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when they break up saying, I don't think you're "the one"


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Hi everyone,


I just want to start off by saying I feel so happy to have found these forums. I've been looking for a support group through this tough time of break up, and knowing/reading that other people are going through something similar definitely makes me feel less alone in a way...


For me, I could really use some advice that doesn't come from friends or family members--disinterested parties, as it were.


I was in an amazing, exclusive relationship with a wonderful man for two years. Let's call him, Mr. N. He was wonderful--so smart, eloquent, thoughtful, and we had, I thought, the most amazing sexual connection...great conversations. He always loved my mind, my artistic ability. He just did really sweet and loving things for me, such as making me--from scratch--a porfolio from leather and french paper of all my photography, giving me a new backpack as a present on my first day of graduate school, and in general just being a kindly emotional support. Our relationship never really had any "problems"--we pretty much never fought with each other.


I did, however, have concerns about his ability to commit in the long run. He had been married before, and the marriage ended because his ex was 8 years older than he is and she wanted to have children and he wasn't ready and didn't know when he would be. (They also married mostly out of convenience--so that he could get a green card and stay in the States. They were very much in love, but the marriage was mostly done to allow the relationship to continue, not because he was "ready" to marry.) There were a couple relationships, and 2 years, between me and his divorce, so I thought I might be ok and that he would be ready for me and for a relationship that would move forward.


And those issues about marriage and commitment started to become a real problem about a year ago. I had never really had the courage to confront him about marriage/kids before--I did ask, but he was always kind of vague in his answer, and when I tried to push him, he'd stay vague. I didn't want to risk losing him altogether, so I didn't try and press the issue further. (For example, we were on a trip together to see some relatives he had in the States, and when they asked where he saw himself in 5 years, he said, "I think I'll be back in Europe. Maybe in Geneva." This upset me because it seemed like he wasn't envisioning me in that picture or consulting me at all, so I asked him about it later and said basically that, and he said, "Look I was just talking, it didn't mean anything. I'm in love with you and in the relationship and we'll see what happens." It was never anything like, "Oh, but of course I'll take you into the decision-making process and if this continues forward we'll get married.")


But in short, in Jan. 09 he lost his job because of the recession. His company went from 60 employees to 15 because of lack of work/layoffs, and unfortunately, he was one of the people who were let go. And because other companies in his field were in a similar position, he found it really difficult to pursue work/get another job. And on his unemployment money alone, he couldn't afford to stay in his apartment so he moved in with me for awhile, even though he didn't want to live together in the first place and felt a need for his own "space." He started talking of going back to England (his home country) and exploring opportunities there. And he did go back, for four months--to work with a friend in a small business in his field that the friend had set up. Work was hard to get, but he seemed happy to have "something." All this time, he was still calling me, texting me, skyping me pretty much every day and telling me he loved me and that he couldn't wait to see me again.


I got frustrated, though, with him staying in England indefinitely and wanted him to come back and told him so. It was also very difficult for me to visit him, because I'm both in graduate school so only have structured periods of time when I can leave, as well as because he was moving from friend's couch to friend's couch and so wasn't really settled and in a place where he could have a girlfriend stay the night. In short, he did end up coming back after four months and at that point, after missing him so much, I sat him down and had a very in-depth and serious series of conversations with him about where the relationship was going. I told him I needed something more definite from him if he was going to spend long periods overseas and that while I didn't need a marriage proposal that second or even that year, I wanted to know that the relationship was moving forward towards marriage. He seemed very unsure and hesitant of what to say, but in the end we agreed that because we love each other, we would try and make it work, even if he went back to England long term, and that after I got out of school (I had 2 years left), that we would get engaged, I would get a fiance visa, and that I would come over there and we would get married within 6 months.


He stayed for 2 months and then went back for another month for a friend's weeding and to see family. I didn't go because my schedule of classes etc. didn't make it feasible. The whole month he was back, I felt really positive. He still called and texted and skyped me nearly every day telling me he loved me and that he was looking forward to being back in the States and seeing me again. It didn't seem like the business with his friend was going anywhere.


