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Please help the moron...


SpacyStacy

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I've never been too good at deciphering the motives behind anyone's behavior because I'm the kind of person who is brutally honest and assumes, perhaps naively, that others are the same way. So, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, here goes...

My ex broke up with a year ago after an intense relationship that only lasted 8 or 9 months before he claimed he felt suffocated. I admit, i was very clingy, at that point in my life he was the only thing I had that made me happy and I didn't do the things I've been told you're supposed to do to keep a man's attention, i.e., have your own life and make yourself unavailable sometimes. We kept in contact and slept together for a while until we both ended up with other people.

 

Both of out relationships are now over, and in the past month we've slept together twice, we had both agreed it would be nice to continue a physical relationship for the time being because we're both still attracted to each other but would not be exclusive or even 'dating'. I see him frequently because he works close to where I bartend part-time and his friends hang out there.

 

However, it seems like whenever I ask him what hes doing on a particular evening he gets all freaked out. I told him if he just wanted to be friends, all he had to do was say so and it was fine, and he said that wasn't what he wanted, I just can't expect him to be available whenever I say so, which I wasn't doing. I'm pretty sure he's afraid I want more than what our deal is but I don't. How do I convey this to him? Do I just completely ignore him when he comes in to the bar? Should I stop talking to him at all and wait until he contacts me? I honestly don't know what his problem is. If he doesn't want to see me he doesn't have to, but he refuses to come out and say that, and due to the fact he's been honest to the point of being downright nasty when I was behaving in a way he didn't like, I doubt he's trying to spare my feelings.

 

I don't get it. What should I do?

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Lol...sometimes my friends refer to me as such and I guess it just stuck. I'm one of those book-smart people with no common sense whatsoever. None. It gets me into trouble. I wish you could by street smarts somewhere. I'd start saving up right now.

 

I did tell him I didn't want a relationship out of him. I thought it was cool that we had this kind of no pressure, no strings attached understanding. I don't know why he would think that just because I text him and say, "You busy later?", he would take that as a demand to drop whatever he's doing and go have a drink with me. He seems to only want to see me when I pay him no mind. I don't want to be a * * * * * and completely ignore him when I see him but I'm curious as to what he would do if I behaved that way. Is that mean?

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You're so right about the distance thing, but unfortunately the only way I'm not going to run into him is if I quit my job at the bar. He's in there at least twice a week since he and his girlfriend broke up, making sure I hear him talking about all these women he's supposedly been out with. Which I don't even think is true because every time I talk to him he's at home.

 

If nothing more, I'm glad I actually had a chance to post this because the actual thinking about it and writing about it is starting to make me think he just wants to make sure he still has me as an option. Like I'm an old piece of pizza in the back of the freezer that he keeps there in case he gets really hungry one night and is too lazy to go food shopping.

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I'd love to work outside of the restaurant/bar industry, but i don't have that option because I'm putting myself through college and bartending is the only way I can make enough money to do so working at night, my classes are during the day. The fact that I'm working towards something for myself (my degree) is what pulled me out of being the pathetic, needy, cling-on I was when we were dating. And I hated that person. So, I'd rather endure this nonsense than disrupt my education, but it does drive me up the wall that he says one thing and acts a different way. The insecure part of me thinks, I am offering him sex with none of the work here, and he doesn't want it, so what is wrong with me? I know I' not ugly but it makes me feel that way.

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Spacystacy, firstly, before even coming to your problem, I want to ask you one thing? Are you comfortable in a relationship where you two are just sleeping together? An FWB kinda arrangement? Or are you expecting it to blossom into something else eventually? If its the latter, its going to be trouble for you, based on what you have said.

 

I am going to assume you are ok with your current arrangement. Now, coming to the question you have asked her. Well, the guy has a previous experience with you where you have proved to him that you can be clingy. So he is going to be skeptic for a while, no matter what you do. He is subconsciously examining all your actions and behaviors for signs of clinginess. And unfortunately there is not much you can do about it. However, you can quicken the process after which he will probably begin trusting you.

 

You can sit down with him and tell him honestly and openly, that you very well know what went wrong with your first stint. As such, you are trying to not repeat that. However, he can't stay completely detached, purely for logistical purposes. Tell him you need to know his plans etc. sometimes, simply so you can schedule your itinerary. Also, I think it would help if you blew him off a couple of times when he attempts to make plans, saying you can't make it because you have plans of your own. That will probably mitigate the fear of clinginess on his side.

 

Let us know how it goes.

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My gut feeling is that this sleeping together/FWB situation sounds bad and that you are going to get hurt by this. Most women (there are exceptions) can't do FWB, it's not in our make up.

 

I don't think sitting down and telling him honestly and openly what went wrong the first time will do much. It's just going to remind him of what happened. You can't convince someone you are different or are going to change by telling them. You have to show them through your actions.

 

In my opinion, if you want to get anywhere here, you have to get the upper hand and regain your power "acting as if". You have to let him pursue you, and you have to be unavailable. You cannot initiate or pursue him at all. If you hand yourself over to him continually he is going to lose interest. You already pointed out that he "only wants to see you when you pay him no mind". Ah HA! This should be your lightbulb moment.

 

You should be friendly to him when you see him at the bar, but don't treat him any differently than any other patron. You should date other people even if you don't want to, so that when he asks you out, you may actually be busy and won't be tempted to say yes.

 

I tried the no pressure thing with my ex, and had sex with him without a stated commitment, tried to be nonchalant and because I was so attracted to him, I rarely said no when he called. But in this situation, you HAVE to SAY NO! You HAVE to be unavailable and make him think of you as RARE and unattainable. Flirt with other guys at the bar, have fun and don't make him the center of your thoughts. It's very, very hard to do when you are attracted to someone but with your history with this guy, it's the only way you are going to get anywhere. It's a big game, and there are risks but if you want to play, you have to be strategic about your moves.

 

I highly recommend you read "The Passion Paradox: Where is your relationship going" by Dean C. Delis which beautifully spells out relationship dynamics and will help you understand what is going on here. It is also called "The Passion Trap".

 

I also think "Intimate Connections" by David Burns is a great book... there is a chapter in there about how to not get used by a man which has great advice.

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Thanks for all the help, guys. I've decided I'm not going to initiate any contact with him. He will certainly notice, as he's used to hearing from me text-wise on a daily basis. He was away for the weekend so the last time I spoke with him was friday, and he said, "I'll see you next week, let me know..." I'm not going to. If he doesn't bother asking to see me I'm done wasting my time. And I'm a little miffed to boot.

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You seriously NEED to read 'Why Men Marry * * * * * es' by Stacy Argov. It is my bible, girl! Dog eared, lots of paragraphs highlighted - it'll be the best $15 (+ or -) you've spent in a long time. DON'T TEXT HIM. Better yet, delete his number or reprogram it with the name 'MORON'. I did this! It makes it so much easier ( I used 'LIAR' for the landline and AS*H*LE for the cell! Looks pretty funny when it comes up! )

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