broken heart, glass of wine

I have a gazillion questions in my inbox but this email jumped out at me:

“What does it mean when a man says ‘I can’t give you what you want’ or ‘I cant be the man you need me to be’?”

When a man (or a woman) makes statements like this, these are what I call your golden opt out moments or ‘windows of opportunity’. If you have boundaries, values, an awareness about red flags and a reasonable level of self-esteem, a warning statement like this will make you very uncomfortable and bring you back down to earth with a bump. And it is a warning statement and when you hear it, it’s time to get out of the relationship and suffer the short-term pain for the long term gain.

He is giving you a chance to get out now while you can.

He’s also telling you who he is and trying to make you be real about him and the relationship so that you can opt out.

But here are the translations:

When a man says ‘I can’t give you what you want’ this translates to:

‘I can’t give you what you want…. I’m also not prepared to give you what you want so please stop wanting from me and move on’.

That’s it. It means exactly what he says.

This man already knows his capacity or what he is prepared to give. He’s also wise enough to recognise that you want more than what is on offer. There’s nothing mysterious about what he’s saying – he’s giving you a heads up and a warning.

When a man says he cannot give you what you want, it’s a red flag and a sign to run in the other direction.

Don’t make the mistake of millions of women by deciding that you know better – you don’t. Also don’t make the mistake of deciding that you will marginalise your own needs so that you can hang onto him because you’re setting yourself up for a mighty big, painful fall.

‘I love you and of course you can give me what I want’ you might proclaim. Er, no he can’t and you’re discounting what he has said and trying to invalidate what he has communicated because it doesn’t suit your view of things and you’re in denial. It’s not up to you to decide what he can give.

When a man says he cannot give you what you want and you want a relationship, it means that he doesn’t want a relationship and it’s time for you to let go and move on.

A decent guy in this situation will not only tell you this, but will opt out and move on with his life. A guy who wants to enjoy the fringe benefits of the relationship while managing down your expectations has a thinking that works like this:

‘I’ve told you that I cannot give you what you want. I am giving you a heads up and if you don’t have enough self-respect to move on and you stick around, I am not responsible for any pain that you may experience, even if I continue to shag you/get an ego stroke/or lean on your shoulder and moan. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because I’m still around that I’m in a position to give you what you want – I’m not, but I am all out for getting my own needs met if you’re going to stick around and let me use you up.’

When a man says ‘I cant be the man you need me to be’ this translates to:

‘Please stop putting me on a pedestal and creating illusions because I am not the man you think I am and I am not the man who you so clearly need me to be and I cannot meet your needs and have no desire to.’

That’s it. It means exactly what he says.

When men (or women) say stuff like this is because they know who they are, what they’re capable of, and what they feel about you and any relationship. They’ve likely danced this dance before with other people and they are trying to shut off the willing, waiting, hoping, dreaming, betting on potential and everything else that comes with putting someone on a pedestal.

If a man says this to you, it’s because you are under illusions about who he is and the relationship and he is making a vague attempt to bring you back down to earth.

You’ll likely have projected your ideas about who you think he is and the relationship you could have and it’s all making him a bit nervy. He may even feel you’re being emotionally demanding and actually, you may well be. If someone is in the position of saying this, it’s because you’re asking and expecting from them even when it’s apparent that they cannot meet your ‘needs requests’.

He’s saying ‘Back off! Stop expecting! Stop dreaming! Stop betting on potential! See me as I am!’

Again, a decent guy will not only tell you this but opt and move on. In fact, if you were to persist in trying to be with him, he may even have to do no contact on you. But a guy who doesn’t give a monkey’s about you and is happy to enjoy the fruits of your misguided feelings for him will think something like this:

‘I’ve told you that I’m not the man you need me to be. If you still want to be with me in spite of this, I know you want the illusion more than you want your self-respect and a real relationship. However, if you stick around, even if you don’t realise it, it’s on my terms so even though you might think that because we’re still sleeping together that maybe I can be the man you need, I still can’t and there’s no point in continuing to complain because I told you that I could not meet your needs – it’s not my fault you stayed.’

Hard as it may be for some of you to hear, there is no hidden meaning to these statements. When people show you who they are through their actions or tell you who they are, you need to be listening and watching, not denying or deciding that you know better, or playing Dan Brown looking to break a code.

Add in context to the situation and you really get a sense of what they mean:

When a man makes statements like ‘I can’t give you what you want’ and stays in the relationship he’s a lazy man who is reshaping the relationship on his terms and trying to manage down your needs and expectations so that he can get his needs met with minimal contribution while marginalising your own needs. He knows you’re not ‘the one’ but he’s OK with passing time. He’s saying ‘I can’t be the man you want but if you’re OK with sticking around for some sub par treatment, what kind of man would I be to pass up the fringe benefits?’

Don’t look for meaning where there is no meaning or suspend yourself in disbelief. Heed the warning signs.

Your thoughts?


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103 Responses to Reader Question: What does it mean when a man says ‘I can’t give you want you want’?

  1. Gayle says:

    OMG!! I will be divorced tomorrow…. My husband told me some sort of these same “lines” when we first started dating…. HINT: look where we are now! Only he said “there are things you want to do that I have already done, and will never do, so when you get ready to do them, tell me and I will get out of your way.” I see it now as his warning to tell me he is worthless (and since he told me, it is my fault if I stick around). Anyway, we ended up have 2 babies–1st by invitro. I always laughed and said, “I thought you would never do this,” after every step forward we took (only the joke was on me)….
    I should have known the warning signs (red flags) seeing as I was wife #3, and my kids were his 5th & 6th. I know, hindsight is 20/20!!
    This man had lots of money and lavished it upon me while we were together/married, now that we are seperated he claims poverty, and can’t even pay a reasonable amount of child support!! He is a farmer so he can deduct all of his income through expenses which we can not prove otherwise, and he is claiming now to be in “foreclosure” which I know will turn out just fine (after I sign the divorce papers)…..
    If nothing else, I escaped with my pride and my 2 children…. and karma has been catching up with him big-time, so I can just sit back and watch him crumble.
    .-= Gayle´s last blog ..THROAT PUNCH THURSDAY–MAD MOMMIE EDITION!!!! =-.

  2. Leah says:

    Thanks again Natalie for an amazingly insightful post. Having just walked away from a relationship where these exact words were uttered and dealing with letting go of someone I loved, you have once again managed to bring me back to reality and see things for how they were. For all the doubts I’ve had the past few weeks you’ve once again reminded me that it was entirely the right thing to do.
    I thank you!

    • Ellen says:

      Leah…I am in exactly the same boat has you…reading this article has helped me so much after recently walking away from a man I loved and a relationship I thought I could turn into something real but he warned me from the begining with the words “I will never fall in love again” I thought I could chnage his mind. After 3 years of on again off again I finally got real with everything and saved myself from the insanity.

  3. Sammie says:

    I wish I read this about a year ago.. I cut contact with my Mr Unavailable a few weeks back and I recognize so many things.. When I was ‘with’ him, I always had a feeling I was in a waiting room, waiting for the door to open.. But it didn’t.. until I would get up and walk out of the waiting room, then the door would open.. If I’d turn around and walk back, the door would close again. He was always saying, I cannot give you what you need, but nobody else will love you more.. and i really wanted to believe this although his behaviour was telling me the opposite.. It kept me in the waiting room for almost 2 years.. I was such an idiot.. Now he’s sending me mean and insulting emails.. It’s hard to follow the no contact rule, I would so like to email him this blog…. 😉

  4. l.a. says:

    If the man does this and is trying to manage down your expectations and the demise of the relationship begins because he is not putting in enough effort and fighting starts and all down a bad road…then why does he turn around and say your the one ruining this relationship? im such a good boyfriend blah blah

  5. Col says:

    yeah one of my crushes, TOTAL eu…biggest one i’ve met yet….anyhow, when he found out i was crushing on him, he said “I probably wouldn’t be a good catch for you anyway.” LOL, I respect him for shooting me down and seeing before I did how incompatible we were…he’s out for himself and himself only at this point in life after being screwed over by his exwife and that’s fine, sometimes we need a break to just be eu , well anyway i said back to him “maybe! maybe not. we’ll never know now, will we?” and we stayed friendly after that.
    my recent eu fling , after courting me big time, decided to blow cold and told me all about how I wanted a dad for my kids, etc. EXCUSE ME?! That was and is not what i wanted…my kids have a dad and i was looking for some fun for myself, someone just for me (for a good long while) and plus they already have a dad in their lives. I was steamed that he had the nerve to decide what i wanted, for one thing, and secondly, he knew the kids were there from day one, why did he even mess me about then?! bleah. THen this AC blew hot again a few days later…gimme a break!

  6. Col says:

    BTW, this is one of the best articles YET, Natalie! REALLY excellent. For those that didn’t know what it meant when they say that…or are under illusions! Also a great little upper for those of us that figured this one out a while ago…a good affirmation of our perceptions. Thanks

  7. JJ2 says:

    The A**clown I was with didn’t even have the decency to tell me that he couldn’t be what I wanted. When we would argue, he would just say words and words that never really said anything. I was staying at his house for three months, and during that time, he didn’t have the guts to ask me to leave. I think he just purposely acted like an A** to get me to leave on my own, but every time I tried to leave he would beg me to stay. (I guess he had to “look good.”)

    And ladies, here is a MAJOR red flag that I have never seen a guy do until now: When you tell him that you like something (maybe a sexual move he did, or maybe some little favor he did for you…), and he makes sure that he never does it again! I found that REALLY REALLY ODD!

  8. Sweetie187 says:

    “I’m sorry i cannot give you what you want, but unfortunately, you are what I want!” These were the exact words my ex EUM told me.

    I was seeing that man for 2 1/2 years and he knew i wanted a proper relationship with him and he refused to give it to me. Instead, after a year and a half of seeing each other, he chose to offer a relationship to another woman [that subsequently went down the toilet after 7 short months] whilst i stood on the sidelines watching him try to love somebody else. I was hurting and also fuming, asking myself, “why her and not me?”

