you both want different things - going in different directions

When you’re in a relationship where you have conflicting values, it’s likely that it’s going to end because ultimately you both want different things. It’s not a judgment on either of your characters but it is that recognition of an incompatibility that can’t be ignored, although that’s not to say that you won’t attempt to play it down or to hope or push for change.

Discovering that you want different things isn’t unusual and it’s what getting to know someone during the discovery phase of dating and throughout your involvement involves. Of course it’s a pain though, because you invest yourself to some degree (possibly a lot) and there will be hopes and expectations tied up in your involvement and so the disappointment can be hard to deal with.

There can be this conflict between your feelings about this person including your hopes for them but also your feelings and hopes for you too. The right decisions don’t always feel good and certainly aren’t easy and it takes real courage to recognise your needs, acknowledge where there’s a deficit and to assert yourself so that you’re continuing to be true to who you are… even though you have to feel some pain.

Of course if you go in the other direction, that pain can accumulate and the stakes can seem higher and higher making it difficult to exit due to not wanting to feel like it was a ‘waste’ and then spending more time feeling regretful when you could be out.

Relationships teach us a hell of a lot about ourselves and when they don’t fulfill our needs, wants and expectations, what we learn from the experience if we’re willing to listen to the feedback and grow from the insights, can help us to not only find a relationship more befitting of us but to better serve ourselves through self-awareness.

Sometimes it takes a while for the conflict in values to unfold and often there can be an awareness that you wanted different things and you may have even recognised code amber and red issues but you hoped that due to the way you felt, plus the things that you hoped for and even what was expressed by the other party, that your paths would align.

It might be that there are certain core values that you appear to share but on the personal values front which governs character and represents the values you take for you, the conflict on these makes anything pretty damn difficult. You might both profess to want the same things long-term but if there are issues around trust, honesty, integrity, reliability etc, this undermines those long-term plans.

On the flip side it might be that it’s actually fairly harmonious on the personal values front so you really get on and feel like you have a lot in common but there’s other diverging core values such as your relationship or religious values.

You both want different things. 

Now granted that this is an issue in itself if you’re going to stick around (and not find a healthy resolution) but the real issue is when you think that you’re ‘wrong’ for having your values.

You both want different things and when you judge you for not wanting the same thing or for essentially not being the same person, you’re saying that the things that you need, want and expect in order to be happy and live your life authentically are ‘wrong’ and theirs are ‘right’. You’re judging who you are as incorrect while pumping up this person.

It’s one thing to co-exist in a mutual relationship and to look for ways to live your lives together and find solutions that you can both live with, but it’s another for it to be a seemingly mutual relationship and you’re willing to completely offload you to hang onto this person which in itself stops it from being mutual. It’s also a no-go when you’re in a non-mutual relationship and eroding your identity because it’s like slow poisoning in a toxic environment.

When you use the top line data that you want different things to judge you instead of using it to judge the situation and respect who you are, you’re saying, “I’m wrong and my needs, wants and expectations are invalid or at the very least less important.”

Exactly what kind of relationship were you going to be having with this person who is now on a pedestal looking down on you?

It’s this idea that if you were “good enough” that they’d either change their values or that you’d be able to manage to live their values and forget your own without feeling like you’d been run down by 20 buses. It’s also this idea that you can pretend that you don’t matter and that if you sign up to their agenda now that at a later date you’ll ‘get yours’ because by you proving how far you’re willing to go, one day they’ll think, “Wow. Yeah, let’s do a swapsie and live their values now.”

Stop telling you that you’re ‘wrong’, that you don’t ‘deserve’ to have any needs or that you ‘should’ take a back seat, and that true loyalty and devotion is being willing to forget you.

You want different things. You don’t want what you want because they’re a ‘failure’ or ‘wrong’ as a person so why does you not wanting what they do amount to you being these things? 

Your needs, wants and expectations represent you – it’s not a case of if you only wanted what other people want then you’d be happy because unless that’s ticking your needs, wants and expectations then you won’t be due to not being you. They’re not going to be happy being you either because they need to be who they are.

Making you ‘wrong’ is about blame and your perspective on you. It’s not about the actual relationship because if this is where your attention was truly focused, you wouldn’t be judging you as wrong and instead you’d be paying attention to whether you truly shared the core values to copilot a mutual relationship together.

You want different things. This can tough to reconcile but what it isn’t is a representation of your ‘failure’ as a human being.

You may want to go in the direction of a relationship but if they’re not going in that direction then you’re not either.

Your thoughts?


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81 Responses to It’s OK to want different things. It doesn’t make you ‘wrong’!

  1. Ana says:

    I just stopped seeing someone a week ago because we both wanted different things. After six months he could not see (and various prompts from me telling him I was in love with him with only his replies saying “I think you’re lovely) Anyways, he just could not understand that I wanted a boyfriend/commitment/healthy boundaries and real steady relationship. I just could not go on another six months with ambiguity and “Hope”–hopes that he would fall in love with no matter how many times we slept together.

    He told me he was not seeing anyone, and I believed him. He called me, we did things together, we laughed, overall it was an amazing, wonderful relationship but he kept himself open. Never a lazy communicator…but He never introduced me to his friends, never brought me around to events, never spoke of the future, and told me “I’m unconventional” in terms of how he views his relationships. “I don’t like to put labels on things, etc.”


    Well, after “going with the flow” after 6 months, I’m done. I turned off. We had the talk 3 weeks ago about continuing when I asked him to tell me how he feels about me. He said “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” I dealt with that for two weeks and tried to live with the whole “let’s just see what happens” type thing. I just can’t deal. I was dishing more than I was getting back. We really wanted to stay friends, and we know that in some respects we are good for each other. He taught me a lot–you see, what’s frustrating is that he is a good person. Not an ass clown, or future faker, or dishonest. He really wasn’t…unless I’m naive.

    I think he wasn’t ready to get serious with me. And that’s okay. I can’t hold it against him but what I can do is be considerate of myself.

    Finally, a week ago I called it quits. Told him we could still be friends and cancelled a trip we were supposed to go on. I wanted to see me just two days after I called it quits to return a pair of his black boxers. Are you kidding me? I was hurting so bad inside, and the though of seeing him…anyways, I said yes. But the night before I cancelled, only because I had a heavy work schedule and I needed to see a friend in town. It was wrong of me I know, but really that was the truth. BUT I JUST COULD NOT SEE HIM.

