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Millions of questions, but no answers

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It'd odd, is it not? One day, you can be on top of the world, and the next day you can feel like absolute trash. I simply cannot understand why this particular breakup has me wringing my hands so much. I've dated since, but all too often these dates just remind me of how natural it was with her at the beginning...she was the first person I ever just felt at ease with right away. I rarely felt that before and haven't felt it since.


I've been feeling good lately, but sometimes I get hit out of nowhere. It eats away at me that she seems to have gotten over me so quickly. She thought of her other exes so fondly and made such an effort to stay close with them after the relationships ended, even for years. They eventually shut her out and moved on, which she hated. I treated her like gold, was always supportive of her in her daily depressions and always worked to keep the lines of communication open to avoid bottling up potential problems...so why am I so unworthy of the same treatment? She would text and e-mail the others, especially the one before me, even while with me, to see how they were doing. Why haven't I received such consideration? I might be a bit older than them, a bit more experienced than they were at the time, but I have a heart too. She's kept the last ex's pictures on her Facebook pages for nearly a year, while mine were deleted within a month. I slowly opened myself to her in a way I never did to anyone else, even though I know I shouldn't have. I gave her everything, showed her things she said no one else ever had, and this is what I get in return? Not even a lousy text to see how I'm doing? I like to think of myself as a stoic person, but I can't lie, it kills me to think that I could have mattered so little when I gave so much.


I can't explain what happened. I'm an affectionate person by nature, and she loved it at first. Then she said she'd show more interest if I was more aloof, so I was. She later said to stop it, that it would backfire on me, to be myself. Didn't she just say not to be myself? She said she wanted a guy with confidence, unlike her exes, and loved the fact that I had it (note the use of the word "HAD"). But then she went about trying to cut me down, telling me I shouldn't walk assertively, that dressing nicely made her feel inadequate next to me, that I was too polite, etc. I actually started dressing worse and walking with a slouch to make her feel better because she convinced me that it made me look "more approachable." She loved that I was always honest and always had my cards on the table. None of her exes were good communicators, and she comes from a family of poor communicators. Then, she said I drag everything out too much. Keep in mind, every problem she had with me, she wouldn't mention them unless I pressed her because she'd treat me badly and I'd know something was up. And even when they were ridiculous issues, I always tried to have an open mind and change for her. I never ridiculed anything at all. And then she told me that she couldn't be honest with me about those things because I'd overreact. I never did any such thing.


Was I really such an unreasonable guy? She called me clingy. Is calling once every 2 days for 20 minutes the work of a clingy man? She studied very hard for school, and I gave her whatever time she needed. And when I'd call, she'd say she had to go, but yet she wouldn't stop talking. When I was stressed out, I never received any such calls. What about seeing each other only once a week for me to drive her home, and maybe twice a month for a date because of her schoolwork. Does settling for that make me clingy? We were 6 months in here. I wanted her to come over one night and eat with my family. Was that an unrealistic request? How about actually telling her parents that she was seeing me, which she never did. Was that asking too much?


I have so many burning questions...why did she like me so much at first, but then try to make me into a shell of myself? Why did she say I was the man of her dreams and talk ludicrously about marriage, then ask if we could turn back the clock and make our relationship more about "just fun, like it was at first"? Why did she tell me she wanted to be with me when I gave her the opportunity to leave guilt-free, only to tell me a month later that she didn't feel the same excitement she felt at first and that I loved her more than she did me? I asked her if she was sure she wanted to stay with me, that she wasn't just going to hurt me a month later. She said no...and then goes and does exactly that. Why did she accept my Valentine's Day gifts if she was planning to distance herself like she said she was? Why did she call me a good boyfriend one night, and then categorically list all my faults the next, things she liked about me only a few short months before? Why would she make such a big deal about something as ridiculous as not using a heart emoticon on MSN when saying good night, yet never use one herself? Why, if I asked her if she loved me, wouldn't she just give me a simple yes or no instead of telling me, "It's not something I say"? Why couldn't she tell me I mattered to her, yet continue to use me? If she felt no excitement and didn't love me like I loved her, why didn't she dump me instead of highlighting the negatives of our relationship and attacking me until I exploded and broke up with her? And once I did, why did she crow that she was "right about me," that all her fears were coming true, that her gut never lied? Why did she come to my house the next day in tears and apologize for "doing this to me," yet lambaste me for making her come to get her key instead of delivering it myself (she hadn't come over in weeks, I needed the gesture for closure), accuse me of not wanting to talk and then deleting me from her MSN that very night even though I said I wanted to work things out? I took that as a sign and deleted her phone number and e-mail. We haven't spoken since.


