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  • in reply to: I'm not wired for compassion -Hating self and others #321871
    GL
    Participant

    Dear XYZ,

    There’s no mention of the culture that surrounds you and its messages that was instilled into you since you were born so not much to go on, but why do you believe that you are failing and that you must succeed at something? What’s driving this fear of not doing anything special with your life? And why the need to compare your success to other people? Do you see that they are happy and you envy that? Or is it something else?

    Also, why are other people’s happiness something that makes you unhappy when it has nothing to do with you? Your happiness has nothing to do with them unless you choose to make it so, so what’s the story?

    in reply to: Can't commit to life #321843
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Janine,

    You lack self discipline and self control. But the excess of it is worrying in that you cannot shut it off to do things like attend class or clean your apartment. Those things tend to point to psychological complications.

    Too easily distracted with lack of impulse control tend to point to ADD (attention deficit disorder).

    Lack of impulse control regarding shopping tend to point to a shopping addiction.

    Excessive lack of control without the ability to discipline yourself might be impulse control disorder.

    If your main psychologist is only trained in psychotherapy, then it’s best to seek the counseling of someone who is trained in behavioral psychology. Those specialists are trained in understanding the driving force behind certain behavior and you’ll find that more helpful when seeking advice on why you can’t clean your apartment or why you can’t concentrate on class work. A neurologist might also be helpful in looking at the chemical aspect/wiring of your brain.

    But regarding the issues of your mother, you have self esteem issues since your mother made it your responsibility to feel indebted to her through most of your childhood. And if you don’t feel grateful to her, then you should feel ashamed of yourself, was the conclusion drawn or maybe outright expressed by your mother? Because for any child exposed to that constant ‘lessons on gratitude’, it’s what the child have learnt to feel regarding their parent(s). And that’s a heavy responsibility for a child still trying to understand themselves as a human being and navigating their way around the society they are a part of. But that’s what probably dominated most of your interactions with your mother and that is the feeling you associate with your mother; shame, disgrace, ungratefulness, guilt, trepidation and on. Hence, your fantasy of ‘the perfect mother’.

    You didn’t have a mother that supported nor encouraged you. You didn’t have someone who created a safe space of validation for you to validate yourself. You didn’t have a mother to have deep conversations about life. You didn’t have a mother on whom you could rely on emotionally. You didn’t have a mother who believed in you. So you’ve learnt to hate the person whom you desperately want ‘love’ from while wondering if you can’t have that sort of love for yourself. You want that love because you want support. But your mother will not be that person for you right now.

    Have you talked about your mother with your counselor? Have you been able to talk about your mother with anyone? Because it’s one aspect that you’ll probably need to process over and over again in your adult life.

    in reply to: Can I be out of this? #321355
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lily,

    You seem to be going through two things right now. First, is that you don’t feel that you have closure when you broke up with your ex. Second, you are lonely in a new city with no friends to have a good emotional and supportive relationship.

    First, the break up. So you broke up with your ex for your own reasons and that’s fine. Not all relationships are meant to last. People come and go in your life and hopefully you can learn something from that experience, wish them well and move on. But you seem to be reeling from your decision, questioning the validating of it. Why is that? You didn’t feel safe with him emotionally if you didn’t feel you couldn’t put down your guard with him. And it seems that you didn’t feel it was easy to tell him your wants and needs, if you even expressed your needs at all. And then there’s your feelings of unease regarding his conduct towards you, which didn’t sound all that pleasant. You’ve already decided that his regards toward you was unpleasant so it was better to call it off.

    Certainly, you could contact him again and ask him your questions. But whether he give you any answers or an answer that makes sense to YOU and not him, you can’t predict. Rather, you are fixated on this limbo of uncertainty and you seems to see the only way out of it is to contact your ex again. Of course, his actions toward you were rude and you feel it’s an injustice on his part for choosing to treat you this way. So maybe you want justice in some way of him explaining his rude behavior toward you. Yet what if he doesn’t? What if he merely brush it aside his attitude as something that he is and since you couldn’t take it, isn’t it a good thing that you broke up? Or he might even call you weak, not being able to take such comments. So in the end, would you even be satisfied by contacting him? So is the problem really about why he acted the way he acted or the way you are reacting to his actions, by questioning what YOU did to warrant such actions? Because it seems you are looking for an answer for why someone would treat you like that to see if you have flaws to correct before someone else can judge you for it. So it is about your ex or about you?

    But you can’t use the behavior of your ex and project that onto other men. There are men who are respectful and kind. But remember, you yourself have to demand that respect when people are acting disrespectful. You can’t expect everyone to act decent just because you know some decent people. There will be jerks and there will be decent people. So if you meet a jerk, walk away. Meet a decent people, get to know them. But you have to learn to stand your ground and say enough.

    The second issue of your loneliness should not be a reason to contact an ex to understand why he treated you that way. The loneliness should be a reason to get out and connect with others in an superficial level to decide whether you can be good friends or not. Yet you are hesitant to do so due to the fear of being judged. But you are judging others for judging you so it becomes a conundrum. You want a relationship where both people who are respectful of each other, but you fear that you will meet someone of the opposite so is hesitant to try. Then what will you do? You can’t find any emotional connection unless you get out there, but you are letting your fear hold you back. So what’s the third option?

     

    in reply to: Why am I acting so weird when I meet someone new? #320283
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Flo,

    Your 23, and from the research on childhood development, it seems that you were somewhat sheltered as you were growing up. That means that you weren’t taught how to explicit deal with certain emotional aspect of life. And seeing as you are still in your 20s, you’re still trying to understand the role you have as an individual in society and in life. You’re still trying to understand yourself as a person. That’s a lot of things to learn and with having a life to keep up with, it’s a challenge.

    The situation with this girl and you has to do with the fear of rejection and your insecurities. You don’t write much on your situation other than that you feel insecure so you’ve revolved your life and thoughts, basically, around this new attraction of yours. That’s not uncommon on the first stage of attraction since the emotions of ‘like’ tend to be a lot of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin flooding your brain, which makes you giddy and full of energy. The thoughts of this girl makes you energized and it feels good. But once the adrenaline wears off, you are left with an emptiness that might feel foreign after the rush of ‘happiness’ and some people tend to seek for that adrenaline in different form.

    Combine that emptiness with a fear of being rejected, which stems from insecurities, you get an outcome that could be like yours. Insecurities makes people do either of two things; change themselves or change their situation. Why? Because insecurities is seen as bad therefore you must do something to control the situation since being in control makes people feel safe. Your way of doing things is the latter. You feel the need to control the situation because you find it easier to do so. After all, you fear being rejected so you feed that fear by your negative thoughts and the constant need to cement the relationship with the girl. As much as you like the girl, the fear you are experiencing from your lack of confidence is growing more urgent to you therefore you don’t feel that you can’t relax. Therefore, your thoughts revolve around her and her actions affect you on a personal level. That’s not good for anyone.

