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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

Yes- that's obvious but the point is you have to as an individual decide which chances are worth the risk.  We don't "all take chances sometimes" for example by eating moldy bread that has flies on it even if we're hungry or by going out alone at night in a dangerous area just because you feel like taking a chance, you wouldn't make out with a guy on a first date after he tells you he has covid even if he's really hot/cute.  Telling someone that something is risky is not the same as telling someone you think it's too risky and therefore you're not going to take that risk because there are too many downsides.  For example.

Some things are worth the risk. I took a chance and it’s showing to maybe not work out in the end. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. The year was still filled with a lot of fun adventures and good memories. I don’t regret it. Just a little sad, it’s not the end of the world. 

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51 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Is that really true, though? Because when you had the discussion with him, it turned out that the Reality actually was that he didn't know how to get to a relationship with you. 

I don't think you distorted reality at all. In fact, I think you should give yourself some credit for sniffing it out despite appearances.

If he really wanted to be with you, he would not have taken this argument as an out. Everybody overreacts; everybody gets cold feet. It's understandable. He would have chalked it up to nerves. But he didn't do that.

 

Yeah, I hear you. I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m taking blame, it’s just that it takes two to argue and I’m disappointed in myself for reacting out of fear. But of course we’re all just human and no one is perfect. I’m not really holding out hope it will work out, given everything. 

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2 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

Yeah, I hear you. I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m taking blame, it’s just that it takes two to argue and I’m disappointed in myself for reacting out of fear. But of course we’re all just human and no one is perfect. I’m not really holding out hope it will work out, given everything. 

Is he still talking to his ex?

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6 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

Is he still talking to his ex?

Yes, they have talked the whole time we’ve been dating. It never really caused an issue, aside from my having an insecurity in the beginning that they would somehow reconcile. Even though through this year together, he has never given me a reason to doubt him. It was that insecurity that I allowed to fester and now I fear it’s ruined what we had, which was honestly enough. 
 

I allowed myself to get caught up in the fear that if we weren’t making progress we weren’t somehow doing anything. As I reflect on the relationship now, I had love, emotional support, and someone giving me all the time they had. Someone making plans with me. And I messed it up by wanting “more”, which I can’t even define. We were already committed. I was just afraid, after all this time. I couldn’t just appreciate what I had. And now I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. 

Edited by fleshandbone
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7 minutes ago, fleshandbone said:

Yes, they have talked the whole time we’ve been dating. 

You made the right decision ending it. 

Between the long distance and someone in the throes of a divorce, this would have caused more heartache.

Anyone who is still involved with an ex, is a risky situation. As are LDRs.

You may want to take this time to reflect on why you chose or choose unavailable people where there's a clear expiration date.(LDR)

Often, unavailable people choose other unavailable people.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

You made the right decision ending it. 

Between the long distance and someone in the throes of a divorce, this would have caused more heartache.

Anyone who is still involved with an ex, is a risky situation. As are LDRs.

You may want to take this time to reflect on why you chose or choose unavailable people where there's a clear expiration date.(LDR)

Often, unavailable people choose other unavailable people.

 

 

Neither of us expected to end up here. We had a great relationship, but I pushed and I see that now. Someone can only offer so much reassurance, for so long. And again, I had no clear idea of what our next step was supposed to be either. I guess it was just keep dating until we were in the same city, which was his goal. 
 

I lost sight of so much. And I pushed him for an answer I didn’t even know myself. 

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9 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

Some things are worth the risk. I took a chance and it’s showing to maybe not work out in the end. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. The year was still filled with a lot of fun adventures and good memories. I don’t regret it. Just a little sad, it’s not the end of the world. 

Yes, to you it was worth the risk to hang out with a married man.  I was just pointing out that generalizing about "everything's a risk" is besides the point in this situation.  I'm glad you had fun! For others the fun adventures and good memories wouldn't make up for the risks and downsides, strong potential for wasted time, emotional attachment, etc. But for people who aren't looking for anything potentially long term then for sure the fun adventures and good memories are worth it!  I chose to have a few vacation flings (but chose not to have sex -too risky) - knowing it had a definite end date.  No regrets.   

Edited by Batya33
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I think you're back-pedaling and trying to blame yourself when, really, your common sense (not your fear) tapped you on the shoulder to give you a reality check. 

It's a painful reality check because it appears your concerns were not just borne out of over-active insecurity, but rather your bang-on instinct that he isn't actually ready for anything more. 

Don't attempt to blame this all on yourself; he's not exactly rushing to make things right with you. This isn't a man who is prepared for greater commitment, and you would be foolish to trick yourself into thinking you're fine with that. You were clearly not, which is okay. It sucks that he didn't offer a more re-assuring answer to your questions, but took it as his opportunity to step away from you, rather than toward you. That was going to happen sooner or later. He's way too emotionally tied up in the end of his marriage for him to have space for another woman in his heart and mind. 

