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    Thanks for getting back.

    I understand that the particularities of our situations are different. However, the basic narrative is the same: boy meets girl, boy hurts girl and pushes away, boy realises that he should go after the girl.

    Well, maybe bar the third element 😊 in my case.

    I am sorry if I led you into believing that I was incessantly thinking about B all this time. This is not the case. Furthermore, now that after our encounter it is clear that he is not into me in any degree (at least, now), I hardly give him a thought at all.

    I guess I never go after the unattainable. I entertain hope, deep down, with or without being aware of it, if the situation is ambiguous. And then it depends on how ambiguous it is and for how long. This determines for how long and to what extent I am “on the hook.”

    I did look up OCD several times in the past. Frankly, I don’t believe I am that extreme. But thank you anyway.

    And thank you so much again and again for your male perspective! You’ve been like a mentor to me. Time to go back to reread those male psychology books, they are obviously on to something – your insights are the proof! Time for a refresher!

    Wishing you and your ‘B’ all the happiness imaginable and especially not to forget what it is that made you go back to ‘B’ and the feelings that you are experiencing now!!!


    It is a bitter comfort for me as a female to see that men can have the same doubts and feelings – just like women.

    ’s and @Sammy1’s advice to you is also applicable to me, very much so.

    We’ll get there! Keep up the good work!!!



    Thank you very much for your opinion.

    On the contrary, I am searching for answers now exactly because so much time has passed and I can be more objective. You know, like when you look back and hope that now you would be able to see things for what they really were?

    I understand that you think that @Dannydan’s situation with his B is not the same as mine.

    However, to me, it seemed that the beginning of it (especially the portion in italics in my previous post) was very much akin to what, as I perceived it, had happened between my B and me.

    So I jumped at the opportunity to ask the male involved what his thought and feeling process was.

    It may or may not end for me the same way it ended for @Dannydan.

    I am NOT holding out any hope, especially less so after our meeting in person two weeks ago.

    My ‘B’ is not controlling any thoughts of mine. I don’t wake up thinking about him, go about my day with him at the back of my mind and I don’t fall asleep dreaming about him either.

    I am not spiralling, I haven’t lost sleep, I don’t feel the necessity to turn to antidepressants as I did after my breakup with ‘A’.

    I agree that I chose to overlook certain red flags.

    I’ll do my best not to repeat a similar situation in the future.

    I am not sure I am feeling angry at him. Maybe I should.

    I can’t say that what I am feeling is sympathy either. I think that what I am trying to do is to put myself in his shoes and find out where he was coming from. As a surgeon performing a dissection. Everyone acts based on what he or she deems best under the current circumstances. I suppose this is my exercise in Buddhist compassion, LOL!

    I have also found in the past that it is of help to me to repeat certain things several times – you know, like one would chew on a chewing gum until it loses all flavour and then spits it out. I really feel that this is the last time I need to turn back to this story. The case is now closed.

    Thank you and @Dannydan for not disappearing on me. I have read plenty of threads where people would be going back and forth and then suddenly stop answering or deactivating their accounts. Without warning or thank yous.



    Oh, I got it now! You see, I read your phrase as “I can be sure that he wants commitment if he contacts me again”, hence all those questions of mine. And you meant it as advice, as in “make sure he wants commitment.” That sure explains it! Talk about male ambiguity, he-he…

    No, it goes without saying that if he starts something akin to – I can’t really call it “love bombing,” but something akin to that – I won’t be shy.

    I’ll be sure to drill him on what took place in 2015-2016 and where we are heading now.

    No clue if this will happen though.

    Although one more guy whom I couldn’t stand ten years ago (and still can’t) dropped me a line yesterday, poking me to see if maybe now I have changed my mind. Nope, sorry, not even if I am starving…

    And yet another guy from the past contacted me on social media yet again. He was charming at all, but to his charms I managed not to succumb having seen something that could be interpreted in only one manner and that unflattering for him. I have learnt since that he had borrowed money from his colleagues, including female once, and now refuses to return it. I had never trusted him; those ladies – and a few much more experienced and older than I was – did. And they had worked more closely with him and for a longer time than I did – how’s that??? So I bet that he is counting on drawing me out to chit-chat and then will ask for a loan. Anyway…

    So yes, everything is possible, especially if ‘B’ and his girlfriend don’t work out.

    ‘B’ may very well say to himself, “Hey, and why did I rule NBC out? She is not what she seemed back in 2015-2016!” He may even remember that I told him in that recent meeting of ours that I thought we had had some special connection and convince himself of it (or remember that it had been there indeed) – and there you go.

    But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. And IF we do. I sincerely hope both of us are not what we were five years ago. He is no longer married; I have done quite a lot of work on myself.

    If I am completely honest, I don’t know if I want it to happen or not. It may very well be the case of “Not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

    Of course, it would be better if he had the same awakening as you did. I can only hope that he gives more thought to why I brought up his behaviour from five years ago and talked about his ambiguity and being hurt…

    Although I am still clueless about the mismatch between him pulling away from me and his body language for two years afterwards.

    The only explanation I could give myself (and of the believe-in-people type) was that he pulled away to finish off his ambiguous marriage situation. If I were him, I wouldn’t be able to ask the object of my affections to wait for me for a couple of years – if not five – until the younger daughter starts college.

    Clearly, I overestimated, thought too highly of him if in reality he pulled away because he wanted sex and didn’t get it.

    Or if he pulled away because he wanted casual whilst still married and I was worth so much more.

    So much for Christian men with untarnished reputation at work and elsewhere. Ha!

    But I guess that this is over. I didn’t detect anything akin to that excitement he had displayed in my presence in the past when we met two weeks ago.

    So it must indeed be over for him, but, ultimately, it doesn’t matter now. Some questions must remain unanswered for some time or forever. Make peace with it. I honestly tried to get answers – with your and @Sammy1’s help.

    Or if he did still feel something and hid it well – well, what do I care if he still doesn’t want me in his life?

    For if he wanted, he would make sure I knew it.

    Especially now that he is no longer married.

    This is the truth.

    No, I am not holding my breath counting on his return and putting my life on hold.

    I stopped his Twitter for good – the only feed about him I was getting since his retirement, and I’ll plough on living my life.

    This, too, shall pass.

    And no, I don’t feel like I have wasted five years of my life on him. And I don’t think I ever will.

    I always try to project into the future playing with “and what would I feel or think in …years’ time if I did this or didn’t do this?…”

    So no regrets anywhere.

    First, I do credit him with pulling me out of an abyss that opened after A’s betrayal.

    And second, I did have a couple of very strong infatuations and a few minor ones that completely eclipsed ‘B’ and pushed him into the background. I knew that ‘B’ couldn’t stand comparison to the objects of those strong infatuations. Too bad that one of them adored his wife and the other didn’t want any relationship whatsoever. Besides, they were both significantly older than me. So obviously, no future possible, but they helped me to see yet once again that I was not as hung up on ‘B’ as one might have thought. (I for one always knew that whatever feelings I had for him were not on par with what I had had with ‘A’ – too little time together, too long ago, too little contact in-between. And ‘A’, when courting me, in the infatuation phase, had done so many more things than ‘B’ did – and I did pick on those to myself when I couldn’t decide what it was that ‘B’ wanted from me – friendship or love.)

    When everything is clear as day – and I do filter out 95% of the “bad guys” – no problem. But if the guy has charisma and his actions can be interpreted either way (“innocent until proven guilty” – unequivocally guilty, I might add) – that is when I don’t let go until a stronger feeling for somebody else visits me or the mystery is dissipated.

    Danny, one more psychology question for you. Curious how the mind works.

    I came back to your original post and read this:

    However through mutual friend, I’ve heard she was badly upset and I deeply hurt her more than I thought. I know she did not deserve any pain, I thought selfishly only about myself. She wasn’t taking pity and in fact really liked me for who I was and I was idiotic and pushed her away.

    If I’m honest I feel like I had no real intention of being with someone again longterm when I first met B I was just looking for a way to distract because I had not healed the scars left by A.

    I acted like the relationship with B was going to go somewhere, I made efforts and then when things actually began to feel real, I just bailed on her. I awakened feelings in her only to screw her over. I think there’s a part of me which acted unknowingly to inflict the pain I’d felt from what A did to me onto B. I feel like a sadist.

    I am curious as to what was Square One for you in deciding to go back to ‘B’? This quote makes it sound like the words of that mutual friend along with your knowing deep down that ‘B’ didn’t deserve what you did to her?

    What do you think about my encounter with my ‘B’? Do you think I should have told him in more detailed, described more vividly how he had hurt me?



