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AnneMarie9

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Greetings, enotaloners!

 

This is the first time I’m gathering up the courage to post a message in here, although, like so many of us, I’ve been lurking around for ages, parsing through topics and messages and soaking up the wisdom you beautiful people are always kind enough to share. I must admit there have been many dark moments in my life over the years when the enotalone forum was a virtual lifeline keeping me afloat.

 

The issue that brought me here today is probably as trivial and cliché as it can get. But for some reason, it’s starting to get the better of me, and clouding my judgement.

 

To the point, I met a man a few months ago, and spent three months dating. Things seemed to go smoothly, with him giving me all the signals that he was interested in exploring a committed relationship with me and dropping hints of it heading in that direction.

 

When we began dating, he mentioned his connection to a woman he’d known for two decades and with whom he’d been romantically and sexually involved for brief periods, with an attempt at a relationship over ten years ago, and the most recent “hookup” two years ago. Apparently they’ve been keeping in touch on a (not so) regular basis, touching base every few weeks (or perhaps months). Recently (- the past few weeks, I’d say), the communication increased to almost daily.

 

A week ago, we decided to become a couple, and he seemed quite enthusiastic for a few days, only to notice the communication dropping to a few short texts a day (if any) afterwards.

 

We normally spend time together on the weekends, but this time I had to reach out and ask him to confirm. We saw each other and things seemed alright. At some point he handed me his phone to read a conversation between him and one of his male friends, and out of curiosity, I also opened the conversation with his old flame (I know it was private and should’ve stayed so, but he’d never had a problem sharing such details with me before). And there he was, trying to plan online activities with her on that very Saturday.

 

So naturally I wondered if he’s in fact prioritizing her over us and started asking questions. The answers that followed left me shellshocked and unable to think straight, to be perfectly honest. He claimed that he is indeed committed to us, but made it perfectly clear that he would never let her go completely, that she’ll always be in his life in one capacity or the other, that right now she’s just a friend, but they do intend to meet up sometime in the near future (she lives in a different city) and if the spark is still there, he would most definitely sacrifice us to be with her.

 

The only thing he’s apparently not sure about is whether there would be any mutual attraction when they do reunite. He claims he’s hoping we’d be stable enough by then to only see her as a friend.

 

He expressed his point of view quite bluntly, which is something to be appreciated, I guess, but practically putting the ball in my court to decide whether I’m willing to risk it all knowing that everything can fall apart at a drop of a hat.

 

So I guess I’m looking for an input from those of you who might’ve gone through something similar. Am I being foolish to want to keep it going? Is this a done deal already? Am I making too much of it? Can this still have a chance? Is it still worth pursuing?

Any input would be helpful.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read, and please go easy on me. I feel like the rug was just pulled from under me...

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I wouldn't invest anymore time in this dude. He seems way more interested in the "other woman" than in making things happen with you and at the same time wanting you to hang around while he makes up his mind. Ugh. I'd dump him so fast he wouldn't know what happened. You can do way better (imo).

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but made it perfectly clear that he would never let her go completely, that she’ll always be in his life in one capacity or the other, that right now she’s just a friend, but they do intend to meet up sometime in the near future (she lives in a different city) and if the spark is still there, he would most definitely sacrifice us to be with her.

- This says enough... respect yourself.. walk away & let him go.

 

You will be nothing but hurt & messed.. He is still wanting her. :/

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If he was saying she would only be in his life as a friend, then I would say yes, you should continue to see him. It's perfectly fine to continue being friends with an ex. However, the part you should be concerned about is that he admitted to being willing to sacrifice the two of you for her. He has never got over her and they seem to fall back into each other when they want to. Unless you're willing to take the risk of it happening, or think some kind of polyamory relationship could be arranged, I wouldn't do it. He should be willing to commit 100% to you and be strong enough to turn the other women down. Just because they are fine with an on and off relationship, doesn't mean you should get dragged into the middle of it. You should be the first priority, not second place while he is waiting for someone to come back to him again.

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He basically told you you'll be a space filler until which time he wants to revisit a relationship with someone else.

 

Gotta hand it him. That takes incredible nerve to say that to your face.

 

As surprising as that statement is, it's equally surprising that youre wondering what your odds are if you stuck around.

 

Personally I would have done a 180 and walked away laughing at his absurdity.

 

I think your heart is overriding your head on this one.

Believe you deserve better.

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Thank you guys for your answers! They’re all just as insightful and helpful as always (and, quite expectedly, echoing exactly what my closest friends had to say on the matter).

 

I spent my day yesterday feeling too physically sick to be able to function properly and engaging in a back and forth texting with him where he basically reiterated that he’d never let go of the idea of the two of them together, which means that he can only see “us” as temporary, while adding in the same breath that he sees the long-term potential for us and is willing to pursue it (!).

 

From what he’s told me, this woman has been drifting in and out of his life regularly for more than a decade now, with things always going sour pretty fast before she’d make a quick exit, which I assume is what makes her so appealing. She seems to be the one who always gets away, always out of reach but never completely off his radar.

