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Thread: Unstable

  1. #11
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    I am going to spin this a little differently from the others as he sounds exactly, I mean exactly, like my brother, who after breaking off with his long time girlfriend in college which devastated him (won’t go into it but it was BAD), became literally incapable of developing a close intimate relationship with a woman.

    Not just for a few months, but this has been going on for YEARS. As soon as he starts developing deep emotions/feelings for a woman, his anxiety goes through the roof, he literally panics, and suddenly without warning he’s telling her he “can’t do a relationship” when just the day before he told her he loves her and wants to build a future with her!

    It’s mind boggling and crazy-making. The hot and cold, the back and forth, I become exhausted just hearing about it, I can’t imagine actually living it.

    Anyway, he’s in his early 40s now and very aware of his extremely dysfunctional and frankly cruel behavior so now tries to stick to strictly casual relationships. Not always successfully but he tries.

    The irony is he would love nothing more than to have an emotionally close intimate RL, but he just can’t do it. I dunno, I guess it brings up too many bad thoughts and memories about what happened with his college girlfriend (she ended it), how hurt he was after that ended, and he just doesn’t have it in him to go through that again.

    Not that it would, but that’s where his thoughts go once he becomes close to a woman and starts developing feelings for her. Which by the way he's an expert at controlling, by ignoring, going cold, which works temporarily, but then he misses her desperately and the whole cycle begins again.

    Your boyfriend literally told you the same more or less, did he not? While in tears?

    So yeah I would believe him, he’s got some very deep issues that I hope he seeks help for, so he doesn’t end up like my brother, in his 40s with no one special in his life nor does it appear there ever will be.

    My advice would be tell him you hope he gets some help for whatever emotions he’s struggling with, and then wish him well and say goodbye.

    I am so sorry, I understand how painful it is, I truly do. But if you choose to remain, you will no doubt become crazier than you are now, he’s just got too many issues, which are not your problem to fix, they’re HIS.

  2. #12
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    Thank you for the reply. Yeah I think he needs serious help. Also I think when his mom was going through her ordeal and his parents got divorced it was the same time he was with his old girlfriend. So his family betrayed him and his highschool girlfriend. If he is open with me about admitting he needs help or at least will acknowledge he is willing to get help then I could be there for him. But I agree I am enabling him. I guess my biggest question is.... does he really have feelings for me?

  3. #13
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    Thank you everyone for the replies! It’s almost like he’s an alcoholic and though he doesn’t mean to mistreat me, he currently is. I love him and am cool with us hanging out but I’m not going to commit to him unless he can prove to me he will try and change. And no sex until we commit and it’s up to me if I think he’s ready

  4. #14
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by K1994
    I guess my biggest question is.... does he really have feelings for me?
    Sure he does.

    But, real talk? Who cares? He's completely incapable of treating you kindly or with respect. He's hot Monday, cold Tuesday, a ghost Wednesday, a love bug Thursday. He is, in short, a mess. And he knows it. And you know it.

    Don't mistake tearful confessions of "I'm a mess!" as a display of trust and vulnerability, especially when they come on the heels or as a prelude to "Want to have sex with me?" Inside that kind of dynamic—the dynamic you're in—all signs of romance (sex, texting, whatever) are just a hall pass for someone to continue being a mess. Enabling, as you said.

    I know it's hard to disengage from this sort of thing. Feelings are strange and powerful forces. But for what it's worth? I was a version of this guy back in my 20s: the brooding mess, the dude a handful of women probably described as "a good guy who needs some help and to grow up a bit before he can really be a good guy." Know what? They were right! The ones who kept their distance were the wise ones; the ones who didn't? They got some whiplash. I'm not proud of that, but there it is. I had plenty of "feelings" back then for some women I had no capacity to treat well, but it didn't matter.

    You're 25, entering the prime of your life. This is not a man who will help you shine as you should shine. He's just going to dim your light, as he already has. You're going on Facebook and trying to "figure him out" based on photos of him and his high school girlfriend? I don't think you want to be that person. Whatever he feels for you right now, I don't think you want keep feeling the way you feel, you know?