And then he came back at the end of October and everything fell apart. Everything seemed normal for a couple of days, and then he sat me down and said we needed to have a talk. He told me that he had talked with his friend and that he wanted him to be a partner in his new small business, and that he wanted to go back long term to try and make it work. I said, "okay, well, we'd talked about this happening before, why don't we just stick to the plan?" and he said that after he had time to consider things, that he had reevaluted the decision we came to this summer and that he no longer felt he could make a commitment to me of marriage and children in the future. He didn't feel certain enough. We talked endlessly day after day--I started neglecting my work and skipping classes in order for us to try and work this out. It came out that despite our amazing connection, amazing sex, how much he thinks I'm pretty and smart and talented, etc. that he's never felt I was "the one" and that, in retrospect, he was perhaps looking for a relationship that wasn't as deep or serious as the relationship he had with his exwife after getting divorced, and that he needed now to go out and find "the one" and that super deep/serious connection. I said that maybe we could go into couples therapy or do some workshops and try and deepen our intimacy and see if we could strengthen the connection for him, and he said that no, he didn't want to do that. That he "just knew" it wasn't there and that it would never be there and that he would never want to marry me or have kids with me.


I was distraught and wondered about his sudden change of heart after our conversations in the summer, so I read his journal, which he left out on the coffee table one day, as well as went into his email. From the journal, I found out that near the end of his marriage he had no longer felt attraction to his exwife because she was older and closing in on 40 at that time, so he had tried to get her to have an "open marriage" with him because he wanted to sleep with other women. It wasn't just about him not being ready to have kids with her. I also read that he's never felt that any woman is "the one" and that he always expects someone/something better to be around the corner. And I also read, in the journal, and found in the emails that he had been unfaithful to me. I confronted him about all these details, and he admitted they were true.


When he had been away for four months, he had a drunken one-night stand that he regretted and felt horribly guilty about. I twas right before he came back. It was unprotected, and he pretty much didn't know the girl or her sexual history, and he never told me about it. And because I was on the pill, when he came back and we had sex, it was condomless and he could have exposed me to something awful. I freaked out on him about it. Fortunately since, we have both been tested and are clean.


Then, worst of all, were the emails I had found. While he was back for the wedding, he had met a woman in his hometown while doing a meditation/spirituality workshop. He had actively pursued her and had a lot of sex with her before returning to me in the States. And while he was here and we were having two weeks of tearful conversations about our relationship and he was telling me he never saw me as "the one" he was emailing her every day and skyping her while I was up at school. And here, I had been back here depositing his unemployment checks for him. And he had used that money to go and pay for hotel rooms for the two of them in London. And he took pictures of them having sex together with the camera I gave him for last Christmas.


I asked him where it was going with her, and he said he didn't know, but that he felt very excited about his connection with her. She's kind of earthy, into meditation/yoga etc, which he was surrounded with as a kid, and he liked that. He also said that perhaps it was just due to the environment of sharing that happened in the spirituality workshop they were in, but that he felt he had a really deep and intimate connection with her and that she "got" him. That he had felt able to be really honest with her--and told her about me before they started sleeping together and his past infidelity and etc--and that she "challenged" him and knew him. All this time, she had been writing him love poetry from England through emails and was super excited when he told her that he was leaving me for her. And she was secretly advising him on what to say to me and how to break up with me and telling him to try and make "a ceremony" out of saying goodbye. They were talking of meeting at the airport when he moved back and having another "welcome back" rendevous. The weird thing is that despite this intense connection that they share, I thought that she wasn't very attractive. Average, I guess. But more importantly--she didn't seem intelligent. Her emails seemed kind of airheaded, to be honest. I didn't know how he could be with her. But unlike me, she does seem like more of a strong personality, so maybe that's what he needs. And she's also older than him again, like his exwife, she's 34, and I asked him, "How can you date a woman older than you again when you know you have such commitment issues and you broke the heart of an older woman and couldn't give her the kids she wanted?" And he said he didn't know if it could work out with this woman yet, but that if she was "the one" then he would marry her and give her kids.


