skitched-20101027-135708.jpg

A friend went on The Best Date Ever. Originally scheduled as a lunchtime meet, it lasted all day and into the night. The following day she said it felt like they’d known each other for weeks instead of hours. She never heard from him again.

Another friend met a guy who she was half-heartedly interested in. He kept trying to pick up the pace of things and after some initial reluctance she let herself get swept up in it and started to trust him and her feelings increased. A weekend in the country, romantic walks in the park, lots of phone calls and texts, and then being introduced one night to his friends and colleagues who all said they’d never seen him like that, all in the space of a few weeks. It was the last time she saw him.

I have countless emails from readers telling me stories of guys (and women) who moved the initial dating period along at high speed. From declarations of falling in love and ‘I love you’ when they’d barely known them a hot minute, conversations about babies, marriage, moving in, meeting parents and being whirled around like a show pony amongst friends, or hearing about how ‘Everyone is so eager to meet you’, to high intensity liaisons with persistence, great sex, average sex, and multiple phone calls, texts, emails, and letters in a bottle, all of these people have been whizzed at high speed through the early crucial stage of dating.

It’s called Fast Forwarding and it’s a technique where someone sweeps you up in a tide of intensity when they’re pursuing you and you’re dating them that you end up missing crucial red flags.

They either disappear when they start to feel panicky about the fact that you will want, need, and expect in line with the great show they have been putting on. Or…they just revert to the ‘real them’, ripping the rug from under your feet and replacing hot with cold and someone who you barely recognise.

Fast Forwarders…

- Push for emotional commitment and often sexual intimacy very quickly

- Make you feel like the centre of their universe

- Distract you from looking too closely at them

- Can be emotionally demanding

- Refer to the types of plans that people who have been in relationships far longer would discuss – marriage, babies, etc

- Some will introduce you to friends, family (including their kids) very quickly

- Say stuff like ‘But it feels like we have known each other for X months’ when you object to something and mention how you hardly know each other

- Can be petulant and sulky when they don’t get their own way so you quickly learn to minimise conflict

- Even though they appear to respect an asserted boundary, often quickly try to recross it

- Are very persistent when you’re not interested in them

- Will privately and sometimes openly think you’re The One pretty much immediately

- Will be eager to ‘title the relationship’ and demand commitment even when you hardly know each other

- Often have strings of high intensity short dalliances that fizzle out quickly

- Overestimate their level of interest

- Often veer between deflecting questions about themselves, oversharing, or telling lies and using selective omissionsPeople who engage in Fast Forwarding are Future Fakers, whether they directly do it by talking up a storm about plans or do it indirectly by behaving so intensely and putting so many demands on you (emotional, sexual, wanting to be with you all the time), that they let you believe that the level of intensity you are experiencing is what is on offer. You will use a number of the things that they fast forward you with as basis to trust them with – Trust Points.

It’s crucial to remember that dating is a discovery period. You should date with a reasonable level of trust as a basis and your interactions serve as a series of checks and balances. Positive things increase your trust, dodgy stuff should have you rolling back and assessing the risk.

Dating is a fact finding period where you should be discovering ‘facts’ that let you work out whether you can proceed, or whether you should be cautious, and/or abort the mission.

If you love and trust blindly and get sucked into being moved along at high speed, you will be blind in the relationship when you actually have a responsibility to yourself to have your eyes open.

Fast Forwarding creates a pseudo connection. Slowing down and actually getting to know each other at a healthier pace creates a real connection.

I’ll be honest with you – while there are anomalies where people have had a whirlwind romance that progressed, in the overwhelming majority of cases, when someone wants to be intense immediately or very quickly and Fast Forwards you through the relationship, it is a red flag.

In fact, let me say it real straight for you – this is not a fairy tale. You are not in Pretty Woman. You’re not in a rom com where you move at high speed to a happy ending. Also don’t you remove the mystery and stuff to look forward to when you try to do it all very quickly? Nuff said.

If you are being Fast Forwarded you will miss crucial red flags that indicate that the relationship is unhealthy. Even without red flags, by Fast Forwarding the relationship, you will both create great expectations that may stifle the relationship before it has a chance to prosper. If you took things a bit more slowly, you could actually get to know each other. The high intensity of Fast Forwarded Relationships is impossible to sustain and when the intensity stops, it feels like you’ve crashed and burned.

The relationships that survive (healthily) are ones where the two people have slowed down but are in essence still the same two people that met and there isn’t a dramatic shift in character and integrity.

Being confident in yourself is also about believing that there isn’t a fire – you can take enough time to get to know each other without rushing to get your pants down and make big declarations.

Be careful. People who tend to Fast Forward can go through their cycle in a few hours (ever met an intense person online who sent you several emails, pestered you and then disappeared?), a day, a night, a few dates, weeks, months, and in some cases, some can play the long game and draw it out for a year.

The end result is the same – the hot tap switches over to cold or if you’re ‘lucky’, lukewarm.

When you get swept up in someone Fast Forwarding you, you will basque in the adoration. Of course when they disappear or they replace ‘the model’ you got with a pared down version, you will wonder what was wrong with you to cause the loss of adoration.

While it is very flattering when someone says they love you immediately or makes you the centre of their universe immediately, the fact of the matter is that they don’t know you enough to be sincere about it. Harsh, but true.

I’m not saying that you’re not a wonderful person, but aren’t we giving ourselves and them too much credit by believing that our libido, powers of judgement and observation and awareness of our own values are so powerful that we can tell immediately based on looks, sexual chemistry, penis size, words etc that we (or they) love someone?

Why do we allow ourselves to be Fast Forwarded? Well, we don’t like to appear to be spoil sports, many of us are not aware of the perils of red flags, and we second guess ourselves. In a startling number of stories, most of these people had some, if not a lot of reservations about the very person that was Fast Forwarding them. And let’s be real, it is flattering when someone seems to fancy the arse off us so much that they can’t seem to want to stop ripping off our clothes or saying we’re the best thing since sliced bread.

If these people are still around in a year or two and your high intensity dalliance yields into something more steady, then good for you.

However, the problem with people who Fast Forward is that they can’t cope with steadiness. They also make the mistake of being so OTT that they create expectations that they cannot deliver on.

These people overestimate their level of interest because often the uncertainty of not knowing how you feel and needing to ‘win you over’ and ‘suck you in’, is what triggers their desire for you.

When the relationship stops being new, they’re panicking about what you may be expecting, and they’re sure of your interest, the desire loses its ‘erection’.

If you don’t hear from them again, they’ll have moved on and pressed The Reset Button with someone else…and lather, rinse, repeat. If they’re still around and things are going from bad to worse, you’ll be getting the hot and cold treatment while thinking ‘It was so great in the beginning! What happened to that guy?’ and then sinking all your efforts into trying to retrieve the beginning of the relationship.

It’s nice to feel adored and if you’re a passion seeker that tends to talk about ‘type’ ‘compatability’ ‘common interests’ ‘passion’ ‘connection’ etc, you’ll be ripe for someone to Fast Forward the crap out of you and then feel desolate and inclined to go on the validation seeking trail when things start to go wrong.

If you have Fast Forwarding habits, it’s a good time to address your beliefs and attitudes about dating because you’re setting yourself up for failure. In fact, I’d ask yourself how serious you are about finding a relationship because exerting this type of pressure so early on in the relationship not only tests the people out to see if they can meet your emotional demands, but a lot of the behaviour in Fast Forwarded Relationships is quite unhealthy.

Why do you need to demand so much of the person and the relationship so early on? How much validation does your ego need? Isn’t this all a bit like an elaborate prank that goes way too far?

But for those of you who get swept up in someone’s tide, you can enjoy yourself but it’s time you became aware of red flags, boundaries, and matching actions with words.

You shouldn’t have to emotionally or literally commit to someone you hardly know. There is a reason why you were not interested and while sometimes we get things wrong, it’s important to assess why you weren’t interested rather than just letting yourself be swept along.

If in doubt about someone’s actions and motives, the best thing you can do is put your foot down and press ‘Play’ and see how the relationship copes at a steady pace. If it’s already over, ‘Rewind’ the relationship tape and mentally play it back and you will spot the red flags.

Your thoughts?

Check out my ebook on emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them, Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl as well as the No Contact Rule and more in my bookshop.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

116 Responses to Fast Forwarding: When Someone Speeds You Through Dating

  1. ph2072 says:

    Yep! That’s the “runner’s syndrome” I mentioned last week.

    Looking back at the 1 time that his happened with me, I now see the signs that were so clear now but back then were not obvious to me at all:

    1. He was my ex’s sister’s ex. I felt bad about even talking to him but figured that they broke up so long ago and none of us were in any more contact with each other, so maybe it WASN’T that bad. Wrong. I probably experienced some of the same shit that my ex’s sister experienced.

    2. He was very persistent. Initially, we’d regained contact 3 years after college and I thought it was just friendly banter, but he moved in for the kill and I was naive.

    3. He took me on the most amazing date. Theatre, expensive dinner, flowers, etc. It all happened so fast. There were no titles but we were an item, so to speak, maybe a week later.

    4. He ended things as quickly as they started. He called me days before Valentine’s Day and said “I’m sorry, I can’t do this.” I was furious. I calmed down enough to cancel his Valentine’s Day gift and get my money back. LMAO!

    Believe it or not, he tried to rope me back in a few months later and I almost fell for it. Thank goodness I never had sex with him (although we messed around some) or things could’ve turned out much worse. I think I’m a bit wiser now and would NEVER deal with a man like that again. (I even had to block the assclown on Facebook and different messengers.)

    Ladies (and men), take it from me: when the runner starts fast forwarding, you need to RUN FORREST, RUN!!! :-|

    • NML says:

      Thanks for a brilliant comment! I’m here on my own laughing like a loon! Thank God indeed that you cancelled the gift and got your money back! PMSL

    • Movedup says:

      Good for you! The ExEUM/AC cancelled on his birthday with me and I did the same thing – TOOK HIS EXPENSIVE GIFT BACK AND GOT MY MONEY!

  2. I, lke many others, have been swept up in this sort of situation. In my case we ‘fast forwarded’ into a very controlling abusive relationship. But I am aware of a lot of instances where things have turned out as described above – here today, gone tomorrow.

    Great post.

    • NML says:

      I read your blog. What a horrendous man he was and I’m thankful that you had the strength to walk away from it when you could. The worst thing about Fast Forwarding and an abuser is it feels like you have evidence of them being a decent person so you can end up wondering if you did something to bring out their abusive ‘side’. It’s like being involved with a confidence trickster. They were never a ‘good person’ but showing their abusive side immediately would have been foolhardy.

  3. DizzyDezzi says:

    I have way too much experience with this. Pretty much why I took a break from dating because it seemed like almost every man I met was trying to fast forward the relationship. Of course, it depended on my own attraction for him whether or not we ended up in the bedroom, but the effect was the same. Once they realized that, yes, I expected the relationship that they promised, they would disappear.

    But, there was actually one time where I actually recognized this right off the bat, because the behavior, in and of itself, was a red-flag. I called this guy my “relationship salesman” because it felt like he was trying to sell me on the relationship and on commitment, even before we ever met. He even managed to get my BFF in on it (a strange coincidence that was actually unrelated to our initial meeting). He was a fast talker, bragging about himself and everything he had to offer and when I say “fast talker”, I mean it actually sounded like he was trying to sell me this relationship in the same manner that a car salesman tries to sell a lemon.

    Sadly, not every Fast Forwarder/Future Faker is that transparent.

    • NML says:

      Hi DizzyDezzi. It’s good that you recognise that the behaviour in itself is a red flag. The whole salesman mentality is really offputting and the you don’t want to feel the relationship equivalent of having a used car pushed on you. He was clearly extremely insecure which is not a crime, but it’s very offputting when someone pushes themselves on you. I’m glad you got away from him!

  4. Findingmyself says:

    Once again Natalie you gave much food for thought. I personally can not say that this happened with my ex-ass hole. Mine was quite the reverse actually–no forward movement at all.

    Natalie wrote- “Push for emotional commitment and often sexual intimacy very quickly”.
    I had read on a previous blog where some posters were discussing the 90 day rule, it made me think of some very wise words a friend of mine gave me at the end of my break-up with the ex AC. He said to me, “Tell him you already have one ass hole in your pants and you don’t need another one” Words to live by in starting or ending a relationship.

  5. Elle says:

    “Why do you need to demand so much of the person and the relationship so early on? How much validation does your ego need? Isn’t this all a bit like an elaborate prank that goes way too far?”

    These questions are brilliant, Natalie!

    I think I did prank myself in some ways – not at first – he was the chaser, but I then needed what he told me to be true (damnit!), I couldn’t admit that he was not a steady pair of hands, and that he wasn’t going to come good on his promises, which, now, looking back seem rather ridiculous:

    Like him introducing me to people as the “love of his life” within a couple of weeks of being together, like him promising me he would marry me on a day trip to a castle – though we’d only known each other a couple of months, like telling my mother upon first introduction that he was had told people he was visiting his fiancee’s house (when we weren’t engaged).

    Then, of course, once I settled in and started to trust (and expect normal things, like honesty, calmness and tenderness, not just the fantasy lark), and once we were due to move in together, he absolutely freaked out and started the slow, inevitable devaluing process. He was just so contemptuous by the end. My goodness!

    This was certainly case of, for him: “When the relationship stops being new, they’re panicking about what you may be expecting, and they’re sure of your interest, the desire loses its ‘erection’.”

