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There are two key things that everyone desires and fears in life; acceptance and rejection, and where you don’t get one, you get the other. One of the most difficult things for someone who has been involved with a Mr Unavailable or assclown is the lingering feeling of rejection, something that most people experience in relationships.

I think on some level, many of you recognise that these guys are not worthy of your time, and the confusion and rejection kicks in, because you can’t understand why someone who is unworthy of your time would reject someone like you, because you know you’re better than a guy like him…yet you’re not interested in a guy who would actually treat you better….

Your ability to cope with and process rejection is tied to your self-esteem because how rejected you feel and the effect it has on your perception of you, is intrinsically tied into your ability to love yourself.

Women who love emotionally unavailable men and ‘assclowns’ find it so easy to assume that there is something wrong with them when their relationships don’t work, because in choosing men that reflect the negative things that they believe about themselves, being ‘rejected’ by these clowns feels like some sort of confirmation that there is something wrong with them.

A bit like ‘If he can’t see what a great woman I am, there must be something really wrong with me!’

Rejection like breaking up, is never going to be easy to do, but it’s safe to say that when you have higher self-esteem and love yourself unconditionally, rejection has far less of an impact on you.

Whilst it seems all too easy to declare that you love these men unconditionally and without boundaries, it seems to be much harder to give yourself any love. What we don’t often realise is that love does have boundaries but that you cannot know how to truly love if you don’t even like, never mind love yourself.

Unconditional love is about you being able to like and love yourself, irrespective of what takes place around you. This means that even though you will navigate bumps along the relationship road, your love of yourself remains intact and your value doesn’t plummet with every relationship.

If you take ‘rejection’ hard it means that you allow the fact that your relationship has not worked out to reflect inwardly which in turn, makes you feel bad about yourself.

So a Mr Unavailable who is unable to connect with emotions healthily anyway, that you have a relationship with that doesn’t work out, becomes you thinking that it must be something about you why he couldn’t engage better because you think you gave him so much love and care that he should have been able to emotionally engage, so there must be something wrong with you.

Here is the problem:

In choosing men that reflect the things you truly believe about yourself, you find yourself with a Mr Unavailable or assclown who by their very nature are incapable of giving you the relationship that you profess to want. This not only sets them up for a test that they’re bound to fail, but it also sets you up for failure. Each time this happens, it sends a message to you, that what you secretly (or even openly) believe about yourself, love, and relationships is true.

However, it’s ‘true’ because the self-fulfilling prophecy gets created in trying to extract love, care, respect, empathy and the whole kit and kaboodle from men who are incapable of giving that to you in the first place.

And so, you’re kinda rejecting yourself….

What is even worse is that when these men cross boundaries and treat us ‘less than’ and we not only continue to accept it, but actively chase these men and repeatedly engage with them, as if trying to cancel out the rejection by trying to get them to accept us and in turn validate us, it ends up eroding even further into your self-esteem, robbing us of our self respect and at times, even our dignity.

The horrible thing is that the ‘rejection’ can always be minimised, it’s just that in continuing to engage in the hope they will change, that they will finally recognise your worth, it instead gets compounded.

Avoiding the reality of who these men are and your relationship habits and indulging in the illusion is dangerous.

You will struggle to deal with the rejection if you continue to internalise what has happened, turning it inward and letting it further erode what you believe about yourself, love, and relationships.

Think about this: If you allow every single interaction with the men who have been in and out of your life to shape and define you, and those men are assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s, you won’t be left with very much. In taking on their baggage with your own, they end up leaving you with some of theirs when they go.

The sun does not shine out of men. We cannot allow the sun to rise and set on them and validate ourselves off them because every, single, damn time a relationship does not work out and you feel ‘rejected’, you will feel a piece of you go with them.

Until you learn to like and love you, perspective is missing.

If you did like and love you, you’d recognise that of course it’s not great that a relationship has ended but that doesn’t encompass you and you are an individual entity of value irrespective of whether you have a man or not. Mind you, if you did like and love you, assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s would hold no attraction for you…

People with healthy love habits with decent levels of self-esteem are also able to recognise that when it comes to Mr Unavailable’s and assclowns, they, not them, are the ones doing the rejecting.

In building your self-esteem and getting in touch with who you are and what you want, you become aware of defining and enforcing boundaries, and opting out of situations that serve to detract from you, which in turn builds your judgement and your ability to trust, which in turn builds your confidence.

This means that when you do these things, there is no room for a Mr Unavailable or assclown and the ‘relationship’ is no longer favourable or of interest because they only operate on their terms, not yours.

In them rejecting your boundaries, not only are they doing you a favour, but they’re also letting you know that they are not capable of respect. However, also in rejecting your boundaries and moving on to a new target, it’s actually you who has rejected them, because you didn’t allow your self-esteem to be a fertile ground for them to pee all over with disrespect!

Not all relationships are bound for success. Each and every guy you meet cannot be ‘the one’ and sometimes relationships fail and there isn’t a concrete reason for it. However, relationships with assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s are not bound for success and at some point you have to ask what you’re trying to achieve by trying to get a poor relationship candidate to accept you?

Back for part two and part three later in the week where I add some thoughts to help build perspective so that you can move on from the ‘rejected’ feeling and start realising you’ve made a lucky escape and it’s time to start living.

Your thoughts?


