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Is she seeing my iPhone messages?


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It seems odd to post this under 'breakups" because this all happened so quickly. I'm a man in my early 50s, divorced about 10 years. But I haven't really dated in more than 3 years. The woman in this story is about half my age.




Last year, I met a woman who was on vacation from another country. We exchanged details and I tried to meet up with her, but she was visiting over Thanksgiving and she left before we could meet up. But we did keep in touch digitally.


Within the past few weeks, something amazing happened. Well, I kind of know what happened and it turned out to be all my fault that it ended so quickly.


I have a binge-drinking problem and at first, I would send her flattering messages when I was only buzzed, and I guess that encouraged her to respond to my compliments. Then we got to the point of really saying that we were both interested in each other. Things got very hot very fast, which was great for me but must have also overwhelmed me since I had not had such an exciting experience in years. So things got out of hand, partly because I've started to binge-drink more since things got tough at my job. For some time now I have felt like I'm always playing catch-up at work, never knowing enough, which in turn makes me feel like a loser and not too confident with the ladies I see in person (and too often I see them at bars).


At one point, just when things were still going great (that is, she liked me too and I now know had given me slack on my earlier drunk messages), I sent her a long, bizarre barrage of drunk texts, 5-6 at a time, and eventually she told me she didn't feel the same anymore and needed space. Well, I did it one more time and she has not responded since.


I've been devastated for the past week since I did this and inconsolable since she stopped responding to me. I realize that this was all my fault, which makes my remorse and regret even worse. And I did it in a way that must have been so hurtful to her right when I knew that for the first time in years a woman I found beautiful was also into me. And I ruined it almost literally overnight. So I have little hope of ever hearing from her again. But I am still at the what-if stage of denial, so I have a question in case anyone has the answer.


I know I screwed up, and bad, but I also know I really, really, really enjoyed the time she and I spent communicating with each other, and I miss it so much each day right before the voice in my head says, "Gee I wonder why it's still not going on." I cried over 3 days straight and may again tonight. It hurts, even physically.


I know a couple of things she did to block or delete me. But I sent her a couple of final (I hope not final, but you know) messages that say "Delivered" under them. One which says I had started a 30-day no drinking challenge in the hopes that she would know that I am communicating with her while I am sober. I'm only on day 3 but I will stick with it. And, truly, this behavior happens only when I get really drunk.


I searched this "Delivered" message behavior and apparently "Delivered" does not show when someone blocks your number. So I thought, that can't be right. Why would she not block my number? I also learned that on iPhones read receipts are off by default, so I am wondering, did she get my messages? Or did she route them straight to the trash? Or did she change her number and my messages went to a total stranger? Or is she somehow still considering replying to me?


That uncertainty is killing me, but I also know it is the last little thread I am clinging to. My dream is that she would see my message about stopping drinking and that might somehow convince her that we can try again. We live in different parts of the world so there is that too, of course, but that didn't mean we did not enjoy chatting and should not mean we could not again. If I could make her feel that way again. But I also don't want to be either a stalker or someone sending my heartfelt messages into oblivion. I'm willing to give her space and not text again if the Delivered means the message reached her phone and she at least saw that it arrived. But if not (hence the request for iPhone technical advice), I will have to end the very last of my dreams of hearing from her again.


Thanks for any technical and/or emotional help. Just to show you I sort of understand what I am going through is not rational, I will end with a couple of lines from a great video I recently saw about breakups:


"Brain studies have shown that the withdrawal of romantic love activates the same mechanisms in our brain that get activated when addicts are withdrawing from substances like cocaine or opioids. Kathy was going through withdrawal. And since she could not have the heroin of actually being with Rich, her unconscious mind chose the methadone of her memories with him. Her instincts told her she was trying to solve a mystery, but what she was actually doing was getting her fix. This is what makes heartbreak so difficult to heal. Addicts know they're addicted.They know when they're shooting up. But heartbroken people do not. But you do now."


"To fix your broken heart, you have to identify these voids in your life and fill them, and I mean all of them. The voids in your identity: you have to reestablish who you are and what your life is about. The voids in your social life, the missing activities, even the empty spaces on the wall where pictures used to hang."


How to fix a broken heart | Guy Winch




Thanks again,

AntiNinja (because my "skills" are an aptitude to ruin good things)

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I'm sorry, but what did you screw up? You had only seen her one time? This is fantasy. You cannot have a relationship through a screen. You need to see people in the flesh.


I strongly suggest you focus on your problem with alcohol and get into a program.


She is also too young for you.

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Why come to us when everything you need to know is basically in those two quotes you provided?


