June 25, 2020 at 9:09 am #359509
You are welcome, and thank you for being as kind and gracious as you are.
“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”- if you married him, and he felt hurt for other reasons (example: you were in a hurry and forgot to give him a hug before leaving to work), maybe he would mock you and say cruel things to you.
Maybe this behavior is not specific to just that one circumstance of you not dating him.
“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“- same point: what if this behavior too is not a product of just that one circumstance of you not dating him. Maybe this is how it would have been for you if you married him: having to guess on a regular basis.
“I feel if I met someone like him now, I would be able to value and appreciate these positive traits”- and observe and learn about his negative traits as well, I am adding.
“that period of time in my life I felt more ‘alive’.. I noticed the past couple of years have felt very bland to me, and I hope that doesn’t continue”- I used to get my feeling-alive from fantasizing whole love stories and hero stories (I was the hero in my fantasies). There were days when I was a teenager, that I fantasized morning to night.
At one point on I no longer fantasized, not by choice, it just happened. And I felt bland for a long, long time. After that long time (I think of it now as an emotional reset time), I began feeling alive again, but not in the earth shattering ways of Fantasy, but in modest ways, not so flashy. Over times, this new feeling-alive became enough for me, a new normal. I don’t have those fantastic highs of Fantasy, but I also don’t have those terrible lows that always followed Fantasy.
anitaAugust 3, 2020 at 1:29 pm #363653
I apologize for my late reply, I somehow missed yours! Thank you so much for your reflective thoughts on the man I mentioned earlier. I think you’re right, that these traits could have continued if I stayed in a long term relationship with him. Who knows, maybe in the space of us not dating, maybe he was able to work on these flaws too. Or maybe not. Either way, I don’t see it anymore as a fatal mistake that I didn’t stay with him anymore. Thank you for that.
I also really appreciate your reflections on the feeling more “alive” vs. bland in your life. That gives me so much hope. I think I am slowly coming out of my bland emotional reset time, but it’s a process.
I’ve actually returned here to discuss a different issue I am now facing. I might make another thread about it. To my utmost surprise, a week or so after posting about the man that got married, I met someone. He was not my usual type in many ways, but he was kind, assertive, generous, and brilliant with creating and designing things. I was somewhat more interested in another man, but I decided to pursue (let’s call him S) because he was so clearly pursuing me. I met him in the other city I’m planning to move to, and the experience was lovely. I felt somewhat alive again! But I was feeling even better because it wasn’t so flashy as you say, just a happy aliveness. Anyway, this continued for the month or so, even when I had to travel last minute back to my city because my dog became very ill. I thought we might lose him. Between that and my father’s recent cancer diagnosis and then surgery, I have felt it quite difficult to be away. Yet at the same time, I wanted to invest in this person that I could actually maybe see a future with as he indicated he could with me.
He told me how he had purchased a property just outside the city that would allow him to move his company to the studio he was building and how he had even thought about how I could run my virtual practice there as well. He told me how he had “done the math” and how we had a great connection and our future goals aligned. This both excited and frightened me. I think despite desperately wanting a relationship, I also tend to become afraid when one is potentially possible, and if my anxiety is not in check, I tend to sabotage. While he was telling me these positive things, he also told me that he is 6 months out of a tumultuous 2-year relationship, and still felt a little pressure to date others as well, to “be confident in his decisions” moving forward. Instead of taking this well, I took it badly and began pushing him away. I also divulged too much of this to a bit of an overly nosy friend, and I let her get to me in saying it was totally inappropriate what he was doing and that I should tell him this. I now think this advice was a bit too extreme, but at the time I listened to it. I, unfortunately, uninvited him from meeting my brother and became short and cold to him. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I proceeded to have too much to drink that night and ended up sending some really odd texts that I now regret. He then told me he had a date scheduled the next day, and I really lost it. First I didn’t reply, even when he added that it was someone he knew from 8 years ago that used to date his friend and was more of a meet up than a date. Even then hours later I said “ Good luck on your date. I am not interested in being anyone’s plan B. I hope it pans out for you, thank you for being kind to me. Goodbye S, I wish you all the best.”
