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  • #413950
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    I am sorry about this new development and that it causes you so much pain. I say it’s for your own good that this guy rejected you – because I still believe he’s a very troubled person, unable to be in a healthy relationship. I know that reason is one thing, emotions are another, so it’s hard for you to not feel hurt. But at least, know that he is not a catch (except that he is good looking and knows how to charm women away) and that you wouldn’t be happy with someone who has alcohol and drug problems.

    Well people called him a player because he would get super drunk and then fool around with women only to not want more from them but players don’t need alcohol to be wuth women. My colleague who just told that he and that girl are a thing goes out with him and x and y and she says he is charming and flirts around. Like her behaviour today gave it away but he was treating her the same way he acts around any other women, No nerves or anything.

    Well, it seems he can be charming and flirting around both when he is drunk and when he isn’t. I don’t know if he is a player, who likes to see women fall for his charm but then reject them. Or he is a “clueless Adonis”, who is simply a magnet for women, but his intention is not to mislead them and make them fall for him.

    As for his treatment of you, I am not sure but it seems to me that he did mislead you, because he showed interest in you, and then he backed off. And later, he had the nerve to stand near you at the office party, and not utter a word. It can’t be said he was clueless about his effect on you (he knew you had a crush on him), and yet, there he was, standing near you. I didn’t like that behavior and I told you so already. It felt manipulative.

    This tells me that he indeed might be a player, i.e. that he has the need for girls to like him and desire him, but he doesn’t have an intention to be with them. I am not claiming this, since this guy is hard to read, but based on this incident, it could be the case.

    Whatever it is, I am glad that he actually said No to you, because you would have been hurt. I know it hurts you now too, but you might have been much more hurt if you entered the relationship with him. I am almost sure about that…

    Iyou are right. I take on too much resposibility for other people emotions and him being weird around me and if they are gonna be a couple then he should talk to me like a friend.

    Yes, you’re not responsible for other people’s emotions. But also, don’t expect that he should talk to you like a friend. You can’t force him to talk to you like a friend if he for some reason feels anxious around you. So allow him to feel awkward around you. His awkwardness doesn’t say anything about you – it only says things about him. So if I were you, I wouldn’t expect anything from him.

    Instead, I’d try to spend as little time as possible in his vicinity. Perhaps you can work in the opposite shift from him? If you end up getting triggered around him – specially now that he’s messing with this girl – the best would be to limit your exposure to him.

     

    #413979
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    I agree, being with him wouldn’t have been a good idea there wouldn’t have been any guarantee that he wouldn’t have cheated when drunk or high, and from the sound of it he’s still doing it even though he just started seeing this girl. Her affection towards him was very clear based on her position he was not showing any emotion probably because they were at work. He was only facing and talking to the girl in front of him and only started talking to the girl after her friend left. She was also the one who kept asking him to join for drinks, and she was the one who wanted him to join for drinks the day that he just nodded to me. This was the thing i feared not being with him is bad enough but knowing that this girl is getting what i want is the worst.

    I gonna try not to expect things from him, he been weird around me almost the entire time we’ve known each other he wont change around me now. There’s clearly something that makes him react like this only he knows the real reason why. It hurts and I know this will take time, I’m counting down to him leaving then it will be a lot easier. I barely see him at work he only works three days a week now (has been since septemper) and sometimes he has been working on days I have been off work.

    #414028
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    This was the thing i feared not being with him is bad enough but knowing that this girl is getting what i want is the worst.

    I can imagine it feels bad… but try to remind yourself that you don’t really want what this guy has to offer. He can’t give you true love, caring, appreciation…. in short, he can’t give you a healthy and stable relationship. He is still fighting his own demons, so he has very little love to give.

    I gonna try not to expect things from him, he been weird around me almost the entire time we’ve known each other he wont change around me now. There’s clearly something that makes him react like this only he knows the real reason why.

    Yes, he has been weird. You’ve been trying to figure it out, and I too was coming up with all kinds of explanations. But at the end of the day, we don’t know why he has behaved like that and what’s in his head. Only he knows that. The only thing you can do is to let go, even to let go of trying to understand. Again, it’s important that you know it’s not your fault and not your responsibility.

