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    And sorry, to reply more directly to your reply, I agree, yes. It needs a practical idea/aim/goal to really be worth it.

    We had originally planned for me to use this job to save up money to support us. I would support him while I work here and save, then potentially in a year or so I would go to move there. (Thankfully Argentina is very cheap, at least at the moment). He said “of course we will have our own apartment”. He seemed to readily revive this plan.


    Well… what followed was another very long video conversation.

    In summary, he said that despite his best efforts, it was now increasingly clear to him how he really felt about everything, his boyfriend, and about me.

    He said “slowly i’m figuring out what I really feel, and want”. I reassured him, as before, that he deserved a love that was free-flowing, not one that is constantly negotiated and that is always in the future. Him and his boyfriend were constantly “oh but when we do this” – a relationship based on some future that was never going to arrive. I said that the love I offered him was direct and unconditional – I never wanted to control him, demand anything from him in the way his boyfriend wanted. When I was saying this, he covered his eyes and was crying.

    Soon after, he said that it was clear to him that he loved me, and that he had felt bad that, deep down, he loved me and not his boyfriend. “Sorry it took so long”. He said all that he had dreamed and planned to do with me was what he really wanted. He said the feelings he had passed through the previous weeks were simply showing him that he loves me, and that what he feels for his boyfriend really is just guilt and pity.

    He said too he would “start the process” of breaking up – which indeed he did do right after our call. His boyfriend had called him and he had explained all he felt – he was tired of the arguments, and felt that their relationship was over. In that call, the boyfriend simply said “I don’t want to talk about it now”. As he was telling me this (via video call) he received another call from the boyfriend. I left him to answer and went to sleep, and awoke this morning.

    The boyfriend it seems is a little unstable. He said he has to go to a psychiatrist now “because of what you are putting me through”… the boyfriend apparently said “Let me go there for one month, if I don’t change I will accept breaking up”.

    I was terrified when I heard this… oh gosh… is he going to wait this month out?

    “No,” he said “It’s the start of the process. I don’t want him to do something crazy -(I think he was referring perhaps to self harm or even a suicide threat)- and feel guilty about it. It was never going to be simple breaking up with someone like him. But I will just not react and will have to just disconnect from him”.

    With that, I understood that perhaps there was some intensity from the boyfriend that was spooking him – controlling him – at the time. Someone threatening you with their life isn’t exactly an easy situation to deal with. I can see the boyfriend acting like that too, it wouldn’t be out of character, even from the little I know of him.

    I reminded him that he is not responsible for the actions of others, no matter how grave. He agreed, but said too he doesn’t want to feel guilty about something for the rest of his life. He said he had imagined breaking up while the boyfriend was visiting him in Argentina, and imagined all sorts of horrible things. He said at least if he is in his hometown he will have some support there – including being referred to a psychiatrist.

    Throughout the call yesterday he was saying “oh, when I visit, it’ll be like x or y” “When you come here again, x or y” “We’ll do this” – he had seemed to have quite resolutely made his mind up. “When i’m there it will be so funny to have to use google translate to talk to your parents”.  I remain a little hesitant, indeed I still can’t quite believe all of this, but I do believe him. I worry that maybe his will might be broken – his boyfriend really does seem to have some problems – but I trust him to try his best, and will just have to wait out this process. He has started out with saying that he knows it will be tough and he’s going to have many things thrown at him. So it seems he is ready.

    This morning I was so nervous about it I couldn’t think about anything else. But when we called again today, I asked him if he had faith in it all, and still felt the same way – “of course I do” – well, probably my OCD whispering lies in my ear.

    Aside from that, yesterday one sweet thing he said was “Would you let me care for the injury I gave to your heart?” He also made a few gestures – “what’s the size of your ring finger?” – a slightly impulsive gesture but that is a part of his character.


    Another update…

    Your words, and ideas, really have helped, especially this last post, Anita. I read it after you posted it and it helped offer a “goal” or a sort of guiding principle. I was no longer panicking over “what to do” – in a way, just let him take the lead.

    The past few days were more boring chats – small talk. He told me he had a dream about me, in a car, driving somewhere in Italy. Many thoughts came to mind – I interacted with it plainly.

