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Post-breakup advice

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  • #34499
    Nico
    Participant

    I’d like never to make the same mistake again, so I’d like to understand something about men once and for all.

    I’d met a lovely man whom I’d known for roughly 9 months and he seemed very interested to get to know me until then. I was very friendly, liked him a fair bit, but lukewarm on the romantic front. I realized I actually adored him those 9 months later, and we saw each other for roughly two months but it was casual. Neither of us introduced each other to our friends, but we spent a fair bit of time together. We didn’t do much other than hang at each others’ flats, (he only lives a couple of doors down from me). In short, I felt deeply adored when we spent time together, but I was only too aware I was very likely being used. It didn’t seem to matter, because he had rough but serious plans to move out of the country and I didn’t want to think about it.

    I lightly said I was beginning to get a little attached and that it was a shame he was leaving. And after a little hesitation, he said he cared for me, but that we were going at different speeds. Which I said was fine. In my mind, I just wanted to know I wasn’t being used. Anyway, we broke up a week later, but we remain good friends. He still comes to visit, and these days we may even meet for a beer with other people every once in a while. But it is very hard to see him, because inside my heart feels quite shredded.

    What I would like to know is, what is this game that men play? I do not want to turn into an “I hate men” sort of person, so I’d like to just understand. How is it possible for a man to pursue you for such a long time, then see you for a couple of months, then expect you not to get attached? Or have I misinterpreted it altogether? Will a man simply chase a woman for perhaps years, and then get bored once he’s had enough sex? Well, he doesn’t seem bored, but how do you know as a woman if you’re the type who isn’t just a curiosity for men, as opposed to someone who can be taken seriously? Did I get into bed with him too quickly? Did I tell him I was getting attached too quickly? As a woman, do you always need to pretend you’re less interested than he is? Can someone please tell me, because I am the sort of person who simply says what is on my mind. However, after a few failed relationships I am beginning to wonder. No one would accuse me of being clingy or needy. I just would like to know what it is about men where it is easy to get a hold of a lovely one, but why is it so difficult to keep a hold of them?

    Thanks.

    #34549
    tin
    Participant

    Hi Nico,

    I too am with you when it comes to understanding guys. Or romance for that matter. I dislike how dating or romance has become (or maybe it had always been like that) nowadays that it seems to be a game which rules everyone knows or has to keep up with. It’s like a dance of cha-cha. Show a bit of interest but not too much, show a bit of disinterest but not too much. It is all too confusing and why can’t we just show how we truly feel? I think it stems down to the fact that a lot of people are confused and don’t know what they really want or to how much they can commit so they have to know that the other end decides first, before they could make a decision.

    The only advice I could give (and hope that it helps) is that instead of figuring out what he wants, rather figure out what you want out of the relationship, or any relationship for that matter. Sometimes we are too engrossed with a particular person not because we like them per se (most of the times, we haven’t asked ourselves if we really do like the person) but because we like the feeling of being loved and adored by someone. It has happened to me before that I came to a point of almost chasing this guy after I have given something which at that point am too weak to say no to. I soon found out that all the urge to make him like me is due to the fact that I don’t like myself. That made me very scared of how I could easily settle to something I don’t want just so I would feel love cos I myself didn’t love who I was. Now that is just one situation of how we can get too attached by something that, at the end of thorough thinking, we don’t really want or we know is not good for us.

    Whatever his reasons are, if he used you or not, if he was attached but just chose to pursue what he thinks is good for him, I don’t think you will ever figure out unless he explains it you (and if he is honest about it) What you can figure out is how you truly feel for him. If you got attached into something that most people understood as ”casual arrangement”, don’t condemn yourself for falling for him. It is a wonderful ability to fall in love, it means that you have the ability to see people’s beauty. But yes, sometimes it makes us hurt, all the more reason to really know who we truly are and what we truly want especially in a partner.

    The next question you must ask yourself is ”is he good for you?” Does he make you want to better yourself, be the best version of yourself or he makes you lose yourself little by little, build up your self insecurity more and more? Only you can know that for sure and only you can know to what extent you are willing to stretch your heart for him. If he is not good for you, regardless of how great of a person he is, regardless of how good you are together, regardless if he will be the person you’ve always want him to be to someone else, the point is the ”now”. If he is not good for you ”now” and only makes you feel more negative specially about yourself and about the world, it is best to detached. Start taking care of yourself, find ways in which you can love yourself more and no matter what happens in the future, if he will come back to you or not, or if someone else will come along, your strong and more self aware heart will be your guidance on where you want yourself to stand onto.

    Best of luck 🙂

    #34823
    wisteria
    Participant

    Hi Nico

    It really sucks to hear what you went through but I know you will get through and learn from your experience. You’re a woman and can overcome anything!

    I would tell you what I’ve been telling most of my friends when it comes to dealing with guys….Its best to practice honesty and honoring your needs as a woman. This is different for everyone but can usually be outlined in reference to emotional/mental/spiritual/physical needs. There is actually a really great post which I will link here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/5-tips-to-recognize-and-honor-your-needs-in-relationships/

    If you tell them what you’re looking for straight out in the beginning then it takes the burden off of you as a woman. A good worthy guy will either tell you “yes” he is on the same page or “no” if he isn’t (“maybe” really means no). Now for those who aren’t straight out honest with you….then we really dont have control over their actions. But this way, at least we can free ourselves from the stress and be firm because you are setting boundaries and giving yourself a reminder of what you actually want.

    Granted at times there’s a bit of a wait period but I like to practice the 2 weeks maximum. Honestly though, if a guy is interested and want to develop a real romantic relationship with you, he will make it known and you will NOT have to play games. From the many guys that I talk to, they make it known on day 1 lol.

    My philosophy is….Men complain that women dont tell them what we want…well I like to take a different approach lol. There’s always that chance of “scaring him away” but that really means he wasn’t interested and isn’t at the same place in life as you.
    Anyways, dont be afraid of telling him what you’re looking for. It will make things easier in the long run rather than finding out months or years later. This is from my personal experience….I waited a couple of years without clarifying exactly what I want out of a relationship. Needless to say, I’ve moved on and am much more fulfilled and balanced.

    Dont worry, you will get through it. Dont let this one guy give you a negative impression of men in general. There are a lot of good and trustworthy men out there, its just the matter of weeding out the ones who aren’t worthy of your time and energy.

    Best of luck! 🙂

    #34830
    Nico
    Participant

    Wow. There is some unbelievable wisdom out there.

    Thank you both. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

    It’s a one day at a time thing I suppose. But the main lesson I’ve learned here is not to make any decisions or moves when I’m not feeling at a decent level of self-esteem. That will very likely take work on my part. For now, nuggets of wisdom are all part of it. I will treasure these little responses.

    Cheers,

    -Nico.

    #35192
    Stephanie
    Participant

    Nico, I’ve read all these posts and a bit of time has passed during which you have had time to absorb the above advice, all I would add to this is that while you are still seeing this man as friends, you say in your own words it makes you feel like your heart is shredded. I believe the most beneficial action would be to cut off contact with him for a couple of months, to give yourself time to know yourself without him in your life and to hopefully ‘get over him’. If he truely cares for you as a friend then he will understand and respect your decision. You may find that with no contact you will have the time and space to think about what you really want and to re-discover your true worth. It will probably be hard at first, but given time to heal properly there is no reason why in 6 months-a year you couldnt be friends without you harbouring these feelings of hurt which you cant express to him.

    Stay strong, believe in yourself, stay true to your values and you’ll be just fine! 🙂

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