    He sent me a very cold text message: Just put them in the mail then.” I did. No other words exchanged. I have been NO CONTACT since then. He has not contacted me either. My heart hurts so bad. I want to CALL HIM SO BADLY!!!!!!! I hope one day we can be friends…

    Finding the strength to stay firm in my decision and move on. I love this website also because it helps me remember why No Contact is best…even while I’m struggling with it..

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Ana,the reason why, after six months he didn’t understand,that you wanted the relationship to progress, was because he either didn’t want it to or couldn’t. He’s EUM. he’s just “so unconventional” and just “doesn’t like to put labels on things.” Sigh.
      My assclown said the same things.
      He actually said that he loved you but wasn’t in love with you? After only 6 months? That’s a line I’ve heard married men use about their wives. You shouldn’t have to deal with that.
      If you don’t want to label him an assclown, no problem, at least you had the sense to GTFO. It’s highly suspicious that he never took you to meet his friends or went to events. Stay strong. Burn his crappy boxers. Thank goodness that you figured things out before you spent 6 months or 6 years being “unconventional.” I would wait at least 6 months before I even would entertain the notion of the friendzone. Look at how fast he moved on. Take care of yourself and forget about him. You dodged a bullet. Stay NC and keep your dignity intact. I have for almost 7 months now and have never regretted it. You won’t either. Be strong! You can do it!

    • Allison says:


      Being on the periphery of someone’s life is very confusing and painful – been there, done that. What did he say when you asked about not being introduced to friends, or invited to events? Did you two only hang out at home? Were you a secret?

      I would strongly question the possibility of being this man’s ‘friend,’ as I think we can all do w/o this type.

      • Allison says:

        Also, this dude was happy to string you along, even knowing what your feelings were for him.

        Not such a nice guy!!!!!

  2. Ana says:


    HE wanted to see me just two days after I called it quits to return a pair of his black boxers. Are you kidding me? I was hurting so bad inside, and the though of seeing him…anyways, I said yes.

  3. noquay says:

    Folks wanting different things is no reflection on those involved unless someone is not honest about what they actually want in a relationship in order to get attention/have sex, etc. Unfortunately there are many out there who are dishonest in this way or lack/have not done the self introspection to know what it is they want. Sad waste of the both parties time and emotional investment. Likewise, stuff like not wanting a family, wanting a strong intellectual connection, wanting to live in a certain way, is just who a person IS, not a sign of some massive failure on their part.

  4. Kristin says:

    I have been a reader of this blog for a long time and this one really hit home. 3 months ago I ended a long serious relationship because I could no longer hide who I was and what I wanted. If I disagreed with him I was wrong or had issues. Reading this makes me realize I’ve done the right thing. 3 months NC no plans to ever speak to him again.

  5. paolo says:

    ”Sometimes it takes a while for the conflict in values to unfold and often there can be an awareness that you wanted different things and you may have even recognised code amber and red issues but you hoped that due to the way you felt, plus the things that you hoped for and even what was expressed by the other party, that your paths would align”….I did this last year with someone, hoped that paths would align and played down the wanting of different things; and i hurt myself terribly as a result…In hindsight, i know i was just a passing fling whilst she was on her way to her own ambition, despite her online only declarations of love..Talk about blind and stupid or both…I can’t measure how much ive leaerned via BR since then…Anyway, i know it would have only hurt more later despite my own declarations that it wouldn’t, so better over sooner than later…Never ignore anything simply because you WAN’T the opposite to be true i guess is the mantra here.

    • Cynthia says:

      Powerful, important post NML. And @Paolo – you hit the nail on the head. “Never ignore anything, because you WANT it to be true”. Thank you both for sharing and providing me with the timely (but difficult) assurance that I did the right thing…

    • Rosie says:

      Thank you, Paolo!

      “Never ignore anything simply because you WAN’T the opposite to be true”

      I’m writing this down. Beautiful in its succinctness.

      • paolo says:

        @Rosie..Your welcome..I hope you never have to remember it but if you do, then i hope i have helped in some way…And you aswell Cynthia.

  6. Carla says:

    @Ana you basically just told the story of me and my ex. When I met him in December he told me right away that he didn’t ever want to get married but that he was open to a possible relationship. We totally connected and I fell in love with him quickly. He was a very different than the guys I am used to dating or so I thought. Eventually I realized he was EU but I kept on with the relationship because I know he is a great catch. After almost 5 months I noticed he was losing interest and he finally told me he didn’t want to be in a relationship with me or anyone. So I was very hurt but tried to keep things casual because I didn’t want him to forget about me. All I ended up doing was hurting myself by doing this. I can’t be his friend it’s way too soon. The shitty thing is he is a good person at the end of the day and we are both in different places. I can’t be mad at him for being honest with me. But I still miss him everyday:(

  7. Sarah says:

    I’m stuck. Reading baggagereclaim makes so much sense and clears my mind. But every time I turn off my laptop, and end up being contacted with the guy, it’s like – I forget everything else. I voiced my opinion and said I’d walk away, but he managed to soothe things out & said that he will change. Slowly, but he will change. So, there is change. But I’m not sure if what I am seeing is just a clouded fabrication of my mind to justify staying. Or if its really leading to some change.

  8. nancyw says:

    I have lied to him and to myself just to keep him holding on. Two years later, I have still played the game. What have I got…nothing except him continuing to play with my emotions. When you play the game and try to present yourself as something you are not, it makes it impossible to go backwards and be who you really are. In hindsight, I should have set my boundaries in the beginning and he would have been gone within a week. Instead, I became who he wanted me to be, and he’s still laughing at how easily I can be manipulated.

    With my exhaustion of playing the game, and reading this site, I am turning my life around, albeit slowly and painfully.

    I received the crumb text tonight and ignored it.

    I am working on believing that I do matter. I have a lot more to offer that my vagina!

  9. espresso says:

    I also think that certain core “interests” and even commitments can cover over some basic differences which erupt now and then but don’t burst into flame for a long time in some cases. For me…taking care of children was a huge mutual commitment and I was so involved with entranced by it…that I denied the problems…..even though they were always there (usually around money, security, fears about the future and a mutual engagement when crises hit). We also had strong political views that were the same – that also was an interest that we both cared about…but it doesn’t touch the important things such as mutual commitment, trust, intimacy, engagement and self-awareness ( a really big one). This is what drowned the relationship. I didn’t realize what deal breakers they always had been and are for me.