    Yesterday he sent a message, I actually didn’t really want to talk. I was trying to focus on myself as much as possible, resisting the temptation to engage with him. As the days had worn on, I had noticed I was getting angry with him and frustrated. I didn’t express it to him, but the anger was there at how he’s treated me. I was, in my own head “writing a letter that you never send”. It was helpful. He sent a message while I was at lunch, then one soon after with a joke we’d always made about being ignored. I didn’t respond for a while, then he sent a video of an old singer. I felt like I should reply, but then I felt I would be ignoring him if I said nothing. “Beautiful song” I said. He made the joke about being ignored again.

    This morning I was preparing to get on with my day. He messaged “I miss you so much. I woke up this morning with the desire to get on a plane and hug you for hours”.

    A flurry of emotions… once again he’d been quiet for a few days, then this appeared. Various responses circled in my head for a while. Do I say “ok” – too bitchy. Do I say “oh gosh me too” – would just hurt to say it.

    I asked him “Do you still think this was the best decision?”

    His reply “I don’t know what to think anymore”. – Well… he didn’t say yes.

    I was travelling home, I didn’t reply to him straight away, as again, what comes to mind straight away might just be stream-of-consciousness which at that moment wouldn’t have been very good. He sent a picture of himself at the gym, then “fine, I won’t talk to you anymore. I already understood you don’t want to talk to me again” – oh? He’d never been this sort of “stroppy” or reactive before.

    I replied with “you are the one who just says Good Morning and then some small-talk, like you would to your neighbour. Don’t you know how hard it is for me?”

    Him: “I know. I can’t manage to forget you”

    Again… I ponder a response. “Do you want to forget me?”

    Him: “Whenever I try, I don’t manage to. I don’t want to”

    “What does that tell you?”

    “That it’s strong… but you don’t want me anymore and your parents hate me”

    “I still love you. For me it was a true love, and i’m prepared to follow that love. It seems like it either wasn’t for you, or that it was but you can’t accept it was true love, or that you don’t deserve this type of love” “If you follow love, life follows close behind”

    He replied soon after “Help me conquer my fears, my insecurities” and a crying emoji.

    “You have to share them with me for me to help”

    “I’m worried that you think my course is stupid, that you wouldn’t support me and that you wouldn’t want to be together long distance”

    Hmm… the saga continues haha


    Thanks, Anita, as always (I hadn’t said that yet!)

    edit, if I may: if he had told you and followed through with all the action it takes to make it happen. 

    Most certainly!

    – the need of a child for his father’s (or mother’s) love is so intense, so raw, that a romantic love story in adulthood cannot satisfy that early-life, raw longing, not for long.

    Coming to think about it, you (as so many of us) have this longing too, and likely, if he did move to England and was with you, your own early-life, raw longing for a father’s love will not be satisfied for long either.

    The first sentence is true. The second, I’m not entirely sure…

    I did not grow anxious about him, if anything I felt more secure as time went on, I felt closer and could open up to him easily… something apparently he felt too. I also wasn’t dependent on him like my previous relationship. I could send him a message or two in a day etc. It never felt like that sort of relationship that’s all about childhood trauma, if you know what I mean. I was never bargaining with him for his affection or attention, nor bargaining with myself to tell myself he loved me. It doesn’t feel as borderline “delusional” like the previous relationship, it felt like a genuine attraction. I saw such a long happy future ahead, not the one of “oh, if just did this or that differently, or he did this or that differently, if we just resolve these issues first” – the never-ending cycle that my old relationship had and his current one appears to have.

    It felt deep enough that I felt myself growing because of him. I would get sulky, but then realise that’s not the best way to act. He would be open too and help me work through whatever caused the sulkiness, or really whatever problem we had between us. He did this when I was there and right up to to the day we ended… for me, regardless of love, it was the healthiest romantic relationship i’ve ever had… I don’t feel it was (at least 100%) a sort of love-craving on my part, nor his. (My previous thread, having read a few posts, was most certainly so).

    Having said that… I suppose the two threads here are proof of a childhood trauma – a lack of self-soothing!

    as I said before, I think that his emotional expressions (the drawing of a heart with his hand stands out for me) are honest. It’s just that there is often a HUGE distance to bridge between the feeling in one’s heart and.. all that it takes to make practical and real-life changes.

