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magnolia7

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  1. I really appreciate this. In fact, that's a big reason why I keep coming back here to vent when my mind goes back to square one: discussing your opinion here as an unbiased person sometimes does make me see new perspectives, thank you very much! Actually, I think you are completely right about this. I've definitely been on dates with people that I felt more like we clicked (although they didn't progress past 5 dates or so, so maybe we didn't click enough) but most of this 10 month-old relationship, I didn't feel the same "click" I did on date #2 or #3 with those people. I am suddenly feeling a sense of calm and acceptance that this was just not the right relationship for me. I think part of the reason I fixate might be: 1) I don't have any other potential partner I click more with around me right now, so there is nothing better at the moment, 2) I did objectively like some characteristics about him quite a bit, but OK, if I'm being honest, we indeed never had a genuine emotional connection (which, I know, you've pointed out before and it got me thinking -- you are right. I wouldn't have felt so uncomfortable expressing myself if there was a genuine connection. Again, thank you!), and 3) I regretted a few things I did/didn't do in the relationship so I find it difficult to say "I tried my best" and I keep beating myself up about them. But honestly, I think you are right, even if I were the best partner ever on paper and didn't do anything I'd regret, I think this probably still wouldn't have worked out without any genuine emotional connection. And also, people do make mistakes. I think I should allow myself some compassion about it. Even if those mistakes did contribute to the end, if this were the right relationship, it probably could have persevered and wouldn't be so fragile, perhaps. I really hope I continue to feel this way because currently this feels right and I'm suddenly back to my more healthy and calmer state of mind. But honestly, this whole process hasn't been linear so far -- sometimes I feel a calm sense of acceptance but then sometimes my thoughts will go back to square one. I think him texting affected that. And when they do go to square one, I don't know how to handle it, and come here to vent about it all. Anyway, thank you very much for continually pointing this out to me and helping me try to keep myself more grounded. I do think him contacting me threw me into this cycle of self doubt and stuff again. But I don't think he did it on purpose. Or at least I didn't assume any bad intentions on his part when he was reaching out to me. I assume he didn't know what sort of mindset I was in / whether I had enough time to myself when he reached out and I'm guessing he himself probably did have enough time (he was the one pulling the trigger, I assume he must be much more clear and calm about this). When we were parting and he said he would like to remain friends, I said people usually say that but most don't mean it. In my experience, it is mostly used as a way to ease the other person into the breakup. He said he meant it so I assumed this was his way of demonstrating that he indeed would like to/would be open to remain friendly. Not sure what the purpose is, to be honest. But if he did indeed think I was a cool person like he said and he didn't have any strong romantic feelings for me, I thought it was possible he thought "this would be a cool person to be friends with". Am I unreasonable here?
  2. I was actually really surprised to see his message, too. On the one hand, I appreciate that he seems to make an attempt at staying friends. On the other hand, ~3 weeks after the breakup is too soon for me, considering it wasn't my decision. Thank you very much for replying with empathy, btw. It really makes me feel better!
  3. It is not a rhetorical question. Because there is a specific way people need to act to be "ready for a relationship"? I'm sorry but this sounds like a shallow take from my struggle with moving on.
  4. OK, I think you are right about the questionnaire. It was definitely very analytical. When he said he was "happy but not very happy but didn't know what was wrong", I think I tried really hard to find out what was wrong but didn't know how to go about it. What do you mean about romance spontaneity in general? Is it stuff like going on an adventure, surprising each other or am I missing what you mean by it?
