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Hello eNA,


I've recently started seeing a girl with trust issues by her own admission. I've also, more recently, stopped seeing the same girl. I'll give the salient points for context.


- We met online and hit it off immediately;

- Within two weeks we were dating as I officially asked her out grade school style (by her request) to be exclusive;

- She was cautious about sex, we didn't even sleep together until after we were official;

- She noted that she's sensitive and has trust issues as her previous boyfriend cheated on her months after buying a house together (he's now engaged to the other woman);

- Her father, and most other boyfriends, are emotionally unavailable rocks (her own words);

- Tells me her feelings are so strong for me she's scared and feels like she's too vulnerable and wants to protect herself;

- I go to a bachelor party last weekend (sending pics assuring her it was tame) and a wedding this weekend (I invited her as my +1, she declined citing it's too early) and she gets suspicious;

- Insists I'm up to no good/cheating on her and tells me she wants to run away as she typically does when "things get real";

- We have had no contact since Friday, July 29th after she hung up on me because, after asking for honesty, I said "I can still recognize beauty in other women but I look without touching" (I couldn't lie and PROMISE her I'd never look at another woman);

- She asked me to never text her again and wished me all the best...there's been no contact either way since then.


So, who am I dealing with here? I have heard about trust issues before but never experienced them until now. I am baffled by how "hot" it started and now how quickly it's crashed and burned. Does anyone have experience with self-sabotaging women? Is she pulling away to protect her heart? What's going on!?


I still care for her, I'm lonely tonight and have an air-clearing email drafted. I may call her. Perhaps go another night with no contact. Any insight into dealing with trust issues would be appreciated. I'm very conflicted about how to proceed with this one, or if I should at all.


Thanking eNA in advance...

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Unfortunately I'm feeling this is the case, too. I was hoping for some insight as to what I did wrong (if anything) or how to proceed (if at all). How could it go from fireworks to fizzle in a month?!


You didn't do anything wrong. She clearly has massive trust issues, and possibly commitment issues as well, related to her past. I had a relationship with someone with huge trust issues as well (also related to a previous cheating boyfriend); we did manage to get past the initial trust hurdles eventually, but it took an awful lot of work, a degree of self-sacrifice (and a lot of tolerance) on my side, and quite frankly I'm not sure it was really worth it. It certainly undermined the relationship in the end, and damaged my respect for her.


P.S. If you really want to get back into this, and I wouldn't recommend it, go and see her in person (if that's possible). A frank but friendly in-person conversation while holding each other is likely to have a much better outcome than an e-mail which can be read, misinterpreted and/or ignored by someone who wants to run away from the situation.

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You didn't do anything wrong, but fail to listen to what she told you in the beginning. She has not really gotten over the ex still and until she does and learns to trust herself she will not be able to trust you or anyone else. My advice would be to tell her she should probably get some therapy and focus on rebuilding her life with and for herself for a time before she tries dating again. And in the meantime you end contact and move on.


I'm sorry, but we're talking a year or more for her to do that IF she were to choose to do so, which she may well not be willing to, and in the meantime she will continue to jump at shadows and beat you down emotionally over things you didn't do to her and shouldn't even have to be reassuring her you won't do.


It went from fireworks to fizzle in month, simply because the initial hormonal rush started to wear off and you got to know each other. And her issues emerged more as she felt no need to be "up" and pretend she didn't have massive issues in the first place. Never judge a relationship by how it starts or how fast or how good it seems like it was going to be, it's when you get to know them that the truth of who a person is emerges.


Also keep in mind, and I know you don't want to hear this, but she may just be a rather controlling person who in part concocts some of what she said to start being able to control you. I say that because of the whole refusing to go to the wedding, but then starting to attack and manipulate you to not go either. That indicates more than just trust issues, that indicates some sort of issue of seeking to control you.


Regardless she is neither emotionally or mentally healthy enough to date and have a sane emotionally good relationship with, so unless you want the emotional and physical exhaustion that will come with constantly having to prove you are not like someone else through no fault of your own it's time to let this one go. I'm sorry.

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Wow, this is better conversation than I anticipated. I'm glad I turned to eNA; thank you all!


polaris: Your bit about not being sure if the effort was worth it resonated with me. I'm projecting into the future and if it's been this much work during the "honeymoon phase" I can't fathom how much more work will be required months from now. I don't deal well with uncertainty so I may ask for a chat to clear the air. I'll likely go with a sandwich method of positive – negative – positive. Something like I thought we could be great – I don't feel you're ready for a relationship as your distrust and walls are too strong – I know you're a good person who'll be happy with someone. When and how are the next questions.


reinventmyself: You sound just like my good friend when you mentioned "imagine her at her worst." This thought struck me a few times when she was telling me "I'm not allowed to work with attractive females" or "work on projects with young interns."


ParisPaulette: Thanks for the well-constructed reply. I saw the warning signs but was too smitten to acknowledge them. To her credit, she is in therapy (or was, I'm not sure). I nodded my head in agreement while reading the part about her having to pretend. You've also piqued my interest in the whole controlling part as it's something I never considered. No need to apologize, I needed to hear all of that.

