If you're going to stay in a relationship or continue dating someone, do so because the experiences in themselves positively justify continuing, NOT because you feel like you need to find a good reason for being interested in or sleeping with them in the first place.

A few years back, before I delved deeper into the subjects of being afraid of making ‘mistakes’ and perceiving recognition of a date/relationship not working out as a ‘failure’, I explained the danger of putting yourself in the Justifying Zone.

This is that slippery slope that many people find themselves on after becoming emotionally attached or being sexually intimate. I’ve heard from readers who went out with someone for anything from months to years who they recognised with as little as a day that there was code amber / red issues or that they weren’t interested or that there was a clear conflict of values. They all continued because they felt like they had to ‘prove’ that there was a good reason for being interested, involved, seeing potential or just plain ‘ole having sex with them.

It’s like, “I wouldn’t normally be so crazy about someone / sleep with them on the first night / let them Fast Forward me and so when I realised that something wasn’t right, I had to look for reasons to justify why I’d done these things in the first place.”

Anyone would think we all have Relationship Criminal Records and so we’re trying to avoid having another one-night stand, or someone we met online not respond after exchanging a few emails or texts, or trying to avoid having another date / fling / ‘failed’ relationship / unrequited crush / Future Faker being listed on it.

The Justifying Zone is like retracing your steps or trying to retrospectively do the discovery phase of dating. You’re out together and they say something that under any other circumstances wouldn’t be a big deal but now you’re mentally punching the air thinking, YES! I KNEW I wasn’t crazy to sleep with them. Later you see a code amber or red behaviour and think @!$% and your insides are gripped with panic. You’re probably mentally beating yourself up for ‘getting it wrong’ too.

All this looking for justifications malarkey ties in with this theme I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts recently about being ‘tight-fisted’ with time, energy and emotions so we’re dealing with people and sometimes being people who don’t want to continue dating without trying out the ‘sex merchandise’ as quickly as possible, or we expect some sort of ‘guarantees’ before we’ll be less skeptical, or we somehow expect to find ourselves in a mutually fulfilling relationship without arriving with and continuing with a basic level of trust and healthy beliefs.

If you’re going to stay in a relationship or continue dating someone, do so because the experiences in themselves positively justify continuing. i.e. just because you both had sex or you felt really interested in them at the start does’t justify continuing if you have since found out things or had experiences that alter your perspective and feelings.

When you put yourself in the Justifying Zone, there’s a tendency to act like you have ‘budget’ and that you have to justify every expense on there and provide receipts and goods to your accountant.

You don’t need to stay dating or continue in a relationship to justify your original interest or the fact that you slept with them or even the fact that you once believed them when they said that they were going to leave him / her.

People unfold. What you ‘know’ at the start is an impression. There’s no point thinking “How could I have got it so wrong?” because you hadn’t found out anywhere near enough to be ‘right’ in the first place. People unfold and that means that there’s nothing wrong with revising your perception of someone or a situation. Why be mad at you for being curious about someone as if you’re supposed to be psychic and only interested in people who are ‘right’?

It’s just interest. The fact that you are or were interested doesn’t mean that you must remain interested. It’s an expression of interest, not an automatic precursor to them being ‘right’ for you. Our feelings don’t always have the person and the relationship to back them up. It’s a pain and it hurts but not as much as it hurts to try to ‘make’ them.

It’s just a date.The whole idea of dating is discovery. You can afford to go on a few dates with a person to find out if you want to continue. Really.

It’s just sex. That’s not to belittle the ‘specialness’ of sex or it’s importance to you but the fact is that if you want sex to be that special, it’s best to hold off until you have done a hell of a lot more due diligence because sometimes you’ve got to call a spade a spade and admit that it’s just sex or even that it’s just great sex with someone who’s just not that special. It happens. Look, I’d love to tell you that on the end of every great lay is a great person and your happy ending, but a lot of people who are very good at sex but not so good at relationships are good at it because they have a lot of practice.

There’s no sex in the world that’s worth you losing your dignity by acting like a bailiff chasing them down for a relationship debt.

If you’re the type of person that struggles with the emotional repercussions of dating, becoming involved with someone or being sexually intimate, you have an even bigger duty of care to ensure that you go slower. Or, at least be prepared to cut your losses. It’s just outrageous to hear people creating Justifying Zone Relationships out of what amounts to weeks, days or even hours! They’re just not that special.

A person knows that if they’re able to show you a more dubious side of themselves within hours, days, or weeks and you’re still there, that you’re very receptive to boundary busting behaviour and illusions, and you may even be marked as ‘desperate’.

You don’t need to justify your interest or involvement with someone but what you do need is bloody good reasons to continue and they should be reasons in existence not ones you need to pluck out of the air or gain from retrospective dating.

Your thoughts?

An audio version of this post is available on Soundcloud.


Dedicated to helping people improve their emotional and relationship literacy, think of me as emotional baggage declutter, shady relationship buster and self-esteem booster all rolled into one! Find Out More | My Books | 30-day projects | Weekly Podcast .
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151 Responses to Revisited: The Justifying Zone

  1. Xena says:

    Amen. This is such a timely post for me… I tend to beat myself up for always picking wrong, like how could I not have seen it from day one?? I’ve been pretty good these last few years about cutting my losses, but it’s the self blame that really hinders my development. Thank you!!

  2. max says:

    Best way to get on with things. Get a new cell number and only share it with people you really care about….NOT ASSCLOWNS….because any other way they will do their best to CREEP back into your life – and guess what – THEY ARE JUST NOT THAT SPECIAL!!!!

  3. Debbie says:

    4 months today of No Contact! I flushed him 5 days after discovering your blog Natalie after a year of a messed up “non-relationship”. I was so confused about the way things unfolded with him until I started to read Baggage Reclaim. He is text book. it’s actually a little scary reading about the “fast forwarding” and then disappearing, coming back, convincing me that we could/should be friends, with the sex still going on. anyway! You also made me realize that I chose him because I was and still am emotionally unavailable. Long back story to that; working on it. Just want to say thank you.

    • Debbie says:

      oh and this article was very timely as I’ve been beating myself up lately about being wrong about him. Thanks for confirming for me that it was ok to pursue my interest.

  4. skepticrina says:

    What still gets me is that I have a hard time trusting my judgment now that I am a lot more aware of EUM’s, AC’s and people who aren’t interested in me and their behavior, their words, their actions and how they don’t match up, but can a woman be too hard or too aware for her own good? Seriously. This is the part I am having a hard time with. I hope that makes sense.

    • Rosie says:

      Hi, Skepticrina,

      Disclaimer: I’m not a therapist so don’t want to cross bounds thinking I have the answer when I don’t.

      From my own boundary work, though, and having gone to therapy, I think it’s normal to be hypervigilant of our boundaries in the beginning and, in fact, is an actual stage of growth and healing. Since I’m not a therapist, I don’t know the average length of time this phase lasts but if I were new to boundary-setting, I’d notice right away when someone stepped an inch too close to my boundary because I’d be standing guard day and night. Perhaps you’re nervous that you’re hypervigilant when, really, you’re just in a healing, progressive phase? Just putting that out there as another perspective…

      • selkie says:

        Skepticrina and Rosie,

        Yes Rosie, I agree with you. Learning that I didn’t have boundaries was like a big slap in my own face. So, I initially I became angry at myself for being such a doormat and especially with others who tried to bust my new found boundaries. I became defensive and probably overreactive with my new wobbly boundary legs. Over time I’ve realized that defensiveness has slowly evolved into self confidence and less self doubt. I’m finding it easier to just make a mental note and walk away or flush. They don’t need or want to hear all about themselves. I’m learning to use the elevator pitch http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/tag/elevator-pitches/ for addressing boundary crossings. Say it short and simple, and back it up with actions or just walk away and don’t give them another minute of your time. Then let it roll of your back. Who cares what they think anyway. They aren’t God, just one of the billions of other humans in the world. For those of us who have had to rebuild the house fromm the foundation up, this takes time. Have patience with yourself and stay on course.

  5. Dee says:

    I love that simple phrase – “People unfold.” So true.

    • natashya says:

      ‘people unfold’… i needed to hear that. i stayed in the justifying zone (luckily not for too long) not necessarily for the ex EUM, but i couldn’t accept that i had been so wrong about him. and of course, i was betting on potential. the first few months, he was so wonderful. i seriously thought i’d hit the jackpot. but people unfold… and he unfolded into a serious EUM and a bit of an AC when he realised he didn’t want to be with me but didn’t have the guts to be honest with me.

      • carlaaaa says:

        This sounds like my last relationship, it’s uncanny. He left me thinking everything was fine FOR A YEAR, even going so far as going overseas together, whilst all the while he was stewing over little things I’d said or done that offended him, the sensitive flower. He never had the guts to say it to my face that he didn’t want to be with me. He never even had the guts to say he was unhappy. He unfolded. And after 2 months of being broken up and NC, I am so much happier and don’t see the same person I used to in him.. But at the same time I’m just lost remembering all the ‘good times’ and the person he showed me, or wanted me to see. Which wasn’t anywhere close to who he really was in the first place. Maybe I’m just having a bad day haha.

        In any event.. this site has been my life line for the past 2 months. It became the honest, blunt bestie that my friends were ALL BEING, but I just wasn’t listening. It took the written word for me to understand!! Thanks Nat and all you girls. It’s funny, although none of you know it, I read every one of your comments and see myself in most of you. You’re all helping me along.. xx

        • natashya says:

          carlaaaa, same here. 2 months now. this site has helped me to see the light… it’s just that sometimes i can’t find the light switch. my ex never told me he was unhappy, either. i even asked him several times and even then he didn’t have the guts to tell me how he really felt. he strung me along but i knew something was up. we were traveling for an extended time and spent 24/7 together. every day was filled with so many rejections, often subtle one, that i started to wonder if i was going crazy. flogging that dead horse for months has left me exhausted, but i’m on the way to recovery.

          • carlaaaa says:

            In August we went to Thailand together for 2 weeks.. What you describe is exactly what happened with us – little, subtle rejections, comments that made me do a double take, blatant rudeness and inconsiderate-ness!

            When we were over there, I had a feeling this would be the end, and it was. When we got back, we saw each other twice and after that, he withdrew and was on radio silence for a week, when I suggested we get together his response was “I’ll pass”.. And when I suggested something was up he was SO RUDE to me and said some things that I will never forget, but all the while never admitting that something was up..

            In the end I broke up with him. I gave him the easy way out, he wouldn’t even see me so we could talk.. it all happened over text – that’s all I was given. I never thought I’d be the one to break up with him, I thought I was so in love.. but it didn’t feel like love.

            Alas, like Keb ‘Mo says.. “´Cause that’s not love
            Love don’t feel that bad
            That’s not love
            It don’t feel that sad
            No that’s not love
            ‘Cause you don’t feel good inside
            I don’t know what it is
            But that’s not love”

            He always said to me… “You would be so much happier without me”.. that was a TELL THAT I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO.. cos you know what.. I am SO much happier without him. He was right.

            We’re on the road to recovery girl!

            • natashya says:

              carlaaaa, ugh… yep, your story sounds familiar. at least the first part. he couldn’t disappear on me bc we were traveling together, but emotionally he had checked out on the first day of our vacation. before that, he was chasing me heavily, showered me with all kinds of attention, asked me to move in with him (overseas, mind you) and all that disappeared instantly.

              at first i thought he was maybe stressed about something, but looking back, he completely stopped making any kind of effort. he wouldn’t hug me anymore, wouldn’t grab my hand while walking. would not initiate sex. didn’t call me ‘sweetheart’ or ‘darling’ anymore. he’d still respond when i did these things to him, but it was half hearted and never spontaneous.

              i let this slip, as the circumstances of our travels were a bit extreme, and we were still having fun, especially with the people we met while on the road, but i got that ‘sinking feeling’ when one day we were hiking and i couldn’t keep up bc i was exhausted and he simply left me behind. i clearly remember thinking ‘here we go again’ as being let down when i need them to be there for me seems to be a common theme in my relationships.

              i remember thinking ‘i have to let him go’ but then i felt guilty (why, i don’t know) and i didn’t want to give up so quickly. after all, i had seen some great potential.

              eventually, i pretty much forced him to break up with me. and even then he left me hanging for another week bc he needed to ‘think’. well, back at the ranch, he had asked his ex back, so what was there to think about? he said he didn’t want to hurt me, and i don’t think he deliberately did that, but he still doesn’t realise that the slow withdrawal, which just ended up in him being mean to me, is so damaging.

              there’s days where i’m still a mess and can’t stop crying. i’m not mourning him but i am sad that i was so wrong, and sad that i was clinging onto an illusion. he showed me his true colours in all their glory. i don’t think of him as an AC, but his emotional immaturity and lack of experience definitely made him emotionally unavailable. i actually feel sorry for him.

  6. Teddie says:

    This is a topic that has interested me for some time: fallacies of judgement. Thanks, Nat, for bringing it up in another great post!
    Consistency bias is a basic thinking fallacy: the need to appear consistent with previous decisions, in one’s own eyes or in the eyes of others. Sometimes disconfirming evidence only reinforces a belief.
    The most common thinking fallacies:

  7. Still learning says:

    I found myself onthis site about 2 years ago and have not stopped coming here to revisit and remind myself of everything I need reminding of. Especially when I feel myself going down the same road with the same people, or different people, but the same road. And I come back here and go “oh yeah I forgot that.” Or “I knew this but why am I thinking it’s going to be different this time?