    It hurts and I know this will take time, I’m counting down to him leaving then it will be a lot easier.

    I was thinking about you and what seems specially hurtful is that he was indeed showing interest in you during July-Sept. He was treating you differently than other girls, and it wasn’t all in your head. And then, when you finally approached him, he denied that he was interested and said “sorry, I don’t see you that way”.

    So in a sense, he denied your reality – something that you’ve already experienced with your sister and parents. And not only that, but during those 2 months that he was showing interest, you hopes went up, you got more and more attached, and when he denied it all, no wonder it hurt so much.

    So I just want to say that I understand how hard this is for you… Please know that none of it is your fault, and that you didn’t do anything wrong.

    I hope you can stay away from him as much as possible and that over time, you’ll be less and less affected by him.

     

    #414068
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    It’s excruciatenly. It hurts so much, it’s weird how I react stronger to losing someone I never had than some of the abuse I went through.

    My friend who works reception with him says the same. That he is repeating the same pattern, he’s still chatting up other women, using alcohol, drugs and women to distract himself from whatever pain he’s in.

    It’s was from April – Sept from he started working there. He was just a lot more extroverted and at times cocky. So it was a long time building up hope. But it fits my timeline, I usually spend 6 months analysizing everything to keep me from getting hurt, before I take a step forward. I need a lot of reassurance before I start believing that someone likes me, and I fear that him being with her will make people think that I was naiv and it was all in my head.  I struggle with this a lot. I was in a similar situation pre pandemic with a guy from work. He showed a lot of interest in me and only me, calling me princess and every other woman baby talking about me in a romantic sense to the guys at work etc. then after several months he got fired, he ghosted me shotly after. It left me heartbroken because where were the signs that he didn’t like me? I was confused. I need to know that I can trust my own perception going forward.

    It takes a hella lot for me to attach myself to someone and it takes a hella lot for me to detach. I hope this year will give me a bit of a break, I think I deserve it.

    #414103
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    It’s was from April – Sept from he started working there. He was just a lot more extroverted and at times cocky.

    Was he extroverted and cocky with you too in the beginning? Or he was always a little awkward with you?

    In fact, now is the first time that I am having a picture of this guy being extroverted and cocky, i.e. of him being sort of a charmer (he is charming and flirts around… No nerves or anything.). So far I didn’t think he was so extremely<i> </i>self-confident around women, because you said that with you he was rather insecure, right? He told you that he too suffers from anxiety, and you thought that this is what you two have in common.

    So it’s almost like two different personalities: one is extrovert, self-confident and even cocky, and the other anxious, awkward, insecure…. I am wondering – did he start behaving oddly around you only after you confessed that you like him? Or even before that?

    As for the guy at your previous work place:

    I was in a similar situation pre pandemic with a guy from work. He showed a lot of interest in me and only me, calling me princess and every other woman baby talking about me in a romantic sense to the guys at work etc. then after several months he got fired, he ghosted me shotly after. It left me heartbroken because where were the signs that he didn’t like me?

    Right… well, if he called every woman baby, it shows a certain type of character – possibly a flatterer. I mean, if someone is a little bit flirty with every woman, and then even more flirty with you, I wouldn’t trust them too much, because flirtation is just a part of their “spiel”.

    So I don’t know, maybe he was like that, but you liked it that he gave you a lot of attention and spoke to you nicely, and didn’t notice the red flags, such as him being “charming” with everybody?

    #414108
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    I mean he was less awkward in the first two months, he was indicating that he wanted to spend time with me, but never actually asked. Like always asking me when i would finish work (same time as him) then he was about to ask something then he would stop himself. He did that a lot so i was always left wondering what he wanted to say. Once he sounded cocky, he was alone dealing with a huge group and it seemed like he was boosting a bit, later found out that he really can’t handle the groups it’s too much for him. He would talk to me but without actually saying anything. That changed the moment he asked me to go to the bar with him. I indicated that i liked spending time with him when i asked about him teaching me karate. When talking to other women he is using the same tone of voice and he can look them in the eye. When i told some of my colleagues about it they were surprised cuz they didn’t notice anything from my behaviour. I become very avoident to the people i am atracted to which i need to learn how to deal with. I know now that it’s not social anxiety but a fear of vulnerbility that triggers my anxiety, and a fear of rejection. I’m fine until it gets to close. Same happened with the good guy last year it was easy until he got too close then my defense mechamism can in and I had to force myself not to run away, it was really hard at first but then it be came the best thing.

