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I hear from a lot of people who are unhappy with exactly the type of person that they wanted or even wished to be with. In fact some are unhappy with the person whom they believed that they needed in order to have the type of feelings or relationship that they envisioned.

Be careful of what you ask or wish for, especially if you have a ‘type’, the type of person who in terms of characteristics, qualities, and possibly values that you feel is the most attractive.

After over seven and a half years of writing Baggage Reclaim, I’m yet to hear one person say that their type is someone who treats them with love, care, trust and respect although I have been given wish lists that are longer than the till receipt for the weekly grocery shopping for a family of four.

If you have yet to manage a relationship with your type that has mutual love, care, trust, respect, shared core values as well as the secondary values like appearance and common interests, along with commitment (note that this doesn’t mean marriage it means committed to each other and the relationship), intimacy (willingness to be vulnerable by being emotionally available), consistency, balance and progression, your type is a toxic type especially if when you’re involved with this type, you drop your self-esteem.

One acquaintance explained to me how she realised how she was getting what she wished for when she found herself alone and dumped on her birthday. This guy got twitchy about committing to having breakfast the following day so it should have been no surprise really that he wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to settle down and make babies no matter how fabulous she was. How could this be? she wondered. And then she realised something – like me, each of her boyfriends had been what she wanted at that time. Her guy was muscly, tick, very good looking, tick, gave her butterflies, tick, ‘spontaneous’, tick (she never knew when he was going to show up or when he was going to pull a Houdini plus he tended to expect her to drop everything), great in bed, tick, and had a good job, tick.

She had got what she was looking for, it’s just that she didn’t like what else it came with plus she assumed that this package would come with the deluxe commitment and fertilising of eggs package. She also assumed that when she was ready to settle down, the same type that she’d been having fun with for all of these years would spontaneously combust into being relationship ready.

My old type used to be: must give butterfly feeling, doesn’t have to be really good looking but must be over five ten although I did go through a phase of going out with exceptionally tall guys (opposite to my father), must be intelligent with a good job and make me laugh. Oh and they had to either pursue me until I gave in (even if I still wasn’t that into them) or they had to be ambiguous and elusive as this would trigger desire, curiosity and the internal butterfly machine.

I tinkered with my type so would look for the opposite of something that got on my nerves only to wind up with the same problems because I was still looking at the trees instead of the wood.

If you want to have your space and not allow anybody in and be emotionally unavailable, believe me, there’s plenty of people out there that will give you this and you will feel more alone than you ever have. You’ll have so much space, you’ll wonder if there’s a relationship.

If you want somebody to fill your daddy (or mummy) needs, take it from someone who knows, you’ll get it and then act like a child while handing over all of your power and will end up near crapping yourself over fear of being abandoned.

If you want somebody to be in charge and tell you what to do and think, there’s an assclown harbour shark out there ready to snap you up and put you into a doormat costume.

You want somebody who seems to be the same as you and you’re actually emotionally unavailable, with unhealthy habits of thinking and behaviour around relationships, watch out.

Who people are is self-evident – we don’t need to make it up. People unfold and show you who they are… or aren’t.

If you have a ‘type’ the problem is that you will assume that the presence of these characteristics, qualities and values means that the ability to have the relationship you want is self-evident. You think your type is predictive of the existence of the other qualities, characteristics and values needed for a relationship.

That’s giving your ‘intuition’, whims and possibly an unwillingness to change course far too much credit.

Be careful of what you look for or even wish for. You can’t get what you’re not genuinely valuing and looking for in the first place. Make sure you understand each of the things you’re looking for and why – it will help you to focus and prioritise.

Your thoughts?

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197 Responses to Toxic Type: Be Careful What You Wish For

  1. Amy says:

    Great post! This was one of the segments in Mister Unavailable and the Fallback Girl that I read over and over again.
    I had to sit down and catalog my usual “type” and boiled them down (like shrunken heads) to a few different types:

    “Walking Wounded” – The puppy-dog-eyed sad bastards who wanted a mommy, shrink, BFF, a warm bed and endless supply of forgiveness and acceptance. My codependent traits were like a shiny lure for these characters. When it came down to me needing support, nurturing, and well… anything for that matter, they fell over and cracked like Humpty Dumpty. Egg on my face. Yuck.

    “The Artist” (musician, artist, painter, creative slacker type). Usually these guys set those butterflies off big time. Like a bad pop love song. My role was “groupie”. I was always available for a shag, money, driving them around when they didn’t have a car, listening to their dreams, praising their work, etc. I got a whole swarm of moths in my stomach, lost sleep, exhibited very dodgy judgement, worse boundaries, and tried to twist myself into someone that THEY would worship like I worshiped them. Embarassing.

    “Mr. Bendy” I only dated a few of these guys, and they were tougher to read. These guys seemed so nice and normal on the surface, until I realized that they had no identity of their own, no friends of their own, and would morph themselves to my likes / dislikes, my behaviors (both good and bad), and were far too eager to be with me that they seemed to want to become me. Sometimes they were also Walking Wounded and were so desperate to never be alone that they would crumble if I wanted to have a night out with the girls, or pursue a hobby without them. If I did try to have some sense of individuality they would flip this crazy passive-aggressive control switch. Temper tantrums. Wait.. what? Who are you and what have you done with my bendy boyfriend?

    I learned the hard that men who set off those “butterflies” before we’ve even had a first date should be flushed immediately. These “butterflies” would always result in me letting down my guard, ignore Code Red behavior, and pretty much let them drag me along on some wild hormonal ride that could have rivaled a few famous rock star relationship disasters.

    Thanks to you, Nat I’m able to at least recognize “players” immediately (they really do show themselves fairly quickly). I’m also NOW able to put some sanity around the process of dating.

    Dating my “old way” was easy, it was lazy, I never had to think if this man was actually relationship material – I just made it up as I went along and then wondered where those months, years, etc. of my life had gone when it was over.

    Now it’s much more like investing in the future. Take my time, make better choices, and be willing to take appropriate “grown up” risks like sharing my weaknesses. It also requires that I listen, truly listen to what the man says (or doesn’t say) and what he does.

    Again, I thank you for whacking me with a big bat of relationship wisdom.

    • nancyw says:

      I love this. I have been with all you describe. I am currently with a Mr. Bendy/Artist and trying to figure out why I cling to him. Time for me to really evaluate what I want for me. Exhausted and always disappointed, I have to wonder why I behave as I do. I enable and please, with no emotional return. Duh!

      • sushi says:

        Amy and nancyw,
        reading this…occurs to me that (and that applies to me as well) we are/were just too “bendy” ourselves, too willing to morph, overlook and fit in with someone else agenda. We cannot read them because we also cannot read ourselves very well- we seem to want a great relationship but accept crumbs or just plain shit – because we actualy don`t realise and spell out to ourselves what it is we want. Or we know what we want but don`t think it`s valid and that it deserves people`s respect. If we don`t spell out for ourselves our basic needs and wants, how can we hope to put them forward to a partner? Or a friend, or a child? I obviously have mummy and daddy issues, because reading the short but perfectly formed ” you will crap yourself with fear of abandonment and give away all your power” paragraph above physically blew me into the back of my chair. It did. But, after two years of BR it didn`t give me an automatic thought ;”you are not good enough to seserve what you want”. Natalie Lue, you are amazing!!!

        • Lilly says:

          Sushi,

          Great post and I agree with everything you said. I was the “bendy” OW and it’s humiliating and very sad remembering how I pushed aside who I was and what I wanted just to be with him. I also picked up on the same paragraph as you did. I clearly have “daddy” issues. This is completely gross, but the AC was like a father-figure; position of authority, older by 12 years (not a lot, but enough), and seemingly very mature. I willingly handed over all my power and definitely ended up crapping myself over fear of being abandoned. He was always going to “abandon” me. It was like I was recreating my childhood when my father, the first AC in my life, abandoned the family. This is all coming together. Day 17 NC and absolutely nothing can break my resolve. Before you know it I’ll start thinking I’m good enough to deserve more!

          • jewells says:

            Yeah Lilly, I think that’s what keeps us hanging on through so much crap – the abandonment issue. That was a huge one for me after the end of my MM AC Narc fiasco. I sat in my therapists office with tears running down my face saying: “omg, what the hell is this? I thought I dealt with this crap a long time ago, and I’m embarrassed that I apparently blatantly have not! I’m over 40! what the hell!” My father was extremely EUM and AC to boot, and probably other personality disorders thrown in there somewhere, but diagnosing him is the least of my worries right now. He left when I was 13, but was never plugged in before that either. The exMM fit to a ‘t’, secretive, manipulative, AC, could bounce out of my life in an instant ‘well, you know the situation’, would say all the lovey dovey ‘words’ but no actions to back them up. He was my father in that way, all words, no action. So, when he did ‘bounce’/abandon, it brought up aaaalllll feelings I had left unresolved from childhood and boy was it overwhelming, painful and so necessary to finally go through. I feel so much better for it now, though it really sucked at the time. I will never be a slave to it again, and I will never let myself tell myself that I don’t deserve what I want again. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. We can do and will do better now.