    I blew the whistle on their relationship by calling her up. By the time i made that call, their relationship was pretty much over anyway. When their relationship ended, i briefly resumed our “so called relationship”. I slept with him twice and I was expecting him to offer me a relationship, now that he and her were thru [how stupid is that??? lol]. So when he did not, i argued with him and cut contact.

    This time, it’s for real. Usually i would have heard from him by now but i haven’t. Rationally speaking, I know its for the best but emotionally speaking, it still hurts to know he’s moved on and not given me a second thought. I thought i was irreplaceable.

    I am still in NO CONTACT. It still hurts to know that i was used for so long, but I will get over it one day.

    • NONE says:

      wow that is horrible! I feel for you. I guess they never change even with the new woman. The last assclown told me nothing about a “relationship” instead he will avoid talking about it at all cost and got really pissed everytime I asked him. I dumped his sorry ass, now he has given the relationship to someone new, I wish I could have the luck to see his fall.

  9. TJ says:

    Hi there,
    Mine said “I don’t know what you see in me”. Is that the same thing?

    • Frisky46 says:

      I think so, yes.
      To me, that statement hollers, “I don’t see my own worth, so I’m not sure why you’re interested in me” or he knows his ‘worth’ but doesn’t place a value on himself when he’s with you.
      Keep your eyes and ears open. I agree with so much of what is said in this post, especially this: They mean what they say.

      • TJ says:

        Hi Frisky,
        Thanks for your post. It was soooo incredibly frustrating when he would say those things to me. I saw more in him than he saw in himself at the time. But now, I totally understand that he is just a loser and a user.
        At the same time, what I am curious about is this: Will he behave the same way in other relationships? Or do these men just act this way with certain women? Ones they don’t really love? Or that they figure aren’t “the one”?
        I just remembered something else he said to me. He always would say that I was “out of his league”, and I would tell him that was crazy talk and that I loved him. He said that I am “perfect” and the breakup wasn’t because of me… and get this: He actually said that he “deserves a fat and ugly person” to be with. I thought at the time that it was the most pathetic thing anyone has ever said to me….

        • lenny says:

          maybe this is my own “dreaming”, but in reading “he’s scared, she’s scared–great book” i came to understand that some people say these things because you are the one, but their self-loathing prevents them from being committed.

          my ex, as things were circling the drain, said, “the idea that someone is there for me is ludicrus. it makes no sense to me.”
          because i understood his past/childhood and could relate to his fears/pain, i thought “standing by my man” was the way to go. i do have my own issues–self-esteem, boundaries–but i also have/had compassion and commitment. we could have had a great life together–but without his authentic facing of his issues/fears–we just could only go so far. (he also said that he knew he was stuck in his shit, but just didn’t want to deal with it.)

          please know that the love you shared was real…so real, it scared him. if he were healthy mentally, he would have been able to accept your love and reciprocate.

          be well.

          • aphrogirl says:

            I don’t think you are dreaming because you summed up how I feel about my EUM encounter. I do think that there is nothing wrong with those fears if people are willing to share and work through them. But, that does take true desire to work to gain some emotional intelligence and insight that will make the relationship peaceful and loving, instead of chaotic and painful.

            I did break NC a bit back and the EUM said maybe we could start over..but, as he described it I noted it was on his terms, which is avoidance of owning up to and working to get through all the cold behaviors he uses to deal with all his fears.

            I ended up saying that I cannot stay stuck on stupid with someone. If a person does not want to deal with the troubles that arise, especially from their difficult actions, then I do not have a healthy relationship. And I want a healthy relationship.I find this very sad because I do believe love was there, just not stronger than the fear.

            Meanwhile, now that I am officially “out” as single, I am being hounded by a goofy friend who thinks I need a man, physically…err him to be specific, to cheer me up. But, he added, we’re all too busy for relationships, so we could just fool around sometimes. Hahahaha.

            Thanks to all the time I have spent here understanding what I want I was cheered up enough to quickly tell him there is nothing wrong with his view of busy modern romance but I am looking for something else.

            Age has no bearing on these guys…they are older but sure as hell not appearing to get any wiser.

  10. Gina says:

    Thank you Natalie for this post. I wish I had found this website while I was dating an EUM. All of your posts are in one way or another what I experienced. Now I am struggling to let my ilusion go and hang onto a big air bubble. I was the stopgap and he finally ended up with his Ex while telling me he cannot YET give me what I want. I think I made such a hype around the word YET that I was not able to hear the warning signs all I heard is the word YET. He even told me in the same sentence that I deserve better. All I wish is that I had run but I didn’t. I hope for everyone who is in the middle of an EUM relationship and following this blog that they get out before it is too late because I have never degraded myself so much and lost all of my self-worth. It is some sort of addiction that is not easy to break. -The rose colored glasses just make life so much more beautiful… I am 5 months into no contact and I am still wasting thoughts and lots of energy on this person. Good luck to everyone out there. It is a struggle and I wish I had listened to everyone surounding me because I am paying the price that I thought I would never have to. It is now to the point that I see his friends out and they are making fun of me because I accepted his behavior. Thank you Natalie for making me think and learn how to rebuild myself.

  11. Notsleeping Anymore says:

    Natalie, if I did not know better I would swear you have been listening in on my conversations. This article had me all over it….I had to gasp several times especially when you said this:
    “Please stop putting me on a pedestal and creating illusions because I am not the man you think I am and I am not the man who you so clearly need me to be and I cannot meet your needs and have no desire to.”’
    This post describes my past situation to a tee, I did not realize how much I wanted this guy to be someone he simply could not be. He even warned me early…I mean within a month of us talking he said “I cannot give you what you want right now”. At the time that he said it I was confused, because I did not realize I wanted or was expecting anything from him. Unfortunately, I did not heed the warning, and hee kind of stuck around.
    O, how I wish I would have trusted my intuition. Anyway, I am still mourning the death of the person I thought he was. I learned that when a man shows you who he is accept it.

    Recovering Zombie

    • Myrtle says:

      Not sleeping anymore,

      You are not alone, girl. My EUM was my high school sweetheart recently reconnected after a decade apart and at first I was “the only girl he ever loved who he was best friend’s with” and one month later “I’m terrified of falling in love,” next month, “The next few months are fuzzy, I need to work on my job, and buy a house, but then I’ll be ready,” The following month “I’m screwed up, I just don’t know what I want.” When I finally gave him the ultimatum of “Do you love me?” The answer was, “I’m not ready for that yet, but I care about you.”
      I spent many years pining for this man, and that answer summed it all up.
      He STILL isn’t ready.
      -The walking zombie part will go away once you find real love…which comes from inside you and how you treat yourself. I am just starting that journey and although it has its downs, there are many more ups now that the EUM is gone. He can’t disillusion me anymore…I see him for who he clearly is.
      5 months sober / nc

  12. Kissie says:

    @TJ yes it is the same thing!! run run like hell!! A man who has a decent level of self esteem and confidence won’t say things like “i don’t know what you see in me.” What this guy is really saying is “I know I’m a worthless piece of garbage who has the emotional capacity of a stone, so what the hell are you seeing.” I briefly spoke to a guy about a year ago who after a few conversations asked me what was the most importnat thing a man can give me in a relationship. I told him: His time…b/c I am worthy of his time and attention. He told me that is the one thing he couldn’t give me because blah blah blah yada yada yada. I stopped listening after he said he couldn’t give me what i needed. I lost his number and pretty much wrote him off. He called me up a few days later, fuming b/c he had called me and he thought we had some connection. I was like dude, it’s your dime i you want to call me. I’m not calling you (indeed I never call men at the beginning they have to work, sorry) b/c you cannot give me what I need and what kind of fool wld I be to hang around a guy who has clearly told me that the thing I want most in a relationship he can’t (more like not willing) to give me?

    Natalie is spot on (as always :)) when she writes that this is an opportunity to RUN !!!! When men say these things it’s b/c they have no intention of doing right by you or doing any better. It’s a clear warning and if you’re really listening you’ll hear it. For years I chose not to listen, not to see b/c he was want I wanted and I was soooo all powerful that I was going to MAKE IT WORK. WRONG!!!! Now when I hear things like “You’re too good for me”, “I’m not good enough for you”, “what do you see in me”, “i’m not worthy of you,” “I don’t have time to be with b/c (fill in the banks)” “I don’t want /am not ready for a relationship”, ” i don’t do the dating thing”, “courtship, what the hell is that?” I hear them loud and clear and I thank them for my drink and jet!

    • TJ says:

      Thanks Kissie,
      I guess what confused me about that is the fact that he professed to love me and want a future with me for 5 stinking years…. Then he says that he doesn’t see what I see in him. He always did have shakey self esteem – well at least I thought he did (he was textbook handsome) but he thought that he wasn’t “well endowed” and mentioned it often. This had me always telling him he was just fine the way he was. Looking back, I believe it was a ploy to have me feeling sorry for him and to throw me off.
      The way I look at it is, why even say you love someone when you don’t want them? At the end of our relationship he started saying “he didn’t know how he felt anymore”, I asked him if he still loved me and he said “yes”. 2 months of no contact, then I ask if he wants to chat, he says yes, but avoids me for the most part. During a brief phone chat he says he “still isn’t sure” and can’t commit to anything. I personally think that he did what he did to blow me off because he had found someone else but just didn’t have the balls to tell me, and he wanted to keep me as a backup plan. He is a coward. He did what he did to keep me hoping while using me until he found something else. I am now seeing that it was good riddance of bad rubbish when it comes to him. I have no respect at all for him, as he is a piece of trash.
      I just wish I had found this site years ago.

      • lenny says:

        i think they start to project their self-hatred onto you and the relationship…then they make it a reality by treating you worse & worse. self-fulfilling prophecy–until you end it or they loose respect for you (but really themselves, for resorting to such antics)
        and end it for you.

        but, they are running away from love.