    Well anyway, found myself in the justifying zone yet again recently. I know now because God forbid , I wasted time or should know better, or I couldn’t possibly have made that same mistake again! And yet, it’s exactly why I am there again, because I don’t want to feel like I wasted time AGAIN or should have known better AGAIN or …didn’t I just make this mistake, with the same person, no less, a few months ago ????? wth, I must be crazy ..the justifying zone is a killer.

  8. Fern leaf says:

    Teddie, I read the Wikipedia link. Thanks. It’s fascinating! My favourite is this one: Irrational escalation – the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong.
    I think that pretty much sums me up!

    • Learner says:

      Fern Leaf and Teddie,

      Oh my, yes, these really are fascinating. I am guilty of the irrational escalation also – plus many others on the list. I wish I had leaned more towards the ambiguity effect earlier – it certainly applied to my situation (ambiguity plus!) but I used the other fallacies to overcome that one! Thanks for posting Teddie.

  9. Little Star says:

    Natalie thank you very much for this post, you are spot on again:) You keep me grounded and aware, love you and BR community! I agree with you, I was with my ex AC because we had physical attraction/desire/chemistry and it kept us going! HE still wants me…I talked to my potential date (musician) yesterday and we decided to meet up in the end of November (due my holidays and his work arrangements)..He is so different from my ex ACs, we never talk about sex, our conversations about life, our likes/dislikes, past experiences. I do not feel under pressure that I have to meet him or have sex with him, we just started to get to know each other, no rush, I love it.

  10. Tinkerbell says:

    Little Star. Good that you will meet him soon. Just keep your head on straight and your emotions in check. Not to be stereotypical, but remember by the very nature of his work he is exposed, and if he looks good is probably used to women chasing after him. Don’t be one. Be cool and laid back. Let him do the work of initiating contact/closeness. And don’t agree to anything you’re not comfortable with. Keep us posted.

    • Little Star says:

      Thank you Tinkenbell, I am going to be cool and laid back you as you advised me:) I will not rush and “build dream castle” in my head as I usually do! Hope you are doing well too x

  11. Lucy says:

    This is so true to my life. It pretty much defines my past two relationships. In those two relationships, I’m sure I stuck in them at the expense of my happiness and for what? I wanted to justify my decision. I wanted to not be wrong. I didn’t want other people to think of me as a relationship failure.

    Well that decision ruined me and took away so many valuable opportunities. I was even approached by men who were way better than them when I was still dating them (argh). And I look back and I realise that they never let their life go on hold or ever really made any sacrifices. No I was the sucker who did that. I’m the one who suffered, and I did it unnecessarily.

    Then I landed in a moral quandary where I cheated on a boyfriend because I felt very unwanted and rejected by him. I felt so lonely. I did it I think partly because I was forcing myself to be in a situation which wasn’t right for the sake of that justifying zone. Subconsciously I was afraid of breaking up with him. I can’t make up for what I did except by not pretending I didn’t do it. And I want to somehow get away from this avoidant behavior I express where I don’t want to make decision so I end up making no decision at all.

    • Little Star says:

      WOW Lucy, it is like reading my own story:( we have so many similarities with our ACs, but at least we realised that they were NOTHING special and we moved on from them. Trust me, we still can meet decent and kind guys, who will love and appreciate us!

      • Lucy says:

        Thank you Little Star. I totally agree too. If I didn’t have faith, I wouldn’t have love.

        You know I am finding this world such a scary place at the moment and I need strength. I finally gave up on being the nice girl – that was my purpose. Now I have this vacuum I have to fill. And finally facing up to dealing with being on my own is quite difficult for me. To some extent I accept that I am a person who is better in a relationship but still this existential doubt preoccupies me.

        But on a positive note, I think my experience of painful relationships, gives me a deeper appreciation of love. Whilst I have hurt people too, I don’t think I could ever be accused of taking someone for granted – the way in which I feel about my ex-boyfriends.

        I don’t want to be ticked off another man’s list. That’s the trouble about career-driven men sometimes. You’re just another goal for them to achieve. I don’t want to feel like that again. Is there on a post on that?

        • Lucy says:

          I am still crying about the fact I cheated on my ex by having sex with another man. I came clean to him and prompted the break-up. But it’s over a year later and I still feel very down about myself for what I did. Some people have said that I shouldn’t have told, and just broken up with him instead.

          See he wasn’t loving towards me for months. I felt so abandoned – no hugs, kissing or sex. The reason I cheated was to feel wanted again. I know my cheating was not without a trigger and it doesn’t make me blameless. But even though I recognise the emotional unavailability of my ex, it is so hard to move on. And a year has gone by. *sigh*

          • Bellaninha says:

            Time will heal Lucy, learn from it and do some nice things for yourself and realise you aren’t that person you keep blaming. You certainly seem really sorry for it happening. Have you tried having some counselling sessions where you can just let it all out and try to shift the guilt? That helped me with an issue I had with my sister years ago. Also remember, the past has passed. Build some goals for the future and look forward to happy times looking out for yourself. Hugs xx

          • Victorious says:

            Lucy have you read up about cerebral narcissists? This is what they do. They withold sex because they see you as a madonna figure once the idealization stage is over. To them sex is a chore they have to perform in order to get you to fall in love with them and then they just feed off the ego strokes and attention you give them. They prefer to masturbate or look at porn. I found it very confusing to be with a man like this who was so keen to be with me and begged me not to dump him but seemed to have gone completely off me physically. I too felt very rejected and my self esteem took a nosedive. I didn’t know then what I know now. Of course I could be wrong about your ex but have a read and it may make you feel better about yourself to know that whatever you did it would have ended badly.

            • Lucy says:

              @Victorious – Thanks. Actually I hadn’t until I read your post and then I found this website:


              Much of it is so accurate, I can’t believe it. Wow!

              And everything you said is accurate too. Sorry you had to deal with that but it’s good to know I’m not the crazy one.

              I wanted to ask you something. After we broke up, my ex contacted all of my friends on Facebook venting about what happened (saying I was a whore etc). I don’t necessarily condemn him thinking that (I mean I did cheat on him) but I don’t know why he took it upon himself to say it to my friends. Is it damage limitation? If anything, I should have been the one to be doing that, considering I was the one who did wrong. But I didn’t.

              Thanks for you advice :)

          • Fifi says:

            Lucy, he had already broken up with you by withdrawing, he just didn’t have the guts to actually do it. Been there, exactly, and felt so bad about it, but then remembered, he was already gone mentally by the time I cheated. And if he made a big to-do about the cheating, it was only about his ego, not about you. I’ve never cheated again, so don’t think you’re a bad person, you’ve just learned how not to handle a withdrawing withholding non-partner. You did right to tell him, I tried not to but it came out in the end, which was worse. Forgive yourself, you’re human, be gentle with yourself. It’s not for anyone else to be the judge of you. Let it go

            • Lucy says:

              Thank you Fiona. Your comment, especially the bit about him already withdrawing, was really helpful. I didn’t think of it that way. You really helped me feel better. Thanks!

  12. Lisa says:

    Hi girls, I need your help.

    I have been reading the blog for a while since I split with my ex, who is an EUM and an assclown. I’ve been on NC since January and now it’s getting really better.

    I met a guy at a local pub/club last Saturday. I was with my girlfriends having a good time, he was with his brother. He approached me and we talked for 3 hours, then he asked me out for the following day (Sunday). It seemed a bit rushed but he asked if I wanted to go to the movies and first have something to drink and talk, so it felt pretty safe.
    We went to the movies, he was very nice, and kept asking questions, always showing interest.

    At a certain point we started discussing feminism (I know, I know) and things got a bit intense, but he said he wanted to get to know me and what I am passionate about, so he actually enjoyed the discussion.

    During the evening he had indeed asked me many questions and told me a lot about himself, still superficially, of course, being it the first date, but it really seemed he wanted to get to know me.

    We had a quick drink right after the movie, than he took me home and as we were saying goodbye told me he would call the day after, if I would like it.
    He then bowed to kiss me, a quick kiss on the lips, and retreated, and I gave him another one.

    I am not a physical person, it was really just a kiss on the lips, nothing gross or sexually charged, I didn’t even touch him, but I got carried away nontheless, to my own surprise, and it might be he noticed.

    Well, he said something like “not more” and went … pretty quickly.

    He didn’t call yesterday and I don’t know what to think.
    During the evening, right after the movie, when he asked me to go for another drink, and we were looking for a place close to my flat (he also lives nearby) as everything was closed or empty, he said something like “I would ask you to drink at your place, if it wasn’t inconvenient”, to which I simply didn’t answer because I would have never invited him in my flat but didn’t want to sound harsh saying “Well, yes it is”. I mean that I have not given him any hint that I was looking for a sexual fling! Plus the feminist talk! Plus a conservative, knee length dress! But the kiss thing seemed to shock him, innocent as it was, and I don’t know what to make of it.

    I have also been out of the dating field for a while, so I am scared of doing the wrong thing.

    I am looking for a relationship now, and I was really happy to have a normal, “discover phase” date. I am not looking for a fling, I don’t want to sleep with anybody before I know I can trust them. But I am attracted to him, and wasn’t able to stop me, and well…it’s just a kiss on the lips, really no big deal: I am 30!

    May be he simply realized he didn’t like me but felt that I was expecting a good night kiss, gave it to me and fled.

    I get it:
    He said he would have called BUT didn’t = deal breaker.
    Only one date = no relationship = don’t make a fuss about it.

    Still… what do you think? Am I right in thinking that if he is interested he will call? Or should I call him because I want to get to know him better and I have never been above making a move (in this case, going for a beer in a neutral place on a weekday)?

    • grace says:

      You don’t know him and neither do we.
      I don’t think the kiss means anything either way.
      It’s not right for him to invite himself over to yours, but as you say everywhere was closed so maybe he was just being practical.
      I think you shouldn’t call him, as he said he would call you.
      If kissing him makes you doubt yourself I’m not sure that asking him out is going to help you. And I speak as someone who asked out the boyfriend. I was fully prepared to take no for an answer and, more crucially, fully prepared to give it up if he was ambivalent.
      If he calls today, or tomorrow, go out with him again or not as you choose. It doesn’t matter. A few days ago you didn’t even know he existed. Don’t worry about it.
      I know what I’m about to say is ridiculous in this day and age but maybe try a date without alcohol.

    • Little Star says:

      lisa, do not call him please! Leave the situation as it is, if he is interested he will contact you! If, not…NEXT!

    • EllyB says:

      Lisa… I think the others are going to comment on the rest of your story, but just one thing: I don’t believe it’s wrong to mention feminism on your first date. I am a feminist, and I would always be upfront about it. I wouldn’t start any discussions, I certainly wouldn’t say anything negative about men in general (if I believed all men were asses then I certainly wouldn’t be dating at all), but I wouldn’t withhold that info about myself either. If the guy wasn’t comfortable dating a feminist, then at least he had the chance to opt out early. It’s not your duty to suck up to men at all cost during your first date. This idea is new to me too – in the past I believed bringing up feminism on a first date was about the worst thing a woman could ever do. It’s not.

    • Lilia says:

      No, no, don´t call him, Lisa. Just relax and sit back. Don´t question what you did/didn´t do, that´s the formula for engaging in a fbg scenario.

      The best thing you can do at this moment is interviewing yourself, sort of: what did YOU think of him, did you find it odd that he pulled away after that kiss, was that attractive to you… Do you see where I´m getting at?

      If you start wondering about his feeling so early on, imagine how things will look if the thing develops into something more.

    • Learner says:

      I just posted a message to you, and it seems to be lost in cyberspace. Bottom line: I agree with the others to wait for him to call you. Perhaps he didn’t want to kiss as it may lead to him desiring more? Perhaps he did not think you two were a good fit. In any case, calling him at this point may not set up a healthy dynamic. Good luck!

    • runnergirl says:

      Lisa, I couldn’t resist responding because your comment/question perfectly illustrates what Natalie is saying with regards to the justifying zone. Thank you for your comment. It’s was a kiss. That’s it. It was a first date. That’s it. You may want to consider that you have entered the justifying zone over a kiss. You aren’t on a budget and you don’t have to justify a kiss or your feminist views or you knee length dress or provide receipts to your accountant.
      I’ve recently entered the dating world and if I were walking in your shoes, I wouldn’t call him. It was a first date and a kiss. He knows how to get a hold of you and he can contact you, make plans in advance, and maybe have given things some thought so everything is not closed. It’s not rocket science. These guys know what to do when they want to. We don’t need to engage in justifying their ineptitude when they are inept. It was one date. That’s it. I wouldn’t recommend calling him or giving the date more air time in your head. Air time=Justifying Zone.
      Good thing you avoided your flat!

  13. Learner says:

    “If you’re the type of person that struggles with the emotional repercussions of becoming involved with someone or being sexually intimate, you have an even bigger duty of care to ensure that you go slower. Or, at least be prepared to cut your losses.”

    So true. I was in the justifying zone for 3 years with that “special connection” I thought we had. All that investment made it hard to leave, but I am so glad he unfolded to the point of revealing what a hedonistic, self-absorbed person he truly was – breaking society’s rules and trampling women’s hearts to meet his needs.

