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Hello all,


First off I just want to say what a great forum this is! One of the best places that I have found on the internet so far. Cudos to all for their caring and support.


I feel the need to share my story with all of you. I don't think that I have a specific question, but any advice or comment is welcome.


I have been in a relationship with Lisa for 1 year. I am 34, she is 33. We hit it off right from the start, we seemed to have the whole package in each other: mutual attraction, many common interests, shared values, a good sex life, respect, trust, etc. There was something missing right from the start however. We both felt it, but did not address it because everything else was so good. Lisa was emotionally distant. I have in fact never felt more alone in a relationship, but I was willing to put up with this (why is a subject I should explore with a therapist, I suspect ) There is an important lesson that I need to take away from this.


A few weeks before our 1 year anniversary (Nov. 21) Lisa began drifting away. We did not spend much time together, and our sex life dried up. One day she invited me for a coffee and walk by the lake. I knew what that meant After some awkward small talk she asked me if I was happy in the relationship. "No" I said, and then everything came out. We both realized that after 1 year together we should have fallen in love, and it was not happening, especially on her side. We discussed what to do about this, and decided that we need to focus on spending more quality time together to develop emotional intimacy. I had renewed hope. She had planned to break up that day, but wanted to seek my opinion on things first, and was actually willing to listen!


This lasted 2 weeks, then Lisa told me that she was not happy with how things were going, and told me that we were through We broke up on very amicable terms, on our 1 year anniversary. We got together that day one last time to exchange our things, and we even exchanged anniversary gifts. We discussed our feelings one last time, both giving each other's thoughts fair consideration. I commend Lisa for having the courage and strength to take this step, I did not have it in me. We could have kept going, but to what end? An affair? A loveless marriage? With children??? This was the first time that I have not felt abandoned by the demise of a relationship, it was a team decision. In fact, the way that we handled this even gave me more reason to hope that we might work things out, but I have to accept that it is not meant to be and move on with my life.


Since then we have both given each other space. I have not begged or pleaded, and she has promised to not rub her love life in my face. We intend to salvage a friendship. She wasnts to have me up to her parent's cottage over the holidays, but I think that that is too soon. It will be months before I can accept the evolution of my relationship with Lisa. Even though I was not 100% happy, I am very hurt and discouraged. How could we not make this work when we had so much in common?


My sincere thanks to all who took the time to read this!

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Thank you for sharing your story, Mentor. I'm sorry it didn't work out for you and Lisa. But I appreciated hearing about a relationship that, relatively speaking, ended well instead of in bitterness and desperation. It's good to know people can have respect for one another and do the honorable thing.


Also, I think you shouldn't go to her parents' cottage. If I were in your shoes, it would seem too soon for me as well.


BTW, what exactly do you mean by emotional distance? Did she lack passion for your relationship? Or was she just cooler emotionally by nature?

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BTW, what exactly do you mean by emotional distance? Did she lack passion for your relationship? Or was she just cooler emotionally by nature?


Hi K8tie Kool,


Thanks for reading!


Lisa never exuded much affection/warmth towards me that one does when one is in love with another person. Others noticed this about us as well. There were subtle displays (holding my hand, etc.), but it was not right. There was plenty of physical passion/chemistry, but often this can be mistaken or substituted for emotional closeness, which I think was the case for us.


The source of this distance is the one area that Lisa and I disagree on. We both expressed our opinions, and gave the other's serious consideration, but still disagree.


My theory: Six years ago Lisa's fiancee left her with little explanation. She was never able to have closure from this relationship. She confided to me as we were breaking up that this was the only time that she has been in love. This happened 6 years ago. I find it suspicious that Lisa has not fallen in love since. She has had several boyfriends in that time. I think that she has put up a lot of walls to keep from being hurt. She has loads of friends, and keeps extremely busy. I recognize the behaviour from my own past. I think that she is trying to fill a void (loveless) by keeping so busy that she doesn't have time to think. At times I would catch her with her guard down, or we would be in a particularily emotional moment, and I would get inside her defences and see the warm, loving person that she is. Soon after that she would panic and withdraw even further than usual, and shut me out emotionally. I have told Lisa all of this, and she has promised to give it serious consideration, and seek therapy if necessary.