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51 Responses to Coping with feeling rejected by Mr Unavailables & Assclowns Part One

  1. CDK says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s exactly where I am right now. I’ve read your e-book and a lot of your posts and I can’t help but feel “beat up” for my low self-esteem. Ok, I get it. I have low self-esteem. I allow assclowns to abuse me. And each time I hear it, it just makes me feel worse. Good – because then maybe I’ll want to change. But HOW am I supposed to change? I try to take care of myself. I have my own home, and hobbies, I see a therapist and read books on self-esteem. I listen to subliminal tapes on self-confidence and fear of abandonment. But I still have this assclown sitting on me day after day. HOW can I improve my self-esteem? HOW?

  2. “I think on some level, many of you recognise that these guys are not worthy of your time, and the confusion and rejection kicks in, because you can’t understand why someone who is unworthy of your time would reject someone like you, because you know you’re better than a guy like him…yet you’re not interested in a guy who would actually treat you better….”

    Excellent, this is exactly what it feels like.


    “In choosing men that reflect the things you truly believe about yourself, you find yourself with a Mr Unavailable or assclown who by their very nature are incapable of giving you the relationship that you profess to want. This not only sets them up for a test that they’re bound to fail, but it also sets you up for failure. Each time this happens, it sends a message to you, that what you secretly (or even openly) believe about yourself, love, and relationships is true.”

    I have learned that we actually seek these men out, and they smell us coming a mile away. I also have learned that most times this stems from our relationship with our opposite sex parent, that we are seeking to heal.

    I have recently shown myself that even though I have cleared a lot of baggage, I still have a long way to go. Old habits are hard to break.

    gluing the pieces back together’s last blog post..It’s Time to Jump Right In With Both Feet

  3. CDK says:

    “I think on some level, many of you recognise that these guys are not worthy of your time, and the confusion and rejection kicks in, because you can’t understand why someone who is unworthy of your time would reject someone like you, because you know you’re better than a guy like him…yet you’re not interested in a guy who would actually treat you better.”

    OMG, this is so true! It is SO hard for me to let go, because I just can’t believe that HE wouldn’t want ME! I keep making up scenarios in my mind where he’s just playing hard to get, and trying to break me down so that he can really have me one day. Pffff.

  4. devastated says:

    Rejection is the hardest thing for me to deal with right now. I am seeing more and more everyday that he is not the one I thought he was. He is really showing me his true colors. But the fact that HE rejected me is what hurts the most. I was always questioning myself. What did I do wrong, what did I say wrong, what if I would have said this or that. I honestly now believe that it would have made no difference. I am slowly accepting that. He has NOTHING to offer me and he is a very unkind person to everyone. He has no real friends and no family. He doesn’t even have a relationship with his own daughter. Why would I have ever thought he would love me? He is a loser and doesn’t deserve me. I just wish the rejection didn’t bother me so much. Does anyone think it’s possible that being with these type of men lowers our self esteem. Before I got involved with him, I had always thought I had very high self esteem? Maybe I was wrong? Could all the months of mental abuse have caused me to think this way? I am starting to think that may be the case? Any opinions?

  5. MC says:

    HI NML

    I have been an avid reader for over a year now. i found your site after my own Mr. Unavailable dumped me. The site and it’s people have been very helpful. The one thing that seems to be an underlying theme in most of your posts is the importance of ‘liking/loving yourself’ My question is (anyone, please feel free to answer), how do you go about doing that without trying to fake that you’re happy.

  6. Dona says:

    I wanted to post this comment in response to CDK’s post. You really asked the million-dollar question when you said, “But HOW am I supposed to change?”

    First, avoid the pitfall of thinking that “changing” (yourself) is further “proof” that your low self-esteem is an objective reality. It’s the trap of thinking, “I gotta change – because something IS wrong with me, I’m bad, I’m worthless, I don’t deserve love, happiness, etc…”

    This is something I’ve experienced and many of my clients have experienced too. It can get you stuck in the loop of furthering a self-fulfilling prophecy and make it awfully hard to actually find the “how” to change processes.

    I am not one to lay blame especially at parents’ doorsteps, but somewhere, probably when you were very young and accepted all things as true – some incident(s), comment(s), experience(s), gave you a message that you took as gospel truth, and it became your defining reality.

    Somewhere along the line, the message “I am not worth much” or “I’m not worth anything at all” took root. It may also have been, “My feelings don’t matter, my wants and needs don’t matter, etc.” or “I will never be loved just for myself.”

    What I found and have seen people find is that by relaxing into a deep state of calm, we can connect with that person in us who is still a little child or very young person, and let her “tell” us how she feels, what her experience was (if she’s old enough to verbalize it), and simply hug her, hold her, love her and accept her exactly as she is.

    I have seen from personal experience that this is a great way to expunge feelings of low self-esteem, not through analysis or resistance, but through simple acceptance of that aspect of ourselves. The love and comfort we are providing to that “self” (which is really none other than us) can raise our self-esteem, self-worth and self-love tremendously.

  7. butterfly says:

    thank you sooo much for this enlightening post.!! I have been in a very dark place for the last 2 years going back and forth and breaking my heart over a very EUM.. believe it or not i married this man and 2 months into our marriage he confessed he was attracted to men, long story..but i started to find evidence that he was online flirting with men and engaging in conversations with them that really would upset me.. but i stayed with him because i adored him, however i left him one year ago and since then he has come in and out of my life playing with my emotions and my head, everytime i let him back and then he dissapears again for weeks on end . I use to think I was the one with issues, but after reading your wonderful posts I am starting to rebuild my low self esteem.. thankyou.

  8. Stacy says:

    Wow, this hits *exactly* where I am right now. My breakup was over a year ago with a cheating assclown EUM. Around the 1 yr anniversary I started recycling thoughts/feelings and have been reminiscing on the good stuff much too much and feeling rejected all over again…by a jerk who wouldn’t know a feeling if it slapped him across the face! I will be printing this one out to read and re-read. Also, great advice from Dona above – the feeling that I’m broken and need fixing actually feeds into the self-esteem problem of thinking I’m not okay as I am. Good stuff today. Thanks.

