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He's Pulling Away After Meeting Me, I Am Losing It. Please Help Me Get Him Back!


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Sorry have only skim read all the comments...I apologise if I sound harsh or too cynical but there are many stories like yours on these forums of purely online relationships and I must say I just don't get it. I just don't understand how people only talk to someone online or by phone and never met in person, yet think they are in an actual relationship and have feelings, are in love, etc. I think if you're connecting on a lot of topics and really hitting it off in conversation, great. There can be a connection but I think unless you've been dating in person, that is a friendship, not relationship. And yes it is a fantasy.

 

To truly know a person you need to see them a lot, over a longer period of time and in different situations. Of course you can connect just through having conversations because talking online or on the phone is a neutral and safe space. There is nothing interfering that can spoil that bubble, such as, real life. Just discussing lots of deep topics only means you have similar interests and a lot to talk about. It doesn't mean you have physical chemistry or romance in so far as a relationship goes. Also yes you can look at someone's photos and objectively think they're attractive but you may not actually think they're attractive in person. A photo is two dimensional. You don't get to see that person's smile, facial expressions, body language, and so on. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong when you actually met but maybe he just wasn't feeling it.

 

Also I think maybe he wasn't really that invested in you to begin with because you were already engaged to another guy. I'm just thinking if that was me, I would not have taken you seriously. You could have just been a bit of fun to him to have interesting conversations online and on the phone.

 

I don't understand what you mean you want to get him back. He was not yours. You were not a couple. You'd never even met.

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I mean... I don't even know where to begin with all of the red flags here. The ones that stand out most are...

 

You cheated on your fiance and instead of looking at this for what it is, you look at it as something the two of you have to "work through deeply"

 

He told you he didn't like your critical comments and the fact that you constantly interrupted him during your meet up and you passed it off as you being nervous and that you were "bantering like you do with others in your life".

 

He likes to be heard and have his feelings validated, yet even after he clearly told you this I counted at least 10 instances in your follow up convo of you dismissing how he felt and trying to force him to see things your way.

 

I don't know about you but if my first meet up with someone was so clearly not aligned with my values around communication and that person was criticizing my every move during our time together, it wouldn't matter how good our online communication was I would be "stick a fork in me I am done" with that person. Cause no matter how much you deny that being the real you, that you were just nervous / anxious / insecure, I would know that those behaviors would come up again the next time you were feeling that way... and after being in an unhappy marriage for a very long time the last thing I want is to put that much energy into setting aside how I feel in order to make a relationship "work".

 

Case in point... the guy I am with now? Our communication styles are totally aligned. It's easy and fun and simple... the only real challenges are dealing with our own behaviors vs. the behaviors of the other person. In my last relationship? My ex was all about "negging"... criticizing my every move, making fun of the things I said and did (he was just joking of course), dismissing how I felt. That $hit gets old pretty fast to be honest.

 

I mean who knows what will happen down the road, maybe the guy will come back 6 months from now, maybe he is totally done. I do think if you want to make things work with him, you need to do a better job at actually hearing what he says, validating his feelings, and owning your part.

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I don't mean to throw a curveball into this—because my overall message is the same as earlier, in line with what everyone is offering, so the curveball is aimed at the same target—but I'll point out that, in healthy dating dynamics, between healthy people, there really isn't much of a sign here that he is "pulling away."

 

Keeping things simple, putting aside all the noise: You meet online, chat, plan a date. Date is so-so, but you both agree to another. Following that you are busy with a trip to DC, he's busy with life in CT: work, kid, yoga, the record scratch of a parental health scare. Still, throughout all that—a mere 5 days, a few blinks in the annals of time—you are texting pretty frequently, checking in, being kind. The last bit of communication, after all, is him texting you and you going ghost-like. You pulling away, in other words, which I think got a bit lost in the shuffle since we all got a contact high off your anxiety.

 

In another story, minus your going silent to a picture of a flower, that's all promising stuff. Not a failsafe rocket ship to Cloud 9, no, but nothing to be panicked about. But, alas, the panic is there, has been there from minute one. It was a preexisting condition, self-generated, largely, because of what Tiny has pointed out: You're anointment of him as your boyfriend, of the two of you as a couple with a once-in-a-lifetime connection and a rich shared history.

