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Trying to deal with anxiety and loss after relationship break up

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  • #373557
    Danny
    Participant

    @NBC sorry about the delayed response, very busy with work and making time for ‘B’ and wedding planning and house viewings

     

    The concept of sunk cost fallacy is what I have mentioned before too to @Kkasxo.

    I hope @Shelbyville gets back to you, but it’s been some time since she’s been away so maybe she will not return.

    Tonight I’ll have a proper read of your lengthy response and get back to you as lunch is almost over!

     

    #373565
    Aiyana Henderson
    Participant

    Hi, everyone.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with relationships. I do believe that you should have a sense of your individual likes and dislikes so that you don’t lose yourself when you’re in a relationship.

    Aiyana

    #373619
    NBC
    Participant

    @Dannydan

    Wedding planning, house viewings – how exciting!!! So happy for you both!!!

    Hope I’ll get there too with somebody special one day. However strange it may seem, I have never really visualised my wedding or future home with anyone – not even when I was a little girl. So at least here, Kierkegaard’s quote, “The most painful state of <span class=”ILfuVd”><span class=”hgKElc”>being is remembering the future, particularly the one you’ll never have” is not applicable to me. I did though picture what I could be doing together will all my love interests – that “quality time” – and it was the fact that I had to turn my back on all those imaginings and start thinking of “me” instead of “us” that hurt the most.
    </span></span>

    The good news is that I didn’t feel anxiety or anything because of your weeklong silence nor did I come up with anything else to add to that lengthy response of mine.

    So take your time! And good luck!!!

     

    #373791
    Danny
    Participant

    Hi @NBC

    To begin, mothers certainly do know best so I would follow her advice especially if it’s in line with mine 😉

    Us men are useless at taking hints, so I’m not surprised those men,  even though you were instantly averse, kept trying they probably thought you were playing hard to get. Sometimes if there’s a challenge element it makes you more enticing and ego plays a role too.

    It’s great you do not lead on or exhibit game playing. Take it from me it is infantile and immature behaviour which if a person hasn’t outgrown by high school indicates a serious lack of emotional intelligence and growth!

    Your soul will feel better for it if you are 100% transparent and honest, even if that means rejecting someone.

    Unless you’re the serious monogamous type one date is not dating, it’s an initial feeler to gauge if you should go on another date. It may just be a case of you need to accept it’s a simple number game and requires a bit of luck. If you really have a strong sense of self maybe you need to consider if there is any criteria you can relax or re educating yourself on. That may help stop you automatically filtering out many people before you have really given them a chance because amongst the ‘duds’ you might just find a ‘rough diamond’

    Online dating is a lottery. If you’re patient enough you may end up finding a few you could see yourself with but then you have to count on that feeling being returned. For me it was always for casual purposes but I just happened to stumble across ‘B’ .

    Falling for the potential is the worst thing you can do. You have to take things at face value. Where is this person at this given moment and is this person meeting my needs. Hedging bets on the person becoming the version you desire is most likely going to end in heartbreak.

    I wouldn’t talk to him but you clearly haven’t moved on, you still want to bump into him or fantasising so there’s something still unfinished. If that feeling keeps niggling away beneath the surface then confront it. You need peace of mind one way or another. Unlike ‘B’ you haven’t reached peace on your own like she did with me. She was content if I never contacted her again. She pursued her happiness. She would never have contacted me first after I rebuffed her when she expressed her concern for me and my brother. She still cared but wanted to respect herself.

    I think any heartfelt confession remains with you. Any sincerity is always remembered. So I’m sure even though he hasn’t been in touch unless he’s a narc, he will think about you too.

    There’s never a textbook method that applies to all. Some love connections or stories do take the woman to do the chasing. That doesn’t mean the bond is any less because it didn’t fit the stereotypical examples we are fed. What you should focus on is this person deserving of the effort, does he meet your needs. Do you want another chance?

    How you should approach it – well I think both your examples should be combined. Express your genuine emotions he left a lasting impression and questions and he needs to accept some accountability for his role . At the end of the day if you two are meant to be, the conversation shouldn’t be so difficult. It should be mature,  balanced and truthful.

    When you start to make excuses for behaviour, that is YOU not exerting your boundaries. So if you are placating or minimising your own emotions so you can be happy ever after let me tell you that will never work. If he has made you feel a certain way then you are entitled to express that, his handling will show you what kind of person he is.

    It’s been some time now since we spoke so do you feel any different. I’m glad you don’t get anxious from a late reply. I’m incredibly busy of late so I apologise if I don’t get back in a timely manner.

    It’s a bloody shame you missed @Shelbyville presence. I think you’d learn from her greatly. I’ve tagged in case it triggers a response from the notification.

    @Sammy mate you going ok?
    @Kkasxo do let me know you’ve survived Covid, no response is concerning !!

    #373792
    Danny
    Participant

    @AiyanaHenderson

    Couldn’t agree more many people lose themselves in relationships as they cling and morph into their partner. Retaining your own identity, individuality enables you to keep the passion in the relationship.

    Unsure of your age but hope the tips you learn enable you to have a successful relationship when you embark on one. Good luck 👍

    #373954
    NBC
    Participant

    @Dannydan

     

    First, I apologise if the system bucks up again and all my italics become framed with <i>s.

