Forum Replies Created
September 19, 2020 at 6:17 am #366951
Thanks @Sammy for the reassurance! It’s useful to read about your experience. I agree, NC is the way to go for me too – lesson learned the hard way in this one, trying to keep casually in touch for a few months after, very detrimental to healing.
I don’t think she adds anything to my life that other friends don’t. Of course I loved the connection we had at one point but that is no longer there. I think trying to be friends, or even keep in casual contact with her would cause more negative feelings than positive – not because I have feelings for her or find her attractive any longer, I don’t think I do, just that it would remind me of the hurt of the breakup. I guess it really depends on the circumstances, as thinking about it I have managed to keep a solid friendship with someone I tried dating for a while after we had been friends for many years, but I think that is because we had that base of friendship first and the decision not to date anymore was very mutual. I did not have nearly as strong feelings as I did here, nor did I get dumped out of the blue.
Seem to have answered my own ponderings! Also just read an article that said that running into someone previously important to you unexpectedly triggers the flight or fright response, so the physiological reaction I experienced is to be expected. Brains eh!
Hope you are feeling ok Sammy. Been good to read that you have been making so much progress and got yourself into a good routine rather than drinking. Well done!September 19, 2020 at 5:07 am #366948
Hope you are doing okay @Shelbyville! Been thinking of you.
Haven’t felt the need to post here about the breakup I had which prompted me to join this forum in awhile but I ran into my ex today for the first time since I last saw her in January forum and it brought back so much anxiety. So strange because I was literally thinking minutes before how strange it is I haven’t seen her around. I immediately felt extremely anxious when I saw her, but decided to do the decent thing and stop and say hello and we had a brief chat. She seemed a bit sheepish. I suspect she feels guilty for how she handled things.
It’s so interesting how a few minutes like that can bring back a flood of memories, both good and awful. I never felt safe in the relationship as she was not consistent in her behaviour, so seeing her triggered that same unsafe feeling. I am trying to just observe my reaction rather than cast any judgement but I do feel annoyed she still can still affect my headspace. I feel no desire to reconnect with her, really, just a lingering sadness someone can be such a massive part of your life for a time and then just not. I guess that’s how life works. Not seeking any response in particular, just journaling, though as always welcome hearing how others felt in the same situation. Wish I was one of those people who could genuinely keep up a friendship with an ex but as I say I find the sudden change in dynamic difficult to navigate. I also don’t really see the point of putting time and energy into something that has broken down for whatever reason – unless of course people have children together, that’s different. Do others feel this way?September 18, 2020 at 5:01 am #366921
Glad there will be some kind of conclusion this weekend, Shelby, even if it’s not the one you are hoping for. Sometimes I find the uncertainty of a situation so much worse than the actual outcome, even though I know it’s not the outcome I want. I hope you will feel relief on some level that you at least don’t have to question yourself and your and his feelings so much anymore even though it will hurt. And hey, you can be proud you tried. You could have just played it safe, but you have put yourself out there again, risked your heart. That’s what life is about, even if something doesn’t work out. You should still take heart in the experience.
As for me, yeah you’re right that people communicate differently. I think part of it for me is that I feel it takes so much bloody effort to get to this stage that it seems like a waste not to keep communicating at the same pace but I can see how that is off putting to some people. If I’m honest with myself anxiety about lack of contact always happens regardless of the person but it lessens with time if I let it, and then I am able to assess the situation much more objectively and actually reflect properly on how I feel about them. So, here we are again! Riding the wave and waiting for clarity. My gut says that this particular person is not compatible with me but would make a good friend, but then I wonder if I am just writing them off because of past experiences and hurts. Guess we will see.
Anxiety huh. Wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Thinking of you!September 17, 2020 at 1:55 pm #366884
It’s been awhile since I have posted here but I still read semi-regularly.
Firstly I wanted to say that I am really proud of you for putting yourself into the dating arena again! Such a slog.