Look, I get it. You're bummed. It was really fun texting with the 20something on the other edge of the planet, but that was probably the beginning and end of this from the start. The end didn't come with grace—or on your ideal timeline—but here you are. This chapter is closed. Dust in the wind, or fairy dust turned to exhaust fumes—pick the metaphor that allows you to sleep at night.


You are, in her mind, the older guy she met who got sketchy over text. Lofty promises of sobriety—sorry, but that's just more sketchy. Women who have been with problem drinkers for years—women who genuinely love those problem drinkers—are going to hear "30 day no drinking challenge" and "3 days" and they are going to shrug. They, if they are remotely heathy, are going to think: show me you can make those 30 days forever. Someone you don't really know? She is going to think: sketchy. She ain't gonna want to hold your hand and validate your sober 72 hours with a string of emojis and some sexts.


Harsh, I know. But I'm just being real with you. Get the drinking under control—for you, not a fantasy pixie girl in Portugal or Indonesia or wherever she is. For you, and for the people around you in your actual life—both those who are close to you and those you have yet to meet. You can thank this brief, exciting, and then humiliating chapter in your life for the newfound outlook and handle on your drinking that it inspired.


As for the phone stuff? C'mon. Chill. Put down the pipe. You know how you know when people want to text you back? It's when they text you back. She's not doing that.

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She should stay away from you. Check yourself into AA or the equivalent and don't be ashamed to seek help for your alcohol binging or drinking. Don't seek young women like this or any woman for that matter to date. This isn't a good time and you're not being fair to yourself or the people you meet. In other words, you're setting yourself up for disaster. Fix your issues and your addiction. Look for support groups in your area and attend meetings.


Every time you set yourself up like this, you're undercutting or undermining yourself and plunging yourself deeper in all this drama and despair. Cut it out. Love you, do you. Create more of a lifestyle that you can respect and enjoy living. This is no way to live. Good job for identifying your drinking habits. Now stay on track and don't be afraid to look for help and support. Don't look for affection where there is none either and don't let these kinds of superficial connections get to you. Stay focused.

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Thanks, Rose. All true. I think I knew that at an intellectual level before, but after this episode I realized that these kinds of superficial connections don't seem superficial to me at the time (hence why the Guy Winch video on breakups seemed to me like it applied). But also because I do think he's right that love heartbreak can be like withdrawal from a drug. And since I already have the drug of alcohol in me, it just compounds the issue and makes me feel like the end of a short interaction is somehow equivalent to my divorce. And I know it is a fantasy because even sober this is not a viable situation with a woman half my age halfway around the world. I suppose reality has lately seemed so bleak to me that I've embraced fantasy too much. And interest from a beautiful woman is rare for me so very hard to resist.

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Overcome your dependency on alcohol. Once you do you'll probably feel much better about yourself, you'll seek better company (real local company, people in the flesh whom you can meet and laugh with in person). You won't be afraid of looking at yourself in the mirror or afraid of what others think of you when you go out. You won't have that cloud hanging over you and you'll know you're worth so much more than this kind of mirage of a relationship. It's not healthy and no one should have to live like this. Life is precious. Look for support. Everyone has needed help at some point. I think the best thing you can do for yourself is seek an actual group or program as Holly mentioned and stick with it. Hold yourself to it and remain steadfast in your decision to overcome your addiction and drinking.


Like the others mentioned, don't worry about the texting. If someone doesn't like you, well they can shove it. Be loving and kind to yourself and give yourself a chance to live well. Find others who honour you and respect you. Be proud to be alive.

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I echo what blue has said about the quote you posted... OP you gloss over your drinking being the problem here... and in a way you are right it’s not the drinking itself that’s the problem... it’s your behaviour during the drinking, the fact that you can’t control what you do as soon as you put that substance in your body, and despite knowing that it causes problems in your life you continue to do it.


You have a problem with alcohol it’s pretty clear and even more is the spiritual void that you are trying to fill with outside stuff.


Seek the help of a drug and alcohol counsellor, find an AA meeting. Healing begins when you take the first step of admitting you need help.

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Last year, I met a woman who was on vacation from another country.
I haven't read any of the other replies as coming in late here but here I go with my observation if you are still creeping your thread Op: Was this some kind of sexting relationship you were in with her that you became addicted to (along with your other addiction to alcohol)?


Get help for your addictive personality and stop putting so much emotion into a quasi-relationship that actually went no where. You have a problem with your binging and with your inability to compartmentalize fantasy from reality.


No longer "keeping in touch digitally" shouldn't affect you in such a dramatic and heart tearin manner. You would do well to talk to someone about what I'm thinking is a form of depression that was present before you started sexting (or whatever) with this stranger woman who you only know "digitally."

I'm convinced that you don't have a "broken heart" from no longer being able to talk to her but rather are withdrawing from yet another addiction.

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