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    @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?

    @Shelbyville, 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!



    <i>Personally I would give a person a chance because I have learned to prioritise getting to know someone on a non physical level. Sometimes love comes down to one of the most basic factors: proximity.</i> – This is what my mother keeps repeating. However, out of all those eligible (I don’t count one-sided infatuations and B would probably not make this list because of the eligibility criterion) men who approached me or whom I approached, I was neutral to just one guy and extremely liked just one, too. That is two out of approximately a dozen. In five years! The rest I felt immediate aversion, too, upon just the sight of them. And for the life of me couldn’t understand how come they couldn’t feel it!

    <i>You appear to know what you want but I’m interested to know have you ever dated someone you were not that attracted to and led them on because you felt bad for not trying?</i> – No. I am extremely careful not to lead anybody on. More than that. If I feel that someone likes me, even before they voice anything (like that guy above who kept showing up at work), I do my best to watch what I am saying, where I am looking, my body language. Avoid him.

    <i>Chemistry, physical/sexual attraction are important. However I have learned those sparks alone are not enough to sustain a romance in the long-term. Not everyone feels it immediately either and time can be the key.</i> – Again, you sound like my mother.

    Back to your question above. I don’t know if one date is the same as ‘dating.’ I did go on just one date with three or four guys just to check whether my feelings would change. They didn’t. I had a few dates, again just one and that’s it with some guys because they had asked me out by email or phone and I couldn’t match the name with the face. Also a couple set up by relatives. No luck. Didn’t like them. It wasn’t mutual though. Two of the guys I felt physical aversion two insisted on seeing me again a few times afterwards. I remember I was so surprised that they couldn’t feel that I was much more than neutral towards them – I positively couldn’t stand them!

    I am also thinking that I do box guys into categories, too. Upon acquaintance, I know that these will be good friends and that I wouldn’t mind dating those if they asked me out (A’s case, B’s case – before I knew anything about him). ‘Wouldn’t mind’ was also the case of a handful of guys with whom I didn’t have anything that could be termed ‘relationship’ and also the case of those guys who never asked me out). However, I did change my mind about dating some in the last category for a definite no after we talked (and either I myself approached them or they did).

    <i>You seem to have worked towards acceptance of A not reciprocating your feelings. However do you think there may still be a fear of being vulnerable and intimate again as a result of that relationship that’s why you fell for an unavailable guy – B?</i> – That’s an interesting one. You know, I always thought that I should be upfront and not play games. Hardly anyone approached me. My mother, who used to have a lot of guys courting her in her youth and later on, kept telling me that I needed to be wiser, more coquette, more feminine in my approach, not some Snow Queen up on her pedestal. I didn’t listen. I met A and thought that I had been right all the way. Until he cheated on me. Now, after that turbulent year with A, B and the guy in-between, and the gap of four years with zero romance, I feel that I have sort of gone back in time to the time when I was who I was and kept having one-sided crushes on fellow classmates and professors.

    <i>If you choose online dating, you should set boundaries, not flaunt your assets. You can only be conned if you allow it. So never borrow or give something without real commitment and trust. Never do things to prove ‘love.’</i> – Thank you, Danny. I’ll bear it in mind if I do decide to give it a go. You see, I just counted that out of all those men on my resume, I could see myself being intimate with just six. That is roughly one per year! If I go at that pace, I might not find the one until I am retired! I read dating accounts, when even given the filtering (age, supposedly unattached marital status, common interests) folks go through up to one hundred people until they find somebody. (Or don’t!) So I thought that if I wanted to increase my chances of meeting somebody eligible, somebody with whom I could be intimate and who would feel the same in return, online dating was probably the solution.

    <i>I wouldn’t advise you to pursue a man. However I do advise you to get peace to that chapter with B, 5 years is far too long to be holding on and to be stalking his FB and twitter. It’s doing you more harm than good.</i> – Well, he doesn’t update his FB. Rather, he is much more active on Twitter, and some of his Twitter posts make it to his FB page. So far I seem to keep that solemn promise of mine not to look up his Twitter account with no problem.

    <i>Do you think he’s definitely the one for you?</i>

    <i>Really think about this. He is someone who had an emotional affair and cheated on his wife. He treated you as a crutch. Disappeared often and hasn’t taken any accountability and seeks sympathy by claiming to be a “mess”. He’s used this divorce as an excuse for his behaviour, he hasn’t stepped up so probably has undergone no growth. </i>– Good point. When I told my mother that there was a guy with whom we had been communicating, but who basically ghosted on me because of his unresolved divorce issue, she said that he would be going back and forth to his wife and from her like this forever. She was right to a degree. He never really came back to me, but he did finalise his divorce, albeit four years later. I am hooked up on his potential. You know, my secret wish has been to run into him in a store or something. Some colleagues of mine have. Not me. I am sure that I would know right away where he stands. Wouldn’t be surprised if he blushes and stammers something nice again without any active follow-up though. And then the cycle of he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not will start anew.

    I realise that I am betting on potential. But do you really think I need to talk to him? I reread his answer to my ‘confession’ again. Now it seems to me that everything is so crystal clear. (“No, sorry, I was a mess, it was just a man’s banter, nothing to pay attention to, I never thought you would take it seriously, besides, didn’t I tell you I was not being serious?”) I am stubbornly trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. If he has grown and decides he wants me, he knows how to reach me. It would otherwise be as if B came to you saying, hey, you know, you helped me, I helped you, but you hurt me, I demand explanation!

    I confessed to him for two reasons. First, I made it a point a long time ago to never let go of a chance to tell people something nice (if it is true, of course) because you don’t know if life will ever give you a chance to do that later. Second, I read that a man will never forget a woman’s confession. (I don’t think a woman will either, tbh.)

    <i>In Autumn you could find him in the exact space, unmoved you’ll have wasted more time.</i> – I am not sure I am wasting my time. I feel that some process is going on in my subconsciousness, behind the scenes so to speak. I know that peculiarity of mine to “ripen ready” as I call it. And I do want him to be fully ready for that discussion if he agrees to meet me. The last thing I would want to do is to repeat this story on Tiny Buddha with a divorced man:

    <i>I think us men see through your friend’s ideas.</i> – When I was thinking how to make B come out into the light and as I was going through different ideas, I thought so, too. But she is adamant that she was the one who was courting her future husband until he found himself attached and in love. And now he says that it was he who was courting her! On the flip side, she wouldn’t have been single for such a long time if this worked every time. But they have been married for four years now and have an adorable baby girl.

    <i>It is better to just be upfront and say I need to talk to you in person. In person, say what you feel, he can’t avoid your questions and you can better gauge his intentions.</i> – Danny, I need help here. I tried rehearsing how would I begin after the usual small talk of How are you doing? Work all right? Etc. And I feel it is pathetic. I am pathetic if I say, “You know, we had such an intense communication (as I thought), I thought I got to know you, you pulled away and left me with question marks about what it was. To such an extent that I still go around and can’t make peace with your disappearance from my life five years later.” Girl, man up and get over it!

