Questioning myself…

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    Hello dear tiny buddhas and namaste,

    Man, I thought that after so long I would have greater news to share with you. And I do to some extend. I found a new fulfilling job that pays well, I also started therapy and cut off communication with toxic people in my life. Got a new haircut and color, major changes in my body from the gym, you know, the usual…

    But boy oh boy, the phantom EX, is always here to torment me. Let me start from the beginning (for anyone that doesn’t know). I’m 25 yo and was with a 27 yo man for one year. I broke it off with him after a discussion about the future in which, with a stone cold and cynical attitude said we had none. That we would break up one day like all couples do and that if I wanted more from him in 2 years then we should break up then. To which, my reply was – no sir, I don’t do expiration dates (with a flood of tears of course).

    This happened on December the 15th. December the 16th I called him to say it’s completely over, something he didn’t understand or want, started yelling at me and hung up the phone. December the 17th, he texted to see if I changed my mind. December the 25th (also marking our 1 year anniversary) he texted me again saying he loved me and didn’t see the point of us breaking up. That we could be together on his own terms. That was the last time we texted. After that complete silence.


    After consulting with my friends and family, being torn whether to answer or not, I didn’t. Nor did I texted him on his birthday last week. I still feel guilt about it. What if he wanted a second chance and I blew it? What if he is a new man? What if he truly misses me and loves me? Ever since we broke up, I receive anonymous calls, they say nothing. Only once they said:SOFAKI. I think it’s him but can’t be sure.

    My question is what does a man in love do when he wants a girl back in his life? What does he do to get her back when he sincerely wants a second chance?


    Here is a list of all the good things he did in our relationship :

    . We texted all day everyday

    . He complimented me

    He said he was sad when I was sad

    . He was praising me

    . He would sweep me off the ground

    . We would kiss, touch and hug constantly

    . He said he loved me (also first to say it)

    . He told me to leave some stuff of mine at his place

    . He told me he talked to his folks about me

    . He introduced me to his friends from date no. 3

    . He introduced me to his colleague

    . He took me with him to 2 of his basketball games

    . When he thought he was wrong in arguments, he would apologize

    . He cried once in front of me saying that after me he has nothing

    . He would send me photos sometimes (rarely of his)

    . He onces gifted me some waffers and a donut

    . He would hold my hand constantly whilst driving

    . Breaking up, he told me he didn’t want to break up with me and that I am the best person he ever had





    Here’s a list of the bad things :

    . He denied me to videochat even when I begged him because we were apart for more than one month saying, he has my selfies and that we chat on viber and it’s enough


    . On Sundays he would let me take 3 busses and walk from his place to my home (mind you he has a Mercedes Benz cabrio and no money issues)

    . He never gifted me flowers though he knew I loved them

    . On my name day he gifted me a random book he bought mere hours before our meeting

    . He would ALWAYS be late

    . He denied us meeting more that twice a week (saying he had 4 days for basketball, one for his friends and one for himself)

    . On a major 3 day Greek holiday, he chose to travel with his friends and not me (a trip I never saw one photo of)

    . He barely called me, even when I was sick

    . When it was raining, we would never meet because he said taking the car was an inconvenience for him

    . He didn’t want to introduce me to his sister or his parents

    . We had a 2 day getaway together, from which we had to get back earlier, something he disclosed on the last day with an excuse about work. He didn’t want to take me home upon our arrival to the city, saying he had to rush to work.

    . When I had troubles at home, he never told me to stay for a while at his place(he has his own place btw).

    . When proposing double dates or outings with friends he always refused

    . He refused to post anything about us on social media, saying he is afraid of bad luck (?!)

    . He never took me to parties of his friends or any gatherings saying he doesn’t have to authority of bringing other people (to greek culture that’s plain bs).

    . We would only meet on Saturdays only after 21.00.

    . When he was out, he was saying to be at home and going to bed one hour, and then his last seen was early dawn hours

    . We would only have sex once. He flat out refused a second because hs said he would get tired.

    . He never surprised me with anything and never accepted any of my proposals for different things

    . He would give me the silent treatment on arguments.

    . I never saw one photo of his outings or with his friends /family.


    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Sofioula.

    Dear Sofioula:

    Using information about this relationship from this thread and a previous thread, he once gifted you “some wafers and a donut” and he yelled at you. He held your hand “constantly whilst driving” and when you were sick he didn’t give you a ride home and let you take busses again. He told you that “he didn’t want to break up with” you and he told you that the two of you have no future together. He kissed, touched and hugged you a lot and told you to  leave some stuff in his place and Sunday mornings he set the alarm clock to ring early so that you leave his place early and leave him alone.

