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Scared of messing up... I've become a nervous teen again. *sigh*


MirrorKnight
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Somehow all the new threads always turn into a Jane drama, MK. If you learn anything from the relationship with Jane and how to break up with someone I think it should be the necessity ending a relationship in its entirety before attempting to move on or date anyone else. Lily may be great but it's not going to last if Jane is still in the picture.

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Oh, yes i remember now that she lives in your home and you are currently overseas. When is she to be out if she's spending all that time on holiday where you currently are?

 

I gave her 3 months to arrange a departure, she's got just under 2 months left... but truth be told, she is still in denial. Once she leaves, I will msg one of her sisters (the one who is slightly more sane and less estranged) to help her arrange her departure from my house. I don't want this to get mean/nasty... but obviously her staying there is actually costing me money, as well as being inappropriate when I inevitably go back to the UK.

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What do you mean when you say that "without you" the estrangement wouldn't exist? Best I understand things the math is that (a) she chose to date you and (b) her sister chose to react however she did. I understand the guilt—it's a feeling that certain chapters in life inflict—but the hard math here is that you are not responsible for the choices and behavior of these two adults, or any adult but yourself.

 

For what it's worth: I had one kind of messy breakup, along these lines. It was a short thing, so the emotional hooks weren't so deep, but in the wake of it—months later, actually—it got kind of dicey. Stalker stuff.

 

I have a predisposition to the the "good guy" in nearly any setting—a generally good quality, but one that can get the better of me in various ways. So I had certain thoughts (should I engage? am I partly responsible?) but what I did was stone silence. Refused to fan the flames. It was honest—and, I think, kind of respected the fact that we were both just people, that neither of us had any kind of "power" over the other. End result? An awkward few weeks that faded out. No idea where that person is today. Doing well, I hope, while being happy to have no connection.

 

This can be that for you, if you just disengage and trust that Jane is a person and let go of the idea that you hold any real power over her, or responsibility for where she is and the choices she's making. Lot of words to say: the kindest thing to do, over these next few weeks, may be to let her spend them on her own.

 

Yes, basically what you described. I believe that I behaved with dignity and respect, and gave the sisters all the time and space that they could have used to resolve things. But Jane's eldest sister is too bitter, too angry and too broken to accept anything other than total capitulation and surrender to her tyranny, it is her way or the high way, there was no negotiation to be had, no reasoning to be done, partly because she (along with the other sister) refused to even ever meet me, considering me an outsider in an internal family problem, and because they knew that Jane lacked the ability to stand up for herself.

 

Jane insisted that her sisters were kind and nice to her, but that is because she used to just be a doormat who obeyed. Even the less crazy younger sister basically lives at subsidized cost in Jane (and her elder sister's) house, and has the audacity to demand Jane contribute more towards housework, in a house that she is not even welcome to stay at anymore, despite paying 100% of the mortgage costs. It is utterly absurd and incenses me just to think about it!

 

Ugh... got carried away. My point was, although I don't think what happened was my fault... there is a casual relation there. Jane had been single all her life, she had lived in that bubble at home, her sisters sort of took advantage of her, but she was oblivious and mostly happy and carefree. Then we met, fell in love and shattered her world... Only for me to discover that we were incompatible. She calls herself a limpet. She got ripped out of the shell she had lived in all her life to be with me. And now I want her out of the new shell she suctioned onto me. She is really struggling. Hence my guilt...

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Somehow all the new threads always turn into a Jane drama, MK. If you learn anything from the relationship with Jane and how to break up with someone I think it should be the necessity ending a relationship in its entirety before attempting to move on or date anyone else. Lily may be great but it's not going to last if Jane is still in the picture.

 

*sigh* yeah this thread has been totally derailed by Jane. I'm really at a loss for how to correctly break up with somebody like Jane. She is actually unwell and fragile. I feel like brutal honesty will actually destroy her.

