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  • #389281
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita and TeaK,

    TeaK, yes, I’ve always been aware that I’m attracted to a parent/teacher-figure, especially if they could also be a bit child-like in personality.

    that he appreciates your work and your writings, and is genuinely interested in your professional success. Do you think that’s possible?

    Totally possible, we’re both in the academia and we both write. Also when I talked to him a few days ago, it’s clear that he’s no longer interested in getting to know me or chit-chat, but would ask me to send over some writing.

    It’s usually that only if we like someone, we ask for a second date – we don’t arrange it in advance.

    It is a bit strange, I’ve never seen other people do that. But the way he proposed it is like, “how about [plan for the first date]? If possible, keep the [date for the second date] open? There’s somewhere I’d like to take you, if we get along over coffee” — so he did suggest that we needed to get along before proceeding to the second date. Although he suggested it again at the end of the first date, in retrospect I thought he began to have second thoughts but was being nice, based on our follow-up interactions.

    This might be related to anita’s question — why I was clueless about his relationship history and what he’s looking for. I actually did have an idea that he’s looking for something serious (and that he’s earnest and careful in general), judging from how careful he communicated with me, how he set up the dates, how he’d plan ahead for future events, etc. However, I never got a confirmation, since I didn’t feel entitled to ask — at the time I thought I had to know that I was liked back before probing into people’s private life without them initiating. I’m sure that in our texting, neither of us asked such questions, maybe that’s indeed unusual. In person, there’s one second that M casually mentioned by passing that he moved between two cities because he was dating someone, and I let it pass as I felt uneasy asking about their exes during the first date (or talking about my own; though with the new guy I’m currently dating, he brought this up in our first date and asked me a ton of questions, so I was comfortable disclosing my relationship histories to him without feeling weird). During our second date, I’m sure he didn’t mention or hint at anything about relationships, all we talked about was the film that we watched and our writings.

    I noticed that you often seem to not know how to interpret M’s words and behavior.

    More so after he became distant, cuz previously I think I knew that he’s interested from his words. I think I was in denial about him losing interest afterwards and kept guessing. Also I didn’t google the meaning of “player” but simply thought it means “someone who likes the fun of playing games (chasing) in dating,” and my friend explained it as perhaps M lost interest because he found that I’m not a person to “play with.” It did sound strange to me, but yes I often found it hard to interpret people’s behavior, or human psychology in general, when it doesn’t align with my belief (in this case, my belief, or wish, that M should like me), so I’d panic and ask around, not believing in my own ability to assess and understand the situations. Is some ASD at the root of this? I don’t know. But thanks for the suggestion, anita, I just asked my therapist again how I could get evaluated professionally. I’ve actually asked her months ago if I possibly had ASD, and she affirmed that she didn’t think so, based on our sessions, so I let it go.

    LB

     

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 10 hours ago by LetterBurner.
    • This reply was modified 2 days, 10 hours ago by LetterBurner.
    #389245
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita and TeaK,

    Anita —

    Nothing bad happened to you as a result of having communicated with M: no sickness, no injury, no death, no financial loss, no imprisonment. All that happened was texting, two dates and an emotional storm which has been about

    You mentioned being in therapy that focuses on the Present. Being in quality therapy that addresses your Past formative years, aka childhood, is very important. M was/ is a Fantasy, in your mind. He could not have, would not have saved the little girl in you even if he was focused on you 24/7. He is not that powerful. If you lost this Fantasy in regard to M/ a future man, you will also lose much of your anxiety in regard to M/ any man. In therapy, you can find the power within you, the power to heal.

    Totally, I should bear this in mind! I don’t know why I compulsively keep blaming myself for probably having done a lot of things the wrong way (more below).

    In your fantasy, M is a superior being, which is how a young child views her parent.

    I think it’s true. Another self-observation that I had — I not only see my romantic partner as a parent, but with figures who I admire in a non-romantic way (primarily, teachers / professors; M is also currently teaching), the fear of not being loved by them is also similarly palpable, though nonsexual.

