When we use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to judge ourselves harshly, it's time to ask, where is the self-love?

Certain times of year prompt anxiety, comparison, and sadness in us. Each year many singles, as well as people who are in toxic relationships or who are at the very least feeling emotionally undernourished whether they’re single or not, spend a few months sliding from one Hallmark angst to another.

If you’ve been dreading Valentine’s Day and imagining that the whole world is paired up or living a better life than you, or that it’s only losers or people of a certain age, appearance, background etc, that don’t have someone to send them a Valentine’s card or who are in an unhealthy relationship, this is a good time to evaluate where your thoughts have been for the past 10-12 weeks or so.

From around mid-November until Valentine’s day, it’s as if we’re living in a fog where the media, TV commercials, merchandising stands, email newsletters, some insensitive comments and actions from well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) people in our circles, as well as our own overactive imaginations and inner critics, take us on 12 Weeks of Self-Esteem Torment.

Not only do some of us damn near cripple what little self-esteem we have during this time by using this period to benchmark of how ‘successful’ we are by comparing us to the imagery that we’re sold, but we also use this period as a series of triggers to re-engage in situations and with people, that wind up bringing more pain into our lives and eventually leave us with a Regret Hangover.

We slide from having Thanksgiving / Christmas / The Holidays anxieties and dramas, to then possibly feeling regretful by mid-December that we haven’t lived up to the picture in our head, to then either doing something in haste just before the new year and so starting January feeling deflated, or entering January with strong resolve and then backtracking and feeling regretful, to then thinking about what we want to be different this year while possibly stressing about whether we can make it a reality, to suddenly realising that the shops are filling up with V-Day related stuff and feeling down all over again as we dread Yet Another ‘Imperfect’ V-Day where we’re not being, doing and feeling what we imagine we ‘should’ be on that day.

We might get to this Friday and attempt to salvage a struggling relationship or give ourselves such a hard time that we reach out to an ex, or we do something like ‘collecting attention’ on a dating site. Friday will come to an end, there might be a Regret Hangover and then the fog clears and it’s, Jaysus! Have I been smoking crack for the past few months or something? We step off the commercial and yes, ego and insecurity driven treadmill, and we suddenly don’t have a Hallmark occasion to serve as a distraction from taking action and being present in our own lives.

It’s just the 14th February and for a lot of businesses, it’s a key sales and marketing ‘event’ in the calendar. Hell, I’m already getting emails about Mother’s Day, Easter, and I’m sure I saw something about Father’s Day too. Ugh. The kids think Easter’s happening any day now because Easter eggs have been in the store aisles for weeks. We only just got over Christmas! They have no clue about Valentine’s and I intend to try and keep it that way for as long as possible!

All those V-Day adverts and articles are there to feed into our insecurities and remind us how important romantic love is, which acts as a cue for us to spend money (or spend up our self-esteem).

I’m not into Valentine’s day and I’m not saying this from what some would view as the ‘luxury’ of relationship – even as a child I found the whole thing more than a tad bemusing. Lots of people writing cards to themselves so as not to feel left out and some showing off. I’ve had one secret card in 36 years (Isn’t that what it’s all supposed to be about?) and I must admit that in all of the reasons why I didn’t like me, how many cards I never got didn’t feature in there. Valentine’s is also the anniversary of The Time I Accepted A Proposal (because I believed that when a man asks that you should say yes) and Then Contemplated Doing A Bunk Out of The Bathroom Window of The Restaurant…

I’m not suggesting that Valentine’s (or other occasions) are bad and there’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying them, but if they matter so much to our sense of self, how the hell can we enjoy them?

At some point, we have to say enough to this BS, whether it’s buying into the hype or using these weeks as a basis for attacking our self-esteem. Enough. Is it really fair, to use Thanksgiving, The Holidays, Christmas, Valentine’s, the changing of the month, the changing of the year and the list goes on, as the basis of our self-esteem? The problem we have to address is the way that we allow external factors to have excessive undue influence on us, and we get to decide on that. Change the meaning, change feeling. Don’t let mid-November to mid-February turn you into somebody that you don’t recognise or like. The less you use the likes of Valentine’s Day as conditions for how much you will like and love you, is the more that you will see you as a whole instead of homing in on ‘flaws’, is the more certain you can be that you’re opting into situations from a place of healthiness as opposed to trying to escape you or have someone fill you up.

Take care of you. Love you.

Big squeezy hugs, Nat xxx

Your thoughts?

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites
First Name * Email *
Tagged with:
 

161 Responses to Have you been affected by The 12 Weeks of Self-Esteem Torment?

  1. noquay says:

    Ironically Nat, I’d forgotten all about VD until reading this post and getting an electronic Valentine from a local down and out ski bum who thinks he’s Noquay relationship material. Perfect; don’t even have to spend money on a stamp. Feb. 14th as of an hour ago was just a day when I have two meetings and need to clean and get groceries for house guests. Maybe I’ll walk my dogs too.

  2. Karen says:

    In January, I dumped my assclown for good, and with the energy I would have spent mourning the loss (thanks in part to You, Natalie) I spent it instead reading up on and putting into practice building my self esteem, setting new core values and boundaries.
    I journaled my ass off, re-read it, and saw once and for all how looking to others to fill me with love has never worked and will never work.
    Now I am learning to love myself, on a dating hiatus, and sending notes to everyone I love who has loved me back over the years… platonically, I mean. The notes express my gratitude and then I describe how and when they’ve shown me they care and what it has meant to me.
    As for Valentine’s evening, I’m spending it with my best friend and we agreed to do all the traditional Valentine’s stuff like a gourmet dinner, chocolates and flowers-and everything else but shag ourselves to sleep.
    We are both convinced that spending a day of love without drama or expectations will be the best VD we’ve had in ages.
    ;)

  3. TrustUR_intuition says:

    Natalie, you are such a mind reader (which I am sure you get a lot) But really!

    I needed this today. Here I am studying and trying my best to focus on my paper and to leave behind any other thoughts that lead me to judge myself way too harshly. Trust me, I have way too many of those. Last night, I could hardly go to bed, thoughts of ‘I am not good enough,’ ‘I am not where I want to be in my life’ ‘I wasted so many years doing god knows what’ swirling around my head. I have so many insecurities about my own life and my own worth I was def being way too harsh on myself, not feeling good enough and thinking that somehow the universe has it out for me because bad things continue to happen to me (I will not bore you all with details, but they involve death in the family, someone I like breaking up with me, and me ignoring my academic work for far too long). I was really throwing myself a nice pity-party last night. Today, sitting in front of my computer forcing myself to do work, it dawned on me that all of these feelings perhaps have something to do with the over commercialized holiday of valentines day that will send any single person into a maelstrom of ‘where is my life heading’? The other day, a woman I used to work with asked me when I was getting married. Mind you she is not anyone to be asking me about this, since she is the epitome herself of unhealthy relationships, but I digress. You see ladies, in my culture being 30 and single is a curse and basically I am like expired goods at this point. I know, you could tell how much they revere women right? That part actually used to make me feel like bleh but now its compounded by an even more immediate fear: getting my life together (i took a long break from academia and basically need to get my shit together before my dept drops me like a hot potato). So Im back to writing after so many years and I constantly feel like im not good enough (I am not articulate enough etc). Its bee a really tough few months I must say.

    So, today, while I was venting to a friend about all of this, especially the not feeling smart enough, it dawned me that the way I think and write is what makes me unique. It may not be that academese writing that makes you reach for a dictionary every time you read a sentence, but it is how I express myself. And I will continue to practice writing. And that most importantly, while its good to question your life goals, was I doing this because I was trying to figure out my path in life, or is it coming from a more negative place of self-judgment and constantly comparing my chapter 1 (not written yet) to people’s published books? I think to be honest the society we live in does not help, and things around us are a constant reminder (especially if we are women) that we are not good enough, we are supposed to be at a particular place by a particular time (hence me being married, house, career and all that stuff that I actually don’t really care for but feel at times I should??).

    So today, especially reading this, Ive realized that my self-esteem takes a plunge also usually around days like V-day. So I am changing my thoughts like Natalie is imploring all of us to do. I truly need to love who I am and the person I am growing into. I don’t need to be anyone but me. And also V-day is just another day to love myself more, kick it back with some wine and a good book and telling myself: girl trust your intuition about jerks, don’t look back and keep it movin’ because you are doing great: you are just where you are supposed to be!!

    • oolala says:

      @Trust–
      I can sympathize all too well with this, and I know it totaaaaaally sucks. Since November I lost my irreplaceable and beloved grandmother, got unceremoniously dumped (by text!) by my hot n’ cold boyf, and have been struggling with the craptacluar academic job market. Went to buy a birthday card for a friend today and found myself scowling like a miserable troll at all the pink and red! Fingers crossed that things settle into a happy calm for you sooner rather than later!

  4. Selkie says:

    This year, I really could care less about Valentine’s Day. I’ve been single for a while now and to me, it’s just another day. I’ve been on strict no sugar diet, so I’m thinking I might just use this Friday as an excuse to eat some really decadent, caramel, sea salt chocolate and say hell with it for a night to celebrate my drama free peace.

    • Janiqua says:

      Selkie, love how you said “drama free peace,” as that is totally what being single is about when thinking positively! thank you so much for sharing!! and enjoy your chocolate!

    • EllyB says:

      Honestly, I think that truly HEALING is way more important than being with a man. I have yet to overcome my traumatic past: abuse by my narcissistic mother, 10 years of severe bullying at school, some quite toxic relationships and “friend”ships in adulthood and finally getting bullied out of my last job (after trying to resist/fight the bully for three years – a mission as pointless as could be).

      Now, in my new job, I’ve noticed that even the most innocent incidents can trigger horrible memories in me and send me in a tailspin of fear and anxiety: A slight disagreement with my coworkers (about food or politics or lifestyle or whatever), a small fight/power struggle, criticism from my boss, feeling the need to tell my boss that he’s about to make a mistake (because in my own field, I’m more competent than he is, which he has acknowledged right from the start) and so on. Once when a project was about to go awry because of somebody else’s poor contribution, I found myself crying in the bathroom, even if it turned out that nobody had any intention of blaming me for the failure.

      I’m slowly starting to realize that those things don’t necessarily mean “danger”, even if I keep thinking they do because similar incidents have led to bad outcomes for me in the past.

      On the other hand, maybe the new workplace (or the new boss) is toxic as well and I just haven’t realized it yet. Hard to handle this kind of uncertainty…

      Anyway, I think I have been like this for almost all my life: Constantly trying to avoid “triggers”, obsessed with being in control, and at the same time trying to please the most toxic people I ever met. Those people reminded me of my mother. I tried to “control” my mother by getting involved with people who were like her.

      No wonder I’ve always found myself unable to have healthy relationships. Post traumatic stress disorder is a huge (and extremely painful) amount of baggage to carry. It severely limits our ability to interact with other people in a healthy way. Toxic relationship “crack” numbs the pain for a while. Unfortunately, it makes the pain worse in the long run.

  5. Lorraine says:

    Valentines Day… I always thought VD was so stupid, I’m not really a romantic person and dislike anything too mushy. Mushy cards annoy me. I usually buy “funny” cards for most occasions that I’m forced to buy a card for.

    This year, I thought I would fall apart with all thats happened in the last few months. I’m not though. Today I shopped with my son for candy and a card to give his little girlfriend. It was fun. I felt happy that I didn’t have to be picking out a card to give the AC.

    The past five years with the AC, I got phone calls and texts on VD for the first two years. He was working, had his kids over, etc. Year three we were broken up and I got an email with Happy VD!!!!! Seriously! He didn’t even type out Valentines Day. I didn’t respond! Year four he took me to the movies in the afternoon when he had to go in to work that night and made it seem like he was rearranging his entire life for me because of VD. And last year, I believe I got a Teddy Bear and balloon.

    So, looking back over the past five years, I really should be happy that at least I won’t be disappointed. Just a stupid holiday that makes women crazy for 24 hours.

    These EU ACs hate Valentines Day. It must make them have anxiety attacks from either having to show emotion or panic about how they can make all their “options” happy. Such idiots, not worth our angst on this ridiculous holiday.

    Hugs to all of you. We all could be each other’s Valentine.

    • JOANNE N. says:

      Hi Lorraine, I am just new to this site and it has been like somehow I magically found it when I needed it most. Your story is so well written and that business of emailing HAPPY VD made me just fall over!! You are right, ACs all over the world hate “VD” because its one of those special days where their Assclownery is very hard to hide. My
      best one ever was a guy I dated for about 4 months who gave me a little perfumed drawer sachet. Very sweet, except I had given it
      to his mom for Christmas, and he found it
      at her place and gave it unknowingly to me
      for “VD”. I knew it was the same one
      because it was handcrafted by me! It showed me what an “effort” this all must have been to him. Your little son sounds like the best Valentine ever. Happy Valentine’s Day Lorraine!! You deserve the full words typed out!

      • Lorraine says:

        Joanne,
        Thank you for your response. That is too funny about the perfumed sachet. These guys rarely display any effort, and when they do, they make it seem like they moved heaven and earth.

        I’m realizing just how pathetic they are though. At least the AC I was with is. He is a miserable human being and no matter who or how many women he’s with at the moment, he is still miserable and most likely making them miserable.

        I’m sort of smiling this morning because I know he’s probably in a state of high anxiety today and the woman or possibly women he’s with right now, will most definitely be disappointed today.

        Happy Valentines Day to you too Joanne!

      • Ellie says:

        Oh lord what a cheapskate! I remember one ex when I was eighteen, gave me a bunch of wild flowers and grasses he randomly picked. He became an ex pretty soon after. My recent AC is now broadcasting his new “love ” all over Facebook and made a show for V Day of the pair of them kissing each other, her holding a cuddly bear he must’ve bought her. I’m in a new relationship now, but it’s early days an we didn’t celebrate V day.

  6. Princess says:

    I don’t have a valentine this year. But who cares. I ordered myself a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries to be delivered to ME on Friday. Self love and happy Valentines day to me. :)

  7. Tracy says:

    Depending on whether or not it EVER stops snowing in the Northeast US, Valentine’s Day will find me at work with my zillions of ESL students ages 5-10. They will be focused on the end-of-the-day parties and making lots of things with hearts on them. This afternoon, one 9 year-old boy asked me if I liked chocolate, hint, hint, so methinks I might be getting a valentine! And guess what? I’m happy as a clam to be getting that. I have no feeling for Valentine’s Day, I always thought it was stupid in the first place. It doesn’t make me feel bad that I am single. Actually, these days I don’t feel bad about being single at all, I am happy to not spend my time after work on Fridays getting myself all tarted up for yet another on-line date, or when I was in a relationship getting myself tarted up for ‘boyfriends’ who wouldn’t ‘tart themselves up’ for me! Now I just go home, walk the dog, read, eat what I want, make my collages and plan for the rest of my life. Being permanently off on-line (I actually erased all my profiles before deleting as some will keep your profile in case you decide to wimp out and rejoin…) is LIBERATING. No more ‘checking things out’ to see what’s out there…just in case…just leads to more self-doubt, worry, angst, all that bad shit and feelings that got me involved with all those on-line assclowns in the first place.

    And even if there is no school on Friday, and I don’t get those ‘hint, hint’ chocolates, I get to drive out to the mid-west this weekend to see my kids at their colleges and get some real love!

  8. Able says:

    Thank you for this! And though I’m not a hug everyone kind of guy, thanks for the hug too. Means a lot. Ladies and gents, get yourself some GOOD chocolate and treat yourself to some flowers on the 15th — probably be on sale.

    I never liked valentines day — too much expectation / let down– and now can ignore it completely.

  9. Sandy says:

    Meh Valentines Day has always been just another day, even when I was married my ex hubby and I never celebrated it, its commercialised and a waste of money.
    I can’t understand why people do get upset because they have no one on Valentines Day and to be honest if you do have someone and they only show they care on one day of the year because it is expected of them then woohoo he’s a keeper – not!

  10. Wendy says:

    Great post, like always! Thanks Nat!

