About Going With The Flow by Nat Lue Baggage Reclaim - two people rowing in the opposite directionAbout Going With The Flow by Nat Lue Baggage Reclaim

I’ve been on a few trips with people where one or both of us have suggested that we ‘go with the flow’ instead of making firm plans. I found that we were either on the same page and had a great time or… it turned out to be a clash of ideals because one of us had firm ideas about what they did or didn’t want to do which reared their ugly head while ‘flowing’. Since then, I know not to take the easy route of suggesting ‘the flow’ if it’s not my true want, especially because it paves the way for an honest conversation about what we both want to get out of the trip.

Similarly in relationships, if you’re both travelling in the same direction (similar outlook, needs, wants, expectations etc), it’s easy to ‘go with the flow’ organically, especially when you’re both willing to have an open dialogue in the interests of going with that flow. Where it becomes problematic is when one of you is doing your best to stall the flow or to steer down a different path, possibly while still claiming that you’re ‘going with the flow’.

In dating and relationships, the suggestion of ‘going with the flow’ can create unease if it crops up in a conversation where you are essentially seeking clarification about the other person’s position and/or the status of your relationship.

Time and again I’ve heard people express how the moment they heard this, it was the start of a slide down a slippery slope of self-doubt (Am I being needy/uptight?) and not listening to their own needs, expectations and wishes to ensure that they tallied up with the ‘flow’ that was being suggested.

We don’t know what the ‘destination(s)’ are when we embark on dating someone – even though we can be inclined to hope that it will be Destination: Long-Term or Destination: Fairy Tale – but if one of us is disrupting the flow while insisting, “Of course I’m open to a relationship” or the equivalent of, “How could you think that I don’t want to commit after I’ve blown hot and cold on you numerous times?”, there’s no flow to be going with.

Let’s be real – “go with the flow” often means “Flow your way into my bed” or “Let’s keep this casual” or “Why do we have to ‘label’ things?”

It’s great to meet someone who is genuinely open to a relationship and interested in getting to know you regardless of the outcome – it only takes one person in the end. It’s not so great to meet someone who starts out hot out of the gate and then undermines their actions, words, and intentions with sabotage due to feeling the “current” taking them into that familiar zone that brings out their fear of commitment.

The funny thing is that when someone emphasises going with the flow, they’re actually not only wanting to have a lot more control of the flow but they also forget that if two people are truly going with the flow, it’s steady and organic. If they truly wanted to go with the flow, conversations that crop up as a natural part of discovery and a person wanting to know where they stand would be part of the flow, not censored whether implied or stated.

It’s good to go with the flow to a degree in your relationships because you don’t want to hold a board meeting and scrutinise every move. In getting a sense of one another and going through discovery, you get a sense of who each of you are, what to expect and of course, what the nature of your relationship is (people unfold and who someone is and what they will and won’t do is self-evident) and a sense of its direction.

A relationship without some element of commitment (and no I don’t mean marriage which is not the only form of commitment), is a relationship without direction. Some people are so afraid of commitment, they won’t even talk about two days ahead!

There’s no need to take it to the nth degree and think “Well commitment means that I would need to know what we’ll be doing on July 28th 2022 and everything in between” but it is too much for someone to expect that you would be together for several months or even years and the nature of your involvement and a sense of where you’re headed is still ambiguous. Unless you’re a teenager, I doubt you have the time to put aside to ride on someone else’s coat tails and wait for their instruction and even then, I still wouldn’t suggest it to a teenager!

You are a person with your own needs, wants, expectation and life.

You have your own flow – best to make sure you’re travelling life’s journey with people who are flowing with not against you.

You’ve also got to ensure that you don’t fear pushing your mental flush handle for those who need to flow the hell out of your life so that you don’t end up busting your own boundaries. You don’t want too much ‘in’ and not enough out as you may end up constipated…

It’s a given that you have to ‘flow’ to a degree in the early stages of dating somebody and at the same time you need to have on your life preserver (not emotional airbag) and be self-aware enough to do discovery while continuing to be you, but if someone is asking you to go with the flow, be careful of co-signing to something that isn’t in your best interests and find out what their idea of ‘flowing’ means – finding out what that looks and feels like to them as well as your own version of ‘flow’ is all a part of discovery. Unless you’re at least flowing in the same direction, you’re not on the same page and you’re certainly not in the same relationship.

Your thoughts?

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107 Responses to About ‘going with the flow’

  1. Ann says:

    Regular reader here. I LOVE that you point out that the questions that arise are actually PART of the “flow”! You have shifted my worldview yet again. Thanks!

  2. Colorado sweet pea says:

    Well, there ya go! After a nine month relationship and all the thoughts and questions mentioned here…I have some clarity . Finally! I even have asked him if we are in the same relationship…a few times. :( always with the assurance that if I would just go with the flow, things would be so much easier. For WHO? I asked myself.
    So, being the kind and a accommodating gal I am, I’ve been flowing…and flowing and flowing……wondering just where this lazy river will stop. Thanks for the clear insight and just in time, too. Summer is coming and I have lots to do and think about…besides flowing …:)1

    • dcd568 says:

      The lazy river ride stops wherever it is you decide to get out of the boat. He’s not going to push you out because you, as the nice girl, don’t make waves and he likes that. You have to decide if it’s time to get out.

      • Lacy says:

        Ded568 you are exactly right you have to get out the boat,they are not going to push you out.I got out of the boat for 3 mths ago the jerk kept calling from different num,came by twice the last stunt move of his was him coming to my house at the same time my daughter was coming in from school and lying to her saying he was waiting on me and he’ll just sit in the house and wait for me to come home. This jerk insisted i talk to him and said he want a relationship and he can’t live without me on wed on sat he said i was pushing him away.I pushed him away because I was stupid enough to agree to going out with him on sat and all I got was a one line text Wya,so I told him at home and where are u I’ll come where u are he replied back in a sec,turned to never.I text him sun morn about how disappointed I was that after all these mths I been trying to move on he hunt me down I agree to the terms of a relationship for it to all be a lie. He said the text was too long and i pushed him away nagging him.So on wed u want a relationship but I didn’t see u again til sun,what type of progress is that when we haven’t seen each other in 3 mths? So with that being said even though he lied it set me back,a lil and even sparked feelings again,he maybe thinking I’m on hold once again while he forge a relationship elsewhere but I’m Nc again permanent. change my cell again and changed my house line,I’ll move if I have to or if he shows up I’ll call the police.So I’m pushing myself out the boat.

        • dcd568 says:

          Good for you. I have found that if you stick to NC…do not engage in ANY type of communication…they will go away. I had one that used to turn up at events I was at when I was with a date and he would just stare at us. It was very unnerving…But I never engaged or acknowledged him and he finally went away.

          You have a daughter. You MUST set an example for her. There is no way you would let some male treating her the way he is treating you…don’t let him do it to you either.

          Good luck…you can do this.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Just beautiful. I need these daily reminders of how special I am and how I need boundaries. I have ALWAYS “Gone with the flow” to just please my partner…never thinking of myself in the process. Thank you.