And most of all, why, after all that, do I still find myself thinking about this person? Why in the world do I want her to contact me? Why don't I listen to everyone who says I'm better off? Why, in some insane corner of my mind, am I thinking that it would possibly be better if we tried again? It most definitely wouldn't!


I've written most of this before, I'm sure, so thanks for reading

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I know how you're feeling. It's horrible to feel like we mean nothing now and maybe never meant as much as they said they did.


I'm in a similar boat. My ex has not made any effort to speak to me since we split other than a birthday text, a Christmas text and a phone call in January. Maybe some other texts every now and then but pretty much everything else has been down to me. Why? Because I miss her. Clearly she doesn't miss me at all. She's always avoided any chance to meet up. It's like I never existed and never went out with her. I just don't get it.

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I didn't even get a birthday text....that after her grandiose promise to make it the "best birthday ever." When she asked for a month-long break and I asked if she could let me know her feelings by my birthday so I wouldn't have to spend that day thinking about it, she said she could sure use that extra time to think. But who am I kidding, I knew I was done when I took her out before Valentine's Day and she got drunk. When I told her I loved her when I drove her home, she replied, "Thank you." Never mind her not actually letting me into her house anymore and witholding affection...what was I thinking? I still don't know why I stuck around. I know I was likely little more than an overblown rebound, but I'd like to think I deserve a bit more than that. It's just weird...I miss her, but I'm not quite sure what it is about her I miss. Part of me wants her back, even though I know no good would come of it. I know I deserve and can do better, but I still think about her and wince at the idea of her running me down with her school friends and painting me as the villain after I was nothing but good, which I'm sure her best friend does as she was quick to ream me for not understanding her "complex emotional needs." This coming from someone who's never even been on a date in her life. If she ever finds a boyfriend like my ex-girlfriend, I wonder what she'd have to say then.

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Cavaliere, it sounds to me that she has narcissistic traits - you should check out similar experiences from people on this forum about narcissists who like her, lack empathy, treat you great at first and then degrade you, they always keep a tab on exes (Old Supply) while looking for new ones - (New Supply). Check this thread out:




I had a similar experience and had millions of questions - after reading these stories I realized what I lived through and it gave me a better peace of mind...


Be strong and realize that you are a great guy who is able of loving while she will never know what love is.

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From what you've written, it sounds like many women would love to have a guy like you in their life. I don't want to say anything bad about her, but she sounds HORRIBLE. (was that bad??) She sounds manipulative, overbearing, controlling, demanding, and played serious mind games with you.

You sound like you deserve so much more than she was able/willing to give. If you have to remain single for the next 10 years to find someone who would give you what you want and deserve in a relationship, it would be better than to live thru the emotional rollercoaster she has put you thru.

You deserve a better friend, and a better girlfriend. She has some serious issues that she needs to work thru. Be strong!

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Thank you all for the support Indeed, she WAS that bad. She wasn't loud or belligerent in her ways though and never yelled at me until the end. It was more subtle, the sheer outrageousness of the things she said, like asking me having to walk with a slouch because she didn't want her friends to think she was with an arrogant guy. She knew I wasn't arrogant, I'm anything but that, but she preferred to cut me down instead of standing up for me. She said she wasn't shallow, that she didn't care that I shaved my head, but then suggested that maybe I should get a hair transplant. She liked to compare me unfavourably to the ex, "So and so never did this." I grew to hate hearing about the guy very quickly and she knew it, but she wouldn't stop. She'd start to say something and stop herself mid-sentence, then when I asked what she was going to say, she'd say, "No, it's nothing," which we all know means it's something...."So and so always did this," etc. A picture of them was still in her living room, along with other knickknacks from their relationship. She said she had just never gotten around to cleaning up. I never asked her to throw them out, but making out on her couch with that guy looking at me from the picture was never pleasant. When I objected to something she said, always rationally, she'd immediately say, "See, that's why I can't say anything to you." And I, not wanting to seem uncompromising, always gave in.


