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Tim

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  • #361164
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Anonymous,

    Be brave, if you don’t reveal your feelings for someone, can you really say you love them with all your heart? Loving wholly requires taking the risk to be vulnerable and risk rejection.

    It may be just a friendship for her but if you don’t ask you’ll regret it. If she has found someone else then if you really do love her you’ll be hurt but ultimately want the best for her and her to be happy.

    Tim

    #361154
    Tim
    Participant

    Anytime, Sammy, I’m happy to offer any advice I can on this forum to help others avoid the pain I had to face.

    Well done on winning a few battles there; not using the alcohol as a crutch, not letting the date overwhelm you to the point you hop back on the bus leading to nowhere new and most of all reaching those stark realisations.

    After being with someone for a period of time, it is natural to feel that void and miss them. Those of us who give our full energy to the relationship find it harder to re-adapt I think.  I think this is because partly we had begun to envisage a reality which we so badly craved but in essence did not exist. To try and come to terms with the non-rose-tinted view is a shock to our system. Questions begin to swirl, was it all a lie? why wasn’t I enough etc ..trying to answer these will just leave you in a worse state.

    You just need to find your new normal much like we are now post lockdown. Humans are survivors. Time keeps moving and you can sit back and drive yourself insane and waste years or take it by reins and control the one thing you can – your mindset.

    To move forward, I suggest you grieve the loss and accept that the relationship is over. Take a good amount of time to be by yourself, rediscover you. With on/off relationships your self-esteem takes a hammering so take the time to be confident in yourself again.  No matter how hard you tried it was never going to be the right fit for yourself. It doesn’t mean you can’t find another one that will be.

    I will be real with you, I went off the rails, jumped into dating to fill a void, I perpetuated the toxic relationship pattern and I felt sick for doing so and hurting a few women. I had enough empathy left and my conscience made me realise what I was doing was hurtful for everyone involved so I sought therapy again and rectified those mistakes and I’m lucky those women are in good relationships now and we are still acquainted. One of those women is my current relationship. So until you are fully over the ex and ready to risk being vulnerable and face rejection, my advice is to steer clear of relationships.

    I being a male, probably can not relate to the intimacy concerns in an exact way. However, fears are normal especially after having your heartbroken by the very person you were entirely vulnerable with.  The therapy I received was great and once I had decided I wanted to dip my feet in the pool again and be fully open and willing to face rejection or face another heartbreak because I had equipped myself with the tools or mechanisms to cope. The first heartbreak is the hardest as you have no idea of the pain you will feel but subsequently it makes you stronger.

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the fear of being emotionally or physically close to another individual. This is where it comes down to a bit of luck and your ability to overcome your fears. The woman I’m with now didn’t make me feel like an asshole, she understood I had been through the wars, understood me and gave me the space to recover. I knew if she slipped through my fingers, I would have been the biggest fool, so the chance she gave me after therapy I changed my outlook and now it is going well. We met each others friends recently and it reassured me that a good healthy relationship is possible as long as you communicate.

    Before the last round of therapy, I made the mistake of comparing and transference. It is when you start to compare, your fear takes over and you act out. You will end up sabotaging something with potential the moment you do that, I can guarantee you will convince yourself your ex was better because you are not allowing yourself to experience a relationship in the same way you did with your ex, especially if it was your ex was your first real relationship. You are also on the lookout for any flaw which will reaffirm your ex was the best. This is dangerous as unless you open your heart again and be willing to assess an individual on their own unique merits by giving it the time to flourish naturally, you will screw up relationship after relationship and lose out on your own potential happiness. Like intimacy, for example, on my first few dates with my current partner, I had all these expectations, partly being a male but I didn’t realise how unfair I was being, the things I loved about my ex took months to develop and to expect that right away from someone new was immature and I had not completely grown, even transference was occurring when I though my current partner was going to do something the ex did but in reality, they are doing nothing at all and when I discussed this with my current partner after we reunited she was so understanding. It was all FEAR. I almost ruined this relationship by not giving it a real chance.