I felt bad about this is the morning, so I said “ Sorry, I should have been honest and admitted that I was drinking last night. I’m not even too sure why I said what I did. Hope you have a good day.” to which he replied:
“I’m sorry to hurt your feelings , this meeting was planned a week ago. My perspective isnt a plan b scenario, I’d like to go thru the motions get out a and meet some people so that I’m confident in my decisions. I feel you where kinda mental toying with me last night , I didnt have a good feeling. I also dont want to say goodbye, but that’s something you meantioned. I also meantioned I’d rather not gave a stressful convo before bed and the opposite is what actually happened. Please have a good day. I’m sorry o dont have my mind made up about us.
I need a bit of space theres a lot goin on around me w work etc. I’ll just shut down if you press me too hard. Agsin I’m sorry your upset and I hope you can make the best of the day.”
I gave him space for the next day or so, but then he messaged me and I messaged back. When I asked if he was still planning on getting my bike today (he had asked to get it to tune it for a bike ride for us on the weekend), he said “ I’m sorry not after our last interactions. I think your a nice person , but I dont feel theres any merit in a meeting not that it would change anything. I was hoping for some space. If you want to get something off your chest I’m free for a call at 12:30.“ after I asked to meet up to discuss our bad conversation and to explain myself. When I asked him if it was how I behaved that night that caused him to feel this way, he said “ This is a bit intense for me , I’m sorry. Consider us friends , I got your back. I’d rather not discuss it any further.” I did end up talking to him on the phone that day, he spoke about how he felt pressure from me to start a relationship so soon and that he wasn’t sure that he was ready at this point and that we didn’t know each other well enough yet to make that call. He said he was worried about a few comments I made and was bothered by my mixed signals and would see how he felt the next coming days and that he “might” reach out to me on the weekend. Although sadly, he did not. It’s now been 4 days since I have spoken with him, when before I would hear from him throughout each day.
I am torn if I should continue just to leave it as it is as I haven’t heard from him, or send him a short message indicating that I am leaving either Thursday or Saturday this week to go back home. I feel so badly about how I behaved, especially when he had been so kind and supportive of me up until this point. I think he was really hurt when I lashed out at him and said he couldn’t meet my brother or even come fix up my bike like he wanted to after I told him it was okay to take things slow and date others only just the night before. I also feel like I didn’t fully respect his desire for space, and he went from contemplating us to then saying we could be “friends”. I’ve talked to some friends about this, and they have almost all said I should just leave it and walk away. What do you think? I just feel so sad that I did this to myself, once again.
LAugust 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm #363658
“I apologize for my late reply, I somehow missed yours!”- if you missed my last reply to you dated June 25, which is located right above your most recent post, right there- it’s because you didn’t care to locate my last reply to you.
See the bit of dishonesty there.. “I somehow missed yours!”, with an exclamation mark!
Your recent post is about a new man= new regret. Back to your apology: you weren’t interested in reading or replying to my June 25 post to you, but you have rushed today to post, because you are very distressed, over your most recent regret. What is to follow, I predict, based on our communication history, is that you will vent for some time, take nothing that I wrote to you into serious consideration, but reply graciously with gratitude and references to what I wrote to you, implying that what I wrote to you made some positive difference for you.. but then, Repeat: regret, obsession.
Laelithia- I like you, I grew to like you over the years of communication, but truly, as a woman, and especially as a working psychotherapist, you need to do what you recommend your own clients do: take on the healing process seriously with a quality, professional psychotherapist.
You have to pause your obsessive regret and other self defeating repetitions of behaviors long enough to seek that quality therapy and take on that difficult healing process that I recommended that you take on, long ago.
August 3, 2020 at 3:27 pm #363667
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by anita.
I should rephrase, what I meant by “missed” is I didn’t see an email notifying me that you had replied, and I admit that I did not come back to check and read if there was one waiting for me. I am sorry about that. I think at this point my father’s cancer diagnosis had come and was focused on that. I do know what you mean though, and I apologize for not making more of an effort to reply to the thoughtful posts you have taken the time to write to me.
Definitely I can understand how this would come across that I have not taken into consideration what you have written to me. I occasionally hear the same feedback from friends and family. I think what’s happening is that my progress is slow. It feels at times that there is some sort of block, that someone has to repeat what they say multiple times for me to really hear it and understand it. I wonder sometimes if that has to do with my diagnosis of ADHD, but I’m not too sure. I am trying my best to really work on this, either way. I was taking a different medication for this and the anxiety, however I didn’t feel it was helping and with the okay from my medical practitioner, I was titrating down off the medication. I wonder now, with what recently happened, if this was premature.