    There is no mention of how you were taught to deal with emotional instabilities and insecurities, but if the situation is any indication, then it’s about time that you learn how. There are many classes and books to read on learning to engage and manage your own emotions. There are psychologists out there, maybe your school offer free counseling, who can help you start the process of understanding your insecurities. There are many resources out there that can help you understand how fear and insecurities work and what you can do about it. You have work to do, but you have the maturity to realize that you need help to understand yourself and that being a human/person is a work in process. You’ll be fine.

    Also, congratulations on understanding that how you were dealing with your insecurities was not helping your situation or your mental health. You are one step closer to understanding how to help yourself.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I’m confused, need help understanding #320179
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jaz2,

    You don’t mention any of his characteristics or personality other than how he reacted to you dumping him. But lets go in order of what happened.

    First, you got together with your friend for whatever reason, but felt that you couldn’t commit so decided to end it.

    Now, congratulations to you on being decisive about ending the relationship. Many people are too scare of hurting others or being seen as rude to end a relationship when they should have. But no matter when you entered into a relationship, know that you have the option to end it anytime, even a few hours after. You do not have to do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing and one of that thing is being in a relationship. People might call you indecisive for ‘ending things too early’, but they are not the ones who has to work at the relationship so their points are moot at anytime they venture to tell you what to do in your relationship. And it’s actually respectful of you to end things early as there’s isn’t as much investment in the relationship if you had let it go on. Also, by letting it go on, you are giving the other party false hope that the relationship is working and to keep at it. So it’s better to end things when you feel that you can’t invest much of your emotions into a relationship than to stay in one just because you feel guilty. Good for you.

    Now, you don’t mention if you felt guilty before or after your friend went on to be a jerk. But what you shouldn’t have done was apologized for your actions. Even if you weren’t apologizing for ending things, any apologies at that point made it worse because you let yourself claim the title of ‘criminal/perpetrator’ in making him feel bad about the ending of a relationship. Any breakups will suck and people will feel dissapointed and sad, but he does not have the authority to place all the blame on you. That he would, might be because he thought it over, and possibly from side commentary from his friends, and came to the conclusion that you were a jerk for breaking up with him just after a few weeks of dating. And men are generally taught to feel entitled to certain things, so he might possibly have felt entitled anger over you ending the relationship without his consent so is being a jerk about it. Then when he contacted you, you responded in the affirmative of his hypothesis that you breaking up with him was because you were a jerk yourself because you apologized. Your apologies cemented his thought about why you broke up with him.

    It’s understandable that you didn’t want to hurt him, but any break up will hurt. So the best way to go about it is to break up with no room for reconsideration, and then make space between you two. When you lose something, you need the space and time to grieve and mourn so that you can let go and move forward. But your friend didn’t abide to that and contacted you. You felt guilty, apologized, only to get angry messages back. That kind of reactions is very common because your ex believed that you are at fault for something and you kept supporting that by contacting him and apologizing in some way. You two created a drama of a person owing a life-debt from one decisive action.

    Also, you don’t apologize for breaking up. Apologizing will only signal to the other person that there might be something wrong with them that you had to apologize because you couldn’t stand that one thing so decided to break up. Even if you say that it’s about you, it will still sound like an excuse. So you apologized and now he might possibly felt like there is something wrong with him and so that makes him angry. Then you kept contacting him, which only added fuel to the fire because it makes you even guiltier in his mind. It’s a never ending loop because now he is trying to find some way to fuel that anger, or at least find a way to justified that anger, which explain the Netflix thing. And then complaining to your friend? Same thing. He is trying to degrade your image with other people because you did what he wanted so now he doesn’t have many ammunition left other than your friends. Also, he is suffering so you should suffer with him.

    Now that this happened, ask yourself if you’ve actually looked at your ex for the person he is or that you might have worn rose tinted glasses because you were friends. There are always signs to watch out for so after all this, carefully comb through your past interactions with your ex and look for the pieces that tells you whether he is capable of such childish entitlement and let it be a warning for the next person who sign up to be your potential partner.

    So now you can see that your ex is capable of doing this just from you breaking up with him. And you unknowingly put on a play of ‘war’ with him; you apologizing constantly and him being aggressive via message. As you can see, that got you nowhere. The best course of action when your ex contacted you was to ignore it. Save it should anything else happen, but you should have ignore it. I don’t know why you felt guilty for breaking up with him since it means that there was little investment at that point into the relationship, but you felt guilty and answered him. That gave him the first opening to continued sulking about the breakup and it seem to be escalating somewhat.

    Do not be blinded by the ‘but he was such a good person’. Well, he’s doing what he can to harassed you right now so leave the past to the past and focus on the present to deal with your situation. So he might be harassing you because he doesn’t want to let go just yet and by making you feel angry, you’ll respond to him. Even if it’s only a little bit of communications, it still some communication which is better then none. Or his ego is so hurt that he can only do this and he feels entitle to it because it’s only fair since he is hurt. And on and on. But that doesn’t matter. What matters now is what you’re going to do from now on.

    My advice: stop contacting him. No matter how he might be contacting you, through message or your friend, you must find ways to ignore it. Because from your interactions after the break up, you have taught him that by making you angry or guilty, you’ll respond to him. You kept contacting him because of guilt and now it’s out of anger. So whatever he does, you need to learn to ignore it. As you continued to ignore him, he’ll eventually come to the conclusion that you are over this relationship and that it’s time to move on. But do not try to predict when he will stop harassing you. You cannot read his mind so there’s little hope of understanding his logic. So make a no contact rule with him. Enlist the help of friends and family if you have to. Change to a different messenger for the time being so that any messages from him will go unread or have a friend regulate that. Tell friends that you don’t want to hear about him. Avoid him if you can since it seems that you both study at the same institution. Make this thing absolute. But do not believe him if he suddenly turns around and ask to be friend again. If he can act this way towards a supposed friend turned girlfriend turned ex, then do you really trust he won’t do anything once he convinces you that he’s over the relationship?

    Any question, comment away.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Need Help Understanding Why #319621
    GL
    Participant

    Hello X,

    The weather keep changing from cool to hot to cool, how’s it on your end?

    You said so yourself – “organic” and “chose to put in effort.” I interpret “organic” as “having chemistry” and “chose to put in effort” as “taking real steps.”

    But what is the difference between a partner and friend for you? Sex? Then where do friends with benefits fit in? Since you seem immune to the feelings of jealousy, is a friend with benefits the same as a partner to you?

    ‘Organic’ for me is more dependent on the kind of conversations I can have with a potential friend/partner. If I can’t have more than a few interesting conversations, then my interest starts to wane which means that there is no chemistry between me and that person. So I don’t understand how you determine chemistry upon a ‘spark’ or physical features. Also, how do you know if that person won’t hurt you based on your imaginations alone? Because in your imaginations, you feel comfortable next to him? It seems a bit too abstract for me no matter how I try to think about it.

    I am not immune to envy, but I am also reminded that everybody has their fortunes and misfortunes then the feelings go away.

    Whether a person is your friend or partner depends on the terms that all the parties involved have established. Label makes it easy to identify things, but it’s not always helpful.

    Sure. Then why do you suggest that I make do without a partner on my own, but seek friendships instead? If one can safely replace the other, why can’t I go with a partner who is a friend in addition, rather than just with a friend? Frankly, I’d rather have both, if you ask me.