Second, I wanted to suggest you read up on attachment styles. I know I talked about them a little awhile back. It have been a really useful framework for me to understand how I act in relationships, especially potentially romantic ones, why others may act like they do and how it triggers/affects me. Like you I am very much anxious-preoccupied and perceive changes in people’s behaviour easily that make me very very anxious. Sorry to say that this guy sounds very much avoidant, and I think without him recognising and committing to address that there is little hope of you having a fulfilling relationship. Check out the “attachment theory” reddit and you may recognise some patterns there- I found it helpful, anyway!
I should of course say that is easy for me to say; harder to live. For example, I recognise when my anxious attachment is triggered very easily now, and when potential dates likely have an avoidant style but I still struggle hugely knowing what to do next. For example, I’ve been talking to someone solidly for a few weeks now and had a nice date with them this past weekend and not hearing from them consistently is causing me massive anxiety even though I know it’s just because my attachment system is triggered, and I can also tell they likely have an avoidant style. But I’m not sure if that means I just cut my losses, give it a few weeks and reach out again, or just reach out now like I want to. I wish this stuff came with a rulebook!
Anyway, hope your infection clears up and you are feeling better soon. That’s a lot to deal with on top of dating anxiety. XxJuly 9, 2020 at 3:41 am #361089
Just wanted to reach out after seeing so much of my own experience described in your latest post. I also found these forums in an attempt to deal with the heartbreak of being broken up with in my first relationship. The circumstances are different to yours but like you I tried desperately to make things work, overlooking key needs of mine, compromising, over accommodating because I wanted her to be the one for me. But rationally, she so clearly wasn’t. From my perspective, she was able to “just quit” and move on as you describe, and I too have found that incredibly hurtful.
I too was incredibly scared of putting myself out there again. Of even considering dating. After a few months, I did, and I dated someone over the lockdown period. That too didn’t work out; after meeting up in person she said it made her realise she wasn’t over her last relationship . I was again hurt – and ashamed that things had failed, despite my best efforts. However, I do feel that having been broken up with before, I was much more equipped to deal with the blow of the rejection, and I knew how to take care of myself better too. For example, instead of trying to keep in contact, hoping that things would be different and she would change her mind as I did with my ex, I cut contact immediately. It was difficult at first, but because of my first experience, I knew it would get easier with time, and it has. I have only contacted her once, to wish her happy birthday. I also suggested we get a drink which she said sounded great, but then hasn’t contacted me to arrange it as she said she would. With my ex, I would have followed up and chased, but this time I am adamant this person does not deserve my time and energy because she has shown as much. Like you, I always try to see the good in people and take them at their word, and I used to feel it was my fault if they didn’t follow through. However, I am slowly it surely learning to recognise that others choosing not to follow through has no bearing on my self worth, and it is a way of filtering themselves out of my life, which I am ultimately better off for. I – and you – deserve genuine people in our lives who put in effort equal to what we do.
Still, it’s difficult. I get frustrated at myself that I still think about these people, and how my relationships with them, didn’t work out daily, even months later. However, our brains will do what they will do – these thoughts will come no matter how much we wish we could forget sometimes – the trick is to observe them as just thoughts without getting hooked into them.
I really get what you mean about missing companionship even though you are used to being single. I feel the same – I guess it’s something about knowing what you are missing out on, whereas before we were ignorant to what falling in love was like. And while that hurts, I think we are lucky to know what it feels like; because that shows it’s possible for us, and can therefore happen again.
While I am back to being single and hesitant to date, I take comfort in the fact that when I am ready, I will go in wiser and more secure in myself than I did the last time. And whenever it happens that I enter a relationship again, I will be able to communicate my needs more clearly, and be more confident in letting go if those needs aren’t being met. And letting go will hurt like hell, just like it did the first time, but I know it’s possible because I’ve done it before. So I think that while of course it would be nice if things had worked out the first time, or in my case, even the second, we just have to keep trying, and learning and loving – especially ourselves – along the way.
Love and best wishes as you continue to heal.June 28, 2020 at 5:06 am #359827
Thanks for your offer to communicate via email. I’ll politely decline for now, as I don’t feel I have the time or energy, but appreciate the offer. As you will read on other threads I have found the last couple of weeks difficult, but that’s okay. I have acted with grace and relied on inner strength, I feel.