Needless to say I was devastated and did/said some things I regret. I broke many of the gifts I had given him for past birthdays/Christmases and trashed some of his clothes. But I didn't kick him out of the apartment because I wanted to try and work things out. But he stayed firm in saying that I wasn't the one and he wanted to break up. He initially said that he wouldn't talk to her while he was here in the States and staying with me anymore, but she wouldn't listen and kept sending him texts and emails while he was at my apartment. I got so distraught that I stopped going to class altogether and told him I wanted to die and that maybe I should just kill myself (no, I wouldn't; I won't, but I was feeling desperate) and he freaked out and spent long phone conversations talking to his mother about it--and talking to HER about it.


Finally he did leave, told me that we would keep in touch, gave me one last kiss and got in a taxicab for the airport outside my apartment and left the US--for all I know, for forever. When he got back, I was texting him and such a lot, and he said that he wanted to cut off communication with me for awhile. I was still begging him to reconsider. And he stopped answering my texts. So at that point, I just decided that I had to let go.


There was no communication for three weeks, and then I got an email saying how sorry he was, how much he misses me, how he really cares about me, how he still thinks break up was the right thing to do, but that there's so much about our connection that he misses and that he wants to develop a "strong" friendship with me and support me. He signs off his emails saying, "With much love, N." In the last email, he told me how much he was loving London and how he kept noticing how much I would love it there--how much history is in everything, all the stories to be seen and captured. It was like a knife in my heart--he knew how much I wanted to come over and live in Europe with him, how really badly I've wanted to live abroad with someone I loved, specifically, with him. So to say that, but at the same time to say that he doesn't want to be with me anymore, feels cruel.


I'm just not sure what to do anymore. I'm in therapy and talking to her about medication. I'm so incredibly depressed every day. It's hard to get out of bed, hard to focus on my studies, hard to get motivated about anything. I can't even think about dating again. In some way, I feel that I am still hoping that he will change his mind and want to work things out with me again, though all my friends and family think I'm crazy and that I should cut him off completely for what he's done and never speak to him again. And I can't believe that he doesn't want what we had together--our conversations, our great sex life, our shared moments and travels together. I can't believe that he doesn't want me, and part of me is hoping that he emails indicate he is unsure, even though he says he isn't. It was the most intense, romantic, gorgeous relationship I've ever been in, and the idea that it is gone is devastating. He was my dream partner, he was exactly what I thought I wanted--the "one" for me.


I also feel so incredibly angry that while I was the emotional support for him in the year of his unemployment--filing his checks and storing his things, giving him a place to live, helping him out with long talks about his future and his down feelings of being laid off, mailing items of his that he needed to England while he was away, and enduring his hot and cold moods about it, that all my gentle, steady devotion was for nothing. That I put all that love into him for nothing and that he just used me up so that now after getting himself set up, he can just go and create the life with another woman that I wanted. The life that I was hoping to have and share with him. When I picture him getting married and having kids with someone else, potentially this woman he cheated with, I'm filled with rage.


I keep thinking that maybe if I'm able to be happier, act happier and stronger, and keep him lightly in my life somehow, things will work out down the road. On the other hand, I feel that talking to him while he's seeing this woman will just create a situation where I don't respect myself and that he won't respect me either because it's the behavior will say to him, "use me! lie to me! cheat on me! it doesn't matter what you do or how badly you behave, i'll be here for you no matter what." And I don't want to teach him that he can treat me so poorly and just get away with it over and over.


So in response to his last long email, I finally had the courage to ask about her and if he was still sleeping with her or dating her in some way. Before, I didn't feel capable of asking that question--I felt to vulnerable, fragile, to ask it. It's been a week now with no response from him about it. He does seem to make me wait (a couple weeks, usually) for his email replies--which drives me crazy, because I start to expect that he wont' respond and then once I've decided he's gone permanently, lo and behold, an email comes through, and I've told him so and asked him to respond sooner and he doesn't. But this email was really short, quick, and to the point, and I don't know why he can't just tell me "yes, I'm with her" so I can move on with my life and make a decision as to whether to cut him off or keep in touch. And since he's not responding soon, I assume that means he is with her. So what should I do? The idea of losing him completely--even for just friendship--is absolutely devastating for me. And perhaps if there's a chance things could work out, maybe I should try and manage my feelings better and keep in touch. But on the other hand, I'm so distracted and depressed and this is taking a huge toll on me, and the suspense of waiting for his emails and etc is hard.