          • sushi says:

            Hi Lilly,
            I relate, and no it`s not gross, it`s a fact of life that if the first AC in our lives is our daddy we will have a problem and react in a wrong way to people we perceive are in authority, even hand the authority over us to them. I did have that even with an AC friend, never mind most of my romantic relationships. Now I realise it and it sunk in so if anybody tries to “up-shift” themselves to authority with me- it`s a red flag for me. I think these are people looking for someone to control, they can keep looking. Mutual relationships or nothing else is good enough.

        • Confused123 says:

          Sushi:
          Ah the wonderful world of Morphing. Sigh! It’s sad.
          With my last AC I morphed so much where I abandoned my values and who I was so much that by the time it ended I did not recognize myself.
          After the split from the AC (and finding BR) it became painfully obvious that not only did I do that with the men I dated but I also did that the morphing with my friends and family. It was all about being accepted and hence being loved. The equation does not quite work that way. Morphing is one of my bigger issues I am working on along with learning to be alone and participate in activities that make me happy.
          As for type, I used to go for extremely good looking, tall, highly educated, successful, divorced, wounded, single dads who I’d could chase them and show them how much I liked them. In my head if they liked me prior to me chasing them there was something terrible wrong with them. Low self esteem much.
          I projected all the characteristics I wanted from them on them. After finding BR I made a vow to myself, never ever ever will I chase a man ever again. I will show interest but I will never hog tie them down for fore them to have a relationship with me ever again.

          • sushi says:

            Confused 123,
            me too, anything to be loved! When I was giving up my values for the “cause” there was such a tremendous amount of pain and conflict in me, and for some weird reason it felt like I was being rejected. I wasn`t, my Ac`s loved me coming along for a ride on their terms. I was in fact rejecting myself and really didn`t know where I end and they begin.Decisions about us belong to us. About chasing…the more flags they waved and less interest they showed the more I stepped up…like in a time machine back to my childhood. Now, I don`t imagine chasing, because it`s all about respect. For me and actually them- respect the fact that they are not interested in a kind of relationship I`d like.

            • Kit-Kat says:

              Sushi…I can relate to everything in your post..
              I could have written it..
              I am NOT that women anymore,thank god for the BR community…

        • Amy says:

          Absolutely right, Sushi!! I was absolutely too bendy, it’s the absolute worst people pleasing part of my personality that always landed me in trouble.
          I can remember so vividly the times that I put myself into a shoebox and put it on a shelf while I fussed and fretted over these UAMs, Peter Pan, and Humpty Dumpty.

          Now I am practicing this habit of listening to my inner “Warrior Princess” who says to me “um… you’re doing it again. Stop it, now” the moment my mind starts to wander off to Fantasy Island.

          I just keep reminding myself of all the bad choices I’ve made in the past in the heat of “passion” or when I was bored, or lonely.

          I don’t ever want to go “back” to where I was, and I don’t want to waste another month or year of my life trying to fix or rescue someone in hopes that they will magically transform into Mr. Relationship.
          No more shopping on the “clearance” rack. :)

    • runnergirl says:

      Oh Amy such an excellent description of “your type”. I can see them and totally relate to the shrunken head visual. My type is the stereotypical aloof, very smart, total bad boy. Tall, dark, and angry. I was like a moth to a flame if he was misunderstood due to his “brilliance”. Then we could connect in this way that nobody else on the planet could understand cos we were so brilliant! Gives me butterflies or nausea just writing about it…gag.
      My new type is someone who treats me with respect, care, and love. Oh, and could I also get someone with teeth? I’ve totally given up on hair but teeth? Totally no butterflies. Just some teeth and care, respect, and love!

    • Allison says:

      Amy,

      Great contribution! I look forward to more!

    • Kimberly says:

      This was a great post Amy. I think many of us can relate.

    • Robin says:

      I’ve definitely had my share of “Mr. Bendy’s.” One guy really had an “identity” whenever I did something he didn’t quite agree with or my values clashed with his. I think in that case he was more closed-minded and less empathetic. Otherwise, on a good day, he’d agree with some decisions but not always support them, so he was passive aggressive, too.

      The other guy I met (not dated, thankfully!) was a Mr. Bendy who pretended he had the same goals as I did, but actually his actions showed that he had other ideas. He seems to flip-flop between wanting commitment or just “having fun” (ie., fwb’s). He clearly would rather look for friends with benefits right now, but it seems like due to pressure from family or whatever, he’s also saying he wants a relationship. He said similar things for school, etc. He says he wants to further his education, but actually he just wants to stay young and party! That combination sends out a mixed message.

  2. McKenzieM says:

    This is so true. After things went bad with the EUAC, I wondered how I got to that place. I felt like I had been there before, but less extreme. While going through this site, I realized I was a total FBG and my “type” has always been ACs & EUMs. I’m also a bit EU myself. So I’m working on that. But Nat’s post about sharing core values, etc. really spoke to me, and I am doing my best to put that into practice and work on getting myself together so I can have a proper relationship some day. I just wish I had learned all this much earlier in my life. I’m in my late 20s and thought I would have been married by now (but I am so glad I never married one of my ex EUM/ACs). Talk about dodging a bullet!

    • Tenneil says:

      McKenzieM, I totally understand what you mean. I’m not even 25 yet and sometimes I wish I’d had my epiphany sooner! It’s better late than never, right? I have to remind myself not to compare myself to my friends and other people around me. Yes, my best friends are in good, stable relationships, but they’ve put in the work to get there, so now I have to as well, so that I can eventually be where they are. There’s no age limit! All that’s important is that we’ve finally realised and NOW we can make change to better our lives.

      Because of BR, I know what’s important in a relationship, I’m learning about values and know now to set boundaries. I’m finally starting to grow up and I know that when I’m the best version of me, someone will come into my life who can add more happiness into the happiness I have for myself.

      Be thankful that you found out now before you ended up tied down to one of these assclowns. I know I am!

      • McKenzieM says:

        So true! The EUAC and I actually talked about marriage a couple of times. *shudder* I thank God that didn’t happen because I would have been soooo unhappy. I would also have no friends because even my best friend had started to hate the person I’d become after getting involved with him.

        It just sucks that most of my good friends are married and now starting to have kids. I feel left behind even though my career is miles ahead of all of theirs.

  3. Georgie says:

    I feel so dumb at age 45 just realizing all this stuff. How much time I have wasted. I’m feeling very down wondering how I can actually change. I’m wondering Natalie how did you force yourself to change? Anyone else out there able to change? Thank you!

    • Lucky_Charms says:

      Dear Georgie, feeling down is the beginning of waking up. You can change,I did! It’s all thanks to Nat and the amazing women here at BR. I am on NC now, this Monday will be 4 months. The reason I changed was educating myself here at this site. Like a lot of women here, I had no idea about future faking, EUM’s and assclowns and their dodgy behavior. When you have finally swallowed the last crumb. You will change.
      I had a “type” all in a different package. I always thought “butterflies” were good, right? No bueno. Oh they’re so spontaneous! Ugh. I am an artist, so I like space, but not the 2001 Space Odyssey I was led on. I have been in 3 EU relationships and I realized that it was me responding to everything dear old Dad never gave me and they wouldn’t either. So everything I “thought” was great, with these types, was not so great. If there was love, care and respect in my growing up years, I never saw it. Rendering me incapable of any good judgement. I am working really hard on myself, holding myself accountable for the “doormat costume” I wore. Those days are over. I don’t have to “keep the peace” or tolerate anything that makes me uncomfortable. Lift yourself up Georgia, from being down, into the BR light, Nat and all the other women here shine. Being that it’s International Women’s Day, I can’t think of a better example of women (and the men who are here too) helping other women.

    • Amy says:

      oh Georgie… I get what you’re saying. I’m 47 and wasted years of my life making bad choices. I’m still new at dating as a “grownup”.

      However, there are 2 things that I’ve learned that have helped me quite a bit lately.

      1. When I feel myself getting that old twinge of “what if…?” and my fantasy engine turns on and the gears start grinding… I give myself an immediate time out. Unplug. Night on the sofa with the telly, a book, a nice meal – I put some distance between me and the “fantasy”. No chasing, no obsessing… it’s like being on a diet and avoiding the sweets aisle in the grocery.

      2. Learn how to say “no” without guilt or regret. If it’s “maybe” then make it a “no” until you can be sure in your mind, in your gut, that it’s “yes”.

      NO is very hard for me. However, the “maybe” and half-assed “yes” has done nothing but land me in toxic situations that I typically regret later.

      I do think it’s harder to change if we’ve had bad habits for longer – but damn we deserve BETTER!! We’re older, we’ve already wasted too many years with people not worthy of our energy, our time, our tears.

      Be strong!

