be honest because it's who you are, not because you think it creates an iou

When I talk with some people, it becomes clear that sometimes it appears that honesty is ‘bad’. They have this negative association with what they view as honesty (in real terms it’s saying or showing the truth with respect) due to people not reacting in the way that they expected on occasions when they feel that they’ve been honest. Over time they’ve adopted a habit of not being honest by essentially saying what they think people want to hear and prioritising conflict avoidance… and then doing the opposite to what they’ve conveyed by doing what they truly intended – passive aggression.

Behaviour like this is driven by this belief that honesty about your intentions, needs etc., creates negative consequences and that if you don’t play your cards close to your chest then you’ll be penalised.

As I pointed out to one guy who felt dejected after the woman he’d been dating for a few months walked away when he admitted that he didn’t want a relationship, what is the alternative? Tricking someone into a relationship that you’re not actually in, to get what you want in the present knowing full well that there isn’t going to be a future? That’s disingenuous at best.

He still feels very rejected but this woman only turned down what was on offer. She liked him but she didn’t want to be in something that he had effectively written off no matter how he dressed it up. Sure she could have lied and said that she didn’t want a relationship either but it would only have compromised her in the worst way possible. She wasn’t saying or implying that she thought that they were ‘forever’ but what she was saying was that she knew her own limits in terms of hanging around someone who was so-so.

He is making the crucial mistake that many who struggle with honesty whether it’s the one or two-way variety do:

Having an expectation that honesty, even the type that communicates the inability to meet somebody’s expectations, needs, wishes or intentions that have previously been made known, should be met with compliance. This is unrealistic.

If you’re going to be honest, do so because it’s who you are not because you expect it to be an ‘Open sesame’ to getting everything you want. There shouldn’t be the expectation of brownie points for being honest and the reality is, you should want to be honest because it represents your values, not because you think it creates entitlement, because as soon as you do this it’s not honesty; it’s manipulation.

When you get mad at somebody because they meet your honesty with their own honesty, it’s because you would rather that they tell you what you want to hear, even if it’s not true.

It’s not that we get penalised for being honest; it’s that honesty is sometimes (but not always) met with honesty. The alternative (bullshitting and hoodwinking) is only an option for you if this is what sits well with your character but you can’t effectively expect to obtain goods under deception and come out smelling of roses.

If you’ve got somebody trying to pressure you into cosigning to their agenda in spite of it not aligning with yours, don’t feel bad. The fact that you don’t want to do what they’re doing doesn’t invalidate their own position but the fact that you don’t want to do it doesn’t invalidate yours. Respect the fact that they have theirs but respect your own and accept that it’s better to find someone likeminded.

And it’s not about being all or nothing or a ‘spoilsport’ either because the truth is, we can’t have it all ways. We can’t. Every time that we try to pretend that we’re not who we are or we make out like we’re more ready for a relationship than we know ourselves to be, we either eff ourselves or eff the other person up – neither one of these is a good thing.

When I talk to people who have a problem with being honest, it’s because they use so-called ‘honesty’ as their Get Out Of Jail Free Card as if “Everything I say after this admission means I take no responsibility” or they want to be patted on the back.

Being honest is saying or showing the truth with respect – you’re able to conduct yourself with integrity and make your position known, even if it rules out certain ‘convenient’ options when another party, in response to your honesty makes their own position known. You shouldn’t expect a bravery medal or a conflict free life but you’ll know where you stand and others will too. Life isn’t about being and doing what you think will get people to jump to your beat, because you end up being anything but authentic. Sometimes we need the truth to shake us off a path that we’ve stepped onto without due consideration, but if people tell us what we want to hear or we trick them, we don’t get that necessary feedback that we need to check in with ourselves or to adapt our behaviour and thinking where necessary.

Your thoughts?

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111 Responses to Being Honest Isn’t An Automatic Precursor To Compliance

  1. dahlia says:

    Thanks Nat. This was helpful!

  2. Laura says:

    <— people-pleasing, conflict avoider. Thanks for this post. Working on it.

    • Lucy says:

      Hey Laura, I too am working on it. We can do it!

      I’m getting a lot more comfortable with meeting people head on. However now what I find difficult is identifying when it is right to have conflict or raise my views. I don’t want to go from conflict-avoidance to starting disagreements constantly, or raising my views prematurely.

      Have you had similar difficulties working that out?

  3. Jaycee says:

    Natalie have you ever thought to put all these blog posts together in a book? I’d like to buy it.

  4. suzie says:

    This is so good…I just read the fantasy relationship book and ouch, but really thankful for this wisdom.

  5. Lilia says:

    Last year, when I was in the middle of the cat and mouse push-pull game with a particularly commitmentphobic EUM, someone told me to be honest with him and tell him what I felt and wanted. It would be the only way to get out of the madness, that was going nowhere – not forward, and not even backwards.
    So I did. It felt like offering my head to the guillotine, I was so exposed.
    But I think it was the first step in building up my self esteem again.
    Never mind that the EUM was completely taken aback and didn´t know what to do with himself (after he spent months playing his tricks and manipulations on me). Never mind that he didn´t step up to what I was asking for and our non-relationship dissolved into nothingness a while after.
    I felt so authentic! So worthy and dignified! I had at last defended myself.
    It was hard to accept that the EUM wasn´t who I thought I was, but keeping on fooling myself would´ve been much harder. I think being honest is difficult because you really have to put yourself out there, but not doing it can harm you so much, it´s just not worth it.

    • Tabitha says:

      Your post was very interesting to me Lilia as I have sometimes wondered if I had been more honest maybe there would have been a different outcome. My gut feeling is that there would not have been and this is all “shoulda woulda” talk on my part.
      However, I do regret that I wasn’t more honest with him and that I never actually articulated how I felt about him or exactly what I wanted.
      I did pause when you wrote “The EUM wasn’t who I thought “I” was.” That is the inner Lillia telling you that all the wonderful attributes you thought you saw in him were acually reflections of you Lillia :) Then you realised he wasn’t that man. It was you who was damn wonderful all along. Something to think about?

      • Lilia says:

        Thanks for pointing that out, I hadn´t noticed I wrote that! I´m sure I was intending to say that *he* wasn´t who I imagined, but what you say makes a lot of sense. I´ve always seen this guy as a male version of me – we have the same friends, interests, abilities only he is more accomplished at his work (mainly, I think, because I´ve devoted most of my time to being a mom and not to my career). Of course, I was just imagining that we were alike because we have completely different values and I had failed to notice that he is a narcissist and not capable of having a normal relationship. Now I´m focused on developing the qualities I saw in him in me, and it´s much more stimulating than trying to maneuver a commitment out of him!

        As for the shoulda, woulda, don´t listen to that, just follow your gut! There is no way we could´ve changed the outcome if these guys have no intention of maintaining normal, healthy relationships. They will do what they always intended to do.

        The thing I discovered, though, is that honesty is like a shield for their ACness. They can´t keep on the charade when you confront them with your true self, their ff and manipulations (which, to be blunt, are just lies) only work when you are also lying to yourself.
        In my case, after this happened the EUM has avoided me, not showing up at social events and things like that. Which is just as well because now I can move on more easily (I´m not at all impressed by his behaviour, though).

        • Tabitha says:

          You are right Lilia. I guess I am angry with myself that I didn’t throw a little more honesty at him but I was too afraid as he had managed my expectations down to the lowest of crumbs. My ex was also a narc and it was the most awful experience. Not like any other break up I have ever had in my 47 years.
          You say you are not at all impressed by your ex’s behaviour. No, neither am I, and I bet, like me, you were well impressed with him to start off with. I really thought he was so special. Now I am left totally underwhelmed.