    TeaK —

    It often happens that we fall in love with people who seem to possess the qualities we don’t possess and which we admire. It seems to me you admired M, and perhaps it would make sense to explore why you admired him, i.e. what are those qualities you think you are lacking, but he has?

    These are so intriguing, I’d say 1) it’s the self-composure and what I sensed (or imagined) in him as self-assurance (in things that he’s passionate about, as well as in the process of dating, just based on our conversations) that for some reason feel so powerful and alluring to me (or is it due to the coldness in it?). 2) Also, because he was warmer & showed me lots of attention before (and during) the 1st date, which, in addition to the softness and innocence in his looks (from pics), and some writing by him that I read and found particularly gentle and touching (a lot of imagination at play here, I guess; I had this habit of associating people’s writing and their deeper personality on a more intimate level), led me to believe that he’s the gentlest / most lovable guy I’ve met. Perhaps 2) does not translate to something that I lack in myself, but more like something I need, which I guess is love.

    It could be that your heightened anxiety repelled him – but I agree with anita that it’s because he himself is probably quite anxious too, and expects from his partner to be more self-confident and easy going, so to calm him down and soothe him. He might have realized, when you met in person, that he isn’t going to receive what he needs from you – and this might be a sense of calm (maybe his ex gave him that?).

    This is very likely. I’m aware that I don’t come off as easy-going and self-confident for the majority of people that I encountered, in various contexts, a thing that has been bothering me for long. Around M, I was comfortable to talk about myself but stiffened more — looking earnest (/ distressed?) and shy / soft, but not happy, lively, and sound-minded — which may partly explain the lack of spark on his part. I only get to relaxed around people who I’ve become very intimate with, or someone who’s carefree and clearly undisturbed by my jitters. Thinking about it, however, makes me wonder if M is anxious at all. Perhaps he is totally “normal”, but was made uneasy at some point by the awkward vibes that I gave off.

    “…he isn’t going to receive what he needs from you – and this might be a sense of calm (maybe his ex gave him that?).” It makes sense if what he needs might be a sense of calm. It is also sad to think that I believe I was able to give this to my ex partners, when we’re intimate…but perhaps M’s first impressions of me cancelled this possibility irrevocably.

    LB

     

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 22 hours ago by LetterBurner.
    #389205
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita and TeaK,

    Anita — here’s what I’m thinking after reading your posts:

    What I am curious about is: what are you afraid of, what are you afraid that he will do to you if you asked him?

    I’m mostly afraid of having to feel being unworthy of or unwanted by him, by possibly knowing how he doesn’t like me in detail. It’s not only a terrible feeling, but could also destroy all the fantasies and imagining I had about a meaningful future with him – which I indulged myself with and felt so thrilled about – fearing that the hope itself will be completely lost, and I’d become disillusioned about romantic relationships / life in general again.

    After he met the anxious you, in-person, he figured that he does not want another anxious person in his life, so he withdrew

    It is very likely, from what I know about him and his family (he did mention something about his parents). It’s still hard for me to accept it, as a lot of times I’m anxious from being aware that I am anxious and that people notice it and would be pushed away by it. And this sounds like the worst scenario, that a potential romantic partner is scared off by it.

    Maybe you got so attached to M, and so overly anxious about making it work with him, because you don’t want to go back to living with your parents or close to them, and he, a European/ white American, was your hoped-for reason and way to stay put in the U.S., a safe distance from your parents.

    This is largely true. I’m planning to stay away from my home country by living in a foreign place, the U.S. being only one of the possibilities, but before meeting M I was not keen about the idea of potentially settling down here.

    The case with M-and-you may be summed up in just that: an irretrievable first impression.

    It made me cringe thinking that M would perceive me forever as an anxious, disagreeable person, while I still want to be liked/valued by him in whatever form…I think it’s also the idea that M might see me as disagreeable to talk to that’s stopping me to contact him again, after I did so two days ago.