    I thought I should to be more specific.

    Why did you say in your post from the 27<sup>th</sup> of February that – I quote – “If he has a change of heart, be sure it’s because he wants a serious commitment”?

    From what I shared about how the relationship continued after our cuddling for a good two or three months, just as intense, do you still think he pushed away because he had counted on sex and it didn’t happen so he lost interest?

    You put, “Maybe he thought you were marriage material and he wanted casual flings as distraction. Who knows?!”

    Did you mean now?

    Or when he was married and we met five years ago?

    He did say that he didn’t want to marry, but that was five years ago.

    Two weeks ago he said he hadn’t been able to see us as a long-term couple back then. Could he have wanted a long-term casual thing five years ago? Is it something that exists? Merely speculating.




    There are “married” and “married.”

    My aunt met my uncle when he was separated. That was back in the 1970s. They celebrated their golden anniversary two years ago.

    My brother was separated from his wife and single for five years. Then he was in a relationship with his girlfriend for four years. It is a long story why it took him nine years to divorce, but it had nothing to do with him being ambiguous or unclear about the state of his failed marriage.

    I have a lady at work who didn’t hesitate to pursue a very big boss who divorced for her. They have been happily married for over ten years now.

    So you see, it is not so much the marriage status per se as the state of the marriage. Especially, when kids are involved and when kids are underage, so that there is the issue of custody.

    Remember, B told me right away that he was separated, had no intention to get back with his wife (and had no intention to marry again – be it his wife after the divorce or somebody else). He was living at a hotel at the time and acting like a free agent, too. I guess that was my green light deep down.

    It was some time later that it transpired that he was back at their family house, albeit in a separate bedroom. But by then I had already become emotionally involved because of all our communication and sharing.

    Besides, he was sharing all that more as a friend rather than a suitor. Again, him telling me right away that he didn’t want to marry and the obvious mess in his relationship with his wife (remember their last-ditch attempt at a retreat to reconcile, too?) meant that I had told myself that I would be seeing him strictly as a friend. But feelings obviously had started to develop.

    His ambiguity in terms of “friend” vs “potential lover” came later.

    This is why I am not sure if @Dannydan was right suggesting that he pulled away because of my rebuffing his attempts at romance. He pulled away significantly later. After our cuddling, our communication was on at full steam for a good two or three months. And he didn’t make any other significant physical attempts. He didn’t come to spend the night under my roof, did he? It mostly became just words and intentions, which never translated into anything material.

    Which made me think that he was battling his “duty” and feelings for me.

    Which is why I was so thrown off by his words two weeks ago that he had been looking for somebody, decided I was not the one and that is why he pulled away.

    Again, not sure about ROYALLY MESSED UP. It sounds like he pulled away as soon as he realised he was not that into me.

    (Only it doesn’t match his body language and obvious excitement at seeing me during our chance encounters for the subsequent two years.)

    It is my problem that I had gotten attached so soon despite him being more of a friend than a suitor and despite me clearly seeing all the red flags.

    As for the nice words and “locker room banter”, I probably should have learnt a long time ago that not everybody is so careful with words and plans as I am, especially men. If I choose my words very carefully so that I can answer about them in court, if need be, and if I say thank you for the recommendation, I’ll read that book sooner or later and then still read it three years after (!), it doesn’t mean that everyone is like this, going steady, with intentions unchanged, long-term.

    I totally agree about consent. I was merely trying to analyse what HE might have been feeling or thinking.

    Same thing about my question to @Dannydan as to why he said that if B came back, that would be for serious now, not for an ego boost. If B hasn’t changed, he may very well seek an ego boost again.

    I would rather know what men are assuming because not everybody is a gentleman, and I don’t want to end up in a precarious situation.

    And no, I don’t want another “adventure.” I want – and have always wanted – something stable and sturdy and long-lasting.

    The reason why you didn’t call him out entirely for your pain and tell him you were hurt is because a part of you didn’t want to rock the boat, you still had or have that glimmer of hope that you didn’t want to dash. You didn’t want to give him a reason.

    This is absolutely wrong. As said, I hate to complain or ask to be pitied.

    To give him a list of what he had said or written meant that I should have had the list handy.

    I had deleted our correspondence a long time ago.

    And whatever handwritten diary pages I had, I had stuck them in a sealed envelope and put them in a very hard-to-reach place.

    Besides, he clearly didn’t remember a lot about what exactly he had said or written five years ago.

    It would be ridiculous to expect that he would, if it had been just bla-bla-bla for him.

    So it would be like punishing a dog for something it had done two weeks ago. The dog wouldn’t understand.

    So wouldn’t he.

    He is the type of guy who doesn’t ever leave you when he knows he doesn’t want you long term, and in the end offers the typical “you deserve better” to just look like the good guy.

    This is like the vast majority of men.

    I am only sorry I got mistaken again.

    Thank you, @Sammy1 and @Dannydan for your inputs. It was especially valuable because I got opinions for a woman and a man, so much more objectivity about what had happened.

    , I was hoping you could address my two tentative questions above (the same as in my big previous post)?



    @Dannydan (and @Sammy1)

    No offense but searching up and simulating prompts into why he put ‘love’ instead of ‘live’ in his response is a tad obsessive? Don’t do that to yourself! It’s a slippery slope.

    I think although you state you are over him, I can sense you are still looking for some glimmer of hope. That may be more to do with the feeling of rejection than actually wanting to reconcile though.

    Ha-ha, Danny, no offence, but the romantic in me in the deep unconsciousness was definitely looking for a glimmer of hope after you described how you had told our B that you thought she would contact you first! 😊

    I have been searching and I think I found it – what the overall outcome of that meeting was.

    Yes, I would expect him to have seen me in a different light now that five years have passed.

    Certainly, I don’t know what he will make of it.

    I had to get used to the new him (not appearance-wise), quiet and all and not on edge because of my presence.

    (Or am I wrong again? I had one guy courting me. I thought I couldn’t tell what he was thinking of me. Not that I cared – I felt that terrible aversion to him and was wondering how he couldn’t feel it. However, when after Date 2 I told him I could only be friends with him, he thanked for being so upfront because other ladies had been stringing him along with no feelings for him. I thought he might want to remain friends – out of hope to win me over eventually. But he disappeared out of my life just like that. I now think that he really, really liked me. And I couldn’t tell for the life of me at the moment! Again, not that I would have cared then or care now.)

    This meeting was supposed to the closing chapter in our relationship, whatever it was, the “summing up.”

    When I look back now that one week has passed, it feels more like a first date, only I (can’t speak for the other party) can’t really say whether I am hoping he would ask me on a second date or not. If he did, I would accept; if he didn’t, I am totally okay with it.

    I can’t fault Sammy’s insight, it is on the money mostly.

    Yes, and thank you @Sammy1 – I reread your post every single day this past week. For two or three days it really felt like a full-fledged breakup similar to the two most memorable that I have had in my life.

    I have never given in to the temptation of visualising our life together, but a few images had creeped into my head – I admit that. I felt we could have so much fun together, learn so much from each other… And I certainly liked the way it felt to be with him. I need to leave that aside and let it sink that those images were just that – fantasies. No telling if everything would have turned out like I had imagined. Just let go.

    I’m not saying give sex to a guy, quite the opposite the fact you didn’t have sex is actually a good thing. I know I respect a woman more when she isn’t easy and is selective

    Again, Danny, you are confirming what I read in some of the books on male psyche!

    but if a man only has that as his goal for you he will definitely lose interest fast! Sad facts!

    True, but – and this is what left me wondering for a good many year!

    He texted me the very next morning after our cuddling asking me how I felt after the sleepless night. (I had been wondering how soon I would hear from him if at all.)

    And we would continue communicating on the same level of intensity for over a month.

    Then he had that quarrel with his wife when he wanted to crash on my floor.

    I replied to him then that “My house was his house.” He said “Thank you, my NBC.” (And then he said he wouldn’t come.)

    We met for a walk some time later. I don’t remember how the conversation brought me to this, but I actually did say that it would be cool to live under the same roof – that way we could speak one language one day, another one on another day and so on. (He speaks three of the languages that I speak.)

    Some time later again, when we met again, he asked me whether I was his. When I asked him later what he had meant by that, he said that he hadn’t meant anything like that, he had wanted to say something nice.

    And our interaction was still undying!

    Some time after that he would throw in “We need to talk,” “We need to talk”, but making no effort to schedule the talk after I said ready anytime. That was when he joked about ‘pillow talk.’ Hey, we even discussed the Fifty Shades of Grey!

    And then I was going on a holiday inviting him over in jest.

    He said, “Man, I’d love to.”