    He called them baby (part of his culture) but didn’t flirt with them. He used to call his x girlfriend princess. I wasn’t into him at first, i had my eye on another guy but he didn’t give me anything back so i didn’t think more of it. It wasn’t until they boys in the Kitchen told me that he kept talking about me all the time, they thought he was a little in love with me. Asking them if they thought he had a change and if scandinavian women prefer exotic men. He told them that one day he would take me out on a date, I also overhead some conversations where they were trying to get him around a lot of beautiful single women but he said no he had one women on his mind. Lot’s of stuff like that, but my colleagues (men) came to me that he liked me, and they were getting a little tired of hearing him taking about me.

    #414120
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    Oh I see – so your former colleague wasn’t really a flirty type, he just called every woman baby because of his culture (perhaps he was Italian? 🙂 ). He was telling everybody in the office about you, but he never made a move. He called you princess, but he never asked you out on a date, although he was telling to your guy coworkers that he would…

    Do you think it’s possible that he chickened out because you were a bit closed off and guarded?

    I am asking because you say that you are very careful not to fall for someone too easily:

    I usually spend 6 months analysizing everything to keep me from getting hurt, before I take a step forward. I need a lot of reassurance before I start believing that someone likes me

    It takes a hella lot for me to attach myself to someone

    I become very avoident to the people i am atracted to… I know now that it’s not social anxiety but a fear of vulnerbility that triggers my anxiety, and a fear of rejection. I’m fine until it gets to close.

    So maybe you acted a bit cold/guarded with him, and it discouraged him from making a move?

    Based on what you said, it seems that in general, you’re very guarded around the guys you like and even pretend that you don’t like them (I become very avoident to the people i am atracted to). And this pretending can last for quite a long time, maybe even months (you said it takes around 6 months till you’re sure that the guy likes you).

    If so, perhaps you’re sending the wrong message to the guy you like, and by the time you’re sure he likes you, he sort of loses interest?

    This is just a speculation, Katrine. I am trying to understand why it so happens that a guy seems to like you, but doesn’t make a move….

     

    #414132
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes, different culture he was brazillian 🙂 It could be, they said he didn’t have a lot of confidence and he asked a collegue (male) if scandinavian women prefer exotic men (i was the only scandi person there) and one day he asked me if I had a boyfriend when I said no he said good.

    Well people have actually told me the same. On one occasion my friend asked me why I kept saying no to go for a drink with a guy that I was starting catching feelings for, I didn’t see it as me rejecting him like with X and Y my brain told me that he was only asking to be polite and not actually meant anything with it. When my anxiety kicks in be that because my crush is there or any other situation that makes me anxious I feel like it’s written on my forehead but when I’ve mentioned it to people the always seem surprised, they say I’m really good at hiding it.

    The guy from last year did in fact mention it. When I moved in with him (from hostel to hotel) he said that he nearly gave up several times cuz he didn’t feel i gave anything back. Two situations made him keep trying. I told him how much I liked being in his company and that I thought he was so easy to talk to. And our third kiss, the first two was bad on my behalf  I was very stiff cuz It felt very strange to me, but the third I put my arms around him and kissed him (I initiated). He also asked why I never initiated cuddeling it was always him, I wanted to but I was afraid he would push me away seeing me as clingy.

    And yeah 6 months is how long I usually keep my cool before I take a step forward, and it is a really long time to be testing someone. It’s kinda like a self fulfilled profecy.

    #414151
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    Well people have actually told me the same. On one occasion my friend asked me why I kept saying no to go for a drink with a guy that I was starting catching feelings for, I didn’t see it as me rejecting him like with X and Y my brain told me that he was only asking to be polite and not actually meant anything with it.