    • Anthea says:

      Is anyone able to change? mmmmm good question in light of the topic. Divorced now, I can say that its been a journey and a half of self discovery along the way and websites like this one has helped me come to terms with my issues enormously.

      I seriously reacted to problems and issues with unhelpful thoughts like its YOUR problem and what YOU did to hurt me and why aren’t YOU making ME happy etc etc…..I have now been able to take stock of the part I played in the demise of my marriage via a lot of soul searching, therapy, reading articles and even experiencing bad relationships- one of which was a classic rebound scenario (at the time I didnt realize until much later) …so yes…people can change but Im sure they need to want to and I niavely refer to it as actially taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions for as change and not expecting your partner to do it for you.

      I’ve since met a wonderful man and we are recently engaged but I met him at the “beginning of my journey” and have learnt a lot being with him along the way. I’ve had to as he doesn’t tolerate my previous behaviour that I considered “normal” which was in fact controlling and slightly histrionic at the best of times! Again, I didn’t realise it at the time, but on retrospect and through self learning, I do now. I’ve calmed down a great deal as a result which is a positive and feel I’ve changed for the better….BUT….(there’s always a but)I’ve got this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m not sure if we share enough in the core values department (ie financials) to be successful in a marriage in the future (no date set as yet). As we are now living together with his 3 teenage children which is challenging to say the least, I get this scared feeling now and then like Im making a mistake as at times I feel “controlled”, undervalued and not equal in the relationship.

      Ive found in the past when Ive had these feelings, things eventually work out ( I raise it at a time that’s conducive for talking….Ive learnt not to raise issues when he is tired or about to leave for work so Im more patient now)and we grow closer as a result but I wonder if all along Im actually commitment phobic myself (I often said he was of me)??

      So now we are “committed” maybe Im looking for excuses not to want to marry him after all or are these gnawing feelings truly my instincts screaming out for attention? How can you tell?

      • sushi says:

        Anthea,
        you sound under pressure because you have commited yourself already but truly, you have quite a few doubts. You say he is wonderful and teaching you what he will and won`t accept and you feel undervalued, controlled and not equal in the relationship.Perhaps you need to work out what YOU will or won`t accept? Having your needs met in a relationship is your right, having to squash them does not “prove” you are capable of commitment. It`s good to take responsibility and correct your mistakes and negative behaviours, but both people need to do this in a mutual relationship. I regret not letting people unfold WHILE I listened to my gut.

      • Kit-Kat says:

        Anthea.. Your post gave me a flashback moment of my marriage and its wasnt good. A red flag immediately went up on the : I feel “controlled”, undervalued and not equal in the relationship. EWWWEEEE. Been there done that and it was not a good feeling. It will not go away. In fact once your married it may get worse. The longer time went on in my marriage the less and less I accepted his controlling behaviours which really didnt sit well with him. Just proceed with caution. Also, I dont envy you living w/3 teenagers that are not yours.. Yep, I am enjoying my single life :)

        • Kit-Kat says:

          Just wanted 2 add a few more of my ex husbands wonderful traits to see if any match up: His way of thinking of things was always right, mine were wrong. If something went wrong it was always myfault,somehow,someway. I felt like a child at times and he was my father scolding me for bad behaviour. I would cowher at his rants just so he would stop. YUK,YUK and more YUK. I am not that woman anymore, thank god.. That marriage ended 12 yrs ago then I hooked up with MR. Unavail..Wow ,great track record. Obviously my type is not working out in my favor eh. Taking a break and working on what my new type will look like. I am a work in progress. Thanks to BR I will be choosing more wisely in the future….

          • Jule says:

            Amen Kit Kat, we are a work in progress and taking a break. Me too. I’m not sure what the new right type looks like yet but I sure hope he comes into my life.

      • Anon says:

        Read Christine Hartman PhD book “Dating the divorced man” there is a chapter on every permutation and scenario so you can see yourself in the pages and better predict what challenges the future holds, and sort through your psychology and feelings to see if you can handle it. If you are of a certain age, dating has become mostly men who are divorced with kids, so it might come down to low/medium/high baggage juggling. You are divorced yourself, correct? So you did commit before. If you are never married, no kids, you might have been really picky, just waiting and waiting for ‘the one’ and/or commitment phobic. I have typed up my opinion on dating dads with kids before, and gotten backlash for it, so I can’t elaborate here. Instead, I will use your copy writing describing your feelings of ‘undervalued, controlled, and not equal’ to let you know they come from a real place, naturally, since they are an already existing family with blood ties and history. If he is a decent dad, the kids will always come first, and you are on the periphery, hopefully not permanently. I understand the alternative- bailing out is ALSO painful- you don’t want to be heart broken & single & waiting and looking. Again. My God. Life is difficult, surprisingly even more so at this advanced age. It is up to you to decide how much you can handle being part of a blended family. Good Luck! xxooo

        • Anthea says:

          Thank you Anon…you summed up my situation perfectly and to Kit-Kat and Sushi…wow thank you too for your thought provoking responses.

          I know Im probably not commitment phobic(as I was married to an EU man for 24 years) but its more that I am questioning whether I can continue to deal with the extra helpings of caring for teenagers (who are not my own) and who are going through their own problems and doing their best given the circumstances; and the subsequent feeling of being undervalued along the way! I’m sure all step mums experience this everyday! Its a thank less job that’s peppered with having to “deal” with the fallout from the ex wife’s histrionics and lies she inflicts as we try to get on with our lives; and that she is hell bent trying to disrupt.

          The control feeling comes out when we had our “fight” which seemed to happen when he was under enormous stress (court case, putting his father into a home etc). Its like he was allowed to blow up but Im not and his anger was triggered by me somehow and I’m to “blame” for “his outburst” (over something I said that was innocuous that night). His reaction was abusive and over the top- with name calling, trembling with anger slamming a plate of dinner upside down on the table and storming off and sleeping on the lounge room floor for three nights…very child like indeed. This has “only” happened once, but its a side of him I don’t like and its like he expected me to apologise for something I said that caused him to over react and was justifiably punishing me because of that…and before he would come back and sleep in the same bed again- very controlling. He seems to refuse to take responsibility for his bad behaviour preferring instead to blame me for ME not taking responsibility and “own up to” saying something I clearly didn’t say that night. He may have interpreted what I said that night as actual saying it..but I definitely didn’t say anything remotely close to his interpretation…- but he was CONVINCED I said it and reacted accordingly…which was to blow up that night. We nearly broke up over it as I refused to apologise for something to just keep the peace, but I did tell him that I didn’t want to fight over something so innocuous and was it worth breaking up about? Day 2 I told him I loved him but was hurt about how he spoke to me that night and that I was really confused by the randomness and suddenness of how it happened too. He didn’t say sorry or acknowledge his abusive reactions but continued instead to blame me. Lose-lose all round! I was stuck between -do I leave over something as “silly” as this or do I stay and try and work it out? I stayed but underneath this feeling remains…will it happen again? Do I want to be in a relationship where its great 80% of the time but there’s that chance he may blow again and react in such a childish way, its nearly laughable? He clearly struggles with stress but I don’t appreciate being the “emotional punching bag” or that I “deserve” to be treated so disrespectfully or spoken to like that even if you are stressed…suck it up…we all get stressed! I am his wife to be, not a *insert another name for a prostitute here*.

          So yeah, its hard to feel equal when you have a man that can feels its ok to “punish you” for something that seems so innocuous and that he clearly thinks you deserve it. Its definitely not all the time, but there is a hint of this attitude peeking through on the odd occasions and it makes me feel wary. Im not his child, nor do I ever speak too him like that but he can occasionally to me.

          We attend counselling and although the session (after the big fight) was mainly focussed on my fiancés stress levels, the counsellor recommended that I ignore childish behaviours as you do with your own child who is acting out. He assured me that we have a good relationship (from his observations during the sessions) and as this doesn’t happen often, it shouldn’t jeopardise our relationship….BUT…it really hasn’t been addressed which makes me now wary of our future I guess.

          Im in no rush to set a date to be honest but happy to see how this plays out with more time together. It will be 3 years in June this year. He has made huge personal improvements himself over the years as I’m sure this was the way he and his ex wife “fought”.. but I do not. Its not my style! I’ve learnt to try and communicate in a way that acknowledges my partners feelings whilst discussing my own…hoping for a win-win situation. His style is more punishing so he wins and his partner loses. I’m crossing my fingers that together we can learn to win-win together as he wont want to lose me in the future (if it happens again). Wishful thinking? Or a leopard doesn’t change its spots?

          • natashya says:

            anthea, he is abusive. it does not matter under how much stress someone is, taking it out on you is completely unacceptable and a big RED flag.

            i married someone who i gave the benefit of the doubt after having experienced a similar outburst. i left after he lashed out again after 4 ‘peaceful’ years.

            can people change? yes,they can, but it takes a lot of time, work and effort.

            if you can work through this and make this into a healthy relationship, good on you.

            having been there, myself, i’d run as fast as i could.

            good luck.

