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Everything posted by browneyedgirl36

  1. I concur with both of the above replies; since you didn't really know this guy and never even actually spoke to him, you have to consider it more as "I was 'talking' to a guy online and he just stopped talking" -- NOT as the end of a relationship or as a rejection of you personally. That's part of what is exacerbating your anxiety and depression -- the idea this is somehow about YOU and something you did wrong. It's not. My guess is that this guy is either married or in a relationship; there are ways you can check into this by searching his first and last name online (if, in fact, he's given you his real name). I once had an ex contact me again after nearly a decade, and a simple online search brought up enough information to let me know he was married (or at least that he had been only a few months prior to contacting me), and I shut him down immediately when I questioned him about it and he lied. (I saw pics of him and his wife on vacation, a bulletin from their church naming them as donors to the church fund, etc.!) I'm not sure there's a point in you searching for this guy's marital/relationship status online, though, as you haven't heard from him in awhile and it looks like he's disappeared. Both Batya33 and Andrina have great advice for you: You need to focus your mind/life on other things -- exercise, hobbies, things to keep your mind focused on YOU and NOT on some guy who disappeared on you. I remember a therapist once telling me that I was so hung up on an ex because "You don't have enough going on in your life." At first, I was a bit offended, but then I realized...she was right. I was focusing so heavily on him because I really didn't have enough going on! So...I started having more going on -- exercise, hanging out with friends, joining groups, focusing more on my work, etc. It helped tremendously. Just exercising really helped, and it's still something that helps keep me focused when life is stressful. I'm sorry you're going through this. Most of us have felt "ghosted" at one time or another, but as you weren't really in a relationship with this guy -- or even dating him technically -- try not to think of it as "ghosting" but more as you were texting with someone who just stopped texting. If you frame it that way in your mind, rather than as someone dumping/rejecting you in some way (and again, he can't reject you or dump you if you weren't really dating to begin with) it will start to feel better. Hang in there.
  2. Yep. In regard to the to the bolded part: I was followed, while walking in my neighborhood, by some guys in a car when I was TEN. The driver, a guy I recognized as living in the neighborhood (at that time he was a teenager, maybe 18 or 19 -- I'm not sure, but he was old enough to drive) rolled down the window and called out to me to "come over here." For a half second, I was going to -- I mean, I was in my neighborhood, very close to my house ( I could, in fact, see my house from where I was), and this was a guy I recognized. so...no big deal right? He wasn't technically a stranger, and...I was taught to be polite. Maybe he just wants to ask me something -- like where someone's house is, I thought. I took a step or two toward the car and then, a voice in my head (which I would later learn was my intuition), told me "NO. Don't go over there!" and I turned and walked VERY briskly home, him and his buddies yelling at me out the window of the car as I walked away. The guy lived in the neighborhood. It was a really small neighborhood - literally six streets. He wasn't lost. Maybe he was just goofing around -- I don't know -- but forty years later, I STILL know I did the right thing in walking away. This is just one example -- the first of MANY I can recall in my life. I could probably tell at least 100 more stories here, from the mildly annoying (catcalling, being aggressively approached when I'm just going about my business) to the terrifying (being followed at night, being in a situation at a party where I ended up in a room alone with a guy who did not have good intentions, etc.) but I don't want to derail the thread. (And, sorry if I have already; I feel VERY strongly about this -- about people, but especially women, paying attention to their intuition. It has saved me from some potentially awful and possibly dangerous situations many times in my life.) My point is this: If you feel uncomfortable, pay attention to that feeling. Women are so often told we're "paranoid" or "living in fear" when all we're doing is looking out for ourselves. Any guy worth dating, for me, would wait until I was comfortable coming to his house (which my now-husband was). I highly recommend a book called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, a world-renowned security expert. I recommend it for everyone -- not just women -- but I think women can especially benefit from it as it deals with some of what we've been talking about here.
