no shared values, no relationship

I’ve written a lot about the importance of values and how if you want to understand why your relationship isn’t or wasn’t working or want to have improved relationships, how you need to better understand what your values are and more importantly, live them.

Values, quite simply, are about what you believe you fundamentally need in order to live your life authentically and to be happy.

Your values are your own and whatever you’re prioritising in your life and swearing up and down that you need and can’t survive without, will tell you a lot about your mentality and your direction. Little do you realise that you may actually be taking yourself off course and busting your own boundaries in the process.

We have a tendency to do a few things that cause us to wind up in a lot of problems:

1) We get sidetracked by secondary values which are stuff like common interests, appearance and anything that is ‘nice to have’ but doesn’t really tell you a great deal about the person and when all is said and done, it won’t make a difference if primary ‘core’ values are not shared.

2) We make assumptions about what the existence of some values, qualities and characteristics mean and assume that other values that we desire are also present. It’s why I get so many emails from people telling me that they met someone who looked as they would like or was super intelligent or they had various common interests with, or they go to church / are the same religion and yet they don’t understand why they clash, have entirely different characters, or don’t want similar things. It’s like 2 + 2 + 1 = 100.

3) We ignore the vital feedback communicated from people’s actions and words and in fact tend to be blinded by our own values. “Well I do ______ and _____ and ______ is important to me so why aren’t they doing and being the same?Er because values are personal.

Your job isn’t to make someone have the same values as you; your job is to respect and live by your own values and find likeminded folk. We also persist in focusing on values that we think are important to us that are being met, yet completely ignore the fact that the problems we are experiencing are not only being caused by other values, but that they are also giving us feedback that communicates that we either don’t understand what’s important to us and are ignoring it to our detriment, or who we say we are and what we want is not true.

You have all sorts of values and together they are the sum of you.

You may never have truly given a great deal of thought to what these values are, but they are a mix of personal values (your character and personal code of ethics) along with stuff like economic, religious, sexual, religious, political, social, hobbies and interests, appearance etc. If you want to be happy in or out of a relationship, it’s time to heed your own values.

1. If you have some critical differences on the personal values front, it does not matter which other values you claim to share, your relationship isn’t going to work. A lot of people prioritise being in a relationship, companionship, getting laid etc, but I’m yet to come across one person who is genuinely happy doing these things with someone who is for instance, a liar, cheat, abusive, and who doesn’t treat them with love, care, trust, and respect.

Personal values represent character and boundaries hence if you’re with someone whose character isn’t similar or at the very least compliments yours, you will bust your own boundaries by deviating greatly from your values while at the same time they will bust yours.

You will find that there are many differences that can be overcome when you respect the individuality of others as opposed to trying to make people be a clone of you and/or blaming yourself for why they’re not, however, boundary busting personal values is not one of them. And remember: If you go along with another person’s dodgy values, it is time to have an honest conversation with yourself about your own personal values. I’ve had a number of emails from women who have been with men who eye up underage girls, or who lie with the ease of drawing breath and yet they were still there. Come.On.

2. Shared values engenders trust hence if you are experiencing trust issues, it’s an alarm alerting you to a difference in core values, likely on the personal values front, that’s behind the area of distrust. There’s either a very crucial difference in how you each conduct yourselves or there’s a very crucial difference in how you want to live or one, or both of you are trying to make the other take on the other person’s values.

Let me say it again – we trust people with whom we share core values. If you also want to understand why you keep getting into similar unhealthy relationships it’s because while you may profess certain values, you ‘trust’ in the feedback from that person possessing certain values that speak to your own pattern. Hence you may feel more trusting of someone who is shady and dodging a relationship, not because you’re truly ‘trusting’ them, but more because you trust that this relationship is ‘safe’, that you can seek validation, and that you can fulfil your self-fulfilling prophecy that speaks to your own beliefs about you, love, and relationships.

3. Look at what keeps coming back up and causing issues in a relationship – no matter what is being said, it tells you a hell of a lot about where there are incompatibilities with your values. This information will either tell you why your relationship isn’t going to work or is at the very least highlighting where you need to be focused. I’ve had so many people share stories about how they were with someone who was so attractive, sexy, shared common interests, kind to animals/children, mentioned back in 1983 that they might want to get married or that they’d like a relationship one day, they made them laugh and yada yada yada. This is all well and good but if this was what was the bread and butter of your relationship, you wouldn’t be experiencing major problems.

All this he said/she said and blowing smoke up people’s bums and pumping them up is a waste of your time because you’re looking at the wrong information. The net result of your relationship, the areas where you’re struggling – this is telling you where you don’t share values or where there’s certainly a miscommunication of them.

4. Be careful of the silent handshake in values. If you stick with someone who doesn’t share core values, they assume that you’re not serious about your own values and that you’re actually now sharing theirs. Of course you may be assuming the same thing. Do not ignore core differences that will take you away from being you and certainly don’t proceed on the assumption that they’re going to abandon their own. Love is not about having the power to change someone.

5. You are not looking for a clone of you. I know many couples who have different values but share core values where it counts. It means that it doesn’t matter what colour they are or religion or size or political party – when it comes down to how they each want to live their lives and how they want to treat one another, they are on the same page. Equally I know a lot of people who value certain things and so even if they had all of this in common, they wouldn’t be with someone who wasn’t the same religion, colour, political party etc. That’s their prerogative – these are their values to live by but never allow someone who is very rigid about these things to be with you (someone who doesn’t embody this value) and then use it as an excuse to mistreat you or not commit.

Someone may be great on illusionary paper, but it’s values that show who they are and whether your relationship can happen in reality.

Your thoughts?

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121 Responses to Are You Living By YOUR Values In Your Relationships? They May Be Great On Illusionary Paper, But Where Are The Shared Values?

  1. Michele says:

    I agree wholeheartedly and am learning that un-shared values will ruin a relationship faster than anything else. One thing that came to mind while reading is that I have encountered an inordinate number of liars in relationships. I finally realize that because my own sense of honesty is so ingrained, that I simply find it impossible to believe it when someone is lying, and I will do anything (include lying to myself) to avoid having to accept this. I am now learning that my own values are getting in my way of seeing things as they really are and so I must remind myself to look at the behavior, which generally speaks louder than often meaningless words. Thank you for reminding me that my values are valid and important, if only to myself. :)

  2. Magnolia says:

    I love these posts on values. I have learned so much at BR about values – I don’t think I really knew what values were, or at least didn’t understand how personal they are and how they define us. I didn’t understand how I could lose my integrity when I thought I was “being honest” (i.e. saying what I meant at the time, or saying how I “really felt”). But losing one’s integrity is about being out of line with your own values. If you don’t even know you have values, or what they are, it’s pretty darn easy to fall out of line with them.

    I’m still learning about my own values. I’m here in my new town and experiencing a big bout of insecurity and anxiety (which I keep to myself, or rather, express here). This town is *small*; if I date it’s likely it will be within a community of people who all know one another; and I feel cut off from the big-city life and cultural diversity I like so much.

    But the university where I am fits another set of my values so well that I feel welcomed, and genuinely wanted. I can see why they picked me because they care about the same things I do.

    It’s only my first couple weeks here, I know. Some loneliness must be natural. I *really* want to fall in love with this place, but I can only do that if I truly accept that it would mean giving up certain things I value. It’s a familiar feeling, *wishing* I could fall in love with THIS particular situation/person because everything seems to fit on paper. It’s also a familiar feeling to worry that I simply demand too much, want perfection, and that what I need to deal with is that I value perfection and some other surface things and can’t accept the good that’s right in front of me.

    The feelings of loneliness, fear and failure when I wake up in the mornings are the biggest challenge. They remind me of every feeling of failure and defeat I have ever had and tempt me into thinking life, even if it changes on the surface, will never change emotionally for me. But at least now I can steer myself away from thinking that finding a man would change that, or prove differently.

    I steer myself toward taking responsibility for those feelings. I want to be able to rely on myself to self-soothe. For me inquiring into my own values, gently, helps. Assuming that if I’m unhappy than I must somehow still have value-conflicts, that I can work out, rather than “God, Magnolia, unhappy still? Will you never be satisfied?” calms me down.

    It is quite frightening to still be unhappy when it seems I should be over the moon, especially when “being happy on my own” is supposed to be the prerequisite for being happy in a relationship! One doesn’t have to be happy-clappers all the time, as NML says. But I would like to know what the eff it is to genuinely say, yes, I am happy, I live by my values, I am satisfied.

    • dancingqueen says:

      Hi Magnolia.

      I think that you are doing fine. I have lived in 9 different states and 4 countries and so I consider myself a somewhat expert on the “move crisis”; that is the first year somewhere where you are adjusting. Of course you are feeling lonely! Everything is new and you don’t have big city life to distract you and fall back on. You will be fine. Don’t expect to not feel anxious or lonely, that is just part of the move crisis time:) Don’t put too much thought into how you feel and judging yourself, just accept that this is part and parcel of moving:) You will find your mini-tribe there.

    • grace says:

      Magnolia
      “I *really* want to fall in love with this place, but I can only do that if I truly accept that it would mean giving up certain things I value.”
      Every choice you make cuts down other choices and likely has a cost attached to it. I chose this job but I earn slightly less than I otherwise could. I bought a flat and can no longer just get up and move. I became a church member but now I can no longer hide in the congregation. I chose this man but now I can’t date other men. The job isn’t perfect. The flat isn’t perfect. The church isn’t perfect. The man isn’t perfect. But they are all GOOD ENOUGH.No point getting anxious about whether I chose right, or how it could all be better, if only … it was perfect.
      If we don’t feel sure of our own value we’ll be discontent with other people, our family, our job, where we live, our partner, maybe even our children (I think that’s why my father never seemed satisfied with us). We look to those things for reassurance and validation. It’s okay to an extent but it can’t address a dissatisfaction with ourselves. we also internalise other people’s behaviour. When I’m stressed or tired I take it VERY personally when commuters bump into me (Why did they do that? Is it because I’m small? Is it because I’m chinese? Is it because I’m a woman? Why do they expect ME to step aside?). When I’m rested and relaxed I smile, say “sorry”, and walk on. What other people do, even if they have actively got it in for us (which they probably haven’t), need not affect us too much. I get that it WILL affect us, but these days I have control over it.
      There is nothing wrong with you. You are a special, unique human being (as the bible says “I am fearfully and wonderfully made). You are acceptable. Enjoy this small town life and your new job.They have a lot to offer you, and you them.

    • Magnolia says:

      Thank you dancingqueen and grace. We’ll see. I certainly am tired lately!

      Never before have I been taken aside and told so many times, “welcome, Magnolia, hope you like it here because you know, X-town is really white and racist”. It is strange. Indeed, in the three weeks I’ve been here I’ve already heard comments about “the red man” and “the Koreans” that leave me flabbergasted at the ignorance. Nothing harsh directed at me thus far, but I was right there as yesterday someone in a car yelled “whores” at a pair of girls dressed in heels, etc in broad daylight. This is not the city.

      It’s a strange time in Canada – terrible things being posted in the wake of an Asian image being voted off our $100 bill, stupid things being said about “immigrants” in the wake of some shootings in Toronto – all these attitudes that I used to feel were “out there”, i.e. in rural areas, I now can suppose will be shared by many of the people around me.

      I don’t know if loving myself means staying here. Broader climates of “tolerance” and “intolerance” mean a lot to me and I don’t know if I want to be so isolated from people who share my experience for the next ten years or whatever. It’s a serious values question.

      We’ll see.

      Okay, a guy *just now* came up to me, saw my open binder on the table, asked what my diss was about, and when I told him said “You’re not one of those postmodernists, are you?” In the interest of brevity, I said, mildly, “Yeah . . .” (it’s far more complicated than yes or no) and he recoiled like I had told him I ate children and told me “that’s philosophically bankrupt.” Jeez, where am I?

      At least I’m starting to feel like writing my stories might not be entirely self-indulgent. Telling my stories might actually be a struggle worth making.

  3. B says:

    That part about eyeing an underage girl and lying with ease just cracked me up! Sometimes i think you are talking about my ex … Who not only lied about being married, but when he confessed still cooked up a story about being separated! He was 100% married all along. Everything that comes out of his mouth is just pure rubbish!

    I.am in the recovery stage now, but i can’ t help thinking deceitful men must face consequences. They do all these lies & manipulation because they can get away with & by the time the woman finds out, some sort of investment has been poured – emotional, financial, etc. Correct me if im wrong but by the time women get here, it is more likely that damage has been done.

    How to ‘ beat’ these lying AC’s i ask? Relationship fraud should be a class in secondary schools … Or marriage records should be an accesible public record. We have the internet now. And believe you me, infomrmation is power …. :)

    Thank you for this post. It is always empowering to read your posts.