  10. Sandra says:

    I also wanted more, five years of struggling to accept that no I wasn’t needy for wanting more of a committment, more time with him and just once could he make plans with me in advance (something he just wouldn’t do) it took me a while to accept that the reason he was happy with the relationship was because it was all his way, not a hell of alot in it for me. As long as he was able to do what he wanted then hey what on earth was I moaning about all the time.

  11. Annabelle says:

    My partner and I recently ended things because we could both see that we wanted different things. Had been friends for a very long time before we began a relationship. We had wanted the same things- family, travel together, live together etc for a very long time until about 6 months ago when he started to feel like he couldn’t be in a relationship any longer because he doesn’t feel like he’s ready for those things and knows that I am and couldnt handle the pressure because what he planned for his career didnt feel like it was going places and mine was. I had seen it coming but did nothing, and basically waited for him to do the breaking up because the thought of loosing him scared me and I thought if we could work on it then it would be an obstacle that we overcame. It’s the hardest thing because once one half of the relationship doesn’t feel like they have that strength in them, then it’s a loosing battle. It’s the hardest thing. Not only loosing your love but loosing your best friend. One of the hardest things to deal with but sometimes it’s the wisest thing to do, and only until recently I’ve been able to start accepting what’s happened. I’ve decided that we shouldn’t communicate at all in order to let go and move on. One day he’ll fade away and won’t consume my thoughts before I go to sleep, in my dreams, and first thing when I wake up. Time is a bitch but that’s seriously all you need to move on in a healthy way. I look forward to reminiscing on the good memories that will no longer effect me. But for now – heartbreaking and letting go, evolving, learning and moving on with change

  12. mereanne says:

    Before I met my last (three!) assclowns I was in a long term relationship. We were together for 8.5 years. When we broke up it was because we both wanted different things, we were in different stages in our lives. He was completely ready to settle down have kids, get married. BUT I just wanted to wait a couple years until I had finished my studies and done a bit more travel. There was no cheating, no abuse, our relationship was a good one aside from not really being on the same page. Of course the break up was not easy, even though it was mutual. Its hard to get used to being just you rather than part of a couple. Your whole future, and direction changes. So from there I moved onto dating, which I was so out of touch with having been out of the “game” for almost 9 years! And it is a game, a circus if you will, some guys were lovely, some downright weird, and the 3 guys I got into relationships with were ALL assclown. The last was a doozey, utter selfish, immature excuse of a “man”. I digress, my long term ex, was and is the loveliest guy. We are still friends, not token friends, not FWB’s but genuine friends. We catch up for lunch, he comes to some family celebrations, hes still in touch with other members of my immediate and extended family, and he is my sons godfather. Unlike me, after our relationship ended he took a couple years to himself. Focused on his career, his health, his wellbeing and now he has a new partner and I am happy for him. So while my relationships since him have been less than great, I still have hope!

  13. confused liz says:

    i know i have wrote my story before but i dont feel i got it all off my chest and i feel like im really struggling so if anybody would like to drum some sense into me as you have before i would be really greatfull…lol. so i met my ex eum/whatever he is? in dec 2010,he came onto me gave me his num etc was the first to text me, met up with him and his friends a week later on new years eve,really clicked with him straight away – then for the next 3 months or so it was me texting him first, with him saying he was sorry he hadnt contacted me but he was out of work and money was tight etc so i thought fair enough, then he started messaging me on fb everyday for hours at a time. then that stopped after a month ish, then in the april he met me on a night out said he liked me- came round the next week made it ‘official’ both admitted we were scared though. then as i have a son i said i didnt want him to see him until i knew for sure he was there for good, he explained he wasnt going anywhere. so we saw each other mainly saturdays for the next 5 months (when my son was with his dad) always at my place. i met his friends twice i think at a party/gathering. (never went to his house) he was 34 when we met. now 36 and lives with his mum has never moved out. said he only ever had one serious relationship wich lasted 2 years on and off and apparantly ahe was a ‘bunny boiler’. so.. he met my son after 5 months and eventually he started staying the full weekend but always went home for mummys sunday roasts on a sun morning ughhh. he would come round once through the week aswel most weeks, he didnt drive so always relied on public transport , thing is we got on so well and had such laughs together ,never argued and could act silly and joke around, my son loved him and he thought a lot of my son.he wasnt very reliable though and at imes would let me down at last minute making excuses, my mum got diagnosed with cancer last jun and in the july he left me and text saying he cant be with me i deserve better he doesnt know what he wants etc, he came back 4 weeks later saying he was sorry and wanted to move in together and i was the best thing to ever happen to him etc so i took him back, things were great for a while then the same thing happened again in the september, he again came back in the october , i lost my mum in the november and he came straight round and made sure me and me son ate/ cleaned the house for me and was just ‘there’ for two days. came to the funeral but then went home on the night leaving me alone when he knew i didnt want to be left. he then did hid houdini again in january and this time has not came back apart from for the odd ego stroke or for sex twice. i did nc and was doing so well for 6 weeks then he text asking if i still had his stuff and i replied, he was supposed to come round for it and again let me down and instead got drunk with friends! so my sister took his stuff to him and im now over a week fresh nc but its really killing me im missing him more and more and i dont know why, i keep focusing on the good rather than the bad and wondering if hes really eum, wondering if hes going to get with someone else (i think hes that messed up and happy sat in his bedroom though) but i dont know what i would do the thought makes me sick, even though he caused so much drama. feeling confused still after all he did and said how much he loved me and cared. just want to stop thinking about him, sorry for he long post guys thanks for reading :) x

    • Allison says:


      Time to focus on the actions:

      Kept you a secret
      Not dependable
      Lives with momma
      Only one relationship, and demonizes ex
      Cannot financially provide for you
      Bailed numerous times
      Not a source of emotional support
      Let you down at last minute numerous times
      Once again, kept you a secret

      These nothing crumbs may be enough for you, but it’s not enough for your son. He absorbs all of these actions, and it is showing him how to treat you as well as the women he will have in his life. It is also not fair to expose your son to someone who is so inconsistent and careless with peoples lives and feelings.