    To begin, mothers certainly do know best so I would follow her advice especially if it’s in line with mine – I may be generalising, but right now I can only think of the following developments after my meeting a guy for the very first time:

    • I feel aversion. No friendship is possible, it goes without saying that romance is impossible. I did try going on dates with these guys, nothing changed, still averse.
    • I am neutral. This means we can be friends, even really good friends. I have been on dates with this category, too. Nothing ever came out of it, except us remaining good friends. (And I didn’t get a feeling that they wanted more after that first date either OR that they wanted much more before the date. More like them testing the waters just in case and just like me.)
    • I “box” them as potential mates. If they approach me later on, romance is possible. This is the case of all my relationships and quasi-relationships so far. If I approach them, sometimes I find that I don’t like them that much OR they shy away, and I decide I don’t like them that much after all.

    So even though it is possible in theory that love can arise out of a good friendship, nothing similar has yet happened to me ever. So while I agree in theory with your (and my mother’s) words that “getting to know someone on a non physical level” may lead to something out of sheer proximity, somehow in the ‘friend’ category, all my friends have been quite happy to remain friends. The ones who are single, of course. More than that, when I did something ambiguous (like innocently putting out a dish in the shape of a heart to an evening tea – simply because it was just the right size for the dessert), I had a queer feeling that they thought I was trying to hit on them. And they scaled back communication, like not answering an email or not responding to my “Merry Christmas” or merely acknowledging it with a couple of words.

    So it is more like if I give a person I am averse to a chance, it leads nowhere.

    As for those to whom I have been neutral from the beginning, it feels as if I am more giving a chance to myself to like them, and it is useless, because it seems that they fully mirror me in being neutral towards me. Or maybe they were giving a similar chance to themselves to really like me and failed, just like me.

    And yes, I am afraid I am that “serious monogamous type,” LOL

    It has always been either first date – and nothing OR first date, but I had already been in love before that first date. So dates really do nothing for me, but reinforce my previously held feelings. No matter how hard I CONSCIOUSLY try to be objective and neutral and listen to myself and be in the here and now.

    Falling for the potential is the worst thing you can do. You have to take things at face value. Where is this person at this given moment and is this person meeting my needs. Hedging bets on the person becoming the version you desire is most likely going to end in heartbreak. – Golden piece of advice. But again, what kind of a person am I if I am looking for somebody to meet my needs? Am I not supposed to deal with my own sxxx first before dumping it all (or not all) on that significant other?

    I wouldn’t talk to him but you clearly haven’t moved on, you still want to bump into him or fantasising so there’s something still unfinished. If that feeling keeps niggling away beneath the surface then confront it. You need peace of mind one way or another. Unlike ‘B’ you haven’t reached peace on your own like she did with me. She was content if I never contacted her again. She pursued her happiness. She would never have contacted me first after I rebuffed her when she expressed her concern for me and my brother. She still cared but wanted to respect herself. – Yeah, in addition to those small things that I thought he should have done (like asking me when my birthday was – but then who am I to tell him what he should have done? – and that circle of doubting all the “should” and “should have’s” starts all over), I remember how upset I was when I emailed him one morning that I needed to ask him for advice on something. He said he was on a trip coming home later that day. He never got in touch with me himself though, even after he landed, but posted a few things in Twitter from home about a new puppy he had got. I felt slighted. But I did need his advice, so I texted him later that evening saying that I badly needed to talk to him. And then he phoned me right away. One would think that I should have felt rebuffed, and I did.

    I also remember that after that phone call, we texted a bit to each other, and I finished off with “Thank you very much for your time, I won’t bother you again” or something like that. In my heart of hearts I hoped for a rebuttal as in “You are not bothering me at all!!! Any time!!!” But he didn’t write anything like that at all.

    On the other hand, he asked me to phone him to tell him whether his advice worked or not.

    Very mixed.

    I had the same feeling of imposing on him later on, too, when several times I tried to draw him out to chat like we used to some six months before, but I would only get short one- or two-word replies.

    In the midst of my trying to nudge him on to communicate – of those several attempts in the span of several months – he sends me the following text out of the blue: “Are you still around? Haven’t heard from you in a while” What??? You haven’t heard from me because YOU hit the brakes. It goes without saying that I replied and replied with a question to promote a conversation, but after a couple of lines, he let our dialogue die again.

    Although the funny thing was that his very first reply to my texts or emails would contain several sentences. But when I wanted to continue, build on, then he would answer in that brief manner. It felt as if he constantly checked himself after the initial burst-out, wanted to initially, but then thought better not to continue. Like someone has yanked on the leash of a dog (him) darting forward. And he never asked me questions. As opposite to the “early days.”

    It also felt as a reversal of our roles before. Initially, when I was wary as to why he suddenly started emailing and texting me, that was how I would answer – short and brief, businesslike, just to be polite, but he seemed to keep our discussion alive, asking questions etc. so it didn’t seem polite on my part not to continue. And so I was drawn in.

    Again, it may all be wishful thinking on my part. But you are right, there is definitely “something still unfinished,” “niggling away beneath the surface” as you very aptly put it.

    I really wish I could be as content as your ‘B’, but it seems to be evading me.

    In addition, I can’t forget those words from the male character in the old “All About Eve” classic, “What I go after, I want to go after. I don’t want it to come after me.”