    Teak —

    thanks for offering your understanding, which makes perfect sense to me, especially when you said “It could be really about being valued by him, and the sense that you are inferior to him, and that’s why his rejection hurts so much…” “Not every guy needs to like you. Maybe you’re specially pining for this guy, because you saw him as special and superior to you, perhaps, and his rejection meant that you are not good enough?” It nailed my feeling; I indeed didn’t feel inferior with the other guys I dated after him, and didn’t care as much about how they’d think of me.

    He already told you you were cute, so it can’t be your looks. But he did mention his ex – and that’s a clue.

    If I were you, I would learn to accept that he isn’t interested AND that you are still worthy and good enough.

    It gave me a lot of consolation to think that it’s more about his not being over his ex. But, looks aside, like I mentioned above, I was also obsessing over me coming across too anxious to be likable, which made it feel like it’s still part of a flawed me that has ruined it…?

    Again, I’m thankful for the advice from you both. I still feel a bit stupid for having sent him long messages and said that I’d been missing him, not expecting he’d be that apathetic in his responses, as if I was pestering him with some unsolicited passion. But overall, I’m gaining a more clear perspective as I’m no longer pining to contact M again, given how distant he currently is.

     

    LB

     

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 5 hours ago by LetterBurner.
    • This reply was modified 4 days, 5 hours ago by LetterBurner.
    #389164
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Yes, I read your previous post, and agree that M does not appear to be a player to me, either. I was so anxious about his being distant/uninterested that I keep overthinking all kinds of possibilities in order to decipher it, which I guess is not helpful.

    For you, it started way before you met M, so to dissolve and resolve your shame it will take a long process that has nothing really to do with M.

    True, I agree with this as well.

    you don’t have to bring up the short history with him and I am not at all pressuring you to do it. It was only a suggestion on my part, messaging him something like this:

    Thanks for showing me a possible approach! I wish I had the courage to do so. I certainly want to know all of these very much, but am too ashamed to ask for now. I’ll see how our communication goes and follow the flow, I think.

    I so appreciate all of your precious input, Anita, and I’ll be thinking about them while I try to find my way out of this.

    LB

     

     

    #389161
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks for sharing your experience, just imagining a child searching for the mother’s potentially dead body made me shutter with horror and grief. The fact we’re capable of talking about it, I hope, means that it’s at the least being recognized and “healable” to some extent.

    when your mother was behind a closed, locked door, sounding like she was killing herself, and in so doing, turning your life upside down, you were very scared, very awkward and very needy. You wanted the door to her room to be opened, but at the same time, you were afraid of what you will see if and when the door gets open (a dead mother).

    This makes a lot of sense. I found the “M”-“dead mother” metaphor terrifying, though, in the sense that my mother was fine, but now it seems that the “M” I was imagining to have a future with, is dead.

    I was in a rush in my last post, and want to add something about M possibly having ASD:

    My gut feeling is that he doesn’t, though might be on the very mild side of it, because 1) he’d initiate small talk to strangers in a perfectly socially adept manner (e.g. someone we met in the dog park, he talked to them and pet their dog; he talked warmly to receptionists at the movie theatre; plus, he has to do a lot of talking with students), which I’m usually not capable of; 2) for our interactions in person, I wouldn’t say he’s socially awkward at all; he kept our conversation going, but just noticeably quieter, colder, more contemplative, more self-composed, less flirtatious (the only obvious move that he had was the one second that he touched my shoulder with his hand super lightly, while we’re walking during the first date, and that’s all), therefore coming across as less interested, compared to other guys that I’ve met. The reasons that I think he might be on the mild side of it: 1) he seems, how should I say it, idiosyncratic and nerdy? He’d invent some quirky experiments for himself, and spent a lot of time doing them; 2) I think he’s shy to talk about his more personal writing, or to talk about that in a more personal way, at least with me. He’d describe them as “more embarrassing.” (While personally, I’d love to talk ahout my writing as a way to show the more private me, though I haven’t had the chance to do that with him.) Also, when I gave him compliments about his writing, he never responded to the compliments themselves.