    (made me laugh)

    He even summed up it like that when he dumped me, saying that the relationship could be seen as me chasing him, then him chasing me. Felt like a very ungenerous and cruel way of putting it – and not entirely honest (i.e. another way of looking at it was that he chased me for my trust, and then did not want to deliver what is required in a normal, healthy relationship once he got it) – but it all adds up on some level…

    And, with genuine respect to people at different phases of the process and with more serious injury to deal with, you really can see this as all a bit ridiculous, like a prank, like a clown show and, I have to be honest, I was wearing at the very least a clown nose, not the full outfit, but certainly a red honker (and I remember him saying before he dumped me that he felt I was going too fast – I suspect that was true, but in part because I was, by then, in the anxious, compensating stage, then I calmed down and was honest about what was going on, and that brought on the old CHOPEROO).

    Bloody hell though, even if it is a bit of a joke, the pain of it can be so real. It’s only now that I can see it as quite ridiculous, but when I was in it, I was almost completely drawn into the show. Hell – I was willing to invite my whole family and friends to watch the performance!

    • Elle says:

      Whoops – got that the wrong way round – meant summed up as “him chasing me, then me chasing him”

      • Used says:

        Elle–

        I always said that the ex-AC (and others like him) CHOOSE their actions and words and that he specifically CHOSE to throw the “egg” on my face.

        I met him at the time as part of a new year holiday, on new year’s eve.

        “Happy New Year to you” he said, while winding up to throw the egg on my face.

        And my former best friend, who he has known for as long as me, threw egg on my face by ignoring me when she was with him and his wife at an event and my WHOLE FAMILY AND HUSBAND ANDS ME PASSED RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER.

        As they say, “the show must go on!”

        And it does. We run in the same social circles.

        Vut don’t your worry: I threw the egg right back; and with his own weapons and strategies. AND ON CAMERA. ON RECORD.

        His OWN friends stare and smile at me in admiration now.

        But I am done. It was the closure I needed, and the treatment (final treatment) he desrved.

    • allToFam says:

      Wow that sound all to much like what my ex did.

  6. allie says:

    OMG,, I have been a fast forwarding myself, I feel so bad. But really it has never been my intention to take advantage of nobody it has just been my deep desire to be in a long term relationship and then I try to rush things.

    It was good to read this article, for my self improvement also.

  7. Cher says:

    You’ve tied it all together so neatly. Are these the same types who are abusers? If they don’t disappear on you, they switch to managing down your expectations with intimidation and anger. Possessive, charming until you cross the invisible line. Is this not the Jekyll-Hyde character? How can you see the red flags when you want to interpret everything in a positive light? Time and your advice to take a lot of it is the best prevention. Thanks for all your work and keen insight. CK

    • MH says:

      In my opinion these EUMs or ACs all seem to participate in some type of abuse such as either physical, verbal or emotional at the very least which I think falls under managing down your expectations. I preferred that my EUM was emotionallly abusive verses my ex AC’s who were all three. I didn’t like that my EUM was emotionally abusive thats why I opted out, but it was better than being called names, blamed for everything and then eventually battered. I still got away though.

    • MH says:

      Thats why Natalie stresses that dating is the exploration period and that bad behaviour is suppose to be treated with us pulling back or aborting the mission and good behaviour is rewarded with moving forward.

    • allToFam says:

      That is exactly the way my ex was. I felt like he wanted to control everything I did and made me feel guilty no matter what I did. He would often give me the silent treatment if I pissed him off just to punish me. If they don’t disappear on you, they switch to managing down your expectations with intimidation and anger. Possessive, charming until you cross the invisible line. Is this not the Jekyll-Hyde character? Yep this is the way my ex was. He would even get mad when I was doing my school work instead of spending every second with him. He got mad that I didn’t hang out with friends or try to make friends but yet whenever I wanted to try to hang out with them or even go to club function at my school he would guilt trip me about it. Like I didn’t want to hang out with and stuff like that. He would even get mad and upset if I didn’t answer my phone right of way and would ask why I didn’t want to talk to him and that I hated him and I didn’t love him. At first I thought it was just fun and games but he kept doing it and it didn’t sound like it was just a joke anymore.

  8. Movedup says:

    “When the relationship stops being new, they’re panicking about what you may be expecting, and they’re sure of your interest, the desire loses its ‘erection’.”
    That explains the performance issues. You like them maybe even have said you love them – the back peddling starts pretty quick then. Come to think about it – it would have ended alot sooner if it was not for our conflicting work schedules. He was able to keep me believing in all these future “someday” plans on a short term basis. Only had to wear the mask for the weekend – as my doc stays anyone can get along for that long. Not too much effort on his part. I was dreaming all week for living for the weekend to rush into each other arms. That wore off too. After awhile he couldn’t even keep up the mask for the weekend and started cancelling. I honestly think if we had spent more time together in the same place – it wouldn’t have lasted as long (almost 2 years). When the lets live together conversation was danced around – he was OUTTA HERE! Can’t live a double life with someone living WITH you as easily. Too much work. Definitely fast forwarded – now the replay – I see the red flags as clear as day and there were LOTS! Run ladies Run.

    • Findingmyself says:

      I can relate to so much of what you went through. Same here, hand held high! Future faker, only a weekend or two every so often. Able to keep the mask on, even though I was seeing through it pretty quickly yet I ignored those red flag moments. To think that he will actually be able to have a permanent, long term, REAL loving relationship with anyone–NEVER happen!!

      • Movedup says:

        Never married – no kids. Hasn’t had a real long time love relationship in 40 years – swear 2 year warranty – don’t see it happening anytime soon either – THATS A RED FLAG!

        • SuziQ says:

          Wow, I think we dated the same guy. 40 years old, no marraige, no kids, no long time love. Never again!

  9. ph2072 says:

    NML – thanks. ;-). When it was happening, I was furious but now I can look back and laugh at myself and that assclown. I’m usually so cautious but I allowed myself to get swept up. Thinking about it now, I wonder if it was because I had damn near NAUGHT self-esteem and thought it was so nice to be swept away. Now I know that it’s just a twisted game, a prank so to speak, like some commenters mentioned earlier.

    Never again. :-|. Thank goodness for wisdom and this website.

  10. ph2072 says:

    A question just came to mind – if these fools know that they can’t provide the fairy tale, why do they even bother advertising it in the 1st place? Genuinely curious…..

    • FiguringItOut says:

      Remember that thesee AC/EUM are or have Narcissitic tendencies. I just googled the term and Narcissism is “the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness”. There you have it, plain as day, SELFISHNESS, EGO, VANITY, CONCEIT…that is why they do it, they get instant gratification for the ego as long as they can keep up the charade and then they are off to the next girl/guy.

      • Findingmyself says:

        Good explanation! Let me take it a little bit further since I was involved with one..the bottom line is because they want to get something, without losing something!

        My take on that now is: “Take him! Please!” It makes it easier in some ways.

        Focus on your inner journey and be soooo much nicer to yourself than he was to you.

        • MH says:

          Findingmyself,

          That is a great explaination, so simple yet makes so much sense.

          “is because they want to get something, without losing something!”

          I do however still think some of them do believe what they are saying at the time but when it comes to delivering on their promises they get too overwhelmed and they can’t follow through.

          I don’t believe all of these men are calculating manipulators because my ex AC was a major calculatiing manipulator and I can see the difference between him and others.

          I think for the other’s its like this: Say you wanted to start an exercise program and you are talking with one of your close friends and you are excited about the idea because they are so exited by the idea. Then it comes down to the actual exercise days and you just don’t feel like it for a number of reasons, or you have this or that to do. Thats what I think happens to some of these guys they realize they just can’t put in the effort they originally promised. Doesn’t mean you dislike your friend just because you don’t want to exercise, it just means you have other priorities than exercise. We are just not enough of a priority to them unfortunately. They don’t feel that they will get enough out of the deal by following through on the promise and when they do feel that they will get enough out of it then they do follow through at times.

          • Minky says:

            @MH – i think the exercise analogy is a great one! I think this relates to the ‘overestimating their interest’ part of the post. How many people have joined a gym (usually just after Christmas), with all the best intentions in the world? Everyone has visions of becoming a toned god/goddess within 6 months, but the reality is very different and life gets in the way. Like you say, it’s not because you hate the gym, or your gym partner, you just overestimated your own interest and couldn’t deliver at the end of the day.

            Then again, if you have joined a gym every January for the last 6 years and have always given up my month two, maybe it’s time to admit that you’re wasting everyone’s time! That’s my major bugbear – most of these guys/girls KNOW that they’re a waste of space – my ex EUM told me every single time we met up that it wasn’t going anywhere, he didn’t do relationships, i deserved better, why was i with him, blah blah – but he still kept seeing me, he still gets involved with women after damn near stalking them until the give in and pulls the same crap with them – that it selfishness, egotism and shamelessness. I take responsibility for not getting out sooner, but i still think he’s at fault for not doing the decent thing, for inflicting himself on me when he knew what he was like. Men like my ex EUM should just do the world a favour and stay at home with mummy (who he still lives with).

            end of rant! :)

          • FiguringItOut says:

            MH,
            I love the analogy of the exercise program!

          • Fearless says:

            Re Minky’s comment: I have some difficulty trying to get my head around this: was my EUM a calculating manipulator or over-estimating his interest (for about nine years?!!!)

            I do agree that even the ones that over-estimate what they can deliver should do the world a favour and stay at home… it’s one thing not keeping up your intention to get to the gym every week, quite anotherto mess with people’s lives and emotions – htere’s a little bit more at stake!

            Many comments here tell us that the guy often says up front that ‘it won’t last’ and such the like, mine said that he ‘wasn’t very good at relationships’… but these were passing comments, not conversations or discussions; and I do think they are intended to be passing comments so that you are not inclined to take too much notice of them (they sort of just slip them in somehere so as you won’t think it’s a big deal), and it lets them off the hook in some way because, well, they did mention it afterall!! Of course in retrospect I wish I had questioned him more about his comment but at the time I just thought it was a ‘normal’ thing for people to think about themselves – I didn’t give it much thought at the time.

            But these guys, if they have been doing this dance a number of times, and most of them have, do know that they are misleading people and are happy enough to do that for as long as it suits them and for as long as you stick around. And also, what about the lies? These are consciously deliberate and scheming… so I suppose I have to put mine largely into the calculating manipulator box… how depressing! And I bet he would have the cheek to be profoundly offended by that.

          • grace says:

            If they are not calculating manipulators then at the very least they are careless. I don’t see one as necessarily being “better” or “worse” than another. The amount of hurt at the end of the day is pretty much the same. Though physical abuse enters a different arena as they could actually kill you. Otherwise, just careless can be worse, at least with the total ACs you know what you were dealing with! Ultimately, though, it’s fruitless to have a “pecking order” of AC1, AC2, EUM1 etc. They were all crap and we all put up with it!
            The ultimate question is why do we allow ANY of it.

  11. jubilee says:

    What I don’t understand is why the AC/EUM/Narc needs to do this, it seems they almost get off on the intense feelings and the ability to win you over. Like it’s a game for them. If you aren’t prepared to look for actions over words it is easy to get caught up in what they tell you, and overlook the things that would turn you off if it weren’t for the full on charming routine. I understand this now, but didn’t before recently, and took his intensity as a sign of his assurances about how he felt about me. Just as soon as I reciprocated he split and did so in a way that was hurtful and seemed to me that was his intention all along. I almost wonder if he desperately needed an ego stroke and shag, as he lied about who he was, his life, finances etc. It is a strange feeling to find your self falling in love with a lie/fantasy. My mind keeps going back to the why of the behavior? they must get something out of it. And, they must practice it over and again. It just seems so strange and cruel that the AC/EUM dissapears or is hurtful and has absolutely no ability to leave the relationship in a respectful manner – such as speaking with you directly and atleast giving you a break up reason (not that into you, not ready for a relationship etc) How is they can come on so strong and yet leave you in such a weak manner that is not only insulting, hurtful but also disrespectful….a simple goodbye would suffice!
    Another good post NML!

    • FiguringItOut says:

      My EUM was, in my opinion, incredibly immature and insecure. I think he desires to be the kind of person he introduced me to in the “beginning” stage, but he couldn’t maintain those qualities due to his lack of self confidence and emotional stuntedness. I don’t think he is a bad/hateful person per-se. I think he knows he can’t keep up the future faking and amazing persona for too long before I (or whomever the poor person he is with now) saw through it all, so he fast forwards to get some kind of satisfaction or mini-relationship gratification before the authentic version of himself comes to the surface. The sad thing is if he would find the confidence and self esteem he should have with all his accomplishments, he probably could be a decent, respectful human being.

      In my situation, I think I surprised him by ending things. Mind you this was not my intention of an outcome…I simply asked a question and his answer gave me that “light-bulb-a-ha” moment and I knew we had no future. Funny rather than profess his love or try to scramble to hook me in he says “I knew I’d screw this up, but I didn’t think it’d be this soon”…I replied with “wow, glad you set us up for failure from the start…wish you would’ve clued me in on that”.

      So from that sentence alone (and yes he could’ve been trying the “poor me” syndrome) I realized he knew it wouldn’t last which is why he fast forwarded things so he could get whatever ego strokes he needed before I wised up to his shenanigans!

    • Columbia says:

      Wow I relate to your comment.
      Here’s what I think:
      They really ARE caught up in the beginning…they’re over the moon with their fantasy of you . When it becomes real, they chicken out. So much so, that they don’t even have the balls to end it properly or give any closure….that would mean taking responsibility for having simply LOST INTEREST. Much easier to pick a few traits out in YOU and call you a psycho and disappear.

      • Elle says:

        Haha! That is comic gold and a perfectly apt description of my experience. xx

        • MH says:

          All of the above comments are so interesting, insightful and definate food for thought.

          Just to be clear, even when I share my opinions they are just my speculations.