    This makes perfect sense, even my mother said it as such. “Maybe he just thought, at the end of the day, with all the distance between you both, it just didn’t seem possible for him” – (even though we had planned that I move there in a year’s time).

    An object in motion tends to stay in motion (that would be him moving to England), an object at rest tends to stay at rest (that would be staying in Brazil), the undisputable laws of physics.

    True. A useful analogy. I think a part of me hopes that maintaining communication will maintain it. By that, not an intense romantic love… I suppose I just would like that he doesn’t forget me. I’m obviously going to suffer from some wishful thinking… but it would just be such a shame to let it all go.

     you want this too much.

    I think my feelings are intense and pushing this a lot at the moment… because, I read it and agreed,  my feelings run riot. For now at least, especially once you said about OCD, I can see the normal feelings of this situation have been amplified by my OCD. I’ve pushed and sulked for things that really I didn’t necessarily want, need or expect from him.

    I’m aware of course that pushier you become, the more desperate you appear and the less control both parties feel they have in the situation. I worry too that this will toxify things, but for now I think I am grappling with these feelings. I don’t want to exhaust him by doing this, as he seems very much willing to still be friends at this point.

    You can make things happen, sometimes. Less likely, if you want something too much.

    I think here is also my source of conflict, and I don’t know what feeling or thought to trust, and I think it’s what’s making me feel lost. I don’t know if I can “make something happen” – persuade him or whatever – or if doing that is “wanting it too much”. A heartfelt message? Or a desperate delusion?

    The conflict churns and churns. Do I swallow it all, accept what is in front of me, and we stay friends? Or do I fight for love? Or am I saying this with the words “True love wins in the end” in the background of my mind hahaha. A conundrum!


    If he had told me he had left his boyfriend and wanted to be with me… it would have satisfied me forever, ahah.

    Regarding getting answers I may not want to hear: I don’t think i’m afraid of that 100%. I mean, the worst that could happen already has. I could ask for more “clarification” and perhaps receive some negative responses. But I think, to be honest, I’m already anticipating the next steps before I need to ask them. The realisation that this time around he won’t leave his boyfriend, I anticipated before he told me later that same day. I can see he isn’t ready to leave his boyfriend.

    Maybe for him, at this stage in his life, it is easier to think the genuine love between us was something a person only deserves in fleeting moments like we had. The end was “inevitable”, when looked at in retrospect. As you said before, maybe he is trapped in this relationship because of his poor relationship with his own father. A love affair, no matter how genuine, can’t really do the job of resolving that for him, if anything it will have left him more confused, I suppose. I have tried various times to “see it from his shoes” and I suppose it’s a hard choice really.

    I think i’ve realised this is a long run thing, of indeterminate time, and I think too that I realised that… probably last week? There is very little that will change now. I can perhaps influence him, advise him when his relationship with his boyfriend inevitably falters again (if he decides to share that with me). I think I know that it is “over”, for now. I say “for now” as, if he was honest as I think and you have thought from what I have said, there is always a possibility that something may happen in the future. He said even on Saturday “I love you” in a way that wasn’t forced. I suppose that will happen less often.

    But still, we had nearly 3 years with barely any contact yet still drifted towards one another, so I also suppose that anything may happen, maybe we will drift back together. Perhaps, maybe, we are destined for each other, as I thought in the moment I met him. (I am a believer in true love!). Maybe this time circumstances didn’t allow… (I keep remembering that even now, when I lamented that it was all over, he would say “I wish these 5 years left of my course would pass” – always in direct response to me talking about the loss I had)

    But, for now, I suppose any idea or glimpse of me and him being together should simply be a remote hope, not the all-consuming hope I have been feeling the last couple of days. To be honest that is where I thought I would be happy. Keep these feelings remote, a possibility, nothing imminent.

    OCD… I believe we talked about it in my last thread! But since then i’ve been to a therapist who, when i’ve been talking about many aspects of my life, said many times “this sounds like OCD”. Indeed, I had a realisation when you said it, that… well… I can’t really do anything now. It’s “in god’s hands” as he would say, or for the universe to decide, as I would say. As I read that I thought “gosh… in a way, its just a sad thing that’s happened to me, and I have a life to lead” – a brief moment of clarity. Of course, the many feelings that come with a loss and an ending are to be expected. I’m sure i’ll be back here soon, morose and upset. But, I think what was really tormenting me was it’s presence in my mind all the time. I had nothing to counter it with except “oh gosh, RESOLVE!” – which is impossible, as I have done all I can to sustain, maintain or rescue this relationship. Now perhaps I can tell myself “you’re over thinking this!” instead of all the triggering of anxious attachment that it had been doing before.