  6. Parvez says:

    Brilliant Nat! I believe in order to be honest and understand what honesty is, you need to be authentic first, meaning knowing who you are, be grounded and at peace with yourself. If you don’t know who you are, you will have a hard time trying to be honest, because you simply don’t know what honesty is.

    • Fifi says:


      That’s very interesting. I used to read a lot of self-help books (why why why) and there were a lot of exhortations to be more authentic, but no real help in how to do that.
      Age helps of course, but I actually think that it may be through honesty that we work out who we really are i.e. become more authentic.
      It used to be very hard for me to identify how I really feel from a life time of dissembling and hiding, but maybe it starts with saying ‘i don’t know how I feel about that’ or ‘I don’t feel too good about that’ – avoiding the rationalizations and self-editing.

      • Parvez says:

        Fifi- I like your approach. As you stated: saying ‘i don’t know how I feel about that’ or ‘I don’t feel too good about that’ is a great start in my opinion because you allow yourself to not know and not act (for the time being), so you are being honest with yourself, resulting in authenticity (with yourself), wich again results in honesty involving other persons and being authentic with them as well. As Lao Tzu said: “Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.”

    • amanda says:

      So damned true. I have struggled long and hard with taking a stand, crafting boundaries, speaking up for myself, because I don’t actually know what the hell I want. I conditioned myself at an early age to just be the person whom other people wanted me to be. Its maddening work breaking out of this mindset, but worth it.

  7. finallygettingit69 says:

    I was in a similar situation with my ex EUM (recently divorced) and when it became he wasn’t over his ex I ended it. I think he was really hurt and surprised that I ended it. He actually said that he had no hard feelings, I would hope not considering he expected me to stick around and be OK with crumbs. NEVER EVER EVER again will I be involved with someone on the rebound.

    • Little Star says:

      @Good for you, Finallygetting! You made a right decision, why waste time?!!!

      I dumped current AC because of it, he was recently divorced and was looking for “fun”, I was honest with him that I wanted to have “fun” too as he was helping me to forget my ex AC. But later I realized that I cant do this anymore and I dropped him like a hot potato… I do not feel guilty at all for being honest, wish I did not wait for 8 months to do that:)

      @Natalie, thank you for another wonderful post, I love everything you write, you are my life saver xxx

    • Tracy says:

      Finallygettingit, I so get it. Last year about this time I ended it with a man on the rebound. He’d only been divorced 7 months, separated for two years before that, but sometimes you would have thought she had moved out last week. Evidence of her was everywhere, and at first I cut him some slack about it ‘for the kids’, but that got pretty old after a while. I felt like I was the OW, even though he was divorced. From now on, the guy must be AT LEAST a year post-divorce before I’ll even consider even dating him.

  8. Gillian says:

    “You should be honest because it represents your values” Wow! the other part that really got me was that when you give honesty you should expect honesty in return and don’t be suprised with what that looks like.

    This is so spot on for me this evening. I sent an email to a girlfriend who has started giving unsolicited advice. I put my feelings out there and I have no clue what will come back in return. I am not attached to it being any way. I just had to say my piece and I said it with grace, I believe. I want to start trusting myself that when I am honest, I do it gracefully, I have been told this but I don’t quite believe it because it is all new to me and speaking my truth is not easy.

    I’m in day 63 of NC and look what is starting to happen??!! A friend invited me along to a group dinner and it is the best group of people I have met in seven years of living in this town. I started volunteer work that I absolutely love and I have a part time job teaching aqua fit that I love. These are positive things that might not seem that earth shattering – like I haven’t met my soulmate lover yet -but what the heck, I like me everynight when I go to bed. I cross off on the calendar another day of NC and now another day of not checking up on him online. I also started smoking when we split up and I have quit that – that also gets crosssed off. I’ve gone back to school to complete my high school diploma – I was so ashamed about that and now I am finsihing it up. I’m 56 and I am starting to speak my truth. It is the best thing that ever happened to me. AND it started when I found THE NO CONTACT RULE. Thank you.

  9. noquay says:

    Thanks once again. I found (the hard way) that if I find myself in a situation where I feel I need to stifle my feelings about the relationship, its probably time to bail or to state my position with the understanding that writing off this person may be necessary. I think a lot of folk do not honestly state what they are looking for because one, they want to appear as better folk than they actually ARE, and two, they know that one will walk away if their agenda does not match theirs. Like I stated before, I would rather be told to my face that a guy absolutely despises me rather than be subject to ambiguity.

  10. teachable says:

    Oh Gillian. I loved yr story & post! You are rockin it! Go forth & conquer woman!

    I’m just wondering, after we front up with this honesty & find our decks are cleared (a good thing, I realise), what next.

    After all the ‘clearing out’ I’ve done here of unhealthy ppl I feel like I’m standing in slightly underpopulated garden! Why? All of my real friends (the beautiful flowers who stood beside me before I stupidly allowed the weeds creep in – thankgoodness those weeds are now GONE) are fit n healthy & moving forward with their lives whilst I’m still out of the loop due to my situation.


  11. ellejae says:

    I met a guy (we have been talking – having personal conversations – for 2 months (I know him thru work) & finally we went out (he asked & he paid). Over all this time he was always so open & talked (& asked) me about everything (even relationship ?’s about what I was looking for, etc). I felt so comfortable to be my open & honest self & I asked him if we were just friends or something else – that I was just curious & asked in a “light manner” …. & he told me how much he liked me but wasn’t sure how to handle the “work thing” (he Orders supplies from me) – I told him if we were to “date” how I would like to take it slow in getting to know each other & he agreed. I thought he was being open/honest back with me. Then He kissed me good night & then NOTHING….1-1/2 week no call! WTF? Ask for honesty, give honesty & what?? did I scare him? maybe he’s not ready? or is he all BS? And how awkward will this be when he calls about a work order? (FYI – I am the ONLY one he can talk to when ordering).

    • Little Star says:

      Ellejae, I think he was scared to be honest, it was only ONE date, and you already started to bring “the relationship issue”, or maybe he just wanted to have “fun”, who knows. Anyway, you save yourself from heartache, if he really was into you, he will be there for you, if not, good riddance! NEXT!

      • ellejae says:

        Actually he brought up Relationship Issues FIRST – he asked me several questions (for ex:) “what’s important to me in a Relationship?” & if “I ever wanted to get Married again?” – so that’s why I felt ok to ask him a question. It’s so confusing – why kiss & not call?

        • Little Star says:

          Sorry, I misunderstood you! Yes, it is confusing:( Why he brought t “subject of relationship” if he does not really mean to have one! Some men are cowards and I totally lost trust on them:(

    • Anon says:

      Honesty didn’t cause mixed signals, you know clearly where you stand now. You asked where it was going- and now he is silent. So, nowhere. This is ok. At least you didn’t hook up- that would have been worse.

    • yoghurt says:


      You were honest, he wasn’t. You clearly stated what you were after, it wasn’t what he was after. You didn’t get the result that you would’ve hoped for but you didn’t get messed about for months on end, either – that’s a result.

      My guess would be that he was hoping that you’d say “Oh well, it is awkward with the work thing – maybe we should just jump into bed but take the rest of it secretly and casually”. And you didn’t.

      Dishonesty would’ve been allowing him to guide you into the sort of set-up that he had in mind and pretending that you were alright with it.

      • EllyB says:

        Totally agree with Yoghurt! He sounds EU. I think he was already “covering his ass” by bringing up the “work thing”. I guess he would have used this as an excuse to weasel out sooner or later.

        Btw, dating important business contacts is always tricky, but I guess in this case no real harm was done. If you had sex with him “in a casual manner”, the resulting mess would have been much bigger.