    • Magnolia says:

      I agree. “Relationship fraud” – is that your term? It fits and I have often wondered why it isn’t criminal to get a woman’s sexual consent by knowingly giving her false information. By law it’s a crime to get even $10 out of someone by lying, but not, say, a virginity?

      Well, there was a time when rape was hardly prosecuted. There are notices all over campus in the fall telling girls that if you’re too drunk to walk home then you’re too drunk to consent. It’s rape then. Why not call it rape if they’re telling you they’re single when they are not?

      I sure feel more violated having given my good-faith sexual participation to a liar than I would $10.

      • B says:

        In some ways it is fraud. I do admit that there were some red flags that I missed. And perhaps also using my own honesty as a yardstick, my senses were not very heightened about the incongruence of his words and actions.

        Still, there was a time after the episode and I was coping really hard that I felt violated. So yes, kind of rape … When I found out from the wife herself that they were never separated, I was just angry. I suppose I still am. This man placed me in a position where I could not make an informed decision. I could have faced serious legal implications as well out of that, esp. if I believed in his visions of a family, etc.

        I think the lesson here is that if we stick to our values, then these fraudulent behaviours won’t be able to penetrate us. STILL, having said that, a part of me thinks that what he did is a form of crime. :(

    • Tess says:

      ” They do all these lies & manipulation because they can get away with & by the time the woman finds out, some sort of investment has been poured – emotional, financial, etc. Correct me if im wrong but by the time women get here, it is more likely that damage has been done.”

      A very thoughtful statement, thank you. For a long time I have been kicking myself for allowing myself to be taken advantage of by an AC/MM; and have been made to feel guilty about my own lack of self worthiness on another site. Your statement is awesome because it backs up what I’ve recognized; that we MIGHT very well have more discernment in it all but by the time we’ve caught up with all the lies and manipulation, we just stop, shake our heads, and think what the hell has just happened?? I’ve loved this person, respected him, believed him, trusted him…so much invested emotionally, spiritually, financially- yes. We would never, never expect – nor should we- expect that someone we love could or would do this to us- because we would never ever do it to them. As you said, by the time we catch up, the damage has been done.

      • B says:

        Hi Tess,

        You know I’m still amazed how reading posts here I realise that there are so many going through similiar situation as I did! I think statistically, if someone would endeavour to check, the numbers would be considerably high. It’s annoying how men, and women as well, can indulge in such deceit!

        In my case, after I kicked him out of my life, I did a bit of kicking and beating at myself too. It was through BR and counseling that I slowly found my bearing and realised that I should stop taking responsibility for that man’s mistakes.

        I admit I made an error of judgment. However, he committed a grave offense, as well. It was like leaving goods that you sell outside of your shop whilst taking a siesta, and someone brazenly steals it. Who’s mistake is that? Perhaps, both parties are accountable.

        When I lived in a relatively small Spanish city a few months back, it was customary for shopkeepers to have a 2-hour siesta at 2p.m. and just leave the vegetables they display outside. It was very rare for someone to take it. Of course, the town evidently had high trust levels. Majority followed an honesty system, but every now and then, there were outliers. And my ex (and yours) are outliers too —exception to the norm BUT we (unfortunately or fortunately?) encounter them once (or even more) in our lifetime.

        In hindsight, it may be that my upbringing and the kind of environment that I have been exposed to in the past played a part in my poor judgment. So, what I am taking from this experience is that it is rational to take things slow, be very cautious and as NML would always repeat, have boundaries.

        As for the consequences on these AC’s, you walking away and not putting up with your ex’s crap are good enough. Trust me, at some point he’ll face more consequences depending on the kind of dodgy things he does. (Mine did a lot, so I think my walking away won’t be the end of his consequences!)

        So, maybe it’s time to recognise your sound judgment however delayed, and congratulate yourself for finally leaving. You kicked him out your life, end of story. No more beating yourself up. Damages can be repaired, and if we keeping beating ourselves up, then the agony will just intesify.

  4. tracy says:

    Having been dating, in a relationship, then back to meeting/dating via OLD, I have learned a lot about myself and have started to figure out shared values. I’m in the middle of reading, “Marry Him, The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough” which IS NOT about “settling”, but about recognizing that if the guy isn’t dressing like David Beckham it doesn’t mean he isn’t an amazing guy…well, not that simply, but I’m sure y’all get the idea. Surface stuff can be fixed/changed/ignored. But if the guy isn’t there for you in a pinch, doesn’t act like your greatest cheerleader, doesn’t respect you…why do you want him? The author talks about on-line dating and the fact that we disqualify people based on the most surface-y reasons, figuring there will be something better. She emphasizes that you may like country, he may like rock ‘n’ roll, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you both want the same things out of life, like and respect each other, and work together as a great team.
    Really eye opening. I found myself noticing not so nice qualities about myself when looking for “the one”.

  5. PurpleLily says:

    “Shared values engenders trust hence if you are experiencing trust issues, it’s an alarm alerting you to a difference in core values, likely on the personal values front, that’s behind the area of distrust.”

    Oh.Em.Gee. I had alarm bells and voices saying “But how are you meant to trust him…” with the exEUM and I didnt know why I felt that way. * He was getting close to busting my boundary (s) and that was my gut sending me signals.* I ignored the previous (and very last) time because I didnt know why I felt that way (because I knew it went against something I felt deeply..but didnt know they were ‘core values’) Luckily, my brain caught up the moment he busted it and I was able to pull him up on it.

    Riddens. Rubbish. Phew.

    So very true. Most true. Im new to learning about values (up until a few months ago when I came onto BR, never thought about them). But I am sitting down every now and then and coming up with values that are vital to my being and I feel much stronger already.

    Bless you NML. The concept of values has been life altering. Never will be that person again and will work hard to make the right choices.

    • runnergirl says:

      I’m with you PurpleLily, I had no clue as to my boundaries, values, and goals until I hit on BR. Never thought about them is an understatement for me. I had nothing and had to figure out what the heck a boundary, goal, and/or value was. Holy Jesus,life got so clear and easy once I made a list of stuff. I don’t much care if I’ve made a mistake as whether it is a goal, boundary, or value, I have filters! Just keep sitting down and writing it down. Sometimes I go back in and reorganize my list/headers, now I’m just starting to automatically live it.
      “Bless you NML. The concept of values has been life altering.” Ahmen!

  6. heather says:

    Like Michelle, I have been stung more than once by liars. I see the lies in hindsight, but not while in the relationship, except right at the end of course. I feel my own honesty blinds me to others lies. Enough so, that lonliness sounds better to me than dating. Glad to have found BR, and the new skills to try out. Dating may become an adventure again, and being alone might not mean being lonely. =0)

    • runnergirl says:

      Heather, I’ve only ventured into the online dating world and dating period within the last few months, after a year and change on strict NC with any guy. I’ve been struck by the liars. Trust me, being alone is not as lonely as being with a liar. Thanks to BR, I’m so glad I found the flush handle. Dating with my new found self-esteem (read flush handle) in tow has been quite an adventure. Implementing my values has been totally fun. Can’t really say I’ve enjoyed the company of any dude so far but I’ve enjoyed realizing it’s my choice. Not theirs. So when my #7 dude shows up, we’ll see how I do. Can hardly wait!

      • pinkpanther says:

        runnergirl:
        In regards to your comment:

        Implementing my values has been totally fun. Can’t really say I’ve enjoyed the company of any dude so far but I’ve enjoyed realizing it’s my choice. Not theirs.

        I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t found anyone worth even date #3 since I’ve been reading this site, but I got to say to all the ladies, boy is it a lot of fun when I’m making decisions based on my values. It is so empowering I love it. It isn’t even a big drag to let them fall by the wayside after a date or two. I mostly feel happy that I dodged potential bullets, (which in the past, I’d of accepted).

        My flush handle is my very best friend.

        Rock on ladies!

    • araja says:

      Amen Sister.

  7. jo says:

    While I was reading something started to sting. I started to sting. The first person I should be sharing core values with is me. It is painful to acknowledge I have two sets of core values,if that’s possible: the ones I want to believe I have and the ones that speak louder than the ones I want to believe I have do. The key insight for me is that what I should focus on is in getting my true set of core values straight, whatever they are they should’t lack truth. The alarm that went off tells me that before judging all my wrong relationships with all the wrong men and pintpointing all the horrible things all the wrong men did to me, I should be taking a good look into myself and asking me a life defining question: what choices have I made that have resulted in me being the wrong woman for myself. Having two sets of core values is not only dishonest but unwise, I will end up doing even more harm to myself than what others can possibly inflict. I’ve been working many years to figure myself out and BR has been an amazing source of self-empowerment,an invaluable tool for building my self-esteem from scratch and fighting my destructive patterns. I’ve made progress. Strong will, sustained effort, unbelievable victories. Today I learn that I have many more worlds to conquer and that I might have to start over, once again… and as many times needed. Beginnings are good. I’m excited to question everything I thought I knew about myself and discover everything I have been missing about my true self. Most of the damage I’m accountable for has been aimed at myself and not at the “ex-men”.
    I don’t lack core values but I have twisted them through the years and got them all mixed up. I’m not that bad, I´m just someone who got lost and who’s trying to find the sun. It’s shiny today. Thank you Natalie.
    And thanks to everyone who posted a comment, you have contributed to make a bell ring: I’m making myself the right woman for me.

  8. GettingBetter says:

    I’ve been thinking about this same thing all week while reflecting on my recent dating history. Let’s see: the strong protective single dad(Aug 2011-Jan 2012) who was great on paper & good for me untl his ex came running. He disappeared without a word, blaming the hour’s drive between us. The silent type(March 2012) who was only silent because he had no hobbies, opinions, or future plans of any kind, but didn’t mind sharing what I had. He, too, quickly vanished. Then there was the return of the comfortable ex-“friend”(May 2012-August 1, 2012) who realized yet again, that I was the “one”. This realization coincided with his trampy ex cheating on him. His reentry marked the end of 3 years of off-on. He stuck around long enough to get his parts wet and running for the exit the 1st time he couldn’t perform, cuz that’s all my fault, ain’t it? By this date, I feel like I’ve been 3 rounds with Mayweather and I keep losing. That’s not really Getting Better, is it? I realize(too late as usual) that these guys were one thing in real life and something else in my mind. I gave them thoughts, values, even characteristics they didn’t have. With the imagination I have, I should be writing novels instead of waiting for the next temporary guy to come along. It’s definitely to stop and step back.

    • araja says:

      GettingBetter: You and I must be dating the same guys, LOL!
      I too have been reflecting on my recent dating history.

      The single dad (Jan 2012-May 2012) who was great on paper & good for me until his ex-too came running. This is the ex that dumped him previously. He disappeared after blaming me for wanting a relationship when he was not ready for one with anyone. Then he tells a mutual friend how ‘he was not into me’ and preferred the 5’ 9” red headed stick insect and want to make a relationship work with her. This a week after we broke up. Say what, now???

      The ex-jock (July 2012 – August 2012) who was perfect on paper (kind, smart, socially involved, attentive, kept in touch daily etc.) but kept making future plans of all kinds, but refused to date me and insisted we have phone sex every night. Blaming the hour’s drive between us for the lack of dating, his busy schedule, my parenting plan, etc. We live an hour away from each other and I was more than happy to be flexible with my schedule including drive up to see HIM. He, too, quickly vanished.
      Like you GettingBetter, I realized that these guys were one thing in real life and something else in my mind. I too gave them thoughts, values, even characteristics they didn’t have. I even dreamed about futures with them.
      I’ve decided to take a break, a holiday and do some therapy (I have issues that are becoming crystal clear lately). I want to love myself more than anything in this world right now.

  9. ACaddict says:

    What has been so hard for me to realize with the second AC in my life, after suffering pretty intense emotional abuse from the first, was the feeling that AC#2 had similar values that I had. I disclosed all of this information to him about what AC#1 had done to me, and AC#2 kept on advising me to cut him out completely from my life.

    When AC#2 suddenly started to do the same things as AC#1 had done to me 3 months later, it was like this massive deja vu experience and me wondering for literally months on end, the dreaded questions, “What happened? How could this happen? How could someone who seemed to understand the difference between acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior in a relationship suddenly be doing to me now?”

    What I see now looking back is that when AC#2 was giving me his advice to cut AC#1 out of my life, AC#2 had already broken several boundaries with myself and I was too clueless and naive about the situation to have ended the relationship from the start.