  3. This. All of it. I really feel like I need to comment on this. I don't date anymore, because I'm married now, but I was pretty cautious back when I did. I didn't live in fear of serial killers or anything, and I certainly didn't think every guy was a rapist, but...there's something to be said for being careful, and with all due respect to some of the men posting here, you really, really, really have no idea what it's like being a woman. I have a list of things I don't do by myself at night (I live in a fairly big city, and while crime isn't out of control, it's still an issue): Go to a gas station. Go to a bank ATM. Go to certain stores in certain areas of town. Park in parking garages. Go walking or running along the river. Why? Because I've attempted to do ALL of these things in the past and been harassed in some way -- approached aggressively, catcalled, even followed. (I was even once followed at my workplace when leaving my office after an evening class -- a guy was following me, calling out to me very aggressively to stop and talk to him. Fortunately, my car was nearby; I simply ignored him and kept walking briskly to my car, and I made it there before he could catch up to me.) And, a number of these types of things have happened to me in the daytime as well. This is just being out and about in the world -- NOT going to a stranger's home. My husband? He has no such list. He doesn't need one. He can go to a local gas station at night and not even think about some guy trying to jump in his car with him. (Not saying it couldn't happen, just that it's so unlikely he doesn't even have to consider the possibility.) Like I said, I don't walk around in fear of rapists and killers, but that doesn't mean I'm going to the home of some stranger I just met on the Internet, and if a guy doesn't understand that, then we're not a good match. I think sticking to dates outside of home for now, even during a pandemic, is best. Walks, hikes, picnics, etc. are all things that can be done. Even watching a movie together online -- via Zoom or some other platform -- could be fun. I'm sure I can think of tons more things. I've even been to parties on Zoom during the pandemic, and they were a lot of fun. I'm glad the guy got in touch, and I hope all goes well!
  4. A lot of men don't wear wedding rings, so don't ever take that as a sign. (My husband wears one, but my dad never has, and many of my married male colleagues don't.) It sounds like he's either still with his wife OR they've had a very recent split. Either way, steer clear of this guy. I'd say it's likely he's not available for a relationship. Edited to add: A lot of men don't wear wedding rings for a variety of reasons, including: 1) They're trying to appear single, and they know that's a sign women look for; 2) They don't like jewelry and just don't wear it; 3) They have occupations in which wearing rings can be bothersome or even dangerous (e.g. my dad worked with heavy machinery for years and just stopped wearing his because he could have been seriously injured if his ring got caught in something.) To name just a few. In the case of this guy, it seems like he's trying to appear single.
  5. You're not stupid at all -- you have some good boundaries, but you just need to learn to exercise them a bit more confidently AND to be able to accept that a guy may want something different than what you want and be able to just let it go if that's the case. There's no need for a whole bunch of explanation -- just keep it short and sweet: Let the guy know that you're interested and want to get to know him better, but that you aren't going to meet at his home (or yours) right away, and if that's OK with him, then great, you can plan a date, and if it's not OK, then no hard feelings, and you move on. I once dated a guy who, on the 5th or 6th date, convinced me to let him come to my house for dinner. I was hesitant to have him over because I wasn't ready to sleep with him, and I knew I wasn't going to that night, but I didn't come out and say any of this (I was much younger then, and I wasn't nearly as assertive as I am now.) Sure enough, he expected something, and when it didn't happen (we fell asleep on the couch, fully clothed, after watching a movie) he broke things off with me in an e-mail a couple days later indicating that he wasn't "ready for a relationship.") I was upset, for quite awhile, but...it was a good thing because it taught me to be more assertive. If I had been more assertive in telling him I wasn't ready for a sleepover, he might have still have broken things off with me, but at least I would have known that I was being upfront and that there was no mis-communication. He was absolutely NOT the right guy for me anyway (though he did pop up nearly a decade later, wanting to date me again -- that's a story for another post!) and I learned a lot of valuable stuff from my experience with him. Take this as a learning experience, if you can. It's disappointing, but it's an opportunity to think about what to do differently next time.
