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Thread: It's a strange world but there must be a way

  1. #431
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    I agree that in a serious relationship even if you wake up one day and realize you want out you owe it to the other person to approach the shift with compassion and kindness. At some point you might want to consider whether there were signs he was checking out or distancing himself. I remember being broken up with a week after hed done a really awesome thing for me during a neighborhood emergency and right after he booked a trip away for us. I think he simply got cold feet and tried to deny this to himself even. There was no other woman or anything. I wasnt actually blindsided though - Id been kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
    Yes I agree with you that he owed you common human decency. Im sorry he treated you this way. How are you doing now?

  2. #432
    Platinum Member tiredofvampires's Avatar
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    Hey, Quirky.

    It's been such a long time since I've posted here on ENA, swept up as I have been in a force-gathering tornado of my own heartbreaks and life transitions. Not been here nearly as much as I've wanted to be. I've wondered and worried about my friends here, in the meanwhile.

    And, consequently, I have just come in for a spell now and found your most recent posts on this break-up. I feel woefully out of touch with the nuances of this relationship (having just gone back a few pages) and what may have been the "red flags" along the way, so I don't want to say anything presumptuous. But I do feel compelled to say something. It's probably awfully general, but nonetheless, I feel strongly about what I'm about to say.

    I am still single, myself, and like you, fatally romantic in my desires to meet "that forever person" once and for all. Due to my very difficult life circumstances now, which present a lot of challenges to dating, I've been somewhat sporadic with the intensity of looking for this person, and it's been almost entirely based on various correspondences with people living very far away, as I live in such a remote and isolated location, where locals are just on a different wavelength from me. But I've stayed in the game, to different degrees, and I can safely say that I've learned some essential things that all the disappointments, the "ghostings", the rejections, and the hurt from all the discarded relationships have made worth going through.

    First, I have re-written my dating profile(s) many times, often just for me, when these things happen -- it's almost like a public reflection of what matters to me. And here is one thing that I have put front and center, and repeated in various ways in my write-up (and, it wouldn't be any different if I met someone the traditional way, in person):

    I AM NOT IMPRESSED, NOR LOOKING TO START WITH "SPARKS" AND "CHEMISTRY." Not leading with those, no. The ever-dazzling, hypnotic allure of "sparks and chemistry" that everyone seeks. I in fact have become a total rebel about that way of approaching attraction and bonding. NO THANK YOU, I PASS. And rather than cultivating mistrust, or trying to kill off that very, VERY precious thing called "able to be vulnerable", which you have and should never compromise just because others are terrified of it in all the ways that shows up -- instead of becoming fearful, guarded, and bitter, I rather think of it as a vetting process where I am not being lead by infatuation of any brand. I am not saying, seek out people that you are decidedly not feeling those feelings for, but I AM saying: the stronger those feelings, those butterflies, and the sooner they start, the brighter the flashing red light is to me, and should be to you. People tell tales about how they "just felt this one was THE ONE" and it started with all those starry-eyed passions, and hey, it does happen. It happens and it lasts for some people. And guess what? For every ONE couple that can boast this kind of magical luck...and prove that it's not just a fairy tale, a Hollywood movie, or a myth...there are 98,000 couples who feel that way and this is the result. This sort of outcome.

    So what to do...there are some things, while not foolproof, that can be done preventatively, and I am all about this:

    1. Move very slowly
    2. Move very slowly
    3. Move very slowly, and
    4 (Did I say?) Move very slowly

    There is nothing wrong with throwing yourself completely into someone and seeing if they will catch you. But that has to come very gradually, with many little proofs along the way. And these proofs do NOT come in these forms:

    1. Effusive compliments
    2. Putting me on a pedestal (comparing me to all the other girls that pale compared to me is a HUGE warning sign that I now run from; a healthy man looks fondly upon his last relationships, even if they are bittersweet and just sees you as the new person in his life, not some pinnacle of girlfriend achievement)
    3. "Promising" me a future -- let's BUILD a future as we go along, shaping it like clay, instead of painting beautiful fantasy pictures on the wall
    4. Not letting me into major parts of his life
    5. Overly romantic expressions, like "I want to live the rest of my life with you", "I can't live without you", "I would be destroyed if you left", "I'll never find anyone like you again," "All the mistakes I made just were leading me to you" (that was actually said to me), "I want to give you everything"....you get the idea

    Anything in this whole category of expressions is just designed -- often without a desire to deceive, and unconsciously -- to flesh out an archetypal desire and need, one that resonates with anyone who speaks the language of romance. There's a lot of projection there. On both sides, often, and in a mirroring way. It might be very genuinely felt, but it may be completely divorced from one's capability to deliver anything close, or to really want to do the work of making any of that real, and investing in it in stable ways. So it's GOOD not to trust certain things. I don't believe in wholesale mistrust, but I choose to not trust CERTAIN types of courtship behavior and the feelings they arouse in me. In a way, I'm saying, you have to...not mistrust yourself...but be able to witness yourself being seduced by lots of fluff and glitter, seeing it for what it is, and sticking to a plan of letting a person prove themselves again and again before you start spinning plans for "forever." Remember...one in 98,000. We don't -- we CAN'T -- count on that lottery ticket, hon.

    So nowadays, I present myself this way -- I want to become your friend, first. And anyone who starts on about "getting caught in the friendzone" is speaking an alien language to me. Not interested, bye. No one gets caught in the "friendzone" when there is undeniable soul and heart connection that can't be stopped. So I say, "sparks and chemistry" should grow out of that connection and bonding, not vice versa. No more, "It just went so fast"...we know where that leads and "just feeling right" could apply to anyone who we like, really. It ALL "feels right"...until it doesn't anymore. Not a good barometer.

    I have no clue how people can be so cold and cruel, either. It's depraved, really. And you have a right to feel angry, and I understand the feeling of being angry at yourself. But, you can work on turning that into gratitude -- gratitude that you learned something. No, this is NOT just devastation. You've learned how better to go about knowing someone, and how to do reality checks along the way, whatever your freespirit side is telling you. You know yourself just a little better today than you did the day before he broke up with you. You know you have a "weakness" for certain things, and now you're going to protect your heart just a little more carefully. Learning how to keep your visions intact while also being more discerning and cautious (not just in thought bubbles you think, but actions you TAKE as you move through the evolution of a relationship, and the escalation) is a precious reward here. Even though it doesn't feel like it. And you'll get there.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this pain, I know it's so eviscerating. But you are intact, you are still you, you have all this good stuff...you just have to guard it like the treasure that it is. And don't give it away for cheap. The test of a good man, the one who might be the "one", is that he will walk this path carefully, slowly, gradually, thoughtfully, and without turning it into a grand fireworks show at the beginning; but he can hold the budding part in a safe and unhurried container. And he will invest in caring about all that's in your life, which is called FRIENDSHIP, before all else. When someone values being part of your life and knowing about it....it is the mark of someone who doesn't leave at the slightest triggers.

    Chin up, Quirks.
    Last edited by tiredofvampires; 10-15-2019 at 04:11 AM.

  3. #433
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    I'm glad you posted with support TOV. I never liked the idea of friends first because it told me that the person had some negative views of romance and physical affection and some assumptions about how "not friends first" somehow meant sex right away or very early on. I love the idea of building a relationship that includes the whole deal from the beginning and proceeding at a reasonable pace in all ways -a pace that feels comfortable for all involved. And that early spark, that chemistry -can be a wonderful part of it as long as people don't assume that the chemistry and spark means it is a forever situation. I remember a friend feeling that strong spark many years ago for a woman and he said "I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't feel this way and fall in love with the person who is the one. They broke up a few months later. The woman he married I know was far slower/steadier (not "friends first" but not this off to the races kind of thing) - just interesting. The couple I know who were friends first -they met through Craigslist to be cycling buddies - never really had a very strong spark - I believe because the husband with his medical issues plus probably psychological ones -simply wanted to remarry (divorced) and have a family and she was there at the time. THey're married just not too into each other it seems.