  4. Wiser says:

    “Flow your way into my bed.” Fabulous! :)

  5. Cheryl Edith says:

    Natalie, I want to thank you for the great blogs; I am a 50-something, freshly in the dating arena after 32 years. I appreciate the candor with which you present each piece and it does help me immensely. “Going with the flow” was very helpful to me. Thank you again

  6. paolo says:

    Might be important for us to remember that if someone is ‘flowing’, then much like being on a river, you can only flow downstream, Never up; and you can end up anywhere.

    • Rachael says:

      hey Paolo,

      possibly, the “paddle” that you find yourself up sh_t creek without, is ur self esteem

      lesson… don’t let em row unless u have a spare paddle

      • paolo says:

        Another bullshit one is ”Lets see how it goes”…Iv’e learned however that, How it goes, is based where it goes..If there’s no steering into progression, then its casual and no amount to semantics will change that.

        • NCC says:

          paolo,

          Yep, heard that one before. Actually it was the EUM after the EUM/AC. I asked after, oh maybe a little over a month of seeing each other what his feelings were on relationships, that sort of thing. “Let’s just see where it goes” was his response. Then…it all went on the downward slope from there just as Natalie says here. He eventually went ice cold when after I guess I wasn’t “seeing where it goes” he froze all together and later told me he didn’t have feelings for me. Which my gut knew that “let’s see where it goes” basically meant, but also that “I enjoy the physical part of our relationship and I don’t want to screw that up by saying the wrong thing, but that’s all I want out of this.”

        • Little Star says:

          Exactly Paolo, it does NOT GO anywhere!!! I was stuck with ACs and was waiting that the situation will be different and they would realize what a great person I am, but what I heard only: “Let’s see where it goes blah blah blah” Thanks GOD to Natalie, I am not longer with them!

  7. JenniferA says:

    This was amazing as usual!! Every time another revelation! Are we in the same relationship? Hit the nail on the head. Had a bit of a backslide last week when we were in contact after 3 months. Feeling very sad now….he put some fishing hooks in the water but I didn’t bite. Still sad though.

  8. Angi says:

    Amazing. A fellow single mom turned me on to your blog. I had to stop reading for a while because it gave me angst…because I knew you were right and I couldn’t admit I was with a completely unavailable man.

    I’m out of it now and have a lot of clarity.

    This one really hit home. It was always, “Let’s play it by ear…” I’m glad I’m not the only one that thought that was a cop-out! Thanks for all you do!

  9. nancyw says:

    The man I am involved with is always telling me to just enjoy the moments and “go with the flow.” As I have recently mentioned, right now he is “discovering himself” and “doing the celibacy thing” which in the past has meant he is looking for new supply. One day he’ll write that he is in retreat, the next day he’ll write that I am his “friend, lover and journey mate.” He admits he is a sex addict and always hints that I read about polygamy. Today he sent me an email that I am a sweet sweet lover friend. He confuses me and makes me feel guilty that I can’t just go with the flow. Then I question myself as to why I believe in being monogamous. We haven’t had sex for over a month because he is “finding himself” yet he hints at sex all the time. He keeps saying that we need to “get together soon” but I believe he’s just stringing me along in case he has to work too hard to find a new sleep mate. In the meantime, he’s telling me how much he is working on himself and trying to be “a better man and that I don’t deserve him. It has taken all my strength to not “go with his flow” and ask to see him. Right now I am holding strong, but it’s very, very difficult. I promised him that I would always be a friend, but I’m finding it very exhausting.

    • pinkpanther says:

      Nancy,
      you don’t need to be his friend forever. If he truly goes with the flow he will understand.

      I think you have all the information you need from/about this guy. Now it’s your turn to make good decisions for yourself.
      best of luck

      • Robyn says:

        Nancy,

        You are a queen. Dump this man and find your king. This man is feeding you a steady stream of BS that is (and should be) beneath you.

        Be prideful,
        Robyn

        • Nancyw says:

          Thanks Robyn! I DO need to find my king. And I love your signature….be prideful. Haven’t had a lot of that lately!!

    • Allison says:

      Nancy,

      The fact that the man is a sex addict should be enough info. This man has demonstrated repeatedly, that he not not capable of a healthy, monogamous relationship. Why are you still in communication with this guy?

    • FinallyAwake says:

      Any man that tells you “that you are not good enough for him” should be flushed ~ like yesterday…..

      • Nancyw says:

        I meant he tells me that he doesn’t deserve me. But either way…it’s just typical narc talk.

  10. Lucky_Charms says:

    Today is 6 months of NC. All because I stopped going with the flow. At first I was OK going with the flow, because I was newly widowed and in the middle of a probate case, (my 39 year old husband died with out a will) when I met the AC. When I no longer wanted to go with his flow, he did the whole future faking and I gave it a go, with another go with the flow. Then I found BR and found out how emotionally lazy I was, I have worked and worked on a lot of unsightly things about myself. The best thing are the boundaries I surround myself with now, so I never just go with the flow again. I quit smoking and started running. I take myself on dates and my daughters to pedicures! I have found that I am worth way more than going with the flow on the AC Lazy River. At first NC was not easy. There are days I want to break NC, but I don’t. I can’t believe 6 months has gone by. I still have more work to do on myself. I guess I am a work in progress. I am really thankful to you all here on BR. I read all your comments faithfully every week.

    • Nancyw says:

      Awesome. You give me inspiration!!!

    • BethD says:

      Congrats lucky! Glad you decided to go with your flow. It sounds like a flow of good energy has come your way. 6 months NC is something to be proud of. I am also nearing that mark. It is actually scary for me as I have broken nc twice right about this point in past years. I know better now that thinking you can handle contact is a huge mistake. Keep strong. You are doing great!

  11. Max says:

    Baggage RC is the BEST site ever!!!! I always read the articles I love them. Each and every day we have to remind ourselves. We are special – We deserve the relationship WE WANT!! And I will repeat Nat – We TEACH people how to treat us. Love BR Thank You for inspiring me everyday!!!!

  12. Anita S says:

    Dear Natalie,

    This month I will be 61-years-old (divorced). Recently, I ran into a man I dated nearly 40 years ago. I was very hurt by our relationship. I got pregnant; he bolted. Later he blamed me because he suspected that I was seeing someone else. It seems that I get very torn up over the men who have hurt me the most. I have ordered your book “Mr. Unavailable and the Fall-Back Girl.” I have learned more from it than any of the other relationship, self-help books that I’ve read over the years. It is the only one that addressed issues relevant to my situation. In your book I received a personal epiphany regarding my own “unavailability.”