    Then the day I arrived at my destination, he texted me asking how my holiday was going.

    But it was some time into that two-week holiday that he stopped asking questions, initiating interaction and when everything basically died.

    Right after the holiday, I met him at work. He asked me how my holiday had been. A couple of hours after the meeting he texted me asking whether I was still at work. I said no, gone home already. I thought he would ask for a meeting or maybe even come over to my place, but he didn’t add anything.

    Then two months later I saw a fresh picture of his wife and him with their wedding rings on.

    He would text me a couple of more times that “Are you still around?” text.

    That is when I made a few attempts to recover what had been to no avail.

    Followed by my ‘confession.’ And his yet one more “I am still here”. Which sounded (probably without any ground for it) as a promise to come back to me when he is a free man.

    That’s the big picture of our timeline.

    I also might add that I was very cautious about what exactly I was writing to him because I had read that lawyers could even use email correspondence like that in cases of bitter divorce.

    So given the intensity of communication plus those sudden resurgences of “Where are you? Still here?” afterwards made me think that he was still battling his “duty” and desire for divorce.

    Now that he tells me in cold blood that he was already looking for somebody and thought I would fit the part, but then changed his mind, is certainly a revelation.

    ’s words that sharing some of the info that he shared is normally done in intimate relationships helped me to see that I hadn’t imagined the emotional intimacy. No matter what it led on to later on or didn’t.

    I doubt he thought you were promiscuous, you didn’t even have sex. However, he may think that about you out of anger or feel not enough himself if you are very attractive and he is insecure. I.e. Old Danny conjured up all sorts of negative false scenarios. I at one point believed egged on by the lads, ‘B’ was cockteasing and playing me.

    Well, frankly, Danny, I am afraid that if one wanted, one could easily think that I was inviting him over exactly to have sex. Or then putting blankly that it would be cool to live together.

    I mean that if he had wanted to take advantage of me, he could certainly see lots of green lights. (Not that I was going to cede to him – I swear I was not going to have sex with him until his marriage situationship had been cleared out.)

    I’m not supporting his actions, what he did was wrong but I personally think if you want a deeper understanding of men, reducing it down to “he just wasn’t into you” will not help.  Men have emotions sometimes due to our lack of emotional regulation and intelligence we mess up.

    That’s what’s confusing! I thought he was messed up, but now he tells me that he was in his sound mind looking for new partner, and there was something about me that wasn’t sitting right with him!

    In fact, this is what is significantly contributing to my healing. I can forgive lots of things done in a state of emotional turmoil (despite the fact that I myself would probably still keep my composure and behave decently), but I have trouble forgiving that, which is normally not done by ‘civilised’ people, by somebody who is totally in control of their abilities, when there is no possibility to make allowances for the emotional state of the person in question.

    Just to give you some insight you will be shocked at how often us men appear outwardly confident but are actually deeply insecure.

    I know about this in theory. I think I can distinguish between true and false confidence, but I am not sure. Have never been attracted by cocky men. Have always preferred calmly and quietly assured. (But learnt that that can be false appearance, too.)

     We often want the emotional connection and to also feel safe. However because we are not accustomed to that support when we get it, we feel internally something is off.

    And this somehow rings very true!

    You know, what I would really love to know is whether NBC-version ’21 is not NBC-version five years ago and whether ‘B’ is the same or different. Unfortunately, no such authority exists.

    Instead typically what has played out is the woman who is good and offers emotional support, somehow attraction becomes dampened because we feel emasculated further.

    These type of men often are very attentive and kind but always end up wanting a woman who treats them mean or aggressively. However they are never happy, take note this has NOTHING to do with you , but deep seated issues either in form of mummy issues or from previous relationship experience.

    Again, you have definitely stumbled upon something! I knew that in theory, but it never occurred to me to apply that to B!

    And of course, there is nothing I can do about it here. No way I can help him. Some things can only be done by the person himself.

    I was one of them types, but Sammy is right unfortunately not many men are willing to change or look inwardly. If you try to be with them thinking you’ll change them let me tell you, you’ll always lose.

    What I have also learnt as time passes is that people hardly ever change. It takes some very significant push from the outside (breakup, trauma, illness, etc.) for somebody to change. Sad, but true.

    And no, I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to change whomever!

    Unfortunately, I am more of the type who would be busy doing her own thing, but at the same time quietly waiting hoping for the tides to change and for the reformed man to come to her. I do get tired of waiting eventually. And I am afraid I waste time doing it. But on the flip side, I can’t really become interested in anybody else until the interest in that other person has waned with time… The only thing I feel I can do is look for means to speed up the process. But I can’t be ready until I am ready.

    The fact he met you although no consolation does mean he likes you. Maybe he thought you were marriage material and he wanted casual flings as distraction. Who knows?!

    You mean now? Or when he was married and we met five years ago?

    He did say that he didn’t want to marry, but that was five years ago.

    And then I was confused last week when he said he couldn’t see any future with me and so started to back away five years ago. Long-term casual future??? Or just one more proof that he was indeed a mess five years ago no matter how much he may be trying to convince me of the opposite now? Oh wait, he did say last week he had been a mess! How come then he could decide then five years ago in a sound and sane way whether I was the one or not???

    I have read so many different stories now that I fully abide by the saying that when somebody tells you what or who she or he is, believe it. He said at least two times, when our ‘active phase’ was over, that he liked me. I have to go with that.

    But given that he decided not to develop it further, not to build upon this attraction (such as what you say gives rise to feelings – more proximity, more time together, getting to know each other – right?), I have to contend that “he was into me, but just not that much into me.”

    I can of course hope that he will see it in time how special our emotional connection was, but after this meeting, I feel that he is further from this realisation than he ever was before. I was already starting to have doubts about his original ‘promise” (which was no promise in reality) to get back together after the divorce now that so much time had passed. After our meeting, I know that the chance is even slimmer than the slim chance I thought it was.

    I simply cant’ count on that in whatever degree. And I can’t make him see it.

    So thank you again, @Dannydan and @Sammy1 for pushing me to make him come out into the light.

    , if you don’t mind my asking, how old are you?

    Him mentioning he has a girlfriend may be the truth and he wanted to avoid awkwardness, on the flip side it can also be game playing to see if it evokes jealousy and to get you to admit any remaining feelings first, form of control. It is what insecurity does to you. You constantly feel the need to protect oneself or have the upper hand. Childish really, but not beyond a man if he’s insecure.

    Well, somehow I think it is true about the girlfriend.

    One, I would really love for that girl who had fallen for him more than ten years ago to get her happily ever after (if it is her and if this ‘happily ever after’ is possible for them as they are now).

    And two. He is divorced, comfortably retired, in his own house with a golden retriever, two grown-up kids are with their mother, dabbles in motivational speaking after a successful career, charming, witty and good-looking. I mean the queue of women wanting to be with him would encircle the globe five times if not more! And he was starved for female attention even five years ago – he thanked me for cuddling saying it had been nice to have a woman’s arms around him.

    I do think he has a girlfriend, only I truly don’t know if he is ready for it.

    And you are right, he hasn’t done any ‘homework”!

    That is what you need to be wary of. If he has a change of heart, be sure it’s because he wants a serious commitment.

    Why? Why can’t he turn again to me just to get an ego boost?

    Or he would have a long time ago, given what I have shared?

    You know, the only thing that I don’t know if I should have done differently when we met last week is talk in more detail about how hurt and slighted I felt by his ghosting me. But I don’t like to complain or be a crybaby.

    I am also wondering if I should have talked in more detail about what specifically in his treatment (concrete words, phrases, texts like that) threw me off five years ago? But then I did tell him that he was confusing (he agreed – gosh, he even took that word – “confusing” – out of my mouth!) and ambiguous, that I even had made a list trying to balance things against each other (pros and cons) and still couldn’t get a clear picture of what was taking place.

    Maybe if I had been more vocal, that would have been a bigger push for him to think about what he had done?

    Or if he is ‘enlightened’ enough, this meeting and me mentioning my ‘hurt’ should have been enough?

    Danny and Sammy, you don’t even realise of how much help you are!!!



    The fact of the matter is, like many intelligent women, you at some point went against your instincts, the red flags, and got caught up in his emotional woes wanting to probably do what women do instinctively “fix”, which in the end blinded you and lead to you becoming attached. Once those feelings arise it can make it very difficult to let go.

    I am not sure I wanted to “fix” him, but it was sure nice to have him as a friend, and I thought I could stick to the fine line of being a friend without getting involved too much, at least until he had figured his “separated” vs “divorced” status. Life proved me wrong.