    (1) You told hm that your feelings are ridiculous, and by saying so, you communicated to him that you are ridiculous: “it’s by some ridiculous romantic feelings“, (2) You didn’t ask him questions about his expectations or history in regard to a romantic relationship, communicating to him in this silent way that perhaps that you think so little of yourself, that you will take as a boyfriend any man who is interested in you, regardless of what he thinks and values:

    I now realized that my phrasing indeed showed how I was good at self-denial. What was on my mind is that my romantic feelings were not reciprocated while I tried to approach him, so I described them as ridiculous to downplay/cancel them and express the hurt that I felt. And yes, I shall ask the questions in the future. I was in fear of coming across as probing while I didn’t feel entitled to ask them, cuz I thought they’re serious questions to be saved when the two of us were more clearly interested in each other, namely, after we meet, but since we met I’ve been getting the uninterested signals…

    The idea behind my early-on suggestion in regard to asking him questions (about how you came across to him, and what was happening in his mind during the month-long texting and during and after the two dates)- was not for the purpose of making a romantic relationship with him happen, but for the purpose of improving your understanding about what happened, and as a result, becoming wiser in regard to life and future romantic prospects.

    As it happened, after one day, M replied to my last medium-long message simply saying “Deal. I will soon” and I didn’t feel like replying. Our energy is completely imbalanced now (granted, he had taken hours to reply to me before we met, but after we met it could take him one or two days to reply, and at present the replies are getting shorter and colder). How should I shake off the ashamed feeling that he doesn’t want to talk to me, while proceeding to ask him questions sensibly? If he’s gonna send me his writing, as he said, I imagine we’d simply end up talking about our writing again, and I’m at a loss as to how to bring up our short history in that context, when it seems that it was over and we’re in the friends mode now.  I won’t chase him, but I do harbor some leftover romantic feelings and am self-conscious if I’m to talk about them again…What would be a better approach?

    LB

     

     

    #389156
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Regarding the trauma, I agree that they are traumatic indeed. I’m curious to know, however, why would M trigger a traumatic response in me, as you described it?

    I’m not sure if M is on the mild side of Autism Spectrum or not; he might be, but what struck me is that your inferences regarding him could also describe me: not picking up some social clues, not expressive in social situations, but very expressive in writing, etc. I always wondered if I have mild Autism. Does his rejection have to do with this? I’m not sure, cuz I tried to make a move even if I’m the same as him. Or maybe mine is milder than him? I don’t know.

    So, M didn’t reply to my message, which I think is warm in tone and his responses yesterday feel so indifferent to me. I wasn’t extremely bothered by this until today, when I told a friend about our texts, and she commented how cold and un-nice he was, that I should get him out of my life cuz he’s clearly not worth it, that I should not allow someone to treat me like this, that I should not have texted him in the first place, and that I should learn to play game with men (not to let them to be sure that I’m into them too early and and not to be so nice, available, and enthusiastic about him, so that they’re excited to do the chasing, etc.). She also asked to see the pics of him and commented that he seems arrogant and that he knows he’s good-looking (he indeed is), and that he’s probably a player, and that I should have been more arrogant than him to keep him interested. She thought M was not strongly interested in me at the beginning while we’re texting, which I think also makes sense, cuz in retrospect he’s not that eager as the other guys who’re interested in me. All of these made me feel so terrible: I’m not into playing games, does that mean I’m missing out in my dating life? My friend, by the way, is a super attractive woman who knows how to get men’s attention and play the game. What do you think of the possibility that M is a player?

    I’m now feeling so worthless, and duped, after my conversation with my friend, and hesitate to reach out to M ever again, when he just ignored my enthusiasm. I don’t know if he’s worth pursuing anymore.

    LetterBurner

    #389080
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    P.S., Anita, M just added “Send some of your writing someday? In whatever form”, I said yes and asked him to send some of his too, and I think that’s the end of our convo. Just wanted to note that he might be interested in this form of friendship, as like friends who write and share writing, but again I got this vibe that the romantic elements in our “relationship” are dying. He clearly has switched to the friends mode. I’m still happy if we could be friends, I am thinking.