        • EllyB says:

          Btw., ellejae, I’ve noticed how you explicitly pointed out that “he asked & he paid”. Many women consider this a “green flag”, but in fact it is rather meaningless, because asking women out and footing the bill is very typical modus operandi of EUM and AC.

          They know we’re expecting this… and it is not a difficult thing to do especially when somebody asks women out all the time.

          Him asking you out and then claiming “he wasn’t sure about the work thing” sounds like ambivalent behavior.

  12. koko says:

    Been lurking on this site for almost a year now, it has been very helpful to me, you have such great insights, thank you. Well I finally decided to take heed on all the advice in here and took action; NC for 3 weeks now.

    I am EU and was involved with an EU man for about 1 year and half. In the beginning it was great and we were on a high, it sort of languished in the middle, the hot and cold period and then it progressed and seems to hit another high. But something real and emotional touched us recently, we both felt it. Since then I realized that I don’t want to be in status quo, I want to move forward, with or without him. Although it has been in my mind for a while, and I have hinted it to him on a couple of occasions, I didn’t have this big plan for the ‘honest’ or ‘breakup’ conversation. It just came out after a great date together.

    In short very seriously I told him we had to change the nature of this relationship as I am genuinely starting to fall for him. That I want to be true and comfortable with myself and I wanted to progress. And that I didn’t think we can move forward together and if we did try it will be disastrous, I don’t think I can handle it anymore and someone will get terribly hurt, most likely it will be me. He is the EU solitary artistic type, funny how he says he is so full of feelings but I very rarely am able to see or tap that. Even is I was free and ready it just won’t work out, he is to set in his ways. Anyway at the same time I didn’t want to let go completely. So I pulled the ‘friend’ card.

    At first he said we can go on like this forever 😉 and even asked if I wanted him to convince me otherwise and if I am sure this is what I wanted. But in the hearts of hearts, he knew exactly what I meant and why I said it. He said we cannot be just friends, we were never just friends, that it would be impossible and would be torture. I knew he was the stronger one, and I told him if I buckle to not relent. It was weird, it was so hard to have this conversation, I just wanted to leave. The next day I had a case of ‘seller’s remorse 😉 and I wanted to see him. He said he cannot and that there will come a time that we can see each other as friends ?. To be honest I didn’t expect him to say no. I just thanked him and not been in touch since.

    I was doing great for the first 2 weeks but in the last week I am feeling a bit weak. I have not open any of his social network sides since NC though ;). But I am wondering ; how is he? is he feeling the same way? why hasn’t he contacted me? did he even felt anything at all for me ? am I replaced already? This is what I want, I was being honest. I wanted to end things but why do I feel this way? Its like an addiction. I know its mostly my ego but still doesn’t make it much easier. As cold and as EU i can be, I adored him. But I knew whatever he had to give it was not enough. There were red and amber flags. We did not have any big arguments or any drama, we stopped when the going was still good (at leats in my head). I wonder if that is worst, I am afraid that I will hold on to an unfulfilled hope.

    • Chroniclyaccute says:

      I know exactly what you are saying. Been there, done that. You know you did the right thing, but then you start missing the crumbs and wonder if they were all that bad. Yes, they were, but it can be hard to remember that when you are in the midst of grieving the loss of the relationship, the hopes and dreams you had for a future with this person, etc. But it is just that, grief; specifically, the bargaining stage of “what was I thinking in letting it go” and “can I get it back and see what happens??” Just hang on and wait to get to the other side of the grief. It takes time. A LOT of time. You were honest, he accepted it and respected you enough to give you what you said you wanted. That is actually a GOOD thing, it is so much worse when an EU just keeps playing you even though he knows what you honestly want and also knows he can’t give it to you. To the extent that you really hoped your actions would be a wake up call and he was going to come running after you, accept that this is not going to happen. And even if it IS going to happen, you have no control over that and gain nothing by checking back in. Trying to go back to what you just rejected will only teach him that you have no boundaries and that he is free to keep blowing hot and cold. You give him permission to remain EU. Then it becomes an endless cycle of disappointment which does your self-esteem no good at all since after all, now you have asked for it in asking for more and then deciding to settle for less. To the extent you need to hang on to a sliver of hope to get through the day or the grieving process, that’s fine but don’t act on it. Realize that you will have to give that sliver up as well or it will hold you back from anything better. Just go forward with your life and let it go, let HIM go…

      • koko says:

        hi chroniniclyyacute

        you are right..i have to let him go in my mind and heart and to me that is harder than no contact. i am just feeling a bit sentimental. i think the fog hasn’t quite lifted for me yet and i still see things from a distorted point of view. it feels like there is a void and it needs to be filled. anyway i am hanging in there at NC by hook or by crook. i can’t wait for the time when this EU has absolutely no effect on me at all.

    • ellejae says:

      You did the right thing – move on with your life & find someone who can give you a “true” relationship. I was with a EUM for 5 yrs & took 2 yrs to grieve – so I wasted 7 yrs over someone who (he knew) had no future plans & could NEVER give me what I truly desired. He totally had the wool over my eyes – I thought we were Perfect with each other – I’m grateful HE broke up with me & I learned all the things that Natalie taught me. Otherwise I would have wasted my life on an EUM!!!!

      • koko says:

        hi ellejae

        i can see how these things can drag on for years and years. i am glad that you are on the other side now :)

    • Mymble says:

      What you said about him being full of feelings.. but not for you – that sounds sooo familiar. The wolf in sheeps clothing, who presents himself and believes himself to be sensitive loving and caring but yet whose behaviour to you does not demonstrate these qualities. It can be very hard to reconcile the picture that is being painted with the reality of your experience. Like having the whole loaf dangled in front of you and yet being thrown crumbs.
      Whether it is conscious and deliberate or not is a moot point though actually I think they DO know and are projecting that image in order to reassure themselves “hey I’m not a bad guy, I’m not a user like all the others, look how sensitive I am with my poetry, art, empathising with the underdog, wistful looks, vegetarianism…” or whatever it is they use as the proof of their delicacy. They will even paint you as the hard-nosed badass. It is projection, and is a ruse to distract you from noticing that actually they are using you and have no intention of committing or treating you in a consistently decent manner.
      His passive response too speaks volumes – asking you if you wanted him to convince you! Eugh! Putting it all on you and removing himself emotionally from the equation.
      The going was not good because it wasn’t going anywhere.
      If you weaken and go back the crumbs will be less because he knows now he doesn’t have to do anything, you will have him on any terms. That was my experience anyway.
      You have still got the nice guy image in your mind but you need to try and correct that. It is false. He may not be an AC or whatever but he has been stringing you along knowing full well you wanted more – those hints you dropped will not have gone unnoticed, They were inconvenient to his comfort so he chose to ignore them.
      I have done this myself to other people in the past, and I know how easy it is to pretend they’re okay, when you know deep down they’re not. Having had it done to me I know now how horrible and confusing it is for the other person.

      • beth d says:

        ” The wolf in sheeps clothing, who presents himself and believes himself to be sensitive loving and caring but yet whose behaviour to you does not demonstrate these qualities.” That is the tricky part. These dicks have honed their well rehearsed bs to reel you in again and again. And yes they often paint you as the hard nose badass cause you have the audacity to call them out on their bs. It really is horrible and confusing and even if you consider yourself pretty savy the fact that you love them keeps you stuck in their web and clouds your judgement. It makes it hard for you to see the reality that they are NOT who you think they are.