    I’m actually wondering how much energy you’re investing into your friendships while you pursued your romantic relationship.

    I do travel with a rucksack and a small carry-on suitcase. But have you ever tried to fit into a toilet stall at an airport, even the one for the disabled, when doors open inwards right onto a toilet paper roll blocking your entrance, and you have a rucksack on your back and a suitcase to manage? That is why I mentioned that it is SO convenient to have somebody look after the luggage when you go to the loo.

    I am not even talking about the need to put the suitcase onto the shelf when onboard the aircraft or haul it up the stairs if the hotel doesn’t have a lift and has at least one floor.

    Besides, hauling heavy things by women is a precursor to serious medical problems at a later age, and furthermore, my surgeon recommended me to limit loads to just 11 pounds because of a health condition.

    I usually travel with a singular backpack so I can’t say I share that issue.

    How interesting. Looked it up and it seems that what’s affected is the reproductive system. Wonder how it affects men?

    Let me clarify again: are you saying that one’s friends, true friends, can be a substitute for one’s partner?

    Friends are a good source of emotional support, though it can be a different source of support from that of your partner. Whether you need a partner and friends is up to you though.

    But I don’t view my friends as partners.

    Do you?

    Partners in crime, certainly. Partners aren’t so good for some activities.

    Let’s approach this from another angle. It is often said that humans are social animals. As such, they need other humans to be fulfilled. Which, in turn, means that their fulfilment lies in the hands of the others.

    Isn’t it not the same with love since they say that one is supposed to be able to love and to be loved?

    Humans evolved needing each other for protection and to continue the population. And somehow, along the way, the need of connection seemed to have wormed their way into the equation. But the terms of connection and social involvement depend heavily on the choices of the individual. Anyone can choose to be a nomad while others will choose to be part of a herd. It is a choice to think that being with someone is happiness while it is a choice to leave a person. It is your choice in feeling happy with someone, but that does not mean that happiness lies in their hands. After all, you are choosing to be happy with them.

    If it was possible for a psychopath to love, the world would not have such a term. Though it could mean something entirely different in a different context in a different world.

    There are people who wanted a relationship, but didn’t get it yet managed to create a life for themselves.

    But how happy were they with that life in their heart of hearts?

    How many people have no regrets at the end of their lifetime?

    Sometimes the other party says “no” several times so that s/he is convinced of the opposite. People also sometimes say “no” meaning “yes.”

    Is that regret then? Because the outcome was the opposite of what they expected? Some cultures always asked up to three times so people can be polite and say no the first time to say yes the second time. It’s only polite to give them time to be polite.

    Whether a person is round because of their choosing or because circumstances led to it, you would have to ask that person.

    Sorry to be so cruel, but there is not a single photo of an overweight person liberated from a Nazi concentration camp blaming his or her roundness on metabolism. At the end of the day, it is the person’s choosing, lack of willpower.

    If you were a person working a job making minimum wage, then you would have to work long hours just to make ends meet since the price of living has increased but wages have stagnated. Then add in a food desert in which you might not have the time to drive more than ten miles to a grocery store to get fresh produce to make your own lunch, then you’re stuck in having to purchase cheap fast food that would satisfied your hunger, but bad for your overall health. Then there’s other things to worry about, like rent or transportation so you have to ration what you can until your next paycheck. A gym membership is out of the question when you have to worry about putting food on the table. Gardening require land, something that apartments might not have, and time, something the person might not have. Of course, the other person could try to obtain a degree, but what if their level of education isn’t sufficient or they’re not proficient in the dominant language? Then there’s the issue of diseases that makes it easy to gain weight, but that inhibit certain functions of your organ that your body can’t process such and such so losing that weight is difficult and might take years, if it can happen. But with the rise of healthcare and insurance, can a person even think about their appearance when they might not be able to afford to visit the doctor?

    It seems that you have all the functions of your body since you commented on ‘laziness’. Certainly, there are lazy people and then there are people with invisible disabilities that, should you know, you wouldn’t think to comment on them as being ‘lazy’. Of course, it is fortunate that you do not have to worry much about it, but what’s normal on the surface may not look so simple when carefully analyzed. I also don’t recommend talking about weight with those who are experiencing menopause since it’s a touchy topic.

    Can it be one of the reasons for my being so picky when choosing men? Meaning that the vast majority of men can’t support women emotionally, so I don’t even approach such men.

    Were any of your exes emotionally supportive for you?

    Excuse me again, GL, but what makes you think that he calculated his opportunity cost, debating pros and cons??? I told you already how often he left work early to go to that other city (500 miles away) for the weekend just to be with her. This was very much to the detriment of how his colleagues who had a say in his subsequent work there and his promotion viewed him. And he did divorce his wife marrying this other woman just five months after meeting her.

    But he was definitely calculating the opportunity cost of divorcing his wife to marry you. And in the end, he chose his marriage for the sake of his career since it seems that it would cost him too much to divorce his wife right away. So when was it that you manage to get him on the phone? And for someone supposedly with NPD to admit that he made a blunder is amazing because a Narcissist has such an inflated ego that it’s not that he was wrong, but that everyone was wrong. Then he offered to return to you since it seems that his new partner might leave him? Where’s the confidence that he would succeed? How is that doing everything he can to obtain what he wants, irregardless of what the other party wants? He was actually taking into consideration the other party? But came running back to you with his tail between his leg when it seems that his new partner might dump him after all? Again, what happen to his supposedly self inflated ego?

    As for “not stopping at anything to achieve their goals,” my mother still shudders at the memory of how much and how often he would phone me in her presence (and my mother and I lived together just for a handful of time frames during our romance). She often compares his behaviour to that of a male cat in the spring.

    So he liked to call to make sure you were still thinking of him. That’s a more dependent attitude since he can’t bare for you to drop him. A Narcissist would leave you for some time (months) with no communications to come back with the confidence that you would welcome him with open arms. Again, they are ‘God’ so whatever they do is correct.

    If you ask me, when I read your description above about operating on instinct, I found it to be right to the point.

    I spoke to Matt about the mating rituals of birds of paradise. If you have seen the video (there are a bunch of them on the web), you’ll get the idea of how it looked and felt to me when he was courting me. And later on, I had the pleasure of observing EXACTLY THE SAME dance around my successor.

    Humans have the instinct to reproduce and have recognized that there need to be two people with different anatomy to obtain the results of reproduction. But for that to happen, one party must make a move and the party may accept or not. Mating rituals is a learned techniques that male animals perform because they have learned that that is how they will be able to reproduce with a female. Same goes for human, but it’s called the act of courting.

    As for ghosting, well, why bother explaining somebody whom you don’t need that you don’t need them any longer? Especially when ghosting is becoming so common in today’s world?

    Ghosting happens mostly because many people do not like the act of confronting others. A Narcissist would drop you the moment they deem you worthless and would like you to disappear from their life so would have no problem dumping you to make the process go that much more quicker. Again, doing whatever they need to to obtain what they want.