  13. Myway says:

    Thanks for this post Natalie, I’ve been flowing around according to his wills. When it came to me questioning where this flow was going to lead us. He had no answer and instead said “we both are very happy in this relationship, so just enjoy what we have now and see what the future holds” After 8 months of dating, I had enough of this “go with the flow” mentality and decided it was not fair for him to tie me down just because he didn’t know where he wanted to go in this relationship. I wanted to settle down and commit to him, but he wasn’t ready because he believes that he needs to be financially secured before he can settle down… he’s never going to be financially secured because he does not have the educational/social skills to advance. Yet I overlooked this because I don’t mind support the both of us with my salary. However he was not comfortable with this idea and thought that even if it takes him 10 years to succeed, then he’ll wait that long to settle down with me. This reality check really hurts, eventhough I broke up with him, the heartache lingers because aside from his lack of commitment to me in the future. He is husband material and is a wonderfully caring, compassionate and honest guy. How do I move on without demonizing him? He’s not a bad guy, he’s just a guy not certain about the future and likes to go with the flow…But I want to settle down soon because i’m running out of time in the procreation department…

    • Wiser says:

      Sounds like the two of you just have incompatible goals and that’s very sad to realize. He may be a good guy but he’s immature, and I’m sorry to say that someone who is truly husband material WANTS to commit – and he doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with being sad about this and there is no need to demonize him, just wish him well, wish him happiness and be glad you were true to what you really want for your life.

    • grace says:

      Myway
      Lots of men, more so than women, believe they need x salary of y savings before they can marry. I even heard one say to me, “I need to sort out my budget in case I get a girlfriend”. At least he has the decency not to start something he won’t finish and has been single for ages. Shame, I think he’d make a lovely boyfriend but the finances are important to him.

      • EllyB says:

        Grace: I agree. If two people are able to sustain themselves seperately (even if on a meager budget), why couldn’t they do the same together? I would be wary of constantly supporting someone else, though – simply because I would be scared of being taken advantage of.

        Another problem for me would be mobility. For my new job, I’ll have to move to another city. Around here it would have been very difficult for me to find new employment.

        Most guys I know aren’t willing to relocate for their wife/girlfriend though. They would expect HER to move with them on a whim… but never the other way round.

        Many people find this reasonable because most guys (still) make considerably more $$$ than women even in comparable jobs. Anyway, I wouldn’t want to stop working, take a job for which I’m overqualified or stay in a toxic work environment only in order to stay near a partner who refuses to compromise about anything that might support MY carreer.

  14. mereanne says:

    Great post…probably my favourite so far. Have only been reading BR for a couple weeks but have found it immensely helpful in dealing with my recent breakup. I only wish I had found it at the start of my relationship so I could have kicked that dude to the curb!

    Said dude was a complete AC, non-commital, too busy, millions of excuses, no apologies, and more than once went AWOL. My work suffered, my health and son suffered, my other relationships suffered. He wanted to go with flow, but on his terms. He also wants the break up on his terms. Offering the “friendship” card so he doesnt feel like a complete AC. So NO MORE I have gone NC on him, early days but feeling strong.

    Big UPS to the women posting here, you are stronger than you know, to go through relationships(its) with your respective AC’s. Live, love and know that you have support in family and friends. I guess for me I had to learn the lesson the hard way. Through experience. So thanks for the post Natalie. My boundaries are firmly set and will be aware of any potential deal breakers in future relationships. But for now, I am happy being me, doing things I love and spending time with the people I love and who love me.

    • BethD says:

      Keep strong mere and keep reading. The biggest thing you realized was the relationship was unhealthy and you needed to flush. So glad you didn’t take his pathetic offer of friendship which is just another way to get the flow moving in his direction.

  15. finallygettingit69 says:

    Yep, I was told that “we shouldn’t have to label things.” The label should have read “100% certified bullshit.”

    • Lau_ra says:

      This piece is just awesome:D
      “Not labelling things” usually goes hand in hand with “going with the flow” and a bunch of excuses and vague answers to the questions given in a very very certain manner, as the experience has shown.

  16. wanderingirl says:

    I, too, got the “I like to go with the flow” speech, which to him meant being able to text old girlfriends (but getting jealous when I started looking at/for other men), and his subtle attempts at controlling the whens, hows, and whys of the relationship. He wasn’t flowing. He was steering the boat in his preferred direction. Thanks for another great (and timely) post!

  17. Sarah T says:

    I’ve always found that the phrase ‘go with the flow’, when used in relationships, means that options should be kept open. I’ve a history of not wanting to appear needy or demanding so I’d always agree to be loose and care-free. This is where doubt would creep in!
    Hindsight shows me that the other party always had hold of the wheel or at least one foot hovering over the brakes! My relationship now is one where we don’t plan years ahead but, wherever the journey takes us, we’ll be on it together!

  18. Jes says:

    Almost two years ago my LDR of three years ended (it was my first relationship ever; he broke it off). During the time we were together, he sometimes said “isn’t it enough to know that i love you today?” when i wanted to talk about the possibility of a future for the two of us. He wanted me to “go with the flow”, as you describe in your article, but in effect he only wanted control.

    Soon after he ended things (definitely NOT a clean break!), he started something with his fysiotherapist (who happened to also be an ex of one of his so-called “best friends”). However, he was at least emotionally and possibly also physically unfaithfull with her a couple of months before he finally ended it with me but never wanted to admit it, even afterwards when i begged him for the truth because it would help me to know in order to get over it.

    Even now i’m still trying to figure out if he was emotionally unavailable and afraid to commit. Maybe it had to do with me, because not even a year into their relationship they moved in together. Doesn’t sound like someone who is EU, does it?

    I thought i tried to process it and let most of it go, but a couple of weeks ago my grandmother died, and that loss seems to have brought up all of this again…

    Some thoughts?

    • Lau_ra says:

      Jes,
      I’d say, good riddance for that cheating AC. Even if he moved in with that woman, so what? He cheated on you. How does that look in an application for the job of your significant other? Not so good, right? If she didn’t know about you two, well, she is not THAT lucky anyway. If she did – they deserve each other.

    • confused123 says:

      This happened to me. Exactly as you describe. It hurts.
      The way I look at it as such, if she knew about you then they deserve to be with eah other as they are both AC. If she did not, he lied and cheated you both. Do you really want to be with someone like that?
      What a unceremonious start to a ‘relationshit’. Anyone worthy would have ended prior to becoming emotionally or physical with someone else.
      All this being said. It still hurts.

      • Jes says:

        Oh, she definitely knew about him and me! Because i wanted to know her reasons for spending so much time with my (then) boyfriend, i sent her a – very civilized and polite – message through Facebook asking her just that. She told him about my message and he was very angry, saying i had no right to question her integrity like that. After a while, she sent me a mail (in Portuguese, although i believe her English was better then my Portuguese), saying “i don’t know about your country (Belgium), but in Brazil there really does exist friendship between a man and a woman. And what we are is exactly that: friends (she wrote “friends” in capital letters). I have absolutely no interest in S (my ex), he’s not even my type!” She actually sent it to him, he had to send it to me, because she didn’t want me having her email address. It’s not easy forgetting about all of that, although i deleted every message i ever received from them almost a year ago.
        Even then in those last weeks of our “relationship”, he was very protective about her, instead of me. And that was only a very short time after he came to Europe to spend five weeks with me! Afterwards, when i asked him for his reason for traveling so far, he said “he still wanted to give our relationship another chance.” I think it was just to have fun (we had planned to go to Rome and visit some friends of his in Paris) and to silence his conscience.