      • koko says:

        Hey Mymble,

        You know what you said … “It can be very hard to reconcile the picture that is being painted with the reality of your experience” … i still can’t figure it out. I used to think ” if he is the type of person who does X and X, beneath the surface there must be a sensitive, caring, kind human being in there ….” But then again when i see his thought process and the way he deals with certain things esp when it is personal, i go my gosh he really can be cold. i am such a sucker for this artistic/talented kind. you are right though – wolf in sheeps clothing 😉

        yeah i know i am still in the fog. won’t these eyes clear please, quick?! everytime the desire to contact him arises or when i am contemplating him a bit too much, i remind myself of the red flags, the crumbs thrown and the reality of the situation.

        it was never a real relationship. when we started neither wanted anything serious. every time we crossed the line we will back off for a bit. it actually suited me that way. but typically in things like this one party has a change in direction and this is when the issues surface.

        i don’t think i wanted to have to have a relationship with him. I couldn’t. I even said that going forward together is not an option. all the hints that i dropped was for us to end this. i was scared because i was falling for him and i didnt like the control he seem to have over me. i felt vulnerable and tormented. but at the same time i couldnt just walk away. i still wanted him in my life but i wanted to just be friends with him.

        sorry everyone, i am now just babling on. anyway doesn’t matter how it started, what and why it was… bottomline is i need to get over this and him. I will presevere…No contact.

        thank you all your advice mymble

        • SnowSis says:

          Hi Koko,
          I am living through a similar experience right now, and you are not alone. Please, be brave and carry on. Just as you are, I am still struggling to reconcile my AC’s cruel mind games with his refined artistic side (wonderful designer, musician, painter). I asked that our relationship be over 12 months ago. He pursued me again, and I fell back into the agony of on and off cycle for 9 more months. Finally, he said he was breaking it off and wanted to go our separate ways for good 3 months ago. I have been practicing no contact ever since. But he…he allows me to begin to heal just enough and at a right moment he comes back, via electronic means usually, and ‘hits’ again, once, maybe twice, but that has me crawling and licking my wounds all over again. Koko, be thankful yours has not showed up so far, because it is so hard. I have been in my struggle to break away for 12 months (!!) now, and there are days when I wonder if this game is what I was truly destined for – this is how he has me twisted. He can reach me through employment channels I haven’t got a way to remove access for him completely. I do not respond to his contact, but he manages to hurt me badly every time. Thanks again for sharing your experience.

          • koko says:

            Hi Snowsis,

            I can imagine how tormenting it could be if the EU keeps popping up for one reason or another. I doubt he would, but if he did and caught me at a moment of weakness, i am pretty sure i am capable of being sucked into that cycle again.

            Anyway as shitty as it may feel right now without them in your life, don’t you think it is better than being in that hot and cold relationship, all the ambiguity and wondering all the time whats going on, also the self loathing thinking what the eff am i doing in this, it is such a struggle, with him, yourself and the relationship? At least you know you are doing the right thing for you. This keeps me going. (at least for now, i am having a good day ;))

            But really hang in there snowsis. I can’t wait for the day when i just don’t have in world for EU and he has no effect on me. That will come right guys?!?

  13. Magnolia says:

    When I think back now to those ‘heart-to-hearts’ with the exAC, where I tried to control him with honest outpourings of my frustration, I have to laugh. He started pushing boundaries really early on and I started saying “I don’t like that,” but staying with him, thinking I was being “honest” by speaking up. But I never said the real truth, which was: “You would have to be a very different person for me to be comfortable with you, so I’d like you to start becoming that person, quick!” And I wondered why being “honest about how I felt” wasn’t having any effect on him :)

    I also had to laugh at myself a little this week over Mr. MediaAttention. He does seem to have gotten the message. His emails have reverted to all business. He showed up at an event I was hosting (along with 80 other people) and didn’t make any extra effort to speak to me. I was honest with him that his behaviour made me uncomfortable and he seems to have “complied” and made adjustments.

    Now ha! What happened to all that attention? It wasn’t all bad and I found I missed the work talk. I even felt mildly slighted at him blanking me at the event!

    The realization that I felt even an iota of withdrawal from attentions that had veered into the creepy gave me pause. A part of me had liked feeling literally ‘amazing,’ ‘stunning,’ that I was giving someone else the za-za-zu. I had somewhat enjoyed the righteousness of being “honest” and saying: you’ve gone too far, buddy. But if I’m going to go all gangbusters about being forthright, then privately, honesty about boundaries means I need to look at how I crossed my own.

    Someone posted here a couple days ago about the EUM with the mommy-shaped hole she could never fill. It is time, I think, to really acknowledge that I have held on to this daddy-shaped hole, and that no healthy guy will entertain my hopes that he can fill it. I have to realize that every time I take a child position in life/work because “I need a mentor” (i.e. I demand that I get a daddy!), that I am crossing my own boundaries, that I’m reaching out for something inappropriate.

    Anyway. I’m very happy that Mr.MediaAttention seems to have retreated behind the line of professionalism, and realize that my sharing of personal information may have seemed like an invitation. I see that trying with my “honest sharing” about certain personal things that I’ve been trying to get someone to comply with my demand that I get the daddy love I deserved.

    Or else I’m overthinking it all!

    • Tanzanite says:


      I love that bit where it starts by saying-” you would have to be a very different person for me to be comfortable with you ”

      I have been reading about your situation but didn’t know enough to comment.It did worry me when you started talking about talking to someone and you didn’t know who you could trust at work.That’s how it gets you.

      I have been in a similar situation and sometimes when you raise a grievance you need to have another job lined up or be prepared to leave because it’s never the same again.

      You handled it all perfectly.Anybody in the same position as you would have gone through the same thought processes.I know I did.

  14. Tired says:

    Nat is spot on here . I can see ( having nc makes you see things so very clearly ) that its just true . We tell people things knowing it doesnt sit well with us afraid they will walk . I let the ex acmm so many opportunities to just be honest . But he continued to lie and lie and lie . So i was honest and i walked away i could have lied and lived on in the half shadows but there was a battle going on inside me . I knew what was right after reading here , i could have made excuse after excuse but i knew what i had to do . Now as i stand here in new year with last year behind me its like well what now ? Im going back to doing things i like but im more importantly learning to be me the geniune me . Also to feel comfortable in my own skin and to be honest . I saw a great pic other day it said ” honesty is a expensive gift dont expect it from cheap people ” very true .

  15. Sandra81 says:

    Natalie, 100% spot on, and also for everyday life, not only for romantic relationships. I’ve often been criticized for being too honest, including by my mum, who would focus more on being “diplomatic” or “not making the other person feel bad by stating a different opinion” or “pretending to share the same views in order not to feel excluded” or, as you were saying, saying “yes” but then doing your own thing. Exhausting and unproductive on the long term! I want to be around people who accept and like me for what I am, not for what I pretend to be. And then, when they discover the real you, they might be even more disappointed than if they knew the real you from the beginning.

  16. teachable says:


    Forgive me for not being as ‘think well of them’ as Little Star but I read that as he was hoping for quick sex. When he realised it wasn’t going to be on offer, of course, he agreed he wanted to go slow too. What else can a shuckster say? To admit otherwise would show them for the cads they really are (although, staggeringly, this does not deter some!)

    He also didn’t bother to follow up (quite rightly) sought to clarify the nature of the interaction between you both. Players don’t like assertive women who seek that sort of clarification. They like to just ‘go with the flow’ so things can stay casual (read undefined) forever.

    One thing he is not is genuinely into you. If he was he would not pull zero contact for 1 & 1/2 weeks following a first date. Also, he’s not scared. He’s just not interested in what you’ve flagged you’re looking for; a relationship.

    I’d flush this one. You did really well. Just let him roll back to Mr Supply Orderer. It’ll blow over.

    T :)

    • ellejae says:


      I understand what your saying & some of those things crossed my mind (if he has been flat out lying & playing me)- But, lots of other things were said & talked about, how he wants a real relationship with someone & he’s a commit type person (had a really long marriage & a long steady job). We had been “friends” talking & chatting on the phone for 3 months before the 1st date….& we we are friends on FB. Now I’m starting to think if that’s a good idea (to know each others business on FB)….. should I de-friend him? Or give him the 2 week deadline & then de-friend him?