      I know I’m being tough, but this guy is complete waste of time! He has problems, and has nothing to offer you, or anyone else!

      • Allison says:


        It doesn’t matter if he’s EUM, he treated you like garbage! This should be your only focus.

        • confused liz says:

          thanks allison, i know you are right , i’m just in denial i think ! he did go back to work before he got with me i forgot to mention that, and he did buy us nice gifts/ flowers but i know this doesnt excuse his inconsistency to treat me with respect. just wish i could stop thinking of the good time arghhh :(

          • Allison says:


            I was in a secret relationship, too. I can relate!

            If these men loved or cared about us, they would have incorporated us into their lives. Period. The fact that you never met his family – in two years time – and was not there for you, shows that he had no intention of having a future with you – gifts and sweet words mean nothing, as you’ve read many similar posts on this site

            One of my male friends, started dating a girl two months back. They have been introduced to each others famililies as well as friends because he wants a future with her. This is what normal, healthy relationships are about, not dates in your house and bedroom.

            Girl, it’s time to see this waste of time for what he is; a waste! I would also reexamine why this was enough for so long .

    • Melissa says:

      Confused Liz,
      He sounds pretty EU to me. It is time to put the focus back on you. You need to truly go NC, that means if he contacts you, you don’t respond no matter what. He didn’t treat you very well. There is a developed pattern in your relationship and it is never going to change if you keep doing the dame thing. Remember doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. Do you want to have this type of relationship? If not, stop engaging, and cut all contact. Take control of your life don’t just let things happen to you (and your son, also set a good example for him). Tell yourself over and over again (if you need to) that you deserve more than this man has to offer and that he is never going to change. Love is an action. (Allison was nice and pointed his actions out below) Feel better!

  14. Built myself a backbone says:

    Its funny how you can still think its you after someone wants you to have an abortion even though he wanted kids with you previoulsy and refused to use protection, then calls when the baby dies to get back together, pushes you with all his force cos you made him and treats you like you are nothing, who flirts with every women available and yet will not leave you alone. When you finally say that its to much that you cant deal, its your fault, just as it was the fault of his previous 20 ex’s…..NC for nearly 5 months and I feel a new found peace of mind and freedom with good family and friends around me and I look back and think what on earth was I thinking? This website is amazing! I have finally learnt to forgive, love and value myself and I am looking forward to another 5 months when I know I will have grown even more as a person.

    • Iwaslost says:

      hey Backbone,

      I was heartened to see your post as I went through similar circumstances, and it is awesome to hear that your 5 months of NC is giving you clarity. It is so important to have a strong friend/family base for you to go back to when you need, and of course the love and support of your BR community :)

      You may have days ahead that are harder than others but always try to keep in focus how far you have already come, and each time you keep pushing forward remember that those hard days get fewer and fewer and fewer.

      Your post also made me reflect on how far I have really come, even though I have felt blindsided recently by certain events in my life I have clawed my way out again. I do really think it is integral to keep barracking for yourself you know? Trusting you, being kind to you, gentle. Wish you luck and love on your journey :)

      ps. you have inspired me to change my name to “gettingfound” :)

  15. EyesWideOpen says:

    When I was a young teenager, I was bullied quite badly at school and when I told my mum she would always ask ‘do they do it to other people’ As an adult if I complain about my abusive boss or any situation in which I am unhappy I usually get the same response ‘does anyone else feel that way’ – I sometimes wonder whether this cntributed to my general feeling that my thoughts feelings are not as valid as other peoples!

  16. Oc says:

    Thanks for this one Natalie.

  17. Free2bec says:

    I was doing so well despite the recent attempt to reconnect that led to my discovery of her returning to her ex, and for those who has followed my story it was not easy to swallow after all the promises and future faking upto the very last day I saw her. But somehow that clarity of who she really is hit me hard for about a day but everyday I seem to feel a bit stronger. That is until today. Something about this post triggered something in me that has created very string and hurtful feelings and I really can’t figure out what has triggered it. Maybe the realization of future facking tied to wanting different things? I don’t know… But it’s as if I’m sitting in a 3D movie and every single broken promise, realized half truth and deceptive thing said and done is hurling towards me and I can’t doge them. I hope this passes. Why lie to the bitter end about how happy you are and then cultimate it to then go off to your ex with out a word or explanation. I thought I had moved on. Geez. Advice please.

    • Revolution says:

      Free honey,

      Maybe it’s your realization of just how deeply her disingenuousness ran? Maybe you’re realizing that she was more conscious of her lies and manipulations of you than you gave her credit for. Maybe I’m projecting too, lol. I don’t know. But it’s definitely more hurtful to think/realize that a person who hurt you KNEW what they were doing the whole time. Instead of them just being “confused” or “scared” or whatever snake oil they’re peddling today.

      I hope that one of the objects you see in your 3D theater is a bullet flying right past your head, ’cause that’ll be her. Congratulations on dodging that one. Look what happened to Travis Alexander.

      Wishing you all the best, free. You deserve so much better, and it’s out there.

  18. 2fearce says:


    Take a breath. This is a breakthrough. (Yeah it feels like crap on a stick in this emotional free fall… you might spend a lot of time crying/ in agony… But tomorrow you’ll wake up with a clearer head. There are btr days ahead. Promise.

  19. Confused liz says:

    Thanks again Allison , yeah I have read and read and read here lol it’s the only tho g keeping me sane at the mo as I don’t really have many friends especially single ones they’re all married so don’t see them much and people tend to tell me I ‘need to get over it’ I know they’re thinking of me as iv been wasting too much time and thought on him but its just so hard , think its due to the conflicting words and actions and the fact I spoke to him after 6 weeks nc but hey ho. Back on track now. I keep telling people (myself included) he was a decent bloke as he did nice things for me and we got on so well , but I guess a decent bloke wouldn’t treat me this way hey. Thanks again for your help I appreciate it sooo much :)

    • Allison says:


      You spoke recently, and what did that get you: blown off, so he could party with his friends. These actions express exactly where you stand in his life.
      Please give him as much importance as he gives you.

      • confused liz says:

        thanks again Allison, and Melissa. i truly would be lost without this site and all your great advice. i feel a lot stronger already :) i have been without him for 4 months so i can do without him forever, you are right his behaviour is/was no good for me or my 8 year old son. i do wish i could just stop hurting but i know it is a process and i have to work on myself and build up myself esteem. he is consuming wayyyy to much of my thoughts, STILL!