    When I said I love you too him, he didn’t smile. It was a sort of childish reaction really, he raised his shoulders and titled his head and scrunched his eyes. It didn’t seem uncomfortable.


    He did smile! I saw that just now. He smiled like when you say to a child how pretty or big they are.


    I suppose I was wanting him to tell me it was all alright.

    When I said I love you too him, he didn’t smile. It was a sort of childish reaction really, he raised his shoulders and titled his head and scrunched his eyes. It didn’t seem uncomfortable.

    But you make good points. I had come to realise that a bit too. I was telling myself “be honest!” But I wasn’t being clear. I think I was “honestly” expressing anxiety rather than a clear approach. I should have tried to calm down then approach it. I should take a little break and ask direct questions, considered ones.

    I’m still confused. A part of me goes “Oh life is too short, just chat with him as a friend”

    And also “His relationship with his boyfriend is clearly not strong enough if he lived almost 5 months as mine. Who knows how long it will last”

    But then, the hope takes over. Oh gosh! I start trying to convince him (in my head), thinking of how I could persuade him to end it and start with me again. But then I think that’s manipulative or desperate. Then I double think myself and think… but shouldn’t I try to fight for love? Isn’t it a genuine thing? Then back again… wouldn’t it be silly? Wouldn’t it just annoy him?

    Sometimes I feel like I should move on, leave this to rest now. Go and life a life a while, maybe we will drift back together. Sometimes, this thought brings peace. Other times it brings dread and fear. Others, just a deep, unsettling sadness.

    I realise too, I spend 24hrs a day with thus lurking in my mind, and in my heart too.



    I am lost and confused today. My anxiety worsened yesterday and maybe got the better of me.

    I just don’t understand anything. How could he have chosen the other guy ?

    On Saturday we had a nice phone call. Brief but a nice energy. I told him a friend of mine had moved to Madrid and that I was planning to visit him. “Oh you have time and money to visit him but not me?” Oh… he was jealous, and expressing it? I could tell from his expression it wasn’t a tease.

    I then said I’d visit Brazil again, in jest, and he got jealous again when I mentioned seeing the guy there that I had been involved with.

    So… apparently he still gets jealous?

    At the end of the call, half out of habit, I said “I love you”. He blushed, scrunched up his eyes and then whispered into the phone “I love you”.


    On Sunday he was a bit quieter, visiting friends of his.

    Then yesterday my anxiety grew, seemingly from nowhere. I’d had a terrible nightmare and was just feeling a bit down (on account of what has happened between me and him).

    I said I was feeling down to him, he said focus on the good things in life. “I don’t have any”.

    His reply “you have your visit here, your nephews”.

    I asked if he meant “the one that’s happened?” – my hope overwhelmed me there and i had thought maybe he was referring to a future visit. I asked twice and he replied “is there a problem?”… um.. no?

    I was confused… my visit there was something good? For me it’s ultimately brought heartbreak and a deep sense of confusion. I didn’t express it as such, I said it creates a sense of loss for what could have been.

    His reply was that everything that’s good brings about that feeling.

    I then perhaps lost myself. I said I don’t know what to say, what to do. I said I still love him, followed by some sad emoji. He replied with 3 sad face emoji.

    I said I would have to forget everything. That i still have hope for us but it’s all an illusion, my love for him misleading me. He replied “I know how you are feeling”.

    I said on Saturday talking about things gave me hope… but… “Oh what’s the point in talking  more”

    “I don’t know”. I was terrified briefly. I said “really? You don’t want to talk to me anymore? You were so open and now so closed again, it doesn’t make sense”

    “I was studying, of course I want to talk to you, haha, I’m going to do yoga”


    I don’t know what I’m trying to achieve with him anymore.

    A creeping thought is that he indeed loves his boyfriend more than me. Or he thinks he does. But then, isn’t that me refusing to believe someone could love me genuinely? Being perhaps a bit sulky (a tendency I have).