    But I did get a lot out of it. It was my consolation in the end – when he pulled away for good – that we were even. He was a very good listener to my breakup story with ‘A’. I think I mentioned before that I credit him with being a therapist for me. He did move my focus from ‘A’ to himself like a therapist would, but since he was no therapist, he couldn’t do anything to dissipate that new focus. The good news is that we never became involved too deeply, no sex took place, so it was not too hard to let go (compared to a full-fledged invested relationship).

    Whereas he like a typical man was able to compartmentalise. He took advantage of the best of both worlds. He didn’t stop to think of the implications it would have on you by sharing such deep things. This is normally done in intimate relationships.

    Excellent point! He is sure great at compartmentalising.

    When we cuddled, he shared that he had only been intimate with two women in his life – his wife and that girl in 2010. I thought it was a good thing, him being so selective and restrained. Of course, he could have lied.

    I shared that ‘A’ had been my only sexual partner so far, and I had only kissed two other men in my life before him. These other two men and I went further than kissing, but not so far as having sex. I don’t know if he thought I was promiscuous? With two men kissed on the lips and one intimate with in all the 30 years of my life at the time?

    Who cares if he thinks you’re under his spell, as long as you did this for your own healing.

    If his ego is that big he is assuming that you are under his spell, rather than reflecting on what hurt and damage he caused by his actions then that’s another reason for you being well rid!!

    At the beginning, he expressed surprise that I had wanted to meet in person. He said he thought I wanted a letter of recommendation from him or something like that.

    And when I started talking about our intense communication five years ago, I felt the vibes of something along the lines of “Oh, that’s what it is! I wonder if she still can’t get over that case!?! Couldn’t she really have been hung up on me for these five years???”

    One more note. When he recalled the news I let him know last year, it was about a coworker of ours who had recently given birth. He had worked much more with her than with me – and he struggled to recall her name! On the one hand, I was flattered that he remembered so much about me and “us.” On the other hand, I also recalled how in 2015, he, probably wanting to establish a better rapport, had tried to convince me that he and I had had a big project together, which in fact we didn’t. I corrected him right away then. That was a red flag for me, too. I think he knew that he was bringing this up wanting to look good, but it didn’t look good. People-pleaser? Also, the reason for him giving in to his wife and friends’ admonitions to make up?

    When he mentioned that coworker, he kind of nodded towards me, sort of “And what about you? In a relationship? Kids?” But he didn’t say anything.

    Have no idea what he thought in the end. I might have been just as well clearing my mental space because it was in the way of a new relationship, might I have not?

    I felt that he was intently watching for my reaction when he mentioned his girlfriend. I am glad I had my sunglasses on. I didn’t flinch, just nodded and shrugged as if it was totally expected and I didn’t care in the least.

    I thought it was also funny that he seemed to be genuinely interested in how things were going in our organisation, covid and all. I thought he would ask just one question and maybe a follow-up as small talk, but he asked quite a lot. I had the impression that it was actually me who was more impatient to get to the reason for our meeting than he was.

    Learning an ex is in a new relationship goes a few ways; if you genuinely care you’re happy for them or you feel jealousy it wasn’t you or you reach a point of indifference and don’t give AF!

    Great point! I am 80% indifferent and the rest is split between very light jealousy (mingled with uncertainty about what I would be feeling if I were with him – possibly lots of anxiety, but I am not sure, I am in sort of turpor right now) and curiosity as to who the girl is. Wouldn’t it be Hollywood-like if it were the one from 2010? Albeit with lots of direct damage (his wife, his daughter who was only 6 or 7 at the time) and collateral (for instance, me).

    The meeting will have made all your emotions raw and it is human to hurt after realising he really wasn’t into you yet gladly used you.

    I suppose it was more the fact of rejection. For a day or so, I had the same feeling I had had when one of the guys from a quasi-relationship said he didn’t want me and when A announced that he was now in love with another woman and couldn’t care less about me.

    It is much better now. It definitely helps that we never went too far and that it has been almost exactly five years since he went MIA for good.

    Tbh most men are incapable of undertaking the growth @Tim1 and @Dannydan did.

    This is what concerns me a lot. There are already more women than men. Women are generally more self-aware than men. So the chances to find somebody like @Tim1 and @Dannydan are tending towards zero.

    I’m sorry he didn’t offer you a truer apology in person or accountability like they did.

    This is true, he didn’t. He apologised just because it was polite to apologise. I doubt he is going to think back about what he had done and decide he also needed some soul-searching – like @Dannydan. But who knows?…

    However he offered you insight into what he was and is – he isn’t worthy of you.


    Another thought came across. He said I had been vocal about what I wanted, he had told me right away that he didn’t want to marry.  He reiterated when we met now three days ago that it was never his intention to marry.  Copped out of any potential responsibility when sensing I was falling for him by saying “I just can’t have a serious relationship now”.

    Which prompted a few questions from me back then in 2015.

    You see, everywhere – in forums, articles, even in a similar Tiny Buddha thread, people use the phrase “I don’t want to be in a relationship.” He used “can’t have” and “now.” Which made me ask whether these were the key words. And he didn’t reply to it.

    The thought is that, in addition to yet one more attempt to reconcile, he may have thought I was not the one because he wasn’t ready for anything serious, wanted casual and could see that I was strictly relationship material?

    I couldn’t help but think about the vibes I was getting from him during our meeting and before when our paths had crossed after he had pulled away.

    When we met a couple of times in the autumn of 2016, half a year since our meeting before that and about half a year after he had ghosted me, why would he approach me and then avoid me and blush and fidget when talking to me if he had decided I was not the one? He didn’t protest when I said I had noticed it this week.

    Can’t tell about blushing this week, no fidgeting, but as I look back, I realise that he was standing erect and immobile as a statue, never shifting weight from one leg to another or crossing his arms or hiding his arms behind his back as I was doing. And we talked for 30-40 minutes.

    He was just as serious as he was when we cuddled and talked, not a single joke cracked.

    Again, it may be wishful thinking and even if it is, it is not more wishful thinking after this meeting than it was before when I had already started to forget him, but I have a feeling now that I am back on his list of potential partners. You know, like they say that every man has a list of women he turns to when he is single. Not for comfort, but to see whether they would fit as a new partner. Like they suggest not to forget one’s friends, especially single ones, to look around in one’s already established circles of friends and acquaintances.

    He has a highly analytical mathematical mind. He probably agrees now that he is not the mess he was in 2015-2016 (he may be a different mess, but that’s a different story). And I am not the mess I was back then. He definitely liked my appearance. He had always been attracted to me. If it is a serious relationship he wants now and if he and his girlfriend don’t work out, I wouldn’t be surprised if he contacts me.

    At least, I did jog his memory (not that he had forgotten about me, but he probably brushed me aside – “nope, not that one”) and made him see me in a new light.

    This is my main takeaway. Our meeting helped me to see him the way he is now (also with me) and he could see and check the perception that he had conserved of me against me in 2021.

    Again, need @Dannydan here – men hardly ever fall in love at first sight, do they? It happens gradually.

    If his mind tells him I am worth pursuing, he may as well try that and see how it develops this time.

    Goes without saying that I am no more expecting him to contact me at any time in the future than I was before the meeting.

    And goes without saying that I will have to put him through a lot if he does.

    If you need any other advice let me know but I’m not frequenting TB as I was but happy to always support anyone x

    , I am about to be done with this situationship, but if you come up with any other comments, I’d be grateful. You are terribly insightful and give very good advice that makes a lot of sense.

    I am also looking forward to @Dannydan’s comments from a male’s perspective, so that I can wrap it up for good.


    1. S. I wrote the account above fresh after the meeting. Then, as I normally do, set it aside for some time.

    Something was nagging me all along. Is if I was missing something. Overlooking something staring right into my face. Something I didn’t quite like.

    And then it hit me.

    All this time, I thought him to be tormented between his sudden infatuation and its dissolution, his past with his wife, his kids, house and life as he knew, all his neighbours and friends (He told me that his male friends asked him whether he couldn’t make an effort to patch up with his wife), also his beliefs. He used to go regularly to church with his wife.

    He repeated yesterday three or four times that he had pulled away because he didn’t see a future with me (or something like this – as said, the exact wording he used escapes me).

    It dawned on me that he was actually actively and cold-bloodedly looking – not even for a temporary escape – but for another partner. While still being married. And all this time he KNEW that his marriage was finished. For him.

    Not so decent, huh? If he had known that he would divorce no matter what, he should have divorced first.

    What he did was typical of many men though – looking to open a new account so to speak not having closed the old one.

    And one more thing in this story was not to my liking.