  20. paolo says:

    Free2bec…The only advice i can give as someone that broke up with someone i only met twice last year is to go no contact completely and realise that some days will be better than others. Each woman i meet has to live up to a woman i never got to see the downside of because i wasn’t with her long enough…So i’m screwed.

  21. Free2bec says:


    I think all I needed was some Revolution sense. I could certainly digest that and I think that’s what was eating away at me. It wasn’t I changed my mind (in the typical sense) it was all a con and I have her too much credit. Even in my state of illness I should have know better, but the con was so well played out til the last second. You made me laugh out loud with the dodging the bullet analogy. Thank you. Quickly going to a better place now. Invaluable the strength of the growing community.

    • Revolution says:


      It’s important, I think, to note that with these con artists, it’s not about “growing apart” or “wanting different things” (per Natalie’s post). It’s a whole different animal. To put it in a nutshell, these people are in some sort of sick survival mode. Let me explain: they never developed, or developed correctly, the emotional and/or moral portion of their personality. And so they are looking for others to fill and/or soothe them. They act as though they are on fire, and we are the pots of water sitting around them. They grab whatever is closest and douse themselves. But the “fire” never goes out completely, because they haven’t dealt with their inner work. So they may feel “extinguished” for a while by us, and settle into that feeling until the fire starts to burn again. That’s when they run off to the next pot of water.

      Simplistic, yes. But this is basically what’s happening. The good news is that, while it’s horrible and painful for us, it’s not personal. We are tools to them, tools to “calm” or soothe” them. And when we “fail” to do this perfectly, we are discarded. It happens to many, many people, unfortunately. And it’s not because you’re stupid or inexperienced. They are masters at their game because, well, it’s survival to them.

      Glad to know that my “sense” helped you. Anytime you need a Revolution smackdown, you just let me know. 😉

  22. Free2bec says:


    Yes I think you are correct. I just didn’t expect for it to hit me like, (stealing NML analogies) getting ran over by 10 buses. Was like a panic attack. I’m clearly trying to just move on an process things hastily. I keep trying to take the realistic mindset of what happened and go Foward, but like Revolution mentioned the con was too deep and I have a difficult time believing it was a con. So thanks for the intervention as it has definitely help. I appreciate your time for replying.

  23. Free2bec says:


    I understand. We shall get through this and graduate BR.

    Thank you.

  24. teachable says:

    Great topic. A long time male friend (single) who I suspect was perhaps interested in more than platonic friendship if the opportunity arose, got the shock of his life recently when I casually mentioned I wouldn’t date anyone who wasn’t open to the possibility of having a child together & definately also marriage. He literally physically recoiled & told me I ought to have done things ’10 yrs ago’. I explained I was too busy working toward being financially secure the past decade & with furthering my education also to have had time for such things (I’m now 43). I’m glad he now realises we are totally incompatible. I always suspected such but having it spoken out loud was very validating.

  25. pinkpanther says:

    This weekend I was at an event and saw what I thought was an ex A/C, I wasn’t entirely sure if it was her though because she looked like a washed up wreck of her former self. I kept saying to myself, is that her, nooo it couldn’t be her, it must be someone who looks like her only much much worse. I went back and forth with this.

    I finally came to the conclusion that if it was indeed my ex, how on earth could I have spent all that time trying to get her to love me, and after that failed, all the time I spent agonizing the “loss”.

    It was clear to me that who ever this woman was, she was a mess, I’m not talking just about exterior beauty, but this person was a wreck from the inside out.

    It was a very odd experience to see someone (?) that I formerly loved, who I could barely recognize.

    I feel bad for her, if that was her, and soooooooo glad that I am not with her now!

    And keeping with the theme of Natalies post, I did think there was something wrong with me for not having the same values as she did. Now I am the happiest thing to know I am not like her.

  26. Little Star says:

    I think it is all down to self esteem, we are allowing these ACs to threat as like sh@T and after complaining!

    YES, Natalie, we MUST have boundaries and if we discover that our values are different from “their” values we should be “out” the same day! BUT these ACs are very “clever”, they never say in the first few dates/months that they are only for booty call, they say that they are looking for LONG TERM like us! Yet again, actions speak louder than words…Thank you Natalie for keeping me sane:)

    • Rosie says:

      Little Star, when it comes to self-esteem and choices, I see it as more of a “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” issue. Self-esteem is often treated as the Holy Grail but I think courage is more important than self-esteem as self-esteem can’t be developed without it. This may not be true for everyone but my self-esteem didn’t start developing until I began to live out what I truly believed. But doesn’t it take a certain amount of self-esteem to live in truth to begin with? I don’t know.

      • Little Star says:

        Oh Rosie, sometimes I am confused myself:( I think I am intelligent and independent woman at the age of 40, with two degrees etc but HOW I allowed two useless ACs to control my life for the last six years?! I wish I had my self esteem and dropped them as soon as they started to show their “true colours”…But I was waiting and hoping that one day they would change, but it’s never happened and they are still cockroaches!

  27. Rosie says:

    See, here’s what I’m facing: Because of the value system I choose, I’m (now) waiting until marriage to have sex. Yet, it seems I’m the only one doing this and nobody will give me the time of day once he learns this. “We just have incompatible values.” Sounds so adult, right? Sounds so “balanced perspective” and, technically, it’s true, even if it doesn’t feel good.

    But the underlying message this sends is that sex is more important than I am. I’m not worth having a relationship with unless I’m willing to have sex. I’m so sick of this bullsh#t about strong libidos and “needs” as if everybody out there is going to die if s/he doesn’t have sex. Seriously?? A need is something one must have or else one dies. No one has died from not having sex. Sex is a desire. It can be controlled. I have a very strong libido, thankyouverymuch, and a strong self-discipline to go with it. Self-discipline was built over time, by the way, it wasn’t some magical mystical gift I was born with. I didn’t always have this self-discipline.

    Anyway, I’m getting way off track and I apologize for the ranting. The point is that I’m paying a high price for my high values and, yes, it is by choice, but damn! I’m really that unlovable without sex? Seriously??