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I just finished dating someone with trust issues and I naively believed him when he said he'd work on them. In some ways he did but in most ways he just got better at hiding them. Before you know it you find yourself changing your behavior and accommodating to them. Just when you think you've appeased them they raise the stakes because it's never enough.

Mistrusting people are too insecure to.discuss how it effects the relationship and that's when you realize the depth of the problem and loving them enough is never the answer.

And yes, controlling people do so out of fear and insecurity.

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To be honest it may be best to remain no contact, particularly after she texted to never contact her again. Did she block you?. Sending this sounds like sour grapes and given the insult in the middle, it won't lead to anything except breaking up after she already broke up.

- I thought we could be great – I don't feel you're ready for a relationship as your distrust and walls are too strong – I know you're a good person who'll be happy with someone.
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reinventmyself: Yours is the type of anecdote I was hoping for when I made this post. As I've never had experience with a distrusting partner before, I wanted to know what it's like down the road with them. I know it's generalizing, but what you (and others) have shared is exactly how it played out in my mind. Thank you for sharing and helping.


Wiseman2: This is a girl that turned a conversation about a coworker's firing into me sleeping with interns. Yeah, that convo took an unexpected turn! She's not ready to date, no doubt. She texted me later that night after telling me not to so I doubt I'm blocked. I'm fine with the no contact but I don't do well with uncertainty and lack of closure so I may still contact her for a final wrap up. She's ultra sensitive so I may lay off the negativity, however.

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Hey GoodFellas!


We go way back, as you reminded me, so I think I can say this to you without offending you.


You said this: "So, who am I dealing with here? I have heard about trust issues before but never experienced them until now. I am baffled by how "hot" it started and now how quickly it's crashed and burned. Does anyone have experience with self-sabotaging women? Is she pulling away to protect her heart? What's going on!?"


You are a smart guy, so the only way to go in dating is to be equally smart as you are in other aspects of your life. If you are genuinely baffled then ...


1. Don't rush things. When you are getting to know a stranger, think of it as a slow burn. If you want something that lasts, then they'll be around in 10 years right? There's not rush. Taking things slow in the beginning will help you be more observant of how compatible you are and notice any red flags coming from either of you. If you rush, you're letting the attraction take over and will ignore stuff that shouldn't be ignored.


2. Speaking of ignored ... You said (she): " Insists I'm up to no good/cheating on her and tells me she wants to run away as she typically does when "things get real"". The FIRST time you heard that, you should have gone running. She told you she's a bit of a loon. You should have said thanks for letting me know and see ya.


3. The only reason I say "should have" in the past is because it's a prototype for I still care for "should" in the future. Now, because you're lonely, you're engaged in "crazy talk" and "may call her." No, you shouldn't proceed. You should exercise some self-discipline and let your body feel the pain and grief so you can move on to something more promising.

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Ms Darcy: You're back once again with some more sage advice for me...much appreciated! As for your points, 1. I was too caught up in how awesome it all was to slow down. Lesson learned that if it's too good to be true, it likely is. 2. I KNOW! I should've heeded my own warning signs and got out then. We were on borrowed time as soon as she texted "I usually run away by now lol". 3. Thank you for talking me off the ledge. I managed to go no contact and it's empowering, I feel better for it today.


keepItReal223: I saw that even in our brief time. Like me committing to a wedding months before I knew she even existed was an issue. Not texting her affectionately was an issue. As for BPD, I'm not sure about that. I just truly think she's damaged and jaded by previous infidelity.

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A damaged (and possibly flaky) person. And it's not your responsibility to fix her. She has to do that on her own. Until she does that, I'd write this off.




You are a good guy don't let this girl bring you down. Let her fix herself and if she comes back cool..if she doesn't still cool but just know very few people actually change.

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Thanks to you all, it's becoming clear I'm not in the wrong and that no contact is the way to go. I feel at peace with this outcome, but I am still somewhat uneasy with the abruptness with which it all ended. There's a part of me that wants to let her know how her behaviour made me feel and how I'm not upset. I know she doesn't want to be distrusting, but her previous experiences have turned her into this suspicious person.


I'll have a chat with myself about wether to clear the air with her or not. As of now, I'm leaning heavily towards no contact.

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Still no contact in either direction. I feel calm, which is a definite change from 20 year old me. There's still a part of me that wants to discuss two things with her: (1) I know she's a good person who's just had bad things happen to her; and (2) let her know how her behaviour made me feel. The issue is, I don't want a relationship with her but I feel she should know these things.



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I figure why should I give them something to think about so they might be a better partner for the next one.

That's on them to figure it out.


Amen! I've concluded there will be no contact on my end from me to her. If she cares to reach out – which seems doubtful at this point – I will be amicable and share my feelings then. It all comes down to the fact that I don't want to date someone with so much suspicion and distrust. My time with her was a brief, but exhausting, tryst of trying to convince her "I'm not like those guys". I couldn't imagine a lifetime of that.


Thank you all, you're all tops in my books!

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