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Let a good guy go.

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  • #364990
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I’m not sure if this small correction changes anything, but when I had uninvited him to meet my brother, he had not yet said he was wanting to go on other dates or that he had one planned, he simply said he would let me know if he did. It was later that night (when I had dinner with my brother) that he mentioned that he had a date scheduled the following day. I have no idea if that plan was made before or after I got upset with him.

    You are right though, either way, after being intimate with me he still was planning on going on other dates. I have no idea if he did or not in the end.

    Yes, I do see how toxic the relationship with my mother was, I have definitely been angry with her. So much so, that it has strained my relationship with my father, which really is disappointing. Thankfully I do not do as my other asks without question, in fact, she does not ask me to do or not do anything anymore, since I had a discussion with her about boundaries about a year or so ago. I have to give her credit, she has stuck to this. That being said, we don’t have much of a relationship now at all, just exchanging niceties here and there when I speak with my dad.

    As an update, I’m embarrassed to say that this “relationship” and it’s ending has been very destabilizing for me. I keep myself busy most of the day with work and social engagements or exercise, but unfortunately, I find myself plagued with thoughts of this person and what happened at night, so much so that I’ve dreamt of the situation almost every night the past week.

    I’m beyond frustrated with myself about this. I find this so ridiculous, I barely knew this person. But that in itself is what I’m so upset about, I feel like somehow it is completely my fault for a) pushing/wanting too much too soon and b) drinking and lashing out rather than staying calm, that caused this interaction to end prematurely. I feel like if I had behaved myself, I would have the peace of mind that it wasn’t meant to be, rather than now, which is that I don’t know if this could have been a good person to be with or not. I’ve been watching dating videos online, and they recommend that if a man is 6 months out of a serious relationship, you should not push him at all for any sort of commitment, and should take things slow. I didn’t do this once again, and I’m so disappointed in myself for it.

    If he had behaved the way he did in the end if I had still behaved in a way I was proud of, at least I would know there wasn’t a true loss. As it is, I have no idea. I haven’t heard from him now in over a week (the longest we’ve gone without speaking) and my gut is that he is with someone else. I saw on facebook he added a new woman as a friend, who happens to look a little like me, but who knows. Maybe I’m just making things up in my head. He did say last time we spoke at lunch that he was very overwhelmed with work and other responsibilities, so who knows. Either way, I have not reached out to him even though I might be going to his city next week. I don’t know if I should reach out to at least say hi or see where we stand, or wait until I am back in his city and let him know then like I said I would, or not at all. I just wish I wasn’t thinking about him at all, and a part of me is angry at him for coming on quite strong and doing “boyfriend”-like things like calling me daily and checking in about the health of my family only to abruptly stop like this and leave things open-ended. If he met someone else, I wish he would have said that.

    L

    #364996
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    “when I had invited him to meet my brother, he had not yet said he .. has (a date) planned”-

    – Aug 3, you wrote: “He then told me he had a date schedule the next day.. someone he knew from 8 years ago.. more of a meet up than a date”. He then told you about that date or meeting: “I’m sorry to hurt your feelings, this meeting was planned a week ago”-

    – so he planned the date a week or so before you uninvited him. Therefore he did not set the meeting after you uninvited him, or because you uninvited him.

    * It is interesting how you re-write history in accordance to your core belief that all that goes wrong- is your fault (“I feel like somehow it is completely my fault”).

    I stopped reading your recent post as you went on and on with your obsessive thinking, expanding on your core belief that  everything is completely your fault, something you did or said wrong.

    I hope you feel better soon and have a restful, good night sleep.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #365006
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    It does seem confusing but I can promise you I am not rewriting history. I think it’s confusing because it seems at one point or another, he was dishonest. I just don’t know which time this was. On Tuesday night he told me he did not have any dates scheduled, but he did tell me he would let me know if he did. On Wednesday night (the day he was to meet my brother) he told me he had the date with a “friend” scheduled a week ago, which means either he was dishonest about this, or he was dishonest earlier when he said he didn’t have a date scheduled. I regret not confronting him regarding this inconsistency but I suppose I didn’t want to make the situation worse.