          I do want to say that people’s comments on here are just speculations on behaviours. One of the toughest things to realize is only these people know the true reasons behind their behaviours but that would require them to look at their own behaviours and actually examine them.

          I have noticed that Natalie doesn’t like to get too much into explaining their behaviours for probably this reason, and each person is different.

          That being said, I understand all of your inquiries as to “WHY” they do what they do. I am like you all, I want to know too.

          Each and every one of your explainations could apply to one of our guys, some of them, all of them, and many other explainations could be waiting in the wings that fit these, who knows.

          My point is we still have to do our own reality checking, see what fits from our perspective, and realize it is just a guess because they haven’t given us their true reason for why they do what they do.

          I think we each on here seek comfort and want to roll the ideas we have, and see if it makes sense to us. At times it can be unfair to who we are speculating about.

          I give my two cents too but then afterwards I say who knows it could be another reason, sometimes down the road I change my thinking and I come to another conclusion.

          Both Figuringitout and Columbia made fair points about these guys and I want to add to the speculation pool.

          Maybe they didn’t lose interest in you guys but you were too smart and figured them out. They realized they could no longer fool you so they moved on to someone they could for the next while. It isn’t always about negative things about us.

          I am basing this on pure common sense. Lets say you were a compulsive liar and you kept promising somebody something and you knew you couldn’t deliver on that promise and it was obvious they were going to learn that very soon, what would you do? Common sense says move on and scam someone else.

          I just don’t believe there is always deep, dark, mysterious reasons for these guys motives.

          They don’t all wake up and want to screw us around. Some are probably like poor, desperate, people when they have to put food on their table and scam their way into some money. I am sure some of these guys if not many know they truly don’t have anything to offer so they feel they have no choice but to lie their way through a relationship, to simply get what they need. Others are calculating manipulators just in it for their gain.

          I wish someone could sit a bunch of these guys down and make them answer but it might not help us and just give us more questions to ask.

          • Fearless says:

            Like you, I don’t think there’s a deep, dark mysterious reason either for these guys’ behaviours; it can all be summed up in one word: selfish.

            NML sums it up: “it’s ME, ME, ME all the way” for these people. They are living on planet Me. In short, these people are not thinking about how their relationship behaviour affects us or the relationship – they don’t care about ‘a relationship’ (one, that is, which involves two people!). it’s all about him. That’s why they can walk away without a backward glance, they have nothing to leave behind, nothing which, at that point, matters to them.

            Bear in mind the one major problem they have – profoundly conflicting fears surrounding intimacy and commitment; they simultaneously want intimacy and also fear it, hence the chasing and the running away, the pushey-pulley game. The best you can say for them is that they are emotionally retarded; they feel genuine anxiety about committing themselves to anything. They are riddled with fear and anxiety as they go about seeking intimate relationships, which they do want and seek with great gusto, but once the fear and anxiety kicks in, they bolt (and they know from the outset that this is what will happen, perhaps they hope that ‘this time’ they have met “the one” – but their fears are so ingrained with them that there will never be “the one”).

            Women who get involved with these types tend to think that he just needs to meet the right woman and imgaine that she is the right woman for him – that all those before her were just wrong for him, but in fact there were probably quite a number of women before who were “right” for him – the problem is not the women! – it’s HIM!

          • Allison says:

            MH,

            I don’t think that it is important why they did what they did, but why we stayed in these ridiculous, embarrassing situations. We should be focusing on our own behavior and issues that brought us to this point. We can’t change them, but we can change ourselves.

            It’s not about them, it’s about us!

          • grace says:

            I actually have had the “benefit” of an EUM who was EXTREMELY vocal about his emotions, motivations, why he broke up with me, why he loved me, why he wanted me back, why he wanted us to be friends, why we should get married etc etc etc. I heard literally hours and hours of it over the course of 20 years. And you know what? It still didn’t explain his behaviour. Not that I care anymore. Cut him off for good last month.

    • MH says:

      A break up reason.

      My goodness I wouldn’t be satisfied with their break up reasons. It is a no win situation.

      When I told my Eum that I think we want different things out of life, he just argued with me and made it out that I am being silly. I told him it wasn’t going to work out with us and that he could argue with me today but one day I will walk away for good and he is just prolonging the inevitable, I want out and I will get there. He told me were not together so I can’t dump him and I said whatever and then I hung up. He text for hours every ten minutes while he was at work on a fork lift. Begging me not to dump him. I know my story is reversed about me giving him a reason and we are warned that they are going to fight us but I have seen many fall back girls do the same as him.

      We wouldn’t like their reasons anymore than we would like them leading us on.

      My AC wanted rid of me openly and then he would pretend he didn’t want out as soon as I agreed.

      My EUM never wanted out openly and I preferred that. I preferred being let on because it made me feel that he cared more than my AC. Even though now I know that was crazy. I look back and it was easier to take that he would lead me on because it kind of felt like he lied or did what he did because at least he was trying to keep me around

      I think as crazy as this sounds for me to admit it was better than facing the music that my AC could just cut me off like that. Just being honest at the risk of sounding crazy. I have my head on straight, and I live a balanced life so I don’t think I am crazy but yeah that thinking was.

      I was happy many times that he talked me out of it. I wanted him to because that was before I found this site and I thought it meant he really was into me or something. I think it cushioned the blow for when I finally dumped him. On the other hand, my ex completely left me alone in the end. When I said go away he did. My friend didn’t and I am glad. I was still able to work through my grief even though he lerked around in the background. I have never seen him again and that was helpful. He tried but I wouldn’t go for it.

      I am sorry all but I think we all had to be drip fed or lead on to see our reflections in the mirror of what is our issue. I am not going to blame them. I use to. Not anymore. I stayed. I once had a guy say that to me and I thought what a jerk. He is a jerk but now his comment makes sence.

      You can’t be lead on, used, manipulated without giving them permission. Yes they are 100 percent responsible for their behaviour. But we are 100 percent responsible for ours.

      END OF STORY. VENT ON THESE POSTS WE NEED TO GET IT OUT. I JUST DON’T AGREE THAT THEY ARE AT FAULT.

      Nat says a relationship is about each putting in 100 percent and having both feet in. Therefore, if we stay when someone is mistreating us, we are 100 percent to blame. There is always red flags and it is our job to think enough of ourselves to figure them out.

      I told my EUM that I can’t have a friendshp with him at this point because I don’t like how he treated me. I also said I am 100 percent to blame for allowing him all that time to mistreat me. I am no longer going to let him do that to me. He can’t anymore because I removed myself. If I put myself back there then he can the choice is mine and I refuse to give him my power.

      BUT AS SOON AS I TOOK MY 100 PERCENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR PUTTING UP WITH IT HE HAS LESS POWER OVER ME. AS SOON AS I GO BACK TO BLAMING HIM HE GETS POWER OVER ME AGAIN.

      Whenever my friends come to me with their guys breaking up with them, and they received an answer they all tell me that was an excuse the guy gave.

      Nobody wants a reason for a break up because it all hurts. I have been the one that broke up with all my exe’s and none of them liked my reasons for breaking up with them. Most of my exe’s lerked around.

      People can’t sell stolen (hot) items without buyers. I once knew a girl I worked with who bought stolen items from thieves.

      One day her fancy tires and mags were stolen from her car and she complained to me. I looked at her and said Karma is a bitch, you are a part of the hot market, I guess it was your time to contribute. She looked at me and said yeah I guess your right. THE HARSH TRUTH HURTS RIGHT!!!

      YES LADIES THESE GUYS SHOULD’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN. HAS OUR COMPLAINING STOP THEM. NOPE!!! DID THEY FIND NEW FALL BACK GIRLS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF, YES INDEED.

      SO WHAT IS THE LESSON OF TODAY, TO STOP LETTING THEM TAKE ADVANTAGE OF US, BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER FALL BACK GIRL WAITING FOR OUR MEN. SO LETS NOT BE ONE OF THEM AND LOOK AT THE LESSONS WE NEEDED TO LEARN ABOUT OURSELVES AS TO WHY WE STAYED. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE OF THAT THE LESSONS WE LEARN FROM OUT MISTAKES.

      LETS TAKE BACK OUR POWER WE DESERVE IT.

      • MH says:

        Allison,

        I know we should focus on our behaviour that post that you replied back to was fearless’s I was quoting her own words by cutting and pasting her post. I was telling her that we need to focus on us. That is what most of my posts are about.. I have made mention to others that our theories are speculations. The only reason to look at their behaviour is to learn the lessons that we need to help us grow and to help us not make the same mistake again. So we don’t end up with another AClown. The why is sometimes helpful so we know what they were trying to pull on us so they can’t again. Otherwise if you read my other posts I am the one stressing it is time to get our power back ladies and stop blaming them.

        • MH says:

          Allison,

          I am not sure what post you were replying back to sorry. Sometimes my posts get posted somewhere further and I can’t see what direction it is following.

          Either way, I am not really focusing on them except like I said above only to learn lessons. i am the one preaching what your preaching. I have mentioned as well that I am participating in the speculation pool but for the purpose of looking at my own behaviour. You and I are on the same page. I just mentioned interviewing these guys as more of a joke or it would be interesting to get their perspective on their behaviours. I am not holding onto my relationship for the most part, I have moved passed it except for the flashback moments, which is normal.

  12. Findingmyself says:

    Natalie’s ending paragraph said it ALL!! Quote “f in doubt about someone’s actions and motives, the best thing you can do is put your foot down and press ‘Play’ and see how the relationship copes at a steady pace. If it’s already over, ‘Rewind’ the relationship tape and mentally play it back and you will spot the red flags.”

    SPOT ON GIRL!! Once you hit that play-back button, after distancing yourself from the AC, its like watching a moving over and over and always missing the same certain scene(s) that put the entire movie into prospective. How is it we were part of the “movie” yet missed the most important “scenes” that we were part of the “cast”? I have to wonder, if our relationships were a movie that we were watching, would we have noticed those scenes clearly?..or would we have missed them even looking from the out side in? Something to think about….

    • MH says:

      Findingmyself,

      I have thought of what you are speaking of and one point comes to mind that Nat has said is we can’t always know that they are pulling the wool over our eyes.

      Sometimes we have to experience a red flag first before we recognize it. It would be like being expected to know all of the names of our bones in our body without ever studying them beforehand.

      We are going to miss new red flags in the future and we are going to make mistakes again and see them in replay that is a part of life. We can’t see everything ahead of time, we do still have experience life.

    • Fearless says:

      Good question. I have wondered the same and I am pretty sure if you were watching your relationship as a movie you would spot the guy as a no-gooder in the first five minutes and wonder why the leading lady is such a twit that she cannot see it too! (You know those annoying cheap TV movies that are just not at all believeable because you think that no-one, other than a complete fool, for god’s sake, would ever, in real life, be taken in by that guy!!).
      Even big movies like Sleeping With The Enemy (Julia Roberts) and the old one, “Gaslight” (Ingrid Bergman) irritate me because the leading female characters come across as so pathetic in their inability to “see”.

      • MH says:

        fearless,

        So many of us are so hard on ourselves. You know deep down as well as I do, when you are in the situation there is so many other dynamics going on. That’s why outsiders can see what we don’t usually. Not always though and sometimes we see more than what outsiders see.

        • MH says:

          Fearless,

          I wanted to also make comment about your above post about intimacy. I couldn’t see a reply button there though.

          “Bear in mind the one major problem they have – profoundly conflicting fears surrounding intimacy and commitment; they simultaneously want intimacy and also fear it, hence the chasing and the running away, the pushey-pulley game. The best you can say for them is that they are emotionally retarded; they feel genuine anxiety about committing themselves to anything. They are riddled with fear and anxiety as they go about seeking intimate relationships, which they do want and seek with great gusto, but once the fear and anxiety kicks in, they bolt (and they know from the outset that this is what will happen, perhaps they hope that ‘this time’ they have met “the one” – but their fears are so ingrained with them that there will never be “the one”).

          I often thought this was the case but I realize with Natatie’s comments about trying to get a 100 percent outcome view on these guys behaviours or our situations, it is just one theory and doesn’t nececessarily apply to these guys, or at least not all of them or maybe none of them. Its just one theory that i don’t seem to buy into much these days, maybe I will change my mind.

          I do bounced back and forth between the fear of intimacy speculation and the lack of empathy theory.

          I was once in a philosophy class and the teacher put the following statement on the board:

          “A life unexamined is not worth living.”

          All my colleages started panicking thinking the statement said go kill yourself if you don’t want to look at yourself and what a negative statement they said. They were so appauled until I gave them my interpretation.

          As soon as I saw the statement I thought that is how my EUM lives his life.

          He makes fun of me that I examined my life and I make fun of him for not examing his life.

          What I am getting at is those that don’t examine their part in things such as in a relationship, don’t necessarily pull away because they are getting too close to us, they pull away because they don’t want us to expect anything from them.

          I told my EUM the difference between me and him is I am a nice person who has empathy for others. When a guy really likes me and I know I don’t feel the same way, I pull away when I realize this is the case and tell the person they are better off meeting someone who can give them what they want.

          Whereas my friend was leading a girl on and I was telling him he was jerk for doing so. He should let her go free so she could find what she is looking for. He didn’t listen really or he made another decision and it is his and hers to decide but that was my two cents on the matter.

          Bottom line is, it has taken me time to realize I am wasting someone’s time and I better get out of the relationship. I pushed them away by telling them I don’t have feelings for them like they do me. I have been called horrible names when I say the truth. I sometimes understand why these guys don’t want to tell us that they can’t give us the intimate relationship we want. Not giving them excuses.

