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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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  • #372536
    Danny
    Participant

    Ah yes, I do hope @Shelbyville and @Tim (man to man) also read my progress one day. All played such a huge role in my growth and journey.

    @Sammy Funny you should mention Bridgerton, ‘B’ insisted I binge watch it with her over the festive period and I can honestly say their characters reflect us in many ways

    ‘B’ – kind-hearted deeply loves her family, upholds her values and goes out of her way to help others but is not afraid to put across her thoughts.

    Me – witty, tall, devilishly handsome and pretty sure I could teach her and my pull out game would be just as strong if given the chance ahaha. I’m half joking but I related to his demons that haunted him. How he thought Daphne deserved better but deep down it was always her. Their love grew from friendship and they didn’t have an instant romantic attraction very much like ‘B’ and me.

    Caught myself saying ‘I burn for you!’ to ‘B’ just to tease her, and I doooo! But all in good time. Honestly the intimacy has increased ten folds by waiting, I’m cherishing it all.

    Apparently since getting engaged I’ve turned into a soppy mess and don’t shut up about us. I guess I’m really happy.

    I think you and @Kkasxo are so wise. You really understand the implications of inserting yourself in someone elses life before having done the work or healed. If I could rewind time I wish I’d processed and got to a better space mentally perhaps I would have not caused pain. Hurt people really do hurt people.

    I think if after that many years a guy failed to value you, he will always revert back to those bad habits. So starting afresh is something you deserve.

    I just think don’t sell up to erase memories of him, it is your home. Learning to accept and become indifferent is healthier than just cutting something away. Because if he is still living rent free in your mind no matter where you go he will follow.

    Just sit with the feeling and see if it feels naturally right direction and something you will not regret later.

    You’re doing extremely well, so pace yourself and I’m here mate!

    #372537
    Danny
    Participant

    Hi @NBC,

    I never thought I’d be welcoming someone but it feels so cool! So howdy and come on board mate. The folk on here are sweet 👌

    Thanks for your well wishes, still can not digest the kindness of you all!

    I have to say though, I really don’t believe in happy ever afters. Maybe the betrayal I experienced with ‘A’  or just maturing to realise relationships are not easy and can’t be reduced to living happily ever after also can humans ever really be happy?!

    That’s a really interesting question you posed though mate! Short answer is Yes and No ahaha.

    It boils down to how do you define chemistry? Many people have different definitions.

    Some people describe it as purely a spark or butterflies they feel based on physical attraction.

    Some people describe it as an instant “click” with someone.

    For me with maturing I’d describe chemistry as a combination of desire and emotional connect.

    Did I have chemistry with ‘B’ the first time?

    100% yes.

    How?

    We could text or calls for hours. The connection was instant and I felt like I had known her forever, we emotionally vibed. Convo always flowed. I’d find myself trying to resist talking to her to play it cool.

    When we would meet for dates, we enjoyed each others company so much even without sex, we’d lose track of time.

    When I saw ‘B’ in person, I’ve always had to resist putting my hands where I shouldn’t- just being honest. We always had natural sexual banter and even now flirt up a storm which is fun until this day. The sexual chemistry was there.

    There is a very very fine line which differentiates a best friend from a lover – that’s sexual desire. If you fantasise, share a more intimate bond or desires you’re not just best friends!! It would feel confusing to feel that way about a friend, that’s when you know you’re in trouble, it’s more!

    Now was my chemistry for ‘B’ the driving force for my epiphany?

    Yes and no.

    Yes chemistry can show you the huge potential that you and another person can have in a relationship. It’s the beginning of something beautiful, but ultimately romantic attraction requires work. To become lovers you need to spend more time together, it would not have blossomed into the love we share now if we didn’t work at it.

    So was chemistry the primary force for me to reflect and go back?

    No, my reflection occured from reaching an impasse in life. I felt hollow and questioned (I posted some of those questions previously) what I needed and wanted. Who I was? Etc.

    I went back to ‘B’ –  because of many factors that of which includes the chemistry. If the others didn’t exist i.e. emotional understanding or shared goals I wouldn’t have reconciled. I matured to respect her values, and cherish the qualities which I took for granted. This angel stopped me from drowning, inspired me to be better and that’s not just down to chemistry, its down to her as a human being. Finding a person who does that within you is rare.

    I know if our love, God forbid, doesnt withstand the test of time alongside it I’ll lose the friendship. You can never go back, so you must cherish it.

    Does that answer your question NBC?

    You mentioned the men never had an epiphany, did you want that from all of them? You don’t need them to be validated.

    Also a woman should never need to chase a man. A real man always steps up even if he is erroneous. Those men you dated  most likely never returned not because it’s a reflection of you but them:

    A) never had serious intentions – so you’re well rid

    B) Not many men can brave facing hard truths and growing. It was really challenging and painful for me. It’s sometimes  easier for men to compartmentalise and move on rather than fight. This can be down to low self worth or just that they don’t know what they want!

    Hope it helps, feel free to ask more. Happy New Year to you!

    #372538
    Danny
    Participant

    @Kkasxo so good to see your post. Means a lot homie.

    That sucks and not the start to the year you deserve but if you fight it off now should have the antigens. In your infamous words…silver linings?!

    Rest rest and rest. Enjoy the Netflix binge, any series you are enjoying? I never understood the hype until I met ‘B’. Usually I just game or find me playing snooker!