          • Emerldeyez says:

            Anthea, this is abuse and it doesn’t get better it gets worse. You are not responsible for his reactions, or behaviors, he is. You did not cause him to turn the table over he did. Sorry, but he has years of therapy and anger management, and not too often do these type of men succeed. He doesn’t see you as a person, but as a possession, to put up with his tantrums. You answered your own question. I haven’t seen a leopard change his spots yet!

          • Jule says:

            Anthea, what you wrote brought up such memories for me of my 2nd marriage that I took 5 years to decide on with someone who sounds like your fiance. My ex husband and I were together for 12 years and almost all of them were turbulent years of behavior that made me feel crazy sometimes. He would go to bed mad for something and not ever apologize for being extremely rude or calling me or my kids names. I was the one with the kids, not him and there is little worse than having to defend your kids to someone who you must walk on eggshells with constantly. It was awful. I’m free of him now and I’m still healing after 3 years divorced. If you have doubts now, think twice about marriage. Marriage will not fix it or solve those issues. My opinion — and i may catch hell for it here — marriage can be good but if there are serious issues before the wedding, the marriage itself will likely be worse because they don’t have to try anymore to win you over or keep you. The control issues kick in full gear. If you have doubts, make it a long engagement and keep a journal to track what is happening. That will help you determine in a set amount of time how bad or good it is.

          • Moving On says:

            Anthea, it sounds like he doesn’t believe your explanation of what you meant, and all of his behaviours lead from there. Seems like this wasn’t addressed in counseling and you were essentially told to “be quiet” aka ignore.

          • sushi says:

            Anthea,
            I agree with other posters, he sounds abusive. Also, having to be in councelling at this stage, before marriage, not being able to talk constructively about problems and the fact that you seem to take on responsibility for the outcome and he just dishes out the conditions and has tantrums?? Noooo.This man is rigid in his approach and, again, abusive.I am sure that you are stressed as well by now, yet are not reacting like he is. I think you are justifying your investment in the relationship so far. Reality check here is you see what you have with him now and you are not liking it. Don`t bet on positive potential.

    • Mary says:

      Almost everyone on here has changed. all it takes is small steps. Keep reading and start powering up…love yourself more than him and be angry rather than soft…worked for me.

      BABY STEPS HONEY

    • Silverbee says:

      Georgie, please don’t feel too down. I’m nearly 62 and I’m just realizing a lot of this stuff, too. I’ve been involved in almost every type of unhealthy relationship there is, and I still struggle with some of these issues. The only thing that’s permanently changed for me is that I no longer have ANY attraction whatsoever to married men – and that’s some real progress right there!

      I don’t think you can “force” yourself to change. I think there comes a time, as it did for me when I was the OW, when you suddenly wake up and realize that you JUST CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE.

      You realize, with crystal clarity, that the fleeting pleasures of your situation no longer make up for the endless pain it brings you, and you surrender to what you’ve known, deep down inside, all along – that the relationship (or any other activity, habit, mind-set, etc) you’re involved in is never going to bring you love, joy, self-respect and peace of mind, so why are you fighting so hard, exhausting yourself, wasting your precious time, energy and life to keep it going?

      When that moment of surrender comes, you WANT change like you want water when you’re dying of thirst, and you won’t let anything stop you from making it happen.

      At least, that’s how it worked for me.

      Hugs to you!

    • Little Star says:

      Georgie, I am almost your age (only few years younger) and I only started to change! I mean by “change” spotting ACs and their future faking…IF it was not for Baggage Reclaim I would be still stuck with ex AC and wasted more time! Please keep reading Natalie’s posts and books, comments of BR community, you will start to change eventually! Hugs to you:)

    • sushi says:

      Georgie,

      where there is a will, there is a way. Keep reading BR, there`s wisdom, support, encouragment and warmth here.I`ve changed, and changing still.

      • nancyw says:

        This site is awesome. After visiting my youngest son in prison today, I realized that my boys and family and friends are what’s important. While at a concert with my AC last week, it was apparent that I was there to enjoy the great talent on the stage, while the AC was there to gawk at women…mostly younger women. I had a light bulb moment that how said that his entire life’s agenda is seeking supply and luring women to bed. He is really never in the “present” enjoying what life can offer. As I’ve posted before, he has never asked how my son is doing. My other son just got back from a fabulous trip in Uganda…again, he never asked about him either. In fact…guess what….I haven’t heard from him since we attended the concert which I paid for, dinner..I paid for, gas…I paid for, car…we took mine…

        • natashya says:

          nancyw… is it safe to say this waste of space is now blocked and flushed and on the NC list?

          • nancyw says:

            Well..even though I haven’t heard from him, I know I will be receiving the his standard crumb text message “I miss your face.” The question for me is will I respond and end up where I always do…in his bed. I’m telling myself that I am done, but it’s a broken record. I leave for London on Friday, so he will try to get some easy sex from me before I go. I sat in my home last night depressed and paralyzed over this stupid AC.

            • nancyw says:

              Can I ask something also? I have bought and paid for SO many things for him. I take his daughter to dinner regularly. Etc. Etc. He never asks me to do any of these things. So is it fair to expect him to treat me like a friend instead of just a sex buddy? Am I wrong to expect something in return? If I would complain to him, he’d respond “You know I am not available for a relationship…you are a dear friend. Blah, blah.” I find myself humiliated that I try to buy his attention. He NEVER plans activities for us and really only is with me when I suggest doing something that I’ve paid for and arranged. He only contacts me after 9 most the time….to drive into his house. Wow…just writing this is so clarifying…and makes me feel a ill.

              • natashya says:

                nancy, two words: NO CONTACT. actually, make that three and add FLUSH to the list.

                this guy is a disgusting. he’s not your friend. he’s a grade A assclown. disgusting!!!

              • Mymble says:

                Nancy
                Last year, when my therapist was getting a little hot & heavy with me, I did in a moment of madness consider having a relationship with him. I researched online whether that is allowed or recommended. It isn’t. There was a story I found about a woman who had been persuaded by her therapist that as part of her therapy she should have sex with him. Of course she became highly dependant, ended up cleaning and babysitting for him. And he was still charging her for therapy sessions which were largely spent having sex. She successfully sued him for professional malpractice – $$$$$$ – including a refund of all the therapy fees she had paid him.
                Just saying.

              • Kit-Kat says:

                Dear Nancy…what exactly are you getting from this relationshit ??? Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. He has his cake & can eat it too. He will NEVER offer you anything. Friendship: With that kind of friend who needs enemies. He is like a tick on you. He will continue to suck the blood as long as you leave him on there. Grow a backbone and tell him to lose your number & go away..Far ,far away !!!

        • Allison says:

          Nancy,

          OMG! What are you getting out of this????

  4. JJ2 says:

    Sheesh! Had to figure out how to “comment” it was in a different place.

    Great post. All of my ex’s have been what I wished for at the time.

    In posts way way way back, Natalie says that you pick mates based on family dynamics. Hoo boy. I looked back and it made me realize that “dynamic” with my Mom. I’m working on my relationship with my Mom before I engage in any more relationships.

  5. Earthskyguy says:

    Natalie. I love all your posts and have found them invaluable in helping me but i do have a critisism about this post and that it sounds like we should all be going for people we’re not even attracted to. Surely just because someone shares the same values as us that that isn’t the only criteria that matters..I can’t think of anything more horrific than waking up next to someone wanting to chew my own arm but consoling myself to the fact that she’s stable in a relationship…I need that tingle in my tummy, i need that chemistry and attraction…I don’t think its priority over values…But i’ll never be with someone who only shares my values, I need to think the’s hot aswell.

    • sushi says:

      Earthskyguy,
      Erm….I`m confused…..When I read Natalies post I didn`t get from it at all that we should go for physically unattractive to us people who share our values. I didn`t feel she was talking looks… A couple of my ex boyfriends were totally physically unattractive men, their “qualities” gave me the butterflies, and sometime those butterflies are just anxiety in disguise.

      • grace says:

        Sushi
        Good point.
        The most eu man I knew wasn’t physically attractive but there was no shortage of women. He had that tortured genius thing going on and was an extraordinary fantasising future faker.
        And I think plenty of attractive, even hot men and women can be committed and stable. Why wouldn’t they be? If our hot partners “just happen” to be unstable, then clearly we like “unstable” as much as we like hot. Or maybe more so.
        Though some hot characteristics, eg extreme flirtatiousness, unpredictability, drama, and living on the edge are difficult to reconcile with LDR. Not sure if anyone would believe me but that stuff gets boring and unattractive pretty quickly.

        • sushi says:

          grace,
          extreme flirtatiousness, unpredictability and drama are, am happy to say complete turn off`s and red flags now for me. The only thing that they have in common with hotness is colour red.