    So he knew that his marriage was over. For him. He was already in a blooming interaction with me. He decides I am not the one. And right after that, he is with his wife again.

    He may have given in to her and his friends’ requests to try again – I get that.

    Or he may have decided to give in to them BECAUSE I was not the one – I get that too.

    Either way, it doesn’t look good given that he KNEW his marriage is over.

    Not good towards his wife, not good towards me.

    I think it is this realisation (combined with him repeating it three or four times as a matter of course) that made me say that he hasn’t changed. Probably. Who knows for real?…

    Good riddance you say?


    @Dannydan and @Sammy1


    Sorry for the silence. I reread your responses several times and several times I didn’t find anything to say. Everything is true, you are all right.

    And then – as usual with me – a confluence of events happened. First, a married friend of mine ran an errand for me and left a bouquet of flowers. Just because. Very sweet.

    Second, a disabled man, old enough to be my father, from an opendoor class that I attend, expressly offered me his assistance twice. He didn’t insist when I said that first, I’d like to figure things out on my own, but it was very sweet, too. Not creepy at all like with some other men before, just very sweet. And I remember how we locked our eyes for a split second. Wouldn’t be surprised if he is a little bit in love with me. Poor fellow! And poor me, old soul! I am afraid I really have to wait 20+ years before I find some old gentleman who will really “see” me…

    Third, the day before yesterday was my Christian friend’s birthday. He is out of town at the moment, and I felt really well emailing him some local news.

    And fourth, the day before yesterday, a strange mood came upon me. That the world is your oyster. And all of a sudden I decided to text B. I thought that nothing prevented me from visiting the place where he had studied on my trip in the autumn, if it came to be, even if we had talked before that.

    So I sent a casual text saying that I’d like to meet him in person.

    As usual, his reply came in quick enough and as usual, was confusing. “Of course. I love in Z.” Typical because he rushed and hadn’t read it before hitting send. Confusing because he meant to say ‘live.’ But why did he put ‘love’? I even tested the prompts – would if offer ‘live’ or ‘love’ first? Or did ‘love’ came up for him because he had been using it often? True, he usually says “I’d love to” rather than “I’d like to.” Or was it because he had used it in “I love you’s”?


    I responded with when and where I’d like to meet.

    And as before, after his first response, nothing came in all evening. Nor did he reply during the night. So I texted again in the morning.

    To my surprise, he did reply.

    And we even met.

    And he chose not to wear a mask (we met in a park). But he wore sunglasses and the sun was shining at a 90-degree angle, so I don’t know if he had ever blushed during our conversation.

    In short, I really wish we, women, were deaf and blind. Deaf so that we wouldn’t be able to hear the sweet nothings that men utter. And blind so we wouldn’t be able to read all the nonsense they write to us.

    So that we can judge the men solely by their actions.

    And if you have doubts, then it is the proverbial “He is just not that into you.” If a man wants to be with you, he will move heaven and earth to achieve it. It is another story for how long you’ll be together. And there are all sorts of stories about married men divorcing for somebody else, marrying the new love at once or not at all at once and similarly all sorts of outcomes, from a life together till the very end to a divorce in one year’s time. So who knows what would have happened had he divorced then, right when in one chat he said that we wouldn’t drag anything out back in 2015?

    I never told you the reason for his divorce. In 2010, he fell in love with somebody else. I don’t know who it was, how far they went, how long it lasted, why they split. His wife tried to repair the damage more or less single-handedly for ten years. Never worked out. I have no idea why he didn’t divorce his wife of 20 years for that girl because in 2015 he mentioned in passing that he was still thinking about her.

    , @Dannydan, I know, I know – one more reason not to regret that we are not together.

    But back to our conversation.

    He did glance me up and down. I think he liked the way I looked, but of course, I wouldn’t know. Because of that sun and those glasses.

    Recognised my car, noticed a not-so-fresh dent in it, which wasn’t there five years ago.

    Had texted me a map of how to get to the park after I had texted that I was not sure I’d find the right entrance.

    He put on weight. Not enough to put me off (I have liked all sorts of men in my life), but more on my feelings below.

    I didn’t prepare a speech. I just wanted to make three points:

    • Thanks for coming.


    As I described our texting mode after him pulling away, I was ready for anything.


    • What was it that made you communicate with me so intensely and then pull away? Was I right thinking that there was some deep connection?

    To a degree. He liked me, he still does. But at some point (oh men – and here again I call on @Dannydan with his male mind), he decided we were not a good match. That is when he pulled away.

    (Interesting that at some point (before) he had mentioned that he was one of those men who don’t experience the extremes feeling-wise. He neither experiences acute joy or deep sorrow. I am not sure how this correlates with his apparent rashness in some things. But it turned out he was right in 2015 – that he would divorce his wife. It did take them some more time and at least one more reunion (when I think he pulled away from me), but he did divorce her. I also have reason to suspect that he can be very passive aggressive and that is how he behaved towards her.)

    He also said that 2016 was the year when he got divorced. I am not sure I believe him there. Or maybe he didn’t word his thoughts carefully. I know that two months after he stopped writing to me, he put his wedding ring back on and wore it for three or four months. He went on a holiday alone that year right before retiring. And his wife removed their picture together from FB only in the middle of 2017. And he moved out only in the beginning of 2019 – when his daughter had turned 18. And sometime in 2020, his wife put “single” as her status. So I am not at all sure about “divorce in 2016.” Furthermore, when he texted me in late 2016 and then replied to my confession in June 2017, he mentioned both times that it was still a mess with his wife.

    But I don’t doubt his words that that was his most difficult year. I also wonder if he somehow associates me with that challenging period in his life and so buried it in his memory and was over and done with it?

    I can’t really blame him for not really remembering the events of 2015-2016. I for one tend to forget painful details, remembering only the lesson, i. e. don’t approach XYZ and that’s it.

    When I said that I had felt him avoiding me, blushing and cutting my attempts to communicate short later on, he didn’t deny. So I was right there.

    He said sorry. He also said that he was a terrible communicator.  And that I had always been very vocal about my intentions and likes.

    I am wondering though if his analytical male mind told him I am not a good match because he could tell I was falling for him and he was still married? A case of male chauvinism? He was married himself, still living with his wife, albeit saying that he was “separated.” Even as we communicated, he moved in and out of their family house to a hotel at least two times… Went on a retreat as a “last-ditch attempt” (his words)? And then half a year later, put his ring back on again. Isn’t he to blame as much as myself for looking for a distraction, an escape during hard times?

    He also mentioned – yes, @Dannydan, men are not stupid – that he had a girlfriend now. Just in case I was going to confess my love for him, I think. Which I wasn’t. I think he also thought I was going to confess at the beginning when I said I didn’t know where to start and had a hard time getting control of my voice for a second.

    I am not sure whether he still thinks now that the meeting is over that I was still under his spell. I said that I was doing the “cleanup,” soul-searching, and everyone to whom I related the story (with no names, of course), told me to make use of the opportunity and talk to him in person, since he was still in the area.

    I do wonder though whether it is that girl that he had fallen in love with 10 years ago? Just curious, but won’t lose my sleep over that.

    So to summarise, again, I was right that he was a mess at the point. And I was right proceeding very cautiously. Only it lasted long enough for me to get attached. And I wanted to get attached. The wound from A’s betrayal was very raw. However, didn’t I try to go slowly? And aren’t there successful stories immediately following breakups?… The story with B did get more blunt as time went on, after he pulled away. I don’t think I’ll be far from the truth if I said that yes, his Twitter became just a habit, but I was getting tired of it and it was not difficult to quit at all, eventually. Tbh, at some point at the end of 2020, I also became afraid of learning that he was in relationship. All the more reason to quit.

    • My third point was that if it had been a play, not to do it.


    It wasn’t a play, he was messed up, but he did end up hurting me. Not HURTING, but hurting. That’s what I said. I implored him to be more open, with his girlfriend and others, if applicable.



    Funny that he remembered a lot of things despite him being a mess at the time. He reiterated that he hadn’t pulled away because of having been bored with my confessions/revelations. He remembered the book I had given him for his birthday. He remembered some things that I had wanted to do. Hey, he even remembered the news I had told him in our little chit-chat from last year when he forwarded me the job offer!


    If you ask me what I was feeling for him at the moment and what I am feeling as I type, I don’t really know what to say. I feel like in a fog and a huge void. I think the void was there before because of his communication here and there, his rashness, him being wishy-washy. Because of these features, which I didn’t ignore, my intelligent mind thought it was unlikely that he would be thinking about me and refraining from communication for that long, especially now that he was officially divorced.