    On the surface, I am not really going after him. I want to understand what was driving his behaviour back in 2015-2016. And I am lying here. I do want him in my life. I even tried to figure out what it was I thought he could give me, what was seemingly missing from my life that I subconsciously wanted him to provide me with. Friendship with wit and laughter? All of my friends are like that. Travel? I started travelling on my own. Safety and security? True, he earns twice or maybe even three times more than I do, but don’t I know how delicate and fragile the whole financial thing is and don’t I intend to remain financially independent myself with my own bank account? Though, of course, it helps to have a partner with an income if one is out of work. Love and care? Yes, I am betting on potential here, too. As if I KNOW with what love and care he COULD surround me. So yes, no matter how much I might be hiding it, I can go after him. Only I am afraid it is so obvious, can be read between the lines, will not lead to anything and is outright pathetic at this stage. Besides, he is what one might call a public figure, and I am sure that plenty of girls would be happy to chase him, he can have them a dime a dozen.

    Tiny Buddha proved helpful with this thread: https://tinybuddha.com/topic/a-date-with-a-coworker-felt-like-a-bright-spot-in-2020-and-maybe-it-was/

    No need to read it at all, I am just bringing it up as a timely testimony to the fact that not only women can be mistaken when interpreting men’s behaviour, but that happens to men, too, with women. When you feel “that something” and there are mixed signals. So maybe not that pathetic.

    At the end of the day if you two are meant to be, the conversation shouldn’t be so difficult. – This is true. I forget how close to him I always felt when I was in his presence. And he certainly makes it easy for people to talk to him, he is very approachable. I even call him “court jester” to myself sometimes. One would think that he is not very deep at all, but our interaction made me think otherwise. And I can’t stop wondering how he can be both.

    Or maybe I am wrong again. I thought that ‘A’ was a very deep person. Now I think that OMG, he is so so shallow…

    Can it be ‘mimicry’? Saying just the right words that match the ideas expressed by the woman so that she is tricked in thinking that you understand her, are on the same wave length so to speak? Without really being it? But for so long? Several years in A’s case, several months in B’s?

    Interesting that a manager at work, whose opinions of people are usually quite accurate and proved to be true with time, doesn’t hold him in high regard at all. He referred to him once as “that guy who goes around giving hugs to everybody.” Need to add that that manager is extremely reserved in his dealings with people, so it may be a matter of not liking or tolerating a manner different from yours. I am pretty sure in fact that if that manager learnt that B and I were together, I would lose a lot in his eyes…

    When B wrote to me last December, and I mentioned the news about that friend and colleague of mine having given birth, he said that he didn’t know about it. Even though they had spent more time together at work that he and I, so I would have expected him to have the news, at least to know that she had been expecting.

    I know that another colleague of mine has been in more or less regular touch with him, but she complained not so long ago that he was not replying, so I don’t know who is more of an initiator in that interaction.

    Maybe that manager was right – ‘B’ is one of those who comes and goes as he pleases, probably knowing that he is likable and women are so forgiving. But on the other hand, he went silent for me for two years and a half, now one more year since that forwarded job offer. If I am just like all the others, why hasn’t he kept in touch with me, just to keep me on the string? I can’t really believe that he ‘knows’ that I have had him on my mind (with a few gaps, I must add) all this time – I stopped all communication since my confession in the summer of 2015 and kept to the bare minimum in my response to his “How’s life?” last year. Didn’t ask anything after he replied to my question about how his life was…

    Anyway, I really feel that I need to draw ‘B’ out of his shell, to talk to him live face-to-face with no witnesses to gauge his reaction. As said before, my only concern is that the outcome might still be ambiguous. Say, him blushing, not taking his eyes off me or avoiding eye contact, fidgeting and such.

    No worries about not responding in a timely manner. A week or two will hardly change anything at all on this end…

    #374278
    Danny
    Participant

    @Sammy @Kkasxo you both doing ok?

    @NBC

    How interesting – I’m really surprised to read with regular proximity, all of your single male friends have never made a move on you.

    Have you ever been curious enough to ask why?

    You mentioned you are a serious monogamous type and already in love before the first date or feel nothing – I’m curious to know how that is possible if you’ve never been able to create something out of a friendship? Would you say it’s more infatuation rather than love?

    I’ve mentioned before I fear your all or nothing mentality is detrimental in your relationships.

    Looking for someone who meets your needs doesn’t necessarily mean you dump all your crap on them. Each one of us has ups and downs so it is comforting to have a person in your corner who is your anchor.

    But it requires a fine balance, you have to give in return. If there’s a fair exchange then it will make your partner feel secure and attraction.

    If you constantly dump, then your partner will no doubt feel ‘overwhelmed’ or ‘parental’ or like a ‘therapist’.

    So if you can not offer anything to form a healthy relationship then yes, fix your own crap first! I did before reuniting with ‘B’.

    With your B, clearly for such in depth analysis there is something unfinished. That could be because you’re valuing yourself based on how others value you. If B hasn’t contacted you, wanting to get back together, then you feel unwanted and get that awful feeling about yourself. It may have absolutely nothing to do with you though too and you simply feel purely your story with him is incomplete.

    Considering the amount of time you spend with him on your mind, no matter how much you analyse and try to gain meaning it will not help, further questions will continue to arise as you’re unable to fill in the blanks.

    My honest advice is you confront it head on and ask him for a 1 to 1 meet and say how you feel. The longer you leave it the more time wasted, you need clarity. Other than ego is there anything holding you back?

    When we really want and believe in something we muster the courage to overcome the fear. Fortune favours the brave.

    Just a point I’ve recalled, us men can say stupid things at times especially when we have missed someone, when I met B to clear the air, I also ended up uttering I thought you would have contacted me first, needless to say it didn’t go down too well either.

    There’s an element of self doubt and self esteem issue underlying all this but that’s something only you can fix within. No matter how much someone else tries to reassure you,until you accept it. Words will feel hollow.