    The physical intimacy, do not worry about when you have a partner who meets your emotional needs and is understanding that part will happen. You will not be loner, learn from the experience but do not let it control your mindset. Take time out, work on other goals, when you re-enter the dating arena be ready to go in open-hearted, confident and leave the past where it belongs so you can give the person in front of you a real chance.

    Tim

    #360697
    Tim
    Participant

    Also you do not owe this boy an explanation after the way he used you for sex. Be strong and cut him off and block on every platform. He will try and weasel his way back into your life with false promises and lies if you give him an opportunity. You’ll continue the cycle of toxicity, which will chip away at your self worth further. Cut him off without any conversation and work on your self esteem.

    Tim

    #360696
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi,

    Reading this as a male made me feel incredibly ashamed, I apologise that this was your first experience.

    You have taken the first step, in recognising this relationship is toxic and I’m sorry but the harsh reality is he is using you for his own needs only. You deserve someone who keeps you safe and wants to wine and dine you. Puts effort into creating a bond or building a connection for a relationship.

    It saddens me someone has taken advantage of you being vulnerable. Love can make you blind to the reality of the situation, I see you are young and thought by giving him sexual favours would make him love you. Many despicable men will take advantage of you in that way which is why it is important to guard and protect yourself in future from engaging in sex so soon.

    You obviously regret it thus continued trying to make it work. However, we all make mistakes, do no make further mistake of subjecting yourself to being disrespected and further used. Do not try to justify it. Walk away and cut off all contact. You will hurt but heal in time. In future, if you do not want casual sex and more meaningful sex do not give in until you have commitment and know the guy is serious about you.

    You were naive but do not let this define your future relationships. Take it as a harsh lesson and seek better for yourself as you deserve so much better.

    Tim

    #360516
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Sammy,

    I empathise with your situation. Previously I posted how much reading this thread took me back to my very own experience. That’s what it was an experience, I no longer dwell on it, it was a road I had to take to get me to where I am today. I’m a much better person and stronger as a result. You too will make it out. It just takes time and willpower.

    1)Do men miss women/do dates carry significance for them?
    Do not be fooled by the misconception of men being devoid of emotions. In general, at first most men go into denial, compartmentalise and carry on but shortly after it hits them incredibly hard, some like myself lose themselves. So let me reassure you even a brief encounter as long as there was any genuine connection formed then he too will be thinking about you especially on anniversaries/with any associated memories and I’m sure he will be missing you but this doesn’t mean he wants to be with you. For that to happen a person has to make the effort to change and convey this through action. This applies to both genders.

    2) How to move on?

    I will not dictate to you what you should and shouldn’t do. That is your choice and decision to make, if you want to go back into that relationship you will make that choice and if your self worth is low you most likely will despite knowing the relationship was unfulfilling and unhealthy. The outcome will be the same.

    I hit rock bottom unfortunately to see the light. There will come a point when you grow weary, you’ll catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and question what you have become, why you let someome who doesn’t even value and love you in the same way because if they did then all this pain would not exist. You gave so much control over your mind to this person, that you lost yourself and spiralled. And finally surrender for your own good. If you have good self esteem and love for your sanity. It will come much quicker. In the end I walked away for good . If you are determined to walk away then here are some tips:

    Firstly you need to learn to separate the emotions. Think logically. Sex is a drug, it deceives and fools people, both men and women, so I would advise against using that as a reason to return, I say this as a man with strong desires, the short term thrill of the physical connection will be great but when your partner has not changed and still unable to fulfill those same needs which caused the issues to begin with then you’ll find yourself in that toxic cycle once again as your needs seep out remaining unfulfilled. It is not worth putting yourself in that situation for the short buzz of the physical connection you once shared.

