The subject line was clear: Am I a seat filler? I knew exactly what she meant. Ever had to wonder about that yourself? Well, Rose is wondering that now.
Here's what she told me:
I really need your perspective on this one.
So I met this guy about a month ago at a wedding, the first minute we met our eyes locked for a moment, the way he looked and smiled at me felt like I was the only woman in the room.
He later asked for my number which I gave it to him, it was my cousin's wedding so I was very busy making sure everything was going smoothly and as a result I never got a chance to talk to the guy up until the wedding was over.
We sat together at the after party and he was very interested in getting to know me, I noticed how similar we were in terms of our values and how we view things in general. I asked what he saw in me and he told me he loved how caring I am and how I made sure everyone was taken care of (a trait other people always found to be too much) and there he was admiring all the things I thought were too much about myself.
So after the party we went our separate ways, he told me he likes me and he was asking me out, I told him I needed some time to think it through.
So here is the issue.
We live in different cities. He lives over 600 miles from me.
So after the wedding we kept in touch, phone calls, chatting online every single day, video chats and all, he was literally updating me on each and everything that was going on in his life, I felt so special, we are so similar in everything, we view the world the same way, so we both decided he should come down to visit me for a weekend of which he came this past weekend. When he was here it was everything we had both anticipated; we cooked together, played games, sang together - it was amazing.
Most of all we talked about our past and our childhood, opening up to each other and all.
And now came the question of whether we should go exclusive or not and then he dropped the bombshell on me that he has someone in his life, the girl is in another country for a period of a year - she is due to come back some time next year.
He says they lost communication and when he saw me he saw the same character traits of her, he says I'm exactly like her in so many ways and that is why he fell for me, and he says he can't commit to me until he ends that relationship, however he want us to continue seeing each other without a label.
I agreed to this because I do not know what else to think, and another thing there were times when he'd make phone calls to another girl updating her of how his weekend is going, etc., acting as if he is alone and all, when I questioned him about this after he left, he told me I shouldn't worry - it was just someone he had to check up on whilst he was here.
My gut feeling tells me he has someone else other than the girl who is out of the country.
The question I have is why does he want to pursue me when he still has such issues in his life? And again am I just a seat filler for someone who will come back next year, and then I'll be told my time is over?
After he left the chats have decreased, there's less updates on what he does on daily basis, takes long to respond to my messages even though he is online. No video calls yet, it's been two days since he left.
I can feel it in me that he is pulling away and I feel like there is someone else who gets his attention other than me.
I am going crazy, why is it every time I meet someone whom I'm compatible with there has to be something standing in our way?
And oh, by the way, we didn't have sex - he told me he is more interested in getting to know me than just jumping into bed with me. He is everything I ever wanted in a man. I don't know if I should hold on a little longer and see where this is going or should I walk away while it's still early.
Yes, Rose. That’s exactly what you are here - a seat filler.
And the reason why he can do what he's doing is because he can! It isn’t something attributed to some kind of fate that this is happening to you. It’s because he’s choosing to allow it to happen like this for the both of you. And you're allowing it.
Don’t ever underestimate the power of men like this!
Regardless of anything he or any of these men might be saying to you, they are where they are because they’re allowing it to be this way. They’re choosing the way things are. They’re choosing to order their lives in such a way that they’re too busy, too tired, too jet-lagged from choosing a career of travel, too overscheduled, too whatever else they might happen to be.
Life doesn’t just happen like this to them; they either directly arrange their lives this way, or subconsciously, they create their lives this way.
But make no mistake about it. They’re not victims. They’re not helpless. And they’re not so disempowered that they can’t do something about these circumstances that keep them from being emotionally, physically, or mentally unavailable to you.
As long as we continue to excuse them, to feel sorry for them, to accommodate and understand them to the detriment of our own selves, they will continue to engage in behavior like this because it works for them.
He has a woman who will be back for him at some point when she’s done her travel, and he has you in the meantime. He pursues you because he can. He keeps up a long distance relationship with her because he can.
You both allow him to do exactly what he does.
Don't underestimate your own power to stop him right here!
Unless your definition of “everything I’ve ever wanted in a man” includes a man who strings along multiple women at a time around the globe, he’s not everything you’ve ever wanted in a man.
We have to change that part. Because he’s not.
Whatever you see him as being to you that makes him the perfect guy for you, he's also someone who's showing you he’s fine with treating women the way he's treating you. Again, I doubt that part is included in your “everything I’ve ever wanted in a man.”
We have to raise the bar, Rose.
We, collectively, as women, need to stop settling for outdated definitions of “everything I’ve ever wanted in a man.” If it doesn’t include behavior like this, it’s not him! No exceptions, no exclusions, no “but his past, but his wounds, but his mother or father or all the women he’s ever been with before who couldn’t love him the way I will.”
Yes, all of those are sad and true and heartbreaking, but they're not reasons to choose to involve your life with someone capable of doing these things while you sell yourself on the belief that it's going to be any different this time with you!
It’s time for a new version of new behaviors we’re going to hold someone accountable to and accept nothing less.
And how do we hold them accountable? With our actions! By setting boundaries. By saying "no, this isn't okay with me." By drawing our lines in the sand and communicating with him that you respect yourself too much to allow anyone to take you for granted or treat you the way he does that you're not okay with.
Firmly, clearly, succinctly.
Ask the questions because you're not afraid of his answers. Because you know if the answers aren't the ones you instinctively already know, you don't want someone who can't be honest with you. You have to be done with settling for crumbs!
The answer to "Why?", is because he can. It's because it serves him, because you allow him to, because it's what he wants and because you don't question him. We don't ask him because we already know the answer. We're just afraid to find out we're right.
I wish I had a different answer for you, Rose. I always do.
I know Rose's story resonates with many of you. Tell her what you want her to know in the comments below.