      • grace says:

        To me, facebook is handy for sharing photos with family. I don’t use it for conducting relationships.
        It doesn’t matter if you have him on your FB or not, it’s just FB. When in doubt, I would say not. I don’t have any of my work colleagues on FB.
        You weren’t really friends, you were business associates who chatted on the phone. You only had one date and you are way overthinking this. It’s irrelevant wheter he’s a player, or scared, or not scared, or wanted casual sex or didn’t. You’re investing him with way too much significance.
        Have you read Nat’s dreamer book? Seems like you built up your hopes too much on these phone calls. You don’t know him.
        Someone having had a long marriage (ie divorced) and been in a job a long time says little about whether he is right for you. Otherwise I could just go out and look for a divorced person who hasn’t moved jobs in ten years. (That would not be my current boyfriend). Though I guess it is better than someone who’s had fifty relationships and a hundred jobs.

        • Allison says:


          I agree with Grace.

          Way too much investment after one date!

        • ellejae says:

          I will check out Nat’s Dreamer Book – I didn’t ever notice she had this book (I have her other ones). I know I don’t know EVERYTHING about this guy BUT… I so have a crush on him. It was one of those cases when you meet someone & you just “click”….

  17. missmilkie says:

    the hardest thing is being honest with yourself first. realizing you were living off crumbs, realizing it was just an illusion you let yourself get lost in, realizing that yeah this person is not respecting you an not treating you as you expect or deserve… but being honest means realizing that you let it happen because you did nothing to stop it but did everything to encourage it (bad boundries). not all people are decent and many will take advantage of you..if given the chance. those people will rarely change and you do not want them in your life. do you?! so be honest to yourself! kill hope…once you realize that there is no hope of things turning out the way you would like (took me a year) then NC is soooo easy to apply. you’ll get your power back and you wont even care about the other person anymore. because you realize its the only choice you have. going NC whilst still having hope is pure torture! kill off hope..then NC will come naturally…and you will finally heal!

    • beth d says:

      Very true miss milkie I knew my mistake was always going NC with the idea of punishing him, making him respect me and dig deep. Even though he did do that most times what good is it? It is only temporary. You won the booby prize because they are still disordered men who can’t be genuine or really change who they are. Any changes they make are to gain control of the situation. Permanent NC gives you all of your power and energy back. No more disappointments, angst, power struggles, drama. It allows you the freedom to find someone who will love you the way you deserve to be loved.

    • Reality says:

      Missmilkey – “Kill hope” is brilliant! and so true. I honestly believe you so hit the nail on the head here. Thank you! This was a timely word.

    • koko says:

      hi missmilkie

      yup…am with you completely. need to kill that hope! i am working on that. for me thats actually tougher than NC itself.

  18. lo j says:

    Magnolia … No. I think you’ve nailed it. But, you don’t need us to validate you. YOU need to validate you. :-)

  19. Tess says:

    This is timely, Nat! I have been dating a guy for a year who seemed totally available. We both are divorced, no recent relationships.

    Ah, but he does have a serious relationship – but not with another woman.. with a serious hobby – music, his band! Sounds weird, and it is, but this hobby has become so intrusive as to cause serious problems with us. I looked at the calendar of his events the other day – shows scheduled every weekend, some all three days of the weekend, from March through August. only Five weekends – not yet filled. Yep… no asking me or discussions with me about time for us, no time for family events, holidays, you name it. And we both are older, so it’s not a sowing of oats, or whatever.

    I feel used and unimportant, and even after a big blow up about this issue six weeks ago where I told him I needed to know where we were going, he still continued to make it obvious the music is paramount, still no talks about our summer, or where I’d like to go.

    I’m crushed. I thought he loved me. I am the most supportive woman in the world when it comes to other important things in my life or in his, I’ve never asked to be joined at the hip, or demanded attention from him. But I can’t do it at my demise.

    I knew he played music when we met, but he told me he played so much because he didn’t have anyone important in his life. Talk about honesty! Now his time spent with the band is twice what it was.

    I’ve walked away, heartbroken, and with no conciliatory words from him.. no I’m sorry’s, no support for how much I mean to him, nothing. I had to be honest with myself, I am not willing to give up my life so someone else can live their fantasies when it excludes me. Am I wrong?

  20. Learning as I Go.. says:

    Effing Brilliant. Enough said.

  21. Kriss says:

    Likewise you can’t always get honesty back from someone if you’re honest but it’s still worth it. I have just walked away from someone who wouldn’t admit he didn’t want a relationship but knew perfectly well that I did because we’d had conversations and I’d told him clearly.

    The last time we saw each other he reassured me we weren’t in a friends with benefits situation, told me he wanted to be exclusive, used that to get me into bed and then never contacted me again.

    I was hurt, disappointed and stunned but it says something so clear and unequivocal about who he is that I can’t ignore it. If I’d tried to minimise what I wanted to keep him, it could have taken months and a lot more heartbreak to get to this point, so although it hurts I’m grateful it’s over quickly.

  22. onebreath says:

    True, true, true! This is a lesson I seem to learn over and over again. Honesty needs to be about my voice and my vision, and won’t necessarily bring about any preordained response. I have to accept that is okay and that even a less preferred outcome is better than living and loving from a place of hiding and pretense.

  23. Holly says:

    Missmilkie. The reply wasn’t meant for me but you have said exactly what I need to hear right now. I have gone nc as I have many times and every time I had hope. He always cane babk and i akways took him. Why? Another story. This time is the longest and no word from him. If im honest with myself I still have a little hope but deep down I know he doesn’t need to contact me because he’s moved on. Hope of what? Turning the king of unavailability who abused me in every way, cheated and calkedme trash into someone he could never be.

    It’s time for me to be real. To stop this fantasy. What is wrong with me?

    • beth d says:

      Holly the key is not getting sucked back into the web. Pray he doesn’t contact you to so you can have clarity but these types turn up just when you are moving on. That is when you need to be strong. No matter what vacations and jewelry they are offering up, no matter if they are saying every right word you want to hear, tearing up, and even throwing a pity story in there. Mine tried it all and I broke more than I’d like to admit until I got determined to be free of the craziness. You are on your way to freedom and you have to be strong no matter what he offers. When you are in a roller coaster relationship it is always unhealthy. Read Nats fallback girl book, yo yo girl posts and why you shouldn’t give them a chance to reject you more than once. They really are helpful to see how damaging these relationships are to our well being.

    • missmilkie says:

      there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with you! and I’m glad I posted something meaningful to someone 😉 For me…I have to be hurt enough, disappointed enough, and angry enough. the rest is easy. but getting to this (boiling) point is a hard and painful journey. and probably not the best of ways to go. but thats me. I tolerate quite a bit of BS if I think (or hope) someone is gonna be worth it in the end. because I first have to see if it was just a slip-up or if this person is truly as their behavior shows me. and when they’ve proven themselves ‘unworthy’ I have to be honest with myself and admit this. which is the hardest part because then its time to finally let go. of everything. of all hopes and dreams and wishes. but if I’m angry enough…I find it easier. because then hope is dead. thats what I need! it triggers acceptance and then healing. you get out of this state of feeling stuck…and your life finally continues without wasting time thinking about the other person. they haven’t been spending their time thinking about you, have they!?

