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Thread: Worth My Time?

  1. #1

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    Worth My Time?

    Apologies in advance, this might be long in the effort to give good information!

    I've been dating a really funny, charismatic, adventurous man for 4 1/2 months. When we first started dating, he was very forthcoming in how he felt about me. He would compliment me, tell me he was thankful for a partner like me, etc. (The last relationship he had was a 6-year one, the last year of which was very bad. She cheated on him with two men and tried to sleep with his best friend. After trying for quite a while to make it work, he realized he couldn't and broke it off.) It had been about a year after that relationship that we started dating, and I am the first after her. Anyhoo, after we'd been dating a bit, he told me that he "didn't think he could ever feel the same way about someone else" but then I came along and changed his mind.

    Everything was great for the first 2 months and he continued to be the kind of guy I was waiting for (I'm 34 and would like a life partner). Then, all of the sudden, everything completely stopped. No compliments, no anything. In fact, he seems to try to avoid saying anything remotely sweet. (I continue to try and compliment him and be verbally open with how I feel but oftentimes feel stupid when it's not reciprocated). I let it go for a few weeks and then asked. At first, he said nothing was wrong but then told me he felt like his inability to care for someone was creeping back in. This was after saying he was falling in love with me just a mere 2-3 weeks before.

    He is not mean to me. In person, he is still very affectionate, our conversations aren't forced, and we have a good time. He talks about things happening a few months away as if I will be there. I don't sense an immediate break-up, but I also feel like I can't compete with what she did to him. I know how people have treated you in the past influences you, and I think it's normal to be scared and not sure if you can face potential heartbreak again. But I also believe allowing a garbage human to ruin your relationship future is a disservice. I don't deserve less because she gave him less.

    I haven't talked to him again about it (and I will before I make any decisions) but am I wasting my time? Additionally, how do I broach the subject of how I'm feeling? I tend to not advocate for myself very well, which I am working on.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. That fact that he had this much and so many nasty things to say about his ex was the first red flag. Do not try to fix or heal him. Interestingly he has you totally focused on her somehow ruining your budding relationship that she is a monster and he is a victim and of course you've only heard one side of this, that again is bad news. It's he who is withdrawing for whatever reason, even if he points fingers at the ex...it could just be he's losing interest, the novelty has worn off, he just wants to play the field, whatever.

    The next red flag was the too much, too soon, madly in love, you're the one, etc., right away situation and of course now the third red flag about him being withdrawn and "confused".

    The first several months of a new relationship usually is about fun, adventure, the seduction phase and the thrill of everything new and amazing. What you are seeing now, unfortunately, is the real thing. Agree there doesn't seem to be an eminent breakup but rather a slow fading and disconnection from being long term or serious.

    Stop investing in this and stop listening about his ex, dating shouldn't be about free therapy or listening to one-sided woe-is-me stories. So do not bother talking about this even more or telling him what you deserve etc. Simply brace yourself while you watch him slip away probably to the next short term fun distraction who believes his victim stories, that he's madly in love, that she's the one, etc..
    Originally Posted by pdxrose
    Everything was great for the first 2 months. Then, all of the sudden, everything completely stopped. he said nothing was wrong but then told me he felt like his inability to care for someone was creeping back in. I don't sense an immediate break-up, but I also feel like I can't compete with what she did to him. I also believe allowing a garbage human to ruin your relationship future is a disservice.

  3. #3
    Member BreadStick's Avatar
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    This sounds very similar to my ex and our situation. Believe me when I say, he is selfish and focused on himself and his "suffering". He is looking to fill a void with you. As long as that works, he will be so kind and loving, and shower you with affection and praise but the moment the butterflies are lessening, like they should, he will get frustrated. His ex will creep in his mind, because he has not in no way gotten over her or her treatment of him, he will start to blame you and his so called "inability to care for someone" for his lack of affection.

    Truth is, he is just not ready nor willing to be someone's partner. All he wants is someone to love him and fill a void he refuses to address himself. He wants to feel better about himself and prove what his ex did to him was wrong because here you are, a wonderful woman who cares about him and treats him well. But he still focuses on his ex. You were not the one to hurt him, it is not your job to heal him. Only he can do that. Talk to him about how you feel, tell him you don't want to listen to his ex stories, because your relationship is about you 2, not his ex.
    I was like you, took care of him, listened to him, helped him vent about his exs and how they cheated on him, etc. He would tell me how great I am, where was I all this time, etc. But this was all based on selfish needs, he liked me because of what I GAVE him, not who I was. Once his butterflies were ending, he started to withdraw, neglect me, never gave me a sweet word or told me he cared about me. He preferred to spend time with friends, but refused to tell me what was wrong when I asked - no regard for my feelings or what HE was putting ME through.

    Then he dumped me, said he was unable to be in a relationship after all. No explanations, no chances to mend things, no regard for my feelings. Don't waste your time on a man like I did, who refuses to see he needs to fix things in his own life and be upfront with you.

    Talk to him, let him know how you feel and if he refuses to talk honestly, then you know your answer.

    EDIT: She isn't the one coming between you two, HE IS RUINING IT all by himself OP.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    BreadStick nailed it.

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  6. #5

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    Thank you everyone for replying! I did him a bit of a disservice- he doesn't talk about her often. In fact, he's only really talked about her twice. I don't see it as free therapy because he's reluctant to talk about her at all. It was only when I noticed that things were changing that I asked and he said he wasn't sure if he could care about someone the same way again because she 'f*$@ked him up'. Interestingly, I went out with a few of his girl friends tonight and they did say that his ex was horrible to him- so even though he's not talking about her, clearly the memory of what she did is lingering. I do agree though that maybe he's just not ready to be in a relationship. Thank you again for your thoughts, I really appreciate it!

