Me and this guy began talking about 2.5 months ago. We met on the Bumble dating app and he is 36 and I’m 32. Things between us were going really well. We communicated everyday (mostly through messaging and voice notes) and saw one another 1-2 days a week and live about an hour from each other. We both made it clear from the start that we are looking for a relationship in general and I met his family twice and stayed a couple of times at his place which he says are really big things for him as he hasn’t been with a woman in that way for over 2 years.
He had split up from his ex in 2020 as he said she cheated and walked out on him. They had just brought a flat together at the time and he lost a lot of money. He eventually moved into a flat MUCH smaller and had completely changed his career from working in the airport/cargo industry for 15 years to now working as a probation officer after being made redundant, following the pandemic. He’s been in this role for just over a year. He found his current work really stressful and experienced anxiety and more recently panic attacks. For example, a situation he was dealing with reminded or triggered him about his past where he was a victim of domestic abuse from previous partners. He has mostly had a history of poor relationships since he was 14. He thought about leaving this current job but is not sure what else to do. He is also on a low salary and has a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. We spoke about his anxiety as it is quite evident and he said that it started when his ex left him in the flat (as above) and he was jobless for 10 months and that his current job has made this worse. He also lacks confidence and needs quite a bit of reassurance.
At one point he said he is going to see some mates the following Saturday stating“I am not saying we are rushing or anything, i’m really not but it happened to me in the past when I was seeing someone and I freaked out, not saying that’s going to happen with us but just pre-warning you”. (I’m not even sure why he even said that). One day I stayed with him and helped him to do a food shop which he hasn’t done in a long time and he was really anxious and stressed, picking up a lot of items worrying about how we would carry it home (about10 minutes away) and that the bill would be really high. I tried to offer some advice but he clearly didn’t listen and was shocked at the amount of the bill! Later I mentioned to him “I think I need someone calmer as I can be quite anxious myself”.
Another time he said to me “I’m not feeling myself and I’m confused about everything(from work,myself,relationships and committing to someone when I’m not even myself at the moment, I knew I’d freak out”. When asked, he said that not feeling himself means “when I am not overthinking everything and work is more settled, if one part of my life is not going well I don’t feel myself and I like structure and routine”. He used to say sometimes, (which felt quite random) “I’m looking for my person and don’t know whether this is you but we shall see I really enjoy our time together and we connect all levels and I told my mum I wont settle, If it’s you than good which I hope it is but genuinely I don’t know if you’re my person”. He also spoke about the possibility of meeting someone naturally and them maybe being his “person”. At one point, I said that I don’t know if he is the one for me and we are seeing how it goes, that I’m open to getting to know other guys and don’t want to put all my eggs into one basket. He was shocked saying I’ve never once said this to him and that he’s deleted the dating app so how is he going to meet people. I said I’m not actively looking and if I was speaking to someone and went on a date or something I would always be honest about it. Further, he said he was speaking to his mum who really likes me and told her that “I’m amazing and cannot see any red flags with me but something is missing and can’t work out what it is”. Also, said his sister and her boyfriend like me a lot but said they can’t see us together. (I’m not sure I understand this).
Recently when we met up, I said I’m not sure if I see us as long term, he is quite unsettled and I need someone settled. He seemed to understand and said to me “I don’t know if I can commit to one person”. We decided to be friends-I said I haven’t fully grieved my dad (who passed in March which he knows about) and that I’ll be starting a new job soon so want to focus on that and i’m not sure if i’m ready for a relationship. After 2days, I contacted him and apologised asking if he wants to continue dating. He was obviously confused and one of his last textes to me said “I can’t babe as I’m not in the right place so wouldn’t want to hold you back from meeting someone or your person while I am sorting myself out, I also eventually want to find my person and be in a committed relationship one day and give my complete self”. I also said that I don’t think I would able to be friends and he said he was disappointed but completely understands.
I feel bad for putting confusion and doubts in his head…Could this situation have been avoided? Clarity much needed please. Thank you.