        It all happened because i let it happen. Because i still believed that things could be better, like before, when he still studied in Paris and we were very much in love. Never ever did i knew then that he was capable of treating me like that, nor that i was capable of letting him. Strange, isn’t it? And indeed, as you say very hurtful. Still, it’s not easy to just say “oh, he was a cheating AC or EUM”. I wish i could, but we also had some really good times together…

        It helps telling it here, even if it is after two years. Thank you for taking the effort of reading my comment and responding. :) You’re right, it is a terrible start for their relationship, but that’s very hard for him to acknowledge, i think.

        I should stop wishing for him to ever tell the truth or to admit that he treated me very badly. I should forgive myself for letting him cross my boundaries several times and for not walking away and cutting my losses. I should, but it’s very difficult.

        I hope you’re doing well (having experienced something similar) and wish you strength and wisdom.

        • Marie83 says:

          Hi Jes,
          This really struck a chord with me

          “I should stop wishing for him to ever tell the truth or to admit that he treated me very badly. I should forgive myself for letting him cross my boundaries several times and for not walking away and cutting my losses. I should, but it’s very difficult”

          My ex is with someone lse and she is pregnant. However he refuses to admit this to me – most of the time I am NC. However when I do break it it is to engage with him in the hope that he will show remorse and say I didn’t deserve this and he is sorry/guilty or something – in reality this will not help me – if he was capable of treating me disrespectfully/emotionally abusing me then he lacks the integrity/personal awareness of seeing his behaviour as problematic. I see his poor treatment of me as a sign that I am wothless and unloveable but really by continuing to engage and look for answers/closure I am giving my ex the power over my self esteem and asking him to define my worth

          • Jes says:

            Hi Marie83,
            since one year i have been NC with my ex. But it has been NC in the strict sense of the word: trying not to contact him, because i had learned in the year before that he almost never responded to my emails and the few times he did, it was very painful. It was also he who cut contact after he told me he was with her now. Maybe afterwards, i should be lucky he did, but it didn’t stop me from sending him emails in the hope that he would somehow “make it all right”. Eventually, i stopped sending him mails he – i assume almost never – read. I realized i was only hurting myself.

            But i didn’t go and still haven’t gone NC in my head. However hard i try, i seem to keep harboring the hope that one day he will call me and say he’s sorry, that he made a mistake. Rationally i know that this day might never come, emotionally i keep hoping. It is proving very difficult to let go of this hope, but i’m trying… by going to a therapist, by practicing zen buddhism, by trying to teach myself that i am enough, that i am complete, and that i don’t need him validating my feelings and my view of what has happened.

            Because, Marie83, you are absolutely right, this way we keep giving them the power to define our worth and there is no happiness in that route, only pain.

            Some days are better than others and it can be a very very slow process. Sometimes i even think there is absolutely no progress at all. But if we really start believing that we are complete and capable of giving and worthy of receiving love and respect, we do advance, and we can forgive ourselves and maybe *them* too. In the mean time, keep telling your story and talking about your pain to people who really hear it and invest time and energy in people who you believe are committed to the same path. Our exes are not those people, however much we may want them to be. (I am writing this for myself as much as for you. ;) Also, as you might have noticed i’m not a native speaker, so i’m sorry if i haven’t expressed myself correctly or clearly.)

          • Melissa says:

            Ladies, you don’t need another person for closure. Trust me, you don’t need answers from them and even if you got them, they would not make you feel any better. Why do you need him to feel guilty or show remorse? It sounds like you are seeking validation because you are hurt and have every right to be, but you are doing your self a disservice by wasting another minute thinking about these men. Be good to you. You don’t need anything from someone who hurt you and you should not want someone in your life that hurt you. Remind yourself of this over and over if you need to. Understand that grief has to run its course and that tragic events (like the death of a grandmother) will stir up old feelings, but it doesn’t mean that you need to act on them. Best of luck!

  19. Brightly Girl says:

    I LOVE this post. Great illustration too. It brings clarity, simplicity and visuals to such an important issue, which means I can carry it around in my memory, access it quickly, and act on it. Thank you Natalie.

  20. Wiser says:

    Isn’t it annoying how a concept like “Go with the flow,” which can be so positive and helpful in many circumstances, can get warped by manipulative people for their own benefit, almost like a ‘gaslight’ tactic? Like the phrase MR Writer used in the last post – “Be yourself and the right people will love you” – a lovely and affirming phrase, which in the twisted mind of an AC means hey, I’m being myself, what’s the problem? If you don’t like it, I’ll find someone who will. This is especially true with concepts like this, which in a healthy context, have a lot of truth to them. It’s easy to be fooled when these phrases get trotted out – you can easily end up being the victim of mindf*ckery before you know it. That’s why we have to look beyond the pleasant words and really, really pay attention to what’s going on.

  21. Sunyata says:

    Mine has a slightly different phrase, “let things unfold”.
    Only, after 11 years of off and on “unfolding”, and a rekindling of talk of marriage, he has unfolded 2 texts, a Skype session, and one phone call in nearly 3 weeks.
    He’s happy to answer if I call, and we can talk for hours day after day if I do, he’s happy to see me, and is happy to have me over if I come to his place, but if I’m not the one keeping things going, doing the work…there’s no “unfolding” in any direction of actual progression.

    So while he sits around “unfolding”, I’m going to flow my way back into dating other people.

    • nancyw says:

      Wow…sounds like mine. We only do things if I suggest them, except when he wants me to sleep with him, and like you, I go into his house, which is 20 minutes away and always after 9 at night. I even passed another girl he had just slept with once on my way there, but I went there anyway. His casual response “sorry is you feel degraded.” And I kept on with him for a year after that putting up with his text, emails, sex, and occasional events that I suggested and paid for. I haven’t slept with him for over a month, his directive while he finds himself. I’m finding that I can live without him, and won’t take his late night booty requests again once he “finds himself.” But I will be the first to admit that it is difficult. These animals have a certain charm and know how to use them.

      • Allison says:

        Nancy,

        Are you seeing a counselor?

        You know all the facts about this guy – sounds like a real creep – but seem incapable of extricating yourself from this man.

        You are really treating yourself poorly by continuing in this toxic situation. He is simply using you!

        • Allison says:

          Isn’t this the guy that calls you over to service him in the late hours, and clean his house while he watches TV.

          Nancy, why is this situation OK?

          • Nancyw says:

            Well he does call me to come over late at night, but I’ve not cleaned his house. Keep in mind…there seems to be three different Nancy’s using this blog. I am Nancyw if that helps.

            With that said, my guy has done MUCH WORSE than having me clean his house while he watches TV.

            I did see a counselor for a bit and probably need to go back. And your question as to why am I still with this guy?

            That is a question I go over and over and over again in my head. One minute I say I deserve better, the next minute I question why I can’t just “go with the flow,” and the next minute I crave his crumbs. It’s absolutely crazy!

            I know he won’t change…just trying to figure out how I can and why I continue to be humiliated and used.

