woman wondering why she's not good enough for someone that she doesn't even like

Don’t forget that I’m on a ‘break’ until September so I’ll mostly be featuring some of yours and my favourite posts from the archives.

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Last night I had a well overdue catchup with one of my closest friends and as we filled one another in on our respective lives, it was both scary and hilarious how we’ve actually been going through a number of the same things. I experienced an ‘Aha Moment’ when she told me that after near running herself into the ground worrying about making some decisions about her career, a friend said to her “So let me get this right – you’re worried about not being good enough for a job that you don’t even like or want? You’ve worried about whether you’re able to do a job that you’re already doing well at?”

This is what I come across every day on Baggage Reclaim and have experienced in my own life. Concerns that sound like:

I’m trying to ‘win’ someone that I don’t actually want because we don’t share similar values and they’ve treated me without love, care, trust, and respect, but if I don’t make them love me, change, and basically win them, it will mean I’m not good enough.

Say what?

I’m worried about why I’m not good enough for someone that I actually know is not good enough for me and I’ve even called them an ‘assclown’.

I’m losing my mind over the fact that someone who was unavailable when I met them because they’re attached is still, yep you guessed it attached. In fact, if I’m entirely honest, I’m agonising over why they haven’t left them yet and why they don’t want me…even though I don’t trust them.

I’m worried that I’m not able for a relationship that is actually working well and healthy because I’m used to being in relationships that have issues I need to fight for.

I’m worried that I’m not good enough for a relationship that I ended for valid reasons and that I don’t even want anymore.

I’m worried about why I’m not good enough to have a better relationship even though I’ve never put myself out of my comfort zone and have stuck with my type.

In fact, I’m worried I’m not good enough for a relationship and I’m not even leaving my house and meeting people.

 

I’m worried that I’m not good enough for someone I claim is a narcissist. I combed the internet, everything says run Forrest run, but I’m wondering why they couldn’t make me the exception, even though they’re dangerous.

I’m worried that I’m not being and doing enough in spite of the fact that people keep saying to me that they don’t know how I do it, that I’m brilliant etc.

I’m worried about whether I’ll ever love again even though I’ve decided that I’ll never risk loving again and don’t trust anyone.

I’m worried about why someone at work/school/the gym/whatever doesn’t like/talk to me even though I don’t like or actually want to talk to them.

I can’t believe they didn’t invite me to something that I didn’t want to go to. Oh and did I mention that I don’t even like these people?

I’m worried that I’m not good enough at my job even though I’ve been promoted several times, have been headhunted, offered different jobs, am regarded as an authority in my field etc.

Who needs to change here?

Is it the person you don’t like but are trying to change and/or win? Is it the person who’s still attached? The person trying to have a healthy relationship with you? Your ex? The narcissist? The people who keep telling you how great you are? The person you don’t like that doesn’t talk to you? The people who manage, headhunt, buy from, and even revere you?

When you lose your way, you get caught up in inverted ego issues where you make everything about you, including Other People’s Behaviour, take responsibility for everything (blaming and shaming) or avoid it all together (denial), or become obsessed with being ‘right’, having the last word, and fighting for something that is working against you and that you don’t actually want.

Think about it. If you’re not living the relationship you want or the person isn’t behaving in ways that are conducive to a healthy, mutual relationship, why do you want them?

This is how you get distracted from your values, your purpose, and basically yourself.

It’s important to stop focusing on not being good enough and look specifically at what you’re concerned you’re not good enough about because by putting yourself at conflict with you, you’re undermining everything you’re supposed to represent, desire, and need because you’re not listening and acting in line with your values so that you can do start to do what will actually make you happy, feel good, etc.

Ask yourself: Why am I worrying about doing well at a relationship that isn’t working for me and isn’t actually representative of my values? Why am I worried about pleasing someone that isn’t fricking pleasing me? Why am I worried about how I look to someone who doesn’t give a damn about how they look to me or others?

When you worry about something that’s in direct conflict with what you profess to want or be, it’s a sign that you’ve stopped listening to yourself and are not being authentic. It’s also a sign of avoidance – how can you be so concerned with something that you don’t want when the issue of what you do want hasn’t been addressed?

Often what we don’t want is tied to something or someone beyond our control. Often what we do want is within our control because ultimately achieving what we want has us in it. When we fear putting what we want on us, it’s easier to focus on everything and everyone else.

In recognising this shortfall in reality, you have an opportunity to address an area of your life that will have you failing to match your actions and words, which can wreak havoc in your life. If you’ve ever been a Fallback Girl (or guy), this is something you’re also on the receiving end of – the person concerns themselves with winning you over at all costs (blowing hot, Future Faking, Fast Forwarding etc) and worries about why you don’t want them or are ‘resisting’…even though they know even though they may not admit it, that they don’t want a relationship or will find a reason to ‘abscond’ or create problems at a later date. You then as the Fallback, end up dragging out this situation if you start ‘fighting’ for the relationship in spite of how you’re being treated.

Conversely, I get so many people saying that these depleting relationships are what they want and that this person is the only person that will do – but then we have to ask ourselves how can we complain so much and be upset about something and someone so great? The two things don’t match!

What are you worried about? What are you worried that you’re not good enough for? Write them down and be a little descriptive. If you read it out loud or you even said it to someone else, would it sound like you’d been at the crack pipe? Does it sound confusing? Conflicted? Irrational? Bearing in mind how much of your life can be devoted to worrying about these things and avoiding making and sticking to a decision, it’s a long time to spend in confusion, conflict, irrationality or even an emotional crack den, which is stressful which has repercussions elsewhere in your life.

Many of us worry about being ‘perfect’ which doesn’t exist. We think we’re seeking to be ‘good enough’ but when we keep flogging ourselves about not measuring up, it means we’re actually not even recognising when we’re more than good enough. The person who embraces themselves and doesn’t strive for ideals that don’t exist and is self-forgiving and looking for growth in a positive way, ends up being far happier than the person obsessed with being the ‘perfect version of good enough’, blaming themselves for everything (because they’re all or nothing) and focusing negatively on themselves.

You’re good enough already. You’re good enough to go for the things that will positively benefit you. Stop fighting it.

Your thoughts?

Holiday Update

  • We’re off on holiday tomorrow (yay) and despite my best laid plans, I’m knackered and a bit frazzled. OK maybe those plans weren’t laid that well! Very much looking forward to our first major road trip and aside from no doubt enjoying Italy via France including a wedding this weekend, I’m going to sleep my head off, eat good food, no doubt talk Em’s ear off in the car, sing to cheesy music and basically chill the hell out.
  • We had a family outing with the two grandma’s to Lollibop festival over the weekend and it was a success! They giggled their heads off for most of the day and my mother even took part in a mini rapping class which was hilarious because she started singing part way through.
  • I spent Saturday chilling out watching Mad Men in bed, reading and just enjoying the solitude while the kids and Em were at the cinema.
  • I’ve kicked my secondary tinnitus into touch. I had become sensitive to certain sounds (food wrappings, hand dryers and possibly low frequency sounds) since June and it was driving me batty. I woke up a couple of Fridays ago thinking about the osteopath and getting a massage. I Googled the sound sensitivity and noticed the mention of ‘tempural’ something-or-other and knew that I’d had that issue before which had contributed to jaw and ear issues. I had the osteo session last Tuesday and a week later, it’s gone. Some of you may know that I was hit by a cyclist in the park back in May and seemingly this may have had a knock-on effect of shifting that temporal bone thingy.
  • Unfortunately while slightly tipsy at a barbecue on Saturday with crazy Karen (some of you have met her at London events), Em and co, I tried to do a MJ kick and aimed slightly too high. I felt fine afterwards although they were all doubled up laughing, but I’ve woke up on Sunday with a weird pain across my back. I reckon these aches and pains are a sign that it’s time for a holiday!
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206 Responses to Revisited: Are you worried about being ‘good enough’ for something you don’t want or are not even doing?

  1. Spinster says:

    Great “oldie but goodie” post. Gonna try not to laugh at you busting your ass over the weekend. :-|

  2. Selkie says:

    “I get so many people saying that these depleting relationships are what they want and that this person is the only person that will do – but then we have to ask ourselves how can we complain so much and be upset about something and someone so great? The two things don’t match!”

    BINGO.

    It IS this simple if we stop complicating the truth with self sabotage talk and quit going through life with our heads firmly planted in the sand embracing avoidance. We CHOOSE not to see sometimes because it seems easier than facing the truth, being uncomfortable, and having to make changes. Because change is hard, even on small levels. I think I’ve aimed low most of my life when it came to men and people in general because I never felt good enough. Then I felt so betrayed when they didn’t come through for me. Duh! I felt at home with low lifes and dead beats because they felt safer to me and would take me as imperfect as I felt. It was backwards. These folks only brought me down and made me feel even more unlovable. Not because I was, but because they were not capable of loving authentically. They had their own issues of unlovability and avoidance to wrangle. There is the inverse ego. I made the personal issues and actions of others all about my worth. Sometimes I still struggle with accepting who I am and feeling lovable but I’m miles from where I was. I would rather be alone than in an unhealthy relationship anymore. That is still not the same as feeling lovable and deserving of love but baby steps are getting me there. I don’t feel unworthy like I did and I don’t place my worth in other peoples’ opinions as much. I no longer seek the attention of losers to boost my ego. That was seemingly low risk investment that ended up costing me more than I thought it would. I’m gettin wiser. ( in theory ) :-) Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    • Rachael says:

      “…how can we… be upset about something and someone so great?”
      Mmm. Which explains why I feel better now after saying no to his offer to be f_ck buddys, than all the time before when I was hoping for more. I am fortunate that I seem to not get the players, but do get the emotionally unavailables… they are a trap for me because I get way ahead of myself and fantasise up something before there is any real evidence on which to base such fantasies. They are ‘great’ in theory.

      • Tanzanite says:

        Rachael

        Good for you, refusing that really tempting offer of being his f*ck buddy. ( lol )

        When they ask you this it’s the “outrageous principle “.

        ” They are ” great ” in theory “.

        How very true.

  3. figuringitout says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. I love BR and read it regularly but never comment. This post struck a nerve for me tonight. I have been chasing this AC on and off for what equates to YEARS (lame, I know). We worked together for a few years (I have since moved to a different building in the same facility) and he is the only man with all female co-workers. He gets attention from other women all day long. He goes to lunches, happy hours, birthday parties, etc. with these people and comes home every night and spends his evening on facebook interacting with these women. I have told him several times in the past that this hurts my feelings as he has ignored me, stopped talking to me for long periods of time, not responded to texts, and basically acted like I don’t exist. I made the stupid mistake of sleeping with him a few times. He has ultimately been nothing but a jerk to me and when I confront him about how all of this makes me feel, he says quite clearly that I am overreacting and/or being “crazy”. **Please note he is one of those guys that thinks all women are crazy and says almost daily that all of his exes are crazy** I know, I know … I should know better, but somehow I thought I was different. I thought I could somehow convince him that I was special as I am not like these other girls. They are drama queens and constantly need attention for their various man problems, medical afflictions, work dramas, etc. I am neither. If anything, I try to avoid drama and try very hard not to be too demanding or attention-seeking. We did have several great conversations where I really felt we had some sort of connection. Most of our communication has been via text or FB messaging and I feel like I created this whole “relationship” in my head. I am ashamed to admit that at times I thought I actually was going crazy. I have spent countless nights losing sleep over this guy and just can’t seem to get him out of my head. Yesterday was my birthday and he didn’t even bother to send me a birthday text. I wasn’t even worthy of a crumb! But when he came home from work he got right on facebook and began commenting on our co-worker’s posts and he had just spent 8 hrs with her! WTF? Why should I even be satisfied with a birthday text anyway? UGH! (Due to the work situation I can’t unfriend these people as it would be fairly obvious that something went on between us. I have tried hiding their profiles but I routinely torture myself and peek anyway. It’s a horrible form of self-punishment.) If one of my friends had told me this same story I would tell them to RUN in the other direction from this shithead! Why would I even like someone who has disrespected me and treated me far worse than I deserve? Why am I trying so hard to get him to like/pay attention to me? I don’t even really like him that much and we kinda disagree on several of our core values/beliefs. Is it about “winning”? Is it about beating out these other girls and “catching” him? In all honesty he’s not really that much of a catch! I constantly beat myself up for not “measuring up” to these other women. Obviously I need to do some soul-searching and figure out what it is about myself that makes me feel less-than and work on acknowledging that I am good enough and that I certainly deserve better than this guy. Time to do some work on being good enough for MYSELF instead of thinking I am not good enough for him.

    • Tee tee says:

      You need to listen the the you who would tell your friend to run. RUN child, RUN.

      You are not in actual relationship with this wanker of a guy. But, he is behaving how he is because you have accepted most of the crap.
      You cannot control him, nor should you want to. You are in charge of you, remove you, for your own sanity! Also, he’s not that special. No really, he isn’t!

    • Andee says:

      Listen, I can speak with some experience to this. Your are not crazy, he is emotionally unavailable. What you are, is into the fantasy of being so special that you can change his behavior, teach him that all women aren’t crazy and that how you treat and feel about him will be enough to change his mind! Been there, done that. Here’s the short answer: None of that will work and while you are, I’m sure, a very special person in your own right, don’t get so enamored of this guy changing based on your specialness that you turn into the type of woman he bitches about. We all have to eventually because when he talks about women being “crazy” what he means is that they (quite rightly) react badly when he treats them like shit! Men calling women crazy and psycho is code for “Why do you insist on talking about your feelings when I’ve made it painfully clear that I could care less?”
      You’re hurt that your emotional investment isn’t acknowledged and/or appreciated and most of all that it’s not returned. Please think less about what he’s capable of and ask yourself what you’re capable of! Trying to hang in there and outlast all these other chicks or continuing to try and succeed with him where they have failed will prove nothing other than that you have a higher bullshit tolerance than they do.
      And you shouldn’t aspire to that. :) I can only say this because I have indeed been there and done that and at the end, all I got out of it was being mortified that I was so willing to put up with bad behavior from this guy.

    • Suki says:

      Figuring.. No need to analyze. Cut contact. Dont check Facebook. Seriously – why have FB if its a way to torture yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and forgive yourself for doing this [i was going to say forgive yourself for going a bit cray-cray over drama man here but figured since you already are feeling crazy we'll avoid that word].
      Now this silly boy that spends all his time with these women on FB – he doesnt have a gf, right? He likes drama. He likes having tons of women talking to him, listening to him, and giving him all this attention. You asking him to not talk to them [youre not in a relationship with him! even if you were - you cant change a person to this extent, better to walk away]. Are those women in relationships? What I’m trying to say is – they’re all living their lives. They like giving attention to this man. He likes getting it. Youre the one not getting what you want. You feel resentful. You want him to change. Why? He doesnt owe you attention or single-minded attention. He’s your work colleague. You should focus on your work.
      Be careful though – if you ignore him, or worse [for him] treat him casual, for a while you might pique his curiosity and he might come after you. That doesnt mean you ‘win’ or were right all along. Keep up the casual. Watch empowering female character movies if that will help you.
      Also… arent you doing what all these women are doing? Focusing on this one man? Are there no interesting women in your workplace at all?? You are sucked into their drama. Its exhausting to hate your coworkers – cut them some slack.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Figuring,

      Yes, you need to do some work on your self esteem. That takes focus, time and dedication to the task. But once you improve your self-esteem, you should also have learned how to make better choices in men. That is not to say you will never make a bad choice again, but overall you should begin weeding out the ACs, EUMs, etc. This guy is very shallow. Work and Facebook with the co-workers he just saw throughout the day? If he is such a boring, uninspiring and immature individual what can he offer you? Think about it.

  4. Kath says:

    Love reading your articles, getting perspective. Funny because a bit of this came up at work today. Maybe we go through this “irrationality” because we see difficult people charming or getting along with others, while at the same time we see our self as a good person, wondering why we’re not a part of that “goodness”.

  5. Sandy says:

    Haha isn’t it funny, I worried about not being good enough for him even though everybody I knew thought he wasn’t good enough for me..even my boss at work wondered what the hell I was doing with him.

    I worried that I didn’t look young enough for him (he’s 6 years younger then me) although I have been told countless times I don’t look my age, and then I find out he’s now with someone who is and looks way older then he is…before I changed my number a month and a half ago so he couldn’t contact me I did wonder when the last time we saw each other (and I finally got my backbone) why he was going on about the fact that we still looked good together, that my figure is still good, apparently after 5 years nothing else about me was worth appreciating, not my intellect, not my cooking, not my loyalty or faithfulness, not the fact that I tried so bloody hard, nothing else was worthwhile it just came down to my physical appearance.

    I worried that I wasn’t pretty enough for him due to the amount of time he used to just about break his neck looking at other women while I was standing right next to him, isn’t it funny I thought he was nice looking but apparently no one in my family did…ah chemistry you have alot to bloody answer for!!

    • Sandy says:

      When you have one of his best mates telling you that you are better off without him and that he is just a user then it’s time to finally believe it :-)

  6. Able fka Mr. Able says:

    I see this illogical attachment everywhere. Real life example: I can’t throw out those shoes (they’re falling apart) because they were the most comfortable shoes I ever wore. And they don’t make them anymore. But they’re falling apart!

    Another one:
    I hate my job, but spend way too much time and energy worrying about it, getting fired, or hours reduced. But I hate my job!

    This has all increased/happened during the period of no contact. Coincidence? Someone else mentioned it, the awareness thing, not sure if its suddenly noticing things or just deciding, no, I want and deserve better.