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    He chose to do this to himself by staying with her. His blame game is a huge red flag.
    Originally Posted by pdxrose
    he said he wasn't sure if he could care about someone the same way again because she 'f*$@ked him up'.

  8. #7
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    Ya my ex would just talk about her ex how bad he treated her non stop for the first month I was so tired of it. But eventually she stopped. I felt I helped her alot in that sense. man I'm going to stop right there I don't want to get in to it and start thinking about her. All I have to say is just embrace what is to come. Get ready for the fall. Get ready to learn. Get ready to improve.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by BreadStick
    This sounds very similar to my ex and our situation. Believe me when I say, he is selfish and focused on himself and his "suffering". He is looking to fill a void with you. As long as that works, he will be so kind and loving, and shower you with affection and praise but the moment the butterflies are lessening, like they should, he will get frustrated. His ex will creep in his mind, because he has not in no way gotten over her or her treatment of him, he will start to blame you and his so called "inability to care for someone" for his lack of affection.

    Truth is, he is just not ready nor willing to be someone's partner. All he wants is someone to love him and fill a void he refuses to address himself. He wants to feel better about himself and prove what his ex did to him was wrong because here you are, a wonderful woman who cares about him and treats him well. But he still focuses on his ex. You were not the one to hurt him, it is not your job to heal him. Only he can do that. Talk to him about how you feel, tell him you don't want to listen to his ex stories, because your relationship is about you 2, not his ex.
    I was like you, took care of him, listened to him, helped him vent about his exs and how they cheated on him, etc. He would tell me how great I am, where was I all this time, etc. But this was all based on selfish needs, he liked me because of what I GAVE him, not who I was. Once his butterflies were ending, he started to withdraw, neglect me, never gave me a sweet word or told me he cared about me. He preferred to spend time with friends, but refused to tell me what was wrong when I asked - no regard for my feelings or what HE was putting ME through.

    Then he dumped me, said he was unable to be in a relationship after all. No explanations, no chances to mend things, no regard for my feelings. Don't waste your time on a man like I did, who refuses to see he needs to fix things in his own life and be upfront with you.

    Talk to him, let him know how you feel and if he refuses to talk honestly, then you know your answer.

    EDIT: She isn't the one coming between you two, HE IS RUINING IT all by himself OP.
    Dam breadstick I feel this so much. Oh I feel this

  10. #9
    Member BreadStick's Avatar
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    He says she "f*$@ked him up", but really, like Wiseman says, he let it happen. He allowed her to treat him badly for a while. That is his burden to bear not yours, it's a reflection of how low his self esteem was. His friends tell you these things so you won't blame him while he is being cold and neglectful of YOU, so you won't think badly of him or give up on him while he is "f*$@king" you up! Believe me, you can't fix him, he has to do it. He has to stop blaming it all on his previous relationship. It is his responsibility to treat you well, since he wanted to be with you but he chooses to be the victim still, focusing on his ex and being all cold to you now. How does it make you feel when he is so cold to you? Can you imagine being his emotional punching bag while he is getting better, but you are deteriorating because you take on his pain to help him?

    He needs to step up. men who blame their exs all the time are the ones at fault. They allow the mistreatment, but then treat their new partners badly and don't see, that they are being toxic to you. They damage you but it's not their fault, because they're been "hurt" and thus this is an excuse.

    You need to talk, tell him how you feel exactly and what is destroying your relationship. If he can't get over it, you must leave or he will take you with him and emotionally destroy you. You will feel worthless and unseen if you allow to be treated like it was you who damaged him. Get him to a therapist and support him if he chooses you are more important than his previous hurt, if he admits he is being hurtful to you and wants to be with you. But he must take responsibility, or you will always be in the shadow of an "evil ex". You will be loved by his friends and family, they will be so happy he has a good woman but he will drain you and not be grateful for you, as a person, but only as long as you provide the warmth he wishes his ex did.

    Edition, sadly, yep. It happens so often. People get in new relationships way too early and hurt those who did nothing. What can we do but learn to see the signs faster next time and protect ourselves :/

  11. #10
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    I would be far simpler about this. Many people are very into other people in the first two months and many people then change their minds after the newness wears off -sure, his ex may have a bit to do with it - but I'd assume it's just run of the mill taking things too fast, too gushy with the compliments when you don't really know the person then realizing it might not be such a great match. I wouldn't ask him about the ex or talk about the ex with your girlfriends because then you'll get too attached to the idea that he's "not ready". Because if you hear that he finds someone soon-ish who he is ready for it will hurt more. I would pull back -give him twice the space he seems to need -and see if he comes around more -not in a gushy way -just see if you feel he cares. In my personal experience (I was referring above to both personal and indirect experiences) what it meant was that he wasn't that into me after all and he ended things at around the 5 month mark. Met his future wife 6 months later after never being in a relationship of more than a year or so (I was 36, he was 40). Not a perfect match for him since at least for awhile he sent me cross the line/inappropriate emails from time to time -but they've been together now over 15 years, married for many. So I could have convinced myself "commitmentphobe" and because I accepted he wasn't that into me I got over him faster.

    Maybe your new boyfriend will come around - realize that despite not desiring to be all gushy he really likes you and sees serious potential. Just back off for now. Let him come to you.

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