    Well, when a guy asks you for a drink (I mean, you alone and not a bunch of other people), it usually means he likes you. They rarely do it out of politeness… except in some special situations, e.g. you go on a business trip with your male colleague and you have to wait together at the airport. So your colleague asks “shall we get something to drink?”, basically to kill time. Otherwise, no, they don’t just do it for no reason. So next time a guy asks you for a drink, and you like him, don’t hesitate too much 🙂

    Alright, it seems you’ve been consistently rejecting/staying away from people who showed interest, acting as if you were not interested. That was your defense mechanism against the pain of rejection. It didn’t even show on your face that you might be shy or anxious (you thought it showed, but others told you it didn’t) – so the guy might have easily concluded that you’re not interested. (I don’t know how exactly you behaved: maybe you avoided the person, didn’t smile back at them, avoided eye contact?) So after some time of them expressing interest, and you sort of staying cold, they gave up.

    Would you say that this is what happened?

    On the flip side of that, you said you went out with guys you didn’t really like, and it felt easy:

    I have it easier being with someone i don’t have feelings for because they can’t hurt me the same way. Like i been doing hook ups (never went the whole way) with men at it felt easy.

    So a kind of a paradox happened: that you went out with the guys you didn’t like, and you behaved pretty confident, open and relaxed around them, right? While you were avoiding and sending wrong signals to the guys you actually liked.

    So yes, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, because you got what you didn’t want, and didn’t get what you wanted…

    Do you feel that now you would be ready to slowly start changing that pattern, after you’ve healed some of your fear of rejection?

    I think that taking initiative and making a move towards the hostel guy was actually a great thing, because you’ve finally broken the pattern of avoidance and pretending that you don’t care…

     

    #414160
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes, I just feel like it’s written on my face plus people always told me if i guy likes you would know but I’m always in doubt. Like with the guy last year, he was in the top bunk i was in the bottom one and I would put up a towel to get more privacy he came up and told me that he could ask in reception for another one as to help me. They told me that he did it because he liked me, but he was a gentleman so i didn’t think too much of it.

    I don’t avoid eye contact when they are speaking directly to me, but if in a group i tend to avoid eye contact with the one i like (same as the guy from the hostel does) i go go over to them and start conversations, and if i see them in the bar i go home because of my anxiety. I’ll reply when spoken to but I keep my distance. Like when he kept saying but who is gonna pour me a beer? I felt that by waiting the 30 min he would figure out i did it because of him and he would see me as clingy, but looking back waiting to go with two colleagues to go to the same party wasn’t gonna make me look clingy or weird.

    Yes I definitly see a pattern. It was so weird that it’s easier to be close to someone you don’t have feelings for than someone i like. But yeah now i can start to break this pattern and I didn’t realise that I already did 🙂

    #414174
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    people always told me if i guy likes you would know but I’m always in doubt

    well, it’s not always that obvious, because it can be that someone is a gentleman and kind, but doesn’t have romantic feelings for you. The example you gave, with a guy offering you an extra towel, could be an example of that… So you’re right to be cautious not to mistake politeness and kindness in general with liking you/having feelings for you.

    But if someone wants to spend a lot of time around you, makes flirty comments (just to you), if you notice them watch you sometimes and they don’t remove their gaze instantly but keep it on you for a second longer – those are all signs that a guy likes you. And of course, if they invite you for a drink – that’s a clear sign.

    i go go over to them and start conversations, and if i see them in the bar i go home because of my anxiety. I’ll reply when spoken to but I keep my distance.

    I guess you meant to say “I don’t go over to them and start conversations”? If so, that’s not such a huge problem because not everyone is that self-confident and extroverted. You can be seen as shy, and that’s okay.

    However, the fact that you leave the place when you see them – that’s a big problem. It sends a message to the guy that you don’t even want to communicate, that you’re not interested in them. If you avoid every opportunity to spend time with the guy you like, that’s a problem.

    I’ll reply when spoken to but I keep my distance.