    I get this rationally, but it’s so hard to break the old habit of settling.

    One thing I am having a hard time with is the ups and downs– feeling better that I can be a better man for dealing with all of this nonsense, but also feeling hopeless, that everyone is broken, and I’ll be alone unless I settle for something less than.

    This black and white thinking is tough to snap out of.

    • Peanut says:

      Able,

      You will die and that job will mean nothing.

      Make sure you pick what means something to you NOW.

      Because what we do know exists is the now. If there is something in your now that is terrible, yet within your power to change, do it. Do not be disgruntled and old because you listened to everyone but you.

    • Peanut says:

      Able,

      Also, you will notice that once you stand up for yourself, it feels so incredibly good in the medium and longterm to realize what you have done for yourself, you can never go completely back to before. That’s why we resist initially.

      And then it get uncomfortable. Because what used to be tolerable is no longer and you begin fighting for yourself with self respect which is different and more powerful than rebellion.

      You start to do things, people notice as it makes them uncomfortable, they resist, but it doesn’t/won’t matter if you’ve came that far in the fight for you, and you’ll keep fighting for you because what else is there to do worth your time?

  7. Little Star says:

    Natalie, I love it when you said: “I am trying to ‘win” someone who I do not want” SO TRUE!!!

    I never really wanted to be with either of my ACs and I do not know why I was fighting with them etc…I was wearing pink tinted glasses, finally I took them off;)

  8. Peanut says:

    Natalie,

    The illustration is fabulous as always.

    It’s a lot easier to fret and freak out about things you don’t really want than to genuinely put yourself out there for things that you really do.

    I am pursuing avenues I never would have dreamed because I was too busy dreaming and being afraid of getting hurt.

    I used to be arrogant about the fact that I’d take any job and that people who really took their time, left jobs, or said no to certain job offers were picky, needy, and fussy. They were actually courageous.

    In the past year I have left a job, man, friendships and even businesses that I was a regular at that couldn’t give me what I wanted.

    Now I only check out jobs I actually want and this last opportunity didn’t turn out to be what I needed and that is okay. I’m not bummed at all about losing this opportunity because there will be more. Maybe better even. I see it as a gain. It’s teaching me to keep my cool. I will find where and with whom I fit in this life and will be calm and collected on the way because the more I observe (and one must be calm to truly observe) the more I learn. I am on my way to healthy!

    Thanks Nat for BR. It’s the only blog/relationship advice I have ever found that makes consistent sense!

    • Selkie says:

      Peanut,

      “It’s a lot easier to fret and freak out about things you don’t really want than to genuinely put yourself out there for things that you really do.”

      Nicely said.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Peanut, I think the boundaries we regain and the self esteem we reconnect with makes us unable to tolerate situations that aren’t in our best interests. After what we’ve been through, we don’t have any patience for BS. We have wasted too much time already.
      It was exactly a year ago I found BR. Today is my birthday. Last year I spent my birthday reading about future faking. I figured out, I had been had by an assclown and it still took me 3 months to go NC. This year I am free of assclownery. Like you Peanut, I found that this was the only website that made sense to me. Thank God for Nat, or I would have gone back with the assclown every time he broke NC, still trying to believe that there was something salvageable with every future faking, future avoiding “promise.” This year I was with friends and family having a lovely evening, instead of waiting and hoping and wondering if the AC was ever going to get his sh*t together. He wasn’t, he won’t and when I saw him a month ago, he still didn’t. I still don’t feel indifferent to him. But I do know I never want to feel that confusion ever again.

      • Tee tee says:

        Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear lucky charms – happy birthday to you #hoarse voice. It’s great that you can see where you have made progress too!

      • Peanut says:

        Lucky,

        I hope you had a lovely birthday.

        I am still cleaning up the ravage that man left behind. Or the ravage I chose to walk into and then leave, at least partly if not all in part to BR.

        I lost every social structure I had int the breakup. Geez, it really was like a fire. I swear addicts leave so much wreckage.

        But I am committed to building them back only on the grounds of authenticity.

        • Lucky_Charms says:

          Hey, Peanut, I know exactly what you mean. Like a Phoenix, you will rise above it all. I am so sorry for what your assclown did to you. It really sucks. I can really relate.
          Sometimes I wonder if there’s something about us artist sensitive type people that attracts these situations?
          Yesterday, I saw my ex assclown in a store parking lot. He looked very sad. The worst part? I actually wanted to break NC and text him. Instead I went home and thank God for journaling, I dug up my journals and read every low down thing he did to me. Now I am back to Nat’s post here and wondering what the hell is wrong with me that I would even want to contact someone who did the things he did to me? It is really eerie how Nat’s post are so timely.
          I guess maybe I am doing ok since I didn’t break no contact. But I still need to work on myself so I am never in a situation like that again.

  9. Sally-Stress-Head says:

    I’m feeling allotta fear of both the unknown and rejection. It’s not like I can’t handle the rejection, and I’ve ventured out plenty of times before…. I just don’t like how it feels, and I just don’t like psychological pain. I feel out of practice in dealing with the butterflies, I’m trying though, God Bless me. I am trying; It’s just so damn uncomfortable. I don’t know when I stopped taking risks, but now I condemn that day. Thank you for the article Natalie. I recognize this pattern; I get this pattern; it’s a tricky one though–feeling like you really want something, expending so much energy when all the while the whole situation is fools gold. :(:)

  10. Oli says:

    Thsank you thank you thank you Natalie!

    I finally had my AHA moment a few weeks ago. After being left by the ex who overlapped our two year relationship with another woman nearly 5 months ago I was reeling and in such a dark place. I went through the breakup stages one by one. I thought I was at the end of the process and committed to getting over him, but then realized my facebook stalking and hoping he was stalking me too (which he was) was going to give me the validation I needed. I wanted to be better than his new girlfriend and by him creeping around online he gave me that. It made me think he still held some feeling towards me. But to what end really? I didn’t want him back or want him to love me anymore…If he did, God only knows what kind of disaster my life would be now. Im betting Id be worse off than before, with even lower chipped away self esteem. I had to ask myself why was I behaving in a way that still had me hoping for his validation. It took a lot of soul searching then I realized I am good enough as I AM and don’t need his validation.

    I held onto anger and admittedly got lost in it for awhile. Bad mouthing him to my friends I had most definitely lost my way. Its so hard to really finally let go, but when you do its like you literally see the light,. Your world becomes clear, and you find yourself smiling for no reason and relishing the freedom from the cage that person once kept you in. Because in a way you were a prisoner. You get angry when you realize you had the key to the cage the entire time. And no you are not over someone when you have any residual anger. What helped me get over this anger was remembering that on a higher level the people who teach you these big lessons about yourself often treat you terribly, and on some level (conscious or not – probably unconscious) have accepted the karmic debt that they will incur for themselves as a result of making you better. So while your eyes have been opened and you can truly embrace your authentic self and truly love yourself and are now on your way to healthier loving relationships, they may have a very long way to go before they find true happiness.

    So in the end you should thank them for teaching you your big lesson and making you the best and most emotionally healthy you possible. Moral of the story Heed the lesson, and forgive them (the best way to let go of anger Ive found), apply your new knowledge and then move on in peace. I did, and it has made such a difference in my life.

    • MaryW says:

      Oli, I’m sorry to read what happened to you but I love what you wrote about letting go of the anger.
      I’m wondering how I let go of the anger with myself for putting up with one assclown after another for all my adult life.
      I suppose the forgiving has to be mutual. Forgive him/ them and forgive myself, too.

      • Oli says:

        @Mary W
        I agree. I had to forgive myself first for allowing this behavior for so long. Once you forgive yourself it makes it easier to forgive them. Don’t get me wrong , it doesn’t excuse their poor treatment of you or their bad behavior but forgiveness of yourself and those who brought you to this juncture over your lifetime is the key to letting go of that last snippet of anger. Ive got nothing bad to say about my ex. I wish him luck in his relationship and pray he learns his own life lessons sooner rather than later. (So long as he leaves me out of it lol)

    • Enough says:

      OLI,
      Your world becomes clear, and you find yourself smiling for no reason and relishing the freedom from the cage that person once kept you in……. While reading your comment this ONE!!!! sentence reconfirmed my NC my decision to just let it all go and forgive and learn from my past. It literally brought me to tears. Tears of joy for finally letting go of my fear to move forward. My AH HA MOMENT!!!

      • Oli says:

        @Enough
        Im so glad you could take something away from that. Don’t be afraid to change and move forward. I think we tend to hold onto anger or hope because we are still afraid to change, even though we know we need to. If you are anything like me (I do NOT like change!) because change is hard and unfamiliar and requires that you give up control (or thinking you have control) over what you already know and what is familiar. But change is GOOD. Its freeing. Embrace it.

    • screwedover says:

      Just love your post & I completely understand your anger, it’s how we deal with it & let it out is the problem. People turn up in our lives for a reason, to teach us! We will continually meet the same kind of people, scenarios & situations until we have learnt our lesson. The person who is serving as your mirror will either stop acting out the behavior or you will become able to choose not to have this person in your life.

      • Oli says:

        “People turn up in our lives for a reason, to teach us! We will continually meet the same kind of people, scenarios & situations until we have learnt our lesson” . So true!
        Its all about learning the lesson and applying it to your life so you no longer need people like that to try to teach you. If you learn the lesson you wont need it anymore..and consequently, you wont NEED them anymore! I read someone’s post saying that sometimes when you need a lesson the Universe will nudge you a little bit, if you don’t listen or learn itll give you a push, then a slap in the face. Eventually it’ll resort to using a 2×4 Right in the face. So drop the anger, learn the lesson, forgive and move on in peace. It’s a great feeling!

  11. screwedover says:

    “why are you not good enough for someone who treats you like “caca”…why, because you have low self-esteem, brought your shit load of baggage from the previous relationship to your “new” relationship. Confided in your new partner who then presses the right buttons to get rid of you. You don’t know your arse from your elbow cause you were in wonderland & turning a blind eye from all the disgraceful comments etc… the list is long…i’m not going to say… it’s degrading, humiliating & disgusting. I was also coming off anti-depressants after been mugged & slapped about in my lift by three men. Learnt my lesson…never start a relationship when you are not good in your boots! It gives them a “blueprint” to SCREW YOU OVER…JB

  12. lindsey says:

    It’s sad but this describes me to a t. I have spent close to the past year chasing over some guy who has treated me like poop well probably poop gets treated better. He does way too many drugs and drinks way too much and is not what I would want at all but the feeling he doesn’t want me first hurts my feelings. Just yesterday he told me that I was annoying and that I cause him stress and then today we were supposed to meet but I noticed he blocked me on all chat forums. Yet, I’m still sad. It is hard when you have always felt you weren’t good enough. I know you are supposed to find it from within but sometimes that is hard as well. It’s like this bad cycle that keeps happening. I know it will get better and this website helps to make me feel a little less insane and annoying and not so deserving of my treatment but somtimes I just want to yell that “it is just not fair.” Then i realize that this guy isn’t good for me so I don’t understand why I am so sad that he kicked me out of his life when I should be thankful.

  13. NK says:

    Oh god this ‘not being good enough for someone who Isn’t good enough and who I don’t like’ my ex EUM and me all over. It was back and forth like a tennis court. After spending like 3 hours with him I realise how much of a possible sociopath/narcissist he is. Then I’d fight, break it off and go. Then feel the burn to go back, it was like an addiction.

    If you go through this. Get a kind friend to monitor you while you try and go cold turkey. Because your going to have withdrawal.

  14. Victor-Victorious says:

    @Sally-stress head

    Every tomorrow has two handles . We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.

  15. Jule says:

    “The person who embraces themselves and doesn’t strive for ideals that don’t exist and is self-forgiving and looking for growth in a positive way, ends up being far happier than the person obsessed with being the ‘perfect version of good enough” — for sure AND happier people attract happier people. My young adult daughter said it best, happier girls are prettier.

    I’m still in assclown recovery and working on letting go, but I’ll get there. One day at a time.

  16. Able says:

    Gotta txt today. And I replied a few hours later restating I need time and space. Not going to give myself a hard time about it. I am still struggling with it.

    I’ve just started getting used to going from being in touch several times a day to absolute zero contact. 20 days, well, 19, not counting today.

    • Allison says:

      Able,

      Do yourself a favor: Block

      Stop the pattern, you stop the pain!

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Able,

        When you tell her you need time, it sounds to her like there’s a chance of you two getting back together. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you’re through, tell her. Sugarcoating is worse for both of you.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Unless you want to hang onto her as an option? It’s very hard, NC. Especially without breaking down and going back. DON’T. She will not be any different. Think long and hard about what you want and back up your decision. Half measures prolongs the BS.

  17. TrustYourself says:

    I’ve had both loving, healthy relationships with all the hallmarks Nat talks about AND more recently EUMs. I realize the EUMs and my ego-driven insistence on being right and winning them back came at a time in my life when I was hitting my edges due to insecuirty. I had to finally truly heal myself from challenging, abusive family dynamics, a past rape, etc through spiritual awareness (and BR!) so that I could stop feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I decided I wanted to “thrive not just survive”! Just last month, I trusted my judgement after some back and forth and cut off an EUM after a few redflags three weeks into it. I’ve had moments of “He was so perfect for me. What did I do wrong?” but in the end I’m choosing to trust myself, listen to my heart/gut, and stop the analyzing!Him disappearing after I set my healthy boundaries is proof enough. It takes practice, but hang in there sisters!

  18. Peanut says:

    Today I went to an upscale boutique in my town to get some hand soap.

    I made a sizable mess. While I was cleaning, I overheard an interview taking place. A young, insecure-sounding female dressed to the nines was stumbling through convo.

    My ears perked up as I am considering adding part-time work to my schedule. When she left I asked the owner if they were hiring. He replied, “Yes.”

    I then began making small business chit chat: “How long have you been here?” “Do you like owning a business?” “How do you go about hiring?”

    He responded that he asks acquaintances for references. I asked how that went for him. It got interesting from there.

    He responded that there is a high turn over, “because they are college students.” I then asked what the longest time stretch an employee had stayed. His response: four months. Granted they are a new business and have been there at most for near a few years, but this is rather short, given that there is community college a short distance from the shop and a decent university in less than a thirty minute drive.

    Then he dug his own grave.

    He went on to say he likes “having young people.” I swear he said ‘young people’ five times. Then after I inquired and complemented the art in his store, he commented on how difficult it was to find good art here.

    He asked me what I did. I replied,”I help take care of my grandparents and go to school for art.”

    Just a year ago, I was a bit ashamed to go into that store with the very same dirty chucks I sported today. About a year ago I would have felt inferior to the luxury glitzed female who interviewed. A year ago I would not have thought such a place would hire me or even give me the time of day. A year ago I would thought it a pretty classy place for selling fancy boxes for well into the hundreds.

    Today I left with my self-esteem in tact and my thoughts as follows: The owner is an agist with high turnover. I can take that $300 they want for a box and put it toward an art class and make my own bad- ass-fancy-box, if that’s what I wanted, but I don’t, so I won’t. But that concept of non-functional-luxury is still ridiculous.

    They have refillable hand soap though, so I’ll probably go back for that, and only that.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Eavesdrop much, Peanut? Lol Omg! (I am guilty of this also.) Great story. You are like the Ms. Marple of assclowns now. What Mr. Ageist is doing is against the law. My boss once told me they don’t hire anyone over 40. When he hired me, I was 49.
      I love your mad skillz Peanut! Keep educating us. Artistssocial document the culture of the day. I think you may have opened Pandora’s box.

      • Peanut says:

        Lucky,

        Oh, your comments made me smile!

        I googled Ms. Marple and had such a laugh.

        I thought something was off on his insistence that he really “likes young people” working there.

        Dear Mr. Agist,

        Stop hiring toddlers and you won’t have such high turn over!

        Oh, man I just had this image of a two-year-old in a jumper greeting me as I walked in. In that case, I probably would buy the $300 box.

  19. Lacy says:

    I’m so happy u share these stories so we all can see that its still hooe in our lives.We just have to put one foot in front of the other one.

    I had a terrible dream, well really I awoke in mid nite and tried to get up but I couldn’t, then I seen dark shadows flash by I kinda screamed and my daughter called out to me did I need some water and what was wrong with me?

    I told her I was ok, really I didn’t want to scare her by telling her what I seen.Minutes later I drifted back off to sleep.

    I told my mom about the events that night.She said a witch was riding my back.Also her friend he’s a deacon he said that I’m fighting against good and evil, that its someone in my presence that means me no good.That I need to keep my bible opened in my apartment.

    All respect to whatever religion anyone on this site prefers.I pray to God but maybe not enough.

    I believe I am fighting between good and evil.Being with the x after much debates and no and a few yrs he finally had me at a low that I agreed to have sex with him and his friend.We were me off for a week because he hated that I blow up when he didn’t answer his phone amongst other things.Well ws finally had a day together and he always would say how fun it would be for him to see me with another guy and he said I was just difficult its not a big deal and I never want to let loose and try something different. That it was more to work and bills.I said well this is something I told u I don’t want to do and after an hr disscusion it happened anyway.

    It was terrible all I kept thinking about is well as long as I’m with him and he apparently doesn’t care so I may as well take him as is, but this has ate at me since that night.

    The next day he brung me home he stayed with me he held me from 9am til 4 pm no sex he just held me and we slept and watched tv.We didn’t talk, and that was the only time that happened.