    For the past 3 years I’ve been involved with an EUM. I made a mistake by staying friends with him for a year and a half. Our friendship has been exactly like our relationship. He treats me wonderfully, we laugh, we have fun together, have lots in common and then BAM, it’s like I’m with a different man. He becomes defensive with things I say and tells me I’m drama and I bring stress in his life. I know I’ve let this continue way too long. I still love him though. I want to kiss him passionately again, but he will give me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He tells me he can’t give me what I want and wants me to meet someone that will. But I love him. Not anyone else. I really love him. He tells me that no one has ever felt for him the way I do. He said he thought I was the one, but we argue too much. That’s where I feel like such a fool. If I just didn’t let him just be friends with me after we broke up, things would maybe have been different. Now he thinks we argue too much. We dont though. He is just too hard on me. He gets defensive really easily with me. I told him that he’s just saying that too make it easier on him for us to part ways. I have never felt such a strong connection for someone in my life. I told him I know that he will look back and realize he sabotaged us. Reflecting over the holidays I realized I did just that. I held onto him after the relationship because I am so scared to let go. I was scared of going through the holidays without him and now facing VD without him.

    I think or at least I want to think that I’m strong enough after our argument last night, not to regress and call him or pick up his call or answer his text, because I know by past actions, that he will.

    Our argument last night still confuses me. It was all over coffee creamer. I left a message if he could pick me up coffee creamer on his way home from work, since I wouldn’t be done until late at night and when I got off, I immediately called him and he told me he had just checked my message that I had left 3 hours before and if I wanted creamer, to go pick it up…I was hurt because I felt he was ignoring me and if it was his mom leaving a message, he would have checked it right away. He immediately got very annoyed with me and said he resented my comment and demanded an apology. I told him I didn’t feel I needed to apologize because I wasn’t criticizing him, but just felt that he didn’t give me the same respect I felt he gives his mom. He told me he’s tired of the drama. I was so confused. I really don’t believe I amddrama. I’m by far the nicest, sweetest girl he ever dated and we had a connection that was out of this world, and he sabotaged it all. It makes me so sad to have to let go. It tears me up inside, I feel like I’m drowning sometimes. Why has THIS man affected me in such a powerful way? I’m one to be happy alone, but he has affected me in a way I have never felt…

    • Lorraine says:

      Wendy,
      First of all, hugs to you. I know how you must be feeling. It is very painful to be in a situation like that, everyone here can relate to your pain.

      So, you’re not in a relationship with this guy anymore, just friends. However, you’re heart is still very much in a relationship with him and your expectations are there so you are in a constant state of hope and disappointment.

      This isn’t about an argument over creamer, you know that. This isn’t about you either. This is about an EUM who gets defensive and sabotages your relationship every time he senses you expect more from him. He as told you flat out that he wants you to move on with someone else. Listen to him. You’re addicted to him, time to go to rehab…

      If you haven’t already, you must read Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl and also the No Contact Rule. You really need to stop doing this to yourself and realize that you deserve so much more than this guy can ever give you.

      You’ve allowed him to downgrade you to friend status, and you’re probably willing to accept FWB or booty call status eagerly. Don’t do it. Your #1 rule should be to never be #2.

      With everything I’ve been through with the AC I was involved with, I always made it clear that I would never be friends with him. When you’re in love with someone, being friends is like stabbing yourself in the heart each and every day. Stop!

      You need to break contact with him immediately and start focusing on you. It seems like the only thing you’re getting out of this “friendship” is disappointment, hurt, and destruction of your self-esteem.

      You deserve better, know that.

      Hugs,
      Lorraine

    • Stephanie says:

      Wendy,

      If there was ever a reason to do NC this is it. Please leave this man alone! I know you love him but he has already told you he dosen’t want you. PLEASE don’t ignore these signs as you will in for a long painful journey. He is not the one for you and if you keep pursuing him he is going to hurt you even more. I know your heart says one thing, but please listen to your brain. Good Luck!

    • ingrid says:

      wendy – I tried to be friends with my ex-Eum too. After we broke up, I lied to myself and told myself I could handle it. We fell into our ‘relationship’ pretty much by hanging out all the time and then doing fwb. I always had an illusion that the sex would make him change his mind about us, but after reading an article on this site, sex is just sex. At the end of the summer – he told me he was talking to someone and I did not handle it well. I realized that I HAD to take a break from him (we were friends first, and have always talked about remaining friends). In the 2 years we were friends and I was confused, I never could walk away. It hurt too much and I figured I could handle it.

      You need to walk away now. You need to cut contact and start following the no contact rule. You will never fully get over him if you keep him in your life and you will be hurt over and over again because he is not choosing you.

      No Contact is hard. It almost broke me in two at the beginning but it gets easier. You are able to start focusing on yourself, and at some point the rose tinted glasses come off and you finally see him for who he is, not the guy you saw so much potential in. I was always betting on potential and that my love could encourage him to change. Wrong. He will never change. He is focused on chasing a feeling and focusing on the wrong things….he is currently dating someone who isn’t even divorced yet and jumped into a relationship herself. They’ve broken up once already – and guess who contacted me right away? I told him no way dude. We are not ready to even try to be friends again if that is even in the cards.

      You have to be strong for you and realize that you deserve more then this. There is someone out there that will share your values, and adore you the way we all deserve to be adored. I don’t know why we get sucked into the abyss of these emotionally unavailable men, probably because we are a little emotionally unavailable ourselves.

      Natalie has great articles and books as does Susan Elliott. I bought her book getting past your breakup and its a great tool. Hang in there and I hope you decide to go NC!

    • Goldie says:

      I second what Lorraine and Ingrid said, you need to go NC with him until you’re over him. I am on week 6 of NC with my last ex right now. We tried staying friends, then he figured he couldn’t stay friends, but hoped to stay in contact, yada yada. He too was telling me to keep dating and not lose faith and that I would meet the right guy someday. Yeah, well, until he handed me my things from his place and walked out on me one day after our weekly date night six months ago, I’d thought HE was the right guy?! Anyway there came a point during our contact, when I realized that, because I was not over him, and because the breakup was still so recent for him too (even though he has a new girlfriend, I know for a fact that he takes a while to get over a past relationship – I should know – he was still pining for his ex-wife for the first six to eight months after he and I became a couple – even though he kept telling me he’d moved on from her, it was clear that he hadn’t), that our contact was hurting me a LOT more than it was helping. I emailed him and requested NC – truth be told, I’d asked him for NC before – but this time, I said it like I meant it. And I never heard from him since. And a part of me is still not over him, still misses him, and all the things we did together. But it is so much easier to keep moving on past that stage when you have no contact with the person, and no new information from or about them. I am confident that I will be completely over him sooner rather than later, and that is when I will work on meeting that right guy.

      I have a success NC story as well – the relationship I had before this last one. We used to be close friends before we started dating. I had to end it because his family situation had gotten too complicated. We’d planned to stay friends, but a few days after the breakup, he said something that rubbed me the wrong way, and I stopped talking to him for a good part of the year, deleted him from my social networks, blocked his email, the whole nine yards. I didn’t even know about NC at the time, or that what I was doing was called NC. It just felt like the right thing to do. Seven months later, very gingerly we got back into contact. That was 2.5 years ago and now we are back to being close friends – I just met with him yesterday, as a matter of fact. I am completely over him and he also says that he does not want a relationship with me. So I would say that 7 months of NC helped us both reboot our systems, if you will, and flush out all the residual feelings we had for each other. During NC, I missed him greatly and was in a lot of pain, and he tells me so was he. But then we both got back on our feet and moved on. Not being in contact helped our recovery a LOT. If we’d stayed in contact the whole time, airing out our hard feelings, complaints etc at each other, we could’ve lost our friendship altogether.

      I too recommend Susan Elliott’s site and book for getting through NC and over your ex. It has been a great deal of help to me since I started NC five weeks ago. It still hurts; but much much less and I am confident I will be out of the woods soon enough. Hang in there.

    • Meerkat says:

      Your story really resonated with me Wendy and I agree with what others have said. I also felt that the ex was the only person for me – I still do despite all the things that have happened. Just over a year ago he decided to move on without telling me, granted we had been apart quite a bit and he was playing games with me head but he did what he did. But he sees it as we had broken up and he found someone else – he also told me that I walked out on him a number of times. Truth be known I was trying to exist on a crumb diet and he was not offering me anything apart from great sex and nice times, when he was not sabotaging the relationship. This was compounded by a family situation that caused a lot of stress but I hung in there and tried to be supportive. All I can say is from the moment I saw him I felt something and had an on and off crush on him for few years (we sort of worked together and were friends. I was the one that made the first move and he immediately pushed that we get intimate very quickly. Anyway, over time he future faked, blew hot and cold etc. Eventually I started getting resentful because it did not matter what i did he always saw a problem – we did not get on in daily life, we were not emotionally in sync blah blah This really screwed with my head but I hung in there hoping he would see the light etc. Fast forward- his new relationship did not last and he blames me for this. I confess I did not handle it well because of how he told me (by text when i was booking my ticket to go to where he was)and the things he said to me. I made sure this new women knew what he did but I don’t think the end was all because of me. I have been working on my own abroad and have reached out to him over the last few months. He was pushing to start over again and I wanted to take it slowly and try and be friends. The family situation had ended in a death and I was worried for him. We met up,I was very nervous about this and it went ok, but he was cool towards me at the airport when we went our separate ways. This hurt but it reinforced that he hadn’t changed and that he just wanted sex, company and comfort. He actually woke me up for sex on the first night – it felt strange as I have lost a lot of love – I just felt sad. We still kept in touch and I was relaxed about when I would see him again – we met up for another week but call it a premonition but I felt that is was not a good idea. The friends that did know thought I was completely mad as they saw and dealt with my pain for most of last year. But….I still went despite saying I did not want to be seen as a good time girl (if I thought that I would not be in touch with you). So a week of meeting his needs and some of mine – no major arguments, some differences and irritations but considering everything, it was reasonably ok. He made a bitchy comment about me looking at work one night which I thought was unnecessary but then I also booked the hotels and organised the travel which I was fine. One night he got me to open up about my family and i told him some personal things as he kept saying that if we wanted the relationship to work we would need to be open with each other (he is a psychologist and I always felt he was analysing everything). He seemed happy enough so at the airport. When I asked the fatal question…I did not expect the public dressing down I received. I basically was told he probably would see me again in around 6 months time. When I was obviously not happy about this I got the “we don’t get on in daily life” again and “what do u want me to do? Marry you?, and if you think it is a fling, end it!” “My other relationships have not been like this” and to top it all off “I don’t know how your family treated you”. I was so upset, angry and embarrassed I could not even look at him. He then wanted a hug which he did not get a response from. I was so numb all I could say was have a nice trip and off he walked and I have not heard anything since. I then had to return to where i am living on my own feeling gutted. I have not contacted him and am trying to tell myself that he is dead. I wonder if it was a form of revenge on his part but then I am not sure that he would be like this.

      To get back on track – yes, why has he affected me so much for so long? Basically I became addicted to him and the drama with it. I became addicted to the feeling I had in the very early days when he only wanted me. I became addicted to the sex because to me that made me feel better about myself and i thought I could hold him with that, that he would see the error of his ways and just want me. He does not want me – even a friend would not do what he did in the airport. It really feels like he hates me and that I am nothing – that he knows when I will meet up with him for good times but I am not meant to have any expectations. He manages and manipulates it all -it is exhausting. I have left out a lot but suffice to say you may need professional help to get over this guy – I know I need it because I still get teary and miss him and wonder what he is up to. Soon I will be moving back to a country where I have more friends and where I was recovering nicely until I fell off the wagon. I need to stop and get healthy again.

      • oregongirl says:

        Meerkat. What a mess. I’m sorry for your pain. It sounds to me like this guy has a huge ego, and he likes to control things. He likes having you as an option. My suggestion would be to focus on you, yourself for 6 months. Get yourself to a counselor, take meds if you need them, hang out with girlfriends, and take up some new hobbies. Don’t be afraid to go out to dinner or a movie by yourself. Pay attention to what you need, and provide it for yourself. This is what I have done since going NC for 30 days and I am here to tell you–it really does help! Good luck to you and hugs!

  11. Janiqua says:

    Another great post Natalie! Thank you for sharing this!

    Despite the many years I have spent as a single person during the whole winter holiday season, I usually feel for the most part ok, but wishing I was able to share in the celebrations with someone.

    This year, I was in a new relationship since summer, and had really felt I would be sharing the upcoming holidays with my new boyfriend. However ,everything started unraveling around Thanksgiving, we took a break (his idea) right before Christmas, and then got back together right after New Years, only to find me single once again about a week later.

    It has been quite a bumpy ride, and as I have written here in the past few weeks, I have gone from many tears and not eating, to feeling much better, to feeling sad, and really wanting to talk with him. Personally, I will be so glad when Friday is over. I am a teacher and did celebrate with my students today, which was nice. I just felt that this was finally the time that I was ready for a relationship and I felt so misled…but as the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words…I now know to look out for all of the red flags that I seemed to push aside since he sweet talked his way into my heart, and I let my walls down.

    I am so grateful for this site, as I don’t feel so alone going through the pain of a relationship, and feeling fooled by someone who wasn’t truly ready for a real relationship at all.

    • JOANNE N. says:

      Hi Janiqua, You comforted me on my nightmarish story a while back and I want to wish you Happy Valentine’s Day! I had that ridiculous saga of the returning love of my life after 19 years, only to have him reopen my wounds, make me feel hopeful, then go full throttle Assclown. The other gals who replied nailed it as full on
      rebound on his part from his divorce. He
      has not called again, yet (yeah, I see how
      much I have meant to him all these years),
      but other calls (if any) will be NC.
      Despite all this processing of what is
      rational and real, this still stings! I
      will buy a mini bottle of sparkling wine
      tomorrow, Feb. 14, and toast us all!!!!

      • Janiqua says:

        Joanne,

        Happy Valentine’s Day to you too!! I remember your story and am so glad that you sound so much better and stronger than a few weeks ago when you shared your story here with us.

        I am feeling much better overall, but some moments have been hard. I did try to contact him, and even though I thought I was blocked, he answered the phone last week and started off nice and then became completely horrible and mean. I know I need to be solid with being back on NC, but it is really hard. I am just so angry with him for not letting me at least say what I wanted to say at the end of the relationship.

        As much as I do not like the old saying “actions speak louder than words,” it really is so true and something I need to realize whenever I find myself interested in another relationship. I am usually such a strong person on my own and have just been devastated but the promises and words this guy had spoken to me and I believed for some reason. It was almost like he was two different people, and it still hurts.

        We are all so much more deserving than what these EU’s can offer. Today is a day to celebrate ourselves and how far we have come.

  12. suzanne says:

    I am so unbelievably grateful to you for making your insights available to us. I can see clearly, thanks to you, that it was never about me. My self- esteem is intact. Thank you.

  13. LostInNYC says:

    This is me!

    I’ve had really bad anxiety since November. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and NYE was brutal. I self-mediated with Xanax. Not healthy, but it got me through it.

    I was reading previous BR posts over the weekend and it FINALLY hit me that I will be better off if I let this EUM go. I clung onto the hope that he’ll change for 7.5 months (he didn’t). I went from someone he’s interested in to a booty call. That felt really shitty, but I thought he’d see how awesome I am (he didn’t).

    I decided to not to initiate contact (i.e. text) him anymore. It’s only been two days, but I’m proud of myself. Baby steps right? I am not going to give him an explanation. Natalie says that No Contact shouldn’t be used to break off a relationship, but I was a booty call. So I can do NC without giving him a reason. Right?

    I realized that I can cease contact with him (not easy because we work together, but I’ve managed to dodge him the past two days. I’m scared for tomorrow because I KNOW that I will see him) and feel shitty about it for a few weeks or I can continue to chase him and text him and wonder why the small talk is so painful. Either way I feel shitty, but at least I’m doing this for myself. I already miss sexytime with him, but I always felt shitty during and after. During because I know that I only get 90 min max with him. After because I know that he’ll blow cold until he wants to hook up again. Feel shitty now and wonder if he still likes me and feel like I’m disposable and why/how he can treat me like this or feel shitty with him still in my life. In the words of Ms. Kelly Taylor: I choose me.

    Again, this site and the regulars have been a Godsend to me. Thank you!