  6. I think it's very possible he was interested in sex, hence inviting you to his place when there really is no need for it this early on, but I also think there's a very real possibility that you over-explained, provided too many justifications for not being alone with him, and he may very well have been overwhelmed by it (especially as you two don't know each other well yet) and/or he may have felt like you were accusing him of something. (It's also perfectly OK for him to want sex on the third date -- it doesn't make him a terrible person -- but he has to understand that you are in no way obligated to do it, too. And, if he isn't OK with you not being ready for that, he's probably not the guy for you. Especially during a pandemic -- yikes!) I think it's perfectly understandable that you wouldn't want to go to his place so early on -- I wouldn't have either -- and it's perfectly OK to say so, but keeping it brief, concise, and to-the-point is always best: "I'd like to see you, but I'd rather meet at [insert name of place here]" or "I'd like to see you, but I'd like to get to know you better before meeting at your home. Can we meet at [insert name of place here] instead?" If you put it that way and he refuses, argues, or tries to manipulate/guilt trip you into changing your mind, he's not the guy for you. You may not hear from him again, and I know that thought is disappointing, but...maybe you just aren't on the same "page," and that's OK. Most people we meet are not a good match for us. Dating is about finding someone who is, and it may take awhile. Hang in there!
  7. Exactly. I have told a couple of friends pretty much this same thing when they struggled with wondering what was going on with an ex or a guy they were interested in who wasn't sending clear signals that he wanted to be with them: It's either something, or it's nothing. You're either together, or you're not. Anything that's not "yes" is "no." This has always been true from my experience and the experiences of my friends and others I know. And, If you have to ask, you probably already know the answer but just don't want to believe it.
  8. I understand the urge to want to keep in contact. It's a totally normal, human thing. You think that by keeping contact MAYBE you can turn it around -- that maybe he'll see what he's lost and want it back. But...you're torturing yourself by keeping contact with him, which just keeps you hanging on while he's...moving on. I've been through this myself a few times, and in one case, I hung on for *gulp* a few years because the guy kept in contact with me and wouldn't just tell me to give up. (He finally did, which prompted me to do so, but UGH...I wish it hadn't had to come to that! Hearing him say "You need to move on!" was brutal!) Letting go is hard, but -- and I say this from a place of significant experience -- hanging on is even harder when the other person just isn't in it anymore. The best, healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to cut contact and move forward without him. If, someday, he wants you back, he'll let you know, but...you can't count on that or wait for it. You have to live your life, for YOU. And, chances are, if he ever does want to re-visit things between you, you will have already happily moved on -- either with or without someone else -- and won't want anything to do with him anymore. (This has happened to me a few times, and it's quite satisfying, I must say!) I think you did the right thing in saying 'no' to meeting up with him. At this point, there isn't anything to talk about. As I said, if he realizes he wants to be with you that badly, he'll likely contact you to let you know. Everything else is just noise, and you don't need that. Hang in there.
  9. As a huge, huge cat lover (currently have one of my three sitting on my chair with me as I write this) I'm horribly biased here, I know, but...I wouldn't move in with him if a condition of moving in was getting rid of my cats. And, I'd be a bit wary of being with a guy who would even suggest it, but you know him, I don't, so...only you can decide whether he's a good guy otherwise. (Note: If he "hates" cats, I'd give him the boot post haste --no room for cat haters in my house OR life.) Giving them to family is "a" solution, but...is it really what you want? If you want to be with the guy AND keep your cats, you should probably agree to not move in together. I'd consider, though, whether a "great guy" would ask you to get rid of your pets. I mean, you've had them way longer than you've had him, and...he's known you've had them this whole time. Yes, cats can be destructive -- my living room carpet and one of my couches are evidence of this -- but...I feel like it's just what I signed on for when I got cats, and material stuff can be fixed/replaced. I think this would be a dealbreaker for me.
