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I think the answer to my question is to be kind to myself, and give myself time, but here goes:

 

I decided to be single for nearly four years. I started dating again in November 2017. The only genuine connection I felt was with a woman (it was my first bisexual experience).

 

Our short-lived relationship consisted of 6 weeks of HOURS on the phone, followed by nearly 2 weeks of in-person dating with too many hours together (what's that saying, the candle that burns bright burns quickest?) I basically ignored all of the dating advice found in books about taking things slow.

 

This woman, on paper, is completely unappealing. She's on her second divorce, she has a net worth of roughly negative $100K (no assets, but student loans). Her house smelled like a barn, and that was after she spent WEEKS cleaning it in preparation for my arrival. Her dogs and cats are covered in flees.

 

Here's the somewhat long story (and I'm probably including this for more therapeutic reasons......they say journaling helps):

 

I lost my job in December. I made several trips to FL to visit a friend. I've always wanted to live here. This woman is a bisexual coworker of my friend. We hung out on each of my trips, and on my 3rd trip she was flirty with me. I realized I enjoyed her flirtiness, so called her the next day to ask her out to dinner. We weren't able to have dinner on that trip, but she began calling me and texting me once I went back home to PA. We then proceeded to spend HOURS on the phone talking.

 

She gave me plenty of red flags to work with. But I think I got caught up in the fact that she was the first woman I was going to date, and the fact that we had an intellectual connection. Like I said, we talked for HOURS on the phone. Over 20 a week, probably over 100 from April until I came back down Memorial Day Weekend.

 

She was very insecure and self-sabotaged, and I knew in my heart things shouldn't be this hard in the beginning of a relationship, so I ended things. Then my abandonment issues kicked in. I texted her on my return home to ask her how she felt about everything. She replied she had been hopeful they would work out. I then called her and said I thought we should give it another chance. She called me back and told me things she didn't like about my behavior and at the end of the call I hung up without saying goodbye. The next week I texted her again and she pointed out I basically hung up on her and she would try again but with extreme caution. Another week went by and my dog died unexpectedly. I texted her at 2 am. Called her at 12:30 pm, then asked her through text at 330 pm why she was ignoring me. I knew I was acting insecure so texted her back and said something along the lines of "my insecurity makes me selfish, I left you and ended things and you are entitled to the way you are feeling." She texted me that night and gave me her condolences but said she did not wish to continue things. That was the week after Father's Day.

 

I texted her mid-July to say we had built a pretty good friendship before we tried dating and if she was open to friendship I was willing. NO reply. (Yes I know about no contact, me and my stupid ego were probably looking for an opening)......

 

Her birthday is coming up or has already passed. I had ordered her flowers that said "You are BEAUTIFUL". But then I canceled them.

 

It was honestly only 2 months, but I'd say with the time spent on the phone and in person it was like we crammed a 6 month relationship into 2 months.

 

I know the long and short of your replies are going to be "no contact." I just wish I understood why logically my mind knows this woman and I were not good together. It was genuinely her extreme insecurity that caused us issues, and then in the end my abandonment issues got the best of me. I'm trying to practice kindness and tell myself I did the best that I could at that time, and if we were meant to be together our short relationship wouldn't have been so damn hard.

 

I guess because she was my 1st genuine connection since my last relationship in 2014, my mind is holding on????

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Yes absolutely, it is because she was your first romantic connection after 4 years.

 

Its going no where, over before it started. Part of maturity and growing in relationships is seeing clearly that things aren't working and having the self esteem to walk away with courage. The longer we stay in something that isn't working, the worse our behavior gets. I always repeat the manta to myself 'choose wisely, choose wisely'.

 

At least you had a new experience and who know what this will open up for you!

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Ditto the above, which is to say ditto your own wise analysis.

 

There is hardly a relationship in the world that is not built upon ignoring a red flag or two (or three or twelve) so don't beat yourself up. My pet theory is that the more we ignore the little voice in our head that says "um, no," the harder it is to process the loss when that voice proves to be impossible to ignore.