  9. Kissie says:

    Dona, thank you. That was beautiful and beautifully written. Indeed, loving yourself is accepting who you are unconditionally. That means, everything… all the negative things we think about ourselves we must learn to love. For me, I always felt that my wants and desires were not valid or worthy of consideration, no body told me this but somehow I grew up feeling that I had to please others and be nice and good and kind and that way people would like me and love me and accept me. So, telling folks what I needed and what I wanted and how I wanted to be treated was alien to me because I was afraid that if I demanded respect, if I made any demands, I’d be alone and people wouldn’t like me. So, I took and took and accepted crumbs for fear of being unloved and unwanted and rejected. I was afraid of being me b/c I didn’t really know who “me” was. I was so used to being everything to everybody and ms. nicey nice I didn’t learn to be me.

    Now at 35, I’m just starting to learn to love my self. After years of hiding from and lying to myself, I finally decided no more. No more pain, no more hurt, no more lies, no more anger, no more disappointment, no more disrespect.

    I love me wholly and unconditionally. I value me exactly the way I am. I am enough. I am worthy and good just the way I am. I am doing the best that I can with what I have and where I am. I am beautiful. I am a unique child of God…and God don’t make no junk :) These are my affirmations. I say them almost everyday and I say them until I believe them.

    CDK, create your own affirmations and say them until you believe them. The mind does not differentiate between what is real and what is fantasy, so if you think you are gorgegous and fulfilled and happy, you will be. If you think you are worthy you will be, if you accept yourself unconditionally others will as well. It begins with YOU and only you.

    NML, is right these men are merely reflections of what we believe about ourselves and our worth. So, we need to change how we see ourselves in our own mind. And remember our poor relationship habits were created and honed over time, many years and decades. It’s going to take time to re-program our minds to see the world and relate differently. Be patient with yourself, realize that this is a process and time is the greatest healer of all. Good luck to all.

  10. Rachel says:

    I realized after reading this post that I have to accept that I had a really strong commitment to what I wanted out of this relationship, but he was incapable of giving me what I wanted. He threw out a bone once in a while to keep me interested but that was for him (his ego stroke) not me. I opted out of his shit treatment and dirty head games so in the end I rejected him. I still have pain of not getting what I wanted even though it all seemed in place at times.

    I have tried to stuff my emotions and convince myself that I do not care that a jerk like him did not want me but that does not work…. my eye recently developed a slight tick (jumping nerve) that no one notices but me. I realized that you cannot pretend to be past a huge disappointment. Recognize it, embrace it and allow it to flow through you instead of holding it on or in your body. It hurts but I love myself for being human for loving and then opting out of something that truly detracted from me.

    My tick stopped when I allowed myself to feel the pain and disappointment along with the realization that I was right to leave the relationship and he was wrong for being such an ass but that is what he is. I now picture him in my past instead of my present or future and I do not lie to myself that I did not love him I did but I would never go for that pain ever again. Freedom has its own rewards.

  11. De says:

    Dona, thank you so much, a truly inspiring message. My mantra this week…’ I am the treasure I have been looking for’, I breath this in, and allow it to calm me, I visualize the treasure being something so beautiful that I want to protect it and love it and nurture it and make it happy. It is my heart, my soul, my warmth, my smile, my love.


  12. metsgirl says:

    “Mind you, if you did like and love you, assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s would hold no attraction for you…” And I believe they wouldn’t be attracted to me (at least not for long)

    I would have never thought this possible but I’m a converted believer. The AC I held feelings for the last 3 years is down to the level he should be…. “scum”. I’ve had NC for the last 5 months – it was rough but I am finally angry at the reality of what took place and the man/child is no longer on my radar.

    What’s funny is that I’ve started dating again and had a man that was 12 years younger pursue me. I think most men read the same manual that says to be vague and treat all women like sh*t. For instance, he wanted to see a movie together for this past Wednesday but didn’t seem to want to commit on what, when or where. I played it off as no big deal and when he texted to see when I was free….I told him I wasn’t. I pretty much knew that was the end of our conversations. What was funny is that he called last night. He mentioned that he was pretty upset and I told him that we didn’t plan anything so I didn’t take him seriously. He wanted to try again….only this time he was more than willing to line up the theater, date and time on the spot. I was fairly impressed because I didn’t have to argue with the man, I didn’t get weepy and pi**ed off because he didn’t call sooner. I just simply threw him to the curb so he would know that he does not assume “anything goes” with me. He got the picture. Do I still see flags….yeah, but not any real deal breakers yet. I’m just going to enjoy the attention and practice maintaining my boundaries. I could use the practice =)

    Thanks again NML. You’ll never know how this site has changed my life and the lives of many others.

  13. TJ says:

    metsgirl:“Mind you, if you did like and love you, assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s would hold no attraction for you…” **And I believe they wouldn’t be attracted to me (at least not for long)**

    That’s exactly true. I thought I was immune to the assclown because we were “friends”–(never romantically involved) and after getting to know him very well, I KNOW I’m much much better than him. How dare he reject me??? That’s how it feels.

    He rejected me specifically because I *am* too good for him. I’m not (at least not anymore) weak or damaged. I know this, but it still hurts because thinking I’m “better than someone” feels uncomfortable. He has readily admitted that unless the woman is somehow emotionally damaged, he’s not interested. I kept thinking this didn’t apply to me (a platonic friend).