    I will try to refrain from speaking about it all being my fault. That being said, do you have any suggestions on if I should contact him when I am back in his city or not? I am leaning towards not, but I am also feeling inclined to contact him to discuss certain things (i.e. his dishonesty, etc.) but I suppose it shouldn’t matter. I’m bothered though, as we had discussed honesty and integrity early on, and I truly thought at his age (39) and his life experience, he would have been more upfront, honest, and respectful in our interaction.

    I hope you have a good night too!

    L

    #365042
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    “On Tuesday night he told me he did not have any dates scheduled.. On Wednesday night.. he told me he had a date with a ‘friend’ scheduled a week ago, which means either he was dishonest about this, or he was dishonest earlier”-

    – your conclusion that he was dishonest either on Tuesday or Wednesday is not necessarily true. It  is possible that on Tuesday he was referring to not having dates scheduled with women he didn’t yet meet in person (thinking perhaps about his dating website activity where he had no dates set.

    Often what we say is inaccurate not because we are lying, but because at one particular time we see only a corner of the big picture (ex. his activity on the dating website), but not the whole picture (his activity on the dating website and outside the dating website).

    I tend to believe he didn’t lie to you and therefore, he did have a date set before you uninvited him from meeting your brother.

    You wrote in your post before the most recent: “I barely know this person.. I feel like somehow it is completely my fault for a) pushing/ wanting too much too soon and b) drinking and lashing out rather than  staying calm”-

    – it is very important that you end your habit of meeting a man for the first time and almost immediately, having sex with him. It may not  be in the way of some  women, but this behavior is not suitable to you. Aim for a start, at having 4 no-sex dates before having sex with the man. During those 4 no-sex dates, do not drink with the man. I think that will be a good start for you.

    You wrote that you didn’t hear from him in over a week, and you asked me: “do you have any suggestions on if I should contact him when I am back in his city or not? I am leaning towards not, but I am also feeling inclined to contact him to discuss certain things (i.e. his dishonesty, etc.) but I suppose it shouldn’t matter”-

    –  like I suggested, doesn’t seem to me that he  lied to you on the matter of having a date set.

    – whether you contact him or not, like you suggested yourself, doesn’t really matter, as far as my understanding. This ship has sailed. You were on a rollercoaster once again, a speeding light relationship and you have fallen off the rollercoaster. Better leave the adventure park.

    “we had discussed honesty and integrity early on”- you have the strong tendency to take a man’s words as if they are carved in stone before you know the man (“I barely know this person”). You have to get to know the person (start with 4 no-sex, no alcohol dates) and learn if his words are worthy of being carved in stone, allowing for unpreventable inaccuracies.

    Learn the corner of the picture vs the whole  picture factor. If you get to know the man over time, you will be able to slowly see the whole picture of him and of what he shares with you.

    anita

     

    #365098
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Ah, once again I am totally impressed with your skills of observation and deduction. I hadn’t considered this, and I believe you’re right. It makes more sense too, as I didn’t think he struck me as the type to be dishonest. He told me this friend saw him on a dating app, but he didn’t say when and it does seem that he considered this date more of a meet/hang out than a “date” date. I should have listened closer and not let my obsessive thoughts carry me away.

    I wholeheartedly agree that this is not suitable for me. I think I let the “norm” or what my friends do make it seem okay for me, but you’re absolutely right, I cannot manage early physical intimacy and then stay objective. I suppose in the beginning I justified sleeping with this man early on as at the time I didn’t see him as relationship potential, and I figured as long as we were safe it would be alright. That being said, I now know that it is never a good idea for me, relationship material or not. I was proud of myself for a few weeks, as I did not drink with him or while I was seeing him, and even though we had sex early on, I did not feel pressure or anxiety to rush the relationship for quite a few weeks. I think unfortunately the act of disclosing to my friend about him and the situation (even though I didn’t want to, but felt the need to give her the information she was asking of me) triggered my obsessive thinking and compulsion to rush the relationship. In the past, my parents fit the role of my friend and caused the same pattern. Therefore I will add this to my list of lessons, not to divulge my private dating life to anyone in the beginning. I had thought of posting here and speaking to you about him, but I (stupidly) thought I might “jinx” it by posting (so far I only seem to post about men and relationships that don’t go well). I see now the lack of logic in this thinking!

    It does sadly seem like the ship has sailed. But even as I type “sadly” I am conflicted. Maybe it isn’t so sad, maybe it is for the best. I doubt that you can answer this for me, but do you believe that this man was possibly relationship quality and my blunders caused a good ship to sail, or do you think it might not have been a good match/he wasn’t ready anyway?