    Never, ever again! Thanks Natalie :)

  14. miskwa says:

    Could be a number of things going on here; he may have flaked, many men do. He may dislike deminists, many men do, if so good riddance. He may have been blown away by you and needs to regroup and think. Do not call, if you do not hear anything within the next few days, move on.
    BTW Nat good post. My experience with AC has either left me with zero tolerance for dishonest crap behavior or a heart like stone. Right now either works. As an educated athletic woman, I get a lot of pressure to “settle” for uneducated, overweight, or unattractive men. I have been guilty of giving them too much time in my life trying to somehow make it work though at some level I know darn well it will never work. I have wasted my time with someone I really do not want to be with and hurt a few of them in the process- no more!

  15. pinkpanther says:

    speaking of kisses…

    I’d been single a while and a friend set me up with one of her friends. The minute I saw her walking toward the restaurant, I had an immediate reaction, something like “rats, she’s not my type”. We had a nice meal, stuff to talk about, a pleasant evening. She was an exceptional woman, just not for me.

    I walked her home as she lived right around the corner. I was just going to leave it be, but she kissed me, and it was a really good kiss, I was not expecting this at all, and it took me by surprise.

    I was 100% sure I didn’t want to date her…before the kiss. Now here I was, jut like that, under her spell, all from one kiss…

    I ended up dating her for a year, seeded by that kiss. There were all kinds of reasons we weren’t a good fit, and I admit, I was a total UW. I liked her, I tried to love her, I couldn’t. I felt like I was living a fake life.

    The day I called it quits, I had the most intense sensation of my SELF rushing right back into my body. I realized I was walking around like a shell for one year, but that day I came back, all the way. I was blown away. I literally came back to myself when I ended this relationship. This was a very good woman, I think highly of her still to this day, but she was wrong for me, and only the most superficial part of my self was able to be there.

    I learned a lesson about not faking relationships for all kinds of stupid reasons.

    • Revolution says:


      I totally get what you’re saying. Kisses do something to us. I remember kissing an ex-AC of mine (one of the musicians–I know, I know)for the first time, and the sense of “coming home” immediately struck me. I had never felt that way with ANYONE before, and thought up until then that that was all a bunch of crap. Still, it was probably something as mundane as hormones, pheromones, maybe the cut of his jaw reminded me subconsciously of my absent father’s. Who the hell knows? But I’m reserving my “coming home” feelings for something more substantial than a kiss these days.

      I also appreciate your sense of self rushing back after making the decision to end it with her. I have to admit to the same feeling once things hit the fan with past EUs. Through all the tumult and tears, there was also this pervading sense of relief. I could finally eat and get a good night’s sleep. My stomache was no longer in knots all the time, due to me knowing on a subconscious level that this wasn’t right for me.

      • Victorious says:

        This has happened to me too. I wasn’t that sure about ex narc/eum as I thought he was a little odd (hah!) but when we kissed……..WOW!!!!!!!! HOOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jule says:

        Rev – that is interesting how our bodies are so telling. I’m glad you were able to break away from it so that you could sleep and not have your tummy in knots. I’ve been there too.

        But all that said, kissing is rather important to me.

        The AC I am involved with…(yes, we are in contact again, I know I know) happens to be the best kisser I’ve ever kissed and let me just say i’ve kissed a lot of princes and frogs! There is def something to that…pheromones, hormones, whatever or just being physically compatible, that keeps us there for a while until the bigger more important things do. But even if things are good, I can’t stand a bad kisser. Even if he is a nice guy who shares values with me, etc, if he’s a bad kisser I just can’t stay. He’s gotta kiss well.

        Now…to find a good kisser who is also not an AC!

        • Lilia says:

          Ironically my exEUM wasn´t much of a kisser, I guess my attraction to him was purely negative – like I needed to win him over to validate myself because his hot/cold treatment left me so insecure.

          I´m still wondering at this. At least the other guys I´ve pined for in my life kissed wonderfully.

          Well, at least another good reason to throw memories of him in the dustbin.

  16. Tinkerbell says:

    You continued an incongruous relationship on the basis of a kiss? I hope you will now be more selective and follow your instincts. Did you really want a relationship with this woman or was it just sex? It appears that it was the latter, especially when you talk about how freeing it was for you after you ended it. Don’t compromise your values, your feelings, your common sense and intelligence ever again. They lose and you lose, as you found out. Would you want it done to you? I think not. You will find the right one. Don’t rush it. Good luck.

    • Jule says:

      Well Tinkerbell, I think that was the point of her writing in to share that story. PP was sharing with us what she now realizes was not the best situation for her. We all make mistakes.

      Thanks to PP for sharing that story.

  17. lisa says:

    Thank you girls! I was panicking. Ouff!

    It’s been a tough time, these past months. Getting out of an abusive relationship (and an abusive interactions pattern in my life) is never easy, as we all know very well.

    I know it’s about me and I still have work to do, regarding my confidence and my love for myself.

    You can’t really tell from my confused post but he was the one forcing the discussion into a heavy, -ism fulled territory. He used the word “feminist” to describe me, he also said I am like an Ice Queen and slightly arrogant. It’s the old manipulative pattern once again. I tried to stop the discussion twice but he didn’t allow me to do it (and later admitted he was pushing me because he felt the subject was dear to me). Plus, his questions where more like an interrogation, something Natalie describes in another post. And the kiss, well, that was silly AND controlling, at the same time: he kissed me first and when I reciprocated backed off.

    But I have felt guilt, hence the panicking: because I still have work to do on myself.

    Luckily there’s plenty of awesome women out there (and men, of course): thank you for your immediate support!

    Let us not be hurt and made feel inadequate by small, weak, fearful men. This guy here, when he asked me out on Sat., was like “usually I’m better at this, you make me nervous”.

    My ex boyfriend also run away after our first kiss, really, physically run away. He immediately called and apologised, but seeing how it turned out, I think I’m better off with them running AND disappearing, so that I’m free when I’ll cross paths with the one(s) who DOESN’T run, who stays.

    • Victorious says:

      Red flags here Lisa. Ex narc asked so many personal questions when we first met, I felt like I was being interrogated. Also, what he liked about me was my “Ice Queen/Independent/Aloofness” I agree with the othes though, please don’t think the kiss or your feminism would have put off a decent, well balanced man. And if he isn’t a decent, well balanced man then you have dodged a bullet.

    • Ellyb says:

      Lisa – this additional information certainly puts things into perspective. Please don’t wait for him to call. Block him. Flush him. As you’re saying, he seems to be manipulative and an ass. No healthy guy would acuse a woman of being an “ice queen” and “arrogant” during the first date.

      You deserve better!

    • yoghurt says:

      “I tried to stop the discussion twice but he didn’t allow me to do it (and later admitted he was pushing me because he felt the subject was dear to me).”

      …so he felt that he knew better than you what you want to talk about? BLEGH! Flush!

      Fwiw, I think it sounds like you did really well – you stuck to your guns and offered him a reasonable amount of trust, even though it (inevitably, if you’re rewiring old patterns) didn’t feel very good and caused you a bit of emotional upheaval. I think (/hope) it gets easier with practice!

      Onwards and upwards!

    • Freya says:

      Someone seriously called you an Ice Queen and arrogant on your first date? Sounds like the guy was intimidated by you and probably trying to play on your insecurity. I certainly hope you don’t go out with this guy again.

    • runnergirl says:

      Just wanted to join the chorus in support. This guy is throwing up red flags on every play. Ice Queen, slightly arrogant, on the first date? Seriously? Listen to what you are feeling and what he said.
      Tonight, I responded to a nice email from an online guy. He responded by telling me that we weren’t a good match because I was too sophisticated for a bad boy like him. HUH? Then, why did you email me in the first place? I didn’t take the bad boy bait and I hit delete. Honestly, I really wanted to say WTF dude, why bother? But I knew that would be a “tell”…based on Natalie’s new post.
      Don’t take his bait. He’s telling you who he is and forcing you into conversations you don’t want to have, on a first date. What would be next? He’s nervous? Justifiably so. Run like the dickens. You have a ton of info, kissing nothwithstanding.
      BTW, I hear you sisters…about that kiss. I just tried googling “that kiss” on utube and it’s shocking how many hits there are. I wanted to find that old song…that kiss that kiss. Too many hits which means we aren’t the only ones. Oh that kiss. Dang.

      • dancingqueen says:

        all this talk about kissing makes me a bit sad…the last person I dated did not kiss how I liked and I dated him for 7 monthes! It was not horrible, it was just not my thing. There was always this little itty bitty slobbery part at the end that never worked for me and I also did not like his smell that much; he did not smell badly, in fact, his cologne was nice, but his basic body odor was not for me. I feel kind of like a loser that I did that, but on so many other levels he seemed right for me…but I was justifying

  18. Bellaninha says:

    “people unfold” – so so true. It’s lovely that feeling when you meet someone and you think of all the possibilities.. And go off into dream land.. But definitely learning the art of keeping my head in reality has helped. And communicating if something is amiss or an amber flag appears. I’ve been guilty of giving it ” one more date” but really my gut feeling is always right! It seems I just get my sense of self sorted, feel truly happy being on my own, and some EUM appears and my feelings go into crazy land again. Has anyone else experienced this? I have to concentrate so hard not to be swept away on a feeling. I am getting much better at sensing this, step by step. I guess the key is open yourself up to love but keep aware of your gut feeling and act on it if needed. Thanks again Natalie, your posts really help remind me of looking after myself xxx

  19. Revolution says:

    “People unfold.” Yeah, and sometimes when they do, you want to crumple those bastards back UP.

    I do this, this justifying of “feelings.” And I also fit your description, Natalie, of one who is the type to go balls-to-the-wall, heartwise. So I need to be doubly careful. That’s my responsibility. I made a promise to myself after this last debacle that I would never again throw myself to the wolves, even unconsciously.

    Looking back, I did a shitload of justifying just to keep myself interested in this last guy, the feeling, the promise of a relationship. I even remember coming back from seeing the AC on a number of occasions, and thinking (and telling others!), “I’m kind of OVER him.” But then I would talk myself back into being into him, because well, it feels GOOD to like someone, right? Sheesh.

    Now the main struggle I have is what you mentioned in your post, Nat. The “I’m such an IDIOT!” phase. There’s a line in that godawful movie “Hope Floats” where the mother says to her adult daughter something like, “Your love life is a mess! They should have those orange plastic cones around you!” That’s how I feel. I want to get out of the construction zone now, but it’s slow going.

    • vhs says:

      “People unfold.” Yeah, and sometimes when they do, you want to crumple those bastards back Up”

      haha so true Revolution, if only that were possible, that memories could crumple back up.

      Today I came to another great insight for myself, I said to myself, after having a couple of nostalgic days about the AC,
      ‘girl, now you know what you know, you have a choice to feel like you did all over again or to work at never having to feel like this éver again’.
      Meaning: if I keep focussing on him instead of me, if I keep putting an ounce of importancy into who he is or was, or what he’s doing, or thinking or feeling now, or who he’s with or not, I still have a chance of feeling like I did before with him and about him.
      If I make the right choice and focus on the right person (me) or good people around me, chances are, I might never have to feel that weight on my shoulders ever again.
      Sure, grieve and pain are fully present in a human life, but I think you ladies know what kind of grieve and pain I mean.

      Still, it takes time to overcome an experience like having a relationship with somebody who for whatever reason just isn’t capable of giving you one, and making you feel like sh*t on the way to that discovery.
      And with meeting any kind of new person, you’ll feel a tad bit insecure.
      And also, as someone said here, maybe the recognising of red and amber flags so soon in someone’s behaviour, decreases the amount of dates going further into something more significant, but still.

      I never want another day in my life where I’m lying awake, not knowing where he is or who he’s with, what he’s thinking and what his real motives are, but still justifying his behaviour so staying with him doesn’t feel like I’m betraying myself.
      When I couldn’t ignore my sense of self betrayal no longer; I finally got out.
      But the building my own trust back has and is the hardest part.
      I’ll never betray myself again.

      Life’s too short.

  20. Revolution says:

    Okay, another comment. You just can’t shut me up today.

    “Anyone would think we all have Relationship Criminal Records and so we’re trying to avoid having another one-night stand, or someone we met online not respond after exchanging a few emails or texts, or trying to avoid having another date / fling / ‘failed’ relationship / unrequited crush / Future Faker being listed on it.”

    This is kind of the problem for me, I think. It’s like I’m embarrassed to be seen in the same social circles for years SINGLE. I feel like people are looking at me like, “Jeez, she’s STILL single?? What’s wrong with HER?” because I haven’t “sealed the deal” by marrying someone yet. So it’s kinda like I want some “evidence” that I’m not this crazy, mangy person that everybody rejects for some reason (the “hidden frequency” you mentioned in one of your posts, Nat?). I don’t know, it just gets old. Everyone’s paired up and I’m just walking around, trying to look way more confident than I feel. Trying not to feel like the entire WORLD is rejecting me. So yeah, I can see why I’d be justifying my ass off. Honestly, if I didn’t date the ACs I’ve dated…..it would have been, what’s that I hear? Crickets.

    • natashya says:

      yeah, same here, revolution.

    • yoghurt says:

      Ooo – I know that one, Rev.