    But yet I fell into the same patterns- trying to engage him, expecting a friendship in return for what I considered loving behavior, etc.

    In healthy hindsight, I see the man has absolutely nothing to give.

  14. mistechal says:

    When I first read this post, I was confused. How could someone with low self esteem, turn around in the aftermath of a failed relationship, and wonder how such an ass clown could dump a super girl such as she. If she knows what a great catch she is, then she must have healthy self esteem.
    Then I thought about myself. I really believe that I love myself. I treat myself well, I think I look gorgeous, I have a great mind, and I am the coolest person I know. But when I met my fellow, for the first week or so, ( mirroring) I thought he and I were the best looking, most intelligent, nicest, coolest couple EVER ! By week three, I was beginning to panic. What did he see in me ? How did I get this lucky, to be with such a charismatic, handsome, successful, and way cool guy? What if he realizes that I’m not worthy of his attentions? He constantly tells me all about his gorgeous, wealthy, incredible ex wife. His ex girlfriends whom are all so superior to myself. He tells me about his female friends who are all such “great girls, so pretty, so sweet” What if he opens his eyes and discovers that I don’t measure up?
    I then understood this posting. Sure, I can love myself, and all of my accomplishments, when I am single. But when I fall for a guy like my ex, I become my harshest critic. Not much love for me, but I will jump through hoops for him. I got a lot of work to do on myself.

  15. Kissie says:

    Mets Girl,

    I love it!! good for you. Gosh setting boundaries and sticking to them really empowers you. Good luck to you!

  16. Anusha says:

    MC,I couldnt understand how to love myself on the begining too.I heard it everywhere but didnt know exactaly HOW to do it,I think is because women like us never realy did that so we dont realy get how to do it.I asked others and read a lot about it and I think now Im understand what it means.I try doing it by taking care of my apereance more,like puting some make up,doing something nice with my hair.I also try to not criticize myself when I make a mistake,try to cheer myself up when Im down.I think afirmations can realy help too,I havent started them yet but I plan to.And what Im doing most at the moment is to change how I relate with people.I stoped being a people pleaser and now I say what I realy like and say no when I dont like something.I have boundaries too,I literaly wrote down on a notebook all the things I dont like and wont allow that people do to me and when somebody does them I just cut that person out my life.It fells so liberating to not have all that drama anymore,no more complains,no more endless talks to make the other person gets why he shouldnt treat me that way.Now I say I dont like it and if the person insist on doing it I just cut him out.Like NML said actions speak louder than words.I think that can give you a idea of what love yourself means.All the best for you and all the others in this forum :)

  17. myalmostlover says:

    I think one of things that makes relationships with these men so difficult is that they never truly go away. Normally when you break up with someone they’re gone from your life. These men will turn up long after the breakup, making it’s doubly difficult to heal. That’s why the self esteem issue is so important because we have to be ready to say no to them when they come back. I’m dealing with this right now. My ex is back after dumping the woman after me. I’ve had to really be tough and not respond to him in anyway. I can’t say it’s been easy because I allowed him back into my life several times before, so I think he believes that he’ll wear me down eventually. Previously he would turn up when I was at my lowest and definitely not healed. He seemed to know when I was the most vulnerable and would either pretend he wanted another relationship or play the friend card. It’s taken several bouts of NC to finally stick to it. You have to truly value yourself before you can say goodbye to them for good because they will test you and if they sense any ambivalence about your feelings for them they’ll try to play you “one more time”. NC can be particularly difficult for women that are used to living off crumbs, believing you always have to be nice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to remind myself of the insensitive things my ex did to me, realizing that he doesn’t deserve my care and concern.

    Because I’ve grown to value myself and set boundaries there is no way I’ll ever be involved with him or someone like him again. But the EUM behavior of “can’t commit to being with you, can’t commit to being without out you” that NML talks about, can really be a stumbling block for women that are trying to heal from the rejection.

  18. j-ster says:

    In response to CDK’s question about HOW to improve self-esteem: here are a couple of things that I kept in mind that really helped me.
    The first is a quote from Carl Jung, who said that we do not resolve our most important developmental crises, we outgrow them. The puzzling situation I was in with my EUMs kept me hooked – I just could not understand why these things were happening, why he would do this or that and i really felt like I was addicted to the puzzle. I tried so hard for so long to fiture it all out. But it wasnt really a puzzle. I was distracting myself from the real question by trying to understand THEM and trying to fix a realtionship that was fundamentally flawed, or even worse, trying to fix THEM. The real question was “How do I make better choices next time?”

    The second thing that really helped me was two songs by Alanis Morissette – one is called So Unsexy and the other is Sorry to Myself, and both of them talk about the really subtle ways in which we let ourselves down, desert ourselves, undermine ourselves, and generally treat ourselves bady. I found that keeping all the things she mentions in those songs in mind helped me when it came time to decide something – I used them as a kind of checklist to see if I was making a good decisions for myself, treating myself well. This site has also been an extremely useful way of looking at my bad behaviours and keeping them in check.

    So, letting go of the need to resolve the “problem”, learning about how I was letting myself down and taking a step back to think carefully about the decisions I was making all allowed me to outgrow my old, unwanted behaviours and gradually develop self-esteem based on treating myself well. Only a couple of months after I started NC with all my old EUMs, I met a man who treated me with respect and treated himself with respect, and after carefully checking him out and taking it slowly, we got together and have stayed together – 10 months now! But I still come here regularly to check up on myself, and I still listen to those songs.

    j-ster’s last blog post..Atmospheric optics, heritage homework and rescue plans

  19. ph2072 says:

    WOW. That was DEEP. I love EVERY BIT OF IT. You learn something new every day. Eagerly awaiting the next part.