    Or else, if I go the other way, if I say, “I am trying to understand how somebody like you, so perceptive and all, could do that to me” – I sound as if I am reproaching him, as if I am blaming him for something. He as a guy may think that this is ridiculous. He flirted here and there, made it known in advance that he couldn’t be serious, and here she is claiming that there had been something special. Crazy, pathetic love-struck gal!

    <i>And if he then realises he is available now and wants to pursue something. Let him do the work, you just be yourself.</i> – That I could do. When we met the last time and he sat across from me, I felt butterflies in my stomach. Now as I picture this talk, I feel nothing, totally businesslike as if I was an author gaining material for a story. But I do want more time to have passed since his divorce stamp. Hence autumn 2021. If I do decide to carry it out then.

    <i>What he said to you in 2015 was a pre warning to avoid accountabilty if/when you fell for him.</i> – I agree.

    <i>So if you went ahead knowing you would want more you have to take responsibility for being complicit because you chose to ignore the glaring red flag and warning signs indicating he was emotionally unavailable.</i> – I agree, too. It was only after his hot and cold that I started researching about divorce vs separation, how a recent divorce may impact a man’s behaviour (no matter who the initiator or how long the couple has been separated, etc.) and what it means to be emotionally unavailable.

    <i>That doesn’t mean you deserve to be treated the way you did but you have to admit your own part. It’s part of maturing and learning to exert your self respect and worth. </i>– I do admit. But looking back, I am not sure that given what I knew then I could have acted differently. Now – yes.

    <i>Walking away. Putting yourself first instead is teaching consequences. It’s a language which works with men who push boundaries. Taking control by showing you respect yourself. It is what ‘B’ did. It made me respect her more.</i> – And this sounds like male psychology forums and books, thanks for confirming it! But then me being me, I start to question those boundaries myself. Something like How can I claim that my ‘truth’ is the universal truth? Isn’t it just an opinion? Isn’t he entitled to his opinion? Who am I to say what he can do and what he can’t do? Don’t we all make mistakes? If I can do something, why do I assume that he can do it, too? And so on.



    You are a real godsend to me! B was between billy no mates or a lads lad, too. I remarked once that he gave the impression of being a very passionate man, he agreed and said that he could sense I was passionate, too. And he was a great listener. I poured out my grievances about A to him and he noted once that he had to set a couple of hours aside from work to read it. When we cuddled, he also mentioned that he didn’t mind my blabbering. I was very careful to check myself in time, but what had to come out, had to come out. Later on, when I felt him pulling away, I became very careful about how much I was saying, how much space I was giving him to say anything and how often I was initiating vs him initiating. I was even afraid at some point that I had tired him, but the way he looked at me, his blushing (he dark red, it was easy to see) when we accidentally met several times after he went MIA for the last time, him dropping that are you still here? a few times convinced me that that was not the reason. Also forwarding that job offer one year ago was like proof that he had no bad feelings associated with me.

    I think I found it. It is not so much the physical parameters (I have no list with physical features that men must adhere to), it is the spark. Forgot to mention one episode. Recently at work, I have been wondering why one guy kept popping into my coworker and mine room after work. He would have some work-related remarks, so it was all very good and all. But my coworkers rotate, so it is not always the same person. Besides, he would come up when I was alone at a different work station. And he came up several times when I was with one of the managers. Then it dawned upon me that he found me attractive. Maybe even thought that he was about the only single guy in that department and I must be the only single lady, so it was the finger of Fate so to speak. And Danny, one can call him good-looking, he has two arms, two legs, a head, likes to go to national parks like I do – what else am I missing? True, he wears glasses, I am seldom attracted to bespectacled men, but there have been a couple whom I had really liked in the past. Well, I felt almost guilty that I couldn’t feel anything for him no matter how I tried or looked inside myself. Zero interest. (But at least no aversion as with some other guys.) And felt a huge relief when he announced that he was going on a long-term stint to another country. So you say that if he had asked me out, I should have said no? Or gone out just once to make sure I couldn’t ever feel anything for him?

    It’s not inherently wrong to value physical/sexual attraction, just as long as you’re not letting that one preference dictate who you date alone. Sexual attraction is important in healthy relationships, intimacy and seeing your partner as a sexual being is what keeps partners passionate about one another. – I sincerely hope I don’t make it the only filter. This is also why I like to take my time after I notice that I like somebody. With some men, I know that what I am feeling is just sexual attraction, mating instinct, but we have nothing in common. With others, like with those guys whom I approached myself, the feeling vanishes into thin air after we start talking.

    But I am glad that you agree that it is important. I remember reading in a book that men would never marry women who are repulsive to them whereas women make this mistake ever so often. And then the marriage becomes a sexless disaster burdened with guilt – “he is a good man, excellent father, does everything, etc. etc., but I don’t “feel” it. Please help!”

    When I say content in my own skin, with A I placated a lot, I did things for her just to keep her. I was not 100% authentic. Even though I wasn’t consciously aware that she was about to betray me. Subconsciously I was reacting already, I would bend over backwards to cater to her and make her happy that same energy was not returned. – Exactly what it was for A and me. When the physicality was wearing off, I kept looking at him and reminding myself with what eyes I had looked at him at the beginning, that it was all still there. Kept following advice on how to rekindle passion, coming up with date ideas, telling myself that he was overworked, that I should be patient, make allowances here and there. But it appears that he was the first one to act on the inevitable end of the infatuation stage. And he found nothing better than to fall in love anew with somebody else. I went through all the stages of grief – DABDA – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. Note that these stages do not necessarily follow one another in the above order. Also, one can go through the same stage several times. Anger was the last one I felt. And a couple of times, too. Now I feel nothing. Completely numb regarding A.

    Wow, you put it very wisely why they say that a relationship is like a cherry on top. Yes, you could do all that on your own, but it is so much more pleasant with that special one. I am more towards the child-free mentality, but I guess that I could change my mind if I meet the right man. But in any case, it is probably to my advantage that I don’t feel that proverbial clock ticking.

    No worries about the 15-year old one. I don’t have any unwarranted fantasies about him and I only thought it was worth mentioning as proof that I a) don’t forget to look around; b) have an open mind, am not set on a check list appearance-wise or age-wise.

    Online dating is an option, may suit you as you can filter out anyone you visually can’t see yourself with but you have to be on guard, many catfish and con artists lurk there. – that is exactly why I haven’t tried it yet. I am single, I am not immensely well-to-do, but I live comfortably withing my own means, can travel on a budget pretty much anywhere. I can very well see myself a victim of somebody charming his way into my life and then borrowing from me never to return.

    But if you really want something you make an exception. You fight for it. The ladies on here all told me to leave ‘B’ to heal and move on. I knew deep down there was unfinished business, I wanted to be her exception, she was mine. She wanted me enough and allowed me to be. – I agree. The key difference here is that you are a man and B is a woman. I do feel awkward about pursuing a man.

