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He's already asked someone else out


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Thanks Jay Bird -


I'm trying to let go...it's only been 3 weeks so I need to be patient with myself.


I just know this saga isn't over as long as we continue to work together. It's going to be a tough road ahead and I need to determine if it is worth it for me to continue. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll feel better and I'll be able to put him and this whole thing behind me, even if I do have to see him in this band situation.


Clearly he would not give me up if he felt the same way about me that I feel about him. I also have to remind myself that I do want what I cannot have (Like most of us) and I must really remind myself of his flaws (and yes, he does have some) and the fact that I really never felt truly comfortable when I was with him. I always felt like I was being evaluated and thus I never could really relax. He's not a fun jokey guy, he's rather serious, intellectual..he does have an easy laugh but he's super sensitive and just in general, for ME, not all that easy to be around. This is important for me to remember. I could never really let my guard down.


This woman he asked out has no clue about his history, his depression, his divorce, his pain over screwing up his last relationship, his "stuff". She is an upbeat, bouncy type, not a beauty but seems like a nice person and I'm sure this appealed to him. I probably remind him of his depression/mid life crisis because I came on the scene in the middle of it. She's all fresh and fun and he probably felt buoyed by the newness of her.


Anyway, that's neither here nor there.


I still wonder if I should talk to him....arrrgggghhhh....


I will be OK, I know. I'm probably going to be posting a lot in the near future so hopefully all the ENA'ers won't tire of my venting.

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I found out he asked her at a yoga class they both attend on Tuesday night.


I can't fathom that he would set me up for such an insensitive and hurtful situation.... He is not malicious and there is no reason for him to be so - he's the one who ended things. So once he figured I was not going since I did not reply to his email sent Monday night until 10PM Tuesday night, he saw her at the class and probably just asked her impromptu. This is what I'm going to believe because to believe he didn't care about whether or not I'd be there is just too hurtful to consider.


I know they didn't know each other before last Friday. They met briefly in February.


It could just be a non-romantic thing, he just wanted a date...so he's not the 5th wheel....or it could be a romantic thing. I don't know. In retrospect, I wish I had called him when the email came in to clarify his intention for including me on the invite list, only 2.5 weeks after he broke up with me. And only 2.5 weeks after telling me he did not want us to be completely over, and less than a week after leaving me an emotional voicemail. Had I just done that, communicated with him (but I decided not to as I thought the group email was kind of passive aggressive and confusing)....then perhaps I would not be suffering so much now, WONDERING.


I still don't know about talking to him though. Still thinking about what BSBH said and if I should do this, talk to him, for my own self.


Tonight I need to just accept what is, know that they are going to this thing, that I have no control over any of this. I need to "let this go" and not try to predict the future.

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I don't think the standard is "if you have any doubt about whether a person wants to be with you, then hang on and analyze their every move/contact, etc" Rather, I think the standard is "unless he says he wants to be with you in an exclusive relationship take every other so-called sign, action, word, sigh, as meaning nothing whatsoever to do with wanting to be in an exclusive relationship." Assume it could mean a myriad of things - friendship, sex, flirting, ego stroking, loneliness, whatever - but if your goal is an exclusive relationship, that stuff is irrelevant.


If it turns out down the road that he was working up to asking you to get back together, fine, but in the meanwhile you haven't put your life on hold emotionally or otherwise, nor have you wasted time with all the over-analysis ("over" in my opinion).

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Thanks Batya -


I'm struggling today. It's hard to detach emotionally, it's only been 3 weeks and really over a year for this whole thing.


My gut feeling is that he and this woman are going to hit it off. I know some things about her, and some of it is right up his alley. She's not a musician but that doesn't matter. She's very, very bright, has an interesting job, is 5 years younger than me, they have some stuff in common and my intuition here is just telling me they are going to be an item.


I'm trying so hard to not let my imagination run wild here but I envision them having a great time last night, it seemed they hit it off at our show last week....and he will be able to develop the love/infatuation feelings for her that he did not have for me. I know, worse case scenario.