    You’re the truth. 😉

  20. happy says:

    I am so happy that I have dated my last assclown. He was the worst experience of a man I have ever experienced. I found this site in the nick of time, because it has helped me clarify everything and re-direct me so that I don’t go around the same mountain over and over again. I am so glad that he was such a strong assclown because it made me stop and analyze everything about him and more importantly about myself. I can’t believe that there is another way of dating men and how I am in charge of my love life not anyone else or their opinion of me. Thank you for this site. It is an invaluable resource for me as I diligently work on getting better for my own life’s sake. Thank you so much. Keep going. I hope you reach many, many women and turn their lives around.

  21. Miserable Love says:

    Thanks, NML. I am dealing with this right now and it couldnt have come at a better time. Prior to my dealings with my AC, I had average to above average self-esteem. The reason AC was attracted to me he said was because of that, and because I am independent, education, smart, he said sexy and beautiful, etc. I really believed what he said and told me, and how he made me feel. So, when he “stopped talking to me”, I felt completely misled and rejected. I still don’t know how he can comfortably live his life without me in it, after pursuing me for so long… I allowed my self-esteem to be completely destroyed because of the terrible way he treated me and talked to me. I will read this article A LOT to help me through this terrible time, 5 months of no contact…..

    Kissie: I can totally relate to everything you said. Sounds like me talking.

    Thanks again.

  22. My finding this site could not have come at a better time. I have been in all of these situations I just read. Its 2 am I dont’ sleep anymore, spend all of my time wondering how an AC can say he is never letting me go, loves me to death, looks at houses for us, etc. Then turns his back on me the minute its not convenient for him. I have been suicidal, devastated, and keep letting him come back. I am so hoping I can follow the advice above and realize it isn’t me, but he is so flawed and lacking in character. Thank you so much!

  23. overit says:

    I used to think I was strong and independent until I fell for a man that so badly screwed with my head and damaged my heart is such a way that I am still wondering wth just happened!? I have to admit that his “mystery” of blowing hot and cold really had me going for a long time of trying to figure him out and win him back. Slowly but surely with the help of this website and my own research I am learning to SEE things clearly and just let go. I feel that my self esteem has been damaged due to my inability to recognize what was happening and just walk away… my dignity as well. I am smarter than this… we all are! And reading this site has made me wonder how so many intelligent ladies can be led down this destructive path??

    What I am doing right now… is watching myself LET GO… one finger at a time… and allow the reality of the situation sink in while I tell my emotions to shut up. I just really think for each women involved in this situation… it ends when you are ready for it to end… and that’s as simple as it is. Good luck to all on this journey and I’ll see ya on the other side!

  24. PlanetJane says:

    overit – You’re very right. It is so difficult to see what is going on with a guy like this when you’re just not expecting/used to this kind of (disgusting) behavior. Before you know it, you’re right in there with him. It is craziness. Yet so difficult to let go of.

    I like the analogy of letting go one finger at a time, with the reality of the situation sinking in. Thanks for your post.

  25. Tiffany @ Engagement 101 says:

    This is so true. When I see friends break-up from their loser boyfriends, I’m always telling them, “Wow, you dodged a bullet on that one!” But they’re just constantly beating themselves up about it. They don’t realize that the problem was not them.

    Tiffany @ Engagement 101’s last blog post..When it’s time to walk away: 5 signs the relationship is over

  26. MC says:

    Hi Anusha: thank you for acknowledging my question. I’m still trying to figure out this whole “self love” thing. I’m one of those people that exudes confidence, but once a man is involved, I became a mess and cannot seem to cope with the idea that I may not be good for them, even though I know in my heart I should not be with them.

  27. brokenheartedbabble says:

    I find it so easy to nod my head, agree, and give advice – but I’m the big talker who folds at the first sign of trouble. I keep trying to pat myself on the back and keep my confidence up, and I don’t even think the guy I’m seeing is an assclown – well, maybe that’s another one of my delusions – but it’s so easy to beat myself up whenever there’s a little hitch in plans. How do I stop doing that? How do I get over being pushed down for years? I keep telling myself that I’m worth the effort, but it’s hard, hard, hard to believe it.

  28. Res Judicata says:

    Thank you for all of these posts. I am emotionally available and accessible. I crave, but not in the needy sense, positive and fruitful interactions with a significant other. However, when all is said and done, I believe that the EUMs in my life have honed in on me because of who I am, and what I bring to the table. As these posts describe, I am spunky, independent, financially stable, well-educated, and accomplished. In another vein, I am also very nurturing and supportive. While I can be a professional hard***, I probably come across very sweet, loving, and supportive when me first meet me. I believe that they try to take advantage of both sides of who I am. Maybe, they can’t relate, or feel inadequate or inferior. I read recently that such women should show men that they do have other needs that should be fulfilled, and that they should not come across so competently or independently. Men have to feel like they can provide/protect/profess, so if they can’t do this for you, there is no role for them to play in your life. How the heck do you do that, if it is not you? I guess that I am stymied by this relationship stuff, and no amount of wonderful posts, websites, or self-help books can teach me how to be someone that I am absolutely not.

  29. ReginaToxicodendronDiversilobum says:

    This is really core material! Trying to navigate this conundrum of “not being able to understand how he could reject someone as wonderful as me” being linked with poor self esteem will keep me pondering some time.

