I used to go into tailspins over various situations, other people’s behaviour, and of course second guessing my own actions and going down the If Only I Could’ve... train of thought. I have put in some serious ‘man hours’ crunching the data of these various dramas and sometimes I had conversations out loud with myself saying what I’d like to have said just so I could dissipate some of the frustration – No I’m not crazy but I guess it was the conversational version of the Unsent Letter.

Anyway… While it’s quite easy to see how drama arises in conflict, what does leave me rather bemused is the heavyweight drama we apply to very simple situations or very simple wrongdoings.

Take me. When I dated (and I used that term very loosely) the Mr Unavailable that gave me my epiphany, I regularly analysed his texts with full stops on the end, the joke emails and the ones that enquired about how I was doing but didn’t ask me out, and his ambiguous non statements and non answers. After I told him to beat it, he’d still phone or email periodically or even invite me out and I’d slip into my old habit of wondering what it meant. Then I had to give myself a mental puck in the head and stop making a dramatisation out of a very simple situation.

I stopped seeing meaning where there is no meaning and quit sending emails to the forensics lab (read: my eagerly awaiting friends) to be analysed.

Every day I read about and observe interpersonal relationships. I translate a lot of common and sometimes frustrating or even downright hurtful situations and help people make sense out of them so they can empower themselves to not only improve their relationship or move onto a better one, but to have a better relationship with themselves.

But…sometimes there isn’t anything to translate (see my posts on translating stuff like I love you but I’m not in love with you) and the thought processes or situations being described are overcomplicated. This is done by drinking an intoxicating cocktail of overthinking, excuses, fear, poor boundaries, and slapping on the fur coat of denial and rose tinted glasses.

Take colororange. She’s No Contact with her ex who she also has to work with and out of the blue, he left her a pastry on her desk, which then triggered her being consumed with thoughts of what it meant, what should she do etc.

Here’s the thing: It’s just a cake. A Cake. It doesn’t mean he loves her, it doesn’t mean he wants to get back together, it doesn’t mean he’s sorry and it certainly doesn’t mean that he understands how they even got to the point that she’s had no choice but to put the NC forcefield of distance between them. I’m not saying that he even has to be thinking about any of these things (it is just a cake after all) but what is important is that she doesn’t make a cake into a reconciliation or start imagining him as possessing qualities and characteristics he doesn’t possess and erasing out the knowledge of who he actually has been with her.

I know people, admittedly mostly women who get one of those ‘cakes’ all the time. One reader commented on how her ex was sending ‘I love you’ balloons and roses. Sweet you might think but her ex dumped her by email the day before she was due to put her house on the market to move in with him.

I know someone else that got a packet of animal crackers after a few weeks silence.

Someone else’s ex rolled up weeping about how he wants her back and he can’t live without her (she’s met someone else) but he’s actually still living with his current girlfriend and talking about their holiday plans on Facebook.

It’s just cake, balloons, animal crackers, a dress, a bunch of flowers, a packet of pork scratchings, a text, email, a drunken voice message, or big dollopy crocodile tears.

The same thing goes for when you know that someone has crossed the line and that you have basically acted on your boundaries – think code amber and red behaviour. There is no point knowing your line if you’re going to either not do anything when someone crosses it or when they do, feel bad about the fact that they feel bad about you telling them that you and code reds don’t mix.

As I explained to a reader a few days ago who dated someone for six months who basically wanted to get in her knickers by any means necessary so talked about marriage and moving in within a week of meeting her and all sorts of empty promises (Future Faking and Fast Forwarding) only to then say he doesn’t want a girlfriend when she asked where the relationship was headed (he was still pestering her to sleep with him) – this is an open and shut case of assholery!

She felt bad that he felt bad – he-llo! He felt bad that he was wrongfooted and that he has ‘invested’ himself to try and get laid to no avail and is being called on it. When she held her ground, he suddenly started chirping about introducing her to his family..and then started pestering for sex. Open and shut case of assholery. Case closed, hit the flush, be thankful that he’s showing himself.

If you’re an overthinker or prone to dramatising, strip off the excuses and denial, take things down to simple terms and remind yourself of the facts of the situation and and why you’re at this juncture in the first place.

People are a lot less complicated than you give them credit for – what complicates people are your perceptions of what you think they’re doing and not accepting the simple truth of their actions or character.

When you have an overactive imagination, like to play Columbo, and tend to see yourself at the centre of other people’s actions it’s complicated. When you see things as they are, not how you’d like them to be or what you wish they’d go back to, and you don’t internalise other people’s actions, life gets a whole lot simpler.

Remember, if you have to read into something so much or start second guessing good decisions, that’s sending you a message you should read – you’re thinking too much.

Your thoughts?

Check out my ebooks the No Contact Rule and Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl and more in my bookshop.

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133 Responses to It’s Just Cake: Why you should be careful of reading too much into things

  1. Cam says:

    I am WAY guilty of the overthinking mode. A friend said to me recently – “people think about you a lot less than you think they do.” So in my current dating adventure, I am working to see things more realistically. It is what it is. Nothing else.

    Thanks Nat… also, I am dating for the first time since my epiphany relationship and since I found BR. I will keep you posted on how well it moves forward.

    • Chinkiez says:

      I have the same symptoms of thinking way too much into things like you do. And I just started dating again after my “relationship” with Mr. Unavailable. Wondering how dating life goes for you.. :) Any pointers, experiences, or stories to share?

  2. Christina says:

    All true, this. Women it seems, are more accustomed to communicating indirectly, and tend to interpret communications from men accordingly. We often overthink and create drama where there is none. I suppose that’s when we’re desperate to see something that isn’t there.

    As usual, actions speak louder than words, and one action in isolation doesn’t say very much either. Sometimes it really IS just a cake. :-)

  3. Movedup says:

    Excellent again Nat! Overthinking as to why he is an ass does not change the fact that he is an ass. Believe them when they show you who they are!

    • MaryC says:

      Movedup, I burst of laughing when I read…. “why he is an ass does not change the fact that he is an ass”. Love it !!!!!!!!

  4. Sandra81 says:

    I also commented your post on “being complicated” on Facebook. And I said that it’s people who are never sure about what they want, change their mind according to the weather outside, and who are full of contradictions and contradictory behaviour. At least, this is what I define as “being complicated”. I’m not talking about an ex right now, but I’ve also seen friends or family members display that kind of behaviour. Or, to carry on with the cake story, what if today the guy put a cake on the girl’s desk, and the following day…a rotten tomato? No explanations given. It would be unavoidable to ask yourself lots of questions. Therefore, I believe “it’s just a cake” and it should be taken as such when all you get is cake. If the cake is placed next to something else (i.e. the rotten tomato), anyone would feel puzzled and wouldn’t know what to believe.
    For example, last autumn, on a trip to Prague I met a nice (and cute) Czech guy, and we’ve been writing to each other since, and, what’s more important…consistently. I would definitely be interested in him, but I think the distance is an issue. Our messages are very platonic, and we just get to know each other, but I can see that he is a reliable, consistent guy, and probably many guys in his place would have stopped writing to me on a regular basis after so many months. It’s like…a regular portion of cake. It’s good, it’s constant, he makes me feel good (BTW, he doesn’t know about my ex here in Italy), but it doesn’t mean I see it as an indicator for God-knows-what else in the future. At least, not at the moment! It’s just…cake! ;-)

  5. gettingby says:

    Natalie — I have to admit that sometimes you freak me out. Well, not you as a person, but the lovely messages I get in my inbox (from BR) just when I start second-guessing my decision to go NC.
    THIS POST SCREAMS AT ME like one of those floating messages from the Magic Eight ball of 80s fame. I know this post wasn’t really meant for JUST ME, but somehow it answers my question to a tee…as if you had been eavesdropping on my thoughts. THANK YOU!
    I literally just got back from taking a quick break, during which time I had one of those “conversations with self”: He tried calling me again last night — I had been avoiding his calls for almost a month now and he stopped for a good three days or so. Seeing his number on my phone didn’t exactly me throw me off the wagon, but it got me thinking again that maybe he realized that it’s really ME that he’d like to be with…you know the drill. Then I remembered the analogy PerfectlyAwful made in her response to another comment I had left — it was about this game show where someone had to balance marbles on a slope, and whichever marble was on the edge got high priority. Since I had disappeared — I was this guy’s high priority. If I got back in the game and another girl started slipping, that’s the end of my 15seconds of fame…and the game goes on. NO MORE!
    I must admit, I often still find myself analyzing and dissecting the past, but then I just remind myself of the many times that I misread his lazy gestures as acts of “reconciliation and love”. This time, I went NC without warning. I’ve tried cutting him off many times before but I realized that every time I tried to explain why, it opened the door for cheap talk and negotiations, with me surrendering in the end. I know that he may never change and that if i choose to be wit him, any heartbreak would be my own doing. He didn’t exactly hold a gun to my head and say: let me pretend to love you with these crumbs I have to offer. I chose to scrape the crumbs… Enough.

  6. LMA says:

    This is such a great post, and all TRUE. It’s just a cake, just words. For years I used to analyze the crap out of everything my ACs used to do/write/say etc. in the hopes that things had finally taken a turn until I woke up (thanks to NML) and realized that unfortunately,despite of what they’ve said or done lately they are still the same person and their true nature won’t change – they don’t deserve a place in my life.

  7. Robin says:

    As long as you remember it’s just cake, you can then either throw it away or eat it. LOL Natalie you are dead on. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

  8. colororange says:


    I particularly like: People are a lot less complicated than you give them credit for – what complicates people are your perceptions of what you think they’re doing and not accepting the simple truth of their actions or character.

    I needed that realization today!

    • SaraK says:

      I think it’s more than just cake. I think it’s his way to be sure that Colororange thinks of him that day. Just in case she’s moved on, or is busy. It’s a nasty little tap on the shoulder, b/c she’s gone no-contact.
      The important thing to understand is that it is not a romantic gesture, sign of interest, admission of guilt. Flush him and his cake.

      • Sandra81 says:

        Good point, Sara! My ex does that kind of stuff too! Maybe not with cakes, but generally by making himself noticed one way or another! ;-)

    • Sandra81 says:

      Colororange, it was you the main character of the cake story? :-( Well, actually, I would add that the times we get the need to over-analyze are the times when we are placed in front of ambiguous people with contradictory actions. And when we don’t have Natalie to tell us why men blow hot & cold! :-D Because, frankly, I’m sure we never over-analyze those people who always mean what they say and say what they mean. We just trust them, and take them as they are, because we know that this is their true, permanent self. So, it’s not always us, it’s them too! There are many people who are far from “simple”. What is up to us, though, is to give up on trying to understand them when everything is just a communication mess, and a continuous discrepancy between their actions, or between their words and their actions.

