Forum Replies Created
August 28, 2016 at 2:10 pm in reply to: It may actually be me causing most of my relationship issues? #113520
Anita and Vijayendraid: Thank you for your responses!
Anita, this quote really stuck out to me: “Expecting the man to mind-read you, that is to read your expectation of what he should say is a very common problem.” I agree with you. I’ll admit I’m a little hesitant to speak up about the things I like because sometimes it feels borderline confrontational (like I’ll try to word it nicely, but he’ll become confused, feel like I’m nit-picking at him, etc…). But, if you don’t say what you want, you won’t get what you want.
Vijayendraid, I liked this quote from you: “True love is not about “wanting” the other person to behave in a particular way, but it is about “allowing” the other person to just BE.” I cannot deny the significance of this statement. I do need to decide if I can 100% accept and appreciate him… or if there are long-term things that I’m not comfortable with and potentially walk away. An example being our levels of affection and if I would potentially want to spend my life with someone who would not be willing to compromise with somewhat consistent good-bye/good night kisses, etc…
Hi Anita: I appreciate you, and everyone, who responds on this forum. Your attitude of “as long as you are with me, we keep going trying to understand.” Thank you!! It’s a wonderful quality when someone is resilient in their attempts to help others.
Just a thought. Maybe it’s not necessarily me (or anyone) who is doing anything “wrong.” Since this is a pattern with the majority of my online dating attempts, maybe it’s actually the medium and the seemingly common types of personalities that flock to it.
My guess is that online dating is sort of like online shopping. You see a shiny new toy, you have to have it, you get excited when you do. After awhile, the novelty wears off and you start thinking “but what about the other shiny toys out there?” The options of online dating (if you live in a relatively populated area) are almost endless.
I also read an article about online dating creates an inflated sense of infatuation and almost promotes a false intimacy. You’re meeting someone who is essentially a stranger to you and it’s all new and exciting, your brain is high off of a dopamine rush, and then then rush inevitably ends. To be honest, online dating might just be more a “luck of the draw” type of thing. When it works for people, I think they’re the exception, not the rule.
Anita, I have to respectfully disagree. I will provide examples.
Example 1: Approximately 2.5 weeks ago he noticed something seemed “off” with his lung. He texted me saying he was on his way to the ER. My exact text was, “Oh wow really?? Well let me know what the doctors say… Hopefully it’s nothing serious. I’m also close by so let me know if you need anything or just want the company. Keep me updated!” He was released that same evening and told to just go home and rest. He asked if I would mind picking him up from the hospital and driving him home. I replied, “Yeah I can definitely give you a ride back!” Before picking him up I went to a bakery and got him his favorite dessert which are chocolate chip cookies (in an attempt to cheer him up). He also asked if I could bring him to the pharmacy to get his pain medication refilled. I said absolutely. The next evening I came over to see him, but before coming I told him I had all of the ingredients for pasta and asked if he’d like me to bring them over so he could relax and not have to worry about cooking (that way he could also have leftovers on-hand). He declined and said he would just make a pizza. During this time I did not once ask him to do anything that could strain his lung. I followed his lead and was happy to spend time with him doing activities that he was comfortable with, while checking in and asking how he was feeling.
*Note: At this point I noticed he was being slightly less affectionate in his texts, not making solid plans like he did in the beginning (example: No longer saying, “Let’s meet at this restaurant at this time” and instead saying “We can do something tomorrow, we’ll figure it out, and then not following up on the plans until I ask if we were still planning on getting together.”)
Example 2: Approximately 4.5 days ago he was out of state and texted met that at the end of music festival he went to the ER and this time they had to keep him there for his lung. My text message was, “M, I’m so sorry to hear that happened and am honestly also disappointed by how the previous doctors didn’t monitor your lung longer. I know this situation is frustrating, but what matters most is that you’re doing okay and your current doctors will take care of it. This time they’ll take the right measures to resolve it. I’m glad you let me know what’s going on and if you need anything at all I’m here. I know rest is important right now. Keep me updated when you can, just know I’m thinking about you. Your lung is recovering and this will all be behind you soon!”
