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How can I make this work?


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Long post, hopefully it's in the right section. It's a long one, sorry, and thanks in advance. I am 29M in the US, she is 29F with a 10yo daughter in the UK.


Back in March, I joined a messaging app because I saw that it was being used a lot in hook ups and other things. I wanted to try out a FWB type thing. I wanna preface that I've never been one for hookups. I have been in two LTRs and never any hookups or flings or what not. Me being on this app alone is pretty unlike me. Anyway, I joined this group for flirting and meeting people to sext with, and made some friends. I didn't really participate in sexting or anything, I just never clicked with anyone like that. But I was good friends with the European crowd since I was a night owl, and the time difference helped us be in touch.


Anyway, come April the girl in question joins. We'll call her H. She comes in with a storm, beautiful as ever. We're friendly in the group but never really talk much besides that. She definitely seems like the type that is way out of my league and would have nothing to do with me. She's gorgeous, dresses well, is very flirty and aggressive, and I'm basically this nerdy loser. We flirted and joked around some but that was about it. On my birthday, she direct messages me to say happy birthday. I talked with her a little bit, and we kinda just kept going. We talked about everything, she opened up to me about her past (DV, two partners), having a daughter, and much more. I opened up about my past and who I was, some of my flaws. After a week or so things turn sexual, so we kinda started off quick.


Not long into this arrangement, we have a talk where we both indicate we have a crush on each other. Looking back, we already both liked each other, but she made me promise to tell her if that was the case because she didn't want to get hurt. Fast forward some more, we admit we like each other, but decide to keep it going. We keep talking about our dreams and our lives, sexting and flirting. We get along great. In June, someone who lived close to me joined our group and immediately became aggressive with flirting with me. For the most part I fended her off. However, H's phone broke while I was traveling for work. Stupid me thought that she had gotten cold feet about everything, or maybe found someone who lived close to her and was going to date him. I held out for a couple days, but eventually succumbed. I believe this is where everything went to , and it's still early in our story.


I flirted a bit with this new girl, A, for a while. I didn't really send her anything like I did H. The time while H's phone was broken, she used her friend's phone to watch the group chat and saw me and A flirting. Once her phone was fixed, she got upset with me, told me that I was cheating on her. I apologized to her profusely, kept trying to make it right. We argued for a few days, but eventually I called it off. In my mind, we never were in a relationship. She didn't know my last name. We never said we were exclusive. But she still thought I was cheating on her. So I called it off, told her to stop talking to me. She took some cheap shots at me in the group, but that was it.


A couple of weeks later, she messaged me saying she missed me, that she wants me back, to start again. I again apologized to her for what happened, and we seemed okay from there. We talked like normal, got along okay. We had some fights or arguments because of what happened, because she was insecure that I was still chatting with A. I assured her I wasn't, that I called it off with A (I had), and that was that. Not much later there was a falling out with A in the group, so she left. Gone and gone.


In August, H told me she loved me. At first I thought she had misspoken, that she meant it differently. Her English isn't the best. But she did it again a couple of days later. I told her that I was sorry, I wasn't ready to say it yet which upset her. I was on vacation with a friend of mine for a week, so we weren't able to talk as much. She made it known that she missed me, was upset that we couldn't talk as much. A couple of times she even deleted my texts instead of reading them. She wouldn't explain why. A few days later, I told her that I loved her too. I really did. We wanted the same things in life. We talked about a dream house, and kids. She didn't want to get married or have kids (besides her 10yo) before she met me, but she wanted to do those things with me, and I wanted them with her.


In the middle of August, a girl I was kind of friends with in the group chat was coming to my city. We talked in the group about hanging out, grabbing a drink, and decided to talk privately about it. I thought that talking about it in the group would be enough, so I never mentioned it to H. Not to mention she had some insecurities and everything, and this girl wasn't sure she could even meet up. So I didn't say anything to her so that she wouldn't potentially worry over nothing. Needless to say, we did eventually meet up, we grabbed dinner and drinks. This was purely a platonic encounter for both of us. The day after, I told H about the girl's visit and she flipped. We fought for days, me trying to explain that nothing happened and there was nothing wrong.


She said some things to try and anger me, push me away, but I kept holding on. She felt betrayed, that I played her insecurities. I understand what I did was wrong. I should have told her, even if nothing was going to or did happen. I think she blocked me like 3 times but unblocked me to keep arguing. I swear this fight lasted like a week. Eventually, I sent my final message. I apologized, professed my love for her, reassured her nothing happened. She came back later that day, wanting us to work.