  5. On the first two dates, I was very unsure. I was going along because he was asking but also because I didn't see any red flags/ deal breakers etc and on paper he seemed great. On the third date, I saw some things I really liked about his personality and put effort into asking him personal questions to get to know him. I didn't "feel strongly" about him yet but I decided "yeah, he seems like a nice and attractive guy, I'd want to get to know him more" on that date. Honestly, I don't know why he pursued me if he indeed was cold and bored (or maybe he just comes across that way to me but he wasn't? I don't know). I was confused about it, too. When I brought it up, I guess I wanted to know if he indeed felt that way or not but we didn't have that conversation since he thought it sounded insecure. You are right. Since he mentioned not being too happy, I've been focused on making the relationship work (even though I know it's futile now and is all over). I think in the second half of our relationship, I liked 98% of all the things about him and our interactions (except for guardedness) and decided "OK, I like this relationship, I could see a future here, and I want this relationship" so it's been difficult to come to terms with "This is over". He went back and forth about whether we could try or not (the day after the break up and a couple days before) so I think that gave me hope that there might be something we could fix and make things all better, but I think I've been hanging onto that hope without explicitly realizing and need to let go. OK, I think I need to remind myself that. If he didn't love me during our relationship, he probably will never love me, and I need to keep dating others to find a loving partner, right?
  6. Yeah, I guess you are right. Relationships require taking risks and I should be open to it. So maybe that's a better mindset. While in general this makes sense, I certainly think it does not apply here because I think he had his walls up a lot longer and higher than mine. He was guarded throughout the whole relationship and I don't think he had to "jump through hoops" to make me feel safe. In fact, in the first few dates, I thought about how I could make him more relaxed/open up. I felt safer (and I think he opened up a bit more) as our relationship progressed and we kept advancing the relationship. Isn't this what most people go through with their breakups: Try to break it down to figure out what went wrong and ruminate. Am I really ruminating more than usual or do people assume so just because I mentioned a PhD? Yeah, apparently it was indeed futile. I don't think asking hurt, though (at least didn't hurt me and I think as the person who made the decision, he is in a better place here so while I was concerned about making him uncomfortable, I'm not too concerned about hurting him or whatever) but I didn't get much out of it. I think you are right, if he pointed out something that could be improved (e.g. spend more time together, live closer together), I'd probably want to change it and work on it. But I made that offer when we were splitting up. He first said "yes, I don't want to break up, so let's figure out what it is and work on it" and then changed his mind two days later and said "I think it's just incompatibility, let's break up". That's one of the reasons I think maybe he wasn't telling the whole truth but I also do believe he indeed didn't love me. He felt uncomfortable saying I love you (probably because he didn't) and if he did actually love me, even if there was something not working, I think he'd be willing to work on it with me and improve things. He didn't want to, which makes me believe even if there were other issues, he probably was honest about the main issue: not feeling strongly about me. When we were splitting up, he asked if we could stay friends, and I said yes. I think this might be his effort to stay friendly. Maybe he thought this was now okay to reach out because he himself had enough time to move on. I don't know if we would actually be friends with a dating history + not hanging out together. I'm not ready for it yet, for sure, since I clearly haven't moved on yet. But it might be nice to be friends in the future. What do you think the appropriate response to messages like that would be? Ghosting him?
  7. Yeah, I read my journal again, actually. It seems like in the beginning I was confused because the first month he seemed bored and I questioned his interest on half of our dates (the first one, third one, and the fourth one). I thought he will likely not ask me out again but he did. Since he kept asking me out, I thought "he seems reserved, perhaps shy/nervous". Then things were not so cold around months 2.5--7. That's when I started feeling like we were bonding (and he said stuff like "I really like you" out of nowhere a few times, so I think those were the better times in our relationship). There are a bunch of very positive things I wrote about him and how he checks a huge majority of my boxes etc, which was a bit difficult to read. Then, the first time I met his friends, which was through some online game we joined together (I was at his place and we were video calling them and playing games together), he was very cold again. He was so stressed out about microphone issues. I wrote how I suddenly felt very unwelcome there, how his friend's interaction with his girlfriend on the call (they started dating around the same time) seemed much warmer than ours but chalked it up to his stress about the mic, potentially. He picked up on it towards the end of the night, asked me about it, I told him that I felt like he was being cold, he apologized and said he was stressed out about the mic setup. Around that time I brought up how I wasn't sure if he wanted to keep going out in our initial dates and somewhat jokingly and in a light matter talked about it, which he mostly ignored but then said "You should be more confident in yourself, don't be insecure". I didn't like that conversation either because: 1) It wasn't an insecurity in myself but I guess it was an insecurity about our relationship/his feelings, 2) I know everyone has their insecurities and especially when it comes to an insecurity about the relationship, I should be able to talk to my partner about. I tried to be reassuring about his own insecurities when it came to intimate stuff and I was disappointed to see he wouldn't be reassuring to me if the though I'm being insecure about something. Then there are multiple entries about the "cold vibes" in the last couple months of our relationship and also about how I want to say I love him but don't think he is ready and basically discussing it with myself. So yes, this cold vibes thing was scattered around throughout the relationship, but concentrating around certain times. I think my discomfort with having difficult conversations also made it difficult to talk about it openly and I kept guessing things by myself. That's something I would try to change in a new relationship.