    • Revolution says:


      I can sympathize because I choose to live my life in the same way as you (re: no sex before marriage). However, it’s not that *you* are unlovable or not *worth waiting for* in terms of a relationship. It’s that these dudes who are rejecting the “arrangement” you propose don’t choose to live the same life as you do. It’s true: you are “incompatible” and, as such, you are saving a lot of wasted time, and probably loads and loads of heartache, by recognizing it before you get invested. True, it takes a longer time to find someone who has the same values as we do in this area. But seriously, are we really missing that much in the meantime??? Read through the comments of BR posters and you’ll find your answer. Best wishes.

      • Rosie says:

        Thank you, Revolution,

        I understand what you’re saying and, though I’m lonely and feel alienated in my culture, I feel more confident now than I ever did when I was sexually active because I am now living by my values. A man isn’t obligated to date me just because I like him, this is true.

        You are also right in that we may not be missing out on much as most men don’t put forth much effort and, frankly, they don’t have to and perhaps don’t know how to.(That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway, as I sit in my little lonely corner drowning my sorrows in triple chocolate brownie batter…0h, woe is me. :( 😉 :))

        • Allison says:

          Rosie & Rev.,

          So great that you stick to your belief system!!!!!! When the right one comes around, he will wait!

  28. Free2bec says:


    Imagine me just waking up and reading your reply and snaking my head saying… GEEZ it make more sense than ever. And it does. I’m sure as I start to put the pieces of her past together I will see similar patterns evolve and it will be clearer that it I was not unique nor the exception.

    This was do poignant but true. I think I’ve been trying to work through things as if this was a normal mutual relationship that hit a speed bump. And I haven’t been able to because it was just a well played 7 year con.

    This was so incredibly helpful. This might have been the clarity I needed but couldn’t puzzle together.


  29. Wendy says:

    I’ve been no contact 9 days today and my stupid phone butt dialed my ex! I’m so upset with myself and I just erased his number (so hard to do!) He didn’t pick up, I hung it up right away, but if he calls back I’m gonna ignore it..this is so hard! I miss him so much my heart literally aches :( I’m trying to be strong, but it’s so tough! I really loved this guy a lot! Other than being a commitment phob he was amazing. It seems so unfair! I’m 40 and have had other relationships before, even been married long ago, but this man and I connected on so many levels. Why does it have to hurt so much?

    • paolo says:

      @Wendy..I’m 40 also and last year had what you had…This feeling of connection on all levels with someone..Loved them more than ive ever loved etc..But BR has taught me that all this connection business just doesn’t make a relationship…It just doesn’t…Relationships always come down to a the choice of two peeople wanting a future together…It hurts big time and i still think about her all the time. I maybe won’t stop until/unless i meet someone i find more amazing i don’t know but the connection couldn’t have been that strong or i would still be together with her and you would still be together with your ex…There was some delluding going on with my ex. It sounds like there must have been some going on with yours also.

  30. Kriss says:

    There was a great post in the Guardian a couple of days ago by Barbara Ellen saying that women should get out of relationships with men who don’t want kids, if they do, before it’s too late for them to have a family. Very sound advice, but you need to be sure what you want, have some self esteem to believe that what you want is OK, and able to stand up for it, to leave a relationship where you otherwise get a lot of validation.

    So many women are in their mid-30s and looking for a partner these days. It’s almost as if we’re ashamed to say to a man that we want commitment and a family and kids at some point in the future, for fear he will run away, without realising that’s a bigger favour than it sounds.

  31. paolo says:

    Rosie. It could just be that they don’t want marriage with someone. I know that makes an incompatability, but It might not be about the lack of sex…I could without sex for ages with a woman i thought was awesome enough, but not to the point of marriage simply because i don’t want marriage.

    • Rosie says:

      Thank you, Paolo, yes, you are right that it may not be anything personal objectively and no one’s obligated to date somebody just because that “somebody” is attracted. It is personal, subjectively, because what I’m proposing is being rejected again and again and, thus, it still sends the same message–I’m not worth it to anybody as my value system isn’t worth anything to anybody.

      Yes, better off without somebody who doesn’t see me as worth the sacrifice but must I be alone the rest of my life? I guess so…

      • Revolution says:


        A little perspective, hon. These guys don’t have the inclination, power, all the facts on you, or the RIGHT to judge your worth. That’s not what they’re doing and that’s not what this post is about.

        Think of it this way: in marketing, you are taught to define your target audience and sell to them. Because it’s highly unlikely that you will be successful selling, for example, hearing aids to young teenage girls. It’s just not the market for it. So of course you’re gonna get a lot of “rejection” from that market. That doesn’t mean that the “product” isn’t amazing and that there isn’t a market out there that will want it.

        This is about people wanting different things for a relationship. These guys who reject having a relationship with you are not, and are not supposed to be, your judge and jury. Guys are simple. They see that they can’t give you the relationship you want (irrespective of your “worth”) and so they bounce. That’s all it is.

        • FX says:

          Rosie, what Rev said is absolutely true. It has nothing to do with your “worth.” There are lots of ways people can be incompatible and you have a value that is more uncommon than not so your pool of appropriate partners is reduced but it is no reflection on you.

          People are entitled to pursue the relationship that they want… Bouncing you is actually respectful because they aren’t wasting your time. I personally would flush a man immediately if he told me he was not interested in sex without marriage. I’m looking for a man who is highly sexual as well as sharing other values. I’m ambivalent about whether I want to get married again but an active sex life is a nonnegotiable for me. It wouldn’t matter how lovely a man was if that was off the table.

          • Rosie says:

            FX–You are absolutely correct. People have the right to date who they want as long as the pursued is in agreement and no, it doesn’t make me a loser because someone chooses to be sexually active. :)

            My only concern with your post is your wording, “I personally would flush a man immediately if he told me he was not interested in sex without marriage. I’m looking for a man who is highly sexual”. Low desire COULD be a reason for choosing abstinence as can other reasons, such as religion. Personally, I couldn’t be with someone, either, who had a low drive. I’m highly sexual, too, very affectionate. I’ve fought hard for my self-discipline and I want a man who can control himself as well. This is a part of the ability to sustain a committed relationship. Should I marry, I intend to have a lot of sex! I want a husband who wants a lot of sex with me too.

            I admit to being not-so-secretly jealous of all you sexually active people out there. I’ve chosen my value system freely so I don’t know what I’m complaining about. It’s just hard to see couples, couples everywhere, ya know?