    I hit the lowest it was more things I have done for him that is against my beliefs just to be with him.I hit the lowest so maybe the dream ia to try to keep me on the right path of nc, because I’ve been fighting myself hard because I keep saying to myself why should I let someone else havs him I spent so many yrs with him, whatn if ge is prince charming to the next person.

    Well I revert back to he was not Prince charming to me and why not what did I do that he doesn’t love me.I’m having my moments but I will be too embarrassed to contact him its like I’ve lost but what have I lost? Someone tHat is not available to love me.

    I am bruised and damaged so I’m gone be free from dating and work on healing my heart soul and mind.

    • Getting it! says:

      Have you ever heard about sleep paralysis?

      Basically, your brain wakes up before the signal to wake up hits your body – the moment is usually accompanied by horrendous nightmares and you feel weighted down in bed and you can’t move.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Lacy,

      You said, “I am bruised and damaged so I gone be free from dating and work on healing my heart soul and mind”.

      I hope, for your sake, you are serious about this. Have you read, Natalie’s book, “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl”? If not, you need to order it from Amazon. Also, a GOOD therapist may certainly be of benefit to you. You need to examine why you are knowingly going against your principles in order to please this jerk. You’ve said that your initial reaction to his request for 3 way sex was “No”. But, you ignored that little inner voice (your better judgement and conscience) and did it anyway. Do you think that is a good way to keep him, because if it is, you need to kick him to the curb. How would you feel about your daughter engaging in such behavior. Is that fine with you?

      In the book Natalie describes so many different types of men who mean you no good. Most of us who have read it have not come away the same. We “grew up”, threw away the rose colored glasses and have really tried to look at things in a realistic light. Not only does she cover the many types of AC’s but she talks about women who are the victims either by chance or by choice. Usually, it’s the latter. Don’t be a fool, Lacy. This guy does not care for you in a healthy manner. If he did he would not insist (an hour discussion?) that you compromise your principles and bust your own (already fragile) boundaries. I’m guessing this 3-way that you engaged in has contributed to your nightmare. You Went against your morals for a bozo who is frankly despicable.

      Please try to get yourself together, girl. You’re better than this. Aren’t you? Staying with him because you’ve invested the years and you’re looking to “win” the prize over someone else having him is futile. FORGET IT. You say, “Why should anyone else have him?” What makes you think that hasn’t already happened? How would you know with this dude? Do you think you’re “The One” for him because that’s how YOU feel? It doesn’t work that way. Listen to your gut. I believe you know these things already. Take off the fur coat of denial. Don’t block the way for someone better to enter your life AFTER you’ve done the work on yourself that is much needed.Do it for yourself and for your daughter. You have to be an example for her to follow. Flush him and go NC. Good luck.

      • Lacy says:

        Tinkerbell thks for your wise comment.My previous comment was u know how something that your working on within yourself to overcome?like something that happend in your life that was really hurtful that u try to bury away and one day or two u find yourself crying or emotional about? This was that moment.These were events that happened maybe 2 yrs ago, I am not engaging in contact with him.He reached out on facebook, came to my house and used a mutual friend to contact me also but I have not fell into the game.I adnit I did battle with myself but as able said when u reread what I write u can’t highlight any good that came put of this situation.

        I have read Nats books and even posts that go back to when she just began her site.This is a fairly new ending with this guy that I’m standing on permanetely now but I know I’m off to a better begining.I have seen a therapist but my work schedule and kids the therapist had to drop me til the begining of dec.

        I know I have a work to do and some days will be a lot of work and I am not trying to burden anyone down, just share my story.One day soon I will be where a lot of you women are but today I can’t fully say I am, I wish I could speed the process up.Nat did say it takes as long as u allow it to take for u to get over a break up or in my case a toxic situation.

        • micheyl says:

          Oh Lacy, I didn’t get to that point, but I can only imagine how easy it would have been. I am past that point, thankfully. It is slowly sinking in he may not be the nice guy I thought he was. But at one point I was allowing myself to be the OW (he quickly replaced me with someone else, but didn’t let go of me completely…) I never thought I would be a OW, but there I was and I SO didn’t care! I threw out all my values just to be with him. If he had asked me to do what your ex asked you, I honestly hope I’d say no, but I felt so desperate to be with him, who knows? Maybe I would’ve said yes.

          Don’t judge yourself. Nurture yourself. I am glad you are further along on your journey. It is all in the learning. As you value yourself more, then situations like this will seem incomprehensible. I try hard to think, is this something I would ever want my children to do? What kind of teacher am I being for them?

          Take care Lacy. xoxox <3

          • Lacy says:

            Thks michely , I have been thinking lately about setting and example for my children especially my daughter is 16.My daughter spends a lot of time around her dad he’s not the best dad but I thank God for him he could be a total deadbeat, but u know how young girls are they love there dad.Sge spends time with him and apparently he has schooled her on guys.My daughter and my sons are total opposite of me.My daughters first boyfriend unkowingly to me was when she was in 5th grade it was totally innocent at the time, but this is the only boy that I know of My daughter to be involved with.Omg her dad knows and has met the young man we like him it took a min for her dad to warm up we found out about this boyfriend her first yr of highschool it took her dad a yr to accept it and for me I’m still kinda of leary lol he is a goos boy good grades and into sports.I take her to the dr on a regular, her grades are good and they spend time together. He is very respectable, she calles him over to help us rearrange furniture the talk on the phone a lot he seems to be there when she needs a friend, he takes her out, he walks her to the bus stop in the morn on the way to school, they are young so they are goggely over each other lol.

            I looked at the fact that a young man can act and treat a young lady with love, care trust and respect,so what am I constanlty doing with my x, being lied to not getting time an hr on holidays or if he feels like it maybe longer his mood changes like the weather.

            My daughter is the total opposite and I’m glad and happy for her.Her and this bf have a few arugments and a break up but my daughter is pretty level headed. One occassion she got upset about girls comments on facebook and she was questioning him rather loudly but I stepped in and asked her to control her anger.

            The bf caught her feelings and explained everything to her.I told her he is young and he may have friends and she told me no having friends is ok but I just want to make sure I’m not sticking with someone whi has more than friends and that just because he’s young doesn’t mean he can’t do the right thing.I gave her the biggest hug ever.

            They have a happy relationshio from how I see it and I’m happy for them and she has her life and is not obssesive over him.she learned this from her dad?? so I thank him.

            Sorry this is so long but I just wanted to share this oh my daughter turns seventeen in another mth my boys are 14 and 6,I’m working on them with opening the door for women now lol and prying them off the game and computer lbvs.

            • micheyl says:

              Lacy, I am so glad that your children’s dad is a good influence. I have two daughters and their dad is a total dead beat. I think both my girls were smarter than me in the “relationship” department. My youngest had a “boyfriend” last year in 4th grade! It just meant they looked at each other across the room basically. But he “broke up” with her to ask out another girl, then came back soon after asking for another chance when the girl found out what he did (she then broke up with him) but my daughter said, “Get lost!” (yay!)

              Then my older daughter when she was in 6th grade had a boyfriend and found out he was making out at the movies with a girl she knew. She broke up with him and he begged for forgiveness. She told me, Mom, it is so hard because I still really like him, and I want to be with him but I can’t because of what he did. (Another yay!)

              But the doozy of a lesson for my 8th grader was last year. She went to a boys house (without my knowledge, thought she was at a friend’s house) and while his parents were home, they did things in the basement that she was not ready for. No sex or bodily fluids exchanged, but too much for a 7th grader in my opinion. Anyway, of course this junior AC pulled all the moves, You’re beautiful, I love you… And pretty much forced her hand (literally). She was very embarrassed and confused and to top it off, he broke off with her the next day and then told all his friends about every detail. She was harassed for months, called names by him and his friends, his friends would make jokes about the incidence in front of her. She was humiliated and tortured.

              She finally told me months later. I talked to her about the incident and we agreed it was a mistake and she really learned she was not ready for that sort of thing. It got my blood boiling that she was forced to feel shame and relive this mistake for months on end because this little fucking pussy AC. So when I calmed down, I tracked down his parents at their home (they go to a different school) and told them what was going on. I could see the mother was completely in denial and thought her son shit gold nuggets, but I made myself clear in a very mature way. She obviously failed in her role to teach him to respect women. I have no idea what happened on that end, but my daughter was thrilled that I stood up for her and took action.

              She now has a very respectful and sweet boy gaga over her. I ask her very direct questions and make her check in with me so I always know where she is. I am in contact with his mother as well. This was a hard lesson, but I think we are out of the woods with it. It is such a double standard that my daughter was labeled some pretty horrible things because of her actions, and this boy gets off scott free (as far as public humiliation) even though he acted like a complete AC.

              It sure starts early doesn’t it?

              I am not one to stand up for myself. I am learning. But it felt so wonderful to stand up for my beautiful daughter. I felt really proud of myself.

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Hi Lacy,

              Glad to know about your daughter’s levelheadedness. Please keep your sex life PRIVATE and don’t be eager to introduce any of them to your kids. At least, not until he shows major commitment. Kids learn by example and they are sponges, picking up much more than you’d ever think. Good luck. Listen to your gut and follow through as it tells you.

            • lizzp says:

              Lacy, How are you? I was reading your post above and wanted to tell you that I so admire your honesty and strength. Felt like mentioning that I too make an effort with my boy (8 years)to suggest he open the door for women (young ladies and mature ladies), I make an effort not to overdo it, but compliment him on his strength and his young gentleman-liness every time he opens a door of his own volition. I also make sure that if he is on a crowded train with me that he stands for adults (me included) if necessary, including young girls older than himself.

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Wonderful training, Lizz. I like to see parents instill manners and morals in their children. I believe it takes them a long way in life. Good for you. I’m thankful that my 17yr old grandson is such a gentleman. Everybody remarks on that and they enjoy being around him.

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Lacy. I’m glad you’ve responded. Even more glad that this was 2 years ago. I do know what you mean about how hurtful experiences of the past can come back to haunt you. And, you don’t even want the person back. For example, I am very much desiring sex. You may have seen my story a short while ago about my friend having ED. Well, my horrible experience with the MM represented the best sex i ever had in my life! I’ve been entertaining the idea of calling him, but I know it’s just my vagina talking. No way in hell would I get back into that mess again. But, yes, sometimes certain situations in which you had powerful emotional attachment do come back. You just put it out of your mind. For each person that’s a task that may be simple or very difficult. I am glad you are doing better, Lacy. Having been on BR for so long and having read Nat’s books are a good foundation for you to build on. But still, it takes TIME. I sincerely hope you will be able to find the time to get back to your therapist. That’s a priority. Good luck. xx, Tink.

          • Peanut says:

            Tink,

            Tell your vagina to shut up.

            At least, in regard to this man.

            I totally can relate, though. I wanted the ex so badly and it really haunted me in that way for a year.

            I am better now. I don’t feel so much like a crazed teenager and feel more like the woman I am.

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Hi Peanut,
              I know it’s just that I’m getting zero. It’s about time for me (chronologically speaking)to lose some of this horniness, but it ain’t happenin’. We always want what we can’t have. I will never have another relationship (man) again. I’m sure of it. And, that is VERY PAINFUL to face.

              • lizzp says:

                Ditto, you ok Tinker bell?

              • Mymble says:

                Tinkerbell
                Thank you for your honesty. I very much relate, it was similar for me. However, you are fresh out of a breakup. The sex with the MM was best ever and some of the sadness I felt was that I felt I was saying Goodbye To All That, as well as him. I don’t feel so, ahem, horny now, it fades, but also I feel that there is a reasonable chance that there will be other men.
                And I don’t see why not for you also, if you want, and when you are ready.

      • Allison says:

        Tinker,

        How are you doing?

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Lizz, Mymble and Allison. Thanks a bunch for your concern. I’m better, but with a lot of effort. He and I are still friends and we talk, but it’s not the same, that’s what hurts. I wish we could go back to how it was when he was still trying, and before he became resigned to the situation. And yet, I’ve finally come to realize that he has to work this out. He is depressed, spending long periods alone with the newspaper, tv and word games. At least he does get out to walk every morning and do his errands, but once that’s done he’s alone. I think it’s so sad but I’ve done what I can do. He knows he has my support and I have to face it that that’s all I can be – support. Wish I could give him a happiness injection (that’s the RN speaking, LOL) Anyway, I have my own stuff to deal with so I need to get it together for others who need me. I’m glad my therapist is so helpful. I’d suggest that for him, but I know I’d be met with a blank stare. (Sigh). Anyway, girls thank you again for asking about me. This is life. Sometimes we have to go through the rough patches and thorns but the experience makes us stronger and wiser. xxx, Tink.

  20. Candle says:

    I had a brief relationship with with an EUM 18 months ago which has been causing me grief ever since despite practically no contact, just the odd blow up every few months – a combination of passive aggression and my own issues with anxiety and poor self esteem. He’d recently been asking after me to my friends which I assumed was just so they’d think he was mr nice guy, but stupidly made contact to discuss resolving things between us so that we could move on and not find it difficult being in the same social situations, or have to avoid each other. Needless to say he didn’t respond at all. I then felt the need to send another message explaining I was confused at his lack of response and sent him an article on passive aggression. I do feel like I’m now responsible for making a scene and creating conflict but Jesus what is his problem? But the bigger problem is the fact I still care! How do I get out of the cycle and move on for good?

  21. Able says:

    Peanut,

    yes, it all comes back to that: life is too short to put up with BS. Lately, I’ve been thinking there’s a parallel philosophy. Life is to short to waste it being right all the time.

    Not exactly parallel or opposite, but makes me think why can’t I just be happy with what I have and enjoy my life? I can’t seem to do that.

    Life is short and I’m past the halfway point. I guess this is the male equivalent of the “biological clock” ticking. I don’t want to be old and alone.

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Hey Able, You can be happy and enjoy life. The real key is getting right with yourself and your boundaries and self esteem.
      No one wants to be old and alone. But getting married, living with someone, falling in love, is no guarantee of not ending up old and alone.
      My husband passed when he was 39. Which in turn set me up to meet my assclown.
      My point is, I understand the basic human need to find a partner you want to spend your life with. However, you better be sure you are strong enough on your own with boundaries intact. I don’t want to be a downer, but the truth is, that sometimes people end up old and alone. Be true to yourself and know who you really are. So if you are lucky enough to meet someone emotionally available, that’s wonderful! But know, that unforeseen things can happen, however, there are worse things than being old and alone. Like, being old and with an assclown.

    • Peanut says:

      Able,

      I know, I understand. No sane person wants to be old and completely alone. But, then there is reality.

      Even if you find someone, that does not mean you won’t be alone.

      If you don’t take the time to get right with you and work out all kinks that lead you to unavailable women, i.e. your own unavailability, you will find someone unavailable and go through the jerky stops and goes all over again. Some people choose to do this for a lifetime. Don’t be one of those people. I live with a couple like this.

      My grandparent’s are married and have been for near sixty years, though theirs is not a success story, as they are oftentimes miserable. It’s heartbreaking to see a couple (grandmother is 76 and grandfather 89) so bitter and cold toward each other.

      Yet, this is what happens if we refuse to feel our feelings and do not become available, but still insist on getting in a relationship.

      Also, as we age life can get precarious. You might get married, fall in love, have children who grow up, leave (as they ought),and your with dies before you.

      The latter one is why most people are too coward to really wait and truly fall in love.

      Yet, fear is not a good enough reason to turn away from something overall good.

      The most valuable thing to own in the universe to a human is self-respect, self-esteem and a good sense of self worth.

      The most optimistic accomplishment for man (or woman) is the ability to spend time with ones self and not feel lonely, to savor it, enjoy it, to treasure it.

      I’m not saying, we as humans need be hermits, but humanity is sometimes a very solo job.

  22. noquay says:

    Candle
    He doesn’t want to have resolution because he doesn’t care that you are uncomfortable dealing with him in social situations. He doesn’t care, period. You don’t know why he asked about you; it could be mindless conversation, it could be to avoid you, you cannot read his mind. When a relationship breaks up with an AC, he/she basically does not want to ruminate over what went wrong, they want you to somehow magically disappear so that they can simply move on. Again, seeing things from your perspective is not on his radar screen. You. Do. Not. Matter. To. Him. In social situations, you give him your back and if he approaches you, you ask politely that he leave you be.

    • Andee says:

      Timely post for me right now, noquay, I thank you for writing it. When the initial high of standing up for yourself wears off, you can sometimes feel really deflated and depressed again thinking of what you feel like you’ve lost…strange considering I didn’t so much lose it as fling it as far from me as possible like a ticking time bomb.
      I have to keep reminding myself of exactly what you said. He doesn’t care. If he cared, I wouldn’t have left. If he cared, he wouldn’t have driven me to it. If he cared he probably wouldn’t be shacked up with someone new right now and taking her on vacations we planned together. But that’s what these guys do. They not only want to marginalize you and your feelings at every turn, they want to make sure they are able to avoid the negative feelings one experiences when one does something reprehensible.
      Onward and upward. Keep reminding people of the fundamental reason it never works. They don’t care.

      • Lara says:

        YES. This, exactly this. My thoughts exactly, regarding my ex (see my update down below).

        You hit the nail on the head, especially this:

        “But that’s what these guys do. They not only want to marginalize you and your feelings at every turn, they want to make sure they are able to avoid the negative feelings one experiences when one does something reprehensible.”