Phew. That was long. I wonder if anyone will have read this far. But I want to say thanks in advance for any replies. And for reading. It's hard to be hurting alone, especially when so many of my friends are getting married and in positive relationship and stable like that. (I'm 28 years old...N is 32, Fyi.)

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welcome to enotalone. i think what you have to do is go No Contact and get N out of your life forever. you were together for 2 years, he told you that you aren't the one. it hurts, it sucks, but, there is no point in you wasting any more time on this guy. it sounds like he has really moved on, and nothing you can say or do at this point will change his mind. not that he sounds like much of a prize, he sounds a bit like a user to me.


i think you need to kick him out, focus on finishing graduate school, and move forward. find someone who is looking for a serious relationship like you are.


hang in there.

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vonsalome, you are not alone. You are among friends here and, more importantly, people who understand what you are going through.


I know you don't want to hear this but you really need to leave things well alone now. Friendship really isn't an option ... its not friends you really want and being friends with him won't make you any more happier. You are thinking of reasons to cling on to him but you have to let go.


I know it hurts to find out that while you were investing yourself into the relationship thinking he was doing the same, he was in fact, investing his energies and thoughts elsewhere but that is, nevertheless, what he was doing. He isn't worthy of you.


You will gain nothing by continuing to contact him. I know how easy it is to react when angry but you won't be doing any good by doing so. This is one person who will probably never know what he wants or what he is looking for. Don't wait for "yes, I'm with her" to cut him out of your life. He has chosen to move on so cut him out regardless.


Oh and welcome to eNA by the way.

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When someone tells you "You're not the one" you better believe it. If someone told me that, you know what I would say? "See ya!"


Why on earth would you want to be in a relationship with someone that thinks they can do better than you? Is that really the best that you can do for yourself? Come on!


I don't know about you but I require in all of my relationships mutuality. I will not be second best or a victim of someone's second guessing. If a man doesn't know how he feels, I am not going to wait around for him to figure it out or try to convince him. That is his job, not mine. Nor will I stay around, be a friend and stroke his ego. Because you know what? I am a damn good woman and there are plenty of other fish in the sea, plenty of men that are ready and willing and not emotionally * * * * ed up. And I won't get the chance to meet them if I am hanging on to what might be or what could have been...


Sorry if I seem short but the number of people that are here whining and crying over losers, abusers; people that cheat, are careless, and don't love or respect others is getting to me. Have we as a whole become so co-dependant, insecure and so lacking in self esteem and self worth to stand up for ourselves and to want better for ourselves?


I know, I know, "I just don't understand." I understand all right; been there done that, and I not only have the T-Shirt but matching shoes and handbags. i don't need that crap, that luggage, that baggage anymore...


I didn't read your entire post but the title was enough. Pick up the pieces, and don't store them in your hope chest, but pick them up, throw them on the fire and move on.

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As i have gotten older that romantic notion of finding "the one" has deminished. Now i deal in practical reality and realize that two people meet, hit it off, and possibly fall in love. Thinking there is a certain special person that was "made" for you is a pretty imature conception. All the "the ones" that i have met and had relationships with have became "not the one". And "the one" is always met with unfair expectaions that the other party projects and is always dissapointed.

It is my beliefe that when you meet someone that you get along with and share commonalitys is enough to build on without expecting some cosmic work at play. Grow up and give everyone the benifiet of the doubt without focusing on shortcommings that an unrealistic childish notion can cause uneeded pressure due to shortcommings that the other person may never live up to. The "one" may just be "the best one for you right now" and you may have happiness you may never find while searching for your "soulmate". Peace.

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unstuck, I agree with you so much! People are so greedy, always looking for the next best thing, the person with that extra little bit. But it's people like that who should be shipped to an island in the middle of nowhere and if they decide they want to be decent human beings they can swim back to civilization.


vonsalome, I can only imagine how difficult this whole situation is for you but I have to agree with uncomfy in the sense that he did cheat and there are many, many fish in the sea. I am by no means trying to pass judgement on you, but he sounds like a complete @ss! Just based off of his infidelity, lack of commitment and honestly, it's easy to predict that he will keep doing this over and over. He is a user.


You may not see it now but I believe you got out just in the nick of time!

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