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Thread: Struggle to Emotionally let go Despite Really Poor Behaviour

  1. #21
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ian4996
    I'm very much working hard on this. I've been reading self-help books, attending Law of Attraction, meditation and yoga classes, basically doing everything I can to get myself into that happier place, regardless of my relationship / dating status.
    Good. You may find it helpful to take break from the dating merry-go-round for a while until you find some passion for something beyond trying to make your relationship fantasies happen. You're not in the right place for that, and so you'll keep choosing to invest in anyone who makes the right noises to seduce you. The dating scene will still be there later, so it's not as though you'd be missing anything by taking some time to fortify your sense of self and your standards for what you consider to be a good match for you.

    Recognize that most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's natural odds. So the goal of dating is to screen OUT wrong matches, not play with them in the hope of turning a bad match into a good one. It sounds as though you're bypassing the screening process and diving straight into investment.

    I find it helpful when meeting people to set my internal trust meter to a neutral 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Then I observe. I allow people to show me whether I'll want to invest more trust over time, or whether I'll withdraw trust and walk away.

    Advice from grandma: "The problem is not that snakes will cross your path, they will. The problem comes when you lack the self respect to avoid picking up the snake to play with it."

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    Check out baggagereclaim.com. it helped me with my own emotional unavailability. Recognition is key.

    What is "wild swimming?"
    Wild swimming is just open water swimming, in lakes, reservoirs, tarns etc. It's one of my hobbies - it isn't really important for the purpose of this debate though.

    And thanks, I'll have a good look at that website this evening

  3. #23
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    Originally Posted by Tinydance
    To me it sounds like you might have low self-esteem and you actually don't think that you can do better than these women who treated you so badly. I think if you felt good and secure within yourself, you would not have allowed that thing to go on for as long as you did with these women and you would not still be chasing them. They treated you crap and you put up with it and you're still messaging them now! If you had more self-respect you would not be doing that.

    Also it seems like you're really fixated and even desperate to have "someone". It's OK not to have someone and to be single until you find a good person. It's better to be single than be with women that treat you badly.

    Also you may be coming on too strong. You said you wanted to be exclusive after only three dates and having sex only once. Um, why? After such a short time do you even really know these women?

    You need to chill out and stop fixating so much on having a girlfriend and just enjoy taking it slow and meeting different people.
    I think you're right on the self-esteem and that is something I'm looking to work on.

    The "desperate to have 'someone'" is true in one sense and not in another. I'm renowned for being really fussy in terms of who initially attracts me. I've been speed dating and only ticked 3 women out of 17. A female friend tried to set me up with one of her friends this weekend but I was just not attracted at all when I saw her photo. But on the other hand, when I have started seeing someone who I'm attracted and somewhat attached to, I am desperate to make it work, even if, as mentioned, her behaviour makes her unsuitable.

    The exclusive after 3 dates thing - I'm kind of in 2 minds about this. Just to be clear, I didn't actually say that to these women at the time, it was just my response to Wiseman whose suggestion it was to have the exclusive conversation when starting to have sex.

    My thinking into why it may have been a good idea is that I'd be introducing the idea on my own terms. Whereas what actually happened in both cases is that the exclusive debate came about as a reaction to the presence of someone else (i.e. with girl 1, it was the date the following day, with girl 2, it was my supposed friend). In both cases, there was no hiding place for me in terms of my disappointment and I certainly think Girl 1 was left thinking 'he only wants to be exclusive now because he's jealous / insecure about someone else sniffing around'. Whereas introducing it on my own terms could've been more from a frame of 'he wants to be exclusive because he really likes me'.
    I'm kind of unsure about this though - the counter argument to what I've said above would be 'but a quality girl wouldn't mention another date the following day on date 4 and wouldn't drunkenly kiss your friend'

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by purplepaisley
    I can definitely relate, and definitely you have some personal issues you need to work on, but I notice that these relationships you describe sort of fizzled when the honeymoon phase ended. Those first 2-4 months are fun, hot, exciting, and everyone is on their best behavior, getting to know one another, and then things start to get real. Real personalities come out. You can't stay up late talking or texting because you have work/school/kids. You can't run by the seat of your pants because you need to deal with laundry, errands, chores, and other responsibilities. That cute little quirk is actually extremely annoying.

    I feel like part of what you want or miss the most, is getting back to that fun phase. You miss it and you want it back. Who wouldn't? But that's not sustainable long-term. Reality has to set. The problem is, once this fun phase ends, you really don't have much left. Of course these women are "a little wild," and perhaps they seek the thrill of new relationship, and when it starts to get to be too "normal" and "real," the next shiny bauble catches their attention and they move on - both of these women moved on to other men, whether flirting or dating.

    Clearly your attraction to these "flighty" women might suggest self-esteem and personal issues that you should explore. These women feel normal to you. Using your abuse analogy, a lot of women who are victims of abuse grew up in an abusive home. This is their normal, and it feels wrong when dating a normal guy...something could feel very "off" about it and thus feels wrong...red flag, gut reaction wrong. There's something that has you enjoying this uncertainty and "wildness" of these women who bounce around all over the place.