    It is strange you are still finding your way back together for a little longer, maybe some unresolved business remains with Mr A? Even if that’s spiritual closure?

    Homie, I wish you a very speedy recovery and good health.

    If you need anything do @ me. Get well soon! Hope to hear you’re back on your feet asap.

    #372542
    NBC
    Participant

    Hi, Danny!

    Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for the sweet welcome, I am really touched…

    I know about the happy-ever-after, but one can dream just a little bit, can’t one? 😉

    I would agree with your definition of chemistry. I would say that I “click” with people who can be my friends (and more) – the emotional part – and desire, that is physical attraction (for a partner). Would that fit your definition?

    “There is a very very fine line which differentiates a best friend from a lover – that’s sexual desire” – totally agree.

    “To become lovers you need to spend more time together, it would not have blossomed into the love we share now if we didn’t work at it.” – agree 100% as well.

    Thank you so much for your detailed answer. You see, to cut a long story short, I was betrayed by my “A.”

    Then recovering, I had a fantastic date with a guy. He followed up, but not too eagerly, it was a drastic contrast with how well we had clicked (as I thought), chemistry and all. So I never pursued it. Besides, it would have meant long-distance and with another country, too, so I let it drop.

    At about the same time, another man showed up. The way you described your dealings with “B” fit 100% the way it was for us. Of course, from my perspective. Talked for hours, exceptional chemistry, witty dialogues, similar feelings about things in life – the list can go on. This man, though, warned me two months into our relationship (I had told myself that I was not going to see him for more than a friend) that he just couldn’t have a serious relationship then (he was separated). He said he could be a very good friend and that’s it.

    Because of my fresh breakup with “A” and because of his marital status, I had been proceeding with caution. (Besides, that guy from my travels had also messed me up a tiny bit.) When “B” announced that, I thought, Fine, I haven’t treated you as more than a friend, I am totally okay with it.

    Our relationship – I guess you can call it “emotional affair” – continued. With all the sexual tension, chemistry, innuendos here and there, etc.

    And then he just stopped communicating. I reached out to him a couple of times, he answered back. But he never asked questions, never elaborated. So I let it be.

    That was five and four years ago.

    I learnt that he had tried to reconcile with his wife, at her initiative, for the umpteenth time. It didn’t work for the umpteenth time.

    Last year, I found out that he had moved out for good having sold his part of the house to her.

    Also, last year, he wrote to me “Hi, how are you?”. I thought that he may have wanted to resume our communication, but no. Again, sparks flying between the lines of our short email exchange, but no serious follow-up on his part.

    Several months later I found out that he had indeed divorced his wife.

    For some reason – and I don’t know what it is – I still think he is the one for me.

    I don’t know why. It has been five years (!) since we stopped communicating for real. True, I did get into the habit of checking his Twitter now and then. It gave me the illusion of still being present in his life. I stopped it for good two months ago. Don’t really have the temptation now.

    Another reason might be that I simply haven’t met anybody in the course of these five years. I did have a few infatuations with other men, but they were short-lived and one-sided, more like a schoolgirl crushing on her professor or a fan on an actor. I knew that those men were not for me. Either in a loving relationship or clearly stating that they were not looking for romance, not just a romance with me, but intended to remain single.

    On the other hand, I have been jokingly approached by much older men (I am 35) or by men for whom I had zero physical attraction, even worse. Some of them wanted a second date, some didn’t, but I never wanted one, so it all ended there.

    Hence my question to you about the chemistry.

    Firstly, I am wondering why that man hasn’t approached me again, given the incredible chemistry and sparks just sizzling in the air that we had, especially given that he is free now. I just can’t believe that I had imagined it all! I have always been pretty accurate in “getting the feel” from others. And that incredible feeling of bonding and care paired with a little bit of teasing was still there when we exchanged that couple of lines two and half years later last year.

    He repeated several times, when we actively communicated and later, that he was a “mess.” Does he still feel he is a mess and, as such, not ready to approach me? Or anybody else, because I know that he hasn’t met anybody new?

    It just makes sense for him to do the same thing you did for “B.” Only I know that real life seldom makes sense or resembles a good film or a book…

    And secondly, I am wondering why I haven’t met anybody new with whom I would have mutual attraction. It has been five years after all. I haven’t really thought about that man that much in the past year or two. I did feel attraction for others. I do have a few good male friends around me. However, I don’t think they can ever be more than friends because of that lack of sexual attraction. And it is mutual. None of them has ever professed their love for me. It is more like brothers and sister. There are guys who can be very good friends, but whom one never sees as lovers. I am afraid that is my case. Even though they are super nice, decent lads.

    Ultimately, I wonder if it is still a matter of time and numbers?

    Any ideas are welcome!

    And how do you tag somebody on Tiny Buddha?

     

    #372581
    Rhaenys
    Participant

    @Danny

    Congratulations! WOw! That such news.. although I expected that when you said you will propose. But still. COngrats!

    B sounds like such a great keeper, but the way you care and think abouth her now, you are too, now. And you give great advices.

    I would really like to meet someone who think about me the way you do about B. (And me about him, of course. :D)

     

    @Kkasxo

    I’m really sorry about your situation, it sounds really bad… Really seems like you-don’t-know-whether-to-cry-or-laugh situation.