        I am not sure if my ex has feelings, though. I am still convinced he doesn’t. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t want to shift the blame for things he did, onto me. At the end of the day, he might not have feelings, but he does have a big ego, and he wants to make it look like I am ignoring him for no good reason, because *I* basically hurt myself with him, rather than HIM hurting ME. It’s like that guy who told one of the regular posters here, that she hurt herself with him. Uh, what? That’s just crazy stuff… but I expect nothing but crazy stuff from men like this, at this point.

      • micheyl says:

        Yes Andee. I have to keep reminding myself too. He doesn’t give a fuck. Same, he is taking his new girlfriend on trips. His crumby texts are NOTHING. They give my life NO value in any way. I have to stop acting like they mean anything. For the first time in a long time I have not responded. I hope to stay NC…

  23. Able says:

    Lacy, no judgement here, but if a friend told you the same story you wrote here about this dude, wouldn’t you tell her to kick his ass to the curb? I’m shaking my head, not at you, but this dude and his pal. Please protect yourself.

  24. Revolution says:

    “I’m worried that I’m not being and doing enough in spite of the fact that people keep saying to me that they don’t know how I do it, that I’m brilliant etc.”

    Yep. This is me right now. You’re too damn smart for your own good, Nat. ;)

  25. Enough says:

    BR-Family

    This a bit off the subject. I just wanted to thank everyone for the comments,stories and Nat for this site.It has truly helped me find my way. I really did not know how dark my rose-tinted glasses were. I am elated that i have started to regain my strength, power and self confidence. That was destroyed by a ex AC,EUM. Is it me or do ACs have a built in radar that sends a single to let them know you are on the market!!! lol The reason being I have two random guys that have popped up out of no where messaging me like crazy. Where have you come from? and where have you been? I understand i have let some boundaries be broken and some serious red flags pass me by.It seems my senses are on high!!! no joke. After this random message fest from the first guy the red flags were going off like crazy. How did i not see this? Oh yea rose-tinted glasses! Please refrain from contacting me again. I have no time for your in and out blowing hot and cold. I have to be honest if if wasn’t for this blog. I would of thought Yea Me!!! two guys showing up at the right time in my life. Just what i needed after a breakup. Yea Right!!!! Disaster waiting to happen. I am still pretty fresh right now but so far the reward has been great. I truly smile for no reason!! Thanks BR-Family. Looking forward!!!

    • Oli says:

      @Enough,
      The highs of being pursued by these douchebags is really intoxicating trust me. Just know that when you start sticking to your boundaries and DEMAND and show that you will not be treated like garbage and treat yourself with love, youll start to experience the same highS, only these highs will be consistent and no one can take those away from you.

      Eventually youll snicker and just ignore when these guys pursue you because you wont be attracted to them at all.

      Im glad you found this website. Its a process, but stick to it and youll be in a totally different place very very soon.

    • micheyl says:

      Enough, I wrote something to you on the previous post… Hope you read it <3

      • Enough says:

        I have @micheyl and thanks so much for your words. Like i said before some days are better than most. But everyday my outlook on my happiness gets better and better. Its not over yet. I will need all the encouraging words and sound advice from this site.Cause I am “TIRED”

  26. Lara says:

    Man, this post resonates so much with me. I know that I don’t want my ex, in fact knew it after his third break-up with me, I think — but it just hurt me that someone I didn’t want, in fact, someone I didn’t think so highly of (because he was so abusive and f*cked up), was rejecting me.

    I had his number blocked on my phone, using an app, but for some stupid reason, the app failed to filter out his mssges from his phone. Today I got two messages from the ex, and I am not sure when exactly they were sent. It appears that they weren’t sent on the same day, even though the text app says they came in this morning at 9:50am and 10:07 am. But the contents make me think that he sent them at least a day or two apart.

    The first message: “How’s it going? I didn’t mean to hurt you but I did warn you my job stops me having a normal life. Hope you are ok. Take care of yourself.”

    What an AC. He’s trying to shift the blame onto me now. Because, of course, he never cheated on me, he never strung me along and told me what I wanted to hear, never chased after me after HE broke up with me, etc. And he can’t have a “normal life” because of his job? He just travels every now and then to a different country, to plug a few cables in and run a few tests on flight systems. That is all he does. He still works 9am-5pm shifts, rarely any crazy hours, and comes home and then goes out drinking and flirting with prostitutes near hotels. Surely if he wanted to, he could instead talk to me online, just like some of his work buddies do with their girlfriends? What is he, the president of the United States? Even the pres of the USA finds time for a relationship. Just look at those excuses and justifications. Even to this day, when I have already ignored his email from a month ago, after he offered friendship and then threw it away after I said yes.

    The second message: “OK you’re pissed off. I won’t contact you again. Thanks for some good memories in Montreal.” (the city where I live)

    Oh yeah, he kept saying this line whenever he broke up with me. That’s all I was to him: a supply bank for a few good memories, which he could return to every now and then whenever he thought he could get away with it. Honestly, I think he thought he could yo-yo back into my life again and convince me to get back together with him at any point (otherwise why would he tell me that he wasn’t planning on dating anyone?). I am just really upset right now, because I saw those texts, despite the fact that I had really made my best (short of changing my number) to stop myself from seeing any from him. :( Maybe a change of phone number is in order. :(

    • Oli says:

      Lara,
      These guys are insane and are so detached from emotion its ridiculous. Coming from an emotionally abusive relationship myself (which it sounds like you may also have dealings with) anything and everything they say is to control and manipulate. Any response from you signals to them you care which to them equals mental fuckery and manipulation. The ONLY way to win with these guys is to do a mental flush, learn the lesson, forgive them and run for the hills!

      • Lara says:

        Oli,

        Yeah, I know. Which is why I had blocked him on my phone (or thought I had, apparently this thing doesn’t work!). Anyway, I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of letting him know I have forgiven him or anything of the sort. And I haven’t and never will. I am not even very bitter at this point, really. I am learning to accept this experience as a learning experience that taught me things about myself and my boundaries (or lack thereof). I am trying to learn from it and apply its lessons to my dealings with others, be they men who are romantically or sexually interested in me, or (male and female) friends. I just don’t want to hear from him, because it really truly exhausts me, mentally, physically, and emotionally, to think back on all the abusive moments I had with him. I just want to put it all behind me, and move on with my life, to better things and people. I don’t even want to be friends with him, and am glad that he acted like a douchebag after I accepted the idea of being friends, and basically threw me away as a friend just as he had discarded me as his ‘lover.’ Now, I don’t understand why he is chasing after me and trying to explain his ‘perspective’ to me. I care why? It’s like he is trying so hard to get a reaction out of me. I don’t think he understands that if someone didn’t respond to his email for a month (exactly a month tomorrow), it means they don’t want to talk to him?!??! What part of that is so hard to understand and accept, especially that HE discarded me, first as his gf, and then as his so-called ‘friend’? No wonder he has ZERO friends in life. What a miserable human being. I feel sorry for him. I truly do, but I am too tired of his BS to want to even engage with him anymore. Really. I am tired. I have stuff going on in my life, work pressures, so much sh*t, and I really can’t have a 40 year old giant baby on my hands. He can go to his mother for that. He’s a momma’s boy anyway. I wanted to think that he’s been texting and emailing me because he feels genuinely bad about the way he treated me, but no, deep down I know that he is not that type of a person. I know that the only reason he is doing it, is to shift the blame onto me, make me feel bad about it, make me feel like it was all my fault, for not having listened to his “warnings.” I don’t even think he’s doing it because he has a guilty conscience. I don’t think he has ANY conscience whatsoever. He is a zombie, has zero feelings or empathy. He even ignored me when I stated, while we were still together, that my uncle had passed away. Anyway, I think he was baiting me in his last text, when he said he won’t contact me again and thanks for some good memories. It was his way of making me chase after him by threatening to never talk to me again if I didn’t. I know him too well. I know his mind games way too well… and unfortunately, he did make me feel bad, about ignoring him. Mostly because I feel so sorry for him, because he is such a lonely , miserable person. See, I guess I am still suffering from some of the issues that got me stuck with this guy for a year. I have a care-taking personality. I need to get rid of this personality ASAP. But at least I’ve been strong enough to resist the temptation to text. That strength is probably due to the fact that he gave me so much BS that I can no longer take any more of it. I don’t know. I just feel like utter crap today , after seeing those messages. I wish I hadn’t seen them. :( I feel like I’m the bad person for having shunned his attempts to reach out to me, even though HE had shunned me in the first place, as his gf and then as his friend. I shouldn’t feel bad but I do. Ugh. And no, I don’t want him in any capacity. I am utterly turned off by him. So I don’t even know why I feel so bad. It’s not even about being rejected by someone I didn’t want in the first place. It’s just about being mindf*cked to think that I am a bad person for not responding. I don’t think he understands, though — I am not pissed off, as much as I am disgusted with his behavior and the fact that he thinks that he can make his way back into my life after discarding me in the worst way.

        • Andee says:

          Lara, YES. I told my best friend the other day “I don’t hate him (the AC). I just don’t like him enough to make sure he knows that.” :)

        • Selkie says:

          It was two texts in a month. That is about one minute total of his time. Not worth all the minutes you’ve spent trying to figure out what he is thinking or what his inner intention was. His intention is very very small or he would of spent more than ONE MINUTE of his time on you. Look at it in black and white. Don’t feel bad about not responding to his ONE MINUTE of effort. He threw out some tiny tiny bait. I would be insulted at his idea that you are that hungry to take the tiny tiny bait, rather than feel BAD FOR HIM. He is a King douche bag Lara. Turn your back, physically and mentally. You are better than this turd.

        • Allison says:

          Lara,

          You are still involved with this man emotionally- length and detail of post. Please try to be honest with yourself, as to why you’re still attached, it will help you move forward.

          I would seriously consider changing your number, as this man still affects you, and you may be tempted to respond.

          • Lara says:

            I am not attached, really. The reason I felt “bad” was not that I felt attached to him or was tempted to reply because I wanted him back in any capacity, but that I feel sorry for him. Yes, I have worked on my addiction to him and no longer want him, and have learned to set boundaries with people, but the much more difficult task is to work on my care-taking personality. I feel bad when people sound / act like they are lonely and miserable. That is part of the reason why I stayed with him for so long even though he kept yo-yo’ing out of my life and then back in as he wished, and abused me verbally and emotionally. I wanted to think that I could “fix” him, that if only I showed him I cared and loved, he would learn how to accept love, etc. In the end, I realized I had to love myself and take care of myself, and that’s what mattered most. Part of the reason was that I was so exhausted by it all, by giving so much of myself to him, and it made it somewhat easy to quit this whole thing when he dumped me for the 4th time, but that doesn’t mean I have resolved the care-taking issue at its root. And I really don’t know WHY I am such a care-taker. Maybe because I’ve felt lonely and unloved for most of my life as well, and can sympathize. Or maybe it’s a symptom of a larger problem. I am not sure.

          • Allison says:

            Lara,

            Have you researched co dependency and its causes? Please look into CODA.

            • Lara says:

              Yup. I know about co-dependency and I seem to have strong traits of a co-dependent. I’ve only had time to skim through one of the books on co-dependency (I think it was called, co-dependent no more).. but I may have to revisit it.

        • Oli says:

          @LARA

          Wow Did you date my ex? because word for word it sounds just like him.

          They always stick true to form (the ones that habitually act this way that havent truly changed yet) so I understand that you get confused why he discarded you and then chased you. Mine discarded me and STALKED me and my friends online…meanwhile he was in a relationship with the other woman! Its about control and keeping a foothold in your life because it makes them feel better knowing they are still getting to you. Additionally, they are so messed up that that it makes them feel better knowing you havent moved on yet and that you are still out there…available to them if things go awry in their life. Its not because they think they made a mistake and realize they suddenly love you enough to be a good man and treat you right. It makes it harder for you to move on (because they still manipulate you from afar – thats why they make their creeping around known..to mess with you and keep you thinking they care, because youve been trained to accept crumbs and now they are showing you even less..)and when they finally do discard you and stop creeping around, you have to process that as well as them truly moving on, which is hard. Hold tight to your self esteem and do whatever you can to move forward and apply what youve learned. Dont be fooled by the constant barrage of emails texts calls or online creeping. It doesnt chang ethe fact that they cannot ever be the man that you need to give you what you want in a relationship. You will get there. It took me 5 months to finally reach indifference and every step is painful, but worth it. I look back and Im grateful.

      • sushi says:

        Lara, Oli is right. Also the ” I won`t contact you again” is designed to panic you. From what I read about him, absolutely everything that guy will say or do is a headfuck. These sort of people don`t give a shit about you, as in Norquay`s post above ( how true that) but they keep yanking the string counting on getting a reaction. There comes a point when you haven`t replied for a long while and they keep trying because they know it will cause upset. Oli is right. Mental flush is the only thing that works.

        • Lara says:

          Sushi, absolutely. That was my interpretation of that last text “I won’t contact you again.” It’s a passive aggressive way of yanking my chain. I know him too well, and yes, that is exactly what my friends also said when I told a few of them about that text. I always panicked whenever he told me it was over between us, that he didn’t want to talk to me anymore, etc., so I think he thought if I was angry or whatever, the only way to get me to play ball with his mindf*ckery was to threaten never to contact me again. lol. Good riddance! I had a moment or two of feeling bad about ignoring him, but it has passed. All his communications so far, after he dumped me, have been incredibly passive aggressive, right down to him telling me that he was going to Thailand to have a threesome with prostitutes, despite the fact that he knew that even mentioning Thailand would upset me greatly because I had found out he had cheated on me with his prostitute-gf in Thailand. It was after I got that email that I actually got completely disgusted by his behavior, and blocked him on both my email and the phone. He must be so full of himself to think that mentioning Thailand would get me to respond to him in any way whatsoever. I think he was trying to get me to respond, in any way whatsoever, be it positively or negatively. In fact, he might’ve been fishing for negative attention. It’s crazy that he thought I’d play ball with his mindf*ckery, after all that he did to me. Even after he told me he wanted to be friends, added me on facebook and all, and then promptly removed me / discarded me as a “friend” when he saw I had posted that I hadn’t felt “this good in a year” (we’d been together for the past year). I think he expected I’d contact him and ask him why he had removed me from facebook, and beg him to take me back as a friend, just as I’d begged him to take me back as his gf. Nope. Didn’t happen, never going to happen again, EVER. I’m no longer that girl. He clearly thinks he’s so amazing that he can turn me into that girl once more, but oh boy is he in for a huge surprise.

          • Selkie says:

            Lara,

            In your comment you said “he’ at least twenty times when I stopped counting. I didn’t count the numerous “him” and “his”. Can you see how much you are focused on him? You are staying ‘in it’ by keeping him front and center. I’m not judging you, I’ve been there and it only prolonged my pain and drama. I had to make an effort to stop going over all the details of what he did to me because it kept me in the pain. We all heal in our own way but think about it.

          • jewells says:

            Lara, with all due respect, I think you are over thinking a bit. Posting on your fb that you haven’t felt this good in a year was a blow to his ego and he couldn’t take it, that’s a more likely scenario. Anyhoo, you must find it in yourself to flush this loser asap, it’s a drain on your energy better spent on yourself. Bottom line, no matter what his antics are, he is making you unhappy… Turn the energy on to something that makes you happy, is fullfilling for you or enhances your self worth. He does none of the above.
            My experience of the past (nearly a) year is that I am looking at the ex that brought me here as a ‘good luck chuck’. Someone that I had to experience to tear off my rose tinted glasses once and for all, to get a grip on myself and reality. The cognitive dissonance was severe, and the work daunting and there was no quick fix. But believe me, it’s soooo worth it. I am at a stage now that I am thankful that he came in and shook up my world, cause the order it is coming back together in is much better than before.
            BUT – I have had absolutely NO CONTACT with the birk in that entire time…none, nada, bupkiss. You’ll have to find a way to do this and eventually things will come clearer and the attachment will fade…eventually leaving you to wonder what the hell you were thinking!
            Good luck and stick with BR!

            • Tanya Z. says:

              Lara, think of this guy as a nasty little kid that pulls a bug’s legs off just because he finds it fun to see the bug squirming around in pain. Except that the little kid may grow out of this kind of nastiness, and this guy never will.

            • Lara says:

              Yes, well, I am not overthinking — I already stated that this is why he removed me from FB. His ego couldn’t take it. But he knows me, so he thought that removing me from FB after I had wanted to be friends with him would be a blow to my ego and that I’d chase after him, which would “redeem” his ego I suppose. That’s how my ex “rolls.” It’s always mind games like that with him, “If I do this, I will get her to do this, and if she doesn’t, then I will do this, and then surely she will respond/do what I want her to do”, etc. Anyway, I really don’t care much about him at this point. I honestly don’t really want him back, or any of his drama in my life, in any capacity. This is why I was so upset — I thought I was done with it all, but the stupid app failed and I had to hear more of his drama, which triggered my weak spot (feeling bad for him). Not anymore, though. It was a momentary lapse in judgment, and I am back to “normal.” I never felt tempted to respond, even when I felt bad for him. It’s just that ignoring him made me feel like a bad person, which I guess is the whole idea behind his texts. Anyway , I don’t much care, and I am no longer feeling bad about not being wanted by a guy I do not want in the first place. If someone *I* don’t want doesn’t want me, why should I care? I DON’T want him, and that should be the first part of the equation. It should be like multiplying by zero. The zero is the fact that I do not want him. The rest (the stuff you multiply with zero) is irrelevant. The result is zero, i.e., the fact that I do not want him. End of story. :)

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Lara,

                Do you realize that if he were to read all these lengthy posts you’ve written about him, amidst protesting that you’re still very much into him, he’d be rolling on the floor nearly busting his insides laughing at you. He’d be thinking, “Oh Boy! I’m the man! She luuuuvvvvs me”. You wouldn’t want that, so cut out this madness. You CAN have control over this obsessing. USE IT!

