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Can this work out?


AntiNinja
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12 hours ago, Jibralta said:

I'm sorry that you're going through this. It sounds like it's been pretty tough.

It's sort of bad luck that you fell for someone like her. As Kwothe pointed out, she's got a pattern. You didn't see it coming, probably because you are the one who initially rejected her. On some level, you probably assumed you had the upper hand. And boy, was she glad to show you your error!

She's pretty vindictive.... and what's with that double standard of hers?

I don't know, I think this parting of ways is probably for the best. I know it's painful right now, and I'm sure it doesn't help that you're overwhelmed with everything else that's gone sideways in your life. But put one foot in front of the other and go forward. Things will get better.

Thank you, I do see this more and more exactly as you have said. It feels horrible now, but perhaps it is a lesson I need to learn at this point in my life. Much appreciated.

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Posted (edited)

Also, I'd like to post a general thanks again to everyone for their comments. I apologize for my defensiveness in some of my replies. I was trying to set the record straight on some things because I saw them first-hand and don't think I misinterpreted them. But that is no reason not to be grateful for everyone's replies, even the ones I disagreed with.

Also, one more thing. 

First, I don't have a lot of dating experience. I am finding all these articles and videos online about how women date and how men date, so I admit I was behaving with her out of a place of relative dating ignorance. Which also included taking stock of whether I should be dating at all.

I now see that. It is painful because a good deal of this online info talks about how men have to be masculine or women will be turned off, how women are like cats, etc., etc. For some naive reason I thought that because she and I are over 50 that these games would stop. I mean maybe in certain cases or with certain people the game doesn't stop. At the same time, that info is not totally bogus, because it felt good for me to feel like a man with her, as opposed to an emasculated broke guy who was drinking to drown his sorrows.

So at some level I felt terrified once I saw that there is the complex dating ecosystem around me and dating an attractive, smart, flirty woman draws all this male attention and social chess action. To some extent it exposed my own social class insecurity. Even though she and I seem to have both come from humble beginnings and are both well educated, she has associated herself with a higher social class whereas I have been more comfortable in a middle-class, intellectual oriented environment. Dating her turned that all on its head because after (as someone else aptly wrote) I thought all was good because I was moving things at my pace, she made a point of proving me that she had the upper hand.

Frankly it scares me, because it makes me wonder if I ever had a real connection with her the way I thought, or if I am just a fungible Dating Man(tm) who she presumed was one way but the dropped me like a hot potato when I wasn't that way.

Just wanted to add that to the thread. Thanks again.

Edited by AntiNinja
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55 minutes ago, AntiNinja said:

But in that moment at the bar I don't see any way to see her behavior as anything other than rude and self-serving. 

Well, yes. Notice that I said she handled it all very poorly. And yes, it was a double-standard. I never said it wasn't. She was feeling punitive, yes. Her behaviour sucked. Nobody is disagreeing with that, OP. 

My point is that, yes, in her opinion you were moving too slowly in committing.  So that was her dramatic "crap-or-get-off-the-pot" moment. You weren't committed to her (and fair enough, given you circumstances) so she bailed.

End scene. 

It's best that you two stay apart. There's too much water under this bridge and you will probably need plenty of time to feel rebalanced enough to pursue a healthy relationship. There's so rush. 

 

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39 minutes ago, AntiNinja said:

how women are like cats

I don't know where you're reading this, but it's probably best to evaluate women based on our  individual characters and not what someone online bros label us as. 

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I would say it was the fact you hid your financial situation from her and only revealed it when you had no other choice rather than her wanting some alpha male he-man "high society" type the alleged "dating experts" say all women want, that caused her to be turned off.

I think YOU think more poorly of yourself due to your circumstances than a lot of women would.

My brother lost his job when his company suddenly went out of business and was unemployed for several months as a result.  He had a wife, two children and another baby on the way.  His wife didn't bail on him because he was no longer "high society".  She saw he was trying to get himself and his family back on track and respected him for that.

Please try to do positive things to get yourself back on track, such as saving as much money as you can (no more money wasted on drinks!) and perhaps looking into additional employment and/or selling things you no longer need.

Good luck.

