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  1. Thanks Wiseman2. At the moment the guilt is crushing me, so I need to find a way to stabilize and focus. tattoobunnie was spot on in her most recent reply, sorry it took so long for me to see it. The back and forth of denial over the previous weeks made me text so much needy and bitter nonsense to this lady, re-reading even bits of it is like watching a slow-motion trainwreck. I pushed way too hard and should have backed off and doubled down on working on my own stuff. She gave me so many chances to stick to the friend part and I didn't listen. Part of it I found in this video. It really drove home how I should have dealt with my depressive thinking, accepted that she had pulled away but still wanted to be friends. My impatience caused me to believe my feelings over reality, and no matter how much she did blur boundaries from her side early on, that had nothing to do with how I should have reacted recently. The video also says for people with depression risk factors (as I have), alcohol intake should be precisely zero. Makes total sense intellectually, but it is frightening how hard it is for me to do. At the moment I feel like I already screwed things up with this woman, and I am in such a deep hole of insecurity and paralysis, I have really backed myself into a corner here. I need to also work on outward thinking orientation. The video says (as many in this thread probably already know), I am too internally oriented. It is a vicious circle because I feel clumsy and stupid and like a loser, so that hinders my feelings about going out and doing things and meeting people. Even volunteering makes me feel like a failure, not the most noble thing to say but just being honest. What I mean is I should have taken on volunteering earlier when it wasn't part of trying to get my life together. But I do see that it will help me to orient outward and not inward. This is not fun.
  2. Thanks for the clarification. What you just wrote makes a lot of sense. Much appreciated.
  3. Sure, I see that, but everyone has an ego. Maybe I am reading you wrong, but the gist of your replies seems to have been that my big ego was the main problem between me and her. I was making a distinction between what you called my "big ego" over the number exchange and pointed out another example of something she said that hurt me. I don't think one has to have a big ego to be hurt by some things said. Rather, I think it was a mix of, yes, some defensive, self-centered reactions on my part after I had to reveal to her my issues. But lots of couples have situations where one person has big issues and the other person doesn't pull away or start making hurtful comments or doing hurtful things. At any rate, I have restarted therapy and am working on cutting down my drinking, maybe cutting it out entirely. That's scary to me because of how much I have used alcohol to numb my pain in general, not just over this breakup. Also because I don't know where in my life I can actually increase my self-esteem. I'm just trying to take it one day a time at this point. And finally, I have been ignoring how big a role depression has been playing in my life since my divorce. The breakup has just compounded that by increasing my isolation, hopelessness, and lack of ability to concentrate. Thanks again.
  4. Sorry, I must have been unclear. I got no number from a stranger, I presented that to her as a hypothetical to ask how she would feel if I did that in front of her. Also, the guy was not an old school friend, as I understand they had never met before that night. They went to schools in the same neighborhood when they were young and he used that to ask for her number. I still think it was double standard behavior on her part, especially because at one point about a month ago (well after the bar number exchange), I went to dinner with her and her teenage son. As we were walking back to her building, we passed a restaurant where I had gone on 2 dates over the course of 2020 with a woman I had clearly told her I was not interested in at all. She pointed to the restaurant and said, and her son heard her clearly, "That's where he takes his OTHER girlfriend." That woman was in no way anything like a girlfriend to me, just to be clear. I had been exclusive from my side for many, many months. I hope you can see the lack of proportionality in her responses versus mine. Yes we had both been drinking, so that seems to be the theme here rather than just my jealousy and my ego. Thanks.