    The last we spoke, after I thanked him for lunch and told him not to work too hard while I was away, he wrote to me “Thank you Sweety, keep in touch. Let me know when you’re back”. Also the day before, he said “Hey, I’m heading to (friend’s), you’re still on the schedule for a boat ride tho” when I asked how since I was leaving the next day, he said, “when you return, flexible schedule”. I suppose this makes me feel somewhat inclined to let him know when I was back since I said I would, but at the same time as you mention, just because he said these things a week ago, it doesn’t mean they still hold weight.

    I like your metaphor of the corner of the picture vs. the whole picture. I also think you are correct in that waiting to slowly get to know that man rather than rushing into things physically and emotionally will help with this. I will take your advice and I will never sleep with a man prior to 4 dates, I promise! Out of curiosity, how did you decide on it being 4 dates as opposed to another number of dates?

    Thanks again so much Anita, you are really helping me.

    L

    #365100
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You are welcome. I will reply to you further in the morning, in about 10 hours from now. But for now, a partial reply: I suggested 4 dates so to not overwhelm you with a bigger number of pre-sex dates. Once you put a man on a pedestal, once you are invested in the Fantasy, 2 pre-sex dates will be difficult to actualize, so I doubled that number. More than 4 will be better.

    As far as this man being a relationship material that you may have destroyed- he was still into dating after becoming intimately involved with you, so he was not that much of a relationship material. A man who would be into dating you exclusively, no longer considering dating others, would be quality relationship material. If you have let him know (pre-sex) that you will not date a man unless he is not dating other women, then you would have been able to know if he was to become  relationship quality.

    I wish I had a better answer for you that would put your mind to rest. Good night, Laelithia.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #365104
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your response and explanation about the dates. That makes sense and as usual, very helpful.

    Ironically, he just messaged me “Good evening miss L, how has your return to hq going, I hope you’re doing well. Just checking in.”

    I accidentally opened the message so now he knows I’ve read it unfortunately. But I don’t know what to say… I hope it’s okay I leave it for the night since it’s late and I have an early appointment. But the people pleaser in me feels panicked that I should reply something since it’s rude to have read the message and not reply right away. Although I suppose he’s done that to me before, so maybe it’s okay if I do? I hope he doesn’t take it as passive aggressive that I don’t answer right away. Even as I type this though, I feel I am probably overthinking it…

     

    L

    #365111
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    It’s hard to break habits: you are in the habit of answering after opening a message, so you are driven to answer. It’s that emotional drive that maintains habits, eager to behave again, the same way as before. It won’t be a bad choice to have answered him. But wait.. he messaged you after midnight with a “Good evening”???

    anita

    #365116
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    I read your post before last, and I think it is a good idea for you to come up with your own rules regarding relationships, such as a timeline:  how many dates before considering having sex with the man, conditions that have to be met before considering sex with a man- concrete rules so to help you through your “obsessive thinking and compulsion to rush (a) relationship”.

    You came up with a rule in your post before last: “not to divulge my private dating life to anyone in the beginning”- decide on a specific time for “in the beginning”.

    You can’t come up with a scientifically proven correct timeline for this or that. The point is that you need a timelines, you need Specific Relationship Rules that will cover all possibilities. These rules will keep you sane and grounded during the next relationship, be it with the man we are discussing or with another.

    “do you believe that this man was possibly relationship quality and my blunders caused a good ship to sail..?”- it may be that he was or is a possibly good partner for you. Your blunders are significant, so they are in the way of you forming a healthy relationship with a suitable man. Your challenge is to evaluate a man over time to figure out if he is suitable for you, and at the same time to follow your Specific Relationship Rules (SRR), rules that can be adjusted and tweaked with experience, so that they serve you better.

    You need the SRR so to combat your RROCD, which stands for Rushing Relationship OCD (I just came up with the acronym). Look at the sentence you wrote: “obsessive thinking and compulsion to rush the relationship”- obsession and compulsions are what the O and the C of  OCD are about: Obsessions and Compulsions.

    anita

    #365480
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I ended up waiting and not replying to his text (yes, a text after midnight saying good evening. Mind you, he is one hour behind, so it was technically 11:30pm for him).

