Forum Replies Created
July 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 1 month, 1 week 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 1 month, 3 weeks 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. XMay 17, 2020 at 5:05 am #355492
So we met up last night and things went well. After 8 weeks of not having face to face interaction with anyone but my two flatmates I was more than a bit shellshocked. But I warmed up soon enough and we had a nice dinner and then went back to my place to watch a movie as planned. It was a bit awkward at first, as these first times are, but soon enough we ended up holding hands and then cuddling and I felt so nice and warm and fuzzy. Then the movie ended and the credits rolled and she repositioned herself to kiss me and all my fantasies were becoming reality. Things carried on for quite awhile; we were clearly both into it, off came clothes and well, things got a bit more physical than I expected even. Then we just lay together for for awhile, in the glow, you know the one. And then she left because she had to drive home and while part of me wanted her to stay I reassured myself that there was plenty of time for that. She thanked me for a lovely night and said she’d had a good time; I agreed. She messaged me a funny picture, sort of an inside joke, when she got home and I responded about it in relation our next date and she agreed. I fell asleep feeling great, excited to explore things more now we could meet regularly.
this morning I woke up feeling very anxious as I usually do after dates, and especially this time as things had obviously escalated way beyond what they had before. I resisted texting her immediately and zoomed with an overseas friend. Then I found that she had left something behind so I took a photo and sent a jokey text. She responded straight away and we had a few texts back and forth, but she seemed less enthusiastic than me in tone which worried me. I wanted to seek reassurance that she’d found things ok and apologise for potentiality being a bit hesitant physically and explain there was a lot to process going from 8 weeks of no contact to a lot of physical contact. But I reminded myself that that strategy doesn’t work and to just try and sit with it and trust she meant what she said.
Then I got a text a few hours later and I knew seeing the length in the preview that it was a rejection text. She basically said that while she’s so glad we got to meet and that I’m x y and z good quality being with me made her realise she’s not over her last relationship and didn’t want to string me along, but would love to be friends. Oh that familiar sting of rejection!!! I spent a few minutes thinking about a response and essentially thanked her for her honesty but also said that I had gotten my hopes up and wasn’t sure I was up for friendship before I worked through my feelings. I also asked if I could have done anything differently. We ended up having a really nice, but sad, “it’s not you it’s me” exchange. I told her that while it will hurt because she has become a comforting part of my life I needed to cut contact for awhile (learning!) and would be in touch in a few weeks to see where I was at in terms of being friends. She said she would miss my messages too but would be here when I was ready.
And then I reached out to the one friend who knew the most about it and cried and cried, reaches out to more friends, and cried some more! And here I am, lying in bed lamenting that we were here together just last night and cursing being in this situation again. Do I think she was someone I would have been with forever? No, but the loss of potential is sad all the same. We had started making plans; she had invited me to a birthday party she was planning to have in a month with close friends and family. I don’t doubt she had feelings for me, but I guess felt she couldn’t commit to it fully. The fact I couldn’t have done anything differently both heartens and saddens me, because it illustrates perfectly how things are often not in our control – timing, where other people are at, and so on, and that’s hard.
So anyway, no doubt I’ll be sad for awhile. And who knows what our relationship will be in future, but I have learned that only time brings clarity and for now I have to just take care of myself. This whole experience did teach me that I for one am 100% over my ex which is great progress in itself, and I wish the same for her because it’s awful pining over something in the past while letting new possibilities I.e. a relationship with me pass you by. I do feel a whole lot stronger this time and I know I will be ok – obviously things didn’t progress to the same extent as they did last time, so it’s not heartbreak just bitter disappointment! I am proud that I put myself out there again and proud I have chosen a decisive course of action and set firm boundaries from the start. I have definitely learned a lot- just have to trust that one day the timing is right. But for tonight and maybe a few after that, I’ll let myself cry about it!!!
Thanks for reading. Love to you both.
May 15, 2020 at 3:35 am #355128
- This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Adelaide1.
Genie, so proud of you for how you reacted to your ex and how far you have come in recognising your worth! You are absolutely right that a stable, steady relationship is so much better than the on/off again. Sounds like you have made amazing progress in dealing with your anxiety, and you deserve every happiness that comes your way! I hope the move has gone well and you are settling in nicely.
Excuse the shouting but LOCKDOWN IS LIFTED AND WE ARE GOING ON A REAL DATE TOMORROW! It has been an absolute rollercoaster of emotions; we scheduled it at the beginning of the week BUT then my flatmate got sick with a cold and the threshold is very very low for testing here at this point so she had to get tested, which meant I couldn’t go out til she got negative results back. I could hardly concentrate today I was so angsty. Today marks 8 weeks of strict lockdown for me and I was mildly losing the plot at the thought of having to reschedule this date, especially because lots of my friends have been catching up with their families and friends the last couple of days. Luckily the test came back late this afternoon, so I am free to socialise! We are going to a local restaurant and she is clearly excited as well! It seems surreal that my first outing after two months will be to go on a date, lol! I am very proud of myself to have got to this point. Couldn’t have done it without the support of this forum. Let’s see what happens. 🙂
Funnily enough my ex got in touch too after I posted about the testing drama and while I felt a spike of anxiety, the chemical pull mo linger has a grip! I am so glad I took the advice you first gave me Michelle which was, don’t try to keep in contact. It felt so awful at the time but you were so right – worth it in the long term.