    I can't tell you how to not miss it, or not want it back...you actually want the fantasy back, the hot first few months...it's not real, and you need to accept it. It's not easy, but you need to be aware. Sure, if that great person reaches out to me, I can see myself giving it another try (and I have). The second time does not work much better than the first, so if you try it, if one of them wants to see you, only try it once (not at all would be better), and if you end up back with the same-old story...that's it. No more. Seriously, it would be better just to go through the pain with NC, accept it and move on.
    Thanks. I don't have much to say other than most of this rung so true. 'The next shiny bauble' is exactly a metaphor I was thinking myself yesterday. And as I said to someone else, I agree about the self esteem and that's something I'm really looking to work on.

    I'm not 100% sure if I 'enjoy the uncertainty' - I actually find the 'this could be over' phase of the uncertainty thoroughly miserable. But then I find the 'back on' phase totally exhilarating. With both these girls, before the actual ending, there was an uncertainty, followed by a 'back on'. And in both cases, the sex when we were back on I found totally magical and exhilarating.
    To make an analogy, some time ago, I lost my dog near a lake. He was gone for 2 hours and I thought he'd got in and drowned. I was totally miserable and in the depths of despair. Then eventually, he came galloping round the corner. I felt totally jubilant, amazing, absolutely on top of the world. Whereas seeing him normally day to day never gives me this feeling. And that's the same feeling I got with these girls after the misery of the 'it could be over' uncertainty followed by the 'it's back on' jubilation. In some respects, I think it's normal to desire something / someone much more when you think they've gone.

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  6. #25
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    Originally Posted by Sportster2005
    I would rationalize and convince myself she wasn't that bad, and give her the benefit of a doubt one more time.
    That rings so true! I've got a tendency to remember the nice / lovely things they did. Girl 1 particularly was like this. She'd often turn up with a present for me out the blue, she'd give money to homeless people in the street, she was the first person to phone when my nan died (months after we split up). Incredible difference between the 2 sides of her but I'd remember these things and use them to rationalise breaking no contact or giving her the benefit of the doubt.

  7. #26
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Good. You may find it helpful to take break from the dating merry-go-round for a while until you find some passion for something beyond trying to make your relationship fantasies happen. You're not in the right place for that, and so you'll keep choosing to invest in anyone who makes the right noises to seduce you. The dating scene will still be there later, so it's not as though you'd be missing anything by taking some time to fortify your sense of self and your standards for what you consider to be a good match for you.

    Recognize that most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's natural odds. So the goal of dating is to screen OUT wrong matches, not play with them in the hope of turning a bad match into a good one. It sounds as though you're bypassing the screening process and diving straight into investment.

    I find it helpful when meeting people to set my internal trust meter to a neutral 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Then I observe. I allow people to show me whether I'll want to invest more trust over time, or whether I'll withdraw trust and walk away.

    Advice from grandma: "The problem is not that snakes will cross your path, they will. The problem comes when you lack the self respect to avoid picking up the snake to play with it."
    Thanks, that's good advice. I do genuinely feel ok to date and I do have a lot of other passions / outside interests. Part of the problem for me right at the moment is that my work is seasonal and I'm more or less off for the summer (so I have a lot of time on my hands). But I'm having a lot of problems with my knee at the mo (which is preventing me from throwing myself into my normal stress reliefs / feel good activities such as hiking, running, tennis etc etc). I know I shouldn't complain as a lot of people would love to have a month or 2 off work but when you're feeling a bit down and lacking your normal pick me ups, too much spare time isn't necessarily a good thing!

  8. #27
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Maybe they were free spirits, whatever, but many women hope you stop seeing/having sex with others when you have sex with them. Why not consider that they ghosted because you never brought that up. Number of dates is irrelevant, what's relevant is spreading STDs and women possibly perceiving you as a player or pump and dump kinda guy because you won't speak up.
    Originally Posted by Ian4996
    I didn't initiate any talk as I felt like an exclusivity talk after 3 dates would be putting them under too much pressure too soon

  9. #28
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Pay attention and see if you trying to get these women who've pulled away to ultimately like you in the end, that you aren't tying your self esteem or self worth to that.

    As if. . `if they don't like me there must be something wrong with me. If I can get this woman to like me, then I must be ok'

    You could find yourself winning over a woman who has character traits you don't care for . . just for the sake of feeling ok with yourself.

    Feeling ok with yourself is your job.

    Allowing unsavory people to define you never works. It just makes things worse.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Just curious - do you get so quickly and intensely attached if you don't sleep with them so soon? Just something else to consider. While generally deemed more common among women to get seriously attached after sex, it can affect men the same way. It's not so much your heart as hormones plus chemicals in your brain.

    Perhaps one thing to try is to stay out of the bedroom and let your upper head make better decisions, learn more about the woman you are dating and give yourself some time to evaluate whether she is gf material or not before your lower head takes over. The little head isn't known for making good choices.

  11. #30
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    Pay attention and see if you trying to get these women who've pulled away to ultimately like you in the end, that you aren't tying your self esteem or self worth to that.
    I agree and that's what I've been guilty of doing and am trying to stop. In the 5-10 minutes on Saturday when me and Girl 2 were chatting on friendly terms again, I felt loads happier. Then when she f***ed off 15 minutes later without a word, I felt pretty desolate again.
    I know that basing my feelings on the acceptance of another, particularly someone who can be so flaky and unreasonable, is unhealthy and I'm really trying to address this.

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