He said, “Haha yes, thank you… it sucks, just gotta get through it.”
The night before his surgery I also wished him luck and assured him everything would go well. I have not pestered him with “check-in” texts. I have also tried throw in a few things to show I care (like one emoji with a kissing face, one little encouraging picture that said, “You’ve got this!”, and signing off on a text with xoxo).
*Note: I have not one single time said anything along the lines of, “I haven’t heard from you?” “Why didn’t you text me back?” Or even brought up ANYTHING about my life.
I see through social media that he is communicating with other people. I texted him yesterday (almost 24 hours ago) and asked if his friend was still with him or if he had to fly back home. He has not answered my text. And, to give him space, I have not said anything more to him because I don’t want to pester him. What hurts is that he’s on social media talking to other people when I feel I’ve made a concerted effort to do everything right. In both examples I genuinely wanted to help. I’ve helped him as much as he would let me.
Anita, I feel that you’ve pegged me wrong. Do I bring hurt into the beginning of a relationship? Maybe a little (although I don’t talk about it). Do I have little to no empathy for them? This, I truly believe, is incorrect.
- This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by dreaming715.
And Katie, I forgot to answer your question. He is 31 (well, will be in about 1 month) and his longest relationship was 2 years long and that was almost a decade ago. To my knowledge, most of his dating experience has not been super serious and he’s never lived with anyone.
Also I texted him yesterday at 2:30 pm and my text included a question and he never texted me back.
Still feeling hurt and like this further exemplifies the one-sided feelings and his disinterest. So I’m just not going to text him anymore (unless he starts initiating texts) because I feel this is a clear sign that he would prefer to not be in close contact right now. Got the hint, loud and clear.
Anita: I liked your advice: “You have to participate in the driving. So back to the conversation you quoted, you could have told him how you felt about him instead of asking him first what he feels. You could tell him what your intentions for the relationship are instead of asking him for his intentions first. You could ask for his intentions and let him know his answer does matter to you because what you want in the relationship matters. Before you give up on this one, why not practice this new behavior?”
Katie: You said, “And perhaps Anita is right – if you think he has potential to be the sort of partner that you want and if you really do *like* him, maybe try to be more assertive with what you want.”
So you are both recommending that I don’t throw in the towel and instead take this as an opportunity to practice more assertive behavior. Being a “co-driver” and not sitting back passively. I like this idea, although I have to admit it’s a little challenging right now because he’s still in the hospital due to the (successful) surgery he had yesterday. He can’t leave for two more days.
It’s interesting because I can sense his boredom over social media. He’s at a hospital in another state (so he doesn’t have an abundance of visitors besides immediate family). I’ve seen him posting things on social media, “liking” things, etc… Yet, he has not initiated ANY conversation with me besides the bare minimum of the logistics of what’s happening with his surgery, when he’ll be able to leave, etc…
If I were in his shoes, I would probably be thinking about throughout the day. I’d find comfort in texting him. It would ease the boredom and cheer me up. He has not once initiated conversation. Not even, “How is your week going?” While I believe this is an appropriate time for him to focus on his needs, I find it a little peculiar that he’s so comfortable easing his boredom on social media, yet not communicating with me. Not a good sign. I thought we were supposed to be “dating,” and this does not currently even feel like a friendship.
I feel very sad about this because I’ve grown to care about him and it’s apparent that he’s indifferent to my few attempts to reach out, tell him I’m here if he needs anything, etc. I feel sad and rejected.
adriannalc, Katie, and anita: Thank you all for your responses! A few thoughts: Katie said, “…but it could be he is just not as emotionally connected as you need. Do you think you will remain interested in him?” My answer is no. I’m not comfortable staying in a relationship where there is a one-sided effort to create and maintain an emotional connection.
anita said, “Maybe the pattern we mentioned in other threads is that you take yourself out of the equation of the relationship, as if you are a neutral party to it, not one to choose or judge. It is all up to him- he makes the rules, you neutrally wait for him.” This is so spot-on. I was nodding my head while reading that statement. I think I also make new relationships too much of a priority and I stop doing things I enjoy (examples: yoga, painting, writing, cooking, trying new classes).