      When I meet men who seem perfectly normal and nice it doesn’t get off the ground. I see them months later happy with a girl who seems normal and nice. Even the EUM managed to morph into someone normal and nice AFTER he’d made my pregnancy appalling and met someone else who was normal and nice.

      I am fighting off the suspicion (realisation?) that I’m just not normal OR nice (Why? Who knows – I’ve stopped caring). I mind the prospect of a Life Alone less than I used to, but even so, if the Nice Normal People don’t seem to have time for you then you do sometimes feel as though the Nasty and Abnormal Folk are your natural habitat instead.

      • Ellyb says:

        Yoghurt – for one thing, an EUM spontaneously “morphing into someone normal and nice” would be a scientific sensation. NML has pointed that out over and over again. You don’t REALLY know what their relationship looks like (even if you think you’re close to one or both partners).

        And then, not everyone is right for you. Even healthy people do reject other healthy people. It happens for a reason.

        For example, when I was in my late twenties, from time to time a new (single) guy moved to my town, showed some brief interest in me, was with a new GF two months later, got married the next year, and then (as the story usually went) they moved out of town, she gave up her career and became a stay-at-home mum.

        The thing is: I wouldn’t want to leave the city, I wouldn’t want to give up my career and I wouldn’t want to be a housewife. If the guy expected all those things from his wife, then he made a wise decision by chosing her over me, no? Of course, but I used to make it all about me ANYWAY. BS.

        • yoghurt says:

          Yea – thanks ellyb :) I know this rationally and I am both nice and as normal as anyone else. But there are days where I too am deafened by the crickets.

          (by the by, I’ve yattered at length on another thread about son’s dad’s tranformation (short version, it wasn’t spontaneous, it wasn’t straightforward and hell no I STILL wouldn’t want to be in his relationship) but I have a tendency to start running off with the old Redemption Storyline in my head so I think that goes some way to feeding the crickets!)

          I’m in a bit of a pit atm,have been busy and ill, and I do struggle to think exactly what I can offer that would fit in with anyone else’s wants or needs (beyond endless cups of tea and an ability to touch my toes to my forehead from two directions, even at eight months pregnant). From where I am, relationships seem like a bit of an odd proposition. I see couples and I think: Wow. Sharing your LIFE and HOUSE and FINANCES and TIME with another person? Why would you, but for the hormones?

          Funny thing, because I’d love to meet someone and be in love again, I’m just not sure why! Probably as well that those crickets are there, hey?

    • MRWriter says:

      Totally appreciate the crickets chirping. Looking back on my decade of EUM & AC’s, my relationships would add up to 3 years with 7 being alone (a date here and there but red flags that kept me from any more). It sucks. It hurts like hell and yes, you do start to feel weird when everyone else around wonders “Why a pretty girl like you isn’t taken.” These people mean well and they are probably just as confused as we are.

      Because of this pressure, I’ve found myself justifying with men that were just a hair above the absolute undesirables. They didn’t deserve the time of day but I gave them “a chance” just to feel normal, have something to talk about with my girlfriends and not make the neighbors wonder. The appearance of a man can also be comforting even if they aren’t doing a damn thing to justify all the justifications you give them.

      The couple of EUM’s I dated for a while were not that special. They came along during a long dry spell of bad dates or not meeting anyone. I’m talking years. I knew better but turned a blind eye because I just wanted the semblance of something. I wanted a hug, a kind word or gesture after going without (from a man) for so, so long. I jumped on the justify train to keep the illusion alive, even if it lasted only a couple of months. If I hadn’t justified with any of these men, my track record would be grim. I would’ve only gone on a date or two but nothing more substantial.

      It’s hard to think that’s okay too. It’s even harder when your peers don’t support you or are judgmental. I’ve lost girlfriends because they are willing to settle for less and seeing me is like a reminder that they cannot or will not (mainly because they fear being alone). That’s tough. I feel like if I do right, don’t justify, then the end result could be that I might wind up alone. If I justify, I have the shell of something, the shadow of something elusive, for a brief respite between the long stretches of the red flag parade. Not fun no matter how much you fill your life with whatever…it’s still lonely.

      I wish people could be more supportive and try to be understanding rather than piteous or condescending. I worry that if I stop justifying altogether I’ll become so accustomed to being alone and set in my routine, I won’t be able to be emotionally available if I were to meet a good man. I’ve not justified more than I’ve justified and the couple of times I did brought me scarce joy or pleasure. It was just a taste of something but not a meal. I’m hungry for more, I desire more but the pickings are slim. I’d like to experience what it must feel like to share your life with a partner whose willing to do the same.

      For now, I have to be content with the sound of crickets chirping in the void.

      • Kristen says:

        I relate to What you wrote, MRWriter! I think I was about to justify again with a guy I know isn’t right for me just to have something after going without for so long. I got used to being single and alone with no prospects in sight, and I was happy for the most part. I got to a point where I didn’t want to be bothered unless he was a good guy who would date me slowly and shared the same values as me and was age appropriate.
        But I went on a date with an amber-flag-guy, saw some red flags, and decided to justify in my head that I could just have fun with this one for a while because he is cute and I like the attention and I haven’t felt attracted to anyone in a long time. BUT what does that really mean??

        If I were to justify with him like I have done so many times in the past,I would probably end up attached in some way,thinking I liked him more or that I could change him or something… and how would I really be open to meeting and dating someone else? I’m not good at multi-dating, and I’d like to meet a good guy with no baggage of a FWB or booty call or unavailable relationship going on. And I would hope to meet someone who was also available without some girl on the side that he was justifying he would be with until he met someone else.

        I also look back and see that I really haven’t had a relationship that was good and healthy. I’ve had tons of small relationships where I justified. I am also always told that people cant believe I am still single. Having to answer that question so many times really made me stop and think about it and ask myself some important questions. I say, “By choice,” because it has been… I have chosen to justify and have lots of small “relationships” with the wrong guys. Yes, the wrong guys came to me and pursued me, but I didn’t opt out and often was very aware that I should opt out, but justifying seemed more fun and easy and in my comfort zone.

        • MRWriter says:

          Thank you Kristen for that. You’re right. I guess we’re single by choice — granted the choice presented to me has been settle for less than w/ EUM’s or stand alone. After standing alone gets too hard, I justify much like you said with someone that I know I shouldn’t but do anyway just to pass the time between nothingness. Of course, I hope they’ll prove to be better than my first instincts indicate but usually they prove to be much worse and then I’m hurt. Would like to get off the merry-go-round of craptastic men…I also have short-term relationships but nothing significant because I wouldn’t accept EUM behavior once it became too obvious to ignore.

          So I’m alone by choice. Kind of empowering but I guess what’s been eating at me is I don’t really feel like it’s a choice in that the men I keep meeting are so damaged and selfish. They don’t care about anything except themselves. If that’s all I keep meeting and I reject these EUM’s for self-preservation the choice is to love and take care of myself first, yes, true, but the choice of being in a fulfilling relationship is never on the table which doesn’t feel like much of a choice whether I stay or go. The end result is the same. Obviously, if I stay in an unhealthy relationship I cannot be open to a healthy one which is why I leave but when I never have the option of a healthy relationship with any man I meet, then being alone while a choice doesn’t feel very empowering…it feels unjust.

          • Kristen says:

            MRWriter… your last paragraph… I feel the same way!
            I chilled out after my last major assclown (who profiled me and then pretended to be something he was not to get me to date him until he could no longer hold up the lies and it all fell apart) and took a long time off dating to get over it and just get to know myself and do some work on myself. I felt content…Some great days and some very boring, dull days, but all normal and no extremes. Part of me wanted to meet someone, and part of me was tired of all the assclowns I was coming across and I, too, was feeling like it was all unfair and maybe hopeless.

            I thought I would just be single and get some things in order before looking to meet someone– work out, get some more work, turn my hobby into a small side business, etc. I figured when the time was right, the right guy would show up.

            I know a lot of people who met wonderful men when they gave up looking and just got happy living their lives. I feel like I have done that for a long time, but upon closer inspection, I realize I actually haven’t!

            I have had an underlying “stagnation” going on. I gave up looking, but I think I also gave up hope and desire in dating as well in other areas of life. I wasn’t actively working out or looking for more work or making my hobby a business like I had set out to do. I think a part of me still looks for something or someone else to get me motivated. I also think I have had underlying feelings, fears and faulty beliefs that mess me up– like it won’t happen for me or no one will really like or want me and I fear what will happen if I get involved with someone and get vulnerable. I haven’t really been actively doing my thing and creating my own happiness to truly change my faulty beliefs. I feel very much over all my past assclowns, but not over my own insecurities and issues.

            This younger, oddball, probably very EU guy showing up could have been my way to fall back into old patterns OR my “test” to see if i can recognize all the dynamics I go through and that it is ok to meet yet another “frog” and walk away without getting involved. I almost slipped back to my old, destructive patterns. I’m so glad he ignored me so I could stop and say, “whoah, here I go again, what was I doing? time to look at this again and put it in perspective.”

            I am thankful that he also woke me up to the fact that I have been coasting along. I haven’t been working on me or being me the way I thought I was, and now I want to. If I had, I would have made a better decision and wouldn’t have kissed him or been affected by his ignoring me.

            So now I find myself thinking, “When will I meet a better, relationship-minded, well-adjusted guy? Can it and will it happen for me?” I want to date and have fun and make out, but I want it with someone I know and trust and can have consistency and exclusivity with. SO I sit here and wonder and hope that it will come my way.

            I know there are articles on this site about having to date/reject a few more frogs before you find your prince. So I don’t expect that the next guy I meet will be fabulous. But I’d like to expect that I could recognize a good one and appreciate it. I’d like to expect that I will be able to go slow and keep my eyes open and opt out if needed.

            I finally feel today that I am ready to do it all… to get happy being me and put my thoughts into action and to fall in love with myself and learn to believe that of course I can meet a great guy because I am a great girl. I am finally going to work out and get my stuff going! I think when we really build up our self esteems or just start living more than we are and not focus on the faulty beliefs but recognize them and actively change them and let them go, we will attract better men and recognize the frogs quicker and easier. I want to walk away from frogs without it even bothering me or making me wonder if love can happen for me. I am going to keep reading around on this site!! (exhale)

            • Kristen says:

              Didn’t realize my last post was so long.

              I think we have had so many bad experiences with assclowns and justifying for them and then continuing to meet more or be alone, that we need to take a really good cry and then once we got that out, say, “ok, time to get to work, shift focus and start changing/ growing ourselves.”

            • MRWriter says:

              Kristen —
              Me and you, girl…me and you.

              Yeah, I feel like I’ve taken years off to focus on my, detox and find my footing. I think my disappointment has been in a) how few men approach me or are single [this year was an exception], b) that when I do meet a guy, if he’s not an flag waving ogre, I proceed with caution only to find myself going, “Oh, God, here we go again…then I play “Another One Bites the Dust.”

              I think I’m confusing my down time for getting healthy in a weird Reset Button mentality sort of way. I’m expecting on some level that when I’m strong enough the right guy will appear. Now, I’m realizing that being strong, emotionally healthy and content does not necessarily = meeting a good man. It just means I’m in a better position to not be suckered in by the “Well…let’s see how this goes.” No more of that!

              I agree with some of your points above about “stagnation.” For me, I’d call it “existing.” You’ve inspired me though to live the life I want and if I never have anyone to share it with…while a bit unnatural…that just means there’s more good to spread around for me, my fam and friends.

              This sounds worse than I truly mean but after all these selfish men I’ve decided to adopt their “me first” attitude and start looking out for me Priority No. 1. They certainly never considered my feelings so I’m going to stop being the woman that always considers theirs. I don’t expect to meet anyone anytime soon and that’s a good thing.

              As far as your last paragraph, “walking away from another frog w/out it bothering you & wondering if love can happen?” I think that’s normal. It is a let down. I don’t want to get to the point when I’m totally not bothered and just resigned.

              Thank you for your reply. It made me feel like I have a sister in arms. Hugs!

    • Rosie says:

      Thanks, Revolution, for posting your feelings on being single. I started crying when I read your post because it’s how I feel too. I LOVE men(!)but they don’t seem to like me much. I know that I’m physically attractive to them as I get attention in that way. I’m told that I’m sexy, smart, blah, blah, blah. Yet, no one will embark on a relationship with me. Am I perfect? Of course not! But neither are they.

      I haven’t been married before, either, but I have been proposed to. Fortunately, I had the guts and the moral character to say no to a bad idea. From other posts of yours I’ve read you said that you were an EUW in your “former life”. So was I. If we did marry way back when, what kind of men would we have married? On paper I look lousy because of my EUW history but, really, not marrying those men who asked also says something positive about my character (if you knew the story of who asked and why I said no)and gives me hope that even at my worste, I have good qualities to be respected. Even though I’m alone (and, yes, lonely), my friends are good, psychologically healthy people and they accept and like me. The people keep pointing out what they believe are my flaws are toxic anyway and lack self-awareness to see their own flaws. If I get along with normal, nice, and intelligent people but struggle with toxic people, then is the problem all me? I don’t think so. Is the problem all you, Revolution? I don’t think so.