    However right now you are in a holding space. Unable to move forward. So why will you give him a further 6 months to play on your mind. – Well, this is true to an extent. Somehow, I still feel that it is too early for him to be in any relationship. He had such a turbulent 10-year divorce period from his wife, I really feel that one full year needs to have passed in which he knows that he is officially free. (And his wife, too. She finally put “single” as her marital status on FB.) As for myself, I would also like to know if my solemnly promising myself not to follow his life on his Twitter will have any impact.

    But if I do contact him, how do you suggest I proceed? Here is his reply to me telling him he is special (“special” can mean different things, can’t it, “unique” being among them?), “Wow, NBC, I’m flattered. And sorry. And ugh. I’m sorry if I caused any problems. I have been a total mess in my life! And super busy. I’m with my son getting him ready for college now! Anyway, I’m still here. But the same old mess…”

    This is a very good example of our off and on interaction after his final withdrawal. He would keep referring to the “old mess” (with his wife, who is no longer his wife) as if listing that as the reason why he doesn’t contact me, tell me that “he is here” as if letting me know that he is around for me and then adding that he is busy as if letting me know that he has no time for me.

    After that job offer last year, he again wrote that he was “still here”, but super busy travelling two-thirds of the time. I took it as “don’t contact me, I have no time for you.” It was also of note that he sent it to my work email, not one of the two personal ones that he knew. Maybe I am wrong. I have a hard time trying not to see too much in these apparent contradictions in his messages, which were few and far between, I might add. And keep reminding myself that men say or write exactly what they meant to say or to write, no hidden meaning. If he writes that he is busy, he is busy. Full stop.

    But I am really amazed at how effortlessly he re-entered my life! After that sorry answer of his, I didn’t contact him again. And then I get this email that goes, “Wanna be a financial advisor? See below. It was a cold call, so I figured I’d forward it to some friends of mine. How’s life?”

    So given that I had already tried to find out why he had made me feel there was something more to our relationship than there was, do I really need to bug him again?

    Or would it be better to follow my friend’s advice? She told me to use my female ingenuity. To contact him (I told her about that infatuation with the bald guy) and tell him that I had happened to get those two tickets to… cinema, theatre, opera, match – anything – and couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Though in the times of covid, this probably won’t work anyway.

    I also feel that I need to talk to him in person. Zoom or Skype would be okay, too, but not email or text. Since with me, so much depends on the “feel” I get from the person, I’d like to know if I would still feel it now that it has been four years since I last saw him.

    Should I just ask when it would be a good time for us to talk? And then tell him all about this?

    Also, at one point, I asked him for advice on how to proceed with a man who had been hitting on me. One, I really needed male advice. Two, I thought I’d make him a little bit jealous and see his reaction. That was when he told me that he thought I was pretty and that he liked me.

    So male-female attraction is definitely there. I just have no idea how to make him see that we could have so much fun together. I am not a great cook, but I can cook some things (one guy on a date told me outright, “If you want to get married, you really need to learn to cook.” How do you like that???), I always felt it would be cool to do something together in the kitchen. Quality time is definitely my love language, on par with the touch.

    And one more thing. I was really spoilt by A courting me for a long time, guessing my every wish, following my body language, always being there for me.

    B started sort of like that too. You know, when you chat, you have to go, keep dropping clues, but the other party chooses to ignore it and keeps sayings something just for the purpose of keeping you in longer? That was how it started originally, during the time when I was about to get (finally!) the definite, “I don’t want you any longer, I am in love with X” from my A”.  B even invited me to a party then, but on the very same day I had a corporate event I couldn’t miss. And then I was surprised that I didn’t hear from him for about two months. Then we had that chance encounter at work during which he was talking to my colleague and me, stalling us, looking at me all the time, after which I was 100% he would contact me. He didn’t then, but did text me in two weeks’ time after which it had been going on steady for about half a year. And then those on and off lines (Are you still around?) interspersed with chance encounters at work that I mentioned above.

    I want to say that I know how persistent B can be when he is after what he wants. So given those definite invites somewhere in the autumn of 2015, it was such a disappointment when he wrote three or four times that “we need to talk” and I replied, “Sure, any time,” and it never amounted to anything in the spring of 2016. By then, thanks to him, I could already see myself with him and not with A. So yes, on the one hand, I didn’t appreciate him going MIA, but on the other, I am eternally grateful to him for having shifted my focus from A to himself. Imagine a humongous ocean liner slowly changing course from A (‘A’) to B (‘B’). By the time I finished turning, B was gone not to be seen for half a year again until a party at which he approached me himself and sat at my table right across from me.

    Oh, and when we did meet in the autumn of 2015, the very first thing he said was “I am separated from my wife. And I don’t want to marry.” “Nice beginning,” I thought.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t want to do all the work myself.

    On the other hand, I believe I am in a much better mental place now. Not only can I take one more definite “No” (but was it or will it be definite?), I can also stop in time if I see that even after me making the first step, he still wants me to do all the work.


    @Sammy1, thank you for welcoming me onto the thread.

    @Rhaenys, I apologise for not having acknowledged your welcome several days ago.



    Funny, I write a reply to you, give it some time for the dust to settle and maybe add something. Sometimes, I come up with further developments / questions / ideas, and when you answer, your text somehow naturally leads me to voice those. It is a very, very useful discussion for me! I can only hope that you are deriving something out of it for yourself, too!

    she really makes me feel young, content in my own skin and proud to have her as my fiancé!

    I am very happy for you and, naturally, a little bit envious of B 😉 Just as the other ladies, I would love to have a beau who thinks that way, too!

    But I have a question along the lines. I am not doubting your feelings, I keep my fingers crossed for your happily-ever-after (with a realistic tinge, of course), but I can’t help but wonder about the seeming contradiction. Aren’t we supposed to be content in our own skin before meeting somebody? Don’t they say that it is not your partner’s job to make you feel safe and secure? But then what do you need a partner for? Just to procreate? I am probably trying to rationalise that which shouldn’t be. I hear about a website for those who don’t want romance, but want a family and children with somebody who shares their values and interests. I don’t think I could ever register there.

    So you think you’re looking for a real commitment but deep down you are in fact averse to it hence your choices. Right now you may just be filling a void of some sort – this is very interesting because somebody else said the very same thing.

    And for the life of me, I can’t understand what it is, I look deep inside and I don’t find aversion to commitment when I am infatuated. (Of course, like with those men 25+, I can see that there is no future, but it feels so good to daydream!) True, I acknowledge, when I studied, all my energy was focused on that. Hence no relationship that could be truly called a relationship back then. When B said that his son of 15 years had a girlfriend, I thought this was way too soon. A came along when I was 23. I can also understand that when A and I were together, I was also sort of half focused on finishing up some of the materials from that study period, hence my staying with him for too long. (There were a number of other reasons as well such as him being my #1 and me desperately wanting to make it work). But now? When I am more relaxed with my “duty” behind me? I look inside myself as deeply as I possibly can and don’t see it. Same with the void. Truly clueless.