These two incidents I think re-wired how I handled things. I became incredibly insecure and paranoid. If I felt like things were going wrong, I would immediately go into panic mode. The nature of our group was for sexting, and she is very open about what she shares with people, whereas I'm not. Some of the things on her Instagram or Snapchat are very provocative and sexual. Sometimes at night I would practically right a book in texts to her because I was so scared of losing her. I could feel her pulling away, so I would go into panic mode and just go nuts. In retrospect, it's a miracle she stuck it out that long.


In early September, I officially asked her to be my girlfriend. She said yes. We were working through our , or so I thought. A few days later, she sent me a video that she shouldn't have sent anyone (very dirty), but I could tell it was from the group chat app instead of WhatsApp. I called her on it, she denied it. Then, a couple days later, the guy she sent it to started talking about it and I flipped. I couldn't believe it, after everything. I felt so betrayed. I asked her why, she said it was "sweet sweet revenge". That I never cared about her, that I was just a big liar. That Loyalty was everything to her. I blocked her on everything. She even used her daughter's phone to try and text me. I was beside myself that night.


The next day, a friend from the group advised me to just talk to her. I did. She told me that she was sorry, that she did it to get my attention. To make me understand how she felt when I had my thing with A. It became apparent that H already was in love with me, even back then. She told me that that guy meant nothing to her, she just wanted to make me jealous. That she was trying to get over the thing with A, but that other girl ed it all up. That she wanted to be equal and fight our problems together. She sent me screenshots to prove that that was all that happened. She banned and blocked the guy. We agreed that we loved each other, and that I would forgive this because she forgave me, and we continued on.


We worked through these issues, and a week later, I booked a flight to go see her. I think this stressed us both out a lot. I became even more insecure and paranoid, and taking it out on her. And she in turn became more distant. Somehow we managed to hold it together to the trip. The first 4 days were great. Not as much time together as I wanted, but she's a single mom and not ready to bring me into her life. She also had to push back plans we made because she forgot other plans she had with her aunt. I made some comments about tinder still being on her phone, and she told me she just couldn't be bothered to delete it. And i made a couple of comments about how many notifications she gets. She also caught me watching her text. More paranoia.


On day 5, I tried to walk her home from my hotel. I said I wanted to get food, so I would walk with her. We stopped halfway because that's as far as she wanted to go with me. I asked twice to let me walk her all the way, and she said no. I said okay okay, and then she turned to leave. I followed her 5 feet, saying "hey wait" so I could give her a kiss goodbye. When I got back to my hotel, I apologized for how I acted. she told me that I had reminded her of her stalker when I did that. We talked some, and the topic turned to the plans for the next day. We had made plans, but suddenly she couldn't commit, saying she needed to spend time with her daughter. I said ok, that's fine. The next day I tried to confirm with her any plans and she said she just needed some me time. I got angry because she should have told me that in the first place, but said that's okay, I'll do something else. Well, something else turned into me being an insecure idiot and writing a bunch of stuff to her.


We argued a bit. I told her I felt like she didn't want to see me. She said she did and didn't. We argued, she said she needed time. The next day I tried to meet up. She told me that being together was too much pressure, that she's not ready for this, that it felt like I was smothering her. I... I went nuts guys, I'm ashamed to admit. I asked her if she still loved me but she refused to answer the question. This set me off, I kept texting her that it should be easy to answer. She accidentally called me, so I kept trying to call her back. 8 or 9 times. Every time she hung up. I kept pressuring her for answers and she kept pulling away. Telling me I'm not respecting her. Eventually I gave up, and decided to not talk to her for a couple of days (4 days left on my trip)


The next day we texted briefly. She checked in on me. That night, she broke up with me via text. Telling me that my paranoia, insecurity, and clinginess was too much. That she loves her freedom more, that she doesn't trust me. That she loves being with her friends. That she's not ready for a relationship. I told her that I understand. I told her that in a healthy relationship where I'm not too clingy, she can be free to live her life, to see her friends. But she wouldn't have any of it. I tried to take it with grace. She said she was sad that it had to end like this. I told her it didn't. After some discussion, and probable misinterpretation from me, we agreed to start over as friends. "I don't wanna lose you. As a friend. I need you in my life somehow" was said. We both agreed we need each other in our lives. We agreed that we would keep having sex, we would be friends, we would be exclusive, but we wouldn't be in a relationship anymore. But she told me I should see other people. That if I want to, I just need to tell her. I told her she should do the same, even though I don't want her to. I still am madly in love with her.