      My fear is becoming an EUW again due to these feelings that men just don’t like me. Oh my goodness, I’m crying again. :(

      • Little Star says:

        Oh Rosie, please do not cry:( I understand how you and Rev feel! I was married before, it did not help either. I had family gathering this summer and all my cousins and nieces/nephews are married with kids and poor Little Star in the middle of nowhere:( I felt sorry for myself at first, but later realised that I would NEVER chose their lives, partners/husbands, honestly! I am always looking for “full package”, my future bf/husband must be handsome, clever, good job/own a house etc, yes I am picky and I cant help myself. OK, I met my share of ACs, but they all had a good jobs/financially stable, I never settled for losers like my relatives did. I always say to my relatives: “Yes, I am very fussy, it is not about them, it is about ME” and to be honest I DO NOT CARE what they think of me, I am happy as I AM!

  21. Changing says:

    I found this site a month ago when my EUM of 8-9 months disappeared. We were pretty close in what I thought was a real relationship and his poofing act made an impression. I thought he was a very honest and decent guy. Well, he told me he was;) in any case, complete poof was least expected. I did not run after. I called him one day and when he didn’t pick up texted that I called. Never heard back. We were in contact the day before and things seemed good. anyway, now I am agonizing between I could have made this work if only understood better what was going on and whether it’s a good idea to tell him off now. I’m not a telling off person in general and think that no words can compare to him losing me, but sometimes I wonder. Having read a lot of posts here I understand so much better how I should have behaved and can’t forgive myself for not seeing that at the time.

    • Mymble says:

      Whatever you did or didn’t do, noone deserves the disappear/ignore manoeuvre. It’s heartless and cowardly, the worst king of EU behaviour. Someone who would do that to another human being that they were in a relationship with for a year has got something far wrong with them. You are worth better than that.

    • Freya says:

      I will tell you I once was so angry over a break up that I did call the guy and tell him exactly how I felt. I guess I thought it would bring me closure. It didn’t. It actually made me feel worse and then I found myself wanting to call or text every time I felt any powerful feelings about it at all. Honestly, it did not make me feel better like I thought it would.

      I am super sorry that happened to you. It doesn’t make much sense for someone to just up and disappear does it. You will be able to forgive yourself for not seeing “the signs”. Someone leaving you isn’t about you sweety, its about them. You didn’t do anything wrong here. You were acting on what you thought was the reality of the situation. Try really hard to understand that. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

  22. Jule says:

    Aw Revolution, you made me chuckle with the orange cone comment and I feel ya on the the 2nd post about what others are thinking when you’re still single in their paired up world. I’ve been married twice so I think people often wonder “what the hell is wrong with her?” and now I’m SINGLE and haven’t had a decent boy to bring home to Thanksgiving as my major main squeeze (or any other social event). Yeah I’m sure they wonder. Well Let them. I’d rather be single in their eyes than unhappy. There is a saying I heard — No man is better than the wrong one. Heck, those paired people aren’t ALL happy ALL the time. I would bet that some are actually envious of you and your space to be free and grow and do what you want. The grass always looks greener as they say. Crickets are a much better sound than the rattling of a broken heart. Hugs my dear.

  23. Tinkerbell says:


    I’m having a lot to say also today. For onr thing, I am happy and content with new friend. I hesitate to call him my bf, although that is what it seems to be on both our parts. We’re definitely exclusive. But I want to say to you is, Rev, maintain your positive self image. There may be times that you feel confused as if you don’t know where your life is going, but please remember that you and God or your higher power direct your life. You have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed because you are surrounded by couples and you are the odd woman out. If anyone dares to question you or challenge you about your ability to attract a man and keep him, not that it’s any of their business, just say when the right one shows up I’ll know it and I’ll make my move at that time. That’s all. Be proud of yourself. Being single really isn’t so bad. Look at all the freedom you have. Negotiating a committed relationship is not easy, especially when you get older and have had some big blunders in your past. We all have made mistakes, we all have skeletons in our closets. I know only a short while ago I felt that I was destined to be alone, that it was finished, over, kaput. But I continued trying to be better, trying to really take care of myself spiritually and in every other sense. The man feels that I am the sweetest, most together woman he has ever met. Sure, what he says could be false, but I know who I am, now, and I know I am a good, kind, beautiful woman. I don’t need him to tell me that. And, in just a few weeks, I’m no longer afraid to let my guard down because he certainly has. He has just as much reason to be leary about a new relationship as I do from what he has told me. I feel deep down that he gives me truth and honor, care, love and a ton of respect. I have been working on being the kind of person I want to attract as a permanent partner. So far, so good. I am no spring chicken and he is 9 years my senior. You can have the same thing. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel less than. And, don’t give up on yourself. I’m supporting you . Tink

  24. Littlebit says:

    I can definitely relate to this article so much. I am going through this right now, and it definitely isn’t the first time. I sometimes feel like I’m crazy because with this particular person, there is only ONE thing we have in common, and that i like about him. ONE – sex. I’ve had great sex with other people, so I know damn well he isn’t the only one out there capable of it… and I have become borderline obsessive trying to figure out WHY I keep going back, and re-engaging with an idiot who doesn’t deserve me at ALL. The worst part is, usually it’s ME that initiates it too. When I feel determined enough to walk away, he reels me back in. I’m more frustrated than I am happy, and I know this logically, but cannot seem to break the cycle. I am almost 24 hours NC after telling him off and to never contact me again… I hope I can see it through this time.

  25. Grizelda says:

    “People unfold.” Yeah, and sometimes when they do, you want to crumple those bastards back UP. Comment of the day!

    Going back a few years, I think it was date number six or seven, I was new to dating, and everything was going pretty well chemistry-wise before I invited this guy ‘in for coffee’ (oblique offer to kanoodle, mainly used by university students but it’d been that long since I was last single).

    Problem was the kanoodling. He didn’t so much kiss me as lick my teeth. He didn’t caress me so much as act like a drowning man grabbing onto someone wearing the last life jacket. He wasn’t quite sure what-was-what on me. And he himself had almost nothing ‘downstairs’ (yes I had to manoeuvre round to actually have a look because I’d never seen anything quite so like a set of dollhouse knick-knacks). He was what they call a three-push-charlie. I very, very, nearly burst out laughing and screaming ‘You cannot be serious!’ a la his hero, John MacEnroe.

    Before you think I’m off topic… with reference to the Justification Zone, you can see my quandry. I went off him — not just after the sex, but because of the sex. Could I expect a man in his late 40s to improve in this area? To learn? How about to grow something? Was it my job to join the 30-year-long queue of tutors whose advice he clearly ignored in the past? No way was he that special. A guy who is totally unequipped in bed can be just as much of a red flag as a guy who’s a bit unaccountably over-good in bed. Nevertheless, a lady never sleeps with a gentleman just the once. So I did my bit for Queen & Country enough to preserve his self-esteem across a couple more dates — also providing me with further opportunity to learn of his commensurate immaturity in several other areas of his life — before letting him down gently with ‘generalised incompatibility issues’. Which felt a bit like pushing my new car back to its dealer, having discovered there was no engine in the damn thing when I got it home, but only telling the dealer I just didn’t really like the colour of the contrasting piping on the leather interior.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Grizelda…. You have a talent for writing fantastic post.
      OMG this is so funny& entertaining :)
      And he himself had almost nothing ‘downstairs’ (yes I had to manoeuvre round to actually have a look because I’d never seen anything quite so like a set of dollhouse knick-knacks).

      • Anon says:

        I don’t really like that type of humor- a woman would be outraged if a man blogged about her small boobs or other private parts.

        • Mymble says:

          Anon and Grizelda
          I wasn’t laughing.
          Don’t lower yourself to their level even if they deserve it, and it doesn’t really sound like this guy did. You don’t have to date someone you don’t like but sneering about his body/sex
          techniques is shameful. Did you have no liking or respect for him as person before you slept with him?

          • Mymble says:

            And Grizelda, if you think that is on post then read the post again, it is about staying in a relationship and emotionally where there is red flags and things are not working. It isnt about contining to shag someone you despise for what? Reason? Because you felt sorry for him? Not that much, judging by the tone of your writing.
            And size of equipment isn’t a red flag btw.

            • Grizelda says:

              Mymble, you’re deliberately misinterpreting my post.

              The red flags started flying immediately upon the inept, selfish, embarrassingly bad sex. And the sex was inept for several reasons I thoroughly described, not just because of the one reason.

              My conundrum, again as I thorougly described which you chose to ignore, was that breaking it off with someone at that rather delicate ‘first time you have sex’ point in a relationship is a totally obvious indicator that the sex was entirely at fault.

              Shag-n-dump is an infuriatingly familiar scenario to a lot of women. But I couldn’t be that cruel to him. My being female wouldn’t make a shag-n-dump anything other than a shag-n-dump all the same. Had I despised him like you suggest I did, oh well then I would’ve told him to his face that he was terrible in bed and that’s why I was breaking up with him, because I’m such a delicate flower, right? But I thought I’d spare him (and myself) that kind of unforgiveably nasty put-down. Ending up having a couple further rounds of pretty terrible sex was simply my own misfortune. I justified it because I believe when you climb into bed with someone, you take your chances, and you have to be grown up enough to deal with the unique sensitivities that surround it. Shag-n-dump is simply OFF. Sometimes, believe it or not, when things go unexpectedly wrong you’ve got to bite the bullet and try to do what’s best for the other person for a change, and think of them and their feelings, not just put yourself and your own wants and feelings at the centre of absolutely everything you ever do. Yes I admit I was mortified about it at the time, but I do laugh at it now, years on, because the whole situation was completely absurd.

              As it happened, the sex was the first real signifier that he was immature in many areas of his life. He dropped the facade and it was clear that several things in his life were out of control, he commonly lurched ineptly from one thing to the next, he was quite selfish, and he didn’t really care. Plenty of reason to flush. But the beginning of the rapid end was most assuredly the terrible sex.

    • FX says:

      Love this, Grizelda. I was once crazy over the moon for a guy until I looked under the hood… Some things just can’t be fixed. We need to look at the flip side, too, we aren’t going to always measure up, so to speak, to their requirements either. Yes, it sucks more after we were naked but, interest and disinterest, for whatever reason, is information that needs to be heeded. We shouldn’t throw good money after bad as the saying goes.

    • Jule says:

      Griz, you always put a smile on my face with those posts of yours. Thank you for the chuckle. :)

  26. Kristen says:

    Good post for me…
    I think I am justifying a bad decision I just made last weekend.

    Met a guy at work who will be leaving to another job (I will, too), and he asked me out. On the date Saturday, he said some things that strike me as amber or red flags (aside from our age difference)… his last serious relationship was long distance, he is afraid to get close and let people in, he doesn’t want kids, he doesn’t want to get married (tho I have heard that from guys who years later got married), and that he is “effed” up. I was getting the sense that he is commitmentphobic, but damn he is cute, haha.

    I found myself rationalizing/ justifying/ debating/ deciding in my head…
    1. There are red flags so opt out now.
    2. There are red flags so go super slow and get to know him more.
    3. I could write him off as not relationship material and just have fun because he is sexy (in other words, hook up and let itself play out).

    I chose to make out with him at the end of the night– no sex– but lots of gropping and kissing. Got nice texts from him Sunday. Then yesterday at work I was completely ignored. Now I analyze why… was it because he saw me talking to another guy (who kept coming over to talk to me), did he change his mind, or was he playing it overly-cool at work? But it sucked to be so blatantly ignored when I tried to smile and say hello so many times. Now i am analyzing and justifying my actions of even making out with him when I knew he probably wasn’t right for me.

    I know my pattern, and I chose to repeat it, and now I am looking for justification.

    This post is perfect timing for me because I find myself wanting to see him again just because the making-out was so good and he’s cute. But good sex wouldn’t justify dating a guy who isn’t good for me. As much as I liked making out with him, I shouldn’t have because I want to change my pattern and not end up attached to an assclown again. I need to learn to opt out of red flag situations and make a guy (and myself!) go super slow.

    I find myself wondering what he is thinking of me. I find myself analyzing if this is even something to be analyzing.

    So now I guess I wait to never hear from him again.

    • Ellyb says:

      Kristen – he sounds very EU, and in fact, he told you so. If guys say stuff like that early on, then they tell you the truth. A healthy guy wouldn’t tell you he was “afraid to get close and let people in”. Getting close and letting people in is the whole purpose of the dating process. If somebody states otherwise, he’s trying to manage down your expectations, and that in itself is a red flag (and a red flag means abort mission – not wait and see!).

      Anyway, stop beating yourself up! We all make mistakes. But don’t “wait to never hear from him again” either. Block him, flush him, cut him off. You hold all the power! Don’t make yourself miserable by waiting for him to turn into somebody he isn’t.

      • Lilia says:

        I agree, this guy is a complete and convinced EU – there´s no way he will even consider having a normal relationship with anyone. Just flush!

        The thing that always surprises me though, is that he is the one who asked her out on a date. So that makes me wonder, what for? Why do these guys even bother to act like they´re normal examples of the human species? It would be so much easier for us if they would just behave like the EUMs they are, and go live as hermits in some far away desert. I wouldn´t miss them at all.
        Yes, I guess I´m a bit angry today.