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1 hour ago, fleshandbone said:

And again, I had no clear idea of what our next step was supposed to be either. I guess it was just keep dating until we were in the same city, which was his goal.

10 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

But of course we’re all just human and no one is perfect.

Exactly. And if he were really the right guy for you, he wouldn't have been chased away. Your insecurity in that situation--a long distance relationship with a separated man, a relationship with a murky, indistinct future--is very understandable and appropriate. Nobody can feel secure there for long, not even the separated person (who is most likely riding the waves of a rebound, anyway). 

10 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

Some things are worth the risk. I took a chance and it’s showing to maybe not work out in the end. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. The year was still filled with a lot of fun adventures and good memories. I don’t regret it. Just a little sad, it’s not the end of the world.

At the very least, you know where you stand. And you know the dangers of of entering into a situation like this, where one person is still disentangling from a relationship.

As Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better."

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10 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

I definitely don’t want to sound like I’m taking blame, it’s just that it takes two to argue and I’m disappointed in myself for reacting out of fear.

But you are:

2 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

I allowed myself to get caught up in the fear that if we weren’t making progress we weren’t somehow doing anything.... And I messed it up by wanting “more”, which I can’t even define.... I couldn’t just appreciate what I had. And now I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

1 hour ago, fleshandbone said:

We had a great relationship, but I pushed and I see that now.

Stop beating yourself up!

Please READ and RE-READ until it sticks:

14 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

I think you're back-pedaling and trying to blame yourself when, really, your common sense (not your fear) tapped you on the shoulder to give you a reality check. 

It's a painful reality check because it appears your concerns were not just borne out of over-active insecurity, but rather your bang-on instinct that he isn't actually ready for anything more. 

Don't attempt to blame this all on yourself; he's not exactly rushing to make things right with you. This isn't a man who is prepared for greater commitment, and you would be foolish to trick yourself into thinking you're fine with that. You were clearly not, which is okay. It sucks that he didn't offer a more re-assuring answer to your questions, but took it as his opportunity to step away from you, rather than toward you. That was going to happen sooner or later. He's way too emotionally tied up in the end of his marriage for him to have space for another woman in his heart and mind.

 

Edited by Jibralta
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Yes, they have talked the whole time we’ve been dating. It never really caused an issue, aside from my having an insecurity in the beginning that they would somehow reconcile. Even though through this year together, he has never given me a reason to doubt him. It was that insecurity that I allowed to fester and now I fear it’s ruined what we had, which was honestly enough. 
 

I allowed myself to get caught up in the fear that if we weren’t making progress we weren’t somehow doing anything. As I reflect on the relationship now, I had love, emotional support, and someone giving me all the time they had. Someone making plans with me. And I messed it up by wanting “more”, which I can’t even define. We were already committed. I was just afraid, after all this time. I couldn’t just appreciate what I had. And now I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. 

Being amicable with an ex when needed when it comes to legal matters or bumping into each other in public is fine. But it doesn't involve being "friends" for people who value closure and to practice respect for a new or potential future partner. I would never date a guy who stayed friends with an ex with regular communication and get-togethers. There are a minority of people in the world who would, but obviously, it doesn't set right with you. So why berate yourself for being upset over that? The majority of people wouldn't accept that in a partner.

They don't even have children together so the divorce should've been a quick and simple process. Divorcing is not a priority. He knows you're upset when he spends time with his wife and has told you or insinuated he'll continue being friends with her, which he knows upsets you, so he's not afraid of losing you because of it. Therefore, his continued relationship with her is more important than his relationship with you, and yet you're waiting for him to decide if he no longer wants space?

Why are you so passive? Why are you blaming yourself? Clearly, your self esteem needs work, so I'd work on that part of your life to ensure better relationship success. I read a memoir by Carrie Fisher who had an affair with Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars. George Lucas told her: Look at who you're with and that's what you think of yourself.

IMO, people who date long distance from the get-go either have secrets local people could quickly suss out, or is a person who isn't ready for the reality a local relationship entails. 

You haven't learned from your mistakes yet. My advice? Dump him. Work on your self esteem before dating again. Date locally. Perhaps with time and distance, you will see things in a clearer light.

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11 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

Some things are worth the risk. I took a chance and it’s showing to maybe not work out in the end. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it. The year was still filled with a lot of fun adventures and good memories. I don’t regret it. Just a little sad, it’s not the end of the world. 

No -- its not one of those "leaps of faith."  There is a difference between "taking a chance" and "being reckless." When you get up the courage to talk to a guy you feel is out of your league or decide to give it a whirl with a guy friend who expressed interested in you -- that's a "worth the risk - maybe it will pan out maybe it won't but you tried"  This is the latter - reckless.  Please don't wait for him to break it off -- be the one to break it off.