Thank you Anita, I like and admire you very much. Believe it or not, I have been in continued therapy for over a year now. I have an appointment scheduled with my therapist tomorrow, I have decided I will be honest with her and let her know that I don’t think my progress has been going well, and see what she suggests in terms of a concrete action plan to move forward and make permanent changes. Maybe she has been holding back with her true assessment of me, I’m not sure. Either way, I have to do something, because my disappointment in myself and regret is not helping me.
That all being said, do you have any advice to me in regards to the current man I have written about? I’m very sad it is at this state, as just a week or so ago I was thinking of writing to you with the opposite feedback, that I was very proud of myself for how I was handling the new relationship and that I was feeling very little anxiety in it, and even when I was, I did not project this onto the relationship or the man. I’m disappointed that I did not reach that point and am back at this place. Once again, I apologize for the lack of my response and will be much more cognizant of this in the future. Thank you again for your continued support and guidance!
LAugust 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm #363679
You are welcome. It is now after 4 pm my time and I am not focused enough to thoroughly read your earlier post today, and reply to your recent two posts. I will re-read and reply to you further tomorrow morning, in about 14 hours from now.
anitaAugust 3, 2020 at 6:26 pm #363689
I am back to your thread earlier than I planned. I am still not focused as much as I’d like to be, so if I misunderstand something, please let me know what it is.
I don’t remember you mentioning before that your father was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery- I hope he heals and fully recovers.
I do remember that you’ve been in therapy and I hope it moves forward, that it helps you more than it has so far.
Regarding the man you shared about: if I understand correctly, the two of you were in a relationship recently and were physically intimate for a period of time, and then he told you that he wants to see other women (“he still felt a little pressure to date others as well”), and had a date with another woman set- that’s a devastating experience for a woman in a relationship, being emotionally invested in the man.
You wrote: “Instead of taking this well, I took it badly and begin pushing him away”- wanting to date other women = pushing you away, isn’t it, in other words, didn’t he push you away, not the other way around?
And why should you take it well, that he wants to date other women?
I referred in my earlier post to your “obsessive regret”= believing that you ruin relationships that would be wonderful if only you didn’t make the terrible mistakes you perceive to have made.
“I feel so badly about how I behaved”- when he set a date with another woman while in a relationship with you, if I understand correctly- it is he who behaved badly, no?
“I told him it was okay to take things slowly and date others only just the night before”- well, you weren’t aware the night before that it was not okay with you that he dates other, were you ?
* If you choose to answer my questions in this post, please answer each question very simply and clearly.
August 4, 2020 at 12:58 am #363713
- This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by anita.
Thank you once again for your quick reply. Thank you also for your kind words regarding my father! He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in late June and luckily was able to have surgery in July to remove what they could of the cancer. He’s doing okay now, but unfortunately, there were some complications that he’s still healing from now. Unfortunately a couple of weeks ago my dog was also diagnosed with cancer and had to have emergency surgery to remove his spleen while I was away in the other city. He’s recovering well from the surgery, but we have sadly been told his cancer is terminal. All of this occurred right after meeting the man that I have recently written about. In writing this, I am reminded of the initial person I began writing on this forum about, J, whom I began dating while my mother was also fighting cancer. I wondering if there are some parallels there with how I’m feeling now.
He and I began talking late in June and met for the first time in person in early July. He was not my usual type, but he made an effort to call me before we met in person and he seemed to take initiative and was older than the men I had dated in the past, so I thought perhaps it would be a good fit. We became physically intimate early on, but I was alright with this. To be honest, at that time, I wasn’t sure if it would develop into a relationship or not, but I wasn’t too focused on it as I had not yet moved to this city. I was only able to stay for a couple of weeks this visit though, as I had to urgently fly back to my home city when my dog became sick as it was looking at that time that he would not make it. After I rushed back home in such a hurry, I honestly didn’t think I would hear more from S. To my surprise, he called and checked in every day that I was back home, despite me not knowing when I would be able to come back. He began calling me “Sweety” and other pet names and overall seemed to me to be treating me like a girlfriend. He told me at this time that he wasn’t planning on going on other dates, and I felt comfortable with this and also did not go on other dates. When I was able to come back to this city, he picked me up from the airport and we spent most of the weekend together. Throughout my time in knowing him, it seemed to me with his actions he was clearly showing that he wanted an exclusive relationship with me. He spoke about how he had purchased property here and was building his own studio for his business and house and how he could see me living with him and how I could operate my practice virtually there with him. He spoke about how he believed I would make a good partner, and mother. At no point did I feel like he was still interested in playing the field.