 

I too was once in his shoes, harboring feelings for a former partner and watching them morph into some sort of a bittersweet sick obsession for an idealized potential while the actual incompatibilities seemed to just magically fade away (only to return once we were trying to give “it” another go). I carried that fantasy into a committed relationship and watched it become less and less potent as the relationship was unfolding and the reality of a loving, caring partner was slowly replacing the longing for an abusive man who’d always had a foot out the door.

 

I’m wondering if I could just let things happen for now and see where that goes. I guess I’d have my answer soon enough anyway...

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Ohhh, I see. He's in love with her, wanting her, but not sure if she feels the same. So for the time being, he will keep you around to keep his bed warm but will toss you if she decides she wants him.

 

Give him the boot, walk away and don't ever look back. You deserve so much more and don't ever allow any man to ever place you second to someone else.

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I’m wondering if I could just let things happen for now and see where that goes. I guess I’d have my answer soon enough anyway...

 

Ah Anne, he doesn't deserve you. I agree with reinvent...you're letting your heart override your head. He won't ever love you, the way he does her.

 

He's already treating you badly by placing you second to this woman and spending time with her, in hopes that she will come back to him in a romantic way.

 

There are millions of other men on this planet. Don't do this to yourself. Tell him politely that you've decided to not continue on and that you deserve better than being second and then kindly leave.

 

It doesn't need to be a huge drama, but don't let him speak to you this way and then continue hanging around. It's humiliating and you don't deserve it.

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That’d be the healthiest thing to do, I wholeheartedly admit it, Sherry. But for some reason, I can’t help thinking that whatever he’s feeling for her is just an outworn and outdated fantasy he’d indulged in throughout the years to keep him going while things weren’t looking great for him and he was missing the companionship and the benefits of being in a stable relationship.

But perhaps I’m wrong.

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You're wanting to believe that, because your heart wants to truly believe that he and you can have this storybook romance and he will realize how wrong he was all along and fall madly in love with you.

 

It's a nice thought, it truly is and I think most women want something along those lines.

 

But I think if you're going to be realistic with yourself, you would start realizing that he has held onto this fantasy, for a very long time. He's not going to let go of it, or of her, anytime soon.

 

You're also going to have to realize, that as much as your heart might want him, that's how his heart feels...for her.

 

Spending more time with him, won't magically change his mind and I think that's the main point you need to come to terms with, because if you keep allowing his bad behavior, if you keep holding out hope and keep thinking you're going to change his mind...all you will end up with is a whole lot of frustration and heartache.

 

I know, it seems much more appealing to go down that path instead of listening to us...but we've seen this scenario hundreds of times. It never goes as you're wanting it to.

 

I'm sorry. If he felt for you as you're wanting him to...it would have happened already.

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You're wanting to believe that, because your heart wants to truly believe that he and you can have this storybook romance and he will realize how wrong he was all along and fall madly in love with you.

 

Would it make sense to back off and give him the space and time he seems to be needing, while withdrawing the benefits of a relationship? Remaining in contact, but not going any deeper than the superficial interaction... While making it obvious that I’m keeping my options open and not attaching any more romantic hopes to it?

 

I’m aware I’m most likely setting myself up for even more heartache, but I guess I’m finding it tough to let go completely.

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"He expressed his point of view quite bluntly, which is something to be appreciated, I guess, but practically putting the ball in my court to decide whether I’m willing to risk it all knowing that everything can fall apart at a drop of a hat."

 

It is nice he was so blunt... but good grief, how awful! He's just using you as a placeholder until he can figure out if he can get out of the friend-zone with this other girl. I'm so sorry, you definitely deserve a man who would never put you in that situation in the first place.

 

Don't stay with him, the longer you stay, the longer you're putting off the chance of meeting a man who does prioritize you.

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Would it make sense to back off and give him the space and time he seems to be needing, while withdrawing the benefits of a relationship? Remaining in contact, but not going any deeper than the superficial interaction... While making it obvious that I’m keeping my options open and not attaching any more romantic hopes to it?

 

I’m aware I’m most likely setting myself up for even more heartache, but I guess I’m finding it tough to let go completely.

 

My heart goes out to you, you sound so kind and loving! Seriously though, for your best interest, ending it ASAP is the best option, no matter what your emotions are feeling.

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"He expressed his point of view quite bluntly, which is something to be appreciated, I guess, but practically putting the ball in my court to decide whether I’m willing to risk it all knowing that everything can fall apart at a drop of a hat."

 

It is nice he was so blunt... but good grief, how awful! He's just using you as a placeholder until he can figure out if he can get out of the friend-zone with this other girl. I'm so sorry, you definitely deserve a man who would never put you in that situation in the first place.

 

Don't stay with him, the longer you stay, the longer you're putting off the chance of meeting a man who does prioritize you.

 

I agree with you, at least from a logical standpoint.