    I guess one of the main lessons that helped me get over the shock and denial of breaking his professed values was the idea that NML keeps mentioning of actions speaking louder than words, words in this case being the values that they seem to possess from a verbal standpoint, but from an action standpoint, is just more BS and denial on their part.

    It still weirds me out that these guys can be so delusional about themselves. Scary scary scary stuff.

    • grace says:

      ACAddict
      This is why it’s best to be completely emotionally finished with the previous ex (or at least 95% there) before embarking on a new relationship. While we’re still reeling from it (and we are if we feel the need to “disclose” it, especially in the early days),we don’t make good decisions.
      I’m unsure of how much of these crappy relationships we need to share with new boyfriends. It’s been six years (which I’m glad of now) since I last had a relationship. I don’t feel it’s relevant to the new man, except to satisfy his curiosity. It’s certainly not relevant to me except I’m not making those mistakes again! He doesn’t seem to have any curiosity about my past relationships. I told him I was divorced (that you would have to share, or if you’d killed someone) and he didn’t ask how long I had been married, or when, or why we divorced. He just asked if there were children.
      There are these verse from the bible “As far as the east is from the west you have removed my trangressions from me” and “blessed is the man whose sins God does not count against him” (and by sins I’m widening the net to include our mistakes, failures, and errors in judgement). The past is past, and if it’s forgiven (by yourself at least, even if you don’t believe in God), why drag it up? Those things are not you anymore. Now that is a shared value worth having.
      It’s not about keeping it a secret. I may or may not tell the new man certain things. But if you are sharing it, ask yourself why. It’s not a new man’s job to advise you on your exes.
      Good for you for getting rid of both these men. Now is the time to step forward with a clean slate. It’s a good time.

    • jasmine says:

      ACaddict

      same thing happened to me…i met AC1 back in 2009 and he ended up disappearing all of a sudden and getting into a relationship within the week. i met AC 2 in jan 2010…i was getting over AC1 and ready to meet people…obviously clearly not. AC 2 does to me the same thing a few months ago…. after i disclosed to AC 2 what AC 1 did and everything else…i completely bared my soul and i trusted AC 2. so i am at a complete shock that AC 2 just ditched me without word and then found a new girl, all in the a space of a month…last i heard though, he’s not in a relationship anymore.

      so im assuming we’re attracting the same people here, or our subconscience is..looking back i’m kinda bewildered

      i thought i had the same values as AC2, thats why i didnt think he would do what he did to me. and as i write this i remember telling him all about AC1..i felt safe telling him this. i felt he really understood me and we had the same values.

      the funny thing is AC 1 wants me back..regrets doing what he did. said it was a bad time in his life…so i reckon AC2 will feel the same at some point…geez, its all so predictable.

      • HS says:

        Wow, I cant believe how similar our experiences Jasmine and ACaddict! The reason we are in these situations as Grace rightly pointed, we were not ready to meet anyone after ACs, we needed to heal, work on our boundaries and values, stay single for few months/years and maybe later consider dating. I am so off men, cant even bear to look at them:-)

  10. Catherine says:

    This article is brilliant! Will send it to my mate. Ages ago I was with an ass clown but I finally dumped him when the last lie was just too much and I felt like he was warping my reality. I did the same as a couple of people here, I lied to myself rather than admitting to myself that the person I loved was an out and out liar. My best mate has just ended a relationship with a guy who, in my eyes, has very little going for him, but of course she thought the sun shone out of his arse. Honesty is sooo important to me and without honesty and if you can’t trust somebody it doesn’t matter how well he cooks, kisses you, tells you a million times a day that he loves you. If there’s a major value like this that is out of sync, then boy, you don’t even HAVE a relationship, you have a “joke”…

  11. Sara says:

    ACaddict – I believe when you tell someone all about the bad stuff other guys got away with it is effectively giving them a handbook on how to mess with you. Not only that but you obviously were not over the pain of the last guy if you till felt the need to spill all the pain out again. I believe that unless we take each person on their own merits, keep quiet about past weaknesses that we have worked on and overcome, we are doomed to repeat. This is the message I have gained from BR. You wouldn’t tell a stranger how someone found your bank codes by going through your bag in case they did the same. Learn from your mistakes and shut those loopholes, otherwise you are always going to be open to relationship fraud. It is no good letting it all hang out in the hope that the next guy will fix you, that is your job.

  12. Helen says:

    I’m holding tight to my values and boundaries from hereon in. I let the ex trample all over them, thinking we shared values because we were engaged and due to get married in a few months. In the end I discovered he had no values whatsoever, leaving me because I wasn’t impressive enough and he couldn’t accept that I was imperfect. I struggled to prove to him that I was something I wasn’t (mostly he wanted someone athletic and gregarious because HE is not these things and he thinks to be successful you have to be – and what better way to acquire these hallmarks than to get them from a partner?). Seriously, he was an emotional vampire, sucking all the good from my spirit, judgmental beyond belief – and all because of HIS insecurity.

    I loved Natalie’s previous post on being true to yourself about what you want in a relationship. I know what I want and always have: a kind, compassionate, emotionally available man who will commit. I was sidetracked by someone who faked his way with me, but from now on I will keep my eyes and ears open and will never let anyone bust my boundaries or make me feel ‘less than’ again. We all deserve so much better.

  13. Suzanne Smith says:

    I have been in a relationship for 18 months with a much older person, and this person has used the age difference as an excuse to keep me secret from his friends and family and has often refused to interact with my friends (most hurtful and recent occasion was the refusal to attend a wedding he had been invited to by one of my closest friends). In the beginning, I made excuses even though it went against everything I believed constituted a mutual and respectful and healthy relationship and now I find myself so angry I almost hate his guts. We are now in the process of breaking up because I finally came to terms with how at odds our values are. It has not been easy to get to this place, BR is so comforting (added to this, I just moved and am in a new town with a new job, no friends to speak of as yet. A good opportunity for a fresh start but the lonliness is a killer).

    • Magnolia says:

      Suzanne – I am in a new town for a new job, too! Stay strong: the pain of breaking up could make the normal loneliness (see my post above) that much more poignant. I’ll see you around here at BR. That’s one of the many great things about this blog: you can move around anywhere in the world and the community is still right here! It sounds as though you are unloading someone who was happy to have you only on his terms. The older guy who won’t hang with your friends? Been there. You want a guy to get older *with*, not someone trying to deny his own age bracket by showing you around. All best to you in this new chapter in your life.

  14. rana says:

    hello all, i want to share an excerpt from dr. John Gray (Mars and Venus Together Forever) ways a man goes out of balance:
    when a man does not feel appreciated in his relationship with a woman or at his job, he begins to shift out of balance
    stage one: overworking- a man’s most common impulse when he does not feel supported at home is to work harder at the office. A man reacts instinctively to a woman’s dissatisfaction by trying to provide more money, so he becomes increasingly driven to achieve more and succeed more. No matter how successful he is, it is never enough. He silently criticizes himself for not being better, for making mistakes and not being good enough. He avoids feeling unappreciated in his relationship by asserting his independence and competence at work.
    he begins drifting from a relationship focus to a work focus. Without the daily experience of appreciation at home, a man begins to measure himself solely by the results of his work. Because his hunger for success is really a replacement for his true need to be appreciated, he is never satisfied with his success. He is in a self-defeating pattern. The less appreciated he feels, the more self-critical and dissatisfied he becomes.
    This first stage inevitably leads him the second stage of imbalance. When he comes home, he is unable to shift from the work mode to the relationship mode.
    Stage two: he does not come out of his cave.
    When a man comes home feeling unsuccessful at work, he immediately pulls away from his partner to relax and forget the problems of his day. Temporarily pulling away is quite normal. But here, he simply can not forget the pressure. If a man feels bad about his work, it is much harder to feel good, even while pursuing a hobby or watching his favorite team. When the pressure to succeed predominates the power of his time activities to release him from the grip of work diminishes proportionally. They become addicted to cave time activities in an attempt to forget the problems and pressures of work. Such men tend to be disinterested in what is going on around them. It is hard for a man like this to connect with his partner cause not only is he so preoccupied, he does not even have the motivation he once did. He has low energy because deep inside he feels like a failure.
    Failure is deadly for a man.
    In stage one, a man’s replacement need is to succeed , in stage two it is to rest and relax- even though his real need is to be loved and appreciated. He feels as though he wants to be ignored so that he can rest, nap, relax, or zone out by watching TV.
    stage three: he wants more support from his partner- his female side comes out when he spends a lot of time in his cave, suddenly he wants his partner to take care of him, but because he is still a man, he demands it in an aggressive way. he is easily hurt, offended and provoked. he will tend to overreact to his mate’s mistakes, feel a much greater need to talk about his feelings, becomes more defensive of his actions,…

    • Linden says:

      The man in this scenario needs to learn how to have insight into his own emotions and how to process them and convey them appropriately. That’s part of being a functioning adult.

      • PurpleLily says:

        @ Linden : Amen! Brilliantly put!

        But oh dear oh dear…I dont think EUMs/ACs can even read what you wrote there. That is how disconnected they are from themselves, their emotions, introspection and other postitive aspects of adult life. Functioning adults…well, disfunctional man-child would be an overestimation :)

  15. Heather says:

    “…never allow someone who is very rigid about these things to be with you (someone who doesn’t embody this value) and then use it as an excuse to mistreat you or not commit.”

    This could not be more true. After finally coming to my senses about my EUM, I was shocked to find out that he “didn’t do long distance” when he found me on a dating site where my location was clearly indicated and he pursued me and told me otherwise in the beginning…until I wanted exclusivity after months when he told me the distance was an issue. While it’s not as big an issue as race/religion/etc…it was still a shock to me.

    Hurts like hell.

  16. kayakerkathy says:

    Hi B,

    I LOVE your post about information being power. My story is waayyyy too long to get into, but I have found the beauty of online access to county court records. I found an interesting tidbit on my idiot ‘acquaintance'(I say that because we never had a relationship. This was my epiphany relationship.) through court records. It was him and his company vs what looked like a married couple. I’ve requested details on it, but I’ve concluded that with my experience with him, he’s lied, cheated, gone behind backs, whatever, many times in his life (he did hint to me that he and the woman he’s known for 10 years and living with now messed around while she was married). The last day I saw him he hinted how a ‘co-worker’ was sued for sexual harassment, counter-sued, and the case was dismissed. Well, judging by the info I found, I’m guessing the ‘co-worker’ was in fact him. When he told me about the incident, I realized it was probably a thinly veiled threat to me, that he realized he was a prick with me and that I had better not ‘do’ anything to get him in trouble.

    I’ve been able to see divorce records on him, too. He and his current girlfriend have known each other since 2001, she requested a divorce in 2003. My quick deduction? He’s a lying, cheating meddling ***hole who pretends to have family values. I saw a quote somewhere….’what you put up with, you end up with.’ Thank GOD I didn’t give him my phone number when he asked me for it! LOL

  17. On Leaving Sugarland says:

    “Let me say it again – we trust people with whom we share core values. If you also want to understand why you keep getting into similar unhealthy relationships it’s because while you may profess certain values, you ‘trust’ in the feedback from that person possessing certain values that speak to your own pattern. Hence you may feel more trusting of someone who is shady and dodging a relationship, not because you’re truly ‘trusting’ them, but more because you trust that this relationship is ‘safe’, that you can seek validation, and that you can fulfil your self-fulfilling prophecy that speaks to your own beliefs about you, love, and relationships.”

    This paragraph applies to me; I just haven’t figured it out yet. I just know that I didn’t trust my ‘ex’ while I was sucking it up and seeing, but I was seeking validation from him on my values via his feedback, and I was starting to take on his values because they did feel familiar and ‘safe’…and the honoring of what I think are my real values feels uncomfortable, and my patterns and/or addictions are screwing with my head and heart.

    I am struggling to articulate this but…as I go deeper within myself…seeing deeper into me, I am questioning some of the things that I value…like being a perfectionist for example. I feel like I am trying to be perfect because to be otherwise makes me feel like I’m not good enough…like I am not good enough for what… I don’t know, but it brings me to a place of shame because I didn’t do something that I think I needed to do to be good enough..to be excellent…to be proper…to meet my standards, and that makes me feel ‘wrong’ or less than what I should be. And it is disturbing to me. It is as if in so many areas of my “self” I am discovering things about me…why I do certain things, and I am like wth? Why? And, I’m not sure who I really am? I am getting to know me, and that’s great, but which one is me?

    I think I have passed the intellectual level of self-awareness, and I am right there…showing and revealing myself to myself with knowledge in tow, but it is disturbing…disturbing because I don’t like or agree with what I am finding out about myself.