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She works doesn't she? Jane I mean. She ca find somewhere to rent surely? She doesn't have to stay in your house. She must have money she's coming on a 3 week trip. Somethings not adding up here.

 

She has a reasonable income, but also quite a lot of expenses, including paying the entirety of the mortgage on her family home, which her Mum and two sisters live in, a house she is not welcome in because her eldest sister thinks that she betrayed the family or some stupid nonsense. Actually her eldest sister has fallen out with everybody and wants everybody to get out of "her" house, Jane, her own mother and her youngest sister included. Yes, it is f'ed up.

 

The obvious solution is for the eldest sister to move out somewhere herself, maybe for Jane and her eldest sister to buy out her share of their family home. That will take time... hence my generous deadline for her to move out. But my patience is being sorely tested here, in part because she is still in denial about the breakup.

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Update on original topic

 

I've had a hectic week, in part due to Jane's arrival from the UK, hence did not reply to questions or make any updates on the Lily situation until now.

 

In the end we settled on a late showing (10pm) of a movie that she picked and picked a theatre near her place at a mall which has plenty of places to go for dinner beforehand.

 

I am going in fairly open minded about what to expect...

 

The good news is that she seems happy to spend another Friday evening with just me, this time at a place close enough to where she lives that she could easily have invited her other friends, including her housemate, who happens to be my friend from university. In fact, the fact that I did not invite my friend despite going so close to their apartment (over an hour away from mine) should make my intentions pretty clear. In that context, her acceptance of the arrangement for tonight is encouraging. Without literally labeling it a date in advance, this seems as close to a date as can be. (Unlike last Friday, where it could have been framed as her traveling to meet me to attend an event near me, hence I just called it a "psuedo-date")

 

The bad news is that she has called me a "friend" and is eager to pay for stuff when with me. For context, we speak Chinese to each other and she is Chinese, so I don't consider it as discouraging to get labelled a "friend" as I would in the Western context... But the fact that she insisted on paying for dinner last Friday (to "thank me for taking care of her and taking her to the event") and also offering to pay for other stuff for tonight... is a concern, because in my experience, Chinese girls expect boyfriends to pay for things for them, so the fact that she is always offering to pay suggests that she does not want to feel like she owes me anything, and wants to keep things balanced, as opposed to the typical Chinese suitor-girl relationship.

 

Anyway, I'm not quite as nervous/scared as I was when I made my OP, though I suspect it might come back as I get closer to meeting her. I am planning to bring some flowers to make my intentions clear from the beginning. I don't mean I want her to make a decision about being my girlfriend or what not, I am just a bit concerned about slipping into the friendzone, so I want to be clearer about my feelings.

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I would offer to pay because I didn't want the man to think I was "using" him for money or a free meal. I wanted to be a "catch" rather than a burden.

 

Have you spent one on one time with "Jane" since her arrival?

 

I have no experience with Asian women so cannot comment but making your intentions clear is all you can do. Not verbally but through body language and flirting etc and se how she reacts. If she's not reciprocating then you know it's game over.

 

@boltnrun @ninjabib

 

A quick update on the date... Overall I had a really nice time and things went pretty well. She went early (I wasn't late!) to secure a table at a restaurant she picked because there is normally a queue. Dinner was lovely, and then we went for a walk and a bubble tea at the nice mall we were at before finding a quiet corner to have a proper chat before the movie. After the movie, I walked her back to the corner of her apartment, where she waited until my taxi arrived before heading off.

 

The good news:

  • She liked the flowers I got her.
  • She said she would be happy to get to know me better and "give it a chance".
  • The conversation flowed pretty well all night. I'm glad that for the most part, my nerves did not get in the way.
  • We arranged to meet for dinner today after her language class near-ish to my place.

 

The bad news:

  • She paid for dinner again! She's too damned quick and paid for it on the same app that we ordered from. (At least I got the cinema tickets and bubble tea).
  • She comes from a pretty rich family, her ex-BF was also rich. So although she does not exude any sense of superiority or privilege, and says that she does not care about money, I'm not sure that if it came down to it, she will actually be okay with a lower standard of living than what she has been used to.