Everybody here seems to be coming to the same conclusion, so that should mean something.

I can only hope I'm able to let it all sink in and do what needs to be done.

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I know you're finding it hard to let go, and I do truly sympathize for you. But he is treating you badly. The second he told you he prefers her and will drop you the second she wants him, is the moment any of the romance you and he might have had together was completely shattered.

 

You don't deserve what he's offering. You deserve so much more. My advice is to walk away, end all communication and to let him know you won't be second to anyone or fill in a space until she decides to come around.

 

Take care of your heart, he won't and he doesn't deserve you.

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When I was dating (lol which was a very long time ago) I was too far on the, "end things too fast," spectrum. With my husband he had to help me realize you don't always have to throw something away.

 

But really... the longer you stay with a guy who isn't right for you (and wants you as much as you want him) that's time you're delaying where you could be much happier with someone else (and creating a life with them). I didn't figure that out until my husband showed me that.

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I know you're finding it hard to let go, and I do truly sympathize for you. But he is treating you badly. The second he told you he prefers her and will drop you the second she wants him, is the moment any of the romance you and he might have had together was completely shattered.

 

You don't deserve what he's offering. You deserve so much more. My advice is to walk away, end all communication and to let him know you won't be second to anyone or fill in a space until she decides to come around.

 

Take care of your heart, he won't and he doesn't deserve you.

 

Sherry, you're describing that moment so accurately! That's exactly what it felt like... Watching it all crumble before my eyes, knowing that wherever it was going from there, it'd never be as innocent and pure as before.

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When you are forewarned that he's on/ off with this FWB, it's time to cut your loses

"Hinting" at wanting a committed relationship is string along talk.

 

Forget about being in their triangle. Cut your loses. 12 weeks is enough time to get to know someone and what you know is that he's playing you.

 

If you stay and hope to recover your time invested, unfortunately you're in for a lot of heartaches.

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When I was dating (lol which was a very long time ago) I was too far on the, "end things too fast," spectrum. With my husband he had to help me realize you don't always have to throw something away.

 

But really... the longer you stay with a guy who isn't right for you (and wants you as much as you want him) that's time you're delaying where you could be much happier with someone else (and creating a life with them). I didn't figure that out until my husband showed me that.

 

You're right! If he were indeed committed to us, he wouldn't even entertain the possibility of revisiting a past relationship, much less being so matter-of-factly about losing me in the process.

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Sherry, you're describing that moment so accurately! That's exactly what it felt like... Watching it all crumble before my eyes, knowing that wherever it was going from there, it'd never be as innocent and pure as before.

 

Of course, anyone being in that moment would have had all of their hopes and dreams end right there. It was truly a deeply disappointing, if not heart breaking moment.

He took the possible love you two may have had and tossed it aside, so recklessly and so carelessly because he would rather place all his stakes on this silly fantasy that he's made somewhat obsessive, being as it's lasted for years.

 

It's not something you can fix, the best you can do, is to get away from it and find a man who is truly single and only for you.

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Sherry, you're describing that moment so accurately! That's exactly what it felt like... Watching it all crumble before my eyes, knowing that wherever it was going from there, it'd never be as innocent and pure as before.

 

The problem with that notion is that it's never been innocent and pure. You just didn't know that until very recently.

 

He's been harbouring these feelings for a long time, including when he began dating you. You might have thought it was innocent and pure, but that was really only because you didn't know what was really going on in his mind with this other woman.

 

As such, it wouldn't make sense to keep this going or just give him space. You two don't have the foundation to build on because his heart and mind have never been totally with you. He's holding out for her. This is a dead-end, AnneMarie.

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When you are forewarned that he's on/ off with this FWB, it's time to cut your loses

"Hinting" at wanting a committed relationship is string along talk.

 

Forget about being in their triangle. Cut your loses. 12 weeks is enough time to get to know someone and what you know is that he's playing you.

 

If you stay and hope to recover your time invested, unfortunately you're in for a lot of heartaches.

 

Thanks, Wiseman!

I just figured that deciding to be a couple and making that commitment (at least verbally) was a clear sign that he was prioritizing us. Apparently that wasn't quite the case.

He seems to want the commitment and the exclusivity, while holding onto his fantasy (and onto the hope that it'd one day materialize).

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He took the possible love you two may have had and tossed it aside, so recklessly and so carelessly because he would rather place all his stakes on this silly fantasy that he's made somewhat obsessive, being as it's lasted for years.

 

It's not something you can fix, the best you can do, is to get away from it and find a man who is truly single and only for you.

 

Sherry's right. this is the way he is messing up his own life . And he may come back into your life expressing regret about it later on (years down the line). But moving on and finding someone who loves you and only you now is the best thing.

 

Men like this are super annoying to me because there's the danger he really may try to come back into your life years later (expressing the regret about his stupidity now) and even him contacting you then, while you're possibly married or in a serious relationship, will slightly threaten and endanger that relationship. Ick! Be ready though if that happens and best thing is to not reply.

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