  13. Lady DB says:

    Thank you NML, for a great article. I’m an older woman and I have had these same thoughts and experiences for many years. In my younger years guys would tell me these very same statements and I wasn’t wise or mature enough to listen. Not that I have had numerous relationship however, at the bad ending I had to accept that the man told me actually who he was from the beginning.

    In my last encounter several years ago I reconnected with a high school classmate who I hadn’t seen for many, many years, we immediate hit it off and shared and enjoyed many fun times while being on a commitee together. After the event, we went on one date and on that date he told me everything you covered in this article.

    Needless to say, he invited me into his life with open arms. All the (red flags) for me went up immmediately. This time I listened, “DB, you can’t fix him or change him”. A week or so later I thanked him for his honesty and graciously declined his offer. He thanked me for my honesty as well and we remain very good friends to this day. This time I had a happy ending.

  14. Raven H says:

    I’ve been saying this for years. We women love to play detective and ‘figure out’ what he just said. He freakin spoke English – didn’t he? When my ex-eum started all this vague talk. We broke up, had a few “clarifying” chats and we don’t speak anymore. I saw my future as that woman who didn’t pay attention and I chose a brighter future WITHOUT him. IT WAS HARD! some days I do miss him. 8 weeks NC!

  15. Frisky46 says:

    Wow, what a great post. The e-mail ‘flags’ come regularly but today’s hit a nerve. I’m wrestling with something for over a year now and I don’t know how to handle it – or even if it’s my place to say something.

    A single friend of mine has been seeing a man who is supposedly divorcing. Without going into detail, much of which you can presume, he regularly gives her the ‘I can’t give you what you want/need’ talk. But a few days pass and they’re back on the phone, and often back in the sack.

    Over the past year I have witnessed my friend, a bright, competent and articulate woman, give this man every possible ‘out’ and accommodation due to his situation. She has spent a lot of time waiting for him to call or set another rendezvous. Maybe it is because I love my friend so much, and have no emotional tie to the man, but every time she relates to me his “I can’t give you what you want/need” line, all I hear him saying is: I’m just sleeping with you for now. Don’t expect me to be your man/boyfriend after I’m divorced.”

    My intuition tells me this is exactly his message, no matter how couched in “tenderness” he thinks it is. My friend keeps hanging on, meanwhile trying to focus on her life and her parenting and the Some Day that will probably not come.

    This has been over the past year; I see her hurt a little more each time. Is there a way I can talk to her about this? We are well into our 40’s and I would hate to risk insulting her or betraying her decision-making abilities but, well, she deserves a heck of a lot better in a relationship. Like us all, she deserves someone who is fully available to her and can give her what she wants.

    Thanks :)

  16. Rokstarrr says:

    What it means is that he doesn’t want to have to be responsible for any one’s feelings, that he doesn’t want to to any way shape or form be committed to anything but his own wants, desires and needs. What ever they might be from moment to moment. He is in a relationship with himself, he likes himself just fine the way he is, and there is about a two inch ledge where you can perch, if you want. Thats all the room he’s got. And that’s not enough room for loving you.

    • myrtle says:

      Spot On, girl. Spot on!!!!

      • Used says:

        I thought so, too.

        Sometimes I force people to be on the ledge, as a result of having had too many EU people in my life. I wasn’t like this before them! I used to write short stories about problems and their solutions, as a kid even!

        Well, this ledge B.S.–it’s stopping. It takes time, but it is almost at an end! I won’t ever be on one again, and no-one will be on mine, either!

  17. Trinity says:

    Hi NML,
    If a man sat me down and said the above comments you mentioned with no confusion, saying one thing then acting another way, changing his mind the next day and saying im perfect for him its just that i get overwhelemed and a tonne of other things. Then maybe you could just hear what he was saying and make a decision for yourself and with him abou the future.
    But unfortunately, my experience was the above which makes it confusing, what does he really want or mean? Because in one breathe he is telling me one thing and the next another thing.

    His actions were not matching his words but this time in a diiferent way, from saying im not sure i can give you what you want, to being invited to his family’s house for dinner, flowers, making arranagments for the next month of weekends, always included in future plans, constantly called, emailed, txt messaged andytime we were not together, still saving to move out and having a great time together.

    I know that in hindsight dealing with the above behaviour I just explained is a huge warning sign in itself and ive learnt from it, I mean who wants someone that emotionally unstable . BUT it can be hard to try to hear what he is saying when its confused with a tonne of other things, when he is still making plans with you, still discussing moving in, still saying your perfect for him, still saying I love you and what ever else. Mixed messages!!

    In the end he did leave me and from the 1st day right untill now which is 9 months later, he is still trying to be my friend, still trying to somehow stay connected. I have done NC and really well and he has not really let go 100%….Go figure???? he left yet he cant let go??? odd.

    An even when he finally did end it, he said, i just cant do THIS realtionship, at least not right now…not yet……..

    How vague and it was to give me hope so id hang on.

    I will learn from your post though, regardless of all the confusing bullshit he may be adding, if he says what you mentioned then start moving on or if you are confused….then even that’s a warning sign because lets face it you should not be confused, either someone wants you in their life or they they don’t and if your confused as to whether they do or dont, then I don’t think your being treated right. Or at least getting what you want.

    Take care everyone :)

    • NONE says:

      I dont blame you for being confused I think I would be also. He really was showing the right signs of a good man, except for the ” I cant give you what you want” part.

      WHat reason he gave you at the end for leaving you?

      • Trinity says:

        he said he had an internal battle going on, one that wanted to stay with me and one that gave him a feeling he should leave. He said in the end he could fight the battle anymore while still trying to maintain what we had. So he figured if im that confused i should leave.
        So as you can see that in itself caused all his confusing behaviour because i gues a big part of him wanted to stay.
        I think if i was that confused id leave also but he did give up an awful lot. Thankfully i dont think i could ever be that confused over someone. I can only assume because there was still a part of him that wanted to stay that thats why he hasnt wanted to lose contact completely.
        This is what i got from him though, he didnt explain things terrible well, but i think its the jist of things.

        • NONE says:

          Thats screwed up. The man hasn’t grown up. He sounds like the text book of Mr Unavailable. Confusion comes from being insecure, not being a grown up and not taking responsability for one self. Its sad there are too many men like this. The ex will just go blank whenever I brought up a subject such as our relationship. He was pretty much an emotional inept too and never gave a clear answer.

  18. Movedon says:

    Best one yet Nat – wish I would have found this years ago – maybe I would have listened and saved myself alot of heartache. 6 months when asked how he felt about me directly I got those exact word for word lines. Wish I could have heard them as you wrote them but I was betting on potential and in denial. Even a year later when asked the same question – I got the same response. I love you but I am not in love with you – you are not the one. Damn that hurt. He had no remorse like you said – exactly that – it was my fault I stayed. Truth is – it was my fault I stayed and thats the hard part to admit and get over. Still does not excuse his behavior of continuing to get his kicks at my emotional expense but when you give a mouse a cookie hes going to want a glass of milk…
    So thankful for your site – because of all you ladies out there I got to – it doesn’t matter I am not “the one” for you – there is no “one” for you. You however are not the “one” for me and I am glad you are gone. Lesson learned – painfully but finally. Believe them when they tell you who they are.

  19. Cathy J says:

    Is it just my imagination or was this post hopeless???

    A woman was made as a man’s crowning glory, at least to people who believe in God and the book of Genesis (Christians, Jews, Muslims).

    What went wrong????

    Even if you don’t believe in God right now, ponder ‘why would we yearn for a man only to be so disappointed continually?’

    Why not choose to believe that there is more to life?

    The ideal is the man and woman complement each other and cover each other’s weaknesses. No-one is perfect. In its traditional form the man is the man when he is the protector and provider. The woman is the nurturer, caring for children and looking after the home.

    One thing the last few decades has taught us is gender confusion. Can anyone say that men becoming more feminine or Women becoming more masculine actually works????

    Please don’t get me wrong I am all for women in the workplace and management and men to become better communicators – but at the expense of losing what it is to be a man or woman?

    Natalie is right that the man will honestly say he does not know if can deliver on what you see in him (his potential). But does that mean we should give up? If you honestly love each other then why not learn to be in a relationship and actually give this man you love a chance to prove he is worthy of you???
    .-= Cathy J´s last blog ..Cost of Dating: Part 4 Cost in Time and Energy to Beyond Positive Thinking =-.

    • NONE says:

      I dont understand, you are saying we should give the man a chance even after he has shown us he is not willing to give himself to be in a proper relationship?

      Probably I have misunderstood, but The boy (not a man yet) I was dating was a complete assclown and on top of that he made me feel there was no more than crumbs for me. It hurt too much and in no way I was going to give him another chance. He came back and I told him he lost it.

    • Gayle says:

      I agree with what you are saying Cathy J….. My (ex) husband and I were devout Christians. We went to church, read the bible, and got down on our knees beside our bed every night to pray!! Near the end of our relationship we were going to church every Sunday, meanwhile he was having an affair with the woman who worked at the gas station. I tried to give him every chance there was to give, then I finally had to give up and go through with the divorce, he filed though, not me (which is perfectly acceptable to God when one spouse “defiles the marriage bed” (meaning adultery). My husband and I had read the part of the bible that said “A man should love his wife like God loved the Church.” I don’t think he was loving me that way, or respecting our marriage vows!
      I agree that we should be hopeful and work on marriages (they should not be disposable), but with most EUM this is not an option. Maybe a real man of God would be a better fit, because they would put in the same amount of energy and devotion as the other spouse does.
      I like your point though, I think we are on the same page, just sharing my bad experience (even with a “Christian” man).
      .-= Gayle´s last blog ..THROAT PUNCH THURSDAY–MAD MOMMIE EDITION!!!! =-.