          As far as the push pulley game goes maybe some of these guys lack empathy and they don’t have it in them to be intimate with us. When it comes time for that part to enter into the relationship they don’t know how to use that skill. They are not necessarily pushing us away because they fear intimacy it may be they don’t know that is what is suppose to come at this moment in the relationship.We know it is because we have empathy. They come across as withholding but really they are exempt of intimacy. For the reason that they live a life unexamined unlike us.

          When my behaviour isn’t examined at the moment I don’t necessarily know what I am doing either. I look back and say oh my I didn’t realize I was doing that I need to apologize or whatever. Their behaviour is constantly going unexamined and that is why they seem so selfish.

          • MH says:

            Fearless,

            In my playback movie I have five years worth of hindsight behaviour analysis that I can speculate on my eum. Due to the fact that we were platonic friends for that long before we got involved. So I can see things more objective because I can see a lot of non personal behaviour before I got involved with him and see his actions outside of myself.

            I think that the lack of empathy in them is the RED FLAG. I think I will run next time I discover that quality is in a guy. I want a guy who will examine himself so he can see when his behaviour is hurtful and he will do something about it.

            The push pulley game to me is like a guy who is impotent. When it comes time to make love he is all for it. When the sacred act is taking place his appratus doesn’t work despite his intentions. So in comparison with lack of empathy. He is all crazy about selling you on the relationship but when it comes down to put the effort in and fulfil the promise he lacks the empathy to care to follow through. Which really comes down to them being selfish creeps who are a waste of our time not some scared little boy who can’t handle intimacy. That is giving them too much credit.

            THEY DON’T CARE WHO THEY HURT IN THE PROCESS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ABLE TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO THEM..

          • Fearless says:

            I agree with much of what you say. The men that most posters on this site are commenting on do, as you say, lack empathy (this is part of the problem in the relationships most are talking about here) and they also lack self-reflective qualities – most particularly in their relationships with women (they know they are not good at holding down healthy relationships and seem unable or unwilling to figure out why that might be). I think they do know that they are uncommunicative and that this is a problem, but they seem to have no desire to rectify or address this issue.

            My comments above were referring most particularly to the Emotionally Unavailable character; many of the men discussed by women here may not be in that category; many may be simply just not very bright, very immature, socially inept, they may be just assclowns (though I have a more unsavoury name for that, which, in the interests of decency, I will keep to myself!), many of them may be narcissistic and/or what we call ‘players’.

            Yes, the men discussed are all different in many ways, but when we are talking about the Emotionally Unavailable man (or woman) their behaviours are surprisingly similar and alarmingly predictable.

            There is a good deal of literature and research out there which goes a long way to re-affirming the predictability of relationships in which one or both parties is emotionally unavailabe (people who are active commitment phobes, for example, are characterised by their extreme contradictory behaviour, hence all the blowing hot and cold. closeness combined with hostility etc. as they seeking and run from intimate relationships in equal measure).

            Emotional unavailability and the psychologists’ counterpart, active avoidant attachment style, are actually now quite well researched and well documented by psychologists and by writers such as Steven Carter and Julia Sokol who coined the term ‘commitment phobe’ after interviewing a number of men (and women) who had experienced chronic fear of commitment (emotional unavailability) in their relationships. Their book “He’s Scared, She’s Scared” is well worth a read for anyone who thinks they may be EU or who is tryiing to cope with or get over a relationship with an EU person.

            I think you are also right that people often do make up excuses for ending a relaionship becasue they do not want to hurt the person with the stark truth, which may be that they are just not that into you anymore or the cynic in me might suggest that excuses are most commonly proffered in order to cover up for the fact that they have already met someone else or have someone else already in mind (it is my experience that most people do not walk out of long term relationships to be by themselves unless their are serious and intolerable problems in that relationship – short term ones may be a different story). However, when the EUM ends the relationship he does not offer reasons, he does not offer excuses, in fact he does not even bother to mention the fact that he wants to now end that which was in such amorous pursuit of only five minutes ago; he simply disappears off the face of the earth without so much as a ‘cheerio’ and lets you figure it out for yourself, which at best is just plain ignorant.

          • Fearless says:

            @MH
            “THEY DON’T CARE WHO THEY HURT IN THE PROCESS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ABLE TO GET WHAT THEY WANT. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS TO THEM.”

            Yes, it’s all ‘a rose by any other name…’
            Just as I said, in a word: selfish.

            (i.e. EUMs are, by their very nature, selfish, self-centred people who care not a a jot how their behaviour affects the woman they are supposed to be with – and that would not be news to them).

      • MH says:

        Fearless,

        I know you made the point about them being selfish, I am sorry I didn’t miss that or anything. I was writing my posts in segments so they wouldn’t be just one long one.

        I was trying to get my point across about them not necessarily wanting intimacy so bad that they are just too afraid. I kind of believe if they truly wanted intimacy they would work on that aspect of themselves and learn to overcome it. I don’t think they run away at the first signs of love. I just think they don’t think that hard. I believe they aren’t capable of it to begin with because of their lack of empathy.

        Sorry for the contusion and misunderstanding that made you feel I didn’t see your points. I pointed out only the differences otherwise I usually agree with your perspective it is very wise. I just can no longer see them as hopeless romantics, instead I see them more like they are just exempt of love.

        • MH says:

          Fearless,

          Sorry found your second post before I found your first and I already replied to the second. So you did mention the lack of empathy.

          Here is another funny thing. I read she’s scared many years back like it was my bible. I bought the book again because I wore the other one out. I use to read this after my relationship with my AC from years ago and I was on a cp forum. I bought it again because of my EUM. I am the one that asked him if he was CP. My EUM adopted the cp name. My ex AC argued with me and never took to the label.

          I like labels and I don’t. I like them for the purpose you mentioned up above they describe predictable behaviour. As well as, they help with figuring out treatments or solutions.

          On the other hand, they can give people excuses. That seems to be why my EUM liked the label. I don’t care though.

          I have written posts on here that I don’t like blaming them and at the same time I do analyze their behaviour. For the purpose, I do feel it helps with seeing patterns, our own behaviours, and learning our lessons.

          Just like Nat says, she doesn’t tell us to look at our interactions with our parents for the sake of blaming them she suggests it for the sake of understanding and learning, so we can change things for ourselves.

          Some people are misunderstanding when I post, and thinking that I am looking at these guys to figure them out. I am mentioning this to you because I think you are looking at things similar to me. Your just mentioning their behaviours to help yourself from getting caught up in it again I am assuming.

          I could tell in your posts that you read some of the same books as me. That’s why I mentioned that I am not positive I believe everything Steven Carter and Julia wrote or I just don’t think it matters that much anymore.

          I have misplaced my second copy but by doing so that is what made me find Baggage reclaim. I kinda think it happen for a reason like I was suppose to get away from the theory because it wasn’t helping. It made me think he liked me more than he did and allowed me to hold onto him longer. Where as this lack of empathy theory allows me to let go of him.

          Someone below wrote there is no point in analyzing these EUM’s behaviour at all. I disagree because we need to make sure we don’t fall in another EUM’s trap again. I do however agree with not blaming them and looking at ourselves, which I do so I am not worried.

          I am not worried about myself. I am working through things very well. When I say something on here it is what I need at the moment. When I say well I don’t mean everything is going along peachy, I mean if I am angry I let that emotion out, if I am sad etc, if I want to vent and rant on this blog I am going to. I also am taking steps forward and backwards.
          Your post:
          “However, when the EUM ends the relationship he does not offer reasons, he does not offer excuses, in fact he does not even bother to mention the fact that he wants to now end that which was in such amorous pursuit of only five minutes ago; he simply disappears off the face of the earth without so much as a ‘cheerio’ and lets you figure it out for yourself, which at best is just plain ignorant.

          I do want to touch on this subject with you. Using Steve and Julia’s findings. CP’s can’t commit to yes and they can’t commit to no.” I believe in this theory because I do it in my own life. I disappeared on my EUM in the past because I wanted the choice to slip back in. The difference is I am not the one doing the bad behaviour to him so slipping back in worked for him. This was way before I found Nat’s blog and knew about this slipping back in.

          What I am getting at is if these guys disappeared on women here, doesn’t that speculation make the most sense. CPs/EUM’s want to leave because they know that people are coming to collect on what was promised. They had no intentions of following through on these expectations so they leave with no explanation in order to return if they so choose at a later date and they hope to press the reset button. If they don’t return they found some other sucker that fits their needs or they know you ain’t haven’t it and there is no point in coming back to you. Shes’ scared/ he’s scared meets baggage reclaim and it all comes together.

  13. Susan says:

    Again such wise words – I’m becoming so wonderfully clued up because of the simple and straight forward way that you express yourself, I understand everything with such clarity – and you really make me laugh!! I find I’m now seeing assclowns everywhere I go, all my friends partners, my sisters man – they’re everywhere just walking around doing their damage without a care! I do tell these ladies about Baggagereclaim – I feel it’s my duty, but you can lead the horse to water! :-)

    • Fearless says:

      @Susan, me too!!

      I have mentioned the site to one of my friends – she seemed uninterested (perhaps though because her AC has now gone and married someone else – long story – strung her along for years – cheating, good for nothing liar – came and went as it suited him – three women all strung along at the same time – then he disappeared off the face of the earth – and it transpires that he married a fourth “new” woman.

      I also pointed the site out to my sister – I showed her NML’s blog “12 Reasons to Dump a Man”. She skimmed the page, said that she could tick a good number of those reasons, then dismissed the notion of ‘doing anything about it for financial reaons’ and that was the matter done.
      I would though certainly point out the site again to any friend who was seeming to want help/advice – I think if they are not actually looking for advice, or for insight, they won’t want to hear it.

  14. Trinity says:

    Good God Nat!!!!
    Honestly I think this whole article nailed my last relationship down in a nut shell!!! The whole thing from fast forwarding everything, all the plans, all the family events, the saving for a place, the moving out, the 5 year plan everything !!!! THEN BANG!!!! Hot and cold, not meeting expectations that HE set up and it somehow becoming my issue?
    So I actually tried to slow the pace down which such things as “hey lets hold off on moving out and talking about it” and him just freaking out. It was very much like you said, this person could not handle it when things were at an even pace, he was for ever whirl winding around. Even if he said he wanted to just chill at home with me and be lazy, he would whirl wind around or get cold and strange! When I started to call him on his behaviour like his inconsistency, the hot and cold stuff, being overly dramatic and creating mountains out of molehills he did a complete 180. Suddenly I was left with a creep. Someone who suddenly decided after almost a year that he couldn’t commit to me? Even though he created all the expectations and BIG plans……. what a joke. Then somehow he managed to make it all my fault. Then I tried one last thing, since he seemed soooooooo overwhelmed. I tried us having a break, so he could clear his head, Instead he decided in his time out that everything was my fault and it was over. He was nasty and cruel about it as well by acting like a child and doing things like when we were on a break, we worked together, so at 1st when we bumped into each other we would smile and say hi. We didn’t txt, email, call or see each other. But to smile and say hi is normal after all we were suppose to be two people in love trying to make things works. Instead he would look the other way when he saw me, acting like a twat. Then HE insisted after ditching me and apparently none of his past plans didn’t exists anymore that we should continue as best friends. I tried; he acted like the same tosser he was in the relationship so I hit NC. Enough was enough! It has taken this fool 1 year and im not even sure its over yet, to leave me alone, getting in my face at work, insisting on friendship, giving me filthy looks and my friends, acting like an idiot in common areas at work, trying to make me jealous, staring, annoying me and then moving to my area.
    When I look at him now I see nothing but an absolute flaky idiot with very little to offer anyone and he knows it! After all that’s why he fast forwarded, I think he was worried id work out he wasn’t much at all, so he kept me perpetually busy and interacting with him, im talking all time spent together, constant texts, working together, constant emails and calls. He also kept me perpetually confused with his on and off and hot and cold crap. I kept thinking I know he is a nice guy; he just seems to get overwhelmed, so I hung in there. NOT SO, when he burnt out his true colours came out, lying, coldness, rudeness and being vindictive which is odd because HE broke up with me.
    It was the most exhausting, horrible, confusing, hurtful and deceptive relationship ive been in.
    He spent tones of energy trying to get me to trust him and move on and up with him only to sabotage the whole thing leaving me so confused I wondered how id ever move on.
    As Nat said at this point it caused me to seek validation, I thought it was all me ? silly I know but he tapped into a very old wound, abandonment.
    I found this site, I hit NC hard and I worked my butt off to grown from it all and learn.
    Now I find it’s been my epiphany relationship, yes he has issues and is all wrong for me but so did I that’s why I picked him and that’s why I was swept away.
    Now im stronger than I was before I met him, as hurtful as it all was, I had some amazing times with him and it can me a small picture window into something I wish to have one day, so Im happy I met him, because ive learnt so much about me. The pain sucked but im not sure I would have learnt with out it, unfortunetly.

    • Robin says:

      “Now im stronger than I was before I met him, as hurtful as it all was, I had some amazing times with him and it can me a small picture window into something I wish to have one day, so Im happy I met him, because ive learnt so much about me. The pain sucked but im not sure I would have learnt with out it, unfortunetly.”

      I agree. I myself recently got out of an unhealthy relationship and I used to wonder what would have happened if I had found a guy who was willing to do everything to keep me safe. I probably wouldn’t have known about EUMs and ACs either. Heck, I probably would have been the EUM/AC because I wouldn’t have cherished the guy who would do anything to protect me! >_<

    • allToFam says:

      Wow that really sounds like my ex. He actually got mad many times if I tried to slow down or didn’t answer my phone. I would always tell him I don’t have the time and I can’t have my own life if I am with him every second. He was very cold to me after he broke up even before. And when he got mad at me oh it was not fun. Do you think at some point they come back. Mine said he might want to get back together. I hope he doesn’t come back ever?