    We have messaged a little back and forth, but nothing really of substance, and when I tried to call him last night instead of texting, he didn’t answer and only said “sorry I missed u, busy night”. I haven’t replied, I suppose there doesn’t seem to be a point anymore. He has shown in many ways that I am no longer a priority for him, I almost find it more upsetting that he bothers to contact me at all anymore when it’s clear I mean so little to him. I don’t know why men (and I guess some women too) do this. I feel it puts me in an uncomfortable position. I don’t know if it’s right or not that I haven’t replied to his last message or not. Part of me wanted to ask if he was seeing someone else so that I could finally “get over” him and forget him, but I feel like this would probably just hurt me in the end, I don’t know. I also thought about asking if he was still planning on taking me on a boat ride when I got back, but again, I suppose what’s the point.

    I agree with all you have said about the Specific Relationship Rules I am to follow moving forward. I’m feeling quite deflated as of late, this silly dalliance (can’t even call it a relationship!) and its aftermath has had a significant negative impact on me, and I don’t feel very hopeful about dating and relationships right now. That being said, I do feel lonely and the odd man out in my friend group and family as everyone seems to be moving on with their partners and own families and I feel very stuck in this department. It’s a little sad, I’ve now had several groups of single female friends move on and find long term partners while I have not. I’m trying not to think and feel like this, but there are times that I really do think it will never happen for me, that my damage is too significant to work through at this stage of my life.

    I also feel quite trapped in my own taste in men, in that I supremely value men that have discarded me, and I disvalue those that show interest. Occasionally there are men like the ones that I have written about that I do value while they show interest in me, but it seems like soon enough my blunders occur and then their interest is gone, and I seem to value them more or want to earn or win them back. I suppose that’s what is happening with this current man. Last night I couldn’t sleep (was woken up several times in the night thinking about him and what happened) and I am so disappointed in myself, that I have wasted so much mental energy and time thinking about someone that barely held any significance in my life. I really wish I could forget him and move forward with my lessons, but for whatever reason, I can’t seem to. Perhaps it’s because he still contacts me from time to time (for what purpose I have no idea!), but I’m not sure.

    I was aware of the definition of OCD, and perhaps one small sign of my own self-awareness is that I could identify my behaviours within relationships as OCD related. I think RROCD you have coined is quite accurate for me and I will keep this in mind for when I feel hopeful of dating, but I just don’t feel up to it now. I hope this passes. Thanks again, Anita.

    L

    #365491
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    I will read and reply to you in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #365543
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You are welcome.

    1. You wrote regarding a future lifetime relationship with a partner: “I really do think it will never happen for me, that my damage is too significant to work through at this stage of my life”- in a short paragraph, can you identify what you mean by “my damage”?

    2. “I supremely value men that have discarded me… I seem to value them more or want to earn or win them back”- again, in a short paragraph, what is your understanding of what drives this desire to earn or win back a man who rejects you?

    anita

    #366831
    laelithia
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I apologize for the late reply, I can’t believe 3 weeks have already flown by! I’ve been very busy with work and clients especially during the pandemic and dealing with family health issues but it seems like things are stabilizing a little bit in that area so that’s good! I hope you’ve been doing well.

    To reply to your questions:

    1.  When I speak about “my damage”, I am referring to the issues that you and I have discussed from my past that have led to these significant blunders I make in dating. I was discussing this with a very good friend of mine and she brought up the point that I was so sheltered by my mother in my childhood (not allowed to socialize or date until I was upwards of 16 with anyone that was not family) that I am experiencing these things later in life. Such as being “boy crazy” and having crushes and things that are usually associated with behaviour of school-aged girls. It reminded me of comments you have made in the past about how I should practice engaging my inner child.

    2. I’m a little torn with this one. I have two trains of thought when it comes to this. The first is that rather than it is about trying to earn or win these men back, that it is more that I value them higher/are more interested in them because of their emotional unavailability/elusiveness which feels safer to me. Safe because they are not pushing me for commitment/coming on “too strong” and therefore I do not have to face my own fears of commitment and the idea of potentially “settling”. The man that I wrote this post about was great in so many ways, but I think I simply was not ready for the commitment he was searching for (and if I’m honest, the commitment I was saying I was looking for that turned out not to be true). I notice this phenomenon because as soon as someone is showing true interest in being with me seriously romantically, I start to notice their flaws more and wonder if I can do better with someone else. However, as soon as that same person pulls away, I suddenly see them as this great catch that I took for granted and should try to get them back. But even still, once they do come back, I have the same initial reaction thinking I can do better and should not commit to them. I wonder if this has to do with the seriousness of my very first relationship (who happened to also be my very first date!) that lasted for many years and was very difficult emotionally, physically, and financially to separate. I wonder if that experience was more substantial than I have made it seem, and that I still have fear driving me to ensure that I don’t ever have to do that again.