    Let’s put these behaviors closer together, so to make a point: when given wafers and donuts and being yelled at, it is hard to keep the wafers and donuts down, they tend to come up and it doesn’t taste/ feel good when that happens. After taking buses when sick because he didn’t feel like giving you a ride, the feel of his hand in yours the kisses and hugs… they don’t feel that good, do they?

    And it doesn’t feel good to leave a few items in his apartment when he wants you out early Sunday so to not have you there with him, I mean, you want him to want you with him, not your toothbrush and such.

    My point is that some behaviors cancel others. Yelling and rudeness cancel sweet treats and occasional kindness.


    * I didn’t read your third post when I typed all the above (double posting)

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.

    Dear Anita,

    I haven’t seen this perspective before. The awful duality of his words and actions. The comparisons you make seem to me like a balance of cheapness and abandonment. He gave his cheap breadcrumbs to me so that when he was his true self I could just shut up. The dog logic as my sister calls it. He trained me. So much was his lack of everything that when he did give me something BOOM, it seemed huge in my eyes.

    The sad part is, is that even though I get your point, and the point of logic and everybody else (including my therapist) I still have moments of doubt. And it starts to create opposite polars in me. Sometimes I’m zoning off, completely cut off of my surroundings. I can hear nor see anything but just 2 people arguing in my head, 2 me-s. One on his side and one on the logical side. While this is happening I’m in a complete memory gap. I don’t know what and if I do or say anything during this time. Nor do I recall afterwards. Strange…

    It’s just that in a sense, I think he “chased” me and “fought” for us in his own way, but not in the way I would expect. I don’t mean begging and all that, but just to pursue someone valuable you don’t want to lose from your life.



    Dear Sofioula:

    “Strange…” only because you don’t understand it yet, what is fueling this memory gap/ being “completely cut off of my surroundings”. As a matter of fact, I used to experience a lot of that before, lost in my own world, oblivious to my surroundings. Like you, I too was “Questioning myself” a whole lot.

    I wonder how much of your childhood experience with your parents and sister has to do with this. She was/ is explosive like him, when he is…? Your parents were preoccupied with your sister, not with you.. something here?



    Reading your post of the list of his bad behavior… did you ever meet any of his family or friends during the time you were together? Given that he wouldn’t ever bring you around anyone, wouldn’t take you to parties, post about you on social media, or show you photos of vacations with friends, it’s sounding like were a side girl…. especially if you NEVER met his family. Meaning he had a girlfriend and you were the one he was cheating with… or he just has a bunch of side girls and doesn’t want any of them to find out about the others. When men are serious, they introduce their girlfriends to their friends and family and include them. If they don’t, there’s something wrong.

    I’m sure he cared about you, which is why he would text you and maybe even call randomly, but you might want to rethink getting back together with him, if that’s what that text message was. He also might be trying to feed his ego and seeing if you’re still on the line. Either way, not texting back was probably the right thing to do. I’d forget about this one and find someone who will be proud to show you off to his friends and family and will want to truly include you in his life.


    Dear Anita,

    How did you manage to overcome it? Should I be worried about it or is it just a coping mechanism?

    My family’s situation has always been this : my sister first, my sister most. She was the center of my parents attention, she still is to this day because she is a difficult person, FULL of anger and explosive behaviors mixed with constant negativity, toxicity, bitterness, narcissism, lack of empathy and fear of abandonment. So they have their hand full all the time. Don’t get me wrong, they love me to the core, they love us equally and I was never left behind, but I received less attention, because they think I’m strong and capable of working and doing things on my own. The call me the survivor, the fighter, the logical one and the sweetness in their life. That is a reward in itself but still… It bothers me sometimes.

    I don’t want to always have to be strong. But no one actually believes I’m low when I am, because I always overcome whatever it is on my own. And when I truly am helpless, they don’t get it.


    Dear Valora

    During the span of our relationship I only met his friends 4 times, 1 of which being on his name day and one on his birthday. His only “family” I’ve ever met was his 2 second cousins and they weren’t that close at all. He flat out denied meeting his sister being FURIOUS I’ve even asked (cowardly asked). He said there was no point in meeting her. If there would be a party where she was and he would happen to invite me then maybe (his exact words).