  15. Robin says:

    Thank you for putting a name to what my ex was basically doing. I think in the beginning that he completely misread or overreacted to all of my cues that I was slightly – but not very – interested, and at the same time he was very much emotionally unavailable. (Trust me everyone, that’s a very toxic combination.) So on the one hand, I felt that our relationship got physical way too fast and I didn’t know how to stop it at the time, and on the other, he was confiding in me about other girls he claimed to be into. Then I let myself get swept away, and I was one of the “Other Women” who waited long enough for him to eventually turn around and decide he was into me.

    Happily ever after?

    NO! An EUM/AC (and to the extreme, abusers) can be like a chameleon. One issue (him being into me) got resolved, more set in. Looking back, I actually started losing interest (because he wasn’t into me in the beginning) by the time he got interested. He’d keep taking my “love” and never really reciprocated where it mattered. He’d start belittling me (which I knew would eventually happen because he did it to other people) and showed that he would not accept our differences – not without a very unhealthy yelling match. Sure, there were good times, but there were just as many bad times.

    Then we had a major difference about hanging out at night. At first, we did this all the time, but we were in school and I knew he’d always be around. After we graduated, though, I lived back at home with my family and would always drive an hour to meet him near his house and stay til it got dark. He never argued with that and, instead of offering to come up to see me every now and then, always asked me when I’d go see him. He saw me, too, but it was at our midway point and never anywhere closer to my home. When I realized I hated doing that because most likely I would be going alone to meet him and I just didn’t feel safe about it, I spoke up and said I wasn’t going to go out to meet him coz it was late at night….and first he said he was ok with it, but when I said it again, he got mad and called me childish, said I was giving myself a curfew and limiting myself. He didn’t offer up safer alternatives for me and called me irrational for thinking it was unsafe to go out at night. I’m sure there were many more issues that culminated in this final argument (he probably subconsciously felt like I didn’t want to hang out with him…which to an extent was probably true), and if he had expressed disappointment that we didn’t get to hang out all the time without insulting me, we would have reached an agreement (ie., broken it off due to differences in values or came up with safer alternatives to hanging out at night). For his part, I feel like he agreed to something that wasn’t in line with his values, and certainly didn’t seem flexible enough to come up with different alternatives, and that’s why he eventually blew up on me.

    And I realized, I would have learned all of this and chosen to stay away if I had 1. told my college roommate to tell him I wasn’t around when he randomly decided to stop by my dorm and 2. decreased contact unless I ran into him or something.

    But it’s a learning experience and I hope to stay away from it for good.

    • Robin says:

      And looking at this whole rant, I feel so childish for letting it happen! LOL!

    • Allison says:

      Robin,

      Why were you always traveling to him?

      • Robin says:

        Well, to be more clear, he only came out to see me at a midway point, and never anywhere near where I lived, whereas I visited him 5 minutes away from his house! Looking back, I think it was a number of factors. One, I wanted to live in the area at the time. Two, it was probably more of an excuse to get out of the house as I still live with fam at the moment (yeah, the ex thing was very recent). Plus after he decided he was into me, he stayed that way for awhile.

        But we didn’t develop that emotional connection that I saw in healthy relationships. I had weaker boundaries then, so I wasn’t able to slow things down to protect myself. So I think in the long run, we really only had a superficial connection at best, and I constantly noticed how my feelings and perception were discounted (I admit, I contributed to this as well). The way I describe it is that when I had been in love with this guy, I gave my love out of my own free will, all that I had…and then he started asking for more. All the time.

        When I started waking up to what I was doing, I began to be aware of the relationship: red flags from him and how I reacted to the relationship in general. This next part is hard to explain, but I think it happened because there was a pretty huge imbalance in the relationship. Over time, any time I thought about hanging out with this guy, my body resisted; I guess my instincts were holding me back. Maybe it knew something I didn’t? And then after we broke up for the third time (yeah, I’m still working to be healthier, heh), my instincts would literally forbid me from picking up the phone any time I thought about calling him. These days I’m a lot happier and freer now.

        I’m pretty grateful that my ex was only one of few toxic relationships that I ever had. Most of the people I’m friends with or work with are actually quite friendly and respectful. When I did something that was different from what they did, they accepted it. I think that’s what helped to wake me up: I had an in-person comparison between healthy communication and unhealthy communication.

        • Robin says:

          I also didn’t know it at the time, but I think this guy fast forwarded as a way to get some kind of control and a constant source of affection; ie., the perfect woman who will not argue with anything about him and will keep telling him how much she loves him. Or maybe he wanted to latch on to the one person whom he knew for sure was slightly interested in him.

          • MH says:

            Robin,
            yeah it makes some sense what your explainations are, except you are focusing on what you did to scare him away. Nat tells us and I believe her, we didn’t they were going to go eventually because of the saying I quoted down below.

            it is like the saying says:

            “Why make someone your priority when maybe you are just their option.”

            We are probably merely options to many of these guys not because we are unworthy but because they are.

            Thats why you were travelling and making most of the effort. Deep down you knew he wouldn’t make the same effort and rather than argue with him and make yourself feel worse you put in the effort to make things easier. No point in giving yourself a hard time, it is what it is and your have learned from it and it served a purpose at the time.

            I was the opposite of you I required him to make the effort and it still came out in the wash the same as you.

            I LEFT HIM IN THE END AND MY INSTINCS WANTED OUT AND THEY COULDN’T TURN BACK EITHER AND I HAVE HAD NO DESIRE TO SEE HIM. WHO HE TURNED OUT TO BE HAS BEEN A DISAPPOINTMENT EVEN THOUGH HE WENT OUT OF HIS WAY TO COME SEE ME.

  16. Sally says:

    The “fast forward” behaviour is typical of your garden variety narcissist. Don’t let the short term flattery blind you ladies, deep down we all know better, and if you choose to ignore this behaviour and play along it will come back to bite you big time. My advice with these fools, “Run, don’t walk…”

    • jubilee says:

      thanks Sally
      Never knew any narc’s before so I wasn’t prepared for him nor ever duped by a married man. I remember growing up someone said to me….”one day someone very special is going to sweep you off your feet” I guess this only happens once, as I will see this as a red flag in the future and NOT a good thing. Too bad, but I see where I was mislead into thinking this was a good thing. Flattery quickly turns to contempt with the narcs.

  17. Wendy says:

    This has happened to me more than once. He meets me, he’s interested and pushing for more involvement right away, I’m not so interested and want to take it slowly. The less I’m interested, the more he tries to win me…and yet, he loses interest as soon as I decide that I want him. I finally learned to see the push to get involved quickly as a huge red flag.

    Why did I fall for this, again and again? Why didn’t I learn after the first couple of times? Well, I grew up with insults and ridicule from family and other kids. It left me feeling ugly, awkward, unlikeable. When a guy met me and began pursuing me madly, it made me feel so desirable! As Natalie said, “How much validation do you need?” Well, I needed a lot in those days! I’m working on it…this feeling of not being good enough, and craving this kind of attention to make me feel that I’m worthy. I need to feel that I have value, no matter what others think or who does or doesn’t want me.

    As to why these guys and girls do this? I know that I wouldn’t make plans and promises unless I intended to follow through. I wouldn’t make declarations of love unless I meant them. I wouldn’t….well, does it matter what I wouldn’t do? They’re not me. I was just assuming that these guys think and act as I would in relationships. Dangerous assumption. They don’t! They really don’t! I got into bad situations expecting that the other person was thinking or acting as I would have.

  18. Alex says:

    I just realized the whole two and a half year relationship I had with EUM
    was based on this fast forwarding manipulation to get the relationship to go his way. Looking back it seems as if he had this technique of fast forwarding so well orchestrated so the relationship would go his way from the beginning. I was also not as strong and confident in myself then as I am now and only getting stronger now he is out of the picture. The interesting thing about his past relationships is that he has had a string of relationships that lasted the two years as well, all ending with the “crazy” girl doing something he suddenly couldn’t stand and he walked out, leaving them. Now I see how I am probably considered as the next “crazy” girl in his long line of unsuccessful relationships,because one day I decided I wouldn’t tolerate his drunkenness, rude and critical behavior among other things.
    It’s sad I guess that this guy just bails when life or other people show him his true colors, and he’s not getting any younger or wiser.
    If I would have slowed down in the beginning and didn’t bask in all the attention he was giving me, that I thought was a great distraction and ego boost at the time, maybe I would have clued in on his fast forwarding game sooner and caught on to the problems with addiction, commitment issues, issues with women he had etc.
    But I learned a lot about things I need to work on, especially to attract the right person instead of someone with baggage that keeps transferring it to their next relationship, who needs that?

    • Minky says:

      “If I would have slowed down in the beginning and didn’t bask in all the attention he was giving me, that I thought was a great distraction and ego boost at the time, maybe I would have clued in on his fast forwarding game sooner and caught on to the problems with addiction, commitment issues, issues with women he had etc.”
      Exactly the same for me – i was a bit of an ugly duckling, got teased at school, i developed (physically) very late etc. Also, having attention from the ex EUM after being in a healthy relationship for 6 years that lost its spark and fizzled out (amicably) was intoxicating. Being chased, put on a pedestal and desired was such a welcome change after being stuck in a relationship rut and also spoke to all those insecurities from my teenage years – validation, validation, validation!

      I am much wiser now. I get quite a lot of attention these days because of the way i look, but i have got to a point where i don’t get carried away by it and have a somewhat cynical view of men. I’ve gone a bit too far the other way and am not trusting at all – i don’t want to be vulnerable EVER. I am working on balancing this out to a more healthy attitude. Thankfully i am now over the EUM, don’t care what he’s doing or why he chucked me, so that’s one less thing! NC is now a part of life and not a conscious effort.

  19. Michelle says:

    PERFECT timing!

    Went on a date w/ a british guy :) Love the accent! Will be evaluating him with Nat’s Assistance! :)

  20. Tallgirl10 says:

    This was why I thought my ex that I dated briefly twice for 1-2 months was an AC. It was not that he was not that interested the first time, it was that the second time he really engaged and invited me to something over a month away. Then he never mentioned it again. He was always texting me, like six or seven times a day for those first weeks and it felt like it was too much to sustain. It was like he “trying on” being a boyfriend. I even watched him switch off. He is not a touchy person, but had his arm around me for over and hour and then did not try to kiss me at the end of the night. It felt aweful. Then he slowly backed away. Less texts and then we saw each other a few more times. The last time he was actually mean to me.

    It is still painful. I liked him, and he didn’t like me. But at least that last time, I had the courage to tell him it was not working out. He didn’t put up a fight, he was like a weird robot.

    I sadly lost a friend over it as well, which makes it all the worse. My heart hurts more because of that.

    I ran into him and her a few weeks ago (not dating, just friends), and I am really proud that I said hello, but had the courage to not really engage. I said hello and had some minor chit chat that was weird. I said – have a nice night – and walked away.

    I did contact the friend because she was weird and had she blown me off after having invited me to something to see if we could resolve things and she never responded. Some friend.

  21. blue says:

    Hello! — i have posted a couple times to your other articles but am still very new to all of this and could really use some help in figuring out if i have a “future faker” or not. Any insight from anyone would be greatly appreciated as I am trying like everyone else to pick a healthy man and I think i may have just invested 2 months in a non starter again (oh well…… at least i am down to two months) — maybe not though —- hope springs eternal! But my gut says to run– i am a commitment phobe though so dont know whether or not to trust the gut. heres the deal: im 37, very attractive (please excuse –just giving you the scenario), just moved to a new town 4 months ago, met a 52 year old, very attractive. We have been dating solid for 2 months. Slept together 3rd date ( I know I know…….. ), sex was fabulous and he is very into it, always making sexual innuendoes but in flirty, somewhat tasteful ways, calls, texts, showers me with attention and compliments, introduces me to friends, he has a slew of friends that all seem to work at restaurants because he eats out all the time — hes never been married and doesn’t have kids, he seems to have a lot of women and a few men in his life that he “counsels” all the time on the phone, he knows how to dress and his house is arty and very cool, he is gainfully employed and has a rescue dog, he told me he loved me within 2 weeks — i told him i cannot reciprocate the feelings because that is a HUGE deal for me and something i take so seriously, i have been traveling a lot and he is getting annoyed that i haven’t been totally available (keep in mind it has only been 2 months), on one of my trips i was feeling overwhelmed and he texted that i just needed to come home and he would take care of me, when i got home i was too tired to spend the night at his house so i stayed at home the first night and he pouted — no doubt wanted sex even though i was totally exhausted from trip, i told him i am very serious about finding a partner and having children — he said he was open to that, then he asked me to get an IUD or birth control pills, he wines and dines me, pays for most things, has recently started talking about how he might lose his job in the next year — thats all i have so far. he has had a 4 year relationship and a 7 year relationship — the later was with a woman his senior who openly said she never wanted to have kids or get married. thats it! what do you think? should i run or try to slow it down and hang in there?

    • Allison says:

      Telling someone you love them within two weeks is a HUGE indicator that something is off-You can’t possibly know or love someone in that space of time. Do his actions always match his words? How does he refer to the previous relationships, and why didn’t they last? Lastly, is he always considering your needs?

    • Elle says:

      @Blue: From what you’ve said, I can’t see many red flags – unless the fact that he seems to be pretty set in a bachelor set-up (wining and dining, lots of female friends etc). But none of it, from what you wrote, seems alarming or sinister. I think, if you’re enjoying yourself and you can slow it down to a pace you’re comfortable with, at least stick in there for another few months. The first months of any relationship are usually a little dramatic (and scary and great) on some level.