    • Carm says:

      Cathy J, you said:
      “Natalie is right that the man will honestly say he does not know if can deliver on what you see in him (his potential). But does that mean we should give up? If you honestly love each other then why not learn to be in a relationship and actually give this man you love a chance to prove he is worthy of you???”

      Yes, I think it means we should give up, in the case of EU men, a man that says he doesn’t know if he can deliver and is giving you a warning about himself. That’s the problem we have had, was giving too many chances to this kind of man. It means you are wasting your time and your love on a man who cannot be what you need.

      And I don’t understand what you mean by saying men are becoming more feminine and women becoming more masculine is not working? Why bring gender roles into it, because I know a lot of crappy EU relationships where men were the providers and women were the caretakers.

    • Trinity says:

      Hi Cathy,

      This part of your post:: The ideal is the man and woman complement each other and cover each other’s weaknesses.

      and this part::::Natalie is right that the man will honestly say he does not know if can deliver on what you see in him (his potential). But does that mean we should give up? If you honestly love each other then why not learn to be in a relationship and actually give this man you love a chance to prove he is worthy of you???

      I understand what you are saying and really thats what i did, i didnt give up on this chap because he had some lovely qualitys, we had loads in common and i saw real potential. I thought it was a shame to end things and that he lost a lot. But the things is i got really hurt by giving that chance but none the less i made the choice to do that, it just didnt work in my favour.
      I think so many people, including my x think people, good decent people are on tap. “its a bit hard even though your fantastic im leaving” Not so, good decent people are not on tap!!

    • Cathy J says:

      Hi – I hope I have put this i the right place to reply to the people who replied to my comment.

      Firstly – wow – I love it when we are passionate enough to comment!! I understand all this stuff about the men not behaving right and I agree in general with what Natalie’s advice is. We do need to value ourselves, we do need to not put up with the bad behaviour.

      This particular blog article struck a cord with me because so many people think it is not possible to be happy with a man, or that you are with the wrong one – even though you profess to love each other (in public) [this is not talking about the ones who really are the assclowns].

      I honestly believe the problem is that we have been fed a load of BS over the last 100 years or so about romantic love. I do not believe that Cupid’s arrow strikes and then you live happily ever after. I don’t even get why anyone believes it.

      When we actually learn how to be in a relationship via education and applying sound relationship skills there is a chance. There are a few good articles around summarising techniques and resources including those which are no longer available eg the ABC documentary ‘Secrets to Love’.

      We all can see the benefit of organisations and education such as with AA where recovering alcoholics actually own their issue then take responsibility to choose every day to live a different way leading to a fuller life (not running away from your fears). Why not be accountable to fix yourself and your relationship before it is too late??

      No-one is perfect. We were not made to fight each other but with and for each other.

      How about as women we learn how to be feminine and how to be in a relationship. As Natalie advises us – if he is not treating us very well then do not accept that behaviour – get on with your own life.

      Just as we have boundaries in all relationships in life for success, there is discipline and consequences. Just as we don’t stop loving our kids when they behave badly, if we really love our men perhaps we can hate the behaviour and then even love our men from a distance while we learn techniques to change ourselves and not focus or dwell on the other treatment.

      When you respect and honour yourself so will others (over time) and the few who don’t will no longer be in your life and you will be so happy about that!!!!
      .-= Cathy J´s last blog ..Cost of Dating: Part 4 Cost in Time and Energy to Beyond Positive Thinking =-.

    • Confession says:

      Cathy J, I read your post and I agree that the state of relationships between men and women are a mess. It seems most guys, don’t have a clue what a healthy relationship looks like and I will be honest most of us women don’t know either.
      I think I understood what you were saying until you talked about not giving up on love. I am all about determination and sticking out a goal.
      However, I now understand that the only person I can change is myself no one else. So if a man has told me; shown me consistently that what I am offering is not what he wants…..then I am going to have to swallow that and move on. I am not going to say it does not hurt it does….but what hurts even more is lying to myself… is what it is.

  20. aphrogirl says:

    “When people show you who they are through their actions or tell you who they are, you need to be listening and watching, not denying or deciding that you know better, or playing Dan Brown looking to break a code.”

    ohh, too funny, the Dan Brown line made me laugh. I don’t even know who he is, but I got the jist of it cause I been there.

    I swear some EUM’s make a career out of bewildering contradictory behavior, creating drama, confusion and plenty of WTF mysteries to be solved. I am certain some think this behavior makes them very unique and emotionally “complex” individuals.

    OK I will admit that I was entertained at times trying to figure him / the mystery/ it all out.

    But eventually the confusion felt like some bizarre tease.. like where was the solid person under all the confusion and contradiction.

    Finally, I got it…that was him… he was all about confusion, contradiction, smoke and mirrors, being open, building walls.

    I stopped seeing him as the stable man he claimed he was, and the stable man I wanted him to be. I took a hard look at the situation and the instability was making me crazy. This sounds a bit cruel to me…like I stopped believing in him. But iI knew I had to get away, for my sanity.

    What I realized from NC is that when your fantasy world finally collides with reality your strength is tested to the max.

    If you want to stay with reality you better hold on because you are in for a wild ride of self discovery. For me though, honesty and reality are so stabilizing and satisfying in the long run.

  21. Tammy says:

    Hello, everyone:

    I have been reading this site for quite a few months. I found this site because I went in search of answers. You see, the man that I was seeing was acting so strangely that I went on a hunt to try and understand what I was dealing with. I wanted to understand why I was alway off balance and walking on egg shells and generally making excuses for his poor behavior. Luckily for me, I found this site.

    As you can guess, the “relationship” ended. I kept asking him again and again to treat me respectfully because I did not feel that he was doing that. I now understand that he was blowing hot and cold.

    On the day that we broke up, I asked him, “Are you this neglectful of all women or is it just me”. Apparently that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He broke up with me and part of what he said was “I can’t give you what you want.” Wished me good luck and cut contact.

    This devastated me because I wanted him and I wanted him to put effort into the relationship. I wanted a proper relationship with him.

    Yes, there were warning signs but I did not recognize them as warning signs. I was caught unaware, I had never dealt with anyone like him before. I guess you can say that he is my first EUM and I hope to sweet God that he is my last.

    • Trinity says:

      what a joke that he used what you said which was completly acceptable as the straw that broke the camels back. So now, its all your fault that it eneded right down to the last minute….Joke. My X did something similiar and he also below hot and cold to the point that i nearly had a nerveous breakdown. On the day he left, i dared to ask, is there some one else through a flood of heartbreak and tears. He looked at me smirked and said this is another reason im leaving you.
      I said, give me a break ive just had my heart torn out and stomped on for doing nothing wrong. Funny thing was he was the one with all the jealousy issues a could rattle off a list of people, shop owners and even his family that he had jealous outburts about. What a joke but why be suprised? mine never took responsabilty in the relationship for his actions and he certainly wasnt going to do it the day he opted out or after.
      Its something i will never put up with again, as soon as soon blows hot/cold im off. Its a complete and utter waste of time and energy, they can chosse to live their life like that but i refuse to be involved in it. Tammy keep doing the NC with him, keep him away from you. Since he blew hot and cold all the time no doubt he will try to re-appear. ignore him.

      • none says:

        TAMMY AND TRINITY, both of your ex bf’s are very similar to mine as well Its crazy!! its almost as if they got the same “play book”. Last AC also behaved worse when I asked him a simple question: “Are you seeing anyone?”. A very valid question given that he was acting so misterious and I was going crazy, he wouldn’t even replied to my text. It felt exactly like you, walking on eggshells. Note to self: Never date EU or man boys ever again.

  22. Gotitright says:

    Hello girls,

    This happened to me about two month ago.
    I was going out with this guy for about two month. He never brings up commitment.
    However he keeps asking me out.
    I felt like I was tested each time I went out with him. Feeling worried if he will ask me out for the next date in the end of the day.
    And after he asked me out in the end of the date for the next week, he will go no contact with me. It means no calling, no texting, no contact from his side.
    I was always so worried if he might gonna cancell the date. And oneday, that happened.
    He cancelled the date. I acted as if it wad no big deal. Then he asked me out again on “text”. (he always asks me out on TEXT” It’s a big red frag that I have ignored.
    And I went to the date, I felt someting was up by seeing how he is acting kind of distant on the day. But I still ignored the sign cuz I wanted us to be together.
    And toward the end of the date he asked me if I wanted to go somewhere private where we can be alone… (he has never asked that question before, he haven’t even kissed then, simply because he does not make a move)
    I said “no” because it was getting late.
    And in the end of the date, he did not ask me out. So? I asked him “when can I see him”
    Then he told me he will let me know.
    But I have never heard from him after that.
    And luckly I was smart enough to go no contact on him after the last date.
    He ditched me. But I said “No Thank you” for it. Now I am in pain, and I am lonely. But if also feels good to be able to keep my dignity.
    Sometimes a man wont tell you. But they act like one. Sometimes it’s up to you to decide.
    Cuz, trust me, he will stay in touch with you if he wants you.

  23. JJ says:

    Yea this was a great posting. When these ass clowns tell u who they are you better believe them. But what I have also come to realize is that two people that are unequally yoked; simply cannot work. People that work and have lasting committed relationships are predestined by God to be together. We have to go through so many EUM’s; assclowns etc until we finally meet our match and he’s never going to come when we want him to. I say thank God when these men do tell u that they can’t give u what you need. So glad I woke up. Full 2 months nc in two days and I feel great. There is nothing in this world that ever make me second guess my decision of cutting that creep out of my life!!

  24. gotitright says:

    P.S Thank you NML.
    I could figure this out all because I have been reading your post.
    This guy left without closing the door on me. I know the door is still open cuz he did not say we are over. He just ditched me and did not ask me out again.
    But, I know this is where I should put the line and say good bye. OR it will bring me more pain and also things will go on with his terms.

    • Used says:

      NO! Don’t call him! If you do, then THAT’s when the terms are his more than they are now!