            Thank you for your thoughtful post, FX.

        • Rosie says:

          Revolution–Yes, you and Paolo are right and I’m not a victim, although I’ve fallen into that mentality here. It’s nothing personal, I know, in their decision-making. I’m just feeling lonely and alienated so it’s bothering me more than it would if were in regular contact with other singles who share my values. I can’t afford it now but maybe I’ll start my own meetup group. :)

  32. Gina says:

    It’s interesting how illusion driven people can be. I told my assclown goodbye forever and that I don’t ever want to have something to do with him again. You know, I am happy if someone is upfront with me and doesn’t play pingpong with my feelings and the way I view that person.

    He just responded whether I have a mental disorder he is seriously concerned doesn’t see anything that he has done wrong. And the funny thing is he responded on a wednesday night, I knew he was just out and drinking alcohol (he is an alcoholic) and just neede a ride home that’s the only reason he responded at ALL. HAHA. Oh god what was I doing that I even responded?? … Whatever : I made clear that I don’t want any discussions and that’s it.
    He was like “see you in july” I didn’t respond and he blocked me everywhere (messenger and facebook). Funny though, I guess his ego couldn’t take it. He is the very ugly kind that is very ego driven, thinks with his dick and can’t take it if a fallback girl doesn’t take him back. That means I will have to prepare myself for closing the door again and again. I see him sex/texting me again at the latest in half a year again. He is also the kind that could come to my home and ring me out of bed. ….

    I think a normal human being you consider to be a friend would call you and at least try to make out a date to talk to each other. But he didn’t do that, of course. He is so used to the pattern where I always take him back again. He doesn’t even make an effort to meet up and as what’s really up, but maybe for the better.

    He is just not worth it, he does no deserve me. And I am also very illusion driven to see any potential in a guy that still lives at home and is still studying at the age of 38 !
    Back than he told me that he had a date with a girl, but she didn’t call him , well she just didn’t run after him and that made him angry. … Oh dear, I guess he will never ever be able to have a healthy mutual normal relationship.

    Whatever. I will concentrate on MY well being, and doing fine by myself and not being used like a doormat!

    Keep being strong girls, it’s worth it !

  33. Gina says:

    I have to add: after a long period of no contact (4-5 months?) from my side, I gave in… and he used me to get rid of another fallback girl that was always friends with him in hope that he would see her as a girlfriend.

    He played a mad trick on me: he asked me in front of that other fallback girl whether I want to be together with him… Dumb as I am(my gut said no, but my ego said yes!) I said yes. I told him that if he played me I would just be away.

    But he didn’t commit at all to that relationship and I ended it 4 days after that. Another 3 days after that I wrote that message that I don’t want to have anything to do with him ever again.

    And now he would even wonder WHAT THE HELL he DID to me??! How DELUDED can you actually be ???????

    And asking wether I have a mental illness???

    Okay I often said that I dont want contact anymore, but anyway…. he acts like I AM the problem in here.
    That’s crazy isn’t it??!

    ….. I just feel like the more days I spent without that assclown and getting closer to myself and what I really want the BETTER.

  34. Gina says:

    another add, just a sidenote:
    … I really have the feeling that my assclown enjoyed the other fallback girl crying for his attention and his love. That was so freaking crazy !… I never ever saw something like that. I really got the feeling that he enjoyed her being on her knees and crying for him validating her …. I mean how ill can you be??! that you would get something out of that scenario??

    • paolo says:

      @Gina…Sounds like just another example of letting what you want to be true override boundaries, self care and self respect…We’ve all done it. Only question is how long you gonna keep doing it before you realise permenant no contact is the only way forward, if you have hope of a future for yourself that’s assclown free?

  35. gina says:

    Well yes that’s true! I know who that guy is how he is likely to behave and don’t understand why I am sometimes still struggling to accept that! Maybe it’s this ‘bad investment – trying to get validation from an external source’ thing. Not the real thing I know! I was always like that too compassionate but not with myself…I think concentrating on myself and my well being is the only way to go.

  36. gina says:

    And of course permanent no contact like Paolo said!!
    No matter what he is trying to tell me ( & oh he can be very creative…. dying in the streets…)

    • Rosie says:

      He’s a grown man, Gina, and you are not his mother. Let him figure how to save himself from “dying in the streets”.

      Gina, I’m going to be a little tough with you. I don’t feel sorry for you. You’re making your own choices here. I know you’re aware of this as you’ve said so yourself. It’s your decision whether or not to stay in contact with him, but, if you do, I’ll bypass all your posts that complain about him as you know what he’s like and you’re choosing to be involved with him anyway. You’re not a victim.

      Look, I’ve mentioned this several times but I was in a bwf situation for two yrs. because I was in denial that he broke up with me. I was determined to be blind to the obvious–he didn’t care about me. All my efforts were for nothing. I then played the victim card and didn’t own my contributions (nor recognize how I was using him too) for yet another two years. That’s a lot of time I wasted living in delusion! The funny thing is that I knew all about the other women but I was stubborn, wasn’t ready to admit that I wasn’t ever cared about because that would mean that I wasn’t “the chosen one”. I wasn’t “special”.

      You mentioned ego. It’s blinding, isn’t it? Please, Gina, pop that ego balloon, and walk away toward the clearer path in front of you.

      • Gina says:

        thank you for that one! …. NO I don’t want to waste any more time on douche bags or people that mean no good to me!

        • Allison says:


          I’m confused? Did you witness him disrespect the FB girl, but agree to date him once again?

      • Nancyw says:

        I truly love this, Rosie. I am so in denial that he doesn’t really care about me. And I also know that I use him as well. Your statement that it is just a lot of wasted time is so true.

  37. Tinkerbell says:

    Gina why do you keep referring to him as “My Assclown?”. Don’t you see how ridiculous that sounds? “My” indicates possesion. Why would you want to possess someone that you call an assclown? What does that say for you? Plus, you were never married to him so how can you refer to him as “your” anything? “THE” assclown” indicates not only distancing yourself but that he’s no one special which is what I would think you prefer instead of an indicating of ownership.