    • Kit-Kat says:

      Kristen…. When someone admits to things he admitted too early on: I am effed up,he’s affraid to get close, let people in, its a code red alert to run the other way as fast as you can…Thank goodness he told you early on instead of like many case years later.. I was involved w/a classic EUM, future faked, acted like we were in a relationship when I come to find out behind my back he was doing as I suppose he has done his entire life cheating, lying, and getting his ego stroked by his harem of women.. Had I known then what I know now from BR I would have aborted mission early on & saved myself so much heartache…

      • Kristen says:

        Thank you for the comments… yes, it is annoying that they will pursue you, and you say, “Um… age difference??” and they’re like, “hey, no problem in my view!” Then they throw out odd statements that make you wonder just how “effed” up they are and in what way. And maybe you think that YOU wouldn’t date if you weren’t ready to give it a chance, so maybe they are ready to give it a chance. (I know Natalie has posts about why they even date if they are messed up).

        I had initial doubts due to my history with younger men, but I thought I would try it out and go super slow and not let any kind of physical activity take place and no going back to each other’s apartments.

        But at dinner, my head was saying, “He is not relationship material,” in one scentence, and,”but he’s sexy and since he isn’t relationship material, I could play for a while.”

        But that has never worked for me! Yet there I was ready to justify again and try to make his red flags turn green enough to jump in just to have some fun which I know very well I would think I would stay “cool” about, but I would start feeling insecure, jealous, and such… and then I’d want to be with him to validate myself instead of just to have a date and a shag. I have fooled myself before– I think that because I know what I am getting into (thanks to him throwing out the warnings), I will be fine. Then I end up hurt and fulfilling self-prophecies.

        When it was time to either go home or make out a bit, my head was saying,”I should go home and make him date me and get a better idea of what he is after and look at those red flags,” in one sentence and, “He’s cute and I don’t think anything will come of this, so I can just have fun and why not kiss for a while?”

        I really should have gone home and taken some time to think about it and let him show me more of what he is like. If he was going to ignore me no matter what, it would have stung less if I had never kissed him and gotten turned on.

        Getting ignored bothers me and hurt a little bit. I don’t like the uneasiness of not knowing what is going on and wanting to ask what happened but not wanting to be “needy.”

        Now I feel yucky and mad at myself that I even made out with him… like I was too “easy.” I question if I blew it and could have created a different outcome even though I know very well he didn’t seem like relationship material. I wonder what he thinks of me and what is going on in his head. It is silly to feel rejected this way over someone I don’t really know.

        Now I know I really have to go super slow no matter what triggers in my brain to make me justify my actions or what a guy is or could be. He fit my comfort zone and it was easy to slip right back into old patterns. I’ve been working on myself to break those patterns, so I am a little annoyed with myself that I didn’t just go straight home and not kiss him. But it’s ok… a good, quick lesson learned. I am grateful he ignored me and snapped me back into reality instead of inviting me over for some more, because I would have gone and justified the heck out of it all the way into bed!

        • runnergirl says:

          Kristen, I had to search back to find your comment because I didn’t have time to respond when I first read it. I’ve battled the exact same thoughts: I found myself rationalizing/ justifying/ debating/ deciding in my head…
          1. There are red flags so opt out now.
          2. There are red flags so go super slow and get to know him more.
          3. I could write him off as not relationship material and just have fun because he is sexy (in other words, hook up and let itself play out). Numbers two and three are my justifying zone downfall and thank you for articulating it so succinctly. I spent two years listening to how the exMM was effed up. His words. My thoughts: Don’t worry, I’ll un-ff you. NOT! I just ended up as effed up as he was. So yeah, kiss this one off (pun intended). No need to blame or set the record straight. I’ve been working to break those old patterns too. The effed up guy didn’t reject you. How could he?
          My justifying red flag: “He’s cute and I don’t think anything will come of this, so I can just have fun and why not kiss for a while?” I’m dead in the water when I go down that route.

  27. Changing says:

    Anyone has an opinion on whether my silence is the best approach? is it my action of no action and no pursuit or just a weakness letting him get away with whatever?

    • yoghurt says:

      Erm, in my opinion silence is the best approach so long as it’s for YOUR benefit and not HIS. Cutting him off will help you get your head together, giving him the ‘silent treatment’ in order to get him to see/do/change whatever will just prolong the agony.

      If he isn’t already interested in seeing the world from your perspective and doing things that make you happy then he isn’t going to change whether you’re silent or not. The bottom line is that he’ll get away with whatever either which way.

      You might call him down and tell him about himself, kick him in the groin or sew sardines into his curtain linings, but (fun thought it may be) in the end he’ll carry on doing things the way he wants to in the way that works best for him.

      Silence and NC is the most eloquent and dignified way of saying “Enough is enough” under any circumstance, but you have to really mean Enough.

    • Lilia says:

      Okay, I had to go back to your previous comment but yeah, silence is the best approach in this situation. It´s the most dignified thing to do. You don´t want to talk things out or chase a guy who poofed on you, what for? Disappearing like that is completely unacceptable and reason enough to erase him from your life. You´re not letting him get away with anything, you´re severing ties with him.
      And if he ever comes back, pressing the reset button or giving a lot of explanations, you´re ready to break up with him because you have already done it with your mind and emotions.

    • Freya says:

      The best approach for what?

  28. yoghurt says:

    It occurs to me that justifying can be a lifestyle choice. Or a way of continuing a lifestye choice.

    I was with someone for six years who really didn’t treat me at all well. I put up with more than I should’ve done, took him back after some seriously unpleasant behaviour and basically wasn’t ever really happy with him, beyond brief periods of relief euphoria.

    I broke up with him and, a few months later, was embroiled with son’s dad – frying-pan->fire.

    When I think about it now, I find that I’m increasingly upset about The Ex and our not-very-good-but-overly-long relationship than I am about son’s dad. The more recent situation was more acutely painful (enough to find Baggage Reclaim and start seriously questioning my choices, thank goodness), but looking back it seems like a logical progression from the situation that I was in before. I put up with years and years of having my expectations lowered, being treated as less than I was and having my wishes and needs disregarded on a regular basis.

    I reckon that I put up with so much from son’s dad because I was so desperate to believe that Being Unconditionally Loving (no matter how rotten the cabbages) was fundamentally a good way to be and would redeem even the worst situation. Probably because I didn’t particularly that I had much else in my bag of man-catching tricks and even more probably because I didn’t want to write off six years of my life as a complete waste of my time and wellbeing.

    If I could prove that my ‘methods’ worked, then I could prove that there had been a point to it. Which would’ve been great, only they don’t. And there wasn’t a point to it. It kept my ex behaving badly and me miserable. And then it kept son’s dad behaving badly and me miserable.

    I still do believe that being honourable, caring, thoughtful and forgiving are good things to be – but I’m old enough and ugly enough to face up to the fact that it isn’t any of those things to flay yourself and then invite them to rub salt in the wounds.

  29. yoghurt says:

    Probably because I didn’t particularly *believe* that I had much else in my bag of man-catching tricks.

    Still not 100%, tbh!

  30. Jennifer says:

    In my last living hell I called “a relationship” the red flags were there even before I met him and then more the first time we met and EVERY time we hung out. I loved cuddling with him and watching movies with him partly because that meant he’d at least shut up about his ex for a bit and shut his mouth in general ( it was a waterfall of bs). One may ask, “We’ll, Jennifer, why’d ya stick around for three months and get your heart broken?” Because I justified the shit outa his bs. His mom did his laundry, made his sandwiches and damn near controled every aspect of his life. I thought, “Awh, he just wants to be taken care of. What’s wrong with that??” Nothing if your a third grader. He didn’t pay his bills thought he once cockily said, “I have the money I just don’t wanna pay em.” He’s 25. More justification on my part: “Awh, I know, bills suck.” Yet I pay mine. All of them. And on time. He was sickly. I thought “Awh, poor guy.” But… I’d be sick too if I frequenly binge drank and never at a piece of fruit or a vegetable. I swear this assclown had scurvy. Seriously, put down the beer and eat a frickin orange. He frequently bitched/reminisced about an ex. I thought, “Awh, he’s wounded. I’ll love him better.” I tried. He went back to his ex….which = big fat heartbreak for me. Ladies, the justifying game is a game you can’t win.

  31. espresso says:

    Don’t be mislead by all those “couples” around us.There is a LOT of unexpressed or expressed loneliness, misery and frustration in partnerships or marriages. I experienced it and see it a lot in my peers. My ex wanted to stay together just because “we were used to each other” in spite of my deep unhappiness (and actually his if he knew himself well enough to know that). That is NO reason to stay together and it was like death to me.

    It is true though that the world is really made up of couples in a way so single people have to work harder to have great lives…but honestly some of the women I admire MOST have done that..they are activists, care about what they do (and have the time to do it), work hard, contribute a lot and indulge what they care about. I think it is a hidden secret, maybe that men don’t want us to know about, that women can do very very well without them AND can be really happy.

    • Fern leaf says:

      Espresso. I love love love your comment. It makes me want to push harder for the things I care about. I love my job and friends. Both mean so much to me. You reminded me of how rich my life is and I feel fulfilled. When I was with my ex I never felt very excited about each day or the future. I only just realize this now since leaving six months ago. So. Man free it is.

    • Mymble says:

      I totally agree. I also know many women in marriages where they have confessed that they can hardly bring themselves to be civil to one another, even though from the outside it all looks perfect. That’s no way to live.

  32. sarah says:

    So, this is my first comment, in spite of being involved with a difficult, distant Dude for over a year. We both got divorced because of infidelity (theirs, not ours) in 2010-early 2011, and although I feel generally healed and ok (thanks, therapy!), it’s become increasingly clear that he hasn’t dealt with it, and that’s led to a huge fear of intimacy.
    Our long story, somewhat short: we dated casually (exclusively, but no clear commitment) for a few months, then broke up (he wasn’t ready for the real thing, and basically said he was waiting for the perfect woman), we tried to be friends, lots of crying blah blah, and got back together in April. It was GREAT. Lots of fun, no fighting or weirdness, just a good healthy relationship. Last week, out of nowhere, he breaks up with me because he’s just now discovered that he doesn’t want kids, and I have a 2.5 year old. I split custody 50-50 with my ex, who I’m totally cool with now. So Dude (age 28, I’m 32) just NOW decides that he can’t handle the kid thing, in spite of the fact that he’s only met my (awesome, brilliant, well-behaved) son a half-dozen times. He also threw out 3 or 4 other totally insane excuses when we split. He says he’s still in love with me, but really, he hasn’t said much else. It was a super short breakup evening because I just left, couldn’t deal with it.
    The idea that people unfold, even very slowly, is comforting to me. I’m upset over this whole deal, and questioning my judgement in men.
    Also, we’re 4 days no contact, and it is SO HARD. No logic makes me stop missing him and wishing this could work. Any encouragement would be awesome.

    • Magnolia says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Sounds as though him suddenly realizing he isn’t into kids (NML has written a post on this very thing, them suddenly bringing up some aspect of YOUR life that they can’t handle that has always been there) just shows you the most important data about someone you describe as distant and difficult. He’s not in it to stick around and be a dad. (Were you looking for that from him so soon after a divorce? Have you had time to get your head clear around the issues from your marriage?)

      Also the fact that you broke up once with him telling you he wasn’t ready for something real / was looking for a perfect woman seems to indicate emotional unavailability, yet you got back together and describe everything as ‘great.’ How did his issues suddenly get resolved?

      Sounds like his issues in fact did not get resolved; you describe him as having a fear of intimacy.

      Good for you for these first four days of NC. Stick to it. You need time to step back from what sounds like a rebound thing from your marriage and focus on you and your son.

      • sarah says:

        I can see how there are some rebound aspects of this, but no, my divorce was very clean and I’m honestly in a good place about it, and have been since I got together with this guy. Ex and I talk often (about parenting mostly), and are always really friendly. I’m definitely, absolutely not looking for a dad replacement in my son’s life. This guy didn’t even meet my son until we’d known each other for 6 months, and very sparingly after that. My ex husband is a great dad and I handle life as a half-time single mom without any problems. I’m really quite independent, which is what attracted me to this man.

        I know his issues didn’t suddenly get resolved when we got back together, but we had a lot of talks about that. He did some work to heal from his divorce, like formally forgiving his ex-wife. To our friends and to me, it just seemed like a normal, totally healthy relationship. We were moving in the same direction, no power struggles, lots more talking… We got close! Maybe too close, because when we split he kept saying, ‘if this gets more serious and we move in together…’ which is something we had never discussed! He’s so caught up in the future possibilities of things going wrong. It’s so frustrating.

        • Magnolia says:

          That sounds really confusing, then, Sarah. Usually, even when something like this happens “out of the blue”, it later becomes more apparent that throughout the relationship there were signs of something not totally right.

          I latched onto the “difficult, distant” part and thought it characterized him throughout your relationship.

          But you asked for support, not an analysis, and it sounds as though while you’re sad and surprised, you are handling reality well. In fact, given your comments about your ex and life as a PT single mom, it sounds as though you handle life pretty well!

          Support is always here for you at BR.

        • selkie says:

          You don’t want a man who rejects your child anyway. I had a similar thing happen to me this past year, and my child is 26! Being a Mom is an integral part of me and you, and if that is a problem for them, then our values do not match theirs, at all. I’ve dated men who have children and it wasn’t a problem for me personally, I looked at the children as a part of him and embraced them. So, consider it a blessing this guy is showing himself now. Your little child is a precious gem. Many men will admire you for being a Mom, and embrace it. This guy is entitled to not want to involve himself with kids, that’s his choice but, you are way better off without him. I struggled with it when it happened to me earlier this year, and it really hurt my feelings, but as time went on I gained perspective. My Momness and my kid are part of the deal. Final. His loss, truly. He didn’t value me after all and I misjudged him. I was a single Mom for many years, and had no problem finding men who not only accepted my child but fell in love with him. These men exist. Let this other fool go on his way.