    Is it that you reply briefly, but then you don’t ask them anything back? The conversation sort of dies, unless the guy keeps asking?

    Like when he kept saying but who is gonna pour me a beer? I felt that by waiting the 30 min he would figure out i did it because of him and he would see me as clingy, but looking back waiting to go with two colleagues to go to the same party wasn’t gonna make me look clingy or weird.

    Yes, he was sort of flirting with you, wanting you to stay for another half an hour, showing you he likes your company. If we like someone, we want to spend as much time as possible around them. It doesn’t make us clingy. Or better say, no wonder we want to cling to (be around) someone we like. So next time, don’t hesitate to “cling” to someone you like, specially if they want to hang around you as well 🙂

    Yes I definitly see a pattern. It was so weird that it’s easier to be close to someone you don’t have feelings for than someone i like.

    You’ve actually explained it so well already: because it hurts less should they reject you. The stakes aren’t so high.

    I was thinking about the fact that you went out with the guys you didn’t like, and it occurred to me that it might have been a sort of “exposure therapy” for you – to get over the fear of men? I am saying this because you were told in your childhood to force yourself to do the things you fear… so perhaps you applied the same principle to your dating life, in order to get over the fear of men? If so, it’s only logical you’d rather date someone you don’t really like, because they’ll hurt you less than someone you like…

    Do you think this could have been the case?

    But yeah now i can start to break this pattern and I didn’t realise that I already did

    Yes, that was a great success and a major breakthrough for you – breaking the old, destructive patterns!

     

    #414392
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Well then I can trust my instinct more, and if they should reject me it’s better in the beginning than later.

    I have been leaving when my crush is near, like when people come for coffee I will have a chat with them but usually leaves if it’s someone I like due to my anxiety going up.

    I probably feel so clingy due to my sister always feeling I took up too much space, she could talk about herself for hours but if I talked for ten minutes she thought it was too much.

    I never thought about it (being like forced exposure therapy) but now you mention it it makes sense. I never avoided the ones I didn’t really wanted to be with and I would always end up with them. But I was also surprised that being psysically intimate with someone I didn’t care about my body was more relaxed. The only guy I felt safe with and liked made me shake uncontrollably. My teeth even chattered. I just couldn’t control it.

    #414416
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    Well then I can trust my instinct more, and if they should reject me it’s better in the beginning than later.

    Yes, definitely. If you like someone, and you feel they like you too, you don’t need to doubt it so strongly and avoid them at all costs. Because chances are they might like you too – you’re not imagining it and it’s not all in your head. So try not to avoid them but stay around them and be open for a conversation.

    Maybe it’s easier said than done, but what’s important is that you don’t immediately get into the avoidance mode, where you tend to run away. Rather, try to stick around (even though it’s hard) and see what happens next…

    I have been leaving when my crush is near, like when people come for coffee I will have a chat with them but usually leaves if it’s someone I like due to my anxiety going up.

    Yes I understand – when you like someone, your anxiety goes up and it’s almost an instinctual reaction to run away. But you’ve realized in the meanwhile how harmful this defense mechanism is… and you’ve even made a breakthrough and let it go by confessing your true feelings to the hostel guy. So you’ve already had experience in breaking the pattern, so I hope it will be easier for you from now on.

    In fact, I am thinking that maybe you can use “exposure therapy” for the situations when you like they guy and they seem to like you too. You sort of “force” yourself to stay, even if your anxiety goes up and your habitual reaction would be to leave.

    I probably feel so clingy due to my sister always feeling I took up too much space, she could talk about herself for hours but if I talked for ten minutes she thought it was too much.

    Yes, I can imagine that your needs were absolutely not respected and all the attention went to your sister. And you were even made guilty for having needs of your own. I hope you’re slowly healing from that false conditioning…

    And also, bonding is a normal human need – to stay close and bonded to someone we love. So you wanting to stay close to the person you like doesn’t make you needy or clingy – it makes you human. Please remember that!

    I never thought about it (being like forced exposure therapy) but now you mention it it makes sense. I never avoided the ones I didn’t really wanted to be with and I would always end up with them.