  9. Jo says:

    I am not sure if it was Natalie or something I read on some other blog, but men are much less complicated than we make them out to be, I think (most) of them live in the moment, and they are much better at it than we are. If they are hungry, they eat. If they are thirsty, then drink. If they want sex, they get laid. If they are sleepy, they roll over and go to sleep. If they want to call, they call! We are the ones who make things more complicated by overthing…”well maybe he didn’t call because…”. And when I guy says “I do not want a relationship,” we think, “He thinks he doesn’t want it right now, but I’ll change his mind.”

    The guy bought the cake because he was probably at a bakery, bought himself a cake and scarfed it down and bought one for her too. Like Nat said, he probably wasn’t filled with thoughts in his head the way we think they are. He felt like buying a cake, so he did.

    • Sandra81 says:

      Jo, the thing is strange as the cake was brought by her ex, with whom she broke up 3 weeks ago, and with whom she was in no-contact. I’m putting myself in her shoes, because I also broke up with my ex 3 weeks ago. I would have hit him on the head with the cake (at least metaphorically)! :-P I would want apologies, or explanations, not a cake! (I don’t know what her ex did, but, being in no-contact, that must have been something quite serious). Did she ask for that cake? Most probably not! Or…more than something to detract meaning from, this is something to get rather outraged by. Cheesy attempt at getting back together? Reset button? Hmmm… And about men who do whatever they feel, when they feel like it…it’s not always like that. I have many male friends (as in good friends, never went over the platonic), and I was surprised to hear them working out all kinds of strategies about girls, not bad things, but enough to make themselves look more “interesting”. And asking for my advice too…And no, they were not teenagers anymore! :-D Oh, I guess there are so many kinds of people, and so many characters, regardless of age, gender, nationality, etc. :-)

      • colororange says:

        Who even knows why he brought that to me. I forgot about the cake until I saw Natalie used “It’s Just Cake” in her headline lol. Just have to get a good giggle out of it. I highly doubt he gave it much thought. And, like she said, the most important thing is what I’m doing in my head ….. how I’m interpreting his action. It’s a symbol of the crumbs I’ve been getting from men and accepting for years. Accepting unacceptable behavior. I can hardly even call it a relationship. It was hardly there. It is only cake.

        I actually just remembered an incident probably ten years ago when an ex and I were breaking up for the upteenth time. We were not talking but I sent him some items in the mail to see if he would contact me. I have had my hand in the game too. It’s just cake….it’s just bullshit. :)

        • grace says:

          you’re right orange. i’m sure i’ve had men wondering about me in the same way. “why did she call me, why did she go out with me, why do we talk about relationships and stuff, why does she accept my help blah blah blah when she’s not interested”. cos i just didn’t fancy them or see them that way, ha. i think many of us have been in that position.
          i don’t think i was being evil. i certainly had no intentions towards them but i did hurt their feelings/pride cos i wasn’t bothered in the same way that they were. it was just my equivalent of giving them cake … it’s not a big deal unless you make it one.

          • Sandra81 says:

            Grace, I’m totally with you when you say about the guys who read more than what you gave into your actions. I had many situations of that kind as well. But if it was just about calling, or going out, or talking about stuff, that’s fine. Buddies do that all the time, and that doesn’t mean they have a romantic relationship! But what if you flirted, or “made out” with them, or acted sooo in love with them, and then turned your back on them? That would hardly be a person’s simple truth… I know a girl who does that all the time, to most guys she meets: today she is crazy about them, flirts with them, kisses them, or even more, tomorrow she finds superficial excuses to dump them – too young/too short/too good for her/etc. Then, she’s jealous when the guys in question find themselves other girls, and then she’s is sad because she doesn’t find true love! :-O I think she’s “complicated”, I told her that and she admits. People like that are never “just cake”! :-)

          • MH says:

            Grace and other posters who read this

            Grace, I didn’t understand why you would put yourself in the same category as these unavailable people. Yes Natalie points out that in order to stay with an unavailable person it most likely means we are unavailable ourselves but that, in many cases is temporary. Since you are in NC that should mean you are not necessarily emotionally unavailable anymore, or at the very least working towards not being that way anymore. People say I am genuine so I say what I mean and mean what I say. That means they don’t spend time questioning my actions, so why would you think that way of yourself?

            We tend to blame men for being this way and like Sandra says, girls do it too. Either way Emotionally unavailable people buy the cake like a poster said above, it is their way to try and keep them in our minds. Like Natalie says they keep us in their lives for ego strokes, sex, or a shoulder to lean on.
            Also how another poster above said they go after the person that is on the edge. As Natalie points out IT IS JUST CAKE, because we need to focus on our actions and avoid over reacting to something that is not going to get us anywhere. If they can win affection by these acts with their hidden agendas they feel they have won a victory. As long as we view as just cake they don’t achieve their hidden agendas.

            Grace, your comment stood out because you were putting yourself into their category. If we were in their categories our relationships with these people would be working right now. They would be acting out, and we would be their enablers. I just saw this action on the weekend with a guy at pub with his drunken wife. It reminded me of why I am single and not willing to settle with emotionally unavailable people anymore.

            I will make another point, there is emotionally unavailable people, their enablers (the temporary emotionally unavailable people), and those of us at one point or another that are simply under developed which is my label for all the people that are learning or haven’t figure it out yet.

            All of this is hindsight, I don’t believe that we are boundariless, or emotionally unavailable because we stay for awhile in a dysfunctional relationship. I call that…

          • grace says:

            I didn’t mean anything as complicated as that (the irony). I’m saying it’s very easy to misinterpret people. For instance, once, i went to kiss a male friend on the cheek. he turned his head at the last second and i kissed his mouth instead. i just laughed it off. he stewed about it for days and picked a fight with me afterwards saying I was leading him on etc. i was like, what? It didn’t mean anything! But it clearly did to him.
            We think cake means something, or a text does, or that they have some kind of plan, or that they want to hurt us, or that they want to be with us or whatever. They really aren’t thinking that much at all! We overestimate our importance to them. We aren’t at the centre of their thoughts and actions, it’s just something they did at the time. They don’t have a plan, they simply aren’t that .. bothered. To cast the average EUM as a villain is to give them too much credit.

        • runnergirl says:

          Colororange, Natalie, and all,

          The same day Colorange got her “cake”, ex MM’s text wishing me well slipped through. I’m not cyber-savvy and I thought I had blocked him from my cell but as it turns out I didn’t. I kept saying it is only a text, only cake. Because I’m the type to have to get my fingers burned thrice, bag stolen, and get hit by traffic, I responded. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG move.
          After a few days of back and forth messages (I didn’t want to talk with him via telephone), I finally gave in to a telephone conversation. According to him, he really didn’t mean anything by sending the text, read cake, just wanted to connnect. I used the opportunity to apply all my newfound BR knowledge. If he misses me, loves me, and wants to be with me, why aren’t we together? Every line, every crumb of cake he offered was met with nope, I deserve the whole loaf, not a crumb of cake. I got to use so much of what I’ve learned from you all and Natalie. Thank you so much. The end of the two hour telephone conversation was the best. His wife, apparently, woke up one day recently and discovered he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring after five years and “forced” him to dawn it. I got to use Natalie’s “creeping around” behind his wife’s back line. I made his wife a person and the fact that he is still creeping around his wife’s back on email, text, and phone with me. He so didn’t want to talk about his wife. I set a firm, clear boundary. As long as he is married, there will be no contact with me. It’s pretty simple. NO creeping around behind his wife’s back. Oh my. I had my hand in the batter, no doubt. I own it. I recognize that I’m still stuck. I own the fact that I’m still talking with him after 4 months of NC. But there is no cake. Just crumbs. Just crumbs. I’m glad I got to practice my newfound BR knowledge, but I paid a giant price for breaking NC.

          Once the fur coat of denial is shed, what a wonderful future is ahead.

          • Magnolia says:

            Oh runnergirl, wow. Good for you; you didn’t go see him, you didn’t meet him, you didn’t leave the conversation open for more. Really, would you want him back if he left her? I feel for his wife, who clearly senses that him not having his wedding ring on one morning means more than him having taken it off to do some gardening or plumbing or something. And senses it even when you’ve been out of the picture for four months. What a mess. Glad you’re away from it for good now; starting the NC clock over again.

        • Cindy says:

          The real question is: Did you eat the cake? LOL. Just kidding.

          • runnergirl says:

            Nope, I did not eat the cake. I knew that it may seem delicious from the outside, but once I got back into the inside, it would just be more of the same old shit. Of course, he wanted to hit the “reset button” and pretend that he wasn’t married. I know how much mistresses are hated out there. It is totally amazing how MM’s think they are being “honest” while they cheat on their wives and string mistresses a long. Dear lord.

          • runnergirl says:

            Thanks Magnolia, I did NOT see him, agree to meet him, or leave the door open for more. I slammed the door shut. This article and all the posters helped at lot. I kept seeing the pic of the cupcake in my head and knew that if I agreed to meet him, I wouldn’t get the whole cupcake, just a crumb. And I knew that he was looking to continue to have his cake and eat it too. (This cake analogy is funny)

            I don’t know what the wedding ring means, I’m not spending anytime trying to analyze it. She probably senses something but that is between them. I feel so badly for her and my dishonesty. I don’t know what I’d do if he left her. At this point, I’ve realized I’m not going to be the exception. I’m moving on and I’m committed to me.

            You sound like you are doing good?

      • Jo says:

        Well, I suppose (at best) it’s what SaraK said it is, and I like the way she put it:

        “It’s a nasty little tap on the shoulder, b/c she’s gone no-contact.
        The important thing to understand is that it is not a romantic gesture, sign of interest, admission of guilt. ”

        Maybe it was subconscious, but it was a tap. I still doubt he put much more thought into it.

  10. Leigh says:

    This comes at a time where I was having thoughts about the ex MM and thinking about how I would analyse his words to the point of obsession.

    Distance is a great thing. It makes you see things in the cold light of day. Last time I saw him (after a three year break) we walked along the beach and he said during conversation “I want to correct your grammar” He said it jokingly but he meant it. I looked at him and my instant thought was “I want to correct your ugly face but I’m not a plastic surgeon.”

    I regret not saying that! :)

    The next day he said he couldn’t give me what I wanted. (errm excuse me I didn’t want a thing I was divorced two of three days, what made him think I wanted second hand goods?) That I had a small corner of his heart. Some piece of cake that was! Even that was wicked.