    But yes, as I wrote to @Sammy1, the line is drawn under my disillusionment. My deep-seated hope was that he was physically attracted to me and felt that intellectual and emotional connection. He was, sort of, but not to a degree that would make him want to have me in his life.

    Quite painful to see one “maybe”, tucked away deep inside, go away.


    And yes, at the same time, also rationally, I can say that it is not a given that his relationship with the girlfriend will last.

    was right supposing that ‘B’ hadn’t done any homework. I am not sure about him ‘jumping’ into a new relationship – as said, I don’t even know who the girl is or how long they have been together, only that she is coming to stay in two weeks. Which is why I thought of the one he had met on a business trip in 2010, but I can only guess.

    You know, as we talked, in the back of my mind, I tried to decide two things: Is he still the same? And am I still attracted to him?

    He hasn’t probably changed.

    Am I attracted to him? Don’t know. Too much time has passed. As said, he put on weight. We had a really good talk, only he couldn’t say much except that at some point he decided there was no future for us. (I can’t remember the exact phrase he used – not “no future,” not “not a match,” not “not going anywhere,” but something like this.) He couldn’t explain why. And I didn’t push for it – after all, I wanted to know if he had felt something on par with me or not. Looks like I was wrong, it was not that meaningful for him. He is just not that into you – golden words (he didn’t say that).

    I am not sure whether I am still attracted to him. Too much time has passed. If he wanted me, if he wooed me, I probably could start having him on my mind as I used to.

    But now I am too tired. Exhausted even. I don’t care.

    I wonder if I have changed?

    I am definitely much more mature now.

    I wonder what he felt about me after the meeting? Did he feel attracted to the new me? Could his old self be attracted to a new me? If he had changed (nay, I don’t think that), could he be attracted to me now? Would I want somebody like him to be attracted by me? Like really attracted to call me his girlfriend like he called that girl? I don’t know.

    I will probably never know what he thought or felt. In fact, I don’t think he will be analysing this meeting as seriously as I am doing, with your help, @Dannydan and @Sammy1. If he suddenly decides he wants me, at any point in time, parts with his girlfriend, we’ll have to start from scratch. I guess like Danny and ‘B’.

    But as before, as before this meeting (before I posted here on Tiny Buddha), I am not reaching out to him again.

    I know that he hasn’t forgotten me. He just wasn’t that much into me when the time came. Again, don’t know if he felt different now. We said bye and parted our ways.

    I don’t know if it was a good thing that we talked. It probably was. Thank you, @Sammy1 and @Dannydan for pushing me to do it.

    I am back to thinking again that I am such an old soul, so different from everybody that I’ll never find a matching partner. Especially given how few men I meet for whom I feel that sexual desire and who I know are good for me, who are attracted to me, who are not in a relationship and with whom there is future. For now, I have been filtering out about 95% of ‘bad guys,’ but the 5% still got in. (And of course, ‘good girls’ are seldom attracted to ‘good boys’.) I let go of my fears, dive straight in – and hit a cement floor.

    , looking forward to your comments, if any, so that I can wish you all the best! Please don’t leave me here now that I am turning this ‘B’ leaf over!!! (Or am I?)

    Thank you all!!!



    You will not find anyone whilst having unresolved feelings for someone else. The only way of finding out who your person is, is by taking control and asking. – Good point. I don’t really care how it would make me look. I am not procrastinating. 9/10ths of it is me hoping to talk to him at just the right time so that he realises that he is available to have a serious relationship with me. (Even though you are all right – I truly don’t know if it is a good idea or not.) And 1/10<sup>th</sup> is the fear you are referring to mixed with the fear of having what is left of my illusion brought to naught.

    And Sammy, I brought dreaming715’s thread also because she had been noticing and worrying about the same things as I would be – such as her date not offering here to share food at a restaurant and things like that. Not only intimacy. I am curious if these potential red flags eventually turned out to be real red flags to which she should have paid attention, but convinced herself to overlook because she was already hooked and betting on potential. I could also relate to her ex breaking their engagement (A and I) and her one-sided relationship (her very first post on Tiny Buddha) reminded me of B and myself.

    As for the intimacy, I am not sure what exactly you are wondering about. With me, even though I knew I could never physically be intimate with A again (‘could’ as in ‘I physically wouldn’t want to’ and ‘could’ as in ‘life wouldn’t give me a chance to do it’), it took me a long, long time to be able to think about another man that close to me. The guy ‘in-between’ gave the first prod, but it was long after my dates with B and our cuddling that I became able to see myself in the arms of another man again. I remember looking at B on my sofa, being fully aware on the intellectual level that I wanted to hug him and at the same time my body still remembering A’s heat, body and all and not accepting him instead of A. It was half a year after my breakup with A. So give it time, I would say.



    How interesting – I’m really surprised to read with regular proximity, all of your single male friends have never made a move on you.

    Have you ever been curious enough to ask why?

    Well, one guy actually did. As I look in retrospect, I think he did make a move on me. I remember him inviting me to lunch to celebrate the end of our lengthy project together. I never paid attention to it in the past, but now I think that it was his attempt at trying to gauge how much he was attracted to me and I to him. He is a great guy, we share a lot in common (upbringing, tastes, always something to talk about), but I have never been attracted to him physically. One year later or so, he started courting my other colleague, very similar to me in physique and age, and they married. He clearly loves her very much, was never daunted by her having two kids from her previous marriage (I met her ex-husband by accident, I am actually afraid that she’d dumped him for this friend of mind) or by her being religious whereas he (and I) are closer to being atheists. This guy is the guy I would go to if I needed advice on anything in life – from taxes to investments to buying a computer. I was never jealous.

    We still work together – all the three of us – and they would invite me over for things like Death over Dinner.

    Another good friend of mine is single and is a fervent Christian who observes all the rules such as fasting. He never fails to wish me all the best in conjunction with my Saint’s day, always brings me a souvenir from his frequent trips, sometimes invites me for lunch or dinner. He is someone who would always have my back, but alas, even though I like him a lot, I still haven’t been able to fall in love with him despite us having known each other for six years now. And I don’t think him being so religious is the main problem. I care deeply for him as I would for a brother, but not more than that. Funny that I think that his sentiment matches mine. We would make a great marriage of conscious commitment(if it were not for his religious beliefs and lack of mine) and intellectual and emotional compatibility, but not a great marriage of love. I can’t imagine being intimate with him, but at least I could hold hands with him.

    As for the others, two thirds of them were either married or actively dating their future wives when we met. As for the remaining ones (and some from the married category), I have a vague feeling that they see me as someone out of their league. I was born and raised in the capital, attended a more reputed university, have a bigger salary. I may be imagining, but I even feel something with a tinge of pity on their part towards me. You know, like anybody would love to have, say, a race horse. But does one have the means for caring for one? No, not really. So one can’t help looking at the horse, loving the view, but one passes by because one wouldn’t be able to provide for the race horse’s life the way it should be cared for. Something like this, but I am not really referring to the material part, more to the intellectual. Something like, “So much to offer, but it is beyond us.”

    Interesting that my level of respect, care and trust for these male friends of mine seems to be at about the same level for all of them, with no distinction.

    You mentioned you are a serious monogamous type and already in love before the first date or feel nothing – I’m curious to know how that is possible if you’ve never been able to create something out of a friendship? Would you say it’s more infatuation rather than love?

    I don’t know. I need to feel the butterflies. Even if they disappear later, I can build on the memory of the feeling (like I did with A), but if there are no butterflies in the first place (or just a thought crossing my mind – “hmm, boyfriend material”, I can’t imagine becoming physical with the guy (the case of the colleague/friend above).

    I’ve mentioned before I fear your all or nothing mentality is detrimental in your relationships.

    Looking for someone who meets your needs doesn’t necessarily mean you dump all your crap on them. Each one of us has ups and downs so it is comforting to have a person in your corner who is your anchor.

    But it requires a fine balance, you have to give in return. If there’s a fair exchange then it will make your partner feel secure and attraction.

    If you constantly dump, then your partner will no doubt feel ‘overwhelmed’ or ‘parental’ or like a ‘therapist’.

    So if you can not offer anything to form a healthy relationship then yes, fix your own crap first! I did before reuniting with ‘B’.

    I am afraid those ‘butterflies’ or the ‘spark’ are the ignition point. Until I feel that – yes, all or nothing. And I have no idea how to bypass it. I really can’t ignore their presence or absence, just physically can’t. But once it is there, I am doing the best I can for the union to be balanced and fair. Maybe even forgive and gloss over much more than I should.