  10. Yes! I had so many "a-ha" moments. It was the most significant learning experience of my life, dealing with that ex (and I'm 50 now, so that's saying a lot!) I was only able to meet my now-husband after I'd not only completely given up on a relationship with my ex, but also after I'd completely changed my thinking about love, relationships, and...myself. There was a reason I was on that rollercoaster for so long, and it wasn't because my ex was some wonderful guy who was worth all that suffering (quite the opposite, actually -- not worth it at all!) but because I had convinced myself I couldn't do better -- that I didn't deserve better, perhaps. And, as you've said here, I think I was addicted in a sense to trying to "win" my ex over (especially as there was another woman, his previous off-and-on ex, hovering in the background the whole time). In short, I had issues, and that relationship just put them into sharp focus for me. It took a ton of emotional work, but I got past it, met a few other guys that didn't work out, and then...out of nowhere, a friend introduced me to my now-husband. By that time, I was not only "over" my ex, but had also worked through the issues that kept me tied to him in the first place. Now, I have no idea where he is, what he's doing, etc. -- and that's fine with me. There was a time I couldn't go five minutes without thinking of him. What a change. To the original poster: Trust me when I say this guy isn't worth what you're going through. Whenever I encounter someone in a situation like yours, I ask them to ask themselves this question, and to give themselves a totally honest answer: Why do I think I don't deserve better than this? EDITED TO ADD: There's a quote I love (I think it's at the bottom of my post as my "signature line," but I'm not sure, so I'll add it here. It's from a self-help book by Guy Finley: "You cannot be directed to decide against yourself without first being deceived into thinking that what hurts you can also help you." So true.
  11. I may be repeating what others have said (apologies if this is the case as I haven't read every post.) I have a tremendous amount of experience with nearly the exact situation; please believe me when I say this: It's not going to change. For the better, anyway. If it changes at all, it will only get worse. I spent 6 years bending over backward to "win" the love of a guy who was sometimes lovely, sometimes horrible (and even when he was "lovely" he was still, in hindsight, not all that great, and his "lovely" times were much less frequent than his horrible ones.) I did everything I could -- yep, even baking him cookies, taking care of him when he was sick, doing all sorts of kind things for him, totally putting myself out a lot of the time, etc. -- and he was still talking to his ex (and probably others) and being very hot-and-cold with me. A friend asked me why I kept going back for more, and my answer was, "When he's really into me, it's like I'm the best thing in the world to him. Until I'm not again, and then I just want that feeling back, so I keep trying." Ugh. Truth be told, I had a lot of my own issues that caused me to continue to do a trained seal act for a guy who was barely paying attention half the time. It took a couple of years to move past it, but once I did, I met my now husband, a guy who ALWAYS treats me like I matter to him -- every day, consistently. What a relief to never have to wonder how a guy feels about me! (Or, if he feels anything about me at all!) Here's the thing: No one should ever get into a relationship based on "potential" -- "well, he COULD be a really great guy, if only..." or "The relationship is sometimes great, but sometimes not -- I know I can make it great all the time if I just put a ton of effort into it!" etc. People, unlike houses, aren't "fixer-uppers." You have to either accept them "as is" or pass on them. They are who they are. Can people change? Yes, they can change some behaviors, habits, etc., but...I don't believe most people can change who they fundamentally are. From a third party, objective perspective here: If you're having to talk yourself into sticking with this guy, you shouldn't be with him at all. And, from where I'm sitting, you're definitely talking yourself into it. The thing is, you can come up with a million reasons to keep giving him chances, but ultimately, he is who he is, and that's not likely to change. I hope you'll listen to the great advice people have been giving you here.
  12. I see your point, but...there are a lot of people who DO associate missing/broken/otherwise "bad" teeth with drug use, being "low class," etc. I have heard/seen a lot of "hillbilly" and "meth head" jokes about people with less-than-perfect teeth, and I remember when my mom had lost a couple of teeth (and put off getting them fixed because of severe anxiety about having a major procedure), she NEVER smiled because she knew people would ask "What happened to your teeth?" and people actually did. I 've had students who dealt with this as well. I'm not generalizing that all Americans think this about teeth -- of course they don't -- but it's prevalent enough that a lot of people are very self-conscious about it. That said, I agree with you about the sister. Yikes. Reading stuff like this makes me very grateful for my sister!