    Food for thought- don’t ever place too much focus on what others perceptions are. You are the only one who knows the person on an intimate level and the intricacies of your relationship. Learning to trust your own instincts is key in keeping the bad eggs away.

    If it was mimicry, to do that for an extended period of time would make him manipulative, men can be and if that’s the case then you also have to realise you accepted that treatment which takes you back to the whole possible self esteem issue. Manipulative men prey on insecure women.

     

    #374302
    Sammy
    Participant

    @NBC

    No problemo, I have the ability of whatever I read if I want it to can make it stick.

    I’m pretty sure @Shelbyville is with 1 of the 2 guys she began dating at the same time. But I was surprised with the way he commited in the end based on what we had read prior, just goes to show we only know the snippets.

    I can’t really comment much further just on what I’ve read. I hope @Shelbyville gets back to you, I could use some of her advice too.

    Funny you mentioned Dreaming715 thread. Something that’s really worrying me now is being intimate again and I really wanted @Shelbyville advice on it.

    I would hate to be in that situation where my fiancé was kind but our intimacy began to concern me. Actually @Danny how did you deal with this from your perspective even though your situation seems to be different?

    @NBC talking to my ex gave me so much clarity. I stopped caring about how it made me look ( I was the dumpee) in the end it healed me. Had I wanted we could have tried again but I realised 4/5 years was enough to prove he wasn’t right for me.
    You will not find anyone whilst having unresolved feelings for someone else. The only way of finding out who your person is, is by taking control and asking. It might be B or it might be someone else..

    @Danny my previous place is sold, it is why I’ve been awol. Had to go back and pack up my belonging move them temporarily to my parents and storage. So it’s been stressful but exciting too.
    How are you and your planning going?

    My hearts always been big enough to forgive so I will care for the ex but I’ve learned to have greater care towards myself.

    I’m definitely over the ex, I just seem to have developed new fears like intimacy. So I’ve told my besties bro that I like what we have right now, he is so understanding and not pushing. But I don’t want him to think I don’t like him and I’m leading him on. Quite the opposite, I can really see he’s someone who would be good for me, my bestie is supportive and I’m just petrified if I go for it fully, I’ll ruin it.

    Urgh why is it so difficult , I just want to skip to the part I wake up next to my husband and a dog or and not have to worry about the rest!!!

    #374303
    Sammy
    Participant

    @Kkasxo how are you? We haven’t heard back from you since your Covid news. Please let us know how you’re doing . I really hope you’ve recovered xxx

    #374390
    Danny
    Participant

    @Sammy mate,  good to hear from you! How are you doing?

    I’m a bit concerned about @Kkasxo too. Homie, hoping you beat Covid. Sending positive vibes your way.

    @Ladies, sorry if my advice is not helping. I do hope @Shelbyville can get back to you some day soon if possible 🤞

    Congratulations on the sale Sammy. You’re making great strides towards a new future.

    It’s a great moment isn’t it?! When you finally realise your ex no longer has a hold on you and even if a thought of the ex crosses your mind, you can smile and leave it there.

    You worked really hard on your inner self to reach this place without getting others caught in the crossfire of your heartbreak. I commend you for that. The same can’t be said for myself.

    However with some self love and forgiveness I’ve made amends evolved into a complete man, noticed what I lost, appreciate and now know what real love is. ‘B’ and I are so happy now and I would endure all that pain with A again and what followed post, if that’s the road which leads to B.

    So rather than focusing on the new fears, applaud yourself and well done on having the courage for working through those loose ends. That is not an easy task. You did it. You learned your own true value.

    The main issue for me was “testing before buying”. I pushed B away because I always thought love wouldn’t arise for me without the physical side.

    @Tim1 advice was spot on though and you can see what has transpired. We have such a deep connect on all levels we can share our true selves. I feel so close to her that for me the intimacy we already share is so special, waiting isn’t that hard anymore and i know that when the moment happens for us it will now be so beautiful.

    With one night stands or flings there was a detachment so I suffered no issues but once I started getting closer and felt something real, I do believe fear of intimacy arose looking back. I worried about performance (somehow for men when we really like someone we want to be able to impress) I got caught up in my fears and projected. I thought I was not attractive or good enough for B, that’s why she didn’t want to seal the deal. I thought I’d not experience a physical relationship like I shared with A. I believed the lads that B was just playing me or a cocktease. So I do in some way comprehend how you may be feeling. It is a mixture of self doubt and ego, the advice I can give is you is;

    1. Never ever compare to your ex. B mentioned this she said she was her own person and didn’t deserve that which is why she walked away. Once you start comparing you’ll push your new partner away.

    2. If you take it slow form an emotional connect, have natural chemistry etc you then will start to feel ease in discussing your fears. It will create an intimacy like no other because a good partner will reassure and work with you, its compromising, patience.

    If you like someone just go for it,  being overly cautious and over thinking can ruin everything. You need jump in like you did the very first time you fell in love. Be brave enough to risk it and be ignorant again!

    Don’t be in a rush to skip through the courting phase. It can be fun if you allow it to be. B and I learned to compromise on the physical side but our dates were still epic!

    I can tell you like this new dude already. If you don’t want to lead him on then always be clear in your intentions.

    What do you want from this? Is it long term or a fling etc.

    Then make your intentions known that is a sign of a mature adult relationship. As Tim once said making intentions allows accountability. You’ll check yourself. If at a certain point something obviously changes them be upfront.