 

As for Jane...

 

I spent some time with her yesterday and helped her set up some local e-payment stuff and showed her how to use the subway. So, she should be able to find her way around the city by herself now. In fact she is out exploring by herself today... so hopefully she won't be totally miserable if I don't see her very much during her stay.

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I don't love the "give it a chance" - that's how my son talks about my "no thank you bite" rule about trying vegetables. Also - awesome for her to come from a rich family -is she financially stable/independent in her own right? Why would she have to lower her standard of living - does she want the standard of living her mom and dad have?

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I don't love the "give it a chance" - that's how my son talks about my "no thank you bite" rule about trying vegetables. Also - awesome for her to come from a rich family -is she financially stable/independent in her own right? Why would she have to lower her standard of living - does she want the standard of living her mom and dad have?

 

"Give it a chance" was translation from Chinese, I did not read anything negative into it. In the context of me making it clear that I wanted more than just a friendship with her, I read that as an invitation to keep getting to know her better in that new context.

 

We spent nearly 7hrs together this afternoon/evening... managed to talk a lot more than in our previous meetings, covering much more depth and breadth of topics. She is even richer than I knew... as in has two properties in her name and a trust fund kind of rich. Her lifestyle costs more than she can earn herself, but her father and brother are successful businessmen, so she says that she does not expect a boyfriend to help maintain her lifestyle.

 

I do feel that there is a contradiction between her idealism about finding true love (absent of monetary considerations) and the reality that she does not earn enough to support herself financially through her own earnings. I suppose if she is rich enough to maintain her lifestyle off just her existing savings/investments, then maybe she can be considered financially independent, in a way? I cannot really relate to that level of wealth though.

 

We had a really nice time today... but I think the economic imbalance will probably be a bigger problem than she realizes at present... I am certainly not going to pin too much hope on this for now.

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So of course she can be financially independent with a trust fund but I would prefer a partner who was also able to earn a living -what does she do for work?What are her career goals as far as increasing her earning power? Does she want to be home full time raising a child? Is she educated and do you care about that?

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So of course she can be financially independent with a trust fund but I would prefer a partner who was also able to earn a living -what does she do for work?What are her career goals as far as increasing her earning power? Does she want to be home full time raising a child? Is she educated and do you care about that?

 

She is educated, got a Masters Degree in Chinese from a decent Chinese University. She worked at a government job (HR-related) in China until 6 months ago, when she came to Singapore to learn English and prepare for another Masters Degree in the UK.

 

Her goals are fairly fluid. She has mentioned wanting to run a school teaching Chinese as a foreign language for foreigners, or going into business herself. She has already rejected the government career that her father had laid out for her.

 

Despite being 28 years old, an age where most Chinese women are quite anxious to get married and start families, Lily still comes off quite immature. She has lived in a privileged bubble all her life, and can be quite out of touch with the struggles of most people, because she has never really had to worry about earning enough to maintain her lifestyle, which although not extravagant, would be considered a luxury for most middle class people in the West, let alone China.

 

To put it in context, I have a reasonable middle class income for Singapore, but I live quite frugally because I service a mortgage back home and I am trying to save for some stuff... she spends pretty much my entire monthly salary on just shopping, restaurants and travel (taxi/uber everywhere) and she says things like, "It's not that I am unwilling to take the subway, I just think that for a long journey, it is too tiring"... without realizing that for the vast majority of people, the taxi-subway decision is a cost-benefit analysis that she does not even need to consider.

 

So, yeah... I do like her a lot, she has the innocence and kindness that only a life wrapped in cotton wool could afford to maintain, but in the cold light of day, I fear that we do not belong in the same worlds, and the practical differences in our lifestyle would get in the way sooner or later. I am not giving up it completely, but definitely tempering my expectations.

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So, let's say you do get serious with Lily or someone else.