    I think it would be fair to say that no matter your B’s virtues, if it hadn’t been for the chemistry, you wouldn’t have started to think about her again. In the same vein, if you could (I know it is superdifficult at the stage you are in right now – in love and all) imagine that there is somebody else out there for you, even more compatible with you than B, you wouldn’t go for it, because of how good you “feel” with B. Isn’t it so?

    With your B, clearly for such in depth analysis there is something unfinished. That could be because you’re valuing yourself based on how others value you. If B hasn’t contacted you, wanting to get back together, then you feel unwanted and get that awful feeling about yourself. It may have absolutely nothing to do with you though too and you simply feel purely your story with him is incomplete.

    Well, I am a firm believer in that no matter how good / intelligent / virtuous and so one and so forth one is, if there is no chemistry, things won’t fly. Since I’ve met so many decent guys for whom I couldn’t ever feel a thing, I am totally okay with men not feeling anything for me even though I am such and such.

    But given that it seems that I am by nature so selective and of such a monogamous disposition, I wouldn’t mind increasing the pool so to speak, simply to improve my chances of stumbling upon somebody whom I like and who likes me too.

    That said, when there has clearly been a strong mutual attraction, chemistry (like with the guy I met when travelling and with B), and when it amounts to nothing, it just leaves me with a big question mark. With the ‘guy in-between’ – what was the point of spending time wooing me, organising that magic date day and night (knowing that I would be leaving his city the next morning), taking my goodnight (and no sex) very well? With B – how could all that communication and chemistry not have resulted in something more definite that “Are you mine?” and “Ugh, sorry.”

    In short, B made me seriously question my gut feeling. When I had the same feeling before, it would mean that the man is in love and romance awaits! After him, I don’t know if I can trust my gut feeling any more!

    Considering the amount of time you spend with him on your mind, no matter how much you analyse and try to gain meaning it will not help, further questions will continue to arise as you’re unable to fill in the blanks.

    Sammy is saying the very same thing.

    My honest advice is you confront it head on and ask him for a 1 to 1 meet and say how you feel. The longer you leave it the more time wasted, you need clarity. Other than ego is there anything holding you back?

    It is not so much ego as hope (well, not really) – me giving him a chance to reach out to me first.

    But even that is not the most important thing here. I am listing a few considerations here in no particular order.

    It is more like after reading dozens of stories here on TinyBuddha and elsewhere on divorced men, I really want one year to have passed after the divorce stamp. No matter for how long he had considered himself to be separated. Maybe even more so given his going back and forth to his wife.

    Also, one more year will mean that his daughter, and he is very attached to her, will be even more grown-up and more independent and less reliant on her father. Especially when getting together with friends and entertainment opportunities elsewhere are limited because of the pandemic.

    It will also mean that his ex-wife’s wounds would have healed at least a little bit. I would really hate her to tell her girlfriends, “Just look at B – hardly had a year passed from our divorce when he is already dating somebody.”

    Of course, I am running ahead, he may not even respond to my request to meet. Nor am I proposing that he date me (I already confessed my interest soon to be four years ago). But if I entertain some vague hope for him to want to be in a relationship with me, I do want him to be in the best state of mind possible for it, ready and all. Not like he cut me off that night we met, “I don’t want to get married.”

    I agree that he may have already found somebody new. I haven’t looked up his Twitter, as promised, but he doesn’t necessarily post everything in his personal life there anyway. Even if he does between now and the autumn, it is no guarantee that the relationship will survive anyway. Isn’t timing everything? But then again, there is no telling when the “sweet spot” is.

    So ultimately it doesn’t matter when the time is best – now or in the autumn.

    There are a couple of more notches. By the time the autumn arrives, I will have read a significant portion of books and watched a few films I have wanted to read and watch for a long time. It has been like a weight on my conscience.

    I have also planned a holiday (as much as one can possibly ‘plan’ something in the times of COVID) with a route that would take me to the place where he studied and I would also be coming home from the city from which A and I came home from our very last trip together. I didn’t specifically plan it that way, my route just naturally worked out like that. Kind of a logical conclusion, drawing the final line.

    Of course, the two things above (books & films and the trip) can be easily adjusted. I can read the same books and watch the same films when in a relationship and nothing prevents him from coming with me or me going alone on the trip whilst in a relationship. Danny, I am not fantasising – I am merely stating this as a possibility, I am not daydreaming nor is my imagination painting any details of how it might pan out were he in my life for real. I am not allowing myself to build on developing details and adding colours to the idea. Really. Just casually stating.

    Also, in the autumn, we may not have masks any more. Here, if he wanted, we could go for a walk with no masks on, but he could just as well want to keep his on, and then I wouldn’t be able to read his face and expression.

    On the flip side, there is less risk of him being recognised if we meet and he has a mask on, he has sometimes been in the past. The last thing I want is gossip that there is something between him and me…

    I don’t want him to think that I have been stalking him either. Even though this is exactly what I had been doing until I cut that Twitter habit of mine.

    Oh, and I missed my hairdresser’s appointment, so my roots are already showing. I wouldn’t want him to see me for the first time in four-and-a-half years like this.

    When we really want and believe in something we muster the courage to overcome the fear. Fortune favours the brave.

    I am a little afraid, I acknowledge. I might add there is also an ingredient of not wanting to let go of the hope. On the other hand, stupid me could still cling to hope even if he said no a thousand times. I am not dwelling on this. Just stating as an option, like above.

    Just a point I’ve recalled, us men can say stupid things at times especially when we have missed someone, when I met B to clear the air, I also ended up uttering I thought you would have contacted me first, needless to say it didn’t go down too well either.

    This would be too good to be true. Don’t even want to recall all the similar occurrences in books and films. Novels were written for a reason and the same is true for films, especially romantic ones.

    There’s an element of self doubt and self esteem issue underlying all this but that’s something only you can fix within. No matter how much someone else tries to reassure you,until you accept it. Words will feel hollow.

    I suppose the main thing here is being perplexed as to whether I can trust my perceptions of people any more. It feels as if if I could be so mistaken about B, how can I trust my own judgement about anything at all and anybody else in my life???

    So when is your wedding?

    I tried to find how long you have been dating B overall and failed. Don’t you have a tinge of doubt that it might be too early to marry? Just curious. Men are usually the last ones whose minds are crossed by the idea of official marriage, lol 😊




    First, I apologise if the system bucks up again and all my italics become framed with <i>s.

    To begin, mothers certainly do know best so I would follow her advice especially if it’s in line with mine – I may be generalising, but right now I can only think of the following developments after my meeting a guy for the very first time:

    • I feel aversion. No friendship is possible, it goes without saying that romance is impossible. I did try going on dates with these guys, nothing changed, still averse.
    • I am neutral. This means we can be friends, even really good friends. I have been on dates with this category, too. Nothing ever came out of it, except us remaining good friends. (And I didn’t get a feeling that they wanted more after that first date either OR that they wanted much more before the date. More like them testing the waters just in case and just like me.)
    • I “box” them as potential mates. If they approach me later on, romance is possible. This is the case of all my relationships and quasi-relationships so far. If I approach them, sometimes I find that I don’t like them that much OR they shy away, and I decide I don’t like them that much after all.

    So even though it is possible in theory that love can arise out of a good friendship, nothing similar has yet happened to me ever. So while I agree in theory with your (and my mother’s) words that “getting to know someone on a non physical level” may lead to something out of sheer proximity, somehow in the ‘friend’ category, all my friends have been quite happy to remain friends. The ones who are single, of course. More than that, when I did something ambiguous (like innocently putting out a dish in the shape of a heart to an evening tea – simply because it was just the right size for the dessert), I had a queer feeling that they thought I was trying to hit on them. And they scaled back communication, like not answering an email or not responding to my “Merry Christmas” or merely acknowledging it with a couple of words.

    So it is more like if I give a person I am averse to a chance, it leads nowhere.

    As for those to whom I have been neutral from the beginning, it feels as if I am more giving a chance to myself to like them, and it is useless, because it seems that they fully mirror me in being neutral towards me. Or maybe they were giving a similar chance to themselves to really like me and failed, just like me.

    And yes, I am afraid I am that “serious monogamous type,” LOL

    It has always been either first date – and nothing OR first date, but I had already been in love before that first date. So dates really do nothing for me, but reinforce my previously held feelings. No matter how hard I CONSCIOUSLY try to be objective and neutral and listen to myself and be in the here and now.

    Falling for the potential is the worst thing you can do. You have to take things at face value. Where is this person at this given moment and is this person meeting my needs. Hedging bets on the person becoming the version you desire is most likely going to end in heartbreak. – Golden piece of advice. But again, what kind of a person am I if I am looking for somebody to meet my needs? Am I not supposed to deal with my own sxxx first before dumping it all (or not all) on that significant other?