We meet up the next two nights, and everything seems normal. We kiss, we hug, we cuddle, we have sex. We even tell each other we love each other. The day I leave, I gave her my jacket with an "I love you" note hidden in it. She found it after she left. The next week was full of "I miss you sooo much" and "I love you" from both of us. Talking a lot. Being apart physically hurt. We both kept busy to not hurt as much. (I came back home 3 weeks ago).


We don't talk much, slowly she seems to be pulling away, but I give her space. I just text her good mornings and good nights with an I love you. We talk a little bit in between. Then she starts ignoring texts all day. Ignoring questions, not responding to texts, pulling away. I remind her that everything's okay. I love her. She has an incident with an ex (non-previous DV) last week where he basically beat her, so I think that triggered some PTSD. She told me about what happened, and I talked to her about it for a while, until her friend came over.


The next couple of days, she becomes increasingly distant, and says she just needs time. I keep up the good mornings and good nights, the I love yous. Her responses become "u too" to the goodnight i love yous.. Last Tuesday I asked her to say "I love you too" back and she did, and she said I love you a couple hours after that. This past weekend, we don't talk at all until Sunday, where she finally tells me that she needs space and time. That it's been hard since I left and then what happened with her ex. I asked if she wanted me to stop the I love you and the good morning/night texts. She said yes. So I commit to not talking to her until she's ready on Sunday night.


I talk to our mutual friend about this, who has helped us out a lot. He shows me some texts from her, saying "I am kinda pushing him away. Because I hate the distance. I hate feelings. I have more important things to concentrate on right now"

I, being the insecure idiot I am, panic and start texting him all my panic. That I think she's using this distance/time to just fade away from me. I say some other things to him, about what I think is really going on. That she's scared, that she's afraid to be with me because of her past, like that. He shows her everything today (monday).


She texts me saying

"the way you're moving all paranoid. I don't think its going to work out. Stop bothering E (our friend). It's too much. You're delusional. I cant be with someone like that I already have enough stress in my life. I told u we are friends to start from the beginninng. And you still didn't respect that. I can't and don't want to be with you. I hope you udnerstand. It's too much for me."


I tell her good bye, that I'm sorry for anything. She wishes me the best. I tell her the same, that I just wanted her to be happy and that I was sorry for being so scared and immature. For being paranoid. I tell her to take care of herself and her daugther, that she is so much more than she thinks she is. And maybe with enough time we could be friends, but clearly not now. She replied that "it's fair enough. that you don't wanna talk to me anymore.


I tell her that I do, that I want to be friends, but I can't just turn off my feelings. I told her that I started freaking out because our friend told me he thought she was going to ghost me. I ask her what she wants to do. If she wants to go away forever I will. Or if she wants to be friends, we can. She says "friends yea i don't mind". So we clarify what I was doing that was wrong "the i love yous and the goodmorning/goodnight daily". I ask if this is really what she wants to do. If it's not that's okay.


I ask if she wants to go back to being just friends, before we had feelings for each other and all of that. If she wants us to be friends with no love, no feelings. She reads it but doesn't reply.

I text her again, saying that I can't be friends without love and feelings. Not yet. That if I try to force it now, that I'll be the friend that loves her in secret. Getting hurt by her living her life as she wants, and getting mad at her for it, hurting her in turn. And that the same will happen to her if she still loves me. I tell her that I need some time, that I should go away for a while. And I commit in my mind to not talk to her for a week.




So there's our story. We love each other. We both want to get married to each other, have a life, etc. I know she's not ready and I'm not either. Not this insecure paranoid me. I've never been this way in my other relationships, but I've also never wanted to spend my life with them. I realize that when she first told me while in the UK that she wants to be friends again, that I didn't really do that. I took it as a break. I didn't kill the relationship off. She even told our friend that the way we were going it was never going to work. That we needed to end it to start fresh.


I'm worried that today's incident has ruined that. Honestly it doesn't even sound like she wants to be friends. I believe that she loves me still. But I don't know what I can do to make it work. Honestly, I know that there is no "it" in regards to a relationship right now. Because she's not ready for one, and neither am I. But I don't want our love to die. I want us to be together in the long run. I love this girl with all my heart.

Our friend pointed out that I am in a different place than her in regards to how much we love each other and what we can cope with and do in regards to our love. (I love yous, good morning, good night, etc). That I am going too fast. That I'm at an 11 and she's at a 4 on the love-volume. It frustrates me because she was going just as fast as I am, if not faster, until the paranoia and everything kicked in.


