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Let a good guy go.

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  • #359167
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Everyone,

    I hope you are all staying safe during quarantine! For myself, I noticed I have been spending more and more time on social media to pass the time. I’m going to reduce this though, because of a couple incidents that have shown it’s not the most positive use of my time. Last night, I was mindlessly scrolling on facebook, and saw that an old flame of mine (we dated for a little while in 2015, then I decided to put him in the friend zone for no good reason at all…) just got married. He was a really great guy, came from a good family, had good values and wanted a committed relationship, was educated and had a great career. Everything I said I wanted in a man. I was happy for him, he looked very happy, but I was not expecting how hard it hit me. This person was so sweet and supportive of me throughout the years, even while I dated other people despite him always showing interest in being with me. He politely asked me many times to work on my codependency issues so that we could have a real chance of dating exclusively, but rather than do this, I proceeded to date a couple of “bad boys” instead (you may read about them ad nauseam in my other threads). Worst of all, I often vented and emotionally dumped on him when these relationships inevitably failed. I feel so horrible about this, I simply cannot fathom what I was thinking back then to do that to someone who had been so caring towards me, even when we weren’t together.

    Although we had drifted with our contact and hadn’t seen each other for around 2 years, I thought about him here and there and how I had made a mistake to push him away and date the losers that never really cared about me instead. I suppose I tried to shove these thoughts out of my head rather than truly deal with my mistake. And, if I’m honest, I supposed he would always be there one day when I was truly ready. In fact, after dong a lot of soul searching and refusing to date low quality men, I thought I was getting close to contacting him again. And of course, I saw the picture yesterday. I am truly happy for him, he seems like he is very content in his life now. But at the same time, I feel (maybe for the first time) the gravity of the loss that I can only blame on myself. We will never hang out again, never have late night talks about life and psychology, never do art together again. I know 2 years seems like a long time not to see someone, but in that time I was completing my registration, starting a new position and my own practice. It went by in a blur, and the times we used to hang out together seem not so long ago at all.

    Fast forward to today, I am 100% not ever going to try to contact him outside of congratulating him on his wedding (which I did, and in true gentlemanly fashion, he replied thanking me and commending me on opening my practice). I want him to be happy, and I will not interfere in his life. I suppose I’m just looking for some kind of comfort or reinsurance that there will be other men like him (kind, caring, educated and successful, etc.) out there for me. Or, preferably, just the one. I am becoming less and less hopeful due to the very low frequency of meeting these men lately in my city, but I’m contemplating moving to the next province over. Maybe I’ll have a better chance there.

    Anyway, has anyone else had a similar experience? Did you manage to find another great person out there?

    • This topic was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by laelithia.
    #359179
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    I read just a bit from my most recent post to you Feb this year on a previous thread,  and I can easily see that I was impatient with you and perhaps rude. I apologize: when I feel impatient and annoyed with a member, I really should not be replying to the member. Instead, I should wait and if I feel calm, then attempt to reply.

    As far as this new thread, you asked if anyone else had a similar experience to what you described. I did not.  I hope other members reply to you. It’s been slow here for a while, so I suggest that once in a while you post again on this thread so to bump it up, and hopefully you will get a few replies from members who can relate to your experience.

    anita

    #359184
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita!

    You absolutely do not need to apologize, I know you are only trying to help. I’m sorry for frustrating you. It definitely was not my intention.

    That’s alright you don’t have any similar experiences. Do you have any insight for me knowing my previous posts? I don’t know if that would help but I’m hoping this feeling will pass. As you know I have a propensity to regret my decisions, and I’m trying very hard not to do that now.

    Thank you again for your help with me and all the other posters here. You are a gift to us here!

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by laelithia.
    #359190
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You are very kind, thank you. I just re-read that last post I wrote to you and I might have mistaken, it reads direct but not rude and not necessarily impatient. I think that what happened is that when I started to read your original post here, today, I could see that you were stuck in the same-old-same old regrets and I felt annoyed and impatient today. Next I read my last post to you on Feb and projected my annoyance into that post.