By the time we broke up, we had gone 3 months without being intimate in any way and got mad when I asked why. She hadn't called me in 3 weeks except to tell me when she was ready to be driven home from the subway station and, on one notable occasion, to cry at 3:00AM because she had forgotten her sister-in-law's birthday that day. I had to park several doors down when I dropped her off at her parents' house so they wouldn't see my car, although I did once meet her brother outside. She admonished me later for shaking his hand, saying I didn't have to be so nice. She had stopped kissing me and recoiled from holding my hand...argh, I could go on and on.


The thing is though, when we first met, she was so wonderful, the complete opposite. To be fair, however, she often mused aloud whether she was just putting on airs to make a favourable impression, telling me, quite frankly, that she would be a selfish * * * * * when she got comfortable. I thought she was exaggerating...she wasn't. The girl I miss is the girl from those early days, but I suppose, in retrospect, that just wasn't the real her. It still hurts though, not fun at all.

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Cavaliere, it is typical Narcissistic Personality Disorder behavior. Who you met at the beginning is not the same person. Because she has a False Self which you probably still love (some call it Pretend Person) and the True Self (Actual Girl) who is hurting you.


Here are some lines from "Missing the Narcissist" by Alexandra Nouri:


"Pretend Guy is gone. Deceased. This hurts. This really hurts. It needs to be mourned. In addition to the loss of Pretend Guy, you've got mucho grande abuses heaped on you by Actual Guy. Topping off this pile of misery and trauma, Actual Guy and Pretend Guy inhabit the same body. Only another psycho wouldn't be thrown into a tailspin by the surreality of it all. When he calls you after the breakup, he sounds just like Pretend Guy! 'You're alive!,' you think. 'You're not dead! Yes, YOU are my true love! You're finally back! Oh, WHEN can I see you?' Whoa, there, Sister. Let me spare you a tiny bit of hurt here by having us skip ahead to where he slams you again and you wake up in the harsh, cold world of Reality. Things just got even worse. Pretend Guy is still gone, Actual Guy is still abusing you, Pretend Guy and Actual Guy are still the same guy, AND now any baby steps into healing you might have made just got deleted into nothingness.

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WOW man.. this is SO my story..


My ex talked with some of her Ex's and they were not even REAL RELATIONSHIPS.. Now here it is 3 months later, and we havent spoken since. The only thing i can think of why people do this, is even though you want to think, that they HATE YOU, the realization is, is that they are probably hurting too. You hurt maybe a different hurt... but they are dealing with seperation, guilt, and otherthings as well..


Its funny how two people can think,feel, and have this same situation as another person!!!!!!

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That bit from "Missing the Narcissist" was very insightful. I never thought of her as one because she seemed to hate herself quite a lot, but, then again, I'm a linguist, not a psychologist. Others have suggested BPD...who knows?


I'm sure that on some level, she's in pain over the breakup too, but probably not so much because she hurt my feelings as much as other things to do with her self-image and things like that. On our last date, she treated me as if I didn't even exist. Then, when I called her the next day when I said I would, she had shut off her phone. I knew she had done it deliberately, so I waited until later, when I knew she'd have it on again to set her alarm clock on it, and called her back. She said she just knew I'd be upset about how she treated me. If she knew I was upset, why not apologize instead of avoiding the problem like a child? Hehe, dating in your twenties is so fraught with this sort of thing....I hope it gets better as you get older

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Cavaliere, usually the narcissist has a very low self-esteem and cannot handle it, live with it or accept it, that's why she created this False Grandiose Self that felt superior enough to degrade you.


