September 23, 2022 at 1:35 pm #407350AnonymousGuest
Dear Katrine Nielsen:
“Your reply actually made me tear up because before even reading it that was what I was thinking“- good to read that we are thinking alike!
I read your recent 4 posts and will read any and all additional posts you may s submit before I return to the computer and reply to you further. I’ll be away from the computer soon for hours, and back to your thread in about 17 hours or so.
anitaSeptember 24, 2022 at 12:47 am #407358
I am glad that your first intimate experience was a safe and pleasant one, and that it helped you conquer your fear of intimacy.
Yes we talked a bit today and he is still a bit awkward around me compared to my female colleagues but at least we are over the first contact since the rejection.
No wonder he is still a bit awkward around you – it’s because he still likes you…
It’s still hard cuz i really really like him
I understand that, I understand that rejection hurts… But I wonder if a different approach would be helpful: instead of resenting him for not giving you what you want, or pitying yourself for the lost opportunity, maybe it would help if you viewed him with empathy, knowing that he does like you but is afraid of intimacy. If you look at him with compassion and understanding, knowing that he is similar to you, or similar to how you were before, I think it could help both of you. Your heart will stay open, while he might feel unconditional acceptance, which could have a positive effect on him.
How does that sound to you? Do you think you could view him with compassion (not pity), and be open for a friendly relationship with no romantic expectations from him?September 24, 2022 at 2:44 am #407359
Yes looking at it from that point of view definitly helps. I have learned a whole lot this year and still learning. I know that when you nervous system gets dysregulated you can’t act apropiatly because your brain is only focused on keeping you safe. I know i still react (shut ting down, pushing people away) instead of responding (regulating myself before making any decisions).
I am slowly getting back to my baseline after the “date” i now i am noticing some details i think i missed then.
So after the session and a couple of hours of talking he went i think it’s time to go eat something, what are you doing for the rest of the day? I felt rejected like maybe he wanted me to leave. I said go home and eat as well. Then when we left the park we got to a street with lot’s of restaurants and he went you have to try a turkish restaurant one day (his familie is turkish) feeling down i replied I yeah maybe i will one day. He went like that one right across the street from us that’s turkish. Maybe it was his way of trying to get me to join them. Thinking on how he reacted the day he asked me to go to pub with him just the two of us. Back then he didn’t say hey wanna grab a beer. He asked so what’s your plans for tonight? (establishling that i was free) then he said oh I really cold beer would be good, I agreed (indicating i would be up for going some where) he didn’t ask me until right before we had to go our separate ways so maybe he was trying to get the courage to ask me?
Regarding the whole living in my capital. A month an A half ago he came up to me after work and got a beer he asked me if i could see myself living in other countries. Odd question to just ask a colleague (unless you like them and are moving a road) he also asked what my future plans were, which i replied staying here and then going to live in my capital. Sorry for the long post but the more i talk about it the better i feel.
Every time we came to a standstill my approach was to just go back to square one and talking like friends.September 24, 2022 at 11:31 am #407364AnonymousGuest
Dear Katrine Nielsen:
“I think I got too close and he got scared and shut down. I did the same when he got too close“- I agree. It is interesting, isn’t it, that emotional closeness (a good, healthy thing) can feel like a threat, requiring a shut down.
“he added that he was fuming and taking his anger out on (his brother)”- if the two of you were in a relationship, you’d have to pay attention and see that he does not take his anger out on you.
“.. and being so blinded by his own problems he wasn’t there for (his brother)”- … and you’d have to be prepared for the likelihood that he will not be there for you when he is blinded by his own problems. (If the two of you adequately regulated your emotions, you would be able to be there for each other even when experiencing problems).
“Honestly it nearly made me cry knowing I can trust my own perception of things and I’m not crazy“- you never seemed crazy to me. I think of you as remarkably rational, understanding and insightful.
