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Had a bad dating experience, trust issues now


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Ok. I've thought about this for a while and feel maybe it would be helpful to share this story with other ENA's in case you guys have any advice on how to properly get back on track after dating what I think is a specific personality of a BAD man to date. Have you ever dated a man like this, and if so, how did you recover so that you did not lose your ability to trust?


A few months ago, I met a man who at first I thought was the man I had been waiting for a long time. He was very smart, a great conversationalist, tall and gorgeous, seemed to be remarkably sane from a good family, cultured (had lived in 4 countries for a substancial amount of time), charming, sweet and even a bit shy. He seemed to really be taken by me, too, and he called me every night and emailed me every day. At first this was much for me, but we seemed to connect so well, we talked for long amounts of time on everything. The holidays were approaching, so we both had the extra time to get to know one another.

We had met online, and I noticed he had deleted his profile right away after meeting me, so I deleted mine as well. I certainly had no interest in seeing anyone else. He made me believe I could fall in love with him. I was really, truly blissful. I had not been this excited about someone in EIGHT years.

He talked about coming down to meet my family, and seemed completely smitten as well, calling me all sorts of endearments and again, calling me every single night of the week. I thought it was all too good to be true, but I felt relaxed and so thrilled to have met him.


He seemed very shy, and inexperienced despite his age (26), and after a while I noticed how he was sort of self-absorbed and would liken a lot of things to himself...including me. He also talked about his father incessantly, as if he wanted to BE his dad. I later learned he did the same exact type of work as his dad.


We spent a weekend together and the next morning (a Monday), he seemed weird when we said goodbye. I didn't think much of it, but he brought it up in conversation later that day, apologizing and saying he was in a weird mood because he was late to work and his boss had called him to yell at him for it. I thought nothing of it and was not concerned. I did not hear from him for a couple of days, and I started to get a really bad feeling, especially since we had just slept together for the first time. I called him one night during that week and he was getting into bed, with no intention to call me (when he used to frequently). I asked him if he was having second thoughts about us. He said no, not at all. I said ok and that was that. But then he did not call again that week. He sent me a short email saying he was sick and busy at work and would call me from the airport, because he was heading home to visit his family for the holidays (2000 miles away).

By then, I was rather annoyed so I didn't bother replying to tell him I wouldn't even be home, because I was visiting MY family 300 miles north.


But then I was going through old emails and I found one of his. It had a link in it to his old profile on the dating site we had met on. For some reason, I clicked on it. I was shocked to find out that his profile was back up! Not only that, but it revealed that he had been actively using it within the last day (you know, while busy at work and sick).

I was shocked, so I called him. I asked him if he was on there to date other people, because if he was, then he should have told me about it. I said I didn't care if he dated other people, but don't lie to me and say you are not. He denied using it, I don't think he knew what to say. I then mentioned I was leaving town for a few days. He said he had to go and to call him back that night. I did call him that night, got his voicemail, and left a number where he could reach me at my family's over the holidays.


Of course he did not call. I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas in tears. I thought we had a budding relationship. I thought I had met the man of my dreams. I thought he was sane, reliable and honest, and that he liked me. I'm not a stupid person. He seemed to have gone to too much trouble simply to sleep with me. This was something else. I didn't know what, but I was confused and very hurt. I felt I had let myself down by not judging him better. But there was no way for me to have seen this coming.


When I got back to my home, I saw that he had called and emailed me. I called him back. I questioned him on what happened and he said 2 things. One is that he had talked to his dad (see previous part about that) and apparently, for some reason, his dad had talked him into moving accross the country back to their hometown and working with his dad or something like that. I thought that was weird since he had originally stated he left his hometown 6 months ago to pursue "something deeper" ie grow up and move on. But now he was moving back because his dad told him to quit his job at his current location? #2 was that he said, he could not explain why, but that pieces of conversation were falling into place for him, and I seemed "cynical". I almost laughed aloud when I heard that. I said I had no idea you had a problem with me. So he goes, "Surprise" with a ringlike tilt in his voice. He actually said "Surprise"! Surprise, I sleep with you, tell you I am falling for you, court you every night for the past month, make you my girlfriend, and then leave you out in the cold for the holidays. Surprise! Surprise, indeed. I choked as I was hearing this-- I didn't know to laugh or to cry. I had already cried my heart out over Christmas, so I had no tears left.

Then he goes, well I might be moving but I still want to date you. * * *? I was angry by then but I was still in shock, so I just got off the phone politely.


I didn't talk to him after that, and then it was New Years. He called me on New Years, from his taxi, on his way back from the airport, back from his demigod father's. I asked him why he was calling. I had written him a terse email ending things officially, but he had not read it (or so he claimed, but now I wonder). He wanted me to hang out with him that day! I was like, ummmm, no.


1 week later, I was leaving for a long trip out of the country. I was leaving from an airport in his city, not in mine (we lived about 1 1/2 hour away). I stupidly agreed to stay at his place for reasons beyond the scope of this post. He wanted to make out, of course. I guess by then I was still so upset about it that I figured it was my last goodbye. I didn't regret it (I regretted everything before it, so it didn't matter). After that, he emailed me once or twice, I answered half-heartedly, and then after a lapse in conversation, I just said he was not a stable person and I wasn't interested in dating him at all. He never wrote back. Now he is back on the dating site, but stated as living 2,000 miles away. I only noticed because I went back on the dating site, determined to date again and get past that awful experience.