    I have sworn to myself that if he ever gets in touch with me again then I will take appropriate action.

    His piece of cake just wasn’t sweet enough for me!

    • Aimee says:

      @ Leigh

      I looked at him and my instant thought was “I want to correct your ugly face but I’m not a plastic surgeon.”

      OMG – LMAO – Hahahahaha!! Good one Leigh!! I’m still rolling!!

    • Lynda from L says:

      Leigh, I wanted to say to you that I have also had the Grammar Correction scenario from the EUM that I have written about below. To keep in context with Nat’s article I have to say that he would almost always intersperse such correction within ‘ Good Days Out’, so I felt I was getting something and then he’d shift the rug from under me a tad. If you get my drift. Not sure whether this is the same experience as yours? I often get ‘seen and saw’ back to front, I’m Scottish and have been told it’s common… Anyway I ‘d get a bit of cake and then a correction and then a bit of cake…ad nauseam. Hey I want my grammar corrected!
      This however was something different and I recognised it as you did for the put down it invariably was. When you’re having a lovely time, and there is nothing going awry, and then suddenly they find something wrong…for me this can be about control. x

      • Leigh says:

        @ Aimee:

        Every single sweet piece of cake he offered me just wasn’t what it seemed. It was laced with an objective – to get me into bed and his ego stroked.

        I’ve injected humour into it from way way back, and I find it helps me to see him exactly for what he is morally (or immorally as the case may be) and how his personal integrity (or lack thereof) works.

        It helps me to remain NC! :)

      • Leigh says:


        It is very much a case of them giving you something nice, to boost your moral and ego. Some sweet offering, beautiful words never back by actions – a nice piece of cake for them to have that power to pull the rug from under your feet by harsh words. Yes, it is a form of control.

        I saw him do it to his wife, and I should have taken notice. His lack of respect for her is so evident – I feel sorry for her but it’s their choice to stay together. He offers her security, thats the cake she gets in exchange for put downs and telling others “she is nothing but a follower.” “She has no social graces.”

        Abuse comes in many forms, and this is just one of them. It’s lucky that some of us start rejecting sweet cake and see it for what it is. Cake laced with arsenic!

  11. kirsten says:

    WTF? Animal crackers? LOL what a sweetie. By the way…guess who’s got a date tomorrow!! Woohoo for me!!

  12. grace says:

    In these cases it can be handy to get a male viewpoint. Here’s what a guy told me when I was agonising over a twit ” He treats you like crap yet you feel sorry for him”. Women do tend to analyse too much and try to figure the man out, giving him waaaaay more sympathy that he deserves. Instead, imagine what your dad/brother/grandad would say if you told them.

  13. Ms A says:

    I’m going to add a cake to my toilet flusher. It will be my dating kit.

  14. Lynda from L says:

    Boy …am I an over communicator/amnalyser! I ‘ve seen it for a while and curbed it but this article brings it into sharp relief. I love the balloon analogy and all the things that these silly arseholes do. That we believe and try to decipher and make sense of endlessly. Last night I had texts(WHAT ELSE) from my ex EUM that I had such high hopes about. He said ‘ I want you, that will not diminish or change’. I need to see you!’ etc.etc. I have gone complete non contact with this guy but did offer before I did so, a face to face adult conversation. That has never been taken up. As I sit here tonight he has not got back. I see it for what it is. Only the idea of succulent cake….even if I took it it would only last for a moment. I am tempted but am sitting with my diary in hand reminding myself of how he made me feel and revisiting this site to see what I have said before and what others have and are saying. x

    • grace says:

      that resonates. i had texts (what else) saying “i will always love you. always” etc. he wouldn’t even meet me for a drink. it was just … a text. if it’s not backed up by action it’s just words, text, a cake. it’s only actions that count.
      if you don’t get a job it’s not cos the company has commitment phobia or is scared of their feelings for you, it’s cos they don’t want to hire you. it doesn’t matter how many interviews you had, how well you got on, or what they hinted at.
      if he’s not your boyfriend it’s cos he doesn’t want to be.

    • runnergirl says:

      Lynda from L. Hang in there with NC. Based on what I’ve gone through with the ex MM, and reading so many, many posts from others, he may need an ego stroke. That’s it. A shag would be even better for him. Not even a succulent cake for you. He just wants to know you still miss him. The best Natalie article ever for me was “Miss You, Miss You but I’m not doing anything to get back with you.” Then read Natalie’s article “Suck it and See”. Those two posts and all the fabulous comments have gotten me through sticking with NC. Every single time he does the “I miss you”, we are soul mates, best friends, remember the good times, BS, I’ve responded then why aren’t you moving heaven and earth for us to be together? Oh dear, last night, when I pointed out that HE was the obstacle to us being together, he just went dead silent. No succulent cake, no crumbs, just stratight out honesty. Ouch!

      • Allison says:


        You’re still communicating with the MM?

        • runnergirl says:

          I thought I blocked him on my cell but I just deleted his prior two years worth of texts instead of blocking and he recently sent a text. I made the mistake of responding which opened the door just a crack and whoosh, just like smoke he wafted back in. I also mistakenly thought that after 4 mos of NC, I’d be okay so I agreed to a phone conversation, see my post above. That was it. It’s done and final now. No more creeping around his wife’s back with me, no more crumbs, no more texts, emails, or phone calls. I’m done! Thanks for all your support. I don’t know where I’d be without this site and all of you. For all of you in NC hang in there and stay NC.

      • Lynda from L says:

        Thanks Grace and Runner Girl. I will look up the article you mentioned. Even the words ‘Miss you,miss you…are so hollow to me now. I have stayed No Contact. He was wholly focused on filling the gaps in his life. I see that clearly now.Everyday I think about him a little less,soon I won’t think about him at all.x

  15. Brand New Day says:

    Open and shut case of assholerey? Yes siree! After 1 year NC I included my ex EUM/AC in a Happy New Yr text message…biggest mistake ever!!! It was the classic, alcohol induced “What harm will it do?” scenario. My bad. After the initial (sober) cautious exchanges the exAC honed in on all my past weaknesses; wrote poetic, romantic, rose petal strewn words: said he had strong intense feelings for me and promised heaven and earth. He was blowing hotter then ever. He said he didn’t understand my long silence but realised now, how important it was and how he wanted, more than ever, to see me (BTW he lives on the other side of the world!), was planning to come and spend time with me, blah, blah, blah. I do admit I loved the attention. It appeared he had changed and was more “committed”. He was ready to travel to me. I began reading more and more into his words and overanalysing our exchanges. I felt myself caving BUT, thank goodness I’d found Natalie’s blog a year ago and had taken all her good advice on board, because as soon as I started to question his intentions and checked that I stay true to reality and myself, it became apparent that the deliciously-iced, juicy looking cake was actually stale inside. It was the same-old, SAME-old AssClown! As soon as I questioned the intentions of his proposed visit, he said he had none, wanting only to have “good moments” as we had in the past (which were all at my emotional and financial expense, causing anxiety and almost a nervous breakdown as I always thought/hoped our “good moments” meant more and would lead to a future together). Normally I would have been meek, desperate for his crumbs, playing along on his terms, only to despise myself later for being used and manipulated. Well, THIS time I replied that after 10 years of sporadic “good moments” (read: sex and empty promises), I expected some commitment, or a plan to work towards. I wrote that I didn’t do intimacy without a real relationship. I said I wanted a proper supportive emotional connection with a partner and if that wasn’t what he wanted, I suggested he save his pennies (because this time I wasn’t going to pay a cent) and not bother visiting. Well, within the space of minutes his “hot” blew “cold”. He…

    • Cam says:

      BND – I love the thought of the stale cake underneath. I used the crap-filled doughnut as my analogy. It looks wonderful on the outside all glazed and sweet, but every now and then you catch a whiff of something. You tell yourself (despite the odorous whiffs) that you have a great doughnut (i.e. man). Then, when you really get into it, you realize that it isn’t filled with jelly or creme, it is filled with crap. Its not obvious just looking at the doughnut, but it is not worth the disgusting taste that it will leave in your life.

      I am more careful about what doughnuts I select now :).

      • LostEnergy says:

        I absolutely LOVE this analogy Cam :-) Its always difficult weighing things up when there’s good/sweet stuff you keep remembering…. but the crap filled donught sums it up to a T. Fantastic, thank you! A good bit of imagery (guess it works on sight and taste =multi sensory!) works wonders x

      • Magnolia says:

        That’s graphic but pretty darn accurate!

        • Cam says:

          Magnolia: I struggled with the analogy and I am not a delicate little flower… I have to see my ex at work every day so I need the most graphic reminder of who he truly is when everyone around me thinks he is just a glazed doughnut.

          I think we all find ways we have to through this site and our lives to remember to re-center ourselves into reality. BR has been a very, very important resource for me as I learn about myself in completely new ways and not just in dating – in other relationships as well.

          • Magnolia says:

            I hear you, Cam. You made me laugh out loud with both these posts. I absolutely LOVE glazed doughnuts!

            My self esteem must be getting better: a poo-filled doughnut would be WAY more disappointing than discovering someone is an AC. Because now … there is only one of those that I would, in the first place, have put in my mouth!

    • Audrey says:

      BrandNewDay: i’m silently applauding here… you didn’t fall for his bs, you gave him a good grilling and he folded – it’s amazing how the assclowns can go from hot as sahara to cold as antartic within a matter of nano-seconds!

      What’s the deal with the animal Crackers in story above?? crazy!

      This is a great post Natalie.. If i had found you years ago, i would have saved myself some amount of heartache!!

  16. Brand New Day says:

    (oops, forgot the word limit)
    …He said he was confused and wanted no pressure…. only good times. Assholery revisited. I still don’t understand how a guy who is perfect in every other sense can be so unreliable (and until now, unpredictable) when it comes to relationships. I guess thats just projecting expectations where there shouldn’t be any, as the feelings aren’t mutual. So, case closed. At 46, I didn’t want to waste time on superficial icing with stale crumbs anymore. Life’s too short to overthink and over dramatise. I couldn’t have done it without you, Natalie. All your predictions came true about this situation. Thank you; you are a sage to the modern woman.