    Although you do seem to bit handling it well.

     

    #372582
    Rhaenys
    Participant

    @Sammy

    I’ll reply to somethings you wrote…

    ” I do wonder if I feel the need to cling to the love of his family because it vicariously or indirectly allows me to feel loved by him as he is their son.” – yes, that may be the case.

    Holidays are hard. I felt that too. Did you spend them with your family and friends? I did, and they were still really hard.

    I’ve never had boyfriends introduce me that much into their family. I missed my ex during holidays a lot. And I don’t understand that bonding and feeling of missing his family, but it may be just because of the reason you wrote.

    “He did have an awakening of sorts after I contacted him for closure but in the end I knew based on the many years together it was empty promises and too late…. Maybe deep down I’m still holding onto something and hence by taking bold actions I feel it will speed up the process of fully healing rather than dealing with what I’m actually feeling?… I want to fully heal, that will allow me then to give my all to someone new.”

    It seemed to me that you actually maybe had a chance to reconnect with your ex after your talk, and you realized it was empty promises, so you move forward. That is something that was always really hard to me, so I know how hard it is. And the way you don’t rush into something you. I admire that.

    I know it’s hard, but you seem to really want to make progress, forget him and move on.. That takes a lot of ocurage. and giving yourself time…

    However… “It’s what led me to overindulging in alcohol using it as a crutch and that spiral…I’m not too sure if that’s what may be happening again if I’m being honest, food for thought.”

    These worried me.. Are you ok? Does living with your family help?

     

    Me… I have ups and downs. Panic attacks stopped, I’m sleeping well, I have apetite, I don’t have anxiety attacs. But I feel hopeless. I think anxiety is here all the time, just not on surface. And a bit of depression.. maybe a good word would be deep sadness.

    Holidays were so hard. I live with my family and I have friends, but I guess that’s not the live I wanted for my 30s and I don’t know if it will ever change. Living alone seems even worse.

    Sometimes I ask myself what it’s all worth for.. Going to work, earning money, for what? With pandemic, being home all og the time, most of my friends in relationships going forward, so not really thinking anything will change even with pandemic stops, I’m a bit of hopeless. I know everything can change in a day, but my past experiences are bad, so…

    My mom is a big support, and she says she has a feeling everything will go better for me this year, and she has a gut, instinct for this things, so that actually gives me hope (maybe it’s funny.. but it helps).

    I had some hard times (sometines feeling lonely, also some fights and problems at home in my family – not me directly invovlved), so I contacted him and he also me a few times… I know it’s not maybe smart but I couldn’t help it. I still do miss him. I also know I want family in future, so it would be better for me to find someone who wants that too, as my ex is too young (me 33, him 25) and doesn’t want it yet.

    So we were just talking about our lives, what we do… I think we still do care about each other a lot. I try not to except anthing from that, although I admit I kind of have a wish for him to choose me (like Danny did with B), but I also see it’s not realistic. So, I guess I’m not very proud of contact (I haven’t told anybody) but couldn’t help it either.

    I have some good times with friends, but then I feel down when I come home again… I also play piano a lot, it’s something I started after break-up and at first used it as something that allows me to think and past time, but I think I also like it. I still feel like I need something outside to change, and every day is really similar, and not really inspiring.

    So I admire Sammy when you say you want to heal.. I feel like I’m still in a way missing my ex, and I don’t know how can that past excpet is someone new comes.. I tend to stay in love in a guy until I meet another. I don’t know if’ that’s just me and my problem, and how to change that.

     

    #372583
    Rhaenys
    Participant

    @NBC

    Welcome here. I have to get to work now but I’ll get back to you later if you wish.

    Just to answer.. “And how do you tag somebody on Tiny Buddha?”

    You just write: @ and then his forum name. For example: @NBC

    And then the user gets e-mail about being tagged.

    #372668
    Danny
    Participant

    @NBC

    To tag someone put @ in front of their username like above.

    This thread by @Shelbyville has been a huge part of my decisions so I hope it equally helps you. The posters on this thread are wise, warm, challenging, fair and non judgemental. I’m happy to return the warmth I received.

    Don’t let anyone stop you from dreaming. Life can be whatever you will, with a positive vibe.

    Yes, your definition of chemistry is in line with mine. Initially I used to think chemistry was purely fireworks and physical but I’ve evolved and matured.

    I’m sorry to read of your betrayal those type of relationships can leave deep wounds and unless we face the pain head on and reach peace, the wounds will continue to impact subsequent relationships. I hope you have taken time to work through your emotions surrounding that chapter in your life.

    In reference to your ‘B’ it appears you definitely shared a very deep emotional bond. Often this can be the basis of an incredible relationship. However from your dialogue there also seems to have been different mitigating factors to B and I.

    You asked for reasons why he hasn’t contacted you or pursued a serious relationship now he’s a free man. Here are some reasons (good and bad)

    1) You mentioned he finally got a divorce, which is a big decision. He probably has not healed. Hence the possible reference to being a “mess” – if this is the case he’s done you a favour by not reinserting himself back into your life when he can’t give you an equal footed relationship. Becoming involved with an emotionally unavailable man would only bring you pain and eventually resentment.