  5. Also, I'd like to post a general thanks again to everyone for their comments. I apologize for my defensiveness in some of my replies. I was trying to set the record straight on some things because I saw them first-hand and don't think I misinterpreted them. But that is no reason not to be grateful for everyone's replies, even the ones I disagreed with. Also, one more thing. First, I don't have a lot of dating experience. I am finding all these articles and videos online about how women date and how men date, so I admit I was behaving with her out of a place of relative dating ignorance. Which also included taking stock of whether I should be dating at all. I now see that. It is painful because a good deal of this online info talks about how men have to be masculine or women will be turned off, how women are like cats, etc., etc. For some naive reason I thought that because she and I are over 50 that these games would stop. I mean maybe in certain cases or with certain people the game doesn't stop. At the same time, that info is not totally bogus, because it felt good for me to feel like a man with her, as opposed to an emasculated broke guy who was drinking to drown his sorrows. So at some level I felt terrified once I saw that there is the complex dating ecosystem around me and dating an attractive, smart, flirty woman draws all this male attention and social chess action. To some extent it exposed my own social class insecurity. Even though she and I seem to have both come from humble beginnings and are both well educated, she has associated herself with a higher social class whereas I have been more comfortable in a middle-class, intellectual oriented environment. Dating her turned that all on its head because after (as someone else aptly wrote) I thought all was good because I was moving things at my pace, she made a point of proving me that she had the upper hand. Frankly it scares me, because it makes me wonder if I ever had a real connection with her the way I thought, or if I am just a fungible Dating Man(tm) who she presumed was one way but the dropped me like a hot potato when I wasn't that way. Just wanted to add that to the thread. Thanks again.
  6. Thank you, I do see this more and more exactly as you have said. It feels horrible now, but perhaps it is a lesson I need to learn at this point in my life. Much appreciated.
  7. Yes, this is true. I have had to come to terms with this after seeing everyone's replies here. Thanks.
  8. "but you did react to her actions by getting drunk and flirting with another woman in front of her." Sorry, where did I say I did flirted with another woman in front of her? All I did was literally talk with this woman at the professional meetup party. I did not flirt with her or ask for her number or accept any number from her. I do admit that I should have just said nothing about what she did instead of acting whiny and jealous. That is true.
  9. I still don't think I misunderstood her, sorry. For two reasons. One, I explained how many couple things she and I had done before this moment. If she really thought I had set the goalposts, it was self-serving of her to initiate the kissing and the sex - which she did almost every time including the first time. And she regularly sent me couple-like texts like GIFs saying I'm thinking of you and calling me pet names. I clearly reciprocated those GIFs and texts, so basically the "Welp" logic means she was sort of holding a grudge in the back of her mind waiting to spring it on me despite her ostensible loving and couple behavior. In other words, I was clearly moving the goalposts but apparently not as fast as she wanted. And two, the "Welp" reasoning does not explain why SHE said SHE would be upset if I did the same and exchanged numbers with a woman in front of her. That is a clear, self-serving double-standard. The only explanation I can think of is that she was constantly working from a punitive standpoint. No matter how close I was growing to her and showing her my feelings and time were going to her - I repeatedly told her I was unsure about a relationship but I had deleted my other dating apps and was no longer dating anyone else. But she still somehow thought she had the right to be jealous of my behavior and I had no right to be jealous of her for the same behavior. That is, her idea of "goalposts" seemed to be I have to go 100 yards to score a touchdown, but she has to go only 50 yards. Double-standard. Yes, the drinking and the money probably were going to drive her away eventually. But in that moment at the bar I don't see any way to see her behavior as anything other than rude and self-serving.
  10. Thanks, DancingFool you are 100 percent correct, and it did feel good to escape for a while with her in the hopes that everything would work out. Wishful thinking for sure. Scary because I am not sure what happened to my survival instinct after having made so many mistakes and feeling so worthless. It's like when I am so down in a chess game that I just resign. But I will try. Thanks again.
  11. With all due respect, I don't think I jumped to conclusions. Read the non-apology text she sent me, as well as her double standard the she somehow had the right to be upset if I got a girl's number right in front of her, but I have no right to be upset at the same behavior. Of course, that doesn't excuse mistakes I made or make her responsible for my problems, but by the same token, my mistakes or problems don't give her the right to create a double-standard especially after she had previously been so willing to do so many things with me that romantic couples do. I think it would have been far better for her to say, sure go get girls' numbers as well since we are not committed. But that isn't what she said. I think the other responses to my comment have been far more accurate and helpful than yours. Thanks.
  12. Thank you so much, Lambert.
  13. OK thank you, Wiseman2. I suppose I was confused because she wanted to be more than friends first, and if she really is close to getting a restraining order, I imagine she would not still be replying with news about how she had dinner with her family last night, or saying anything really, or just blocking me. But I get your point. I have enough problems regardless of whether or how she is responding. Thanks again.