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My heart goes out to you. This is the kind of 'relationship' that heavy drinkers manufacture between themselves.

It runs an impulsive range of whatever mood either person is in at the time, and there is never enough solidity to form a foundation for anything.

I use the term 'manufacture' deliberately, because when a life is centered on drinking, all else is irrelevant beyond whatever impulse a person might conjure during a buzz or beyond.

So either of you might 'love' while you're buzzed, or one of you might be annoyed and the buzz amplifies the impulse to act out--it's just a roller coaster that doesn't really MEAN anything.

I'd redirect my focus away from her--she's transient, and so are any of your own impulses to attach 'meaning' to her. I'd focus, instead, on where I want to begin finding interests and creating incentives for me to move TOWARD. This will require building health, and I'd consider ways for me to find support in doing that.

If you can motivate yourself TOWARD a potential vision, whoever comes or goes during your pursuit of that will matter far less than getting your SELF on solid ground. This will gain you the perspective to see 'through' bad matches and find someone who is equally healthy and READY to invest in a partnership with you.

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On 7/31/2021 at 4:28 AM, MissCanuck said:

You misunderstood what she was really trying to get at here. This was her passive-aggressive attempt to remind you that you set the goalposts by not wanting to make her your girlfriend, so it was by your own doing (in her mind) that she was free to meet other men. I read this comment a lot more like, "Welp, you don't want me, so what did you expect?!"

It was an immature way for her to handle things, of course. But it sounds to me like she was hoping you would sieze that opporunity to "claim" her.

Having said all of that, it is also clear that you were indeed not ready for a relationship. As such, you were right not to go there. Her mistake was hanging on when you couldn't offer her more. Focus on getting yourself to a better place before you attempt dating again. 

I actually agree with this. I was thinking the same thing. That initially when you met from the dating site, she was interested in you romantically but you rejected her and said you just wanted to be friends. She did say to you that she doesn't need more friends and implied she doesn't appreciate being friend zoned. But because she likes you she would stay in touch. I think she was probably secretly hoping that you would actually date her and that's why she began making moves on you and sending you all the really sweet texts and memes. Although you weren't really committing to her and plus you came forward about your money problems.

I'm not trying to make you feel bad but unfortunately the reality is that your debt is pretty significant. I think this would be a concern for most women. Not necessarily because they're some kind of gold diggers but because they want to do things together as a couple and you are broke and not able to do them. I'm very outgoing and would want to do nice dates like dinners, movies, trios away also. If my partner had no money for this I would feel either pressured to pay for everything or just turned off in general and thinking I may need to find someone else.

I think though that this woman's behaviours are immature. I think she was trying to make you jealous deliberately and also threw the "we are not committed" in your face to possibly make you actually commit, which you didn't.

If I was you though I would just leave her alone and stop pursuing her at all. If she wanted to date you she could have actually said that. Instead she was playing games and flirting with other guys and giving out her number or letting other guys take her home. Even if you aren't committed but it's just tactless and disrespectful. Even if people are also seeing other people, they don't want to be out with that person and that person to be hitting on others right in front of them. I don't know why she's doing this but her behaviour is immature and disrespectful. She didn't have to agree to be friends or keep in touch all that time, that was her own choice. She can't actually blame you for that. I would say she's either not really that interested in you or trying to punish you, or both. 

I don't think the issue is that you're a man and therefore you shouldn't be bombarding her with messages and begging. This would look unattractive from any gender. If women have already blocked you before for this drunken behaviour then you have plenty of evidence that you behave in a very off putting way, and you actually know this. So I think it would be in your best interests to stop acting like this. I think the ship with this woman has sailed and she doesn't respect you now because of your money problems and your grovelling and smothering.

I think just block her on everything and move on. Then if you meet a new woman I think give it a really good chance and make an effort from the start. None of this "I just want to be friends". Start actually dating the woman and try to your best ability to contain your drinking so that you don't give a bad impression. Start off on the right foot from the beginning.