    It is kind of like not being able to handle the truth, and knowing that you have changed to the point that there is no where to run, no where to hide…the truth is right in front of me, and I can’t deny it, but at the same time, I don’t understand all of it; hence, I don’t understand all of myself, and I don’t like it.

    I am not who I thought I was, or am I pretending to be someone that I am not…I don’t know.

    :( :(

    …still grateful…and will still hang in…not giving up…………I think I am wrestling with my beliefs as well as my values, one is shaking up the other in both directions…………still trying to make sense of this……

  18. kayakerkathy says:

    Oh, and he and his current girlfriend, the one he got involved with 10 years ago, meddled in the marriage I’m sure, probably caused the divorce somehow, have been back and forth and rocky for the entire decade. I’m sure he’s done things, she’s taken him back, she might have done things, etc. What a frickin’ Jerry Springer episode (for those who don’t know who Springer is, he hosted a very very trashy talk show where the lowest dregs of society pounded each other over just about any scenario you can imagine). What I have discovered throughout this entire info gathering mission of mine, is that in some way I was a Fallback Girl, at least emotionally (we never got physical, though lordy did he try), but I think is current girlfriend is more of a Fallback Girl than me, if she keeps taking him back. I could have been if I had let myself, because I had very strong feelings for this guy, kind of like a ‘safe’ relationship kind of thing. Yes, I’m working on that part of myself. lol I really don’t know what kind of relationship they have, but I do know she has time share vacations, a lovely home, financial things, most likely all things he’s incapable of supplying for himself. Does he love and respect her? I don’t know. I suppose if he did he wouldn’t have lured me into the drama that was 8 months of my life and tried to cheat on her with me. He may be just using her. My recovery has been to hope he’s changed his ways and is different with her now since I high-tailed it out of there. If he’s told her anything about me, it’s probably some half-truths just to be able to keep his benefits of living with her. I may never know the truth, but I’m slowly getting to the point where I just don’t give a frick anymore. Extremely difficult, though!

    • B says:

      Hi Kathy,

      If you had all of that kind of information, you should have any difficulty already to ‘not give a frick anymore’! Really, what else do you need to prove that this person is capable of such sophisticated form of deceit? Information is indeed powerful, and it should help you realise who he really is.

      I got to a point when I googled my ex for whatever information I could get. I was caught up in that moment of indecision – if what I was doing was right or wrong DESPITE knowing that he already lied to me. A phone call from his wife – civil and benign – was all I needed to seal my decision to completely walk away. In some bizarre way, she gave me the closure I needed. Bless her for that! It was how I found out that he lied about them being separated, about portraying her with an illness, and that he had a sexual harassment record.

      So …. I had to laugh about the sexual harassment case you mentioned! Part of me is thinking that there might be some sort of pattern here, a profile we can unravel. If I have time, I might just do that kind of sociological research.

      It was awfully painful to get over the betrayal that I have been through. My health and immune system went way down that I contacted chicken pox 5 days after the break up. It took a lot of will and conscious decision every time a wave of emotions would flood. I wish it will get easier for you. Hang in there! xx

  19. Arlena says:

    “We make assumptions about what the existence of some values, qualities and characteristics mean and assume that other values that we desire are also present.”

    I am guilty of that when I retrace what made me trust that professional caretaker and which points brought me to sign a contract. I put to his plus side that he emphasized friendliness in his company policy, being long-married, and taking custody for disabled children. When he gave me a tour of his house the facilities were impressive. We had several talks, well that can be cheap… but there were some actions to match the talk, so I took the plunge and risk, but I see it depends on the character behind how all this unfolds.

    Shortly after having signed I had an “Er, WTF does THAT mean-moment” when he told me that he was once accused of sexual harassment by one of his custody daughters. He got cleared two years later, it had been hell for him going through the process and I feel for men who get falsely accused. That can happen. The fact that he still is allowed to take care of kids and just got another boy I assumed…. After what happened to me I think differently. Shouldn’t a man after that process know the difference of appropriate and inappropriate touch? Why risk his reputation?

    We watch out for red flags, sometimes the red flag is as tiny as an LED pin head. I was quite generous not to fuss over those as I obviously thought a red flag below the size of a football stadium was not worth mentioning. Who wants to be a fussing nag? So much to learn.

  20. miskwa says:

    Right on! I have learned the hard way to stick and live by my values no matter what. I often have been told here to either settle for men who do not share my values, that I have no attraction for whatsoever, or accept being alone for good. Screw that! People judge you by how you live your life and assume that if you’re living a certain way, it’s by your choice. So ya better be living the way you choose. I get contacted by a lot of city dudes who think my insistence on sustainable practices in life is crazy. Flush! This week I am putting up the timber frame for my new building. So powerful to look at something you created yourself. Helen, I once also dealt with a dude who thought athleticism was something one could aquire second hand, like cigarette smoke. People who live vicariously through you eventually grow to resent you. This is why, despite criticism, I now avoid men who are physically unhealthy, financially irresponsible, and very uneducated. They can either work on their own problems or puff themselves up by being seen with someone else. Magnolia, being in a new place is lonely but is also a fresh start where old hurts can be left behind. I have been waking up with anxiety attacks at 2 am because I dread starting school next week and having to face at work AC. Was kinda hoping he would go away. Rumors were floating that he was fired but alas it’s not true. A real good core value to live by: have nothing to do with anyone deceitful.

    • Selkie says:

      Hi Miskwa, I built a timber frame home in Alaska. It was one of the best experiences and I learned so much. I had my own tool belt, chisels and power tools. I was being me, doing something challenging that I loved and it never felt better. I was being myself. When I moved to California (after my divorce and losing my house), it was different. Men looked at me like I was some sort of alien. They wondered where my heels and gucci bag were. I compromised for a bit, trying to fit in. But am happy to say I am coming back to me….doing what I like and being who I am. I wish to buy property one day and build a cob house and live off my garden. I always wanted to do this with a partner, but doing it alone will be okay. Reading your posts inspires me to dust off the tools!

      • Magnolia says:

        Miskwa and Selkie: you’re both inspirations! I picked up pruning shears for the first time in my life today and cleared the path behind the house. Not quite construction, but for someone whose living-with-the-land skill has so far has involved barely keeping some potted plants alive in my home office, it’s so physical and outdoorsy to be responsible for a yard!

        Miskwa, from your posts I like you quite a bit and yet I think, if I wanted to date you (assuming either of us rolled that way), you’d be ‘out of my league’ – I’m not athletic enough, or green enough, it sounds like. Do you think there are men who like you for your personality, but don’t approach because they feel like they wouldn’t be able to ‘keep up’?

        I ran and swam and do weights, I eat relatively healthily, but I have felt / have been made to feel like I am not athletic enough, or organic-foodie enough, by certain of my friends … I don’t think it’s the same thing as not sharing values? What do you think?

        • Selkie says:

          Thx Magnolia. I wasn’t always this way, but over the years have discovered my passions and where I feel most comfortable. I grew into it. I’ll be honest, during my darkest hours, I used this as my escape. I immersed myself into the wilderness experience to avoid and forget my own issues. Being a fallback girl (before even knew what that was, but was one) didn’t matter when I was climbing a mountain, right? I learned to be myself. It also gave me a lot of quiet meditative thinking time alone. Now, working on my ‘issues’ and climbing metaphorical mountains, I feel like my self esteem, values and my passions are coming into focus and are aligning. Climbing a peak, or learning how to build a house with my own hands, just happen to be where I feel most alive. I would like a man with the same values AND passions to live that life with. I have found that men don’t see me as ‘out of their league’, but more of an oddity. The right man will see the dirt on my face as I swing my hammer or reach a summit as beautiful. I have ended up with men who have seen me as a challenge to ‘break’. It’s a lifestyle for me, and a man who shares similar passions is important. I could meet a really great guy, but if he will never go hike with me, or explore new things, I would essentially still end up doing the things I love alone. Now, that being said, I have no confidence in writing poetry. That would be for me like your foray into the garden with your clippers. New territory. If I met a guy who was a poet, I’d feel like I was ‘ seriously unpoetic’ and my poems would be like a Dr. Seuss book. But…if he wrote poetry in front of the campfire, after a beautiful hike, well then our passions would be compromising nicely. We would inspire each other with our different but overlapping passions. A girl can dream.

          • Magnolia says:

            “I have ended up with men who have seen me as a challenge to ‘break’.”

            Reminds me of the Rolling Stones song “Under My Thumb.” Never occurred to me that someone would want to “break” someone, but now after some dating experiences, I figure Mick Jagger was writing about a real thing!

            You sound like an awesome adventurer, Selkie, and you’re right, there is more than one guy out there who would love you *for* the way you swing a hammer!

  21. Genie says:

    Nat, your wisdom is boundless. It’s a shame not every one will get to read this post. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I found your blog. You have taught me so much. I am in a good place now, but I’ll never stop reading your posts and all the comments of all the brave people who comment here. Thank you all.

  22. allie says:

    Very good reading. I have failed so much to myself profession some values and then not acting up to them. I did it the last time i was dating a guy. Then i caugh myself. Of course he didn’t take me seriusly but it was also my fault, trying to hard, giving second and third chances, relaxing my rules, ….etc.
    I am learning now with a lot of help of BR too.

  23. Selkie says:

    The abusive AC used to steal firewood that was for sale outside supermarkets. He thought it was funny, I was taken aback, but let it go, telling myself…he’s a nice guy, he just has a sense of humor, lighten up and quit being such a square. He ended up being a huge lair and pulled all kinds of shady stuff ( breaking into my house, stabbing my things with a knife when he was mad, visiting prostitutes, double life ) on me. Duh! I succumbed to the pressure he put on me that I was just too uptight. Well, guess I am uptight, I don’t lie and steal or threaten people with knives. Ha! The last EU I dated was very critical of other people. I sometimes found it very negative and judgmental, but felt validated and safe when he wasn’t critical of me (yet), I thought I was special enough to meet his standards. Wrong….he dumped me on a public street telling me all the things that were wrong with me and how I messed up by not acting like I liked him enough while in the same breath saying he felt crowded ( mixed message or what?). It felt like he pulled the rug out. Hindsight….both these guys showed themselves early on, their values didn’t match mine, but I sat on it because it wasn’t in my face enough. I minimized it, and paid the price eventually. I’m better at spotting these things now, thx to BR, but still taking a break from dating for a bit until I learn to live my core values without compromise.

  24. ACaddict says:

    I love how NML cuts the bull shit. If your values don’t line up, then what do you have other than a mess? I like thinking of a bad relationship as a sinking ship that you can either continue to deny and go under with or can get real up, find your safety boat and get on with the rest of your life.

  25. PhoenixRises says:

    This post is the one thing keeping me from contacting him today. It’s been a little over 2 months of NC and everything in my life is generally going well, but I find myself thinking of him anytime there’s a high or a low. I’ve got some opportunities coming up professionally that are really exciting (and could lead to my dream career, which is something he always cheered me on about) but he knows nothing about the updates in my life anymore. I don’t think he is a bad person, but I don’t think he has the same values as me (sadly, I am not even sure if he’s figured out what his values are, since he has buried any self-awareness far far below!) Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and this is just who he is and he’s okay with the way he treats others and carries himself.

    As a side note, I do wonder: how often do these people reach awareness? I do not mean to ask this question because I hope for it in this situation, it just makes me sad to think that so many people go through life without deciding their priorities!

  26. FX says:

    Wow Natalie! Your recent posts have all been so timely and apt. This one led to an epiphany and greater peace of mind after over 2+ months of NC.

    My exAC and I did have many shared values when we met several years ago… We were both AC players who cheated, told lies for convenience, etc. However, I evolved and am not proud of many things I did and am not an EU AC anymore so my values are now very different from his. Thank goodness for that! Maybe the new woman shares his values… LOL If so, he’s a hell of a good time. If not, she’ll eventually feel like hell. Good riddance to him/his values but I do miss the fun sometimes. ;) Hope to enjoy fun and great sex again someday with someone who shares my improved values. Till then, I am much better off alone.

  27. FX says:

    PhoenixRises, I saw your comment after I wrote mine above. “As a side note, I do wonder: how often do these people reach awareness? I do not mean to ask this question because I hope for it in this situation, it just makes me sad to think that so many people go through life without deciding their priorities!” I wouldn’t hold my breath for a lot of people but I am so glad I did evolve and am not one of the “these people” to which you refer anymore.

    • PhoenixRises says:

      @FX, did you ex ever change? Do you think he has capacity for change? I’ve read Natalie’s post a zillion times about ‘he may have changed, (but so have you!)’ about how it shouldn’t matter, considering they didn’t treat us right when it counted and we have also changed into people wanting different things.