  8. He reached out to me yesterday by texting about something related to a rabbit and a rabbit nest he saw in his backyard. He thought I would like it. It was indeed interesting and cute. We had a little friendly chat. At the end, I decided to ask. I knew the advice here sounded sage, that whatever answer I got was probably not going to make me feel better (and my therapist thought it would make him uncomfortable) but I figured I keep going back and forth thinking "maybe if I had integrated him into my life more, or spent more regular time with him, invited him over more (I think I briefly explained in my first post that my living situation before my move was more uncomfortable for several reasons so we mostly spent time at his place, something he wasn't fully happy with, I think), was more warm to his friends, demonstrated my skills in X and Y, opened up more etc then it would have been easier for him to love me" and I wanted to stop feeling that way and have some clarity. Every time I broke up with someone, I myself had clear reasons. Sometimes it was because I didn't love them anymore but I also knew why I didn't love them anymore: my last ex was usually not so present when we were hanging out together, started to act a bit more crude, would sometimes feel too lazy to help me out when I needed help and etc. The one before that was a little too insecure and I didn't think long distance was going to work. I thought as analytical a person he is, he must have some stuff he thinks like that. He apparently spent a whole month/month and a half thinking about this. He had reasons to think this had a potential and I was "cool", wouldn't he now have more concrete reasons to think it no longer has potential and we are no longer compatible? Anyway, I texted him something saying how I have been reflecting on what kind of a partner I was and what I might need to work on but I'm probably missing half the perspective here. I asked if he would be willing to chat about it but also said I would understand if he wouldn't and that I didn't want to make him uncomfortable. The answer I received wasn't too surprising: "Hey! I think it might make me a little uncomfortable but to be honest I also don't think I would have much to say for the feedback you're looking for, there weren't any issues I was secretly mad about or anything like that. I'm sorry if that's not helpful though." Then he proceeded to send me some cat videos, I'm guessing the conversation made him uncomfortable and he decided to change the subject into something without teeth and comfortable. I think it's right: I have been beating myself up about not doing X and Y but this relationship ultimately failed because he didn't love me, hoped he would if he kept seeing me, but he didn't. He was clearly honest about it and wasn't just trying to give a quick hard-to-protest reason to escape it. And whether doing X and Y would have changed it? I don't know, I will never know, but I also shouldn't want to settle for someone who found it so difficult to love me. If I'm being honest, I realized this in the last couple months of our relationship. But you know what? I am also a little bit mad at him at times now. Yes, I knew in the last couple months of the relationship that something was off and he didn't reciprocate to me trying to talk about how I started to feel more strongly about him. But earlier in the relationship it did not feel that way. At 2 month mark, he told me he was looking for a relationship and wanted to keep seeing me. I said I also was looking for a relationship but didn't feel ready to call it a relationship yet (because I was still unsure, that's what you do when you are unsure). At 4 month mark, he got me flowers just because our foster kittens were being adopted and he wanted to put a smile on my face. At 5th month mark, he asked me if he could introduce me to his best friends from childhood. At 6th month mark, he asked to make it official and we did. Then he started asking how many kids I would want, what I would want to name them, tried to find names we liked in common, what kind of house I would want etc. I know stuff like that doesn't mean we are buying a house tomorrow or whatever but it made me feel safe. It made me feel like I was loved and/or cared for enough to let my guard down. It made me feel like he could totally see a future with me and I started seeing that future, too. Stuff like this signals something, and as a 27 year old man, I think he was aware that it did. It was part of the reason I felt like there must be something that made this flip from that to coldness and distance. And now I'm learning when he was doing all that, he never actually "had strong feelings for me". I now just feel strung along and tricked a little. If this had happened at 3 month mark, sure, I'd be a bit disappointed since I also saw potential at the time