          • sarah says:

            Yeah, I’m trying to handle reality. I’m definitely still spending a good chunk of time longing for him to change–not just to come back, but to really wake up and see that what we have is valuable, and the way he’s going about life, being so protective and playing it safe, is not putting him on the road to what he always says he wants: a stable, happy relationship for life. (that was a huge run-on sentence. apologies.)
            It’s hard for me to think of him as a fool, or as a jerk, because he is a good guy with genuinely good intentions. I just have to remind myself that I do not need to get mixed up in a relationship with someone who clearly needs to spend some time figuring stuff out. It’s just going to take time for my heart to catch up with my head.
            The kid thing is a big deal, selkie, and I agree. I have a whole slew of issues with my mom identity (meaning, I love motherhood but strongly resist being defined by it), so this was a blow to me. But my kid comes before any dude, and I do know that a relationship with someone who doesn’t love my boy will never work out. It’s just a huge bummer. I’m genuinely just looking for a little cheerleading right now.

  33. louise says:

    oh well isnt this once again timely..i cant believe that i was thinking about this yesterday..the comment “a lot of people who are good at sex but not so good at relationships are good at it because they have had alot of practice” well that is my ex EUM of 2 years you know the guy, 41 never been married or been in long term relationship but had lots of women..cant you just see the red flags waving madly in the wind, shame i didnt see it 2 years ago..Thank goodness i have kept my NC for 6 months to save myself from anymore crazy red flag bearing behaviour.Thanks Nat.

  34. Brenda says:

    Yeah we will be freinds forever, lol! Yep even though you put me in a “Triangle” then denied it was a triangle and have too much to hide and too little to give were gonna stay “freinds” forever.

    And you can get mad when I talk to another man yet I get to know all about your future dates and how if the opportunity comes along you would not turn down sex ..

    This same thing can relate to people that haven’t even had sex as well, the freinds that string you along, Thinking if you promoised to always be freinds that it can really be that way when they are playing head games, illusive games, off and on maybe kinda sorta games, jelousy games, you can’t do that but I can games.

    Never gonna promise anyone jack sh*t again without a ring being slipped on my finger and without a getting whole lot more than I was getting.

  35. SleepingBeauty says:

    What a wonderful post! My last breakup two years ago with an emotionally abusive and emotionally immature man left me in shambles. I didn’t fully trust myself or my judgment when it came to anything, not only relationships. When I developed a fast friendship with a man, who later turned out to be an AC/EUM and emotionally immature as well, I disclosed all of my emotional baggage and trauma. Being naive and thinking we were friends as I had no intention of a romantic relationship, I believe I gave him a road map of how to hook me. In the end, he ended up doing EXACTLY the same thing as the previous ex who it had taken me two years prior to get over.

    To make a long story even longer (lol), when I saw some shady behavior and felt uneasy, I ignored it. I didn’t know whether my “gut” feeling was real or misleading. Was I still traumatized by the previous relationship? Was I overreacting? I wasn’t. I distinctly remember saying to myself at one point, “no, not again,” and that was the turning point. That was the moment I proceeded to trade the uncomfortable comfort zone for the justification zone. I couldn’t bare another blemish on my relationship record, as you have stated, and I also had to come to grips that while these men where legitimately “wrong”, I was still the common denominator.

    Everyone knew the trauma and drama of the previous relationship and I was embarrassed and ashamed to admit that I had made not another mistake, but the same mistake. I felt like a fool and truth be told I still do. At first, NC was a way to “punish” him for his behavior, but has since turned into an opportunity for me to get my self-esteem back and get some perspective. Their behavior of me was not about me and I never accepted it, but definitely endured it longer than I should have. I see now I thought that that was the love I deserved.

  36. Tyla says:

    “People unfold”. I love this whole paragraph! I did this recently, totally beat myself up bc some EUM stop me up. I was so mad at myself bc I dated an EUM for 6 yrs and thought, how did I not know this?! But you’re right, I’m not psychic. He “unfolded” and there was no way for me to know who he was prior to “discovering” that. And I shouldn’t feel bad for pursuing what I THOUGHT I was interested in, I’m human! We need to be kinder to ourselves.

  37. Thatslife says:

    I tried so hard to figure out this once particular EUM reasons for asking me out to dinner on multiple occasions and coffee dates. The extravagant gifts given to me, the texts, calls, visits to my office just to say hello. Nothing more came out of it (no sex, no intimacy, nothing). This went on for little over 2 years. I was afraid to ask or question his motives.

    I thought hard for a long time, could not figure things out and definitely did not want to ask why?

    The explanation of: People unfold, Its just interest and it’s just a date sums it up for me and the questions I had of why has been answered.

    Thanks for another great post.

    By the way I am done with the EUM (cut all contact).

    • Anon says:

      Thatslife, the scenerio you described is not a classic BR EU- who gets every thing from the women and gives her nothing. It sounds like he was giving you gifts and benign (non sexual) attention, but no real relationship. When I read that, I thought he was longing for the company of a woman but had no idea or huge fears about how to progress the relationship. Your instincts told you to not ask questions, because you suspected it was some type of deep emotional
      trauma causing his fear of intimacy? I believe that might be it. Your post doesn’t sound like you think he was hiding a wife of any thing sinister? From the little information given in your post, I felt sadness for him. It reminded me of the Ryan Gossling character in the film ‘ Lars and the Real Girl’, not all EU men are bad people, they just had terrible experiences that cause lifelong awkwardness in adult interactions and relationships.

      • Thatslife says:

        Anon, You are right. No it wasn’t a wife, cheating, player type thing or anything bad like that.

        I did learn that he was in a severe accident and had some trauma/emotional issues. He had mentioned something about a therapist (but again I did not want to pry or ask) so I politely changed the subject. That was one clue.

        I just got tired of being available when he wanted me to be. I thought maybe because of his career (he’s a professional business man) I thought maybe its his office/type of work that made him unavailable (because of the demands his job has).

        Like examples you shared its deeper. He is not a bad guy, he was just EUM and it was frustrating at times for me. I thought, wow I get everything that some women desire (material wise, compliments and attention) nothing more.

        I felt it was best to cease this non existent emotionless so called romance. It is something I felt that could not continue to go on.

  38. Scarlet says:

    Well I realise that I have been justifying the behaviour of the man because he’s a drug addict. Can you believe that? I thought that if I got him to admit that the reason he was letting me down, disappearing and ignoring my calls, was because of his drug addiction every weekend, and that would then be somehow excusable. I thought at least it wasn’t because he didn’t love me.

    Well now that we have the admission of addiction, I realise that I cannot be involved in this because his behaviour (regardless of why) is shitful and I am on the end of it. A couple of weeks ago when he said he was in real trouble and needed help, I was willing to hang in there whilst he went into rehab. Well he’s done another disappearing act, so instead of waiting for the inevitable call when he came off his high, I sent a text saying that I felt humiliated by his avoidance of me and that if we’re not seeing each other, there’s absolutely no point in contacting me – so don’t. So, we’ve now been no contact for three days. I just have to stop this cycle of me being on the other end of the phone to listen to his woes during the week after he’s been getting high all weekend.

    Nothing there for me, however, if I’m honest, I am disappointed he hasn’t contacted me to tell me he’s on his way to rehab. But I guess whilst I do not hear a word, it means he’s just a drug addict and I am way better off out of this mess. I wish my heart would catch up with me head though.

    • grace says:

      People typically won’t go to rehab until they hit rock bottom. And maybe not even then. Rock bottom is when their girlfriends/wives/kids can’t stand to have anything to do with them.
      While you’re there, shoring him up, supporting him, loving him he does’t need to change. Sadly, the best thing you can do at this point is to leave him.
      Also, don’t hold out hope that when/if he gets himself clean (which could take several attempts) that you will then be together. When they change they want to change partner too. Someone who won’t remind them of the past.

    • Victorious says:

      Scarlet my ex narc was a cocaine user and to be honest the “downs” just got very boring. I have been 2.5 weeks NC after falling off the wagon. He has called and texted and I have not replied. I just don’t think I have the energy for it any more. Yes,I still love him but it isn’t enough.

  39. Tinkerbell says:

    Sleeping Beauty. You need to understand the concept of NC. It is not to punish them. Once you go NC and really mean it wholeheartedly, you don’t give a rat’s a– about punishing them. NC is for YOU. It is for you to come to the realization that it can’t ever be what you want and you are through wishing and hoping and living in your own little dream world by yourself. It is not about them at all. Understand that.

    Scarlet. No good can come from loving a full-fledged confirmed drug addict. He will always choose the drug over you. That is what he craves and what he loves. Sorry to be brutal, hon, but you’re just a crutch and an enabler.
    I once loved a recovered addict- cocaine, heroin, whatever he could get. He’d been recovered 10 years. One of my fascinations about him was that I admired his ability to start his life over and be successful in his own business. But, you know what after > 20 years of drug-seeking behavior, and being deeply entrenched in the drug life, he was still an AC/EUM, and a sociopath. So much for a future with a drug addict. Yes, that my MY experience. But, GENERALLY SPEAKING it holds very little promise of ever being a healthy relationship.

    • SleepingBeauty says:

      Yes, in the beginning it was about punishing him in some way, but over time, it has become about me. I have no desire to be with someone with that kind of character and I refuse to speak to someone who I KNOW is just going to lie to my face.

  40. Revolution says:


    For the sake of brevity, I am going to respond to all of you at once, the ones who responded to my last two comments. You know–the ones where I basically had a little pity party for myself, complete with helium balloons.

    Thank you all. Really. If I had more time and mental energy, I would respond specifically to each one of you, as I had many, many thoughts when I read each of your responses. (Tink, a special mention to you for your kindness and encouraging message. It made me cry, seriously. Just what I needed to hear to bolster up. Thanks, old chap.)

    Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I think all of us who feel like we’re failures in the relationship field, and/or are struggling with the “crickets” need to realize all the variables of our situations. Honestly, it’s not just one thing. It’s never binary. In other words, it’s not “There’s no men out there” or “All men like blondes who are 5’2″ and play the cello” or “I’m so damaged that they can see it from space.” Or whatever other thoughts we hang our hats on at any given time. Yes, I do think that circumstances have an effect on us to some degree, but, like someone said in one of their comments long ago (Grace, maybe?) all sorts of people (old, young, fat, thin, cello players, non-cello players, etc.) find good relationships and get married. The same can be said for finding bad relationships. I think we (and by “we” I mean “I”, lol) tend to want to find a logical explanation to explain away our situations, because it gives us a concrete (though skewed and depressing) version of “the truth.” So that we know what to expect in life. But guess what? Life is a slippery bitch. And that’s why it’s fun to get up in the morning and wonder “What is everyone up to today? What kind of surprises will I find?” (Maybe it’s my youngest child syndrome, as I used to wake up from mandatory naps and bound out of bed, wondering what my older siblings were doing.)

    Anyway, that’s life. Who the hell knows what’s going to happen with any one of us? As my mom always says, “Why focus on the bad? It (our future) can just as well be good.”

    This is not just a pep talk; I’m serious. Anytime I start to wander down “Black or White” lane, I have to stop and backtrack a bit. We need to believe that at some point, we will find and be a beacon to GOOD people who have our best interests at heart. And, I’m starting to learn, we need to know which fish to keep and which to throw back, in both the friendship and relationship arenas. And to always be gracious when throwing back. Because, really, we are all having a hard time of it in this life. Yes, even the ACs.

    The good HAS to triumph over this (I’m speaking of myself here) mopey, dark, murky, weakening feeling of hopelessness inside. It’s hard work, and I’m battling (again) a pretty severe depression at the moment. But today, the fog has lifted a bit and so I thought I’d try to share these feelings of hope with you. I hope they help anyone with whom my last comment resonated.

    One last thing I want to say: these bad times that I’ve been through these past several years have made me SO COMPLETELY and CLEARLY ecstatic about the GOOD, LOVING people in my life. And about the days of hope that I feel (like today) amidst the days of darkness where, literally, all I can do is get out of bed and take a shower. I’m thankful that I can appreciate these good things, thankful that they appear in my life and that I can recognize them as gifts. Because life is short, you know?

  41. Tired says:

    Very true , the focussing bit , i can go couple of days then bang . Down to the floor i go focussing on him , hes with ow now and its the why her etc . Down and down wacking my head with the ac hammer making me feel shit snd low and horrible . Then nxt day its at back if my mind and i get on with life . Its like im addicted to torturing myself , assuming , assuming assuming till my head goes pop . When i should just be thinking of me and what to do with my life , its like watching myself thro a tv screen look at her moping , moping constant pining , only today i thought ill never kiss him again and he was a good kisser , but what price , id rather have someone i know only kissed me than how many . Somtimes i think i just dont want to go thro the getting to know , like someone to ne hurt all over again . I just cant face it to let someone in and tgem to rip your heart to shreds . What is with us men seem to go oh well and jump straight back in saddle with someone eles you dont see them pining or moping . Why cant us wonen just go click like a switch x

  42. Changing says:


    Youghurt, Lilia, Mymble and Freya, hope I did not miss anyone who responded to my post, thank you very, very much for your inputs and your support. I feel better about my decision of NC, but at times I still miss him and still think that I could prevent him from losing interest if I were a bit smarter. I know I can use it for the future, but I do miss him and the thought that he is probably with someone else – more interesting! – like one guy here on the blog explained it in a prior post makes me sad. I can pretend that I can easily meet someone as cool tomorrow, but I know it’s just a pretense;) I know, have to toughen up.

