Tuesday

Pilot Error


QUESTION: Hi,

I was dating a 26 year old guy. We were friends before we started dating and he is really a genuinely good guy, one of those dime a dozen tyoe, but he had not been in a relationship for six years because he was focused on geting his pilot licence and didn't want to take on a relationship because his flying would interfere with it and he didn't want to neglect anyone. Well, when I met him he was almost finished with his flying.

We became friends through a mutual friend of ours. He was single, never been married, has no children and he nor his brother believes in cheating, sounds perfect right? I have 3 children from a previous relationship and I'm 3 years older than he is. Well maybe I should have left it as just friends.

We started dating about 6 months into the friendship. He called everyday about 20 times a day, when I didn't answer my cell, he called my work phone and inbetween that he was emailing me at my work email address. Everything seem to be going well. It did become a little annoying after a while, the sex wasn't that good at first either, because I was his second and he wasn't very confident and I patiently worked on it with him to a point that was workable for us both. He was really sweet the entire relationship and I became really attached to him. We were together for about 4 months. We spent as much time together as we could. The children were with their grandmother all week, and when he couldn't make it over to me, I would go up to his school so we could hang out on his breaks and after school, he really looked foward to me doing that every week, but it was kinda boring for me, especially the waiting while he was in class and I would aslo meet him at the airport so we could hang out while he was going to flight school. My daughter didn't like the fact that there was a man in my life, but later became attached as well and periodically called him daddy. My older son always wanted to be a pilot, so he loves him and the youngest always had a liking for him from the time we were just friends.

Everything was fine up until he went to visit his older brother in another country for 9 days about three weeks ago. He called as often as he could and emailed almost everyday, I thought everything was fine. I drove 3 hours to Miami, as a surprise to him, but also because the mutual friend we have, who he thought was picking him was not, she had other engagements for the evening had was not going to leave to pick him up, so I volunteered. He kissed and hugged me when he saw me, but he wasn't as excited as I expected him to be. He came back with a stomach virus, which started about 2 days before he came back. We went out with my family, went back to their place and spent the night there and he drove up the next day. I wasn't able to go I had something to take care of before I left.

We didn't see each other all week, but we still spoke on the phone and emailed as usual. I was a little busy at work, so I couldn't respond or talk as ofter as usual, but nothing seem out of the norm. He thought I would have came up to his school to visit him one day in the week, but I was too tired. School had started back and I now had the children during the week again. He came over friday, we were all hanging out. We put the kids to bed, watched some TV then went to lye down. After our rondevue, he got dressed and sat at the top fo the bed (unusual) I kept asking what was wrong and finally he said he couldn't do this anymore. I asked if he met someone else and he said no, he's not like that, but it's moving too fast and getting too serious and he's not ready for that right now. I didn't know what to say. It was out of the blue, he wanted me to say something, but I was too shocked. After he left, he called and left a message apologising and said he felt like shit and wanted me to talk to him. I was too angry and shocked, I shut him out. He called our mutual friend and told her he didn't mean to break up, but it came out that way and he wants to talk to me, but I deleted him off my facebook and won't take his calls. Was a I wrong? I called 2 days later.

His reasoning were, he didn't feel comfortable with my daughter calling him daddy and I thought it was harmless. I was telling him everyday that I loved him and he didn't feel the same way and even though I told him he didn't have to say it back, it overwhelmed him and he's still young and it was just moving too fast and he wanted to get out now because of that reason. He wasn't ready to settle down yet. I became angry at that point, because he never expressed any of the things that were bothering him or sit me down and tell me that we needed to slow it down and change certain things that were happening, but deep down, as angry as I am, I really miss his company, but I can no longer be his friend because we already took it past that point. I explained that I wasn't looking for marriage, at least not now and there may have been a few jokes, but that was all they were, just innocent jokes. He agreed that maybe he took things too seriously... I expressed that I didn't even know my relationship had a problem because he never expressed his concerns so I was never given the option to fix it.