As to your question about what would make dating easier, I think honestly it’s just a numbers game. Online or offline, it is simply about meeting enough people til you connect with someone and vice versa. I don’t have the time or energy to commit to date at the moment, but I mostly feel fine about that. Any loneliness I am feeling passes if I just sit long enough. My job is busy but fulfilling as are many relationships with my friends, so I will focus on that and perhaps revisit the idea in a few months.
Plus, talking to some of my peers recently, they are simply in relationships for “convenience” (by their own admission); too scared to have to get to know people well other than their partner, too annoyed at how difficult it will be to find another place to live. Too scared of being “alone“. That seems infinitely worse than being single, to me.
Building self worth will be an ongoing journey, but I feel proud I am at least embarking on it, despite it feeling difficult at times, rather than doing things in the name of convenience. I hope these people find the bravery to do the same. Thanks for your support!
June 28, 2020 at 4:39 am #359825
- This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Adelaide1.
Thanks for your wise words and ongoing support. Sorry I haven’t replied earlier; things have felt a hard lately as I said on the other thread. But I do feel I am making progress in improving my self esteem and confidence, despite that. I get frustrated at myself, sure, but at the end of the day, I know I am a kind, generous, intelligent person who is trying to grow and learn and I am proud of myself for that, and like you say deserve to have my needs met. So I will keep working on consistently believing that, and the rest will follow. 🙂
So happy to hear you and Jay are going well. Enjoy every bit of it! XxJune 28, 2020 at 4:28 am #359824
Thanks for your kindness in saying I am insightful. I am glad my and others’ perspectives helped you.
Significant dates are always hard. In the last 10 days I have had the anniversary of meeting my ex, her birthday yesterday and tomorrow will be the anniversary of us becoming “official”. I have been really sad on and off, thinking about the could have beens but are nots. Getting frustrated at myself that I am ruminating about old memories and giving her headspace. Still, there is some progress to celebrate; yesterday I wished her a happy birthday publicly on Facebook (Because she wished me on my birthday I felt I should return the favour) but otherwise did not attempt to contact her. A few months ago I would have used it as an excuse to meet up with her despite knowing it would make me feel bad. Now I would not meet up with her, even if she suggested it. I can see what I am holding onto is the hope of re-experiencing the intoxicating feeling I had when I fell in love with her, nothing more. Still, it’s hard. I have no real advice for you except to say, try to be kind to yourself. Acknowledge and label what you are feeling, and trust that even if it feels uncomfortable it will pass with time. You (and I!) just have to make the space for it. All the best. xxJune 8, 2020 at 12:13 pm #357950
I will reply properly later but just wanted to say that I am sorry you feel judged and are planning on leaving. I have really appreciated your support and I hope that you reconsider that and at least post occasionally. I did not see you not wanting to communicate offline as a rejection of me, just a personal preference on your part.
I am glad to hear you are safe and things with Jay are going well. You deserve it! xxxJune 8, 2020 at 4:44 am #357900
@anita – thank you for your kind words! There will be many more years of activism, because there is so much inequity in the world, but I must remember to take stock of even the smallest pieces of progress and there have been many.
I have been thinking about what you said about me perhaps thinking people are better than they are and the possibility that this last woman could have just pursued me for sex. I think that the first part of the sentence is true, but the second in this case unlikely. It just doesn’t make logical sense to me that’s that is all it was given the context (which I don’t have the energy to go into detail now). But regardless, her last message to me when she broke up with me was that I am a beautiful person and that someone is going to be incredibly lucky to fall in love with me; regardless of her intention, that is true. Someone is going to be lucky and in that regard I am glad she let me go so I can make sure I find someone who values me as much as I do then. Interestingly, I could not have imagined myself typing the last couple of sentences out and even half believing them. Sometimes I still don’t other times I do and that seems to indicate that my self worth is improving. This is encouraging to me – but you are right that I am often too accommodating of others and don’t see myself in a positive light as others do.