    Besides, he may not be a textbook case of a NPD. Hardly anyone is a textbook case of whatever. It is all in degrees and shades and mixes.

    A Narcissist has the need to be worshiped, but they also do well in treating everyone around them as idiots and imbeciles so wouldn’t deign to associate with them if they can help it. So for your ex to have a lot of exes is normal, but not really normal for a Narcissist since they really can’t stand the presence of most people.

    Have you heard about William Hearst, a U.S. mogul of the 1920s, and his long-term mistress? Well, that guy had a pistol duel because of her, but wouldn’t divorce his wife for her because that meant losing a significant portion of his already immense fortune. In other words, he was risking his life, but didn’t want to risk his money. People make strange choices sometimes.

    But if the both of them decided that it was okay that he stayed married since he would obtain a lot of money which can sustain the both of them, then how are they losing in that situation? It’s not that she wasn’t important, but simply that the term ‘marriage’ wasn’t important to them.

    I guess I am trying to say that I don’t meet a lot of people who would be more interesting for me than my own company.

    Isn’t that what you were advocating for before, when you asked me why I needed somebody to be happy?

    So you want someone to entertain you? But indeed, if your company was so interesting, then why the need to seek the company of others?

    But how to know whether this is an objective fact or whether we see it simply because we want some explanation of “why it happened”? One finds what one is looking for. One wants an explanation? One can explain ANYTHING away provided one has a desire to do so.

    You convinced yourself that he was ‘the one’. What objective/subjective facts did you use?

    For instance, you could say that I met and attracted somebody because I was miserable and he was miserable. Along the same lines, you could say that I met and attracted somebody because I was miserable and he was happy-go-lucky and I wanted to be happy-go-lucky, too.

    Has such a situation played out for anyone whom you know or met?

    As for the “vague promise to divorce,” I can’t say that “I want you to be my wife. The divorce will happen a year or two from now after that big promotion” is that vague.

    It’s vague in that the promise was set for two years. What can you even predict about a person in two years and have it be true?

    Now questions for you. If “People attract others of similar mind and heart,” why am I only attracting those whom I can’t stand now?

    Because you won’t just attract people that are similar?

    Or why am I not attracting anybody whom I like or tentatively like myself?

    Am I so singular now that there is no one, be it here, in this big city, or where I travel, who is of similar mind and heart?

    How much emphasis are you placing on having a spark? Or on that list of yours? How much emphasis are you placing on whether the person you meet is the one? How much are you assuming about the person before even knowing much about them?

    More than that. As you probably know, there are married men and married men. I must have mentioned one of my cousins whom it took five years to overcome his wife kicking him out and four more years to divorce and to marry his girlfriend of four years. Meaning that he was married for four years while having a girlfriend who is now his wife.

    His relationship was over when his wife kicked him out. It just took four years to finalized it.

    Furthermore, I can tell you that at work, a few ladies with the same position as I are married to guys in my ex’s position. So it would have definitely not been a step-down for him. More than that, one colleague of mine actually had a romance with a married boss of my “big boss.” He divorced his wife, and they have been happily married for ten years now.

    So naturally, seeing women just like me (and even not as intelligent, young or pretty), in the very same position, getting men in the very same position as my ex (or even higher), married or not, made me think that it was so very possible. And my ex, naturally, said the same.

    You can’t compare the situation of those people to yours. You are not them and they are not you. So the choices that you and your ex would make will be different compare to those you know of because it’s your choice and not theirs and vice versa. You don’t really know what someone would do until they have done it. Of course, that you would choose to believe your ex after two years surprise me.

    Why the need to compare yourself physically? Even if you don’t find them attractive, someone else might. And just like you? Why would anyone ever wish to be like you?

    How can one advise people on how to create a foundation for a building if one has never built a building?

    I visited his website and it seems that he is married. I also found a lot of his articles to be great food for thought, especially his “Love is Not Enough”.

    This is one more thing that I cannot grasp. For the life of me, I cannot understand how two people who are in love, who want to make it work, who are attuned to the needs and wants of each other can change in ways that will make the incompatible for each other.

    I have read a lot of stories on Tiny Buddha where people would write something like “Nothing happened, we just outgrew each other” or “Nothing happened, but each of us grew in a different direction,” but I cannot understand how on earth this can happen given that all the ingredients for the “happily ever after” were there at the beginning.

    People change or chooses not to change. But each action is a link in a chain of past actions and that combine to form the person as they are. So with actions taken and choices made, people are choosing for themselves the kind of life they are living. But the end result might not be compatible with their current partner so there might be big issues that they will have to discuss. So then it becomes a case of loving the person, but not loving the life with the person. The ingredients might have been there for the foundation, but whose to say the building can’t change? A relationship isn’t like a dessert that doesn’t change it’s shape; rather, it’s like soup. Whatever you put in, you get out. Also, irregardless of what happened in the past, it is the present that a person makes a decision about their relationship. It is the present that everything is occurring, not the past where everything was great. You can’t make a case of a happy past, therefore a happy present or happy future. Nothing is ever guaranteed. People wake up everyday and have the choice of continuing or ending their relationship. That’s a decision people make everyday.

    Feels right so far. And while waiting for the other person to show his true colours, I only get deeper and deeper attached to the point that when the true colours are half-revealed (because normally there is always room for saying “innocent UNTIL proved guilty”), I no longer have the strength to break away because by then I have already invested so much emotionwise and timewise. The former and the latter including my daydreaming.

    Then maybe it’s time that you learn how to end things and let them go.

    I was choosing being in a relationship with my ex to answer your question.

    And yet you didn’t run for the hills when you found out that he was divorced before nor did you question why you seem to be attracted to married men the most, irregardless of their promises to you.

    So what do you suggest I do with all this given how much is determined by chemistry, uncontrollable on my part, in a man’s appeal to me?

    So you want happiness, that much is apparent. So does that mean that you are unhappy right now? If not, then why place all your cards and bet on happiness in the form of marriage? If you were to look at many of your interests, many of them were married. So marriage, or the idea of it, seems to be the ‘be all, end all’ thing for you. You want someone to be with you until death, but just because you are married, doesn’t  mean that your husband would be there for you. Your exes are prime examples of that. Yet, you still hope to obtain that goal of marriage, as if it would beget happiness for you. You don’t want to be alone, that’s fine. But you are making this responsibility of keeping that loneliness at bay someone’s else job. That’s heavy and it will take someone like you, heavily dependent on another for their own happiness, to even attempt such a daring task.

    So you tell me, why can’t you make yourself happy? How is it the job of another person to make you happy? Especially when they weren’t born to make anyone else, but themselves, happy. You have your hobbies, but even that doesn’t give you much happiness. So can’t count that as self-independence, but more of a way to stave off boredom. That, and it’s a way to meet new people who might be a potential partner. Then there’s your friendship, but even that doesn’t give you much satisfaction. Rather, you still need a romantic partner and you are constantly searching for one, or at least, always having your radar on and about.

    You didn’t ask to be born, but no one really ask to be born. Yet you decided that happiness was in the hands of someone else. To be happy means something like ‘finding someone to marry’. Okay, that’s fine, but why is that the main one? Why is most of your focus on finding a partner when you have many possibilities in front of you? Do you not have other dreams? Isn’t there anything else you want to do?