    In any case, I need to be mindful to not be impatient in  my replies. You asked for my insight, will you look at my reply to you Feb, in your previous thread, “How to move on from the past once and for all?” and tell me if any of my input there applies to what you shared today?

    anita

     

    #359196
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    That’s very understandable. I frustrate myself with being in this cycle. To answer your question, it definitely applies. I suppose I thought this situation was different because this person was not emotionally unavailable/a jerk lol like the last one(s). But you’re right, either way the regret is totally useless and I can’t go back and change it.

    I just feel quite lost now. I feel rather discouraged to go out and try to find another “unicorn” of a guy and feel so wounded by my own poor decisions. Hopefully the feelings will pass. But I really feel this loss as a significant one rather than just a clinging need that had more to do with my childhood like I had to the others.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by laelithia.
    #359198
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    I will be back to you when I am back to the computer in about 11 hours from now. I hope you rest tonight, maybe listen to a mindful guided meditation, or soft music and relax best you can. Have a good night.

    anita

    #359202
    laelithia
    Participant

    Thank you Anita, I will do that. I hope you have a good night too!

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by laelithia.
    #359226
    Canadian Eagle
    Participant

    Laelithia
    This man filled a need but did not complete you , if he did you would be with him now . So, you left him for a good reason but you miss the part of you that he fulfilled .

    Based on my experience someone who touches you deeply but not completely will always be there in your heart , even in 30 years .

    You appear to be a kind , articulate and genuine woman , so you will meet a good man …..but always remember that life is compromise and acceptance , this is what true love expects .

    Be careful not to idolise the one that got away as in time he may become to symbolise perfection in your mind , this is your nostalgic mind playing tricks .

    I wish you health , happiness and joy , and I know you will meet a good man and be happy .

    Tony

    #359236
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You shared yesterday that most recently you found out that a man you “dated for a little while in 2015” just got married (let’s call him G, for Great). You wrote about G: “He was a really great guy, came from a good family, had good values and wanted a committed relationship, was educated and had a great career. Everything I said I wanted in a man”. The two of you kept in touch after the brief dating for about 3 years, 2015-2018.  During these three years, he was “so sweet and supportive” of you, “always showing interest in.. a real chance of dating exclusively”,  while you dated other men and “dumped on him when these relationships inevitably failed”.

    Since you found out the other day that he got married, you “feel (maybe for the first time) the gravity of the loss that I can only blame on myself”.

    In May 2017, when you started your first thread “getting over infatuation with someone who wasn’t real”, you were still in contact with G, but you didn’t share about G. At the time, you were focused on another man whom you dated very briefly. You ruminated over whether you messed up that  very short relationship, worrying that you caused it to end. You asked me at the time: “Do you still think after everything that this would have eventually been the outcome of our relationship no matter what I did or didn’t do?”

    In June 2017, same thread, you wrote about that very brief relationship: “My heart longs for that ‘love’ again, to feel so special, to have so much hope for the future.. In my dreams, I fantasize about a reality where we continued being infatuated/ in love (whatever it was) with each other.. It’s the dream I miss… I miss the excitement, the thrill of wondering when I see my ‘dream guy’ again”.

    In July 2017, same thread, you wrote: “I feel so stuck, so damaged, and hopeless about my future romantic prospects. Anyone I meet, I cannot imagine them being as wonderful as he was at the beginning.. I have never felt that way about anyone before, so grateful to finally have that emptiness inside of me filled, that I was certain he was the one for me”, “any time I have alone, I am reminded of the emptiness I have always felt, only now it is even larger without his affection”.

    And you were back to ruminating about what you have done wrong to cause the ending of the very brief relationship: “I’ve regressed back to wondering what would have happened if I had behaved myself better“.

    In another thread, “how to move on from the past once and for all”, January 2019, at 29 or 30 at the time, you wrote: “From the age of 25 until I would say 28.. I experienced horrible and soul crushing.. heartbreaks over and  over”. You shared about a man you met in New Year of 2016, and that you shared that you suffer from “intrusive thoughts” that consume you and make you physically ill, of which the “most terrifying one being ‘you made so many mistakes that you lost this previous relationship and you will never be as happy as you once could have been’“…”I simply can’t shake this sad feeling that I ruined our relationship.. maybe we would still be together and I would be happy.. I truly feel like I destroyed my one true shot at happiness and anyone else I date moving forward will not create a relationship as happy as the one I once had”, “I tend to be very nostalgic by nature, and often look back at the past much more fondly than I do my present or future”.

