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jlk2525's avatar

Fell in love with a guy I met in Europe? What to do? (Long story)

Asked by jlk2525 (176points) January 27th, 2014
15 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I met him at our hostel whilst I was backpacking in Europe over a year ago. I’m from Australia, he is from Belgium both in our mid twenties. He and his two friends and myself and my two girlfriends would go out each night and see the beautiful city that is Budapest.

From only being slightly interested in the beginning, each night we became closer, having deep conversations for people that barely knew each other and I fell for him like in the typical travel romance stories. We spent the last night together, a pretty exceptional connection both emotionally and physically and we fell asleep with me on top of him hugging and remained like that until the morning. He was always a gentleman and always wanted to do things to make me happy.

He looked crestfallen when I was leaving and said he wanted to see me again. I doubted he’d actually contact me, as most guys wouldn’t so I tried not to get too upset over it. Later that evening he did message me however asking me to stay with him in Belgium and I was very happy when he did. I was already leaving my friends to travel alone and staying with him for a few days was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

The days I spent with him in his country were some of the best in my life and he expressed his time with me was some of the happiest he had been for a long time. We got along really well and domestically I could live with him no issues at all. He would ride his bike to the bakery each morning whilst I showered to buy pastries for breakfast. He said though that even though he wants one that his life is way too busy for a girlfriend and I got to see that for myself whilst staying there. Also one of his best friends who I had met in Budapest visited us each day and had been diagnosed with cancer that week. He was studying, in four bands and was starting a new job that week. I tried to give him as much space as he needed and be nonchalant about it but to be honest I would have been his girlfriend in a heartbeat if I lived in the country and he was less busy.

It came time for me to say goodbye and finish my trip. He spoke about wanting to visit Australia, that he’d always have time for me even though he is shocking at messaging not to take it personally. When I was standing outside the taxi ready to leave, he held my face like in the movies and looked me in the eye and said we will see each other again and kissed me good-bye. I felt okay until I got to the train station and it hit me. I then cried for about the next eight hours knowing I had met someone special and may never see them again. I was in Paris alone missing him.

I messaged him saying thank you for having me and I got a message back that was nice but didn’t go anywhere. He knew there was another guy (not my boyfriend who had told me to do whatever I want) waiting for me back home and I’d told my Dutch guy I wanted it to be him waiting for me instead.

I turned down the guy at homes offer of seeing each other again when I returned and I had strong feelings for my dutch guy. Since I returned we have spoken on and off but nowhere near as much as I would like and it’s been me making more effort than him. Just when I think he isn’t interested anymore, I posted on social media about going back to Europe and he messaged me straight away saying it was awhile away but that he would definitely want to see me again also asking how my love life was previous to this.

A month ago his best friend with cancer passed away. My friends and I were quite upset and decided to write a card to dutch guy and his other best friend saying we were thinking of them. I put in my own letter to dutch guy signing it off as…you will always be in my heart.

As soon as he had received it I received a message from him so happy about it, saying that he often thinks about our time together, that we were very lucky to meet each other and again he hopes to visit me in Australia.

We got speaking last night and he was very happy to hear from me, double messaging when I didn’t immediately respond which was not usual perhaps my letter made him realise something I don’t know. He said he is really happy we met on that crazy trip, that he still doesn’t understand how he deserved to get together with a sweet and beautiful creature like myself. That’s when I started crying. He was moved I’d sent him the letter and he said he felt like a dick because he could have done the same. Not sure what he meant by that? When he said I’m sure we will meet again I said well I better fill you in on something. He pressed me to tell him and that’s when I said I was planning on getting my EU Passport and applying next year for a grad job in Europe. This is something I have wanted to do for myself for a long time. He seemed quite happy about it and immediately suggested a place in Belgium which I don’t know to take as a subtle hint he wants me nearby. Don’t know how to read things due to cultural differences.

So finally here is my question…what to do? It’s so hard waiting around for something that may not happen or happens but turns sour when I get there. I miss him so much and I don’t know if I need to just be patient or if there is anything I can do to get some more effort happening from his behalf? Also why would my letter have made him feel like a dick? He obviously has some feelings for me I just don’t know if they are to the extent of what mine are. If he is going to be apart of my life over there it needs to be a two way street. I’ve been seeing other guys since I got back, none serious but can’t manage to move on even though I’ve tried.

Thank you greatly in advance and for taking the time to read this slab of text!

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anniereborn's avatar

You said “He said though that even though he wants one that his life is way too busy for a girlfriend and I got to see that for myself whilst staying there.”

Talk to him. Ask him if this has changed.

XOIIO's avatar

Lust =/= Love

I seriously doubt you know enough about him to know all of his quirks, and bad habits, and things which you may find annoying or a deal breaker.

That being said @anniereborn is right, but seriously, just do whatever the hell you think you should do. If you have a question ask him, not us, we don’t know.

RosieWard's avatar

I had a similar experience actually. I would suggest that for now, because you’re still quite young, to do everything that you want to do for yourself. If he really, absolutely wants you, he’ll fly to where you are (not the other way around). I understand that you miss him terribly (I felt the same way before), but cultural romances can be tough. And him being busy and vague isn’t helping much. If you want to study in Europe, go ahead – but don’t pick places just because they’re near him. Just my own two-cents. Good luck with that!

Smitha's avatar

Falling in love abroad, is easy, but staying in love is hard. You need to take more time to get to know the person and before getting involved with him because your emotions really play an important role when you are in a new place. And always listen to what your heart says, when something doesn’t feel right inside, then better don’t go for it. @RosieWard is absolutely right. You should not make love a reason to move abroad. You must never move to a place looking for love, go looking for yourself and if love still finds you there, then go for it. Also you must take into consideration factors like language barriers, cultural differences, visa problems, etc.

whitenoise's avatar

Dutch <!> Belgian.