    He used to lie about things. A lipstick stained glass I found at his place, saying it was his mom’s, while his mom was already way for over a week…His sister’s flights to Greece (she lives in Switzerland) where nowhere to be found in the Athens International Airport flight track system. Saying that happens because the flights are transit(I was a flight attendant so I know these things are bs). Scratches on his ribcage, saying it was from basketball, when it just couldn’t because that area was covered by the blouse.

    One thing I forgot to mention was once, he told me to meet at his place and that then I would have to return home because his best mate’s sister had a party. And guess what? He didn’t invite me because it was not his party and didn’t have the authority.

    I think he was ashamed of me because I am not rich or anything. Because I have a presumably “hot” body, I workout, I’m blonde,have green eyes, wear makeup and take care of myself etc… I have graduated from Greece’s best university, speak 6 foreign languages (with diplomas), have a job of my own, never asked for money God forbit, or any favors… I cooked for him, did his pile dishes and gave him massages EVERY SINGLE WEEK…Ugh… I can’t be THAT bad.!!!


    Dear Soufiola:

    I will reply to you later, maybe in a few hours maybe longer, but no later than 17 hours from now.



    Sofioula, based on what you’ve said, I don’t think it was because he was ashamed of you. I think he was hiding you because he’s also seeing someone else and that person is most likely integrated into his family which is probably why he won’t bring you around them.

    I really don’t think this has anything at all to do with you and what kind of person you are or whether or not he’s ashamed of you. I think this is all him and his own issues, and it sounds like you can do a lot better.


    Dear Anita,

    Of course! Take as much time as you need 🙂

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Sofioula.

    Dear Valora,

    Truth be told, my sister was telling me from the beginning to be cautious, because from where he’s from, people get engaged or “promised” from an early age. When I told him about this he confronted me and was either laughing about it (jokingly referring to his supposed harem) or getting agitated about  it. I think his real girlfriend was either away in Switzerland with his sister studying, or England (he used to talk to me a lot about his English teacher’s daughter saying he was videochatting with her to practice his English. Once, he received a video call on skype, his was in another room. He answered I heard an excited girly voice and the he promptly said to her : I’ll call you back and hung up. He came on his own saying that was his sister. I told him he should talk to her, that it’s fine by me but he refused saying it was no biggie. After that he was nervous AF, trying to get me to want to leave his place and return home.) Another theory is that he had a girlfriend back at his birth place and as you say, was integrated into the family.

    I’m saddened about this, as if I think is my fault. I was lesser than her… Maybe he is proud of her and not me. It’s like she won the contest and I am the sad looser. As sickening as it sounds, it is engraved in my mind by society that, you as a woman keep a man. And I didn’t…


    Dear Sofioula:

    I read all your posts since January this year. I will answer the question you asked me last at the end of this post. This is what I believe likely happened/ is happening (this will be a long post):

    You shared about your “1st bf..1st in general” a list of his long term disrespect for you: he mocked you when you cried after he told you that he sees no future with you. He yelled and screamed at you and hung up the phone on you telling you he has other business and has no time for you. Before that, after spending time with you in his home, he didn’t give you rides back to your home, and instead he let you take three buses and walk a long way, including that one time when you were ill. He had another woman in his life, or other women… and the list goes on.

    Let’s go back in time: your parents, for whatever reasons (maybe they worked a lot), did not pay attention to your sister when she was a young girl, nor did they pay attention to you as a child.

    This is what you wrote about your sister: “She is explosive.. a difficult person, FULL of anger and explosive behaviors mixed with constant negativity, toxicity, bitterness.. lack of empathy and fear of abandonment”-

    – she fears abandonment because she was abandoned, in her early years, feeling all alone with her intense fear, hurt, sadness.. no one there to ask her questions, to listen to her, to comfort her. She is and has been full of anger for a long time because she was hurt a lot, scared and alone.

    It is only later in her childhood, when her anger was too visible and audible to go unnoticed, that your parents paid attention to her. I imagine she was a teenager when they noticed her explosive anger and it is then that she became “their main preoccupation”, as she is to this very day.

    Observing your parents burden of having a troubled daughter (your sister), you wanted to “alleviate the burdens of my folks” and you wanted some of their attention, so you took on the role of the no-trouble daughter, the good daughter, “the obedient one, the selfless”,  “the exact opposite” as you stated yourself.

    Observing your sister’s explosive angry behavior and how it burdened your parents, you figured “anger is a bad habit”. When you felt anger at your sister and at your parents for not giving you the attention you so craved, you beat yourself up for feeing that anger. So you figured you are… a bad person, not worthy of love, not deserving love (“It’s all a matter of self worth.. I believe it is all I deserve”, you wrote regarding your one year relationship).