      He couldn’t get down your pants, as of now. If you call him, then he may/will start to operate under the delusion that you are party to his thought process of: “maybe I can get down her pants!” Why? B/C he will interpret your calling him asa sign of weak will, that you NEED him. Translates to contempt. TRanslates to treating you badly even more down the road.

  25. Brand New Day says:

    These blogs are unbelievable…just when I think the information and advice from NML can’t get any better than it already is…it does! It’s a pity I didn’t find my way to this website years ago…would’ve saved me some AC-wasted time. Better late than never though.

    Regarding this particular blog: it’s just too uncanny, the following is an excerpt of what I had written last week about my ex EUM/AC, but hadn’t posted: ‘I saw him as my “night in shining armour” even though he once warned me that he couldn’t give me what I wanted – but I just saw that as a challenge.’ I laughed it off at the time but afterwards paid with tears.

    In hindsight I would have saved myself 3 years if I had this advice about what my AC tried to tell me…that he was giving me a chance to save myself and opt out. Typical, the competitor in me just brushed it off. Things started going downhill from then and I never could understand why.

    Just as JJ is, I am also 2 months NC (WOOHOO!!!). And just as NML predicted (but I didn’t believe it initially), my AC of 10 YEARS (!!!) has not even bothered to ask why I haven’t replied to his last sms. Like I never meant anything or really existed. He’s a text book case of everything written within this website. It’s embarassing what a great fool I have been and how I short-changed myself.

    This whole process is really cathartic. I am beginning to see glimpses of the strong and true old me again…it’s exciting! Thanks over and over NML and all you great girls out there!!

  26. Moving on in 2010 says:

    These are the words taken right out of my EU-douchebag’s mouth.

    The first time we were together and he backed away from the relationship he said, “Because I’m not in a position to give you what you are looking for, maybe it’s best if aren’t as close as we have been in the past to prevent any emotional disappointment.” It was a total copout and I was so hurt. Fast forward to 6 months later, I fell into his trap and thought he had a change of heart because of his charm, but once again,he messed with my emotions. This time, when I asked what was happening between us he said, “Can we still be friends? I’m still not ready to be in a serious relationship. Because I’m not really in a position to give you what you want, it’s best if we keep our distance.” After this incident (I know Natalie doesn’t approve of this method, but I had to do it for my own sanity and closure), I sent him an email telling him that it has been emotionally draining to have to see him everyday at work and that I can no longer be friends with him.

    So far, so good. The first time we broke up, it was 6 months NC. This second round, it’s been almost 5 months and it’s been so great that he has moved to a different state. I feel like myself again at work (yes, we are coworkers and still work for the same company, but he now works remotely) and I am going to therapy weekly. My therapy away from therapy has been this site and I am SO thankful to all you wonderful women who share your stories to all of us who are in the same boat.

    • Trinity says:

      Good going girl !

      Im going pretty well with the working together thing now, i just dont care about him. Its agreat feeling.

  27. illusion says:

    My ex EUM said first time we met after having a beautiful evening together : “I dont want to hurt you , you are a nice girl” is this a same as I can’t give you wat you want?

    • Trinity says:

      I would say so, its an introduction to say, “i think im going to hurt you” why would he even think it, unless he was worried he would?

      • Enlightened says:

        Trinity is absolutely right…. it is an ‘introduction’ to ‘I think/know I am going to hurt you (because history has shown me loud and clear that I am so screwed up!).

        I don’t think it was necessarily because he was ‘worried’, just that he had probably come from one train-wreck relationship and his part to play and his relationship history was still very much at the forefront of his mind.

  28. MaryC says:

    …….”don’t make the mistake of deciding that you will marginalise your own needs so that you can hang onto him because you’re setting yourself up for a mighty big, painful fall”.

    So true So true. I never expressed my hurt or anger to my guy no matter what he was doing. I thought if I did he leave. Well it didn’t matter he left anyway. 8 months of NC and this site have made world of difference to me.

    Thanks NML and all the others here. In the beginning of my journey to free myself there were some pretty dark days but I always knew I could come here and find something to read whether from Nat or others sharing their stories that would help me see I wasn’t alone and give me hope that I’d be ok.

    I wish more men would come to this site and see what we see. I’d love their stories, input and feelings about relationships maybe it would help us see things clearer too.

  29. Delusional says:

    my eum said ” i wish i had met you before i met her”. huh? Are we operating on first come first served basis? NML is right, if a man really wants you, he will do the right and honest thing to be with you. But if he leaves someone else to be with you, what guarantee do you have that he wont do the same to you? I am in a limbo… i so want him to leave cause i want him for myself… but i so dont want him to leave…cause i fear i will leave him too eventually. does that make me a eum too?

  30. SaraK says:

    How does one flag a post so that everyone knows that it’s the best thing on the internet ever? NML, this one is brilliant.
    I wish we could teach it in High School Language classes. Maybe a movie with subtitles? The translation could read exactly the same words that he is speaking. Thank you from every woman who will read this and learn.

  31. SmarterNow says:

    OMG this post was your best yet, NML! If only we could take your advice to heart, EVERY time. My ex-EUM literally said the following to me throughout the course of our first several dates:

    – I’m afraid of commitment
    – I’ve cheated on all of my past girlfriends
    – Every time something starts to get serious I freak out and sabotage it
    – I believe in the double standard
    – I’m bad news

    WHAT??! And I kept seeing him. He fed my own ego because he was really attractive and great in bed, and I thought I could “handle” it and play his own game. I never let him know that his actions of disappearing and communicating only by text were not OK with me. I pretended I didn’t care and that I was the “cool” girl. I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let anyone hurt me this time (yes, I’ve been there/done that with the AC’s before!)… I really thought that would work! I thought — once you actually see how amazing I am you will be hooked. And I figured that takes time in ANY relationship, so why don’t I just stick it out until he starts to fall for me, too.

    Which of course never happened, because these AC’s are incapable of it. The best advice I ever heard was “you can’t have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy person.”

    SO I AM WARNING YOU NOW… get out while you can! The minute he says something that sounds like a red flag, run far away and never look back. I have thought of this AC every single day now for almost a year and a half. THAT is what I got from trying to be nonchalant and “fine” with whatever crumbs he threw me. It’s not like we ever had a fight or a big production at the end (or even during). I just went away and never called him back once I finally decided I couldn’t handle it anymore. And to this day I still don’t think he knows how deeply he affected me. But he is in my head every single day even though I’ve been NC for awhile now. I would give anything to just get him OUT. But once you fall for one of these guys, they don’t mentally go away easily (isn’t THAT ironic!).

    Save yourself the future pain and don’t go there!!! It will always feel at the beginning like it’s OK and you can handle it. But I promise that once you turn the corner and start caring about them, it is a dead-end road that benefits only them and leaves you with a lot of baggage to clean up.

    Take Natalie’s advice and believe the AC’s when they tell you who they are. Say a kind “thanks but no thanks” and rejoice in the fact that you now have an extra year of time that you will NOT spend getting over heartbreak. Use that time to find a GOOD man!!!

    • Used says:

      I actually think that you did the right thing. Why?

      First, b/c you CAN’T change these people. They have to WANT to change on their own, of their own accord, and/or due to having had some sort of life-altering experience (e.g., having a daughter or two, or having a mother who becomes widowed and they have to suddenly watch over her).

      Second, b/c arguing with them is pointless. They don’t change just b/c you argued with them. (See above.) Even if you are the one who gets them.

      Also, I do believe that there is something of “first come, first serve” these guys, as someone mentioned above. Even if you do have ALL of the qualities that they DO appreciate, if they met someone before you with whom they have become even somewhat emotionally attached, then, ladies, you don’t stand a chance. Further, they may even delude themselves to believe that YOU are the “bad” (yes, read: slutty) woman, while the “first served” woman is the “lady”.

      I want to see how the daughters of these guys turn out. From what I have seen, they will turn out just like their mothers, and the EUMs (esp. the narcissist ones) will turn a blind eye to the “non-ladylike” goings-on of their daughters. After all, those who seek perfection CAN’T get too emotionally involved and CAN’T see the faults of others they don’t WANT to see faults in, can they? It wouldn’t be convenient, would it!

      Someone once mentioned on this site that you can’t control who they see as the madonna, and who they see as the whore. I always thought that if you acted like a lady, then they (any man you go out with) would see you that way, b/c the world sees you that way. Not so where the emotions are involved, and especially not so when “first come, first served” is a factor (esp. when there is a first wife–a lot of times even if she was a bad person!). Nope: they see what they WANT to see. They delude themselves, too, with whatever they WANT to see.

      Again, men today are the problem. It is so not the women. Sorry for the generalization. But ’tis true!

      Bottom line: YOU DID THE RIGHT THING.

    • Confession says:

      Smarter Now, you remind me so much of myself. I too did the same thing you did. Pretend….I pretended that it did not matter what he did, pretended to be the “cool girl”. I also thought I could play him at his own game…wrong!!!! I also promised myself that I would not get caught up….guess what. Like you, I finally reached my breaking point…..I just could not do it anymore.

      I agree it can be difficult to get these guys out of your mind….so I have stopped trying. Instead, I have been changing my thought and perceptions concerning him. I mean I am rewiring my thought process concerning him…this is helping me greatly. The challenging thing is that I have had turn the mirror on myself and address somethings in me. Because at the end of the day I chose to stay in “it” and i chose not to heed the warnings. I have started looking at my life and the way I go about things….now I am finding I am thinking less and less about him.

      • lenny says:

        can you elaborate on how you are rewiring your thoughts.
        im trying some stuff–EFT, therapy, massage, yoga, breathing exercises. i have some luck, but still get heavy.


        • Confession says:

          Hey Lenny, when I say I am rewiring my thoughts concerning him, I mean that when the thoughts about him come and they do. Instead of getting upset and angry now, i just remind myself that I always have a choice. He has always been consistent about who he was, it was me that stuck around trying to change that. I made that choice….now I am choosing me. I am not saying it’s easy….it is tough but once you commit to yourself it becomes a little easier. I hope this helps.