    • grace says:

      brand new
      good for you but be very very very wary of “perfect in every other sense”. It’s very easy to be “perfect” with someone – to be charming, good fun, show them a good time, be attentive ON YOUR OWN TERMS. Most decent people, though, are aware of their limitations and wouldn’t, for instance, take a dog home from the shelter without being sure that they’d feel the same way about it next week, next month, next year. You don’t adopt a child on a whim, just so you can feel good about yourself and treat him/her to a few nice days out. And a man/woman shouldn’t talk up a future and take up someone’s time unless they’re prepared to follow through.
      Yes I can be perfect in every way too, for a day or two. But it’s just a nice show. It’s not real. In the meantime, leave me alone thanks very much, I can’t keep it up!

  17. jennifer says:

    its AMAZING how often i read ur letters and lol! almost all, no lie, all of them, i can relate too! its like u were there being invisible and writing about me and my SUPER assclown! i dont know how u know everything u know but i am soooooo very thankful i found u years ago! u saved me! btw…most of my forensic team informed me a year ago that when they used to see my # on caller id, they would cringe! hahahaha! obviously they admitted this after a year of finding u and healing!

  18. Jen says:

    yeah mine still texts me at all hours (drunk) tells me he loves me but doesn’t want to jump back into a relationship with me but would i please just come over tonight. I finally blocked his number. It’s just a text and I deserve better!

  19. kell says:

    Great post. I chuckled when I read the part about over analyzing texts, because I have spent many hours doing just that. I discovered Baggage Reclaim about a year ago and I’m glad I did! Natalie is heaven sent. I read posts daily – here and on Facebook. A few days ago I ended and almost year and a half situation – that’s all I can call it, as it was never the relationship I intended it to be. I initiated No Contact last Fall, but I slowly let him back thru the door :( . The first 6 months were fabulous, and then I started to see the Assclown in him slowly emerge. I made the mistake of acting as I was his exclusive girlfriend, and did all the things one would do in committed, loving relationship. I stared seeing that he showing less interest and affection – emotionally and physically. After reading about EUM’s and Assclowns, he is classic EUM & he started committing acts of assclownery. Tons of red flags waving in my face. I finally let loose the other day and attempted a conversation with him about the condition of things. I was furious and deeply hurt by his responses. He stared straight at the television and never looked my way. He got up to leave and just walked out the door. I was upset by what had just transpired and called him only to get his voice mail. Later in the day he texted me this: You know what?” I’m sorry for the way I make you feel. If you never want to see me again I will understand.” I agreed that it should be over, yet I was annoyed that it felt like he ended it when I should have ended it a long time ago! I still don’t know why this bothered me or mattered. I made a huge mistake by texting him late the next night. I wanted to know why he still came around when he had no real interest and why didn’t break it off decently. At that particular moment, I wanted him to know what he did to me was wrong. The very next day I came across an article here discussing exactly that. I regret sending that late night text and knew better than to even contact him, but I did it anyway. His response still has my blood boiling. He said: LOL…I never said I was wrong, I said I was sorry for how you feel.”
    Suddenly had this sinking feeling thinking about ALL of the things I allowed him to get away with…

    • grace says:

      walk away please. it’s a long day in hell (almost literally) waiting for someone to be what they’re not. If he was a decent person who cared about you and was able to consider your feelings you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. The horse has bolted, let it go. Don’t go chasing it down for the last word, he’ll just trample you. NC him again, no looking back this time!
      Yes it’s maddening but don’t give him the satisfaction of pursuing him.

      • Minky says:

        I agree with Grace. Don’t go chasing him down for the last word – he will never tell you what you want to hear. No response from him will ever make you feel validated or justified. You have to do that for yourself. Your life isn’t about him anymore – it is now all about you.

        Once you get some space and distance, you won’t care how it ended, who said what, or any of it. I was very angry at my ex EUM after we split and i wanted him to know it and to grovel and apologise. Thanks to BR i stuck to NC and now i am SO glad i maintained my silence and my dignity. Nothing i would have said would have changed the situation, or the man.

        He knows he did wrong – don’t you worry about that. This is probably not the first time he’s been in this situation with a woman Your silence will be the most powerful message you can give him.

        Go and get on with your life. Thi man has taken up too much of your energy already.

    • TeaTime says:

      “He said: LOL…I never said I was wrong, I said I was sorry for how you feel.””

      Reminds me of my xAC’s last message he sent me after I sent him a message telling him I’m cutting ties once and for all – “I’m sorry you feel hurt, I didn’t want you to feel that way”. This is the furthest thing from an apology, and it was one last displacement of responsibility onto me. These guys never take responsibility for their actions and always make the girl feel bad even though it’s THEIR actions that caused the hurt in the first place.

      Be happy that you are no longer with this fool. If you ever feel tempted to break the NC come to BR and read the posts and comments. Stay strong!

    • Jo says:


      A similar thing happened to me the first time I tried to go NC on my last clown. I broke it, and at the time I told myself it was because I wanted to inquire about his mother, who was very ill and almost dying. I sent him a text only to get no response back. I was boiling mad, at myself! Because I broke NC out of compassion (and truth to be told, because I just wanted the contact) but then was ignored by him. There is a certain satisfaction that I had starting NC which dissipated the moment I realized he wouldn’t answer my text. Well, after much self abuse and pulling my hair out about why I let myself be weak and break my resolved, I realized the worst thing I could do is further break NC and if the clown should ever contact me, I would stick to NC…for real this time. And I have! So, all is not lost. Yes you let him get away with a lot, but only you can end it. And it’s never too late. You can’t take back the past, but you can take back your dignity and your freedom from this clown starting now.

    • kell says:

      Hi Ladies,
      This morning as I could barely get out of bed, drowning in my anguish, frustration and disbelief of my situation, I thought I would share my continuing Assclown saga that has gone past the point of horrible.You have all been so kind and I embarrassed to be in the situation I am today. There is no contact with AC , except some random text messages from him trying to keep the door open to my life. I recently had two incidences of check fraud/money order. A single check was stolen out of my checkbook. The check dated back to August 2010. It was written by a female in the amount of $850 and she signed my name. When it was presented to my account, I had less than $850 in my acct, so it resulted in an overdraft fee. I never connected it to him until the money order went missing. When we were still seeing each other, he spent the night as he has done 100′s of times before. In the morning I grabbed my keys and left to take my daughter to school for the usual 10 min ride. When I returned, we chatted a bit and he left. A few days prior, I purchased a money order for $450 that I had not filled out yet and it was nicely tucked away in my wallet that was laying on my dresser that morning. Later that day he texted me and asked if he could have some shoes shipped to my home because he didn’t trust his roommates girlfriend. I said sure and texted my address. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered the entire blank money order was missing. Luckily I paid for a 96 cent money order with my ATM/debit card and was able to have the vendor print a duplicate receipt, including serial number for the money order. I ordered a copy of the money order which had already been cashed. My name and address were filled out and I recognized the handwriting immediately – it was his. The person who cashed it was a different female who i found on his facebook as a friend. I spoke to a financial crimes detective yesterday, who told me there is nothing they can do and to “pick better friends.” This felt like a hot slap in the face. I heard it said just the other day that in order to be betrayed you must have access and trust. He had both. I am grateful that I know who he really is, but it feels like a waste of 18 months of my life and that all that time nothing was real. I’m finding it hard to move on because of how deeply the betrayal runs and that no one but me is…

      • NML says:

        Jesus Kell. I’m sorry about what you’ve discovered. It’s not that relationships/love/men are not to be trusted – it’s that anyone who behaves like an AC is to be cut off. They’ll dip in and out of your life, your knickers, you bank account and anything else that serves their purpose. This man is shameless and he’s now got some woman in on the act. Jaysus…

        The same thing happened with a friends mother only he got the woman to sign off on £70k. Oh and I should add – the accomplice is eventually turned on and gets stiffed by him and a new accomplice so Miss Fraudster will feel it herself soon.

        Take it as the absolute last nail in the coffin for him and never ever have anything to do with him. Ever.

        ACs are ACs for a reason. You keep ‘em around, they’ll tap-dance all over your ass without a second thought.

        For the police to pursue a case, it is easier to report it to your bank who have to, by law, investigate. It’s fraud – so notify them and tell them how it has come about. They can do something about it.

        • kell says:

          Thank you Nat. I reported to my bank as soon as I discovered the check over drafted my account. What is very odd is the scanned copy of the back of the check is not clear where it was cashed, the bank personnel could not figure it out either. It was not presented directly to my bank. I suspect that she took it to a check cashing establishment, as there was a four day delay before it cleared my account. Even though it cost me an overdraft fee of $35, I believe they got away with the entire $850. I just ordered my check systems report, which will show if i have any bad checks out there. I hope to be able to track where it was cashed that way; ill know in about a week. This is a mess and he has gotten away with the perfect crime. He is an up and coming musician in my town and it makes me sick that there are people who admire and pay to see him play. He is prospering in and I am still sorting out the mess he left. Nat, I am grateful for your words of wisdom. You’re an amazing woman!

  20. pam says:

    Live is so short and goes by so quickly , we don’t need these poor excuses per a real partner, in our lives violating us by wasting our precious and valuable time.
    EUMs , passive aggressives,abusers,cheats etc, call them what you want…these people are thieves, of the very worse kind I might add, as they rob and defraud people out of their happiness ,emotional,physical and mental well being.
    They are criminals, nothing less. I believe …
    If the law had an act, which acknowleged and took into account the potential life long damage and affect EUMs and passive agressive behaviour has on it’s recipients , then the people who carry out this
    behaviour …… would all be in gaol.

    • Allison says:


      There is life “long damage” as long as we allow the drama to continue. Remember, we are the ones who choose to stay stuck in these nowhere realtionships.

      • kell says:

        Thanks Ladies for the replies…i like the analogy of the horse, Grace. The last part of my story didn’t post… Suddenly had this sinking feeling thinking about ALL of the things I allowed him to get away with. There is definitely No Contact in effect. I am trying to figure out why am I still angry and analyzing these two texts. To make matters worse, I didn’t know he was a musician until we were seeing each other for a few months. Now I have to possibly deal with seeing his public image as his music is starting to take off. I would appreciate any feedback. Thanks.

        • Magnolia says:

          ‘He said: “LOL…I never said I was wrong, I said I was sorry for how you feel.”’

          What a jerk. Really, the LOL is so disrespectful. It’s like he’s amused that you finally spoke up about the way he knows he’s been treating you, and has been waiting to tell you that you could go but just wanted to wait and see how long you’d take it.

          He’s an ass. Give NC a good long shot and those texts won’t seem in such need of analysis; their assclownery will be crystal clear.

          Mine pushed for break-up sex twice when he saw I wasn’t in tears or furious as per my decision to try to break up civilly, and also compared his position in that moment to a Muslim man who was deciding to divorce me so all he had to do was say “I’m done with you” three times. Those precious parting acts aren’t even worth expending the mental energy it took me to type out this sentence, much less analyze them.