    Don’t do hand holding, cuddling etc if you’re unsure. Men don’t do this with women they don’t like, so they interpret these things to be flirty. So hands off approach until you’re sure!

    So just be aware of what signals you’re sending out and a little forethought can prevent confusion and even hurt feelings. It’s better to stop things and say hey, I’m not feeling it then carry on hot/cold. That just is immature.

    I think you’re wise and ready, don’t put it on hold because of fears. Life is too short!

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 4 days ago by Danny.
    #374459
    NBC
    Participant

    @Dannydan

    How interesting – I’m really surprised to read with regular proximity, all of your single male friends have never made a move on you.

    Have you ever been curious enough to ask why?

    Well, one guy actually did. As I look in retrospect, I think he did make a move on me. I remember him inviting me to lunch to celebrate the end of our lengthy project together. I never paid attention to it in the past, but now I think that it was his attempt at trying to gauge how much he was attracted to me and I to him. He is a great guy, we share a lot in common (upbringing, tastes, always something to talk about), but I have never been attracted to him physically. One year later or so, he started courting my other colleague, very similar to me in physique and age, and they married. He clearly loves her very much, was never daunted by her having two kids from her previous marriage (I met her ex-husband by accident, I am actually afraid that she’d dumped him for this friend of mind) or by her being religious whereas he (and I) are closer to being atheists. This guy is the guy I would go to if I needed advice on anything in life – from taxes to investments to buying a computer. I was never jealous.

    We still work together – all the three of us – and they would invite me over for things like Death over Dinner.

    Another good friend of mine is single and is a fervent Christian who observes all the rules such as fasting. He never fails to wish me all the best in conjunction with my Saint’s day, always brings me a souvenir from his frequent trips, sometimes invites me for lunch or dinner. He is someone who would always have my back, but alas, even though I like him a lot, I still haven’t been able to fall in love with him despite us having known each other for six years now. And I don’t think him being so religious is the main problem. I care deeply for him as I would for a brother, but not more than that. Funny that I think that his sentiment matches mine. We would make a great marriage of conscious commitment(if it were not for his religious beliefs and lack of mine) and intellectual and emotional compatibility, but not a great marriage of love. I can’t imagine being intimate with him, but at least I could hold hands with him.

    As for the others, two thirds of them were either married or actively dating their future wives when we met. As for the remaining ones (and some from the married category), I have a vague feeling that they see me as someone out of their league. I was born and raised in the capital, attended a more reputed university, have a bigger salary. I may be imagining, but I even feel something with a tinge of pity on their part towards me. You know, like anybody would love to have, say, a race horse. But does one have the means for caring for one? No, not really. So one can’t help looking at the horse, loving the view, but one passes by because one wouldn’t be able to provide for the race horse’s life the way it should be cared for. Something like this, but I am not really referring to the material part, more to the intellectual. Something like, “So much to offer, but it is beyond us.”

    Interesting that my level of respect, care and trust for these male friends of mine seems to be at about the same level for all of them, with no distinction.

    You mentioned you are a serious monogamous type and already in love before the first date or feel nothing – I’m curious to know how that is possible if you’ve never been able to create something out of a friendship? Would you say it’s more infatuation rather than love?

    I don’t know. I need to feel the butterflies. Even if they disappear later, I can build on the memory of the feeling (like I did with A), but if there are no butterflies in the first place (or just a thought crossing my mind – “hmm, boyfriend material”, I can’t imagine becoming physical with the guy (the case of the colleague/friend above).

    I’ve mentioned before I fear your all or nothing mentality is detrimental in your relationships.

    Looking for someone who meets your needs doesn’t necessarily mean you dump all your crap on them. Each one of us has ups and downs so it is comforting to have a person in your corner who is your anchor.

    But it requires a fine balance, you have to give in return. If there’s a fair exchange then it will make your partner feel secure and attraction.

    If you constantly dump, then your partner will no doubt feel ‘overwhelmed’ or ‘parental’ or like a ‘therapist’.

    So if you can not offer anything to form a healthy relationship then yes, fix your own crap first! I did before reuniting with ‘B’.

    I am afraid those ‘butterflies’ or the ‘spark’ are the ignition point. Until I feel that – yes, all or nothing. And I have no idea how to bypass it. I really can’t ignore their presence or absence, just physically can’t. But once it is there, I am doing the best I can for the union to be balanced and fair. Maybe even forgive and gloss over much more than I should.

    I think it would be fair to say that no matter your B’s virtues, if it hadn’t been for the chemistry, you wouldn’t have started to think about her again. In the same vein, if you could (I know it is superdifficult at the stage you are in right now – in love and all) imagine that there is somebody else out there for you, even more compatible with you than B, you wouldn’t go for it, because of how good you “feel” with B. Isn’t it so?

    With your B, clearly for such in depth analysis there is something unfinished. That could be because you’re valuing yourself based on how others value you. If B hasn’t contacted you, wanting to get back together, then you feel unwanted and get that awful feeling about yourself. It may have absolutely nothing to do with you though too and you simply feel purely your story with him is incomplete.

    Well, I am a firm believer in that no matter how good / intelligent / virtuous and so one and so forth one is, if there is no chemistry, things won’t fly. Since I’ve met so many decent guys for whom I couldn’t ever feel a thing, I am totally okay with men not feeling anything for me even though I am such and such.

    But given that it seems that I am by nature so selective and of such a monogamous disposition, I wouldn’t mind increasing the pool so to speak, simply to improve my chances of stumbling upon somebody whom I like and who likes me too.