      Look up Natalie’s stuff on Red Flags, maybe write down what you’re looking for in a relationship (and have an honest chat to yourself whether you’re perhaps being the jumpy one and projecting it all onto him and his alleged intensity).

      He does seem to be coming on a little strong though. But it’s hard to know if he’s been a future faker/ anxious type, or quite fairly excited about having a new (young and attractive) woman in his life. Future fakers tend to be more explicit about future plans and promises.

      The contraception and future job issues don’t sound too serious to me – the former sounds sensible at this early stage and the latter sounds like a reminder that part of being in a relationship is seeing the other person be vulnerable and loving and supporting them regardless.

      If you can pin the relationship down a little more to shared values and some common goals and experiences, that might help. Also – might be good to have a frank chat about your feelings/concerns and see if he responds with equanimity or childishness.

      But it seems to me that you don’t have enough information and certainly not enough bad information to do a runner! You’d be doing a runner for your own reasons, at this point, I’d guess. Good luck!

      • blue says:

        @Elle and Allison –
        Thank you everyone for your input!!
        Many great points were hit upon. Elle – I think there is definitely some projection going on and I have decided to slow it down, not jump to conclusions and pull a runner on my end. I had a very honest discussion about my concerns and he handled the conversation thoughtfully. He explained the timeline in his life and why he is where he is (not married, without children) — he also agreed that saying he loved me within 2 weeks was premature — that he was caught up in the moment. I talked to him about the contraception thing — acknowledging that it is obviously premature to be talking children with him but wanting him to understand that I do not want to do an IUD or pill — my body is very sensitive to hormones,etc. and I do not want to throw things off — he said that was ok — that we could continue using condoms, etc. for now. I also told him I want to take it much slower — he didn’t press me and seems to be accepting that that is what i need to do to build trust in this relationship. Other people responded that this could be sexual infatuation — I am concerned about and am watching for that. Now that I have backed off a bit I am wondering if his interest will wane — guess I will have to wait and see. I do wonder why he hasn’t run because I am obviously someone trying my hardest to recover from commitment and trust issues — why is he attracted to that at all? Because he has the same issues would be my guess but I do not see any signs of commitment issues on his end so I am trying to give it a chance.
        Anyway, I have slowed it way down, trying to give it a chance without sabotaging it and am very open about talking to him about my concerns –we will see where it goes. This man has a graduate degree in psychology and is quite tolerant and patient when discussing these matters.
        thank you for your input — I greatly appreciate it !!
        Blue

    • Grace says:

      I’m wary that he says he loved you in two weeks. Sounds like sexual infatuation and, at the risk of sounding ageist, he should know the difference by now! Also, pouting about not getting sex sets an alarm bell ringing. That’s the trouble with having sex early, you can’t now rewind and go back to holding hands. Too late to kick yourself over that. A lot of women in his life is a warning sign.
      The rest doesn’t seem very significant either way.
      I don’t know, keep you wits about you.

      • jubilee says:

        @blue
        I would second sexual infatuation. I had a roommate once that was so overly affectionate with all his girlfriends, and all his relationships were quick to be sexual and he was easily in love and they were quick to be over, but i never saw him depressed over the loss of any of the women. I saw him as flakey and his words hollow. Especially if you are beautiful I think there is a conquest factor for older men too. also could be in the middle of a mid life crisis and is enjoying the thrill of it all.

        I say take some time and slow things down, take a step away and wait and watch for behavior. It’s hard when you enjoy someone’s company and attention or if they are seducing you…but worth it girl. good luck.

    • Sweetie187 says:

      Hello Blue,
      Sorry but i see RED FLAGS GALORE!! This is why:
      1) He is 52 and you are 37. Significant age difference here. Sounds like he is willing to do a trade off for the purposes of his ego: By telling you that wants to care for you, he is basically trading his age for your youth. He gets an ego boost by being with a younger woman….and he is willing to pay for it (by taking care of you).

      2) He is 52 and has never been married, Why?? The average man of his age should have experienced marriage at some point in his life. He was born in an era where marriage (and kids) were the done thing. Sounds like an eternal bachelor to me! He reaks of someone with commitment issues. Watch out!

      3) He “counsels” lots of women. Why?? Is he is counsellor by occupation?? Again, this sounds like an ego feeder! And i bet if you were to look more closely into the characteristics of the women he puports to “counsel” you will find women who are significantly younger than him (and very attractive to boot).

      4) He declares his love for you in 2 weeks?? Errrrr, RUN LIKE THE WIND GIRLFRIEND!! You are being fast forwarded! In 2 short weeks, he cannot possibly love you Blue. Stop dreaming.

      5) He gets annoyed when you are unavailable and pouts when you are too tired to come over to him? Sounds like an over-grown, immature man-boy. It’s manipulative, childish behaviour. He’s basically throwing his toys out of the pram coz he can’t get his sexual needs immediately met. In other words, he’s not good at delaying instant gratification. That is what children also suffer from!

      6) Sex after the 3rd date??? And its fantastic too? Watch out that good sex is not one of your hooks, girlfriend! In my opinion you had sex waaaaaay too early. Again, you are fast forwarding and creating a false intimacy.

      7) He wants you to be on the coil (IUD) or on the pill? That means 2 things honey: a) Even though you’ve expressed a desire to have kids, he has no intention of having kids with you! (and you being on contraception means he can maintain the status quo so he doesn’t have to shoulder any lifelong responsibility/commitment to you and a kid, as usual) and b) He wants to sex you without having to wear a condom. Has he spoken to you about going for STI testing? I bet he has not. This contraception request is about his needs, not yours.

      Sorry Blue, but this is how i see it. Call me cynical, but hey…..

      I recommend you tread VERY VERY carefully.

    • MaryC says:

      blue….I don’t know, I Love You in 2 weeks to me that’s a red flag along with the pouting when you came home tired but what really stuck out to me was telling you about his job. I don’t know but when I read that it struck me funny like it was a set up for using you for money down the road.

      I say take it real sloooow.

      • grace says:

        I don’t think we should write someone off because of their age and not having being married. Lots of us are no longer spring chickens and most of us have dubious relationship history. Otherwise we wouldn’t be here. However, I think the COMBINATION of that together with his rash enthusiasm is a red flag.
        I could easily be written off because of my age and relationship history but I have had a lot of counselling and time to think. I can see where I’ve gone wrong. If I do have another relationship I would slow it right down and get to know someone properly before sex and declarations of love.
        The fact that he isn’t doing this, suggests he hasn’t learned very much. And, to be fair, the fact that blue hasn’t slowed it down, means she isn’t practising what she knows would benefit her.
        However, it’s still not too late to apply the brakes and take a good look. If he goes off in a huff, he’s given you his answer.

      • Elle says:

        Having read the other responses – perhaps there are some more alarming elements there than I had first gathered. I do think pouting about sex isn’t a good sign of character. My ex-AC did that. And there are some other worthwhile things to think about. But, on the other hand, I still think it depends on what it all means in the context of your relationship, in how he makes you feel generally, and in the context of his other qualities and habits.

        Definitely reiterate going slow, and having an honest chat with him if only to see how he responds, but I also think that you seem a little less than interested anyway, and so you might not need to make too much of this about him. You might not, in fact, want it to work???

    • Astelle says:

      Blue, don’t give your youth and beauty to this 52 year “old” man!
      I see a few red flags: he doesn’t want any kids or get married,
      I am sure he enjoys his single life. He “orders” you to take care of the birth control, one less thing he has to worry about.
      The job: what a stupid comment to make that he may lose his job in a year – we all can lose a job at anytime! Sounds like he will be “needing “your money or your place to live sometime down the road.
      Pouting when you won’t come over” Sounds like on his terms and times”, actually eventually everything will be on his terms!

      Your gut told you to run – RUN.

  22. jj says:

    @Blue

    52 no kids and never married. Ok this one is way too easy not to recognize. How about he doesn’t WANT kids cause for one thing he’s libido is probably too dam low to release anything. Secondly: any man that pouts about not being able to have sex with you is a BIG RED FLAG and put on to make you believe that you are the only one he’s humping knowing dog gone well you are not. He’s probably not married at 52 because he’s not trying to go there no matter who he’s wining and dining or was in relationship with 4 years; 7 or 10. Don’t let that pull the wool over your eyes. My ass ex clown was 39 turning 40 and he was having problems then getting it up. Don’t mean to sound bluntly but just keeping it real. Be mindful and keep your eyes open on this one.

    • MH says:

      Blue,

      THE BIGGEST RED FLAG I SEE IS THAT YOU SAID YOU ARE A COMMITMENT PHOBE.

      When we have negative behavioural patterns ourselves, we attract people into our lives that mirror to us our unresolved issues. That’s why it is suggested to work on ourselves before we get involved so we are ready and available for a healthy, committed relationship.

      When I read that early on in your post I was looking for matching patterns from your partner and they were pointed out in the above responses from others. The too soon I love you, and the pouting, birth control, etc.

      The other thing mentioned constantly by Natalie is to listen to our guts. Many people keep mentioning how they are confused whether it is their issue getting in the way or the guy’s issue. Thats the whole irony, if you have a commitment issue then you better bet your partner probably does too if he is sticking around and vice versa. Either way your gut is telling you loud and clear what to do so it is up to you if you want to believe in yourself or if you want to stay around for more indications.

  23. susiejay says:

    I really didnt like the look of my ex AC/EUM when i first walked towards him on our first date. with hindsight i should have listened to my gut feeling of being uncertain about him for some reason. He brought me a bunch of flowers. Second date he took me to dinner and brought me a nail kit. Third date, once again dinner and some perfume. He then told me he was going to ‘build my life around you’. Yes, i suppose this could be considered definitely as fast forwarding, i had not made my mind up whether to continue seeing him, especially as he went on holiday to Florida and i didnt really miss him, even though he phoned me up every day or night!

    These dinners, days out, presents continued and then after a year he asked me if he could move into my home with me. Being recently widowed i was not wanting to have a man live with me that soon and put him off. He went a bit aloof for a while when i refused his request, a noticeable chill was in the air but then he recovered and we went on as before.

    Time went by into another year and the expensive gifts continued, he really put me on a pedestal – i was ‘his girl’ (he called me ‘my girl’ when he introduced me to anyone). I used to be embarrassed at times as i am far from being a girl,but i never noticed he obviously didnt want to introduce me as his partner, girlfriend, lover etc. He used to talk about us growing old together and often said he would look after me should i be the one who became incapacitated first! Nice to know…..

    This, of course, was until ‘fast forwarding 3 years’ i recently discovered his woman on the side he had been seeing for over a year! Maybe there were more women i did not get to find out about? What a cheat, what a liar, what a shyster, and how cunning and devious to be able to cover his tracks so that i did not notice any ‘red flags’. And am i glad he did not move into my home.

    I have often commented on here and told my story, but i can honestly say i am getting over him. Yes, i do still have some down days and memories of better times together but take him back, or get back in touch with him – NEVER! The other woman, or anyone else he takes up with in the future, i pity because i believe he will never settle down with just one person.

  24. Jenn says:

    Hey Natalie,

    This is so true!!! I met this guy online about 4 months ago. He was really nice and after emailing, talking for about a month, we met up and had lunch. It was cool..I knew I wasn’t interested in him relationship wise but enjoyed myself.
    Next thing I know this guy is like…We’re dating exclusively, he’s so into me, he doesn’t want to see anyone else, blah blah. I’m feeling the red sirens ringing in my ears so I tell him I don’t feel the same way…and he tells me thats okay, he’ll wait until I do but he’s dating me exclusively **RED FLAG**
    After a second date he tells me, that he is TRYING to be the PERFECT man for me so that I won’t meet someone else and he can
    think of anything else to do to win me over (this is after a 12 hour date) ***RED FLAG***
    But when he told me that is was “So blessed and fortunate to have me in his life and he couldn’t just be my friend, because we met on a dating site”…I was through! Did I mention he told me this after only 2 months of knowing me.
    He is 8 years older than me and while I was seeing all of this red flags, my friends and family thought he was so sweet and a good man…they were like something is wrong with you!
    But I knew something wasnt right, he was just TOO eager..
    Finally someone understands how I feel..Good advice :)

  25. Ms A says:

    Very interesting posts and comments. A couple of things struck me. One is that someone was wondering how you can recognise red flags that you may not have seen before. I do it with my body. My mind can gloss over a lot but I ALWAYS get that sick feeling in my stomach when one pops up so I listen to those now. The other thing I was struck by is how much mental energy we use trying to figure out the “why” of it all. In the end who really cares? It doesn’t change a damn thing. I spent HUGE amounts of time trying to “figure it out.” I realized it was sort of like trying to figure out why snow is so cold. I was a lot better off spending some energy trying to figure out why I kept going out and laying in it and expecting it to be otherwise!!!
    I’m in a new place where I’m being quite polite and dignified when I show someone the door for Aclown behavior and it feels great!! I get to keep my dignity and not stoop to their level.

    • Elle says:

      Yep. I agree. I love that snow metaphor. Will remember that!

      The why’s are ultimately of little use. But I think working that out (ideally, very quickly) is a natural part of healing and getting better at life generally.

      I am also much better at showing the AC’s the door, just in one short, polite conversation. My last go was a little wordy, but it got the result.

      • MH says:

        Ms A and Elle,

        You have both seen Aclown behaviour right away and got rid of the guys before getting too involved? Besides using how you feel inside, how else did you recognize their ways right away?

        • Elle says:

          Hey MH – I am first to say that I can only see what’s going on because I learnt the hard way!