See if you can recognize her traits in this:


Recognizing a Narcissist


According to Sam Vaknin, "Narcissists are an elusive breed, hard to spot, harder to pinpoint, impossible to capture. Even an experienced mental health diagnostician with unmitigated access to the record and to the person examined would find it fiendishly difficult to determine with any degree of certainty whether someone suffers from an impairment, i.e., a mental health disorder � or merely possesses narcissistic traits, a narcissistic personality structure ('character'), or a narcissistic 'overlay' superimposed on another mental health problem."


Here is more input:



They are the biggest liars you've ever seen. They will look you right in your eyes, swear on a stack of bibles and tell you the biggest lie you've ever heard. They will say they're not going to do something, while plotting to do just what they say they wouldn't do. They're very out of touch with their feelings. They talk just to hear themselves talk - while not believing anything they're trying to convince you of.


It will become obvious very soon: an over-inflated ego. Astonishing lies. Exaggerated emotion.


The old adage "if its too good to be true then it usually is" applies directly to narcissists.


On first meeting a narcissist will engage you directly with their eyes, then they will move away from you. They will make you feel unique and that because they have such a grandiose sense of self worth then their attentions on you also reflect your worth. They will initially flatter you in a way that can be quite embarrassing. e.g, "I made you blush," "No you didn't," "Yes I did. Look you've gone all pink." A narcissist projects an air of his own self importance. His facade is well cultivated. The very second you construe a behaviour that is immoral in anyway and he/she uses an excuse to justify the behaviour that is in itself immoral then you most likely are in the presense of a naracissist.


How can you recognize a narcissist? I would say look at his family. His family, like ours, is a springboard of verbal and emotional abuse. He treats himself to everything, but his family has financial restrictions. He doesn't participate in caretaking or nurturning, however he is quite availiable to condemn, criticize and complain. The only great ideas are his, and the only valid purchases are those he justifies. He brags about how smart, healthy, talented and unique he is, but fails to appreciate everyone around him. He even puts his children down to elevate his own ego, and truly fails to appreciate what he so boldly steps on. There is no empathy, only exaggerated self emotion, self importance and self concern. You will have no peace living with a NPD, but removing him from your family's lives is no easier with this knowledge. Before you know it, you are entwined and smothered in his oppression, gasping for air for you and your family. I think a N is like toxic waste, there is no way to remain healthy while one is in your life.


A narcissist is, at first glance, a friendly, real person. This is the narcissist's bait. The person lures people in, only to control them, in any shape ore form. You will not recognize this, but as time progresses, you will feel guilty. The most important thing to recognize is that you need to live your own life and not be controlled by a narcissist. They steal your relationships with people and haunt your feelings. They are a very special, wicked breed of people, who get away with what they do. My advice: be careful with who you meet; don't be misled.


They will relate to the problems in your life, claiming that something very similar has happened to them. They make it sound like they and they alone truly understand and relate to you. They get you to share very personal things and make you feel like you've found someone who has been through what you have been through. And it's very comforting.


It is difficult at first since they try to charm. Some possibilities: They have no sense of humor ... They manipulate and control ... They do not have a significant number of long-term relationships ... Their eyes have no soul They talk but only to hear themselves; dominate conversations ... They try to give people their opinions ... They love attention ... They are cheap ... This person's close friends have begun to assume some of their characteristics but don't hide them in front of you because they are not activley trying to manipulate you (yet)



Benign narcissist are usually just braggarts. Malignant narcissist have subtle ways of cutting down other people. I am always surprised at their ability to brainwash people. Here are some of them I noticed, but I'm sure there are plenty more tricks they use out there. Everything they say is exaggeration, deception or lie. Everyone word out of their mouth is 1) self praise or, 2)cut someone or some group down. Biggest clue is that when they get done talking to you, you are left with a negative impression of someone, but the N never came right out and said anything directly. Train yourself to become aware as soon as you think someting negative about someone. You didn't really think it up yourself. It was planted. So be on the look out for sudden bad lighting on someone.