    • Rachael says:

      you don’t feel like sh_t about/around men who care for you. listen to your feelings – they are telling you he isn’t your friend, let alone anything else x

      • screwedover says:

        “You don’t feel like sh*t about/around men who care for you. In my case I felt like a lingering smelly fart…enough said!

  27. Sally-Stress-Head says:

    Peanut, oh my goodness,

    “The thing about leaning in is it gets us through to the self-esteem side. But here is the kicker: The need for it never stops.”

    Hehehehe, Well, I’ll be blessed; it’s growing pains. :):)

    Thank.YOU.

  28. Sally-Stress-Head says:

    Victor, thank you for the reminder: Sometimes I forget to hold God’s hand when I need His touch the most.

  29. Tinkerbell says:

    Lara,

    Are you serious about not wanting to be bothered? Then change your number, AND make sure no well-meaning friend gives it to him. Why are you worried about him if you’re through? According to this post you’ve got him all figured out and it’s not in your favor. So what else is there? NOTHING!

    • Lara says:

      Oh, I am definitely through with him. I don’t want him back in any capacity. Really, I don’t. I don’t know about changing my number. It can be a logistical nightmare, and I am not even sure it’s doable without paying a hefty fine since I am on a contract that doesn’t expire until 2015. I will have to look into that. We ( thank god) don’t have any mutual friends. He doesn’t have any friends, and he made sure to keep me away from all his work colleagues and family, a well-guarded secret or something. So if I do change my number, there is no way that he can find me. But he could possibly email me from another email address, if he realizes that I have blocked his other address. And there is no way I can change my email address at this point. That would be impossible. The phone is relatively easy, email is just not doable. At any rate, I am not sure he will even bother me at this point. Knowing him, his ego won’t allow him to. I am surprised he even went this far, but maybe it’s because HE discarded me as both a gf and a friend, so it’s not like his ego got hurt in the process. The fact that I didn’t chase after him made him chase after me, because it hurt his ego that I wasn’t pining for him. I don’t know if he will contact me again. I don’t think so, and I hope I am right.

      I am just angry that I was so emotionally detached from him and was forgetting all about him and recovering from the drama-addiction, and I saw these texts so unexpectedly. Anyway, not a huge deal. I will survive. In fact, one of the texts (the first) made me angry more than anything, because he was again utterly unapologetic and putting the blame on me. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. I am FED up, fed up with this. Really am. I just wish I didn’t have to take extreme measures like changing my phone number to get rid of the drama. :(

      • grace says:

        Lara
        It’s easy for me to say but this is just two texts. Delete them and forget it. Block his emails. Delete those if you see them.
        An ex of mine intermittently emails me over five years after I instigated NC. I don’t know why he does it. As far as is humanly possible do not go down the rabbit hole of wondering why.
        It does annoy me to get those emails once or twice a year but I’m not canging my email address over it.
        I’m not sure it’s worth the inconvenience to change your number because you had two texts which may not even be recent. You’re making a lot of the drama yourself.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Lara,

        Yes, it’s only 2 texts but from a guy who you were involved with for an extended length of time. Not some bozo you met recently. I only suggested you change your number because you sounded still emotionally invested in this guy and this can impede your continuing NC. I was thinking your protection. If it’s such a big deal that will cost you money, it’s not worth it. I forgot you’re in Canada. In the US you can change your phone number without a hassle or any fee. I hope he will leave you alone, but don’t bet on it. You will have to be strong. You can do it. All the best.

        • Lara says:

          Ladies, you’re right — he is not worth my time or any of the energy I’ve already put into this. I will just ignore his texts if I get/see any more of them, right away delete any voice mail he leaves (without listening), and just move on with my life. Changing a number is far too drastic and I think at this point I have really just stopped caring much if at all about him or his texts/calls/etc., so it’s not like he’s going to set me back by much. I will continue to put in some effort into not seeing his emails / texts by trying to block them, but that’s about it. Thanks for the supportive ear and advice. Great as always!

  30. Revolution says:

    Oh shit, I’m busted. I just had this conversation with a BFF of 16+ years, this last Wednesday night:

    Her: Come on….come to (mutual event where ex-AC “friend” will be)

    Me: No way. I’ve gained a couple of pounds. I don’t feel like I look good.

    Her: You look beautiful!!!!!

    Me: Thank you. But no, I want to be “revenge hot” when I see him again. Of course, you KNOW I don’t want him anymore, don’t you?

    Her: Of course! But you really are beautiful! If anyone should be worried, it should be HIM!

    Me: I just don’t want him to be like, “(checking his bucket list)….Let’s see….Dodged a bullet? Check!”

    Her: LOL! If ANYONE dodged a bullet, it would be YOU!!!

    Mutual friend present: For real, girl!

    So there it is. Good, loyal friends. Girl power (where are the Spice Girls when you need them?). And yet these issues of “not-wanting-the-douche-but-still-wanting-him-to-suffer-from-my-inherent-hotness” prevail.

    Incidentally, Nat: I hear you on the MJ kicks. Go easy, girl. I just did some MC Hammer moves in my ballet class ( I know–WTF?????…..don’t ask) and I think my hips are out of alignment as a result. This calls for a hot toddy. You with me? ;)

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Rev,

      Girl your feelings are normal woman feelings. Of course, you want to look “hot” when you see him for the first time afterward. I can dig it. And it doesn’t mean you give a crap about him either.

      MC Hammer moves? Huh? Be thankful you can. I walk a mile 5-6 miles per week. That’s about all I can do. I can still dance pretty well, but nothing far out. You go girl. Just read a flyer this morning advertising a dance class (all kinds). I’m thinking about it.

  31. jewells says:

    Alrighty… I’ve noticed alot of references to ‘mindfuck’ and ‘headfuck’ in this stream…I don’t know if I just haven’t noticed it before, or if it’s bubbling up in everyone’s understanding of the dynamics of the underlying aspect of these guys. Anyhoo, last night I was in a bookstore, looking for something to spend an old christmas gift certificate on. I found myself in the philosophy section and spied ‘zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’, and thought to myself ‘aha, this is worthy of a gift to myself’…then, on the same shelf, a single, small, thin, blue spine of a book jumped out at me… ‘mindfucking’ by Colin McGinn. It is a dissertation on what it is, the mechanics of it, and as I am going through it, I understand soooo much more about the dynamic of the relationshit that brought me here, it’s a total reinforcement of what Nathalie is doing with this site.
    This is excerpts from the intro page:
    “Being surrounded by bullshit is one thing. Having your mind fucked is quite another. The former is irritating, but the latter is violating and intrusive(unless you give your consent). If someone manipulates your thoughts and emotions, messing with your head, you naturally feel resentment: he or she has distorted your perceptions, disturbed your feelings, maybe even usurped your self.” …”Delusion is the general result, sometimes insanity. How mindfucked are you?It’s hard to say from the inside, but being aware of the phenomenon offers at least some protection.”

    I recommend finding and reading this gem…

  32. Able says:

    Peanut and Lucky,
    I think I need to clarify a bit.

    I didn’t mean “Why can’t I find someone?”

    I meant, I wonder if I will be able to do all the work I know I need to do on/with myself ()self-esteem/boundaries etc.) so that I don’t wind up old, alone, and/or miserable.

    You both get me, which is great. I’m still alittle mired in the muck to think straight. I am not overwhelmed by what needs to be done as much as thinking I’m running out of time to get it right. Or as close to right as possible.

    The idea that I may not have enough time to do what needs to be done to have a healthy relationship. That’s what I meant.

    Other than that huge depressing thought, I’m actually OK being on my own right now. I enjoy my alone time. I like having the time to get back into creative / art projects I’ve been putting off.

    • Rachael says:

      two comments Able.
      one. focusing on getting it right or being as right as possible is setting u up for constant feelings of failure. look at it this way… each step u take in the right direction means u will be happier than before. thats success.
      two. i believe that we are all f_ck ups and i can accept a mans issues if he is willing to work on them, or at least has an open mind. so, why wouldn’t a man do that for me? you are perfect AS YOU ARE, issues n all x

      • Peanut says:

        Rachael,

        It isn’t about “getting it right” at all. Is it?

        No. Hmmmmm.

        Life isn’t about being right. I’ve never seriously thought about it like that.

        Life is about trying and learning and growing. Dayyyum.

        Thank you.

    • Peanut says:

      Able,

      Ahhhh, I see. I worry that myself.

  33. Tinkerbell says:

    Jewells,

    Thanks for recommending the book. I will def check it out. I’ve been craving psych books, lately. Anything to help me get back on track, as I’m feeling adrift on the sea. Not grounded.

    • Selkie says:

      Tink,

      You may feel adrift but you are still afloat. You are a strong lady and can weather the changing tide. It always brings in the new.

      • jewells says:

        Hey Tink, me too, I’ve been reading psych books too – ‘character disturbance’ and ‘wolf in sheeps clothing’ are two that helped me understand my vulnerability to these sorts too. I think we need to read what jumps out at us…. there was a link in someone’s post a while back that took me to a site ‘coping with the passive aggressive in our lives’. Everything I read and research is giving me more pieces to put my psyche back together after years of being tormented by one form of AC or EU or another…
        I also recommend ‘zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance’ :) And straight up literature – just finished ‘elegance of the hedgehog’…

        • jewells says:

          And of course, all you wonderful women on this site with your stories and advice…reading everyone’s posts have helped me so much in knowing I’m not alone, finding out it wasn’t just me, getting insights from the blog and posts alike have been invaluable to getting me to where I am…and it is a good place :)

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Jewells,

            Your posts reflect that you are doing quite well. You seem so sensible and settled, not anxious like me. Although I have reason to be anxious, right now. I keep trying to remind myself that I’m a long way from where I used to be. How did I ever survive to get to here? (smile)

            • jewells says:

              Hi Tink,
              I think I come across as more together and settled and sensible than I am or at least feel. It’s a projection I’ve learned as I am a very private person. But that has also prolonged a lot of my issues…not talking about them, thus not necessarily processing. I am better than I’ve been though. I have indeed found here an outlet to express things I wouldn’t have otherwise and reading others stories and feedback has helped immensely. Also, some days I am more together than others. Last week I had a mini melt down at the current guy I am seeing and his response was ‘how long have you been holding that in?’. It was perfect. He didn’t judge it and wasn’t scared of it, and as a result I then let it run till I looked at my calender and counted…I did this out loud with him on the phone, he got what I was doing and we both laughed and I told him ‘don’t you dare say it’s t that when I get emotional again!’. And we continued to have a good giggle. So this one, so far so good. I thought there were some amber flags going on earlier, but they stemmed from minor insecurities of his that seem to be abating, and candid moments that show me that he is capable of depth are emerging. I’m still proceeding cautiously, but then so is he. Also still trying to determine if his past relationships have involved EUW’s and that’s why he’s being cautious, or if he has a limit on how far he can go, making him EU and that’s why his past ones didn’t work out. Only time will determine which it is as he doesn’t seem to have a language or understanding of the relationship dynamics, either that or he hasn’t built up enough trust in me yet to open up about it fully. I’m not going to push, just going to stay true to myself and let him unfold. In the meantime ‘keep calm and carry on’…

              • Tinkerbell says:

                Jewells,

                Yes, there you go. Take time and let him unfold. And, in the meantime, don’t allow yourself to fantasize about what the outcome between you two could be. That was a part of my problem. I recognized that I truly loved him and had all these “plans”. Natalie has written about when you’re letting go it’s not so much the individual that you find difficult to let go, but the dreams that you, yourself built up in your mind that are so hard to let go, move on from and forget. I was thinking this morning that he has gotten what he wanted – to remain friends. Then I realized there was the element of “winning” which I incorporated into wanting it to be a deep abiding love affair. I realize now that I just exhausted myself, because I cannot force him to be or us to be anything without his full participation. I still refuse to give up hope but I’m not stuck like I was before. I realize to that I’ve viewed him as the “last chance saloon”. I’m throwing that thought out also. One person should never be so powerful (in your mind) to make or break your world. Ok, enough. I went off on a tangent.

                I wish the best for you and if it continues to go well with this guy, remember, you’ve earned it.

                • jewells says:

                  Hi Tink, yes we are not perfect, and never will be. Just learning as we go to be able to realize our foibles and correct them until we ‘get it’. You seem to be catching your tendancies really well, just make sure you’re not beating yourself up for it, just recognizing and adjusting accordingly. I haven’t had any major hurdles with this one yet and we seem to communicate well. I don’t have ‘butterflies’ and the ‘chemistry’ I’ve had in the past is also not present. It’s not to say that there is not attraction, there certainly is, it’s just more subtle. I haven’t got any ‘plans’ in my head, nor the desire to ‘fix’ anything. We are certainly different when it comes to some things, but I’m fine with that as much as he is. I think I may have found the holy grail that Nathalie has purported to exist :) But at the same time, it’s early days and only time will tell if my assessment is accurate. In the meantime investment and trust only increasing in proportion to the real time relationship development…

  34. It's What Betty Believes says:

    For most of my life, I believed that I wasn’t good enough because I came from a crazy family filled with crazy, angry, dysfunctional, nut-teee people, and one of those nut-teee people was me. It’s culturally significant to come from a good family, no? So why wouldn’t I believe that?

    I understand I’m not my family; I’m not my behavior or ‘issues’; I’m a beautiful divine soul, and on and on, but that limiting belief still floats into the light every time somebody says? “So Betty, do you have any brothers or sisters?” Or, when I happen to meet someone else’s great big ‘happy’ family, filled with ‘normal’ grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and …. It’s a source of great sadness for me. And, I know there are different types of families, and I’m grateful for the family that I now head, but if you have a ‘normal’ family of origin’, you can’t possibly know what I mean.

    And, the funny thing is, I actually have a BIG family, but like I said, it is filled with nutty beings, and I still sometimes see them as a reflection of me.

    “God, why didn’t you give me a normal family? Why did you do this to me?”

    I’m trying to remember that beautiful baby that was born ME.

  35. Elgie R. says:

    Drama Seeker. I realize now..I am a Drama Seeker. ACs are drama-seekers too. We’re a perfect match.
    In my twenties I had a 4-year relationship with a “good guy”. Both his feet were in, we had no major issues between us, he’s still the most thorough lover I’ve ever known. And of course, I never felt as crazy-mad for GoodGuy as I have felt for AC. GG once said “Sometimes with you I feel like I’m in a ‘love comic’.” Remember those ladies? Tears and longing with lots of roadblocks to the happy ending. GG also said it seemed like I had trouble being happy. And I remember one evening when GG was approaching an hour late for a date….. totally unlike him……no calls to explain…….and for a few moments that night I found myself “more intrigued” by my GG..I felt fear and longing. Examining my recent behavior brought back those memories.

    I contacted my AC twice this month, in a lazy contact way “Thinking about you, Just saying hi”, making certain to specifically avoid actually talking to him. I write in a notebook about my contact and what was driving me. Lonely-at-loose-ends-bored-frustrated by life-scared-missing-the-familiar.

    This AC is just a stepping stone to my healing. He gets nothing else from me. I still feel I’ve stayed true to NC. Lazy contact. Words that convey nothing. It’s like I needed a “fix” of contact. It’s like a methadone treatment, helping me step down from this drama addiction.

    I am not in “punishment” mode with this AC. He told me and showed me what he was. The fact that I was fooling myself is not his doing. Not absolving him…his behavior does speak to his character. My contacting was partly to show him “I’m OK. Not killing myself over YOU.” If you want to mess with an AC’s head, stay NC. And be very disinterested in actually talking to him.

    Lara, is it possible that it is you who is creating the drama over the text messages. Treat them like wrong numbers if you want out. The mental energy you spend on your AC…it’s a lot.

    I read a lot of posts here, have bookmarked several. Take a break from writing about your AC. “How Much Time Are You Really Spending Thinking About You?”……. I read that post a lot.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Selkie,

      Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I’m having to face some truths that are long overdue so I’m feeling down. But, as you’ve indicated, not out. There will be better days. It’s up to me to create them for myself.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Elgie. NO, NO, NO. NC means NO CONTACT of any kind. No phone calls to his voicemail, no texts, no emails, no skype, no messages thru friends, no IMs, no carrier pidgeon. Lazy contact is still contact. You’re giving yourself excuses for contacting him. Therefore, it is not NC. Read Natalie’s book, “The No Contact Rule”.

    • Lara says:

      Hi Elgie,

      “Lara, is it possible that it is you who is creating the drama over the text messages. Treat them like wrong numbers if you want out. The mental energy you spend on your AC…it’s a lot.”