  14. BriA says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I even took Friday off from work so I would not have to plaster on a fake smile and be “happy” for all the women who got Vday gifts. Especially so since, someone as “cute as me that guys flirt with” (their words) should for sure be getting something for sure. Sad, huh? And of course this is the time that those wonderful twitter philosophers remind you that if you happen to be single on yet another VDay, then you’re worthless, bad in bed, have no personality, have a hair out of place, put the wrong makeup on….you get my point. This VDay will mark 6 yrs. of me being single (besides those going-no-where “situationships”). I’m 28, and it’s hard to not feel a twinge of “What do other woman who find love have that I’m missing.

    • Rachel says:

      BriA – I completely understand where you’re coming from.I’ve been single pretty much my whole life barring 2 appalling relationships in my 20′s which both lasted less than a year and left me extremely depressed and suffering with anxiety.

      I turned 30 last week and have never been the recipient of a valentines card, gift, flowers, dinner, sex – NADA.

      I try not to let it bother me, but this year I’m feeling like:”what the f*$k is wrong with me?”, “Why won’t it happen for me?”.

      Is it so bad to want to experience VD in all it’s glory – even if it’s just for one year in your lifetime? Even though we know it’s just a gimmicky commercialised holiday designed to make singletons feel bad and couples feel pressure to conform?

      I know I’m not supposed to admit this, but I’d still like to celebrate VD with someone special before I die.

      • EllyB says:

        @Rachel: I’m in my mid-thirties and I’ve had only one long-term relationship (in my early twenties). I’ve gotten treated to some of the things you’re listing above (flowers, cards, gifts)… and believe me, they don’t mean ANYTHING if the guy himself keeps belittling you and treating you disrespectfully. And sex can be a truly horrible and humiliating experience if you aren’t with a loving partner. Considering that that I wish I never had sex (with somebody else) in my life.

        All those things are hallmarks (pun intended) and not landmarks of a good relationship. It’s the same with the classic white wedding so many women are dreaming of: Totally meaningless or even bad if the person you are marrying isn’t treating you well.

        • Rachel says:

          EllyB, that’s why I stated: “…I’d still like to celebrate VD with someone special before I die”.

          I’m well aware that the meaning is lost when it comes from someone who foesn’t truly value you.

          However, I’d still like to experience it in my lifetime. I’m only human!

  15. Gibby says:

    Ah yes, it has been 12 weeks of torment. Self-imposed by mind screwing myself. Trying to, “get through it.” Wanting to elevate and alleviate, all the while staying in a toxic marriage,18 years; and even worse, a soul crushing, self-esteem crushing, affair with a married man, 2 years. (Boy, did he ever look happy on FB, the last 12 weeks!!) So, yes, 12 weeks… of self imposed torment, hell. Luckily, the light bulb came on New Years Eve, and the sack of S..(400lbs worth) was left behind. BTW Natalie, Thank You for this site! Thank You for having the courage to say, “This is what I have done, and this is what I have learned.” … This is what you can expect if you keep doing the same, over and over again. Especially, when it comes to being ‘The other woman’ ‘Side piece’ ‘Homewrecker.’

    Gibby??

  16. Hope says:

    This is in reply to Wendy I have been living exactly what you write of for the last year. The relationship was completely one sided. Lacking in affection and respect. With every argument and tragic episode, I couldn’t seem to let go. We would argue one day and see each other the next. It became a vicious cycle.
    I’m not used to be treated this way and I don’t know why I continue to allow it. I’m seeing this person under the umbrella of a false friendship that is really a relationship in disguise, knowing I would like some indication that I would receive more and knowing damn well nothing will ever change.
    But still I go on. We aren’t speaking now and I won’t call or text but wait for my phone to give some indication that at glimmer of hope that there might be a chance that I will get that call saying hello.
    Eventually I know my love will dry up it’s starting now. It’s a slow process because the connection between us is strong but it’s not enough. I need and want more. In the end I pray that these feelings will subside but it’s so difficult.

  17. La Miz says:

    Broke up with a BF I liked A LOT right before Thanksgiving. Unavailable, but I still loved him. Still heartbroken.
    Seasonal Affective Disorder, kid/custody issues, depression returning a bit. Who the hell decided all these things should hit rapid-fire in the middle of winter? The hell?
    Screw holidays. Screw winter. Screw my assclown ex. Come on spring.

  18. Peanut says:

    Tonight while at a family gathering at the home I share with my grandparents my cousin and I got into an argument. She came at me with snide remarks and I faced her eye to eye and stood up for myself.

    I have two cousins who are a few years apart in age from me; we grew up together. They bullied me as a child and still verbally push me around often and especially when they see me getting stronger and healthier. They just continue to come at me harder.

    After standing ground with my cousin, I went down the hallway to the back bedroom.

    A few seconds later our uncle, who had been there for the argument between my cousin and I, came charging in the room where I was at. He was screaming and in a rage.

    I began shaking uncontrollably and searched for my phone to call the police while screaming for him to get away. He wouldn’t let me leave. He kept trying to corner me and continued to advance toward me.

    That’s when I realized my phone was in the other room and I had to do something else. I fought back with words and screams. I just kept screaming that I’d call the police and that I’d press charges and he’d go to jail if he put a hand on me or didn’t leave.

    My grandmother came down the hall and pulled on him to get back. Then I went back to the guest bedroom shaking and sobbing. My cousin came in to tell me coldly that no one was to blame for any of this but me.

    I went back in the kitchen where the rest of my family and uncle were and looked my uncle square in the eye and told him he had no right to treat me that way. At that point, all family members, he included came at me. I tried to verbally hold my own, and overpowered, I went outside.

    My grandmother told me I was making my grandfather sick. My grandfather told me I was making him ill. I told both of them I didn’t want that and that I needed to leave. I hugged my grandmother and she told me not to leave. I told her it wasn’t safe here and she said I was lying and dug her grip into my arms.

    I calmy asked her to let go (she’s near eighty, I didn’t want to hurt her by prying myself loose). She refused and started yelling at me. In sobs, I begged and pleaded for her to let go. Eventually she did.

    I left and got to a parking lot where I called a friend to tell her what was going on.

    She quickly told me to meet her at her parents home, which I did. She then drove me to my home at my grandparents so I could get my things, as I would be staying with her at her parents house for the night. I’m there now, unable to stop shaking and crying.

    When I walk away from my family’s abuse and distance myself, they find any chance they can to bully me, blame me and say I’m defensive and the one with the problem and that all they ever try to do is love me.

    When I stand up for myself they attack.

    My father is unavailable in addiction, my mother is dead. My father’s parents are the ones I live with. My mother’s side of the family lives half across the country, I have a feeling they’re not much better, maybe worse.

    This man (the uncle) has a history of violence: physical and otherwise. I’ve only seen one emotion from him: rage. Otherwise it’s like no one is home.

    He unpredictably goes from rage to nothing then rage to nothing. On the way to my car, I passed him (myself rattled to the core) and he had this 100% blank expression on his face while playing in the yard with one of my cousin’s small children.

    When I went back home to collect some things, my grandparents acted as if nothing had happened. I told them I loved them, where I would be staying for the night, and left.

    My grandparents are the closest thing I’ve had to parents; I wanted to continue to be there with them.

    • SoulFull says:

      Oh peanut, first off I want to give you a big hug full of love and strength…

      You made the mistake of standing up for you and yourself…dont you know you should just take catty snidey remarks?? sheesh…

      And dont you know that your grandparents jus hate having to call people out on their shit at their age, and its easier to show disdain with the boundary marker than the boundary buster? If you had only just soaked up that underhand abuse like you usually do, none of this would have happened and now we all have to look at the real black sheep in the family…oh ignorance was bliss, and you ruined it!!

      ahem….

      No-one likes the pattern to change, espesh not bullies with their own issues, how elese can they beat others down now to feel better bout their own low self worth??

      You did good, and you need to stay away from this toxic lot, even your grandparents who are unwilling to rock the boat at the expense of your self esteem…leave them to it.

      You are never alone.

    • Lochy says:

      Hi Peanut – just wanted to say that I felt so sad for you having to go through such a nightmare. I don’t pretend to understand the dynamics but absolutely no one has the right to treat you that way. You stood up for yourself and had your own back so hold onto that. It’s disgusting behaviour by these people but just because you were outnumbered and they don’t see your perspective, that does not mean that you were wrong. Just because 10 people in a room agree with something, doesn’t make it a truth…most of the time one dominant and intimidating person has an agenda, and the rest jump on the bandwagon to either protect themselves or further their own interests. Sounds to me like you’ve done exactly the right thing. I really wish you all the best, stay strong :)

    • Furry White Dogs says:

      *huggles* Peanut. It doesn’t matter how healthy or right you know you are it’s still traumatic to be the subject of rage and abuse and see others stand by. I’m not surprised you feel shattered.

      I’m so glad your friend was able to help you out.

      Methnks in future your social calendar should be very full whenever a family gathering is scheduled!

      Stay strong, stay true, love you <3

    • Anon says:

      They are trying to scapegoat you continually, unrelentingly, there is nothing you can do with these types, except go no contact, they have an evil agenda (that never changes). That is the secret contract of the toxic family. Sociopaths, all of them. I understand. No where to turn. What I don’t understand how God allows this.

    • Gina says:

      Peanut if this does not break the camel’s back for you obviously there will be more of the same (and worse) unless you just completely walk away from them all, to include your grandparents. My heart sickens to how you were attacked to say the least and blessings on your friend for being there and taking action to instantly provide a safe shelter. This truly calls for a major upheaval in regard to your life at this very moment. Letting things die down is not going to cut it anymore, please just walk away altogether. You had/have the strength to stand up to all the attacks (really admire your strength there) so I am positively sure you will continue this to begin a new life for yourself and preferably quite a distance away. You have one good friend to help kick-start this so please do consider seriously all the concerning comments given as boy your safety especially is no longer assured being around your family. Warm hugs X

    • LovefromNel says:

      Peanut, I was really saddened to read this. When things happen with those closest to us, our family – often the one pillar of non-judgement, love and support, it can make it feel like the whole world is against us. Just remember that there are people who love you and you aren’t alone. And that things will be better because they probably can’t get much worse. Try to focus on your art and piano at this point. Big massive squishy cyber hugs to you. Love Nel

    • Magnolia says:

      Peanut,

      I can relate to getting a dressing down from the whole family for daring to say that the man of the house was verbally abusive when he shouted, as if to threaten real physical violence, at a small child – the women just said he was “disciplining” the kid. It took years of being away from the family, and therapy, to understand that intimidation like that, and shouting, was the only thing my dad knew how to do to control someone when he felt he should be in control.

      I also had my aunt try to grab me to yell at me that I was unforgiving and unreasonable when I told her calmly that after she had hit me in public, that yes I still loved her but I would no longer stay in her house. She kept at me, trying to play my sympathy saying she might be depressed, then when I said something about having done work to address my own depression, she immediately seized on my “mental illness” to explain why I was reacting so “sensitively” to her “mistake.”

      Your situation sounds many times worse. Keep validating your own feelings. Trust yourself! Good for you for standing up for yourself to your uncle and family.

    • dancingqueen says:

      @Peanut,

      I am so so so sorry that you family is so incredibly aggressive and toxic. I totally empathize with that; my family is similar, or used to be before my dad’s last wife died.

      I went nc for almost 8 years. Honestly it was just pure desperation; I could not deal with their insanity and it was making me sick, physically and mentally, dealing with them.

      Now years later, I realize that my gut, at 26, was so RIGHT ON.

      I would encourage you to go nc from these people; they are unhealthy and my feeling was, if I had to be treated like dirt, to have “family” than it was just an illusion. Honestly.

      I get that it is sooooo hard to distance yourself from people like that but I would just tell your grandma that you will only be with them if it is healthy and you will leave immediately if it is not. I would never, ever, go in the house with that Uncle again, he is completely crazy.

      hugs and validations

      • Lydia says:

        @Peanut What a truly horrible experience! I hope you see that your instincts are being validated by everyone here. I am SO sorry that you are having to go through this. Your family is truly sick and you are right to feel threatened. I suggest too that you absolutely do not return to that house. Maybe when things cool down you can see your grandparents privately to visit/check in once in awhile. And preferably at a different location since the whole family seems to gather there.

        But you need to set a HUGE BOUNDARY and protect yourself first! I’m not sure how young you are but this is hard at any age, and I think you are in your late teens or early 20′s? Distance if you can manage it is your first priority. I hope somehow you can live elsewhere immediately. I also suggest attending CODA – Codependent’s Anonymous meetings (helps people deal with diseased family patterns of behavior), Al-Anon (helps families of addicts), and/or ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics (for people who don’t have alcohol or drug addictions themselves, to recover from their family patterns, etc.) These meetings are lifesavers as are professional therapists. The meetings can be free if you need to not donate, otherwise most people put $1 in the basket.

        I myself started ACA when I was 27 and it changed my life. My family is very sick – but not as violent as yours – so I didn’t see it as quickly/obviously. I now have boundaries with my family, which I try to respect as best I can. I much prefer my “family of choice” – my incredible friends and one of my sisters (and it used to include my wonderful loving supportive ex until he devastated me a few months ago ; ) I really hope you find even more support than this one wonderful friend who took you in, and build yourself a safe, loving, respectful and supportive network for your life!

        My very best to you!!!

        • Lydia says:

          And Peanut – don’t let your family have your new address. You can forward your mail through the post office. Contact them on your terms if you decide to do so. Change your cell phone number if you have to. You give yourself a safe place to be with no fear of intrusion. : )

  19. SoulFull says:

    This year I will be celebrating….because I have shown myself love with two ACs no less this year…longtermer got P45 and very recent ‘date’ doesnt even know hes jus been bounced for AC behaviour.

    I know others are in relationships but I also know that many are not truly happy with each other….give me my freedom and self love any day the week, not just on valentines! Im not gunna ‘settle’, would rather love meself and wait until I meet a man who has same values and beliefs as I when it comes to a loving, ‘has your back’ partnership. To be able to say that with a feeling of peace and strength not fear, is a very nice place to be.

    Love to you all, you amazing peeps you <3 xxx

  20. Tara says:

    Well this really helps explain my feelings lately since my breakup occurred at the end of November. Its nice to know its not just me. Great article! I am refusing to feel bad just because the media tells me otherwise.

  21. noquay says:

    Peanut
    Great job on walking away; what a horrible situation. Your uncle seems like a damned psychopath. Are you in a place where you can find another place to live? Unfortunately old folks like your grandparents will not be able to see (or want to see) the damage and dysfunction in your family.

  22. Long distance says:

    Sorry this message is a bit long… Thank you for this article. I’ve been really struggling with valentines this year, as I was dumped only a couple of weeks ago by my long distance boyfriend. It seemed to be a very 180 move in his part (I had been to visit him only a few days earlier, met his uncle and cousins, his work friends, his home friends, his sister, been invited to visit his family by him at Easter and had booked a ticket for me to go out again this month), so I was absolutely devastated when he said he just didn’t see me that way, and that something was missing.

    I spent the next week so confused and hurt. We never really argued, got along very well and generally had a very good relationship with each other. I know messaged him far too often (was probably incredibly annoying) I suppose knowing in my gut something was wrong but also trying to compensate for living in different countries, and he said I never “told him off” – I just don’t see the point in arguing over insignificant details, and as a person I’m generally very easy going.

    Thankfully I found this site, and it has helped me realise that maybe it wasn’t all about me and how awful a person I am! He had been married before, and was dumped by his ex wife, only 10 months before I met him. At the point I met him, he had been rebounding heavily, lots of sex, booze, fun e.t.c. But because he pursued me, I didn’t think anything of it – I never took into consideration that if you think you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone, and that just disappears, it may take a little longer than a few months to recover from.

    We spoke once more a week later, and I told him that I didn’t think he was ready, and that he had reached a point now where there was not only no time for me (with new work and friends, a new house and flat mates e.t.c) , but also, just no need. I had served my purpose, and he just needed to focus on himself – which is by far the most important thing to do right now. He agreed, and said there wasn’t any time for anyone right now, and he was just going to focus on himself (perhaps just to be nice, although I hope because he genuinely did agree).