My surprise came when on Tuesday of my trip, he alluded to the fact that he would let me know if he ended up dating or being with someone else. I told him I didn’t realize he was still considering this, and he told me that he felt that he wasn’t 100% sure he was ready for a committed relationship “right now”. I took this quite badly, as instantly I was reminded of all the times men in my life had said those words in my past, and how badly that went. It also didn’t make sense to me that he would want to do that, as he had acted so much like a partner/boyfriend the last month or so it seemed to me that’s what he wanted with me.
You are right, it seems that he is the one that was pushing me away by dating others. At first, I told him I was okay with him going on other dates (he said he wouldn’t kiss let alone sleep with others), but when he brought it up more than once, I think this is when I became cold towards him. To me, it didn’t make sense that was what he wanted yet in so many ways it seemed to me his actions were making it clear that he wanted to build a relationship with me.
I suppose it seems like I’m the one that misbehaved because we were not yet “boyfriend/girlfriend” official, but I believed we were exclusive. I suppose that was not clear.
To answer your last question, I think you have a point in that I was not okay with him dating others once he had already scheduled a date. If I ever do discuss this with him, I will ask him why it seemed like he was doing things that seemed like he wanted a relationship with me, but also saying he wasn’t ready for this.
I didn’t expect to hear from him, but ironically after I posted this to you, he messaged me saying “Hey there, just checking in, how are you?”. I replied back “Hey, I’m good! Just at the beach, how are you?”
A few hours later he replied simply “Nice, I’m taking it pretty easy.” and then sent me a link to a funny video. I am not sure what he is trying to do with this contact, if he is just trying to be “friends” with me, or if he is trying to reignite what we had before.
LAugust 4, 2020 at 10:02 am #363752
I hope that your dog is comfortable, not in pain, and I hope he heals as much as is possible for him, and that your father continues to recover from his surgery.
I want to refer to what you shared more than 3 years ago, on May 19, 2017 and comment on how it is relevant to now:
“my parents provided the best care that they could and I had many opportunities (private school, extraordinary activities, clothes/ toys, etc.),”- fast forward, as a 31 (?) year old woman, you are educated and I think you have nice clothes and that you are not lacking for anything material.
Continued quote: “however I longed so deeply to be seen by them, to be heard, to hear loving words of affirmation.. I tried so hard to get (mother’s) attention, I would clean the house as a child during the nights to surprise her, I would work so hard at school, I would try to engage with her. But she was emotionally aloof, and often deferred to spending time with my sister… my inner dialogue of feeling unworthy of her attention and ultimately unlovable”-
– fast forward, you have just experienced another very short, month long relationship. Your history: first relationship was a long term, stable relationship meant to please your mother, if I remember correctly, a relationship where you did not experience much interest or passion for the man who curiously turned into a woman later.
All other relationships were either very short term, or on-and-off longer term relationships; undefined, unstable, unsatisfactory and very distressing for you, fueling your obsessive thinking and maintaining that same-old feeling and core belief that you are “unworthy of .. attention and ultimately unlovable”.
In summary, a childhood that gave you education, clothes and other material goods led to you being an educated, well-dresses adult (I imagine) who is not lacking for anything material. On the other hand, that same childhood led you to a series of very distressing experiences with men and ongoing distressing regrets about relationships that ended.
The way I see it, your relationship with your mother is maintaining that same-old core belief of being unworthy of attention and ultimately unlovable. But even if you ended contact with your mother and left her behind you, this core belief will not be left behind. I do wish (because you can’t or won’t end contact with her) that you, at the least, move far away from her, hoping this will mean less contact with her, or space enough in between contacts, space that will allow you to loosen that core belief a bit.
The man we are discussing now, another very short relationship, expressed much interest and future plans for the two of you as partners, and then.. he changed his talk. Did he lie to start with, faking his interest in you, or was he genuinely interested in you and then changed his mind- I don’t know.
I don’t think that you happen to meet man after man after man who is dishonest and uninterested from the start. I think that what happens may be that your core belief expresses itself in behaviors that turn men off to you, sooner than later.