    My thoughts today, June 22, 2020:

    The Emptiness inside you is the Emptiness in the child that you were, and the child that you still are (“every one of us is a child; everyone of us is ancient” says a poem I  like).

    The Emptiness craves to  be filled with a love relationship with a man. From time to time it perceives love with a man and when it does, Emptiness is filled with the best feeling in the world.

    But the Emptiness is not good at evaluating men and love relationships, it latches on to certain things about a man, certain dots in the picture,  and it connects these dots, creating a magnificent picture that doesn’t exist: a Fantasy. There is no greater feeling in the world than this fantasy fulfilled, however temporarily.

    When Fantasy collides with reality, Fantasy dies again and Emptiness is  back, pointing an accusing finger at you: you killed my fantasy, you made it go away!!!

    G, the man your new thread is about- at one point on, if ever, he didn’t trigger Fantasy, so you focused on men who did.

    As I see it, your struggles are about Emptiness and Fantasy. Emptiness feels terrible, Fantasy feels wonderful. You don’t know how to fill Emptiness except with Fantasy. There has to be a better way to fill Emptiness, a way less fantastic (it won’t feel as great), and way slower (it won’t happen as quickly), but if it is congruent with reality, it will last.

    So far, as I see it, you have let Emptiness and Fantasy rule your life.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #359341
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Canadian Eagle (fellow Canadian here!),

    You made a lot of good points. Also, thank you for your kind words towards me. I really appreciate them. I definitely have fallen victim to my nostalgic mind. I often reminisce or revisit moments that occurred now almost 3 years ago as if it were yesterday. And you’re right, I think it would be unhelpful to put this person on a pedestal now. I guess I just wish that I had been more mature, had focused on what was really important back then. Not what was flashy and exciting.

    I hope you’re right that I do meet someone! Thank you again, it really helps.

    L

    #359346
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you so much as always for your detailed and thoughtful reply. I must say, I really think you hit the nail on the head with this. I cried after I read your comment because I believe you are right.

    My friends and family that I have talked to about “G” lately have reported the same thing. That’s I never mentioned him while I was lamenting over relationships with others that were not working out. It’s as if I didn’t let him in my life really at all, didn’t even talk about him with others really. I feel so sad about this too, because it’s as if he was a ghost. I suppose I did that on purpose at the time. Given the choice between him and some of the bad guys I was dating, my friends and family would have adamantly chosen G and not them. And I guess if I’m truly honest, at the time, I wanted the others and not G. I didn’t value his positive traits nearly as much as I do now, and I am angry at myself for this but I suppose there’s no point. I can’t go back in time.

    When you speak of Emptiness and Fantasy, it really hits home. When I think of why I would ever even want the men that I did in the past that were mistreating me and not providing me with the qualities of a stable long term partner, the reason was that they provided some sort of high. They distracted me from the Emptiness, and I suppose it was that distraction/escape that provided the high. Just like any other addict that is using.

    You are so, so right in saying the Emptiness is not good at evaluating men. Often, it chose the worst of them to pick as the partner. And you’re also right that it picks and chooses such minute and often superficial details of a person to make a picture that doesn’t exist. I have fantasized and idealized and projected so much onto these men that was never there in the first place.

    “When Fantasy collides with reality, Fantasy dies again and Emptiness is  back, pointing an accusing finger at you: you killed my fantasy, you made it go away!!!” Wow. This is very true with the infatuation experiences I had that I incorrectly labelled as love. I punished myself and was angry that I made these “mistakes” that made these men go away. When in reality, very little of it had to do with my behaviour I think.

    Ah, you are right about G not triggering the Fantasy that I wanted. And you’re right, I chose to focus on the ones that did, no matter how toxic and incompatible they were for me. How I wish I could have seen this sooner. It’s still hard for me to see at times, to not crave the Fantasy and want that euphoric feeling to wash over me, but I now see the value in stability and steadfastness and true love and care. I want those now, not the Fantasy. G could have (and did in many ways) provided me with that. And I’m so sorry now, in hindsight, to have let that go.

