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How can I stop sabotaging every relationship I get into?

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I'm new here. I found this forum because I was searching the net for relationship advice on how to build better relationships with women. I seem to have this pattern of ruining my relationships with women even before they mature. I didn't really see it until the last one I had.


A little background first, before I get ahead of myself. I never really had a real girlfriend or a relationship longer than 2-3 months except for a long distance relationship I had a few years back. For the last few years, I had been in college and I partied a lot. A few flings here and there, but nothing serious. After a while though, I got pretty tired of the meaningless stuff and I started wanting something more substantial.


Three months ago, I met a great girl about the same age as me. We hit it off so well, everything was great the first few weeks. We spent time together, talking, hanging out with her friends and my friends, going to a wine festival, making love... you know, the whole package. I thought I had found a great girlfriend and started to think of her along these lines. But one day, when she met up with me for dinner, she said she had to go home within an hour. That puzzled me a little bit, but she said she was tired from a long day at work. Ok, we all have days like that. Then she started cancelling our dates a lot. And sometimes she wouldn't return my emails or calls. It was getting to be like, for every 2 or 3 times I call her, she'd only send me one. I asked her "is everything okay?", and she said "it's all good. nothing's wrong." She kept saying that she wanted to see me, but she didn't really seem too enthusiastic about it like before. She kept saying she's always tired from being so busy at work... yet when I invite her to my place after she's done working for the day, she'd decline every time. This went on for a month.


I got fed up. Didn't contact each other for a week. But I still kept thinking about her and the uncertainity and anxiety was starting to get to me. I couldn't concentrate on my homework (I'm in grad school). So I decided to tell her that we shouldn't see each other anymore. Normally, I would not do this over email, but trying to get her out to meet me in person even just for an hour was like pulling teeth, so I told her this on email. She responded... and it turned out that her friend had died the week before and she wanted to take it easy.


Now that was a shocker for me. If ONLY I had known, I would've been there for her and made sure she'd be ok. But she didn't tell me. Why didn't she tell me? I don't know. But I still feel that I made the biggest mistake of telling her that we can't see each other anymore. I should have said "Hi, I haven't heard from you in a long time... is everything ok?" Maybe that way she'd talk to me about it and I'd be there for her, and everything would've been alright. But instead, I assumed too much and jumped to the conclusion that she didn't want to see me anymore and that she was blowing me off. I tried to take the break-up email back and explain to her how I felt, and that I wanted to talk to her in person. But she said that I'd gotten mad at her for cancelling a lot and that we don't need to meet again... and that she agreed that we shouldn't see each other anymore and that she understands.


That was three weeks ago. And we have not talked to each other since. And I'm still beating myself up for it. I need to stop, I know that logically, but my feelings... I can't help what I feel. And this isn't the first time that I sort of freaked out and cut off a relationship before working out what was really going on.


I need to get better at communication in relationships, and I don't want to mess the next one up by being needy or something. I need to stop that. What does it take to have successful relationships?


Thanks in advance..

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First of all, what happened is that when she backed away, you showed neediness. We all have it. Currently, I feel like chasing the woman I was out with Friday. But I resist.


Second, if you really want someone, then what you need to do is pay attention to her feelings. If she feels the right way towards you, then she will be yours. If she is not showing the right feelings, then you need to try to figure out why.


How do you make her want to be with you? The simple formula is to provide emotional fulfillment while remaining aloof and independent. That's the theory anyway.


What is emotional fulfillment? Depends on who you are talking to, as it differers among individuals. I know of many women who claim to hate men looking at their breasts. Then I know one who when we were together asked if I liked hers. She really liked the fact that I said I did. My words were "Among other things," said with me staring into her eyes.


What will get to the next woman you want? I don't know, but the first thing you do is listen to her. Listening is the biggest and first thing you can do. And make eye contact when you do it.


How to keep a relationship going requires a number of things, most of which most of us never think about. There is a bit of science to it, which can be studied and used. There are also indentifiable skills that can be improved. Perhaps increasing your understanding and working on your skills is the way to go.

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Welcome to enotalone, Venturer


It would have been nice if she told you the reason why she kept blowing you off. You even asked her if everything was ok, and she didn't even tell you then. She wasn't too communicative. You were the one who invited her over, called her, tried setting up dates and whatnot, so I don't think you sabotaged this relationship. Heck, I probably would've broke it off with her too.


It takes two to make a relationship work. The least she could have done was called you back and explained why she was acting the way she did. After all, you're not a mind reader. I can imagine how it feel to be in a relationship where you're always wondering and worrying about a partner who won't communicate with you.


You need to forget about this girl, move on, and find someone better.

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I think you did the right thing by telling her it was over... you are beating yourself up because you wish you hadn't said it, but the reality is that that is exactly what she wants. If she wanted to be with you she would have accepted your apology and things would have gotten back on track... but things were already messed up.


It's an awful tragedy that her friend died, but that doesn't give her the right to ignore you and string you along not knowing where you stand. I know you are annoyed at her, but remember, when people are confused about their feelings it can be a real tug-of-war between wanting to be with someone and letting them go.


You need to accept that the relationship is not going to happen the way you would've liked. Don't blame yourself or think you're no good inrelationships, because it's her that wasn't communicating. You did a great job, and one day you'll find someone who appreciates that effort rather than takes it for granted.

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Thanks all for your comments. It did cross my mind that she was looking for a way out, it did sound like it at some points. But either way, I don't want to be in a relationship where I'm the one doing all the work and she'd be taking it for granted.


Are you sure you're not picking people that are bad communicators?


I honestly have no idea. It's not like I can go on a date with someone and think to myself, "yeah, this person has great/lousy communication skills" .. it'd take some time to figure that out about a person... at least when the masks finally come off. The sooner the better, I suppose.

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my friend died a year ago. one can't even fathom the pain. i didn't eat, sleep or work. nothing seemed important. while your response was normal because you didn't know what was going on, she is hurting and feeling number and pursuing a new relationship is the furthest thing from her mind. just check in with her every now and then to see how she is doing. most people are afraid of death and don't even mention it. i was surprised by some people.

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