    Why oh why is this happening


    We had another video call yesterday.

    The energy started out a bit different. I noticed I felt very far away from him. He said he felt a lot better, but said “because of one man” – a part of it hoped it was me… but, he is religious and said it was “Jesus”… hmm. I think it was me because he felt better from our previous conversation. But, ok. That hurt me.

    I said I felt far from him, he said “didn’t you listen to what I said yesterday? or did it go in one ear and out the other?”. I had, of course. I think I am someone who does stay in certain moods and emotions for longer, a little fixated. Maybe I should have waited a bit longer for another call with him, or maybe I should have tried to just focus on my life. I think I had gotten a little carried away based on that call from Thursday where he was very sincere and in this one, at least at the beginning, he seemed a bit like he was avoiding talking about anything “deeper”.

    But then, of course, he’s not obligated to! I think there maybe my anxiety got the better of me (perhaps one coffee too many that day haha).

    Anyway our conversation continued, I think I learned a bit more about it from his perspective. I said I had told my parents about it all (which shows growth from my previous thread!), he said “oh so they hate me now” – not really, my mother I think understands the nuances of the situation. My father has a simpler explanation “you were used, you were merely a f**k”. When I told him about this (I don’t actually think that deep down, again I think it’s an anxiety that I keep giving him to resolve) he was a little defensive about it and explained how he hadn’t etc.

    He had constantly asked me, when we were “together”, “are you happy with this? do you want to continue? are you prepared to go through with this?” – he reminded me.  I had always said I was. I didn’t manage to say “well, I was because it was based on an assumption you would be able to end it with your boyfriend”.

    He seemed sad again that he wouldn’t be coming to England. “Even if I had broken up and I was going there, I think my family would have thought I was using you for money”. He said his mother offers him all the support she can (though she can’t offer help financially), his father never gives him anything (his parents are divorced). I know his family is very important to him.

    He asked me “would you, after all of this, still get back together with me?” – I said I have to be honest and that I would. He said he would too.

    I think here I understood him more. He said all that happened between us happened so quickly, “we both lost control, we both knew the risks but did it because it felt good”. I said to him “well, for me, it is easy, it is 100% clear, I love you in a way I haven’t loved anyone else before. But, for you, it is complicated, you feel the same, I assume, but you have your whole life situation”

    At one point he said “maybe our love story isn’t over”. I said “oh but the maybes the maybes. Maybe you will marry your boyfriend! But, I cannot force you to do anything”. Perhaps I reacted too quickly there. But I suppose the thought is seeded in his mind.

    I said all that I had promised him was only a call away. That our future could still happen.

    I said to him that “I think what we share is so special, it would be the saddest thing in my life to let it drift away or to simply keep it locked up in a cupboard”.

    During this he had expressed agreement. He didn’t say he loved me, but he agreed with what I had said. I think I understood he had felt, concluded, that it was impossible for us to continue, because of his situation, and he was resigned to it. I did even mention to him “for me, when you say you feel this connection we me that’s so special, so different, how can it be so hard to choose!?” – but I quickly said “But, of course, I don’t know what’s in your heart, your head, I cannot force you, it is your own journey”. I “need” to know what his relationship with his boyfriend really means to him, but of course, I can’t really pry into that from my position.

    When it was time to finish, he said it was a very good, productive conversation, with a lot of information. I think I learned that through this I will have to control my hope a little more, as it is so easily reinvigorated and so sensitive to what he says and what I think he is meaning when really I can’t tell.


    On Wednesday gone he said good morning, and said “I want to call today” – I had therapy so decided against it. So it was yesterday we called.

    It was surprisingly pleasant to start off with, he had a nice energy about him. We talked normally but about nothing deep.

    He said his “OCD” about cleaning had gotten worse, I said “well, usually that happens when you are anxious about something else”. He hesitated slightly and said “yes, because of various things that have happened” – cautiously, I think knowing that we both knew what he meant.

    Independent of what happened between me and him, he had his exams which finished on Monday, two elderly relatives in his family died, and he was robbed in the street a few days ago too.

    Anyway, we talked a bit more about his stress. At one point he said “I’m missing you” – I said “in what way?” (our chats?) – He said “In everyway”. I forget the details but eventually he said “And… well… what do you think about me now?”

