I’ve just started dating again after about a two year break. The gentleman I dated two years ago ended up being married, although he told me flat out that he was divorced. I have compassion for him and value the lesson I learned about listening to my own instincts. Anyway, I have met three different men and have gone out with two of them twice and I am taking my time getting to know them and learning about them, and have truly had a great time with them all. One of my these men, David, Is about 10 years older than me ( which is not an issue at all) and I can tell very eager to find love and to be in a committed relationship. On our second date, which was 5 hours long and a great time, he started telling me that he gets lonely, that he doesn’t feel like he will find love, and that he hasn’t met anyone like me in the previous 9 months that he has been dating. Obviously I am flattered and honor and respect that fact that he is being so vulnerable and honest. He also asked me if my other dates have been as seamless and enjoyable as my dates with him have been. I answered him honestly and said yes, because they have been, but I find myself feeling guarded and pressured, like he wants me to feel the way he does when I don’t yet. I know that I can’t help how I feel, but I find myself wishing he wasn’t coming on so strong because I would like to get to know him better, but am reluctant to keep the channels of communication open with him like I am with the other men that I have met because I think he will interpret it more intimately than I am intending. I think he could be a great guy, I just don’t know yet. Having said all of this, I realize that I am not responsible for his feelings and behavior and can not manage his feelings and I’m ok with that. I question how I can continue to show up authentically without being afraid. I am also struggling to really understand why this makes me so uncomfortable. I’ve tried writing model after model, but I can’t get to a place of peace and confidence, so I’ll share what I have, although it still doesn’t feel like I’ve got it right.
T: He likes me and is having a unique experience and is expressing his desire for a mutual connection. David is very vulnerable, he is coming on a bit too strong.
F: Uncomfortable, pressured, anxious, withdrawn.
A. Very careful and sensored in my communication with him, withholding.
R: I create distance, I possibly forego the opportunity to get to know him better.
T: David is genuine and honest about his feelings and I want to accept and honor his honesty and show up authentically as who I am and represent my own feelings truly w/o making assumptions about what he is looking for.
F: Confident and authentic
A: Listen w/o judgement, be present and feel my own feelings whatever they are and be honest.
R: Have a very real exchange without fear.
Ok, that feels a little better, but still not great. Is there a better way to think and process this? Thank you !!!