    Ultimately, what is not satisfying about your current situation and why can’t you resolve that for yourself without having to rely on someone else?

    Have a good one.

    in reply to: I cheated, he wants to break up but will not leave.. #318293
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Charly,

    It is very easy to confuse guilt with affection, especially when you feel immense guilt for your actions. But you can’t let guilt be the reason why you let certain things happen.

    Right now, you are stuck in a weird limbo with your ex partner because he found out that you had cheated on him a few years ago. From there, he decided that it was best to end the relationship, but he refused to move out yet he refuses to talk to you about what happened. It seems that he isn’t even talking to you much either? That sort of action scream ‘immaturity’. Even though he told you that he wants to end the relationship, he fears what will happen next if he takes the step to actually end it because he is too used to being in a relationship with you. Should he end it, then there will be a great upheaval of change regarding his daily life that he probably isn’t ready to face. So he decided that he will still sleep on the same bed, eat at the same table, use the same bathroom, etc. But that’s not fair to you.

    You have openly admitted your wrongdoing and he chose to shut down. That’s fine. That’s a choice he made. But for it to continued to affect you like this is unfair to you because he is not giving you the space to grieve and move on from this relationship that he told you he wished to end. HE TOLD YOU HE COULD NOT CONTINUED THE RELATIONSHIP. Yet you are giving in to his demands of sleeping in the same bed because…you feel guilty? Guilty that you cheated on him. And you are paying the price for it by him ending the relationship, but beyond that is extraneous. You told him and he ended the relationship. You can’t be called partners anymore so what rights does he have to demand that you sleep on the same bed? That he could still live with you? That you have to see him everyday after your breakup?

    You still love him, that’s fine. But that doesn’t justified him acting as if you are close enough to share the same bed when he chose to broke off relations between the two of you. For whatever reason he might have done so, he is still choosing not to communicate with you if he is rethinking his decisions, but seeing your ex everyday is bound to make you rethink, yet he is still acting as if he has the rights to live with you. So why exactly are you allowing him to torture you like this? You love him, but that doesn’t mean torturing yourself with this limbo of ‘maybe he will reconsider’. He hasn’t, even after all this time. Rather, the longer you let this continued, the longer you’ll stay in this weird limbo of not partners but not really friends either. You’ll sleep on the same bed, wake up to him, all the while knowing that you are not partners anymore. Doesn’t that break your heart? And if he suddenly wants to get back together when you tell him to pack and leave, what does that tell you about how he really viewed you?

    Remember, you are also the other person in this relationship so you have to a make a decision about this weird limbo. Do you let it continued or do you end it by kicking him out? Continued and you’ll always wondered what’s happening. End it and you might have to fight a drawn out battle of getting him to leave, but then you’ll have the space to grieve then move on. You’ll have the space to assess the situation and what happened and maybe breathe. But you have to decide for yourself. You have to decide what’s really important, his feelings or your well-being.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: My boyfriend hurt me so much and I can’t get past it? #318287
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jennifer,

    You were able to let go of your boyfriend before so why were you willing to reunite with him again? To be able to end a relationship means that you, in all your unconscious mind and heart, knew that the relationship was not going anywhere. So for you to contact an ex, something to never do again until you can just be friends, and then agree to try again when it’s only been a few weeks isn’t the best scenario for you. Why? Because you haven’t calmly went through your reasons for breaking up in the first place nor have you let yourself have the time to accept all the feelings that came with the end of the relationship. You haven’t sorted out anything, but already trying to enter another relationship is a recipe for disaster.

    You need to think this through again. You need to think about why you broke up with your boyfriend in the first place and why you even contacted him again. You need to look at this relationship objectively, not with sentiments that will cloud your judgement. I understand you were lonely from ending a relationship, but contacting him was not the best action. Why did you not contact your friend(s) instead? You weren’t even fully on board when he asked to try again, so why did you say yes? Guilt? Remorse? What happened?

    And your boyfriend did lie to you about the Tinder thing, but instead of apologizing, he turned the situation around to make it your fault that he did such a thing. That’s not okay. It’s not okay to blame you for his actions when he is the one who chose to do such things. He is the one in control of himself yet he is blaming you. Who would not be angry if someone did that to them?

    Of course, you can’t control him nor can you really predict his actions just based on your assumptions of who he is so it’s best not to try. Humans are capable of anything so you need to let his actions speak for him because if he did something, then it meant that he had the intention to do it. After all, the brain needs to give command before the body can move so even if he tells you that his actions weren’t intentional, don’t believe him. He only need an impulse for his brain to command his body to move.

    By the way, why are you putting up with that? Why are you putting up with someone who can only see his pain and not the pain of his partner? He might excused his behavior with ‘I would never hurt you like that’ yet his actions are the opposite of that. You don’t feel comfortable sharing things with him. You don’t even feel comfortable being vulnerable with him. Then what are you comfortable doing that he can support you in? Is he even supportive of you? And how physical is this relationship since it’s not all that emotionally safe, for you at least. So why him?

    You have a lot of things to ask yourself, Jennifer, and I hope you’ll find the right answer for yourself. You might love him, but love does not justified that you suffer just because you love someone. You can love someone, but it doesn’t mean that you have to wish to have them in your life.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Discusted with myself #318269
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Kat,

    You’re drowning.

    You’re drowning in your own thoughts as you face this hopeless situation of little work prospect and a family that demeans more than encourage. And every time you try to swim and break the surface of the water, your leg seems to be caught by the powerful seaweeds. And that cycle has continued to this day. How miserable that is. But you haven’t given up on trying to change your situation and that’s courageous. It’s courageous that regardless of how hopeless you feel your situation is, you still seek for change for yourself.

    Now, have you’ve heard of the myth of “Pandora”? It is a Greek mythology of a woman who was given a box by Zeus who told her that it was filled with a special gift, but she was not to open the box. Of course, being human, Pandora could not contain her curiosity and opened the box. And out came the world’s maladies and sickness. Once she realized what she had done, Pandora too lost herself in grief, but then a voice spoke. The voice belonged to ‘hope’. ‘Hope’ that was in the box full of maladies and sickness.

    So I need you to do something difficult. I need you to look at your own Pandora’s box and find your hope. It doesn’t have to be anything big or difficult. It doesn’t have to be concrete either, it can just be an inkling. But it does have to be something that fills you with the urge to hold and cherish. So look for the spider’s thread that will lead you along the web of your Pandora’s box. What is your hope? Hold onto that.

    After that, you need to assess your situation then plan. Since you have employment gaps, it might be necessary to take on entry-level work while taking some online classes to buff up your resume. Or you can volunteer to gain experience. Go to an employment center and asked for help with your resume. Ask them if any job fair is coming up or any classes you can take to help you with job searching. There also might be non-profit that offers classes too. If it all seems like too much, list all the things that you think you should do, give them a rating of important to non-important. Once you’ve decided on what you should be doing first, write it down on a blank sheet as the heading then under that, write down all the steps you need to take to complete it. Make it a list that you need to do. Then follow that list.