I'm just posting this as it helps to get it out. The way I'm trying to deal with this today is that whether or not he is with her or any other woman for that matter...does NOT diminish who I am or what MY worth is. I am a good catch. I am smart, attractive, financially responsible and I have a slew of other things going for me. I was good to him. I was not perfect because I am not perfect, I know I made some mistakes. So did he. She has her own set of wonderful qualities.


I'm letting him go as there is absolutely nothing I can do about this. I have to hope the best for him, that he finds happiness in his life with whomever he chooses to be with. And to have faith that I will find someone compatible to share my life with but in the meantime, his actions have no bearing on my own feelings about my self and my self worth. This is what I have to believe.

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Yes, I agree with all. Look, you took the risk of extending your interaction with him for this long and you got many benefits from it - you enjoyed your time with him, you maybe enjoyed having the freedom from looking into other relationship/dating options while you pursued him, and now, this is the downside. This self-acceptance mindset sounds very healthy to me. Keep up the good work! Take care.

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I'm weighing in on this kind of late, but I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry about what has happened, and I think you have the right attitude here.


Keeping ourselves from "over-thinking" (as Bayta called it) is definitely the key to working through these hard times. I see you going through a lot of the same thought processes that I went through -- and that from time to time I still catch myself going through -- particularly the thoughts about "What if I had just said/done this instead..." and the thoughts of whether or not the new relationship will last, etc. These thoughts are entirely counterproductive, of course, but it's hard not to have them, I know. What I try to do as soon as I'm having one of those thoughts is do the whole "feelings vs. facts" thing that one of our wonderful posters (Blender, I believe, who hasn't posted in quite some time, unfortunately) used to talk about. The other day, for example, I caught myself thinking, "What if, back in May, when he called me, he was having doubts about reconciling with his ex, and me not calling him back pushed him back toward her?" A feeling, based on nothing, really. The facts: He's got a huge, long history with this woman, and things have been rocky for them before, and they've just kept reconciling. Even if they were having problems, ONE phone call from me wasn't going to change anything. Plus, why would I want to be with someone so fickle/ambivalent? Basically, I counter my assumptions about the situation with facts about the situation, and that helps a lot.


Even better is to say to myself, "This thinking is doing nothing productive for me. I should think about xyz instead," and I think about something else. Or, I just start to DO something else -- a craft, a workout at the gym, cleaning around the house, etc. -- and that helps me to focus my mind on other things.


I think you have the right idea. Hang in there. I know you'll be OK.

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hi browneyedgirl - thanks for writing.


The problem is, even though I know those things to be TRUE - that I am worthy, wonderful, unique, beautiful, talented, smart, funny in my own self - and that it really doesn't matter what other people think because they are going to think WHATEVER they want and I have no control over this....that because my ex does not want to be with me, is making me question my self worth.


I have struggled with this since I was a teenager. I know it is not unusual at all after a break up. I know they are feelings, thoughts, and not facts. In fact, I think that my ex does think I'm all those great things - it's just that I'm not the person he wants at this point and I should not take it personally. But darn, it's so hard to NOT take it personally.


And now I'm looking back at my behavior, it certainly wasn't egregious or mean spirited but it certainly wasn't MINDFUL. I took a big emotional risk and it didn't pay off. And it's really, really painful to think about last year when we first dated. I was coming straight out of a 4+ year relationship that had been "over" in my mind for a while but I was trying to extricate myself. And I let things go too fast with my current ex. I know he REALLY liked me. And I can't stop kicking myself for not being smarter, for not slowing down....he even asked that we do just that so that we could get to know each other...but I wasn't strong and I was SO excited to be attracted to someone as I had never felt with my ex-ex. It was too much, too soon and that's why it blew up. Even though I was the one who left my ex-ex, I guess this was a rebound and who knew my ex was also on the rebound last year. He never told me.


And I'm having trouble forgiving myself for the whole thing, although he certainly played his role. He could have said "no" to sex, but how many men really do this? I let it happen and I can't believe I was not smarter at this point in my life. I rationalized it with "life is short" "I could get hit by a truck tomorrow" "do I want to be 60 and regret not enjoying my body and sex while I was younger" and other type platitudes.