and really liked his personality and kindness and was attracted to him, but I wouldn't be too upset because I also was unsure at the time and had my guards up and didn't yet have very strong feelings. But then I started to love him. You know what I do when I like someone but I'm unsure? I date them more casually. I don't ask about what kind of house we would want to live in together. I don't invite them to all of my outings with my close friends. Sometimes I wonder if he is really giving an honest answer but then I think he probably does and thinking he doesn't won't help me anyway because I will never learn more. Then I go between feeling like "I appreciate how he wanted to give it a try and be a kind boyfriend. I wish he thought I was special" and "This is such a mean thing to do to someone, it feels so dishonest and unfair. I wonder if he wanted to be in a relationship with me just to experience a relationship" (this was his first, apparently). I will ride out whatever feeling this grief keeps bringing up but try not to look back anymore. Looks like I got all the information I ever will, this relationship indeed probably had nothing to fix, and I'm hoping if I sincerely loved someone who was so ambivalent about me, hopefully one day soon I will meet someone who will love me that I will be able to love even more sincerely. Just hoping I can figure out earlier if I'm being strung along in the future.
  9. I see. So it sounds like the dominating opinion is that even if we did chat, I probably won't get anything honest or useful.
  10. I don't think this is true. I get that I might not be able to get any valuable information, so I definitely see your last sentence but I really don't see the possibility of reconciling anymore. I really would like to get to a place where I feel like "OK, this break up makes sense to me and I don't have much to beat myself up over"
  11. Is the "no contact rule" in place for my sake or for his sake? As in, the person who broke up probably doesn't want to interact so it's disrespectful to reach out to them? Or is the concern talking to him might be detrimental for closure rather than helpful?
  12. I don't think the possibility of reconciling with him exists. Initially I was full of hope for a future reconciliation, but as I got less emotional and more rational about the break up, I realized he made the decision to break up because he didn't want to be together and that probably won't change because he made the decision for a reason. So, yeah, I'm not trying to reconcile with him and I do get the relative nature of the question. But sometimes my friends will point out "X person doing this made me feel like blah blah" and I think that's useful information and I would want to know effects of my actions on others that I am not aware of. Maybe I'm trying to find something to take away with me from this break up, like some sort of growth. I'm not sure.
  13. I guess this is true. I would actually expect him to say "no" and not chat about it at all. But if he is in a neutral state about me now, maybe he would be okay about it and would not have a reason to lie (other than harsh criticisms, which he might not be willing to say to my face and I'm good with that). So you think it's a bad idea because it might be useless?
  14. I guess for starters, I am very curious about what he thought we were incompatible about. The day we broke up, he told me it wasn't something we could easily address or fix and it was incompatibility. When I asked about whether he was happy with our relationship before, he said he liked me a lot and thought we were very compatible. I am not sure what changed his opinion. I'm aware of some of the mistakes I made in the relationship (I think I have some things left unsaid about them but not sure if I would bring those up anymore) and if I see that we were actually incompatible (I don't currently see it), maybe I could stop feeling so bad about my mistakes, too. It's also good to know if there were things that I could do to improve as a partner moving forward, apart from said mistakes that might not be obvious to me
  15. I keep going through the different events in our relationship at random times during the day. I think my mind is processing them to get to some level of understanding that feels comfortable. But there are certain parts that I can't come to an understanding with because they are either very blurry in my mind or I'm speculating because I don't know what it was like for him. Would it be unreasonable to ask to chat with him about these? I really think it will help me get some closure and I'm in a less emotional and more rational place now after almost a month in. And I don't think I could ask about them later because he might start dating someone else and that would be a much less appropriate time.
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