 

Wouldn't it be tricky to explain you're paying a mortgage on a house that your ex is living in (I presume rent-free)? Any headway with getting her to move out or is she still saying she can't live in the home she pays for? (Strange that both of you are paying the mortgage for homes someone else is living in...)

 

Side note, are you spending time with Jane while she's visiting?

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So, let's say you do get serious with Lily or someone else.

 

Wouldn't it be tricky to explain you're paying a mortgage on a house that your ex is living in (I presume rent-free)? Any headway with getting her to move out or is she still saying she can't live in the home she pays for? (Strange that both of you are paying the mortgage for homes someone else is living in...)

 

Side note, are you spending time with Jane while she's visiting?

 

I did tell Lily the truth about Jane, since she did ask about exes... she did not seem overly bothered about it. Yes she is living at my house rent-free, no she is not making much progress moving out because she is still in denial. Yes I have spent some time with her since she came here (one dinner and an afternoon together)... just enough to stop her camping out in front of my company or apartment. I will have to be firmer soon. I know this is untenable.

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If she is house sitting own it. If you are letting her live there own it. If you want to string her along own it. You seem to want to keep Jane on the back burner as a place holder for when you return to the UK. In the meantime you want to have some local fun where you are. It's not Jane's fault that you are stringing her along and keeping her as a place holder when you're done playing where you are now. You should be paying Jane if she is house sitting for you.

Yes she is living at my house rent-free.
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If she is house sitting own it. If you are letting her live there own it. If you want to string her along own it. You seem to want to keep Jane on the back burner as a place holder for when you return to the UK. In the meantime you want to have some local fun where you are. It's not Jane's fault that you are stringing her along and keeping her as a place holder when you're done playing where you are now. You should be paying Jane if she is house sitting for you.

 

Sorry dude, your characterization is just wrong. I don't even feel a need to explain myself again.

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I don’t think you and the new gal have compatible values or work ethics. Totally fine to have various future career goals as long as she’s gainfully employed now. The Uber vs subway thing would drive me crazy - her attitude about it. Sure she might be willing to change her spending habits if you two get serious but understand that her trust fund dollars likely will go for entertainment and possibly to chasing her entrepreneurial dreams - the latter is fine if she doesn’t have her head in the clouds too much. But consider how you would feel spending your salary to fund her entertainment should the trust fund situation change while you’re a committed couple.

 

Has she expressed any interest in volunteer work or has she done anything like that to contribute to her community or perhaps to those less fortunate ?

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You are keeping Jane's hopes up. Taking her on dates, allowing her to live in your house...if I were Jane I'd think "he SAID we're broken up but he doesn't act like it. I'm sure when he returns home we'll go right back to where we were before. After all, he's still treating me like a girlfriend."

 

You don't seem to want a clean break. Or a break at all.

 

Like I mentioned earlier, if you do get serious with a woman and move back home, how will you explain Jane's presence in your home? How will Jane feel?

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Lily isn't taking you seriously. I'm terribly sorry. Take each date one date at a time though and don't feel too discouraged. You should try and motivate yourself to disentangle yourself as quickly as possible from Jane. It's never going to work (truly) without you moving forwards. You seem like a man who's previously married and can't get divorced for whatever delayed reasons. That chapter just isn't closed. The likelihood of future partners who are serious about themselves won't take you seriously.

 

Anyway, enjoy your time with Lily. I agree with you that your chemistry there seems platonic and she's holding you at arm's length. I think you're setting off on the wrong foot with every woman you meet because of your ex still in the picture. It's a sort of sabotaging and unhealthy cycle. You're hoping for a different outcome when your cards never change.

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I also wanted to add that I would focus far less on "well she doesn't know any different/this is how she was raised." She's an adult. She gets to make her own choices and chart her own course and path including with respect to work ethic, ambition, finances, her lifestyle.