    2) Although you perceived your bond to be deep and meaningful. He’s a man he may have compartmentalised and boxes you off as his form of escapism or emotional crutch ☹ – if he was not divorced when you met or still hung up on his relationship with his ex then that is also emotional cheating on his part. You’re lucky to have escaped yourself in that case! You deserve better than that type of relationship.

    3) If he made mistakes like me but the connection was genuinely real then he maybe hasn’t reached an impasse? He hasn’t done any growth. You shouldn’t wait for him. You should always carry on if your paths converge again then if you feel so strongly still then go for it. B did this she moved on, was happy and striving still.

    4) Oh another thing to note about men is we can be physically attracted, have great chemistry but not develop romantic attraction due to an inner conflict. Maybe he is confused like I was so doesn’t even know what he needs or wants. Unless he explores he will waste his own time and continue to do that with anyone he encounters.

     

    If your relationship was like mine and ‘B’ with reflection any guy would have incredible regret. But not many can put their pride/fears aside to act on it.

    I can only derive conclusions based on experience and typical male behaviour.

    However, so many questions and pain could be resolved by just communicating directly with him. Given it has been 5 years I suggest you do contact him and ask him directly you have nothing to lose, it seems you had no closure to that chapter.

    ‘B’ was always the type to let bygones be bygones and break any silence because she is just so open, kind and nurturing. So when she didn’t contact me and the months rolled on. Do you know what my ego had me believe?

    She was not genuine, she didn’t care etc and I projected my negative feelings onto her. Had I not grown up my ego could have cost me so much. A lot of the times it’s nothing to do with the other person but our own conflicts.

    Making amends with ‘B’ brought so much to the surface for both of us and it was cathartic. Even if she had chose to not try again, I know I had done the best thing for both our souls and healing.

    Why do I think you haven’t found someone new? It could be a whole range of reasons, the answer lies within you.

    • Have you genuinely invested in yourself and moved on?
    • You may be comparing the new prospects to him?
    • You still hold hope for him?
    • You think you want commitment but deep down you do not know what you want or need in a relationship?
    • You may have low self esteem and think you don’t deserve better as a result of your other betrayal.

    I think the main thing is you don’t have closure. If you did you’d make better choices for yourself and not curve so many people for one person who after 5 years failed to step up.

    You need acceptance and peace, with self discovery you may be able to give it to yourself like ‘B’. You just need to clear your thoughts and listen to your soul and do what’s best for you.

    Maybe you haven’t found someone new because your wounds from this “emotional affair ” are still there 5 years on alongside the betrayal and you don’t realise you deserve better?

    What i did for ‘B ‘ may read as a fairy tale and I don’t want people to think that’s it – happily ever after. I deeply wounded another person and currently things are bliss, but I still have a long way to go. Although some of the bits you’ve read are romantic and our connection really is beautiful there was a lot of pain and sometimes in all honesty I wanted to throw in the towel. Its working at it together and that’s what is key.

    I don’t have any close female friends, I’ve always been between billy no mates or a lads lad! I am a very hot blooded male so if I was physically attracted to a woman that I happen to be very close friends with, I’d probably ruin the friendship. Which is why finding my best friend and lover in ‘B’ is so special. On flip side I have double to lose.

    You know my brothers partner he once saw her like his bros but one day something changed. So you never know don’t rule out all your male friends. Timing plays a big role.

    In the end it may just be a number game if you are well developed, mature and emotionally healthy!

    Hope it helps mate!

    #372669
    Danny
    Participant

    @Sammy mate you doing ok?

    @Kkasxo hope you’re kicking ass with Covid. Rest up and be well soon!!

    @Rhaenys Thanks so much for your wishes. I hope you find someone who cherishes you. You deserve that. Keep up the growth and it can only lead you to a path of greatness. Also remember being happy alone is normal too. A relationship is not the only thing that can add to our happiness.

     

    #372681
    NBC
    Participant

    Rhaenys and Danny:

    Thank you for disclosing the secret 😊 I saw people tag each other, but couldn’t figure out how to do it on my own.

    We need to be careful though. It appears that the system allows for members to have the same names so the Tim that Rhaenys or Danny tagged is not the Tim who actively participated on Shelbyville’s thread:

    https://tinybuddha.com/members/tim/

    https://tinybuddha.com/members/tim1/

     

    #372682
    NBC
    Participant

    Danny,

    Your TinyBuddha page says though that you are Dannydan 😊

    https://tinybuddha.com/members/dannydan/

    And if I click on the other members’ @Danny, I get to “chanty”:

    https://tinybuddha.com/members/danny/

    I wonder if @Dannydan tags you?

    Anyway… Yes, I noticed that posters here are very kind and warm and that I can relate to a lot of experiences and feelings expressed in their posts. So I hope to gain some clarity, too, especially since you, a male, is here with his male prospective.

    I also returned to your previous reply and to your words and gave them more thought:

    1. A) never had serious intentions – so you’re well rid
    2. B) Not many men can brave facing hard truths and growing. It was really challenging and painful for me. It’s sometimes easier for men to compartmentalise and move on rather than fight. This can be down to low self worth or just that they don’t know what they want!

    Yes, one of the reasons why I don’t rush into relationships is that if a man has serious intentions, he will wait. If not, there is nothing to regret. Unfortunately, if I get attached, I get attached. Even if it is just to my fantasy of what it would feel like to be with this or that man. It does take time to stop thinking about somebody. Sometimes it happens naturally, without much effort on my part like with those crushes, sometimes it takes longer and a more conscious effort.