      Well, I must admit, I have been guilty of liking drama and after a while I realized that I was getting “highs” from all the emotions and anger and hurt of being broken up with, and then again from the excitement and drama of getting back together with the ex. So yes, definitely, part of my behavior is I guess shaped by this craving for drama. Another part, though, hates this drama because I am so emotionally exhausted. I really truly do not want it. I think this is the case right now. Sure, I may have created “drama” about my ex having texted me, by talking about it, but I think that was more about me feeling good because he appears to be chasing after me (not sure why that should make me feel good!!! Not like it’s flattering to be chased by an AC!). I was genuinely dismayed at having seen the messages and at no point did I feel tempted to respond. That wasn’t even a possibility I entertained. I think I crave drama more when I am feeling lonely, bored, depressed, unhappy with where I am with my life, etc. Some days it’s worse than others, and that’s when I actually may flip through such texts or emails (if I have saved them, which I no longer do).. I kinda am trying to shake off this habit of drama-seeking and addiction to drama. I met this guy that I went out on a date with, and he disappeared on me for 2 months after we had sex, and then reappeared last week, texting me that he’d love to see me. I just ignored it and didn’t think more about it, because I felt I deserved better than to be treated like booty call. In the past, I would’ve craved the drama and the highs and lows of being ignored, messaging him, chasing after him, him disappearing on me, etc. I am trying to flush people like that, instead of thinking about them.

      I read a lot of posts here, have bookmarked several. Take a break from writing about your AC. “How Much Time Are You Really Spending Thinking About You?”……. I read that post a lot.”

      • Lara says:

        “I read a lot of posts here, have bookmarked several. Take a break from writing about your AC. “How Much Time Are You Really Spending Thinking About You?”……. I read that post a lot.””

        Thanks. I will check it out! I definitely spend way less time thinking and writing about my ex than I used to, that’s for sure. ;) So if you think this is bad, you should’ve seen me a few months ago. ;) I am definitely improving…

        • jewells says:

          Hi Lara, it is important to get on with the flush. Thoughts of him are sapping your energy, taking up too much brain space that could be far better spent on positive life enhancing activities. Also, I know that when I couldn’t get past what happened in my past with my father, my friends got tired of hearing about it. I literally burned out some friendships because of it. I’m so glad to be free of that looping tape in my mind, it kept me from enjoying my life and when I hear the remnants of it (as some version always seems to want to try and make a comeback), it gets me down and takes my energy away completely. I still have much work to do, but on the days I don’t have it, I am so much more productive and feel so much better about myself. Those thoughts and feelings only hurt ourselves. This is why it is vital that we find our way to eliminate the source, so we can work on the tapes without adding to them. There was a phrase at a personal development course that I try to remember when I’m processing these tapes… “life has no meaning but what we put on it” When someone does something (even if it’s seemingly ‘to’ us), it’s us that attaches the meaning to it and thus attaching it to ourselves. The ‘guy’ who brought you here sounds like a douche. It doesn’t have to mean anything about you. He is who he is. Like that pintrest picture with the hot air balloon ‘let go or be dragged’

  36. Deb says:

    He liked to mind fuck and I was never ever good enough. Evil and cruel Mr Hyde and wonderful and loving Dr Jekkyl who I feel in love with and lived with for 4 and a half years. He left yesterday to go on a pilgrimage up north to visit family for who knows how long.
    I am relieved yet feel a bit lost. I am used to living my life to please him, anything to get his approval which he doled out like candy to a child.
    I was never going to get his real true love and I know this now.
    It was all so futile.
    Yet even now I do not want his rejection and hope he calls me, WHY? that seems so sick to me.
    I have to get stronger.
    Thank you everyone for your posts and for this site especially, we have a voice and I feel stronger just being here and reading the posts and replies.
    Thank you Nat.
    Much love to all.
    Deb

  37. Able says:

    Tink, she wants to be friends, she doesn’t respect my request to be left alone, she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. I’m not planning to get back with her as a friend or a “friend.” I also don’t expect her to admit she lied. I sure as hell don’t expect her to apologize. I don’t want to deal with her at all, but she wants to talk. I don’t.

    I caught her in a lie and she doesn’t like that I just ended things without her having a chance to rub more salt in the wound beyond the “well I’ve been trying to tell you I’m not ready for a serious relationship”– that’s what makes everything she’s done OK then? No, it doesn’t .

    If she doesn’t get it then that’s her problem. I don’t owe her shit.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Able.

      I’m glad you sound stronger than the impression I got from some of your recent posts. Able, feeling strong one day and not so strong another is quite normal. You’re morning the loss. Unrequited love is extremely painful. I’ve been trying to “fix” my friend and I cannot. FINALLY, I’ve come to the realization that the best thing I can do for both of us is back off. I finally realize that I’ve been making myself sick with grief over him when I have to keep it together for others that need my attention. He wants to be alone. He’s depressed. I’ve done ALL I CAN DO. I have to accept reality and stop dreaming about what I’d like it to be.

      Btw, how is your sister? Be there for her. It’ll help you, too as I mentioned to you earlier. Stay strong in the struggle. We’re here for you.

  38. Obsessed says:

    I like to tell my story and over because the situation is still bothering me. I’m angry. I’m hurt about what the bastud did to me. It feels good, as I don’t blame me, he-said, he-did. OK, I did some things wrong, but it is too hard to look at myself, and I really don’t want to take action, or responsibility, besides what is mistreatment by him really to me.

    I want to tell my story over and over because it’s helping me, believe it or not, I’m processing. I’m trying to convince my self that this situation is unacceptable to me, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to reach the pain, the feelings that I’m feeling underneath.

    • Allison says:

      Obsessed,

      Until you deal with your participation, you will remain in pain. Telling your story repeatedly, will not make you feel better, but will continue to keep you in stuck mode, and make others nuts.

      Time to understand what brought you here, so that you can move on. If you want to.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Obsessed,

        What Allison just said is the damn truth. Rehashing over and over DOES keep you stuck. You cannot speak without thinking about what you are saying, right? Stop inviting your friends to the pity party. Even friends will start to get tired of hearing you talk about the same thing over and over again. That invites their avoidance and I don’t think you want that.

  39. Tinkerbell says:

    Deb,

    It could be habit that you want him to call you. After 4 yrs of pleasing him you’re like a trained puppy dog begging for his owner’s attention. Not doing it physically, but that is the mindset. We have all had much work to do on ourselves when we first got here to BR. And, we still have our issues because we’re all a work in progress until we’re 6 ft under. Welcome, Deb. Stay with us. You can’t help but get stronger and wiser in this element.

    • Deb says:

      Tinkerbell,
      Thank you so much for your reply, I was hoping someone would.
      I can’t tell you how devastated I was that he did not call.
      I have cried so much that my eyes are swollen.
      I am blessed that I have a good friend to call and came over and helped to give me some perspective.
      I was feeling so utterly alone and so low that he did not care enough to call me.
      I don’t even want to go to bed tonight because he will not be there to cuddle with.
      I have to keep telling myself that he is not good for me and I will be okay even if I don’t believe it right now I know I soon will.
      I know God has a better plan for me.
      Thank you again for replying and for the welcome.
      I feel so much better that I am here now.
      Love to All
      Deb

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Deb,

        You will find that we are a very supportive group. There’s no one who hasn’t gone through what you’re going through or if not, they’re kind and caring. BR is the best. I helps so much to release all the pent up frustrations and sadness and you feel ten times better when someone responds. It’s HEALTHY VALIDATION. You’ll be OK. I promise.

      • theseamstress says:

        Dear Deb
        ((((( virtual hugs )))))
        We have all been there, it feels awful but it does change.
        You will change and so will everything else.
        You have come to the right place…hang on in there.

        • Deb says:

          Tinkerbell and theseamstress,
          Thank you so much for your support and the hugs.
          He finally called and I felt like a stupid hormonal teenager I was so happy.
          But something happened as I listened to him talk endlessly about himself and not once ask how I was doing or what was going on with me? I started feeling kind of sick to my stomach and realized he really just doesn’t care how I am doing. He asks just because he knows he should.
          When I asked why he had not called even just to let me know he is alive (he is travelling) he said he wanted his freedom and did not want to have to check in with me. I said fine but you have to know that it speaks volumes to me and I get the message loud and clear.
          Of course he started his “damage control” then, don’t want to lose his FallBack girl now does he?
          I was thinking I don’t need this shit, I don’t need to wonder any more. I don’t need to look for his validation or approval.
          He sounded pathetic and weak to me.
          I could not wait to get off the phone.
          I have not been crying but I did call him this morning and of course he did not answer the phone.
          I do not really want him, I know I don’t. I deserve better.
          It’s like a feel addicted or something.
          I need to break this spell he has over me.
          Thank you again everyone for reading and for your support.
          Lots of Love
          Deb

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Deb. I can see already that you are starting to become more aware of what is missing in him. BR will do that to you. It’s a good thing. “I don’t need to look for his validation or approval” So don’t ask him why he didn’t call you. If he had wanted to, he would have. It’s whiney and needy to ask him. If there is one thing men hate it’s neediness. Even if you have to go and scream in your bedroom after a convo with him, he does not need to know. You may not be feeling strong and independent right now, but act the part and soon you will no longer be acting. It’ll be authentic.

            • Deb says:

              You are so right Tinkerbell, he does not need to know how I am feeling and that is best.
              I was just thinking of calling him and decided that I really didn’t want to talk to him. Not right now, so I will not call.
              It is getting easier each day he is gone, tomorrow will be a week and I am starting to like having the whole bed to sleep in and not have to clean up after his ass anymore too!
              I know I have a lot of work to do and the real test will be when and if he comes back and I see him face to face…
              I hope I am much stronger than I am now because I know I would cave.
              Much Love to all.
              Deb

            • Deb says:

              Tinkerbell,
              Oh wow he is talking of coming back down here…
              His little trip up north crashed and burned.
              I am not ready to face him yet, not strong enough.
              He will want to move back in.
              Why couldn’t he stay gone and make it work.
              WTF am I gonna do?
              He is the one that wanted space, wanted to travel, visit family yet he was not prepared financially…and he is “broke, busted and completely disgusted” as he puts it and stranded 1000 miles away.
              Part of me is kind of thinking it’s F’ing Karma though because of all the shit he has done to me.
              I am not going to help him get back here but if he gets the gas money and shows up…whew! that is just not going to be good!
              I don’t want to be weak, I really need to be strong.
              This is so damn hard.
              Love to all
              Deb

  40. I can see The Other Side says:

    I worry about being ‘healed enough,’ and until I feel healed enough, there are certain ‘things’ I don’t want to pursue because I don’t think I’m ready.

    I feel like I’m embracing myself, but I’m wondering if I’m striving for “ideals that don’t exist,” at the same time.

    Hmmmm, I feel self-forgiving, and I think I’m “looking for growth in a positive way,” but I’m feeling a little “obsessed with being the ‘perfect version of” ‘healed enough.’

    So is healed enough the same as ‘good enough’?

    Am I good enough without being healed enough? Can I be good enough, and still healing? And what is going to be enough healing?

    Can I pursue some of the things that I know will positively benefit me?

    I do feel like I’m fighting off doing some things; I kind of feel ready, but then I say, “No, wait, because if you go ‘out there’ before you’re ready, you’ll trigger your issues, and you’ll fail, and you’ll experience a set back; it’ll be a mess.

    But, if I’m truly self-forgiving, surely, I’ll forgive myself, and what about trusting myself; I do trust myself–don’t I? What about believing in myself? Where’s my self-confidence?

    I trust myself. I believe in myself. I understand I’m gonna make mistakes.

    I’m going to have to chew on ‘this.’ Maybe this is “as good as it gets,” and I just need to get out there.

    “You’re good enough already. You’re good enough to go for the things that will positively benefit you. Stop fighting it.”

    Hmmmmmmm.

  41. Belle says:

    I found this post at just the right moment – or really, maybe I was looking for it because I knew I was beating myself up over silliness.

    I recently tried doing the online dating thing. And well, I met this guy for the first time the other night. For the FIRST TIME. About ten minutes into sitting down next to me at the bar, I feel his fingertips sort of grazing my mid-to-lower back (and I was in an open-back sundress). I didn’t even have to think about reacting. I felt uncomfortable and, frankly, a little violated.

    I tried not to come off bitchy. I sat up a bit straighter to break the contact, and then pointed and made (what I thought was…) a funny comment like, “Whoops. Hands!” Anyway, I said that, and he shut down. Visibly shut down. Looked like he was in agony for the ten more minutes of the conversation that he sat through. Then he made an excuse and left.

    Now he wasn’t that cute and I wasn’t having that great a time ANYWAY before he started getting touchy. Still, the experience left me feeling really uncomfortable. Was that an unreasonable boundary to have? Was I a bitch?

    Deep down I feel like, no, it’s not unreasonable, and while I may in fact be a bitch, that’s not the reason! We’d JUST met. I’d known him less than an hour, he had NO business touching me in such an intimate way/place, let alone feeling entitled to doing so, so much that he’d get pissy when I asked him to stop.

    Anyway, what’s making me more insecure in this case is the fact that I’ve always had a difficult time drawing boundaries, especially surrounding sex and physical contact. I’ve felt pressured a lot in the past. I’ve been labeled a tease, and I’ve always found it really difficult. I almost feel like I can’t express any physical interest in a man or even think of the word “sex” if I’m not ready to do it on the spot, otherwise there’ll be backlash.

    But after finding this site, I’m feeling like caving to that pressure is WHY I’ve found myself involved with shit guys. That a quality guy wouldn’t pressure me. Wouldn’t make me feel like I had some sort of obligation to get him off. Wouldn’t make me feel like I couldn’t kiss him if one thing wasn’t going to lead to another. So I thought, screw it. If I want to say no, I’m saying NO. That uncomfortable feeling is there for a reason, right?

    This guy I met probably just hoped I’d be up for a fling. He probably isn’t looking for anything deeper, and in fact maybe it’s a compliment that he left in a hurry, because maybe with my new found sense of boundaries, he saw that I wasn’t going to take that bullshit.

    The rejection part does suck. Especially being kind of run-out-on in a bar. But then I guess I have to pay more attention to who was running out on me and be grateful, maybe even proud of myself?

    I don’t know…

    • MaryW says:

      Belle, yes you should absolutely feel proud of yourself! And certainly not rejected.
      I think your analysis of what he was after is spot on. Your boundary was spot on, and no, you were not being a bitch, just an assertive woman. Good on you!

    • Allison says:

      Belle,

      What he did was completely inappropriate. When you made the comment, he was made aware that he was not going to get sex. The guy is a creep! Why are you doubting yourself?

      If this ever happens again, get up and leave!

    • theseamstress says:

      Belle, What a vile presumptuous character he was. FLUSH. I shudder to think that there are women out there letting men pull that creepy shit. We have to shout a collective NO. Thank you Belle for standing to be counted. X

    • Patty says:

      Yes, be proud of yourself for enforcing your boundaries, and you weren’t being a bitch.

      Yes, nice and assertive, good on you indeed!

  42. Elgie R. says:

    Well, Tink, then accept that I am taking a slightly different approach. I did not declare NC based on readings here. I’ve lost substantial weight, healthily, in the last 18 months. It made me question things, and wonder what else I could change for the better. One healthy change begets another.
    I had begun feeling the end was near with my AC long before visiting this site. My last AC visit over two months ago was bittersweet. I laughed with him all the way out my door..but as he walked away I felt “The End”.

    This site is bringing me internal understanding, helping me see my self-destructive ways. But I dropped contact “cold” with AC, and he occasionally calls and e-mails and gets NO response for days or weeks. I do feel like occasional contact lessens the abruptness of my about face. I don’t hate him and am trying to show civility. Also – I want to kill his ego-stroking belief that another woman is so brokenhearted that she can’t speak with him. Instead he sees a woman who is fake-connecting with him but not trying to F**k him anymore.

    And then……I do need the step down that lazy contact gives me. I have moments when I really struggle with letting go of the fantasy. Because I struggle with changing my belief of what’s out there. I have not seen these “good” relationships, I am not certain I want “marriage” as an end goal. So what am I offering someone? So that confusion sometimes gets so strong that it makes me ache for the old familiar fake-connection “fix”……I make lazy contact….and then immediately, my mind is relieved. I don’t want AC to contact me back, it wasn’t done to get response from him, it was done because at that moment I needed to feel like I had someone.

    My version of NC is helping me. I am more productive and attentive at work. I notice a decline in mindless shopping. I turn the TV OFF more often and read or just find things to do in the quiet. Like examining my feelings. For instance, when I say ‘I have not seen these “good” relationships’, I have to admit my circle is small and full of people just like me. And just because their relationships are not compelling doesn’t mean I am condemned to the same fate.

    So…. lazy contact is a stutter-step move for me.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Ok. Elgie. I accept that it works for you. But don’t call it “NC” or your “version of”. There are few situations in life that are black or white. This is one of them – your either still “in” or your out. Apparently, you are still invested in him and not ready to accept what you may really need to do. NC is very painful, but in order to be renewed, stronger and wiser, you have to go through the pain to get to the truly happier, self fulfilled, proud of your accomplishment renewal. You’ll decide when you want that. And when you do, it won’t matter a bag of beans to you what he thinks about you or anything else. You won’t hate (the flip side of love) you just experience the best – ambivalence.

      • lizzp says:

        Hello Tinkerbell, I read your other post re you’re depressed ex. As everybody else has commented I believe you’re doing right, difficult as it is xo. I am in considerable pain at the moment as I also try to deal with a loss that in essence I avoided (in myself) for too long…it feels better just to say that. There is something slightly soothing in recognising we have no control over another’s choices, the pain of experiencing them taking on their share of responsibilities is certainly less than what occurs if they haven’t/don’t. The letting go then just takes time.

        In regard to your reply to Elgie, wondering if you meant ‘indifference’ rather than ‘ambivalence’? Ambivalence being a pretty uncomfortable state to be in, while indifference is closer to detachment?