    You mentioned in an earlier post you struggle or very selective in letting someone hold your hand, perhaps there’s a fear of intimacy there too – I think this is just natural “pickiness” and squeamishness coupled with a long history of one, maximum two loving relationships in my family on both sides (the first one failing through no fault of theirs). Like, inherited monogamy (and not serial monogamy) genes. Add to this strong conviction and desire to have high-quality material and not to settle for less. But then they start telling me that my bar is so high, that is why no one has the guts to approach. I lower the bar and get rubbish. And then guys like you tell me that my values and standards should have been upheld no matter what…

    You may have not worked through the deeper wounds from your long term relationship with ‘A’ – this is something I have been wondering all along. You (and others before) have mentioned healing. Could you elaborate? How did healing go for you after A?

    Older guy attraction might also be a family trait. My father is 15 years older than my mother. But it was a second marriage for both. My aunt’s marriage at 21 was her first, but my uncle (second marriage for him) was six years older, which is not usual for students in the late 1960s – early 1970s. My mother said that she had always been attracted to older guys (she was 25 when she married my father).

    I have a friend who is just as I attracted to older guys. And her parents are of the same age. She says that they are great friends, but she would want them to be more romantic towards each other. At some point, that friend of mine decided that she would never marry (hookups here and there were enough for her), but she wanted a child. So she got one from a donor.

    I replied to you and noticed that I had mentioned two categories of around 60-something. One is where I don’t understand what attracts these ‘grandpas’ to me. The other is – well, some 58-60-year-olds can look ten years younger, have no bear belly and if one adds the charisma that comes with authority and position in life, the woman (me) can be doomed.

    I did think about a therapist. The main thing that stops me is that it is extremely hard to find a good therapist. For instance, one of my girlfriends now studies to be a life coach. I am not sure I want to receive relationship advice from somebody who cheated on her husband with her second cousin and then, when the relationship with her husband turned stale (two years later, not at the time of cheating), messaged him, met him and married him. She keeps hammering about some coaches of hers. Turns out these coaches have themselves been divorced once or twice. She says no big deal, it just proves that they have had experience in life!

    Even with the psychology books that I read, I am very particular about who writes them.

    Another thing about a therapist is that it seems the looks is indeed the driving force for me. To define it further, not so much the looks by themselves, but the chemistry, that impalpable something I ‘feel’ from the person. (You would be surprised if you saw the appearance of all the men mentioned in my ‘list’ – very different.) I am not sure whether therapy might change that. I do concede though that if my head is set ‘right,’ it may change the ‘feel’ that I get from this or that man and, accordingly, my attraction.

    Also some people seem to agree that the right healthy person can also help one to heal fully. I do hope that this is Shelbyville’s case.

    Thank you for putting the final dots on my i’s about seeing somebody I don’t like from the start and for how much time to give to the ones I have neutral towards.

    And thank you for talking to me like a friend, with no judgement and all. Have you ever thought about becoming a counsellor? 😊

    Most of my male friends are also my coworkers, we are all in a big extensive network. Sometimes, we have projects together and we can (hmm, ‘could’ because of covid) work on some of their aspects at a café or discuss topics at lunch. Most of them are in a relationship or already married with kids. I don’t forget to look around but unless I get that sudden urge to hug somebody, it is very rare that I meet somebody and I can see myself with him.

    Oh, am I unusual in this by the way? I mean that if I meet a prospective partner, I immediately put him in a bathrobe and deciding whether I like the image in my mind’s eye. Or think would I want to see him day in and day out at my dinner table. Or whether I can see myself being intimate with him? More often than not the answer is no.

    I read that there is a scale for homosexuality, and people can actually find themselves at different points on it, not just the ends of the spectrum. I may be wrong, but there may be the same for loves in a person’s life. I don’t believe that we meet just one Big Great Love in our lifetime (that is, that all the others, if present, are mere infatuations, etc.) But it does seem that some people fall in love very often whereas others don’t. I am not sure where that ‘resume’ as you put it puts me (given that a lot of these infatuations pass in a matter of weeks), but a lot needs to happen before I can decide that yes, I can allow myself to be intimate with the man.

    I think just being open, honest about your intentions is the way forward. If you want something serious you ask for it from the beginning and take the risk.

    With ‘B’ I lied I said I was serious and acted like an Alpha and a player.

    Yes, I think this is what happened with A and me at some point. His internal priorities had changed, but he didn’t have the guts to look deep inside himself and acknowledge them. And even if he had, he failed to communicate them to me. (But I don’t think he was that self-aware in fact.)

    Chased her but somewhere in that I became drawn – this was my hidden wish for B. But your story, however real, only proves that exceptions are not the rule. And we should stop looking up to them because it only messes us up. We need to look at the rule, not exceptions. Exceptions are there to prove the rule or so they say.

    All i can say is just because ‘B’ and I are happy now doesn’t mean it will last forever. However I’m committing with intention to pull my weight and as long as we both keep doing that together we will succeed in achieving a long happy union. – This is true and this is very important. Also, this is where my A stopped trying.

    Try and write a letter as if you were your friend in your exact position. What advice would you give?

    I thought about this. I think I am finally in a place where I can try to take action. You know that joke about winning lottery? – why don’t you at the very least go and purchase a ticket before you beg about winning a million! I am thinking about trying online dating. I heard both good and bad things about it, maybe it is time to give it a go.

    Would be curious to hear a more detailed timeline of @Shelbyville’s experiences. I remember reading where she wrote that she felt so old-school. I wonder how many men she had to go through before things started getting serious with her current boyfriend?

    If you are still struggling with closure to that chapter with B, don’t let pride stop you from contacting him. – So you think it would be okay to contact him with the same question? You don’t think he’ll think I am obsessed with him, a freak who can’t tell the difference between a short-term fling and a serious commitment? Who doesn’t understand plain English? Or worse, who could be exploited? Or that I am a gold digger?

    I can’t say I am struggling. It is more like I can’t understand how somebody who not just nodded and said “yes, naturally” as my A to my remarks about life and people’s behaviour (I am now not so sure whether he just played along or really listened to me, but at the time I thought he was listening – you know like even on the phone you can tell whether the other person is still there or not?), but who wrote things in our email exchange and chat that matched my perceptions could behave so ambiguously?

    To tell you the truth, I decided to wait until autumn. For two reasons, and they are intertwined. One, it will have been more than a year after the divorce. Two, hopefully, the pandemic will have subsided. Both of these mean that he might be ready to contact me; he might start dating and realise he wants me, plus his grown-up kids won’t be in the way for sure; I will start dating and may completely forget him. What do you say

    There was also one quote, something that goes along the lines of “if you have a feeling as if you are imposing yourself, you ARE imposing yourself.” I don’t like the feeling of stalking or pursuing him. Especially, after his “a very good friend” and then post on Twitter about the opportunity to zoom all of your friends, even those whom you might have forgotten, during the pandemic and quarantine. There have been multiple opportunities to inquire about me, even to worry about how I was doing – and nothing. I am aware of this.

