July 12, 2023 at 8:10 pm #420783Eva BrownParticipant
I never thought I’d see the day I’d turn to an online forum for support, but I’m just going through a break-up that has left me so confused, I thought someone might have experienced something similar or has any helpful insights to bring in so much needed clarity.
I was dating this guy since the end of January. Less than a month in, he was talking about moving into a relationship status, which I didn’t feel comfortable about.
I’ve had two very bad traumatic relationships and always sit on the fence, so I asked him for things to go slower. I wasn’t even all that interested in him, but we got on so well, I felt like giving it a chance. And I thought that maybe this investment on my part was a sign I was healing. That I was finally ready to settle for someone good.
In March, things moved unexpectedly fast. One of my best friends was in end-of life care and I was severely distraught. He stood by me, he was my absolute rock and soon enough he blurted out he loved me. My first reaction was to freak out, but I played it like he had just said it casually, like you’d say you love chips. He went along with it, but later that night said he blurted it out because he just couldn’t hold in any longer. Initially I insisted we had had a turmoil of a week and that seeing someone dying will evoke all sorts of feelings, so we may should check back on that. But he didn’t change his mind, nor his behaviour.
We talked openly about everything. Never have I been this vulnerable, this honest and this myself with anyone else. I used to tell him what I liked most about it was how good I felt around him. He looked at me like I was the only thing in the room, he treated me like a Queen.
I told him I was a little worried things had moved so fast, I wondered if he was love bombing me. If he was sure of this. He had the smoothest and most assuring replies. I trusted him.
We lived in absolute bliss until mid May. Never had an argument. Had our boundaries. We met each others friends but still had alone time with them and our individual hobbies. I couldn’t even fathom having an argument with him. We were always on the same page about everything. A part of me even felt the calmness could turn into bordeness and that we would fizzle out. But at the same time, after being so emotionally drained in my past relationships, I realised this was exactly what I wanted.
He was going on holiday for just over a week and the week before he seemed very busy with work. I didn’t read into it and again he was the first to acknowledge it and apologising for being flakey.
After he came though, I didn’t see the same when I looked into his eyes. It just wasn’t there. He mentioned he felt pressured to always be perfect or else that I could just find someone much better and I became the reassuring one. I told him how I believed what we had was for real and that I would never just walk away.
The day after when he looked at me in the morning I saw disgust. I moved past it, but that very same day his behaviour started to change. He became much less communicative, evasive, busier. Some days I would see a glimpse of his previous self, but it was gone the next day.
I confronted him 3 or 4 weeks ago and he owned it and apologised he hadn’t been there as much. Said he didn’t know what was wrong with him. I told that was ok and I was there to hold his hand if he wanted me to, but also to give him space if he needed it. And, that as long as we both wanted this I wouldn’t let go.
Everything remained unchanged since: his behaviour. He was still talking about our summer plans throughout all this, until I confronted him again two weeks ago. He finally broke: I don’t know what happened, but my feelings changed. I don’t know if it’s because this has become real and I’ve been hurt before, you haven’t don’t anything wrong.
I am still beating myself up because:
1. Even though I was cautious in the beginning, allowed myself to go in and trust him
2. I’ve always asked him to be honest and I feel he has lead me on for about a month and that he was the one getting the support and reassurance from me, which feels so low
3. He didn’t have the courage to talk to me. He did it over text and later phoned me because I requested
4. How could he ever think he loved me and that just went away overnight
5. How could one day he be texting multiple times to check-in on me and the next decide he is fine not ever hearing back from me again
6. Have I, despite my best attempt at being self-aware fallen back into my old pattern of going for emotionally unavailable man?
7. He knew all about my past trauma, he knew how challenging it was for me to get this to level with anyone, and somehow it was all worthless to him? No one has ever looked at me with so much resentment or left me with such indifference (and I’ve had it really bad before). It just hurts even more that there is not one feeling there, not even a negative one.
8. I must have done something wrong. And I keep spiralling to get to the bottom of it, but I know he will tell me what it was. He kept saying I was the most awesome human being he’s ever met and that he knows he will regret this, but I can’t help feeling this is nothing but niceties to spare me.
The only major shift in our lives was that I was planning to leave London in October/November, so we had an expiry date. Even though he was already searching for jobs to go away with me. And I ended up taking a new job and deciding to stay a little longer. This was in the end of April. At first I thought he was somehow feeling emasculated I was progressing in my career while he’s not happy in his current job, but that surely can’t be reason to unlove someone.
Thank you for reading such a long one.July 13, 2023 at 1:44 am #420797HelcatParticipant
I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through a break up and that one of your best friends was going through end-of life care.
To be honest, it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong.
It sounds like his feelings changed. What caused that? It could be anything. It even sounds like he could have been going through a period of depression. Just from how negative he became.
I think your first instincts were right about not getting involved too quickly. It’s very easy for people to get caught up in the romance of the early stages of a relationship. That early excitement does pass, it’s a natural thing to happen and the perfect early relationship behaviour doesn’t last forever. He started to show you who he really was warts and all, not just the “perfect” side of him.
It’s amazing that he was there for you in a time of need and that he treat you well. I think you did a good job protecting yourself after those traumatic relationships. It’s such a shame things didn’t work out.
Wishing you all the best! 🙏July 13, 2023 at 8:31 am #420799PeterParticipant
I don’t normally comment in the Relationship topic threads, but it broke my heart to read: ‘Even though I was cautious in the beginning, allowed myself to go in and trust him’ as being number 1 on your negative self talk list.
Even when things don’t go as we hoped, the courage to open yourself up and engage in life was and is amazing. Please don’t close yourself off and lose that. That might seem like the safe option but in my opinion ends in becoming numb to life and numbing oneself many not feel like it hurts as much as engaging with life but I’m not so sure.July 23, 2023 at 6:12 pm #420983SamanthaParticipant
Oh my God I’m going through what sounds like the exact same thing. Would be nice to just know the truth from him instead of getting ‘It’s nothing to do with you, it’s me.’ Basically he went back to his ex. And yes professed his love for me prior to that, texted me nonstop, and in retrospect I suspected the whole love bombing thing as one of his ‘tactics’ to get closer to me. I think basically I was a good distraction in his life when what he really wanted was to patch things up with his ex. All of a sudden he was gone. No more texts, no phone calls, no ‘i love yous.” And like you I was very cautious at first then his attention to me drew me in like a moth to a flame. I was seduced. and blissfully unaware until one day poof, gone. I’ve been heartbroken since (just happened a month ago). I so feel your pain, girl. I’m so sorry you’ve gone through this too!!!!July 26, 2023 at 11:52 am #421005SukieParticipant
How could one day he be texting multiple times to check-in on me and the next decide he is fine not ever hearing back from me again
your confusion is understandable, I’ve been through something similar. I came to learn the person had secret mental illnesses, hence the opposing shifts. I chose to support him, but stability couldn’t be.
One responder mentioned depression & you mentioned he felt he needed to be perfect. I’m guessing his inner world is what sabotaged it.
I agree-slower is better.
I found a good website called LoveFraud.com that helped me learn the difference between love bombing & other things.
I hope you find peace & wish you the best,