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I don’t think you and the new gal have compatible values or work ethics. Totally fine to have various future career goals as long as she’s gainfully employed now. The Uber vs subway thing would drive me crazy - her attitude about it. Sure she might be willing to change her spending habits if you two get serious but understand that her trust fund dollars likely will go for entertainment and possibly to chasing her entrepreneurial dreams - the latter is fine if she doesn’t have her head in the clouds too much. But consider how you would feel spending your salary to fund her entertainment should the trust fund situation change while you’re a committed couple.

 

Has she expressed any interest in volunteer work or has she done anything like that to contribute to her community or perhaps to those less fortunate ?

 

Yes, unfortunately, I have come to the same conclusion. Although I still think she is a very kind person brought up on the right values, her values have never been tested by real-life challenges. It is all very good saying that you don’t care about money, when you have literally never had to worry about not having enough to live your very comfortable lifestyle. Her head really is in the cloud and she has not considered very practical issues if we became a couple, like:

 

1) I could never buy her a gift that her father/brother/herself could not easily top.

2) It’s fine saying she does not expect me to buy things for her, but what about shared expenses like eating out, rent, hotels when traveling, flying business class etc. Either she would have to dial down her lifestyle, or pay for me, which would be very awkward regardless.

3) I don’t think her father would ever approve of me. I’m not personally successful enough, my family is not rich enough (albeit more educated).

 

As for the volunteering thing. No, I don’t think so, though she is quite generous to her friends. She actually got offended when I told her it was a bad idea to lend money (thousands of USD) to a friend who ran up loads of bad debt doing god knows what.

 

She recognizes the contradiction between her ideal to earn her own way in the world, and her unwillingness to sacrifice her lifestyle, and if I were brutally honest, her poor work ethic.

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You are keeping Jane's hopes up. Taking her on dates, allowing her to live in your house...if I were Jane I'd think "he SAID we're broken up but he doesn't act like it. I'm sure when he returns home we'll go right back to where we were before. After all, he's still treating me like a girlfriend."

 

You don't seem to want a clean break. Or a break at all.

 

Like I mentioned earlier, if you do get serious with a woman and move back home, how will you explain Jane's presence in your home? How will Jane feel?

 

I do want a clean break. I’m just trying to cushion the blow so it does not cause irreversible damage to Jane.

 

I understand how people can come to the wrong conclusions, but I have really hardened my heart and made it very clear and obvious to Jane that it is over, including:

 

1) Walking away from her crying on a street corner after refusing to go back to her hotel.

2) Telling her repeatedly that I am seeing other people.

3) Telling her how exactly how judgmental, elitist and mean I can be in relation to people we know, to dispel any notion she has of my kindness.

4) Telling her that she does not fit in a picture of my future where I am happy.

5) Telling her to move out by a fixed deadline.

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Lily isn't taking you seriously. I'm terribly sorry. Take each date one date at a time though and don't feel too discouraged. You should try and motivate yourself to disentangle yourself as quickly as possible from Jane. It's never going to work (truly) without you moving forwards. You seem like a man who's previously married and can't get divorced for whatever delayed reasons. That chapter just isn't closed. The likelihood of future partners who are serious about themselves won't take you seriously.

 

Anyway, enjoy your time with Lily. I agree with you that your chemistry there seems platonic and she's holding you at arm's length. I think you're setting off on the wrong foot with every woman you meet because of your ex still in the picture. It's a sort of sabotaging and unhealthy cycle. You're hoping for a different outcome when your cards never change.

 

I think I recognize a pattern here too, if I am totally honest. I put too much stock in what people say, especially early on, and extrapolate too much. I misread Kathy's eagerness for a committed relationship for how much she cared about me, I jumped to conclusions about Lily's values without understand the context in which she expressed those values.

 

I need to focus on own self-improvement. I think Lily could have been a great match - if I had maintained the trajectory I was on when I was 19 or 20, and earning $100k+ annually now, as quite a few of my peers from then are. It's not that Lily is materialistic, she is much less materialistic than Kathy, but we just do not even share the same world.

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