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1 hour ago, MissCanuck said:

I think you're back-pedaling and trying to blame yourself when, really, your common sense (not your fear) tapped you on the shoulder to give you a reality check. 

It's a painful reality check because it appears your concerns were not just borne out of over-active insecurity, but rather your bang-on instinct that he isn't actually ready for anything more. 

Don't attempt to blame this all on yourself; he's not exactly rushing to make things right with you. This isn't a man who is prepared for greater commitment, and you would be foolish to trick yourself into thinking you're fine with that. You were clearly not, which is okay. It sucks that he didn't offer a more re-assuring answer to your questions, but took it as his opportunity to step away from you, rather than toward you. That was going to happen sooner or later. He's way too emotionally tied up in the end of his marriage for him to have space for another woman in his heart and mind. 

Just going to join Jib in quoting MC above, as I think it deserves a few readings from you. 

The "more" you wanted is not exactly wanting the sun, the moon, the stars. You wanted, best I can see, to go from kinda sorta feeling like you were in a relationship to actually being in one.

Offering another view on all this, perhaps you needed this year, and this time with him, to become fully emotionally available yourself. I say that because certain components of this—the distance, the not-yet-divorced, his being the "sure one" while you were maybe not sure—are the sort of components that appeal to either (a) someone with some gaps in self-esteem and/or (b) someone who is kind of on the fence of emotional availability. 

So maybe things "worked" when both of you were more unavailable than available. Sadly, as being with him opened you up, leading you to want some pretty basic things from romance, the opposite seems to be the case with him. He wants things as is, murky, unserious, as he has made crystal clear by buckling and asking for space when such things were brought up. Listen to that, and ask yourself if it is truly "enough"—enough love, enough verve, enough safety—to continue to emotionally invest in someone who shirks away when you show your full spectrum of emotions.

From where I sit, if you can lean into those thoughts about this being a special year and a risk worth taking—a risk that opened you up, preparing you for a deeper connection, albeit with someone else who can meet you at this level—then I think you'll be on a path that keeps you nimble, secure, open, growing, learning. The self-blame stuff? That will likely achieve the opposite, closing the places where you've just begun to open.   

 

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4 hours ago, fleshandbone said:

I allowed myself to get caught up in the fear that if we weren’t making progress we weren’t somehow doing anything. As I reflect on the relationship now, I had love, emotional support, and someone giving me all the time they had. Someone making plans with me. And I messed it up by wanting “more”, which I can’t even define. We were already committed. I was just afraid, after all this time. I couldn’t just appreciate what I had. And now I’ve learned that lesson the hard way. 

I would more concerned if you weren't insecure, if you didn't want more.  Relationships are living, breathing things.  They should evolve and grow.     

From what you describe he was trying to keep this from happening.  

You do yourself an injustice by thinking you shouldn't want more.    Believe you deserve it.

Your insecurity didn't ruin this.  The relationship wasn't secure.  There is a difference.  After all, the title of your post is *limbo, right?

 

Edited by reinventmyself
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So if only you'd ignored your own needs and wishes you could have "kept" him?

You didn't "have" him in the first place.  He spends time with his wife on holidays!  He hasn't proceeded with getting his divorce processed! If that doesn't make clear where his priorities are I don't know what would.

It was a fun year, so try to view it as that.  Give yourself permission to move on and stop thinking "if only" because it wouldn't have mattered.  And stop the self-flagellation!  You don't deserve that.

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On 12/29/2020 at 10:18 AM, bluecastle said:

Just going to join Jib in quoting MC above, as I think it deserves a few readings from you. 

The "more" you wanted is not exactly wanting the sun, the moon, the stars. You wanted, best I can see, to go from kinda sorta feeling like you were in a relationship to actually being in one.

Offering another view on all this, perhaps you needed this year, and this time with him, to become fully emotionally available yourself. I say that because certain components of this—the distance, the not-yet-divorced, his being the "sure one" while you were maybe not sure—are the sort of components that appeal to either (a) someone with some gaps in self-esteem and/or (b) someone who is kind of on the fence of emotional availability. 

So maybe things "worked" when both of you were more unavailable than available. Sadly, as being with him opened you up, leading you to want some pretty basic things from romance, the opposite seems to be the case with him. He wants things as is, murky, unserious, as he has made crystal clear by buckling and asking for space when such things were brought up. Listen to that, and ask yourself if it is truly "enough"—enough love, enough verve, enough safety—to continue to emotionally invest in someone who shirks away when you show your full spectrum of emotions.

From where I sit, if you can lean into those thoughts about this being a special year and a risk worth taking—a risk that opened you up, preparing you for a deeper connection, albeit with someone else who can meet you at this level—then I think you'll be on a path that keeps you nimble, secure, open, growing, learning. The self-blame stuff? That will likely achieve the opposite, closing the places where you've just begun to open.   