    I explained, I don’t know what I think. I think everything and nothing, angry then sad, I understand him then I don’t, I understand myself then I dont.

    I said “how was it so easy for you? even when he was there you never made a moment to talk to me even while you were still acting like you were with me. Since before I left until now, you have essentially lost nothing, your life hasn’t changed, I have lost something enormous”

    He said that it wasn’t easy for him, but that he doesn’t really share his emotions or feelings with anybody, nor does he really introspect much either. He said he just finds himself crying sometimes and lets it pass, then moves on. He said “I thought it would be easy, to end it with him (the boyfriend), then I thought it would be easy to end it with you, but it was hard, and it is hard”.

    He mentioned learning English, something I had been doing, I said “well, how are you going to learn now?” – sort of in jest, to see if he would ask if I was going to help. He started “well, I taught myself lots of things… alone” – and then covered his eyes and cried a little, saying “I feel so sad for all that could have been, that i’m not going to England to see you”.

    We talked some more.

    He said too that during that time with the visit, the exams, the relatives passing away, he had had absolutely no time to process anything. Then he was robbed in the street and had no spare capacity. After all of these passed, (i.e in the last 7 days or so) he had time to realise what had happened, what had gone on. He said he felt completely alone. “I have no one to talk to” he says, then I say “but you have friends, family” “hmm” he replies. “Or you can call me” – “Oh, that’s much better” he says when I tell him that.

    Later he said “I was pretending it was easy to end it with you, but it wasn’t, it isn’t, and it won’t be. I was pretending to not have these feelings, telling myself I didn’t feel this way. But I still feel the same”. He also said “i’ve had other relationships that were easy to end, but this one is so hard to”.

    He said “some feelings in life are like a rock, that no matter what you do, smash it with a hammer or whatever, they won’t disappear”.

    So, I suppose that’s how he feels. He didn’t say the word love, but did make a heart symbol with his hands. He also went on to say “you’re the only person I feel safe to share my deepest fears with. I’ve never felt so comfortable to talk about my anxieties and worries with anyone else”.

    A part of me was going “well, if you feel like this, why on earth is it such a hard choice to make between me and your toxic relationship!?!!?” but I didnt vocalise this.

    So well, i’m not quite sure what to do next. He really is in a pickle hahaha.


    He obviously won’t be in love with me anymore…

    I worry too I have misinterpreted and actually I really should act like it is gone forever. That he doesn’t love me at all anymore, or have any feelings at all. Or is that the anxious attachment?


    You make several good points.

    I think the hardest is not knowing how he is feeling, or felt at all.

    Is he doing this because, at the very end, he actually hadn’t really loved me? Or he doesn’t anymore?

    I worry that if he is acting like this now, maybe he didn’t really care at all and is something of a charlatan. I don’t think 100% that he is, but it’s a doubt that plagues my mind.

    It’s true I desire a lot from him… but i get upset he seemingly now desires nothing from me. I suppose that feels like being used and that’s what fuels some of the doubt.

    A part of me thinks he’s sort of trying to avoid talking too much with me. Not maliciously but at least purposely. I am at such a loss.

    I worry he is only talking to me out of pity. I worry he feels obligated to talk to me out of that sense of pity. Or even out of guilt. And that that is the reason why we seemingly have nothing to talk about now. A bit like it is dead forever and he doesn’t really care if he loses me, which makes me despair somewhat.

    I think I have sent him “words to that effect”, but not now after some time has passed. I did say at one point that I was feeling all sorts of emotions and he said “oh dear :(” and nothing else… which didn’t help at all. But maybe now if I write something like that, I will receive some sort of honest response.


    I was under the impression that you are still in love with him. Correct, ahaha.

    no one keeps the same closeness/ distance with a friend or a romantic partner at all times. Sometimes we feel closer, at other times we feel distant, and all that’s in-between. This makes sense, yet we are now at conversations of a few words a day. The change is extreme, from immense talking to nothing.

    An anxious person (fitting the Anxious Attachment Style) is overly sensitive to nuances in the tone of voice, facial expressions, writing style, etc., of a romantic interest, seeing temporary/ normal distance as threatening, when it is not. It no longer feels like a nuance but a very large, hard to avoid rock, at least in me. A part of me wants to know how it can be so easy for him to simply cut me off like this, if he did love me (or still does? he said he did, but where is the fear that I will simply disappear if he doesn’t talk to me?)