    #389079
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I’m just here to report that I’ve had some exchange of texts with M, and I had this strange sensation of being disappointed again but also relieved. 5 hours later, he responded friendly, short, to the point, but more lukewarm / emotionless than his last round of texts. I tried to be more engaged in the conversation (chatting about what we’ve been up to, nothing about our short history yet), but it’s like he’s not really interested in keeping it going (or is that my projection? compared to the new guy, I can’t help but notice he’s so calm and much more formal in his responses). I’m disappointed again cuz I think you’re right, a romantic connection is unlikely to happen between us; he did not seem to be more interested, after all this. And my gut feeling is that he’s not strongly interested in being friends, either; if I go NC again he’s unlikely to contact me again. The reason I felt relieved thinking about it is that I suddenly become less interested in him, I think, due to the apathetic energy that I received. Does it mean what I’m pining for is the previous version of him, the one who gave me attention, interest, and hints of a promising romantic future, while we’re texting? I still like him a lot, but when I consider the apathetic him now, I think to myself “this is really a man who doesn’t want me, and this is not what I want in a relationship,” which kind of turns off my anxiety of wanting him. Do you think it’s still good for me to proceed with asking him questions, to see if that would spark more meaningful answers or anything? I’d love to know what your perspective is!

    I look forward to discussing it further tomorrow,

    LB

    #389073
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks for your feedback!! I’ll edit my texts!

    For the quotes, can you try selecting the texts that you want to quote, and then hit the button? If you do, you shall be able to see that they’re automatically indented into a block quote. Let me know if it works!

    LB

    #389071
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Here’s some more details, in answer to your questions, please let me know if there’s anything else I could address:

    (1) I would think that witnessing your mother attempting suicide qualifies as childhood trauma, don’t you think? Or is it that you believe that her particular suicide attempt was … not scary enough for a child to qualify as trauma?

    It was scary, indeed. She didn’t make the attempt in front of me, but simply locked herself in a room for long (can’t remember it’s hours or days), made some violent noises inside. I only knew it’s a suicide attempt from my grandparents’ panic, cuz she wouldn’t answer the door, and one of them said something to me (I can’t remember the phrasing) that made me convinced she’s committing suicide. I was in fear but didn’t know what to do, what to say, or what to think. They broke into the room and she’s fine after; she didn’t hurt herself.

    (2) Can you elaborate on the domestic violence incidents that you witnessed: what did you see and hear, how did you react while they were happening, and what happened after a violent incident ended? One more thing: when you wrote that the domestic violence was mild, you mean compared to worse domestic violence such as…?

    They’re fighting over something, lashed out at each other, and before I realized what’s going on were wrestling on the floor. I can’t remember any of them got hurt physically, so I thought it’s mild level, compared to violence that ended up in hospital / bruises / more severe physical damage. I could only remember the panic and that there’re violent emotions and language. My mom would recall this jokingly and told me that she threatened with a knife to kill my dad, but I can’t remember any of that. One of them locked the door (so that they could have the fight, I guess), and I remember my grand-grandma was knocking at the door frantically. I remained inside and stood there, again not knowing what to do, even not sure if I should open the door for my grand-grandma, although I was freaking out inside, I didn’t know why I dared not to open the door — I always reacted numbed at the scene of their fight/argument, not wanting or knowing how to be involved. It’s interesting that I totally forgot what happened afterwards, including how my mom got out of the room where she possibly wanted to commit suicide. I can’t even recall if I opened the door eventually — otherwise how did it end?

    LB

    #389069
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    The texts in blue were created by hitting the quote(“”) button next to the italics button in the edit toolbar. I’ll reply to your questions later today.

    I do feel tempted to text M today, but feeling shy making them public here…basically I wanted to let him know that I’ll stop being petty (is that a bad word?), that I’m sorry if I’ve ever made him uneasy (is this unnecessary?), that I was overwhelmed by my feelings and wasn’t myself (should I say that?), and that I’ve been missing him (should I say that?) and wanted to know how he’s doing. I still don’t know how I should go about asking him if he’s still interested romantically at all, but guess it’s a way to start a conversation again? What do you think?