            • Melissa says:

              Nancycw, you won’t change until you are ready to change. You will keep going back for crumbs until you believe that you deserve more. Why are you letting this man charm you when you know that you are being fooled. It is time that you take control of your life. What if this AC while he is “finding himself,” finds himself another lady and kicks you to the curb? How are you going to feel then. Wouldn’t you like to be in control of your life and only allow people in that treat you with love, care, trust, and respect. Can you imagine what that might look like? Or are you going to cry tears over this AC when it eventually doesn’t work out and then go out and find your self another AC to offer you crumbs? Is this what you want for yourself? Are you happy? Don’t you want more? These are questions that you should be asking yourself. when you are ready to do the work, things will start to get get better. But you have to put in the work, it is not going to be easy and you can’t expect it to be. Taking the “easy” route and going with the flow is what got you into this mess. Start listening to your gut, it won’t steer you wrong.

            • Allison says:

              Nancy,

              I apologize for mixing you up with another Nancy.

              I cannot understand what you get from a man who is a self-proclaimed sex addict and cheater. He also calls late night for booty calls and allows you to support the dates.

              You remove yourself by going NC completely. Yes, it is that easy, if you wish to decide to no longer degrade yourself with this loser.

              You are right! You do deserve better! What do you think you will be missing if you cut this off. Peace?

              • Nancyw says:

                No need to apologize….it’s pretty easy with so many Nancy’s floating around. Ha. And I am listening very closely to your words. Very closely…

                • Allison says:

                  Nancy,

                  I hope that you will extricate yourself from this quickly, as it is soul-destroying.

                  You are not in denial, you know exactly who this loser is, yet continue to engage. You know he will not change, and does not care, but continue to pursue.

                  What do your family and friends think?

                  What do you get from this, as it can’t feel good?

    • mereanne says:

      I so agree! It was tiring putting in effort for the both of us…any plans I made with my AC he cancelled, came up with lame-o excuses…he was happy for me to come to his place,to organise our trips away, but when it came to him putting effort into the relationship, oh-no too hard. He was also hesitant to give our “relationship” a status…suffice to say, I got outta there!

  22. KM says:

    @Lucky_Charms–the Assclown lazy river! HA it seems to be the only one they want to take! Natalie’s points out that if you were already organically going with the same flow then why would the other person deliberately need to make a big statement about ‘going with the flow’? I’ll tell you why! because chances are you are dealing with the assbackwards communicating double-talking piece of shit Assclown who only knows how to clarify ambiguity to extreme level ambiguity aside from lying their asses off and wielding abuse in order to try and gain power in the most ill-mannered way.

    I’ll tell you a secret that being bitten by one Assclown is enough to know all Assclowns are looneytunes upstairs if you catch my drift. And I vow to not make the same mistakes in judgment call when going back out there to date again.

    Change can be good and this time it’s one strike and he’s out, even for minor things, like let’s say texting at the dinner table during a date or taking a phone call, for starters, unless he’s a doctor on-call or there is good reason (if he has a child with a babysitter or an emergency with a truthful explanation) there is no excuse to be using the phone during a date like that!

    Yea my Assclown now ex Assclown pulled texting during a dinner date. Talk about rude! To text someone who isn’t even in the same room when you are out at dinner. Please! And once he even excused himself to take a call and returned with no explanation of who or what…he was probably taking a call from the other woman at the time. I’m telling you ladies this is the smell of some serious BS especially when the relationshit is still new.

    And after this experience using of the phones especially during dinner is a deal breaker. Hell to the no. I will not put up with that crap again. Totally disrespectful to the person you are with who is staring blankly while you are so completely rude and socially stupid sitting there texting on your phone or taking a call. As if you want to appear to have a more exciting life or give off airs that you are completely bored with your selected company! Fuck you asshat Assclown!

    • Lilia says:

      KM,
      Wouldn´t it be wonderful just to leave when an AC starts texting while on a date with us? I´m resolved to do just that if someone dares treat me like a distraction from his oh so important phone! As Robyn said, be prideful (loved that).

      • NCC says:

        Lilia and KM,
        YES! Lord if I don’t look back and envision myself doing that on the first “date” with the ex AC when his phone was his priority. He nearly canceled the date just before we were set to meet, saying “my friend is threatening to cut herself if I don’t pick her up because her boyfriend won’t” I thought OMG red flag. If this guy has women like this in his life already, something is going on here. I told him that I had been looking forward to meeting him (we met online) but that if his friend needed help, by all means he should and it sounded like he had a lot on his plate that I didn’t have time for. (in so many words) He insisted we meet up, and he would just tell his friend he was busy. His “friend?” No…whoever he was currently cheating on while starting something with me. It took him 10 minutes to get out of his car while I waited in the restaurant. No first waited near his car (he had described it to me) he has tinted windows (my god he is gross I know it’s because he’s a sleeze!!) then decided to go in, already annoyed. Then he had his phone out to keep tabs on if his “friend” called. Then halfway through he got up, went into the bathroom for at LEAST 10 minutes!! I was getting up to leave when he came out. He told me “ok good, I don’t have to pick up my friend.” Me???? STILL SHOULD HAVE LEFT!!!!!! Commence 2 years of lies, cheating, stealing from me, and me coming back for more!!! NEVER AGAIN!! THANK YOU BR!

        • NCC says:

          you know what is funny too? I went on a date a number of years ago before any of this crap was apparent to me. The guy was so cold to me, he kept pushing back on EVERYTHING I said or wanted to talk about, again, that whole, he doesn’t really wanna be here so why is he even though he asked ME out? Finally at the end of dinner, our food was in Styrofoam containers on the table. I had had enough of his behavior, I pushed my container at him, stated “I don’t want this” and got up and left. I felt SO empowered at that point. But guess what, by the time I got home I was sobbing, and regretting it. I thought I had really over-reacted and the a week later I tried calling HIM to apologize, and he never contacted me ever. I felt SO DUMB. I never reinforced my decision to do what I did, had my own back, I always kicked myself for it. (not to mention I showed up to that particular date with a tag still on my new shirt..that he noticed and ripped off on our way into the restaurant. Probably more reason I told myself I’m such a failure at life I deserved to be treated like garbage. What crap NCC.) So maybe that’s why I didn’t walk out on dirtbag AC…I was scared to feel that regret again. Never heard of listening to my gut until BR>

  23. KM says:

    You too FinallyGettingIt69? I wish that your comment was posted back when my Assclown said that he “doesn’t like to put a label on things” if I knew then what I know now that would’ve prevented the next 18/20 months of my relationshit with piece of shit Assclown. He’s not just a piece of shit, he’s the dog shit that is eaten excreted inside the bigger dog shit.

  24. Sm says:

    I’ve been married twice and I can tell you, you don’t have to guess when someone is really into you. I never once felt I was ‘going with the flow’ in either of those relationships. Even the second one which I should not have done. Both times we dated over a year and both men were just as much into it as me. Sure there were red flags on the second one that should have made me step back but I never once felt he didn’t want to be there.