  30. Nikki says:

    My EUM after 4.5 years of relationship, three break ups (two from him, the final one from me) has come back and said he is now ready. I called it off as we broke up in 08 his decision as he had doubts, and needed to sort himself out. He then told me he was ready to do everything with me, and had changed. We got back together and after 6 months he told me he still had doubts, and still didn’t want to live with me (and we had been viewing houses for 2 yrs). Last night he came over to drop my things over, and was sp upset told me he wants to settle down with me, he knows now, he had done all these romantic things.

    Am trying to be strong but its really hard, I hope sticking with my decision not to go back is the right one as its so upsetting to see him upset, and I genuinely believe him also. But I don’t see how can we move forward and get married and move in, when we have been through so much and I don’t think I can get over it. How do I stay strong, and calm in my decision and sure its the right one? I have just started dating someone else a lovely person, who I am also enjoying spending time with, and almost feel a little guilty about it too as that is very new. I gave my ex relationship 4.5 years of waiting, and now he wants to have babies and marriage and I can’t believe this is happening. I think I know I can’t go back, but feel so upset for some reason.

  31. Liza says:

    I went on a date with a guy kast weekend and he lives 3 hours away. The plan was to stay over but had no intentions on sleeping with him, but I did, over and over. He is a pilot so he travels often. I know it will not be an everyday thing. I thought we hit it off. He emailed me the next day when I got home, then texted me 2 days later. Finally this weekend after he stated his plans for the 4th of July, I told him maybe I will talk to sometime, take care and have fun. An hour later he was saying how he is just tied up for a couple of more months because work is busy and he wants to have a normal life. What do I do?

  32. Gayle says:


    Nothing. Let this one go!

  33. Liza says:

    I know but I did see how busy he was first hand. I think I am just going to see what happens. I mean what happened in a few days? 5 days ago he was telling me he cannot wait to spend time with me again. It was only a date. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt.

  34. Gayle says:


    Personally, I believe it says a great deal that a man only e-mails and texts after a weekend of sex, the very least I would expect would be a phone call with the next date set up. By him telling you he is not available for the next few months is code for, I’m not interested. No one is so busy that they can’t squeeze you in within the next few weeks. His words do not match his actions, that’s why I suggested you forget about this one. These are super-bad signs.

  35. Liza says:

    Well, i suggested saying see you later and he hung on with that statement. He could have never bothered again with no responses. He initiated all the contact. Listen, I’m not making an excuse for him, I am simply trying to figure it out. He is a 40 yr old man, divorced and has many responsibilities. I am sure he would say, listen I really dont think its going to work. You live too far, etc…. what does he have to lose?

  36. Liza says:

    Oh, I’m sorry, I misinterpreted. He and I are meeting either Tuesday of next week or that weekend because he is flying to Dallas for the 4th. What he was saying about being busy is I think he wants to coomit more and is giving what he can right now because of the timing with work. Its going to be hectic. He did not say we will not see each other. He is working on dates but just not as flexible during theses summer months. His exact message to me was”Typical, work and reserves are killing him right now. Its crazy for the next couple months. I want a normal life, typical” What I think typical may mean is he has intrest but is scarse on the time right now but we are working on our next date. It took almost 2 weeks for our first date, the blind one.

  37. Gayle says:

    No, he wouldn’t. Why would he give up some occasional sex, he’s not a fool? Liza, age doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to these men. I think you need to ask yourself if this is the type of arrangement you want? If the man lives three-hours away, how far can it go?

    We all have responsibilities but when you want to spend time with someone you find the time. I still go back to the e-mail and texts, in my book this is unacceptable after intimate contact with a man.

  38. Liza says:

    That is how I do most of my communicating nowadays. I saw him emsiling and texting like a madman on his blackberry. It is definitely his major means of communication. He was open with everything as well. He wasnt being shady or trying to hide his phone but work was constant. I understand what you are saying and I have some male friends that say men simply really do not read into texting vs calling. They think it seems fine and he is just busy and are telling me to take it slow and see what happens. ANd I have seen long distance relationships work. It takes time. After the 2 months Im going to evaluate. Im not in love but I am interested. I just need to open my eyes to reality and not fall for fantasy. I am a bit disappointed but even by the looks of his apt., you can tell he is on the go.

  39. Astelle says:

    Liza, does he have kids? What makes him so busy over the summer months?

  40. Liza says:

    One son on the west coast. He lives in NY. In his line of work the summer months require he do more traveling because of people traveling and going home. I do not want to be negative. When I was at his house, I recognized how very busy he was and said to myself that I saw it first hand. Now I’m second guessing myself. I guess because I like him. But my initial take was not being attracted to him but we really hit it off

  41. Antonia says:

    I have just come across this site and I find it amazing.
    I myself am in a relalationship a year and a half, he was my good friend for a few years before. Things were great when we became a couple, felt natural, I knew al along it was meant be.
    Im an independent and strong minded person, but now as I think back Im not how I used to be. The recently constant arguing has worn me down. I think we clash, but i give in more often to just stop d argument. I grew some of my old balls back last month when I finally called it a day, because the day we came back from a 10 day holiday he claimed he felt ‘ugh’ after spending so much time with me!!! So naturally he came back promising things will change for he better and i gave him a chance. Now, a month on, he’s just told me Im CLINGY!!! I see him once maybe twice a week, when I do I enjoy it although lately he’s been diatant, therefore every time he leaves my mind goes into overdrive thinking ‘WHY?’ I always somehow feel REJECTED. So iv upped my game an have kissed and hugged him randomly to see can i get d slightest bit of affection back from him (Without success!) and now im ‘clingy’! Im baffled! This all came out a few nights ago in anger and is still going on.. he’s saying now he doesn know what he wants and neither do I and I know this sounds silly because it looks like he obviously wants us to end (And honestly I have those those thoughts to!), but with our history I know its not that easy.. for both of us! We are in love, but the arguments are just to much.. again, for both of us.
    What do I do?!