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On 7/30/2021 at 12:59 PM, AntiNinja said:

With all due respect, I don't think I jumped to conclusions. Read the non-apology text she sent me, as well as her double standard the she somehow had the right to be upset if I got a girl's number right in front of her, but I have no right to be upset at the same behavior. Of course, that doesn't excuse mistakes I made or make her responsible for my problems, but by the same token, my mistakes or problems don't give her the right to create a double-standard especially after she had previously been so willing to do so many things with me that romantic couples do. I think it would have been far better for her to say, sure go get girls' numbers as well since we are not committed. But that isn't what she said.

I think the other responses to my comment have been far more accurate and helpful than yours. Thanks.

She got a number from an old school friend. You got a number from a stranger.  You are seeing through a jealous lens and big ego.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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Posted (edited)
On 8/2/2021 at 12:23 PM, tattoobunnie said:

She got a number from an old school friend. You got a number from a stranger.  You are seeing through a jealous lens and big ego.

Sorry, I must have been unclear. I got no number from a stranger, I presented that to her as a hypothetical to ask how she would feel if I did that in front of her.

Also, the guy was not an old school friend, as I understand they had never met before that night. They went to schools in the same neighborhood when they were young and he used that to ask for her number. 

I still think it was double standard behavior on her part, especially because at one point about a month ago (well after the bar number exchange), I went to dinner with her and her teenage son. As we were walking back to her building, we passed a restaurant where I had gone on 2 dates over the course of 2020 with a woman I had clearly told her I was not interested in at all. She pointed to the restaurant and said, and her son heard her clearly, "That's where he takes his OTHER girlfriend." 

That woman was in no way anything like a girlfriend to me, just to be clear. I had been exclusive from my side for many, many months. I hope you can see the lack of proportionality in her responses versus mine.

Yes we had both been drinking, so that seems to be the theme here rather than just my jealousy and my ego.

Thanks.

Edited by AntiNinja
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On 7/30/2021 at 10:03 AM, AntiNinja said:

I feel worthless and that no woman would date me

 

It has a lot to do with your ego.  Either way, this relationship isn't going to, and isn't working out, and you still have to work through what you're feeling.

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23 hours ago, tattoobunnie said:

It has a lot to do with your ego.  Either way, this relationship isn't going to, and isn't working out, and you still have to work through what you're feeling.

Sure, I see that, but everyone has an ego. Maybe I am reading you wrong, but the gist of your replies seems to have been that my big ego was the main problem between me and her.

I was making a distinction between what you called my "big ego" over the number exchange and pointed out another example of something she said that hurt me. I don't think one has to have a big ego to be hurt by some things said. 

Rather, I think it was a mix of, yes, some defensive, self-centered reactions on my part after I had to reveal to her my issues. But lots of couples have situations where one person has big issues and the other person doesn't pull away or start making hurtful comments or doing hurtful things. 

At any rate, I have restarted therapy and am working on cutting down my drinking, maybe cutting it out entirely. That's scary to me because of how much I have used alcohol to numb my pain in general, not just over this breakup. Also because I don't know where in my life I can actually increase my self-esteem. I'm just trying to take it one day a time at this point. And finally, I have been ignoring how big a role depression has been playing in my life since my divorce. The breakup has just compounded that by increasing my isolation, hopelessness, and lack of ability to concentrate.

Thanks again.

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Just now, AntiNinja said:

Sure, I see that, but everyone has an ego. Maybe I am reading you wrong, but the gist of your replies seems to have been that my big ego was the main problem between me and her.

I was making a distinction between what you called my "big ego" over the number exchange and pointed out another example of something she said that hurt me. I don't think one has to have a big ego to be hurt by some things said. 

Rather, I think it was a mix of, yes, some defensive, self-centered reactions on my part after I had to reveal to her my issues. But lots of couples have situations where one person has big issues and the other person doesn't pull away or start making hurtful comments or doing hurtful things. 

At any rate, I have restarted therapy and am working on cutting down my drinking, maybe cutting it out entirely. That's scary to me because of how much I have used alcohol to numb my pain in general, not just over this breakup. Also because I don't know where in my life I can actually increase my self-esteem. I'm just trying to take it one day a time at this point. And finally, I have been ignoring how big a role depression has been playing in my life since my divorce. The breakup has just compounded that by increasing my isolation, hopelessness, and lack of ability to concentrate.

Thanks again.