    You B) paragraph does fit my B. I feel that he is great at compartmentalising. He is a successful man, but it doesn’t mean that he may have low self-worth deep down. (Though him saying that he is just a dumb military guy sounded more like false modesty.) “Don’t know what they want” somehow fits, too. However, when we actively communicated, it did feel like he knew what he wanted and a few times his phrases could be understood like he knew that he wanted expressly me. He said that he didn’t need to think twice. He asked me whether I was his, and then, when confronted, denied. Said that “we” wouldn’t “drag the situation” for a long time. Joked about “pillow talks.” But even during that active phase, he pulled away a few times and then came back. Said that we should talk several times and never set day or time. Said we (oh, I loved how he said “we”!) should go here and there, do this and that together, and we hardly ever did. In short, in reality, he wasn’t quite a “very good friend” he said he would be. Thus one more reason for me back then to be very cautious. Of course, I was aware that he was still married, so I never pursued it or invited him myself to do something together.

    • You mentioned he finally got a divorce, which is a big decision. He probably has not healed. Hence the possible reference to being a “mess” – if this is the case he’s done you a favour by not reinserting himself back into your life when he can’t give you an equal footed relationship. Becoming involved with an emotionally unavailable man would only bring you pain and eventually resentment.
    • Although you perceived your bond to be deep and meaningful. He’s a man he may have compartmentalised and boxes you off as his form of escapism or emotional crutch – if he was not divorced when you met or still hung up on his relationship with his ex then that is also emotional cheating on his part. You’re lucky to have escaped yourself in that case! You deserve better than that type of relationship.

    Yes. I agree that even if a divorce has been coming for a long time (in his case it was about ten years), even if a man has been living separately for some time, one should give the man at least a year of new, officially independent life to figure himself out. That year isn’t over, and we have Covid, and his daughter had just started college, and it is of course remote for the most part, so his son and daughter probably alternate between their mother’s place and his. I guessed right that, at the very latest, they would divorce when his younger daughter goes to college.

    What also helped is me telling myself that even if he had promised to get back to me, it doesn’t mean that he would.

    So ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we did or didn’t do five years ago. (We did cuddle fully clothed, but never kissed, even though he tried, but didn’t insist when I turned away. But that cuddling probably sealed my attachment even further, just because of how few men I like and how good it felt.)

    • If he made mistakes like me but the connection was genuinely real then he maybe hasn’t reached an impasse? He hasn’t done any growth. You shouldn’t wait for him. You should always carry on if your paths converge again then if you feel so strongly still then go for it. B did this she moved on, was happy and striving still.

    4) Oh another thing to note about men is we can be physically attracted, have great chemistry but not develop romantic attraction due to an inner conflict. Maybe he is confused like I was so doesn’t even know what he needs or wants. Unless he explores he will waste his own time and continue to do that with anyone he encounters.

    Also rings true. My New Year’s major resolution was to stop looking up his Twitter until and if he contacts me again. If he hasn’t wanted me in his life for so long, why should I be bothered? It will be easier to forget him without this extra reminder of him. My other crushes did go out of my mind because nothing was feeding my imagination – no social media for some, no updates on social media for others.

    But his posts, quite varied, gave an impression that his is doing this, doing that, probably enjoying his life since he was finally free (he confessed once that he “dreaded” his wife) and retired early with a stable military pension and small freelance jobs here and there.

    However, so many questions and pain could be resolved by just communicating directly with him. Given it has been 5 years I suggest you do contact him and ask him directly you have nothing to lose, it seems you had no closure to that chapter.

    Well, after half a year of his no contacting me, I did write him in June 2017 saying that I had been on a few dates, but I failed to feel the same connection that I thought he and I shared. I told him I thought he was special. He replied that he was flattered, but no, oh no, ugh, he was sorry if he had given me the wrong idea.

    It can’t be more clear, can it?

    So I thought that was where our ways parted for good until he sent that how are you? message in December 2019. I thought he had completely forgotten about me. Turned out he hadn’t. More than that, because of that little exchange two and a half (!) years later, we are on speaking terms again, as if nothing had happened, including my confession. Not that we spoke again since December 2019, but I feel that I now have permission to contact him should I need it (not that I think I will).

    Why do I think you haven’t found someone new? It could be a whole range of reasons, the answer lies within you.

    • Have you genuinely invested in yourself and moved on?
      • You may be comparing the new prospects to him?
      • You still hold hope for him?
      • You think you want commitment but deep down you do not know what you want or need in a relationship?
      • You may have low self esteem and think you don’t deserve better as a result of your other betrayal.

    I think the main thing is you don’t have closure. If you did you’d make better choices for yourself and not curve so many people for one person who after 5 years failed to step up.

    You need acceptance and peace, with self discovery you may be able to give it to yourself like ‘B’. You just need to clear your thoughts and listen to your soul and do what’s best for you.

    Maybe you haven’t found someone new because your wounds from this “emotional affair ” are still there 5 years on alongside the betrayal and you don’t realise you deserve better?

    Well, when I wrote that I still thought deep down he was the one for me, if I look deep enough, I find that he matched my desires on a number of levels all at once. And I simply haven’t encountered anybody to match that.