    LB

    #389066
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    By the way, Anita, is there a DM function here, so that I can send my draft of texts to M and ask what you think?

    #389065
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    He’s white, I’m Asian. I’ve never been super close/intimate to any white man/woman… With the other white men I’ve dated“- oh, I mistakenly thought that you never dated a white man.

    Sorry I didn’t make it clear. I never dated a white man before M. But with the other white men I dated after him, I was so much more at ease.

    And, some of your words nearly brought me to tears, Anita, about being me. Both my exes I knew them from the internet, when texting allowed me to express myself better, and they’re both insistent in getting to know the me while I held back to different degrees at the beginning. I never felt comfortable getting to know people from real life due to social anxiety, and have very few close friends. In fact, so far I’d say the only friend who knows the real me in all respects, is my exbf, who I still talk to at times.

    I’ve meant to address some childhood issues with my therapist, but she’s more present-focused, so we didn’t get to talk about it extensively. I’m aware that I was not confident particularly about my looks during my childhood, as I was made conscious about my weight back then (and later, about my height), both by parents and others around me. Although I’ve lost weight ever since middle school, and 5’2” never seemed an issue in my dating life, and I would actually get frequent compliments about my looks ever since, I never truly believe that I’m attractive enough, or as attractive as I’d like myself to be convinced of. My parents had a terrible relationship and unstable financial situation when I was in primary school, which I was conscious about. My parents had unstable jobs and were often away when I was little, and I was conscious about that as well, being mostly raised up by my grandparents in early childhood. I think my tendencies to avoid confrontations may have sprung from witnessing some domestic violence (though only on a mild level), which included my mom’s suicide attempt, and being pushed by my mom to be involved in their conflicts (which I declined), like calling my dad to embarrass/poke some reactions from him during the period when they’re separated. Ever since my middle school, when I moved from my hometown to another city, I was also aware that I came from a different background (i.e. rural student with unstable financial status) from my other classmates. I’ve been highly competitive, sensitive to criticism, and prone to panicking about my performance in public since then. My teenage years were spent entirely lonely and isolated, except that I talked to random people from the internet, I almost lived in a spiritual convent. In general, I’d say I have a rather estranged relationship with my parents, though emotionally I was very close to my mom, and I also care for my dad. The sense of not being understood by others, or not wanting to be understood, however, persisted through my adulthood. It’s conflicted, though, as I’ve been afraid of other people’s attention, while at the same time very much craving it. I feel safer to be hidden, until I’m sure that the other person likes me enough, or would not reject/criticize me. If they show that they want to know me eagerly despite being aware I’m hiding, that usually ended up in me being bonded to them; but that only happened a few times.

    I can’t pin down any childhood trauma, though, except for my parents’ conflicts and a random sexual harassment from a stranger, but maybe I’ve forgotten it if there’s any major traumatic event.

    LB

    #389060
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I so appreciate your input. I’m at a loss as to what to ask him would be appropriate, cuz I think so far he already gave me the answer to the core questions: that is, if he likes me, and if he wants to pursue, potentially, something romantic with me at all? Although I was confused by his follow-up texts, he offered to be friends and acted uninterested when I showed my interest (I think), so I guess the answer is there. But if not, could the fact that I have such strong feelings for him (which, of course, I was too afraid to fully disclose to him, and only mentioned in one sentence in my reply to his rejection) change it at all? Or, maybe a question that makes more sense now would be like: did he want to be friends because I held back my feelings and what I wanted, or was it because I’m just not his type in other respects? If he sees no possible romantic connection with me, is he truly interested in talking to me / hanging out as friends? It feels so blunt to me to ask these questions, because he already gave his reasons or some white lies (i.e. his work, the life he left behind in LA; and that he could be friends), so if I ask them again would it come across as probing? Is there a way I can make it sound less confrontational/frustrated? What would you suggest?