          • kell says:

            You nailed it, Magnolia. I was so caught up in the words at the time, I didn’t catch the tone. He was amused at the fact that I didn’t opt out a long time ago and rode it for as long as he could – exactly.

    • kell says:

      Yes! Criminal acts. Well said, Pam.

      • Audrey says:

        Kell: An assclown will always want the last word . And an assclown will NEVER give you any satisfaction in the way of a true apology for one reason – THEY AIN’T SORRY.

        Assclowns know exactly what they are doing – they know very well how to manipulate and control and assclowns know they are getting away with it. the motto of an assclown, i think is
        *i’ll keep doing it (manipulating and controlling) because its what i do*
        My ex assclown said this to me when i challenged him on his neglect *that is how i operate*.
        ANd sending that text to you LOL., etc. is just typical of an assclown – they have to have the upper hand at all costs.
        Don’t give him the satisfaction of a repsonse in the future.

        • kell says:

          So true, Audrey. When look back and think of how much I enjoyed his company and how we spent hundreds of days and nights together, it makes me sick to think a year and a half seems wasted on and Assclown. Sad how they are cloaked in this spirit of manipulation and deception and have no conscious about what they do and who they hurt. It will be a week of NC tomorrow and I have no desire to contact him. Just like you said, I will never get a true apology or explanation – he’s not sorry.

    • LostEnergy says:

      Wow an act in law -to deal with peoples bad karma… When you think that hard criminals could be; good looking, well kempt, skilled at lots of trades, can cook clean well etc, be very generous and loving when they want to be …and callous other times, thats a scary realisation…
      There’s a song called ‘Jar of hearts’ by Christina Perri -which i think befits our situation pretty well.

  21. debra says:

    Amen!!!! The AC used to leave me lunch on my office door and I thought that meant he cared about me. It didn’t. He used to reply to all my emails within minutes. I thought that meant he cared about me. It didn’t. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, unless you really want it to be something else. I have been trying lately to get really clear and honest about what was mine and what was his, with the goal of being able to see myself and my stuff clearly. There is no question that I was deluded in much of the “relationship” but there is also no question that I was being led on in a number of ways. I was making a banquet out of a cracker, but he was still throwing the crackers.

    The real take home message for me is having a life of my own. If I have so little going on in my life and in my self that a cracker suddenly looks good, that’s the issue. Not the jerk throwing the cracker. It’s also the thing I can do something about. If I love myself enough to know that I deserve better than a cracker, I won’t end up in a screaming match with an AC, yelling that I am no longer even getting the cracker and wondering why he doesn’t give a damn.

  22. Charlotte says:

    Pork scratchings! Lol!

  23. Ali says:

    As usual NML….spot on. Just the lift and reminder that i needed today!

    Nearly two months of NC and the “fog” is starting to lift.
    Especially love the following two paragraphs….if I had that simple but soooo important thought back two years ago, i would have saved myself so much pain and grief… really is as simple as these two paragraphs!

    You are the best NML!!!
    “People are a lot less complicated than you give them credit for – what complicates people are your perceptions of what you think they’re doing and not accepting the simple truth of their actions or character.

    When you have an overactive imagination, like to play Columbo, and tend to see yourself at the centre of other people’s actions it’s complicated. When you see things as they are, not how you’d like them to be or what you wish they’d go back to, and you don’t internalise other people’s actions, life gets a whole lot simpler.”

    What a great site…couldn’t have got back to “sane” without it! Thanks Nat x

  24. dawn says:

    Seems to me that what is behind the behavior of A/C’s is control. As soon as a woman starts wanting certain behaviors from them, has expectations of how they want the relationship to proceed, they withdraw, they don’t want to be told what to do or be dominated. And that’s how they perceive things when a woman asks for more than they are presently giving. This kind of behavior and this mindset was formed early in their lives. You can’t change that. And it’s waste of time being involved with these types. You can’t fix it.

    • LostEnergy says:

      I really like this comment, on the occasions I requested something -as simple as a phonecall when he was working away -that caused friction and was too much too ask , ended up feeling like I was too needy or neurotic -for just wanting a phonecall at the en of the day. [Especialy considering he used to call 8 or more times in a row constantly when he was trying to contact me (like I might have been in the shower or at a class). He used to get possessive and accuse me etc when contacting me. When you look at it in the cold light of day -if they cant even step up to the plate and call back it doesnt show much ability to be a real man… I mean the kind you’d be proud to call your partner or husband one day does it…

      • Jo says:


        “When you look at it in the cold light of day -if they cant even step up to the plate and call back it doesnt show much ability to be a real man… I mean the kind you’d be proud to call your partner or husband one day does it…”

        I love the way you put that. I just copied it into my journal : )

        • LostEnergy says:

          Good to know we can help each other out with our thoughts and reflections, at least it means something good has come out of our expereinces.

    • Movedup says:

      Its easier to fix ugly – Visa its everywhere you want to go!

  25. maria says:

    I received the “hope you had a good Thanksgiving” and the “Merry Christmas” and yes way over analysed his intentions for days…I instituted NC but just when I was getting on.. these messages would pop up(he always texted we have never spoken on the phone even during the dumping and I was moving out of the house we were planning to buy together) I had to totally cut the cord and blocked his number. I recommend it.. it allows you to stop anticipating and move on. It’s one less thing you have to consider as you pick up the pieces ..make sense of it all..recover from the fallout and realize that you were with an assclown, future faker..Natalie you are the best.. thanks for all your amazing advice

    • Audrey says:

      Maria: Blocking all avenues to reach you is the only way to move forward out of the madness and into the light and into a brand new day and a new beginning full of possibilities and joy and happiness…. I did that and it was the beest decision I made for myself .

      I hated the fact that the ex-assclown could text whenever he got a notion and i simply did not want to hear from him anymore.

  26. Turbulence25 says:

    Almost two years later after discovering that during our two years of dating he was married, the b.s. continued. Numerous attempts at no contact, stretches as long as six or seven months, but ultimately I’d end right back up where I began, and ultimately I’d end up getting hurt worse and worse each time. If there was ever somebody that has sucked it and seen it is me. So this is my attempt for the umpteenth time to go no contact. I’ve blocked his ability to call or text message.

    I’ve fallen off the wagon more times than I can recount and each time it hurts worst than the last. No more unfounded hope, dramatizations, and over analyzing things that truly don’t matter. Between all the lies, the truest thing he ever said was that he’d never be able to give me the type of commitment that I want, and out of all the mixed messages and ambiguous behavior, the only thing that’s been consistent in all of it was the truth of that simple statement. All his behaviors, no matter or wonderful or painful, just served to confirm what he’d already said. They say when someone tells you who they are, listen to them the first time. People show you who they are by what they do. He’s done both and has done so quite well. I don’t need any further “evidence” to back that statement up. I have two years worth of pain recorded in my journal entries to consult and the painful memories that keep replaying themselves. I’ll forever have the date and the event of losing our child seared in my memory. That will never go away. And at the end of the day, there’s really no greater evidence than that. So to hell with him and all men like him.

    • Leigh says:

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. Nobody deserves to be treated like this.

      That you lost a child and he still acted like an AC says so much. Better to be rid of him and let his wife deal with him otherwise this will zap your energy and bring you reminders of his behaviour.

      After my involvement with the MM and the backwards and forwards of his manipulative evil and nasty ways I vowed (after sucking it and seeing) that I would go NC and stick with it. I also know that he’s a coward and he’s scared of what I might do so he was trying to keep me sweet with the friendship card.

      I know he won’t be in touch, but I have vowed to myself that if he does so ever again I’m going straight to his wife. Yes, I know some people would not agree with me but I at a stage in my life where I don’t need the BS.

      Hang in there, start over and keep coming here this is a place of great healing and comforting words from Nat!

  27. RCGlasses Off says:

    Thank you again, Natalie & Thanks to all the posters! This site is so helpful. I used to be told by guys constantly that I “think too much”. Now I know I was thinking about the wrong things & I’ll be thinking about myself, my feelings, values & boundaries when these guys come “knocking” (and they inevitably do). No more dwelling on them. Flushing the cake! Ha, ha.

  28. jennynic says:


    ” If I love myself enough to know that I deserve better than a cracker, I won’t end up in a screaming match with an AC, yelling that I am no longer even getting the cracker and wondering why he doesn’t give a damn.”

    This statement says a lot and makes perfect sense. When we know we want and deserve better, why do we hang back and argue about what we’re not getting.

  29. oldenoughtoknowbetter says:

    I can spend hours on this site, clicking on links and following them to the next post…..and I learn so much about not only the Assclown behavior, but if I am honest, when I am acting like an Assclown myself! I consider myself a nice, friendly person but if I call a spade a spade, after recently being with a MM Assclown, I am now behaving like one! I had no boundaries with my college boyfriend, now MM, and it was a very painful experience.

    I am now in *negotiations* (can’t call it dating, so maybe it is a version of offering cake) to get what I want from a much younger man. I know, and he knows because I was honest with him, that there is no real future potential for us, the age difference is just too great. So he is putting up boundaries and I am trying to bust through them because I want to have a physical relationship with him. My thinking was of course all men want to have sex however they can get it, so who am I hurting (in my case, the cake is the sex)? Well, the answer would be he is smart enough to know that is not what he wants and all I have to offer him given the circumstances. And he is emotionally healthy enough to put up the boundaries, but we have strong sexual chemistry and he is intrigued so he doesn’t tell me to get lost when I push. So after reading the posts, if I want to view myself as a decent person and not an Assclown, I need to do the right thing and let this one go….

    So Natalie, thanks for not only showing me how to spot the Assclowns, but also for making me look at when I am being one myself. Ouch.

    • Magnolia says:


      I feel the same way. I’ve realized through this site how it takes two mature committed people to have a balanced relationship, and how carefully you have to be looking for that balance in order to find it. SO many relationships have one person who is pushing or stonewalling to have their way, and one who has a hard time with the other person being upset or annoyed and who will cave easily. Asshole and fallback person. I’ve been both.

    • Allison says:


      You do realize you keep placing yourself in relationships where no future is possible. Have you addressed your fears with intimacy, so that you may move on to something healthy and sustaining?
      The young guy is another way of not dealing with the problem.

  30. Cindy says:

    “Reads Too Much Into Things” is my middle name. I used to make a big deal out of this or that, thinking it secretly meant more. But I realized that I was turning breadcrumbs into big feasts. When I finally opened my eyes, I saw how “lazy” my ex-EUM man was when it came to putting into the relationship. When I called him out and put my foot down about it, he made a cowardly exit. I’m starting to feel like he did me a favor.