 

We get a little hooked on making something work, then a little hooked on wondering why it didn't work, because it's easier than looking in the mirror and going: what the hell am I doing? Our identity as a mature, evolved, with-in human being gets momentarily shattered, and we look to repair it by keeping things going and/or dwelling on them once the house of cards has collapsed. Been there!

 

Ultimately we're just looking to connect, to feel things. And the thing about a kind of toxic connection—which, from what you wrote, this was—is that the toxicity produces a lot of feeling. It's addictive. It's drama impersonating depth, or a shortcut to depth. A rollercoaster ride posing as a journey.

 

You had an experience, though, and that's real, important, and has informed you. Accept that, but let go of the source material so the real information can seep in. That's where we grow—taking with us the good, learning from the not good—and moving forward with a more finely tuned radar.

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Thanks, I had a feeling that was the reason. I've struggled with self esteem, been working on it but clearly need more work.

 

Yes absolutely, it is because she was your first romantic connection after 4 years.

 

Its going no where, over before it started. Part of maturity and growing in relationships is seeing clearly that things aren't working and having the self esteem to walk away with courage. The longer we stay in something that isn't working, the worse our behavior gets. I always repeat the manta to myself 'choose wisely, choose wisely'.

 

At least you had a new experience and who know what this will open up for you!

 

The toxic part making it harder to move on makes perfect sense!!!!

 

Ditto the above, which is to say ditto your own wise analysis.

 

There is hardly a relationship in the world that is not built upon ignoring a red flag or two (or three or twelve) so don't beat yourself up. My pet theory is that the more we ignore the little voice in our head that says "um, no," the harder it is to process the loss when that voice proves to be impossible to ignore.

 

We get a little hooked on making something work, then a little hooked on wondering why it didn't work, because it's easier than looking in the mirror and going: what the hell am I doing? Our identity as a mature, evolved, with-in human being gets momentarily shattered, and we look to repair it by keeping things going and/or dwelling on them once the house of cards has collapsed. Been there!

 

Ultimately we're just looking to connect, to feel things. And the thing about a kind of toxic connection—which, from what you wrote, this was—is that the toxicity produces a lot of feeling. It's addictive. It's drama impersonating depth, or a shortcut to depth. A rollercoaster ride posing as a journey.

 

You had an experience, though, and that's real, important, and has informed you. Accept that, but let go of the source material so the real information can seep in. That's where we grow—taking with us the good, learning from the not good—and moving forward with a more finely tuned radar.

 

I agree 100%. What I've decided for the future is that I need to go no contact even if I'm the one ending things. I ended things because it was the right thing to do....then my fear of abandonment and fear that this is my last shot at love kicked in. Logically I know that even if I'm with someone a year or several years but they decide they no longer want to be with me, I need to be ok with that. But I don't handle break ups with dignity of self respect at all. So if I feel my emotions getting the best of me, no contact is the best bet.

 

Yeah, I agree with the above posts. I would also add that you exhibited a lot of clingy-ness and co-dependency in your refusal to let go of this relationship so you need to work on that too.

 

Thanks for the feedback. Like I said, I'm not in emotional pain, but I think about her EVERY DAY, A LOT, and was trying to understand why.

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Here's a little challenge, or exercise. When you think about her "every day" try to push yourself a touch further and ask what you're REALLY thinking about in this moments. Because the feeling I get is that it's really you. Accept that what's at play here is your ego more than your heart.

 

You know the answers. She's an intellectually compelling woman who brought out of a side of your sexuality you hadn't seen before, which is not nothing. Lessons there, and fun. That's the great stuff. Bit she's also a deeply insecure adult who lives in a hovel, can't manage her finances, can't take care of pets, is reckless with emotions (2nd divorce), and seeks power through petty emotional manipulation. Intellectual prowess aside, your first post could have described a teenager. Point being, she doesn't give you nearly enough, is nowhere near your level.

 

So those thoughts? They are just about you, really, not her. She's a stand-in, a proxy. What you're trying to understand is not her—that you understand—but yourself. Which is great. But call it what it is, and the myth loses power.