    That said, when there has clearly been a strong mutual attraction, chemistry (like with the guy I met when travelling and with B), and when it amounts to nothing, it just leaves me with a big question mark. With the ‘guy in-between’ – what was the point of spending time wooing me, organising that magic date day and night (knowing that I would be leaving his city the next morning), taking my goodnight (and no sex) very well? With B – how could all that communication and chemistry not have resulted in something more definite that “Are you mine?” and “Ugh, sorry.”

    In short, B made me seriously question my gut feeling. When I had the same feeling before, it would mean that the man is in love and romance awaits! After him, I don’t know if I can trust my gut feeling any more!

    Considering the amount of time you spend with him on your mind, no matter how much you analyse and try to gain meaning it will not help, further questions will continue to arise as you’re unable to fill in the blanks.

    Sammy is saying the very same thing.

    My honest advice is you confront it head on and ask him for a 1 to 1 meet and say how you feel. The longer you leave it the more time wasted, you need clarity. Other than ego is there anything holding you back?

    It is not so much ego as hope (well, not really) – me giving him a chance to reach out to me first.

    But even that is not the most important thing here. I am listing a few considerations here in no particular order.

    It is more like after reading dozens of stories here on TinyBuddha and elsewhere on divorced men, I really want one year to have passed after the divorce stamp. No matter for how long he had considered himself to be separated. Maybe even more so given his going back and forth to his wife.

    Also, one more year will mean that his daughter, and he is very attached to her, will be even more grown-up and more independent and less reliant on her father. Especially when getting together with friends and entertainment opportunities elsewhere are limited because of the pandemic.

    It will also mean that his ex-wife’s wounds would have healed at least a little bit. I would really hate her to tell her girlfriends, “Just look at B – hardly had a year passed from our divorce when he is already dating somebody.”

    Of course, I am running ahead, he may not even respond to my request to meet. Nor am I proposing that he date me (I already confessed my interest soon to be four years ago). But if I entertain some vague hope for him to want to be in a relationship with me, I do want him to be in the best state of mind possible for it, ready and all. Not like he cut me off that night we met, “I don’t want to get married.”

    I agree that he may have already found somebody new. I haven’t looked up his Twitter, as promised, but he doesn’t necessarily post everything in his personal life there anyway. Even if he does between now and the autumn, it is no guarantee that the relationship will survive anyway. Isn’t timing everything? But then again, there is no telling when the “sweet spot” is.

    So ultimately it doesn’t matter when the time is best – now or in the autumn.

    There are a couple of more notches. By the time the autumn arrives, I will have read a significant portion of books and watched a few films I have wanted to read and watch for a long time. It has been like a weight on my conscience.

    I have also planned a holiday (as much as one can possibly ‘plan’ something in the times of COVID) with a route that would take me to the place where he studied and I would also be coming home from the city from which A and I came home from our very last trip together. I didn’t specifically plan it that way, my route just naturally worked out like that. Kind of a logical conclusion, drawing the final line.

    Of course, the two things above (books & films and the trip) can be easily adjusted. I can read the same books and watch the same films when in a relationship and nothing prevents him from coming with me or me going alone on the trip whilst in a relationship. Danny, I am not fantasising – I am merely stating this as a possibility, I am not daydreaming nor is my imagination painting any details of how it might pan out were he in my life for real. I am not allowing myself to build on developing details and adding colours to the idea. Really. Just casually stating.

    Also, in the autumn, we may not have masks any more. Here, if he wanted, we could go for a walk with no masks on, but he could just as well want to keep his on, and then I wouldn’t be able to read his face and expression.

    On the flip side, there is less risk of him being recognised if we meet and he has a mask on, he has sometimes been in the past. The last thing I want is gossip that there is something between him and me…

    I don’t want him to think that I have been stalking him either. Even though this is exactly what I had been doing until I cut that Twitter habit of mine.

    Oh, and I missed my hairdresser’s appointment, so my roots are already showing. I wouldn’t want him to see me for the first time in four-and-a-half years like this.

    When we really want and believe in something we muster the courage to overcome the fear. Fortune favours the brave.

    I am a little afraid, I acknowledge. I might add there is also an ingredient of not wanting to let go of the hope. On the other hand, stupid me could still cling to hope even if he said no a thousand times. I am not dwelling on this. Just stating as an option, like above.

    Just a point I’ve recalled, us men can say stupid things at times especially when we have missed someone, when I met B to clear the air, I also ended up uttering I thought you would have contacted me first, needless to say it didn’t go down too well either.

    This would be too good to be true. Don’t even want to recall all the similar occurrences in books and films. Novels were written for a reason and the same is true for films, especially romantic ones.

    There’s an element of self doubt and self esteem issue underlying all this but that’s something only you can fix within. No matter how much someone else tries to reassure you,until you accept it. Words will feel hollow.

    I suppose the main thing here is being perplexed as to whether I can trust my perceptions of people any more. It feels as if if I could be so mistaken about B, how can I trust my own judgement about anything at all and anybody else in my life???

    So when is your wedding?

    I tried to find how long you have been dating B overall and failed. Don’t you have a tinge of doubt that it might be too early to marry? Just curious. Men are usually the last ones whose minds are crossed by the idea of official marriage, lol 😊

    #374460
    NBC
    Participant

    @Sammy1

    You will not find anyone whilst having unresolved feelings for someone else. The only way of finding out who your person is, is by taking control and asking. – Good point. I don’t really care how it would make me look. I am not procrastinating. 9/10ths of it is me hoping to talk to him at just the right time so that he realises that he is available to have a serious relationship with me. (Even though you are all right – I truly don’t know if it is a good idea or not.) And 1/10<sup>th</sup> is the fear you are referring to mixed with the fear of having what is left of my illusion brought to naught.