  31. Cat says:

    I needed to read this today after running into my ex-boyfriend last night at a music event. He broke up with me about 7 months ago and I am still not over totally over it. I tried to reach out as a friend a few times without being too obvious or adding pressure. He was nice but not forthcoming on his end about the friendship he said he wanted after we broke up and I had to get space for a while. Last night he was real nice to me and offered to smoke some of his weed with me, which I refused politely. I no longer smoke pot and then I said I needed to get back to what I was doing in there. He seemed a little surprised that I would not smoke with him. I spent all morning crying wondering if that was his way of saying he wanted to hang out again and why did I have to quit smoking pot anyway? I’m lonely and miserable now. But I can’t read too much into it being that I remember what you wrote about “lazy communication” and it would take a lot more for him than just asking to smoke pot with me at some chance meeting at a party. I put more effort than that towards him. In short, it doesn’t mean much to me. It simply cannot.

    • Magnolia says:

      It’s just pot / just cake :)

    • grace says:

      if that’s “his way” he can shove it. it’s extremely rare to remain friends with someone who dumped you. and of those rare cases its even rarer that its a good idea. and of those exceptional cases where it is a good idea i’m pretty sure it doesn’t start with smoking pot.
      I’m sure you gave up smoking pot for good reasons but should you want to start again don’t do it just because HE does.

  32. LostEnergy says:

    On nalysing texts, words and sentance stucture, I’ve had much columbo momentos. My ex used to text ‘i love you’ etc for quite a while, this dropped off, when we re-kindled i got a text saying ‘luv ya’. Now, I dont know about you but my feeling reaction to this was very different, felt like I’d been downgraded to a moldy bit of ginger cake rather than a luxury gateau. But perhaps this was me genuinely noticing his waning interest or effort and seeing the truth rather than being in denial and feeling chuffed with crumbs… or was i just over-analysing a different way of saying the same thing… perhaps i felt like he didnt really mean it anyhow as he rarely managed to say this looking into my eyes.

  33. ph2072 says:

    As someone who is NOTORIOUS for overthinking, this resonates with me in an amusing way. It brings me back to all the times I’d overanalyse EVERYTHING when it came to men. It’s kind of amusing, looking back. While I still overthink just about everything, I’ve calmed it down a little, especially when it comes to men (thanks to this site).

    And the “forensic lab”….. ROTFLMAO! Yep, had that too! No more though.

    Now, time to let Jesus weep over my stupidity. :-|

    *Jesus wept* *CROAKS*

  34. trinity says:

    Timely post, just like the reader you spoke about I to work with my X and had to put in place NC even though HE decided to end things.
    Usually he tries to get my attention through the acts of “im p&ssed off routine and i want you to know it” what about ? who knows like i said it was his dumb choice. You know things like bashing and banging around in the kitchen, dirty looks etc.
    Lately after over a year apart he has suddenly done things like this, the other day he said ” i really like your hair the way you have styled it”. A few days later, “would you like me to leave the milk out for you”, a few weeks before hand i recieve an email ” i thought you should no your fav shows has just started up again”
    With the latest one which was the hair coment, i was taken back for around 5 minutes, confused, why did he say that etc. You see it took me off gaurd. Then i thought who cares. I dont care about him anymore and it all just forms his normal pattern on crap, up and down, hot and cold and inconsistant as hell. Lets face it i think he did it to take me off gaurd.
    So i forgot about it until i read this article.
    But 2 years ago i would have created a whole story about his meaningless actions. This time it took 5 minutes and i was done, bored actually.
    Im polite to him at work but i never look at him, if he speaks to me for instance “do you want this milk”? i look past him, or to the side of him or just turn my head slightly but not my eyes and say “yes leave the milk” then go back to what im doing. Its polite, im smiling but its my own happiness not a smile to him but my interraction is also extremely removed.This might sound odd but ive made myself untouchable to him, out of his league. And as arrogant as that might sound, i am……and i was right from the begining thats why he put on such an act to win me over. Im not talking about superficial stuff im talking about who i am compared to him emotionally, maturity, integrity…that kind of thing. To me he doesnt exist and he feels it. Im not trying to be an @sshole. I just dont respect, like, trust and want him in my life. While he tries to deperately in any way keep the connection we had and why wouldnt he, it was good and i treated him well. I make…

  35. Lily says:

    I used to do this reading too much into a guy’s behaviour… when I was in high school. I did it because I was influenced by mass media, magazines, movies, tv shows, books where the girls all gather together excitedly to talk about the latest thing that boy X did and try to decipher/read meaning into it. Let’s face it, doing that shit is fun. Not healthy fun, but it’s still fun to think, “Maybe he likes me!” and anticipate and daydream and think you’re worthy just because (you think) some guy is paying attention to you. Never mind considerations of whether you like him, or whether he would be a good partner, it’s just fun to be the special girl in your group of girls and getting boy attention. It’s a power trip.

    This behaviour is all to easy to continue into your 20s, 30s and beyond. When you find yourself in a tizzy of “Maybe him doing this means that” put on the brakes and ask yourself why you are doing this, and what you really want. So you want him to like you? To want to be in a relationship with you? Again, ask yourself why. Why is HIS attention so important to you? Then, ask yourself, Does he treat me well? (In many cases, the answer will be no.) One of the most effective ways to wipe a guy from your mind is to focus on yourself. Focus on things that you’re interested in, the great healthy food you’re going to cook for yourself, your workout or class at the gym, etc. etc.

    Healthy guys who want to be in a healthy relationship with you will show it in healthy ways, not in the examples that Nat described. But, you also have to be in a healthy place to recognize that that is what is happening.

  36. debra says:

    PLEASE MIND THE GAP – the gap between what a gesture by an AC/EUM actually means and what we desperately want it to mean. I fell into that gap and was very hurt. I was very guilty of this, reading all kinds of meaning into every little thing, which kept me from seeing that that was all that was on offer – little things.

    The expression that keeps coming to mind is “the least I could do”. When normal people say this, it is meant to imply they are willing to do so much more and they back that up with deeds and words. With assclowns, it means exactly that – this was the least amount of time, effort and thought I could put into something to sustain the relationship at the level I want it at. They are experts at finding women who do the rest – read all kinds of wonderful things into their pitiful attempts at interacting. Prime example – the AC used to bring me food all the time. I thought it was a loving gesture and interpretted it as signs of love. The woman he shares an office with had a disagree with him and they didn’t speak for 3 weeks. One day, he showed up with chocolates. She told him to shove it – that it didn’t mean anything and wasn’t an apology. The difference between someone with healthy self-respect (her) and someone with delusions and low-self-esteem (me).

    I have been trying to figure out my accountability in my bad relationships. In the wake of the last AC, I blamed him for everything, including his pitiful half-assed gestures. I now see that I have to own this. All he was doing was being an assclown, giving nothing and hoping it was enough. I was the one who tried to pretend it was enough, in the hopes it actually would become something. I have to own this.

    • Magnolia says:

      You make a good point: my ex used to feed me a lot of nice food, and I was practically INSTRUCTED to count that as signs of love, to the point of him bringing up “love languages” to me (as in, if I spoke the right love language, his feeding me and taking me on trips would feel like the love that it was, and wouldn’t get so worked up about things that weren’t in his language like affection or honesty).

      The point is, even if what they are doing is a big deal to them, and IS their gesture at apology, or patching things up, or ‘being nice’, that doesn’t excuse us from figuring out what “best practices” of life and love are and holding ourselves and them to those.

      I’ve been guilty of taking a Montessori teacher approach to my men: as in, I don’t want to give you a grade, I’ll reward you for good effort. I do believe there are lots of places in life to deal with people that way, but choosing a life partner isn’t one of them. I spent a lot of unnecessary time on my ex because he was visibly trying. But in the course of relationship skill his effort was moving him from a D to a C+, maybe a C, and I kept feeling bad for him, instead of looking at reality, which is that the man had 50 years of life to start to aim for A-level relationships. He wasn’t at that level. He shouldn’t make the team.

      So he would offer a crumb, a cake on the desk, as it were, and expect to me to respond with the praise and enthusiasm of a patient encourager. I felt ‘wrong’ for wanting to respond like an impatient teammate, wanting to play the A game, and wishing he were better at it. I would let every gesture suggest he had the ‘potential’ to get better at it.

      I have been guilty too of doing ‘the least I could do’ in relationships and feeling like I had protected myself from being used. Now I’m focusing on myself and looking for ways to give a full loaf, in accordance with my values, in my non-romantic relationships so that I can see what it feels like and looks like to be a giver, not a taker. Hopefully once I’m at an A-level in that, a fellow giver will recognize me and we can have fun giving to each other.

  37. pam says:

    We all have to be responsible for our own actions , however honest pople are not aware of what an EUM is until they encounter one. Decent men don’t opaerate like this , so when meeting an EUM , confusion becomes the name of the game. On the other hand EUM know exactly what they are doing and what their next move will be,because they are experts at behaving this way.Many other women would have reacted to his EUM behaviour prior to you or I meeting one. So they would know fully well , how they act and what they do is deliberate, and that’s what makes it so filthy and disgusting.
    They think it’s ok to use women fulfil their own selfish,be it companionship or sex or both.In fact some of these men have down to such a fine art,they have one woman for friendship,one for sex,one who is good for being seen in public with , one who is maternal…all at the same time..and none of these women know the other women exist. To EUMs it’s all a game ,the excitement of having all these women !!!!!!!!!!!!!!very very sick people are they.

    • Allison says:

      I think we get ourselves into a lot of trouble when we see ourselves as victims, as we will most likely end up in the same position again.

      I can clearly say that the red flags were there and that I thought I would be the exception to the rule, due to poor boundaries and low self-esteem I tolerated a lot of nonsense. Individuals with stronger boundaries would have bailed from this type of relationship when the inconsistencies began to appear.

      This relationship was very painful, BUT the lesson learned made it all worthwhile. I have finally learned to love and look out for my own well being.

  38. TeaTime says:

    “People are a lot less complicated than you give them credit for – what complicates people are your perceptions of what you think they’re doing and not accepting the simple truth of their actions or character.”

    This hits the nail on the head! As much as I hate the xAC and all he did to me, I realize I had a part to play in all of the madness by not accepting the simple truth of their actions. I took everything he did or said and analyzed and twisted it into what I wanted to hear or see. Looking back, I see he was showing me his true colours 95% of the time. My own confusion of what a healthy relationship is just added so much fuel to the fire that he could have done anything and I would interpret it to mean something positive.