“Earlier this year I had my first intimate experience with a man it was scary.. terrifying and foreign to me…I had to force myself. It sounds bad but it ended up being the most safe and stable thing I have ever tried. A true gentleman, we were together for three months then his visa expired. And that was hard. Finally, (I) got some love and amazing experiences“-
– Your courage led you to success: C o N g R a T u L a T i O n S !!!
“I have learned a whole lot this year and still learning“- c O n G r A t U l A t I o N s again: the more you learn, the more courage… the more success.
“I know that when your nervous system gets dysregulated you can’t act appropriately because your brain is only focused on keeping you safe“- very well said. Your remarkable understanding and insight (which I mentioned above) is evident in your simple and accurate wording.
“I know I still react (shut ting down, pushing people away) instead of responding (regulating myself before making any decisions)“- again, very well said (if I may say so). When our nervous/ hormonal system is severely overly-excited, the brain-body will automatically shut down and the person will withdraw from any and all social interactions. It is therefore very important to get good at calming ourselves down whenever needed. I do it along this thinking: this over-excitement in between my ears is not necessary. It doesn’t help me deal with the external situation. More and more so, this thinking by itself helps me to calm down/ regulate my emotions.
“I am noticing some details I think I missed then…. he went: I think it’s time to go eat something, what are you doing for the rest of the day?“- when I read what he said (italicized), my first thought was that he wanted the two of you to eat together.
“I felt rejected like maybe he wanted me to leave. I said go home and eat as well“- but your first thought, expecting rejections, was that he wanted you to go away so that he can go and eat without you.
“He didn’t ask me until right before we had to go our separate ways so maybe he was trying to get the courage to ask me?“- I think so, plus fearing rejection himself, he didn’t have enough courage to ask you directly to join him for a meal in a Turkish restaurant, so he went about it indirectly, asking you about your plans for the day (same as his indirect approach in regard to the pub).
“Every time we came to a standstill, my approach was to just go back to square one and talking like friends“- or, you can attempt an honest, direct conversation with him. It will take courage and emotion regulation: two things with which you already experienced success.
anitaSeptember 24, 2022 at 11:39 am #407365
I am glad you find it helpful to see him as a friend, and view him with compassion and positive feelings, rather than resentment.
I have learned a whole lot this year and still learning. I know that when you nervous system gets dysregulated you can’t act apropiatly because your brain is only focused on keeping you safe. I know i still react (shut ting down, pushing people away) instead of responding (regulating myself before making any decisions).
It’s great that you are learning so much, but also applying what you’ve learned in practice. Clearly you are much more regulated and much more self-aware than pre-pandemic, when you said that you liked a guy “but the moment he wanted me i bolted and went with a guy that wasn’t good.” Now you had enough courage to express interest in the guy you like and even to initiate a date.
The only occasion where you got disregulated was in the pub, when another girl was hitting on your guy while you were in the bathroom. Since he engaged in a conversation with her while you were away, you saw it as rejection and went home without saying goodbye. And then didn’t want to communicate with him for a week. But later you returned to your “baseline” and you continued being friends.
It’s completely normal that you sometimes “react” instead of “respond” – we all do that occasionally. But it’s important that you are aware of it and can get to your baseline quicker than before. So you are improving, definitely!
As far as his inquiries about what your plans for the future are, and whether you can see yourself living in a foreign country, those are all signs that he is interested in you. Also, when he asked you what your plans were for the evening – that too shows that he was interested in spending time with you. So there is no doubt that he likes you and wants to spend a lot of time with you…September 26, 2022 at 10:44 am #407522
I getting more and more sure that he in fact does like me and did see it as a date. He bought me coffee, brought a pink yoga mat specially for me, bringing his brother along was probably to ease his anxiety and not act as a chaperone. I talk to a friend and male colleague and he too saw all of this as really good signs. He thinks I should ask him to go for a walk and then I can talk it over with him. It’s probably time for me to be the one to take a step forward an and just say it as it is that i like him not quite sure how though.September 26, 2022 at 11:36 am #407524
Yes relationships seem so scary when you have been hurt by those closets to you.