  13. If you're certain they won't say anything to her face, I would leave it alone unless/until they bring it up with you afterward. If/When they do, shut it down immediately by saying something like "I'd appreciate it if you kept your judgements about [insert name here]'s appearance to yourself. It is not your business, and I am not going to discuss it with you. Please respect my wishes" and leave it at that. I had to do something similar a few years ago -- but I did it pre-emptively -- when some family members with VERY divergent political views were coming to Thanksgiving dinner. My parents (very staunchly on one side of the political spectrum) and my brother-in-law (very staunchly on the other side) both have difficulty NOT stirring things up (my parents because they can be a bit clueless about some things and my bro-in-law because he likes trolling people, for some reason). It was just after the 2016 election, and I informed them all, in advance, that I didn't want to hear ANY of it -- I didn't want any of them bringing up the election or talking about politics AT ALL in my house. They all agreed. One of them did end up bringing it up in passing, once, and I said, calmly but firmly, "We're not talking about this today," and we changed the subject. Being firm -- shutting them down immediately when they say something - is the best way to go in my opinion. Setting boundaries is crucial, and telling your mom and sister you're not discussing/don't want to hear anything about it as soon as they bring it up is probably your best bet.
  14. It sounds like he got quite "triggered" (for lack of a better word) by getting kicked out of a Facebook group (which definitely says a lot about his maturity level right there), and that's pretty much the impetus for this whole thing. He's being ridiculous, and any lawyer worth anything wouldn't entertain his nonsense for even one second, let alone represent him in suing you. You've got nothing to worry about. While I have no doubt he DID say he was planning to sue you, I doubt he'll do it, and even if he tries, he has little to no chance of success.
  15. I typed out a HUGE response and then deleted it by mistake, but in essence, I was saying what a lot of people have said here: He's going to have a heck of a time proving defamation. First of all, he has to prove you actually did substantive damage (generally in the form of financial damage or damage to his reputation that harms him in some other significant way.) AND, he has to prove that you were lying about him. Simply talking to others about behavior that they also witnessed is NOT defamation; there's a big difference between saying, "Remember that time George got really mad at that festival and started screaming and cussing at everyone?" (recounting behavior that you and others actually witnessed) and saying "George is a psychopath. He belongs in an institution -- forever. He is a danger to others and to himself and is likely to kill someone." (diagnosing him with a mental illness when you're not qualified to do so AND speculating about his potential to commit murder.) One of my exes claimed he was going to sue his ex before me for defamation because she had "talked crap" about him in their community. Likely, what she'd really done was simply have conversations about some of the weird/awful stuff he said and did to her, stuff that was probably entirely true, and it got back to him. And, he wasn't all that important in his community or anything -- it wasn't like he was a local celebrity (or even a local businessman) who stood to lose money because of anything his ex-wife said about him. I told him all of this (while secretly giggling to myself inwardly at his arrogance). He never ended up pursuing anything, as I knew he wouldn't. I've no doubt that he went to a lawyer who advised him he didn't have a legal leg to stand on. I don't think you have anything to worry about, but it might make you feel better to seek some legal advice, if you feel inclined to. I too think your ex is just blowing smoke, though. He's probably hit a rough patch in his life and is lashing out. Things haven't turned out the way he hoped, and you've moved on, and he hates that.