  43. espresso says:

    I lived in a long term marriage which had a lot of problems. It wasn’t all bad and there were some good family times and wonderful children that resulted! I don’t think I would have ever justified certain types of bad treatment (cheating, physical abuse) and it didn’t happen. BUT I was the queen of justifying when it came to not honouring my own needs around emotional engagement, feeling emotionally safe, and having a real “step up to the plate” partner. I made all the decisions…he was very undeveloped as a person.

    Of course I complained, went to therapy and forced him to go too (many many times), cried, threatened, pleaded, freaked out, talked and talked , cajoled etc but I always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. He is “trying”he doesn’t know how to change, he cleans the house, he doesn’t beat me, he loves the kids, he is a “good man” , it is unkind to feel what I am feeling, it isn’t fair, he might change some day, I am too demanding…my god the script went on and on and on. It was..sad…but I defended it to myself.

    I found it hard to say…no matter any and all of the above this is not and cannot work for me and that he was NOT changing and never would.

    I knew I was living in an emotional desert and that it was damaging to me and I tried to protect myself by being very involved in other things that I cared about. ….but I never said to myself…you have the right to leave and you deserve better.
    I never liked myself enough for that.

  44. Scarlet says:

    Thank you Tinkerbell, Victorious and Grace. Please don’t be sorry for being brutal. I need to hear it. I have held out hope for this man for 9 months of his crazy behaviour. I know there is no good in this for me and my head keeps telling me that. As I said, I just wish my heart would catch up because it hurts so much to love someone and know that they are incapable of loving me back the same way. I know he is choosing his drug over me. Hell, he’s choosing it over his daughter.
    I might bore everyone, but I’ll keep coming back here just to here the brutal truth. Thanks again, you are all helping me.

  45. Tired says:

    Tinks was brutal with me once and really it was for the best . I for along time buried my head in the sand of the dream i had built . But coming on here smashed it all . Oooh i didnt want to accept it , i clung on and on and on i wanted to believe what i had made in my head even tho the truth was there in a big neon sign. Its been helk ive sat like a zombie , ive cried and cried ive falken off the wagon i got back on , ive tortured myself and peered at fb , but i now know nc is for me to heal to get over it to move on , it will gelp me not punish him i can forget and move on . Its been tough and i fought hard not to accept but now i do . Big hugs to all you ladies and thankyou and im on the way to moving on x

  46. Tinkerbell says:

    Scarlet. I am glad to help you. I really don’t like to say things that don’t sound understanding or accommodating, but it’s only because I care. I feel badly when I see a worthy person beating a dead horse. I’m honest to a fault. I am glad you’re okay with it. I wish you all the best in handling your situation.

  47. Tinkerbell says:

    Tired. Yes, I know I was hard on you, too. It just makes my blood boil to see women mistreated when they don’t have to be, and when they keep going back for more of the same. You are doing better. It takes time. A long time. But, don’t give up and keep putting yourself first, not him. All the best. I remember you said you were taking English classes. It shows. Your writing is getting better. (((Hugs)).

  48. Tinkerbell says:

    I had to try and bolster you up because you sounded so unlike so many of your previous posts. I understand now that you were down, mood-wise for a bit. It happens to us all. Glad I could help a teensy bit. You’ve got a helluva lot going for you and don’t forget it.

  49. lauren says:

    WOW, This article brought me much needed light on a current situation. The need for us to justify and validate every action is so overwhelming without even realizing it. You always find a way to put into writing the feelings and actions that so many of us go through. Great Insight!

  50. Changing says:

    It is amazing how easily I too go back to old patterns though I promised myself to change! This guy took me out to 2 dates, asked on a date if we could see each other this weekend and I said ok, suggested a museum and dinner but no definite plans, then texted the following morning that he had a great time and we should try to get together this weekend. And I texted back that it sounds good! I trusted again! And only hours and hours later I started thinking – why no definite plans? Why over text? though it was before 9 am. But WHY am I accepting this without even saying that I need definite plans over the phone to hold a spot for him on the weekend? I know why.. because it doesn’t make me happy to watch over every detail and demand attention. I don’t EXPECT a problem. Even after someone who I trusted and respected and was so fond of just disappeared on me I still trust blindly a complete stranger!

    • Sadgirl says:

      I can understand why this would be frustrating. He suggested you get together, you said yes and suggested something to do, but he did not secure anything. And until the date is set, it’s not set. Hopefully, he got back to you, but the ambiguous ness can be crazy making.

      • grace says:

        but as Sad suggested the activity, maybe it’s down to her to arrange it? Especially if he arranged the first two dates.
        And while it would be lovely if my boyfriend arranged all our dates, and booked them in advance, and thought of interesting stuff to do,he’s my boyfriend not my social secretary.
        I don’t do all the initiating but I do a lot more than I did in my previous relationships, becase I know he’ll say yes (usually) or no and won’t give me the runaround.
        We also text a lot. But neither of us is scared to pick up the phone and speak either. I used to be a bit scared as my ex had trained me that way, but I’m not anymore.
        Of course, if the man is difficult to pin down, let him waft off.

        • grace says:

          CORRECTION: but as “Changing” suggested the activity ..
          Got mixed up there.

        • sadgirl says:

          She several times said she was looking forward to seeing him. This is not her boyfriend, it is someone she is dating. Once a man asks you to be exclusive, or it is mutually agreed, by all means do mutual planning. Currently, it is not the same, and you know that. How you end up up unavailable men is to do the chasing. This man has been given ample opportunity to say – Sat works great, how about for you? He did not do that, he most likely will, but he has not, and he could have set the date either on the date or in the text.

          • grace says:

            The ex did all the chasing, which is why I was so confused when he cooled off. In fact, most EUMs are good at pursuing, especially in the beginning. Men who know all the dating “rules” have done – a lot of dating. I don’t necessarily want to be with a serial dater (shout out to Brad K for that term). I hadn’t dated in six years, the boyfriend in over two. we weren’t weren’t too slick.
            If I suggested going to a museum I would expect to follow that up. I wouldn’t expect the man to know which museum I meant.
            Still, it’s only a third date. If it doesn’t come off it’s not a big deal.

            • sadgirl says:

              I understand what you mean about being totally suave, fair enough. But not only EUM know how to ask a woman out. That is a dangerous generalization to justify potentially chasing someone not into you. Men generally go after what they want – even the shy and not suave ones. I can see why she is reticent to call him, and wants to see if he follows through. My general sense is that if a man shows up consistently, that means contacting to say he had fun, and follows up by securing another date 4 times or so, a woman should definately feel comfortable reaching out to say hello!

    • sushi says:

      I know what you mean, it shouldn`t be that hard really to have to keep watching everything and demand attention. So…well, don`t. You made a suggestion, he didn`t follow up with a definite date, so make other plans, don`t wait around for him. If you don`t end up doing much at the weekend, give yourself a cut off time for him to call and make a date, and if he doesn`t.. his loss. No point telling him that you need him to make firm plans, he`s not 12, he should know.

  51. Changing says:


    Just think why it happened in the 1st day of your vacation after he was so eagerly after you? Do you really think it’s you or the ex or your vacation routine;)-? It is him who had to face the commitment even to 2 weeks of vacation. It’s great you dropped him, he doesn’t love anyone and no one can rely on him. Flush!

  52. Sadgirl says:

    This post breaks my heart. I am sad today, and feeling self pity. Met a guy at speed dating. He called and we went out. I was not sure i was physically attracted to him, but he is really interesting so I thought I would give him a shot. I went away for the weekend, and he checked in with me. I got back, he called to ask me out, but was unable to take the call. I wanted him to know i got it, so I texted I would call that night. I did and said while I was not available the Friday, I could be the Sunday and was looking forward to it. It took him two days to get back to me, and now it was a text when we had been calling. Felt super icky. Yellow flag maybe?

    We did go out, and had a great time. He did mention that he was bummed that his Halloween party was not a lot of singles – red flag maybe? We emailed back and forth the next day, and he said he was looking forward to taking me out after his exhibit was done. Then no contact at all until I texted him good wishes on getting his exhibit up. He responded immediately.

    Then I went to the exhibit in a small cafe. I saw him at the door and then he never came over to say hello. I left after 50 minutes, vowing to not see him again. All I wanted was a hi! I ‘m busy. Thanks for coming. And there was another girl from speed dating there. Whole thing felt icky.

    He sent me an apology text early the next morning, but it was still casual. He asked to hang out. We did that afternoon, it was really fun.

    Now I have heard nothing and instead of saying we are not compatible, or he isn’t interested, next. I am mulling over all the things I could have done wrong. Was I too cold? Not appreciative enough? Accidentally rude to waitress?

    Please help! I know we only dated briefly, but now I feel like there is something wrong with me.

    • Sadgirl says:

      The no contact between the emails and the exhibit was a Monday to Friday. I let it go because we had plans and he was clear he was busy.

      • grace says:

        This is a storm in a teacup.
        Forget him.

      • sushi says:

        sounds like he is busy juggling other speed daters.

        • EllyB says:

          Yeah, sounds like a repeat offender. I’ve been involved with the same kind of guy (even if I don’t do speed dating). They’re like addicts. Their behavior has zilch to do with you. And don’t expect the next girl to be any luckier than you were. She is simply his next mark. Today she’s probably yesterday’s news as well.

          • sadgirl says:

            I don’t know if he is dating her or not, he did not really talk to her when I was there, but I saw her, and all I know is it felt super icky. It is really none of my business, but ultimately, I should have gone with my gut when he did not even come over to see how I was doing, or make sure I had a drink for 2 seconds…

            I do want to work on being more soft, nuturing and warm, but that does not just happen after you are not that nice to me to begin with.

        • sadgirl says:

          Perhaps, and most likely she has put out more than I have ;-). So far 3 very chaste lip kisses. Had hoped to up it to a makeout session, but I guess someone else will need to earn that. My gut told me we were not compatible when he waited to text me, and reverified when he did not say hello. I suppose I should be glad that it has not progressed. I suppose I am just disappointed. I did kind of like him, and had hoped he would step up some now that his exibition is done.

          • grace says:

            Don’t make this about her or about you. he sounds flaky, impolite, and not seriously looking for a relationship. Ideally, he wouldn’t put himself out there but he has.
            If you or she kissed him or made out with him more or less, he would still be who he is.
            FBGs do this thing – we meet men that we may not even like very much but when they start up with the crapola, we are suddenly interested. What did we do? What did he do? What does it mean? As far as is humanly possible drive those thoughts out of your head. It was only a couple of dates. Yes, it’s okay to be (a bit) disappointed but you are correct, better to know now rather than later. you did the right thing walking away, no need to examine it further.
            I had a two dates with someone years ago who I wasn’t that bothered about, though we had a reasonably good time. I still find myself thinking about him “dumping” me. I just tell myself “okaaaay grace, stop it now!”

  53. Changing says:


    Thank you and maybe because I was so trusting in the past with the ex that had horrible things going on in his life and I made all possible excuses for him- I decided to handle it differently thus time. I texted him that I love definite plans in advance, they make me feel a priority. He responded that I am a priority for him, asking what day works better for me. Yes, in thr past I would do exactly what you were suggesting, but today I thought – what would make me feel better, hanging in there or expressing myself and knowing wjat to expect, and decided the latter;)

    • sadgirl says:

      Good for you! Have fun! Since he contacted you in the morning, it seems he is really interested in pursuing this.

  54. jewells says:

    Here’s the lyrics for ‘Underneath it All’ by No Doubt:

    There’s times where I want something more
    Someone more like me
    There’s times when this dress rehearsal
    Seems incomplete
    But, you see the colors in me like no one else
    And behind your dark glasses you’re
    You’re something else

    You’re really lovely
    Underneath it all
    You want to love me
    Underneath it all
    I’m really lucky
    Underneath it all
    You’re really lovely

    You know some real bad tricks
    And you need some discipline
    But, lately you’ve been trying real hard
    And giving me your best
    And, you give me the most gorgeous sleep
    That I’ve ever had
    And when it’s really bad
    I guess it’s not that bad


    So many moons that we have seen
    Stumbling back next to me
    I’ve seen right through and underneath
    And you make me better
    I’ve seen right through and underneath
    And you make me better
    Better better

    [Lady Saw]
    You are my real Prince Charmin’
    Like the heat from the fire
    You were always burnin’
    And each time you’re around
    My body keeps callin
    For your touch
    Your kisses and your sweet romancin’
    There’s an underside to you
    that this here woman that adore
    Aside from your temper
    Everything is secure
    You’re good for me, baby
    of that, I’m sure
    Over and over again
    I want more

    You’ve used up all your coupons
    And all you’ve got left is me
    And somehow I’m full of forgiveness
    I guess it’s meant to be


    You’re really lovely
    Underneath it all
    You want to love me
    Underneath it all
    I’m really lovely
    Underneath it all
    And you’re really lovely

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

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