Of course I was very hurt and spent a lot of time feeling angry and remorseful. I realized this person is a Narcissist to the 9th degree, and it is most likely that the whole thing was an effort to boost his ego at my expense. Which makes me feel ashamed and stupid, for letting it happen.


But when you are falling in love, do you ever stop to think the person you think you love is a total liar who is just out to make you love him because he lacks the security to feel good about himself unless he is using someone else?

Really? The thought didn't occur to me, either.


So, here's the real problem. I came back from my trip and started to date again, thinking I would ease into the dating field, have some fun, meet people but not get into anything too serious. I knew I had residual anger about this other person, but I figured it would go away as time passed.

Then I met someone I actually liked. I thought, cool, we can have fun together, he seemed pretty laid back. But 2 weeks into dating me, he started to pressure me into going exclusive, and seemed to REALLY like me (seemed-- I can't tell if someone likes me now so I am confused on that). Then he mentioned he is leaving accross the country in a few months. What does this start to feel like to me? I completely flipped on him via email, reamed him out for wanting to be exclusive when he is leaving (he mocked me for not living life when I said no), and then put him in the role of the other guy, making it seem like he is just out to use me for his own benefit. Of course he does not take to that kindly, and I now feel absolutely mortified at how I have reacted to this. Obviously, I am scarred from the man before him, and I am trying to backpaddle as quickly as I can and not flip on someone who did not deserve it. He (the new guy) apologized for the misunderstanding between us, and seems to actually be a good guy-- I would like to at least get a friendship out of it.

In the meantime, how do I redevelop the ability to TRUST again?

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By taking things at a slower pace - wait until you have dated in person consistently for at least a few months before becoming exclusive and before having sex.


Also never ever send something in an email that is negative and a personal attack.

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I'm sorry the first guy in your story hurt you so badly.


It's unfortunate what happened with the next guy you dated. While it's unfortunate, it's very common. I've been second guy in your story many times. The first nice guy to date a hurt woman will usually get burned.


Sounds like he did move too fast for exclusivity. While it was harsh, your reaction at the core was correct. You indeed shouldn't have become exclusive in this situation. The only reason you reacted as you did is because of your pain. If he is truly a nice guy, and if you tell him this, it is all he probably needs to know. If he is aware that your reaction was due to your past experience, its likely that a friendship will be retained at the least.


Batya33 gave some really good advice regarding exclusivity and sex in a relationship. While it is very difficult to hold back while a relationship is flying in the beginning, it is necessary. In other words, if you jump into either too fast, you're bound to fly so high and fast that a crash is imminent.


You will naturally learn to trust again. Just remember trust is something earned, not just given. Give yourself enough time in a relationship to let him earn your trust, and you his. The bad guys/girls are really good at talking their way into what should be earned. If he doesn't have the patience to earn your trust, he doesn't deserve it.


"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle." --Amy Bloom

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I agree with batya - next time, take things slower.... get to know him first. Like the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I know how you feel, I have gone on dates where I thought I had just met my future husband.....and then *poof!* they disappear, or turn into someone totally new! More likely, I fell for an image of them I had in my head, and his jerk behavior was his true self all along.


I guess my advice is really just to go slow. And if a guy is trying to pressure you into a relationship or anything too fast, be cautious. Go for the guys that seem to be operating at a normal pace.


good luck, and I am sorry that this happened!

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well, these situations you have been through suck. some guys can't figure out who they are and never will. emotions can take over with lust and they say stupid things that actually mean nothing. take it slow with this new guy. tell him you will be there when he gets back from wherever he is going if he wants to pursue further. don't start dating someone just before they leave accross the country or whatever. don't just flat out be exclusive with anyone, let it take its course and just happen.


sorry about the first guy. that is just bad behavior.

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Sorry about that first guy... what a jerk! My first love was a huge jerk, but he was very sweet and charming for two years before he changed and became outright abusive. I am in my first relationship now post-jerk. I was very scared to trust again when I ended that first relationship, but I had time to think over things and I have come to some conclusions:


1 - take things slowly and give yourself time to get to know a guy.


2 - actions mean a lot more than words. First guy was a huge sweet-talker, but the person I am with now is very sweet and thoughtful with ACTIONS instead of words. Talk is cheap!


3 - Some guys are very good at hiding the red flags, but will often leave a lot of yellow flags - slightly disturbing things that you shrug off as being too small to worry about. One or two yellow flags are okay, but if you stop and count up the yellow flags and they're either showing a pattern or are adding up, then hit the brakes and think about what is happening! My ex didn't show any red flags back in the initial period, but I had quite a collection of yellow flags that I should have paid more attention to.


4 - listen to your gut. If you're feeling uncomfortable, LISTEN to your feelings! Don't let the other person give you excuses, what does your gut and your head say? Its so easy to cling to excuses when you want to love the guy, but you got to listen to yourself as well.


5 - trust... but trust with your eyes wide open.

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