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Hi Lizz,

          This is why I love communicating with you. Yes, you’re absolutely right “indifference” is the word I meant. Although, unconsciously I was thinking that ambivalence precedes indifference. It’s such a lengthy involved process, isn’t it? Well, you know you’ve peaked my curiosity about the nature of your problem. You were the one who got me to ‘fess up. That was so astute of you to recognize that I was not telling the entire story. It helped so much as I received much caring concern and support. So I say to you,’fess up’. I’m all ears, so to speak, when you’re ready. I sense it’s a long story. You’ve given such wise support to many others here. I think you know we all care, even though it’s via internet. The wonderful thing about BR is that you can tell every last detail, get it all out, and no one knows who you are. And, even better, caring people react to what you’ve said so you’re not talking to a stone wall. This is the only blog I’ve ever participated on, so I don’t know if any others offer the same unique opportunity. I know there are the special interest blogs, such as kitchen redecorating, but that’s not the same thing. Please let us help you. I noticed you were quiet for a little while. Yours in the the struggle for clarity and strength, xxx, hugs, Tink.

          • MaryW says:

            Agreed Tinkerbell, Lizzp has also given me such wise support and really understood me with patience and compassion that has been priceless. To not feel so alone, to feel accepted, is so important.

            Lizzp, I’m so sorry that you’re going through a rough patch. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I loved what you wrote about your son and teaching him manners and respect :)

            Thinking of you both, and knowing a little of both of your life and recent relationship experiences, I ‘fess up as a depressive and wonder what on earth I’ve been like as a girlfriend – probably totally EU. I bought a book for an ex to help him understand me, called Living with the Black Dog (or something similar) thinking it would help him understand it was nothing personal – that he couldn’t make me happy – but it didn’t help. He decided that depression is a “state of mind”. Perhaps he’s right, but it’s not a state of mind one would chose.

            Anyway sorry for the off topic interjection, just wanted to say hello to you both and to send strength and care to you both x

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Hi Mary,

              I’ve found that men (usually) are not into reading materials that interest women. I remember once I offered to lend my horoscope book to this guy who turned out to be EU. He told me, “I don’t need to read a book to learn about you.” Did I feel silly? I never suggested reading material again to any guy. I didn’t have to with my current friend. He was an avid reader.
              Oh, well. C’est La Vie.

              • Beth's says:

                ESP that kind of reading material. Ha ha they might have a moment of introspection God forbid. Lol

    • Allison says:

      Elgie,

      Actually, the limited contact is an ego stroke, not the opposite.

      It seems like there is a lot of thought as to when you respond and when you don’t, I think you may be more invested than you wish to admit.

      • MaryW says:

        Agreed, Alisson. Without the continued investment/ attachment, one couldn’t care less whether the effect of contact or NC was an ego stroke or the opposite (but agree that even lazy contact is prob an ego stroke for the AC).
        The important thing is to consider ones own well being and state of mind, not whatever the AC may or may not be thinking. For me, that means 100% NC.

        • Allison says:

          Mary,

          If I may say, your time in AC recovery has been amazing!!!!! :)
          I don’t think I have witnessed anyone on this site make such a dramatic turnaround! So good for you!

          • MaryW says:

            Thank you Allison. Can’t say I have found the journey easy, and I’m not really fully recovered, but heading in the right direction :)

            I suppose the test will be when I dare to date again. Which will only be when I’ve sorted out some of my own issues with attachment, fear of abandonment and not feeling good enough to be with a decent guy.

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Mary,

              I’m so happy for you. I agree that you’ll really know how far you’ve come when you resume dating and fall for someone. I thought I was “there”. But, no, because once again, I’m dealing with old issues (too numerous to mention). Still I think one has made progress in recognizing that fact. It all starts with knowing where you falter and what you need to work on. You can’t make changes for the better if you’re still oblivious and in denial.

              • MaryW says:

                This is true Tinkerbell, we can’t sort out problems that we are not fully addressing, or in denial about.
                Case in point: my tendency towards depression and anxiety – what can I do to improve my mental health? Rather than just pop a pill each day (which I did for all my adult life), I’m addressing the root causes, going to therapy, and I am putting a stop to the roller coaster drama of Internet dating (of predominantly assclowns). I am making myself more emotionally available, firstly with friends, society in general and eventually with a lucky man ;) – maybe!

        • Beth's says:

          Mary and Allison very true. Mine would be thrilled with any response. It was a victory for him. Takes focus off you and on to him. Dangerous game since you are still analyzing which could quickly turn into obsessing.

          • MaryW says:

            Beth, exactly! The last text from AC did exactly that – I was analysing him, every word of the text, obsessing, practically diagnosing him instead of focusing on me. My therapist basically told me to stop analysing (the irony) and that he was simply “reaching out”. It set me back, it really did. But I’m proud to say I didn’t want to respond, and I honestly don’t care what that lack of response conveyed to him.

            • beth d says:

              Mary I read once that when you are obsessing about these assclowns it is a way to avoid the truth and pain of the situation. Maybe but all I know is that I obsessed so much over my ex. Thats why I love that song “somebody I use to know” esp that line “I don’t want to live that way..reading into every word you say” You sound strong and what your lack of response conveyed was “enough”…that’s a good thing :)

    • Patty says:

      “I needed to feel like I had someone.”

      You do have someone. You have YOU.

      “I want to kill his ego-stroking belief that another woman is so brokenhearted that she can’t speak with him. Instead he sees a woman who is fake-connecting with him but not trying to F**k him anymore.”

      This statement is nonsensical: You cannot change what someone believes, and you don’t know what he is thinking; it’s just BS.

      I get it. I’ve done it, but it just boiled down to game playing and magical thinking, and it’s lazy; it’s a fix of instant gratification; it’s…, and it doesn’t help build self-esteem or help you deal with the emptiness–all smoke and mirrors.

      However, some addicts use ego strength to cope until they build up their self-esteem.

      Take care.

      • SearchingForSatori says:

        Super great post, Patty.

      • Beth's says:

        I have to agree Patty. As someone who struggled badly with NC for a long time I did the respond when I feel like it game. It really is a game since you feel in control but you let them into your head at some level and you are still losing. You also affect the moving on process. With this said, I think we all have to do it at our own pace. I had to do the weaning process since my years long relationship had a lot of good in it and it was rough for me to forget those good years. I fought the guilt factor that goes with breaking the investment in them. It took a few years of putting my hand in the fire and getting burnt for me to truly make the break. I still struggle at times when he tries to contact me. My mind will play games and I think maybe we can be friends now? Then I think..will he ever give up? I hear from him after months just when I think the madness is over….ugh

    • FX says:

      Elgie, Not to be harsh but this is a load of justifying/rationalizing/discomfort avoiding BS if I’ve ever seen one. So, he’s an AC and you still think it is more important to be civil and fake it than take care of yourself by being authentic? I tried to do the NC “Lite” drill myself several times… I only succeeded in giving myself more regrets for lying to myself and not respecting myself and truth on top of his lies and disrespect… If I were to re-read some of my early posts here, I would cringe and wish for a time machine… Like you, I tried to do my own program and set myself up for far more pain than even what preceded my finding BR.

      It is also interesting to me that you choose to rationalize not breaking off contact and still making it all about him by interpreting NC in a disempowering way which has never to my knowledge appeared anywhere on BR…

      “But I dropped contact “cold” with AC, and he occasionally calls and e-mails and gets NO response for days or weeks. I do feel like occasional contact lessens the abruptness of my about face. I don’t hate him and am trying to show civility. Also – I want to kill his ego-stroking belief that another woman is so brokenhearted that she can’t speak with him. Instead he sees a woman who is fake-connecting with him but not trying to F**k him anymore.”

      Why would you choose to interpret not speaking to him as communicating that you are “so broken-hearted?” Eff that! Most of us are very clear that when someone stops speaking to us it is because they are pissed off and don’t want to engage. I am sure he knows exactly why you would stop speaking with him, too! True NC = Fuck You. I Am Done. Not, I miss you and wish you were here! Not to mention, sex or no sex, by replying you are providing ego strokes and fueling his belief you are still in the game and could still be an option. I also gained strength by the thought that any contact from me enabled him to think he/his behavior must not be that bad if I’m still engaging with him. Er, no, I do not acknowledge people who treat me like crap (anymore) and my NC speaks that truth.

      NC is not just an action, it is a decision with many accompanying thoughts and lessons. Making this decision is a vital part of the work of freeing yourself and getting on with your life. You cannot do this with one foot still stuck in the quicksand of a dysfunctional relationship.

      There is a reason NML has so many loyal and engaged readers. She has proven herself and her advice to be worthy of our trust.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Fx,

        The wording of your comment to Elgie was perfect, saying exactly what I tried to convey in a very simple manner. I thought also that her approach to “NC” never appeared on BR before. Why can’t people just say they’re reducing contact or gradually not “feeling it”, instead of using the term NC which is very clear cut and self-empowering. Thank you for what you said. I hope she sees yours and everyone else’s comments to her.

  43. Able says:

    Tink, I’ve been depressed for a good part of my life, so I understand wanting to be left alone. Unless there’s some serious self-destructive things happening, there’s not much you can do for the depressed person. Why not mention therapy? Or at least the benefit of getting a diagnosis and maybe some meds?
    I’m doing ok. Just tired. I’m taking time off for myself and to visit my sister. She’s doing well as far as tolerating the chemo goes. I don’t know what the docs say re her condition. Maybe it’s too early to tell?
    As far as the ex goes, I feel ok some days and not ok other days. It’s all over the place. I’m ok with that for now. I’m not tempted to contact her at dull any more. I think that’s a good sign. I’m looking forward to the day I’ll be indifferent.

  44. Revolution says:

    As for not feeling like I’m good enough for something I don’t even want….still thinking of my current job (feeling more like a death sentence these days). Before everyone jumps on me for not being grateful for having a job….just know that I’ve been working on that “grateful” feeling for over a year, and all this time my health has been fading and I’ve been more and more miserable. It’s getting worse by the day. I’m sitting up in my bed at 3am, looking for new jobs online. And thinking about quitting my job. Yes, in this economy. I have 6 months worth of savings and then the wolf is at my door. Might be enough time, though I know how bare bones it is out there. But you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. I have a feeling I’m about to break a shitload of eggs. Wish me well.

    • Selkie says:

      Revolution,

      I sucks to feel that way about your job. We spend much of our lives at work so it makes sense to stop putting yourself in misery if it feels like that to you. The ‘right thing’ is relative and what’s good for you might be something entirely different than for someone else. You do what’s right for you regardless of what society as a whole says or others who put negative spin on it say. You are obviously a very talented and bright writer. I have been feeling like that about my job for more than 10 years. I am stuck because of my stalling and now added to the drudging way I feel about my job is the fact that I have wasted so much time doing nothing about it. I recently after beating myself up a little for being so willingly stagnant, gave myself a year to prep for change instead of sitting and thinking about it for another 10. I should of done it years ago but fear and society pressure to KEEP my good job because it supports more kept me from jumping ship. Problem is, it doesn’t support me creatively or emotionally. I don’t like my job and feel NO passion for it anymore. First I have to accept that changing my job will mean a change in my lifestyle. Probably less money to start, less free time, and less feeling comfortably numb. It’s scary but nothing ventured is nothing gained, right? Doing it after some planning is good, but don’t end up like me and wait for all the stars to line up and for the perfect career to find me instead of me taking a risk and finding it. When I started saying I’d rather go to the dentist than go to work I should of listened to myself. I’m listening now. I wish you great luck. Go take what you want in the world.

      • FX says:

        Rev and Selkie, I followed my passion into a completely different field after almost 2 decades in an accidental career which paid my bills and enabled me to successfully launch my child but I stayed in way too long for my mental health… Now, there is no longer a division between my personal and professional interests and I hope to ultimately do well financially, too. That said, just tonight I was missing my old life and it’s creature comforts. (Also, being younger and firmer and pursued. LOL) Anyway, the lifestyle and financial sacrifice has been much greater than I imagined and is now quite scary since I’m in my 50s. I gave up a much more sustainable and enviable lifestyle. However, this is something that I may have been able to mitigate somewhat if I wasn’t a mess for other reasons during the process… Overall, though, my life feels infinitely more authentic and I have often been told how I light up when I talk about my work. Trust me, that never happened in my prior career.

        I do think it is worthwhile to make big changes toward happiness. I didn’t know fully what I was getting into and also went through the AC r/shit, extended unemployment, menopause and an actual nervous breakdown going into this transition so my road was especially rocky but I’m still standing! I’m not out of the woods yet financially or emotionally but I have an amazing very happily married male business partner who gives me faith in men and our company, he and I are already admired and respected in our business sector. If only that paid the bills! ;)

        Anyway, I just want to encourage you to pursue your authentic goals both personally and professionally. Just as I now can’t imagine what I was thinking tolerating years of the AC’s devaluation, I also think I allowed fear to dictate my professional life and hid my light under a bushel basket too long. I became President of a professional association and all kinds of crap while in my accidental career but it was never going to be where I could actually find happiness or true success because it was never a good fit I stayed in for the wrong reasons – just like the AC r/s. I don’t recall your ages but I so regret that I didn’t leave him sooner and couldn’t do this when I was younger. As I’ve said here before, I’m working on accepting things as they are not as I wish them to be. However, I see this acceptance as the starting point and I do have control hereafter as do you.

    • FX says:

      Rev, Good luck! You deserve to be/feel free range! I broke an industrial chicken farm’s quota of eggs. More below…

  45. Tinkerbell says:

    Patty and Beth. Both of your comments are on point.

    Patty. You really cannot change someone’s beliefs. My friend (recently downgraded from lover by him) is depressed over his ED. I’ve tried to convince him that affection is what I need more than penetration, but he remains feeling that he is “half a man”. He has actually said this several times. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I’m just wearing myself out emotionally and getting nowhere so I leave him alone and let him come to me when he’s ready. He started out EA but as his inadequacy continues he’s become EU. It breaks my heart, but I have to go on and live my life.

    Beth. It’s so hard to let go when they have significant good qualities. I’m torn between wanting to continue our relationship at any cost, and going NC because it is painful for me wanting to go back to the romance we had and he shows no inclination to be headed in that direction. I think that the whole entire idea of intimacy with me reminds him of his ED, so he’d rather block it out and remain good friends. Fortunately, I’m starting to handle the intensity of my feelings better. I think one gets to a point of resignation because you get tired of feeling hurt and frustrated.

    • Allison says:

      Tinker has seen doctors re. the condition? How long has it been an issues?

      • Allison says:

        Please don’t “continue the relationship at any cost,” as it is so hurtful and devaluing. Been there,done that.

        Girl, if it’s meant to be it will happen, if not you have to move forward for you.

        Hugs

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Allison,

        Yes, he has seen the urologist. Viagra and Cialis do not work and give him a headache. He’s tried other methods. Nothing works. He claims that he never had this problem before he got with me. And, actually he’s at the age where a lot great deal of his libido and libido would be sharply curtailed. Before he met me his last marriage ended about 2-3 years ago, but he said he’s had successful sex since then so that would have been less than a year before he met me. Anyway, it’s all moot. he can’t do anything NOW. And, I’m sooo tired of the whole issue. We continue to have great convo’s but avoid talking about intimacy. I’m not ready to leave the relationship, yet. To my credit, but in this case it’s a hindrance – I happen to be a highly adaptable person. I make up my mind about something and I adapt. Very strong-willed and don’t know when to quit.

    • beth d says:

      Tink My ex actually said he will do anything to have me at any level in his life even just friendship. When he actually was trying to be a good friend to me post break up I felt the same as you…hurt and frustrated. When he did show interest in having the relationship again I was ha ha…i knew you had an ulterior motive for the friendship. It is a no win/ lose lose situation.

    • beth d says:

      Tink Your situation sounds very frustrating. You can only work out the ED situation if he is willing to try. You can’t do all the work in this relationship. It seems very unbalanced. You deserve better…

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Beth. I know I deserve more, not better. He is undoubtedly the best man for me. Mind you, I’ve been married twice. Our ONLY PROBLEM is the sex. So I’m thinking, hell I’m no spring chicken either and if that’s the only serious issue, I can live with it. I know he cares deeply for me because he has shown it in his actions time and time again. No relationship is going to be perfect and he is the best in all other areas. Still, it’s a big sacrifice for me. If I were even 10 years younger I wouldn’t be able to stick around and be faithful. But with him I just don’t want anyone else. Just now in rereading what I wrote, it does appear that I’m trying to convince myself. This situation is very perplexing, to say the least, but I’m not unhappy. Thanks for your helpful comments.

  46. Tinkerbell says:

    Able,

    My ex has ED. Apparently you missed my previous long dissertation about our relationship and all the advice and support I was given by my cyber buddies.
    He has significant reason to be depressed. Can you contribute any advice for me from a man’s standpoint being that this is a male issue? I don’t know where to turn. Fortunately I’ll see my therapist later today who is helping me work through my feelings regarding him and our relationship.

  47. Vera says:

    Elgie, maybe you can find a more beneficial first step. You are creating a dangerous fantasy in your head, where you are the driver of this relationship, and the ex is the passenger, but in reality he is the driver, and he isn’t even in your car. Look around you Elsie. Where is he?

  48. 2Fearce says:

    Funny how quickly people show who they are when ur armed w BR knowledge… I’m a lil sad it didn’t go as I hoped but I’ll be just fine. Self esteem intact, dignity in place & path cleared for my advancement.

