Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

Advice Vixens

I met a new guy on New Years' Eve and we hit it off immediately, so much in common, plus there's mutual attraction. We began hanging out, going out, and texting & talking on the phone daily - sometimes 3 hours per night.

Since we were getting to know each other in the winter, some of our plans got nixed due to snow & ice, but we still ended up spending a lot of time together at my or his house. We were snowed in 12 hours one time and got along great - talking and laughing, cooking, watching movies, taking naps. And he was a perfect gentleman. He always initated plans w/ me, and let me know ahead of time, plus I've asked him to do things too.

Well the past couple of weeks he kind-of dropped from asking me ahead (maybe because I've been sooo available??). By Friday he had not said anything about me keeping any part of the weekend free, so I just assumed it wasn't going to happen.

Then Friday late afternoon he texted me to come over that night. I didn't feel right just "running over there" on his whim, especially this early in the relationship. So I gave him a call and asked him to please in the future - let me know by Thursday if we're going to see each other on the weekend, that way I'll know to keep it free. I mean, give a girl some notice! I thought his response would be, "Sure, I can do that, or Sorry I should have let you know.. etc." - but it wasn't. He lectured me about not asking him either, that we're equals, etc. I was really surprised at the reaction, and it led to an argument! All I was saying was please let me know 2 days ahead.... I'm not asking for much. I was like, this is crazy. At the end of the call it was concluded that he is not going to honor my request, that I should just know he wants to see me any time. WTF? I really like him and he's amazing in so many ways, and I know this is all partly because I've had a huge lack of boundaries about myself these past 2 months and he got 'spoiled'. Should I hit the re-set button and start over with him? Help vixens :) .

P.S. - we have not been totally intimate yet, only making out and some hands-on exploring, due to it only being 2 months. So it isn't that. - meaning, his text was not a booty call.

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    It's been my experience that successful relationships allow for a little flexibility. The guy found himself with some free time and wanted to spend it with you. That's all; there was no power play involved. He probably didn't know he'd have that evening free until that afternoon. Your response (from his vantage) was that he needed to make an appointment with you a minimum of two days in advance. I could see why that would set him back some.

    So unless this becomes a pattern with him, hit that re-set and start again. When things have calmed down, you can tell him that you're okay with spontaneity, but that mostly you need to be able to make plans in advance. If he's truly interested, he'll respect that.

    reply to Jill
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    Jill is probably right -- she usually is -- but this was a huge red flag for me:

    At the end of the call it was concluded that he is not going to honor my request, that I should just know he wants to see me any time.

    So ... he has no life? There will never, ever, ever be a time when he has other plans? No work obligations? No family or friends with birthdays, anniversaries or other events he's invited to? He just spends his days waiting until you can be with him?

    Also, he's not going to honor your request? Why does he get to decide that he doesn't have to honor a perfectly reasonable request?

    Here's what I would do. I would just go about my life. If your family or friends want to make plans with you on the weekend, go ahead and accept. And when he calls you on Friday night or Saturday morning and says "Come over," be kind and sweet, but DO NOT break other plans for him.

    He will eventually figure out that you're not at his beck and call, or he won't. At this stage of the relationship, though, it is really important for him to understand that when you set a boundary, you mean it. That's important for you, too. <3

    Good luck, and please come back and let us know what happens.


    reply to Robynne
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    hey excellent advice by Jill and Robynne. I do think sometimes we need to give people the benefit of the doubt. He had some free time so he asked you. Feel free to decline it if you already have plans. I absolutely agree with you that it is annoying being taken for granted.
    After you decline you can follow it up with "I would have surely spent time with you but unfortunately someone asked me before so I have plans! Could you ask me in advance so that I will not schedule anything else!"
    That way you get your msg across and also he has no way to react negatively to that.

    reply to Shalini
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    Robynne wrote: Jill is probably right -- she usually is -- but this was a huge red flag for me: At the end of the call it was concluded that he is not going to honor my request, that I should just know he wants to see me any time. So ... he has no life? There will never, ever, ever be a time when he has other plans? No work obligations? No family or friends with birthdays, anniversaries or other events he's invited to? He just spends his days waiting until you can be with him? Also, he's not going to honor your request? Why does he get to decide that he doesn't have to honor a perfectly reasonable request? Here's what I would do. I would just go about my life. If your family or friends want to make plans with you on the weekend, go ahead and accept. And when he calls you on Friday night or Saturday morning and says "Come over," be kind and sweet, but DO NOT break other plans for him. He will eventually figure out that you're not at his beck and call, or he won't. At this stage of the relationship, though, it is really important for him to understand that when you set a boundary, you mean it. That's important for you, too. <3 Good luck, and please come back and let us know what happens.

    Hi Robynne, thank you for the good advice about boundaries. Well, it's been 2 months since I posted this question. Since then, everything had been going very well with this guy...we started seeing each other more and more and having awesome, over-the-top happy weekends. I felt like we were getting much closer. Then, over the past three weeks, after our awesome weekends, he would flake out about calling me (on the phone) during the week, he would just text or email. I noticed I would really like some voice-to-voice contact, and wouldn't he want to see how I'm doing anyway? So I would end up calling him. I ended up being honest and said - I would really like us to check in with each other daily. He flat out said we shouldn't have any rules about calling, that I can call him any time.

    My reply: Well, we don't have to talk every day.... but when we get off the phone or part ways, can we at least say when we'll talk again? As in, if we talk on Monday, say, "I'm really busy tomorrow, I'll give you call Wednesday night." Or "Give me a call tomorrow." - something like that so I know what to expect. Because it feels like we are 'taking it up a notch' in person, then I feel like I'm waiting by the phone, or I am the one initiating contact, and that feels weird.

    (His response reminded me of the one I got when I asked about letting me know by Thurs. about the weekend.) He gave me a talk about "conditional love" and that if I'm asking him to call me more, I am putting conditions on him. I told him that relationships are about compromise and I was just letting him know my preference about contact, and he said, "I talk to you more than anyone else" and "You can call me any time."

    I really like this guy and he treats me so awesome when we aren't discussing plans or phone calls. He even invited me to meet his parents on Mother's Day. I'm so confused. Is 3 months too soon to expect contact according to "my" preferences? Or is it a case of being taken for granted. Keep in mind - he's never 'disappeared' on me, he does take my calls or does call me right back.

    reply to anonymous
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    Arranging a set time to call is actually a great idea -- it means that both parties can relax, knowing that there's an agreed-upon time they will be chatting. There are no worries about calling at a bad time, or wondering about a missed call, or doing the chain of missed calls/answering machine messages thing.

    And note that it does not preclude calling at other times. Of *course* either party can spontaneously call the other for whatever reason at another time. (But if they don't get an answer because the other party has their phone off? They also know, "hey, no big deal, we're talking at six anyway".)

    The idea is that you end each call knowing when you PLAN to talk next. Could be the next day, could be in a couple of days -- that really depends on what you both are comfortable with. But it doesn't have to be "every day at 1:15 PM"; it could vary with each phone call.

    I don't think this is a huge ask, provided you're not requiring him to conform to an inflexible schedule. (And it doesn't sound like you are.) If he is responding to this with some idiocy about "conditional love"? It may not be a dealbreaker, but it's definitely something that counts against him on the overall "Points Against" tote board.

    reply to Kal
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