    • NCC says:

      It makes me sad to think back on the AC, and others, who I always had that feeling of, “they don’t want to be here.” But…they were there. They were HOT then cold…that’s where the confusion comes in that Natalie helps me with understanding. It hurts a lot to remember when I felt that way, and then compare it to the things the AC did to show me he indeed did not want to be there. It makes me feel rejected, ugly, unwanted, unlovable, that there is something wrong with me. Why was he there then? Because he is EUM and an AC. I wish I knew what it felt like to be sure someone was in to me.

      • JenniferA says:

        I agree. Spent a lifetime with men who “didn’t want to be there” but there they were. Finally found someone who was very into me and I him and he walks away. Oh well, at least I have a general idea what it’s like when someone likes you. It’s a start. :)

  25. Sammie says:

    He’s not just a piece of shit, he’s the dog shit that is eaten excreted inside the bigger dog shit.

    HAHA! This made me laugh out loud! Could not have put it better myself. Funny thing is you know youve moved on when things that happened make you laugh! Lets keep on moving forward in our own flow!!! Another great post, thank you x

  26. dcd568 says:

    WOW! THANKS NAT! EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TODAY. NOW I NEED ADVICE!

    Seven months ago I met someone who was open to a relationship and interested in getting to know me. I am 49, he is 57.

    We started dating and have been dating exclusively ever since. It started out as flowing and has continued that way ever since. It is an excellent relationship.

    I am marriage minded. I have always stated this early on in a relationship so that everything is on the table. If that information runs him off, good…he wasn’t meant for me.

    I find myself in a situation where this relationship has been so easy and so “free flowing” that I did not have this conversation with my man early on. (However, the friends of ours who introduced us, know us very well, and I would think (will have to clarify it with them) that they told him this).

    Anyway, we are totally committed to each other and the relationship. There is no doubt about that.

    After I read the sentence “but it is too much for someone to expect that you would be together for several months (especially at our ages) and the nature of your involvement and a sense of where you are headed is still ambiguous” I began to wonder where this relationship is headed.

    I would like to know what path we are on. My question is how do I bring this up? Everything with this man is fantastic, however I want more. He may be totally content for things to remain the same forever.

    I am afraid to bring it up because I don’t want our feelings to change. However, I know that if I am to be 100% happy that I will have to have more. The only way to find out is to have a conversation with him. I know that. I need strength.

    I can’t spend time with someone who isn’t looking for the same outcome. I know that if he doesn’t want marriage or isn’t open to it that I will have to let him go. Scary.

    Any advice?

    • Allison says:

      Dcd,

      You need to ask him. If his feelings change then you know he is not the right one. You don’t want to waste time with someone who is not on the same path.

      • dcd568 says:

        Thank you for your feed back. Fear of the unknown…I just want things to stay as good as they are….We actually had a really good conversation last night which included talking about our future together…not in terms of marriage, but future plans, etc. I am happy about the way things are going. I promise myself when the opportunity presents itself, I will absolutely lay everything on the table.

    • dancingqueen says:

      Dcd,

      Just take a deep breath and tell him what your needs are and where you envision your life. Then sit back and listen to his response. Good Luck!

      • dcd568 says:

        Thank you Dancing Queen. I feel like the opportunity for that discussion will present itself and when it does, I promise myself to take advantage of it and put it all out there. Our relationship is awesome and I am very very happy. He has said the same thing so I know we are in agreement. Everything happens the way it is supposed to. I feel certain I will get the chance and we will have a good discussion.

        • Melissa says:

          dcd568, I kind of feel like you just need to talk to your boyfriend about where your relationship is headed and not wait for the perfect opportunity to make it happen. This is really important to you. It is scary to bring up and it sounds like you fear how he might respond or why wouldn’t you have mentioned it when you first started questioning things. Take the time to think about how exactly you want to say it and then say it. Easier said then done and it takes courage, but I think it is really important to assert yourself. I wish that I had been more assertive in my relationship. If I had been it would of saved me a lot of ambiguity and time. Perhaps, it might of strengthened some of my relationships or set me free sooner.

  27. Revolution says:

    Is it me, or do the two people in the boat look like they want to pitch themselves into the lake? Or maybe it’s just the one who’s going against his/her own will to “go with the flow”?

  28. Rikiki says:

    I just said yesterday that with my new relationship, I will go with the flow and see what happens (!) I know this man is ready to settle down and shows interest in me and I also want a relationship with him, but I cannot bring myself to ask that what he really wants? I feel as I am not enough that anyone would be interested in me. Low self esteen alert..

    • dcd568 says:

      Rikiki,

      I would much rather find this information out in the beginning. You have to know what YOU want first. That’s why I always (except in this present relationship, because it just went so easy and fast) put everything on the table in the very beginning…This is what I’m looking for in a relationship 1, 2, 3. If you’re looking for something else, that’s okay, but we will have to just be friends.

      The way I see it when you start relationships with honesty like that, you may end up with a boyfriend or more, or you may end up with just a new friend.

      When we go in with hidden agendas i.e. hoping to ourselves that he will like us enough to want to marry us, without telling him marriage is what we ultimately would like to have, that’s when stuff gets weird.

      You have to have a level playing field in order for things to be fair and equal.

  29. Wendy says:

    Nancy, you mentioned the word “charm”. A great friend told it to me straight (although at the time I was in denial). When you meet a man that is “charming” it is a facade/an act he puts on to make up for his lack of character! Us women have an amazing six sense! I bet if you really listen to your gut and reflect when you first met this man, it was saying…careful or RUN the other way, lol!!!!!

    • BethD says:

      Love this! Charming men making up for lack of character. Sounds like my ex. They didn’t come more charming. We all love dynamic men but when they are well rehearsed with their charming routine we need to look a little deeper into their character.

      • Allison says:

        Oh yes, the ex was very charming, and he used his gift for a lack of character.

        Whenever, I meet someone who is charming, I walk the other way. If they are this comfortable with me so quickly, then they are with others, as well. Waste of time!

    • nancyw says:

      It’s weird because I did see red flags and knew I should run FAST. But I had and still have in my mind that I am the special one and he’ll change for me. Ha! Time to quit being the fool. he text me yesterday “how’s Nancy?” I wrote back, “great, how are you?” No answer. Same old shit.

  30. AMy says:

    Natalie,
    You are amazing! Your blog has been such a godsend to me over the past few years….I recommend it to all of my single friends as well.
    Your words have given me the guidance, insight, validation and assistance that I’ve needed in the dating world… each blog always seems to be SPOT ON!
    God bless you and your work!
    Amy :)

  31. Gina says:

    Amen! It has been a new year for me where I was asked to be exclusive with two men, one being my boyfriend now. The reason for this is because before I even started dating them I made sure that they were looking for a relationship, accessed whether they were emotionally available for one and met the criteria for amount of time like spending together, their idea of what a relationship is, etc to qualify the person to make sure they were able to meet my needs and wants. It is easy to go with the flow when you know the man you are dating is making effort and progression is being made through words and actions. I knew what I wanted and what my limits were if things did not progress.