 

I hope I don't sound preachy. I'm right alongside you. My ex is a giant red flag, and I knew more or less from day one that we weren't on the same level. That's not to say I'm higher, or she's lower—just different. And yet I spent three years with her. The sex was really revelatory, and the power dynamic tilted in my favor for the whole time, which of course I liked, until she went about trying to change that in very reckless and hurtful ways. And I obsessed about her for a while, because it was a lot easier than just calling it all what it was. I needed it to be more complicated, because that soothed my ego. But when you let go of that, it's all just...whatever.

 

She altered your path a bit. Cherish that and celebrate it. Maybe your next person is a woman. Maybe your forever person is a woman. Maybe your next person is a man, and you can connect to him in a way you haven't before, because you your connection with a woman. What fun, all of that! But the only way to access all that fun is to let go of this chapter.

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Thanks, I'm really going to ponder this. I am grateful for the short time we spent together and the lessons I learned. I know I did the best I could at that time, and I've been working on myself so next time my best will be better. And I know not to get so swept up that I ignore red flags. She gave me plenty to work with. If she were a man I would have broken things off within 2 weeks. And that's not my ego speaking, it's me being clear headed.

 

I really want to ponder your post and look inside.

 

Here's a little challenge, or exercise. When you think about her "every day" try to push yourself a touch further and ask what you're REALLY thinking about in this moments. Because the feeling I get is that it's really you. Accept that what's at play here is your ego more than your heart.

 

You know the answers. She's an intellectually compelling woman who brought out of a side of your sexuality you hadn't seen before, which is not nothing. Lessons there, and fun. That's the great stuff. Bit she's also a deeply insecure adult who lives in a hovel, can't manage her finances, can't take care of pets, is reckless with emotions (2nd divorce), and seeks power through petty emotional manipulation. Intellectual prowess aside, your first post could have described a teenager. Point being, she doesn't give you nearly enough, is nowhere near your level.

 

So those thoughts? They are just about you, really, not her. She's a stand-in, a proxy. What you're trying to understand is not her—that you understand—but yourself. Which is great. But call it what it is, and the myth loses power.

 

I hope I don't sound preachy. I'm right alongside you. My ex is a giant red flag, and I knew more or less from day one that we weren't on the same level. That's not to say I'm higher, or she's lower—just different. And yet I spent three years with her. The sex was really revelatory, and the power dynamic tilted in my favor for the whole time, which of course I liked, until she went about trying to change that in very reckless and hurtful ways. And I obsessed about her for a while, because it was a lot easier than just calling it all what it was. I needed it to be more complicated, because that soothed my ego. But when you let go of that, it's all just...whatever.

 

She altered your path a bit. Cherish that and celebrate it. Maybe your next person is a woman. Maybe your forever person is a woman. Maybe your next person is a man, and you can connect to him in a way you haven't before, because you your connection with a woman. What fun, all of that! But the only way to access all that fun is to let go of this chapter.

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In quick relationships like this, it's not so much about letting go of the person, it's letting go of the fantasies you created 'about' the person.

 

Once you smacked into reality, your inclination was to break away. Hold onto that, and allow it to drive your behavior. Set rewarding goals for your yourself to move TOWARD rather than continually fighting a feeling of moving away from fantasy. Understand that dis-illusion-ment is painful, but it's necessary in order to avoid living in your head. Fantasy is expensive, because it deprives you of the real life joys you could be living instead.

 

Most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's just natural odds. We each hold unique value, but we need to recognize that value in ourselves in order to build resilience against the limited capacity of most others to view us through the right lens. Think of singles as each carrying a unique puzzle piece to hold up to those of others to see if there's a fit. In most cases, it's not a match, but that doesn't devalue any given puzzle piece--it just means that trying to force a fit will harm the whole outcome of your picture.

 

It's important to screen out wrong matches to avoid forcing a fit. Consider an exercise of using online dating apps to teach yourself a patient 'needle in a haystack' approach to dating. You can set up quick coffee meets with potential dates on your way home from work on certain evenings. If someone stands you up, just take your coffee with you, and no loss. Otherwise, rules are that you spend 20 or so minutes asking and answering questions to check one another out. Neither can corner the other on the spot to set a 'real' date, but either can contact the other afterward with an invite. If the answer is yes, the other responds, and if not, no response is necessary.