    One was that emotional constituent. I told him about my exes and love life, he did the same; we discussed world affairs, politics, finance, likes and dislikes and so on and so forth. It was never boring and I could effortlessly funny with him. Somehow, witty retorts to his words would come just like that to me, and we would both laugh out loud.

    Another was sexual desire that you pointed out. I have given a lot of thought to what makes male friends different from a potential partner. And I came to the conclusion that yes, I have male friends with whom I click just as well on the intellectual level, but I have zero desire to cuddle with them, to give them a hug. Even though some may have features which I normally find physically attractive in a man.

    For better or worse, I meet few men for whom I feel that sexual desire. But sometimes I feel it with hardly any warning. And that gives me hope, that not all is lost.

    The problem is that the other person must feel it too, right? That hasn’t happened yet.

    And the other person must also be compatible with me in terms of that emotional ingredient. And willing to build on, to work on it all. That, combined with the sexual piece, hasn’t happened yet either.

    In addition, B was better looking than my A and his resume so to speak was better. Outer appearance and position in life are not the most important things (if there is no chemistry, I don’t care if the man is King or President and physically attractive), but it definitely contributed to making it harder for me to forget him. You see, it felt as if one door (A) closed and here I have another door (B) opening, markedly better than my ex from all angles.

    But the main thing is that sexual desire. I have met men for whom I felt it, but they didn’t feel it for me. They were few and far between (it has always been like that), but they existed, including after B. And vice versa. Some wanted a second date, but I couldn’t just force myself. And what’s the point of pretending? I have never been good at it. Surely, one date is enough. Particularly, if I feel aversion for the man (yes, there have been cases like that, with no valid logical reason). I am not going to like him.

    And this is something I can’t bypass. I can enjoy a lively discussion with somebody, but if I don’t feel like holding his hand, that’s it. He can only be a friend, no more. Even if he maybe wanted more. (I don’t think this is my male friends’ case.)

    Like Shelby at some point, I believe I am stuck. B of five years ago was the last one with whom it was at all levels, like with A, and mutual. I like those who don’t like me, and I am liked by those whom I don’t like.

    This is why I wondered whether it was also a matter of time and chance. But it has been so long now, five years (or four since my confession). On the other hand, I am not 20 or even 25 right now, so hormones may be more at bay.

    #372704
    Danny
    Participant

    @NBC I’ve never looked in my emails until today. It appears @Dannydan is my tag. I normally check in when I’m free and reply to any posts addressed to me.

    In your situation, objectively I can state there was a glaring red flag there from the beginning (married man – I don’t judge you btw) so no matter how cautious you were planning on being you were setting yourself up for a fall.

    Well done for not sleeping with him. He was always going to fail you because there were 3 people in the equation, the times he pulled away was probably when he tried to reconcile or reconnect with his wife. Even if their relationship had ceased to exist I guarantee mentally his ex took up a lot of his headspace and it’s looking likely he used you as an escape hence the 2017 response.

    You said you should give it a year but some men can remain emotionally unavailable forever after a broken relationship and never grow.

    The key is to never wait for anyone, open your heart and you might find better, move forward and if he re enters willingly then entertain any lingering desire if it’s still there. Think about it if he really misses you and has regrets he will do what I did, overcome the fears and change his way by growing up. Act like a real man and show up. Otherwise he probably sent the message in 2019 out of boredom. Don’t message him, that’s my advice.

    You should never settle if you are not having your needs met. When you do settle for less, then needs always have a way of making their way to the surface. So keep searching but don’t make it your whole purpose. There is more to life than being in a relationship.

    I wish @Shelbyville could reply to you because you mentioned you feel like her. However it got me thinking at one point I too was like that wanting what I couldn’t have. It posed a challenge. Then I matured and flipped my mentality.

    I realised it was the other way around where subconsciously I was pushing away someone that wanted me (B).

    When someone says you are enough it’s almost like all these alarms go off saying error error. You project and think there’s something wrong with the other person when really most often it is an inner issue within us.

    Sometimes it is the other person not being the right person but that’s why you ask yourself serious questions and discover your exact needs/wants in a serious relationship, to separate genuine doubts from fears.

    If this is repeatedly happening and you are only allowing yourself to like people whom you already know subconsciously don’t feel the same about you then it’s highly probable that’s it’s also happening in other issues of your life. It’s all in one’s mentality : you are in that space of insecurity, neediness and unworthiness.You feel like you are not good enough and you are nervous about being rejected and seek validation.

    I understand the need for that combination of emotional, romantic, sexual and intellectual connect. I need that too, everyone does. ‘B’ possesses all 4 now but at one point I never felt that romantic attraction.

    It took time and compromise, even though emotionally I could share deep things, felt at ease. Intellectually we’re on par. Sexually I couldn’t keep my hands of her, her banter is enough to arouse me etc. The love and being vulnerable took time.

    Many people feel very beholden to their libido, thinking that their lust is some sort of chemical fairy godmother that predicts sexual and thus romantic compatibility. Don’t fall into that trap.

    After all liking those who don’t like you has never ended well has it? The betrayal of A. The rejection by B. So how mutual was it really?

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 6 days ago by Danny.
    #372759
    NBC
    Participant

    Hi, Danny!

    Yes, I do the same thing – I check in when I have time and then reply to what concerns me.

    Yes, since I noticed those inconsistencies in his behaviour, Warning! Warning! was glaring right into my face.