      But it’s so hard to make peace with the situation when I can still read our last conversation in my email. Reading it, I sound so lame and he seems so passive aggressive, and I hate that that’s how it has to end! (It’s been over 2+ mo. NC) I know I’m supposed to find the closure and let go myself–that he doesn’t need to be part of the validation–but somedays it drives me crazy that he doesn’t have the same epiphanies, like ‘wow! If I go around treating others this way, I’m not going to have any friends left!’ or ‘maybe since every relationship I have is unhealthy, I’m the common denominator and should see a counselor for my depression and self-esteem!’

      What was it in your personal experience that woke you up? I think for me I am just now realizing how much I compromised my values during that time, even moreso with NC I get to see it. Part of me wishes the ex could see how strong I have become and how much I’ve accomplished, but there’s the validation talking again…

      • FX says:

        In spite of being OK with being the OW at the beginning, which is inherently deceitful and selfish, I was also a giving, loving person. He impersonates those qualities very well but I have come to believe he is a narcissist so, no, I don’t think change is possible for him.

        I wasn’t looking to have a serious relationship when I met the AC. I was just looking for a good time so he suited my needs at the time. Then he got divorced, I had a nervous breakdown – don’t know if the 2 things are related – and he swept me off my feet and supported me financially and I just got sucked in. He resented me enormously for that and the flirt I was when we met and now says he took “us” more seriously than I did back then.

        Now, I feel sorry for his current victim(s) because I know he hasn’t changed. He was pursuing me for sex and in constant contact until I found out for sure he already had someone else who considers herself his girlfriend.

        We had sex and went out to dinner and had an argument. I think my gut started it! The next morning, I stopped by his house with treats for his birthday because I felt bad. His gf had spent the night with him hours after he left my bed! Ick! So my last conversation with him consists of me screaming “You Fucking Asshole” at the top of my lungs. Not how I wanted to end things after so many years either(!) but I now realize it was for the best. I knew who he was by then but kept going back for more of his crap. I couldn’t overlook that last bit though!

        He is very charming and generous and has no trouble meeting women and keeping friends so being the liar and cheater he is works for him just fine at this point. However, his life will be lacking one thing forever – me! I’ve only been ST/NC 2+ months but, unlike my earlier attempts, this is permanent because, in addition to the blatant disrespect, I woke up to the fact that I want a different life than I did before or will ever have with him and BR has opened my eyes so much. To be embarrassingly honest, I may have tried to get over the AC by getting under someone else if I was still as young and cute as I was when I met him. LOL As it is, I have had the opportunity to get my head screwed on better which I am continuing to work on as I grieve allowing myself to be devalued by a user who will probably remain one evermore without remorse.

        It is no longer my concern. We can only change ourselves. End of! Thanks for helping me get that NML! :)

  28. Catherine says:

    Leaving a response to OnLeavingSugarland, WOW! Totally resonates for me about my ex and for a couple of my mates! You expressed exactly how I have been feeling about my ex, it’s weird because even though I am engaged to a wonderful guy now I still have some “anger issues” about my ex. My fiance knows all about what he did to me now and has been through similar abuse from a woman, so he understands … but sheesh I just want to deal with this festering crap and you really put your finger right on some stuff for me!!

  29. Catherine says:

    ..and to miskwa – WOW also! You women rock, really. Taking my hat off to y’all!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. hopeless says:

    So I have had 10 days no contact with my ex. We have only been broken up for 5 months now but it actually feels good to say I have had no contact for 10 days straight. I know that we did not share the same values and that is one of the reasons we didn’t work. I can’t say it doesn’t still hurt as we were together for 6 years with him saying one thing and his actions doing another. In the back of my mind I keep wondering if he will be the person he said he was which was the “family man.” He always said he wanted the same thing but his actions only matched for a certain time frame and than it seemed like the longer I actually expected him to live up to his words thats where we would have problems. I know that as the days of no contact go on I will get stronger and stronger. I know I am getting better because I would rather deal with the pain of no contact than the pain I had when arguing with him.

  31. miskwa says:

    Magnolia
    What you say reminds me of Vern, my wonderful partner of 12 years whom I would still be with had circumstances not made it necessary to take a job out West. Vern wasn’t an athlete, he had knee and back issues. However, he still kept thin because he would walk every day and did about an hours worth of situps and stretches every morning. He supported my running and encouraged it. He is 28 years older than I so I would do the endurance stuff is such as gather/cut wood, tap maple trees, and he’d have a hot meal waiting. I liked to listen to public radio, he didn’t. He liked to write social justice articles; I cannot stand any form of “sitting down work” and prefer to face the bad guys head on at public meetings. He was really into his family, I got along really well with his much older sisters though for me, family is gone for good. We had our issues, but overall it was wonderful and my idea of how things should be. I bet you, Magnolia are something like Vern and not “out of your league” in any way. Last night, I attended a neighbors birthday party. There were 4 local guys there, close to my age. All hard used by life, none were educated, three were in bad shape healthwise. One had pretty serious drug issues in their past and was on oxygen. I probably offended one when they asked me my opinion about the mine here. I told him. One works at our agronomy center jobsite yet had no idea of the project and that yours truly would be running the thing and thought trying to get locals to produce their own food is a waste of time. The other likes to shoot guns and watch westerns on TV. Are these bad guys? No. Are they guys I should settle for? No. I don’t consider myself as being out of their league so much as having completely different values, goals, and lifestyle.

    • Magnolia says:

      Miskwa, thanks. Your example shows me that it’s not about being great at the same things, it’s about valuing the same things, in the case of you and Vern – both valuing health and strength, not both being able to win triathlons.

      I am wondering how one can face the bad guys at town meetings without having to do a lot of “sit-down” work? I’d love to know! But that is a question for a different blog :)

      I think of you often, now, since moving to this mining/forestry/agri-business town!

  32. kayakerkathy says:

    “I built a timber frame home in Alaska. It was one of the best experiences and I learned so much. I had my own tool belt, chisels and power tools. I was being me, doing something challenging that I loved and it never felt better. I was being myself.”

    Selkie my dear, this is the epitome of awesomeness. GO YOU!

    B: if I do get that court case, I’m soooo tempted to put it in his mailbox with a note that says ‘gotcha!’ LOL But alas, I mustn’t stoop to his level….I do understand about the betrayal thing. He did tell me he had a girlfriend, but he pursued me in the beginning, actually waited in the parking lot for me when I got off work, telling me how much of a shrew she is, they’re not having sex, how awesome my personality is and that he would so take a chance with me if he was single. I had a bit of a crush on him but didn’t take the bait the first time when he gave me his work schedule. I was all set to ignore it until that second time in the parking lot. I was quite moved by the gesture and actually, foolishly thought he was sincere. I’ve never experienced a guy like this so I really didn’t know what I was getting into. Thus began 8 months of hot/cold, getting my hopes up, leading me on with flirting. He even told me in the beginning what type of relationship he wanted from me – sexual – and I STILL kept coming back. I’m guilty of what we here all are guilty of – thinking we can change him and his ways and get him to see our worth. HAH. Never slept with him, but being attracted to him and living on crumbs (and being human) I certainly thought about it. It was the loneliest 8 months of my life.

    I’m coming into so many revelations about this experience. I had been holding onto anger for 6 years due to an ex-bf getting married 3 years after I broke up with him (he was a typical AC but I didn’t know it yet). Took it personal, hung onto deep-rooted anger and resentment, jaded, you name it. Fast-forward to the present day, I met the guy I’ve been writing about. Like attracts like, right? Well, he told me a little about his past – divorced twice, his current girlfriend – and how he handled the pain and anger of his failed marriages. Basically he whored around and probably buried everything he felt. Then along comes his current girlfriend and they screw around during her marriage, etc. What insight do I have for my life? After my own breakup, I could have done the same thing he did, but I chose healthier activities – I bought a kayak and made life long friends. lol So, I think God was showing me that yeah, I shouldn’t hang on to all that anger, but I handled it much better and will thus have a brighter future than this guy, AND his girlfriend. I get huge bouts of doubts because I think “she’s got kids, family, etc. and here I am 41 with none of those things” but then I think back on what her choices might have been with regard to her loser boyfriend and I then I think, things could be a lot worse. I could be in her situation, fighting for a moron, constantly worried about him cheating, putting up with his lies (I have no doubt he told her tons of half-truths about me), believing everything he says, taking him back, whatever. Jayzuz what a mess. I’ve got wonderful friends, great parents, and lots of activities, plus I still have plenty of time to find the right guy…I ain’t old yet! And I’ve got you awesomely strong ladies to hang out with. There are definitely issues I’m dealing with – Lord knows my parents were not perfect, mom tended to be very controlling, dad passive – and stuff in me that needs major overhauling, but like many of you have said, we should be thankful for these experiences because they are epiphany relationships.

    Let’s face it, ladies….we ROCK!

    • Selkie says:

      Thank you Kayaker Kathy! Living in Alaska really helped me discover my passions. It wasn’t unusual up there, people around me everywhere were doing their own unconventional thing. They inspired me!

    • B says:

      Let all those emotions and toxicity in the sea!! They say salt heals. I paddle too, got my 3 Star certificate, but I haven´t been out in the water for more than two years. It´s fun, isn´t it? Hopefully, I´ll get to do some paddling here in London. I just have deadlines these days so I can’t be too ‘outdoorsy’. But I plan to take on some sport soon. It will help shake off whatever residue is left from that AC.

  33. araja says:

    OK. I’m confused. Help!

    The ex-jock is back. He is perfect on paper (kind, smart, socially involved, attentive, kept in touch daily etc.) I’ve been dating him (if you can call it) that for about 3 weeks. We live about 1 hour apart from each other and we talk twice daily, txt twice daily and have met in person once. We have phone sex every other night.
    We made plans last weekend which needed to be cancelled because he had a pre-planned trip out of town with his buddies. Ok. I understood. In the interim our calls, txt’s and phone sex continues.

    Last night I got tired of the non-contact and said we needed to meet and have a second date. Today I got a text message saying that he was sorry for missing yet another date tonight because his best friend’s wife cancer has return and he wanted to spend time with them this weekend prior to them flying out to the Mayo clinic. I said that I understood (again). It’s pretty serious plus his dad went through some health scare earlier this week. He kept me informed about this. The last txt I got was that he’d call me when he was able to talk.
    NML/Ladies: I’m confused. Is this a case of what NML write’s above? Am I being played? I’m pretty new to dating after being in a 14 year miserable marriage and being burnt badly by an AC and EUM

    • grace says:

      araja
      Yes you’re being played. Phone sex (if you must, it’s not for me) is best reserved for someone you a) have had real sex with b) have known for at least [insert a reasonable time frame , but three weeks is too short] and c) are separated from temporarily for genuine reasons. Not over and over for odd ones. Yeah, I’m that hard hearted that buddies, a friend’s wife’s cancer, and a father’s health scare are not sufficiently good reasons to blow someone off three times (and I’m guessing it’s been more).
      I’ve known the man for seven months. I don’t want to brag (well, maybe just a bit) but he’s not let me down once. It still feels kinda amazing but is, in fact, normal, for someone who is GENUINELY kind and attentive.

  34. araja says:

    Oh…I am a single mom to a 3 year old so I have a rigid schedule. So we can’t meet all the time anytime.

    • Fearless says:

      Araja

      “So we can’t meet all the time anytime.”

      I’m a single mother too (though my one child is now 23yrs old and working away from home at the moment, boo-hoo! I miss my wee hunny bun!) so I do get exactly what you mean and where you’re coming from on this. Your thinking is skewed. You are unavailable. Read Nat’s Mr EU and the FBG).

      Trouble is that this guy isn’t meeting you any of the time and he is not appreciating that you have a schedule too! His time is NOT more valuable than yours, tho’ you think it is. – it’s not.

      I have been reading BR for ages and what I know now is that when my child was young I too thought that what I had to offer/contribute to a relationship was limited so I kinda had to be pleased for what I got with a man as I believed I couldn’t really be fully in the relationship anyway.

      Let me tell you how WRONG I was so that you can start to believe that you too (chid or no) deserve and should *expect* precisely the same kind of healthy relationship that other woman enjoy. Trust me. You have set the bar way too low with this guy; you’re afraid to ask for more cos you don’t think that you have more to give anyway, you don’t believe you deserve it and you think it would be unfair on the guy to be “too demanding” since you cannot be spontaneous and have another serious responsibility to someone else (baby).

      Trust me, you have everything to give – to the right man! This one is Mr Very Very Wrong. I’m sorry to say this but he is quite clearly taking the piss. Please stop letting him. Re-evaluate your values, how you are valuing yourself and question how this fits with the values of this man who is happy t have phone sex with a woman he can’t be bothered setting up a date with (all his stories/excuses are mince – he’s telling a load of porkies; I’ll bet this month’s wages on it!). How well do you really know this man you are having sex with on the phone. You are not free dial-a-lay. Finish this with this user and re-evaluate exactly what YOU are looking for in a relationship. you’ll soon see that it isn’t this.