 

Exposure to screening many people will disabuse you of the idea that you 'must' fully invest in everyone you've flirted with just to avoid missing some mythical LAST lifetime opportunity at love. With millions of people in the world, you'll stumble across great simpatico every now and then, and there's your next stab at dating. But it's not an all-or-nothing deal. Not every match is your destiny, and not every pass is your LAST opportunity for love.

 

The only way to 'normalize' dating is exposure. Normalizing is important to avoid latching onto lousy matches just because your isolation has cemented a belief in scarcity. Disabuse yourself of that conditioning, and you'll learn mature discretion and careful selection without allowing fantasies to be your driver.

 

Head high, we all live and learn.

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Wow, just wow! Your words are so powerful and helpful!

I think you might have even said something on another post I found helpful and texted it to myself...

 

When a relationship doesn't work despite our best efforts, that's usually a sign that we're trying to force a fit. That's not only a dismal wheelspin, it delays us from finding the right match.

 

Thanks, this is very helpful...

 

In quick relationships like this, it's not so much about letting go of the person, it's letting go of the fantasies you created 'about' the person.

 

Once you smacked into reality, your inclination was to break away. Hold onto that, and allow it to drive your behavior. Set rewarding goals for your yourself to move TOWARD rather than continually fighting a feeling of moving away from fantasy. Understand that dis-illusion-ment is painful, but it's necessary in order to avoid living in your head. Fantasy is expensive, because it deprives you of the real life joys you could be living instead.

 

Most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's just natural odds. We each hold unique value, but we need to recognize that value in ourselves in order to build resilience against the limited capacity of most others to view us through the right lens. Think of singles as each carrying a unique puzzle piece to hold up to those of others to see if there's a fit. In most cases, it's not a match, but that doesn't devalue any given puzzle piece--it just means that trying to force a fit will harm the whole outcome of your picture.

 

It's important to screen out wrong matches to avoid forcing a fit. Consider an exercise of using online dating apps to teach yourself a patient 'needle in a haystack' approach to dating. You can set up quick coffee meets with potential dates on your way home from work on certain evenings. If someone stands you up, just take your coffee with you, and no loss. Otherwise, rules are that you spend 20 or so minutes asking and answering questions to check one another out. Neither can corner the other on the spot to set a 'real' date, but either can contact the other afterward with an invite. If the answer is yes, the other responds, and if not, no response is necessary.

 

Exposure to screening many people will disabuse you of the idea that you 'must' fully invest in everyone you've flirted with just to avoid missing some mythical LAST lifetime opportunity at love. With millions of people in the world, you'll stumble across great simpatico every now and then, and there's your next stab at dating. But it's not an all-or-nothing deal. Not every match is your destiny, and not every pass is your LAST opportunity for love.

 

The only way to 'normalize' dating is exposure. Normalizing is important to avoid latching onto lousy matches just because your isolation has cemented a belief in scarcity. Disabuse yourself of that conditioning, and you'll learn mature discretion and careful selection without allowing fantasies to be your driver.

 

Head high, we all live and learn.

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When a relationship doesn't work despite our best efforts, that's usually a sign that we're trying to force a fit. That's not only a dismal wheelspin, it delays us from finding the right match.

 

Thanks, this is very helpful...

 

Exactly.

 

The "negative $100K" would have put her on the backburner for me....but when your heart is overpowering your sense of logic, its easy to make the assumption that its not going to be a big deal and that "you're going to make it work no matter what..."

 

I also agree with CatFeeder that the more experience you gain with screening typically leads to a faster analytical/less emotional process of filtering out people who have what you want/scream that they have issues. However, having the experience of removing yourself from the dating pool says that you have the strength to make it on your own and that you aren't dependent on others for your happiness.

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This thread ponders and tackles a lot of these same issues. https://www.enotalone.com/forum/showthread.php?t=554153&p=7049147&viewfull=1#post7049147

I decided to be single for nearly four years. I started dating again in November 2017. The only genuine connection I felt was with a woman (it was my first bisexual experience).