    So I respect your choices and completely agree that the strong spark plus using that as a reason -the reason-to be together and assume future potential and assume you 'just know" often crashes and burns. To re-confirm -please do what works for you -I get it!!

    My sense is with Quirky that she reacted to her last relationship which didn't have enough of a spark and got attached to and invested in a guy who was complex/full of drama but for whom she felt a ton of chemistry, plus he kept her on her toes.

  4. #434
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    "I'm so sorry you're going through this pain, I know it's so eviscerating. But you are intact, you are still you, you have all this good stuff...you just have to guard it like the treasure that it is. And don't give it away for cheap. The test of a good man, the one who might be the "one", is that he will walk this path carefully, slowly, gradually, thoughtfully, and without turning it into a grand fireworks show at the beginning; but he can hold the budding part in a safe and unhurried container. And he will invest in caring about all that's in your life, which is called FRIENDSHIP, before all else. When someone values being part of your life and knowing about it....it is the mark of someone who doesn't leave at the slightest triggers.

    Chin up, Quirks."

    Me too - I agree with all. And I think the friendship -caring about all that it's in your life -can be built as part of a romantic relationship, as "friendship caught on fire" and that people who will care about Quirky as they should of course- will choose to express the spark in caring ways - at a reasonable pace - and look to the long term.

    Here is an example. My boyfriend/future husband bought me a beautiful necklace for my birthday a week after we decided to get back together. We hadn't kissed yet- maybe a peck and a hug the night we decided to get back together. We just knew we wanted to be together again. So I asked him to help me with the clasp. It took awhile and of course he was very close to me. I was sure we'd kiss then. We didn't. We kissed hours later, passionately. I asked him at some point why he hadn't kissed me when he helped me with the birthday present. "Because I didn't want to ruin the moment" he explained, he didn't want me to think he'd offered to help just so he could then kiss me. It would have cheapened it in his eyes. People can feel really strong sparks, feel like this is the one (I did, especially after we kissed that night and know I didn't express that to him!). And people can choose to prioritize long term potential over gushing all over someone, moving too fast -and they don't have to be "just friends" they can simply take their time overall.

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  6. #435
    Gold Member LikeWater's Avatar
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    How did you get over it?
    In a word: escapism. Once I was actually somewhat functional and stable again, I threw myself full-force into anything that would aleviate me from the negative cycle of thoughts and confusion swirling around in my head. Some of it healthy, like books, shows, forcing myself to get out with family or friends. Those sorts of things. I also wrote a lot, not just in my old journal here but about many things in a notebook. Some of my escapism was not good though and caused some setbacks. Drugs and alcohol, namely. Don't go that route.

    When it comes time you're capable, just really hit your passions head-on. Even if you have no motivation to do so, just force yourself to at least, metaphorically speaking, touch the paper with the pen. Whatever it is, the basic start is the most important part. It's a chance to maybe discover some new ones as well, and meet new people. Don't be afraid to try new things!

    But when it comes down to the biggest factor, and I know you've heard this a gajillion times, the passage of time was the most significant factor. And for me that took a lot of time, because I spent way too much of it doing everything I shouldn't have been. Isolating myself. Not taking care of myself. Hating myself. Please don't fall into these traps that I did and your healing should be much, much quicker. Seeing a therapist was also very beneficial to me once I found the right one.

    I also see ToV has stepped in and imparted a lot of very wise words, as she's so apt at doing. I'm sure that wisdom will be of help to you. To me as well. She's touched on a lot there that I have recently made some rules of my own. Essentially, it comes down to fools rush in. It's okay to be willing to give your heart to someone, but they have to earn it. It's the most important thing you can give to someone and in the past I gave it far too easily. It's hard for incredibly passionate beings like we are, Quirky, because damn is it easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all.