Have things changed since I posted a couple of days ago? No. He actually was out of the state on Sunday at a music festival (he purchased his ticket before we met). He didn’t contact me at all that day. Then early the next morning he had to go to the ER due to an issue with his left lung (this is the third time this has happened, it’s a condition he has managed for over a decade). He did text me to me let know that he was in the hospital, his friend was there, his family was coming, and he was having surgery tomorrow (aka today).
I obviously told him I was sorry to hear that the issue with his lung reoccurred and told him if there was anything he needed I was there for him. He didn’t really text me again. Last night before I went to bed I texted, “I’m going to get ready for bed soon, everything will go well tomorrow! Keep me updated after you’ve had time to rest after surgery, Good night”
His response, “Thanks. And good night.”
This is an opportunity to welcome my support as someone he is dating and it’s clear to me that he isn’t interested in communicating any more than he has to (this was even days before the lung occurrence). There does come a point where you can’t force someone to want to talk to you, be emotionally intimate with you, etc…
I’m going to hold off on initiating contact because I honestly don’t think he wants to hear from me right now. He’s obviously going through a difficult time with his lung, so I’m going to just let things be, let him rest, and be there if he needs me (which I highly doubt he will reach out to me for anything since he doesn’t seem interested in even making small talk at the moment…).
Once he’s home, settled, and on the mend (like has had many days to recover), I don’t think I’m going to stay with him. I’m not currently interested in attending the weddings with him anymore because it’s clear that he’s indifferent toward me. It hurts, but I do feel I tried my best to do what I knew at the time. He just lost interest as the weeks went on.
You said, “I don’t miss him even though he misses me a lot, I haven’t wanted to tell him I love him for a while, and overall I dread spending time with him instead of looking forward to it.” If this is a persistent feeling, then you are doing him and yourself a disservice by staying.
I can only share my experience, but I’ve been on the side of unrequited love before (where you like the person more than they like you) and it’s absolutely painful to be strung along or for the person to stick around halfheartedly. It’s a crushing feeling. I’d personally rather have the personally respectfully let me go.
While I don’t know your personal situation, I’m sure you care for this person and have many great memories with them. This is special, but people grow and evolve. Change (even in relationships) is the most normal and natural part of life.
My personal opinion is that if you’re not 100% in, then it’s time to start moving forward.
Good luck to you!
Thank you for the additional comments. My key take-aways: 1) Be mindful about what may be causing this to happen over and over. 2) Change how I’m going about things. I liked the suggestion of listening to music in another language to not become attached to negative lyrics. 3) Love your life regardless. I’m here anyways… so I get to choose how to spend my time.
Anna, your post resonated with me so much! I’m 27. I was in a 5-year-long relationship from the time I was 20-25. I took to the dating scene like it was a job. I’ve been on 6 dating sites total, and recently went on my 27th first date in the past 14 months. Do I currently have a boyfriend? No.
I’ve also wondered if my 5-year-long relationship was an anomaly, or some kind of fluke occurance. I want to believe that we’re hear to learn about ourselves, to see the bigger picture, and to ultimately find a sense of inner-peace.
I don’t know what the future holds for me. I thought I would be married and have a home (and possibly a baby) by now. But I don’t.