However… go for it and live life… Worst case? You’ll have extra experience studying in Europe.

ccrow's avatar

If you were already planning to go to Europe before you even met him, then of course you should still do it. Should you get a job near him? It seems to me if you don’t take a chance to see if the two of you can have something together, you will always wonder about it and regret that you didn’t try…

Mandeblind's avatar

You may be disappointed like I do every time. I had a small relationship years ago in France, we were both from different countries but came there for vacation. Years later, he is one of my best friends. I’ve seen him only 2 times since then when he visited but we skype or talk all the time.

What you experienced is a beautiful thing, but never sell yourself short. If the guy doesn’t want what you do, it won’t work. Also like people said you may want to know his bad habits that may really irritate you so you won’t be too disappointed about losing him but disappointed about hoping for your future with him.

Cruiser's avatar

He said he felt like a dick because he could have taken the initiative to write you as you did when you sent that letter which IMO implies a dose of reality of your situation and the distance that is between you. You were on a whirlwind romance….I had one as well when I was in Germany many years ago. Think about how great your time was and it was great because you did not have to deal with reality and your regular life. You got a taste of his real life when you stayed with him and hardly saw him because of his busy schedule.

I hate to make this observation but if he truly felt you were his dream girl, I would expect him to do more things (action) to prove his true intentions and desires for you.

janbb's avatar

I think he felt like a dick because he likes you but not enough to make the important moves. I wouldn’t change my life around for a long distance temporary romance but love isn’t rational. Why not try to go see him again for a short time before committing your future further? If he backs away from the idea, you have your answer.

LornaLove's avatar

We do meet people that impact on us on our journey through life. Eventually the memory fades, we learn from them and the experience. If it is meant to be both of you will fight for it, but it is not an easy road, two different countries and cultures.

ml3269's avatar

… it is better to regret things you have done than those you have not… so… DO IT.
Apart of it all: Europe is a nice place to live…

ml3269's avatar

… and I do not think, that our cultures are so different…

whitenoise's avatar

Does anyone else think “Summer loving, happened so fast…”?
I loved that movie and it ended well…

Just saying… don’t let fear guide your heart. (Nor foolish false hopes…)


I’m going back to Australia; I might never see you again.

- Don’t… don’t talk that way, Sandy.

But it’s true! I’ve just had the best summer of my life, and now I have to go away.
It isn’t fair.

[Danny starts kissing her]

Danny, don’t spoil it!

- It’s not spoiling it, Sandy, it’s only making it better.

Danny… is this the end?

- Of course not; it’s only the beginning.

jlk2525's avatar

Firstly thank you so much to everyone who has taken the time to read and respond. So good to get some great advice from people that understand and some having been in my position themselves, extremely helpful.

I do know he is Belgian, I just say dutch because thats the main language he speaks but will definitely keep your point in mind. We spent almost every minute together when I visited him, I just got a feel for how busy he is by the amount of texts, calls and plans he had coming up and the amount of effort he took to clear his schedule to show me his home country. In a way I can understand why he hasn’t made a lot of effort, he would think there’s a small chance he will see me again and he’s a very pragmatic person but then I sent a letter and it was something physical from me the reminded him of our experiences together, made me more real perhaps?

He has said in the past that if I went back to Europe he is more than happy to visit me in another country if I’m not planning to go to Belgium so I know he’s willing to make the effort just not as much as I would like. My gut tells me he’s busy putting his life together and perhaps when he is ready to somewhat settle he will see how he feels however theres a good chance I may have met someone else by then and it will be too late. Believe me it would be so much easier to forget him.

@janbb I’m planning to apply for a job in a few countries including Belgium and see where fate takes me. The amount of time I initially intend to stay will depend on what job I get. At the end of that job I will see where I am at. If I’m happy there etc. It is something I need to do and will be great for my career. I did in fact decide to do it before I met him I just didn’t know when. I also have family that live in Europe so I’m also going to spend time with them.

@Cruiser He was a really slow mover to kiss me so not sure if that has something to do with it. Do you think he also may have felt like a dick because of the whole male/female roles…that like you said he wasn’t the one that took the initiative? He’s always said in Belgium I’m considered a fancy girl, he’s said he doesn’t know how he deserved me. I’ve always thought he may think I’d forget about him easily so he has tried not to dwell on me.

I’m just one of those ambitious people that will do everything they can to achieve what they want which is why I think I feel so frustrated. @whitenoise your response was so funny and actually pretty accurate more so because he has dark hair/eyes and I’m petite and blonde haha! Similar thing happened, a few nights ago I said I was crying after he said something really lovely about me and he responded by saying don’t cry, be happy. Almost every time we speak he says we will see each other again.

@ccrow time will definitely tell on this one and you are very right in that I know I will regret it, if I don’t try. There’s a good chance when he knows I’m definitely going to Europe he will make more effort. If we do see each other I’ll see how it goes and have a take it or leave it attitude and thats when I will see if he has room in his life for a girlfriend @anniereborn and more importantly whether he is right for me. Within the last three weeks he’s said he thinks I’m sweet, beautiful, supportive and he loves my passion. I think you’re right @janbb he likes me but just not enough to make the important moves.

janbb's avatar

It sounds like your eyes are open so I say see where it goes. I was married to an English man for 40 years who picked me up while I was hitchhiking so I can’t caution you too much. Anyway, you sound quite level-headed; you should do fine whichever way it works out.

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