  14. Hello everyone, Here's my situation. I hope I can get some help from you. Also, general background, I tend to binge when I drink so you can assume for most of the following she or I or both of us are dealing with being at least somewhat intoxicated which I know is a big part of my problem for sure. I am a man, early 50s, divorced 10 years, 1 adult daughter She is a woman, early 50s, divorced 6 years, 1 teen son We met on a dating site around 5 years ago. At the time we had a couple of good dates, but I did not feel like I wanted more than friends at the time. This sounds really weird in retrospect, but it was a stupid, superficial reason now that I think back. She bore a vague, passing resemblance to a woman at work whom I disliked. As I said, a weird reason but I guess I fell prey to first physical impressions. (On top of that, I was getting out of a one-year relationship with a woman who had said she wanted kids, and at first I thought I could have another kid. But when I backed off from that, things fell apart. She and I had sexual chemistry, but it was never destined to become anything like a long-term relationship or marriage.) She later told me (back to my current "she") she thought, "I don't need any more friends, but I appreciated your honesty so I agreed to be friends." We kept in touch loosely but went on with our parallel lives. Due to that one-year relationship that I mentioned, I honestly was not eager about dating anyone, and I gradually had been moving into a bachelor/hermit/barfly life. Not good, but the only reason I say that is that I have tried to tell her that my initial friendship thing was not a typical "friend zone." I really did enjoy her company and even told her that I could see it someday leading to more. Fast forward again to 2019. I was at a bar watching sports with a friend, and he told me he saw a woman who kept looking at me. She was with a guy. When I finally peered into the dark bar atmosphere, I saw that it was HER. My friend told me to go over and say hi, but I said no, she's with a guy. However, as my friend and I left, I waved to her and she smiled and waved back. Later that night I texted her and we reconnected. Somewhere around that time she says she broke up with that other guy. From that time until a month or so ago, she and I started meeting up more and more and texting more and more, including FaceTime when she was traveling for work. Finally, when we were at dinner one night, we had both had a bit too much to drink, and she leaned in and kissed me. I returned the kiss, it was great. I panicked and did not want to hurt either of us, so I kept being reluctant. It's painful to recall this because this was the point where I could have chosen a different path. And maybe talking to her about my money then would have allowed her to be supportive without pulling back. But I kept vacillating on asking her to be my girlfriend, this time for a different reason. Due to the pandemic I gradually fell behind on rent and now I owe a lot, over $15,000, which I am trying to figure out how to pay off or negotiate some kind of exit from my lease. I bring up the rent because my vacillating ended around March of this year, before I told her about my money problems, but after I decided that my feelings for her had grown too much for me to keep saying I wanted to be just friends. The time we spent together had drawn me out of my loneliness and was of a completely better nature in terms of our sharing time together, sharing conversation time, mutual attraction, and on and on. It got to the point that she was sending me so many sweet texts and GIFs that she was thinking about me. She invited me over to her apartment on several occasions. On one night she started feeling me up and took me to her bedroom and we made love. That happened one more time there, and then another three times at my apartment. We held hands, kissed, shared walks, day trips, she had me meet her sister and her kids and a few of her other friends (she was upset that I had not introduced her to my daughter though). I would usually take her home at the end of the night (more later) and we would kiss passionately before saying goodnight. Pet names, lovey-dovey GIFs, the whole nine yards, practically. Then it changed. First, she started talking more and more about traveling, and I kept trying to tell her that I did not have money to travel. Finally I had to admit my money situation. She was taken aback but was supportive at first, even offering me money to help pay. I refused, I didn't think that would be a good idea at all and she would either resent me or lose respect (she lost respect anyway, see below). Everything seemed to have stayed the same until the following weekend. First, we met up at my local bar, and she seemed tired. She said it was work, which was probably partly true. But then the bar manager asked if we could move from our table to the bar so they could seat a larger party at the table. We said sure and moved. At the bar was this weird guy whose talking style I couldn't follow. His friend came over, a guy I had randomly made friends with before over a football game. That latter guy is always glad-handing at the bar and struck up a conversation with her right next to me. Apparently they went to the same area Catholic grade schools. As they got into their conversation, her body language moved away from me (usually she was all over me). Then, he said he had to get her number to invite her to a party the next day and so they could catch up about school and the neighborhood. She gave him her number right in front of me. I didn't say anything in the moment except to say "hey, we're all adults" when he made some disclaimer about why he was asking her number. But when we left I told her I felt like a fool and why did