Ego as in thinking if she changes or you change, narrowing your tunnel vision that it might work out.  Ego as in pride that instead of working on your issues, you placed a bulk of the blame on her.  It's not her fault you're broke and lushing it up.  Nor is this a statement that I think I'm better than you.  But since you keep playing the victim card, I can see that's how you interpret what I'm saying, and that's your ego.

If I can save you some time for coming up from rock bottom...ditch the hooch, and utilize that energy at the gym and get your workout on.  Start volunteering at a non-profit or charity...on the board, on a committee, hands on, whatever...you need to retrain your brain.  What you are doing to yourself now isn't doing you any favors mentally and to your waste line.

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2 hours ago, tattoobunnie said:

Ego as in thinking if she changes or you change, narrowing your tunnel vision that it might work out.  Ego as in pride that instead of working on your issues, you placed a bulk of the blame on her.  It's not her fault you're broke and lushing it up.  Nor is this a statement that I think I'm better than you.  But since you keep playing the victim card, I can see that's how you interpret what I'm saying, and that's your ego.

If I can save you some time for coming up from rock bottom...ditch the hooch, and utilize that energy at the gym and get your workout on.  Start volunteering at a non-profit or charity...on the board, on a committee, hands on, whatever...you need to retrain your brain.  What you are doing to yourself now isn't doing you any favors mentally and to your waste line.

Thanks for the clarification. What you just wrote makes a lot of sense. Much appreciated.

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3 hours ago, AntiNinja said:

At any rate, I have restarted therapy and am working on cutting down my drinking, maybe cutting it out entirely. That's scary to me because of how much I have used alcohol to numb my pain in general, not just over this breakup.

Excellent. Agree this is a great start, even if the breakup was the inspiration for all this. 

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Thanks Wiseman2. At the moment the guilt is crushing me, so I need to find a way to stabilize and focus. tattoobunnie was spot on in her most recent reply, sorry it took so long for me to see it. The back and forth of denial over the previous weeks made me text so much needy and bitter nonsense to this lady, re-reading even bits of it is like watching a slow-motion trainwreck. I pushed way too hard and should have backed off and doubled down on working on my own stuff. She gave me so many chances to stick to the friend part and I didn't listen. 

Part of it I found in this video. It really drove home how I should have dealt with my depressive thinking, accepted that she had pulled away but still wanted to be friends. My impatience caused me to believe my feelings over reality, and no matter how much she did blur boundaries from her side early on, that had nothing to do with how I should have reacted recently. The video also says for people with depression risk factors (as I have), alcohol intake should be precisely zero. Makes total sense intellectually, but it is frightening how hard it is for me to do. At the moment I feel like I already screwed things up with this woman, and I am in such a deep hole of insecurity and paralysis, I have really backed myself into a corner here. 

I need to also work on outward thinking orientation. The video says (as many in this thread probably already know), I am too internally oriented. It is a vicious circle because I feel clumsy and stupid and like a loser, so that hinders my feelings about going out and doing things and meeting people. Even volunteering makes me feel like a failure, not the most noble thing to say but just being honest. What I mean is I should have taken on volunteering earlier when it wasn't part of trying to get my life together. But I do see that it will help me to orient outward and not inward.

This is not fun.

 

 

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On 8/11/2021 at 4:56 PM, AntiNinja said:

I feel clumsy and stupid and like a loser

Take one step at a time.  I would 100% recommend doing one new and different thing each day, such as:

  1. Taking a different route home from work
  2. Eating out or picking up take-out from someplace new
  3. Texting one friend you actually like, but haven't reached out to for a while, and just say, "hi, how are you, how's life by you"
  4. Cooking something you've never made before
  5. Wearing a new piece of clothing
  6. Go something you normally don't go to...museum, town, etc.

Getting out of a funk, rut, and spiral calls for doing things differently.

And always remember, break-ups are hold.  It does take time to work through it...and taking time to work through it, you learn from it.  In the meantime, put all the things that remind you of her in a box, and hide in the back of the closet.  And block and delete her number (you have to), or you will always pine.  If she really needs to get a hold of you, she will...but don't hold your breath...meaning, you need to get one foot forward in front of the other, and move forward.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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