His post about his anger, struggles with love and being blindwd by his own problems was postede a year ago. He himself is also working on his mental health and trying to make better choises in life which i find to be a very couragious thing and showing that he is self aware.
I am very proud of myself for all the progress i have made since being diagnosed with Complex PTSD. It’s amazing how having the right diagnosis can change your life.
I talked with a male colleague today who also knows him and he said the same that he really is showing that he is interested in me and suggested that i ask him to join me for a walk so I can talk it out with him. It’s time for us to say it like it is that we like each other. Not sure exactly how to go about it.September 26, 2022 at 12:15 pm #407531AnonymousGuest
Dear Katrine Nielsen:
I am glad to read that you are very proud of yourself for all the progress you have made!!! Good to read that he too is working on his mental health and on making better choices. About how to go about talking it out with him: how about talking it out with him in writing, at this point: this way you will have all the time you need to express yourself clearly and he will less likely to get overwhelmed and to shut down, being that he will be reading what you tell him in the privacy of his home, with no pressure to respond quickly…?
anitaSeptember 26, 2022 at 11:15 pm #407537
how about telling him that you’d like to try that turkish restaurant that he suggested, and if he would like to join you and show you what the best dishes are. Since now you know that he likes you, chances are you won’t shut down if he acts a bit awkward or insecure once you are there. You can keep being warm and friendly, and I think things will develop from there…
It’s good to know that he too is working on his mental health and improving his self-awareness!September 27, 2022 at 9:08 am #407545
My colleague told me to ask him to go for a walk, since all my commubication with him was online. I asked him to meet up for a chat and he is up for it. And when he said goodbye he called me Kat, he only started doing that after the housewarming before he never used my name so i take that as a good sign. I will apologize for my behaviour and probably say that I believe that we both like each other but don’t know exactly how to go about it. Or something like that.September 27, 2022 at 9:11 am #407546
Yes I feel more confident after talking to my guy colleague. He kept saying that all of this was really positiv, and he was surprised that I didn’t pick up on the turkish restaurant thing. Hopefully i can mens the damage i have made.September 27, 2022 at 10:00 am #407547AnonymousGuest
Dear Katrine Nielsen:
Asking him for a walk and then talking during the walk or when the two of you sit down after walking, on a park bench or on the grass, may be best. Maybe you can bring with you a couple of sandwiches and something to drink (hot chocolate, let’s say, if it fits the weather) and have a tiny picnic in the park (comfort food and drink may.. comfort the two of you).
“when he said goodbye he called me Kat… I take that as a good sign“- all the signs indicate that he indeed likes you as a girlfriend. But people are complex, some more complex than others. This is why no one can predict how he will respond to you in the future. I know of a man in real-life who exhibits many signs that he likes a particular woman and wants her in his life, in one way or another, and yet, when he talks about her outside her presence: he insists, loud and clear, that he doesn’t want her in his life at all.
“I will apologize for my behaviour and probably say that I believe that we both like each other but don’t know exactly how to go about it. Or something like that“- I think that it’s a good idea that you apologize for shutting him down in the past: explain to him just a bit why you shut him down (he should identify with your reason, since it’s the same for him), then pause. By pausing, you will be giving him the opportunity to respond. If he doesn’t say anything, or he mumbles something and looks/ sounds very awkward, talk about something else (birds in the park, people walking by, and/ or pour hot cocoa, etc.), giving him the opportunity to recover from his awkwardness.