  16. Thanks to all who are sending well-wishes (and thanks, Seraphim, for starting this thread!) I live in California, more to the north, and while my city hasn't been in danger from the fires themselves (other than terrible, horrible air quality), my hometown (more to the middle of the state) was, and I spent a pretty traumatic weekend there a few weeks ago evacuating my disabled, elderly mom to a nearby hotel when my parents' neighborhood was under mandatory evacuation (my dad refused to evacuate, which is another story altogether and part of the "traumatic" part). My parents ended up being fine, as did their house/neighborhood, thankfully, and none of my friends or extended family lost their homes (though some did have to evacuate temporarily). At one point, there were over 300 active fires in the state all at once. One of my favorite places in the world, southern Oregon, is also in flames right now, and it's heartbreaking. My husband and I had planned to travel there this year before COVID-19 hit, and now with the fires, it looks as though there might not be much to go to next year. :( I was doing OK -- or as well as can be expected -- with the whole pandemic thing up to this point (other than being very sad for those who had lost their loved ones), but these fires, as well as other significant factors I won't get into (because I know we're not allowed to get political on here), have led me to the brink of despair of late. I just want to go to sleep and wake up in another time when all this isn't going on -- climate change, fires, pandemics, the political situation in the U.S., etc. Too much to hope for, I know. In regard to bad air: I went out yesterday for a walk, and NO ONE was out; when I got home, my husband informed me that breathing in the air yesterday was "like smoking 20 packs of cigarettes." As someone who has never even smoked one cigarette, even once in my life, it made me pause. No walk for me today or probably for the foreseeable future, even though they feel necessary to my mental health at this point. *sigh*
  17. Same here. It's a fact well-known by anyone who knows me for longer than five minutes that my cats are just about the most important things in the world to me. I would choose my cats over a significant other in a heartbeat (then again, no romantic prospect would last five seconds in my life if they expressed a dislike for my cats or even hinted that I should get rid of them, so...) I'm curious to know WHY he got rid of the cat, though I'm 100% certain the explanation would not change my answer in any way whatsoever. Edited to add: OK, you've explained his "reasoning," and I stick with my original answer. His thought process is ridiculous. Obviously, he doesn't like cats, and it's clear you love your cat. I recommend you stay at your mom's for good -- at least until you can find your own place. Please, please re-think marrying this guy.
  18. Hmm...when my husband and I bought our house, most, if not all of the furniture, dishes, etc. were mine (he was much more of a "minimalist" and didn't have a lot of furniture or anything really after his first marriage ended, and I had a lot of my own stuff), so my "taste" just sort of took precedence, I guess, but he isn't particularly picky in that regard. (Thank god, 'cause I love my decorative pillows!) Still, I asked him, "Are you OK with orange dishes? Are you OK with a red toaster, coffee maker, etc.?" because I didn't want to force my "style" on him, but I already had so much of my own stuff that it made sense to keep it and not buy a bunch of stuff new we didn't need. We "filled in" with stuff we both chose -- a couch for the living room, some end tables, a book case, etc. -- and we both have our own pictures hanging on the walls as well as ones we bought together, and whenever we buy something new for the house -- a rug, a lamp, etc. -- we both pick it out. He has his own coffee mugs, none of which "match" any of mine (and mine don't all "match" each other, either.) I can't imagine not wanting someone to have a coffee mug that his mom bought for him! We even have two trees at Christmas -- a "live" one that he and his kids put their ornaments on (they had a tradition long before I came along of cutting down a live tree), and an artificial one that I put all my stuff -- as well as the stuff we've acquired together -- on. (We have so many Christmas ornaments we either need two trees or we'd have to keep most of them stored away, and that would be sad!) I really think you need to speak up; yeah, it starts with "You can't have that red coffee mug," which SEEMS small, but over the years, it will escalate. Do you really want to live the rest of your life surrounded by all stuff of one color? (Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, but...everything??? And, the "no red coffee mug" edict will, over time, turn into lots of other "rules" that, I suspect, will make your life difficult, if not miserable. It's your house, too, and you need to be able to feel comfortable there. Can you suggest that the two of you go shopping for a few things, at least, that you can pick out some things you agree on? Can you talk to her and convey that you want your home to reflect that BOTH of you live there -- not just her? I hope so; otherwise, I think this is going to be really hard for you. Your home is where you should feel the most comfortable, the most free to be yourself; if you can't feel that way at home, where can you?