 

He played into that too, of course, engaging in the long chats earlier, the serenading you through your marriage-turned-breakup ceremony, the "hard, but good talk" about "how things are going between you two" after one dinner. But you're posting here, not him. A few months from now, a year from now, once you've allowed your spirit to settle and life to get light again, you'll be in a version of this situation but seeing it through a different lens: so-so date with a promising dude, some nice texting during a busy week, you two will likely see each other again sooner than later (but maybe not, all good). And it is from that kind of seed that real connection has even a chance of blossoming.

 

No one would be "pulling away"—not at this stage, not given these facts. It would just be two people doing a slow dance without worrying too much, which of course is what you wanted. Your words: I love our independence. I love our distance. We are in a place in our lives where we would have been able to heal a bit and date slowly, see each other a couple or a few times each month and develop something in person, slowly and naturally. This would have been lovely to me. Slow, sweet, natural flow.

 

But those words are just aspirational right now, projections on a projection. To make them real you've got to give yourself a minute to get a grip on yourself—to do some of that healing without a helping hand—so you'e not gripping him, or any man, or the idea of men, this tightly.

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Ask and you shall receive. But buckle up. I'm very much on your side while suspecting you are not going to like lot of what I'm about to say.

 

Cliff's Notes of it all: This is what it looks like when two people who are emotionally unstable in heroic ways—with you winning the blue ribbon, if I had to judge—try to connect. Basically bad news all around. If you allow yourself to do some reflecting and get to a better spot, rather than obsessing about something that is connected to a very bad spot, that will be clear as day.

 

I mean, let's just lay this out without the poetry. Had you not been unhappily engaged, which is to say deeply unhappy in a relationship that had lasted years, none of this would have ever existed. One, you wouldn't have been "accidentally" meeting a random on the internet. Two, if you somehow did, it wouldn't stick, even if it was Brad Pitt with the mental chops of Chomsky. Three, you would not have it in you to spin out this hard, this fast with someone who only existed in pixels. You were thirsty af, as the kids say, and the on-screen version of him became your thirst-quencher. You say soul-connection, I say misguided fantasy fueled by emotional cyber-infidelity.

 

Brass tacks: you were emotionally cheating on your fiancé, and in him found a way to get out of wedding you weren't really committed to. Graceless, but good in the long run. Instead of leaving it at that, however, you now want him to fill the void, and to fill it NOW NOW NOW.

 

Getting past that significant ethical snafu—because, hey, we're all humans in a crazy world—I'll be frank about the rest. There is no emotionally healthy man in the world who can absorb the tsunami-like energy you're putting out right now. He could, for a bit, because he's not too healthy himself. He's a dude reeling from a divorce, just learning how to breathe again. So he was down to play therapist and patient, as were you, and call all that oversharing vulnerability, connection, when it was more like two soldiers who met in the trenches when the war is still raging. Things that only "work" when bombs are dropping are things that do not work, you know, good as they feel when those bombs are going off.

 

But, unlike you, he seemed/seems to see it all a touch clearer—just a touch. He's basically trying to get you to just chill, but you're in no place to chill. Maybe in 6 months to a year, when you work through this manic energy. But not now. Too much thirst.

 

So: take a deep breath, pour some cold water on your face really quick. You're a hot, smart, accomplished 32-year-old woman in New York City who has gone straight-up manic panic bananas, not in a cute way, over a man you have met once. And had a so-so date with. So-so because it was not the rom-com you hoped for, and started scripting together over text. That is the story here, not Love, Actually meets The English Patient, with a salt shake of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The amount of emotional weight you are putting on the scale simply makes no sense. The scale can only crack. It's cracking now. It's cracking not because of something between you and him, but something cracking in you the predated him and you really, really want him to fix.

 

He can't. No one can, save for you. My humble advice, as a man who has gotten twisted up in this kind of thirst when I was too thirsty, is to look at this whole thing as the universe shining some lights on some holes in your ship that need your attention. With them patched up you may not be able to fall head over heels in pixels, but you'll be able to actually realize a version of the thing that, in this story, is more fantasy than anything else.

 

This is brilliant. A lot of what I was going to say, and more, but said far more effectively and eloquently than I could have.