    But the most important thing is that you need to commit to it. You need to commit to doing the first step on that first list. Then commit to doing the second step then the third and the fourth and so on. You’ve already made a list so the next step would be taking actions. After taking actions, it’ll be easier to get the momentum going.

    As for your family, you need to find a way to ignore them. Right now, you don’t have the resources to help guide you with dealing with them at a distance so you need a way to see that they are talking, but letting the words go through one ear and out the next. You cannot take those words seriously. And it is difficult, not to take on those words as if they are the final judgement on your character as a person. But it’s something that many people have to learn to do through their lifetime and it is also one of your lessons. So put on hold dealing with family on the back burner until you have enough finance to move out and make an appointment with a psychologist to talk about it. Though be warn, the first psychologist might not be able to help you so you might have to keep searching until you find someone compatible with you.

    You have a lot of things to do and it will feel helpless at times since your situation makes you feel helpless. That’s okay. You can feel helpless. But you can also do the hard stuff of getting yourself up the surface of the water. You can slowly learn to swim in your own way. You can even reach the land somewhere. It’ll take time and you will have to choose to stand up again after failing. You will have to be careful of getting burnt out too. You also need to learn to take care of yourself.

    So yes, living is already so much of a difficult job that people should really be getting medal of honors for not being jerks and what not. But no one does and life goes on. The good and bad things will pass because life goes on. No one will remember anyone that has passed in a few hundred years unless they touched a point in man-made history. But you’re here now and life will pass for you. So you have to decide what to do now. You have to decide for yourself that however hopeless, you don’t stop hoping.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: A Question On Surrendering And Letting Go #318255
    GL
    Participant

    The practice of letting go of negative thoughts is honed on the philosophy that only you can control your actions, no one is making you do anything. It is about choosing to respond to the actions of others, not reacting. So if you feel immense anger at your partner for their actions, then feel that anger. But do not use that anger as a stepping stone to reacting in the moment by lashing out. Rather, let your thoughts run wild in an area/room where it would not hurt anyone or you. Once you’ve cooled down as your emotions rose and fell like the tidal waves at sea, it is then that you can calmly assess the situation to decide what your next actions might be. If you were hurt, then communicate that hurt. The key is in your communications, not your reactions.

    ‘Letting go’ means to feel then move on, it is not letting others off the hook for their actions.

    GL
    Participant

    Dear K,

    Both you and your ex(?) has communications issues. But lets focus on you since you started this topic.

    You met a person whom you feel attraction to, but like many people in their twenties, have yet to figure out to talk to other people and ironically the other person is also in their twenties. Though you’ve spent time and some effort in getting to know this person, you don’t know how to tell him about yourself. You don’t know how to tell him about your insecurities, your weakness, your jealousy, your frustration, etc. So when he does something that trigger something in you that makes it seems as if the world was dead set on getting you, you lashed out. You lashed out in violent waves of texts, and then waiting for his response, to see if he has had enough of having to deal with you and your emotional outburst. You lashed out because that’s the only way you know how to communication your fear to this person who might or might not accept this side of you. But as you’ve gotten to understand, making the other the person the ‘bad guy’ will not help you work out the issues of your self-esteem nor is calling others ‘bimbo’ going to help make you feel better. Superior, maybe, but not better. After all, he is not the one who decides whether you have self-esteem, that’s all on you.

    So what does a twenties something female do when she has self-esteem issues who is drinking all the while to numb those feelings away and who lashes out while drunk? Well, first off, good on you for noticing and admitting these things. It is not easy to admit to ourselves how we think we might be failing as human beings. Second, go get help. You need help. You yourself have stated that you have self-esteem issues that are clearly circling your head, but you don’t seem to have seek help for that. Why? Or maybe you did and it wasn’t a great experience. Well, you’ll have to try it again with a different professional then, until you find the person who can listen and help. You feel lost so more than ever, you need someone who will help you draw your own map of emotions and thoughts and whys and whats and anything else that you need to see for yourself. You need to see yourself.

    But you know what? It’s fine to be lost. People get lost all the time. The problem is choosing a path as you wander around. And it could be any path, it doesn’t have to be the right one. But it does have to be one you can believe in and commit to. So commit to something, no matter how lost you feel. The important point is that you take action in some way. And once you do, it becomes easier to take another step, and another and another. And you might fall and fail in the first step or the second or the third. Get up anyway. You’ve already decided to commit for yourself this act of taking a step so continue to take that step. Even if you fail, continue until you’ve found a semblance of the outcome you were hoping for. But don’t take actions based on your perception of someone’s perception of you. These actions must be based on doing something good for yourself, not others.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: How To Stop Taking Everything So Personally #317255
    GL
    Participant
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Heena Love,

    You love your friend and I hear you, I do. But there are various points things that must also be looked at.

    First, you love your friend in a romantic attitude. That’s fine. But you also know that he is in love with someone else, something that he seems to have explicitly told you. Even when he seems to know that you have romantic feeling for him. Or are you implying that he knows as you’ve yet to tell him so? But let’s assume that he does know. Yet he does not answer you in the positive, negative or anything way. He has not answer you directly, but have told you directly that he is in love with someone else. And from that point on, you seem to have revved up your actions, doing what you can to meet him, even when he is in a different state. You don’t write whether you meet him during your visits, but that you still make a point of going irregardless. You don’t write whether he is even happy to meet you, just that you have to go meet him.

    So now the question; why are you still clinging onto this unrequited love? You know he loves someone else. He might know that you love him, but have told you that he loves someone else. And then you are still trying to meet him irregardless of his schedule, irregardless of how much he really wants to meet you.

    So when did this ‘love’ of yours turn from centering onto him to centering on you? When did it matter more that you are in an unrequited love with your friend rather than what your friend wants?

    You write that you love him more than life itself, but in the letter, it’s still about your ‘love’, and not him. How do you love someone more than life when you don’t even think about his side of this situation? Have you even asked him what he wants and not assumed that?

    You also write that you can’t give this up, but have you even tried, really tried, to distance yourself away from him? Of course, it’ll hurt in the beginning as you are mourning a loss, but it’s not just about you giving up this unrequited love, it’s about you respecting your friend’s wish of remaining friends as he chose to love someone else. So should you persist in allowing yourself to obsess over this unrequited love, you might just lose a friend. After all, it’s not that you can’t give it up, it’s that you won’t give it up. You haven’t even tried to moved on.

    You tell yourself he is your everything and when you place someone on so high a pedestal, you don’t want to tear down the great illusion. You created a story of you loving a person whose been there for you, someone who knows some of your past, someone you can share things with, someone who support you, care for you and you don’t want to let go of that story. No one wants to let go of the great stories that they tell themselves as they try to make sense of the world that they inhabit. But when those stories involved actors who doesn’t want to take on certain roles, then you have a decision to make. Continued the story as is, or end the story.

    In your case, it’s best to end the story. Your friend did not response to your feelings, but instead told you that he was in love with someone else. That was an implicit response, telling you that he doesn’t share the same feelings as you do. But the story you wove for yourself was so powerful that you became lost in it so you don’t want to end it. You want to continue this lovely story of a great person who might answer to your feelings one day. But that might never happen as it’s not even happening now.

