’t remember it in the morning (did you ever think it was possible that he did remember but because of the fear of your response he claimed he didn’t, to save face?); after that it bothered you that he took his space and went out of contact.
When he didn’t give you his number at that wedding until much later, he was probably trying to once again gauge your interest and would have relented when he thought he got the right signal. Then you two went sexually explicit on chat, it gave him hope. Then you kissed but because you felt guilty (I wonder why? You weren’t seeing anyone else) you simply withdrew again, thereby once again getting him on tenterhooks. Then he again apparently took space to regroup and when he got back and agreed to friendship, you told him you loved him, dredging up all those old feelings again in him. He probably again saved face by saying that he was with someone else. May be he even was, but your declaration of love probably got him back and led him to break up with that one. Then you guys had sex. You have not mentioned what your reaction was after you got physically intimate but I’m guessing you probably again created some distance. Did you? If you did, you probably again sent him mixed signals which probably by now he has come to expect. Therefore my dear, is it any surprise that you guys are on-again off-again? I don’t think there is any doubt that he has loved you all along but it is YOU who has been pushing him away. If you want his love, now it’s time for you to get off the sidelines and show him you mean it. If you even want him to express his love in a certain way, then you have to TELL him. He cannot read your mind and given your history, every time he has hoped, they have been dashed. So if you want this “relationship”, then you have to make it one. Look within you and figure out what’s been stopping you, because apparently you’re sabotaging your own happiness. I wish you all the best!
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