    One chance and walk away for good. This is my number one rule now, if your partner has been given this and doesn’t grow then that should be a warning sign informing you this person is actually selfish and can not handle the responsibilities of a relationship. If you chose to have a relationship, then you must take the needs of your partner into consideration. So your choices consequently need to change and adapt, an example would be when deciding on a significant purchase, you look at how this decision will impact your significant other, your future together etc. If your partner isn’t doing this and flaky, then this behaviour is engrained and very hard to change.

    I have learned if a relationship doesn’t progress after the initial honeymoon phase of 6-12 months, it is probably because someone isn’t willing or able to be vulnerable emotionally to take the big leap and risk to opening up and moving into deeper territory. They don’t see you as the one because if they did trust me they would fight for it.

    When I read your questions I knew right away you were asking the wrong questions. To really move on, the focus shifts onto yourself. What do I deserve? You should no longer be focusing on him, what he may be doing, thinking etc. You need to love yourself. If you don’t you will be your own downfall.

    I suffered a mental breakdown, an alcoholic and gambling addiction and without a strong support network and therapy would have most likely not be around to tell this story.

    So don’t spend your day drinking yourself into oblivion for a man who wouldn’t do the same for you 😉 Your body and mind are precious, one day the right man will appreciate and love you entirety. That is someone worth dedicating to.

    Have a glass of wine or chug a beer today. But do not use it as a crutch. Celebrate the years you have chosen to not waste and ahead of you that you have to find someone who loves you completely.

    One of the truest signs of self-love is when you love yourself enough to walk away for good from things that are not healthy for you. If their energy is not aligned with yours, if they are not giving you the love that you need, then it’s time to walk away. You will find yourself again. I assure you whether you remain single or enter a new relationship, you’ll be a much better and stronger person for having overcome this rather than trying to retrieve it.

    Tim

    #360258
    Tim
    Participant

    @Lazysnorlax, I will not lie, a few years down the line she did come back. However, I had grown, done the work on myself to realise it was not a healthy relationship. I chose then to walk away.   I’m in a much healthier relationship now. So do not give up, take time, and realise what you deserve. Reading you didn’t want to conjure hate for her is a testament to how much you love her. She lost out, not you. Go live and find someone who will love you in the same way.

    Tim

    #360256
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Melissa,

    You seem fairly young? How old are you? Forgive me for being presumptuous as you haven’t given much detail so I will fill in some blanks for now.

    It reads as if your friend realised through your actions/words you were going to/did reject him? So he has cut contact or withdrawn? Do not take this personally, it requires a lot of courage to put your feelings out there and then further strength to withdraw from the person you want, I’m sure he would have wanted to remain friends, but remaining friends with unreciprocated feelings is not easy nor healthy. So your friend is being mature, he is not investing in a low-quality friendship because when feelings become involved in friendships, the dynamic changes.

    Life experience you asked for, but without knowing your age I will not overburden you with my background. What I shall say is, relationships will always require both people to be vulnerable to move forward. Vulnerable in a way that you would normally avoid after being hurt in the past. This means willing to take a leap and accepting rejection as an outcome.

    Putting up walls is normal, the great thing is you seem to recognise you were acting out of FEAR. Being with someone new is unknown and uncertain can quite honestly raise anxious feelings for anyone, more so for people who have been hurt before. You can’t live life in fear if you want to experience love, so if you see something special in him, I’d say it is your turn to be brave.

    How? Reach out and have a simple conversation, communicate. That is all it takes, don’t overcomplicate things by getting inside your head. If he has had his feelings rejected by you, be willing to see how things are playing out from his perspective, and be willing to adjust and empathise with them when you can. One conversation can lead to a new journey, do not let the fear of rejection stop you from looking back with regret at not having given it a chance. If he doesn’t want to continue and cuts you off then that is ok, chalk it up to another experience and you will have learned he was not the one for you,  but you’ll never have lost the opportunity as you tried.

    Right now you can sit and contemplate but nothing will ever get off the ground in that manner, so be open and willing to communicate.

    Any other help, welcome to ask.

    Tim

    #360249
    Tim
    Participant

    Thank you Anita, I shall try to continue.