Narcissists are by definition liars. They appear to be something they are not. They seem educated, confidant, charming, and social. They are master manipulators and total control freaks. They have no emotions and are void of empathy. They feel for no one but themselves. They are a bottomless pit that is never satisfied. They are incapable of giving and receieving true love. They think they are better than everyone else, always right and never wrong, and their way is always the best way to do anything. They love attention. They think only of themselves, but make you think they are thinking of your best intrests. They dont mind buying you lavish gifts as long as they do not have to give of themselves, especially their time. Their time is precious to them and you do not deserve any of their time unless it is to their benefit. You exist solely to please them. To them, you are less than human, you are not worthy of their mere presense.


Constant talking and praising of herself while putting others down. She always has the better recipe, has eaten a better meal than you a serving her, knows more about any topic than you do, and when she is unfamliar with the topic insists on immediately changing the topic. Forgets her friends and families birthdays, and doesn't care about it; while at the same time expecting huge parties and lavish gifts for her own birthday. Lies easily, and with such ease that it is difficult to detect, since it is so common. Always wants more from you; you could never give enough. When people call her a "princess" she thinks it is a compliment. Competes with people on every dimension; if you are sick, you should feel sorry for HER since she feels bad that you are sick. Never goes out of her way for anyone, even a dying "best" friend. Thinks she is entitled to everything in the world; does not expect to earn anything. You can tell when she is on the phone with anyone, since the other party is limited to saying "uh huh" or the like. She never asks people about their interests, and doesn't care what they do. Her children's accomplishments are only valuable to the extent she can boast about them to other people. She dominates (or tries to) any social gathering. She has no intimate knowledge of another human being. She sees herself as extremely talented and extraordinarily bright, more than most of the world. She expects gain with no effort. She has no empathy with other people.


Unfortunately you dont really detect anything until they have made sure your hooked. But I can list the most obvious traits I had in my nightmarish experience. 1. Will lie blatantly whilst looking you directly in the eyes. 2. Will lie about who they are, what they do, and even what they had for breaky if they feel like it. 3. It's all about them and their problems and their needs all the time, if you try to tell them about you....a look of disinterest will appear on their faces...and they lead it back to them. 4. Your emotions and feelings and needs mean nothing...you are only there for their needs...end of story. 5.Their moods and emotions are extreme...and one night they can be crying and sobbing and (sucking you dry for support) and the next day they havnt a worry in the world. 6.They will push and push for what they want until you succumb to their wishes or needs regardless of how you feel about it. 7.They have to be with people and are terrified of their parents dying and leaving them (if of course the parents are supplying something they need). 8. They are never at fault, and even if they say it once or twice that they are...its only words to make them seem more human. 9. When they find other better fresher supplies of attention...you will become non existant, until they may need you again one day when they may just rear their heads again and try and suck you back in. 10. They will be nice as pie to your face and turn around and tell the next person they see and say you are nothing to them. 11. They are master manipulators and use any information they have on you to control you and get them what they want. 12. Their emotions are shallow and have no meaning and everyone in their lives are nothing but a source of attention. 13. They say things that are so out there that you think they have gone to another planet.

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That was a kickass post, singleguy34, it was like a semester's worth of psychology in one shot! She's so difficult to pin down. I mean, she did display many of these traits, but she doesn't seem to fall into the typical mould. For example, she really didn't seem to have a very grandiose sense of self-worth at all. There was very little self-praise. She was a brilliant student, albeit not intelligent in many things away from school, but she repeatedly referred to herself as stupid and worthless. Her ex-boyfriend called her selfish, and she thus always referred to herself as selfish...which, to be fair, she was. She was undeniably attractive and everyone told her so, but she still hated herself, called herself fat, ugly, etc. She always questioned what I saw in her. Mind you, deep down, she KNEW she was attractive and when she was down, she'd dress provocatively to get compliments...and she liked to receive them from anyone who wasn't me because, as she put it, "I've heard it all before."