Hope you are both keeping safe over there – and staying alert – whatever that bloody means!! Will update you after the date. Wish me luck!!!May 7, 2020 at 3:42 am #353796
Good to hear from you both. I keep you in my thoughts daily looking at the news coming out of the UK. Absolutely dreadful! There is a great video circulating the internet comparing the UK and NZ government responses and it really highlights the starkness of it. I really hope you can see your families soon and you and everyone you know stay well. Look forward to sharing some great local tips when the time comes Michelle; hell, I’ll even pick up the tab if you come to my city! Good to hear you are treating yourself to some familiar cuisine. NZ food is very similar to the UK’s being a colony and all. I can’t believe people can still fly into the UK to be honest – I think our borders will be closed til at least next year… (speculating but wouldn’t be surprised). Lots of time to save up for a massive post pandemic travel splurge I guess!
Genie, genuinely so lovely to read about your anxiety disappearing lately, and how very exciting that you have now met Jays parents – virtually at least! Huge progress that you should be very proud of! So glad you are only looking forward now and deservedly looking forward to the possibilities the future holds! I hope the others are doing well too.
All good things to report on my front! The parcel she sent ended up being some treats from the local bakery, yum! I texted her to thank her and she joked about me bringing her breakfast in bed so I actually got food delivered to her house on a delivery app and she was so stoked; it was a really nice exchange.
We have got into a pattern of being contact throughout parts of the day now; most of the conversation is light and flirty, but we have also both shown a more vulnerable side which is nice. During a deeper conversation I expressed that to be honest I was a bit worried about my lack of experience physically and not meeting her expectations. She responded so kindly and gently, I was touched. She also told me directly that she liked me a lot and is really looking forward to meeting up in person, and I made it clear I feel the same!
So now it is just a matter of when… the government is making a decision to move down levels or not next Monday and so it is possible we could meet up later that week! But also depends on her sister as she is in a high risk category so may have to be careful. In the meantime, we have got into a nice pattern of isodate movie watching which I will happily keep up. But yeah it would be super nice to meet in person sooner rather than later, not gonna lie!
A potential lockdown love story… I have to chuckle, so on brand for me in terms of the ridiculousness of it all! Til the next installment, take care and thanks as always for your great support! I owe you both a lot. 🙂May 1, 2020 at 4:45 am #352458
Glad you are feeling better Genie and I know what you mean about preferring virtual methods; I’ve found the same in a lot of respects. So much less stressful. I also know what you mean about the anxiety spiking less – I guess it is all part of adjusting to our circumstances.
I agree with your assessment of the UK response. So much needless death and hardship for people due to poor leadership! Really feel for your sister too – having to deal with CF would be hard at the best of times, nevermind at the moment. Really hope you can reunite with her soon!
Stoked to hear that Jay is planning another date. How exciting! Let us know how it goes!
Michelle, thanks for your wise words as usual – so right that it is just about building trust over time. I feel I am slowly doing that and not so insecure as a result. I really, really hope you get to visit NZ after all this is done! It is an absolutely stunning country and I would love to share some local tips with you! I was actually planning on visiting Europe, including the UK, later this year after a few years of saving up but ha… maybe in a few years eh!! Will make the most of NZ in the meantime.
Things are positive at my end! We have kept talking daily, I have sent her another parcel to celebrate the start of a new job, and according to her I should be expecting another myself tomorrow! I have always loved sending people surprise gifts so this is ideal, and having the favour returned is a real bonus! We didn’t have an isodate this week – and I was feeling a bit bummed she didn’t raise it – til she texted me saying “I know we usually isodate on Wednesdays but can we rain check?” And I was like oooh, do we now… 🙂 Nice to know she was thinking about it after all and we already have a movie for one lined up next week.
I still go through periods of feeling anxious, feeling like she may not like me as much as I do her but then contrary evidence presents itself – like tonight when she asked how I felt about navigating two steps at her house when I eventually come over for dinner, because she likes planning in advance and if she was going to cook at my place instead she’d change the menu. I felt so warm and fuzzy knowing she is planning for the future and thinking about what I need And working around potential barriers! So yes, slowly building up that trust as you describe Michelle, and with it excitement too! She only lives about 5km away, but we are still under strict instructions that we should not meet with anyone outside our household “bubble” so it will at least be a few more weeks before we have any chance of meeting in person probably. It is super nice to have that to look forward to though and unlike with my ex I feel a lot more confident in what I have to offer and the kind of relationship I want. Proud of that!
Lockdown wise, as I say, pretty much still in lockdown except we can order takeaways now. My flatmates and I ordered Malaysian last night and it was sooo good after almost 6 weeks of having to cook every night. Over the weekend I am going to get my first “contactless” flat white – again, first bought coffee in almost 6 weeks. I’m very, very excited!
So yes, all good news here! Have a great weekend and look forward to letting you know what treats I get delivered and how my next isodate goes. Take care. Xx