 

Thank you for that reply. This did bring my own growth, and I appreciate your view. 

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23 hours ago, reinventmyself said:

I would more concerned if you weren't insecure, if you didn't want more.  Relationships are living, breathing things.  They should evolve and grow.     

From what you describe he was trying to keep this from happening.  

You do yourself an injustice by thinking you shouldn't want more.    Believe you deserve it.

Your insecurity didn't ruin this.  The relationship wasn't secure.  There is a difference.  After all, the title of your post is *limbo, right?

 

The more I reflect, it just makes me see where I could have done more work internally to help work through my own fear/abandonment issues, is all. On paper things look so black/white, which I am more accustomed to seeing as well, but somehow it all ended up shades of grey. But, I hear what people are saying. 

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1 minute ago, fleshandbone said:

The more I reflect, it just makes me see where I could have done more work internally to help work through my own fear/abandonment issues, is all. On paper things look so black/white, which I am more accustomed to seeing as well, but somehow it all ended up shades of grey. But, I hear what people are saying. 

I'm curious what you mean here, by fear/abandonment issues and shades of grey? Per the latter, do you mean that the complexity of feelings doesn't always fit neatly into a system of logic? 

I'd challenge yourself not to indulge too much in self-critiques of fear/abandonment issues being at play here. If you are romantically involved with someone who wants roughly the same thing as you—be that thing a label, cohabitation, children, whatever—it's not going to be the end game if you broach that desire clumsily, emotionally, a touch gracelessly. 

Guess what I'm trying to say is that you have a lot to celebrate right now, even as it may dovetail with some mourning, processing. There is likely more strength and clarity to be found in that than in trying to diagnose your shortcomings because he got spooked. You didn't do anything to scare him off, in short. He's been running scared since you met him, as is often the case with people in the earliest moments of disentangling from a major relationship, especially a marriage. 

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When your boyfriend told you that he felt obligated to spend New Year's with his ex, I think you reacted appropriately. I don't think your reaction was the result of fear or abandonment issues.

I think your choice of partner is the result of your fear and abandonment issues. By dating this guy (married, long-distance, still obligated to his wife), you signed up for a dead end relationship, something that was almost guaranteed to fail.

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2 hours ago, bluecastle said:

I'm curious what you mean here, by fear/abandonment issues and shades of grey? Per the latter, do you mean that the complexity of feelings doesn't always fit neatly into a system of logic? 

I'd challenge yourself not to indulge too much in self-critiques of fear/abandonment issues being at play here. If you are romantically involved with someone who wants roughly the same thing as you—be that thing a label, cohabitation, children, whatever—it's not going to be the end game if you broach that desire clumsily, emotionally, a touch gracelessly. 

Guess what I'm trying to say is that you have a lot to celebrate right now, even as it may dovetail with some mourning, processing. There is likely more strength and clarity to be found in that than in trying to diagnose your shortcomings because he got spooked. You didn't do anything to scare him off, in short. He's been running scared since you met him, as is often the case with people in the earliest moments of disentangling from a major relationship, especially a marriage. 

Exactly, at once our relationship seemed so clear, we were dating, we fell in love by way of treating and showing up for each other, but beneath it lay a web of complexity that we had yet to address until it surfaced in a most unexpected way. We somehow compartmentalized it all. Our days weren't all good or bad, like any blooming relationship, but there was the hope of getting to a better place, a future place. And in trying to get there, things began to come unwound it seems, not necessarily between us, but between him and the things he is still bound to. 

It's easy to paint him as someone who was just looking for a good time, or whatever else, but things aren't that simple sometimes. And I don't believe for a second his intentions were ever otherwise, that's where things become grey. You may think you're ready for something sometimes, only to find you're not, and I guess that's where we ended up. Spooked. 

 

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6 minutes ago, fleshandbone said:

It's easy to paint him as someone who was just looking for a good time, or whatever else, but things aren't that simple sometimes.

I don't get that impression about him at all, actually. I think when push came to shove, he asked himself the hard questions and gave you the honest answer that you deserved.

I also think that him being a good, decent guy probably makes this whole situation all the more difficult for you.

9 minutes ago, fleshandbone said:

You may think you're ready for something sometimes, only to find you're not, and I guess that's where we ended up.

Yes, exactly. It sucks to be a rebound. I was there myself, once.

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2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I don't get that impression about him at all, actually. I think when push came to shove, he asked himself the hard questions and gave you the honest answer that you deserved.

I also think that him being a good, decent guy probably makes this whole situation all the more difficult for you.

Yes, exactly. It sucks to be a rebound. I was there myself, once.

It is that exactly. 

Yesterday, I had such a rollercoaster of emotion, before just finally hitting the moment that you feel it's really over. But, I call it over in my head, and my heart will catch up soon enough. 

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