    Maybe if you are having those thoughts about a 15 year old, it’s better to avoid 1 on 1 time. 15 year old boys are horny little things you don’t want to land in trouble unknowingly. – ha-ha, no, there are players of all ages and levels, and his mother or father is always present 😉 But he is a very quiet thoughtful guy. I just noticed some time ago that he started addressing me specifically, a sentence here, a sentence there, sharing minor things about his life. And I get a feeling, not very defined though. Maybe he just feels that we are both of the “race of Joseph” as the expression from Anne of Green Gables goes.


    Wow, Danny @Dannydan!

    I honestly have no idea how you could have screwed with B in the first place! You seem to be so self-aware and insightful! Don’t worry about the bro code because what you wrote about players and manipulators is exactly what I had read in a self-help book written by a man with the intention of educating women on typical male psychology and then the same in an online blog and once again reconfirmed in numerous posts and replies to them here on Tiny Buddha and elsewhere. It is helpful, however, to see the confirmation made not by a male psychologist, but by a real-life man.

    I have tried to look back at the men I have interacted with, albeit briefly, in the past five years since my breakup with A.

    –           Six men 60+. They say love knows no age, and I believe that some of men had a mix of grandfather feelings for me added to it. One guy says in jest that he will be in trouble because he has a girlfriend, another one keeps sending me video and song links. It has been two years!!! Nothing inappropriate, just a weird feeling of a grandfather going through a ridiculous mating ritual around me.

    –           Seven men who expressed a clear intention of dating me. Two were mentioned in my previous post with their advances. Another one I went to a coffee date with. He threw me off completely by giving me flowers and saying that since he had brought flowers, why don’t I go ahead and pay for that cup of coffee myself. I had felt aversion for him from the start, so after that date no more dates with men whom I couldn’t stand beforehand. And there were four more having seemingly serious intentions! My mother also suggested I gave them a try because you never know. She said she hadn’t paid attention to my father’s courtship at first. I retorted that she had been neutral towards my father whereas I couldn’t stand those guys at some deep physical level.

    Also none of those with whom I had a cup of coffee or a light meal were eager to pay for me. Not that I expect it (I either suggest an informal cup of coffee when asked where shall we go or choose a dish I can pay for myself if the place is not of my choosing), but it is always nice to be wined and dined. With them, it seems like they didn’t even want to do the quid pro quo thing. It was something like, “Oh, she’s so independent and feminist [in the good sense of the world], even better, I might get what I want with no expense on my part. How cool!” Welcome to modern dating.

    It is funny because men do pay for me. My male friends do and my male coworkers do, too. And with no hesitation, I don’t even have the time to pull my wallet out. Some of them earn less than I do and they know it, but they still pay.

    –           You suggested I approached men myself. I did several times. And just ten minutes into the conversation, I realised that I wasn’t really interested in them. I was briefly attracted by their looks, but no lasting interest at all. Thankfully, one wasn’t interested either, but the other one reached out a few times, and I had a bad conscience for sort of leading him on.

    –           There were a couple of guys who approached me, but when I started showing interest in them, pulled back. I even cried when I couldn’t attend a party where one of them was supposed to be. But the infatuation was short-lived. Also, I didn’t take more concrete steps because I couldn’t decide whether I could go out with a bald guy. Ultimately, I decided that I didn’t like him that much if his baldness was a problem for me, so it wouldn’t be fair to show interest. However, I did cry because of that party. How strange…

    –           Similar infatuations with six guys. But these were all married, and it was short-lived, they never occupied my thoughts for a long time.

    –           Three or four times after several months of being happy on my own and not fantacising about anyone, I had an instant crush on somebody with whom I was in the same time and space for about half a day. A light cloud of dizzy happiness dissipated quite soon.

    –           A couple of infatuations with somebody whom I could see right away were narcs. Again, short-lived plus active successful action on my part to switch my attention to somebody else.

    –           Finally, I had a crush lasting half a year on a manager 25+ years older than me and who adored his wife. I only state it separately because it lasted so long. It was an instant crush, too.

    –           And there is one more guy 25+ years older than me at work. All ladies are charmed by him and flirt with him, but he has had two unsuccessful marriages and openly states that he is a confirmed bachelor and won’t be moved. It is of interest that when I imagined being with him and compared my fantasies of being with him to all the other crushes including B (!), this guy won. Maybe I need to wait a dozen more years? 😉

    Also, when I examined my light feelings for the guys from those groups that I liked above, I realised that I liked this one and that one. I couldn’t really pinpoint somebody who would stand out (except for that confirmed bachelor man). Does that mean that I didn’t really like any of them? Or was it more a testimony to the fact that everyone is compatible with pretty much anybody, the trick is to make a choice and stick to it? But there definitely should be such feelings that make somebody stand out, at least during the infatuation phase, not A, B and C – all are good, worthy, so anyone goes!

    I had approached one more guy in the past, before B and even A. He started playing games with me. Presumably because he thought I was so in love and he could twist me around his little finger.

    I think I could add B and the guy between A and B whom I met travelling here. I explicitly expressed my interest in B. And I did write a letter to a guy whom I met when travelling. I had to leave his city the day after a very romantic date that he had organised. (No red flags like with the ones above on coffee dates on the date itself, and we talked well into the night.) I don’t know if poor communication, a line here and a line there but nothing substantial is the result of thinking that I am already done for and there is no need to show up. Actually, that guy from my travels wrote a Hi, how are you? too two years (!!!) after going MIA. To that I didn’t answer. Even though I did like him immensely. Wow, what a year that was – A, then this guy, then B. And now five years and nothing to write home about.

    I did answer to B because it was formally a job offer, because we had interacted for a much longer time, because there were no promises made, we were ‘friends,’ because he was still in the area and because I was curious whether he had grown and whether it was his attempt to reconnect for real. Well, not this time.

    Also, I try to treat guys as friends at the beginning. (I wonder btw if many guys state their romantic intentions openly from the start? I think it all begins with “It is good to have many friends, let’s be friends” right?) So if they don’t do something what I would expect them to do, I can’t really say anything. (My girlfriends can lie low for a month, but then they are back in touch and I don’t feel like something is missing.) At the same time, no matter how many times I tell myself that “we are just friends,” if I like the guy, the falling for process is already brewing. Besides, am I not supposed to be supportive and understanding and not a b****? It is all very good, but as time passes, I find myself already on the hook and in love. And of course, 8 times out of 10, the guy is playing games. The other 1, he genuinely behaves like a friend because he isn’t in love. And one more 1, life can throw up problems sometimes, there is no denying that.

    Then you get that natural urge for companionship but go into turbo mode and panic thus your insecurities cause you to act needy – but when one is in love, doesn’t one want to be with one’s loved one 27/7, doesn’t one think about the object of one’s passion all the time? There are even tests that allow one to check whether one is in love or in for a short-term fling.