      • Holly says:

        Yes, missmilkie and Beth d, thank you. It really helps to read what you both say. The thing is, like you I have fallen for all the stories so many times only to be in the same position. I have read the book and all the posts you recommended and I know the truth of the situation I just can’t seem to accept it. I feel so stuck, almost as though I trudging through slime with a snowboard attached. I read the book about a year ago when i was going through exactly the same thing and it helped so much at the time. I have read the majority of posts for over two years and still here I am! It’s a ridiculous mindset and even though you have all helped its down to me to change. I know the score, I know the script I just can’t seem to move! I’m going to start reading the book again today. I am wasting so much valuable time. I am angry,I am disappointed, I am all those emotions you said, the problem is its me I’m throwing those emotions at. Thank you for replying, today, I’m going to try my damdest to turn this around!

        • missmilkie says:

          I find strength in my emotions. like if I am making a rational desicion to stay away from someone (or something) I can be sucked back in because my heart doesnt really ‘feel’ it. if that makes any sense. my brain and my mind know staying away is the ‘right thing to do’.. but until my heart feels the same way, its hard to stay away. because of hope. at least for me it is. thats why it gets easy when my emotions become involved and my self-respect, pride and ego finally kick in. but then I kinda snap… 😀 lol…and then there is NO TURNING BACK! I wish you the best of luck and strength!

        • beth d says:

          Holly It is very hard to accept it. I firsthand can tell you I fought tooth and nail to accept this person who I thought walked on water was in reality a toxic Narc who was sapping my energy. There were so many fantastic times and he did treat me like a queen off and on so I was always hoping to get that “great” bf back. Msmilkie is right in that you need to hit that boiling point where you know this is just not a “slip up”. Natalie talks about the importance of consistency in a relationship to feel safe and secure. The only consistent thing in these types of relationships is mindfuckery and highs/lows. Keep reading and the most important thing is the NC to get clarity of the situation. If you let them in at any level it gives them the opening to get back into your head and confuse the shit out of you. Trust me NC is so worth the initial pain you will go through because once you have your power back you will NEVER want to give it up to them ever again.

    • Little Star says:

      Holly, no answer is your answer:( Allison gave me a very good advice here, if they really wanted to be with us, they will be in our door step. IT is SO painful to realize how quickly they move on and we are here still thinking about these useless ACs! YOU DESERVE SO MUCH BETTER!!!

      • beth d says:

        Little Star Trust me you don’t want them on your door step. It doesn’t even matter if they want to be with us. We have to make the decision to opt out of the crazy dance we do with these men. One thing I am glad for is that I did do the crazy break up dance with him. I realized how much I DON’T want to dance with him anymore. Once you are permanent NC and with all hope killed of being with them again you will forget those dance steps. Love that killing the hope thing msmilkie!

  24. Sm says:

    Wow, this blog brings back memories of bf’s not being honest with me and vice versa. Moreover, they would outright lie and I wouldn’t ever say my true values or I would over and over hoping they would eventually change….DUH!!! I remember looking in a guys face I had just started dating, knowing he was lying to me and also knowing the truth would’ve have been fine with me as well. And I continued dating him, instead of just ending it. That’s what I consider myself not being honest about, that lying was okay with me and it wasn’t. Wow, this made me think of several instances where I didn’t state what was important to me, I consider that lying by omission.

    • Lucy says:

      “Wow, this made me think of several instances where I didn’t state what was important to me, I consider that lying by omission.”

      Ditto. That’s pretty much the running script of all my relationships. I don’t want that to happen again. Still learning.

      I dated this guy I knew wasn’t invested in me, kept lying to myself about it and was pretty much crawling in the mud trying to reel him back in. He knew I was doing this and kept me around as some kind of ego boost. I let him stick around, with me doing all the hard work. I was hoping that he’d notice how lovely and gracious I was being and buck up. Nothing changed.

  25. Shannon says:

    Hey Nat, I have really enjoyed your site and have found everything remarkable!! It’s helped a lot to see how I’ve been feeling and read the exact words to find solice in the blogs. I am going through the exact situations mentioned in this reading and can relate fully. I found the “man of my dreams” almost 8 mths ago, everything had been perfect up until a few mths back. We spent everyday together, talked all the time and felt like I was the only women in the world when we were together! Guess I was wrong, one night through normal conversation he hit me with the ” I like you a lot, but I’m not ready for a relationship”. I was crushed, hurt, confused and every other emotion period! The whole time in my mind I thought we were working towards something that I guess we were not! Joke was on me I felt and through your blog and strength I found the courage to tell him I wanted NC! He had the nerve to be hurt and confused as to what I was saying bc he claimed he was being honest with me? Guess he figured that we could go from “almost” to just friends! I wasn’t with that at all and while he tried to contact me in I was putting him out of my mind. 2 mths passed and one weak moment I found myself respond to one of his many “random” text! WTF……. so here we are all over again statring from sq 1 with my emotions! But I’ve made the choice to not continue bc I know the consequence and how this movie will turn out! Thank you for your words and putting down on paper what a lot of us know but don’t realize till it comes from some one else!

  26. Brighterside says:

    This post really made me see how I have been dishonest in the past & have avoided conflict nearly my entire life (just like my mom) Being forthright, honest, & vulnerable within the last year or two has been so difficult but so worth it. I think maybe we have to really “feel” just how empowering stating our needs is & learn how to let go of the expectation that the other person is going to agree with us. Being truly vulnerable & available requires us to accept that what we hear may not be what we want to hear. It also requires accepting that no matter how wonderful you are some other people are not going to see it. It is okay if someone does not like you! The most important thing in the end is that YOU always like you!

  27. Tired says:

    I received a text today outof the blue , hes leaving work and he asked me to send him a email so he can save his contacts . His ex is giving him hassle and blocked his iphone , he stated he will send new number when he has it . I didnt replly , but wtf does he want to stay in touch ? He has the life he wanted why a load of bollocks and bollocks it is . I really dont understand their mentallity

    • Allison says:


      He wants the situation he had with you before. He’s bored with one woman.

      • Tabitha says:

        Yes Tired Alison is right. This is a dangerous time for you. Keep telling yourself he no longer knows who he is dealing with. You know he is not that special and you are not willing to accept his crumbs. This “man” has proven to you repeatedly that he is incapable of a monogamous loving relationship. You could NEVER trust him. What kind of life is that? Whoever he ends up with next, silently pity them and carry on with your own sweet AC free life. You just do not need him.

  28. Alex Wise says:

    You have just described ex time waster Ashley. The guy who I was honest with about my financial situation – ie. Job hunting etc. From way before we even met each other via a dating website. No he didn’t pay for everything on dates despite my being jobless (I don’t believe that the guy should). I haven’t been bought up like that – that’s not disrepecting anyone that does believe that men are the providers etc. I just don’t believe that way of thinking. Anyhow, ditched via email after 6wks and he blamed the distance from the counties to london and my non job, lack of loads of money and mystic hazy ambition to act as the problem/reasons for him to break it off despite the fact that I was working (still do by the way) my arse off on Applications (I am registering with another recruitment agency on Tuesday and have some job prospects through them on the line – they called me today. Out of the blue) and I told him from the word go of my non continuous employment from the word go including some of the paid work I manage to pick up on casual contracts. I don’t know. Some people use any excuse. He scorned me for not being able to answer his question “Where are you going to ne in 6 months?”. Well, I knew where I WANTED to be but GOING to be? Can’t answer that question. I could be dead for all I know and going 6ft under. Morbid but considering that very thing happened to my friend last year – you can forgive me for thinking this.

    Natalie you are very right. People (regardless of sex) will use any excuse to get what they want. Then you appearently turnout NOT to be what they projected in their head and then your the problem??? What bs.

    • NoMo Drama says:

      I once did a parallel timeline for some reason, put my work history up next to the dating history. That was an insight that changed my life. Let’s just cut it short and say that from that time onward if I’m not where I want to be with my employment situation, I put any interested men under strict embargo.