All I can do is try to make the best of my situation (although the loneliness feels incredibly heavy somedays). Today I was buying groceries alone and seeing couple’s pick out fruit together still stirs up some emotion in me. I know the probability is high that they’ll go home together, share a meal, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
I will go home, make a meal by myself, and then read or watch TV. I’m sorry for the pity-story. I’m just having a hard time coming to terms with this. Maybe it’s a feeling that can eventually be embraced? Maybe it just takes some serious mental talk. Literally re-wiring our thought patterns. Certainly having the ability to grocery shop and make yourself a meal is a gift in itself. I feel like my mind disagrees, but deep-down I know change is on our side. There is nothing, not a single thing in this universe that isn’t subject to change. The same can be said for us.
“Unless you are akin to Grendel’s Mother, odds are, there will be plenty of men interested in getting to know you.”
This is well meaning, but not accurate. Interestingly, I’ve been told that I’m attractive (so for now we can rule out the “Grendel’s Mother bit). I also enjoy staying informed about current events, I like to read (I finished a book two nights ago), I also enjoy museums and trying many different kinds of food. I have a college degree. I’ve been working at the same company (a good company) for the past 3.5 years.
And yet this is all NOT enough to keep a man interested beyond 1-2 months. I go out, I like to laugh, I like to meet people. Interestingly… This has all not been appealing enough to those I’ve become vulnerable for and opened my heart to.
I was listening to Miranda Lambert the other day and her lyrics were, “I’m giving up on love because love has given up on me.”
I can’t say I’m happy with my life right now. I haven’t been happy for a long time.
Michael, Stephen, Anita, Barbara, T. Marie, Miniature Bodhisattva, Nan, Anna, 365daysofkindness, and XenopusTex- I have to acknowledge all of your responses. They were thoughtful and helped me feel some relief through your reassuring words.
Anita: You told me to relax into the thought of being single and possibly never marrying or having kids. Certainly, this outcome IS a possibility and so is getting hit by a bus crossing the street (but oddly I’m not at all worried about that). So, why should I worry? I shouldn’t. I should do as you suggested and learn to relax. Do it every day, one day at a time. It feel difficult to shift my focus, but I think it’s important that I do this.
Anna: I just looked up the Law of Attachment. The concept is fascinating and something I’ll have to read more about. And you’re correct… the number of dates does show that I’m frantic. I’ve actually been on a date while simultaneously running in to one of the past guys I’ve been on a date with (this is an indicator of how high that number is going).
What am I trying to get out of these dates? I (desperately) want a companion. I want someone to like me as much as I like them. My close friends are married, in long-term relationships, and living with their significant others. I feel like I’m constantly asking them, “Will you check out this event with me? Will you try this restaurant with me?” They’re always busy and they live their own lives with their partners. I want the same. I want someone who I can ask, “Will you try this restaurant with me?” and they won’t have to say, “Let me check with [significant other] to see if we have plans that day.”
I’ve tried dinner for one. It’s not as enjoyable as dinner for two. But, I guess that’s part of life. There could be worse things.
Anita, This was a great quote: “He said two people are not always as close to each other; there is always motion: moving closer and away. Like planets he said. It makes sense as everything in motion, from electrons, atoms to planets. So must it be with people, always moving and that includes moving closer and away, closer and away.”
I’ve never thought of it from this perspective before. I’ll keep this in mind!
Brav3, anita, Evan, lisakelly619, and humour: Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Your insight and posing questions for me was helpful. To be honest, I think I did “jump the gun” a little. He did end up texting me and we’ve actually hung-out a few more times since that post. Things have actually continued to go relatively smoothly as we’ve continued to get to know each other.
I think my insecurities got the best of me. I also think a great point was brought up: Be comfortable with uncertainty. That’s an unbelievably important concept because nothing in life is certain. That’s something I want to practice. I also want to practice staying in the moment where I truly feel free and not putting so much pressure on how things could turn out in the future. Great suggestions.
Sandstorm: Thank you for your response. I agree with you and have decided that taking a break is best right now because it is draining my energy. So all my dating apps and subscriptions have been deleted! Also, I like your idea of concentrating on one person at a time. I’ve read articles that say you should keep your options open because that’s most likely what the person you’re dating is doing… but that gets draining and I don’t think you’re giving the people you’re seeing a fair shot. By the way- I LOVE that song!