    • Lilia says:

      Araja: The only thing I can say is be careful with the phone sex thing. You don´t want to get involved in a phone/virtual relationship – been there, done that and it was the most frustrating experience I´ve had with men!

      I too pressed for meeting in person (this was with someone I already knew) but there was always some excuse or other vagueness and changing the subject and let´s have some cybersex and look at each other with a webcam… you get the picture.

      I really don´t know what it was all about, I suspect some acute form of emotional unavailability, who knows?
      After months of this BS my self esteem was in the toilet and I was so confused he could manipulate me into anything – or almost because I miraculously found BR and learned to protect myself.

      I can strongly relate to what you´re going through. It feels like a relationship and you are developing feelings for him and expectations but it isn´t real – it´s like a castle in the sky. I recommend you get Natalie´s Fantasy Relationship book, that will help you understand this situation.
      Good luck!

  35. Getting it! says:

    Araja: I’m not getting a good feeling about what you have written about the ex-jock. I’d leave him be entirely.

  36. runnergirl says:

    Hi araja,
    Since you’ve only met the guy once, it’s hard to tell if his cancellations are legit and it’s hard to tell anything at all based on one meeting. In Natalie’s Dreamer book, she has a great section on “virtuals”. Basically that’s about all there is going on, phone calls, texts, and phone sex. I can’t imagine trying to get to know whether you have shared core values (not common interests), if you don’t see one another in person (for more than sex) on a regular basis. Also, I’ve just recently re-entered the dating world and I know from my past, I can’t jump into sex, even cybersex, before I actually know if there could be a basis for a healthy relationship. I’ve made some pretty big mistakes assuming there were shared core values based on the superficial stuff and oxytocin. For me, it would be inconsistent with my new values, to be engaging in phone sex with a guy I’d only met once. Other than one meeting and virtual communication, there’s not much to go on. If it were me, I’d eliminate the phone sex and make it clear that you would like to get to know him in person. But DON’T chase him. He knows how to contact you. He then has to step up to the plate and make an effort. I’d also suggest actually going out on dates in public places to get to know him in person. But that’s just me now. Maybe you could meet him half-way which would avoid the your place or mine issue. You’ll get your answer pretty quickly. If he disappears, so be it. You don’t want to end up twisting yourself into a virtual pretzel and become a doormat to please a virtual guy. You could do that with a real one…only teasing. Also,it may be helpful to read Nat’s stuff on dating as a discovery phase and the role sex plays in the process. Ignore “his papers”. Good luck to you. Give your 3 year old a hug. They grow up fast!

  37. GettingBetter says:

    Araja: I’m going to have to agree with everyone. I’m cringing a little right now because I’ve heard the excuses myself. At the time, I tried to make sense of it.

  38. GettingBetter says:

    And by make sense of it, I mean I know I haven’t heard from you in about 3 weeks and yes you’ve ignored my calls & texts and yes it’s make me feel overall silly and unattrative and yes I’ve laid awake nights thinking about where you were and what gorgeous woman you were out with but now that you’ve called me and explained that I haven’t heard from you because your baby’s mother was having problems with her boyfriend and she needed your help and you had to help your brother’s best friend’s cousin move and you’ve had a lot on your mind and on and on and on, it all makes perfect sense. You can’t help being so incredible that everyone wants your time and how dare I ask for anymore than the scraps of time you are willing to give. I better get in my car now and rush right over for the next hour or so. I’ve got to hurry so you can talk about yourself for about an hour, followed by quick sex, and a long, thought-provoking drive at 4am(he needs his space). And if I’m lucky, I might hear from you sometime next month. Yeah, perfect sense.

  39. GettingBetter says:

    Oh by the way, you all see that I found BR just in time!

  40. Ria says:

    Re: texting and all that, What got me thinking – OMG for the phone bills!

  41. Gina says:

    I’m glad to read this post because what you say now and have said in the past about values really make sense. It’s funny how, even to this day, I can get excited to share common interests with a man which can cloud my judgement, because even if you share similarities, if you aren’t on the same page, things will fall apart before they ever even started. For instance, I was talking to this man on the phone from an online dating site. On his profile it appeared we did share similar values based on the content. When he told me that he takes two sugars and skim milk in his coffee that got my attention because I am the same way. Yet there were inconsistencies in his profile, that to the naked eye didn’t appear important. For instance, I was the one to write him first saying I liked his optimism, He responded back and said thanks, thats the Virgo in me. (Ok, why does it say you are a Sagittarius on your profile?!) Not that the astrological signs were important, but didn’t match up. He claimed that he couldn’t change the profile, blah, blah… so I kept in it the back on my mind. When we spoke on the phone the next day, I asked where abouts did he live in the city that was posted on his online dating profile, turns out he lived in a different city. He told me his birthday was Sept 3 1978 making him 33, turning 34. I had his first and last name from hearing his voicemail when I called him and since I had the real town he lived in I did a search. I had a funny feeling. Turns out I found three mugshots of him, on 3 seperate arrests, nothing severe but I realized that is the reason why he lied about his city, not only that, but he was really 36 turning 37, he didn’t lie about his birthday Sept 3 but was off by a few years LOL.

    So when he text me that night, I asked him why he didn’t include his mugshots on his online profile LOL… he played dumb, and of course I never wished to speak with him again.

    Point being, that experience taught me surface similarities are really not important, it’s the character of the person that is. I can be so optimistic about someone because I’m a hopeless romantic but it woke me up to the real world.

    Granted, I have always been cautious online, I’m listening to my gut instincts not the other persons B.S.

    • Magnolia says:

      Hi Gina,

      I’m not sure if you were serious about the sugars and skim milk thing! Really that is not “being the same way” about anything important at all!

      NML often uses “a love of eighteenth century poetry” as an example of a shared thing that means nothing! I used to think such tastes did mean a lot (though I prefer modernist poetry) and would think any guy who had a decent booklist on his profile was going to be compatible. Nope: there are some well-read assh*les out there!!

      Sounds like you value honesty and he doesn’t, and fortunately you acted on that important info, rather than worry if you’d lost your sugar-and-milk soulmate!

    • runnergirl says:

      Hi Gina,
      Your sugar/skim milk comment made me laugh and cringe. The exMM’s favorite novel was War and Peace and so was mine. Talk about sidetracked by secondary values! You are right though, once there is a mismatch between their online info and the in-person info, I bail. Good for you for turning up his arrest record. Usually where there is smoke, lying about his sign (he, he, he, who lies about that?)/age/city, there’s fire. Always listen to that “funny feeling”. I take a parachute and jump when something isn’t aligning with my new found values! Keep your head and feet grounded in reality. Have you read Nat’s Dreamer book?
      Loved the line:”…why he didn’t include his mugshots on his online profile…”

  42. araja says:

    Grace:
    Thank you for being honest. In my heart I know this guy is no good. It not that he is canceling (well it is) that is the issue, it’s more that when he cancel with these excuses he does not make follow-up plans. By that I mean, if someone invites me to have coffee on a day that does not work for me then I say ‘this day does not work for me but this other day does. Does that work for you?’ Not once has he said that. It’s sad really as he is great in every other way but then I really don’t know him as we really don’t see each other face to face. Sigh! Sad but the truth is that I need to let this one go or more aptly kick him to the curb.
    The most ironic thing is I don’t even like phone sex that much. How I got dragged into this is beyond me. I’m so embarrassed and mortified afterward.

    Fearless/Lilia/Getting it!/GettingThere/RunnerGirl:
    You are right. I am unavailable. After coming out of a 14 year marriage with the most EUM man I’ve ever know, I’m not sure how to be available anymore. He destroyed me in so many ways. Out of the 14 year we were together we did not have sex for 10. (My child was born through IVF at my absolute insistence on having a baby at 34). Anyway I finally got the strength to get out of that miserable marriage only to end up in the arms of an AC who treated me like a booty call for a year (I feel in love with him in the interim)only to be dumped for his returning ex-girlfriend who was 5’ 9” red headed stick insect. If I had self-esteem issues they compounded 10X after I saw her. I’m a petite 5’ 4” 124 lbs. fair skinned East Indian. I am attractive (or I’ve been told) but I never felt it and the AC made me feel worse after the dumping. Anyway, I’ve working on my self-esteem and other issue with my therapist and this blog. This blog and some awesome friends saved my life after the breakup with the AC. It tore me up like nothing ever before even my divorce.

    My biggest issue is that I’m lonely. I was lonely in my marriage, lonely with the AC and lonely now on my own. I want be loved. I love, care and am good to myself but I want a man for companionship and intimacy that I’ve been missing since I was 23. (The age I married my Ex). There are days that I’m super strong and then there are days I think the ex-jock and similar others are better than nothing. The latter thoughts are few and in-between now a days. It also dawned on me that at 37, I am treating most guys I meet like my ‘last chance saloon’. So very WRONG.

    I’m taking your advice and kicking this one to the curb. I deserve better and I clearly have some amazing advice from some SPECTACULAR ladies who have my best interest at heart. I’ve decided to take a break from dating for a while. I need to focus on ME. Thanks you again, Ladies. Hugs to you all.

  43. araja says:

    Thank you Ladies. He’s going to be kicked to the curb.

  44. teachable says:

    Selkie you rock! Building your own home is VERY COOL! WOW!

  45. Jennifer says:

    I am a beautiful, highly talented and creative twenty-seven-year-old woman. Four months ago I ended it with an EUM. He did the whole hot and cold act. I remember thinking I felt so confused all the time, but our situation was different. I was confused because I was being jacked around on an emotional roller coaster by being misled, conned, lied to and pacified. I thought our situation was too unique to let go of and that I could handle it. I couldn’t. I developed anorexia, losing twenty pounds, nearly lost my job, became disconnected from my friends, family and even my beloved dog.

    After four months of no contact I am still healing, I’ve gained twenty pounds, regularly cuddle with my pup and am a bit more than half way through Mr. Unavailable and The Fallback girl.

    After reading this post I now see that one of the major problems that lead me to give so much to such a shady character, was that I had no clue what my personal values were, therefore, I had little to no boundaries. At this point in my life I’m digging very deep to see what my actual values are and what I want them to be. It’s not easy, but I have to believe it’s worth it, that I’m worth it. I cannot afford another round on the EUM merry go round. It is a hell I never want to revisit.

  46. Confusedd says:

    Here I am again- in contact with the ex that I can’t really call an ex because we never officially went out, and I can’t call a friend because we were so much more than friends (but we had been friends for years before this). So I’ll call him a “friend”.

    After a period of NC I contacted him, thinking that because it had been so long, we could be pals again.

    He kept dropping sexual references about our past into our conversations. I noted and ignored them. I see now he was baiting me.

    I wanted to prove we could be regular friends again. 

    We ended up fooling around while hanging out one day- I suggested the hanging out, he made the move sexually. 

    I was upset the next day and realised we can’t even be buddies anymore.
    I wanted to talk to him about this  because I don’t want to just cut him off and asked him to drop by my work to see me. He asked was he in trouble I said no I just want to see you and chat.

    He said he wouldn’t have time and would call the following day.
    I suggested that night instead. No reply.

    The next day he didn’t call to see me. He text me saying he had to go to a party the night before that’s why he couldn’t meet me. And he couldn’t  come to see me that day because his mother was upset about something.

    I suggested meeting that night and no reply until I text again and he said he wasn’t feeling up to it…then he text saying that whatever had happened the night we fooled round didn’t change anything, we would never be more than friends.

    I told him I didn’t want to be more than friends, that I thought we shouldn’t even be friends anymore, that that was why I wanted to talk to him.

    He said he didn’t mind talking but wudnt be free for a few more days. I said ok let’s plan it right now then for a few days time. And no reply!!

    I’m so frustrated!!

    • grace says:

      Confusedd
      Please leave him alone. I am cringing with embarrassment for you.
      He doesn’t want to discuss anything with you, he doesn’t want to be your buddy or your friend, he doesn’t want to explain what, why, how, and where. He doesn’t want to make plans with you. He doesn’t want to spend any time with you. He doesn’t want to hear about your frustration.
      What he wants from you (if he still does, he may think it’s too much trouble – which is a good thing) is a shag and for you to keep quiet and go away until next time he fancies it.
      He is not that special and you are not that desperate.
      You don’t have to tell him you don’t want to be his friend anymore. He’s got the message – you’re the one who hasn’t. Drop it. Permanently this time.