    • grace says:

      Earth
      lol, as soon as I read the post I knew someone would make a comment along these lines. If someone respectful, honest, committed, and stable immediately makes you think “must be unattractive” we have a problem. I know because it was my problem. But we can change.
      I barely noticed my boyfriend as he’s not a pursuer (my former type) but since we ended up in the same circles I slowly noticed what fine character he has. Funny, it took me a lot longer to realise I have got me a six foot, athletic man as well. It was actually friends who commented that he’s tall, slim and has a nice face.
      And he told me, “I liked you before I fancied you”.
      You can find an emotionally available partner attractive but you have to become EA first. That took me nine months of counselling, years of solid singledom, BR, Nat’s books, Steven Carter’s relationship books, observing the relationships around me, being willing to listen to my married friends and family rather than writing them off as boring, conservative, traditional and, counterintuitively, committing myself to my single life. I committed to buying a home, joining a church and sticking to a job. I used to flit about barely letting anything touch me. I still have that tendency in me, I’m sure it’s what made the eum’s attractive to me. But I see it for what it is now. It has its uses, I can disconnect quite easily from drama and even insults but I won’t let it take me down the dead end of being unable to be vulnerable and to love.
      It wasn’t easy, I resented having to put in the time and effort, sometimes I want to give up. I consider it worth the effort to strive on. I guess I exhausted the alternatives. And I don’t think it need take others as long as it did me – my background was one of the worst ones my counsellor had heard of. But it even if it does take a few years, what else is life for?

      • Earthskyguy says:

        I must not be emotionaly available then.

        • grace says:

          Earthsky
          You may just be unlucky or not met the right person, that’s your call.
          If you see a pattern emerging, though, it might be helpful to take stock.

      • Confused123 says:

        Grace:
        Thank you. I always wondered how you became EA. What actual steps you took. I think after Natalie, you are my role model because you portray something I desperately need right now. ‘HOPE’. Hope that there is the CHANCE of a better outcome and it does not need to be the same thing over and over again.
        I’m dealing with my issue as I written multiple time but I struggle with how hard it is. I feel that after all the shite I had to endure over the years that I deserve a happy ending with a decent, hot guy who loves, cares, trusts and respects me.
        What did you do when you wanted to give up?

        • grace says:

          Confused
          I tell myself that everyone struggles and no one has the perfect life or relationship.
          We tend to think that other people know more than we do, or are better than us. I think it’s more that they accept themselves.

        • Emerldeyez says:

          Confused, I too at times want to just give the whole thing up, but that feeling passes. Changing is hard work, and sometimes we hit a plateau. We didn’t get this way overnight, so it helps me to look at is as my spiritual journey. Not sure where it’s all going to end, but I know I will feel content within myself. I had a week away and though I was running around after a two year old grandchild I had a lot of time to think. It is over 3 months no contact, and I seem to go for the walking wounded. And I am aware of how I became a ms. bendy and would be whatever they wanted because of my abandonment issues. And they would walk anyway. BUT I GAVE UP ME! And I’m done with that. I would rather be alone and content and happy, then take care of some grown man, and worry about being abandoned. I think we just get better identifying what we do and how we abandon ourselves, and sometimes that takes alot of energy and risk, but it sure feels good inside.

    • Amy says:

      I think what she’s saying is that we have to be careful of the lovely shiny lures with sharp nasty hooks under them.
      We all have that list in our minds what physical traits we want our partners to have. Tall, short, slim, athletic, curvy, blond, brunette, etc. We know what we find attractive and even more specifically, we know what we find (superficially) unattractive.
      What we (those who are here because we want to have healthier relationships) have to get to is the point where we can say goodbye to those who really ring our chimes, make the butterflies flutter, but are empty, flaky, and emotionally unavailable.
      I work in technology, so I thought of it as re-writing a computer routine that runs through a list of conditional statements. The “if / else” statements.
      Instead of judging first on looks, hobbies, common interests, and whether or not he was 100% obsessed with me, I’m now basing my criteria on friendliness, intelligence, body language, and reliability filters before I apply the “common interests” and “looks” filters. He still can’t look like a garden gnome and have the wit and communication skills of a pigeon.
      I realize that I’m over-simplifying things but it’s really about proceeding with great caution with those who set off the fireworks right away because they’re our usual (physical or emotional) type.
      It’s just about adjusting our filters to make better choices.

    • recoveringloveaddict says:

      I once read that obsession is 95% physical attraction. I remember just staring at my EU “Great Obsession” and thinking how good looking he was! That was all he had going for him. Never mind how he treated me. Never mind that he was selfish and self-centered. All i cared about were the butterflies and i wasted 7 years chasing them!

  6. Suzanne Leigh says:

    Don’t feel dumb Georgie. I’m 48 and have raised a healthy grown son. This last “pseudo-relationship” was at least my 3rd time around with this problem. Each one came in a different package, but it was always the same.

    I also wonder if I am too old to change but I am unwilling to give up. I know that there is something fundamentally f*&^’ed up me.

    I also believe it has to do with my father, who is also like this. So my questions is, if we are programmed due to a parent, can we change?

    I’ve gotten to a point where I just don’t trust my judgement. I thought this last one was different. Boy was I stupid. It almost killed me. He really took me to my knees. Took my heart, pride and dignity. At my age, that is a tough pill to swallow.

    Everyone says I am intelligent and beautiful and ya da ya da ya da. What am I missing?

    • jewells says:

      Suzanne, I used to have that belief too that there was ‘something intrinically wrong with me’, then that seemed to lead to ‘don’t expect much’ and ‘don’t expect anything to last’. Therefore, I managed to exude this, attract EU’s and live out the self fullfilling prophecy time and time again. I had a classic EU AC father, and I see that a lot of my ‘stuff’ is the result of this. But now that I recognize it, I know I can overcome it. I’m 43, finally ‘getting it’, I am working on myself, therapy, reading here everyday, learning better self care on many levels. It’s just the lack of education in this area (dished out by parents who were also uneducated in this area). It’s endemic to our world, not specific to us. We’re here because we want to do and be better, and we will because we want it. It’s the beginning of a journey to doing and being different. Have patience with yourself, you have taken the first step in the journey just by putting yourself forward in stating that it is what you want. It won’t be overnight, but it will be.

  7. Jody C says:

    So totally true. My ‘type’ was never into me like I was into him. It was doomed from the start. When I had no boundaries, let alone didn’t know what values were, being ‘chemistry’ and having a good job and being a minimal drinker/non-smoker/no drugs seemed like that was really important.
    Ha!
    I left out available, interested, compatible, loving, caring, sharing, and so forth…
    I got exactly what I had asked the Universe for, without any understanding of why it never worked out happily ever after.
    I wouldn’t have known what a good guy was if I tripped over him. A bad guy I could smell a mile away, all the while swooning over the scent of his cologne.

  8. miskwa says:

    Ironically my “type” actually IS what works forme. Yep, the ability to love and respect this odd creature known as Miskwa is numero uno. However, yep, I do demand that I at least am able to feel attraction ti him, that he is physically fit, and he is my intellectual equal are also important. I can and do reject good looking men that are disrespwctful. I have tried in the past to force myself to feel something for overweight/very short/ very unintellectual men and it has always ended in disaster. In my liffe, I worked extremelly hard to get my education, throw away the culture of victimhood that was so pervasive among my family, beat my aging anemic body half to death so as to avoid the family trend towards obesity and alcoholism and I just find it impossible to accept those kinds of issues in men, along with disrespect and dishonesty. My ex husband is tallish, keeps himself in shape, treated me with the utmost of respect, and is extremely caring and intelligent and that really worked. Everyone I have encountered since, from the gorgeous but uncaring AC, to the down and out dudes that colleagues tell me I oughta settle for does not work. Horribly lonely and sooo tired of this feelung unwanted, rejected, hated, thrown away, etc. Theres lots of meds out there for us perimenopausal chix to help us regain our sex drive, what I am a lookin for are hormones that will make ol Miskwa no longer feel the need for anyone ever again.

  9. teachable says:

    Georgie. When the pain of staying the same becomes greater than our fear of change, we are finally motivated to do things differently. T :)

  10. Wizzy says:

    “especially if when you’re involved with this type, you drop your self-esteem.”

    I think that I still have this problem when I interact with everyone. I don’t even empower myself to be an equal with others. I can act confident (but deep down, they are superior to me for a lot of stupid reasons).

    At my age another contributor to my bad bad bad relationships, has been my getting older(37), in January this year, and thinking that: “I only have five years left to have kids!!!!”. This leads me to pushing aside the red flags because: “my choices are limited now, beggars can’t be choosers”. I have been the beggar in my relationships. Thus I end up in tears after a head-on collision with an assclown. Or Mr.EUM, time and time again.