    I wouldn’t talk to him but you clearly haven’t moved on, you still want to bump into him or fantasising so there’s something still unfinished. If that feeling keeps niggling away beneath the surface then confront it. You need peace of mind one way or another. Unlike ‘B’ you haven’t reached peace on your own like she did with me. She was content if I never contacted her again. She pursued her happiness. She would never have contacted me first after I rebuffed her when she expressed her concern for me and my brother. She still cared but wanted to respect herself. – Yeah, in addition to those small things that I thought he should have done (like asking me when my birthday was – but then who am I to tell him what he should have done? – and that circle of doubting all the “should” and “should have’s” starts all over), I remember how upset I was when I emailed him one morning that I needed to ask him for advice on something. He said he was on a trip coming home later that day. He never got in touch with me himself though, even after he landed, but posted a few things in Twitter from home about a new puppy he had got. I felt slighted. But I did need his advice, so I texted him later that evening saying that I badly needed to talk to him. And then he phoned me right away. One would think that I should have felt rebuffed, and I did.

    I also remember that after that phone call, we texted a bit to each other, and I finished off with “Thank you very much for your time, I won’t bother you again” or something like that. In my heart of hearts I hoped for a rebuttal as in “You are not bothering me at all!!! Any time!!!” But he didn’t write anything like that at all.

    On the other hand, he asked me to phone him to tell him whether his advice worked or not.

    Very mixed.

    I had the same feeling of imposing on him later on, too, when several times I tried to draw him out to chat like we used to some six months before, but I would only get short one- or two-word replies.

    In the midst of my trying to nudge him on to communicate – of those several attempts in the span of several months – he sends me the following text out of the blue: “Are you still around? Haven’t heard from you in a while” What??? You haven’t heard from me because YOU hit the brakes. It goes without saying that I replied and replied with a question to promote a conversation, but after a couple of lines, he let our dialogue die again.

    Although the funny thing was that his very first reply to my texts or emails would contain several sentences. But when I wanted to continue, build on, then he would answer in that brief manner. It felt as if he constantly checked himself after the initial burst-out, wanted to initially, but then thought better not to continue. Like someone has yanked on the leash of a dog (him) darting forward. And he never asked me questions. As opposite to the “early days.”

    It also felt as a reversal of our roles before. Initially, when I was wary as to why he suddenly started emailing and texting me, that was how I would answer – short and brief, businesslike, just to be polite, but he seemed to keep our discussion alive, asking questions etc. so it didn’t seem polite on my part not to continue. And so I was drawn in.

    Again, it may all be wishful thinking on my part. But you are right, there is definitely “something still unfinished,” “niggling away beneath the surface” as you very aptly put it.

    I really wish I could be as content as your ‘B’, but it seems to be evading me.

    In addition, I can’t forget those words from the male character in the old “All About Eve” classic, “What I go after, I want to go after. I don’t want it to come after me.”

    On the surface, I am not really going after him. I want to understand what was driving his behaviour back in 2015-2016. And I am lying here. I do want him in my life. I even tried to figure out what it was I thought he could give me, what was seemingly missing from my life that I subconsciously wanted him to provide me with. Friendship with wit and laughter? All of my friends are like that. Travel? I started travelling on my own. Safety and security? True, he earns twice or maybe even three times more than I do, but don’t I know how delicate and fragile the whole financial thing is and don’t I intend to remain financially independent myself with my own bank account? Though, of course, it helps to have a partner with an income if one is out of work. Love and care? Yes, I am betting on potential here, too. As if I KNOW with what love and care he COULD surround me. So yes, no matter how much I might be hiding it, I can go after him. Only I am afraid it is so obvious, can be read between the lines, will not lead to anything and is outright pathetic at this stage. Besides, he is what one might call a public figure, and I am sure that plenty of girls would be happy to chase him, he can have them a dime a dozen.

    Tiny Buddha proved helpful with this thread:

    No need to read it at all, I am just bringing it up as a timely testimony to the fact that not only women can be mistaken when interpreting men’s behaviour, but that happens to men, too, with women. When you feel “that something” and there are mixed signals. So maybe not that pathetic.

    At the end of the day if you two are meant to be, the conversation shouldn’t be so difficult. – This is true. I forget how close to him I always felt when I was in his presence. And he certainly makes it easy for people to talk to him, he is very approachable. I even call him “court jester” to myself sometimes. One would think that he is not very deep at all, but our interaction made me think otherwise. And I can’t stop wondering how he can be both.

    Or maybe I am wrong again. I thought that ‘A’ was a very deep person. Now I think that OMG, he is so so shallow…

    Can it be ‘mimicry’? Saying just the right words that match the ideas expressed by the woman so that she is tricked in thinking that you understand her, are on the same wave length so to speak? Without really being it? But for so long? Several years in A’s case, several months in B’s?

    Interesting that a manager at work, whose opinions of people are usually quite accurate and proved to be true with time, doesn’t hold him in high regard at all. He referred to him once as “that guy who goes around giving hugs to everybody.” Need to add that that manager is extremely reserved in his dealings with people, so it may be a matter of not liking or tolerating a manner different from yours. I am pretty sure in fact that if that manager learnt that B and I were together, I would lose a lot in his eyes…

    When B wrote to me last December, and I mentioned the news about that friend and colleague of mine having given birth, he said that he didn’t know about it. Even though they had spent more time together at work that he and I, so I would have expected him to have the news, at least to know that she had been expecting.

    I know that another colleague of mine has been in more or less regular touch with him, but she complained not so long ago that he was not replying, so I don’t know who is more of an initiator in that interaction.

    Maybe that manager was right – ‘B’ is one of those who comes and goes as he pleases, probably knowing that he is likable and women are so forgiving. But on the other hand, he went silent for me for two years and a half, now one more year since that forwarded job offer. If I am just like all the others, why hasn’t he kept in touch with me, just to keep me on the string? I can’t really believe that he ‘knows’ that I have had him on my mind (with a few gaps, I must add) all this time – I stopped all communication since my confession in the summer of 2015 and kept to the bare minimum in my response to his “How’s life?” last year. Didn’t ask anything after he replied to my question about how his life was…

    Anyway, I really feel that I need to draw ‘B’ out of his shell, to talk to him live face-to-face with no witnesses to gauge his reaction. As said before, my only concern is that the outcome might still be ambiguous. Say, him blushing, not taking his eyes off me or avoiding eye contact, fidgeting and such.

    No worries about not responding in a timely manner. A week or two will hardly change anything at all on this end…



    Wedding planning, house viewings – how exciting!!! So happy for you both!!!

    Hope I’ll get there too with somebody special one day. However strange it may seem, I have never really visualised my wedding or future home with anyone – not even when I was a little girl. So at least here, Kierkegaard’s quote, “The most painful state of <span class=”ILfuVd”><span class=”hgKElc”>being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have” is not applicable to me. I did though picture what I could be doing together will all my love interests – that “quality time” – and it was the fact that I had to turn my back on all those imaginings and start thinking of “me” instead of “us” that hurt the most.

    The good news is that I didn’t feel anxiety or anything because of your weeklong silence nor did I come up with anything else to add to that lengthy response of mine.

    So take your time! And good luck!!!



    @Sammy, thank you so very much for doing the hard work and laying out @Shelbyville’s timeline!

    I remembered about the two guys at the same time, but I was not sure if the one she is with was one of the two. Interesting that he was hot and cold at first (or she perceived him to be), but is spoiling her now.

    I am also curious how many men she had to sift through (just one date or nothing at all?) before she ended up with those two?

    , no rush getting back here, I would hate to be the cause of your feeling guilty that on top of all of your other responsibilities there is one more thing you need to attend to, but if you could come back here at some point, that would be greatly appreciated!

    I am also curious what you wrote on the dating app? “Looking for someone to have fun with and build a life with” as one other Tiny Buddha member looking for a committed relationship did?

    I also remember reading one more member’s thread: I related to that girl a lot, too. I wish she posted an update, because it didn’t sound like the guy she ended with was really that good for her (despite some participants trying to convince her that he was).

    Oh, @Sammy, I feel that something is changing behind the scenes. Either I will get clarity that I don’t want to talk to B or we do talk and I will (hopefully!) get clarity then or… I don’t know! I have beaten all my friends’ and family members’ records not having met anybody new in five years! Everyone was saying, “No big deal, you’ll soon meet somebody, fall in love and forget about them all! Don’t you know how quickly it all happens?” Yes, I know, but somehow this time it has been avoiding me for far too long now!

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