  29. diamondgirl says:

    Thanks for all your insightful posts, including this one on honesty. Reading it reminded me that my EUM’s dishonesty was matched only by my dishonesty in accepting his lies without questioning him. I was, in effect lying to him AND me by not speaking up when my boundaries were being violated. I kept quiet or made meager, half-hearted attempts to question his behavior, then let it slide because I was so dang grateful to have a desirable man in my life at my age (50ish).

    BR readers, I am here to tell you that there ARE men who are honest, loving and have integrity. I was married to one for many years before his life was cut short WAY too early. I am left with the blessing of having been totally loved by him and the curse of trying to move on in my life and find someone with even a modicum of the values and character he exhibited. Everyone tells me not to compare new men to my late husband but when I’ve had the best, it’s near impossible to settle. I know too much.

    I am grateful to read all your stories and I gain strength from the certainty most of you exhibit in sticking with your NC plans.

    Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

    • Tabitha says:

      Diamondgirl you are not alone in this. I also fell into that trap (at 47) of feeling grateful that an attractive man was so madly into me and he made me feel so sexy and wanted. When that all wore off he just wanted me around as his Chief Cheerleader but I was now very low priority. I kept trying to finish it and he kept talking me round. Thanks to BR I finally found the strngth to end it for good and stay NC despite his hoovers.
      I would rather stay single than settle for a relationship like that. I think there is too much emphasis on coupledom. There is an old saying about how it is better to travel alone than to travel badly accompanied.

  30. Robin says:

    This reminds me of my ex very much. In a way, he was trying to be honest with me. When he told me, I realized that he wasn’t getting his needs met and that I was incapable of giving more than I could. So I ended the relationship, because it sucks to be unhappy or to see your loved one unhappy if you both can find someone else who’s a better fit. He reacted with surprise and claimed post-breakup that he was very happy in the relationship when his words and actions said otherwise.

    • Robin says:

      It just seemed like my ex expected me to comply with his request, even though I have every right to do otherwise. Like Natalie’s post said, it’s unrealistic to expect people to do what you want or expect of them.

      • EUM Roberto says:

        OUCH – truth hurts.

        Thanks for the good shake up/wake up call.

        So how do you tell them when they avoid “the talk” because they know it’s not going to work long term, but they want to have “fun” for now… or have fun while it lasts because we both know it’s not going to last.

        early on i bring it up to have the talk about wants and expectations, but they don’t want to “ruin the moment” and say “just go with it”.

        they want to keep it ambiguous… and i kinda just go along

        This article was a good smacking of truth – thank you.

  31. Demke says:

    That was deep. Thanks Nat :)

  32. stacey allam says:

    natalie you put into words how i have always felt when people point out that here being honest with me it means that they were not honest with me in the past and they want kudos for being the nice honest people that theylike to pretend they are and want kudos from you for being the honest person that they never were in the first place. When you have a relationship with someone honesty should be a given not an expectation to be fulfilled

  33. Tired says:

    I geniunly believe he thought i would except it . That id watch him set up another life and after a couple of months ( enough time for me to get over it ) that if i dod the chasing hed use me now and then when in area . Hef never lower himself to chase me but his ego and i mistakenly once said there was no one eles ( big big mistake) would wait for me to pester him . Well that pwrrson no longer exsists he can find someone eles for all that . I love all the posts here and no one is going to ever reject me twice . Plus i play Brand New Me by Alicia Keys everyday . New year . New me and im not fouling it up for anyone! :)

    • Lilly says:


      I’m feeling sad today and that song is just what I needed to hear – thanks and well done for not answering that pathetic text. You’ve come such a long way.

    • Allison says:


      Great that you see it for what he is! :)

      I know I have been tough on you, but it’s only because I hope you will let this idiot go, and focus on yourself.

      PLEASE, stop concerning yourself with what he’s doing to others – as you have no control – and realize if you confront him on his behavior, it will make no difference – plus you do not have so much power. This man knows who he is, and does not care how he treats others. He’s a USER!!!

      • Allison says:

        Focus on you! Understand why you stayed in this situation. This is certainly much more important than this dude, and who he may be screwing over.

        Change you!

  34. teachable says:

    Not sure abt fakebook Ellejae. I did read an article recently suggesting not a good idea to fb friend ppl yr dating as it gives too much info (often miscontrued, in the ‘world ppl like to present’ on fakebook, rather than reality) too early. I’m also ruthless on fb & defriend ppl I know IRL even, whose posts I find annoying. Tht’s me though. Everyone is diff with these things. If it was me I’d defriend now. Notwithstanding extraordinary circumstances that are highly unlikely (ie his mum just died & it was actually true) if he gave a crap he’d have been in touch already. RE The things he SAID remember his ACTIONS don’t match his words. Watch what he does\doesn’t DO & pay no attention to what he said. Words are cheap & easily spouted in the effort to get the end game (quick sex).

  35. teachable says:


    Stand yr ground. As a former professional musican I stayed single (in part) b.c I was working nights gigging like yr man is for some yrs. I knew no-one would put up with it. Walk on girl!

    T 😉

  36. teachable says:

    Little star I love yr nick/handle (name). I picture you shining &.twinkling brightly xx

  37. teachable says:

    EXCELLENT post Magnolia (caps, just for you)! 😉 I knew you’d arrive where you have! FWIW although you can sometimes be overly harsh on yrself (understatement there) on this occassion I think recognising the ‘attention’ dynamic (all be it that this was univited) was worth exploring. Yr one kickass chick & WORTHY of acknowledgment for yr wonderful achievements & attributes! I suspect tht as u get into life more as u b.come more settled, perhaps by finding a more permanent position somewhere, or through the media which has now been generated, you’ll b.come a smaller target for those offering inappropriate attention (if that makes sense).

  38. Tired says:

    Thanks girls for your support , he’s prob wondering why im not begging for his new no ! I think he’s deliberately dangled it as to see if I’m interested . He ob thinks im that weak willed twat . That will go oh my god hes leaving the area i must have his new number so i can beg for scraps and blow smoke up his massive ego . No mate im sure you can find some rise tinyed wearing bird at some gig who will blow smoke up ya fat arse for years to come . Me im going back to school , fit it in around my work . And if i meet someone if i dont its not the end of my world . Girls if i could give a trip in time to the future where your free of the angst , anxiety , hurt , anger etc i would . Coming out of it ( i still have days ) is so peaceful and nice to feel good about ones self instead of being in touch or let them taint you , and that constant yuk feeling :)

  39. Discarded says:

    I think we all lie to ourselves when we find Mr Narc. They have this great quality to draw you in. But when you see the ‘real’ them. It isn’t what we want? I think mine has finally given up on the 2 to 3 weeks sending random messages that never make sense. So I can get on to the last healing part. His last attempt I blocked. So I’m hoping that sent a clear message?

    • beth d says:

      I doubt he gave up completely but it seems like you have clarity to keep that door locked. He may try to jimmy it again but you will be too smart for that nonsense. You are doing great discarded!!

  40. Lucy says:

    This post prompted a certain degree of reflection in me. I once dated this guy who I felt pretty uncomfortable with because he seemed to have fallen in love with his ‘idea’ of me and not me as a person. When you put someone on a pedestal, you can impose unrealistic expectations on them. In the end I felt that he didn’t treat me as a human being or an equal because he expected me to live up to what he wanted in his fantasy woman – that my behaviour would naturally fall into place with what he wanted. He was not affectionate for months and expected me not to be upset about that and for everything to get back to normal.

    I’m flawed. I don’t want the man I date to think I’m ‘perfect’ because then I have to live up to that, and it’s easier to fall off that perch. I want the guy I date to take my opinions seriously and not as some threat against his being. My opinions are as worthy as any man I date.