    All this time, this “people’s pleaser, a yes girl and non assertive at all”, this girl was angry all along, but she wouldn’t dare express it, like her sister did, and add burden to their lives.

    That “‘b*tch I had in my brain criticizing me ALL THE TIME, and bringing me down”- is you feeling guilty for wanting more from your parents and for feeling angry for not receiving more; anger for being a doormat, for living like a less-than others, for wanting and not being “able to be me”.

    “can’t be a forever doormat” you wrote. You were a doormat in the context of your family of origin and you continued this role in the context of your first relationship.

    “He trained me”, you wrote regarding your ex boyfriend. But he didn’t. He took advantage of the training you received at home earlier.

    You wrote regarding your parents: “my sister first, my sister most… I received less attention, because they think I’m strong and capable working and doing things on my own”-

    -when you were a child, it was very unrealistic of your parents to think that you were strong enough to not need their loving attention and guidance. (No child is strong that way).

    Later, it was conveneint to think this way, because they were otherwise occupied, so it is nice to think: oh, Sofioula doesn’t need our attention, good thing, because we are otherwise busy.

    Your parents praise you for being “the sweetness in their lives”- you definitely don’t want to reveal to them the part of you that is not so sweet, the hurt and angry part.

    When you wrote about the woman you imagine your ex boyfriend to be with, you wrote: “I think is my fault… It’s like she won the contest and I am the sad loser’- the contest between you and your sister is what is underneath, isn’t it?

    Only there was no winner in that original context, both you and your sisters lost that contest. Your parents’ attention toward your sister came a bit too late. I do hope she attends quality psychotherapy and heals.

    You asked me regarding being lost in thoughts and forgetting time and place, “How did you manage to overcome it? Should I be worried about it or is it just a coping mechanism?”-

    – it is those strong emotions that are being repressed, pushed down, that rise to the surface at those times, creating that confusion, that strange experience of being cut off from time and place, as if gone. These emotions need to be attended to.

    It is the lack of attention to the strong emotions you felt as a child that created your troubles. To heal, these emotions need to be acknowledged and validated.

    You wrote regarding that rude man, your ex boyfriend: “The one thing that helps is finding reasons to be angry, instead of sad. I know, anger is a bad habit”-

    – your anger needs to be acknowledged and validated. It is not a bad emotion. It is a natural emotions that animals are born with. It has a good purpose, to notice when we need so to live a healthy life, to reject abuse and mistreatment. When you acknowledged some of it in the context of your ex boyfriend, it helped. It will help if you acknowledge it in the context of your home life.

    But it will not be easy because you are invested in the role of the good daughter, the obedient, the one who is not angry, and because you believe anger is a bad emotion.

    If you like, let me know of your thoughts and feelings.





    I’m saddened about this, as if I think is my fault. I was lesser than her… Maybe he is proud of her and not me. It’s like she won the contest and I am the sad looser. As sickening as it sounds, it is engraved in my mind by society that, you as a woman keep a man. And I didn’t…

    Please don’t take this personally. I really, REALLY think it isn’t about you in any way. Try thinking about this another way…. this other girl that “won the contest” gets a guy that was constantly cheating on her. She won a pile of garbage. That’s NOT really winning. She was also there before you, so you could be literally the best person on the planet, and this guy won’t see it because he’s got his own issues and a previously formed attachment to her. Also, some guys wouldn’t know quality if it was standing there in front of them, flashing “QUALITY WOMAN” in lights and sirens, so it really isn’t good to place your worth on those guys. Know what I mean?

    You’re right that society does ingrain this in our minds… that if we can’t keep a man that we aren’t worth it… but society is wrong about a lot of things, and this is a big one. Think of it this way…. the point of dating people is to find your true match… the person that you naturally connect with and are supposed to be with. If we continue to think that we have to keep a man (even a TERRIBLE one) because we are worthless if we don’t… how will we ever be free to find our match? We’d always be trying to hold onto the wrong ones just to feel good about ourselves while they make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s completely counterproductive.

    So it’s not that you are less than or not worth it to this guy… he’s just not your match… and thank God because he’s very clearly a terrible boyfriend.  Quite frankly, NO ONE is going to be his match until he grows up.


    Above all…. please remember…. your worth does not and will never depend on what another person thinks or what another person chooses. 

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