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Some Self-Reflections
About a year ago now I broke with my boyfriend. It was sort of a mutual break-up and he wanted to be friends...or that's what he said at the time. We have stayed in touch for the most part except now he doesn't really talk to me...and that's fine. We're both seeing other people and I don't have any "feelings" for him any just feels awkward to me now particularly that he's quasi ignoring me. In my experience it has been difficult to stay friends with exes regardless of whether it was a "good" or "bad" breakup so I've got the feeling it might be best to walk away from that friendship, but curious about everyone else's experiences with staying friends with exes, whether you were successful or not or other considerations. Of course, I didn't really go into why we broke up in this post, I have posted about our breakup in other threads, so I have at least for now left all that out. So that's part one...and now here's part two.

I have been talking to a new guy since Christmas. He's really nice, shy and we do have some common ground and perhaps we're too much alike in some aspects. He, like me, has some anxiety issues, also introverted and has been kind of sheltered it seems. I feel like he's just gotten comfortable and is just now waking up to life and I do, if anything at all, want to help him open the door. When you have severe social anxiety, have panic attacks, it is all too easy to just stay in your comfort zone believe me I know. My fear is me.

One of the things that I used to do that he does is not being assertive with what he wants. I would just agree or say "whatever you want to do" when you really don't want to do what they want. These days I have learned to be more assertive, stating what I want unless I really don't care. He's done this a lot since meeting him and I get that when you first meet someone you might not put up too many demands but it is annoying to say you want to do something that you really don't and change your mind last minute. Reading that perhaps it might come off the wrong way. We did a little thing for Valentines. I got us a suite in a nearby town that is sort of touristy and before people get in their high horse about COVID, we've taken just about all precautions one can take, wearing masks, getting takeout, etc, etc. I had asked him if he wanted to get lunch in the town or have dinner early and he agreed to it, he later changes his mind before we left and ended up having a really late lunch. The short version is due to all the changes I made later because he didn't tell me upfront what he wanted meant we wound up at Burger King instead of doing Thai basically lol. Then in the morning I thought he might want to look at some of the shops in town, he likes antiquing and such and there's a lot of that and other neat shops. It was raining so I can't completely blame him for not wanting to walk in the rain although I brought an umbrella and a rain jacket in preparation for rain. So we ended up back at my place in the morning, so we never really enjoyed the town...the jacuzzi was nice but we didn't really go out and do anything. However, this was largely something I planned but mainly because he didn't really have any suggestions on what he wanted to do.

Yes, Burger-effing-King. Don't take all this as me ranting about the guy, he is really sweet and I'm sure he had no intention of screwing up dinner plans. I was once in his shoes, being shy and thinking that letting them decide on everything was ok. There are other things about him that do concern me but it is not necessarily a deal-breaker. My question is how can I help him. He reminds me of me about 7-8 years ago, having severe anxiety, not sure about what I want in life, career choices... So I do feel empathetic about that and worried that I'm going to end up breaking this guy's heart and worried that he's too attached to me. I feel like he's kind of gotten into this crush thing with me and that does worry me a bit, not because he likes me because that's good but I think he might be a little too attached too soon perhaps. I don't know how you can tell someone to turn it to low or medium heat without coming off as I don't like you.

The second thing is helping him with his anxiety issue. This is kind of close to me because I went through having panic attacks and for a while I was pretty isolated and I was already introverted and at the same time didn't enjoy doing things alone. I feel that's where we're alike. So I suggested some of the things that helped me early on in dealing with and managing anxiety. I want him to be able to assert himself so he can figure out what he wants in life and able to speak up and not let someone else decide for him. He is a little younger than me, turns 30 later this year. I don't think I would be fair to kick him to the curb because my plans for the weekend didn't go as planned, I'm sure somewhere in there I'm partly to blame and perhaps I'm not realizing that. I want to give him some slack and try to be understanding about where he's at but also be aware of my own shortcomings and be true to myself. I want to give someone the opportunity but I also don't want to give someone the wrong impression.

At any rate I definitely need to discuss this stuff with him. Much easier to do it now, but I want to make sure I'm not being ridiculous or something idk.
"I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime"
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Taking it easy, you could suggest that for your next meeting it’s his responsibility to pick places to eat and activities, discuss things with you beforehand (so you could veto stuff you absolutely don’t want to do) and then organize the get together. He’d have to show some initiative, present his picks and see how it turns out.

Don’t get into him being more attached to you than vice versa, unless he’s ready to pick out wedding rings. What I remember from my early relationships is that I was in love with having a boyfriend, but not the boyfriend.

Being gay is not for Sissies.
@Bhp91126 I do think I really need to sort of get out of him what he thinks of me from his perspective. Right now, I say that we're dating but nothing more. He's a nice guy but he's also, not that I'm any different, got things to sort out before I feel like I could be in a successful relationship and that's not considering the fact it takes a really long time to really get to know someone. My last relationship was the case of just not being ready and not really knowing what the other person wanted out of a relationship and when you're in the beginnings of a relationship it's all through rose tinted glasses.

Like he's worried about disappointing me in sex and honestly, I can deal with that. He was worried about how I might feel about him having psoriasis. Like, those are things I can deal with. Do I want him to find something that helps, sure, for his sake because I know he's clearly self-conscious about it, just as I tend to be about my weight or appearance.

The bigger problem I see is him not having his career path figured out. He did admit that this, working at an animal hospital, is his first job. He had some issues with college in his 20's and some mishap with anesthesia when they were pulling a tooth that led to him having panic attacks all the time and prevented him from functioning. It's not his past that worries me, hell I didn't do so well in an University environment myself. It is odd for someone who in their late 20's to get their first job but that's fine. I do think he should try to figure out what he wants, he doesn't like the job he has and wants to do something else but doesn't know what. While I can certainly help him with ideas and suggestions about how to go about some things, which may or may not be good advice, it all has to come from him. Me being where I'm at, I would love to find myself in a stable relationship soon. I do find myself thinking more about the future about where I might find myself 5 years later (should have thought about all that...say 5 or 10 years ago).

The reason I want to sort of pump the brakes is from my own experience of being in crushes. It's a great feeling at first, when your crush likes you back and it is all good until it isn't. At least that's the vibe I get from him but at any rate, it is something I need to work on and hopefully get under wraps before too long.
"I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime"
Check out my stuff!

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