The relationship with her family was odd too. There was very poor communication between them all, and she treated her parents very disrespectfully, but she attended therapy briefly to try to "break the pattern," as she put it. Her reason for not telling me she loved me was that if her parents knew she did in spite of her attitude, why couldn't I be content with that too? I might have been content with it if I actually knew that she did, but I never did. Even when we said goodbye and I said I still loved her, she only said, "I have to go." She never said it of her own initiative, which leads me to believe she never did.


The financial thing, well, she claimed to be careful with money, but her parents (and, sadly, I as well) spoiled her, and she really had no idea of the real value of dollars. She admired my knowledge of finance and expressed a willingness to learn, then doubled back and said all I think about is money. Hardly! It's a tough world though, and you've got to know something when you're out there. She hated that I bought her nice gifts because I had the means and she did not, still being a student, which didn't matter to me because I just wanted her to have them. Yet she accepted them with aplomb and only complained about it in the end. Oddly enough, the thing she complained about the most was me giving her my fountain pen from university for good luck when she started her doctoral program...."How could you give me something that meant so much to you?" When I had given it to her, she thought she was getting an engagement ring. It had been 3 months! I gave it to her because she was so distraught about school, I thought it would be appreciated as a gesture, something she could have for good luck. Why did she accept it? She didn't have to, I always said she didn't have to accept anything I gave her and it wouldn't offend me.


She criticized everyone, her friends, her mom, her dad, all to me when we were together. All she did is complain. She had no qualms about yelling at her parents, but her friends were a more delicate matter. She complained about people who wasted her time, yet was terrified of losing them, saying she always lost people. One night she was at my house and we were simply laying together in each other's arms, her phone rang and it was her best friend. They proceeded to talk for 2 hours because her friend was "in a crisis," that crisis being a recurring weekly collapse about her lack of love life and lousy job. She complained constantly about this friend using her as an emotional crutch, but was always available to listen and make her feel better. I thought it was disrespectful to me because she didn't even tell her friend that she was with me that night (or any other night, for that matter), since that would apparently make her feel even worse for not having anyone, but what could I say? Her friend "needed her." I had to let it slide.


She was just odd. Not a braggart or a self-promoter at all, but constantly criticizing and being negative. She HAD been in several long-term things. The first ones ended because she was clingy, as she put it, then the one before me ended because she realized she didn't love him. As I'm told, she treated him just as badly as she treated me. He put up with it for 2 years, and tried for months after the breakup to get her back! She didn't love him, apparently, but never stopped mentioning him and never got rid of his photos. She NEVER liked being referred to as a princess (my pet name for her was actually Baby Doll, which she liked), and bristled when I opened doors for her. But if I didn't do it, she'd ask why I didn't. She'd forget important dates, then kill herself incessantly over it, saying she was worthless and useless. She was not at all the centre of attention and tended to shy away from it, but everyone seemed to like her and want to be her friend. She never thought she knew more than me about anything because I had been an excellent student myself, but she made me feel guilty about it only because it came naturally to me, while she had to work so hard for her success. She took no interest in anything I did, aside from asking me a token "How was your day" when we spoke. She said she never wanted to know the serious side of me. Beh, I could go on and on and on....and I already have


Whether she's a narcissist or not, I just can't tell. All I know is that there were issues present. And though she claimed to have fallen for me because I was strong, confident and all the things her exes were not, in the end she tried to make me just like them because they, although it's hard to believe, had even worse self-esteem than she did. I suppose in the end, she needed to be with someone she could put below her so that she didn't seem so bad herself when she looked in the mirror.


I used to look at myself as a strong man, an honourable man, someone who had what it takes to do something in this world and do it the right way...and she broke me. There were other girls before her, but no one ever broke me, and now I hate myself for letting it happen because I became the exact opposite of who I thought I was. And I hate myself even more for missing her in the slightest, even if who I miss isn't the real her. I'm actively rebuilding myself, hopefully to be in the best shape ever, both mentally and physically, but I don't know if I'll ever forget her. I know I'm only 25, but she seems to be etched in my heart and mind as the girl who made a fool of me...and I, even though I could see the signs, let it happen anyways.

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