This is what comes to my mind this morning, as I look back at what I remember from our communication over the years: you are like a little girl that tries to act mature, like a woman; a little girl who thinks she can make come across as an intelligent, educated, refined woman, but the little girl can not deliver a convincing performance for long. She does her best, but .. she is only a little girl, feeling sometimes very scared, at other times very guilty, at other times angry, and often confused.
Maybe some of the men, those who were decent, saw a woman first, impressed by her intelligence, education, refinement, but then the little girl, scared and angry and immature, broke out from inside the adult and acted like a little scared and angry girl that she is. Then the little girl recovers some, trying to correct the situation with adult, mature, knowledgeable output, but her performance fails, and the man can see that .. that the woman is a façade.
This is my feel, at this point. I can’t tell you how strongly I believe that you need serious psychotherapy, which you did not have so far, so to connect/ bring together the little girl and the woman, and the two will be One. Not a perfrectly confident woman, of course (hardly any woman is), but an integrated woman, one who has adequate insight into herself, one who understands who she is, and therefore, who others are.
August 6, 2020 at 4:06 am #363974
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by anita.
Thank you again for your kind words 🙂
And again, thank you so much for your thoughtful response to even review my past posts to find similarities. I didn’t really make the connection, but you’re right, I would say that my current life mirrors that of my childhood in that I am educated, well-dressed and not at all lacking anything material and yet full of relational distress.
I am closing than I ever have to moving away, which is so alluring and exciting to me. I think that is one of the reasons I was so quickly attached to the man I made the recent post about, as he so readily mentioned how well it would fit for me to move in with him in his new home and run my practice virtually there. I think for any other woman this would have been a big red flag, but for me, it was a beautiful green light.
Surprisingly, he called me yesterday and last night and we have been communicating again. I am meeting him for lunch tomorrow, but we will see how it goes. I am determined no matter what to slow down the pace of whatever may come from this relationship, which will not be so difficult as I must go back home tomorrow night for a while anyway while I tend to my dog and help my father with what I can. I will keep you updated on how this meeting goes.
You wrote: “I don’t think that you happen to meet man after man after man who is dishonest and uninterested from the start. I think that what happens may be that your core belief expresses itself in behaviors that turn men off to you, sooner than later.” This really hit home for me. I have always felt in my gut that this was true, but at the same time unable to clearly point out what behaviours in particular my core beliefs cause to happen, but I think I am slowly learning. I think slowing down the pace of these relationships will help a great deal to start with.
I think you are right about the psychotherapy I have been receiving may not be to the level for which I need to reintegrate the little girl and the woman together. I am going to begin searching for another therapist, as the appointment I had the other day was helpful in illuminating certain areas requiring growth, but was not overly helpful in tools or strategies to begin/continue this growth.
Thanks again Anita!August 6, 2020 at 7:44 am #363984
You are welcome. You wrote regarding my suggestion that your core belief that you are unworthy and unlovable expresses itself in behaviors that turn men off: “I have always felt in my gut that this was true, but at the same time unable to clearly point out what behaviours in particular my core belief causes to happen.. I think slowing down the pace of these relationships will help a great deal to start with”- I agree, slowing down the pace will be a great start.
Let’s look at pace and behaviors in the first relationship you described in your first post, first thread May 9, 2017, and then fast forward three years and three months almost, to the last relationship you described, on this thread, Aug 4, 2020:
May 9, 2017: “I met a man online, and we chatted (text, snapchat, phone calls) constantly every day for 2 weeks before we planned to meet.. Eventually we did meet, and it was wonderful. I have never felt so strongly for someone so quickly in my whole life. We spent the weekend together, and after going home a few days, he let me know he would have to be away for work for 2 weeks, but he didn’t have to leave until that Friday. So, crazily, he came back to see me and we spent another few days together. This time I was really dedecestated (devastated?) when he had to leave. Fast forward 2 weeks while he was away for work, and again we were talking constantly. I was truly falling for this man, and we were even beginning to plan our future together (including babies and marriage!). I thought it was a bit fast, but I was so smitten, I could hardly believe I had finally found a good, attractive, commitment friendly man. After his 2 weeks away, I went to visit him in his city for the weekend. It was wonderful again to see him, but we did have a few silly arguments (usually after having too much to drink). Anyway, when I got back home, I noticed his contact was far less than before. I pointed this out, and before I knew it, my perfect man was saying he wasn’t sure if he was ready for a relationship after all. This after he had been the one pushing for things to move so quickly”.