Her theory: From the start we just had incompatible personalities. She is extroverted, I am more introverted. We don't really get each other's sense of humor. It is like we are out of phase when we try to communicate. We have never really felt at ease just being alone together. When we spent time, we were always doing things that kept us busy, she feels that this was deliberate to avoid those uncomfortable "down time" moments.



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Amazing, your relationship sounds like my ex relationship!


I find both of your theories credible. Maybe it was a bit of both going on? Definitely if she never fully grieved the break up with her fiance, she could be still coping by distracting herself. Especially if she's an extrovert who isn't comfortable in introspection.


OTOH, I completely relate to being out of phase with one's bf/gf. For me, it was almost like his and my patterns of talking and listening weren't fitting together. Or like we didn't need each other in the same way.


Even when we were both in the same mood, we weren't exactly. I found his seriousness too melancholy and ponderous. And he had trouble relating to my sense of humor. And like you two, we had everything in common otherwise.


IT's interesting that two people can have mutual attraction (I did with my ex as well), and yet lack that personal chemistry so important for greasing the relationship, isn't it? There's a saying that you should only marry someone who would be your best friend. I think that's a good lesson - one I'm determined to take to heart.

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IT's interesting that two people can have mutual attraction (I did with my ex as well), and yet lack that personal chemistry so important for greasing the relationship, isn't it? There's a saying that you should only marry someone who would be your best friend. I think that's a good lesson - one I'm determined to take to heart.


That is what I struggle with the most. We were best friends, and I hope that we will continue to be given enough time to heal. All those sticky little issues that can doom a relationship (finances, lifestyle, trust, respect, etc) we had licked. She told me that I was everything that she looked for in a bf, and that it was incredibly painful to give up and leave. She said I will never understand just how much I meant to her. And yet she could not fall in love with me She said that we are both getting older, and if it isn't meant to be then we owe it to each other to move on and try to find it in other people. Arrrgh, this hurts a lot. I might sound like I am doing OK, but the pain comes in waves. She has already started to meet other guys, and I can't leave my apartment yet. I have OD'ed twice on sleeping pills/alcohol since the breakup. Not a lethal dose, but enough to mess me up for a day or so

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Damn!!! Dude Com'on Pick yourself up!!!!!


This is very hard and there are few lines here and there that we all can relate to, especially that line "I love you so much that I must break up with you". Aarrrrggggg!!!! Even Einstein could not break this code!!!


Listen, first drugs don't help and make things worste. Second you have to start breathing slowly when the waves come, and start exercising. Eat all you can but remember that this is a gift she gave you so that you can start a new relationship: With yourself!!


Girls are the superior specie, you're mind is not meant to understand what they say and don't try. Just remember that things always go and come in cycle in this universe. How you treat and recorver yourself from this challenge is how your next relationship will be defined. So if you're very strong, chances are your next one will be even stronger.


I identify with what you're saying, and my "special girl" asked to marry me(I have repeated that several times here because it does hurt), and then 2 month later while I was getting ready with ring, she said she had some issues to deal with, I could date whomever I wanted and her as well( i think she might be), that she was ready to deal with some of her ex husband issues. We're in NC time now, though she says I can call. Mind you that at 36 she told me that I was what she was looking for, but had somethings to take care of on her own. We had all the chemistry-friendship-Business Partner-Sex second to none-Love. But like someone told me on this site, that sometimes people who are abused or havn;t had proper closures tend to make things look as if all is good(they have lots of friends, move around alot, and are very busy). Hence when she told me that she was going back and forth about our relationship, it wasn't because of me, but her subconsious would quiet down.