  42. Antonia says:

    Thank you Brad,
    Your absolutley right.
    We are both just twenty years old, so were not thinking about family or settting up home just yet, although we have spoken about moving in together to an apartment of some sort, but since he holiday I cant see that happening anytime soon!
    I know Im young and have a lot more to experience but this guy has been one of my best friends for five years.
    Things did change obviously from being friends to being a couple, but these changes were expected, finding out new things, more time together. Nothing I didnt expect.
    For the first few months of the relationship I didnt want to be known as a ‘couple’ the title scared me a bit beacause im so independent I didnt want to just be part of one couple and because it was strange to be known like that with my best friend!! We both felt that way, until we realised we are in fact a couple who love eachother, eventually those problems went away.
    Im not big on PDA (public displays of affection) but I saw he was a bit hurt by this, thinking maybe I was embarrassed by him or what not. So I changed my ways and learned not to be so shy. Even a few months ago he mentioned he’s not happy about how he almost always makes the first move when were alone and how I dont kiss him without him kissing me first, just little thins like that. Now Im more affectionate and cuddly than I ever thought I could be, just how he wanted it, or so I thought, and now Im clingy!
    We have lives apart from eachother, he has or two poker nights a week with his friends, goes on nights ut with his friends, and he’s also studying in university so he has nights out with his friends from there to and of course family time. I see my friends when I can and have nights out with them, and have nights in with family or friends I look after my ten year old brother alot of the time to help my mother out as she works alot. I cant say our relationship is unhealthy in that sense! So my head is just a mess now because I am the least needy girlfriend although he claims different. I just feel I have gone and adjusted myself to meet his needs and wants, he wasn entirely hapy before and he’s not happy now. I cant do anything else for him. I think he’s selfish and expects me to do all the adjusting.

    Thank you for your reply Brad.

  43. keri says:

    Natalie… Its been a LONG time since I’ve read your posts.. but I still.. despite it being MONTHS without the EUM… I still have strong moments where I feel rejected… I wonder why he NEVER said anything to explain his actions.. even as I walked out the door he said nothing.. NOTHING.. I recognize is my own lack of self love… but for some reason… I still have moments when I think of him.. if he’s happier with his next i mean girlfriend… if he ever thinks of me… regrets his inaction… I know this is about my own lack of self love.. but these moments are so strong… they bowl me over sometimes.. Can you help?

  44. I just learnt something recently which applies to this issue you were just talking about.

    I think the reason why rejection is so painful (and boy have I written about it!) is because we take it SO personally, which then affects our self esteem.

    One mindset shift that really allowed me to overcome this, was concluding each situation we have in our life requires slightly different persona’s.

    For instance you may act, speak and dress differently at work, compared to when you are hanging out with your closest friends.

    If we look at our different persona’s like a different outfit suited to each occasion, not only are we more adaptable to our environment but we are also less likely to take things to heart. Because the criticism, rejection, harsh words were not aimed at your personally … but merely an outfit or a type of persona that you put on.

    For instance, say that one day you are out with your friends and they comment that they don’t like your handbag (of course most girlfriends won’t have the heart to say this but in this case, lets just say they do).

    Now at the end of the day, they are not commenting that they don’t like you. Simply that they do not like ur handbag. If you are able to distinguish between the two, then a lot of things people say about you and treat you … is not so easily taken to heart.

    I know it has definitely helped me is every area of my life, from being a blogger, student, ski patroller or speaker or single dating girl.

    Hot Alpha Female
    The Only Woman You Should Take Dating Advice From

  45. Stephanie says:

    WOW!! Just what the doctor ordered! I had a small ounce of self-respect left and decided to opt out of a relationship that was bleeding me dry for 6 1/2 years…and still I was having doubts about it…but after reading your well-stated article…I am determined to move on and do some serious self-reflection and healing…Thanks…

  46. Sarah says:

    Your articles have made me cry and given me so much hope and clarity to what’s really going on with me and a situation I’m having with my ex. I guess I can call him an assclown but I don’t want to judge him, I rather move on and worry about myself instead of living for someone else or thinking I ‘need’ someone to live for…

    And you’re words are like a shining light in what has been a really long darkness. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  47. catbrooke says:

    I recently, FINALLY, broke it off with my EUM…we dated for four months, i had NC for 2 months, then called him up again, my deluded mind thinking “we’ll just be friends”, met up with him, alcohol, ended up in bed. He made it clear he didn’t want to date me again, and I thought fine well youre not good enough for me anyways, so we proceeded to have FWB relationship for another 2 months, his selfish, asshole manner pissed me off again, NC for another 2 months, called him again, FWB AGAIN, finally i realized i cant do this anymore a few weeks ago. His rejection of me HURT SO BAD, even though I am a WAY BETTER, KINDER person than he… So, it was our last fuck last week…..and I told him everything I thought about him: Youre way too selfish, self centered, all you care about is my pussy, I dont want to fuck you anymore. I am liberated now. Initiated NC. Then he texts me, saying he feels bad, he wants to be friends, AGAIN I told him everything I think: You keep building those walls so high, no girl is ever gonna reach that high, and you’ll be all alone, you deserve better for yourself…Did you it ever cross your mind that I might meet someone real, who doesnt play games and who worships me??? He responds: Always. I said wtf does that mean?? he said, I always thought you would find someone better than me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    what the hell??????????? So I blocked his texts, dropped him on Facebook, and put him in my phone as “Selfish Asshole” cuz thats really all he is..
    wish me luck ladies, its been almost 1 year, i am so sick of it…..