 

Our short-lived relationship consisted of 6 weeks of HOURS on the phone, followed by nearly 2 weeks of in-person dating with too many hours together (what's that saying, the candle that burns bright burns quickest?) I basically ignored all of the dating advice found in books about taking things slow

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I actually told myself as I got to know her better we were going to have to discuss her finances because that was a big deal to me. She drinks wine daily and gets her nails done, but pays her rent late. She also owns and pays for horses that she never spends time with. And she's9 years older than me. She has been separated 2 years but isn't divorced because she can't afford a lawyer.

 

She's 51 and has no money saved for retirement because she took it out for a house that ended up being foreclosed.

 

Exactly.

 

The "negative $100K" would have put her on the backburner for me....but when your heart is overpowering your sense of logic, its easy to make the assumption that its not going to be a big deal and that "you're going to make it work no matter what..."

 

I also agree with CatFeeder that the more experience you gain with screening typically leads to a faster analytical/less emotional process of filtering out people who have what you want/scream that they have issues. However, having the experience of removing yourself from the dating pool says that you have the strength to make it on your own and that you aren't dependent on others for your happiness.

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In quick relationships like this, it's not so much about letting go of the person, it's letting go of the fantasies you created 'about' the person.

 

Once you smacked into reality, your inclination was to break away. Hold onto that, and allow it to drive your behavior. Set rewarding goals for your yourself to move TOWARD rather than continually fighting a feeling of moving away from fantasy. Understand that dis-illusion-ment is painful, but it's necessary in order to avoid living in your head. Fantasy is expensive, because it deprives you of the real life joys you could be living instead.

 

Most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's just natural odds. We each hold unique value, but we need to recognize that value in ourselves in order to build resilience against the limited capacity of most others to view us through the right lens. Think of singles as each carrying a unique puzzle piece to hold up to those of others to see if there's a fit. In most cases, it's not a match, but that doesn't devalue any given puzzle piece--it just means that trying to force a fit will harm the whole outcome of your picture.

 

It's important to screen out wrong matches to avoid forcing a fit. Consider an exercise of using online dating apps to teach yourself a patient 'needle in a haystack' approach to dating. You can set up quick coffee meets with potential dates on your way home from work on certain evenings. If someone stands you up, just take your coffee with you, and no loss. Otherwise, rules are that you spend 20 or so minutes asking and answering questions to check one another out. Neither can corner the other on the spot to set a 'real' date, but either can contact the other afterward with an invite. If the answer is yes, the other responds, and if not, no response is necessary.

 

Exposure to screening many people will disabuse you of the idea that you 'must' fully invest in everyone you've flirted with just to avoid missing some mythical LAST lifetime opportunity at love. With millions of people in the world, you'll stumble across great simpatico every now and then, and there's your next stab at dating. But it's not an all-or-nothing deal. Not every match is your destiny, and not every pass is your LAST opportunity for love.

 

The only way to 'normalize' dating is exposure. Normalizing is important to avoid latching onto lousy matches just because your isolation has cemented a belief in scarcity. Disabuse yourself of that conditioning, and you'll learn mature discretion and careful selection without allowing fantasies to be your driver.

 

Head high, we all live and learn.

 

Had to save this for myself as this hits home very deeply. Amazing advice!

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I am done with her....I just wish I could stop thinking of her. I'm not sad or depressed, I don't sit and intentionally think of her and the memories, but she'll pop into my head randomly throughout the day. I also feel like those thoughts of her are stopping me from moving on. It was a 2 month thing, we ended things in June so apart now longer than I knew her. And I totally get we were in the honeymoon phase and I didn't even know her.

 

But of course we had great chemistry, and she was my first romantic/intellectual connection. So I feel like my mind doesn't want to let go of her.

 

I know I should feel blessed that I'm not in emotional pain, and I do, but I hate that she pops into my head. I think that I also (deep down inside) thought if I went no contact I'd hear from her again.

 

So LOGICALLY, in my head, I know we weren't good for one another, that I should move on, that my ending things was for the best. But my emotions or heart or whatever want to hold on.

 

I read a great book months back, The Untethered Soul, and I know it's all ego...........I just wish I could get rid of those thoughts.

 

She is a house on fire. Be done with her.
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