          In the three run-ins with EUMs this summer (no real ACs – ACs, I think, are distinguished by the propensity and capacity for genuine malice or repeated recklessness) the signs were pretty clear, like: 1) jokes about how useless they were (ie victim-minded humour); 2) mini tantrums/ inappropriate remarks about how they had to pay for dinner and “how expensive sex is these days”; 3) disparaging comments about exes or relationships generally. 4) Very good at the start – very good at self-presentation, slipping in tomes they’ve read (showing off), telling you their strengths, even forced intimacy through sharing way too much too early, looking into your eyes when it was not appropriate (to force your attention); 5) A general sense of entitlement – as shown in how they talk about the world as if it were a playground; others, an audience. 6) Wanting to keep everyone happy and entertained in social situations. Being stroppy if they’re not getting attention.

          These sound pretty obvious, but actually, the guys were all very articulate, fairly decent, even quite lovely people, so it’s not always that easy to spot, especially when you’re a go-getter and have some sort of delusions about your ability to bring out the best in people (as I am and do!). Plus, I have my own flaws, and because they’re a little damaged it can make you feel like they understand you.

          But now I am perfectly happy to let them go on their way. I am looking for a man as close to ready for a relationship as possible. Plus, I met a guy last night – won’t see him again as he was merely visiting for the weekend – and we chatted away really happily and we just enjoyed each other in a natural way. One STRONG vibe I pick up from EUMs/ACs is that they won’t let the enjoyment go to far, at some point, they will sabotage it, with, say, tasteless jokes, some invasion of your privacy or personal space, a sudden bout of quietness, a weird comment about their inadequacies or even just a sense that they find your easy nature, positivity and/or strength (not to be confused with aggression, which is not strength) off-putting or (in case of an AC) something to be quashed (though a quick flash of the eyes or a mild look of contempt). They just don’t want to let things easy be easy.

          • MH says:

            Elle,

            Would this sabotaging that EUM’s/AC do, include text messaging other people right in the middle of our conversations. Is this an example of the vibe your talking about. It drove me mental and is the biggest reason I walked away and couldn’t continue a friendship with him.

            My EUM would come over to watch the hockey game or something like that and it would be his idea to come over and usually this kind of activity was his idea. So I thought okay it is him who wanted to come over and he chose the activity so he isn’t doing anything really to appease me. There would be times I would tell him nah I don’t feel like company tonight and would not want him to come over.

            When he was over we would many times be in a deep or, engaging, or interesting, or intellectual conversation and we both seem to be totally into it. However, most times he would start answering text messages after a short while. I would tell him to go to the person’s house that he is texting or that it bothered me, or i would go do something else and now he would act like he is being ignored. I told him now that was one of the reasons I stop wanting to hang out with him anymore. I found it rude. He told me that is how everyone is and it is not personal. He does it with everyone he is with, even his new girlfriend now. But when I read in your post the vibe I wonder if that is something to look for in other guys as a warning sign?

          • Elle says:

            MH – Checking one’s phone/texting while someone else is talking, in my mind, at the very least impolite, but probably also a bit of a power trip, a way of distancing oneself from and controlling the conversation.

            I have a girlfriend who does this all the time – she does it in other ways too, like when people (not just me) are talking, she just gets up from the table and goes to the fridge. It’s evidence of narcissism, I think, but not the most malicious kind (ie we all have elements of narcissism). So from my experience, your EUM was telling the truth when he said not to take it personally – but it is his way of controlling situations generally, whether he knows it or not, and a function of anxiety – ie preferring the fun, superficial ego-stroking stuff of texts etc.

            BUT, this is all pretty irrelevant. What is relevant is that you told him it bothered you and he minimized your feelings and continued the behaviour. It’s not the worst thing to ever happen – people (friends, family, lovers) have their quirks and foibles, and we can’t let small things rob us of joy so easily – ie we have to be sensible and reasonable about the battles we want to have (and our own need for control and order).

            On the other hand, if it’s part of a package of things that make you feel bad, then it’s relevant. I wouldn’t see it as a universal sign to apply to all men/people, but, along with other things, it could be pertinent.

          • MH says:

            Hi Elle,

            I don’t mean checking his text messages. I mean stopping our conversations and then having them with someone else by text for hours while he is suppose to be spending time with me at my house.

            I tried to have several conversations with him while watching the olympics at my house, again his suggestion. He asked me each and everytime what was that, (I gave up and went and did my laundry and then he was upset I was ignoring him) because he was busy having a text conversation with another female friend of his.

            My friend did this to me this past summer. I took her for lunch after driving 4 hours to spend the weekend with her and she ignored me for most of our lunch. To text her aunt that lives down the street from her and who she spends everyday with. I told her how I felt and I was suppose to stay until the next day and instead I drove 4 hours back home after lunch.

            My friends that take a text or a call here and there is no big deal to me.
            One of the times my EUM called this summer I told him that she text the whole time we were having lunch and I drove home early. He said that is rude but not if it is here and there. I said well you did it for hours and he said no I didn’t I said yeah you did and I am done with you anyways so you won’t do it to me again. Yeah when you don’t see someone anymore they can’t do it to you. He said I still want to hang out with you even though I am in a relationship. You don’t annoy me, we have so much fun together and you know it. I said I don’t so sorry.

            As for my friend I declined her last invite to her house, so we will see if she does it again. I told her again that is was an issue for me. The rest of my friends think it is pretty weird and the odd one’s that do it I don’t spend much time with. The day before her Aunt gave her crap and said you are ignoring you friend a lot while she is here. So even an outsider saw the issue.

            It is all signs to me as emotional unavailableness. I have friends that say I have to take this call or text but it is so infrequent and they make it quick.

            Sorry I should have clarified what I meant. It is a big issue for me.

    • MH says:

      Ms A,

      I agree with the waste of mental energy on the blaming them theory, but not analyzing it at all, I don’t.

      We have to look at their behaviour from the angle that we want to learn more about ourselves, lessons that need to be learnt and making sure we don’t make these mistakes again.

      If we were to not look at them at all, there is no point in this blog, or blogs in general, or self help books such as the ones on here.

      What are we doing on this site period if we are not going to look at their behaviour.

      This blog and I agree is about relationships being our mirrors. We see in OTHERS our reflections so we can see the behaviours in us that are not working, and that are.

      I wrote a similar message as you but I finished it with it would be nice to see more of us on here sharing the lessons we learned from our relationships. Rather than who’s fault it was for the relationship and the parting.

      Another point is it does matter a bit because many of us on here need some perspective for closure. Otherwise, we would be like many of our friends that people have mentioned on this post that their friends are not interested in coming to this website. They don’t need to vent here like we do because they don’t need answers. Everyone of my friends asked me for answers just for closure purposes. However, like Nat says and it pertains partly to your comment. We don’t need to figure it out to a 100 percent outcome. Many of us do get caught up on doing this and can get stuck.

      I seem to be somewhere you are because I barely care why he does what he does. But where there was all day obsessions as to why he does what he does, I only have periodic inquries on the matter now. I can’t say if it is because we obsessed for awhile and worked it through to where we have learn knowing doesn’t change much. I think it does change things. I am watching my friends right now make all the mistakes I use to and I am not anymore. I tell them about this blog and yet they don’t go on and they continue with their huge mistakes,

      • Elle says:

        Answering here because I can’t reply to the above comments. I understood your meaning, MH. Read my answer again, I was referring to his ‘checking’ texts (or texting others). Probably should have written, ‘checking phone’ or ‘reading/sending texts’. Excuse the confusion!

        This is all getting a bit off-topic…but my hunch is that texting is only an issue because other things are not great. If a friend/lover makes you feel good and respected, then small, possibly very annoying things aren’t deal-breakers. Do keep in mind that sometimes people sense when another person is feeling tense and eager for their attention (or judgmental). They do things like check phones or act like arses, just because they don’t want or can’t cope with the intimacy, for whatever reason. It’s not your fault, by any stretch, but some people are kind of weird about social interactions. But, as I said, it’s all a matter of balance and context. My friend who always leaves group conversations mid-way to do something is brilliant when needed for other sorts of things – she’s great when times are tough, not so great when times are good! So I just know that she’s that sort of friend for me. It doesn’t have to be a situation of cutting people out of your life or making any grand statements about things, unless they are bad for you and you truly can’t cope with it.

        Anyway, this is not about the fast-forward process, so I will leave it here. All the best

  26. Robin says:

    @MH: You were dead on about why I visited him all the time. We’d have long debates about it, and eventually I just got tired of it. Our arrangement worked for awhile, bc as stated above I feel like I still had some benefit. But without respect (cue Aretha Franklin song of same name here), the arrangement wasn’t going to last long at all! It also helps when your friends and family have zero tolerance for disrespectful and unsupportive behavior; I eventually saw what they were trying to tell me. I believe now that when I literally didn’t want to jump out of bed and drive out to meet him, it was more likely because the arrangement wasn’t working anymore, the relationship seemed to grow stagnant, and I just got tired of putting in more effort in this aspect.

    MH, good for you for getting out and staying out! I think in both our situations, we want a guy who is worthy to be with us and who is supportive of us no matter how strange our viewpoints may seem to the rest of the world. Otherwise they’re not much of a bf, much less a friend.

  27. MissJamie says:

    Natalie, I have a question. Is there a difference between the following statements from a man? Do they both mean the same thing?
    1. “You’re too good for me”
    2. “I’m not good enough for you”

    • grace says:

      Miss Jamie
      They both mean “Run for the hills. I am going to let you dow. Consider this a warning. If you do not heed it, on your own head be it.”

      • Minky says:

        Agreed! My ex EUM used to say both, every single bloody time we saw each other – it meant exactly what @grace has said above. He will not give you what you want, either because he doesn’t want to or he emotionally can’t. He will, however, enjoy all the benfits of being with you, use you, drive you nuts, etc, but he will not take any responsibility for any of it because, in his eyes, he has already warned you.

        Them saying these things doesn’t mean that they acknowledge that you’re better, so they are going to try to be better for you, it’s just their way of covering their own backs when the inevitable disappointment and let-down comes.

        • Elle says:

          So true! (as evidenced by man of recent date who told me after kissing me that he was always better at being friends and hopeless at relationships etc, etc). Basically, it’s a way of making them feel less bad about their inability or lack of interest…because they’ve made themselves out to be poor little jesters, victims, if you like. You’ll get the rug pulled out from under that throne, I assure you!

  28. Sandra81 says:

    So, I must admit that I find men who try to FFWD you a bit creepy! Around this time last year I met this guy on the plane. He was about 10-11 years older than me, single, funny, with a good job, not particularly handsome, but definitely a nice company. We swapped phone numbers, and we kept in touch. But sometimes when we were talking or texting, he seemed too into me, although we had just met in person once. His texts were a bit too romantic for that stage of knowing each other: making plans for future holidays, telling me how much he missed me, etc…. On one hand, I quite liked him, but on the other hand, I felt like he was in a bit of a hurry with me. Eventually, we arranged to met up in town one day, and when we finally agreed on the date, he…disappeared! He never answered the phone, the e-mail, not a word… That was soooooo weird! :-O
    NML, is it my impression or are you generally minimizing the importance of passion in a relationship? I always noticed that in many of your posts. I believe most of us are “passion seekers”, especially when we’re young, and especially in the beginning of the relationship. We NEED to feel physically attracted to our man, and to feel “fireworks”: we’re not looking for a platonic relationship, or for the brother we never had. A guy can have all the qualities in the world, but if I cringe at the mere tought of kissing him, or of him touching me…I’m lost! However, I can tell from my own experience that it’s perfectly possible to feel VERY attracted to a guy who is NOT a jerk, or an assclown, or a pshycho! You CAN have someone who is the full-package. It’s not easy, but it’s possible! ;-) Good luck to everyone! xx

  29. Jellykitten says:

    Hi all;

    Just to thow a real spanner in the works here…! I think I may have just had my epiphany relationship…and by that I mean I have been aware of this pattern for about 9 monthsnow, and have been trying to be more clued up to he red flags but the latest one caught me so off guard I am now reeling…part of me is truly devastated…and part of me understand why it all happened and forgives both of us…

    It happened like this: an ex BF of mine from years and years ago reconnected about a month ago. We had had a passionate affair when I was 20 (and he was 23); then again in 2005 when I left my husband; we hooked up and he told me I was the only girl he had ever loved and wanted to leave his GF for me but because I am emotionally unavailable I ran from him…then when we got in touch a month ago he told me the same thing, that I was the only one he had ever loved and he was trapped in an unhapy marriage because after I left him in 2005 he had concluded he could never have me and so had married the GF and has 2 children with her, whom he adores. He told me the marriage was loveless (that is, they are great friends but no passion or love) and that both of them had been having affairs. I immediately told him I thought that was really unhealthy, for all involved.

    He now lives in the Middle East, and wanted to come and see me immediately. I told him I had my coursework to finish…so that weekend wouldn’t work, and also that I was not prepared to be an affair, because I am worth more than that.

    The funny thing is, to interject here and explain a few things, we are both so alike it is scary. And we have both acknowledged that we have some really powerful emotional unavailability issues; that’s why I ran from him in 2005; and what he was afraid of doing to me.

    Anyway, he told me how much he loved me, and I concluded I felt the same, and in the end I couldn’t wait to see him, he came for the weekend. We had the most heavenly weekend, taking care of each other, discussing our issues, and how we were going to work things out, his divorce, he told me he couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the children but his heart was with me; we concluded we would work out the logistics of it all in time, but meanwhile we loved each other.