  19. This. Exactly. You've gotten so many amazing responses here, including this one from bluecastle, that I can't really add much except to say that I've been EXACTLY where you are (only I was much older than you are at the time -- late 30's/early 40's, my ex late 40's/early 50's). We worked together. He had an ex he had never gotten over. He pulled the "Come hither, go to hell" act on me for YEARS, and while he never gave me a time frame, as your ex has done, he made sure he said just enough, did just enough, to keep me hanging on for dear life, to effectively insure that I didn't move on, that I waited for him. And, for quite awhile, I did, not because he was "The One" or because he was even all that special (or, really, any sort of prize whatsoever -- he was actually a hot mess and completely wrong for me from the get-go) but because I was in a place in my life wherein I didn't believe I deserved better. Sure, I SAID I did; I told myself I did, but...I didn't truly believe it, and my actions didn't reflect it. Ultimately, all of the garbage and muck I waded through "because" of him wasn't about him, or how I felt about him, at all -- it was about ME and how I felt about myself at that time. In my case, I had no choice but to move on when he started seeing someone else (NOT the ex he never got over) and even brought his new "someone else" to work with him (ugh -- I still cringe when I think of how that made me feel at the time, how much I wept over it -- for nothing!) Difficult as it was, though, I moved on -- first single for a couple of years, and then, I met the wonderful guy who later became my husband. That only happened after a lot of self-examination, a lot of reflection, a ton of work on myself -- on loving myself and realizing that it wasn't just my ex who had been treating me badly; I had been treating myself badly, too. It's a difficult road, but well worthwhile, this path to moving forward and looking out for yourself instead of being embroiled in what *HE* thinks and feels about you. Ultimately, YOU need to be the most important person to yourself, to treat yourself with the respect, dignity, and care that you deserve. You can't depend on him -- or anyone else -- to make you feel happy, worthy, whole; that's up to you.
  20. Ugh -- I feel your pain here. I've had a friend for decades who has ALWAYS made bad decisions about men. She had a years-long affair with a married guy, among other bad decisions, and I got to the point where I just told her I thought it was wrong, I thought she was making a mistake, and that it wasn't going to turn out like she hoped it would, but that I loved her and would be there for her. I made it clear, though, that I did not support her having an affair with a married guy AT ALL, even if I supported her as a person. She finally had to let him go when he flat out told her he wasn't ever going to leave his wife for her (whew!) and she no longer talks to him. Since then, she's been involved with another guy I thought was wrong for her (not a married guy but one who still wasn't ever going to be with her regardless), and I told her the same thing -- "I support YOU, but I think you're short-changing yourself waiting around for something that isn't going to happen." To this day, she still makes excuses for why they're not together, going so far as to say that he has "financial stuff he has to get together before he can be in a relationship" -- uhhh...no. He's in his early 50's. She's known him for nearly 30 years. If he doesn't have it together -- financially and otherwise -- by now, I doubt he ever will. It's just a lie she tells herself to avoid admitting that he just doesn't want to be with her. I have stopped talking to her about him. If she mentions him, I respond politely, but I don't ask about him, nor do I encourage a lengthy conversation about him. It's exhausting and frustrating to engage in endless conversations about toxic and/or dead-end relationships. My point: You can be a caring, supportive friend without supporting your friend's bad choices in men. If she starts talking about him, it might be helpful to tell her, one time (or one last time, if you have already told her): I'm here for you, and I want you to be happy, but I think you're making decisions that are not in your best interests, and I don't feel that I can encourage you in making these decisions, so it would probably be better if we didn't talk about this guy --I can't offer you any advice or encouragement on keeping that relationship going. It would be disingenuous/wrong for me to do so. I hope your friend someday realizes that this guy is bad news. He sounds, quite frankly, unstable. Yikes. It sounds as though she has really low self-esteem and is acting out of desperation rather than actual caring/love for this guy. That's something in her that needs fixing, and you don't have the power to do that. Only she does. For your own sanity, try to steer clear of discussions about her love life, but if you can't, you may have to take a break from her for awhile.