So you see I am very pleased about what she did, I am so glad because I know I love her (I don't need to hear the same from her), I know i want a Strong woman by my side who knows what she wants and has got my back at all time! By letting her and supporting her in this time as I focus on me, I am guaranting a stronger person when I meet her again(as a friend or more or less). She has the option to strenghten herself and you know what I am focussing on my relationship with ME!!!


So cry if you must, but get up and look in the mirror and smile for you have done everything right and will be whole soon!!



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Hey GreatGuy, thanks for the advice! It is good to get another guy's perspective on this. My current support network consists of 3 close (platonic) girlfriends lol. Perhaps that is why I am so screwed up right now j/k Lisa has also been worried/guilty, and has tried to be there for me as well, but I explained to her that she is implicated in this situation, and I can not turn to her for support. Doing so would only make her (and me) feel worse, so I gently pushed her away for a while.


After my first OD I got quite scared, and booked myself into therapy (another woman!). I should not be hurting this bad. Truth be told, I was pretty miserable with Lisa, like I said, I had never felt more alone with someone. I am glad to have the chance to find someone who will love me fully. I first told Lisa that I loved her about 6 months into the relationship. Her reply was "...I think I love you too!" That was the first, and last time that she used the L-word with me. I deserve better, and she knows it. That is why we ended things.


I have been exercizing. Hockey is probably the only activity left that I enjoy right now, but I am playing 3 times a week. Most of my other hobbies/activities were things that she and I shared, and only remind me of her right now (mountain biking, X-country skiing, playing guitar...)


Your situation does sound similar in some ways. It also sounds very difficult. You have taken a very positive approach, congratulations for having the self-esteem, compassion, and love to be able to recognize what is going an and respond positively. I wish you all the best in your life. I think that you have a very appropriately chosen moniker!

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All!


I have not been talking as much about my life here lately, and I just wanted to update everyone. I am doing so much better, it is hard to believe. I have had my down moments, but overall I am emerging from the shadow.


One of the most recent down moments happened last week, when I saw Lisa's profile on an online personals site. This hit me pretty hard. It was almost like watching her flirt with another guy right in front of me. It only took me a day to shake it off however. It was interesting to see the description of the type of guy that she is looking for. Matched me to a T! I have a feeling that she is going to have a hard time replacing me.


I think about her less and less as the days pass. I do not talk about her to my friends nearly as much, and they have all noticed this with barely concealed relief. My therapy sessions have stopped focusing on the immediate "Lisa crisis", and we are now dealing with other, deeper issues.


I have started to meet other women, and am even dating one person rather seriously. I have explained my mindset to her, and asked that we go slow to make sure that we are not making any regrettable mistakes. I am enjoying her company immensely.


Thanks to everyone here who offered their advice and support. You have been godsends!


Until next time,

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When i broke up with my ex he didnt think I cared for him. I was mad about him but didnt think he was the touchy feely sort. He was shocked that I was upset. I was distant because I didnt want to come on too strong because I wanted him so much. Since then ive dated other guys and have been distant because I never want to feel that pain again and /or because im not that into them and dont want to lead them on.

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i know the ups and downs are so hard...i'm sorry to hear you saw her profile on a personals, but yes, maybe good to see that all those qualities she found in you were ones she realizes she really needs. i know you realize that what you gave her was incredible.


i also just found out that my ex is already with someone--has been for over a month now--kind of vague as to when it happened, but basically within weeks of our breakup (though our breakup took three weeks to play out).


some people just don't like being alone. even if lisa puts up walls, maybe she is the same?

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some people just don't like being alone. even if lisa puts up walls, maybe she is the same?


I have actually moved on faster than Lisa, when it comes to meeting someone new, although she was dating sooner after the breakup than I. I needed my time to grieve and let the feelings out. Lisa did not do this, and there is a good chance that it has just added another brick into her wall.


I sincerely wish her all the best, and I hope that she does find someone in her life that she will be able to open up to. She is a great girl, and deserves no less!

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