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Relationship Health Message Board

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I've been seeing a guy for 2 months. Let's call him Phil. Phil's in his late thirties, very successful in his business and monetarily, good looking, smart etc... A few years ago he was dumped by his girlfriend who basically cheated on him with some stud (Phil's a stud too but has now lost self-confidence with the women) and dragged his heart through the mud. He said he was so in love that he couldn't see straight and he's petrified to go back there again. He said he loves love but is terrified of breaking up and getting hurt.

I'm a girl in her early thirties...I don't mean this in a bragging way but when I start dating someone for a while I usually have guys trying to get in a relationship with me and I've had numerous marriage invitations. So this situation is totally unusual for me and probably part of the reason why I want him--the challenge. But seriously though, I really like him and would like to be his girlfriend which he knows (he's known from the start that I'm interested in a long-term relationship).

He has admitted to me that he's commitment-phobic but on the other hand talks about getting married and having kids in a few years (not with me, just generically) and has mentioned the house we could have together (from a financial perspective). He'll tell me I can't bring my stuff over when I sleep over (so Mr Bigg and Carrie on Sex and the City) but then he'll spend 7 days straight in a row with me (he confessed he hasn't spent that much time in a row with someone since his ex). He's even told me he's not dating anyone else and hasn't since we met, but he knows I still date other guys (because I'm scared of waiting for him should things not work out). He then gets jealous about it. I went away on a trip and came back to have him telling me he missed me so much and asking how much I missed him. There are many more examples but clearly you can see what I'm getting at. His words and actions and even actions and actions are not matching. He's even gone to a wedding with me with no hesitation.....and we know that would freak out most guys (oh, and my friends all love him).

I'm not sure what to do. A friend ended up marrying her husband even though at the beginning they both had walls up. After I told her the whole story, she thinks both him and I are scared of getting hurt and we're looking to the other to make the first move first. She thinks I need to show more that I care...which I clearly haven't (i.e.--making dinner, etc...). I've been holding back myself because I'm used to guys revealing their feelings first, and I know he's not into a relationship now so I don't want to freak him out.

Of course, there are many many more naysayers telling me I must be crazy and why do I take the abuse? I don't consider his fear abuse but I am starting to lose patience. I decided I'm going to start doing some little nice things more often...but nothing over the top. Just SHOW more how I feel without saying anything that will scare him and then if he doesn't come around, I will split. Any advice from a male perspective? I just see his soft inner side and I just know if he would get over the fear we could have an awesome relationship.....

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