    He then started to talk about buying property together as an investment (as we are both surveyors); I mentioned he would need to be cautious whilst getting a divorce bout buying assets; and so on…we agreed we would get married, and he couldn;t wait to have children with me…

    Since then, and whilst I have reciprocated; I pointed out to him I thought he had significant intimacy issues, which he agreed he had. He then said that whilst he loves me he couldn’t go into a relationship with me until he had sorted himself out, as he couldn’t bear the thought of breaking my heart. We agreed to him having some space to try to do this…but in the end it got too much for me and by last Friday when I was actually starting to have suicidal thoughts I called him and said I couldn’t do it to myself.

    He agreed, and we have decided to be friends for the time being, though he wants 2 months of space before we can really pick up as friends again. I also concluded this was for the best.

    The reason I have gone into this whole long story is to suggest that sometimes people demonstrate the same behaviour whilst understanding themselves and equally with no intention of hurting the other party – it just becomes too overwhelming. I understand this because I do the same with men who do pursue me, I did it to this guy, so I understand what he is doing now. I know he meant what he said about getting married etc at the time; I know he didn’t mean to deliberately deceive me…I have sought and sought love from men and when they have demonstrated they do love me I have run for the hills…then I have picked men who clearly canot give me what I want so I end up feeling like I am going crazy from the panic that I cannot get them to love me and becoming more and more needy until I drive them away (though let’s face it, they were never really there in the first place!)

    I hope that in the end this ex BF and I can work out a peace between us that is not so destructive; he said it felt like our worlds collided and we are dealing with the fallout. Perhaps despite the empathy we have for each other we can never be happy together because we trigger so much destructive and insecure behaviour in each other even though we do love each other (and we do, by that I mean care very deeply for and about each other)…I didn’t think I could be blindsided again but it just goes to show you have to watch the old patterns all the time….

    Thanks NML for your blog, without it I think I would never have got this far; and I hope it takes me into the happy and fulfilling relationship I know I eventually deserve.

    • grace says:

      Cut him off. I know it’s all connection, passion, drama, regret, loss, hot sex, empathy, caring, love etc etc at the time. But two years of NC and you’ll wonder why you even bothered. Even within a few months you’ll have greater clarity.
      Don’t bother trying to carve out a friendship, he will just reel you back in as soon as you start moving on.
      By the way, they always say the marriage is loveless or that she’s sleeping on the couch or whatever nonsense. It’s lies.

      • grace says:

        Excuse me while I get back on my soapbox.

        You say he “meant it at the time”. I’m sure all Fast Fowarding Future Fakers mean it at the time. I expect he meant it at the time when he made his wedding vows. If someone can mean something one minute and then not mean it, they are basically untrustworthy. Yet you are willing to wait around for two months while he gets his sh!t together (whatever that is) and be your, er, friend.

        Of course, it’s fine to change your mind regarding your favourite shoes or the colour of your bathroom but, really, is it the decent thing to talk marriage and then change your mind. And why? Because he is overwhelmed by his feelings for you?!! Please, wake up to what is happening here. A whole load of string-a-long crapola!

        • Fearless says:

          Jelly Kitten,
          he says he is EU and you think you are EU and he is living long distance and he is already married and he has children and he’s making fast forward promises he is in no position to keep and that’s just for starters… it’s a recipe for disaster. Stop cooking!

          @Grace, Is that string-along crapola some kind of fancy new spaghetti? Mmmmm!

          • MH says:

            JellyKitten,

            Grace and Fearless are right.

            Besides we are suppose to learn from History. If they can say they regret marrying their wife, or it is loveless marriage, or any other negative things along those lines, I have yet to ever see, in many other people’s situations as well, that they won’t do the same to you. They end up in one form or another doing similar things.

            My ex’s and I have all had good communication about our issues too, doesn’t make it work out in the end either.

  30. Nubienne says:

    This describes exactly my ex-EUM. Whats funny is when my heart was in pieces a few months ago he kept pushing for friendship I kept trying to go back etc the typical on and off dance where you end up with less each time and the period from beginning to end of the relationship gets shorter. When finally I was doing better and well and truly done and contact was made (he is safely miles away in another country), he now has absolutely no interest in me because he can tell I am not buying his lies any more. I’ve noticed these guy fast forward out of their own insecurities and fears. They are not interested in real feelings. The majority of commitment phobes and EUM are very very cut off from their feelings but they know deep down that they are up to no good, hence the anger they sometimes show towards the once object of their affection whether passive or active which is often just guilt being projected on their partner.

  31. Nicole says:

    I read this excerpt somewhere about Narcissists (sorry, can’t remember the source).

    “The Golden Rule says: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Narcissists break the Golden Rule without so much as a thought. Does this make them evil or oblivious? Your answer will determine how much damage they do to you.

    The easiest way to get drained is to take Narcissist’s inconsideration personally, to get upset over what they must be thinking of you to treat you the way they do. The most important thing to remember is that Narcissists are not thinking of you at all.”

    I have been in more than situation where I have tried to find excuses or reasons behind someone’s behavior. What I realized was that I was looking for a reason to excuse the other person, so that I would not have to face the reality that the relationship was not working, and that I needed to take healthy action for ME. This kind of thinking has kept me in more than one relationship for too long.

    • Jellykitten says:

      Hi again all; and thank you for your responses.

      I think the difference here with him and I is that I did EXACTLY the same thing to him 5 years ago; in fact, I was even more brutal. I just cut him off. And yes, I am probably a narcissist too!

      Indeed, I might venture so far as to say that, if he hadn’t ended it this time; I might very well have done if he had pushed me. Both of us chase chase chase for the love very quickly; and the minute we have secured it…WHHHHOOOOOSSSSH! running for the hills!

      I wonder ladies how many of us have actually done that to perfectly nice men (that we probably find rather boring) who have demostrated their love for us? Probably we have thought they were clingy; and anyway not very interesting and GOD so mushy…look just leave me alone will you?? GONE, in a heartbeat. (Perhaps I am wrong on this but I have ruined two or three perfectly good friendships with actually really really lovely men because they tried to get close to me and I panicked and bolted)

      I’m not saying that what this guy did is right; it isn’t, and what’s more it hurts, but I understand it and at least he understands himself well enough (but not completely) to try to soften the blow. Oddly enough whilst my feelings vascillate between sadness at losing my dreams and anger at him (and I) for doing this (because it does take two to tango; see recognising red flags) …”er, red flag??! Oh too late…! (me this is!) I don’t feel the urgent overwhelming need to contact him. This is new for me. Usually I will push and push for something until it is all stone dead.

      I know we’ll be in contact in time, when both of us have understood a bit more about ourselves and what happened; and actually I think by that point neither of us will want a relationship with the other because we recognise the harm we can do to each other through our intensity.

      Strangely I met a fascinating woman last night who is a therapist; and I explained how I had done a lot of work on CBT and therapy over the last 10 years to understand my own emotional unavailability and we got chatting about how self awareness is great but doesn’t CHANGE the way we behave…she mentioned that this is a system developed through evolution, that behaviour became instinctive (ie, escaping predators) learned early on. So, in modern times, we take the behaviour learned early on and it burns neuro pathways in our brain so that behaviour becomes instinctive; ie. before rational or even conscious thought. So if you’ve ever had that feeling of “well I knew what was going on, why did I behave that way again?” this would seem to be the reason why. Good to know I am not in fact insane!!

      The reason for this long response is to say that, yes, he is a future faker, but then I have been too. And the understanding that has given me has lead me not to hate him, I actually hope he changes his patterns and learns to become happy. I also think that this hurricane may have been the kick in the pants I needed to really break the pattern this time. I hope so.

      Best wishes to all, J

  32. allToFam says:

    This sounds all too like my ex. He told me he loved me and told me he wanted to marry me when we had only been dating for like 2 or 3 months. He told me I was the one and he wanted to spend the rest of my life with me and that I was stuck with him and that he would never go anywhere. Yet he couldn’t tell me why he loved me or why he thought I was the one, and actually got mad at me for asking and said I didn’t trust him. He really swept me up that I ignored all the warning signs. Like when he told me he was a pathelogical liar. He was very controlling and wanting me to be with him every second. I felt bad for everything. No matter what I did I couldn’t win. When things got hard or their was an issue he just shut down and refused to talk about it. Often he would just basically say get over it or try to act like there was not an issue. Needless to say we dated for 14 months and he decided that he was depressed and needed time away from our relationship and that we may get back together. Then he proceeded to disapear and block all contact with no explanation. Why is it that men speed women through dating like this?

  33. JJ says:

    @alltofam

    14 months should tell you something. He simply was not ready to be in a relationship. Men who are not ready do just that; they fast forward; replay; rewind; fast forward again until they have fast forwarded you completely out of their lives and sometimes they feel they owe you no explanation when they’ve done so. You can be in dating a man for 8 months; everything going good; but don’t mistaken that just because things are going well; that you are in a committed relationship because the truth of the matter is that he really may simply just be fast forwarding to move you out of his life. He wants you to think that everything is going well so by the time that he’s halfway out the door that you won’t have a clue whats occurred. I also want to elaborate just for a minute on a woman not having her mother and father in her life. Because when women tend to grow up without their fathers they are far more likely to depend and look for that void in a man who ends up being an emotionally unavailable one. Women without farthers get into these relationships with AC’S ASSCLOWNS; ETC; and the relationship goes no where. They are looking for too may roles from that one man. Just something to think about ladies….

  34. Takeitslow says:

    I hope you don’t mind me jumping in here for advice! I need some experienced and self aware women to get advice from. I have just started dating again after a relationship with an EUM. We split 4 months ago. I feel ready to date and very rarely think about my ex at all anymore. They guy I am dating now is a widow, we’ve been dating 3 weeks – known each other 3 months. He and his wife were together for 16 years and she passed away 2 and a half years ago after being quite poorly for some time. I am only the second woman he has ever been with and the first since his wife passed away. I feel sad for them both and don’t feel uncomfortable that I am in competition with her and he has brought this up and reassured me about many times – I didn’t even have to say anything and there are lots of good healthy signs he is ready to date. This guy seems so nice and seems to be the opposite of my ex. He thinks, he speaks and communicates about what is going on between us – he is a thinker like me which I like because it has actually stopped me from worrying so much because it feels he has sensibly thought through some of the thoughts I had started to have already. I believe he is ready to date, certain in fact, but I am also a little scared that he may just turn around and say – no, I’m not. But maybe that’s just me being careful.

    So, as for fast forwarding… I am scared because his feelings for me seem so strong. I guess it’s understandable, he never thought he would ever feel this way with anyone again, it’s only happened to him once. I’ve had this maybe 4 or 5 times in my life. So he’s made up to meet someone he feels comfortable with, he likes me a lot! I find it hard to believe he likes me so much and I don’t know if that is self esteem on my part or a red flag on his part about how much he likes me. I wonder if it is just lack of experience that is making him go so headlong into this – (or I suppose he could genuinely like me a lot …right?) I’ve done this before and gone off someone as quickly as I was on to them. I do like him a lot. But I feel he is thinking ahead a lot. His thoughts are always followed with a statement that recognises it’s early to be thinking about it and knows these future things will only be if things work out. The things he talks about are things I have had passing thoughts about but he has thought about in more detail. I guess I am worried he is liking the potential of the relationship we could have rather than the reality right now. I feel I might let him down that I am not as great as he thinks I am. I feel my feelings could definitely grow for him over time. But he seems so sure about how much he feels for me. It’s like he can’t believe his luck. And in a way, I feel the same, we do seem to share similar beliefs and values so far, I can’t believe this is a man I’m talking to! I don’t want to blow this off, I want it to work – but don’t know what to do….?? I would say he is what I am looking for and pretty much matches what I want (so far of course). If this post should be somewhere else or not suitable for this subject no worries!! I thought that it is a crucial time where I am at where I could ..well… fake stuff – to him – to me – but I don’t want to. I just want it slower BUT I don’t want to lose him by saying lets go slow. Plus – what would I actually say and do to slow it down but still sound sincerely interested and slow it right down to a stop. It’s scary! My mum says – stop worrying and just go with the flow…stop over analysing… etc etc. I know I am analysing it but it’s because I am trying to get it right and not be stupid!

    • Leigh says:

      He’s analysing, you’re analysing.

      The good thing is that he’s recognising that the future things that could happen is if it works out. From what I’m reading here, you see that way too.

      At no time have you said he’s blowing cold, letting you down, is attached to the memory of his wife. In fact what you said is positive!

      What I get from your post is fear and disbelief. Believe in yourself and that you’re good enough and if you feel he’s good enough for all the right reasons then go with it – see where it goes. Just remember your boundaries, if he breaks any of them (and so far it sounds like he hasn’t) then say goodbye.

      Why do you have to tell him lets go slow? You are going at the pace it’s meant to go at. Do you feel comfortable with him and the pace it’s at presently? Does his statements reassure you make you feel that he’s being honest with you?

      I only see positive here. Saying that I think I would react the same way as you because I would want it to be right.

      Hope this helps *hugs* :)

  35. Takeitslow says:

    :) Yes thank you! It does help heaps! I think I might try and relax and see what happens :) xx

  36. kat says:

    What do u gals make of this? I put an ad on a popular website for a roommate, preferably a male senior citizen, who had a garage apt., etc. that I could rent reasonable, in exchange for cleaning, etc. A man answered who liveds about 50 miles away, which I told him was too far. He called here and there for the next few months, and asked if we could meet for lunch 2 weeks ago. We did, and got along great, I thought. I did not dress or act seductively, and we hugged after lunch and went our separate ways. He texted me last week and asked when could he see me again. I tikd gun a week from Sunday. I then texted, what could we do? Movies? Horse type activites? (he likes horses). He then texted back, “You can ride me”. I texted back, slow down cowboy, I have to get to know someone well first, that is just how i roll. He said, You don’t know what I’m missing. I did NOT text back, and still have not heard anything. Definitely his loss, or what is going on?

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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