    I have seen the pitfalls of my thinking. I have shelved the relationships for now, and I have frozen my eggs too! Now I am working on the non- romantic relations I have: there is my neighbours( a couple that blows hot and cold), the friends that respect me only when they want something from me ( and they always have ridiculous requests like “can you pay my carloan this month coz I am broke”. I am working on not taking responsibility for others’ lives, to self-care, to minding my own life-and business. I am working on letting go of the anger and resentment that I have towards my dysfunctional family, I am going for meditation, yoga, acupuncture for more peace and better sleep. I am still decorating my house, watching movies that I love. I have been doing this for the last few months and I am still noting many dysfunctions in many areas of my life, but feeling much better about myself than I did before when I was dating the psychos, and hoping they would miraculously turn into loving and responsible baby-makers. I only froze my eggs last week, but it feels great not have that biological deadline. I don’t feel that I urgently have to find a man. I even don’t ever have to find a man, I have options with the spermbank, I looked through their books and saw all the ticks (tall, dark, intelligent, college educated, in good health blah blah blah. And I am grateful for this blog, and for Natelie, and for life, I have the time now to work on me. Wil let you know if I slide back into the nasty old ways again.

    • Vanessa says:

      Wizzy, I SO relate to you on the wanting to have kids front. I’m exactly the same age as you and broke up with an legendary EUAC 2 years ago. Sadly though, it wasn’t a clean break and I allowed myself to go on the ridiculous post-relationship roller-coaster ride with him. The back and forth, the booty call behaviour, the maybe we’ll get back together but no its actually just more future faking and wasting of my precious years BS etc etc ad nauseum.

      Anyway, I am 58 days NC and feeling very good about that. I was so invested in the idea of him being the father of my children and having that whole white picket fence life. That’s why I (foolishly) held on to this ghost of an idea of a man for so long. It just sucks being this age, wanting children and realizing it may never happen the traditional way.

      Anyway, I’ve made a decision: I am going to take the next few months to get things together and then in July I will go to a sperm bank and start trying to get pregnant. I’ve already told my GP my plans and started the ball rolling by getting all my pre-pregnancy bloodwork done. Thankfully I am the picture of health…I’m so grateful for that!

      Part of what I will be working on in the months leading up to July is learning how to let go of the desire for the “dream”. To mourn it properly and move on. I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE to allow the opportunity for motherhood to pass me by because I haven’t had the good fortune of meeting the right person. I’m starting to see that a lot of this is dumb luck as well. Yes, there is a lot of internal work to be done etc etc but the other part of this is that some people are just in the right place at the right time to meet the right person.

      So the question is: how to I let this whole desire for a husband, house, white picket fence, deluxe package go? How do I stop feeling so damn sad and like a failure because it didn’t happen for me yet? I want to be the best me I can be for my baby, and for myself of course. I am currently in therapy (not sure if its really helping), but does anyone have any other suggestions?

      I’d truly appreciate any feedback. I think about this constantly.

      • Vanessa says:

        I should clarify that when I said, “…it sucks being this age and wanting to have kids…” I didn’t mean it sucks to be this age, lol! 37 totally rocks, and I mean that! I haven’t felt this juicy in all my life! ;)

        • Ms Determined says:

          Vanessa,

          37 is the age I was when I accidentally conceived Master Determined.

          You dodged a bullet girl. In fact you dodged an entire army of soldiers shooting bullets at you. You should be thanking your lucky stars you didn’t end up realising your dream of having your ex AC as a baby daddy, because that’s where I went fucking wrong. Trust me, the way you want to become a mother is about eleventy million times more appealing than the other way. Having a newborn to care for is way more than enough without having a fucking adult-sized baby’s pathetic ass to cater to.

          And best of all, you never have to see that asshole ever again if you don’t feel inclined to. I have to see mine way more than I’d like. Luckily Master Determined is now 5, so it’s not for much longer. Only for THE NEXT 13 YEARS or so. Kill. Me. Now.

          I wish we could all just inseminate ourselves. Fuck you biology.

          • Mymble says:

            Ms Determined
            Exactly. I made a very bad decision in my mid 30s which stemmed from my desire to have kids. The kids are great but the bad decision is causing me major problems now. It would have been better to have gone down the AI route.

          • Tabitha says:

            Ms D it does get easier. My youngest is 12 now and I would suggest that from about the age of 8 you can probably get away with them answering the door and going off with their dad, and dad just dropping them home and leaving them to knock the door, maybe hovering in the drive to ensure you are there to let master D back in or something. I do still have to speak to the ex to make arrangements but as time goes on it isn’t so bad. Just an irritation really. If anyone can do it, you can!!

            • Vanessa says:

              Thanks so much for your responses ladies, it really does help. Yes, I’ve often used that phrase too, about having “dodged a bullet.” As you said, a whole army of bullets! lol…I’m so happy I didn’t end up going down that road with that man. Although on the days I see the umpteenth pregnancy announcement on FB, or see a Youtube video about someones’s nursery, and how they and their husband worked on it together, I’m left feeling so (illogically) unsure that I did the right thing. So silly, I know. But all I can do is wonder, “what about me? why not me?”

              So how do I stop desiring a husband? Does anyone have any advice on that? Has anyone done this successfully? lol, I just want to turn it OFF. I need to figure out how to get past the hurt and the disappointment of not having a “traditional” family. I also feel a pang of guilt at times when I think about having to explain to my child why she/he doesn’t have a dad.

              I’ve been dating and there are 2 guys who are interested. Especially one of them that may actually have the potential of being a healthy situation. But I feel like I don’t have the time to sit and allow a year or two to pass while things unfold and I get to know him properly if I want to have kids. Plus I figure if I tell him I want to have kids right away, he’ll be scared off anyway. Sigh. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. Looks like I have no choice but to go AI if I want kids sooner than later. It’s not my ideal choice, but what else can I do? Does anyone here see any other way?

  11. Marilyn says:

    I can relate to all of the above. McKezie, you are still very young. I know late 20s probably seems old to you, but it isn’t. You have years ahead of you to find a GOOD GUY. I’m currently without a man of any kind – and believe it or not, I’m fine with it. It has taken me a long time to be fine alone. I was widowed over 3-1/2 years ago and thought I couldn’t be without a man. I can and I am. My type? Was always the ACs. Now? I can spot them a mile away and I want no part of them. It is just not worth it!

  12. Little Star says:

    Thank you so much Natalie, your words are golden: “If you want to have your space and not allow anybody in and be emotionally unavailable, believe me, there’s plenty of people out there that will give you this and you will feel more alone than you ever have. You’ll have so much space, you’ll wonder if there’s a relationship”. That’s what I done, had two booty call relationships and ended up wondering and regretting for wasting my precious time!

    Regarding types, I had a date with a male friend yesterday and I can honestly say, I am very safe in his hands, as I do not feel attracted to him at ALL, that’s why I met him in the first place. I would be worry if he was my “type”… Definitely I was looking for trees in my past relationships and did not see a wood, but yet again Nat, I cant be with someone if I am not physically attracted to:(

  13. Tanzanite says:

    Hi Natalie/everyone

    My type is someone who treats me with love care and respect whether it is male or female but with men I need a little bit of attraction.In my marriage I tried to do without attraction because I had the ultimate prize ‘love ‘.We were doing just great but as soon as someone came along who I fancied I kinda lost my mind.I went from someone who held all her feelings in to handing my heart over to someone who talked a good game.I gave up the marriage which was 95% good for 5 % pure love and attraction( on my part, obviously)

    My ex H text me tonight- ” Happy anniversary, I still love you “- I Feel guilty.

    My male friend text me the other day-” you ok ? Not heard from you for a while. I saw him last week-Not feeling it.

    My other male friend who I 100% love his personality-I don’t fancy him at all.

    @ Grace-friends or hangers on ?

    It’s not that I was tinkering with my type but more like looking for the missing part. ( mummy issues )I found it myself by being authentic and loving myself. I sometimes think I’m almost there but not quite,but most of the time I feel happier than I have ever felt in my whole life.

    I once read an article Natalie wrote about toxic relationships and that is my relationship with my mum.Have you ever tried buying a mothers day card for a mum you are not close to ? It’s so hard,the sentiments just don’t fit.After an hour of looking I picked one up with nothing inside at all, but I couldn’t stand the thought of her opening a card with no verse inside so in the end I found a joke one.It was the best I could do.She hasn’t been the mum I wanted but she does have some qualities.I’m out tomorrow with my 3 sons for a meal and I know I will have lovely gifts and my cards will be full of nice verses.Through all the madness of the last few years I realise I have a lot going for me.

    I don’t really like the word toxic i prefer incompatible.

    • Tanzanite says:

      I was just listening to music on utube and Taylor swift was on the list.I’m not sure why I clicked on it but everything I have felt is in that song.

      The song is-

      “trouble when you walked in”

      The video is the one with the talking intro.It says it all, and so does the song but the killer line at the end got me-

      “I don’t know if you know who you are, until you lose who you are”

      Not only is she gifted but she’s only 23,which then made me wonder why at my age I was feeling the feelings of a 23 year old ?