    My eyes have been opened – If he is acting like an assclown, HE IS AN ASSCLOWN. Flush! Next!

  39. Kathy says:

    I have gone back and read this post about 5 times over the weekend. After six months of putting up with all of the things being a complete assclown entails, I am ready to move foward. I know that he means me no good and I have asked him, begged him please stop calling or texting me. He got my new number from a mutual friend and he still calls me drunk and I answer excitedly. WTF is wrong with me? This guy is a total douchebag and I am genuinely trying to move forward and he decides to test the boundaries and sure enough I let him crash them. I installed a call blocking app on my phone this morning, I hope it works. It is just a much my dillema though to be able to ignore the crumbs he throws me and stop putting him on a pedestal. A drunk dial is a drunk dial. Guess I just needed to vent. This has been my epiphany “relationship” and I am sick of letting this assclown resonate in my mind.

  40. Sonia says:

    I had been so proud of myself for maintaining NC with my ex-AC for 6 months until a few weeks ago when he called me out of the blue. I ignored the call at first but the silly over-analysing Natalie talks about came into play and I started to think “what does he want now?”, and not suprisingly a few hours later, I broke the rules and texted him. Ladies, you know that letter that you never send in which you write about his asshole behaviour and how you’d like him to go jump off a bridge, well I ended up sending it to him.

    I told him I knew he was calling because he wanted something, told him what a s**thole he’d been to me and let him know about the high regard I now had for myself, how I wasn’t the same girl he treated as a doormat anymore, how I loved and cared for myself first now and how his next victim would regret having invited a mean, selfish, narcissistic f**ker like him into her life. He then replied condescendingly, talking about how he’s sad I feel that way about him, how he’s glad I love myself and that I should always do that, and that he only called because he worries about me and wanted to find out how I was doing. I slapped myself for having responded when i got that condescending tone but I thought he’d leave me alone after that.

    A few days later, this guy had the brass-balls to call me again. I ignored him and he resorted to texting, telling me how he couldn’t believe I broke up with him after all we had, how he misses me and will always love me (he rarely said he loved me in our entire 2 and a half yr “non-relationship”). I found myself reading into what all this meant, why he was looking to worm his way back into my life and hadn’t he met somebody else yet? I thought I’d be over this AC’s game-playing by now but I realise I’ve still got some way to go on finding validation for myself. Although it felt good, I didn’t need to tell him that he’s a messed-up individual who treats women badly. He knows that already.

    @ Runnergirl, even after 6months NC, I knew I wasn’t ready to have a phone conversation with him. Didn’t you get angry knowing he was pressing the reset button, pretending like nothing happened? I know I was, which was what stopped me from answering his…

    • runnergirl says:

      Sonia and others,
      It is so good to know that I am not alone in trying to maintain NC. Thank you Natalie and all who post on this site. If it wasn’t for you all…thank you.
      Sonia, your situation sounds precisely like mine. I resisted the urge to respond, immersed myself in BR, and then broke down and responded exactly because I was so angry he was trying to hit the reset button with a cute little text. Like you, I did the thing Natalie warns us not to do and wanted to set the record straight. Our conversation went a lot like your letter. I’m not your fall back girl, I’m not your mistress, I’m not your emotional airbag, I’m not your booty call, I’m not going to creep around behind your wife’s back, don’t call, don’t text, don’t email, and so forth. I even talked about his next victim. Then I did the core values which are not singing, dancing, bbqing, hiking, and shagging like I used to think. Rather, my core values now are HONESTY, respect, love, and availability. Here’s where I ended the conversation: He insisted that he was always honest with me and I could not lie dishonesty at his doorstep. I couldn’t bring myself to point out that honesty cannot be compartmentalized. So we left it with the memory of how we made love all evening by the fire and he got up the next morning to go to church with his wife which is, apparently, within his realm of being honest. Dear God! That was it. He can make love with one woman by the fire all night and get up and go to church with another woman the next morning and still maintain he is honest. FLUSH. I must have been so wrapped up in the fur coat of denial when that happened. The memory made me physically gag and I reiterated that I am done.

      I think my conversation with him was more a conversation with mynewself. You are spot on. These guys don’t need us to tell them that they are messed up and treat women badly. They know it. I’ve got a lot more work to do too regarding on finding validation from within and I’ve got a lot more work to do moving on with my life.

      I can’t believe he had the audacity to contact you again. Geez Louise. We cannot overanalyze their behavior. Do your best not to respond and move on. I will too…

      • grace says:

        That’s how I feel, I’m kinda glad it happened with the MM (especially as we didn’t have sex so I proved to myself I have SOME boundary!). At the time I felt so weak and helpless but now I know I’m strong. I always had that strength I just didn’t know how to tap into it. As human beings we all have it though it can get dented on the way (probably by parents). My counsellor would look at me and say “I don’t understand why you’ve given him your power”. I thought, what power? Well, now I know what power. I absolutely don’t have to do a single thing for these twits, whether they be men, colleagues, even family. I don’t even have to think about them and their silly cake!

  41. Minky says:

    Yay! Brilliant. It IS just cake.

    The ex EUM sent me an email the other day, asking how i was – actually asking outright: ‘how’s life and the boyfriend etc?’. Quite obvious he was just checking in to see if i was available. Checking to see if i was still part of the harem. Twit. Doesn’t mean he wants me, certainly doesn’t mean he cares! The only thing he cares about is himself! His ego, his libido, his needs.

    I thought nothing of it (beyond: ‘twit!’) and then proceeded to have a fantastic weekend. :)

  42. Christine says:

    I’ve been reading all these posts with enthusiasm for last couple of years. I was involved with what seems to be a classic EUM, a total ‘peter pan’. A guy who is 10 yrs older than me who in the beginning of our relationship announced that he was marrying a 24 yr old he met on vacation. Needless to say that didn’t work out. Our ‘relationship’ went on for a little over 3 years. During the last two years we would constantly argue about the level of committment. He told me straight up he did not see me as a serious relationship, which should definitely be enough to make me lose interest right?? Anyway, I’ve instituted NC several times but the problem is that even though I seriously do know better sometimes I start feeling nostalgic and fall right off the NC wagon…. Help! I need to save myself from myself!

    • runnergirl says:

      Christine, hang in there on the NC wagon. it is the only way out and through. After 4 months of mostly NC, thanks to Natalie and everyone who has posted, I’ve regained some clarity. Our situations may be different as I was the other woman but I’ll never, ever, ever go back to being the other woman. The unspeakable misery of being the other woman is what keeps me firmly committed to moving on and never being that woman again. It was horrific. I became somebody I did not recognize. His texts, emails, and phone calls, and crumbs no longer interest me. Natalie’s cupcake pic was perfect. I want all that pretty pink, fluffy frosting with the sparkles, and the moist cake too. I could spend the next several months trying to delete him, block him, to no avail. Cyberspace is too intrusive. What I can do is simply not respond to him. I so hear you when you get nostalgic. I do too. It hurts. It sucks. I’m resisting him because being the other woman hurts and sucks more than being alone. I’d rather be alone.

      • runnergirl says:

        cell phones and cyberspace sucks. I cut the xMM off email long ago by simply n0t checking my email. He resorted to text because he knows my daughter only commicates by text. She is a 21 year-old and thus gets a text pass. At 50, there is no text pass.

  43. Nevertoolate! says:

    Thank god for this post. My former cell phone was horrible. I could not delete numbers. MM’s number was still on it, I reached into my bag and somehow dialed him and luckily hung up immediately. He dialed me back 2 minutes later from his magic jack phone (he thinks I may not recognize the number, he only called me from it once before). I ignored him, 2 hours later, called me from his regular number, ignored him. The nest night again from his phone jack number, I remained NC. This was 2 weeks ago, I was tempted to try him this evening, reading into it, he did try me 3 times, he must miss me, but felt funny contactiong me after all this time, blah blah, reading into this, he and his wife must be splitting, blah, blah. My mistake call probably triggered his need for an ego stroke and that’s it! I also sucked it up and bought an i-phone and he doesn’t get the priviledge to be MY contact!

  44. Tulipa says:

    Guilty guilty of overanalysing stuff even now I catch myself out analysing the last comment he made so typical of an EUM he said
    ‘We will talk via the phone”
    It is so ambiguous it says precisously nothing.
    I also have to stop wondering and obsessing if he will contact me again I am wasting my time and who cares as long as I stand by my decision to stay no contact. I have had some very happy days where he hasn’t crossed my mind at all.

    • Nevertoolate! says:

      Unfortunately, I think of him every day, but maybe now that I finally have found a job that I love, once the training phase is over I will be too busy. Actually, I am much happier in general, so I am at least on the right path. One day, he will no longer be a memory but a good lesson learned.

    • grace says:

      I’ve had a lot of people hounding me recently cos I’ve switched church. I’ve had voicemails, phone calls, invitations etc. Do I say to them “Look, I’m not interested. Leave me alone.” I do not because I’m too scared, I don’t want the conflict and I don’t want them to think I’m a bad person. And I do actually quite like them, just not enough to let them encroach on my time. I just avoid them -I don’t take their calls or reply to their vm in the hope that they will get the msg. Mind you, I don’t quite have the nerve to say, “I’ll call you” or “Yes, I’ll come” when I know very well that I won’t. So in that respect your guy is a bit worse than me.
      He won’t call you. He won’t spit that out cos, like me, he doesn’t want to feel bad.
      And if he does call you, it will be when it’s convenient to him and when he wants something.
      I’d be more impressed if he said “We’ll talk tomorrow. I’ll call you around 7pm when I get home from work”.
      You work, you go to school, whatever. You know what an appointment/commitment looks like. This isn’t one. Flush him and his cake crumb, fake promise nonsense!

      • NML says:

        Genius comment Grace.
        Tulipa, I see you’re still going round for round with this guy. If you’re looking for him to tell you to eff off and be mean to you and basically ‘do the right thing’ you’ll be dead and buried by then. Do you know what he’s thinking? ‘Surely she’s going to take the hint this time!’ someone doesn’t have to say ‘I’m not interested’ to not be interested. He’s shown you in a 1000 ways – why give him 1001 or 2000 or more?