    And Sammy, I brought dreaming715’s thread also because she had been noticing and worrying about the same things as I would be – such as her date not offering here to share food at a restaurant and things like that. Not only intimacy. I am curious if these potential red flags eventually turned out to be real red flags to which she should have paid attention, but convinced herself to overlook because she was already hooked and betting on potential. I could also relate to her ex breaking their engagement (A and I) and her one-sided relationship (her very first post on Tiny Buddha) reminded me of B and myself.

    As for the intimacy, I am not sure what exactly you are wondering about. With me, even though I knew I could never physically be intimate with A again (‘could’ as in ‘I physically wouldn’t want to’ and ‘could’ as in ‘life wouldn’t give me a chance to do it’), it took me a long, long time to be able to think about another man that close to me. The guy ‘in-between’ gave the first prod, but it was long after my dates with B and our cuddling that I became able to see myself in the arms of another man again. I remember looking at B on my sofa, being fully aware on the intellectual level that I wanted to hug him and at the same time my body still remembering A’s heat, body and all and not accepting him instead of A. It was half a year after my breakup with A. So give it time, I would say.

    #374704
    Danny
    Participant

    Well there’s a very fine line between being friends and being lovers and that is: sexual chemistry. If you don’t feel the sexual desire then you simply don’t. That’s normal, we are not all attracted to one another.

    Although your Christian friend and you have a very strong foundation for a solid relationship you are missing a key element. You don’t have intimacy in some form whether that’s kissing or bumping uglies because that sexual urge or attraction for one another is lacking. Which is a shame! But it is what it is. You got to keep it 💯

    With ‘B’ I have always felt a sexual desire even over other mediums and boy in person I couldn’t keep my hands off her. The issue for me was not being able to act on it fully because of her beliefs.

    I contorted this in my mind due to insecurities and projected in a cruel manner. With maturity I see it for what it is a difference in that particular value and a need to compromise.

    I was very much the all or nothing type too, believing in sparks – I thought based on my past relationship, without the home run or full physical side I wouldn’t develop a deep romantic attraction for someone.

    I was wrong though. Romantic attraction requires time and work, continuous work. That’s what keeps the relationship 🔥

    The connection and current levels of intimacy I share with ‘B’ is wonderful, with her I experience it on all levels; spiritually, intellectually, physically and emotionally. This no doubt will translate into the final physical act when the time comes.

    This investment in this connection took a lot of reflection and growth to achieve. So don’t get caught up in this notion that my relationship appears as it is stuff of romantic fairy tales and all butterflies and rainbows.

    It was very challenging and required patience and compromise. I honestly believe it was worth it all.

    I don’t need to imagine if there’s someone better out there, I hurt her a lot after the initial 6 months or so. So I chose only to contact her once I had a new outlook, knew I was not going to ever feel GIG effect of what I’m “missing out” on and to be honest she was special, I always knew that from the way she saved me from drowning in darkness. ‘B’ is all I need i was just immature and hurt from my prev relationship to see it.

    It’s quality over quantity, ‘B’ and I had a situationship from Summer 19 to just before Xmas 19. I took about 4 months to sort my shit out properly after breaking up with C so approached B in Nov 20 almost a year later and we’ve been together since. So a total of 9/10 months together.

    No I don’t have doubts about choosing to marry her because I knew to be with her it would need to be a serious long term commitment. I’m still a work in progress so on the rare occasions still have some self doubts but they are just the old fears but I have open communication with ‘B’ and her emotional awareness is amazing.

    Like I said it wasn’t a fairytale it took graft and reaching an impasse in life to realise who I was, what I needed, etc. I hurt people and wasn’t always the mature well adjusted individual i am now.

    ‘B’ inspired that change within me. I love the me I am with her. So I can’t wait (for more than one reason ahaha) to cement our union.

    We have already given our notice to marry but would like to keep the date private but yes I’ll let you know once we’ve officially tied the knot.

    It’s possible to increase your pool or re educate your attraction patterns – I don’t know if you can as you seem very stuck in your ways. I’m a very curious and reflective person so I took it upon myself to research and rectify my issues, maybe you need to try engage with a relationship coach or therapist?

    Glossing over your needs in a relationship isn’t healthy either. It should be a relationship where you are both genuinely happy to step up for one another. That means you need someone who emotionally understands your needs and can work with you rather than demand things on their terms only! That is a trait of a selfish partner.

    With the “in between man” – did he state he was looking for a serious relationship or even state his intentions?

    It appears to be just your common fleeting holiday romance and the type of man who enjoys the chase itself.

    Whereas maybe you got caught up in your own expectations, the idea of what you’ve imagined so automatically expect the other person to make that happen. That is something you can definitely work on. Not expect the same reactions from others.

    Listening to your intuition helps you avoid unhealthy relationships and situations.  Your gut instinct is not infallible though especially if you’ve been hurt before. Those fears can make everything murky.

    If you have doubts, the best advice I can give you is bring them up to your partner first. That will guide your feelings, how your partner reacts is very telling. A healthy relationship involves emotional growth and understanding, compassion and patience.