  38. gina says:

    Allison, yes that is the way it worked out! I didn’t think it through and was blinded ‘winning’ him…i didn’t see what he was actually doing to her and thought he wanted me and was honest in that (&having changed) how pathetic I know! I didn’ t see the forest for the trees. Well I am concentrating at myself again, dropped him and that’s it. Funny though that FB girl has a pic in her instant messager that she has made in his room, her way of saying ‘I won’ haha… yes but what? Beung treated like a doormat over and over again. Until he finds a new girl that will put up with gis shady behavior and she will still be there and cry wolf and be and so everything so that he will finally chose and see only her…I’ m over this, so over that vicious circle! &I don’ t want to blame myself for anything that girl is craz anyway she would kill for him! No matter what he did to her. Honestly I thought after she was being so disrespectful to me (always ringing on my door 12 hours at night! Because maybe the assclown is at my house!) And him treating her bad anyway this one wouldn’t make the cake bigger. And actually it doesn’t because I don’ t want that anymore and don’ t see any plausibel reason to play games or tricks on anyone anymore. I was dumb and blinded for him.

  39. gina says:

    I think you can put is this way: he used me to show her another time that he could do anything with her and she will still there. She actually wanted to cut contact with him but wrote him after 3 days what we were doing and if she could join. I am out of that bullshit. It’s really humiliating what he actually can do to her. And with me it is not better so I stop that. No contact forever.
    I am better than that or playing games in anyone.

  40. Peanut says:

    Love and feelings are not enough. Feelings can be deceptive as to what you truly want. If you believe you aren’t good enough. Then you think something is missing when you’re not in a relationship and feel worse about life when faced with romantic disappointments, which we all go through if we’re even half trying or human. Relationships don’t just work themselves out. It takes two people fully in it to consistently work on the relationship. There are no vacations or upgrades from a healthy marriage. Marriage is not bondage and sometimes when a marriage ends it is for the best. We all need to make sure we’re wanting to put together the same puzzle when we are with the person of our choosing. We are always in control of who we date. If we are attracted to unhealthy people, then we see this and change ourselves and become attracted to better choices and leave the painful ones behind.

  41. Allison says:


    I saw the true character of my ex, and chose to ignore that he was a complete scum bag! Lord, what was wrong with us!!!!! We should have been disgusted at the mistreatment!

    I think that we have learned that if they treat others like garbage, they will do the same to us.

    I also believe that we need to watch out for our sisters, so that this behavior does not continue to escalate.

  42. KM says:

    The Assclown once had the nerve to tell me in a text “you should work on being a better person.” HA he’s one to talk. The problem becomes an issue when you start going down the proverbial rabbit hole. The more time you spend hanging onto the relationshit with a toxic person the more vulnerable you become to losing yourself in the lies, hurt and falsehoods.

    I know when Assclown made a comment in passing “that isn’t good for your cellulite”

    My head spun around and I shot back “what cellulite? I don’t have a big problem with that”

    It became all the more apparent the type of person I was dealing with and how he was desperately grabbing for straws to attack my self confidence and worse yet my body image.

    As Natalie says “I am not that woman” and in this instance I am not going to continue to be the woman he tries to tear down to build himself up.

    Thankfully I have enough confidence in my body image (which is also verifiable by third parties) for that trash talk to mean nothing to me except give me a clue about the trash talker’s character and desperate attempts for abusive control.

    And like my gay friend said “[Assclown] is a little bitch” and what this means in gay man speak is that essentially the little bitch is a bottom’s bottom. And the fact that he takes his anger out and abuses women/small animals/children shows what a little bitch he truly is because you wouldn’t catch him acting like that towards another man or man of his physical stature. What is he defending his honor of bullshit?

    No man secure in himself and his manhood would ever voluntarily hit a woman and/or tear her down and trash talk her while continuing to be with her in a relationship. This is not love and this is not respect. What this is is someone who is out of control.

    Know your worth as a woman and respect yourself. And don’t let any man try to tell you shit. My Assclown was extremely manipulative and insidious. “How do you expect anyone to respect you as a person when you interrupt” and by interrupting he means having a voice and using your voice.

    It was a complete double standard with him. He was unbridled in shouting/yelling/talking but heaven forbid I talk back and speak up.

    Oh No. We can’t have that! And he wants me to know he literally has no respect for me and has lost any respect for me because I have a mind and a voice. I would go as far to say this Assclown believes “women and children should be seen and not heard.” He was good at hiding his true self in public and in front of his friends but became another person in private.

    I’m going to wrap it up for now by ending with the comment that he has serious issues that make him a toxic person who is harmful to others around him especially those who are physically weaker or defenseless.

    I decided that he is no longer going to work out his issues on my time! Enough is enough, true love isn’t going to risk your emotional well-being and physical health by lying and knowingly putting you in harms way either directly or indirectly.

    And it’s unfortunate that in the end you have to permanently break off and reject him because more often than not he’s never going to give you the respect and properly end things.

    These types of men are sick in the head. What’s worse is he probably does continue on his merry way judging and thinking to himself “well how can I respect someone who puts up with 1/8 of the crap I pull?” and that’s the kicker. If you weren’t good enough for him to respect and he claims he’s “dated a bit better looking women than you” voluntarily then why is he spending time with you?

    Unfortunately his next victim is or will be in the line of fire. I’ve been gone for 6 months now. And being alone is better than being with a total asshole jerk emotional cripple abusive Assclown.

  43. KM says:

    I realize that
    1. I am good enough for myself.
    2. I am good enough by myself.
    3. I am good enough for the others.
    4. I am good enough to exist in the universe.

    5. Anyone can work on being “a better person” more like “being at their personal best” without an Assclown in the way.

    Change can be good and I welcome more positive changes.

  44. Finally Free says:

    After dealing with an EUM off and on for 8 yrs during an argument that started because I told him I had a right to ask wuestions about whats going on with him & the mother his child. screamed at me “it’s none of yor business” . I participated in this madness until I realized that we want different things. He wants a woman he can disrespect, who won’t ask questions, and a “drama free” situation so he can come and go as pleases. I don’t care if I’m his wife, girlfriend, life partner. I deserve respect and I let him now that. It was a problem so he said he was going to “pump the brakes” and told me we were never in a relationship. Hearing those words was music to my ears. I’m glad to be off the merry go round.


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.


Start any of my courses within the next 48 hours and take advantage of the low prices in my summer sale. Current courses include Build Your Self Esteem, The Pattern Breaker and The People Pleasing Diet.