August 3, 2020: “I met someone.. he was kind, assertive, generous, and brilliant with creating and designing things… I decided to pursue (him) because he was so clearly pursuing me. I met him in the other city I’m planning to move to, and the experience was lovely. I felt somewhat alive again! .. this continued for the month or so, even when I had to travel last minute back to my city… He told me how he had purchased a property just outside the city.. and even thought about how I could run my virtual practice there as well. He told me how he had ‘done the math’ and how we had a great connection and our future goals aligned… he also told me that he is 6 months out of a tumultuous 2-year relationship, and still felt a little pressure to date others as well, to ‘be confident in his decisions’ moving forward.. I, unfortunately, uninvited him from meeting my brother and became short and cold to him. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I proceeded to have too much to drink that night and ended up sending some really odd texts that I now regret. He then told me he had a date scheduled the next day, and I really lost it… I felt bad about this in the morning, so I said ‘sorry.. ‘ to which he replied: ‘I’m sorry to hurt your feelings, this meeting was planned a week ago. My perspective isn’t a plan b scenario, I’d like to go thru the motions get out and meet some people so I’m confident in my decisions. I feel you were kinda mental toying with me last night, I didn’t have a good feeling… I also mentioned I’d rather not have a stressful convo before bed and the opposite is what actually happened.. I’m sorry I don’t have my mind made up about us. I need a bit of space, there’s a lot going on around me with work etc. I’ll just shut down if you press me too hard’. I gave him space for the next day or so.. When I asked if he was still planning on getting my bike today, he said ‘I’m sorry not after our last interactions.. I was hoping for some space… This is a bit intense for me.. I’d rather not discuss it any further’.. he spoke about how he felt pressure from me to start a relationship so soon and he wasn’t sure that he was ready at this point and that we didnt know each other well enough yet to make that call. He said he was worried about a few comments I made and was bothered by my mixed signals”.
Now my thoughts this morning: the pattern has been, you meet a man you like and .. you lose your senses, you lose your mind, basically. You place the man on a pedestal, you fast forward the relationship in your mind, running fast without looking, imagining he is running with you, but you are running alone and, not seeing what’s in front of you, you crash into a wall and bruise your head, once again.
This is a form of insanity, I think. And you need to see it this way so to give the topic the seriousness that it deserves. It’s not that you need to fix something small to make a relationship work, you have a lot to fix, so be prepared for the hard work you need to do for the purpose of having a sane relationship, one that works.
The recent man, the one you will be having lunch with tomorrow- you had sex with him very quickly, had physical wonderful intimacy, he talked about the property he wants to buy, mentioning you can run a virtual practice from there etc., and you took his words on that solo run, not seeing what’s in front of you, and you crashed into a wall. When he said those things to you, I imagine he was smitten, maybe lying with you in bed, feeling very good after sex, and he was imagining a future with you, daydreaming and sharing his imaginings with you. Those were words fitting the moment, fitting the limited place and time when spoken. But you took his words as if he just carved them in stone and ran with them.
When he told you that he wanted to date other women, and that he had a date already scheduled, you lost it because you were already running fast by yourself. And you got angry as if there already was a mutually committed relationship and he betrayed it. But there was no commitment made.. he was just daydreaming about a future with you, daydreaming while having a good moment with you.
Angry that he betrayed what you believed was carved in stone, but which for him was daydreaming out loud, you got angry at him, bringing up serious conversations, pressuring him to have such a talk after he told you that he doesn’t want to have such a talk before going to bed, etc.
When you put the man on a pedestal and fall in love, for some men it’s a turn on, but for other men it is not because they worry about you thinking they are that great too quickly, before you got to know them. That’s an alarming behavior for men who have some emotional intelligence, and experience with such behavior before, behavior they witnessed or experienced in teenage girls perhaps. When such men see you so much in love, looking at them as if they were the best thing ever, they worry.. worry about that crash.
The men who don’t worry about what I just mentioned, they get worried when they get to see your behaviors after you crash, not knowing where that came from, and then you start those conversations with them and they are bamboozled- they didn’t know you had all that anger, they didn’t know you had all those expectations, they thought you were having fun, they were having fun.. and they don’t want all that drama, not even knowing where it’s coming from (is my guess).