How can I reconcile this so that when we're both ready, we can be together again. What should I do? How can I deal with my paranoia and my insecurities?

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Whoa! This is all ridiculous. Despite the both of you being able to meet up and have sex, this is not a real relationship. This is an online relationship. It's a fantasy within your minds. This is the way two people who are afraid to have a real relationship have a fictional relationship. I think you found that out when you did meet up. The fantasy relationship your "gf" was having in her mind didn't meet up with the reality. And you were basically a stranger. She's not going to bring you home to her kids. And you don't even know for sure if she's living with someone. The times when she's difficult to reach might be when she's out on dates or having her local boyfriend over. And even if this isn't happening, she seems she has a lot going on in her life and you were just someplace her mind could go to relax or escape.


You should forget this girl and find "A" again and go out on real dates, and fully experience what a real relationship is like. There is so much more to a relationship than what you've been doing. You're getting older and you probably want to have someone real to be close to and curl up with. Use the Internet to find other people, but don't use it to have a relationship.

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This is such a mess, OP. You are getting way, way ahead of yourself. You have got caught up in a fantasy. Why are you involved in something like this?


You two are on different continents, she was proclaiming love before she even met you and yet sending dirty videos to other guys while claiming you were "cheating", jerks you around and leads you to believe there is something wrong with you, bails on seeing you when you've actually spent the time and money going to see her. Marriage? You have never even been to her house, as far as I understand. You have never met her daughter. Marriage shouldn't even be on the table, given that you really hardly know her. This isn't love, my friend. It's a very unhealthy dependency, and you deserve a lot more.


I am not even convinced this woman is actually single.


I don't mean to be harsh, OP, but you need a very swift reality check - for your own good.

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This is such a mess, OP. You are getting way, way ahead of yourself. You have got caught up in a fantasy. Why are you involved in something like this?


You two are on different continents, she was proclaiming love before she even met you and yet sending dirty videos to other guys while claiming you were "cheating", jerks you around and leads you to believe there is something wrong with you, bails on seeing you when you've actually spent the time and money going to see her. Marriage? You have never even been to her house, as far as I understand. You have never met her daughter. Marriage shouldn't even be on the table, given that you really hardly know her. This isn't love, my friend. It's a very unhealthy dependency, and you deserve a lot more.


I am not even convinced this woman is actually single.


I don't mean to be harsh, OP, but you need a very swift reality check - for your own good.



I never intended for any of this to happen when I started up on this app or group. Honestly, it wasn't for me and I shouldn't have ever gotten on it. But I did, I made some friends, so I stuck around. I hit it off with this girl and things kinda just went from there. I know that she has a lot of issues. She admits that she's ed up, but I don't think she does anything about it. She was a victim of domestic violence in 2 of her 3 relationships, and the third one even did hit her after they broke up when she tried to get some stuff.


Her mom and daughter live with her. I know that she is single. Even her last ex, who she dated for 11 months, was never allowed near her house or daughter. She firmly believes that she shouldn't bring men around the house because of her daughter. She explained why, and I understand and respect that. I didn't meet her daughter, other than a couple of brief times on some video calls we had in the past.


I think that me being clingy/needy, and all paranoid about who she was texting is what caused her to pull away when I was actually there. And the incident that reminded me of a stalker she had.


And I do believe there is something wrong with me. I shouldn't feel so insecure or needy or clingy or paranoid. It feels like I am obsessed with her. That I am trying to make up for the distance by over communicating, being overly clingy, overly loving. By obsessing. My last LTRs didn't work out. The first (11mo) I believe now something similar happened, where I gave up who I was and turned into this other person that revolved around her. She fell out of love for me but made me break up with her. The second (3 yrs), this probably happened, but because she worked night shifts, I was able to act like I still had my own life and my own person. I think that this time around, I was defining myself based on us, rather than letting us both live our own lives and being our own people.


I'm not saying what happened is entirely my fault, because definitely she has some fault too. But I think a lot of her desire to pull away and the way she acted was as a response to my actions. When we first met I wasn't like this. I wasn't jealous or paranoid. But suddenly there was an us that was on the line, and I was afraid to lose that. It doesn't help that she's very open with her body. She has no issues posting photos of her breasts on her snap story for her friends, but just covering the nipples. Or sending a guy friend of hers a video of her smoking a joint while laying in bed in her underwear and a shirt. And knowing that she is okay with that, and sending that to other people makes me jealous. I always grew up believing that that kind of thing is for you and your partner. But she grew up and believes differently. She is more open that I am. But I think this contributes greatly to my jealousy and my paranoia.

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