    If you are genuinely happy and content then you’ll believe; when it’s meant to be,it will be. You’ll invest in yourself and other aspects of your life but still be open to the right guy coming along and adding happiness. – I agree in principle. But then I read Kkasxo’s story, and she writes that she was perfectly happy and not needing anyone when Mr A came along and messed her up.

    So perhaps it’s that you are extreme- all or nothing – that rings very true. I have decided long ago that if I can’t have a fairy-tale wedding, I’ll be perfectly fine with just the two of us registering marriage in the civil office.

    So yes, I believe that I am analysing B’s behaviour because of all those levels I thought we had clicked at and because, as you can see, he was the only one with whom it was really going back and forth and lasted for a long time since A. He is not the only one I am really interested in, but he is the only one of the few with whom it was somewhat mutual – let’s put it this way. He is also one of the few who is an eligible match age-wise and education-wise. I also believe that putting that final touch on my analysis here with you will help me to take my mind off him for good.

    Oh, there is one more facet to the whole B thing. After he ghosted me, our paths did cross several times at work and at parties. Every single time he wouldn’t take his eyes off me even when talking to other people. He would hang around as if not wishing to leave before I did. His presence around me was so heavy in the air that I would give my hand that he would phone me or text me afterwards. Glad that I didn’t give my hand because I would have lost it. Though once he did text, “Are you still there?” I answered, “No, going home.” And nothing. If I unearth it, it is probably wounded self-love, something like, “If I was so wrong about B, how can you expect me to be right about anything?” And yet, I have been right about so many guys, including some that my girlfriends dated. I would have never gone out with some of them, and sure enough, it didn’t last for them.

    After all these descriptions of the guys I talked to and have been attracted to, do you still think I have a closed-off mindset? A few times I first realised that I liked a man and only then started wondering what it was that made me like him. Oh, I forgot to add that I really like a 15-year old boy with whom I play tennis now and then. No worries, I have no intention of becoming a Madame Macron, but if I were 15, I would definitely be very attracted to him.


    Hi, Danny!

    Yes, I do the same thing – I check in when I have time and then reply to what concerns me.

    Yes, since I noticed those inconsistencies in his behaviour, Warning! Warning! was glaring right into my face.

    But it is funny. I did my best not to deviate from my intention to treat him no more than a friend. Then he messaged me saying that he could only be “a good friend” probably sensing that I was falling for him.

    Also, since we were “friends,” he would tell me things, such as his wife and he leaving for a counselling retreat as a “last-ditch attempt” (his words). Naturally, I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. I told him about my breakup with A. He told me why his marriage had failed (of course, his version). And yes, I could see that the strained relationship with his wife had its toll on him. One day he texted me asking for permission to crash on my floor after a nasty scene that his wife had made. I said sure. I have extra rooms. I had no intention to sleep with him, no-no. Later on he emailed that things had calmed down and he wouldn’t come.

    So I couldn’t really say anything about his pulling way. He was nothing but a friend, what kind of objections could I possibly have?

    I can only blame him for not staying my friend. And not being such a “good friend” as he wrote he would be.

    When he pulled away for the final time in February 2016, I did some research several weeks later and found that (you were right), despite that “last-ditch attempt,” they tried to reconcile one more time. I went through his pictures for the previous years and found out that he had taken his wedding ring four or five times (!) and put it back on five or six. He did take it off again half a year later (and never put on again), but contacted me again only a couple times that autumn asking whether I was still in the area. It did feel as if he was still keeping me in the back of his mind, trying not to lose me out of sight. Then I wrote to him in June 2017 telling him he was special. And then nothing until December 2019.

    Actually, it was not as simple as Hi, how are you? He forwarded me a job offer that was a cold call for him, but he thought I might be interested. That is what surprised me. That of all his acquaintances and friends, he still remembered about me two years and half after June 2017!

    At the same time, during our active phase, I wished him a happy birthday two times. I even gave him a present, a book, and he was surprised by the coincidence because some buddy of his had been recommending him that book for a long time, and it was not a very often-read book.

    He, in turn, never even asked me when my birthday was. Also a red flag for me.

    The key is to never wait for anyone, open your heart and you might find better, move forward and if he re enters willingly then entertain any lingering desire if it’s still there. Think about it if he really misses you and has regrets he will do what I did, overcome the fears and change his way by growing up. Act like a real man and show up. Otherwise he probably sent the message in 2019 out of boredom. Don’t message him, that’s my advice.

    I agree. This was my train of thought only reinforced by your story. I am not going to contact him of my own accord. If a man wants a woman, he will make sure she is aware of this, correct?

    You should never settle if you are not having your needs met. When you do settle for less, then needs always have a way of making their way to the surface. So keep searching but don’t make it your whole purpose. There is more to life than being in a relationship.

    I have a funny feeling that once I am in the state of equilibrium (like now), when I am happy and content, no one approaches me as if exactly because I am so happy on my own.

    (And when a man does, and I don’t feel the chemistry, I am almost irritated that I have to waste my time and go on a date just because – who knows – maybe I’ll like him (I need to give it a chance, right?), but I never do.)

    And when I start wondering what is wrong with me, when anxiety about the future kicks in, when I begin to actively looking for love, I become needy and clinging. When I fall for somebody, I still do my best not to forget my hobbies and other activities, but all my thoughts are elsewhere. And I am afraid that I attract people that are not good for me, who are looking for somebody to save them, to complement them, too.

    I feel like Shelbyville also because ‘A’ was my only serious long-term relationship lasting several years.

    It is not that I don’t meet men whom I like. Actually, there are many more of those whom I like than dislike. But I can see very few of those whom I like as my partners. To put it plain and simple, I could stand very few men taking me by the hand, not to mention kissing, etc.

    Many people feel very beholden to their libido, thinking that their lust is some sort of chemical fairy godmother that predicts sexual and thus romantic compatibility. Don’t fall into that trap.

    Well, I have met men for whom I felt that uncontrollable feeling of lust even though my eyes didn’t like what they saw. It goes without saying that it was easy to resist (so it was not really “uncontrollable”), but I did take note of the feeling.

    After all liking those who don’t like you has never ended well has it? The betrayal of A. The rejection by B. So how mutual was it really?

    Well, at least it was mutual during the infatuation phase. With A, there definitely was one and a long one, too, but I am not sure what it was for B.

    I heard somewhere that men like to “test” women and see their reaction. For instance, one guy started a conversation about works of art representing nudes. I maintained that conversation with ease – I am an educated woman after all! Another guy invited me to a board game in which you were supposed to finish sentences with given phrases. Some were okay, some referred to sexual organs. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I forgot its name, it is a popular game. Another man on a date mentioned that he would like to sail the ocean with a woman who wouldn’t mind being topless. I said that the sun wasn’t good for breast tissue. The former man was one of those whom I couldn’t stand without apparent reason. The latter was okay as a friend. Haven’t heard from the former, occasionally meet with the latter in the club. ‘B’ said once, after finishing my glass of wine after me to learn my thoughts, that he would love to see me naked. Honestly, I don’t remember what I answered.