  48. Leonine says:

    I come back to read this particular post over and over. I have a strong feeling that I need to learn it verbatim, like I’m studying for a degree or something, because it’s that important to me and how I go on.

    Just this couple of months on, I can look back now at the last guy – Mr EU/The Player – and see quite clearly that right from the start, the overriding feeling of being with him was DISAPPOINTMENT.

    He’s short, with a high voice and manages an IT office team; he has a bad heart and a gal pal who sleeps with him but won’t have sex with him (I have a strong suspicion she’d be astounded to hear this about herself); he preferred email communication above anything – and I somehow got myself used to settling for 3 lines twice a day, except at weekends and when he was on holiday…

    Talk about “low expectations”. But he was a disappointment to me, right from the start. No wonder I felt so bad when, after I pushed for more/longer/more informative emails, he responded with, “There is no more time available; you are getting all the effort I can make; and, while it might have been different a while ago and might well be in the future, right now you are no priority of any kind at all”.


    Actually, I think now it was the biggest favour any man has ever done for me, lol! I was sooooo insulted that a little twerp like that, who I was settling for at best, could round ojn me like that, that….

    ….I stopped and thought, “Why am I settling for a disappointing little twerp anyway?” I never even responded to that last email of his. Instead, I searched around and, praise be, found here!

    Thank you, disappointing little twerp.

    And Thank You too NML and all the posters on this wonderful site.

    love, Leonine.

  49. bbylove says:

    This is exactly what I needed riGht now. My EUM has just recentLy told me he neVer wants to be with me again and that he hates me..I mean I know deep down I don’t want him either but I was still so cut about it. That’s when I started asking myself what I did wrong and how I should be different. I really felt like I was wothless and even questioned myself of being a bad mother. I just didn’t get it, I couldn’t understand how he could blow me off so quickly after all we’ve shared even our new baby boy. But now I know it’s not my fault and I didn’t do anything wrong… But how do I keep reminding myself that it wasn’t me… How do I get over the fact that he no longer wants it?

    I also keep telling myself that he’ll come back around and that he is only doing it to gain power over me and that he isn’t over it… But I guess that it’s better he is over it cos I’m tired of going around in circles with him…

    Oh gosh I’m just so lost please help

  50. Brad K. says:

    @ bbylove,

    If there was a mistake, it was selecting someone unsuitable for a long term relationship in the first place. Of course he resists changing into someone he is not, change is measured in pain, and he sees no reason to change at all, let alone into someone that you need.

    The thing to do now is to let go, and get on with healing. After losing someone important in your life, you will grieve, that is only natural. In your grieving you will also want to understand why you tried to get together with someone hurtful, disrespectful, someone that wasn’t interested in a shared life and home and family. Many healthy people in the world did *not* try to share a life with him – why did you? Because the important thing is to prepare for the future.

    You have to know there are good people in the world. People that don’t live like that bozo, people that don’t hang out where that bozo hangs out, people that base relationships on respect and trust and honesty and honor. And you need to make friends among these “good” people. You need to be active in their community. You need to believe in yourself and your self worth, and set barriers and boundaries to protect yourself from people like that bozo.

    That will be a lot of work, once the hurt starts to pass. Right now you have to finish dealing with the hurt and with letting him go. And convince yourself that whatever he wants, if he showed up begging on your doorstep tomorrow, you dare not let anyone like him get close to you or your life.

    Take care.

  51. Autumn says:

    In them rejecting your boundaries, not only are they doing you a favour, but they’re also letting you know that they are not capable of respect. However, also in rejecting your boundaries and moving on to a new target, it’s actually you who has rejected them, because you didn’t allow your self-esteem to be a fertile ground for them to pee all over with disrespect!

    Wow!! That is soooo true!! It didn’t hit me until I read this!!! I had (operative word) been dealing with an extremely EUM for two years…he apologized once again, so I thought we could be real friends…sent him a very thoughtful, funny and heartfelt birthday greeting via email…his response was, “you’ll always have a special place in my heart”, which I took as a major kiss-off!! anyway, back and forth and I told him that it’s too bad he’ll always see me as a “fallback girl” because I’m an amazing friend, to peeps who deserve my friendship and that I’m done playing his game and to not contact me again. of course, within 20 minutes he didn’t respect my boundaries and wrote back saying how sorry he was that he made me write those things and that he made me feel that way and that he certainly never meant for me to misinterpret his intentions, especially on HIS birthday…and if I could please call him, he literally begged and pleaded with me to call him so he could tell me how wrong I was!!

    THAT’s when it hit me!! He can’t even pick up the phone to correct a miiscommunication? Because there was NO miscommuncation…I was dead-on and he couldn’t handle it…

    That quote really hit me – this time…after all of the times I’ve contacted him, I REJECTED him and I will continue with NC forever!!! I have the upperhand and after reading all of these posts, I now know I was living a delusional life in my mind, thinking he could change…but I’m not the first chick he’s treated this way and no doubt I’m not the last…but he is the last EUM I will ever hook up with…NOW, I can spot them a mile away and even my friends are proud of how much I’ve grown…I know it’s cliche, but it’s true…if you don’t love yourself, how can anyone love you? I do love myself now and I am working towards the unconditional love…but I know I will get there…

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts!! Thanks for all of the great advice!! I can now breathe out and relax knowing he is my PAST and NOT my PRESENT or my FUTURE!! Damn, it feels good to say that and to actually BELIEVE IT!!!

    -Autumn :)

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.