    • Ellen says:

      SmarterNow` thank you for your post cause I could so relate with you…these guys get inside your head and your heart and stay there long after the NC……..3 1/2 months for me and I know it will be a long time before I don’t not think of him everyday :(

  32. TJ says:

    Thanks Nat for the great post.
    This issue gets a little confusing because on one hand we should listen and believe what these men are telling us when they say things like “I can’t give you what you want” … So, when that same man tells you that he loves you and you are perfect etc. are we NOT to believe them? This is where I believe you must look at their actions to be the tie breaker. One of the things I have learned (the hard way) is that no matter what anyone says, it is what they DO that matters.

    • Leah says:

      I had the same – can’t give you what you want but on the other hand was telling me I was the most pefect person/ nicest person he’s ever met etc. Proof is in the pudding I’m afraid and I opted out.

  33. illusion says:

    Thanks Trinity,
    I think you are right. He actually knew his own struggels so,he was warning me to back off. Exactly what NML mantion above:

    I am giving you a heads up and if you don’t have enough self-respect to move on and you stick around, I am not responsible for any pain that you may experience, even if I continue to shag you/get an ego stroke/or lean on your shoulder and moan. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because I’m still around that I’m in a position to give you what you want – I’m not, but I am all out for getting my own needs met if you’re going to stick around and let me use you up.’

    So, i think when a guy tell us “I dont want to hurt you” is exactly the same as ” I can’t give you want you want’
    Only, I would be much more happier and healthier if i have found this site earlier -;(
    i gave all of myself to this guy for last 3 years..and the result is…right now i’m having an burn out and some other physical pain and very difficult time to recover.. to come back to myself.

    That’s why i would say to all women. Save yourself some Heartache on time!
    dont wait, hope, and waste your energy and time with that kind of men!

  34. l.a. says:

    How come when they do these kind of things..they dont back away from the relationship at all. My guy was never a question if we were in a relationship or not. We were together every day. Why do they stay for so long with someone that they arent happy with? and even when he started cheating with someone else he was still there every day. Before the cheating bc he was unhappy with us, if a guy is there all the time, always calls, always makes plans, families have he still as assclown or unavailable? But he did try to bring down my expectations of him and demanded more of me….

    • Delusional says:

      Once, an assclown always and assclown. You know, i dated a guy much like yours for 9 months but I being the OW. He had a girlfriend. Told me right from the beginning. If someone had told me a year before that i would be the OW, i would have scoffed in their face. I believed that since my ex cheated on me and someone took him from me, i might as well take a guy from someone else… BIG MISTAKE!!!!!……. to cut the long story short. This guy was always with me everyday, everytime i mean 24/7…he was always calling, texting, making plans, we were always going out, having fun… hell he even moved in with me for 4 months. Where was his girlfriend I ask??? I know she lives in the same town. Their families have met etc…he says they have been together for 4 years (since university) but i am positive he cheats on her like crazy. when he was with me i dug up 3 more women, he was flirting with,and promising a future with. But “the girlfriend” is there. He tells all of them he has a girl (I was stupid huh?) I am sure at one point she even knew about me, she was asking all questions abt me ( according to him,… he was in trouble cause she found a, or , b or c of mine. making me feel all guilty).but she brushed it all aside. So the point is NOT “Why do they stay for so long”…. the point is WHY DO YOU??????? I also ask myself… why did i put up with such crap for so long. how did i get in that situation. I did not even recognise myself then.I am glad I found my self respect and the strength to say enough is enough!!!! told myself i will never be second best.. and will not settle for anything less than the whole loaf. I am glad i didnt win him either!

      • Delusional says:

        The thing is girlfriend… if it smells like a rat, it looks like a rat, hell it even squeals like one.. ITS NOT A RUBBER DUCK HUN!!!…. IT’S A BIG SLIMEY RAT!!!!!!

  35. aphrogirl says:

    Smarter now wrote above “even though I’ve been NC for awhile now. I would give anything to just get him OUT. But once you fall for one of these guys, they don’t mentally go away easily (isn’t THAT ironic!).”

    I do believe it was Freud who said ” that which is unresolved bugs the sh*t out of us” ..well, that might be.paraphrased ; –)

    Heres the thing…its not that we are supposed to understand the behavior of the flaky EUM/ AC’s of the world. I am sure many of them are just as confused by their behavior as we are.

    What we are understand are, at least, these two things
    1) we are seeking to resolve some childhood insecurities, by having them prove that we are worthy
    2) it is hopeless to get this resolved by expecting an assclown to act like a great guy

    The EUM/AC experience is valuable if you use it to really get down and examine why the hell you wanted someone who is incapable of being a good and stable force in your life….to be a good and stable force in your life.

    This is magical frog into prince, beauty and beast thinking. My experience is the more you understand why you wanted an assclown so badly, the more you don’t want an assclown, and they start to leave your thoughts.

    The other plus of being involved with these types is that you are getting clearer on what you do want. So, next time someone pulls an assinine move, or feeds you one of those lines, you can see it for what it is and be repulsed – not attracted.

    But, all this understanding takes time, effort and work. Its normal for the AC to be in your head till you understand why he, of all people, a most unlikely candidate, was so important to you.

    • JJ2 says:

      “The other plus of being involved with these types is that you are getting clearer on what you do want. So, next time someone pulls an assinine move, or feeds you one of those lines, you can see it for what it is and be repulsed – not attracted.”

      Not necessarily. I had dated A/C’s before, and thought I knew what to look for. The last guy I dated just didn’t fit the profile, but yet he did! He didn’t cheat on me, I am 100% sure of that. But he did blow hot and cold. He asked me to come live with him, then treated me like a roommate, not a cherished lover.

      Dating ONE A/C does not prepare you for what to look for next time. Because the next one will just do it with a little different twist.

      • JJ2 says:

        And I forgot to add….. the last A/C I dated, his “way” was just SO SUBTLE that I didn’t pick up on it. He wasn’t obvious, he was SUBTLE. Sometimes the “clues” won’t be outright obvious. Sometimes they will be subtle.

  36. Gotitright says:

    @ None,

    You are so right about the feeling of “walking on the egg shells”.
    That’s exactly how I felt when I was dating the guy

  37. Pushing.Thru says:

    I also believe it was Freud that said – “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” (don’t have to look deeply for meaning or answers,,,, take things at face value)
    The words “I can’t give you what you want. IT will fail” came out of his mouth – verbatim after the 2nd time we slept together.
    He actually had the nerve to say “I still want you to like me though”
    i think over the years i spent pining and listening to his deluded stories – that was the most honest thing he had ever said to me. Let me say it again “I can’t give you what you want. This will fail, i still want you to like me though”
    Hahahaha says the 37 year old counterdependant man/child!

    And of course STILL i didn’t hear that. i heard what i wanted to hear… i knew better… how come we choose to hear what we want to hear? Why didn’t i accept the fact that he told me FLAT out that he couldn’t “give me what i wanted” I’ll tell why – he started calling everyday for a week, asking me more questions, being more attentive… and basically stepped it up in order to keep me happy for a while and shut me up. And it worked. He played me like a violin.

    I started thinking what i was asking for was wrong, began to apologize for being needy (?) slowly started to feel desperate, worthless, unattractive and pathetic. And of course the more i felt this way, the more i held on. (daddy feeling). and this energy vampire continued to suck me dry.

    These men are Incapable. of. Building. Attachments. period.

    I know next time around, i will ask more questions, be more clear with my feelings, and communicate from a good place within me, not a place of fear. I’ll watch for the red flags and trust my gut.

    Sometimes the worst things that happen to us, turn out to be the best lessons.

    6 months NC

    • JJ2 says:

      “Sometimes the worst things that happen to us, turn out to be the best lessons.”

      I’m still waiting to see what the lesson was. I know what you mean, though.

  38. Alone says:

    Long story kind of short – my AC and I just split 3 weeks ago after 2 years of dating & I initiated the no contact rule. Just like everyone here, it started out beyond wonderful. We met kind of thru a mutual friend & the chemistry was instant and so strong.. almost like a fairy tale.. he did lots of things to impress me, the passion was intense, we could not keep our hands off of each other… in fact our friends were probably grossed out because for the first few months we were locked at the lips. It was intoxicating to put it mildly. I was in love. And I thought… this is it.. I am 32, he was 31.. I thought we were mature enough to have a real relationship. FINALLY I have struck gold! To everyone we seemed like the perfect couple.. like NOTHING could come between us. We moved in together after 4 months of dating & everything was great.. we had the typical couple fights, but nothing I thought that was out of the ordinary (or maybe I had convinced myself). There were definitely some red flags that I ignored… like he had mentioned one time “when we break up in 2 years..” or something to that affect, and I was like “what the hell are you talking about, we are going to be together forever.. don’t say something like that!” Then time goes on and you forget that it was said. Oh yes, he told me that he wanted to marry me, that he wanted to have children with me. But when it came down to it… no ring.. no commitment. Then I find out that he is having trouble financially which he tried to hide from me in the beginning. But I found out when he bounced a check to my mother & I was like, wait a minute… something is not right here!! Well, even though he was making a well above average salary, he was always coming up short. For my birthday last year, we go out to a restaurant & I get this card that reads “you and me in LA for New Years.” Well, New Years came and he didn’t have the money.. but he tried to blame it on a work thing that came up, but I found out from his friend that he had loaned him $500.00. You can imagine that this was a fight.. Because after 1.5 years together, he is hiding things from me & after waking up in the bed next to someone that long, I felt there should be NO SECRETS. He didn’t feel the same… and I was like.. I want to know where the hell all your money is going. We are always sitting home, never do anything, never take any vacations… this is my life too! And my thinking was, if he cannot get his finances together, when will we ever get married, ever get a house or have a life together… I started thinking, maybe he’s not that serious about me like he said, because he would want to move forward & work hard to fix this… even though he said he wanted all these things with me, the marriage, the kids, the house… the two didn’t add up.. in my mind.. His financial irresponsibility = no marriage. So I pressured him about his finances and where he thought the relationship was going.. and you guessed it – he moved out!! I guess I got my answer. And yes, he did have problems with his mother.. they were estranged when I met him, but he blamed that on her. And when he ended it, he was VERY COLD… like he flipped a switch inside his head… he even laughed as I cried. I was just dumbfounded. I was like… WHO IS THIS PERSON I HAVE WOKEN UP NEXT TO EVERY DAY FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS??!! And he said to me, “I cannot give you what it is you need.” And the classic line… “it’s not you, it’s me.” And sorry, but I am devastated. Because he said he wanted all those things with me.. and even up until the end, things were good with us. We still held hands every night when we fell asleep…. We still kissed each other sweetly, we still supported each other’s dreams.. I really don’t get it. He just walked out on our life together like I never even mattered… leaving me alone to wonder WTF?! I tell you, he had us ALL fooled.. me, my mother, my grandmother, my friends, brother… Everyone thought he was THE ONE FOR ME.. so everyone is so shocked. But most of all me! And it’s like he is fine with not having any contact.. Plus we had a dog together and he doesn’t care about her either. What is it with people??!! But even though it hurts like hell… I know deep down that I cannot be with someone who can profess their love one minute and walk out on me the next?! I’m telling you, relationships aren’t always easy, they take work… you Assclowns should know this going in. It’s not always going to be roses… it’s about who stays when the going gets rough and who takes the easy way out. I thought I had it all figured out. I was WRONG.