    – you mentioned here and before that you expect nothing from him, but you do (rightfully, deservedly) expect something from a man: a real-life, committed and monogamous love story. And he is that man and the hope (which you mentioned above), at this point, isn’t he? He is. He very much is. I expect, I don’t know really. I suppose more contact.

    Yesterday when I finally replied to him “but, i’m here, we can have a call whenever” – he simply replied with an emoji of a sort of punch-drunk face. I have no idea how to interpret it. Relief because he thought I was ghosting him and I’ve said i’m still happy to call? Like he’d been being cold because I was? I replied with a question mark, he never said anything more.

    Today, again, barely anything. “I passed my exam”. I said well done. A few hours later, “thanks”. What does this mean exactly?! It’s barely a conversation, it’s not really “keeping a friendship” – he’s barely saying anything. I’m not sure if he’s saying all he feels he can say. I tell myself it’s because of his exams, which have now finished, but I doubt that.

    I have no idea how to interpret his signals. Do I simply ignore and share mutual-interest related things all the time? Or do I give him space? Does he think i’m the one being distant? It infuriates me. It’s as if he is keeping distance, but then doesn’t. He didn’t request a call or anything, or even talk about it. Is that because he was just admitting “I miss talking to you, but that is reality now” or was he saying “I miss talking to you, let’s chat again”… ugh!


    Reads like he needs space, so for as long as you choose to be in contact with him during this time, if I was you, I wouldn’t ask him any questions other than the general how-are-you? and surface questions, and not many of those. I wouldn’t share much with him either, unless he asks and then, I’d keep it short.

    Yes, this was a good observation. Yet, I was confused by him admitting to missing having video calls with me today. Flattered and a little flustered. The thought of seeing him with the ring on pains me, the last video call we had was stolid and wooden. Well, it felt that way to me, but I suppose he was his usual self. It confused me because I didn’t know how far away he was after that trip, a video call is so different to just texting. That was of course when he’d said “you’re acting like i’m never going to talk to you again” – I think he said something like “it’s not as if you’ve fallen off my radar” – or words to that effect. I don’t know when to be honest with him about how I feel, when to give him space.

    I struggle to even reply to him. I can’t even say “I do too” – that feels like revealing too much. “I’m still here” – maybe. Saying “yeah it’s hard” is saying we won’t call again, acknowledging its hard for him. But I do want to communicate with him. I still want to share things with him, even if they are because of mutual interests rather than future plans. I will say something today so it doesn’t seem like i’m ignoring him.

    Who knows what will come of this. A part of me feels like we know where this path will lead, if we video call regularly again (unless he was just stating it to me with zero expectations, but then, he’s also showing vulnerability to me again which still indicates something inside him wants to connect with me). I am fully aware I may fall for him again and this time he will resist it to maintain his delusion of sorts and I could get hurt. A little piece of me, I suppose, is hanging onto some wishful thinking that maybe it will remind him again of the healthier relationship we had/could have and awaken him in some way. No one can tell the future, but also what is love without hope?! Once again I am entering this with zero expectations, I expect nothing from him, and if I get hurt I suppose it is a lesson for me, but one I haven’t learned yet.

    I suppose some of the anxiety this triggers is that lack of knowing where it will go. Usually communication will result in a friendship, solid or not, or even the end of one. Or, if lucky, it will move into a romance and love story. Even if these don’t come to pass, there is a sort of open, empty book to be written.

    This time, with him, it provokes only uncertainty in me, I don’t know really what he wants from them, either in his conscious or unconscious mind. We became friends then romanced then fell in love already. What more is there to do? He said “I want to keep your friendship, to keep our calls, my relation to you is still strong”, yet his messaging seems to be a bit more distant than merely friends, so I feel a bit confused with his admission to me.

    It’s almost like he’s starting to crack again, a week after his boyfriend has left and now he’s alone again. I guess I had become a part of his life and he misses it now there’s no distraction. I want to tell him life isn’t that simple, telling me that he misses me and we can have calls. Almost, how dare he have the audacity!? He knows why we aren’t talking by video call! But I’m done with anger, maybe I love him too much to hold onto resentment to him for long.