Eris: “The more you try and get something the more you drive it away.” Ahh yes, this does seem to be true. I hope to eventually gain as much positive insight as you have. Your optimism really came through in your post. Thanks for sharing your perspective!
Anita: To this day, I STILL think about that post you wrote me! I’ve done a lot more critical thinking while talking to men and it has helped. I feel I’m more familiar now with signs that they aren’t interested (or if they’re saying extravagant things during the first or second time I meet them- that’s a red flag).
So I tried to think of things I tell guys that may be “off putting,” but I can’t really pinpoint anything specific? Sometimes I feel it’s what I DON’T say. For example, I’m turning 28 but haven’t had the chance to do much traveling due to finishing school and working at the same company for the past 3 and a half years. I make a modest income but still try to talk about the things I do enjoy. Example, “Hey! I saw this great exhibit at the art museum the other weekend!” “Have you ever heard of Blue Apron cooking class? I’ve been meaning to check it out.” “The other day I heard about a music festival coming to our city… what is your opinion on ___ kind of music?” I feel like I’m taking somewhat of the right approach? Unfortunately, I don’t have any exciting trips to talk about, like: “I just went back-packing in Argentina!” Or “I just had work published in a literary magazine!” Maybe I’m too average on dates…? =/
Kirk: Thanks for responding! You made a great point that I have control over my own happiness and another person shouldn’t have to fulfill that. But what if I’m actually fairly happy with my life and I just long to have a partner to share happy experiences with? I like that you’ve challenged me with this thought, but isn’t it sort of natural as a human to crave interactions with a partner? Or do you feel I’m missing the mark on this one?
Brav3: Thank you for your response. Good call on pointing out my flawed beliefs and ideas. They aren’t facts… they really are intangible beliefs and nothing is set in stone. So I shouldn’t spend energy focusing on them. Also, I liked the questions you asked and will spend time thinking about my answers to them. It IS possible that I could end up married with a husband, a house, and kids, and STILL be unhappy. So where is the unhappiness coming from? What is the source? That’s actually a great question. Also, I’m sorry to hear you’re also struggling with loneliness. Just know you’re absolutely not alone and we’re all here for you.
Thoughtfullearning: I actually did read a book called “Get the Guy” by Matthew Hussey… I don’t think it worked for me. It seemed hyper-focused on “do this to make him feel this…” It’s not that easy and the interactions aren’t always that black and white. So I’ll have to check out the suggestion from Eris.
Nina Sakura: Thanks for responding. I thought about your questions. “How is your relationship with yourself? How are other areas of your life going?” I struggle with this question. I feel a little beat down by several aspects of my life. My poor relationship with my mom (she just isn’t capable of having a loving relationship with me). Working hard to earn a degree and not feeling happy about my current income. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness (nothing life-threatening, but I have to manage it daily). I guess the one thing I want is a significant other to love me and I can’t even get that. So I’m kind of at a point of, “Well… you tried, but your past 27 years have been mediocre at best. Nothing that will go down in the books as exceptional.” And you’re right. I feel I should metaphorically “wave the white flag,” and just let go of this all. And by that I mean focus on myself and not the outside factors of my life (which somehow always seem to go wrong or lead to never-ending struggle).April 8, 2016 at 7:16 pm in reply to: Please help me break this pattern once and for all… #101333
Anita: Your response was exactly what I needed! Honestly, it was very helpful to break each statement down. It helps me feel like if I do more critical thinking then I can choose: Is this someone I really want to spend my time and energy on? It helps me feel like I have more control over my future because I can ultimately make the decision.
And I like that you worded things in an empowering way. People CAN be manipulative for their own wants. This will help me. “You can’t control a relationship, but you can choose if you want to participate in it.”