    • NONE says:

      omg what a story, sorry you are going through this. I just cant believe men like these exist. I guess we need to look very deeply at the red flags early in the courtship phase and if something is off or he has said something off, ask right away and dont stop until you get an answer. Saying things like this is like predicting your future, so beware.

  39. Gotitright says:

    @ used

    Thank you!!
    I will not call him, or text him.
    There are urges to do that time to time.
    But I should not. And will not.
    The funny thing is He looked like this total gentleman till then. He has waited so long till he brings up “going somewhere private”.
    I still wonder what it was about….
    Though I felt so strange that we were not talking about anything about the future during our date.
    He went so quiet when I talk about doing something together in the future….
    So, basically he can’t give me what I want, but still stayed around by managing my expectation; only texting. No calling.
    Also, when he texts, he does not bother talking about how our day was, or any other stuff to make a small talk about. But just talked about when we will meet up, and where.

    I wonder what was it that he wanted from me…
    a company? Or sex?

    • Used says:


      He has already found (or is still looking for) company somewhere else. Company…that will lead to…sex!

  40. IdiotIam says:

    Oh my god. This could not be more timely. He has told me this for the past two years, I finally cut contact four months ago. Still in pain and not wanting to move on. Thanks for this very timely post.

  41. raven says:

    What do I think? I think this is possibly the best post you’ve done. Says it all.

    • raven says:


      I think we need to be a bit careful about blaming men and thinking ‘it’s not us’. This implies that if we just find the right man we’ll be ok. I think this is a little naive. Unless we address what it is within us that drew us to these men and allowed us to put aside our own needs and sanity, we will continue to do that over and over.

      I actually think that most men who behave like ACs and EUMs are not necessarily bad people. It’s very tempting to think like that but it’s just too black and white. I don’t subscribe to such a fixed view of the human being. I think that we are partly formed through our interactions with others.

      The last EUM I went out with was/is a wonderful person. He is intelligent, passionate, kind, intuitive, thoughtful, creative, fun, serious, ethical and family-oriented. He is also troubled and bit messed up by things that happened to him in the past. He was one of the ‘I don’t want to hurt you’ brigade and the thing is, he genuinely doesn’t want to hurt women and it scares the life out him when he thinks he is going to.

      I didn’t get involved with him because I am intelligent, passionate, kind etc. I got involved with him because I too was a bit messed up by things that happened to me in the past. I was one of the ‘if I can heal you and make you love me then I know I’m OK’ brigade. When we came together, my neediness triggered his fear of hurting and the EUM behaviour was drawn out as a natural consequence.

      He is no worse or better a person than me. I am no worse or better than him. Because I had been reading this site, I spotted all this very quickly. I told him that I needed to split up with him because we were triggering this stuff in each other. I told him about my understanding of how this stuff happens and that it is kind of separate to who we actually are and want to be and that I obviously still needed to work on myself and he said that he could see how his experiences in the past needed addressing too and he was genuinely relieved and interested in what I had to say. I acknowledged that in the past I would have tried to help ‘fix’ him but that it was something we had to do for ourselves. Whether he sorts himself out is not my concern.

      I think if we are too harsh on these men then we are diverting attention away from the work we should be doing on ourselves. Like NML said – ‘if the guy is decent …’ Lots of them are. And a lot of the older ones who hang in for goodies are simply doing it because it’s a habit and they can’t do anything different – just like readers like me are still trying to work this stuff out in our 50s and wish we’ll had NML when we were younger, I doubt these men would be behaving like that if they’d had the equivalent when they were younger.

      It’s so tempting to blame, but compassion is a saner response in my humble opinion, because how else will you learn to love yourself and believe you can improve your relationship habits if you don’t believe that they are capable of that too? The thing you need to hold on to is that it isn’t your business to change THEM.

      • Used says:


        I have always had TOO much compassion for everyone (men I dated, co-workers, family, friends), and have always been the bigger person. When I was younger (meaning before the end of college), I spoke my mind and set up boundaries all the time–everyone knew where they stood with me and did not mess with me. But I had always been, then and later, through it all, and through today, compassionate.

        The key is boundaries. And walking away. No arguing. Maybe you can speak your mind, if you feel you need to (for closure or whatever reason), but NO ARGUING. It’s degrading.

        Yes, a lot of times, they just don’t know better. Yes, it is not up to you to change them. It’s very sad.

        The men I dated who were like this, a little EU, stayed the same, though. Meaning they don’t treat their wives (the “Chosen Ones”) that great, either! So, FB or not, you get treated like a FB eventually.

      • Confession says:


        I could not agree with you more. Maybe a month ago I would have disagreed and said o no it was all him. He led me on…the truth is I led myself on. I wanted so much to believe my illusions that I just ignored the reality of the situation. It was easier blaming him for being who he is. Now that I have looked carefully at it…without beating myself up I too realized that I had been contradicting myself by saying I wanted nothing, but expecting something. So thank you Raven you made good points…blaming him has been a band-aid effect, but it only covered (temporarily) my issues it did not resolve it.

      • lenny says:

        i agree. compassion is the one thing i have had consistently thru-out the 3.5 year relationship. i do think though, being too understanding/compassionate, ultimately led me down the path of letting myself be taken advantage of.

        after 7 months of NC, i reached out. lots had gone on for me and i felt i could be friends. he said no, partially because he is now dating (long distance) one of the 5 girls he had been flirting with via chat/email. she’s coming to stay with him this summer.

        it would be really easy to just say “F you” to him. but, i actually felt liberated because i see that he is still in his unhealthy pattern–it’s him, not me. but, my compassion will leave the door open for him to be my friend in the future. once he matures and deals with his issues and can truly appreciate a friendship–if that ever happens.

      • JJ2 says:

        raven, well said. the A/C I dated, he really was a nice guy. I just don’t want to believe that he was capable of acting like he acted.

  42. JJ says:


    I was reading your post and something just stood out to me when you mentioned about his finances and he was always coming up short; and he had a decent job. My ex ass clown was always coming up short and it started feeling like he went from being head over heels about me but then he started to use me. Every week it and every single day was always something that he needed money for; light bill; water bill; his mortgage it was always something and he would always come to me like I was suppose to fix his mess and if I couldn’t contribute so to speak he became more cruel and started blowing more cold. I am 2 months no contact today and I know I had to cut him from my life otherwise I was going to be his financial way out of everything. Its all about them and I can bet that whatever shag he’s with that he’s using her to pay for something because this is how he lives. He gets his supply from different women and when that supply has dried up he will defintely try to fall back on me; but its not happening. Ever!!

  43. learningtomoveon says:

    My guy definitely said this and then kept up the I Love You part too. It was the mixed signals that confused me and I had never encountered this before. He was only my second boyfriend. Then once after having the relationship talk I finally told him we need to end this. And yet I hadn’t learnt being the ‘nice’ girl that I am. I stayed ‘friends’ and this was the period I was taken more for granted than ever. Finally it ended in a bad way and he did the final no contact, though I had maintained some no contact before. And I agree about the madonna/whore thing. Its all in their minds and nothing you do affects what they want to believe about you. This experience I had with a common friend of ex and me who was very close to me and heldped me through some bad parts of the break up. Everyone had a good opinion about him so I felt that he was just genuinely concerned. But it was clear after one night he spent at my place coz I was sick and we ended up making out that he had some other plans. I still didn’t think so bad of him because everyone said he is a good guy. But the next time he tried to get intimate I told him off that the first time I was sick and confused but since you aren’t talking about a relationship, I am not getting into bed with you. Things went a bit downhill after that and I cut contact with him finally but I guess the fact that I was willing to just look at the making out as one mistake that changed nothing made me appear as a whore to his twisted logic. Its funny how men can have one night stands and say the next day it meant nothing but if a woman chooses not to make a big deal out of it and let it go because she doesn’t see the relationship going anywhere her character is suspect. I don’t know what he might have told others about me and also ex about me. But I think this ‘friend’ was good riddance to bad rubbish. Only thing is now I am quite afraid of everything. NML talks about letting go of negative beliefs about relationships and oneself, that is where I am stuck coz though I am meeting better people now, I don’t trust anything will ever last.