    You mentioned that you never dated a man who is not Asian (is he white?), and that could have added to your discomfort. I wonder what your deeper feelings about race and personal worth, and if these need to be addressed,

    He’s white, I’m Asian. I’ve never been super close/intimate to any white man/woman. I think it did add to my discomfort, and I kept wondering if he’d like me as an Asian, or if he’s used to dating an Asian (kind of projecting my discomfort to him I guess), cuz I feel like a foreigner/alien here, and I’m self-conscious and not confident about my race (and myself, in general) when I think of M. I also worried about if coming from different cultures would make it hard to understand each other, plus the linguistic barrier (I’ve no problem talking to people in English, but I thought that the language is so important for writers like M and myself, and I worried about not being able to build a deeper connection by fully appreciating / understanding his writings. Both my exes were writers, and a major part of our connection came from sharing/talking about our writings, but all done in my native language.). With the other white men I’ve dated, however, I was pretty confident, but partly because they all showed strong interests in me, and I didn’t care too much.

    Also wanted to say thanks again for your time and effort responding to this! Your words gave me some important insights that I didn’t have. I so wish I’d talked to you earlier before things went south.

    LB

    #389047
    LetterBurner
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Of course! As I re-read your reply, I think I should add more info:

    But there are men who care about how a woman feels in general and about how she feels about them. Part of their spark and sexual attraction for a woman is the belief that she likes them and is interested in them. I get the feeling that he is one of the latter group of men.

    Yes, he’s definitely the latter camp. My gut feeling is that he has high standards — or some very particular standards/tastes? I thought he had some type, and that I might not be his “type” in person.

    I don’t know what was on his mind. Maybe some of the things you said (which you didn’t report here on your thread), or things you were silent about, led him to believe, or to suspect, that you are not fully interested in him. This is why it is so important to communicate clearly, honestly and courageously, so that no one has to guess.

    Yes! I think there’s some communication barrier between us, but I don’t know if it’s just me. As I mentioned, I was so nervous for our first date. He’s always cordial, while I tried my best to remain casual / calm (which might have come off as uninterested?). We talked a lot, but the conversations paused several times. There’re pauses when we looked at each other and I felt both of us were uneasy (though I think I was smiling, I could appear incredibly shy / quiet) — for me it’s a butterflies feeling, but still accompanied by awkwardness. I’ve no idea how he felt — maybe I made him uneasy? One more thing that might account for the off vibes of our first meeting: I’m not used to teasing. With my exbf, it took me a while to fully get his sense of humor or understand that he’s teasing; with my exgf, we just had very incompatible sense of humor. With M, there’re moments that I objected to what he said too earnestly, while he replied that “he’s just teasing,” and in retrospect I wonder if that made him uneasy as well. Maybe I’m overthinking minor details…Our second date was much more pleasant; I was being myself, less on edge, but his energy went down a lot and he acted more friend-like (like stopped complimenting me, interacted in a more casual way, and sounded tired at times). There’s a moment before we parted, when just the two of us were sitting on a bench inside a heated, locked tunnel at a train station, talking about a manuscript of his book in a quite tender manner — that’s when I thought any interested man should make some physical move, but he casually stood up and went to the other side while talking, as if to avoid the intimacy; I was tempted to make a move, but thought he’s not interested given he’d been so distant and weird after the first date — I didn’t mention, he asked for two dates before we met, but after the first date, he suddenly became not sure if he could make it to the second date, though eventually he showed up; so when I met him the second time, I was already feeling he’s fading out, didn’t hold up much hope, but wanted to see what’s going on.

    Sorry if I’m rambling! As I’m talking to the other guy, with whom the convo flows much more naturally (and when I tend to end the convo casually he’d insist to carry it on), I just realized how off my communication with M was — so restrained, overtly careful, on edge, though I think I was more gentle. Ah, why when I didn’t care much, everything seemed to work, while when I had feelings I screwed things up? I wonder if that’s a compatibility issue, or something that could be worked on.

    It’s very late! I look forward to hearing from you again tomorrow,

    LB

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