  21. Ugh...I'm sorry. My ex once stood less than THREE FEET from me at the counter of a mobile phone store -- literally next to me, at the counter, while we were both being helped by different clerks -- and made NO acknowledgement of me whatsoever, even though he had clearly seen and heard me, even though things had ended on reasonably good terms, and I was the one who'd been hurt, not him. Granted, we were both being helped, and were in the middle of transactions, but he still didn't acknowledge me even when he turned to walk out of the store. It wasn't until I called after him, "Goodbye, [insert his name here]!" That he acknowledged me, and only because he probably felt he had to in order to avoid looking like a jerk in front of a store full of people. The clerk who was helping me looked at me and said, "Oh, you know that guy?" My reply: "Uh, yeah, I used to DATE that guy." The clerk was surprised, to say the least. The point of my story: I know it feels awful. I remember how I felt; it was as if, overnight, I'd gone from someone he really cared for to a complete stranger. You've got to understand that it isn't about you, though, and as difficult as it is to do, you have to actively remind yourself not to personalize it. Perhaps it's her way of coping. Maybe she doesn't know what to say or how to act, and she prefers to just do nothing. Ignoring you isn't necessarily the most mature way to handle things, but...some coping mechanisms don't seem to allow for acknowledging others' feelings. Hang in there. Try not to focus too much energy on her -- it's wasted energy at this point.
  22. It sounds as though you and your neighbor are just not compatible at all and that even being friendly (not friends, just even friendly) is not a good idea. I have to admit I was puzzled by your post because, as others have pointed out, it seems as though you were dismissing your neighbor's concern about her lost keys by telling her that your homeless friend has it much worse than her; you may not have intended it, but that kind of response can be very hurtful to people. Yes, her lost keys are probably NOT a problem of the same magnitude as homelessness, but as a friend once pointed out to me, "suffering is relative"; while your homeless friend's suffering may seem far worse to you -- and to him -- than your neighbor getting locked out of her apartment, to HER getting locked out IS serious, and you telling her that other people have it worse probably came off as very dismissive of her feelings. I have a friend who does this sort of thing ALL the time, with everyone. Her problems are always "worse" than everyone else's, according to her. If anyone has a problem, she has to "one-up" it with a far more dramatic problem, not realizing that everyone's problems are "dramatic" to them. I think your neighbor cutting you off and not wanting to hear what you had to say later on was her way of getting back at you for dismissing her -- she decided she was going to do the same thing to you that she felt you did to her. It's petty, and childish, but...people do that when their feelings get hurt. My advice is to steer clear of her. If you don't want to listen to her problems or help her, don't, but don't do it sometimes and then be upset that she takes advantage, etc. She can't take advantage if you don't let her. As far as the smell is concerned, well...that may be something you have to take up with the landlord/property manager, but if that doesn't work, you may have to invest in something that can diffuse the smell. If you can't use room sprays, perhaps a hanging air freshener or two in the hallway might help? That way, it wouldn't be "in" your apartment, but it might help to mask some of the smell.
  23. Well, he hasn't technically asked you out again -- just expressed "hey, we should do this again sometime," possibly as a way of gauging your interest in a second date. Your lack of response to that may have been enough that he won't follow up on it. If he does follow up and ask you out, keep it short and succinct: Something like "It was good meeting you, but I'm not interested in another date" or something along that line. Whatever you do, DON'T over-explain along the lines of "You seem like a great guy, and I know you'll meet someone really great, but..." or "I really enjoyed the date, but I've realized I'm not ready for a relationship right now" (that one is such a cliche at this point that no one really believes it.) You don't owe him any explanation; polite rejection of his request will suffice. Also: I have to disagree with those telling you to preface your rejection by telling him he's a "nice guy." I'd advise against this. In my experience, and from what men I know have told me, no one wants to hear "You're a nice guy, butttttttttt......" It either a) Gives false hope; or b) More likely, it can come off patronizing. You don't need to say anything unless you actually hear from him again, either. If he does contact you, then definitely respond honestly -- don't just ghost him -- but don't feel obligated to launch a preemptive strike and reject a second-date invitation before it even happens.
  24. Good for you! It sounds as though you are in a really good place, and you responded to your ex perfectly. I think you're right, his request for dinner was just him "circulating" among the various women he's had in his life -- mine was like that, too -- went back and forth from his previous ex, to me, to her, to someone else, to me, to her, to someone else, etc. for quite awhile. I FINALLY figured it out, and it was such a relief, and so empowering, to take myself OUT of the "queue" and move forward with my life. Thankfully, I haven't heard from mine in ages. His birthday was yesterday, and it just crossed my mind for a second, and then it was gone again. It's a good feeling, isn't it? Keep up the great work, and enjoy your holidays!
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