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  6. #15
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    That makes since. Should there be a time when I take him back? Or I guess what should I do when he hits me up again? Or should I even be honest with him?
    I was thinking of talking with him in person and just saying that I obviously have feelings for him ... but him being exclusive isn’t enough for me and I’m not sure I want to be exclusive with him right now anyways. Im going to date around and until he can prove to me that he can treat me right I’m not exclusive. I am down to hang out but we are not going to be intimate sexually. And maybe I should make sure that we hang out in a setting where I’m not tempted. Right now when I have sex with him I’m just enabling him

  7. #16
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    Originally Posted by K1994
    That makes since. Should there be a time when I take him back? Or I guess what should I do when he hits me up again? Or should I even be honest with him?
    How can you take back a guy who was never really yours to begin with? What is there to "take back," exactly?

    Given that you know how he feels about you (doesn't want a relationship) you should be clear that you care about him but don't feel it's a good idea to continue seeing each other and having sex when your goals are so different. Trust me when I say that hanging out won't be fun either. Why? Because once sex is off the table with you, he will likely likely search for it from someone else. It won't feel good to see him as friends when you find out you're not the only girl on his roster.

    If you're not willing to assert your boundary, this push-pull will continue until your self-esteem is in tatters.

  8. #17
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    So is your advice to just ignore him? And he does refer to me as “his girl” and we are very exclusive, like I haven’t ever hooked up with him when we’re not.

  9. #18
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    Originally Posted by K1994
    So is your advice to just ignore him? And he does refer to me as “his girl” and we are very exclusive, like I haven’t ever hooked up with him when we’re not.
    No. I said this: "you should be clear that you care about him but don't feel it's a good idea to continue seeing each other and having sex when your goals are so different." That means using your voice, not ignoring him. It doesn't mean you will get the result you want, but it will mean that you stop being so passive about it all.

    I hate to be blunt, but you need to stop putting so much value on fluffy words. Saying you're his girl is rather meaningless, considering he doesn't want a relationship with you. Anyone can say something like that. It doesn't mean much when the behaviour doesn't back it up.

    Being very exclusive is not the same as actually being in a relationship, either. And hey, that's all fine and dandy when it's what both people want. The trouble is that it's clearly not okay for you. You desire the consistency and reliability that a relationship brings. He doesn't want to give you that. He is fine being quite casual and not being your boyfriend. You, evidently, want much more than he does.

    I know it hurts and you're trying to make sense of it, but this isn't likely to end the way you hoped. You've been much more tolerant than you should have been. Many of us have done what you're doing now, at some point in our lives - accepting flimsy connections in the hopes that the other person just needs to get their act together or snap out of it or get help for whatever issue we think they have. Truth be told, I have almost never seen a situation like yours end in a sustainable, long-term relationship.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    The problem with starting anything 'casual' is that it devolves into a power struggle. The more invested person tries to manipulate the other into investing more, while the less invested person plays the tightrope walk of offering just enough crumbs to keep the other invested without needing to invest themselves.

    That's messy kid stuff.

    If you recognize that you are relationship material, own it, and don't even bother with anyone who doesn't view themselves the same way. Otherwise you just hook yourself into the dynamic above, have you noticed?

    I'd tell the guy, "I adore you, and I can picture the two of us together in the future, and that's why I'm walking away while we both still think highly of one another--to preserve that potential. I've grown enough to recognize that I'm relationship material, so I no longer want to settle for anything less. I'm going to try to find that for myself, and if you ever decide that you're relationship material, too, you can reach out and let me know. If I'm still available then, maybe we can meet to catch up. Otherwise, I don't want us to stay in contact, but I wish you the best."

    Then walk away, head high, liberated from the trap of trying to manipulate someone into wanting what he doesn't want. That's degrading, and it's a waste of your time, because the more you push for what you want, the stronger his resistance will become to giving 'in' to give it to you. Take the pressure off the table, and allow him the space and time to miss you and learn what life is like without you. Trust that if you're a meant-to-be deal, he'll have no problem catching up with you on higher ground. If not, you'll already be on a healing path toward your own higher ground, and you'll grow confident enough to never settle for less that what you want and deserve.

    Self respect is the only way to gain respect from anyone else. Start there, and you'll thank yourself later regardless of outcmes.

  11. #20
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    That’s actually great advice. He currently is ignoring me but when he reaches out again I’m just going to text him that. I could say it in person bc he might take it more seriously?

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