Here are my suggestions:
1. Keep in mind your tendency to put the man on a pedestal and to fall deeply in love/fall into insanity, and when you have thoughts about how wonderful he is, etc.. and how you never felt like this before, etc., remind yourself that you have this tendency, and try to take him off the pedestal and calm yourself, center yourself, take a break/time out from texting/ talking/ seeing him, so to return your mind to sanity.
2. Do not assume there is a committed established relationship with a man before it is clearly stated by the two of you, that neither one will be dating others, that both want a long term, maybe lifetime exclusive relationship with each other. Don’t take a man’s daydreaming-out-loud (or lies, as some men do lie) to mean more than that the man is just feeling good with you right there and then. (His good feelings with you at the time and place do not mean that he loves you permanently).
3. I don’t know if it is possible for you to have sex with a man and not rush into that solo run, so keep that in mind, and consider that it is better for you to not have sex with a man before a committed relationship is established, or at the least, not before he tells you that he will not be dating other women.
4. When you feel angry at a man, drinking or not, do not call him, do not send him messages: do not communicate with a man while you are under the influence of anger. Calm down first, pause, take time out, and when you are calm, then figure out what to say to him, what not to say, how to proceed.
August 11, 2020 at 3:32 pm #364485
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by anita.
I’ve read your last reply over and over, and I am truly in awe of your gift of observation and insight. I am so sorry that my gratitude for your time, energy and patience was not always apparent. It’s hard to believe that it has been 3 years since I began speaking with you here. You have become the only person I can fully be honest and unfiltered with and that is such a special thing to me, thank you so very much. I hope one day I can help you in some way.
I believe everything you have written here is spot on. When you lay it out as you have, it shocks me that I did not come to the same conclusions, at least not as precisely. It is somewhat frightening how similar my posts are, and yet each time these situations arise in my life, they feel so unique to me.
You are completely right though, in that these patterns continue, unfortunately. I do completely lose my senses (even my friends and family are shocked at the shift in my priorities when I do this!) and I put this “budding relationship” to the top of my list. I suppose it has to do with that Fantasy you spoke about before. Despite trying so hard not to, I have this silly belief that one day when I meet my “Prince Charming” I will be so fulfilled, I will be so happy, and I will live “happily ever after”. Cognitively I understand how silly a notion this is, but it is so tantalizing to me that I expend all resources at that moment to ensure the budding relationship continues when in reality, I feel this is the behaviour that probably turns men off and destroys my little fantasy. Which in turn, fuels my negative core belief of being unloveable or unworthy.
I’ve been thinking for the last few days about this. I think if I am truly honest, I think I am afraid of “attaining” my fairytale ending. I think I’m afraid that one day if I finally catch what I’ve been so desperately seeking, I might find that in reality, it is not that I will “happily ever after”. That life will still have its challenges, that I will never have that perfect idyllic Fantasy life I have been yearning for so long. So perhaps, I subconsciously sabotage each “budding relationship” so that I can at least hold on to this hope, this Fantasy, knowing that it will never be disproven. But by this logic, it will never be proven, either.
I think this recent experience hit me harder than it should have, because not only did I see him as my typical Fantasy man, but also as my way to move to the new city in one fell swoop. When I think about it this way, I’m quite disappointed with myself. I do not need to be “rescued” by some prince to be able to move to this new city. But I suppose it would have been easier, especially since he had already purchased the property and begun building it and when he alluded to me moving right into that idyllic property and storybook romance, I lapped it up. I don’t know if he said this in the heat of the moment (it was over the phone, not during or after sex though) or if he intentionally misled me, but either way, I lost all my logic. I simply ran with this fairytale idea, even if I knew deep down it was not rational, not this soon.
It’s interesting that you point out that for some men it is a turn on to be placed on a pedestal, and for others, it is not. He actually mentioned during our last lunch together before I left that it made him uncomfortable when some people are too “over the top” with their compliments and warmth too early on. We were speaking in the context of a new friend I had made that was like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he felt this way in romantic relationships as well.
Thank you so, so much for your concrete suggestions. I have read them over and over, I have saved them on my phone as well. I will make sure to review them daily so that I can keep myself accountable for these changes. I have added a step prior to these suggestions, where I will work on myself and improving my life. This includes getting into better shape physically (and mentally for that matter!), organizing my life and reducing clutter, and focusing on my friendships and relationships with my family. I will also focus on spending time with my dog, and I will honestly do my best to forget about this recent man. Although he has messaged me a small amount since I have been home, I have felt a huge shift from the attention and affection he was showing me before. He told me at our lunch that he wasn’t sure he really wanted a girlfriend right now and was just “taking it easy”. He made sure to tell me he wasn’t going on any other dates though and to keep in touch and let him know when I am back in the city so we can go on that boat ride after all, but I think I have lost faith in his words and as you say, are likely things just said in the moment.