    Is it something guys really do to find out whether the woman is a w… or not? Akin to if a man invites a woman over to his place, the woman can expect that he will offer her to sleep with him?



    Your TinyBuddha page says though that you are Dannydan 😊

    And if I click on the other members’ @Danny, I get to “chanty”:

    I wonder if @Dannydan tags you?

    Anyway… Yes, I noticed that posters here are very kind and warm and that I can relate to a lot of experiences and feelings expressed in their posts. So I hope to gain some clarity, too, especially since you, a male, is here with his male prospective.

    I also returned to your previous reply and to your words and gave them more thought:

    1. A) never had serious intentions – so you’re well rid
    2. B) Not many men can brave facing hard truths and growing. It was really challenging and painful for me. It’s sometimes easier for men to compartmentalise and move on rather than fight. This can be down to low self worth or just that they don’t know what they want!

    Yes, one of the reasons why I don’t rush into relationships is that if a man has serious intentions, he will wait. If not, there is nothing to regret. Unfortunately, if I get attached, I get attached. Even if it is just to my fantasy of what it would feel like to be with this or that man. It does take time to stop thinking about somebody. Sometimes it happens naturally, without much effort on my part like with those crushes, sometimes it takes longer and a more conscious effort.

    You B) paragraph does fit my B. I feel that he is great at compartmentalising. He is a successful man, but it doesn’t mean that he may have low self-worth deep down. (Though him saying that he is just a dumb military guy sounded more like false modesty.) “Don’t know what they want” somehow fits, too. However, when we actively communicated, it did feel like he knew what he wanted and a few times his phrases could be understood like he knew that he wanted expressly me. He said that he didn’t need to think twice. He asked me whether I was his, and then, when confronted, denied. Said that “we” wouldn’t “drag the situation” for a long time. Joked about “pillow talks.” But even during that active phase, he pulled away a few times and then came back. Said that we should talk several times and never set day or time. Said we (oh, I loved how he said “we”!) should go here and there, do this and that together, and we hardly ever did. In short, in reality, he wasn’t quite a “very good friend” he said he would be. Thus one more reason for me back then to be very cautious. Of course, I was aware that he was still married, so I never pursued it or invited him myself to do something together.

    • You mentioned he finally got a divorce, which is a big decision. He probably has not healed. Hence the possible reference to being a “mess” – if this is the case he’s done you a favour by not reinserting himself back into your life when he can’t give you an equal footed relationship. Becoming involved with an emotionally unavailable man would only bring you pain and eventually resentment.
    • Although you perceived your bond to be deep and meaningful. He’s a man he may have compartmentalised and boxes you off as his form of escapism or emotional crutch – if he was not divorced when you met or still hung up on his relationship with his ex then that is also emotional cheating on his part. You’re lucky to have escaped yourself in that case! You deserve better than that type of relationship.

    Yes. I agree that even if a divorce has been coming for a long time (in his case it was about ten years), even if a man has been living separately for some time, one should give the man at least a year of new, officially independent life to figure himself out. That year isn’t over, and we have Covid, and his daughter had just started college, and it is of course remote for the most part, so his son and daughter probably alternate between their mother’s place and his. I guessed right that, at the very latest, they would divorce when his younger daughter goes to college.

    What also helped is me telling myself that even if he had promised to get back to me, it doesn’t mean that he would.

    So ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we did or didn’t do five years ago. (We did cuddle fully clothed, but never kissed, even though he tried, but didn’t insist when I turned away. But that cuddling probably sealed my attachment even further, just because of how few men I like and how good it felt.)

    • If he made mistakes like me but the connection was genuinely real then he maybe hasn’t reached an impasse? He hasn’t done any growth. You shouldn’t wait for him. You should always carry on if your paths converge again then if you feel so strongly still then go for it. B did this she moved on, was happy and striving still.

    4) Oh another thing to note about men is we can be physically attracted, have great chemistry but not develop romantic attraction due to an inner conflict. Maybe he is confused like I was so doesn’t even know what he needs or wants. Unless he explores he will waste his own time and continue to do that with anyone he encounters.

    Also rings true. My New Year’s major resolution was to stop looking up his Twitter until and if he contacts me again. If he hasn’t wanted me in his life for so long, why should I be bothered? It will be easier to forget him without this extra reminder of him. My other crushes did go out of my mind because nothing was feeding my imagination – no social media for some, no updates on social media for others.

    But his posts, quite varied, gave an impression that his is doing this, doing that, probably enjoying his life since he was finally free (he confessed once that he “dreaded” his wife) and retired early with a stable military pension and small freelance jobs here and there.

    However, so many questions and pain could be resolved by just communicating directly with him. Given it has been 5 years I suggest you do contact him and ask him directly you have nothing to lose, it seems you had no closure to that chapter.

    Well, after half a year of his no contacting me, I did write him in June 2017 saying that I had been on a few dates, but I failed to feel the same connection that I thought he and I shared. I told him I thought he was special. He replied that he was flattered, but no, oh no, ugh, he was sorry if he had given me the wrong idea.

    It can’t be more clear, can it?

    So I thought that was where our ways parted for good until he sent that how are you? message in December 2019. I thought he had completely forgotten about me. Turned out he hadn’t. More than that, because of that little exchange two and a half (!) years later, we are on speaking terms again, as if nothing had happened, including my confession. Not that we spoke again since December 2019, but I feel that I now have permission to contact him should I need it (not that I think I will).

    Why do I think you haven’t found someone new? It could be a whole range of reasons, the answer lies within you.

    • Have you genuinely invested in yourself and moved on?
      • You may be comparing the new prospects to him?
      • You still hold hope for him?
      • You think you want commitment but deep down you do not know what you want or need in a relationship?
      • You may have low self esteem and think you don’t deserve better as a result of your other betrayal.

    I think the main thing is you don’t have closure. If you did you’d make better choices for yourself and not curve so many people for one person who after 5 years failed to step up.

    You need acceptance and peace, with self discovery you may be able to give it to yourself like ‘B’. You just need to clear your thoughts and listen to your soul and do what’s best for you.

    Maybe you haven’t found someone new because your wounds from this “emotional affair ” are still there 5 years on alongside the betrayal and you don’t realise you deserve better?

    Well, when I wrote that I still thought deep down he was the one for me, if I look deep enough, I find that he matched my desires on a number of levels all at once. And I simply haven’t encountered anybody to match that.

    One was that emotional constituent. I told him about my exes and love life, he did the same; we discussed world affairs, politics, finance, likes and dislikes and so on and so forth. It was never boring and I could effortlessly funny with him. Somehow, witty retorts to his words would come just like that to me, and we would both laugh out loud.

    Another was sexual desire that you pointed out. I have given a lot of thought to what makes male friends different from a potential partner. And I came to the conclusion that yes, I have male friends with whom I click just as well on the intellectual level, but I have zero desire to cuddle with them, to give them a hug. Even though some may have features which I normally find physically attractive in a man.