    #359759
    Tim
    Participant

    Thank you Anita. I appreciate your insight and help. I hope I can return the favour to others on this forum too.

    #359758
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Lazysnorlax,

    I’ve been in a very similar situation where my ex wanted to focus on her own goals and thought the relationship restricted her. We separated but I eventually got her back. However the same reasons and patterns repeated themselves. I treated this woman with the utmost respect, catered to all her needs and was flexible. Yet she never once said I love you or stopped to think, how she could meet my needs. A very selfish way to be in a relationship if all you do is take and not have any responsibility or regard for your partners needs. This meant despite my love for her, her and I were never the right fit. I made some foolish mistakes by leaving my job, putting a deposit down etc. So please so not lose yourself or sink yourself because it is so easy to spiral out of control when you have a person on a pedestal. As Victor suggested move on, work on yourself and don’t hold out hope for someone who couldn’t provide you with what you needed when the time came and instead chose to walk away. It comes from loving yourself first.

    Tim

    #359756
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Sammy,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>You are welcome to pick my brain. I would be happy to help someone avoid my mistakes or even just offer a Male perspective to overcome the fallout. What can I help you with?</p>
     

    Tim

     

    #359755
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for the confidence boost. Anxiety always makes you see the negative perspective of any situation. As you pointed out, I have a woman who is definitely more invested than my ex ever was. She is eager to meet my friends too and is making effort and compromises thus I shouldn’t self sabotage because I’m used to a certain pattern of behaviour. Slow and steady wins the race.

    #359540
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi @Harli,

    Being a man, I agree with Tony. It appears he is not as invested as you are. You most definitely deserve better, if he loved you then there would be an equal investment and you’d be met in the middle, this is true of any relationship. The thing about LDR is a lot of men require the physical presence of their significant other. If they are not seeing you regularly then the relationship can head downhill pretty rapidly. Both individuals need to be 100% in and work a tad harder with LDR. Do not waste your time and energy if after such a long time your needs are still not being met, chances are you’ve both just become accustomed to the status quo. To move relationships forward it requires energy, effort, and growth from both.

    Even if you love him, believe me when I say the unfulfillment will keep rising and eventually cause a toxic dynamic or resentment. You deserve to be loved in the way you want, go find that instead of settling. By setting a significant other free if they actually love you, they will not be able to be without you and within few months will fight to meet you in the middle. I wouldn’t hold out hope. Instead go focus on yourself, like Tony said find someone closer and enjoy having a person who meets your needs too.

    Tim

    #359539
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi @Brandy,

    Yes, we had a good discussion, again communication in a relationship is key and it turns out she decided to introduce her friends, so I could eventually do the same in return because she is excited as me to progress forward. I pointed out I was very anxious and would appreciate an open gathering where I could bring a few chums and we can do a joint garden party and she agreed. So all is well, however, still anxious as I do want to impress – this is normal and hopefully with my friends alongside me. I’ll leave a good first impression!

    @Anita – I am cautious now as I do not want to repeat the same mistakes as my first serious relationship. My ex used to proclaim I was pressurising her when I used to question why she was not willing to move forward, this “pressure” I do not want to unknowingly apply to my new girlfriend. However, the discussion with my current girlfriend highlighted the importance of communication for a healthy relationship, we discussed it maturely and came to a fair compromise, which is not something I would ever have been able to achieve with my ex. I always ended up sacrificing to meet her needs. We all also have the propensity to overthink events, which can make us anxious, so enjoying the moment and regularly reminding ourselves that our minds can trick you is key.

     

    #359374
    Tim
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I perhaps ought to reframe it, I should feel the excitement of meeting her new friends, after all this is a move in a positive direction. It is the pesky self-doubt creeping back in because I haven’t been in a serious relationship since my last heartbreak and I really would like this to go well. I just needed a little reassurance from a neutral. Talk it out, I shall. I’ll keep you posted. Thank you.

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