      • Lilia says:

        Confusedd: Grace is right. Leave it and don´t ever contact him again.
        There is probably the belief in you that if you explain to him how you feel, he will behave in a different way. Believe me, he already knows how you feel, he just doesn´t care. Don´t get trapped in these situations by the secret hope that he doesn´t “get” it.
        Sorry to be so blunt, but you owe it to yourself to be respectful of the person who needs it the most – you!

    • Snowboard says:

      “After a period of NC I contacted him, thinking that because it had been so long, we could be pals again.”

      I think this is a classic mistake people fall back on during NC. It’s been a little while (say, a month, or so) and so you’re feeling stronger, your expectations are starting to adjust to reality, but you still have that nagging compulsion to see him, so you tell yourself you two can be “friends.”

      I was struggling with that a lot this weekend. I was feeling very lonely – no real friends to hang out with – and so I really had to fight back the impulse to text the guy I was talking to earlier this summer to see what he and his friends were up to. If I did, I’m sure he would be very friendly and invite me out with them. (We’re all in the same graduate studies department.)

      It’s hard to know when you can be friends again, and when you’re just lying to yourself and catering to your pattern of needing to win that person over no-matter-what. (My fundamental pattern is to be “hooked” by rejection.)

      I told myself I would do NC with this guy for three months, and maybe test the emotional waters after that.

    • Snowboard says:

      Confusedd,

      You need to let this guy go. You can’t force someone to care about you, and that’s what you seem like you are trying to do. I know he’s hitting all of your rejection-anxiety buttons right now, but you have to let yourself feel that anxiety and push through it, one day at a time, rather than keep trying to “fix” the situation by changing him. The #1 favor you can do yourself is to stop talking to him, pointblank.
      There is no need to have a conversation with him about how you no longer want to be friends; I think you’re just looking for another excuse to catch his attention. The sooner you walk away from this situation, the less humiliation you’re going to feel in the period of pain/sorrow that will inevitably follow, and the less work you’ll have to do on yourself to prepare yourself for a better relationship.

      • Confusedd says:

        Hi Snowboard,

        I had been NC for 2 and a half months so i thought it would be ok…WRONG!

        I know how you feel with the loneliness, I get so lonely for affection and company sometimes, even though I can get the company from friends/family its the affection and company from a boyfriend that I want.

        Do u have to see your guy at Uni?

    • Little Star says:

      Confusedd, please stop chasing him, you do not really need to meet him, you already told him that you cant be his friend. WHY you need to meet him, what for??? Save yourself from pain and go NC! He is clearly not interested, especially after you told him, that you are not interested in sex…

      • Confusedd says:

        Little Star, I dont know why logically, I just panic and want to see him! I know he’s not interested in being with me but he keeps telling me he wants to be my friend. But then he doesnt act like it. I was thinking earlier about his words vs his actions…i realised that they dont match in any way…he says he wants to be just friends then he pushes the boundaries with sexual comments, AND then he says he wants to be friends but wont make time to meet me!

        • Tracy says:

          Here’s my example of when contact with an ex could work and when it can’t and SHOULDN’T. Recently, I got back in touch with an ex, via facebook (and my having had too much wine…). I sent him a snarky remark, he replied in kind. Banter going back and forth over several weeks…not every day, maybe once a week or so. We met the other night for dinner and had a great time, it was like I saw him last week. He’d always been very nice to me, but he’s a bit of a commitmentphobe. BUT, it had been almost THREE YEARS since we last saw each other, we’ve dated others in the meantime (and last year he sent me an unsolicited email telling me I was the nicest and funniest person he’d ever dated…also fueled by a few cocktails on his end).

          In contrast, my ex whom I’d been with for a year and a half (after I’d dated guy #1), called me out of the blue after 9 months of NC, begging me to take him back, sending e-mails, etc. He got ANGRY that I wouldn’t take him back. He was a mean boyfriend. He pointed out all my flaws and used them against me. He WAS NOT a friend. That kind of ex you CAN NOT be a friend with or have any contact with because they take no ownership of why things fell apart.

          With guy #1, I don’t think we’ll date again, I wouldn’t discard the idea, but I’m not sitting by the phone something will happen. I’m still out there looking for someone for me, unless he states he’s interested in something more.

        • Little Star says:

          Confusedd, I understand that sometimes we do NOT think logically and panic when we have feelings for someone even we know in the heart we do not have future with them . I am currently reading book: “Why men love b@tches” and it says there, that guys like to chase(I knew that from my own experiences), if you available all the time, they lose interest. Disappear and see what is going to happen, I bet he will start wondering, where you gone! Good luck with NC, you deserve someone better:-)

  47. sm says:

    I would have to say that I have not lived by my personal values when it comes to dating. I’ve made exceptions for men and overlooked a few things because they’ve had other things I valued, but it never worked out. Not only that, but I’ve gone in stating my values and then because the person didnt have the same values or understand then I ended up looking like a hypocrite when that is not me at all. I want to be known for who I am, who my friends and family know that I am but some of the guys I’ve dated had a totally different perception because of me not living my values and their personal issues that colored it. Reading BR has helped to continuously drive this home to me. It has always been important to me that I am authentic and I’ve come to realize that dating people that I shouldn’t be with ruins my authenticity. I have been violating my own self. The last two guys I dated had some serious issues that I made myself overlook because they had other things I valued. One had frauded the government and eventually was arrested for it. The other had the government trying to force him into a DNA test to pay child support, he had an attorney hold them off for five years because he did not want to pay the money and had no desire to know the child and still hadnt resolve the issue while I was dating him. These are both things I would never do, so why would I even entertain dating someone like this. I am embarassed to even tell anyone that I continued to date these guys after I was made aware of this information. Sorry for the self confession but Nat’s post and other’s comments really make me see that I have not been a victim of these men, I’ve been a victim of not following my own values.

    • runnergirl says:

      Hi sm, thank you for your comment and sharing your confession. I’m sorry you went through the drama/trauma but you may have experienced a learning opportunity. Your last statement: “…I have not been a victim of these men, I’ve been a victim of not following my own values” really struck a chord with me. Natalie’s articles are so full of info that it takes me a while to fully comprehend. I think what you experienced helped me understand the difference between having my wonderful values/boundaries written down vs. living them which is the point. The difference between theory and practice. I really appreciate your comment which is as rich as Natalie’s post…”I’ve made exceptions for men and overlooked a few things because they’ve had other things I valued, but it never worked out.” I see myself tempted to do this too. Fortunately, I’ve refrained. You hit it out of the ballpark with this one: “…I’ve come to realize that dating people that I shouldn’t be with ruins my authenticity.” Verry,verrry important and nicely stated. Micelle’s comment regarding Natalie’s article on “10 Core Breakup Boundaries” led me back to a refresher course Nat’s “12 Core Boundaries To Live By in Life, Dating, & Relationships”. When I read it the first time, I was trying to get clarity on formulating boundaries/values. When I reread it this morning, I see that in the current post and in the November 2010 post, Natalie’s first paragraph includes the words “live by”. The 2010 post is a great reminder that boundaries/values are non-negotiable, thus the electric fence. Period, end of. sm, your experience cements it. Although it must have been humiliating, you helped me connect what I have written on paper with what I am doing. You helped me focus on connecting my words with my actions. Thank you. And thank you Michelle for your comment. Good luck to all of us! Thank you Natalie for such an amazing place to learn, share, and grow.

      • runnergirl says:

        Sorry Natalie, I have an “append issue” too.
        Err, duh Runner, Nat’s titles of both articles state: “Are You Living By YOUR Values In Your Relationships?” and “12 Core Boundaries To Live By in Life, Dating, & Relationships.” The verb “living by” is clear in the titles of both articles. Before, I had to figure out the nouns, now I’m working on the verbs! Thank you for your patience Natalie. What’s next, adjectives???

  48. Confusedd says:

    Hi Grace,
    thanks for replying and your frank advice – it hurts to hear it but I know it’s true.
    It’s losing a friend that’s upsetting me, I have tried so hard to put things right with us.
    I really value my friendships and most of my friends have been in my life for years, I get so upset at the thought that I’ve ruined this one.
    What if he gets in touch in a few days? Do I see him then if he initiates it? If I don’t talk to him it’ll be weird seein as I was askin him to meet?

  49. Confusedd says:

    I just think if he didn’t want to see me and talk to me would he not just say no straight out?
    I’ve been asked out by people I’m not interested in before and I’ve been polite but very clear that I wasn’t interested. And I’ve had other exes be very clear with me when they wanted out. And I appreciate that.
    So frustrated and agitated over this

    • Fearless says:

      He doesn’t want to be just friends either – he will have sex with you if you’ll let him but he doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend.

      Why does he not just say outright that he doesn’t want to see you? He is communicating that quite clearly to you – you are just not listening. Why have you not been straight with him, you might ask yourself? You told him you wanted to be just friends then you made out with him, then you tell him you don’t want to be friends after all (cos you made out) and yet you won’t leave him alone. Your confusion is more about you than it is abut him. It’s not confusing. He doesn’t want to be your friend and you don’t want to be his friend either. Start by being honest with yourself about what it is you do want from him – truthfully – and you might be less confused.

    • runnergirl says:

      Confusedd, you are doing exactly what Natalie points out in other posts…I wouldn’t do X, therefore he shouldn’t do X. He isn’t a clone of you or the other exes. Therefore, he can do Y. BTW, that took a year and a half for me to get. His actions are speaking loudly. If he initiates contact in a few days, you’ve moved on. You are contemplating your values,boundaries,working on your self-esteem, and figuring out how to live by all of the above. YOU are busy and have a full plate. Once you’ve taken some time to sort all that out, it may be that remaining friends with this guy isn’t in the cards. Take this time to focus on YOU, not him. Don’t worry if it seems weird that you don’t talk to him even though you’ve demanded it. You simply came to your senses while he stalled and went ice cold! One thing I’ve learned from Nat and BR, it’s never too late to come to your senses. You haven’t ruined anything. You’ve dodged a giant bullet. Good for you. BTW, what are your values?

      • runnergirl says:

        Confusedd, notice the difference in the response (and time) between when you seemed amenable to some fooling around and the lag time when you wanted to tell him all about himself. There’s your answer. EUM/AC/MM’s get awfully busy when they may have to face the music. They usually don’t have time to hear how they’ve effed you over. His mother was upset about something…I can guess what. I’m betting his mother being upset wouldn’t stop him if there was a shag on the horizon.

    • Getting it! says:

      Hi confusedd!

      I can understand your desire to be clear with this man about what you think. I know some of the other posters say you are chasing him for validation or attention etc etc and they may be right. Alternatively, you may suddenly be seeing this situation clearly for the first time and you want to discuss this with the other person it will affect. That’s fair enough, too. That is what, in my opinion, an honest and forthright person would do. It is also a consideration that an honest and forthright person would expect to receive and appreciate.

      The problem is that this guy is never going to get it. Maybe he isn’t an honest and forthright person or maybe he is immature or unaware or etc etc, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you will be wasting precious time and energy explaining something to someone who won’t get it, won’t appreciate it and won’t respect it.

      Life is too short. Focus all of your good qualities and your time and energy on people who show you that respect in return. That is what friendship is: shared values, mutual respect, good times, respected boundaries, understanding of each other etc etc. You don’t seem to have any of these things with this guy, so if you let it go you certainly won’t be losing a friendship.

      We only have a finite period of time in this existence, don’t waste it on things and people that don’t make YOU feel good and happy.

    • Lilia says:

      Confusedd, most Acs out there just aren´t that clear about their intentions as you are – simply because their intentions are selfish and no good. Instead of wondering why why why he isn´t honest with you, just ask yourself Do I want to be friends with someone who is not honest with me?? That would be much easier to answer.

      Also, if he finally obliges and wants to meet you (which I doubt) there is nothing wrong with telling him you changed your mind about talking to him. Just drop it, he isn´t that important!
      You seem overly concerned about what he will think of you, it´s time you start wondering what you think of him and most importantly, what YOU think of YOU.

  50. grace says:

    Confusedd
    I’m chinese. We will never flat out say no (well, I would but I’m westernised and as you know quite blunt). We may not say no but we sure can drop some hints. I can read such hints so let me translate “Leave me alone unless you are willing to engage with me on the same terms that caused you to NC me in the first place. In fact, now that I know how much you want me, the terms will be even more reduced than before.”
    Do you really want him to spell that out to you or will you muster your self-respect and walk away.
    And, yeah, I know he’s (probably) not chinese but the principle is the same. Know that not everyone will say no. If you were doing business in China, would you argue with over a billion people on how they should communicate, or would you deal with them as they are?
    If being straight up is an important value to you, find someone who is straight up. Not try to turn a flip-flapper into Mr.Clarity. And live it by being straight up WITH YOURSELF. You’ll always be confused if every Tom, Dickhead or Harry can make you doubt yourself.
    He won’t contact you, but if he does, be real regarding what you know about him, what he says, how he’s treated you and act accordingly.
    Yes, it’s not nice to lose friends but people grow and change (or in his case deteriorate). Otherwise we’d all just be friends with the kids that we knew when we were five. That would be weird.