    It’s time to end this story. You can do it, you can do the hard thing of letting go.

    in reply to: Yer Killin Me #316663
    GL
    Participant

    Dear bedofroses,

    What is it about negative emotions that scares you so much? From the time of your adolescent, it seems that you don’t like the fact that you have negative emotions therefore try really hard to “turn that frown upside down” by changing your thoughts to positive ones. But that was merely an illusion you’ve created for yourself. The illusion of positive thoughts is that you aren’t feeling depressed; yet because it is an illusion, those negative emotions won’t go away. Those negative emotions will merely be stuffed into a chest until you can’t work your magic and create another illusion. And now it seems that the chest has no more room to stuff those negativity anymore. So now you’ve turned to drinking to try to help you numb those feelings, but those feelings doesn’t go away, does it? Rather, it feels all the more helpless.

    Your boyfriend sound like a lovely person, but the issue here isn’t how to talk to your boyfriend. The issue here is how you talk to yourself. What kind of things are you telling yourself? What kind of things are you allowing yourself to feel or not feel? Where does that need to hide your depression and negativity come from? Why can’t you be depressed? Why must you be happy all the time?

    Start from there. Ruminate on these questions. Think about why you have to hide this or that. And remember, this is about your health.

    Good luck.

     

    in reply to: Need Help Understanding Why #312695
    GL
    Participant

    Hello X,

    Are you also experiencing the heat from where you are?

    Hmm, I thought that your original stance was that the Witch was not evil, she merely wanted to protect her child. Now you seem to be saying that she was not an ideal mother, the one who would allow her child a certain freedom of movement or exploration. So the question is, if the Witch was a paranoid mother, then her child should probably have been removed from her influence, shouldn’t it? This is exactly what happened. Do you suggest we agree with the developments of the fairy tale, but pity the Witch as a sick person?

    Never wrote that she was a good parent, wrote that she was overprotective. Of course, whether that overprotective is evil can only be decided by the one experiencing it. Yet, what is strange is that while she is called “the Witch”, she had only exiled Rapunzel and cursed the prince. Of course, she did warn Rapunzel of the outside world, so it’s not surprising that she would exile her after finding her with the Prince. Rapunzel had ignore her warning and chosen to interact with the outside world. Her actions are somewhat cruel, but compare to actually ordering the execution of the main characters, it is quite tame. That, and the Prince had impregnated Rapunzel too so don’t think she was prepared for that surprise.

    The Witch had locked Rapunzel in the tower since she was a child, even though she had yet to cause trouble so it can only be assumed that the Witch was hiding Rapunzel away for her own reasons. After all, her biological parents seem to fear the Witch too much to retaliate and they were also paying the price of their actions. And for this child whom she had chosen to raise, she probably did not want that child to experience the same pain she might have gone through herself. Though it’s whatever the storyteller was feeling at that time and might not have contributed much to the thought of the Witch locking up her daughter in the house. In many ancient societies, daughters staying in the house until they got married was quite common and many of them probably only saw the area of their house and not much else.

    Just like Matt and I discussed – a partner is a rock and a safety net in life. I can also quote Ecclesiastes, “Two are better than one…”

    That’s a nice thought, but can’t write the same of sharing that sentimentality with you. I don’t understand the desire of a relationship for someone to be something to you. Friendships are mostly organic happenings that a person chose to put in effort to achieve. So shouldn’t a romantic relationship be the same? Certainly, a friend doesn’t have to take care of you while you are injured or sick, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that you actually have a friend who would? Traveling is definitely a pain with all the luggage so why not just bring a small luggage and backpack? That doesn’t require someone to look after it for you. And even if you went bankrupt or lost a job, it doesn’t mean that your boyfriend wasn’t contemplating breaking up with you as is. A partner can be a rock, when they choose to be by their terms, never yours.

    The question is, are the French men like that just because they are like that, or did the French women do something special so that the French men are like that?

    You’ll have to ask them who taught them manners.

    No. Friendships are even, slow-burning affairs. I don’t feel the need to ask what my friends think of this or that all the time. And I don’t want to hug them like I want to hug my men.

    Now, it may be that I am actually referring to the initial stage of falling in love when I say “elation.” Naturally, friendships don’t have it.

    But don’t you have good feelings when with interacting with your friend?

    As for hugging and chemistry, are you familiar with the oriental saying that goes something like this: “Likeness on the level of the mind gives birth to respect, likeness on the level of the heart gives birth to friendship, likeness on the level of the reproductive system gives birth to sexual attraction All the three combined give birth to love”?

    So by definition friend and lover are not the same and can’t give the same feeling.

    Do you not view your partner as a friend?

    Because I didn’t ask to be born. Everyone who is courageous and aware enough to ask existential questions finds an answer that suits him or her. Including “no answer” or “just because.” That is my personal version – that I was born to be happy given that I was born at all.

    No one was asked to be born. And many parents take that for granted, threatening their children that they were the one to give them life so they should be grateful to them.

    You are not the only one to be seeking happiness. It seems to be the eternal quest of human kind. It’s just that your answer to ‘happiness’ lies in the hands of someone else.

    You’ll want to wait until your parents passed away before committing to euthanasia.

    Maybe a life alone is what they wanted? We are talking about what one thinks one wants vs what one gets.

    There are people who wanted a relationship, but didn’t get it yet managed to create a life for themselves.

    Why “wallowing”? Maybe they say that they are fully aware of all the hardships of “love in a cottage,” yet, they are ready to follow you. And you love them so much that you don’t want to put them through those hardships. Who is right then?

    “Wallowing” is not giving up even when they were told no.

    Hoping is so shallow, in my opinion. Don’t “hope,” don’t “try” – go ahead and do things!

    You can do, but hoping is what you aren’t the judge of. For instance, hoping someone better due to illness or external crisis. Besides, aren’t you always hoping for those whom you fancy to take notice of you and engage in the dance called ‘dating’?

    And “if you can’t be with them” – but maybe your “can’t” is merely your lack of effort?

    And what kind of effort are you putting in, waiting for the other person to take notice of you then asking you out on a date?

    Oh really? Say, you are overweight. You know that it is bad for your health. You know that you would be more attractive if you were lean. Your partner says that s/he respects your choice (after all, s/he did fall in love with you the way you were, right?), but gives you the reasons above. Will you insist on staying overweight, because it is “about appearance”?

    Depending on your socioeconomic status and geographic location, a food desert might not be unusual. So if you can only obtain certain products because of so, then complaining does little to change your situation. Of course, there’s also genetic and disease to look at regarding anyone’s appearance. Whether a person is round because of their choosing or because circumstances led to it, you would have to ask that person.

    But this is objective reality that one needs to take into account when interacting with men. One may not like it, but it is there.

    It doesn’t mean that men can’t change or become aware that their upbringing was less than sexist. If your partner can’t support you emotionally because of his upbringing than how much are you taking up the emotional labor instead?