    Overall, it’s just been a very sad break up, as he is genuinely a really good guy – just, perhaps, a little stupid with some of his decisions. I’ve never even liked valentines day… I guess I’m just struggling with it now because i can’t stop thinking or wondering what he will be doing, or how he will act. He may have moved on already, might go out and meet someone for the night, or maybe he’ll go out and meet that girl that will make him want to be ready again. I realise it’s really not my place to be thinking these things, but I just can’t stop, and while living in another country is great for not having to bump into each other, it does make the brain go into overdrive at points, especially with social media e.t.c.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get through valentines when you’re just feeling a bit low?

    • oregongirl says:

      Focus on other people. Go to the Dollar Store and buy a whole bunch of valentines and little packages of chocolates. Go around to all the women you know and hang the treats from their door knobs. Send them to your girlfriends. Your mother. your gay guy friends. People who might not get a valentine otherwise. You will have fun doing it and you will know you have brightened their day. Friday night, get some yummy snacks and a comic movie to watch. After the movie, take a sleeping pill and go to bed. When you wake up, it will all be over. That’s my plan!

  23. Nat Attack says:

    I’ve never cared much for Valentine’s Day, so I’ll spend tomorrow night grading papers, and that’ll be fine.

    But the predicament that I’ve been in for the past year has made me reflect on love, and tonight I’ve been thinking about what it means to still have an emotional attachment to my ex. I couldn’t say that I’m still in love with him, but certain images or senses, like the sound of seagulls or a cold misty day evoke memories from our relationship, and it’s clear to me that I still have feelings, however nebulous they may be. I think that’s okay. I’m trying not to let these “feelings” scare me. For what really counts in a relationship is devotion, respect, admiration, commitment, and a desire for mutual growth. I feel none of these things for my ex at all, so the feelings I have for him don’t amount to much. They’re just feelings, and I suppose if I keep living life on my terms, they’ll fade in time. And when it finally happens, that will be an amazing amazing day! I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do. Probably, I won’t even notice, I’ll be too busy living, but when I do finally get around to realizing I feel nothing at all for him, I’m going to throw a huge party, invite all my friends, and celebrate.

    Or maybe I should just do that now…

    And whatever, I’ve never even liked seagulls much to begin with.

  24. Peanut says:

    noquay,

    I can’t imagine going back to my grandparents’ house. My uncle has full access. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of my things are destroyed by now. I don’t have anywhere to stay (last night I slept in my friends parents living room).

    I’m going to try and look for an apartment today. As much as it breaks my heart, I can’t go back to my grandparents other than to collect things. If I have to, I’m going to buy pepper spray in case he comes for me.

    I don’t use this term lightly but I think I enraged a sociopath. He makes my addict exes and father look like good people.

    I got a few hours sleep and am having problems not shaking. I am going to call my therapist’s office as soon as they open and see my college advisor as I’m too rattled to participate in my classes today and perhaps she would have housing advice. I think as many safe people that can know about this man as possible is best.

    • oregongirl says:

      Hi Peanut,
      It sounds like you are a college student? You probably have a counselor available on campus who can help you get through this mess and still stay in school. They can offer you a safe place to talk, advice, and suggestions about housing, safety, and so on. Good luck and stay safe. We all care about you soooo much!!!!!

  25. Peanut says:

    To those of you who responded to me, your words are what’s getting me up today so that I may do what I need to do despite feeling like I have nothing but pain left inside.

    • Nigella says:

      Peanut,

      Please know, you are not alone in your pain. I am not aware of your financial situation but do whatever you can to find a place to rent on your own. Making that a priority is most likely going to help you grow into a stronger and happier person.

      For now, feel the pain – and use it as a catalyst to initiate positive changes in your life. You rock for standing up for yourself – and now you can set yourself free from those that have needlessly blamed & bullied you (cousins and uncle) and betrayed you (grandparents). I am shocked by their behavior towards you.

      You have every right to feel incensed at them. Feel the pain and the anger – exploit these emotions to bring out the best in you. Distance yourself from anyone who treats you like a doormat.

      Embrace your independence: you are your own boss, your own parent & friend, and your own best protector. Purge any self-pitying or self-limiting thoughts that might plague your mind. Stay true to yourself – and allow the truth to set you free from any illusions others might feed to you.

      I am rooting for you.

    • Grizelda says:

      Peanut,

      Assclowns and EUs come in all shapes, sizes, genders and generations. They come in Uncle Assclown varieties as well as Cousin Assclown varieties. Grandparents can be EU just as much as teenagers can.

      But the one thing they all have in common is that you can’t change them.

      I’m sorry you’re living in a nest of assclown vipers, but until you can go NC with one, some, or all of them, just know them for what they are. Don’t let their predictably selfish behaviour come as a surprise to you any more. Don’t let their lack of support or understanding make you reel. They may be playing the ‘but we’re fambly!’ card to convince you just how Important They Are. But you know what? They’re just not that special. They’re just not that special and they’re just not worth getting upset over.

  26. ingrid says:

    I’ve actually been pretty bah-humbug about V day. the radio over does commercials for it and they talk about things to do with your significant other. Last year I was with my ex EUM at this time and its hard to not wonder what he is doing with the new EUW he’s seeing. He always managed down my expectations when it came to romantic things always saying “I am just not a romantic guy” blah blah blah Well, at least when he’s not chasing you down for your attention. He sent me my favorite flower at work (Not roses) and I honestly don’t remember what we did because I am not big on the holiday and didn’t want to go out on the actual day as businesses up prices and its very busy. To top feeling this way this week I saw my ex EUM yesterday getting off his exit to go home last night. I didn’t see his full face – but it was him. At first I was like holy crap…haven’t seen him in awhile and my stomach dropped but then I thought so what? He’s in his car…going home. He’s the same person he’s always been….and I brought myself back to the story my friend was telling me. I didn’t hear her at all for the beginning of it. haha anyway – I am not going to put anymore feeling/whining etc into tomorrow. Its just another day!

  27. LixNYC says:

    Thanks, Natalie, I needed this. I AM having an emotional week due to Valentine’s Day. It’s a reminder that I’m alone, and I’m thinking about my ex who’s now married and what he could be planning for his wife — perhaps a romantic weekend getaway. I need to stop wondering about other people, and focus on myself.

    • Denise says:

      Hang in there LixNYC. A lot of us are having an emotional week, too. Lucky me, I get to have PMS on top of it. :)

  28. Goldie says:

    Thank you Natalie for this post. I had not done anything for Valentine’s Day for the first 44 years of my life, including the 18 years that I was married – we both didn’t believe in that stuff. But in my last relationship, last year and the year before, February 13 was actually the day we used to celebrate Valentine’s, to beat the crowds, usually with a dinner someplace nice. Visions of my ex and his new girlfriend having a romantic dinner today (probably at one of the same places he used to take me) will certainly be dancing in my head all day today! Grrr… I’ll keep checking in here to maintain my sanity.

    Tomorrow, I’m spending the evening at home with my kids and my dog. I’m sure the dog will be super affectionate, like a real Valentine should be. It’s getting through today that I’m worried about. I’m going to a concert tonight and that might take my mind off the bad thoughts.

  29. Suntia Smith says:

    I totally agree! We as women have to be confident and learn to love ourselves unconditionally.

  30. Genki says:

    All, I’m a summer person & I think that seasonal disorder thang does affect us…..Fortunately I live where Vday is not really celebrated & it’s hot, but the self esteem issues can affect us wherever we are. I spent a few days at work trying to understand why someone was ignoring me & then realised they weren’t at all….my imagination playing tricks but thanks to Nat I truely believe it’s more about them than me. I avoid letting theses things affect me now & try to minimise the thinking time I devote. The separated husband has started to realise we are not getting back together & I think he may start to get difficult. I think a good person would simply say, I’m sorry I hurt u & I can understand why u don’t want to get back – but instead it’s cos he thinks I’ve found a new man (not cos of the things he did), I find it unbelievable that he doesn’t comprehend that cheating for at least 6 months, lying & being rude all means that a person likes u less!! I’m kind of put off relationships for a while after that experience but I’m loving life….it’s so simple now just my daughter, work, exercise & relaxing in the pool, I feel stronger than I have in a long time. Thanks Nat & all u girls.

    • Goldie says:

      Wow you are right about the seasonal thing! I love hiking and jogging on trails, and we’ve just had the January from hell, where it was either zero degrees Fahrenheit or we were getting five inches of snow a day, or both… I haven’t done anything outside since last year. And yes you are right it is getting to me – I was just thinking it the other day that I wouldn’t be so sad about my ex all the time if I could go on a good hike with my meetup group and get some endorphins and a good chat… like I’d done all fall and early winter and it was really helping each time I did it. Spring cannot get here fast enough!!!

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Genki… Its sound like you are on the right path and making good choices. I live where its freezing & snowing a lot. I am in a rut and feel like I go to work then hibernate. Go to work then hibernate over & over. But daydream about spring/summer and all it has to offer.
      Today I bought myself some Chocolate Covered Strawberries for V-Day..OMG they are awesome.
      Good Luck and enjoy your sunshine ..

  31. julie says:

    After lamenting and telling my tale of woe here with my very own EU/AC and over a month’s worth of separation after I ended it with him on new year’s eve, he decided to contact me last week to say how sorry he was, what a great girl I am, and how he wanted a second chance and to see me. he had all the time in the world to txt me, spend time with me, then once the weekend was over – BAM – back to the pushing away that is hard to tolerate. I wouldn’t mind so much if his behavior was consistent but it’s clearly not. he will obviously say/do anything to get what he wants and that is sex. he even went so far as to say that we’d be back together for valentines day. bullshit, he probably wasn’t intending on spending that day with me anyway. he has made excuse after excuse in the past as to why we couldn’t see each other during the week (he has to get up early for work, etc) yet he has time to go to a concert tonight AND have to get up tomorrow. plus, he said he wanted me to go with him and that he was going to buy a ticket last weekend when we were together. did that happen? hell no. then he said next Friday he was gonna take me to see a band and stay the night in a hotel. probably bullshit too.

    I made it clear that if we are to get back together we need to talk. we did, except I did most of it. I started crying and he got me a tissue yet did not put his arm around me, hold me, console me or anything. he told me that he can’t give me what I want yet at the same time wanted to get back together. wtf??? I told him all I wanted was to see him once a week and for him to be consistent in his treatment and not to say things to me that he may mean in the moment but not for the long term because it’s confusing to me.

    I ended it this am after noticing he reads my txts but doesn’t respond or replies the next day. excuse my language, but fuck him.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Julie… We have all made mistakes and fallen off the NC wagon. Pick yourself up & get back on it. From what you have written its obvious he can’t /doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship with you. Its hard, it hurts and our hearts get broken but if you continue to let him make the rules, stick around to follow them, well then you have no one to blame but yourself. Only you can stop the merry go round your on. Good Luck and stay strong.

      • julie says:

        Hi Kit-Kat, yes what you say is most likely true. he told me at the very beginning he’s hard to be with and likes to take things slow. how slow?? this is ridiculous. I don’t get how he could tell me he wants a relationship and come back after we broke up to want it again, only to basically bodyslam me to the ground with more hurt. he is a reclusive grouch who hates a lot of things especially seeing people who are couples and his roommate doing nice things for his girlfriend. he saw a jewelry store receipt on the table and of course had to talk shit about it. apparently someone is getting jewelry for V-day. they have been together less time than me and dirtbag. ugh

        Julie

    • Lorraine says:

      Julie,
      Your story sounds so familiar. Such typical EUM behavior. I know how hard it is when they contact you. That piece of your heart that is hoping this time will be different, surely he’s seen the light, realizes your worth, this time will be it! Why would he put you through this again if he wasn’t serious about a “real” relationship? This is what sucks us in every time until WE decide no more.

      He can’t offer you anything except pain and heartache. But you know that. Don’t buy into his excuses anymore. Know you deserve better than this. Being alone is better than constantly feeling not good enough or waiting for the other shoe to drop… It sucks.

      What I’ve learned in the last few months is that even though that little piece of my heart may always or at least a while longer feel this longing for him, it doesn’t mean I can’t move forward or get on with my life. I’ve finally given myself permission to move on and not wait until I have no feelings for him to do so. You need to do that too.

      Your EUM sounds textbook… Clearly can’t commit to giving you up or commit to staying with you. Can’t commit to a Valentines Day date for God’s sake! They can’t even commit to a long distance phone carrier – It’s true – My ex EUM couldn’t commit to a contract for his cell phone. Almost everything we did was spur of the moment. He could never commit to future dates, plans, events, nothing… After having been broken up for one month and having no contact, he texted me and asked me to go to the movies. I texted back “when?” He said, “now”. Seriously! (I said no) It’s almost comical to me now.

      You know you deserve better than him. Don’t let this stupid holiday make you mushy and soft – thats what he’s hoping for. Believe me I know, it’s like “if I don’t say yes and be with him, he’ll be with someone else and I so don’t want him to be with someone else”.

      Glad you ended it, he doesn’t deserve you. I know though, you’ll feel like you’re starting over with the pain, but each time we break NC, we learn more and realize what fools these guys really are. You are so right Julie, FUCK him!
      Hugs,
      Lorraine

      • julie says:

        Hi Lorraine, if he’s with someone else, god help that poor woman. frankly I don’t care if he is with someone else. I really cannot believe that I allowed him to do this to me. Yes, I missed him because we truly do have a lot of chemistry and commonality between us. he’s never gone this long after a weekend to be a jerk. he’s probably freaking out because of valentines day. he knew all the right things to say to get me back; he spent the time, couldn’t wait to see me blah blah blah. so wtf happened? all that good stuff suddenly turned south after I left and now he decides to push away? is he really that scared of me? is it me? is it him and he’s just emotionally stunted and EUM? hell I don’t even know any more. i’m on an antidepressant because of him. he tells me to get off of it because “he’ll take care of me.” if this is how he cares for someone…just wow. his words are just as empty as his heart (and head). my dog cares more for me, spends time with me, happy to see me, sleeps with me every night. seems the dog is the right choice here lmao.

        (((hugs back)))

        Julie

        • Lorraine says:

          Julie,
          It’s interesting, isn’t it. He can’t give you what you want but wants to get back together. Like all EUMs, he wants you back on his terms and basically was letting you know, if you lower your standards and expectations and never want any more than what he’s willing to give you, then you can be together. I give him credit, at least he verbalized that! My EUM would never talk about it, he just managed me down with his actions.

          I know how intoxicating these guys can be. I keep asking myself, how did I ever put up with this treatment for five years? It was definitely a chemistry that I never felt with anyone before. He made himself my best friend. We were best buddies and then lovers. I think thats what I miss, my buddy. These men have a crazy charming way about them that gets women sucked in. But now knowing what we know about EUMs, they are completely empty, shallow human beings, incapable of feeling real emotion for anyone. Its all about them.

          We are so much better off without these men in our lives. I’ve learned so much here on BR that if I meet someone in the future, if I see red flags, my tolerance will be zero, I have no time to waste on another EUM. Either do you!!

          Hope you remain strong and don’t respond to his calls or texts, especially today (VD). Have a plan on how to handle it and stick with it. You will feel so strong if you ignore this AC, especially today!!

          Hugs,
          Lorraine

          • julie says:

            Hey Lorraine!

            This dude is not charming at all lol I think he is a chick repellent. He’s 55 (I’m 56) but we act like youngsters together because we are both immature (him emotionally too tho, not me), we both love rock and metal and we are so much alike that it’s like we share one brain in two bodies. Many women aren’t into his trip yet I fit him like a glove. He knows this, he’s acknowledged it. As a woman Im able to express myself, feel emotions etc. He is the opposite there and I try to cut slack because of it and accept him for him but when I see him making an effort to do something because HE wants to then I get pissed off because I feel like I mean zero to him, or at least zero compared to anything better he’s got going on. I know he isn’t cheating cuz ain’t nobody want anything to do with his monkey ass haha. The fact that he’s weird and different is a turn on for me. I’ve never been into normal men or people in general. sex is great between us and when we spend a night or two together we are so mashed up and entwined after sex it’s crazy, and we sleep like that all night. it sends mixed messages to me.