    For better or worse, I meet few men for whom I feel that sexual desire. But sometimes I feel it with hardly any warning. And that gives me hope, that not all is lost.

    The problem is that the other person must feel it too, right? That hasn’t happened yet.

    And the other person must also be compatible with me in terms of that emotional ingredient. And willing to build on, to work on it all. That, combined with the sexual piece, hasn’t happened yet either.

    In addition, B was better looking than my A and his resume so to speak was better. Outer appearance and position in life are not the most important things (if there is no chemistry, I don’t care if the man is King or President and physically attractive), but it definitely contributed to making it harder for me to forget him. You see, it felt as if one door (A) closed and here I have another door (B) opening, markedly better than my ex from all angles.

    But the main thing is that sexual desire. I have met men for whom I felt it, but they didn’t feel it for me. They were few and far between (it has always been like that), but they existed, including after B. And vice versa. Some wanted a second date, but I couldn’t just force myself. And what’s the point of pretending? I have never been good at it. Surely, one date is enough. Particularly, if I feel aversion for the man (yes, there have been cases like that, with no valid logical reason). I am not going to like him.

    And this is something I can’t bypass. I can enjoy a lively discussion with somebody, but if I don’t feel like holding his hand, that’s it. He can only be a friend, no more. Even if he maybe wanted more. (I don’t think this is my male friends’ case.)

    Like Shelby at some point, I believe I am stuck. B of five years ago was the last one with whom it was at all levels, like with A, and mutual. I like those who don’t like me, and I am liked by those whom I don’t like.

    This is why I wondered whether it was also a matter of time and chance. But it has been so long now, five years (or four since my confession). On the other hand, I am not 20 or even 25 right now, so hormones may be more at bay.


    Rhaenys and Danny:

    Thank you for disclosing the secret 😊 I saw people tag each other, but couldn’t figure out how to do it on my own.

    We need to be careful though. It appears that the system allows for members to have the same names so the Tim that Rhaenys or Danny tagged is not the Tim who actively participated on Shelbyville’s thread:



    Hi, Danny!

    Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for the sweet welcome, I am really touched…

    I know about the happy-ever-after, but one can dream just a little bit, can’t one? 😉

    I would agree with your definition of chemistry. I would say that I “click” with people who can be my friends (and more) – the emotional part – and desire, that is physical attraction (for a partner). Would that fit your definition?

    “There is a very very fine line which differentiates a best friend from a lover – that’s sexual desire” – totally agree.

    “To become lovers you need to spend more time together, it would not have blossomed into the love we share now if we didn’t work at it.” – agree 100% as well.

    Thank you so much for your detailed answer. You see, to cut a long story short, I was betrayed by my “A.”

    Then recovering, I had a fantastic date with a guy. He followed up, but not too eagerly, it was a drastic contrast with how well we had clicked (as I thought), chemistry and all. So I never pursued it. Besides, it would have meant long-distance and with another country, too, so I let it drop.

    At about the same time, another man showed up. The way you described your dealings with “B” fit 100% the way it was for us. Of course, from my perspective. Talked for hours, exceptional chemistry, witty dialogues, similar feelings about things in life – the list can go on. This man, though, warned me two months into our relationship (I had told myself that I was not going to see him for more than a friend) that he just couldn’t have a serious relationship then (he was separated). He said he could be a very good friend and that’s it.

    Because of my fresh breakup with “A” and because of his marital status, I had been proceeding with caution. (Besides, that guy from my travels had also messed me up a tiny bit.) When “B” announced that, I thought, Fine, I haven’t treated you as more than a friend, I am totally okay with it.

    Our relationship – I guess you can call it “emotional affair” – continued. With all the sexual tension, chemistry, innuendos here and there, etc.

    And then he just stopped communicating. I reached out to him a couple of times, he answered back. But he never asked questions, never elaborated. So I let it be.

    That was five and four years ago.

    I learnt that he had tried to reconcile with his wife, at her initiative, for the umpteenth time. It didn’t work for the umpteenth time.

    Last year, I found out that he had moved out for good having sold his part of the house to her.

    Also, last year, he wrote to me “Hi, how are you?”. I thought that he may have wanted to resume our communication, but no. Again, sparks flying between the lines of our short email exchange, but no serious follow-up on his part.

    Several months later I found out that he had indeed divorced his wife.

    For some reason – and I don’t know what it is – I still think he is the one for me.

    I don’t know why. It has been five years (!) since we stopped communicating for real. True, I did get into the habit of checking his Twitter now and then. It gave me the illusion of still being present in his life. I stopped it for good two months ago. Don’t really have the temptation now.

    Another reason might be that I simply haven’t met anybody in the course of these five years. I did have a few infatuations with other men, but they were short-lived and one-sided, more like a schoolgirl crushing on her professor or a fan on an actor. I knew that those men were not for me. Either in a loving relationship or clearly stating that they were not looking for romance, not just a romance with me, but intended to remain single.

    On the other hand, I have been jokingly approached by much older men (I am 35) or by men for whom I had zero physical attraction, even worse. Some of them wanted a second date, some didn’t, but I never wanted one, so it all ended there.

    Hence my question to you about the chemistry.

    Firstly, I am wondering why that man hasn’t approached me again, given the incredible chemistry and sparks just sizzling in the air that we had, especially given that he is free now. I just can’t believe that I had imagined it all! I have always been pretty accurate in “getting the feel” from others. And that incredible feeling of bonding and care paired with a little bit of teasing was still there when we exchanged that couple of lines two and half years later last year.

    He repeated several times, when we actively communicated and later, that he was a “mess.” Does he still feel he is a mess and, as such, not ready to approach me? Or anybody else, because I know that he hasn’t met anybody new?

    It just makes sense for him to do the same thing you did for “B.” Only I know that real life seldom makes sense or resembles a good film or a book…

    And secondly, I am wondering why I haven’t met anybody new with whom I would have mutual attraction. It has been five years after all. I haven’t really thought about that man that much in the past year or two. I did feel attraction for others. I do have a few good male friends around me. However, I don’t think they can ever be more than friends because of that lack of sexual attraction. And it is mutual. None of them has ever professed their love for me. It is more like brothers and sister. There are guys who can be very good friends, but whom one never sees as lovers. I am afraid that is my case. Even though they are super nice, decent lads.

    Ultimately, I wonder if it is still a matter of time and numbers?

    Any ideas are welcome!

    And how do you tag somebody on Tiny Buddha?



    Hi, Danny!

    I am one more silent reader of your story.

    Congratulations and best wishes for a happy-ever-after!!!

    Whilst I, as a few other folks here, wish that my ex or a few other guys I talked to after our breakup (and who ghosted me) had the same epiphany as you did, I can’t help but ask you this one question:

    Would you believe that chemistry is the primary driving force for you? That if there were no chemistry, you wouldn’t have had the incentive to reflect, think, want to go back, and ultimately, go back? That if there were no incredible chemistry, you and ‘B’ could be friends at best, but not lovers?

    Thanks a lot!

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