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What is he doing to me?

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So I have a complicated ex-story - I dated this guy in college and a little after for five years - his parents were a little frosty and mine were livid initially but we were a happy couple. I left the country and we broke up - it was not at all a bad break-up - upsetting but not insane and vastly mitigated because I was out of the country.

His parents however became very good friends of mine after a while because they hated his subsequent girlfriends. When I got laid off from work last year I stayed with them for some interviews in the city. He however at one point said he couldn't meet me because his girlfriend forbade us meeting. I was super-hurt because I needed a friend and even though he eventually met me I am sure it was because his parents made him.

The fact is the best job offer I had was in New York - it was twice the offer I got in London where the taxes are high. The only reason I was debating was because of the drama of being in the same city as him. I was extremely mature about things though and stayed in a serviced apartment even though his parents offered to have me stay with them.

I met him and spoke nicely though I drew the line at discussing his love life - he had broken up with his girlfriend and was going through women like it was going out of style. I am a human being - I don't need my ex's love life paraded before me and once when he made a crude comment undermining my intelligence and my new job I decided I'd had enough and cooled things off with him.

It was very difficult because he is my only friend in the city and I just decided to pay for handymen etc and even when my grandfather died I just bore it all alone rather than going to him for help. Then his dad invited me to his mom's surprise birthday party and I went - it was very awkward as there wasn't a place setting for me and I just felt that there were a lot of people from his parent's social life who remembered me and were wondering about my presence there. I wanted to just give her my present and leave - I hurt my knee rushing to the damn party. He made me stay and made me sit next to him and was superlatively nice at the party and walked me home.

I relented and showed him my new apartment and he was great - fixing a few things here and there as only he could - with an off-kilter sense of humour and then he told me I was so attractive and he couldn't resist me. People please don't judge me - he was my first love and I was so vulnerable and we hooked up -it was great and I was just craving human contact in this city. We didn't discuss anything and the next day he just sent a text asking how my knee was. I made a small joke and then heard nothing back.

The next day his dad wrote to the both of us asking us to communicate and pick up flowers from his parents' apartment as they were out of town - I called him and we didn't discuss anything but I decided to change the water and leave the flowers in the apartment and he was vague about helping etc. Here's the thing - I recognised that things were weird and then asked him to call me and he didn't. I have been disappointed by more men than I care to recall but this hurts so much more as it just means he views me as another piece of meat. I am so angry with him - he is compromising the memory of our great relationship! He can just avoid hurting me and I am even more confused about my own behaviour - I have evolved into a different person - I felt sure that I didn't want him any more - I needed his help but I just didn't want him in the same way and have just lost any semblance of control.

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-. People please don't judge me - he was my first love and I was so vulnerable and we hooked up -it was great and I was just craving human contact in this city.


Stop beating yourself up, this can happen to the best of us. You sound very intelligent and wise. It was a weak moment in which you needed a connection, and he was the connection you'd had in the past and it was comfortable. I've also been disappointed by more men than I care to recall, and I think that many people here could say that about their encounters with the opposite sex. He most certainly has compromised the memory of your relationship, but you have to realize that it probably got a little too 'real' for him being with you again. It's not your problem, it's his. You have not lost control, you had a minor setback. You seem to be a very strong person, and I'm sure once your ego has endured enough of the blow that he has given it, you will move back on the track that you've been on quite nicely. Don't continue to make yourself feel bad about what you did; you are afterall, only human.

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Dear Jaded Too - thank you so very much for your kind words and reassurance. Also I think the reason I'm upset is that to be brutally honest I want him back and realise that on some level while things might seem easier - we know each other there is just this weight of expectations because of our history and our stage in life (early thirties). I thought I was past all of this - in fact over the past few years every time I think I am over him and am going about my life his parents reach out and given how influential they've been in shaping who I am and how loving they are I feel so churlish about not responding and they feel like family - he feels like family - there are things you are annoyed by but you can't imagine them not being in your life. I feel to give them up would be like being orphaned at least in NYC.

But then I think of myself in a broader context - I have my own loving family and friends of my own scattered accross the world and I don't want to be with someone who would view me as a compromise and the way he is treating me suggests a lack of respect and I think a fit of nostalgia and loneliness is just no excuse to drive me to the arms of someone who is so conflicted about me.

I don't understand his position really - his family loves me, he really enjoys the fact that his parents and I get along, we make each other laugh and reassure each other about work and family and genuinely care about each other - when I was sick he left work mid-day to buy me medicine (that's a big deal as he works on a trading floor) and I got out of my sickbed to get him sunscreen for his holiday and after what happened last week there's clearly an attraction - we practically grew up together and have evolved into people who lots of people can love and are now both single in the same city and it's beyond me why this isn't just a slam-dunk.

It's really outside my control and I am not going to put myself out trying to be his friend when he places such a low value on my friendship - I have a job managing client relationships and it is emotionally demanding apart from being travel intensive and I am setting up a new life here which has its own challenges and pleasures and I cannot waste another drop of energy on this confusing situation. I didn't tell any of my friends or family about it as I just don't want this become something more than it was - in your very wise words - a minor setback.

The ball is in his court as the more settled of the two of us and I declare from this moment on that my life in New York will stop running like an Ex and the City episode

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