  44. JJ says:

    Good point Raven. It is definitely not our job was to fix them. I know that I really couldn’t change my ex because he was already screwed up when I met him. When we met he gave me the horrifying story of the day that his mom died and then it was another family member that was close to him that passed that he still hadn’t really grieved and got over. Also the dysfunctional relatiobships he had with his sisters and none of them were getting along. They were not even speaking when we broke up. So being said;with all of this going on it doesn’t excuse the way that he did me but at the same time I know that he is not capable of committment or being in any relationship that is going to last or lead to marriage. He is also divorced; has kids that he doesn’t see very often or support so he’s dealing with all of this drama. He wasn’t in any position to have a relationship when he met me and will probably never be.

  45. MarianneHeart says:

    Yes I had those words said to me. I ignored the real meaning and wasted another year….! So true. He hung around and I let him, use me emotionally, physically and sexually while he sorted himself out and got ready for his next girlfriend. Now when I feel used, he thinks he did nothing wrong as he always ‘told me he couldn’t give me what I wanted’. What a fool. If you hear those words. Leave!!!!
    Great website and advice! You kept me sane – just! Nearly over it but it has been a year!!! Thank you.

  46. Bette says:

    I’ve thought a lot about this post over the past week. My EUM, a married assclown, said “I can’t give you what you want” for TEN YEARS before it finally sank in. What it means to me is “I can’t be bothered to give you what you want so leave me alone.” And, of course, “If you don’t leave me alone, I’m completely within my rights to act like a jerk anytime I want b/c I warned you.” He spoke English—I understand English. I wasted a decade of my best years by not listening and truly hearing what he was saying.

  47. daedalus2u says:

    This is a great blog post and a great comment thread. I am a guy, but not an EUM (at least I don’t think that I am). I do have Asperger’s, so sometimes emotional stuff is harder to read and project, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem discussed here. The EUM are actually telling women that they are EUM, but the women are unable or unwilling to listen and understand what that means.

    A heuristic I have thought of to help women pick someone suitable is to imagine the type of guy they would want their daughter to marry (even if they don’t have a daughter yet), and pick that kind of guy to date. Children are attracted to people who are like their opposite gender parent, the opposite gender parent becomes the archetypal example of who is a suitable mate. If your father is an EUM, then you are likely to be attracted to an EUM because it “feels” right and you know how to interact with an EUM. If you want your daughter to be attracted to an EUM, pick one to be her father and she very likely will be.

    • JJ2 says:

      Wow, daedalus, wish you would share more of the Aspergers perspective, I’ve been reading on Aspergers. I know that makes it harder in a relationship.

  48. JJ says:


    You were 7 months no contact. You were well on your way so why would you break no contact to reach out to him only for him to reject you anyway. That could not have felt too good. I am just 2 months NC and I would rather jump off a cliff than break nc and call my ex ass clown. He wasn’t thinking about you sO why bother?

  49. Aurora says:

    No kidding, nat!!!! If I’d only wised up about this a year ago! Ah well, I’m wiser now, not having repeated the mistakes I made last year and even earlier this year with Chris! I really thought i COULD GET HIM TO CHANGE HIS MIND AND HE WAS JUST BEING COY!
    Stupid, blind, stubborn me – and then he just got meaner because i wasn’t paying attention! That’s what happens when you are blind.
    ACTIONS, actions say everything – and then words. if anything isn’t congruent – I shall run in the future and not think I can or should rationalize, explain or defend it, AS TO DO OTHERWISE IS ONLY DELUDING MYSELF.

  50. bucketsorain says:

    Sooooo true! I even remember telling my future husband “Do Not fall in love with me. It will be trouble.” But neither he nor I heeded my warning. Our divorce, after 6 years of marriage and 2 kids later, is almost finalized and now I find myself pining after a man that has told me “I can’t give you what you want or need.” Thank God for this article. I finally get it. He is serious and I am not going to change his pattern or be the “different one”. Thanks for the reality check. This morpher/boundary loser is moving on, and I am not looking back. I don’t need this energy drain in my life!!!!! THANK YOU!

  51. ph2072 says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how those 2 simple sentences are misinterpreted and coded and translated and etc. etc. etc. It’s like translating from Spanish to Japanese. 😐 Those 2 sentences mean EXACTLY what they say – no reading between the lines, no continued ruminations, no commiserating with friends to determine what it “really meant – they mean just that.

    Some things are complex and some things are quite simple. This one is simple. 😉

  52. jj says:


    It is now going on into 3 months that I have cut contact with my ex ass clown narcissists ex and also my ex of 4 years ago keeps calling me. I was wondering if I should block thery’re numbers because #1. I never answer when my ex of 4years ago calls and have no intentions of ever going back there with him again and 2. The ex ass clown that I just cut contact with; its only been 3 months since we haven’t spoken; know that I will never get back with him ever especially on the way things ended nasty between us(him degrading me) but for some reason something tells me that he’ll try to call eventually when long enough time has passed and 3 months is still quite early. If I go ahead and block the ass hole’s # I won’t have to wonder if he ever called cause I won’t know. Number will stay blocked for 3 months. My friend tells me not to do so cause she thinks that blocking the #’s from both my ex’s portrays a sign of weakness and only shows that I went through the trouble of thinking about them to block their numbers when technically I’m not going to bother answering the phone anyway. She says ignoring them is the best dilema because if they do call it makes more sense if I just don’t return the call than block their number. Does this makes sense? Should I block or does she have a point?

  53. shattered says:

    Foolishly I got back with my EUM when he said he loved and missed me. A month later things are no different – probably worse. I had an uneasy feeling and asked him if he was seeing other women. ‘I don’t want to be with just one person’ was his shifty reply, followed by ‘they’re just friends…nothing to worry about’. He then said ‘I’ll see you next week sometime or possibly the week after’. I need to get over this guy – and quick.

  54. LVC says:

    I am loosing my mind!! I have lost control over my emotions over thsi guys that I initially met about 6 yrs ago. I will not say the whole story it is too long and pointless but I will say after going to college with him, we lost track of eachother for a long time. He tried to contact me calling and texting me but I had other things going on, just was not into him, he tried to contact me with no success for over a year, but one day I saw him calling, I was single, took a chance and answered the phone. We started talking, he came to see me (we leave about 3hrs away from eachother) and he had a great time, talking over dinner, I knew when I saw him I felt a lil something that I really pushed to ignore; he told me how much he had thought of me all this time and told me so many things he remembered I said to him (my plans, dreams etc.) he swept me off my feet bascially, we were intimate again and it was great. Then he had to go back to work, after having such a great time he did text and call but he seemed a different person on the phone, he is very talkative and talks to me like Im a buddy vs. when we are face to face, he said he’s been told that but he does not know basically how to convey his feelings over the phone. I shared with him what kinds of thing would make me feel special or cared for even in the distance, he is a great listener but I am not sure how much actually registered. Now, because of his type of work I do know that he travels a lot and sometimes he doesn’t even talk to his family plus sometimes he cannot tell people where he is going. He told me before also that, that is why its hard for him to have a relationship because people do not understand his work nor trust him. I tried to see where things went, he would text me lil texts here and here and call me with small talk, it was only when he came into twon I go see him and talk to him and saw again the sweet person in him. This made me freak out and I told him I did not want to see two different people and that I did not want to be the person to call only when he was in town. So everytime he is in town and we meet it’s always the same. I feel crazy, on one end I do not know how to handle what I discovered I feel for him, I miss him, can’t wait to see him, feel like I have pushed him away, feel like at one point he wanted me and I disregarded him so much that now because he knows he is a good man he is not putting up with my freak outs and it’s treating me like I once treated him..i guess. I called him and apologize for calling him a jerk and told him that I am well aware that everything that has happened it’s a thing of two and that I was sorry for making him feel he was taking advantage of me..blah blah..i feel pathetic! I am angry at myself for my lost of dignity and control…advice me and help me get over this psychotic episode!!!what the heck!

  55. susie jay says:

    What an eye opener this subject i have read through is. I dated a man for almost 3 years and then after we had one of our great days out together, it was almost Christmas and we sang carols, visited the local church which was decorated and walked in a candlelit procession holding hands which we did a lot. Then, the very next day he disappeared on me and after txting him to see where he was, worrying if he was ill, i got a txt saying ‘the problem is i can never be the man you want me to be’. I was totally confused and sent him a message back telling him i wanted him just the way he was/is. He came back to me Christmas Eve and brought a card and present and i then thought we were back together as normal. Well i then noticed he was offhand with me on occasion, rude sometimes when others were in the vicinity and started making plans to join organisations etc which did not include me, which meant less time together. To cut a long story short he started picking arguments with me and winding me up so i argued back. I just could not understand his manner anymore as he had always been so affectionate, smothered me with presents etc and although when i told him once i thought i was on the way to loving him, he asked me what ‘love’ was!!! I explained to the best of my ability and then after a while he announced that ‘yes, i do love you’. I wasnt convinced as it was said matter of fact but when you do love someone i accepted that statement in the way he said it. THEN, 6 months later i wondered if he was seeing someone else as he started to starve me of his affection sexually but he denied it. I have to say i did some detective work and sure enough there was another woman he was seeing. I am mortified that he took that route because i had always asked him to tell me if he did not want me anymore, or if he wanted someone else. To conclude, i actually found the other woman in his car, spoke to her and she was genuinely upset and shocked to find out he had me in his life. She was so upset and he tells me she has ‘gone’. Well if she hasnt all i can say is she must have no self-esteem to settle for this cheating scumbag. As for me i shall never let a man get close to me for a long time, it has shattered my confidence but hopefully not for good! Everything in this article was what happened to me.

    • nubienne says:

      Wow, this is an older post, but man NML hit it out of the ballpark word for word this is what my ex EUM said! I should have known better! I just had lunch with his best friend today, we didn’t mention him once and it’s ok! Ups and downs occasionally but truly feeling so good to be rid of him and no secret we’ll be back together fantasies like I did just a few days ago. He is fully blocked from contacting me or seeing me on facebook, gmail and probably will never contact me again.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.