I emailed him to come and pick his stuff up Saturday between a specific timeframe and return my key. I want to talk to him as well to see if we can give it another try and take it down a notch and see where it goes and let him know that if something is bothering him he needs to talk to me about it before it gets to the point of being overwhelming and if we need to slow it down, he has to let me know. There's no way for me to know what he's thinking. What do you think or suggest?



CHUCK: This kind of thing drives me crazy. This guy flies planes. I'm afraid of heights. He can probably do more before breakfast than I can do all day. But he is still unable to address his relationship concerns with you without, yes, crashing and burning.

What is it about "the relationship discussion" that makes some men and women quake with fear? I know that there can be complex emotions involved, and there can be a lot at stake, but we should not let that paralyze us, or make us say things we may not mean. Because that's what I think that your boyfriend did with you.

He may have said too much, and realized he wanted to take it back. But I think what really happened is he just wanted to voice his insecurities about being in a relationship with an older woman, seeing your kids start to get attached to him, and not having a lot of relationship experience himself. He may have wanted to slow things down, but I don't believe that it was his original intention to break up with you.

You, I think, had a different issue. I think that, in your urge not to get hurt, you may be pushing him by being too reactionary. True, he completely fumbled talking to you. But you immediately set about eradicating him from your life. You even wiped him off your Facebook page! Perhaps anticipating that reaction is what got him so nerved up last time.

You two should have a conversation before you make any other moves. He needs to articulate what he wants out of this relationship, and you should, too. He is not looking to get married yet. You say you don't think you are, either. There's a chance you might be closer in what you're looking for than you think. But hear him out. And don't let the fact that he's a little clueless throw you. This is someone who's being trusted with millions of dollars in aircraft.

GARLAND: Thanks for your question.

I think your 'un-friended' flyboy is not quite ready for the level of relationship that you are presenting to him. Sure, his sheepish declaration at the top of the bed was a bit awkward, but he did tell you what was on his mind - "this is moving fast and I'm not ready for this."

For a 26 year-old guy, this is pretty good. He is NOT going to break things down like a woman would or like an older guy would. They might give more detail and dig deeper into the emotions that are in play - but a 26 year old man... yeah, he's gonna give it to you brief.

You mention that marriage isn't necessarily a goal here, but I'm gonna keep it real with you - IF YOU ARE NOT PLANNING A MARRIAGE, then you shouldn't have your kids making such a significant emotional attachment to him after four months and you should NOT have them calling him DADDY. That is going to screw them up AND it is going to screw HIM up. Many many many 26 year old men are not ready to be DAD. Sure, when he first started going out with you he was blowing up the phone and the E-Mail, but that was because he was dating a hot older chick! He was probably full of himself and paranoid all at the same time - but now things are slowing down and drifting into the realm of The Calm. Sadly, he is now seeing the forest and not just the trees.

I see where Chuck is going with his answer, but I'm going to go into a different direction, I think being a pilot requires a calm and level headed person, I think your 26 year old has calmed down and realizes that maybe the pre-made family is not the thing he wants right now. That is not a slight on you or your kids, not at all, but he has a right to look at his relationship with you, his future relationship and professional options and goals and he has a right to say - "I think I want to go in another direction." I think in the long run his choice will be better for all of you - you and your kids would be miserable if he ignored his true feelings and stayed in a relationship with you, and/or married you and allowed a loveless home to fester and surround you all.

When it's all said and done here, he is 26 and probably a very nice person. He is not ready for the intensity that a relationship with the four of you will bring. Yes, I said 'the four of you' because no matter how you slice it - the four of you are a package - there is no dating you without being a part of your three kids lives. Trying to reduce the scope of your relationship or by making things light hearted and cutesy, is just not going to work.

Best of luck -

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great advice guys! She needs to let this young chap fly away before things get ugly.

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