she do that. I am not good in arguments, but verbally and via text I basically said how would you feel if I did that to you? She said: "I'm still perplexed by what happened tonight. We can go back and forth, and I can continue to try to explain myself as to why your position is misplaced, but I think it we will go in circles. Thus, I will accept that your feeling were hurt some how despite the fact that I would never do such a thing intentionally. So I'm sorry because despite the fact that we are not committed and I have the right to explore, I am not that girl that would try to purposely make you jealous nor hurt your feelings. I did get upset at the end with your *** for tat suggestion, and Yes, I would get upset if you took some women's number. " To me this sounded like (1) sorry if you're offended and (2) trying to have her cake and eat it too - specifically, "we are not committed," yes but we have done all those couple things I mentioned above, so doesn't that warrant a little respect about handing out our numbers to people in front of each other? Moreover, if "we are not committed," what right would SHE have to get upset if I took some woman's number? Anyway, the next day we texted a bit more and then she invited me to a professional meetup party she was at. I should not have gone, but by this point I was getting more and more feelings for her and we had entered this odd dance of approach and avoidance. I drank at the party and struck up a conversation with a pretty woman there (which is funny because my "she" made a point of telling me I had done that) - she barely talked to me at the party, which I guess is ok because it was her party. Then we joined some of the people who left the party and went to a restaurant. There, she was initially seated across from me but they moved her to the head of the table, where she went on a little speech about what she wanted in a man. A guy there started professing how if HE were with HER, he would give her all of those things. He raised a toast and she toasted back. When it was time for everyone to leave, I naturally assumed I would walk her home alone as I usually did. But that toasting guy suddenly decided that he and another guy should also "help" get her home. She agreed, at which point, hot blood ran up into my face and I excused myself abruptly and left all of them. I cried all the way home and when we FaceTimed about it, she retaliated with all the times she had cried about me when I said "just friends." We met one more time in person before she went away on a trip with her son. We still argued over the whole friend/respect/jealousy thing. She accused me of "dating" my "other girlfried" (wait I thought we were not committed) - by which she was referring to a woman I went on 2 dates with over the course of 18 months and whom I did not want to be my girlfriend. We both left angry and she refused to let me walk her home. At that point I spiraled into a deep funk. Although she texted a few times that gave me hope, I got drunk a few times and sent her streams of overly emotional texts starting in angry/demanding mode and devolving into begging/pleasing mode. This has happened to me twice before and both times the women blocked me. But she has not blocked me which I find strange because she would read my messages and not reply, but not block me either. Is she just torturing me? Now we have reached a numb equilibrium. I wrote her a 4-page heartfelt letter where I pleaded my case. I know men are not supposed to do this, according to the dating sites and coaches. But I just wanted her to see what I was thinking. She has not even acknowledged that I sent it, nor said even one thing about it. She has repeatedly insisted that it is not about the money, but the timing seems way too coincidental and she also has gone silent about almost everything except switching to "we don't have the same interests or want the same things." So who knows. She has sort of agreed to meet up and chat about this. But as I expected, she bailed out yesterday saying she is busy with work and she has plans for the weekend. I am now obsessed. I really don't want to know about her dating other men, but I also can't help wanting to be her man. So I am having awful intrusive thoughts about her going off for the weekend with some new guy she is with. This is so painful. It's not just that I don't want to be alone, I have done that before. It is that we spent so much time doing things and going to places all around where I live and hang out, so EVERYTHING reminds me of her, and also because of my money problems, I feel worthless and that no woman would date me, while she is off probably collecting dates by the armful. She even told me she has already been on a couple of dates - less than a month after she said her desire for me was multiplying. I have spent time walking trying to burn off the anxiety and pain, but only recently have I been able to go more than 2 days without breaking down crying. Every time I want to turn around and share some meme or article or news I realize it's pointless, along with the hope of just seeing her and holding her again. Anyway, I always try to write short posts but they always end up too long. I hope someone reads through this and can offer me some advice. I know the drinking is an issue, she used it as another reason why I was crossing her boundaries when she had respected mine as a friend (she is right about that part). Some days I want to block her and remove all traces from my devices. But then I get really sad and can't go through with it. Thanks for any help.
  15. FYI, this situation solved itself. I sent her another text and it never said "Delivered." So now I can move on. Thanks to everyone who posted helpful comments.
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