And this time around, it had been 9 months between our "relationships". I was terribly lonely, hadn't met anyone new, and since we were working together, I never got over him. He kept dangling these carrots and in May, there he was in my apartment lying on my couch. Nothing major happened that night but I could not resist and I made a move on him. So it started up again, and then the next 3 months were exactly like what you describe with your ex - him telling me he wasn't over his ex, that he was afraid he was being selfish, yet he kept calling, taking me out on dates, paying for everything, that I decided he was just being a scaredy cat guy and I should ignore his warnings and hope it would pan out.




Anyway, I need to forgive myself for being human and this is where I'm stuck. Ironically, this is exactly what HE was going through this summer, mulling over all his perceived mistakes in his past relationship while I was there, spending time with him, giving him love that he did not want. Because he wanted it from HER.


So he had a date with someone new Friday and he's joined all these internet groups and the one group I thought about joining, he's in. I feel like I can't get away from the guy. Tomorrow night is supposedly a rehearsal and I know I should march in there, head held high, with a smile and a light heart.


I know I need to face my fear rather than run from it. I have to change my mindset so that whatever he chooses to do does not affect the way I feel about myself. If he falls in love with another woman, it doesn't mean I'm unlovable. But having to face and work with the person who rejected me a second time is going to be a huge challenge and today I wonder if I'm really up for it.

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I agree that you stop beating yourself up about the past because it sounds like now you're going to make different decisions going forward. I think this experience will help you make different decisions in the future with other men, too.


In three of my serious relationships at least (probably more than half of them, and in a few of them when I was younger, we never had sex) the man wanted to wait to have sex in the interests of the long term. That is, I didn't aggressively offer sex but there was that opportunity and he initiated the conversation that we should wait. It turned out that the reasons they gave for waiting were entirely sincere.

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Yes, you made choices that weren't healthful to you, but it sounds so much like you now "get it" and you're going to make different choices going forward - isn't that what really matters?


It could be that this band is no longer appropriate for you - can you at least take a break from it for awhile?

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It matters, certainly it matters that I supposedly now "get it", but to not get this until this point in my life is sobering. I mostly have to again, FORGIVE myself for being human and for giving in to some very strong urges.


We have shows in Nov, Dec and possibly New Years Eve. If I bail out now, I doubt they can find a replacement for me and and I'd really be letting the other people down. I feel I am giving in to him, giving him so much power over me by quitting.


Two members who know about all of this (the others don't as far as I know) have said they'd rather HE go, than me. He certainly would not go willingly.


Yet I know how sensitive and emotional I am about this and to try to deny the rawness of this is perhaps self-injurious and self-deceptive.


At the same time, I know I choose the sadness, the despairing thoughts and the self-flagellation. I really can only take responsibility for my 50% of what happened.


Terrible position to be in. I could ask for a "break" from the group but will anything really be different in 2 months? They probably would have to replace me.

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Not sure if this would work - can you bring a friend to watch the rehearsal - whose presense might give you emotional support or lighten things up a bit?


I know it sounds strange but if we were friends in real life I would volunteer to go (well as long as I got at least one autograph out of it ;-)

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Hi Rapunzel


Sending some ((((HUGS)))) your way hun.


Darling, you are bound to have all these emotions bouncing about in your head right now. The most important thing that you have to remind yourself to do right now is to be kind to yourself.


Things didn't work out here and maybe you made some mistakes, but don't we all? You are only human just like the rest of us. The important thing is that is you recognised that there were things from your side that you should have done differently and isn't that a good thing? So you don't make em again in the future?


At least you truly know where you are now.


I agree with Batya - is there a chance for you to take a break from your work for a while? What are your alternatives? I don't want to hear any of that old "oh, but then he will know just how much he affected me so I am going to be the bigger person" nonsense. You do what is best for you right now.


Take care of yourself honey, won't you.



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Not sure if this would work - can you bring a friend to watch the rehearsal - whose presense might give you emotional support or lighten things up a bit?