            Have a great day!

            Julie

        • Janiqua says:

          Hey Julie, As I sit here with my amazing dog on Valentine’s morning, I am reading your posts and am thinking how similar our situations were.

          My ex bf suggested we take a break right before Christmas. It seriously felt like a breakup and I was a wreck. We had two weeks off, and then after the New Year began, had an amazing weekend. We exchanged gifts and had a wonderful time together. During that weekend, we had talked minimally and had decided to set aside time for each other every weekend. So, the next weekend arrives, and he doesn’t want to get together. I went over to his place and decided that we needed to end things, although he was the one who said it first!

          We had amazing chemistry and he said some wonderful things, but he was truly not ready for a relationship. For the past several weeks, I have questioned over and over again why he came back for that weekend…was it just for the sex, the companionship, or was he in the mood that made him think he could handle a relationship? I will never know.

          I am still sad at times, although my memories of him are fading now.
          Trying to focus on myself and my furry black lab mix today. Sending hugs to you!

          • julie says:

            Janiqua –

            Aww honey, I feel for you. These guys…they promise things and say things that they perhaps mean in the here and now, but the words hold no water and i’m not sure whether they forget what they said conveniently or what, but sometimes I think they say shit to get on our good side, perhaps with some intention, but nothing usually materializes. in my case, he does this with a lot of things, even stuff he wants to do just for himself so again I try to keep that in mind before I bust his ass for anything.

            every day forward is a day in the right direction, your furbaby will never let you down. mine seems to know I need extra TLC and has been cuddling with me in bed every night and giving me kisses. he is my little rescue mutt; maybe it’s his way of saying thanks. unfortunately for me, I got sidetracked in my healing. I am trying to put it all into perspective because I am guilty of letting my emotions get the better of me, along with assuming and playing connect the dots on what I think might be sketchy behavior but in reality it may not be, it’s how I perceive things. He isn’t doing anything but being him. I am the one reacting. therefore it’s all on ME. argh

            (((hugs))) to you and your doggie :)

            Julie

            • Janiqua says:

              Hey Julie,

              Thanks for the reply and the hugs…my dog has been super cuddly lately either. He is also a rescue and I have had him for so many years, but I think they really do recognize when we need more love!

              I started out yesterday ok, but then didn’t have a great afternoon. I guess I am still wishing I was able to share what I wanted to say when we ended things, and instead, he has denied me from doing so. That is really the hardest part for me. It is not so much having the last word, but just feeling like I can say my part in how I feel, even if he no longer cares.

              Like you, my ex bf was very different from most guys I meet. I like guys with more of an edge for some reason. We met through a trauma support group as we had both been in accidents. He had a terrible motorcycle accident, and I was in a horrible car accident. At first, I didn’t want to open myself up to the possibilities of something romantic as he was a bit younger and seemed like he had much more to work on in his recovery mentally.

              However, his sweet words really drew me in, and I fell, and fell super hard for him. Having him come back after we took a break really threw me for a loop and felt like we broke up all over again. I know what I valued the most was the companionship that I felt with him. There were so many red flags and I chose to ignore them and some of his lame actions, and let myself be carried away by his words. I have definitely learned quite a bit about myself and others through this situation, and really have realized that while he claimed to be ready for a relationship, he really was not ready at all. I had suggested before we really got involved that he needed to be truly happy with himself before pursuing a relationship…I should have listened to myself before letting myself get taken in by his seductive words.

              I have since immersed myself in my work, which initially was really hard. I have started going to yoga and have been spending more time with my dog outside, even though the weather has been pretty yucky here the past few weeks.

              I think the main thing that has been hard is no contact…never had to do this before and usually have had any other relationships end a bit more amicably than this one…it is such a slow process and for some sick reason, i still miss him…sigh…

              hope your day yesterday went a bit better than mine and you are doing well with no contact.

  32. Able says:

    I’m coming out of the shame closet:
    Two years ago just before vday I voluntarily went into a psych hospital when I just couldn’t take it any more. I wasn’t going to kill myself over that latest break up but I felt like I could not deal with the pain of life anymore. I was there for five days. And right away I knew I didn’t belong in there. I just needed a rest and have some support. The other patients ranged from just depressed to seriously effed up.

    The day room was decked out with all sorts of vday decorations that only fueled my misery. so, to counter that, I made my own art therapy. Painted and drew the views from my windows so I’d have something else to look at besides paper hearts and cupids.

    Point is, I have a history of depression especially bad this time of year. the 2 year anniversary of that hospital stay doesn’t help when I think last year I thought I was in a loving relationship at vday. But it wasn’t meant to be.

    • Lorraine says:

      Able,
      No shame in suffering from depression. It is what it is. I hope you’re getting the help you need to get through it.

      I find it wrong for a psych hospital to have VD hearts and decorations. VD isn’t a great holiday for people who are suffering with depression, right?

      Best to you, know that we care and hope you work everything out within yourself and realize you deserve to be happy.
      Hugs to you,
      Lorraine

  33. Able says:

    Peanut, stay safe!

  34. EllyB says:

    @NML: “All those V-Day adverts and articles are there to feed into our insecurities and remind us how important romantic love is, which acts as a cue for us to spend money (or spend up our self-esteem).”

    So true. I guess large parts of the advertising industry could qualify as ACs, because they employ very similar strategies in order to get us to do whatever they want.

  35. Denise says:

    This article is timely. I’ve been separated nearly 6 months after a 25 year marriage to an EUM. He is a selfish child and I feel I’ve grieved that relationship. The problem is that now I’m dealing with old habits from the days before my marriage.

    I would always dive in head first and throw myself at men (boys) sleeping with them WAY too soon. My dad (a narcissist) was an EUM and I remember trying to jump through hoops to get him to notice, interact, love and accept me but all I got was sarcasm, teasing and crumbs.

    I chose a spouse who was similar to my father but not a full on narcissist. I believe he has a form of Autism. He’s functional, is an excellent provider, can go through the motions of love and kindness, but his go-to is negativity, passive aggressiveness and pettiness. His love was conditional and I never measured up. If I improved in one area I wasn’t good enough in another. It took me several years to end it. We have 3 kids and he was a pretty good dad.

    During my marriage I achieved a lot, went back to school and started a great career. I faced a lot of fears and made an interesting life for myself full of friends and interests. I thought I was the independent and confident woman I always dreamed I’d be. I didn’t realize that the teenage girl who threw herself at men still lurked inside of me.

    After a fantasy relationship with a boy from high school 4 months into my separation which I had to go NC on for my own sanity because it happened during the 12 weeks of torment, I met two other men who I chose not to date. All three of these men showed me myself in a mirror and I didn’t like what I saw. Emotions and reactions long suppressed snuck up on me and slammed me to the floor. It felt like a compulsion.

    About a month ago, I met a man from a dating website. Intelligent, witty, sexy, and little out of shape, but there was a rapport. The first week we texted and talked on the phone because each of us was out of town. The day he got back, we saw each other and he behaved (mostly) like the old fashioned gentleman he claimed to be. We had talked about a lot before we met face to face and while there was an attraction (and I was battling my baser urges) he respected me and was willing to wait, get tested for STDs and take me away someplace special when I was ready. He introduced me to his kids on our second date (teens) and the following week to his circle of close friends. I had a LOT of information and he was saying the right things. I felt he was trustworthy and had been honest with me – we slept together. Even though he offered to take me away to a nice B&B, he also complained about financial constraints, so I excused that, said I trusted him and could do that later. I will tell you that I have no regrets. It was pretty wonderful – I don’t feel ashamed.

    What bothers me is that I found that I was changing me. He was talking about all the things we were going to do, places we would go down the road, joking about Valentines Day as if he was hinting that he wanted to spend it with me when I already planned a lingerie party with friends before I met him. He was complaining a lot and I noticed he drank a LOT of alcohol (red flag). He didn’t take very good care of himself and was very sensitive about a lot of things. I found myself stifling what I would normally say so as not to offend. My relationship skills are weak. A couple of times my emotions got the best of me and I panicked and wanted to bolt. He acted very hurt by this – kept telling me to relax. The last time I saw him was a week ago Friday. All seemed well but I had plans on Saturday and Sunday. I could have seen him but he acted a little distant. Spoke to him on the phone both days, then no call on Monday or Tuesday but he did send a random text message now and again. I reasoned that it was because his kids were there, etc. But it started to get a little unnerving. I had also rescheduled my V-day party and told him on Sunday that I’d like to spend that day with him. No calls to make plans – no calls. I was in a tail spin. Finally, on Wednesday, I’m almost unhinged. As he took longer to text, I took longer to respond (mirroring his behavior). I didn’t call. The spaces between texts went to 12 hours. It was maddening, so on the advice of my therapist, I sent a “How are you? Is everything okay? Call me later” text. He responds many hours later that he’ll call me shortly. 3 hours later, it’s nearly 11pm – no response. I call him, no answer. So then I decide – apparently there is a problem, so I’m ending it. I had been walking on eggshells for 10 days. I unfriended him on FB and deleted all his text messages, and renamed him in my cell phone with a rude name. He calls me an hour later and is making excuses about the kids. I say, “It seems like we’re done.” He says, “Let’s not talk about that tonight. Another day. What do you think of this snow?” I say, “I think we need to have a conversation” He says yes, “We should. We can meet to talk.” I say, “Okay. Let’s meet next week.” He says, “Next week??!!” I said, “Yes. At this point I think it’s merely a formality. I’ll wait to hear from you.” I think he’s a Future Faker and I think I played right into his scenario. Problem is, there were good parts to our time together, great things about him, and mistakes I made lowering my standards and freaking out a little. But he was distancing himself. While I mostly feel relieved that this is over and the anxiety is mostly gone, I do find myself feeling bad and questioning if the bigger problem isn’t me. I try to manage relationships – I don’t know how to relax. I’m so used to manipulating things I’m not sure if I just wrecked something because I’m a control freak. I go back and forth and I think I’m more afraid that this problem is going to go with me to each new relationship. I know I need to slow down, keep my standards high, and stop trying to control things, but it’s so exhausting remembering all the things I have to do. I probably shouldn’t be dating, but I learn best by doing and practicing. I hate to use guys as guinea pigs while I unlearn old destructive habits. I’m really thankful for this site – it’s saved my sanity more than once and I own all three books. Thanks Natalie!

    • Denise says:

      Let me add, before I make him sound too sympathetic, he is very opinionated and when he walked into my house told me how much he hates wallpaper. I had some in my house – very rude. He proclaims things he hates a lot. He also complains about things that he makes no effort to change and has shared many of his pet peeves with me. I have to keep reminding myself that this guy is high maintenance, but I think he’s convinced me that I am the one who needs to relax (repeatedly). One part of me tells me he’s setting his rules and I’m too easily accommodating him and changing myself to suit him. And I think the anxiety and urge to bolt might be my instinct telling me this isn’t a good fit. I’m at war with myself and it’s distracting and consuming too much of my energy. Ugh. I’d like to figure out how to reprogram myself so I don’t feel like I have to take care of people and accommodate them. I’m so unsure of myself in relationships that I accept cues and bend to readily. Help!! Even though my last conversation with him made it sound like I would meet with him next week, I think it was plain that I think we’re over – I broke up with him. My friend says he will probably want to meet with me to break up with me face to face. I think I should go NC and simply ignore any calls or text messages. Thoughts?

      • Tanya Z. says:

        Denise, I think that you are being too hard on yourself. I’m in my fifties, with decades of bad relationship habits. I’ve made progress at seeing, and changing some of the ways that I think, and act in relationships — but it’s just so easy to fall back into those old, bad habits. After all, I practiced them for so many years. They’re automatic. We CAN change these habits that didn’t serve us well. It just takes time, and sometimes it’s cha cha cha…two steps forward, one step back. You are now SEEING that certain ways of thinking and acting didn’t help you, and you are taking action on what you know. This guy does have a lot of red flags:

        –drinks too much
        –doesn’t call when he says he will
        –negative and rude
        –fast forwarding
        –manipulative. You question his behavior and he turns it around and makes you feel like something is wrong with you, you need to relax.
        –changes the subject when you try to discuss your concerns
        –oversensitive; you always have to watch what you say

        You HAVE good instincts, and you ACTED on them. Give yourself credit for that. Our EUM’s and EUW’s often are lovely at first. It’s all too easy to get hooked on them.

        • Denise says:

          Thank you for your kind words, Tanya. He is totally a Future Faker and my gut instinct was telling me to run, so I guess I’m not as broken as a I thought.

          He called last night – chit chatty. I was quiet and he commented on that. I said, “Last night I broke up with you. I wasn’t expecting to hear from you.” He didn’t want to leave things that way in a 5 minute phone call, he said.

          Then he proceeds to tell me he doesn’t know why he pulls away when things get close – that this is how his last relationship ended. (woe is me) He says he doesn’t know what he wants and is sabotaging things.

          I said if you wanted to slow things down you should have said something. But I didn’t like getting mixed messages and having to decipher things he was saying. I told him I felt like I was walking on eggshells and that he really hurt my feelings dialing down the communication for the last few days. He apologized and said he’s got to get his head straight.

          I agreed and said that he is actually the one who needs to relax and take better care of himself. That I can’t fix whatever he’s battling. I was brutally honest about what I thought without being cruel.

          It felt like he was trying to create sympathy – the poor tortured soul – to leave the door open. Nevermind that he’s been active on his Match.com account this week. Part of me wonders if he isn’t talking to someone else but trying to keep a toehold on me.

          I may have made it sound like if he gets his head together and wants to revisit things, he should call me.

          But I reiterated that we weren’t on a break – we are BROKEN UP and I wish him well.

          I predict I’ll hear from him in the next few days. If it’s not a drunken and sad phone call tonight (Valentine’s Day), it’ll happen on Sunday or Monday when his kids go back to their mom’s and his house is empty (he hates being alone).

          God give me courage to NOT answer the phone.

          Once again, thank you so much for the encouragement, Tanya!

          • oregongirl says:

            Denise, Your situation parallels mine so much. After being married to a controlling, bossy, possessive man for 25 years, I finally told him I wanted a divorce. When our son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, I started to look at my ex-husband’s behavior and saw that he also had some traits of autism. It is good to know this and recognize this: we didn’t cause the behavior, and he sorta can’t help it either. It’s just the way they’re “wired.” After getting a divorced, I have had two serious relationships. Both men, it turns out, were alcoholics. It is hard to know at first, and by the time you figure it out later on you love them and feel like you can help them stop. But you can’t. After a divorce we get a few “learning” relationships, I think. The “best” one will come later on, when we are ready. Take good care of yourself and love yourself. It’s ok to take a “man break” for a while. I am, and I am enjoying my own company!!!

    • A says:

      Denise,

      I think you’re right about the future faking. Meeting his kids on the second date and friends a week later – that’s way too quick.

      You’re not so far out of a divorce. Be careful about getting caught up in fantasies – why not take some time to work on yourself and enjoy your own company?

  36. EllyB says:

    Btw., as an avid Linux fan I’m going to celebrate “I Love Free Software Day” tomorrow. I’m sure this might offend some people, but I like the way the nerds are hijacking this highly commercialized occasion.

  37. HappyAgain says:

    Peanut,

    Be safe. I understand it is sad when those you love don’t love you back (even family) and its hurtful when you making positive changes in your life unleashes their fury. I’ve wont ever understand it but I wish you many blessings and you can certainly overcome this pain. Much care and concern coming your way. Keep taking care of you.

  38. Wendy says:

    Julie…some of the words you used exactly describe my EUM!

    I read everyone’s responses and wonder if we are all seeing the same man, lol?!

    Goldie and Kit-Kat, I can relate with the weather! I spent all day in my house due to about a foot of snow today! Crazy cold winter! Goldie, I joined 3 meet up groups today! That’s a huge step for me.