    In the past I had alot of “go with the flow”, lets see how this goes and it was with assclowns, because lets face it, my head was stuck in my arse.

  32. I'm the one you speak of says:

    Intention, intention, intention.. I do have a good man in my life and he has intentions about where he wants the relationship to go, and he does express those. Like this post says there are natural points in our “flow” where we have discussed clearer goals, needs, wants and direction of our relationship… and each time, instead of getting hurt or feeling like I wanted something he didn’t, or I had to “go along to get along”…we both realized we are going the same way and the result of those natural points of serious talking was that we are closer. I haven’t had this before, but I think I am getting close to what its supposed to be like. It feels organic and there is alot of really getting to know him at appropriate levels and deepening caring – not 100 miles an hour and not in spurts, but nice and steady and going somewhere… over 2 years of dating and I’m not anxious or unsettled in my soul. What a difference. Thanks Natalie… for confirming the good stuff and the assclowns!

  33. Dolores says:

    This is a great post-totally relate to the journey metaphor, especially when one of you isn’t even on the boat, just texting about it!

    Since reading yesterday been hit with full force of vengeance, was doing so well, now battling my own little Dr Evil in my head.

    Incidentally computer hacking might be interesting, but achieves nothing without doing something to make you seem quite mad! Not gone there yet!

  34. Dolores says:

    Well put NCC, you seem to understand that it’s not because of you, or anything you’ve done – someone “normal” will come along :)

  35. Ruth says:

    I have always figured that too much flow means a trip to the E.R. because something major is going wrong and a hysterectomy might just be in order. I’m thinking the same analogy runs true for the relationship flow. A little or some is good but too much definitely means trouble and time for the his to be steered out o’ me.

    • oldenoughtoknowbetter says:

      Ruth, that was hysterical! It reminded me of a time I was young and bleeding very heavily. I went to the ER and they said “you are just having a very heavy flow”. I was thinking “flow??? I am bleeding to death over here, can’t you see that!!”…hahaha…too much flow can drain the life right out of you!

  36. noquay says:

    I agree with Sm, if a relationship is truly going somewhere, it is clear that both of you are in it and there is progress, not stagnation.When I met my now ex husband, that is how it felt. No ambiguity, clear statement of his and my goals, wants, and needs and I could state what I wanted/needed without fear of reprisal. It is true at first you ahve to go slowly, watch things unfold, keep the spidey senses at full alert. At some point there has to be a meeting of the minds and hearts and finding an actual direction to sail in. Now having written that, I must admit that I have gone with the flow. In fact I am doing so now, twice. Good looking but showing Red Flags and ambiguity dude is becoming a useful study in “What To Look Out For Should Someone Actually Interested Show Up”. training for noquays spidey senses that were much degraded during the reign of AC. The one man on the dating site I am on (mostly an exercise in futility) that I have agreed to correspond with has written little of hopes, expectations, and mainly about his work and social justice issues. I see this as kind of a red flag but I have no emotional investment in this person, have no hope as he lives 300 miles away, and this would not prevent me from meeting with someone closer that attracted me should such a miracle occur. For now, I am content to pick his brain and have intelligent, thoughtful interaction, if only in writing.

  37. dancingqueen says:

    Hmmm I have not been on here in a while but this strikes a memory or two: my take, if you even get one person talking about “going with the flow” something seems off. At least that is my exp.

    The organic healthy relationships I have been in, we both really were into it and we both talked openly about pushing it forward; no one needed to get the other to slow down or speed up. I would be very uncomfortable if a man said that to me, esp in the age range that I am dating (40’s-50’s). That would make me uncomfortable!

    • Lau_ra says:

      Yeah, the first line “I’ve been on a few trips with people where one or both of us have suggested that we ‘go with the flow’ instead of making firm plans” borught up several memories for me as well…
      I remember the latest AC mentioning on the day we met how he likes “to go with the flow”. And then him once again, after several months, being drunk and saying that “I had a plan, but you f***d it up” and laughing, whilst a couple of days ago he claimed not to have any particular plan for the time in my city (LDR). So yes, there is always some sort of plan in the minds of these people, yet you realise what it is way to late…

  38. Tabitha says:

    What about when the Flow is going backwards? That is what happened to me with the ex that brought me here. He told me immediately that he wanted a relationship with me. I mean, hell why wouldn’t he? Seeing as I was PERFECT for him and he had never met anyone like me. He was busy defining the relationship, putting me on a pedestal, telling me he would like to see me as often as we could get together. Making plans to buy a big house, go on holiday, blah blah blah. Yes, I thought he was nuts. But, I convinced myself he was nuts “in a good way.” Cos, you know, he was so into me so he had to be good didn’t he? I loved it, having all that attention, sex, ego stroking, lapped up teh future faking.
    Unfortunately, when he realised I had actually fallen for it, he slammed the brakes on and turned from Dr Jekyll to Mr Hyde. I actually remember telling him, “I feel like we are going backwards.” He was all “I just don’t know what I want……” I dumped him, and of course he came back blowing all hot again, he had made such a mistake, let’s book a holiday, I am the sweetest girl he has ever met and must never change! Oh well, you all know how the story ends, hot/lukewarm/taking calls whilst out on dates with me. Like so many of you I could not understand why he was still there. Still can’t quite figure that one out. Not gonna bother though.
    Won’t be future faked again. Too painful.

    • Melissa says:

      Tabitha, this happened to me too! It is the worst. He was so into me, gifts, fancy dinners, non stop compliments and text messages. He had to see me everyday. At first, I thought it was odd too that he wanted to see me all the time, but ignored this red flag. I just thought I was just that special and that he really like me. I loved all of the attention. I had never felt so confident in my past relationships. I thought this guy was different and that we were going to be together forever and he would obviously never leave me because he liked me so much. I was so wrong, he did leave me and I never saw it coming. What I learned from all of this is that I had a very low-self esteem and I allowed my self to be drawn in by this AC, because I had no boundaries. And I couldn’t see him at the time for the selfish, co-dependant, emotionally unavailable guy that he was and still is.

      • Tabitha says:

        Melissa, I could have written your post word for word. It is scary sometimes how similar these men are, and worse, how good they are at seeking out the women most likely to fall for their EU BS. All we can do is pack up our “toys” of love care trust and respect, and bestow them on a more worthy subject next time. Like ourselves :)

  39. Tulipa says:

    I was thinking in my situation there was no flow at all.
    It has taken a very long time to realise that I was in a pond full of pollutants and contaminants.

    It has been very costly to just hang around in his stagnant pond and not worth the time and effort to get any kind of a flow going because a pond can’t flow and you don’t go anywhere except around and around.

  40. Swissmiss says:

    Tx for this, and all you posters. I needed this.

    When I am flowing in a relationship out of fear, out of a desire to look as though I feel one way when I really feel another, I have the sensation that I am being pulled by an undercurrent. I’ve handed over my power and my destiny. I am not in control of my life anymore. ‘You drive it,’ I am saying, ‘Take us wherever you want us to go, even if it’s nowhere. My goals and needs are worthless.”