    I’d also like to point out men if they are not looking to have a serious relationship will throw out those red flags, so don’t fall into the trap of overlooking those.

    Often they throw out these phrases to appease their own guilt when they lead you on. No accountability required. Sign of an emotionally stunted man, so don’t let your own emotions cloud your judgement.

    Remember not everyone is you (monogamous) and with sincere intent. There are many narcs, catfishers and snakes out there who will gladly use you for their own gains.

    In summary, I kind of think analysing the situation with your B is sinking you further into that rabbit hole. So please do not be offended but I don’t think I should encourage the analysis any further.

    It’s been such a long time, you need to decide is he someone you want to take a punt on?

    If he is you’ll automatically throw caution to the wind and confront the man for answers and clarity. If he is what you believed then it will have a chance to prosper. If he is someone who just used you for an emotional affair then that’s a blessing too you finally can bury the past and move on.

    As Sammy rightly said if you’re thoughts are transfixed on him you’ll never give another man a chance. So you are the only one who is standing in the way of your own happiness.

    If you feel it’s unfinished, finish it. No excuses, its too early, it’s too x, y, z. At the end of it all if he wants you he will go for it. Just like ‘B’ did with me. It was a risk for her too but the feeling of wanting it clearly overpowered everything else.

    #374705
    Danny
    Participant

    @NBC the aboves for you. Forgot to @ you!

    #374760
    Sammy
    Participant

    You have a very analytical mind @NBC, I completely get that because I’m the same.

    From personal experience, I think you need some tough love.

    Danny has given you some very good advice but you like to dissect each part to understand the why’s? This will just lead to more and more questions and a spiral. I was the same until I decided to confront my ex and it gave me the peace I needed. So snap yourself out of it or you’ll find yourself wasting yet more of your precious time.

    Sometimes analysis is good to prevent mistakes or grow. However there comes a point where you have to stop, where you have to accept you’ll never know why certain things happened. Essentially all you solidly know are your own intentions. It would be amazing if everyone in life could give us honest feedback and accountability for their actions unfortunately very very few people are honest, genuine and transparent enough to do that.

    That guy in between who took you on a magical date knowing you were leaving, may have had several reasons but that doesn’t matter, the main thing is you enjoyed it, it prodded you to experience relationships again. You didn’t harm him, that’s your take away from that.

    You have not gained acceptance for the chapter with B. If pride is not an issue, you believe it had more legs then the only thing like Danny suggested is to confront him.

    With every man if they really want you they will not pass the opportunity again when they know it’s now or never.

    You could wind up wasting your time on someone who doesn’t even think about you.

    Or you could end up marrying this man, who knows? The thing is unless you actively take the steps forward you will never know.

    The worst case scenario will be be like you said an illusion brought to naught but the silver lining is you can actually really begin the process of moving on and then really opening up your mind and heart to someone new because if you just keep entertaining hope with B, you’ll never find space for someone new. You’ll compare and ruin all your future relationships.

    Get yourself out of this cycle , as soon as you can. Once these musings become a habit, you will cry and fall and resolve , yet go back to it the next second. It’s all in you mind.

    Betting on potential wasted many precious years of my life,yes in the end the very thing I desperately wanted over the years happened, he wanted to fight for me. But by then I had grown resentment for him. It wasn’t healthy and too much water under the bridge to even start afresh.

    @Dannydan ‘s relationship and @Tim1 ‘s only worked out because they hadn’t got too deep. So the mistakes made although unfair on their partners were forgivable and fixable, thus allowed space to create a healthy new relationship.

    @Kkasxo and mine were over years and in the end taught us what love wasn’t.

    @Shelbyville finally saw that her ex was also toxic, the on/off nature meant they couldn’t sustain a healthy relationship even if she loved her ex.

    You don’t seem to have been so enmeshed with B, so there’s that small chance, also you obviously can’t reach closure on your own so it’s time to just confront this finally.

    Yes. I’m scared of being intimate again. Scared of if the physical connection I experienced with my ex will ever be experienced again but Danny is right i just need to take it slow and not compare.

    @Dannydan thanks for your sage advice, I’m doing ok. Swamped with work and finding a new place but happy to be moving my life forward. Your advice is helpful and appreciated don’t ever feel like it’s going unheard!

    It’s was curious because @Shelbyville always wanted that physical connection again, so wondering how she dealt with it and found it again with her new partner.

    I’ve never been one for ONS and do want a longterm relationship.
    That’s why I will not enter anything without being sure, I respect him too much to lead him on.

    I always have needed an emotional connection to even want to kiss a man. I like @NBC find kissing very intimate and could only do it with someone I was attracted to and wanted more with.

    I do feel like I want to touch my besties bro, hold his hand etc but at same time I am petrified as I know once it feels real I’ll get carried away and what if he decides he doesn’t feel the same anymore and not wanting something longterm? Guess it’s old rejection fears

    I have always liked him and it’s funny how he’s always been there, we have always had great banter and chemistry but it wasn’t until recently I started to see him in a romantic light and feel desire for him.

    I can imagine undressing him when I’m around him now and it’s weirdly exhilarating when we flirt and petrifying.

    Who thought almost a year on I’d find the courage to begin a new. I’m so glad of the work I’ve done on myself before considering someone new. I know I will not hurt him because I haven’t rushed it to fill a void.

    I’m so happy and excited for you Danny. Very proud of you too!! You’ve grown and come a long way. I hope your union keeps going from strength to strength!
    I do look forward to reading how you feel once the union is cemented in more than one way 😉

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