      That was the time I’d had my first child and given up on my dreams for the greater good.I think part of you stays that age (in your head ) even though you do adult things like buying houses,having more kids,get older etc.I have said this before but when I was alone in my empty nest I used to think-

      Where was I before I was rudely
      interrupted by motherhood.

      I want my moment!

      I understand why it all happened but you can’t turn back time.The good news is,there is still time left.

    • recoveringloveaddict says:

      Tanzanite, I remember once talking to a friend of mine and telling her that i felt like something was missing in my marriage. She told me what was missing was ME.

      • Tanzanite says:

        I agree to a certain extent but I feel I have found me now and in relation to my ex husband who was the one person I was certain loved me,I still don’t fancy him.I do feel guilty and compassion for him for what he must have gone through whilst I was finding myself.

  14. sushi says:

    I thought I was looking for someone…”different”, like me, non- standard issue, bit arty, bit lost, bit damaged, that I would accept and love despite their damage and faults because I felt damaged and faulty, so obviously they would understand me and love me back. I would give away all my power before I got to know them and put all the responsibility for me and the relationship in their hands. I wanted intimacy, love and commitment and I was willing to be vunerable, except no one showed me in childhood what love and respect was, so I mistook co-dependency for love.I got faulty all right, mostly walking wounded,who got drawn to my vunerability and were incapable of having a relationship; alcoholic, sex addicts, narcs. Yep, you do have to be very careful what you wish for. Now I am still not looking for perfection. I`m looking for authentic, open people who can do love, care and respect and intimacy. I`m doing love, care and respect too, starting with myself. Not perfectly probably, but to the best of my abilities. It involved flushing toxic people out of my life and was difficult, my worst nightmare of being abandoned and all alone. Lo and behold… slowly I`m realising there are more and more of the kind of people around me that I want to have in my life and I am feeling more and more positive so I am making more effort. One good thing leads to another, just like before the negative stuff was producing more negative. I`m starting to feel like I can “afford ” to be myself and vunerable again because now I have my back.

    • Confused123 says:

      I love the post Sushi.Sounds very much like my life. Stay strong and I’m on this journey with you.

      • sushi says:

        Confused,
        best journey ever!thank you and you too. Good to feel this support and that someone is going the same path.

    • kookie says:

      love this, sushi! all the best! there is an old saying to be open minded but not so open minded that your brain falls out. i am definitely learning how to be different without fighting/losing the common denominators that make us human.

      • sushi says:

        thanks kookie, and the same to you.Yes, open the right amount can be tricky, with brains stay put :)

    • Emerldeyez says:

      Sounds good sushi! Got to make room for the like minded people as we change. It builds and builds. And there will be a time when we will look back and wonder why we ever let someone so toxic in our lives! Male or female. I have no patience for them.

  15. Tabitha says:

    Hi guys
    The ex narc was a chaser and I loved it! The thing was, I had no BR education then and I had no idea that he was future faking and fast forwarding me. When he said he really wanted a relationship, he wanted intimacy. he had finally found someone who shared his values and life aims, I believed it all. I am a Miss Independent/Miss Self Sufficient (MIMS) so I was a perfect target for him to practice all his Chaser skills on. When he knew he really had me though, after about 4 months, he started to withdraw. My head was literally spinning with “WTF just went down here?” “Where has The Chaser gone?” “Exactly how much Man Pleasing Shit do I have to produce to get him back?”
    I am now very wary as I feel I cannot trust anyone.
    I guess I need to go with my gut and convince myself that the FF Chaser guys ARE NOT SINCERE and that no matter how much I love that kind of attention, it just isn’t real. Dammit!
    On a side issue, I probably have to see ex narc next Tuesday at a work meeting after 4 months NC. He will probably try to sidle up and make some pity party comment about why have I ignored his calls and how hurt he is. I just don’t know what to say.

    • Ms Determined says:

      Hey Tabitha,

      I’ve got the perfect thing for you to say;

      “How about you go fuck yourself, asshole.”

      Short and to the point and with little margin for someone with shit for brains to misconstrue. Best delivered out of the side of your mouth while looking in the other direction.

      • Emerldeyez says:

        LOL, leave it to you MsD. to tell it like it is. You don’t owe him anything, nothing, nada. I would make it a point to stay away from him.

      • Tabitha says:

        Ha ha! Knew I could rely on you!!! Will let you know how I get on. He probably won’t have the balls to show up but you never know. Off to get my hair done just in case. Even if I don’t speak a word to him it’s really important to me that I look my best. I would like to feel totally indifferent to him but I guess I am just not there yet. I am successfully NC nearly 5 months and have resisted hoovers so I am not doing too bad really.

        • Ms Determined says:

          Sure, why not Tabitha, that line probably works even better when you have totally hot hair.

          Maybe when you deliver it, as well as the ‘side of the mouth looking in the opposite direction’ thing, do it with a devastatingly timed hair flick. This will only serve to drive home the fact that he will not ever, never, touch a single, beautifully wrangled follicle of yours ever again. Congrats on the continuing NC. And fuck him.

          • Tabitha says:

            Yeah, total fucking fucker.
            Unfortunately events have conspired against me and I have not been able to get my hair done and will not be going to the aforementioned meeting. But, come the glorious day, I will be ready!

  16. natashya says:

    what if you don’t really have a ‘type’? the three relationships i’ve had were all very different, with very different ‘types’ of men. the only thing they had in common is that they unfolded into ACs/EUMs. well, i guess there’s my answer!

    • Lucy says:

      I had this thing where I went for one type of guy then when it didn’t work out, I’d rebound onto a guy who seemed like the complete opposite yet still wasn’t suitable. Since for the first time in years, I haven’t let myself rebound, I’m not entirely sure now what my new ‘type’ is. And when I wasn’t quite set to date, I was prepared to accept a lot less and be ‘too flexible’ due to the fact I felt alone. Shows how important it is to be comfortable with yourself and to have good self-esteem.

      • natashya says:

        same here, lucy. the last EUM was the opposite of the semi narcissistic manipulator i was with a few years earlier. he wasn’t jealous and obsessed, he was kind and gentle and caring. he didn’t need constant attention and admiration. he didn’t drink or do drugs. he didn’t engage in reckless behaviour such as drunk driving. he wasn’t a womanizer, not an alpha male loud mouth etc. etc.

        however, all these opposites became my blinders. because he wasn’t all those horrible things, i basically assumed he was a great match. i could not have been more wrong.

  17. Tulipa says:

    Simple my type must be aloof and most importantly not like me.

    • Wiser says:

      That’s pretty much my type as well – AND he must be chronically depressed and miserable, with shades of being a tormented artist (because that means he is “deep” and has a sensitive soul, right?) Oh, and not only does he not like me, he doesn’t like himself, that’s essential too.

      • Tulipa says:

        I guess I’m guilty of not liking myself either no one who had boundaries, self esteem etc. would have entertained the last two ACs after five minutes of meeting them.

        They also came with low self esteem but a large ego.

        I will hopefully never go for a wounded aloof man again nor live under the delusion that I can fix him and in turn he fix me.

        • Wiser says:

          This is where it gets tough, because all people, men included, are wounded in some way – but the wounded man with low self esteem AND a huge arrogant ego is a recipe for disaster.

  18. NK says:

    I have just recently stopped dating his guy who I thought had similar values to me. After a conversation on Wednesday he revealed that he is not sure that he wants to get married to anyone. I replied by saying that If I have the right partner then I most definitely want to get married. He replied that he wants all the same things a marriage gives children and commitment but without a piece of paper. I replied that it is a non Negotiable issue for me so let’s cut out loses now. He wouldn’t accept this and kept arguing the point over and over. Saying that what if I found the right guy who gave me everything I wanted accept he didn’t want to marry would I get rid. I said yes. I had to explain myself over three times or more. We broke up after lots of me revealing that actually I am in no state for a relationship and he irritates me too much which isn’t good. I had told him about this marriage thig before and he continued to date me.

    • Lucy says:

      NK, it sounds like you did the right thing since were completely up front about your deal breakers.

      I was in a similar situation. I would really love to have two or three children, hopefully by the time I’m 35 (but I’m 23 now…ahh!). Anyway, my ex-boyfriend doesn’t really go for kids and we kept having extremely stressful conversations about this when we’d only been dating for 6 months (I thought “Aren’t we supposed to be just enjoying each other’s company?” i.e. another reason to be up front early on). So he decided he’d be okay with one but I didn’t want it to be a compromise with him because I wanted to be with a guy who loves kids as much as me. It just didn’t feel right.

      Did you feel like that about your ex about marriage? Even if he’d have agreed to it, it might not have felt right, if you know what I mean?

      Another thing, even if you are not ready to date you’re putting your feelings and deal breakers up front which shows confidence and maturity. It sounds like you’re more self-aware than the man you were dating.