Thank you for your advice about seeking hookups. You are right about sex being scraps. Yes, that is the question indeed! All I can do is keep trying to direct my energy towards fulfilling relationships as tiring as that is at times. Sometimes I find myself feeling resentful that others have been luckier in love than I have. My brother, for example, entered his first relationship over 5 years ago and it seems to still be going strong, and I have friends who are the same. I just find myself wishing things were easier for me, or sometimes not as easy for others, but then I feel guilty about that… any ideas on how to reframe this thinking?
I am very sorry to read that you yourself have experienced feeling unworthy for so long. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you go about changing this? I hope you appreciate your worth now. You contribute so generously to people’s lives through this forum and your advice is an invaluable gift!
June 6, 2020 at 3:14 pm #357779
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Adelaide1.
Thanks for your input! it’s interesting what you say about becoming a political activist as I already am. I have been for the last 10 years, probably. I have studied and worked in human rights law. I have spoken out in the media, on TV, in newspapers, multiple times on disability rights issues, including a lack of accessible housing. I have written submissions, met with politicians, and been told I should run for office myself. I know how to be outwardly assertive in this regard and yet inwardly lack confidence. Do you have any thoughts as to why this is?
Thanks for your perspective on what happened with the last woman I was with. It is useful for me to consider. I have come to the conclusion that she is the type of person that wants “this, that and the other one” as you described it in Greed4UrLove’s thread. She actually told me that we could go slowly “very very slowly” I believe she said. My theory is that after being with me she realised she was not willing to have a deep connection with me and decided to run away. I get the sense that this is a pattern for her – getting into relationships, and then as intimacy starts to build, moving onto another. What do you think?
One thing that has been weighing on my mind is that I had the idea that whenever I make contact with her again, I could ask her whether she would be open to hooking up occasionally. The thing is, I don’t think I actually want that surface level connection. As I’ve said in previous posts, it’s intimacy that I want. So where does this come from? I guess frustration that I haven’t explored my sexuality to the extent that I wanted to when I was younger. I didn’t get the chance to have one night stands with people in college, for example, and just have fun exploring what feels good. And there is also something about that sort of physical connection being validating – you know, the whole “at least one person will sleep with me” idea. But in reality I know that even if she was agreeable to the idea, it wouldn’t be the connection that I want – it may feel good physically but I think it would leave me feeling otherwise hollow. So I won’t ask her – but it is interesting to me that I’ve wanted to. Do you have any thoughts on this?June 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm #357691
”I am thrilled that you started your own thread. In the past, when I read your posts in others’ threads, I thought of you as an exceptionally decent, kind, generous and intelligent person, and I wished that I could communicate with you. My wish just came true and therefore, I am thrilled!”
This is so kind – thank you. The feeling is mutual. The time you take to help people is extraordinarily generous and your insights are so on point. Thank you for taking the time to piece together all the information from my posts, I am not surprised it took you hours! It was helpful for me to read as a collation.
I agree that the attitude of being grateful for everything and not expecting too much needs to be put to death and I like those choice of words. In fact I was just reflecting to a friend last night that, again, I have had enough of settling for scraps, not only in terms of romance but basic accessibility and supports. The context was that I had showered and got into bed and was saying how nice it was to be able to do so because last winter I was having to use the showers at my workplace because I didn’t have a shower I could use at my own home. Wheelchair accessible housing is almost non-existent here and I couldn’t find one to rent, so I had to settle for an apartment with a non-accessible bathroom until a friend of mine happened to have a room come up in her accessible home (Which her parents own and renovated for her) where I now live. Anyway, I share that because my instinct again last night was to feel gratitude for no longer having to shower at work, but I am tired of having to be grateful for having my most basic of needs met and that same principle transfers to relationships too.