    But it is funny. I did my best not to deviate from my intention to treat him no more than a friend. Then he messaged me saying that he could only be “a good friend” probably sensing that I was falling for him.

    Also, since we were “friends,” he would tell me things, such as his wife and he leaving for a counselling retreat as a “last-ditch attempt” (his words). Naturally, I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. I told him about my breakup with A. He told me why his marriage had failed (of course, his version). And yes, I could see that the strained relationship with his wife had its toll on him. One day he texted me asking for permission to crash on my floor after a nasty scene that his wife had made. I said sure. I have extra rooms. I had no intention to sleep with him, no-no. Later on he emailed that things had calmed down and he wouldn’t come.

    So I couldn’t really say anything about his pulling way. He was nothing but a friend, what kind of objections could I possibly have?

    I can only blame him for not staying my friend. And not being such a “good friend” as he wrote he would be.

    When he pulled away for the final time in February 2016, I did some research several weeks later and found that (you were right), despite that “last-ditch attempt,” they tried to reconcile one more time. I went through his pictures for the previous years and found out that he had taken his wedding ring four or five times (!) and put it back on five or six. He did take it off again half a year later (and never put on again), but contacted me again only a couple times that autumn asking whether I was still in the area. It did feel as if he was still keeping me in the back of his mind, trying not to lose me out of sight. Then I wrote to him in June 2017 telling him he was special. And then nothing until December 2019.

    Actually, it was not as simple as Hi, how are you? He forwarded me a job offer that was a cold call for him, but he thought I might be interested. That is what surprised me. That of all his acquaintances and friends, he still remembered about me two years and half after June 2017!

    At the same time, during our active phase, I wished him a happy birthday two times. I even gave him a present, a book, and he was surprised by the coincidence because some buddy of his had been recommending him that book for a long time, and it was not a very often-read book.

    He, in turn, never even asked me when my birthday was. Also a red flag for me.

    The key is to never wait for anyone, open your heart and you might find better, move forward and if he re enters willingly then entertain any lingering desire if it’s still there. Think about it if he really misses you and has regrets he will do what I did, overcome the fears and change his way by growing up. Act like a real man and show up. Otherwise he probably sent the message in 2019 out of boredom. Don’t message him, that’s my advice.

    I agree. This was my train of thought only reinforced by your story. I am not going to contact him of my own accord. If a man wants a woman, he will make sure she is aware of this, correct?

    You should never settle if you are not having your needs met. When you do settle for less, then needs always have a way of making their way to the surface. So keep searching but don’t make it your whole purpose. There is more to life than being in a relationship.

    I have a funny feeling that once I am in the state of equilibrium (like now), when I am happy and content, no one approaches me as if exactly because I am so happy on my own.

    (And when a man does, and I don’t feel the chemistry, I am almost irritated that I have to waste my time and go on a date just because – who knows – maybe I’ll like him (I need to give it a chance, right?), but I never do.)

    And when I start wondering what is wrong with me, when anxiety about the future kicks in, when I begin to actively looking for love, I become needy and clinging. When I fall for somebody, I still do my best not to forget my hobbies and other activities, but all my thoughts are elsewhere. And I am afraid that I attract people that are not good for me, who are looking for somebody to save them, to complement them, too.

    I feel like Shelbyville also because ‘A’ was my only serious long-term relationship lasting several years.

    It is not that I don’t meet men whom I like. Actually, there are many more of those whom I like than dislike. But I can see very few of those whom I like as my partners. To put it plain and simple, I could stand very few men taking me by the hand, not to mention kissing, etc.

    Many people feel very beholden to their libido, thinking that their lust is some sort of chemical fairy godmother that predicts sexual and thus romantic compatibility. Don’t fall into that trap.

    Well, I have met men for whom I felt that uncontrollable feeling of lust even though my eyes didn’t like what they saw. It goes without saying that it was easy to resist (so it was not really “uncontrollable”), but I did take note of the feeling.

    After all liking those who don’t like you has never ended well has it? The betrayal of A. The rejection by B. So how mutual was it really?

    Well, at least it was mutual during the infatuation phase. With A, there definitely was one and a long one, too, but I am not sure what it was for B.

    I heard somewhere that men like to “test” women and see their reaction. For instance, one guy started a conversation about works of art representing nudes. I maintained that conversation with ease – I am an educated woman after all! Another guy invited me to a board game in which you were supposed to finish sentences with given phrases. Some were okay, some referred to sexual organs. I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I forgot its name, it is a popular game. Another man on a date mentioned that he would like to sail the ocean with a woman who wouldn’t mind being topless. I said that the sun wasn’t good for breast tissue. The former man was one of those whom I couldn’t stand without apparent reason. The latter was okay as a friend. Haven’t heard from the former, occasionally meet with the latter in the club. ‘B’ said once, after finishing my glass of wine after me to learn my thoughts, that he would love to see me naked. Honestly, I don’t remember what I answered.

    Is it something guys really do to find out whether the woman is a w… or not? Akin to if a man invites a woman over to his place, the woman can expect that he will offer her to sleep with him?

    #372782
    Danny
    Participant

    @NBC

    You seem to relate to @Shelbyville experience a lot. I’ve tagged her. You can try too but she did say she’s taking a hiatus as she felt overwhelmed. I know my advice may not be as useful. Here it is though:

    In healthy relationships there is clarity and peace of mind.