    I feel a bit hurt remembering the last call, at one point he said “it felt good, and in the moment I had to do what felt good” – perhaps not those words exactly, but words to that effect. It gives me an anxiety“- I am lost at this moment reading this. What was he referring to by “it”? — I think “it” was the experience we had together. I don’t remember if he said ” I had to do what felt good”, something like that, like following along with how he felt. Maybe that’s how he told himself it was to justify breaking it off with me, I was indeed, as I had kept telling him in anger, “a fling”. Almost as if I made it easier for him, I suppose.



    Thank you for this, Anita. It helps me to process what has happened, and at least someone somewhere sees it with more nuance than “he used you and you were played”, as it never felt like that outside of moments of tender bitterness towards him that he had chosen the other.

    Parental trauma rears it’s ugly head again. You know I even felt like saying, during one of the fraught conversations we had during his boyfriend’s visit, “this man is not your father!”, but I felt it a bit too silly to say, as he cannot see it that way and nothing is more irritating than people analysing you during a confrontation. But I sensed that was what was happening. In that first week he had said “Loving you was never in doubt, but I can’t decide what I feel about him and if I can’t decide how I feel about him, I can’t have something with you” – I think that says it all. He was quiet after that for a couple of days before I broke and had to declare my love for him in compassionate terms (that he said made him cry).

    I suppose in that quiet time he decided that hope of having “overcome” a toxic relationship with his boyfriend by not having arguments overcame his feelings for me. I was distant, and had been quite upset with him. His boyfriend was there, they weren’t arguing a lot, that unsettled feeling within him must have subsided slightly, or been nurtured, balmed, and maybe he mistook that as the “deeper” than he previously thought. It seemed like this was his new normal, I suppose, and that childhood trauma is a powerful thing. I suppose it’s a funny coincidence that I wrote my first topic here at 25, just the age he is now, about a relationship that clearly wasn’t working, but that I was projecting various traumas onto waiting for them to be solved by someone else. I really hope he will come too see that too, though this is a long process and, as in my own experience, involves a lot of to-and-fro between “my relationship will change, I can change” towards “it didn’t work out because it wasn’t meant to be”. I hope he will be able to find the way in the month or years to come.

    He is capable of reflection and growth. My heart hopes so much that he can see the path he is on won’t necessarily work out. I wonder if soon they will start arguing again, or if he will “control” himself so that they don’t argue and can have a facade of a relationship, or both.

    We are still having very robotic chats up to now. A “good morning”, some forced “i’m doing this today”, him enthusing about his new ipad. But nothing free-flowing, its all quite decidedly awkward. I certainly don’t know what to say, perhaps neither does he. I wonder if that will last, or we will drift away, or we will stay talking, or stay talking and drift back. I shouldn’t fixate on it and I’m not letting myself.

    In a way I feel better carrying on with my daily routine, seeing he’s sent a message causes almost a dread… should I reply? how to reply? will he reply or just acknowledge? A clear break seems impossible as it would mean i’d have to ignore him and that seems unproductive. I know even if I didn’t send anything, he would eventually still send a message. I suppose it’s still early days, only a week since the end of the “start of a love story”. Whatever is there between us will evolve into something that I suppose no one can guess. I don’t know whether to make more effort to talk, to ask him things, or to hold back as before, to not insist, for my own sake as much as his, and to simply let what is said be said. If I want to share something with him, share it, and see what happens. I don’t want to assume anything, the only thing I know is that I feel a connection to him.

    Its interesting what you said about the UK Flag. In our last call, which was going to be brief because “i’m studying for exams and dont have much time” – he said, and yet it ended up being 3 hours – I asked him about it. Didn’t his boyfriend comment on it? (He’s never been to the UK, he had one for Brazil and Argentina). He said “he did, but I pretended not to hear them” – in the video call, it’s still up on his wall. The picture of him and his boyfriend is back, and the ring we used is in his box, but the flag I bought is still there. Perhaps it means nothing, he just wants the collection. Perhaps not.

    I feel a bit hurt remembering the last call, at one point he said “it felt good, and in the moment I had to do what felt good” – perhaps not those words exactly, but words to that effect. It gives me an anxiety.

    As I was writing this, I sent him a good morning and he replied “I miss talking to you by video”… what a silly guy he is!

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