  41. teachable says:

    Go with the flow is code for ‘not willing to commit to a serious r.ship/ I’m just using you for a shag, ego boost, emotional airbag, to look good, not appear homosexual when I really am etc.

    I say take your ‘flow’ & float right off down the effin river – WITHOUT ME!

    ~teach is done with BS!~

    • BethD says:

      I agree teach! It also means be there when I have time for you so I can pull you out of the compartment I put you in when I get busy, lets not plan too far ahead, lets just have hot sex without commitment…..those words “go with the flow” signify to me “run for your life” Only a manipulator would think of using that phrase.

  42. Swissmiss says:

    Isn’t being asked to go w the flow the same as being asked to be a fallback girl? Aren’t they saying they are keeping their options open? Doesn’t it add a sense of competition to the relationship? And where does that fit in with love, care, trust and respect?

    A chilling event today: the MM called. After a year together, he left his wife, filed for divorce, and we tried to make a go of it for a few months. I flowed a lot—against my will–red flags galore! In this very brief call, listening to his whining about his divorce, he said, “If my wife had been sorry for her terrible behavior, if she had softened toward me one bit, if she had forgiven me for our affair, I WOULD HAVE GONE HOME TO HER.” All the while reassuring me I could count on him and begging me to move 250 miles and have a life together.

    Posters: Sharks flow, good people don’t.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Swissmiss, (I love your cocoa), sorry sweetie, sounds like you were an exit affair. Sounds like he used you to get out of his marriage. Flush!

  43. Bea says:

    While planning our first date, Mr. God’s Gift to Women described it as a “going with the flow” picnic date in the middle of winter!

    Deleted.

  44. V says:

    Wow, I wish I read this a week earlier because I was talking to a guy and we decided to “go with the flow” and now he doesn’t want to talk to me anymore because he “wants to be alone”. Well, I’ll definitely take this into consideration for the next person I date.

  45. McKenzieM says:

    I need the EUAC to flow on out of my life… he pops up every so often and tries to Future Fake me. When I don’t bite, he goes away. It happens every 3-4 weeks. How do I get him to stop this (is that even possible)?

  46. GreenEyes says:

    Ive been seeing this guy for 11 months, i see him maybe 1 night a week when he spends the night and maybe 1 morning for breakfast for 2-3 hours before work. He is busy and has partial custody of his child. He says he loves me and always have intelligent “words” to say. If i start asking questions about what he does all the time and when am i going to see him again he says that im demanding to spend time with him. I thought if i am in a relationship that my man would want to find time to be with me. I am beginning to self doubt myself here and since im 2 years out of a 20 year marriage and am not familiar with “new” dating and relationships. Today he told me that we should just go with the flow,do men in thier forties actually use that lingo today. Im confused could somebody give me some advice here or am i in fact being too pushy ?

    • Selkie says:

      Green eyes,
      Hi there. Wanting progression and more time together after eleven months is okay in my book, seems pretty normal. If he’s unwilling to consider it, and counters that you’re being demanding, then he’s managing down your expectations to keep things from moving from where they are. Where he likes things. That’s my opinion. At some point if a relationship doesn’t grow, it isn’t flowing either…. one person becomes unhappy with no progression and the other drops an anchor…..it may be time to think about moving on before eleven months turns into eleven years. Without knowing more about your relationship, it’s hard to say just flush, but if you’ve talked about it and said your piece and he won’t budge and makes you feel like what you want is somehow unreasonable….it’s up to you to decide if you want to settle for less than you want, so he can be happy while you learn to live with it ( you willing to do that? ). That doesn’t sound appealing. Hopefully, someone has a better answer for you. I have a flinching trigger finger on the flush handle when it comes to dating and relationships in my own life, so I’m interested to hear what others say as well.

  47. Elle0412 says:

    Dear NCC, reading about the forgotten tag and the rest made me smile from a ‘Love Fest’ I felt for you. It confirmed how smart, funny, giving people still can’t be recognised by ACs. They will forever be in their MeMeMe land but we don’t have to live there with them! I am officially NC for 3 weeks now. I learned a lot from my shitty user-abuser AC: my capacity to love is enormous, toxic people poison yr very soul, I am so much better and deserve better. I am unbelievably strong and yet gentle. My friends and family recognize the best in me while AC tries to spit on everything good in me. Grateful to BR and yr stories of pain and self-discovery: you saved my life. Hugs to all.

  48. Rita39 says:

    Hi all, I am new to this site but have read Natalie’s book and feel like I have read every article here. My story: met my EUM July 2010. The first night i met him he said he didn’t want a relationship, marriage or kids. I had just ended a relationship and wasn’t looking anyway so I said fine, me neither. The next 6 mos we’d see each other and there. The next 6 mos after that we were dating exclusively but not really in a relationship. So I said are you in or out and he said in. That was June 2011. For the next 1.5 years we were in a “committed” relationship. He was a good guy, no messing around with other girls, treating me very nice, we basically lived together although he had his own place. We were together every day and every weekend. Hung out with our respective families a lot, including all holidays bdays etc. We loved each other. Then about September 2012 we started having problems because I wanted to get married and have kids and he didn’t. Never could articulate why which was frustrating. Besides me he had been in 1 relationship from when he was about 22 to 36, almost 14 years. I met him almost 1.5 years after he had been broken up. They had gotten engaged towards the end of the relationship but then broke up, but the relationship had been bad for the past 5 years before the break up and according to him they hated each other by the end. Anyway, with us, he would never say what he wanted. He wouldn’t try to convince me by saying look I love you, I want to be with you but kids isn’t my thing. He wasn’t too against marriage. I suggested couple’s therapy and he agreed right away. We only did a few sessions and by then we were just not doing well. There was no progression. It was so frustrating. He broke up with me early January. I’ve seen him a few times but he is sticking to his decision. The hard part is that I know we both loved each other and he still says he does love me but obviously not enough to work out his issues. He had a tough childhood. He was a people pleaser. A nice guy by all accounts but as he told me he was never “present” in the relationship. He was very disconnected from his feelings and although he was the one who said I love you first and had no problem with that, he also told me he had been “burying his feelings for a lifetime.” I am having such a hard time moving on. I’ve had no contact in the last month and in fact I sent him an email telling him to grow up and be a man and deal with his issues. He just turned 42. I am 39. Since the break up he has been a mess (mutual friend told me). He has been hitting the bottle, stopped working out, and generally not doing well. Yet, he won’t see a therapist or try to work things out for himself which is sad. I really thought he was the one for me but I guess he never did because if someone really loves you, they do everything in their power to work on the relationship with you. He said he felt a lot of guilt breaking up with me and it was the harder than burying his father whom he loved very much. I am at a total loss and don’t know how to let go. After the break up he always knew I was waiting for him, but he really couldn’t and didn’t think about anything the last few months to try to figure things out even though he had said that’s what he wanted to do. In my email to him a month ago I told him it was his loss not mine and that I was moving on. Haven’t heard from him since. Any advice?

  49. [...] They don’t want to put both of their feet in and commit. They’d like you to ‘go with the flow’ even if there is none and not expect beyond [...]

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!