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Greetings - and a story from Spain

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I have spent hours reading this forum. It has helped so much to understand what was seemed like fog, thank you! I live alone in a small agricultural village in Southern Spain. The last couple of weeks have been dreadful. After a disastrous marriage it has been a while since I dated.

I am in non-communication with a younger woman I was going out with for a few months. She initiated the relationship ("men pick, women choose") and a lot of the early intimacy. We were both cautious but she was scared to go too fast because of a previous relationship. It looks like I scared her off.


So we both went NC for a few days here and there. Boy, we were stubborn.


Trouble was, we couldn't let it be. Her wonderful text messages made me smile and I would wish her goodnight and sweet dreams. Then she would want to see me again and back into a shallow dive in decreasing circles. Communication is a rare skill in the same language and I don't speak Spanish too well, so you can imagine some of the misunderstandings we got into.


Then, after some minor flirting on her part at the local fiesta, I decide to go cold turkey; not to draw her back, but for my own sanity. My heart was breaking, so I could not act rationally. I couldn't handle it and someone was going to get hurt. No-one has actually talked about dumping anyone, but she withdrew and has the control, so can be considered the dumper. I should have said “I need some space” – turned the tables, but I’ll know next time she calls, if she calls. Then I am the dumper.


It was really tough - I wanted to move on and put this behind me but in those quieter moments I put myself in her shoes, thought back on what she had actually said to me and realised what a complete idiot I had been and how much I loved her, and what I have almost certainly lost.


Last Wednesday night I pop up to my local bar to hang out with neighbours and grumble about women, as one does under these circumstances. But she is in the bar with some local guys, oh dear. It is well out of her way, she never goes there, women around here do not go into bars on their own and she lives miles away.


So much for my cold turkey - the dealer's in town and chucking it around like confetti.


I walk past as if I did not see them, but she shouts my name. I don't know if this was the right thing to do as I was turned to stone but I said "Hi" with a big smile, "What are you doing here?" in a pleasant enough croak. My intestines were so puckered up, I may as well have been chewing on a bag of lemons. Is it my ego, or love?


She points to a guy I don't know and says "I came with him". I look accross at the scrawny buffoon, look back at her and the philandering, alcoholic Elvis haircut she is sitting with, smile, shake my head, get some change from the barman, buy some cigarettes from the machine, say "see you around" and leave.... but not as cool as I would have liked.


Now here is one of my mantras "she has every right to see whomever she wants and go anywhere she wants". A tough one when there only two bars in town and the other one is where the mules hold their Karaoke nights.


Of course, I know why she is in my bar, she wants to see me again and make me jealous. She is trying her control thing again. Makes me feel stupid but she's the one flirting with inappropriate men in my village. Guess who wins that one?


Anyway, I am so pissed off, I haul my precious old convertible out of the garage. A battery lead has clogged up and in working it the car fan bites me, leaving the mark of Zorro accross my knuckles and blood on the floor.


How wonderfully apropos, even the car has turned against me. I cruised the valley for a couple of hours shouting at the moon, which turns out to be a wonderful fluke because no-one could miss my car and everyone knows who drives it. A few days later my builder says "I saw you driving through my town the other night. Very late." "Yeah, a great party." I respond, tapping my nose.


He is having an affair with the ex's best friend - so that should get back to her.


It is early days but I have been doing a lot of thinking (in between the intellectual suicide, horoscopes and cheap beer). You know, I owe my ex a real favour. This is the kick I needed. It has forced me to consider my position, my self-esteem, put a price on my own sense of worth, redefine my values and set new goals.


This has already allowed me to find this great forum, full of mutual support.


I lost her because I did not listen, I talked too much and did not show my love by giving her the space and time she asked for. In other words I did not act for her - even if it meant a non-action, I just got needy. She was asking me to enforce NC on her, and it might have worked.


I really hope to win her back, but in the meantime:


1. I work on myself - for myself

2. I get out more - there are other women out there who would be very happy to go out with me.

3. I follow up on those interests that fell by the wayside - they are what makes me "me".

4. Get my hair cut - that's what girls do when they're pissed off.

5. Buy a new wardrobe of clothes - got to look my best right?

6. I am already doing Pilates twice a week but I could do some more.

7. Keep up the diet, that and the exercise got me a date with a very hot young lady after all.

8. Pet my dog more. I have been ignoring him too much and he is very cool.

9. Make up with my old Dad. He's lonely and I have been ignoring his needs.

10. Carry on using my bar and just ignore her if she wants to keep popping around to make me jealous.


oh, and NO CONTACT.


Now, here is a another asset (as opposed to when I lived in the big cities). My ex has to come to my street every Friday, for work. I can choose to be at home, out, or in the street. An awful temptation during NC, but it means I can test the waters now and again just by walking past her or working on my car, even flirting with her again, when I am stronger. She will see what she is missing and if she has any further interest, I will know.


Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean I will have any further interest in her.


Around here, the culture is Latino macho dominated by the mother - a matriarch, so she is well used to guys chasing her. I may completely mess with her head or it’ll just fizzle out - but, as SuperDave (a wise and supportive man) has said so many times in this forum, this is for me, not her.


Apologies for the length of this post, it has been a kind of therapy for me.


I'll keep you informed, and if it looks like I am losing it - please somebody, remind me that I have duct tape in the garage


Best wishes. You are not alone,

River Dog

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