    It’s been 2 days NC and it’s been soooo tough. I did clean all his pics out of my phone. I didn’t dump them completely, just uploaded them to my computer and put them in a separate folder. I got rid of all our text messages. I have done NC countless times with him and regressed, but I feel this time is different. I just keep replaying the mean things he’d say to me. Wendy, you are on me like a cheap suit. Wendy, I’m tired of the drama. Wendy, I can’t give you what you want. Wendy, I’m the sweetest, nicest guy you’ll ever meet. I believed all of this. I thought if I could just smile more, laugh more, praise him more, he would want to fall in love with me like I did him. But instead I felt like I was walking on eggshells. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make him stop saying that I was taking him for granted, or was inconsiderate, or I was dramatic. I don’t believe I’m any of those things he said I was. I’m a kind, caring, loving person that has a lot of love to give and it pains me that I gave my love to someone who didn’t really truly love me back, unconditionally that is! Another thing that most people would be stunned by, we never made love. I loved him so much, I was willing to wait because sex is just sex, but making love to someone who loves you must be an amazing feeling and I have never loved anyone like I did him…now I’m a wreck again. It comes in waves and sometimes I feel like I can’t come up for air…

    • julie says:

      Wendy,

      Here is the most truthful statement he’s probably ever told you:

      >>>Wendy, I can’t give you what you want.

      It’s not that he can’t – he WON’T. Huge difference. It sets you up to lower your expectations of what he will and won’t do for you so that he can get away with all of his idiotic, cruel and hurtful behaviors. Still, I wonder what it is we see in these guys. It’s gotta be some unfulfilled childhood thing as I’ve read time and time again. I have never been so broken up about anyone before – and the rest of my men all treated me well, yet this one I can’t seem to stop thinking about and cannot let go of. LOL you know what – I used the word “can’t” too. I CAN, but I WON’T. Can’t is a very weak word for people who are too lazy or ineffective to foster change in themselves. I need to change my outlook. While I hate the roller coaster I’ve been on with him, there is something addictive about the highs following the lows. I need an intervention :)

      Be well!

      Julie

      • ingrid says:

        Julie – I loved what you just wrote. I’ve been NC for 4 months and I am having a hard time letting go. All my other boyfriends treated me 10 times better then he did…I was/am addicted and its hard to break an addiction. I hadn’t let someone in for a long time and he busted through all my walls which I think makes this even harder. I let an EUM bust my boundaries…he was the man guy in my life for 2.5 years even as friends…and now its all gone.

        • julie says:

          Hello Ingrid,

          It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it, that we seem unable to let go of these guys? For me, I think it’s because he kept the brass ring of a decent relationship always just out of my grasp so I was chasing it with all that I had. Also, after I kicked his ass out, I was stuck in an obsessive “him” loop because I couldn’t understand what he didn’t see in me, and why if we had so much in common we couldn’t work it out. I kept turning it over and over in my head, with different “what if” scenarios but nothing good ever comes from that and I think it just adds to the obsessive thinking pattern. I had considered putting a rubber band on my wrist and snapping it real hard every time I thought of him or the relationship.

          I’m very sorry for what’s happened to you. I have never had to learn how to have a relationship before now, I guess I figured I knew how to differentiate the bad from the good. When they appear good and act nice we do let our guard down. when the first infraction comes up we are quick to look the other way. Then comes the next, and the next…and before we know it *BOOM* we don’t know which end is up any more. in my case, I was the one doing all the giving and allowing the relationship to run on his schedule, giving up vacation days etc to spend time with him, because I thought if I didn’t we wouldn’t spend any time together at all due to work schedule conflicts. what I should have done is back off and let him figure out his schedule to be with me. to me, this is like game playing and i’m a very direct person who just puts it all out there. it’s worked every time til now. lol live and learn.

          You are doing great with your NC – 4 months is something to be proud of. I wish I was as strong as you.

          Keep up the good work!!

          Julie

          • lynn says:

            Julie – I’ve heard from him 3 times in the 4 months and I contacted him once without even thinking to share some exciting news with him. He was such a huge part of my life that I didn’t even think about it. I was a high all day and then the next day was really down. I was betting on potential with him (Like Natalie talks about) I saw the good in him, whether he did or not, and knew that he could be a better human being and thought my love would encourage him to do so. I did see him work on changing in some areas – but he would take 2 steps forward 3 steps back. When we broke up he told me something was missing. Once I found this website it all made sense to me. He is definitely EU, is chasing a feeling and thinks love should be like the movies. He once said to me ‘I feel like I should want to kiss you every time I look at you, but I don’t’. My mouth dropped and I told him I don’t want to kiss you everytime I look at you. This is not the notebook. Looking back on that – that is how he thinks he should feel about the woman he’s with. Always wanting to kiss or have sex with her. I told him that doesn’t last…but like I said he’s chasing a feeling. We had the best friend part down of a relationship – it was actually pretty great…and that’s what I want in a relationship/marriage. He is now dating a woman who is separated, who, I am 100% sure is EU herself. He contacted me a few weeks ago when she broke up with him (to work things out in her head) but I guess after a few days she worked them out and they got back together. In my opinion – there’s no way she worked it out and this will happen again. I am sure she is a mess inside. So I am sure I will hear from him again.

    • Nigella says:

      Wendy,

      Coping with unrequited love is not easy. But the habit of chasing an EUM need not consume more of your precious time. Here are three quotes that may be helpful for you. They have helped me recover from the heartache I experienced last year.

      1. “Actions express priorities.”
      2. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
      3. “Go to Hell.”

      Reality check: what do his actions tell you? He is (1) saying mean things to you, (2) ignoring your calls, (3) refusing to do the simplest things for you, (4) avoiding intimate contact with you, and (5) telling you that he can’t give you what you want.

      It might seem difficult right now but you have the power within you to let him go. Habitually, you have tried to change his mind about your worth in his eyes. Sadly, the fool can choose to deny you his respect and affection in spite of you being the sweetest, smartest, sexiest dame that ever tread upon Earth. For whatever reasons, an EU person feels more comfortable depriving someone of love rather than showering love on them. By doing so, they feel more in control of themselves and you. By telling you that he can’t give you what you want, he has absolved himself of any responsibility towards you. There is no point looking for water in an empty well.

      Most likely, this is what he is thinking consciously or unconsciously: “I am not misleading her. If she wants to be with me despite what I have told and shown her, then she is responsible for her own pain and confusion. Not I. I am good & honest – just not ready for a relationship. Perhaps the timing is wrong. Perhaps I can do better. She can too – I am not stopping her. She is clinging to me. That is her choice, her problem, not mine. If anything, I feel sorry for her. Instead of letting her go, I will wait until someone better comes along to rescue me from this mess. In any case, I can’t give her what she wants.”

      So for your own sake, do not cast your pearls before this swine anymore. He is devaluing you and your interest in him. Because you are allowing him to do so, he has already trampled enough on your self-esteem. Fact: you cannot control or change him. He cannot hurt you without your permission. Trust me, you have the power within you to walk away from this self-destructive and addictive relationship.

      In a professional or personal context, the moment someone explicitly or indirectly tells you that they can’t or won’t give you what you want & deserve, it is time to drop them like an ice cube. “Go to Hell”, I have realized, is such a powerful phrase to say in such contexts to rise above any insult, rejection, or disappointment.

      Perhaps you might want to invoke its power too. He: “I can’t give you what you want.” You: “Go to Hell.”

      Have a wonderful day, Wendy. You are now free to create your own heaven on Earth – a place of happiness and peace. No more pining & suffering for a swine. No more punishing yourself for giving him three years of your life.

  39. Wendy says:

    PS. Thanks to everyone for your kind words, your encouragement, wisdom, and your honesty! I don’t have any close friends, maybe another reason why I’m having a hard time moving on from the EUM (that’s why I am finally reaching out to meet ups) and this site. I’m trying to believe that 2014 is a big year of positive change for me! Hugs :)

    • Janiqua says:

      wendy, it is hard, especially being snowed in…I was snowed in with my ex bf in December, and now, every time it snows, I have been thinking of how I wish I was still snowed in with him. BUt, I know in reality that it would just be crumbs that I would be accepting. I miss him terribly, but I miss the part that was mainly his words, as his actions were not showing me what his words were claiming to be true.

      are you on the east coast too?

  40. Peanut says:

    Able,

    No shame. It’s okay. I was institutonalized when I was twelve.

    It’s courageous that you went. And there’s something to be said about identifying your true needs in the matter.

    Do something non v day related tomorrow that you enjoy. Or not. It’s really okay to be miserable on Valentines Day. It’s still an annoying holiday even when you’re in a loving relationship, and there’s no reason you can’t have a loving relationship in the future.

    hugs

    Peanut xx

  41. Peanut says:

    I really appreciate the support and concern I received from here; it really got me through the day.

    This morning I met with my therapist, sought guidance from my college adviser, and had an over the phone appointment with the social worker from my college. These women were so helpful and supportive.

    Tomorrow I have another appointment with my therapist and then an appointment to sign the lease on my new apartment. Then I’m going to buy a small mattress and move in!

    It’s bittersweet. I am so grateful for all the help, but I miss my grandparents already. I went to get some things from their home and kept telling them how much I love them. And my dog… That’s another story. I can’t take her just yet. She was crying when I left with things in hand. She knows. My heart is breaking for her too.

    I know I am making the right choice. An aunt was at my grandparents when I went to get a change of clothes. I politely waved, she scowled at me.

    I’m staying with my friend’s mom again tonight. They have been unbelievably welcoming and warm.

    • MaryW says:

      Well done, Peanut. Look how much you’ve achieved in such a brief time and while feeling so upset! It’s amazing.
      I’m so glad you have your friend and her parents for support. Just goes to show that there are nice, good people out there.
      Enjoy your new apartment! Think of it as a positive step forwards in your life as an independent young woman.
      You can invite your grandparents over for a meal or a drink. Or meet in a neutral place. You don’t need to lose your closeness with them.
      Well done to you and keep your chin up. Sending a virtual house warming gift: a peace lily.
      Take care.

    • A says:

      Peanut,

      I’m sorry you were subjected to this, but I’m glad to hear that you found your own place. I can relate to having a family member filled with rage, and the extreme frustration of not only experiencing that, but having everyone else act as though you’re the problem for failing to accept the unacceptable.

      Stay strong. Sending you good thoughts and a hug.

  42. Chutzpelady says:

    Dear Natalie, dear BR-Ladies, I am Swiss and we do not celebrate Valentines Day, or may be much less than in the US. But I want to thank you all and hug you for sharing your stories with me. BR has been tremendous Inspiration and comfort! I read a lot in English, but my writing might be quite unperfect. So I Keep it short, but enjoy all the wise and long stories others are postin on BR.
    Over the last two years I have been in contact with my first and unfullfilled teenage sweethart. He ended it there, because he started his studies. I was brought up in a terribly disfunctional way, and so I was heartbroken and married much to young a much too older man. All my life I have been struggling with finding and giving love. I always tried to get it, when I had to fight for it. My affairs affected my career, my kids. And only till recently I took whatever I could grab. Now turning 60 and being a writer myself, I realized I haven’t so much time left to loose. I started to enjoy spending the Weekends alone, instead of running after meaningless or catastrophic sex. I admit, that my first love felt like my last hope to create an meaningful relationship with a man from my age group. What I did not want to see was that he didn’t fall in love with me, never contacted me after our rare date. It was always me who was chasing him. So two days ago he told my over dinner, that he had been seing a woman and was in a relationship with her. I war shocked, furious. And yes I thougt: what has she, what I couldn’t offer him?! Then I started reading older posts from Natalie about regrets, hangover binges. This morning I woke up and started crying over my lost “love”, I felt stupid, small. Overwhelmed by my Projects, I started my own small publishing Business. Everything seemed broken, but then I slowly realised, that shedding those tears was hard. And I thougt: maybe I should be grateful, that I know the truth, that he choose somebody else. And at least he told me. I do not Forget, that he treated my poorly, but I can choose between being bitter or letting go. Yes I will mourn this lost, the hope of forming in a second attempt a beautiful and perfect relationship. Trying to change the past. But this is an Illusion. We didn’t click then, we didn’t click now. And when I am honest, I was unfair to me and to him. I can’t force somebody into loving me. But I can see all those People around me, who do appreciate me beeing in their lives. Thanks to BR and my therapy I am no longer willing to treat me (and others) badly. But I started to set standards. Also with my still toxic family. And my sons with whom I have a distant and complicated relationship. I see now, that I could not be a stable mother, but I did as best as I could. Today I sent that man a short note, told him, that I accepted, that we would not be together and wished him luck. Yes, I still think about his new woman, and I am still sad and jealous. Btw he has a severe eating disorder. I told him that several times, but he is afraid of going into therapy. So somebody else and not me has to handle he and his problem…. I wish you all lots of love!!

  43. Able says:

    I’m avoiding the radio, tv, fb, and most websites to get thru today. My am therapy appt (yes, I have that) didn’t happen due to bad roads. So, I face VDay a little less confident. thanks for all the kind words, though — it really helps.

    Unnecessary stress factors include the clueless passive aggressive boundary busting client.
    Today is the day I work with the client I fired earlier this week. But I heard that the client didn’t understand what I meant by “last day” and “end if the contract.” This person is not stupid so I have to wonder what awaits me when I get there.

  44. Rae says:

    I ruined my own valentines day.
    he ordered me flowers and chocolates to be delivered 3 weeks in advance.
    My self esteem is so low that i couldn’t let myself open the door to receive them.
    the flowers are now dying in the post office and i am racked with guilt.

    I don’t understand why anyone would do that for me.

    I think he is living out his own fantasy and has nothing to do with me.

  45. Sanntay says:

    I have spent many a Valentine’s Day alone, so it’s just another day to me. Two of my male coworkers were kind enough to take me to lunch today, but other than that, this day doesn’t affect me. Even when I did have a boyfriend, he didn’t care about birthdays, anniversaries, or Christmas, so you know Valentine’s Day wasn’t getting any consideration. I distinctly remember him coming to my house empty-handed one Valentine’s Day and when I shamed him about it, he went out to the store and returned with a single rose and some damn snore strips. WTH?!

  46. Care_78 says:

    I’m on day 50 of no contact, and 3 months since I moved out of his apartment, which was the last time we saw each other. The hurt/pain has been excruciating at times. The tears are less, but still there. I don’t think he’ll ever know the amount of pain he has left me in. The last contact we had with one another was him wishing me and my family a Merry Christmas, to which I replied the same, but then of course sent him another text asking if he could meet for a drink. He said he was kinda busy and said maybe another day, so I asked him if he could just talk on the phone for a minute. He said we both knew it wasn’t a good idea and said sorry. I never replied, went straight to NC. I guess it was just me reeling in the rejection that caused me to want to speak to him. I wasn’t surprised he didn’t want to talk though. He was someone who always ran from our issues. He was never willing to sit down and talk about things while we were in the relationship, so why would he all of a sudden want to now that he’s turned his back on me (once again). I just wish I could erase him and all the memories from my mind. This is SO hard! :-(

    • Grizelda says:

      Care, you’re doing the right thing because you’re doing NC.

      Please don’t worry about ‘the last time we…’ or replay scenes of the ending back to yourself with the old ‘…and then he said… and then I said… and then he said…. and then…’. Instead, why not reflect on the improvements you’ve felt since you started NC? What have you learned about life in the last 50 days? What have you learned about yourself? How much better do you feel now than you did 40 days ago? Those last 50 days are a much more important chapter in your personal history than you realise yet! They’re so valuable.

      Be fair to yourself. Put those detailed ruminations away and draw up another bucketful from that well of strength and good health you have inside you. It’s getting better, isn’t it? At least a little bit?

      • Care_78 says:

        Thank you for your reply Grizelda.

        I do feel much better than I did in the beginning of NC. It does get easier as the days go by, but there are still days I get trapped from the rejection of the breakup. For a few weeks after it, my head was in the clouds. I was unable to see the things I do now. I have way more clarity when it comes to seeing him for who he is and how he treated me, instead of the person I had perched up on the pedestal. I’m pushing through each day and hoping this experience makes me a stronger woman. A woman who will never put up with the type of behaviour and disrespect that I allowed. I’m going to continue doing what I have, and that’s putting one foot in front of the other. If there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that life doesn’t stop, it keeps going, so I need to do whatever I can to ensure I keep up with it instead of getting left behind.