    The second train of thought that I have in regards to this issue I have, is that maybe it is simply about subconsciously pushing men away and then making it my mission to earn them back to prove my worthiness. Or, maybe it is both trains that are correct, I’m not sure. Anyway, when I am attempting to win them back, it feels very difficult and a challenge and I find this is usually when I become my “best” self in certain ways, such as physically. I’ll find that this is when I am able to lose some weight, organize my home, work on getting anxious thoughts out of my head. It seems that this period of “earning” someone back is when I actually work on improving myself and usually have success. I remember with J (who the current man I have been lamenting over reminds me of in many ways), I did this several times. I would push him away, earn him back, lose interest/wonder if there was better for me out there, push him away again, and earn him back again. However, the final instance of pushing him away was permanent and no matter what I tried to do to earn him back, it did not work as he had moved on to someone else.

    I have been giving this a lot of thought over the past weeks. Especially since more and more S (the most recent man I dated in the other city) reminds me of J. Or at least the scenario, my mindset, obsession, etc. reminds me of him. With both men, the relationship moved extremely quickly, with both men they met my parameters in terms of physical “type”, with both men I became physical with them quickly due to the intensity of lust I was feeling, and with both men, I quickly began to build a fantasy in my head about a future with them. Also, both men showed emotional unavailability red flags in the beginning, showed inconsistencies in words and actions, and both men are very good at romancing women. With both men, the act of losing them and trying to earn them back was constantly on my thoughts. Even now, as I am currently in the other city for a while, I cannot stop thinking about S and wanting to reach out to him, even though I know it is not a good idea and that even if he did show interest in meeting with me, we are not compatible long term. That being said, there is a chronic frustration with his lack of contact, as just last week or so ago he mentioned wanting to meet for a drink when I was back. I know this should not matter at all and that men say whatever they want in the moment, but it bothers me that he spoke at lengths about his values being honesty, integrity, and loyalty yet does not exhibit those traits with me.

    Either way, I am trying my best to process these emotions I’m feeling without it affecting my behaviour, but I still struggle to ascertain what is a good choice in actions and what isn’t. I am leaning towards not saying anything to this man and just deleting his contact and all connections on social media, but part of me feels like sending a final goodbye. I will think more about it.

    Thanks again Anita so much for your continued help and support!

    L

    #366832
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    You are welcome. I will be able to read and reply to your recent post in a few hours, possibly in as long as 15 hours from now.

    anita

    #366864
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Laelithia:

    Question number 1 was: what did you mean by “my damage”, and you answered that your mother did not allow you to date until you were 16, so you didn’t get to be the typical boy-crazy teenager earlier than 16, and therefore you’ve been boy crazy ever since, a decade and a half since. This theory is deeply flawed, I say.

    Question number 2 was: what is your understanding of what drives your desire to win back men who rejected you. You answered that as soon as a man is showing true interest in being with you, you start noticing his flaws, and think that you can do better than him. You emotionally withdraw from the man, but as soon as the same man pulls away from you, you “suddenly see them as this great catch”, you want him back, and you become your “best self.. able to lose some weight, organize my home.. I actually work on improving myself”.

    With J, you “would push him away, earn him back, lose interest/ wonder if there was better for me out there, push him away again, and earn him back again”. With both J and S, “the relationship moved extremely quickly.. with both men I became physical with them quickly due to the intensity of lust I was feeling.. the act of losing them and trying to earn them back was constantly on my thoughts.. Even now.. I cannot stop thinking about S and wanting to reach out to him”.

    You did answer my second question, I appreciate that. My input: you are hooked on rejection, rejection turns you on. Once you detect rejection, your brain motivational centers gets activated, leading you to a chemical high and a motivation to improve yourself.

    Maybe you are so  quick to get emotionally and sexually involved with men because somehow, you know that you have a limited time to enjoy the experience, knowing that it will come to an end way too soon.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by anita.
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