 

This connection is not a healthy one, for you or the guy. Connections rooted in desperation, loneliness, fear, and desire to ignore unresolved issues never are. Operating from any of these spots -- never mind a combination of them -- is a recipe for disaster. Always. Like bluecastle, I've been there, and I would never want to be there again. It made a mess of me for a good six years, until the other party forced me to let go by finding someone else (and then, when that didn't work out, another someone else, and possibly a few more, including an ex he kept going back to, but none of them was me.) I had to do some profound, painful self-examination to get past it all; a lot of what I found in my examination wasn't pretty. I pretty much had to start all over again, from scratch, to put myself back together. Now, I look back, and I don't even recognize the person I was then. And, I met and later married the best guy I've ever known. It can happen, but it can't while you're embroiled in the muck of a "soul connection" that is rooted in an unhealthy place.

 

Edited to add: My signature line very aptly sums up something very important that I learned -- perhaps one of the most important things I've ever learned.

Edited by browneyedgirl36
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FRIDAY THE 6TH

 

4:07PM

HIM: Sooooo what happened

Deeets

 

SATURDAY THE 7TH

 

3:03PM

ME: Hii

Headache, meditation helping already. How are you??

 

I agree with everyone else here so far, so not getting into how I feel about the situation as a whole. But this part stuck out to me a bit. Looks like you're fading too. You never responded to his question about the interview. Was that payback for him not calling the day before?

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'In healthy dating dynamics, between healthy people....'

 

In reading this forum, this term 'healthy' gets tossed around quite a bit.

 

I cannot relate, it's such an ambiguous term, like what exactly is 'healthy' what does it mean in respect to a relationship?

 

Most of us older than 25 have been damaged in one way or another by previous partners and will bring that to next relationship, it's a given.

 

We and our partners do the best we can working within those parameters.

 

It's not healthy or unhealthy, it's just what it is.... what most of us experience.

 

The reality of relationships and of life.

 

It's generally meant as more stable, forward/positive-thinking. It's also usually a less reactive method of interpreting events. Ie. not letting things get to you so easily and remaining intact in your ideals without getting distracted.

 

In my mind it's synonymous with resiliency, resiliency represented by healing through damage, compassion, the use of humour and a desire to see positive growth in dark times.

 

Unhealthy choices are characterized by argumentativeness, negativity, deception, manipulation, aggression, passive aggressiveness and so on and so forth.

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'In healthy dating dynamics, between healthy people....'

 

In reading this forum, this term 'healthy' gets tossed around quite a bit.

 

I cannot relate, it's such an ambiguous term, like what exactly is 'healthy' what does it mean in respect to a relationship?

 

Most of us older than 25 have been damaged in one way or another by previous partners and will bring that to next relationship, it's a given.

 

We and our partners do the best we can working within those parameters.

 

It's not healthy or unhealthy, it's just what it is.... what most of us experience.

 

The reality of relationships and of life.

 

I'll take a stab at this.

 

Let's put love talk on hold for a moment, and switch to work talk. I do a job, same thing for 20 years. There have been successes and failures, good weeks and bad weeks. There has been, over time, some "damage" from it.

 

So let's say I get an assignment next week. It's hard, intimidating, but also thrillingly challenging. It's due Friday. But on Tuesday my boss tells me she needs it Thursday. My heart starts racing and, right then, I feel like a failure. I can also feel, somewhere, the ghosts of past failures—the past "damage" that I have brought into this present job.

 

Part of life, yes. Inevitable.

 

I can respond to this by throwing a lamp across the room, cursing out by boss, quitting, going out and getting drunk. That would probably be labeled unhealthy. Or I could take a deep breath, dig in, trust myself, or let my boss know that, I'm sorry, I know myself—thanks "damage," for that information!—and the soonest I can have the assignment done is Friday morning. That would be probably be called healthy.

 

I don't think it's really that much different in dating, in relationships.

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IMHO, he seemed more interested in you when you were unavailable and chatting on the phone. Once you were officially single and met in person, I’m guessing the reality of the situation hit him and for whatever reason, he’s not able or willing to make this relationship real. Some people love chasing the fantasy. It’s like a dog that chases a car, he finally bites onto the car..... then what?!

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