  47. ingrid says:

    Hi Everyone – today my friend told me I am living the past. I am angry this week, blaming ex-eum for everything and am not thrilled its V-day. We were together last year at this time….he’s with someone new and I wonder if he’s making more an effort with her then me. Anyway – how do I get myself out of the past? I find myself focusing on his actions…why is he dating a separated EUW? Why this, why that? I’ve been NC for 4 months with 3 contacts from him so far. I feel like I am my own worst enemy – and really try to live in the present and am happy most of the time…but I don’t like feeling like this. Advice please?

    • oregongirl says:

      Get busy with a new activity that will keep you really busy, distract you, introduce you to new people, and challenge yourself to grow. After I broke up with my EUM AC MM, I joined the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. It’s a group of volunteers who do things to help the Coast Guard and help with boater safety. I have only been on 2 or 3 boats in my life–now I am taking tests, studying navigation, I get to wear the HOT HOT HOT cg uniform, and I am meeting all kinds of great people. I work full time, so doing this on top of my job keeps me BUSY…but guess what I don’t have much time to think about Mr. Asshat nearly as much!

  48. Peanut says:

    At this moment, Peanut is holding the keys to an economical, move in ready and safe apartment in a wonderful neighborhood in her name and her name only.

    Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Now on to get that part-time job ;)

    Nat,

    I can’t thank you enough for BR and what you do.

    Peanut
    xoxo

    • Camillah says:

      That’s great news Peanut!
      Good for you! ~:)

    • Wiser says:

      Fabulous! I’m so thrilled for you!

    • Pauline says:

      Peanut

      I’ve just caught up with your horrible experience with your family and I’m so glad you’ve found so much support from friends and your school counsellor’s and finally a place of your own. That’s so good to hear. There are lots of people who do care and want to see you succeed including all your cyber friends here on BR. We do care Peanut even though we physically can’t be there for you. You are in my thoughts and you can only go on to better things.
      Lots of hugs to you, you are a very brave girl, keep believing in you.

    • LovefromNel says:

      Yay Peanut! Congrats! Enjoy the space. Living on your own is wonderful. I’m similar age, rent a house of my own with a fireplace (which I can get going!), have a wonderful dog, and just enjoy my own space, peace and sometimes mess! Buy yourself some flowers, make it your own, and enjoy a world free of assclownery. So happy for you :) nel xo

    • oregongirl says:

      Peanut I am so happy for you! Keep working on your education, it is so important to your future :)
      Hugs, from a teacher who can see your potential :)

  49. Lorraine says:

    Hello Ladies of BR,
    Hope everyone is getting through this horrid day okay. I had to share this with you guys..

    My daughter (who can really drive me crazy with her drama) has a cute little boyfriend and he is spending the afternoon with her. She comes out of her room dressed in black and announces to me that she is boycotting Valentines Day by wearing black and refusing to go to a restaurant. She insisted they just hang out and maybe order out Chinese Food. She said she feels terrible for the young girls who are made to feel bad about themselves because they don’t have a valentine to give them candy and flowers to flaunt to classmates and friends and that this is a horrible holiday that destroys a girls self esteem. I was proud of her.

    Her boyfriend brought each of us a beautiful bouquet of flowers (major suckup points) which she just handed over to me, she smiled but pretended she didn’t want anything to do with them. Now I have two vases filled with beautiful flowers to look at and a heart of chocolate candies! So yay!

    I was thinking that when they were little, I would go crazy for Valentines Day for them. Heart shaped sandwiches, gifts, flowers, everything red! So after a whole childhood of giving her Valentines Day on steroids, she turned out pretty good, despite me!

    Be Well Ladies, and please eat chocolate today!

    ((Hugs))

  50. Allie says:

    I have been Reading br for 3 years or more. I am over my ex EUM, he was my epiphany. Now I don’t even know how I put up with him and they way he treated me and I allowed it. He was a book case. As any other he said he couldn’t give me a relationship yada yada. I am know in a new real relationship. It has it’s ups and downs but he treats me with respect and I treat me with respect. I have learned that is ok to say no to him even if he pounds, he gets over it. We are supposed to go out and eat whenever he comes from work. I hope we do, but if we don’t, it will be all rigth too. The most important for me is the day to day treatment and commitment. I don’t want to make V day a big deal anymore.

  51. Able says:

    Peanut, that’s awesome! Congrats!

    I used to write haiku for the ex, so on the vday occasion I’m writing one for all you BR folk:

    Day has turned to night
    Full moonlight illuminates
    Casting thin shadows

  52. Freedom Tastes of Reality says:

    I celebrated Valentine’s Day with the first day off I’ve had after three straight weeks of work. I bought myself coffee from my favorite provider, including a special chocolate & raspberry flavored blend I’ve never tried before. I also purchased some new clothes, recently, with my hard-earned money, as well as another small gift that has yet to arrive in the mail. Also, this Valentine’s Day, I got some great work-related news and took myself out to eat for a healthy meal at one of my favorite restaurants. For not having a boyfriend, I think this is probably the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in literally years and in at least one of my past relationships, I deliberately didn’t observe Valentine’s Day one year that we were together as a way to opt out of all the over-marketed hype.

  53. noquay says:

    Found out that a couple who are friends of mine are going thru a rough patch. She’s left the state to sort things out. Talk to them both regularly and they’re both really down. Took him out for dinner for “anti Valentines Day” and just let him talk. Since they’re, like most folk here, in a precarious financial state, the dinner was a rare treat. Avoided the AC by avoiding a meeting yesterday; avoided latest conquest by not going to the grocery store (hafta do that today), and avoided down and out ski bum, irresponsible, wannabe suitor by just not replying to emails. Took care of old Noquay and brightened another’s day besides.

  54. Nat Attack says:

    I had the best Valentine’s Day I’ve had in a long time. I ditched my grading and went on a long walk, and then met up with a friend and sat on a street corner drinking beer until 1:30 am. Made me feel like a teenager again. A couple guys with a guitar were hanging out around us and sang us, “My Funny Valentine” and “Pretty Woman.”

    I hope you all had a nice day, or at least got through it okay. Even a crappy day alone beats a crappy day spent with an emotionally retarded man-child.

    • Lydia says:

      @Nat Attack – Awesome! Oh you made me laugh – thank you!

      “I hope you all had a nice day, or at least got through it okay. Even a crappy day alone beats a crappy day spent with an emotionally retarded man-child.”

      Today would be the 7th anniversary of our first date and tomorrow is the 6th anniversary of when MY emotionally retarded man-child told me he loved me. His actions had shown it for months but I kept searching for clues and wanting to hear the words. He finally told me when we celebrated our anniversary. He said it was a commitment for a man to say those words; that they should never be said lightly.

      Well, the pain and sadness and shock are still here – but he is not. So much for commitment! Thank you for the great belly laugh! I needed that today and that new perspective: emotionally retarded man-child. I loved him so.

  55. Able says:

    I had an indoor picnic and some wine last night, watched some 80s movie clips and got to sleep at 430 am. It would’ve been a great date, but it was fine just being by myself. I slept later than I have in a long time. Just very glad that day is over with.

  56. happy b says:

    I’ve had a horrid valentines day/weekend. I think the day is silly and that when I’m in a relationship, I will ignore it in solidarity with people who aren’t. No one really cares about it round here. But it’s seeped into me. I felt alone, while normally I feel together and like someone who is recovering and is fine out of a relationship for now. Some other unpleasant things happened, had a fall-out with a guest I’d invited into work because he wanted the VIP treatment and was horribly arrogant. I had support in not giving into him and it felt right not to cater to his ego, but then it was still horrible to tell people who wanted to be involved in it that he wouldn’t be coming after all. It made me feel like a failure, though I knew it was his shame, not mine. Not only that, one of those people I had to tell was the unavailable guy I posted about earlier, who I was falling for but got some sense knocked into me by BR people. I want to forget him but instead I have to call him on VD and give bad news.
    The main comfort I have is that I used to feel like this all the time, anxious, unloved, disappointing etc., while now I know it’s not my default. I have pretty good reason to feel down and should just recognise it and allow it to happen. It won’t be pouring rain forever.

  57. Peanut says:

    Able,

    That sounds like an amazing night. That’s exactly what I do to rest.

    I loved your haiku. You’ll find a classy lady to share all those things with; you will. Best of luck to you.

    Peanut Xx :D

  58. Peanut says:

    Home sweet Home ;). Safe and sound :). And beaming with gratitude.

  59. Chutzpelady says:

    Peanut – I am happy for you.

    Today is day 4 that I was told that he was with a woman, he probably met already a couple of months ago. But better to know the truth than still having illusions. He wanted to remain friends, see me again.p – I said no. Big progress. Thanks to BR.

  60. dancingqueen says:

    I have to be honest, I kind of forgot it was Valentine’s Day, as I was so busy at work and then when I came home, I just crashed in bed with my new comfy sheets.

    I am not sure what this says about me; am I a loser for not even caring that I don’t have a Valentine?

    I also went to a dance for the next night, which was a Valentine Day theme and was really fun. I spent some of the night talking to this guy that I used to have a crush on, that now I don’t. I got to know him better and we have zero in common. He was kind of luke warm when I was interested in him, but now, since I am not, he is constantly chatting me up and asking me out. He also unloaded for about 5 minutes about his ex wife last night. I actually listened for about two minutes, then said “One second, I just need to say hig to so and so” and literally walked away and never came back.

    It was soooo boring, his long ex drama. I just think that it is funny how some of these people who are obviously EUM are so predictable: he kept yammering on about how he has always had a crush on me, but a few years ago, when I was single and interested he would throw out these half-hearted attempts to get my attention but never fully ask me out. I guess realizing that I am not interested, has now given him the courage.

    Things like that make me 1) happy that I am not dating and 2) feel kind of ambivalent about trying. I feel a little….shut down and just kind of blah about it, I guess:(

  61. NoMo Drama says:

    General PSA (I’m not in this space at the moment but for those who are):

    If you want something free, productive and educational to do with your time and/or take your mind off some AC, I recommend Codecademy.com — programming language tutorials. I have no immediate plans for this JavaScript I’m learning, but it can’t hurt to pick up a new skill.

  62. Peanut says:

    Chutzpelady,

    Sometimes truth is painful. But it is far better to know so that you can act accordingly and in your best interests. No Contact. Stat. And stick with BR.

    Best wishes

    Peanut xx

  63. Peanut says:

    Freedom,

    That sounds so wonderful. Interestingly enough my Valentines Day was the best I’ve had as well.

    A friend, her mom, and I ate pizza and chocolate and watched a funny movie.

    I think if you don’t necessarily make it about being in a relationship, it can be whatever you want it to be. Me–an excuse to see my favorite colors everywhere and eat pizza and chocolate.

    Not everything is necessarily what you make it, but Valentines can be.

    And in a romantic relationship or not, I think it’s better if it’s low key, relaxing, and above all fun. Nothing makes it sad and too much makes it silly.

    Peanut xx

  64. architectofchange says:

    Wow so great to hear all of the creative ways V day was spent, together or single…If anyone needs a laugh…I spent the evening planning a night out for the boy and I who were attempting to salvage a 5 year relationship(why didn’t I see the pressure cooker then!) Started out great at a bar, few drinks in and I see my boyfriend texting a picture of my boobs to his friend! With a caption I’m with the boobs!,,,, it didn’t bode well.a huge fight resumed and a shared taxi where I got out and checked in to a hotel at 8 pm and spent the night alone and sobbing. Phew!!!Think Feb 14 might be scarred for a while! Here’s to the other 364 days !

  65. CC says:

    Auhhh, just lost everything I wrote! Ok, had a great Valentines Day, went to a party with no expectations about meeting a man and just danced up a storm with everyone, mostly women, it was great fun!

    I reconnected with a fellow end of January from a spiritual singles online site from 3 yrs ago and found out he’s still single and currently travelling. We seemed to click and emailed every day for 7 days. Then communication stopped and I thought, another one bites the dust. I sent him an email last week to close the loop on our conversation since I hadn’t heard from him. He responded by saying he did reply and thought I wasn’t interested after visiting his online profile, then he wrote ‘Whatever way it flows is fine” translation to me is: I’m detached and can take or leave this connection we started to develop.

    Anyways, I found out that he did respond to my last email and I completely blocked it out of my mind, but I did read it because I went to his profile. Then I was waiting for a response from him that he already gave me!
    This made me really suspicious as to what my subconscious mind was up to. Did I sabotage something that might have developed, or was I being protected from something that wouldn’t be good for me? I have never, to my awareness, done this before. I did send him an apology yesterday so it will be interesting to see how he responds.

    I did some journaling about this and I realized that I wasn’t feeling great about how he always talked about going with the flow (might be because he’s travelling), he mentioned that he feels like this or that and going with the flow in every email and I really didn’t like the “whatever way it flows is fine’ comment when he didn’t hear back from me. He is a spiritual man, I am spiritual too and yes, I like to go with the flow as well, but it seems like such a detached attitude for developing a relationship and I don’t know if it’s healthy or if it’s code for EU, commitment phobia and looking out for number one. Has anyone dated a spiritual man who thinks and talks like this? Any advice?

  66. Debbie says:

    This was the best Valentine’s Day I have ever had. I flipped it on it’s commercial side by taking stock of how far I have come in the past 4 years. I felt good, proud and love for myself. Lasted all day long.

  67. Nat Attack says:

    Architect- Please tell me you dumped the clown for good!!

  68. Messed Up Girl says:

    Hi Ladies,

    It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, really thought I was getting myself together and moving on from the MM/assclown disaster of last summer when he basically used me and dumped me like radioactive waste after I slept with him.

    He completely ignored me over Christmas and New Year as I did with him, but he sent a text on January 3rd and that was the floodgates opened again. Straight back into it as if nothing had happened. He spent a few days ‘sexting’ me, then just cut me off completely again, ignoring my birthday as well. We’ve texted on and off a few times since, he has shown himself to be a complete user, always dangling that carrot of being interested still though. The last straw came this morning when I looked on facebook to see him wishing his wife a happy anniversary,and hoping for many more. I’m afraid I saw red. I sent him a text telling him exactly what I think of him, and that he’s an impotent using assclown and I regret ever having anything to do with him. Received reply saying I wanted the affair more than him (WTF, he was practically on his knees begging for sex) and I wouldn’t be hearing from him again because he didn’t have the time or energy for this. I’ve told him I’m gone for good (which I am this time, that’s a certainty), and wished him good luck in his sham of a marriage and that I felt sorry for his wife. Happy anniversary, eh?? Perhaps a bit much but I can’t remember when I felt so angry. It was the wake up call I needed, and now I’ve got to find the light at the end of the tunnel again. Why did I ever get involved with this loser?

  69. Chutzpelady says:

    Downloaded the worksheets “unsent letters”. Thanks Natalie! I wrote the first letter: Dear Ex…. and for the first time, I had the feeling I could address just everything I always wanted to say, without having to run after him, so he would listen, which he never did. It prevents me from mailing and feeling bad afterwords, because he rarely answered or turned everything around to his gusto. I read the letter three times to my bookshelf (and my dog ;)) I will go on writing everything down that made and still makes me angry and sad – and of course NOT sending anything to him. Recommended!

  70. Able says:

    Well I effed up. Broke nc w/ a txt that could only be interpreted as a booty call. I had a few, felt sorry for myself, then just hit send. A barrage of txts and then another set the next morning (no, I didn’t go over there, nor did she invite me). But I pretty much said we can’t have any kind of a relationship, even friendship, but I’m still physically attracted so why can’t we just so that? I even presented some rules for it to work. Not something I’ve ever done before with anyone. What an ass I made of myself. But my point was I was pretty much used for sex for a year and a half with a phony relationship faker. As long as I did things for her she was ok. But no real relationship. So, why pretend, I thought, lets BOTH be above board about it and use each other for sex. No hanging out, no dating, no relationship. She can’t be friends with me if that’s all I want. Exactly. It’s not all I want, but I’m not about to let her use me for support and sex when she had no intention of a real relationship because “we’re not good for each other…” I’m a mess today. I don’t want this need/want. I wanted it to work and it didn’t and I feel like I slid all the way back down to the bottom again.
    Help.