I know it sounds strange but if we were friends in real life I would volunteer to go (well as long as I got at least one autograph out of it ;-)


No, interesting idea...hmmm....the rehearsal space is too small for this and it would be odd for me to do this. Besides I can't think of anyone who would be available and/or willing.


thanks, that is very sweet of you Batya.

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Thanks Mark -


This is just a band, it's not my work, my actual livelihood but I am a musician, I do make some money doing this... and I have made many connections through being with this group. It's a wonderful group and very fulfilling, save for the current emotional messy involvement with another member.


I do have other musical pursuits and other gigs, and yes, I could just put more effort into these but I would be giving up a truly unique position if I quit this current band.


At my age it's not like I can go out and join a group like this. Without going into a lot of detail to keep my anonymity, suffice it to say it is a unique group and one I will not be able to replace with another.


I suppose since I'm such a mess today I can skip the rehearsal tomorrow and see how I feel in a week. Maybe my emotions will have settled down a little more. I don't know. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel stronger.

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Hi Rapunzel


That seems to make a lot of sense - give yourself a bit of time to let the dust settle a bit.


I can imagine that when you get together as a group like that and that group works really well, I guess it is not just a case of walk away, and it is good that you don't want to let the others down.


Give it some time and see how it goes, eh?



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thanks Mark -


Yes, good idea...let the dust settle. Today I'm going to just hand this over to.....the universe, my higher power, God....because I just can't handle it anymore, myself. Maybe another conversation with the band member who is my confidante will help to put this in a different light, or will help me know what is the right decision.


Tomorrow is a new day. I'm going to go easy on myself today and know that these feelings are only temporary. I have survived heartbreak before and I'll survive it again, as many have before me.


thanks for your caring and support, as always!

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That's ok darling - that is what we are all here for!


Tomorrow IS a new day, but be prepared for the ups and downs - you know the drill by now!


I think it would be a good idea to have that chat with your band member confidante - the more you talk this out the better.


The thing is that you WILL get through this. Just make sure you are kind and patient to yourself, ok?



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You know, it really says a lot that those people told you that they would rather he leave than you. Do you really think things will end up any differently with the new woman? It will likely go the same route as his ex and you...he will be keen until the woman is really hooked, then he will pull away..because clearly he hasn't done any self-work. Just hang in there...recognize where you went wrong and learn from it...don't beat yourself up.

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Thanks CAD - you are probably right but he is in therapy and talked a lot about his "stuff" with me over the summer. He is very much aware of his problem and says he is taking steps to fix it...although he acknowledges these patterns are difficult to change. So I can't say he isn't doing any self work.


But the fact that he asked her out so quickly is telling...and this is what peeved one of my colleagues, who is friends with this woman as he does not want to see what happened with me, happen to her.


IF this new woman is smart, she'll keep him at bay for a long time....and maybe he will fall for her. Who knows. I was not smart and jumped back into an intense physical relationship too quickly. Well, 9 months later....but still too quickly.

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Sometimes everyone assumes that what all people want is a steady, serious long-term relationship.


But there are lots of people (regardless of age) who prefer to just date around, not date anybody too seriously or for too long, and their goal isn't necessarily marriage.


So perhaps he just wants to date around. Lots of people hide that agenda because there is lots of social pressure to find one partner and stick with them. So perhaps he is just someone who likes to date around and not get too serious with anybody, right now or maybe never.


I've met quite a few people who just aren't monogamous, or are at best serial monogamists, who seem to have a cycle where they will date one person, but never for too long before they lose interest and start looking around. These are people who like to have someone to date in their life for sex and companionship, but the individual is not so important to them as someone in the role to fill their needs. So they change partners frequently, and relatively easily, since they just need an interesting warm body until they lose interest and the newness wears off, then on to the next one.


So perhaps you shouldn't be examining your 'failure' to domesticate him, and perhaps consider that he just wants to date around and it has nothing to do with you. So no one woman will hold onto him for too long at this point, so don't bother expecting it or trying for it.