    And there lies a balance there between protecting your heart and becoming closed off and unwilling to take a chance. It's a balance that I may never quite figure out, but it's worth working on. I think that I'd rather be awfully hurt again than be lonely for the rest of my life.

    I don't know if any of that will be of help to you, and I'm sorry we are speaking again in these sad circumstances. I took a long break from ENA and just returned around April, I think. I'm sorry I haven't been in touch until now.

    And ToV, I'm very glad to see a post of yours once again. It's always a delight to read your thoughts.
    Last edited by LikeWater; 10-15-2019 at 10:57 AM.

  7. #436
    Platinum Member quirky's Avatar
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    Just wanted to thank you all for your input, there are lots I want to quote and answer to as any kindness or availability from others feels like gold atm.
    However I am struggling to be coherent and not fully able to put in any point of view forward, I am just genuinely consumed by hurt and denial.

    It is now 6 weeks and I don't feel like I have moved at all towards any sort of acceptance.

    My friends tell me I should send a text, ask for some clarification on it all so I can slowly close it and move on.
    The trouble is I don't want to move on. To me this was the best relationship I had and I cannot shift from that belief yet, I cannot fathom how he thought differently. And in all the ways he was a coward I find myself justifying him because of his history and emotional wounds, he felt he couldn't live up to what I was seeking, maybe I phrased things wrong, maybe this, maybe that..
    I remember him saying we were born to mate. I remember our chemistry and feel incredibly sad. I cannot imagine being with anyone else.

    This is really hard for me because I cannot place it in a context of other breakups, there is a certainty of feelings and intuition that I am struggling to move away from. I read all these stories online and I want to shout out that mine is different and that they just don't understand, when they tell me time it will get better I feel resistance because that means this breakup is real and I cannot accept that.
    At the same time I cannot contact him. I feel like I am experiencing some psychological shock.
    It is a bit like buying a cinema ticket to watch a comedy, half way through it turns into a horror film and no-one reacts and I am chained on a seat having to watch the horror film despite the nightmares it is causing me and I have to learn something from it too.

    I feel so incredibly hurt it is also affecting my work.
    I took Monday off but it is not enough because I am now very paranoid about a client I saw last Friday and will not relax until this is sorted.

    I have to start eating better. I have to look after myself more. But I feel I am in a void.
    I was so ready for that next stage and became convinced that this time I am going to move in with someone and marry and I would be out of a flat share and really have a home.
    People tell me that I have got time and to work on myself but I don't want to keep fixing who I am because I have done enough good work in therapy and now I simply want to be human.
    I don't want to be single. Neither do I want to keep testing relationships, I am 41 now. At this age I feel like I lost my last chance at family and a home, this breakup seems to signify the end of so much more.

  8. #437
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    It sounds like you're remembering a lot of what he said. And a lot of what he told you he experienced in that past -of course all of that might be completely genuine. Would it help to reread some of your posts about potential issues/flags from early on with this person? And it sounds like you met him after you'd spent some time experimenting with casual arrangements - maybe there was a reason that you were attracted to him so intensely after that particular period. I'm sorry you feel like you don't have closure and I agree not to send a text -his silence and his action in ending things abruptly is who he is. Sure it could be because of emotional wounds from the past as you put it but does it really matter? He's an adult man and has control over his choices and he chose to treat you badly at the end - understatement. It's not about whether you phrased things wrong -even if you had a mature, compassionate, thoughtful adult doesn't treat another human being like that.

  9. #438
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    Oh Quirky, so sorry you are going through this!

    Don't be down on yourself for grieving still. Grief has no set time limit. You are grieving the loss of your relationship, but I suspect you are also grieving the loss of a percieved future with him - because of course he led you to believe that there was a future in your relationship. And I bet you feel a sense of betrayal because of what he had said.

    So of course you are going to grieve.

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