    Still a lil sad tho…

    • Tinkerbell says:

      2Fearce. I remember you were hopeful about this woman you found fascinating. And yes, BR makes us quickly aware of what’s missing and we quickly smell bullshit. LOL

  49. MaryW says:

    Beth, I agree that the drama and obsessing are a distraction from the real pain that needs to be felt and dealt with. I’m at that stage now; no more drama, but an uncomfortable pain that I would previously have avoided by creating drama with the next online AC. It’s not just pain about ex AC, but a much deeper and older wound.
    Just listened to a lyric: “we’ve been running around in circles all year doing this and that and getting no where. I can’t stand this emotional violence. Leave in silence”. Amen.

  50. Revolution says:

    Selkie and FX,

    Thank you so much for the feedback, girls. It’s freakin’ frightening to even consider voluntarily being without a job right now, but I’m doing it. I’m trying to be smart and not be my usual impulsive self. I’m trying to have “a plan”–though I’ve never exactly been “a plan” girl.

    It’s a strange feeling to go from years of being somewhat of a workaholic (again, not for ego or money, but just to quell all of this damn nervous physical/mental energy of mine) to just hitting the wall. I don’t even know if I WANT to work right now. Which is SO not me. Maybe I just need a little vacation and then I can get my head together and see what I want to do.

    I’m applying for copywriting/editing jobs, but sometimes I feel so OVER writing copy. It’s all a bunch of bullshit, really (as everyone knows). But it pays the bills. I don’t know what the fuck is going on with me right now. I think my hormones are off or something (does something happen to women at 35/36 that I’m not aware of?! Please answer if it’s not *too* off-topic). Anyway, those are my jumbled thoughts right now. Probably couldn’t write a frickin’ fortune cookie right now with the way my mind is. Anyway, thanks again for sharing your experiences, girls. I needed to read them. Makes me feel encouraged that other people are breaking the mold.

    • Selkie says:

      Hi Rev.

      If it makes you feel any better, I think of quitting my respected medical profession and living in a converted school bus while I travel the country to beautiful places, hiking, climbing, exploring and selling jewelry and sculptures I made while I learn how to take pictures of wildlife and nature. Just me and my cat. My cat is trying to talk me out of it. Do you feel any saner now? My ‘plan’ is loose, to say the least. But who knows….right? Might be the best thing I ever did.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Selkie,

        Wow! You just named all the things I absolutely LOVE. Can I come too?

      • Revolution says:

        Haha, Selkie! You’re a girl after my own heart! Need a driver? :)

        No, I don’t feel any saner after reading your comment, but I DO feel understood! Which is better than feeling sane! ‘Cause fuck sane!!! :)

        It’s funny that when I’m dealing with all of this weird hormonal (??) job-related shit, my first response is that I turn to BR ladies! Even though I haven’t fuckin’ had to deal with an assclown for over a year! Still….I guess that jobs can be a sort of “stand-in” assclown, so maybe the same rules apply? Anyway, you just made my day, Selkie, my friend. Stay loose, sister. :)

        • Selkie says:

          Wouldn’t that be a sight….a BRista caravan. I believe any ass clown in the vicinity would tuck tail and hide.

  51. Elgie R. says:

    Felt strong urge to hit “reset” with AC. Then thought…”what’s gonna be different?”.

    I see how much AC resembles the relationships I have had with my sister and a former BFF. AC is really a male version of a BFF who I really loved, but who, over the years of friendship, took advantage of my boundary-less nature. I remember her telling me that HER brother told her she was using me. Lent money to her mostly….because I liked her and I had it and I wanted to help. She was funny and smart and powerfully physically attractive….the kind of woman men dream about. She had a drug problem…lied to me many times about it…almost lost her house.

    Anyway….I never require anyone to do things for me….always assumed they’d be as generous to me if I needed it. But the angriest I’ve ever been to date is when this BFF was supposed to join me for MY birthday at a show downtown….I could hardly believe we were actually doing something where I was the star…YAY!….I was so happy….she really does like me! Well she stood me up. I was waiting for her to pick me up…finally called her 30 minutes before the show – way late to get there on time – only to hear her say ”Oh…I’m not into it. We’re BBQing over here, why don’t you come by?” Oh, the disappointment I felt. I was SO HURT and angry my hands trembled as I hung up the phone!

    With Sis….well…my Mother once observed that I always did what Sis wanted to do, because Sis never would do what I wanted to do, and if I wanted Sis’s company, I had to be the one to bend. In my 30’s I remember hearing a radio contest for tickets to see some has-been singer. I said derisively to myself “Who wants to go see THAT has been!”. Well…later that week, Sis calls, all excited because she won the radio contest to see that has-been (probably because NO ONE was calling!). She asked me to go with her…!……what????…she never asks me to do anything with her! Trips to Hawaii, the beach, Disney World…all trips she’s taken with her family….she never once asked me to join in. So I say Yes, of course. Come to find she needed a ride and her boyfriend was working that night. However, being out with Sis made me feel connected….even though I don’t remember much about the night. I am pretty social when out, and I do remember having fun talking to people in the crowd. So I asked her to go with me in a couple of weeks to see another concert…..trying to parlay the experience. To my surprise she says Yes….we go….and it was the most HORRIBLE time I’ve ever had. If we spoke 10 words to each other all night…it was like I was by myself.

    That is what seeing AC will be like in reality. I know it. If I think about it, our last conversations have been sports/weather/when we used to work together.

    What BR is teaching me is that I am not giving without expectation. I may *think* I am, but I am not. The truth is I expect everyone to live up to the bar I set. It is set IMPOSSIBLY high. UNREALISTICALLY high. SELF-DAMAGINGLY high. My bar is “Give give give because I want you to want me need me love me”. I pretty much make it impossible to have a mutually beneficial relationship…(unless I should fall for another over-giver). Instead, I invite people to use me. I think I might even make people dread being around me, because I am TOO giving and they hate the jerk they become around me or the pressure they feel to be “as nice” in return. They can never live up to my expectations.

    I feel that if I were a better negotiator, if I had stronger boundaries, I would not be so alone. I could have AC, or my old BFF, or any number of others who would want to know me AND my limits.

    I hadn’t felt any anger toward AC until I started reading BR. I always noticed he seemed to be into “game-playing”…….getting hot for me if I started growing cold toward him. But I did not realize what a playbook he had until finding BR. And I am angry that as I started to wake up and see how little he was giving, as I started to shut down, HE suddenly moves from text only to phone calls. That confirms to me that I was nothing more than a standard Piece_Of_A, being shown the standard AC plays. He never cared at all. He wasn’t “not calling” because he was secure in our “thing” and did not have to reassure me. He was “not calling” because all he wants to do is just enough to keep getting the &u$$y. I never complained about how little he contacted me…..remember…I was OK with booty call. But…for some reason….knowing that there IS a maintenance plan and that I was on the “EXTREMELY LOW Maintenance “ tier….makes me angry.

    Want to add – I don’t think I want an everyday relationship. I really believe I’d be happy with affectionate booty calls. I’m not afraid of being emotionally hurt. I’m afraid of being trapped.

    Another thing I realize – I really don’t WANT to be “out there”.

    To Revolution and others concerned about changing careers, please look for James Altucher’s online writings. This is the CHOOSE YOURSELF era – his words and I believe it. I don’t just believe it, I feel it in my bones. Natalie has done it here with her blog. Also, try to curb all-or-nothing thinking. Start formulating your get-out-of-this-job plans while you still have a job, with a plan to get out. Jmho.

    Also want to join those who say out loud: This blog has done more for me than several false starts I’ve made with one-on-one therapy over the years.

  52. Tinkerbell says:

    So Elgie,

    You received a lot of feedback, but this post avoids all the advice you were given. Are you strict NC, or continuing as you were. You must be either in it our out of it. Everyone has told you the same thing. They can’t all be wrong and you’re right. You’ve got to toughen up for your own sake. He’ll be delighted for you to remain timid, wishy, washy and putting him first instead of YOU.

  53. Elgie R. says:

    Hi,Tink.
    You are talking to an NC devotee here. Back in my 20’s and 30’s my girlfriends used to say “You think like a man” when it came to sex, relationships, and moving on.

    I’ve had a few EUMs and ACs in my past, but those encounters were short-lived – 2 to 4 months max. This AC is the only one I’ve dealt with for a long period – sixteen years ago I dealt with him for 2 years. Dropped him like a hot potato and was NC in the way you guys mean here for 13 years. No mailing, no calls, no response to his overtures, no remorse.

    The last 5 of those 13 years was a completely sexless existence for me. In 2010, I allowed one of the short-lived EUMs back into my life…it crashed and burned quickly…and one night when the EUM had really frustrated me, I decided to contact AC again because I wanted sex again with someone I knew and liked. I knew he had junior high lovemaking skills, but it’s good & strong when he gets me there. So we resumed in 2010. In early 2011, I permanently dumped the single EUM I was also seeing. Since then, I’ve never had such a steady diet of “fair” lovemaking skills without having another much better lover as an option. Meaning the last few years is the first time in my life where AC was the only man I was seeing. AC’s sex became less enticing over time.

    So because I pursued AC this time, and willingly became his geisha, I do feel like I about-faced on him with this current NC. Okay, won’t call it NC. I did text to him in July that I was “taking a break”.

    So, bottom line, I have left the door open. I like most things about AC and would like him around. I’d love for AC to show interest in improving things sexually for me….and that will HAVE to happen for me to resume things with AC. I also hope to find a much better lover. If that better lover is boyfriend material, great…..AC is history. But if it is just a supplement to AC, I can deal with that too. I’m older. Prince Charming fantasies don’t float my boat. Also, with sex, it is medically true that you need to use it or lose it. I want to be 80 and still enjoying a satisfying sex life.

    Regarding ED – I don’t understand why sex is not on the table just because “Petie” doesn’t get stiff anymore. Way more things to do sexually than a Petie-ride. We all know sex begins in the brain. AC came back to me with ED issues. Did not stop things for an instant, and Petie improved steadily. But my issues aren’t with Petie. It’s with getting AC to see there’s more than 3 places (b00b-b00b-c00ch, IF I’m lucky) to touch me. My body is starving for some all-over sensual touching. And because I stopped coming, AC had to GO. Maybe temporarily, maybe for good. Time will tell.

    • Tinkerbell says:

      Hi Elgie,

      I’m glad you wrote. I have to admit I was hard on you, but it was only because I was concerned and I hope you understand that. I certainly understand your sexual needs and that it is an important issue for you. Thanks for explaining your situation which is not NC as we know it here on BR. To each his own. No judging here.

      You’ve touched on my biggest problem with “Petie”. Btw, thanks – didn’t know what to call him. I didn’t want to refer to him as Mr. ED which is demeaning, plus a gazillion years ago there was a horse on tv named Mr. ED – LOL!) Yes, I’ve tried to get him to engage in other forms of lovemaking without success. Either it’s low sex drive or he feels he cannot consummate so why get me all worked up. I’ve told him, “It doesn’t matter to me”. His response was, “It matters to me”. I do a lot of surfing on the internet and came across this medication which is liquid testosterone which a man places into his armpit(s) daily. I don’t know if he actually has low testosterone or not. The doc told him he’s perfectly healthy, otherwise. We’ve been dealing with this for a YEAR, from day 1 of our intimacy. He’s tried several modalities, which I don’t want to talk about, after failing results with Viagra. At this point, Elgie, I’m afraid to suggest anything else. This is not my nature to be reluctant to bring up another suggestion. However, I feel that it’s unproductive. I don’t even know for sure that he didn’t have this issue before we met. It could be that he has had problems in the past which he considered inconsequential and thought he’d be successful with me since his caring and passion for me was so great. Now, since he doesn’t want to make love period, I have to wonder if this was the primary goal and since it didn’t work out he’s shut down. NEVER, in my life have I experienced anything close to this situation with a man in which I’m left baffled as to what to do. I know the BR concept is to write him off as EU and flush, but I can’t do that. I still love him. I’ve told him that I cannot do all the work in this relationship and that it has to be mutual, but lately we’re just not discussing intimacy anymore. He is such a wonderful person. He has embellished my life immensely, because of his keen intelligence, witty, clever humor, wide interests, kindness, thoughtfulness, sincerity, devotedly helpful to me and loving. He is everything I would ever ask for, EXCEPT that. I’m not leaving him, but I am trying to better control my feelings because the whole thing is painful for me, also. I don’t know where to turn. I’m hoping that TIME will solve things. He has done nothing to hurt me deliberately and I cannot blame him really. He has tried to deal with this and has finally given up. As a result, I’m unconsciously giving up also. In the meantime, we have great fun being good friends. According to him, “we are friends for life.”

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Elgie,

        The other problem is that he knows I’m a very sensual/sexual woman, much younger than my years in bed. So I think when I tell him that penetration “doesn’t matter to me” and I just need the affectionate foreplay, he doesn’t believe me. God help me. This is heartbreaking for both us, but because he has a very positive temperament he seems to handle it better than I am. But I know he is devastated. His male pride tries to hide it.

        • Elgie R. says:

          Hi, Tinkerbell. Wanted you to know I am thinking about you.

          You know your man best, so…..you are sure he is not being passive-aggressive in denying you sexual pleasure, right?

          Tell him that sex is better for YOU when Petie ISN’T working…see how he reacts. Tell him you get a lot more attention when the man is not so concerned with himself. Tell him he CAN’T know what feels good to YOU without you telling him. Tell him you want to sit in bed, between his legs, and have his hands give lingering touches to your arms, thighs, stomach, and higher…….. while nibbling the back of your neck and ears. That has NOTHING to do with Petie. Then……let things unfold…….he may discover he has magic hands…you never know!

          If he resists these things…well……he isn’t showing any interest in creatively giving YOU pleasure. For HIM, sex is over because HE can’t do what he used to for HIMSELF. And you’ll have the truth.

          How would you feel if you found out he was getting sexual pleasure, in some way, outside of your relationship, and had not been suffering? Don’t sacrifice your sexual pleasure for him. Not saying dump him. But don’t sacrifice yourself. Take a lover, maybe?

          About my AC…..I realized he is NOT comfortable with giving….it showed up in non-intimate ways. Or maybe he is not comfortable with giving to ME……could be. Anyway….to you guys with ACs who are good lovers ….I’ve never had that. All my ACs have been the worst lovers……regardless of whether they got me over the “finish line”.

          My experience has been – “good” lovers are always “good”, with whatever level of sexual partnership they’re engaging in….it is just in them to please their partner. And ‘bad” lovers are always “bad”, again, with whatever level of sexual partnership they’re in…girlfriend, booty call, wife, friends with bennies.

          Since my 20’s I have wanted to find a brothel for women. Not a gigolo service. Not hiring pretty boys for show. A place where a woman lays down her money and gets EXCELLENT sexual attention devoted to HER pleasure only. All she does is RECEIVE. Of course, I would get to “interview” potential employees (smile), and only the BEST lovers would get hired! I’ve known a couple of guys who would be excellent instructors! (Thank You, Lord) I always thought if women could get extremely good *jollies* outside of relationships, they’d make better choices in life partners.

  54. Lizbartun says:

    Elgie, you’re in a place where people are wanting to have committed relationships. Take a lover? That isn’t the ethos at BR. That is AC behaviour!

  55. Lizbartun says:

    And judging relationship someone’s “good” or “bad” by how well they sexually please is what got alot of us here – does not compute

  56. Elgie R. says:

    We are at BR because we keep trying to get the non-committals to commit to us. We’ll do almost anything to get them to commit, or to convince ourselves that “fake-commitment” is real commitment. Including sacrificing our own sexual pleasure. “I like sex but I like Him/Her more than I require my satisfaction”…..huh????? Why do some of us willingly do that to ourselves? Is it that “nice girls” can only like sex within a relationship” stigma/double standard?

    Lizb, you misunderstood “good” and “bad” as referring to character when it was just referring to sexual skill level.

    I accept being an outsider in my views…but I don’t believe I am the only one who thinks as I do.

    I think the relationship most of us think we want is like finding BigFoot.

    At some point we make a decision to either 1) bow out of AC-dom and live in the real world with all of its attendant tedium OR 2)stay in AC Disneyland to get high off the drama.

    Maybe I overvalue sex in your point of view. But I don’t require much else from a man other than caring sex. It’s odd how hard that is to find…regardless of how long you’ve known your partner.

    I’ve always said I wanted to find the man where together we make SALT. Kinda obscure, but it is the way I feel. Salt is made of two complete separate chemicals who, on their own, have a multitude of uses, but when they come together, they make something greater than either of them could ever be alone. And I don’t see children as “salt”…… any fertile man and woman can make a child together. However, rearing children can possibly make a person reach heights they’ve never dreamed of.

    But if “children” are the only “salt” a couple generates, then once the children leave, the union is empty. I was the last child to leave home and I always joke that my parents divorced about two seconds after I moved out.

  57. Lizbartun says:

    Elgie, if you are predominantly looking for caring sex, all you will end up with is a nice tool. Tools wear out (even well cared for ones) and then what will you do? Throw him out as rubbish and look for a new one? That doesn’t tally with your lovely description of SALT in a relationship. Unless I’ve misunderstood that too and by SALT you just mean amazing sex.

  58. Dating101 says:

    In my opinion, if you’re sitting there thinking ‘Am I good enough for this person?’ is already enough reason to slap your self.

    Wake up. If you don’t have positive thoughts about yourself; why do you expect anyone else to think positive about you?

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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