    You mentioned that there must be a way less fantastic and slower to fill Emptiness, and I think slowly but surely I am getting there. I have built my own life now, rather than waiting to join someone else’s that has already been built, the princess meeting the prince and living happily ever after in the fairytale. Now, I have my own life that I do love. I have wonderful friends and (mostly wonderful) family, a thriving career and business and hobbies and activities I participate in both alone and with others. I would say I’m content with my life in a lot of ways now, finally, and a lot of that is due to your help. Had I met G now, with my life the way it is now, I’m sure we could have had a real chance of being together long term. I feel sad I wasn’t ready before, but I have to accept that I wasn’t and that he is gone now.

    This pain feels different than the others I wrote to you about in the past. Before, it was sort of a desperate madness-inducing feeling that I couldn’t really explain to others, while this one feels like a true loss. When I explain the situation, my past and poor decisions, and how I had a man like G in my life for many years that wanted me to be at my best and wanted to build a future with me without the chase of the Fantasy, they empathize with me. They feel sorry for me and they understand my sadness. Before, with the others, they simply could not.

    They tell me that time will heal this wound. That one day I will find another, that I have to keep the faith. I am trying, but I feel truly wounded by this experience and facing my past. Like I was beaten up. I suppose it will take time before I’m ready to look for and find Reality rather than Fantasy. In the meantime, do you have any tips or strategies on how to process and move on from the loss of G? I have congratulated him on his wedding and wished him well (he did the same for me) and I believe this is the last contact we will and should ever have. It’s time to let go, and move forward. I’m just a little nervous about how.

    L

     

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by laelithia.
    #359352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You are very welcome. I read your recent post thoroughly and I am glad that you are content with your life in many ways. Reads like the regret about G is different than your past regrets regarding other men, and maybe he was the man who would have been good to you and for you. But even if he would have been right for you, I don’t believe in what some people believe, that for every person there is just the one, a soul mate. You may very well meet and marry a man who will be even better to you and for you than G has been.

    “do you have any tips or strategies on how to process and move on from the loss of G?”-

    -ask yourself if you have placed G on a pedestal. I understand that you believe he is a good man, unlike the others, and he indeed reads like a good man from what you shared, but still: your habit has been to put men on pedestals, looking up to them as perfect and wonderful, so I will not be surprised that you put G on a pedestal as well, seeing him, in your mind and heart, as more wonderful and more perfect than he is. Let me know what you think of what I just suggested.

    This is what comes to my mind this afternoon, but we can communicate about this further, exchange ideas over time.

    anita

     

     

    #359392
    Canadian Eagle
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia
    Nice that there is more than one Canadian here . I see you processing your feelings with amazing support from Anita, an angle.

    We all have the propensity to over think events , it is good to regularly remind ourselves that our minds are not a source of truth, the mind tricks you.

    Relax , enjoy each day and let events unfold

    Tony

     

    #359479
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I hope it is possible as you say that I meet and marry a man who will be even better to and for me than he was. I at least know that I won’t make the same mistakes chasing a Fantasy, and that’s thanks to you.

    I believe you’re right, that I did place him on a pedestal. He was great in a lot of ways but also had his flaws. When he was hurt that I was dating others and not him, he would often mock me or say cruel things to point out I wasn’t exclusively dating him. Also, he was insecure at times and rather than just come right out and say he wanted to be with me, he would hint at it and make me guess. I suppose no one is perfect, but I do wish I valued his positive traits more.

    Honestly, it’s hard for me to even recall specifics about him, as I was so focused on others at that time, as well as finishing my residency. I feel if I met someone like him now, I would be able to value and appreciate these positive traits rather than searching for an incompatible long term partner all in the name of the Fantasy. I guess better late than never.

    The more I think about it, the more I feel like my regrets with him have to do with a feeling of longing for the past. I think I wrote to you before about how that period of time in my life I felt more “alive” and I seem to wander in my mind to those few years often. I haven’t figured out why that is, as objectively my life is better and much more stable now. I hope that my future is as interesting and bright as that time and that I feel just as “alive”. I’ve noticed the past couple of years have felt very bland to me, and I hope that doesn’t continue.

    Thanks again for your help!

    L

    #359480
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Canadian Eagle,

    Yes, Anita is the best! Would be so lost without her.

    That is a very good point, our memories are not objective and often change over the years. Perhaps that’s what’s happening to me more than anything.

    Thanks again for your help! 🙂

    L

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