    Aren’t you friends on social networks with your former classmates and colleagues? Even with those with whom you don’t interact anymore? Nearly everyone is guilty of browsing through their lists of “friends.” Only some do it every other day. I have done it maybe two or three times in the course of the last ten years. But yes, I did do it. At the same time, I do know people who are not on Facebook. But that way, they don’t have the temptation.

    I did have a FB, or so I thought until I tried to logged into my account only to be told that it has been too long that I’ve logged on that they had to verified that it was me. Yet I am not aware of anybody I’m personally in touch with still using FB so I had to abandoned that account since I never gave my phone number and couldn’t get verified by email. So no, can’t say I’m interested in the affairs of others so much. News of job and relationship aren’t really interesting unless I have to attend to a function.

    Okay, if you tell me that you have what it takes in psychology background to pronounce my ex not to be a covert narcissist from what I have written about him so far, I will believe you.

    If you are only an amateur in psychology, then I’d say that your guess is as good as mine.

    Have you heard of the term “opportunity cost”? To put it in simple terms: the loss of a potential gain by way of choosing an alternative choice. So you choose to do something, but you are giving up the opportunity to something else because you chose that path. Say, hanging out with friends instead of working. Buying this instead of this.

    Your ex was weighing his opportunity cost. He actually told you that he wanted to try again? Or was it to actually try at your relationship? Yet, he was also talking to his wife at the same time and telling her a similar story. All the while, he had the other woman who he had a sexual relationship with too. So three choices and he had to choose one. And he made his choice, after going through his opportunity cost, after much debate and pros and cons and what have you, however he decide things. So he was in control of his decisions. Someone with NPD would not have gone through a process of elimination until he came to a conclusion. NPD, similar to psychopaths, operate on instinct. So they act then they use logic to back up and defend their actions and choices. If your ex had NPD, and if his extinct was to love this new woman then he would have abandoned all logic to divorce right then and there to be with his new partner. But he didn’t. Rather, he went a process of elimination by calculating his opportunity cost with all three of his partners until he concluded that the new partner was the best. And he didn’t even dump you, but ghosted you. NPD are very sure of their decisions so he would have told you if you no longer served any purpose for him.

    Why are psychopaths so scary? Because they won’t stop at anything to achieve their goals.

    Men are known to fall for new women even when everything is fine in their current relationship. As somebody said, they fall in love anew not because the new woman is better, but because she is different. Say, what was missing for Tiger Woods in his blond supermodel wife?… That is why I do think that for my ex, his love simply has a shelf life. Sooner or later, he wants change and new “high,” emotions and upheaval in his life.

    If his love had a shelf life, then doesn’t that mean that he wasn’t as invested in the relationship as he had you believe?

    And why are bringing cyber stalking up here?

    Just for your information, even though I do have social media accounts, I have the bare minimum filled out there, just one picture and no posts or updates whatsoever.

    And yes, I still survive without a smartphone.

    People can use information very creatively, they just need the intent to obtain it and do so.

    Good for you, I can’t survive without my laptop and internet connection.

    Such friends as you describe are hard to find and such friendships normally build over several years. Yet in my life, I have had people with whom I was very close for extended periods of time, but who, as time showed, stopped being friends (or maybe, didn’t consider me to be their friend in the first place themselves).

    I wonder if you aren’t too pessimistic or too scare of failure sometimes. As you’ve learnt with your romantic relationships, some friendships do have their deadlines and there’s not much you can do, but wish the other person whom is no longer in your life well. And that’s sad, but that also gives you space to look for new friends who can show you the world from their perspective. Not all relationships was made to last, no matter how much you sometimes wish it would. It is merely one of life’s lesson on ‘ephemeral’.

    True, I intend to spend time learning about the other person if I feel that we have sexual chemistry for each other. But this is what I tried to do with my ex. Two months of regular communication by all means after just two weeks together at work was just that – me trying to get to know him. I was naïve, I thought that after he said “I love you,” he would proceed to divorcing his wife. After I said I loved him, the very next day, I summoned my #2 and said it was all over between us.

    Rather than fear starting a relationship, you don’t want to fail in the relationship. Were you still together with #2 while your ex was pursuing you? It’s no wonder you attracted the attention of your ex then, seeing as he simply found someone who is somewhat similar to him. The oriental saying fits into why you started the relationship. Your mind and heart were in similar places so of course you found him comforting. He had no qualm cheating or at least needed the attention of women while you had no qualm starting a relationship with a married man as long as he gave you devotion and a vague promise to divorce to be with you. You had a choice to end the relationship once you found out he was married, but you still persisted. People attract others of similar mind and heart. So ask yourself, what is it about your mind and heart that attract other people like him?

    Don’t agree. He may understand some of the things required for a relationship to function, but he can’t say that he understands things that are required for a relationship to function long-term exactly because he goes from one date to another and has never really had a long-term relationship.

    But isn’t it because he met so many people that he realizes that every relationship is different because the people is different therefore he can tell you how to create a foundation, but not the whole building? Besides, not every person is meant for long term relationships. Some prefer it short term.

    I maybe one of those who decide that I want to spend forever with him before he even asks me out. And then I may be confirmed in my initial impression or, on the contrary, I may find out that I had been wrong – the chemistry that seemed to be there is not there. That is why I want to find out about the man as much as possible before we date so that I know whether I am still interested (that the chemistry I felt didn’t evaporate) and don’t lead him on.

    Why so keen on forever? Just because you are compatible in the beginning doesn’t mean that people don’t change. And that change might bother you as the wavelength you both operate on diverge.

    At the same time, the guy who led me on, the big boss guy, my ex – they all have that perfect excuse that my brain makes up for them. That they are lost, don’t know what they want, suffered from another love of their lives who jilted them, have young kids at home, that their wives are demanding bitches, etc. etc. And here I am who knows their worth, who will support them through thick and thin, who really loves them no matter what – I can show them that beauty, intelligence and faithfulness can coexist!… Now, I am not saying that all of this is valid for all of them in equal measure, but you get the picture.

    How can faithfulness exist when there is the potential to cheat on their partner, especially when they were married? And your ex did that exactly.

    Oh yes, I love those memories! Only my mind always brings me back to what I have now (vs how I imagined it would be) and I don’t like the difference between the dreams and the reality (even though my reality is not that bad at all!!!) Also, the knowledge that one can’t relive those days when everything was still possible, all the routes open, everyone was still living and I didn’t know what I know now is bittersweet.

    The past seems to hold significance for you since it serves as a foundation for a lot of things for you, one of it your relationship. You seem to build a foundation of something then hold onto it until it no longer serves it purpose. After all, you built a foundation of infatuation and wait until your love might be return. It seems you wait because you want to be right about the other person. If he show interest then ask you out and if you still like him, then you date. You date because you’ve laid down most of the foundation already. And even when your partner showed bad habits, you still chose to wait. Until you/he broke up the relationship. But I don’t call it naive at this point that you chose to believe the words of your ex, seeing as he was the third person whom you chose to date that was married. Ever heard of ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’? What did you learn from the two relationships that you still let yourself choose your ex? What exactly were you choosing; your ex or being in a relationship?

    Have a good one.

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