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Just read this whole thread and I've also read your others.


I know how hard it is but I think you invest way too much energy and time in this man. You have been through hell and back with him more than once and it seems to me like you are just not getting anywhere. Everytime you decide to heal and move on something else happens and you are right back where you started again with some dilema or another.


I think you have to make the decision now for yourself that it is time to move on. He is 50 yrs old and he still acts like he is 20 or something. If he isn't ready for some kind of commitment now at his age I don't think he ever will be. He flits from one woman to another and it isn't healthy.


Don't blame yourself, everyone makes mistakes, we are only human.


If I have understood you corrrectly, you would like someone to be happy with, someone to settle down with and I don't think he can give you that. You need to realise this and move and and fine someone who wants the same as you otherwise you will waste god knows how many years on him and still be in the same situation you are in now.

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Yes, you made choices that weren't healthful to you, but it sounds so much like you now "get it" and you're going to make different choices going forward - isn't that what really matters?


It could be that this band is no longer appropriate for you - can you at least take a break from it for awhile?


I agree with this, Rapunzel. I made choices that weren't healthy for me, too, and it's hard, but I've forgiven myself for that. I still have feelings for my ex, and I still wish things could have turned out differently, but I'm OK with my choices now -- I realize that, at the time, my feelings overwhelmed my judgement. It happens to all of us, and it's nothing to beat ourselves up over. As Batya said here, it's something to learn from, and that's exactly what you're doing here.

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Wise words from Mark, as always! I agree with this, Rapunzel. Certainly, walking into rehearsal and being able to seem unaffected by everything CAN be good for you, at least for a temporary feeling that you've held your head high and handled yourself with dignity, but...and this is something I had to learn, something that took me a LONG time to learn: Always being the bigger person, being dignified, "acting as if," etc. can take a toll on your well-being. Sometimes, you just have to say to yourself, "It's healthier for me to NOT put on a front, and if that means not going somewhere that I know the ex will be, then so be it." Most of us can't sustain "acting as if" forever; eventually, that facade cracks, and even if it doesn't happen out in public, it happens, and when it happens, it is extremely painful. It's a delicate balance, really, between doing what needs to be done to retain our dignity and not being true to ourselves. Sometimes, we just have to know our limits and say "Nope. I can't do this. The emotional price is just too high."


I agree with the suggestions that you try to take a break from the band, if possible. I know it will be hard, but it isn't impossible. I know that, if things become unbearable at work with my ex, I will simply change my hours so that I can avoid him (i.e. only be in my office when he's in class, so I won't have to see him). Heck, I'll work late afternoon/early evening if need be. I can't give up my job -- it would be impossible for me to find another full-time teaching job like this one (the competition is tremendous for these jobs, and people don't leave them once they get them, generally), but I am willing to make adjustments if necessary to avoid seeing the ex if it becomes too hard to do so.


I know you're second-guessing yourself a lot, but try to put your energy elsewhere. Even if -- and this is a HUGE if -- you could have done things differently and the outcome would have been different if you had, the fact remains that things are what they are. You made choices, he made choices, and this is where things stand. Giving yourself an emotional battering because you "could have" or "should have" chosen differently will do nothing but bring you more heartache.


I really strongly suggest "The Secret of Letting Go" by Guy Finley; I've probably recommended it before (I know I have to others), and I'm sorry if this is a repeat, but I think it might really help you. I'm not particularly religious at all, and there are a few mentions of God -- or higher powers -- in the book, but in general it's just practical advice for all readers -- no matter what their religious/spiritual inclinations. It literally jumped off the shelf at me at the bookstore, and I had no choice but to take it home with me. In fact, I'm going to start reading it again. I need it right about now!


Take good care of yourself. I know it's hard. I'm struggling too. I think of my ex EVERY day, still -- no longer with the hope of getting him back, but just missing him and missing what we might have had. I am doing a little better every day, though, and I hope that, this time next year -- or even six months from now -- even if I'm not in a relationship with anyone else, that I will be in a different place -- a more peaceful place. I wish the same for you.

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