  51. GettingBetter says:

    Confusedd, after I read your story I had to get up and go for a drive, trying not to cry. Do you have any idea how many women have been through this? (Hand up over here.) Going through it right now as a matter of fact. Sad story short: friends 4 years, part-time lovers(Stevie Wonder-style) for 3 years. Waited on those calls, lived for those lies, ignored those other women, told myself I was grown enough to handle it. Why is it, ladies, that you could date 1,000 guys & there’s always that one that can get to you? And the strange part, Confusedd, is if you really think about it he never said he wanted a relationship with you, never called you his girl, that night was all it was. That’s all it ever is for these idiots. What I want you to do, Confusedd, is the same thing I am doing right now: forget you know him but remember the lesson. Forget you met him, forget those wasted nights thinking about him but don’t forget anything he did to you. When he pops back up(and he will one cold night) remember that confused, abandoned feeling that you’re feeling…and turn off your phone.

  52. Learner says:

    Natalie,

    Thank you for this post. It reminded me that I still needed to read your “values pack” that I downloaded in a bundle of your ebooks. I have almost finished it now, and it was very helpful! I now see why the “relationship” with the exMM could never have worked – we do not share core values, and I was guilty of trying to be the exception to his usual ways of behaving. Similar to others, I barely knew what my own values were while I was immersed in fantasy-land. I just knew something felt very wrong (besides the obvious OW status).

    I now have a list of ten core values, which I have put as a “memo” into my cell phone. I see clearly now that only 3 of the 10 were being met while I was with the exMM (caring, friendship and passion). The other, more important values were not even close to being met (trust, honesty, integrity, etc). At the time, I couldn’t understand how we were not growing together as a “couple” (laughable since he’s married). I had my secondary values of adventure, fun, excitement, self-expression as higher priority than my primary values – just in order to stay “with” him.

    I think I was guilty of every one of the mistakes you mentioned in this post. I ignored the feedback, mistook fear/drama for passion/interest and knowingly participated and collaborated in shady behaviour.

    I am so glad this is changing now that the MM is now an ex. This is the most self-aware I have ever been in my 45+ years. Thank you Natalie, and all of BR. My new source of passion and excitement is becoming a person with strong values, boundaries and beliefs. Well, that plus living a healthier lifestyle. Hugs to everyone else on this worthwhile journey xo

  53. grace says:

    learner
    I question passion and adventure. A young woman told me twenty years ago that you can’t have excitement AND adventure. I thought that was a sorry compromise. Now I am in agreement.
    I know that the man will show up when he says he will. If we make plans a week or so in advance he will remember. There are no “will he won’t he butterflies”. He doesn’t make big romantic gestures (other than lunch, dinner and an icecream) or declarations. He won’t ever whisk me off to Paris (I don’t even like Paris). There’s not much mystery. I pretty much always know where he is at any time and when we will next see each other.
    At first I was wondering “Is this it? Is anything actually happening?” Now I like how ordinary it is.
    When your dad is in A&E, or the baby is throwing up half the night, or the dog needs putting down, you want that man who will be steady and reliable. It’s a big ask for him to be adventurous and exciting as well. Maybe accepting that is what’s meant by “settling” or “settling down”.
    I am happy with the way my burgeoning relationship is developing. We do have fun and I find him attractive but I doubt we will ever hit the heights of wonder that I would in an affair. And that’s a good thing. I don’t feel any pressure to impress him or entertain him or even be sexy. I can just be myself.
    I do remember how very boring it was sitting in on a Sat night wondering where the latest super-adventurer had buggered off to. A lot of the passion was in my own head. In reality, I had very little at all.

    • grace says:

      Learner
      correction – you can’t have “excitement and SECURITY”

      • Learner says:

        Hi Grace,

        The man sounds wonderful, and the way your relationship is evolving sounds comfortable and free from EU drama/dysfunction. It’s great that you can just be yourself with him. I’m so glad you are happy with how things are progressing. It is good to have examples of healthy relationships among all the stories of EUMs and EUW’s!

        I hear what you are saying re: the excitement and adventure possibly being inconsistent with security. You asked about reliable vs exciting, and I agree that reliable is much more important for daily life. That’s where I ran into problems with the exMM – I was placing higher priority on the “secondary” values (excitement, adventure, self-expression) than the primary ones. I was also putting a high priority on sexuality, and I think it was you who pointed out to me, while I was in the mess, that I was valuing a sexual connection more than anything else.

        I can imagine someone being reliable AND liking to do something adventurous such as traveling somewhere exotic or being spontaneous on a small scale. So I don’t think they are completely mutually exclusive.

        My list of primary values does include passion, but it does not have to come from a man. I feel emotions quite intensely, and feel I have a passion for life. It’s not just sexual/romantic passion I am getting at here (although that can be a wonderful thing too, but it’s best with people in a healthy, loving relationship). It is passion for living life, passion in my work and hobbies, that kind of thing. When I was working on Natalie’s values pack, I went to the website “values .com” for ideas, and their description of passion was what I was going for.
        Thank you for your comment Grace, and for helping me to think through these values more clearly. Now for the step of continuing to live them – it’s only been 2 months since I really started *living* most of my primary ones. Better late than never!

  54. araja says:

    Confusedd!
    I’m going to quote you somthing one of my favorite poster’s (Natasha) mother said to her when she was going through something similar. I have this tapped to my wall and read it quite often.
    “The fact that he was awful enough to go ahead and treat you like you were’nt good enough for him is somthing YOU should take as a BIG SIGN that he’s not good enough for YOU”.
    We’ve all been there. You will get through this.

  55. Spinster says:

    “We also persist in focusing on values that we think are important to us that are being met, yet completely ignore the fact that the problems we are experiencing are not only being caused by other values, but that they are also giving us feedback that communicates that we either don’t understand what’s important to us and are ignoring it to our detriment, or who we say we are and what we want is not true.”

    This is the one part that I don’t understand. Otherwise, definitely understood.

  56. kayakerkathy says:

    Omg. I have to share the information I’ve just found about my idiot ‘acquaintance! What a frickin’ hypocrite!! After three months of feelings, guilt, loneliness, struggling with NC, etc I FINALLY get it that he just wanted to have sex with me and that’s it. I can’t WAIT for that court report to get to me, by the way. LOL Anyway, I stumbled upon his Facebook page and OMG what a hypocrite! He was out of town with his son and his family, and his girlfriend (the one he’s living with/been back and forth with for 10 years, and tried to cheat on me with) and part of his status was that he was with the ‘love of his life,’ meaning his girlfriend! Do you have any idea how incredibly disgusted I am?? Now, all sorts of scenarios have gone through my head. He probably knows I’m ‘snooping’ around for answers, but I don’t think he’s smart enough to figure Facebook out, so perhaps his girlfriend created an account for him and is posting stuff; he really did post that to appear like a family man to his friends and family; OR, he really has changed his ways and realizes what a little shite-hole he is, that he really loves his girlfriend. Whatever the reason, after reading confusedd’s posts and the responses, I think my experience is very similar and I’m trying to get it through my thick skull that he only wanted me for sex. It’s been three LONG months of emotions that I’m tired of feeling. You’d think that after all the information I’ve discovered about this clown that I’d finally be able to move on for good, but I guess it’s just a matter of time.

    So what do you all think about that Facebook crap? I don’t know why I should care at all, though I think on some level I still have feelings for him. I don’t want anything, ANYTHING to do with him, yet I’m having difficulty moving past the reality. I’ve got friends, family, and activities that keep me busy but it’s like what you all talk about…when I get home ‘it’ all comes back. It doesn’t help that he lives only a mile away from me, and I know where his house is. lol Do you think he knows I’m snooping and he (or his girlfriend) deliberately put that post there to get me to take a hint and that he’s really changed? He’s 56 and judging by what I know about him, he’s been a jerk all his life, so I just don’t know if he’s capable of change. And why do I care if he has in fact changed? Jealously? Over what?? He ain’t exactly a prize. LOL

    • FX says:

      kayakerkathy, I say this with kindness and from personal experience, your version of NC seems to be like being a little bit pregnant. Waiting for court reports, charting his life and speculating about his motives on FB are Contact. As long as you engage in his life in any way, you derail your healing. There may be triggers like him living nearby that you can’t avoid but follow NML’s advice and cut off everything else you can and put the focus back on your own life and your own values – neither of which synch with his from everything you’ve said here.

      • kayakerkathy says:

        Thanks, FX, you’re exactly right. The kick back to reality and ME is much appreciated. It’s what I needed to hear. Down deep I KNOW absolute NC is the rule but it is indeed hard.

        Pressing onward!

    • yoghurt says:

      It’s just facebook. You wouldn’t BELIEVE some of the peculiar and awful stuff that I’ve done in my time and there isn’t a hint of it on fb, mostly because I’m not very proud of it and don’t want everyone to know.

      If I was in a relationship, I would NOT be writing things like “Hey. Tried cheating on my bloke but didn’t get anywhere so now I’m back with him because although I don’t think that I should have to put any effort or self-discipline or fidelity into my relationship, I sure as hell am not going to risk being alone”. Whether or not it was true.

      ‘Watching’ him on facebook is only like looking at a photograph of him all the time or carrying round one of his old socks in your pocket so you can smell it every so often. It’s not a relationship and it’s the most unsatisfying use of your time ever and while you’re doing it, it ain’t over. It might be (is) over in terms of the relationship and it’s over as far as he’s concerned, but it isn’t over in your head and that’s where you need to make it count.

      He’s posting what he’s posting because it suits him to, for reasons that are none of your business. It probably has absolutely nothing to do with you and even if it did – who cares? He’s a scuzzbucket. You’ve rejected what he has to offer (and good for you) and now you need to move on and FLUSH. It’ll hurt for a while but when you get through that you’ll find there’s something much better.

  57. Melissa says:

    Great article! One point that really stuck out for me “Be careful of the silent handshake in values.” I have found that when compromising your own values – whether it be consciously OR subconsciously – you later “wake up” to have found yourself not living a life true to yourself. Ultimately, it’s easy to then feel bitter and resentful towards your partner, which is unfair. You are only hurting yourself AND your partner.

    In order for one to be truly a valuable and life-long partner, you have to stay honest and true. Easier said than done! We find ourselves questioning our own principles often – which isn’t terrible, as long as we are strong in our values.

    Thanks for the terrific insight!

    Melissa
    GirlsAskGuys.com

  58. lo j says:

    Love it Yoghurt! I burned/threw away all from the ex, except the Ray Bans, hee hee!, it was all pretend anyhow. And the times I went to his FB it was like sniffing his dirty socks. Disgusting but brought on feelings of nostalgia just the same. Blocking was the only option. (Still hoping soon to be able to wear the sunglasses … they’re out of view in the meantime. )

    • kayakerkathy says:

      Yeah, me too lo j. I’ve blocked EVERYONE on Facebook associated with him. Now, I have to consciously think about unblocking him, and that thought enables me to stop the urge, to say ‘nope. no facebook for you!’ It’s sooo tempting, though. I found his house (no, correction, his girlfriend’s house. lol) while on my bike taking a short cut to the library. So now, there’s THAT temptation to resist. lol I must say, however, that today, for the first time in 3 1/2 months, I can feel myself slowly – and I’m talking snail’s pace – getting to the point where I don’t care anymore. I totally get what so many women on here talk about with nostalgia – he was a lot of fun and just as cute as could be, and there were some great conversations. But, the what I need to keep in mind is after the great visits, all the lonely nights thinking about him being with his girlfriend and the unbelievable emotional pain associated with ‘loving’ someone who doesn’t return the feeling and hoping that they will. I’ve done lots of work on myself and it is definitely paying off. Thanks to Nat and BR, and all of you!! xxoo

      • kayakerkathy says:

        Oh, and unfortunately those times I biked to the library past his house, he saw me so now he thinks I’m indeed psycho. LOL Oh, well. If it brings him and his girlfriend closer, perhaps something good came out of it. Despite the feelings I had for him, I certainly don’t want him in my life and she can most definitely have him.m

  59. lo j says:

    Plus, Kayakerkathy, you’ll have awesome legs with all that “psycho cycling”!! :-)

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!