        • Tulipa says:

          Maybe I worded my comment wrongly because I do know he is never going to tell me go away and it is my intention to stand behind my no contact decesion and I have done things in my favour to ensure I don’t contact him. I know if I make any contact with him he would reply if I call he will return it If I email he will reply if I send smoke signals he would send some back and I also know nothing is going to come from him except ambiguous statements in replies to my contact.
          In your last reply to me NML I honestly believe you got through to me in what you said and I have had no further contact with him just now and then I do catch myself out analysing things that don’t need analysing in my case his ACTIONS are speaking very loudly and I understand what they are saying that he is NOT interested in me. I am in a much better place for knowing this finally. I am not going to give him 10o1 or 2001 times to relay the same message to me.
          You explain things well Grace thank you for you reply.

  45. Audrey says:

    From the posts I read, Nat, it seems that lots of guys have no problem sending *i love you* *i miss you* and sending lots of other seemingly sweet words via text. I think its really insincere – if they meant those words, they would ring the girl to tell her or do something about it.

    All i can say is the mobile phone companies are making a fortune out of the emotionally unavailables and assclowns.

    It’s a real bug bear of mine when guys use texting as their main source of communication, however, i know that the decent guys who want a real relationship will call more than they will text.

    I mean, i don’t have text conversations with my girlfriends and it used to drive me insane when the ex-assclown would instigate a *conversation* via text!!! Never again will i entertain a guy who uses texting as his main form of communication.

  46. Nancy says:

    Wow, I’m so glad I read this post a couple days back.

    I broke things off with a guy that I had been seeing for about 2 months. About a month ago I questioned his intentions and told him that I wasn’t looking for something casual and that if that’s what he thought this was I wasn’t doing it. Well of course he comes back around withing less than 12 hours asking me to hang out and I stupidly let him back in thinking it must mean he’s serious about it…. wrong! this last Friday I asked him again about his intentions and they were the same. So i cut things off…

    He was out of town all weekend but asked me if he could come pick up some stuff he had at my house this morning. So he came over, talked to me like nothing had happened and left. THEN, texts me saying that he had brought me a coffee but that I obviously didn’t want to hang out for a minute. He didn’t bring the coffee in with him.. or say anything about hanging out and chatting for a minute. He just leaves and texts me that. What the heck? I totally would have analyzed this before. Now I just know that it either means nothing or he’s just playing games with my feelings.

    Thank you.

  47. LookingForLove31 says:

    Definitely something we’re all guilty of, and something we need to be reminding ourselves constantly. If only it were easier to remember!

  48. Sue C says:

    Wow Nat, I just got a “piece of cake” this morning in the way of a text! I swear it’s like you are inside my head :-) I guess the universe is trying to tell me something, huh?

  49. Aimee says:

    I just love it when these articles hit right when they are “suppose” to. Thanks Natalie and the Universe!

    I have been NC for 6 1/2 months with one bleep to get a poem from him via phone/mail in beginning Dec….. Ok – I had blocked my ex AC from my email – but it turns out it only works in Outlook not Outlook Express. So, the 17th the AC included me in a “group” email. He is still friends w/ the girl he eyef**ked and had said he should have cut all the contact with her and none of “this” (agruement/breakup) would have happened. He’s all hers – LMAO!!

    Anyway – all I could do was just laugh and shake my head – dumbs**t. Forgot he had me in his “group” in email. That was it, then 20th – my phone rings – caller ID – the AC. Left a message that his nephew had a stroke – no need to answer or call him – I called his sister to see if there was anything I could do (as she and I still talk occasionally). Three days later he sends the same email that he sent to “the group” the week before only personalizing it for “special little me”!!!!

    Thank God – the only thought I have had was – cake – it’s just an email and one lame phone call. He also said in the message that he wanted to say hi and see how I was – wow – really?? Why? He didn’t give a poop how I was when I was with him.

    Yeaaaaaaaaa – it has not bothered me at all. I have no desire to talk to or see him, respond, or anything. My only thought was – “too bad” he lost out!!! Doing good, it didn’t even phase me!!

    Now why would we want to read anything into what these ACs say when they DON’T say what they mean and mean what they say – it’s crazy making and futile!!

  50. Brand New Day says:

    Thanks for the applause. Was easier to give him an ultimatum this time ’round than it was with first NC. The year-long NC helped put things into perspective for me. Goodness knows I lost a lot of that over the 10 year ‘association’ (cause it certainly wasn’t a true relationship) with the AC/EUM. The problem is the feeling of rejection afterwards…that’s hard. Crazy really, because it was a form of rejection on the AC/EUM’s part all along. The ensuing episodes of self doubt post NC are just mind games, insecurities or self-esteem issues…like the notion that you’ll never meet someone who’ll be interested in you (like that) again. Well, here’s hoping!!! We all deserve better than these users & abusers of our emotional sanity & time.
    I SO understand the whole nostalgia thing. 10 years holds a lot of history & it’s human nature to want to focus our memories on only the good times. But history is just that…history. What helped me get thru the 1st NC was a summary of quotes I could relate to from NML followed by a ‘wake up!’ call list of all the rotten behavior & manipulation the ex AC/EUM put me through over the years. I still have this list in my notes on my iPhone, always at the ready to snap me back into reality and I can always check into these posts to get my reinforcement, my backup support from the comments. :) So technology can help too.

  51. I'mFree says:

    Hi, NC is really really hard, I know. I was with an AC/EUM for 5 years (off and on, naturally!) and my decision not to kick him to the curb for his lack of love and respect literally drove me mad.

    There was a final straw (when after meeting up post one of our many break ups, he did the – “your my soul mate, lets get back together, when my divorce is finalised”…blah, blah, only then to keep the contact for a bit before sending me a text(!) to say nah…”changed my mind”). My stomach did that horrible lurch, panicky painful rejected feeling and I just thought, that’s it, I’ve had it with you controlling my emotions. You are an idiot.

    But NC does get easier I promise – I feel, after about 10months of NC, I feel I am totally over him. I honestly NEVER thought I would be – I even moved countries once to try and move on!!!

    Rather than feel the next woman will fare better and feeling jealous of what maybe I could have, I feel sorry for the next person who ends up with him. I honestly think i wouldn’t be at this stage if I had stayed in contact with him, even sporadically. So keep strong, all those people who are going down the NC route. Every day is a day closer to you not giving a *£*£* about some asswipe who had no respect for you.

    I’m looking foward to my next relationship (whenever that will be!) and being cherished and looked after like I now know I deserve.

  52. Jayne says:

    Omg …! Once again this is post rocks! After a year of Future Faking.. My ex broke up w me first a TEXT canceling our plans in the am and then a call in the pm saying I don’t want to br in s relationship on the PHONE!
    Followed by them calling me baby upon hanging up and wanting me to call them the next day!? Ludicrous! I cut contact and had a friend take care of getting my stuff back ….they were suprised when I wasn’t at my own house when they dropped it off! Of course they forgot things and had to continue this drop off routine until I finally got everything back! Long story short…they left notes in my things and sent a couple cards… One right before vday! They think we should talk! Ha! I’m still No contact ( had two very small slips) but have not spoken or met up…. Stay strong! Love the blog Nat!

    • NML says:

      Jayne, I don’t blame you for being NC – your ex is a flake. You couldn’t trust him to be the same person through a whole day.

  53. Recovering addict says:

    I read this earlier this week and laughed because I know when I like someone I look for meaning in every little thing they do. I’ll take the slightest little gesture or word as a sign they like me in return too. Even when they don’t.

    Today I find myself a bit confused though. I was talking to a friend last night. This friend is like a brother to me. However last night there were a several times I found myself thinking “what does he mean by that?” I kept saying to myself “It’s just cake” but it wasn’t working. Why is my brain trying to read meaning into his words and gestures when I’m not interested in him romantically?

    • NML says:

      Recovering Addict, judging by your own start to this comment, it sounds like you have become interested in your friend but are denying the interest.

    • Cat says:

      As someone who is a recovering addict to substances and bad relationships, I can say that obsessive compulsive behavior is part of the equation. It’s much like a thinking and process addiction – to over-analyze and obsess and get some kind of a “rush” off of that – anything to distract from reality or the fact that I am lonely and any male attention enough to feed the obsession which precedes the addiction.

      • Me says:

        Cat!!! Whoah!! Thanks for the strong dose of truth!! So concise and revealing. This is how I’ve operated since I was a little girl…through romantic fantasies. It’s kind of embarrassing and I’ve never divulged this to anyone. I loooove the “high” that comes from a new potential romantic interest and it is like you said “a thinking and processing addiction”. I can even invent them in my head. Yeah, I’ve discovered that I only attract EUM’s in real life. I read Men Who Can’t Love years ago…and the surprise follow up Getting To Commitment and in the end the answer is basically ” you might need AlAnon counseling”. I found that fascinating…because my family does have alcohol issues. I just turned 40 and in some ways this has become more and more frustrating, but in a way I’ve been better. I’ve immersed myself into things and pursuits that I enjoy and am passionate about and this has brought me real satisfaction instead of an empty fantasy in my head. I just fell off the wagon this last week with a hot Spaniard (haha) but thank goodness I quickly recovered and I’m refocused.
        I’ve just learned about being In The Moment philosophy and I’ve been trying to do that and had thought a few times over the years if every second I waste on fantasy I am robbing myself of enjoying “real life.” It is a vicious circle though, because I think it may stem from initially not feeling like you do have love and support so you have to create it in your head.
        Thanks again for confirming all of this! Best of success to you on your journey!

  54. Ashley L. says:

    This is me to a T. But I analyze everything in life. I Google every question I can think of, heck, even my job is in research and analysis. Unfortunately I’m even worse about over-analyzing when it comes to men. Part of it I think comes from impatience, not knowing the answer (does he like me as much as I like him?) and not having the patience to let the answer unfold naturally. Instead I try to squeeze the answer out of the recesses of my own brain, raking it for every bit of data that could possibly point towards an answer. Not only is this useless, but it’s so time consuming! But what’s a girl to do?

    For instance, I met a man in Costa Rica and we had a bit of a fling, now I’m back in DC and I didn’t expect to ever hear from him again, but he’s writing me every day and showing signs of interest, it appears he has been in long distance relationships before and I’m wondering if he would be interested in pursuing one with me. But instead of asking (because I’m afraid of rejection and/or messing things up by being too forward too soon), I re-read our conversations for the right hints. And don’t even get me started on if I don’t hear from him for 2 days at a time. It’s incredible the amount of scenarios that the brain can manufacture in such a short amount of time. I know that this behavior is obsessive but when I become infatuated, it’s hard to stop (or rather, I indulge myself with it).

    Sometimes I wonder though, if the answer to ending over analyzing is to just ask the question you’re dying to know the answer to and letting the chips fall where they may…

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!