    Right… you weren’t avoiding all men, but only those you liked. Being with the men you didn’t like allowed you to sort of address your fear of men and reduce it a little. And at the same time it kept you safe from your greatest fear: being rejected by someone you really like.

    But I was also surprised that being psysically intimate with someone I didn’t care about my body was more relaxed. The only guy I felt safe with and liked made me shake uncontrollably. My teeth even chattered. I just couldn’t control it.

    It just shows how great was your fear of rejection and abandonment. Loving and caring about someone was associated in your mind with the greatest possible pain – the pain of being abandoned, and as a result, perhaps the fear of destruction and helplessness? If the fear is very strong, it can easily produce such a traumatic response in your body, like uncontrollable shaking, teeth chattering etc…

     

    #414746
    Katrine Nielsen
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Yes I definitly need to trust my instict more, and stop listening to bad advice. All the cliches I’ve heard like if it’s meant to be it will be, always caused a lot of harm because that’s something outside of my control. I need to deal with my anxiety, disorganised attachment, fear of intimacy, low self worth and self sabotaging behaviour. Only then will I be able to have a healthy relationship with another.

    Start with what you were saying. Exposure therapy, trying to stay and not just run away.

    I talking about this has given me soo much perspective on my patterns, my mom send me a link to a therapist over here and she sounds really good. Been on tv and worked with Tony Robbins but I’ts really expensive so I have to save up.

    Weird thing that happened. My friend (the one the cute guy invited to his birthday but couldn’t remember his name) told me he wants to date me. Apparently everybody at work think we are dating, and he is interested. Didn’t see that one coming. We have been working together (he’s a chef in the café) since June and he’s never flirted with me or anything like that. He also said that in his culture they don’t beat around the Bush and tell someone straight away, so that took me completly off guard.

     

    #414777
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Katrine,

    good to hear from you!

    All the cliches I’ve heard like if it’s meant to be it will be, always caused a lot of harm because that’s something outside of my control.

    right…  well, there is some truth in “if it’s meant to be it will be”, because you cannot force love. BUT you’ve got to do your part in making it happen, e.g. not run away from the guy you like. So you’re right: do your part, do what is in your control, and then allow it happen, if the other party wants it too…

    Start with what you were saying. Exposure therapy, trying to stay and not just run away.

    I am glad you like it! Yes, I think this could be a good kind of exposure therapy because you would be doing it from a good place: a place of greater love for yourself and more self-confidence, knowing that there is nothing wrong with you and that there are many people who like you and appreciate your company. Also, I think you’ve realized that staying around the person is a sign of interest and affection, not a sign of clinginess and unhealthy neediness.

    So, I think that you’ve managed to at least question those false beliefs that you’ve had about yourself, and you can now approach the whole dating things from a healthier place.

    I talking about this has given me soo much perspective on my patterns,

    I am so glad you’ve got a better perspective of your patterns, which will make it easier to start healing them. In fact, you’ve already started with the hostel guy – you did break the old unhealthy pattern of avoidance and withdrawal!

    my mom send me a link to a therapist over here and she sounds really good. Been on tv and worked with Tony Robbins but I’ts really expensive so I have to save up.

    Tony Robbins is mostly a coach, not a therapist, although his “interventions” can be quite powerful. But if the person you have in mind is a qualified therapist, and knows how to work with C-PTSD and narcissistic abuse, then sure, go ahead. I just wouldn’t want you to go to some celebrity therapist and spend a lot of money (say double or triple the regular fee), if there’s someone equally qualified but not so famous.

    Weird thing that happened. My friend (the one the cute guy invited to his birthday but couldn’t remember his name) told me he wants to date me. Apparently everybody at work think we are dating, and he is interested.

    Cool! How do you feel about him?

    We have been working together (he’s a chef in the café) since June and he’s never flirted with me or anything like that. He also said that in his culture they don’t beat around the Bush and tell someone straight away, so that took me completly off guard.

    Maybe he started seeing you with new eyes recently? Or maybe he didn’t flirt because he knew you had a crush on the other guy, so he stayed low key?

     

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