    So although you couldn’t object outright as you were not his girlfriend, as a human the very least you deserved was the respect of not being left in the dark or ghosted without the truth.

    Communicating you need space or verbalising what is bothering you is healthy and mature. Unfortunately not many are capable of doing so. It seems discussing feelings is almost perceived as a weakness!

    I really do feel you don’t have closure that’s why 5 years on you are still analysing his behaviour.

    Have you tried writing out your feelings addressed to him and how it impacted you and then burning it. Put a symbolic end to it. It can be very cathartic and helps to let go of the past. This may give you closure by yourself.

    If a REAL MATURE man wants a woman, he will make the effort to overcome his ego, fear and pride and fight for you regardless of the circumstances. If he hasn’t then don’t make excuses for him, he is not worthy of your time and thoughts anymore. Move on.

    If you are genuinely happy and content then you’ll believe; when it’s meant to be,it will be. You’ll invest in yourself and other aspects of your life but still be open to the right guy coming along and adding happiness.

    So perhaps it’s that you are extreme- all or nothing. You are happy alone but when you are, you shut yourself off. Then you get that natural urge for companionship but go into turbo mode and panic thus your insecurities cause you to act needy. You haven’t actually found a balance.

    If you don’t want to go on a date, don’t force it. It’s no surprise you end up reinforcing your belief because you are going in with a closed off mindset.

    To make movement in life you have to put things in motion,not be passive and expect it to land in front of you. You have to give things time and be open without comparing or looking backwards.

    Also shoot your shot if you like someone. Many men find that an attractive trait – a woman who knows what she wants and is confident to ask. Only an insecure man would be threatened by that.

    Don’t be so rigid in your preferences or types but always stick to your values to filter out the players or manipulators which I’ll address in another post below.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Danny.
    #372784
    Danny
    Participant

    Men are notoriously good at playing games, it’s partly that intrinsic hunter mentality.

    Some men are Narcs, some just fuckboys and some like me display the disgusting behaviour because of insecurities and a need for CONTROL due to past rejection and broken relationships.

    I’m not proud of myself but I’ve been through that immature phase of mind games and power battles.

    Unfortunately many men will push boundaries to test how much they can get away with, it’s used to suss out who is game or DTF and box you into categories. So women get labelled and because men are so good at compartmentalising. You get stuck there unless growth occurs.

    Here’s the thing, due to my preconceived notions, I categorised ‘B’. How wrong was I?

    ‘B’ turned out a very classy woman who despite her kindness is no doormat. She knows what she needs in a relationship so can be vulnerable with her feelings, that includes discussing her sexual desires but would never sacrifice her values to attain the affections of a man.

    Does that mean as a man I should assume she is a w***e for discussing natural desires? Or I’m owed sex because I’m dining her? At one point insecure me was butthurt and I’ll admit my immaturity and lad behaviour made many misconceptions about her based on the “rules” i.e. she was a cocktease etc

    I grew up. Some men don’t.

    They’ll continue to use a woman’s reaction to their behaviour to deduce whether she is a certain type of person that they can get away with flouting the boundaries.

    Some disgusting men go as far as luring the woman into believing that there are no repercussions for going along with their action.

    Some of them will make a judgement about you and use this to not only write you off as a serious prospect for a relationship, but give themselves the green light to mistreat you.

    If men discover that there are very few ‘barriers to entry’ because there are no real consequences to any of their behaviour, in spite of the fact that they are aware they are morally wrong, they ultimately know you have issues with self-esteem and boundaries so they play it to their advantage.

    ‘B’ is very emotionally aware, a nurturer. She can see shades of grey, but when someone blatantly crosses her boundaries (like I did) and continued doing things i.e total contempt and inappropriate, the answer was she had the self respect to not accept it or to analyse the crap out of my behaviour anymore. She walked away.

    So you teach men with consequences, the only real language they understand.

    Don’t accept bad behaviour because in normalising you not only become distanced from yourself and your values, needs, and wants, you’ll end up in a very toxic situation which will affect your own self esteem!

    That’s why I respect ‘B’ so much now, she was kind and perceptive to make allowances because she recognised I was hurt. However she always had a strong sense of self. She wanted me very much but NO – she never crossed her own boundaries to get me and walked away making it clear no one would get all of her without commitment.

    Breaking bro code here but I’ve learned to respect women, this is how players and immature boys think:

    When a woman takes you up on Netflix and chill then  expect to be having sex.

    • Whole quid pro quo exchange thing – buy her things or dinner and expect sexual favours in return

    •  “I don’t want to end up hurting you” or “I don’t deserve you” is 9/10 either a cop out and they are trying to get out of the relationship or they lack self control and will, in fact, hurt you. He is prepared to have sex with you and he is also not prepared to take any responsibility for your hurt feelings when he dumps you.

    • “I’m not your typical guy” someone trying so hard to tell you he is unique usually means he can’t be trusted. If he was unique his actions would speak for themselves.

    • Study his friends because honestly if he hangs with immoral, narcissistic people, it’s bound to rub off. It did on me. It’s true the company you keep is telling.

    For the most part guys are very straightforward. If he’s being upfront or dropping something in there then there’s a reason and truth in it. Heed the warning!! He’s doing it to manage expectations so he can clear his conscience and sleep easy.

     

     

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