I think once I truly heal from my childhood wounds, and continue to love and care for myself, I won’t be so taken away by these men. That being said, I think I will always require a man that can communicate openly with me and will be able to be patient with me. I suppose time will tell, but I will not rush it.
Thank you again so much Anita. I hope you’re doing well!
August 11, 2020 at 3:42 pm #364487
- This reply was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by laelithia.
You are welcome. I appreciate your gratitude and grace. I read your post but I want to re-read it when better focused, Wednesday morning and reply to you then (in about 15 hours from now). Have a good evening and night, and I will be back to your thread Wed morning.
anitaAugust 12, 2020 at 11:53 am #364571
“Cognitively I understand how silly a notion this is, but it is so tantalizing to me that I expand all resources at that moment to ensure the budding relationship continues when in reality, I feel this is the behavior that probably turns men off and destroys my little fantasy”-
– there is a seemingly small correction I want to make to this sentence which is really, a huge correction: it is not your behavior that destroy your little fantasy, it is reality that destroys your fantasy. Reality destroys Fantasy, not your behavior.
This means that there is no fantasy except in your imagination. You can’t destroy a fantasy any more than you can make it come true.
anitaAugust 13, 2020 at 1:34 am #364659
You are so very insightful, as always. I honestly had never thought about this before. The Fantasy doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do to ensure it’s survival. I suppose I’m slowly getting used to the idea of coming back down to Earth, to reality, instead of floating away in the clouds of Fantasy.
I think even my grief that I feel now, is grief for the Fantasy, not for this person, not for reality. In reality, there was nothing there to grieve. Just a fling.
That being said, I’m finding today a particularly hard day not to be angry with myself nonetheless. I am SO angry at myself for what happened with that “friend” of mine. I remember vividly that day that I didn’t want to speak with her, that I was busy with work and deciding what I was going to do with S at the time, but she kept texting me “call me, call me right now” and like an obedient child, I complied. Not only that, but I also let her talk at me on the phone for 2 hours, and promise her that I would report back to her what I did with S, basically that I take her advice only and uninvite him to meet me brother and to come over to fix up my bike (which was a very thoughtful thing for him to want to do!). Even now, since I have been back home, she has been calling and messaging me even when I say I am busy at work and can’t respond. It’s hard for me to believe I didn’t see what I see now in hindsight, how toxic this person is in my life.
It’s a painful lesson to learn. Perhaps (and more than likely) this relationship with this man would have bombed anyway, but it is a particularly bitter pill to swallow that I will never know. That I allowed old people-pleasing behaviour to destroy something good in my life. I’m not sure how to let go of this, to forgive myself for this. I just keep rereading all my messages and how I so clearly betrayed myself to make someone else happy. It’s really quite sad.
I now see parallels between this friend and my mother. Like my mother, I felt with her I had to do exactly as she said, no questions asked. That I wasn’t allowed to have privacy or boundaries. I am so upset with myself that I didn’t see the parallels sooner. That being said, if I had allowed myself to follow my gut and be honest about my feelings, I would have been able to consciously identify my discomfort with this “friend”. But I didn’t, and now I am here wishing and imagining a reality in which I did.
Anyway, sorry about the continued ranting! I suppose there is still a lot for me to process. I hope you have a great day ahead Anita!
LAugust 13, 2020 at 8:31 am #364683
You uninvited S regarding meeting your brother after he told you that he is interested in dating other women and had a date set with another woman- well, reality was that there was no Fantasy before your friend or former friend gave you her input. It’s not important who destroyed your Fantasy- whether you did it all by yourself, or this woman helped to destroy it; point is: it was only a Fantasy. After being intimate with you, S chose to date other women!
You wrote regarding your friend, or former friend: “It’s hard for me to believe I didnt see what I see now in hindsight, how toxic this person is in my life.. I now see parallels between this friend and my mother. Like my mother, I felt with her I had to do exactly as she said, no questions asked”-
– Do you see in hindsight, how toxic your mother was in your life? Are you angry at your former friend, but not angry at your mother? Do you still do exactly as your mother says, no questions asked?