When the two of you are calm enough (not too nervous, not too stressed), tell him that you like him very much and that you noticed in his behavior signs that he likes you back, like him calling you Kat. Ask him if he called you Kat because he likes you in a special way, like you figured, or if you figured incorrectly. What do you think about my suggestions so far?
anitaSeptember 27, 2022 at 1:17 pm #407551
Really good ideas. I was thinking about apologizing for my behaviour and say when my anxiety kicks in i become rude without knowing (shut ting down, ignoring people) and it’s hard for me to keep a conversation going(he had to constanly be the conversation starter) and then tell him i apreciate him taking time meeting me and give a yoga session (something positiv that I unfortunatly didn’t do on the day) then maybe something like but I don’t believe you didn’t read any intention into this, I think you like me as much as I like you. You had several chanses to cancel but didn’t you could have left soon after the session but you stayed. When you talked about getting something to eat and what my plans where I took that as a I want you to leave but now i am not so sure. Maybe mention that i think we both struggle letting people close (he talks about trauma and psychology) letting him know it’s not easy for me as well. Not quite sure how to end. Maybe I’ve tried reading you for months but I tired of it (letting him know that i have been avoident but only because i couldn’t read him. The script in my head keeps changing.September 27, 2022 at 1:42 pm #407554AnonymousGuest
Dear Katrine Nielsen:
“I was thinking about apologizing for my behaviour and say when my anxiety kicks in I become rude without knowing (shut ting down, ignoring people) and it’s hard for me to keep a conversation going… and then tell him I appreciate him taking time meeting me and give a yoga session” – so far, so good.
“then maybe something like but I don’t believe you didn’t read any intention into this, I think you like me as much as I like you…“- not clear enough. You mentioned that he has attention deficit, if I remember correctly. I do too and it was hard for me to follow this part. It is too complicated for me.
“Maybe mention that I think we both struggle letting people close (he talks about trauma and psychology) letting him know it’s not easy for me as well“- I think it’s a good idea, to say this.
“Maybe I’ve tried reading you for months but I tired of it (letting him know that I have been avoidant but only because I couldn’t read him“- not a good idea to add this: too complicated.
“Not quite sure how to end“- end the conversation simply. Make it all simple, beginning to end. Do not elaborate much. Let him know clearly that you like him as a potential boyfriend and you’d like to know what he feels about it, and if he would like to be your boyfriend.
Scary to be that simple and direct, isn’t it?
anitaSeptember 27, 2022 at 11:38 pm #407597
I think your main message should be about yourself: that you like him but you haven’t always shown it because you get anxious around the people you like. You don’t have to say it in one breath and admit that you like him immediately, but you can pace it a little. I like your idea to start with explaining your own behavior and apologizing for it:
I was thinking about apologizing for my behaviour and say when my anxiety kicks in i become rude without knowing (shut ting down, ignoring people) and it’s hard for me to keep a conversation going(he had to constanly be the conversation starter) and then tell him i apreciate him taking time meeting me and give a yoga session
So you acknowledge that you behaved a little strangely and you explain why. If you want, you can also apologize for when you left the pub without saying goodbye. That would be a great prelude into saying that you did it because you like him, and seeing him talk with another girl made you really anxious, so anxious that you felt you had to leave immediately. And then I’d watch his reaction…
I would leave out this part:
then maybe something like but I don’t believe you didn’t read any intention into this, I think you like me as much as I like you. You had several chanses to cancel but didn’t you could have left soon after the session but you stayed.
I wouldn’t argue with him, or present “evidence” that he likes you. It’s on him to tell you that. I mean, you can say that you’ve read some of his behavior as having a thing for you, but you shouldn’t claim it as evidence that he really does. If he still resists and doesn’t want to admit that he likes you as a girlfriend, then there is no point in pushing. If he likes you, he should admit it as soon as you admit it to him… If he needs convincing and is reluctant – after you’ve confessed what you feel about him – then I don’t think you should argue and push any further. But I hope it won’t come to that!
So in summary, this is what I’d suggest: express your side of the story and your feelings, don’t assume his feelings. And watch his reaction… I hope it will be a positive one!