    It’s real honest love when you know who you are and are honest about it with each other, and when you love without expecting that person to change and just letting them ‘be’. It took me a while to learn that lesson. People do what they want to do; not what you expect them to. There’s no need for manipulative mind games.

    I’m not anything but myself. If I make a mistake, then I work to make up for it. I want to become a better person completely for my own sake and not to please other people. People can take me or leave me as I am.

    • Lucy says:

      With regards to what I said about the above man, I used to act exactly the same around men and still wondered why they’d feel uncomfortable around me. I know how it feels now after experiencing it myself.

      I have so much to thank NML for. These posts make me feel so empowered. Sometimes I feel unsure about myself but I remember reading inspiring words here and I keep going. I’m also able to reflect on my friendships before relationships. I don’t expect to be able to deal with a particular issue in a romantic context without learning how to deal with it in everyday life first.

      This honesty post is a great example of that. I’m applying to my friendships and I have been honest with friends – have been my real self and it’s distanced me from certain people but hell, this is who I am.

  41. Confused123 says:

    “Tricking someone into a relationship that you’re not actually in, to get what you want in the present knowing full well that there isn’t going to be a future? That’s disingenuous at best.”
    This was the Ex-AC. After he cheated on me and dumped me for the red head, he went on to tell a mutual friend that he wanted to have a “relationship” with the ‘red head’?!?! and finally was ready for it and he really really liked her.
    Ugh! So basically I felt like he was telling all the women he dated and professed to love for the last 3 years. “I was just stringing you along and feding you what you want to hear for sex.”
    It made me SOOOO furious….I really don’t know if there is such a thing as karma but for all the women he dated and treated like crap, I really really hope there is and it bites him in the ass…..

    • jewells says:

      Confused….wait for it….wait for it…oh look, turns out the redhead is EU and just dumped HIM…
      Or maybe he’s still full of it and when the reality of what a relationship requires hits him he’ll be outta there too. Whatever. He’s no longer your problem, so now you can get on with things and find someone worthy.

      • Confused123 says:

        LOL! Jewells…You are right. Thanks and good riddens. He’s her very BIG problem now.
        But when I read that sentence Nat wrote I suffered a kinda PTSD. It’s rare now a days as I don’t give a shite but in the beginning it was pretty bad.

  42. Elle0412 says:

    Finally!!!! Month of NC, and I started to breath (painfully) again… Something so horrible happenef with my ex MM/AC that I was shocked into a silence: his mother died and he was grieving but I kept sending gentle, incouraging texts, worried about him, cried, missed him since I haven’t seen him for a month ( I know, a month !!!!) His response: No whining…’So after 4 yrs of highs and the lowest lows, that’s how he saw me: miserable, whining, insecure nut case…Devastated but grateful I can put myself back together and one day what I was before I met this using/abusing monster without heart: bubbly, smart, strong, talented, creative and sexy woman! Oh my God, how stupid and blind I was!!!

  43. Tired says:

    Thanks lucy
    Whats sass ? Lol . I know im changing and focusing on me more . Its a long programe to de programe but im getting there . Tonight on fb i got a invite to a rally and his band is going to gig one night there. Now old me would have gone into melt down as i really dont want to see him , dont want him in my rally world but the new me was lije oh well avoide it for a couple of hrs . So what and the angst feeling never turned up . Wtf am i worrying about its months away and so much can happen by then . I feel a change and im so happy i actually feel ive turned a corner . I laugh now how i once thought i couldnt live with out him , jesus christ . Wtf was i thinking lol .

  44. Peanut says:

    Any change I make for the better like being honest, I want and expect external compliance, validation, and praise. And lots of it, too. I also want to be externally rewarded for being me. I feel I work so very, very hard for what is most people’s normal, only to continue living a sub par life.

    So, no rewards for being me. I’ve just gotten labeled ‘the weird loner kid’ again. Even the weird loner twenty somethings reject me in this town. I did experience some peer acceptance in college. It proved to be a bit of a distraction though, and soon enough, I’d find myself folding under any pressure to agree.

    I don’t like a lot of people I meet my age. A lot of them are housewives and that’s their life. Then others are cynical and like to drink. I’m just…me. I like to read, cuddle, eat well, and look at art. A few people who seemed neat that I might want to make friends with seemed beyond disinterested in getting to know me. So, I’m friendless.

    But…if I dig deep, real deep, I see I’m still not ready for the mindful, intimate type of friendship that is all I’d be willing to venture into at this point.

    Good God damn, if I had known the fervent authenticity hunt I’d be battling when I googled “Why did he pull away?” and ventured upon BR, I’d have ran the other way. There’s no turning back now.

    • Sue says:

      Peanut: You sound like me in a lot of ways. Loved your last remark! I laughed out loud at that! Yes, no turning back now! I owe Natalie so much for showing me through her wonderful site that it is not only okay for me to put myself first, but it is imperative.
      Peanut, as for feeling friendless…I used to feel that way, but I knew to try and force friends was just going to get me inauthentic ones. I can count on one hand my true friends….and, that’s alright by me!

      Love everyone’s comments to Natalie’s articles–I learn so much from you all, too! :)

  45. Tired says:

    Dont you dare let that stupid statement by him reflect on you ! Maybe he feels he can settle down but thats soooooooo not a reflection on you . Yes i can see that you feel he strung you along ( mine kept me as a option with no effort on his part ) . He said he feels . Feelings change like the weather if he said i want diff thing . I feel is like questioning himself out loud . The red head is new and not wised up , she may except his ac behaviour or she wont . He may feel diff in six months and feel like that about someone eles . But the main thing is how you feel about you and not letting a negative thought knock you down . So he feels , you got to think twatt wouldnt know what to feel if a great white bit him on arse . Im confused and im one hell of a women and im gonna bounce back and show myself how great i can be . This year is about me ! :)

  46. Peanut says:


    If you want it bad enough and don’t give up it will come. You’ll experience sweet, sweet indifference to the AC variety and EUM. I’m not fully there but I can spot an assclown from a mile, more like 100 miles away and it doesn’t take me too long to pick up on EU.

  47. teachable says:

    Pleasure Mags. Credit where it’s due & shine on Little Star x

  48. SlowLearner says:

    I recently had an ex-boyfriend come back into my life (dated him 3 times over the course of 17 years, starting when we were 14) and thought he had changed a lot. In many aspects of his life he had, but not when it came to relationships. He flew out to stay with me for a week, and I quickly realized that he had not changed all that much, and was still totally emotionally unavailable (stemming from childhood abandonment issues and poor parent rolemodels, I believe) Well, once he left I took a couple days and composed a long e-mail telling him all my thoughts and feelings on his behaviour and how it affected me and how it made it impossible for me to trust him or see him as the type of person I choose to be with. I found it impossible to say these words to him in person while face to face with his charming self, but sending this e-mail…what a sense of empowerment! I felt like I finally stood up to him and told him “no, I will not accept being treated like this”. I still care for him so much, being that he’s been a part of my life for so long (as a friend much of the time) but the simple act of being honest and letting my true feelings out…it gave me so much personal strength, and made me believe in myself so much more. I recommend the e-mail method, if talking in person is too difficult. And I have to add, I am a VERY vocal and strong person most of the time, it never ceases to amaze me how this particular person creates an environment in which I revert back to an insecure teenager…the mind is strange!

    • stacey allam says:

      whenever someone says there being honest with you its just there way of making themselves better about dishonest with you in the past and making themselves feel better for there poor treatment of you it has nothing to do with any regard for you quite the opposite its just a selefish way of covering up for there own misdeeds to makke themselves feel better

      • stacey allam says:

        usually when these guys say things i dont know why a girl as great as you is doing with a guy with me is when a woman should admire such honesty by leaving him

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.