So next question is, how to start killing this attitude off? I started reading a book on self love that suggests that the key from going from “I have had enough (of having low self love) to “I am enough” is to imagine oneself in a situation where self worth is low, then imagine the same situation but in a state of “I am enough”; to think about how one would be moving, what one would be saying and how, how one would speak, how one would be breathing. And to repeat this 10 times daily, the idea being that this will “rewire” the brain and eventually you will actually act feel like that in that situation. I am keen to give this a try but also feel such exercises don’t acknowledge the structural barriers perpetuating this attitude. For example, the government continuing not to invest in accessible housing to me says “People like me don’t matter” on a structural level, so how do I reconcile “I am enough” when the way the world is built says otherwise? Your insights welcome. No rush to reply though. Thank you again for taking the time!June 3, 2020 at 11:56 am #357541
Greed4UrLove, likewise – thanks for the kind words! I have indeed found solace on this forum; people are really helpful.
What Anita said about chasing the intoxicating feeling has really stuck with me. I recently briefly dated someone else, but after about six weeks of talking and then eventually meeting up post lockdown she said she realised she wasn’t over her last relationship and couldn’t commit anything, I was sad about that, and I don’t doubt I liked her, but what’s interesting is looking back I can see that objectively, we were not very compatible; what I was chasing was the intoxicating feeling. Same with my ex – I feel myself pining for her at times but if I take a step back, I realise I am pining for a version of her that doesn’t exist- one that is clouded by this intoxicating pull, and it is that that I’m pining for.
I don’t know about you but my self esteem and self worth is generally low – I find myself seeking love in others and being hugely self critical of myself. I think that’s why I find the pull so intoxicating- because it validation I can’t/don’t give myself at the moment. So I am going to take a break from dating and work on that. Easier said than done but as you said, it’s about being willing to be open to hard truths.
Thanks for allowing me to put my thoughts here. You are clearly a kindhearted, good person and I really hope you are feeling better soon.June 2, 2020 at 11:56 am #357461
Just wanted to say thanks for starting this thread. I have been reading along as another gay woman and though the circumstances of my experience with heartbreak are different it has been helpful for me to read Anita’s responses. Your feeling of being foolish after investing so much of yourself into this relationship really struck a cord with me. Like you I met someone I thought was the one that looking back clearly wasn’t, but the intensity of feeling from my end was so strong and I get frustrated with myself that I still think about her a lot even 7 months after we broke up.
I agree with Anita that you are beautiful for opening your heart to another person in this way. Loving someone like that is not something everyone can or is willing to do and you should hold onto that. Someone is going to be very lucky to receive it again one day and unlike this person they will cherish it. I hope the same for me. Sending you strength and love as you continue to heal.May 22, 2020 at 3:29 pm #356444
@Genie thank you so much for taking the time to reply even in your busy schedule. I hope you and Jay can see each other soon! The reunion will be sooo worth it. I hope things are going well at your family’s place. They are lucky to have you!
Your advice around not cutting all contact is solid; at the moment I feel the distance is beneficial but I would like to connect up with her again in a few weeks.
I did get back in touch with her briefly earlier in the week because a friend of mine, through a friend of hers, sent me some information about past behaviour of hers that really didn’t sit well with me. The friend of the friend somehow found out that we had been dating and thought it was important I know. I am not one to give too much weight to gossip but it was weighing on my mind so I asked her about it and we had a brief conversation. I am glad I raised it now because it was clouding my feelings somewhat and I wouldn’t have felt comfortable starting up contact with her again without her knowing that I know. she seems to own what she did and be making changes in her life as a result so I don’t think it will affect our chances of friendship.
It’s been interesting observing my feelings. I was very sad the day and night of receiving her text, and I just let myself cry as much as I could. But since then I have not been nearly as sad, like I had a short, sharp burst of it and now it’s tapered off. I can feel myself learning to just let emotions pass through and know that I won’t feel this way forever; this is great progress for me as throughout my life I’ve been taught to put on a “brave face” and it has made things harder in the long run because I don’t give myself the time to process hard things properly. It has also been beneficial to be able to lean on friends- I have some amazing friends who are so supportive of me which always helps.
You are right Genie, love and relationships certainly aren’t like Hollywood films! Lets hope there aren’t tooooo many more lessons eh! Thanks again for the ongoing cheerleading! Look forward to hearing from you again soon.
I hope you are okay @michelle. I miss your posts; check in when you can. X