    • CC says:

      able,

      Sorry to hear about your issue. I had a bf like that, he didn’t want a relationship, but kept wanting to be friends and he wanted sex with me. Well, he knew I wouldn’t go for that, then we became friends until we ended up in bed after 6 months of friends only…well, I said I was willing to try the relationship again but he didn’t want to. So, had to end it all. Reason being is that men can do sex without getting their feelings involved and most women can’t. I couldn’t, I would attach and it was painful. Took all last year to get him out of my system and that was with NC, I still miss him and his daughter, but I can’t just be friends or have sex without wanting more and it annoys me that his feelings didn’t grow, but that’s becasue he is emotionally stunted and so I must stay away. Don’t know what to tell you about the sex only thing, if she can do it, but it is interesting to hear that you felt used sexually. I thought men felt like they hit the jackpot when a woman wants to give them sex all the time. Thanks for letting me see into a man’s mind, I’m assuming you are a man, but maybe not, my appologies if you are not.

    • CC says:

      able
      I suggest you work on getting to know yourself more, take a personal growth workshop, see a counsellor, focus on you and building your self esteem. Don’t you want someone for more than just sex?

    • Selkie says:

      Able. You’re bargaining. You’re trying to make a deal where you still accept crumbs from her, but on your terms. It’s still crumbs though, and trying to be in control of how you get the crumbs, your feelings, and even her, you are still accepting less than you feel you deserve. It’s just a detour that leads to the same painful path. Several years ago when I was struggling with leaving a relationship where I was force fed crumbs, I tried to tell myself that I was strong enough to make myself not feel and that I could be around him and learn to not care and that somehow that option was better than just getting on with my life with out him. I was wrong. I only disappointed myself when I still felt kicked in the teeth and hurt. Forgive yourself for the slip, but learn from it. Revisiting the drama won’t the void and neither will sex. Slow healing fills it, and it takes time. Good days and bad days. If you haven’t already, read Natalie’s post on “Suck it and See.” It was a tough weekend for many folks, and it’s okay to feel bad, but put it behind you now. It’s not too late….you just brush off the dirt and take a baby step forward, then another….

    • simple pleasures says:

      “I’m a mess today…and slid back to the bottom”. You texted her for a booty call , there is no friendship, no relationship, but you put out rules… to “use each other for sex”. This disturbs me. Why knowingly, deliberately use another human for sexual gratification. Use your own hands, not another person. Too many people are sexually used by another, and,
      I don’t think either party feels good about it.

    • Nigella says:

      Able,

      Be kind to yourself. Getting over someone can feel like an uphill climb. I can partly identify with what you are feeling – especially your tendency to be really tough on yourself for making a mistake and not recovering quickly from the break-up. Learning to move on is difficult enough – so please do not add insult to injury by getting mad at yourself for proposing sex-with-rules to her.

      You said you did so under the influence of a few drinks – you seem to be coping with feelings of loss by doing things that are most likely going to hinder your recovery. Just as drinking is a distraction, I have a feeling sex too is going to be a distraction – an escape – from your feelings. I doubt if the pleasure one gets from loveless sex can really mitigate underlying, unresolved feelings of grief and hurt. The (tongue-in-cheek) phrase – “the best way to get over a girl/guy is to get under one” – is rather shallow. Sometimes I am tempted to use sex as a medicine, a temporary relief, or a proof of my desirability to others. But I know that is not the remedy or the affirmation I really need. Perhaps what you really need is not sex but a little more time and effort to care for yourself.

      Can you name your feelings? Do you feel lost? Rejected? Shocked? Jealous? Needy? Angry? Hurt? Pity for yourself? Do you want to run away from these feelings or confront them head-on? Most importantly, who do you hold responsible for these negative feelings? You? She? If she, then why would you want to sleep with someone who has left you with such awful feelings?

      Ultimately, only you can decide what you really want – what you are willing to work and wait for. I can understand your desire for sex, but I doubt it can make you feel better in the long run – at best it’ll be a temporary panacea and at worst it’ll leave you and her with more pain & problems to fix.

      In opting for no-strings-attached sex with her or another person, perhaps you could convince yourself to be content with that mutually agreed-upon arrangement. But ask yourself: is this all you can aspire to have in your life? Is it sex you want? Or is it a (sham) sense of closeness to another person?

      In choosing to use her or someone else for sex, you’ll basically be mirroring her behavior. This seems to me as such a defeat and downgrading of yourself. Of course, unlike what you claim she did to you in the past, you’re choosing not to have sex under the pretense of a more meaningful relationship. For this reason, perhaps you felt more comfortable arranging to have sex with her. Perhaps you feel that something is better than nothing.

      The choice is yours. Everybody makes mistakes. But only you can choose to make them again and again or take responsibility for your emotional and physical health. I’m sorry to say this to you but there are no quick fixes to things in us that attract us to emotionally unavailable people. It takes effort to get in touch with your feelings, to mend your broken heart, to raise your self-esteem, and finally to create a better future built on love, care, and respect.

      Surely, you deserve a lot more than just sex. You do.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Able!

      You’re better than that! You are allowing your feelings to mess with your mind. Didn’t she do enough of that? Now you’re ASKING for it? STOP! There are other outlets for your frustrations and sadness besides going back into the fire. No one human being is worth it. Man up! It can get better for you if you ALLOW IT.

  71. Able? says:

    Up until last werk, I’ve been able to get through this round of no contact (almost two months) but something changed… What? Effing VDay?!

    And yes, Selkie, you’re right, of course I’m trying to control something and it’s the crumbage — thinking that I will be ok if I can say how it’s going to be. Ha.
    Not ok though.

    Yes, cc I’m a man.

    Yes, I have therapy ( though last week appt cancelled due to weather– not helpful)

    I guess I’ve been putting off feeling all the sadness by being angry. And now I feel sick about being such an ass.

    I do feel like I’m right back where I was last summer at the start of the first NC. But now I’m embarrassed by what I did/wrote. That’s not me at all.

    I imagined she was happy I left her so she could go off and do whatever she wanted with whomever and by me not being in the picture it’d be easier. But she’s angry with me and “totally disappointed” with me?! The way I left. The hell?

    I just want it over and done with. No more connection no more wanting– nothing. She wants a connection, friendship. In some ways I wish I could but I can’t. And it’s not about sex or the lack of it. It’s really that I don’t want to feel the rejection. No matter how much I did, it’d never be enough. Who needs that kind of a friend?

    I want to feel better, but so far all I’ve managed to do is feel worse. And made it worse with that stupid text. Hopeless.

  72. Peanut says:

    Able,

    Sometimes we’re really attracted to and feel deeply about somebody and it isn’t reciprocated. She’s pretty flippant about it all. You are hurting bad. I’m sorry.

    There are very few if any integral emotional differences between men and women underneath rearing and social programming. It’s scary to think just how much closeness and relating can be had between the opposite sex romantically so society does the whole type cast deal. You’re normal.

    You appear to feel about your ex how my ex felt about his ex. And I felt for him what he felt for her. Just about damn near killed me. Couldn’t eat; didn’t wanna breathe.

    I am doing both. I still hurt about it two years down the road. I haven’t dated anyone since him.

    I have no words of encouragement; this shit hurts so bad. Keep up with no contact again. You may hate life sometimes, but sit with it and you will be closer to neutrality.

    Also ask yourself what are you trying to cover up with your ex?

    It might be more bizzare than you think.

    For me I was hiding behind the torrential pain the ex brought on in order to run from the pain of being rejected by my family. And that all I’ve ever wanted were loving or at least decent parents and for my mother to be alive again.

    Not gonna happen so I chose next best thing I can think of–pursue the arts.

    What I’m saying is be brave enough (you are) to uncover what’s really going on and she will fade from your mind. And no contact, mister.

  73. Peanut says:

    Able,

    There is hope (okay words of encouragement I guess). Don’t tie all your hope up in this chick.

  74. Noquay says:

    Able
    You fell off the wagon, that’s all. Now get back up on it and move ahead. You’re going to have to feel the rejection, it’s part of the process. Nothing you do will ever be enough for this woman. You need to do what I do before any situation where I might or will run into the at work AC. I say to myself “no matter how I am dressed, what I look like, he will think I am ugly; no matter what I say or do, he will think I am stupid”; then I hold myself up in pride (an Indian thing) and dignity and proceed with the meeting or whatever. By acknowledging the worst, I have removed his power to hurt me any further by anything he may do or say; by holding myself high, it is him that looks like a fool before our colleagues or the community, not me. You need to do some version of this, you can fall apart later but not where she or anyone can see you and dammit Able, delete her from your phone, your email, from your life.

  75. Lydia says:

    @ Wendy – I’m sorry you are having such a hard time! I too am doing NC since October, but have made some contacts here and there. I haven’t seen him since New Year’s Day. I’ve a question for you – does your ex have a close relationship with his mother? What you said about thinking he was ignoring your texts but if it had been his mom he would have responded quickly really resonated with me. My ex of 6 1/2 joyous years lives with his mother (he’s 55 & she’s 79) for “convenience sake” – to save money. Well that decision was 30 years ago and they are still together. I thought we were going to get married and/or move in together this year (long story with it’s own thread) but he blew up on me and ruined our magical – once in a lifetime connection – relationship in the space of an hour.

    Anyhow – your comment made me wonder if we had even more in common : ) I always knew if his mom and I tripped down the stairs together, he was going to rescue her, and I’d go down (!)

  76. jurneeka says:

    Still kind of in recovery from one of the worst V-days ever.
    The guy I had (and still have) a crush on (who is a total Mr. Unavailable – I’ve read the book and he fits almost every single one of the criteria thus far) who I unfortunately slept with about 90 minutes after meeting him (and of course the sex was incredible, amazing…best I have ever had, hands down) and from 13 December – 1 Jan he was so totally into me…texted me from early morning until night…saying how amazing I am and how he couldn’t wait to see me again and how wonderful I was and so on and on and on.

    Even though it’s been, God, nearly 2 months since he’s really texted me like that (although there have been spurts) I miss it, oh god do I miss it and I miss him.

    Last time I saw him was on Valentines’ Day. We saw each other Tuesday first and had a coffee date (no sex – we haven’t done that since 1 Jan) talked and everything seemed to be great…he was looking forward to seeing me and spending the night with me on Friday and climbing and having dinner…but then on Thursday it started falling apart.
    He texted me on Thursday to say that he had to be home early Saturday so he could only stay for climbing and dinner.
    He texted me on Friday to say that he might be coming down with a cold, so just light hugs and rain check on kisses. and made it clear that we wouldn’t be having sex either.
    He was supposed to be at my place between 2 and 3. didn’t show up til after 4.
    We went to my climbing gym and actually had fun except for one time when he was admiring a slim chick who was bouldering and said OUT LOUD how sexy she was. (grrrr)
    Inside I was fuming, outside I brushed it off and laughed.

    we went to my house, I made dinner while he watched the Olympics, we ate and talked and then he took a 90 minute nap on my couch. I tried snuggling up against him (we were both fully clothed of course). and lightly put my hand on his belly and he gently took my hand off and put it aside.
    i watched him sleep…took some photos of him sleeping. felt devastated.
    His watch woke him up at 11:30. he was out the door by 11:45. I got a text from him at 12:21 to tell me he got home safe.
    Devastated.

    he’s texted me a few more times, mostly about climbing except…oh god.

    So trying to get my mind off him, I joined match.com (they had a 50% off special on V-day). Guess who showed up in my mutual matches…yup. Him. Of course I had to see his profile not being aware that he would be informed by Match. ugh.

    A couple of mornings later he sent me a text asking me what I thought about his match.com profile. and that he didn’t read mine, but he looked at my pictures because “I’m kinda shallow” but that I look good. (going back in my mind to those days where he used to call me amazingly beautiful…oh god oh god)

    I am trying to get him out of my mind, out of my system. Reading the book “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl” helps some. I’m going to be seeing my therapist for the first time in 2 years later this week. And I have some dates lined up for this weekend – two so far – and I will never have sex on the first date ever ever again. I’ve learned and I feel like I screwed up. Maybe if I hadn’t been so quick to fall to my passions, he would still be with me, or we would have lasted a little longer.

    Today I want to text him so very much. but I’ve taken his texts off my phone. I know he won’t answer anyway, and I’ll just feel worse. Or he’ll be noncommittal if he does answer.

    I wish he would text me but as the days go by I am more certain I will never hear from him again, and although I know he’s an EUM, it hurts so very much because I still think he’s amazing and incredible, even though he has no money, 3 kids (who are absolutely adorable), works two jobs to pay child support, lives 50 miles away…i feel right now I would give anything to be intimate with him again. I know it’s wrong. but it’s what I feel.

    His match.com profile writeup is not exactly flattering. He states he just got divorced, he’s not a nice man but trying to be a better man, broke as hell, can’t promise vacations or good times, spends most of his time working or at the gym and loves his kids more than anything, been through some stressful situations etc etc. Part of me is glad he wrote this because what girl in her right mind would want anything to do with him, even as handsome as he is?

    All I want to do right now is text him. hate this.

  77. Wendy says:

    Lydia,

    OMG, yes my ex had an extremely close relationship with his mom. I think that’s why he got so angry with me after that comment I made about him picking up the phone message for his mom before he’d pick up my message…He knows I’m right about that…He doesn’t live with her (has off and on in the past), but he might as well. He does EVERYTHING to care for her home and they always talked on the phone and I don’t mean once a day, I mean multiple times a day…I said something to him about that a few times and he got SO angry…He even had the gall to say I have an unhealthy relationship with my parents because I don’t check in with them more often…I can remember back many times where he would get upset with me when I did nothing wrong. His mom would upset him, but he would take it out on me. I remember one time he looked at me and said, I can’t ever do anything good enough for you, can I? I looked at him and said, you’re talking to the wrong woman…this is your girlfriend you are speaking to, not your mother. Of course, I was trying to be sweet, but he even took that comment wrong…Our connection was amazing! I have never in my life met a man that I connected with on so many levels…I don’t think I’ll ever be the same…

  78. Wendy says:

    Jurneeka,

    Hugs to you! I don’t know if this will be of any help to you, but my ex EUM and I never made love and dated a year and a half. We had amazing foreplay, but no sex. I LOVE him more than any man I EVER slept with…I don’t know what hurts more. Making love to a man that you weren’t in love with or never making love to a man that you were in love with…It’s all just so painful and so, so hard! I’m just taking it one day at a time and believe me, it’s not pretty some days…HUGS!

    • jurneeka says:

      thanks so much that means a lot to me.
      I actually broke down and texted him last night. just asking how he was. he did respond. but I have to face it, he’s never going to be December Steve again. I don’t understand how I can be amazing one moment and not the next. He has said it’s not me it’s him, and that his whole financial situation, kids etc is what’s affecting him. However then what is he doing on Match? And he just joined?? why not me…oh god.

  79. Wendy says:

    Jurneeka,

    I know it’s so hard! My ex said that to me too…that it’s him, not me! That was so frustrating! I was involved with him for three years total and now been 14 days NC and it’s so hard! I find the hardest time is when I get in bed. My mind just thinks of him and what went wrong or what I could have done differently. Why he chose not to make love to me hurts like hell! And he told me to find a man that would give me what he couldn’t. Was making love to someone you love that hard? I’m guessing for him it was. I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same…

    • jurneeka says:

      I only just met him in December…but yes, every morning NO MATTER WHAT – he’s the first thing that pops in my mind when I wake up. It’s getting easier…a little. I’m being proactive and seeing my therapist today before I go totally crazy…and I do have a couple of dates lined up this weekend. NOT EVER going to sleep with someone right off the bat, no matter how overwhelming the chemistry is. EVER.

      Right now I’m trying to face and accept that he will never come back to me. If he was never as sexually satisfied ever as he was with me, why doesn’t he want me again? that’s what keeps going through my head. He did ask me if I was in love with him, and I didn’t say yes or no, but did answer that I was afraid if I answered in the affirmative, he wouldn’t want to see me again. And he said just because he doesn’t feel the same way doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see me.

      So I didn’t go right out and say I loved him. I just said all I know is that I didn’t want to see anyone else at that point. this was earlier this month.

      it’s going to be very hard to date other guys and not compare. because I know he’s an EUM, but I still think he’s amazing. oh god.

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!