      • NK says:

        Thank you for the compliment. I was aware of my situation before this guy but thought I’d moved on enough, it turns out that even if I didn’t have some other issues he wouldn’t have been suitable anyway which is good to know. I mentioned to him that he should think about this self awareness and it turned into a long conversation where I suggested that if I’m not truly available yet then he must be harnessing some availability to. He kept saying how I assumed about him too much. Eventually he said that one thing he found attractive with me was my emotional vulnerability. Which I expressed when I was talking about my depression. I said that it was the wrong kind of emotional vulnerability I was expressing and maybe he was getting all Florence on me. He really couldn’t accept the premise that you attract like for like. I know after this that anyone I attract right now won’t be quite right because I’m not quite right. So I am committing to a years no dating or sex.

  19. Gillian says:

    It’s so clear to me that that we pick our partners from all the shit that is going on unconsiously inside of us and it is usually from the place of the wounded child trying to be loved.

    I am on day 55 of NC and when I look back on the last 4 relationships that span 18 years I think “Holy Crap – What have I been doing?” Now I know what I have been doing – I have been picking my “type” without even knowing it.

    I’m so thankful for this last relationship with a narcissist who was totally unavialable and a pathalogical liar. Because of him I found BR and Natalie’s writings. If this had not happened I would not have seen the need for me to change.

    I really believe that in anything in life we have to first have clarity. In my relationships, I have had no clarity, I have just gone in to them blindly looking to get my child’s needs met.

    I do believe that there is hope for me for a solid relationship with a good man and that there will be attraction, but I will not be blinded by the attraction of getting my little girl’s needs met.

    Having awareness is so wonderful and it can be very painful taking a long, hard look at yourself. But, I feel that in taking that look then I can have some hope for the future and I can take responsibility for myself and who I have been….MS UNAVAILABLE. As I write this I can feel the anxiousness in my chest at the thought of becoming available and how vulnerable that is!! Yikes, I just want to stay alone for the rest of my life and hug my dogs. BUT…I’m not going to do that. I am making a plan to get myself out there and practice what I am learning. I am going to observe myself and who I am being when I am with men! It’s an experiment and I bet it will disclose all kinds of things about me. I am going to support myself through this, with lots of self-care and reading BR and related blogs. I can be a whole new me and I am excited about discovering who I really am!!! Yeah…anyone want to join me and support each other???

    • Lucy says:

      What a great idea, Gillian. I think I will try that as well since it’s quite easy to get into dating scenarios mindlessly and reason that a date not working out is due to fundamental incompatibility or lack of chemistry. Sometimes it’s because we give off signals that we’re unaware of.

      Btw I agree about the pain that self-awareness brings. I know that all too well. But then again, I feel as if it’s better having that awareness than feeling like I have no control of my life. Do you know what I mean?

    • Emerldeyez says:

      Gillian, I am right there with you. I am not going to do it the lazy way of on line dating, i have met two ACs, narcs, liars, EUM that way. So that doesn’t work for me. No kidding! I have been cutting the EUM out of my life, with a machete, and it feels good. I want more. I want to be wanted for me, not the pretzel I twist myself into to be accepted. So I have to get outside of my comfort zone to meet men.

    • Chrysalis says:

      With you all the way Gillian!

  20. frieda says:

    I love reading these posts, as every one of us has some wisdom to share. The only thing I would have to say is the comment about not trusting your intuition. Many people think that this is some illegitimate sense, but really it is an innate function of your being, there to protect you. Problem is, we are all taught to disregard it, and are very poor at recognizing it. When I have listened to my intuition, it has served me well.

    • Lucy says:

      Totally agree with you. Today I realised that listening to my intuition increases my social awareness. Do you find that as well? Without even trying, I am less impulsive and find that my brain is asking questions before I say or do anything.

  21. lo j says:

    Sushi… LOVE your comment. It is amazing how the world seems to open up and the “toxic” are outnumbered it seems to me these days. I remember when the when the whole world had gone mad!!! Lol!!

  22. miskwa says:

    Earthskyguy
    I do not feel as though Nat means settle for unattractive, it means if you find a woman that is goregeous but she is uncaring, narcissistic, a cheater, dump her NOW before you become too emotionally invested and get horribly hurt.

    • Earthskyguy says:

      I understand miskwa..I guess i was just making the point that there’s no way i can just ignore chemistry with a woman. Though i do understand that it can’t be a hook that causes us to ignore red flags of unavailability…Assclown or not…That’s where i go wrong..I feel the attraction and ignore the unavaiability background issues about them. Then i blame myself for not being ‘enough’ for them to make it work…It’s like i create a self fulfilling prophecy of ‘not good enough’ through women.

      • Grizelda says:

        Earthskyguy, your comments did make me reflect on a few things.

        The reasons why we think someone is ‘hot’ are the very reasons why that person is not going to be available to us.

        Someone is considered ‘hot’ when they are more attractive than we are by anyone’s estimation. Wherever we are on the physical attributes scale of 1-10, that’s our personal average. That’s our orientation in life. So people who are on the ladder rungs above us are ‘hot’. People below us on the ladder? Not hot. Because individually we would perceive them as ‘below average’ to us.

        If, stacked on top of that, ‘hotness contributing factors’ also include a perfect body, nice possessions and a high income, high intelligence, lots of meaningful interests and achievements, and great social connections, yes they’re ‘hot’ alright — but this is merely ‘average’ to someone who possesses all those things. Anyone else who turns up in their face who doesn’t bring those same things to the table will be a long way below ‘average’ to them. Not hot. This is not a great place to be, if you’re the ‘not hot’ who perceive this ‘hot’ person so highly.

        And as for the behaviour ‘hotness factors’ that capture us in the moment — when they’re highly flirtatious, overly warm and affectionate, extremely flattering, deeply sexy and open, highly sociable, very popular and sought-after? Yeah that’s ‘hot’ alright. And so let me guess — you somehow think he or she is this way just with you? Or just because of you? Oh so this is the first and last time this person is going to curl around someone like a feline on heat? Are you from this planet or just passing through? The only reason why they behave ‘hot’ is practice practice practice — it’s all for effect. It isn’t genuine. They’re not doing it because you inspire them, they’re doing it because it gets them what they want out of people. They’re not emotionally available.

        • Grizelda says:

          I think what I’m saying is that the whole notion of ‘hotness’ as a turn-on is good and fine for chasing around bars if that’s what you want to do the rest of your live, but it’s ultimately self-defeating. If instead you find someone who is genuinely like you, who is in your league, and you’ve got a good proportion of similarities, yes that person is going to be closer to ‘average’ to you from your own perspective. But there won’t be a massive imbalance.

          • Mymble says:

            Griselda
            I can accept that I am not really that hot, and the AC was out of my league. Fair enough. He was very handsome, had a great job, and a lot of charm. Me, not so much. So if I was so shit, so low down the food chain, (plankton indeed), why didn’t he just fucking well find someone who WAS within his league?

            • Mymble says:

              I went out for a run and had a think about it while I did so. It’s only true to a very very limited extent. There are people who are initially unimpressive but who with time “grow” with the strength of character and personality. Others, initially appealing, dwindle. The ability to attract attention isn’t predictive of the ability to have a successful relationship or a successful anything. That kind of thinking, that he was in some way better than me, was
              actually what caused me to continue to engage, when I should have kicked him to the kerb.
              His wife even kicked his hot ass out. Because he was cold, superior, negative, narcissistic and mean, and however hot you are, that gets to be a drag.

              • Tabitha says:

                This is so right. I used to date a bloke who was so fabulously good looking that other women would literally try to shoulder charge me out of the way in their attempts to jockey for position in flirting with him. He was an actor and singer and he was totally beautiful. However, over time, things about his personality unfolded and I realized he was unreliable, self absorbed, and a liar. He gradually looked less and less PHYSICALLY attractive to me as I found out negative stuff about him. I don’t read celebrity magazines but even I am aware of the legions of beautiful and successful men and women who get dumped, despite their attractiveness. Good looks will only get you so far, and for most of us that is not far enough.

          • grace says:

            grizelda
            Blowing my own trumpet here, but I was rather beautiful when the ex playa lined me up in his sights. He picked me because at the time I was the most beautiful woman in the vicinity.
            This isn’t just an opportunity for me to brag, but to say that beautiful women need to be careful too. Just because you look good, and are smart, and accomplished it doesn’t mean that someone shallow will step up. They don’t have it in them.
            He had more “hot” qualities than me though, I grant that. He was very popular, sporty, charming, wealthy and flirtatious. I’m not sure he would have gone for a woman with those same qualities, though. He preferred the more genteel type.
            It may just be biased, but I think now my boyfriend is even more attractive than the ex playa. He’s taller, lovely voice and accent, great body (even though we are still not having sex, sigh), but he doesn’t radiate “hotness”. He doesn’t see the need to gather admirers, male or female. He’s also too stable to be exciting.
            Marilyn Monroe was beautiful, sweet, funny and a movie star. Terrible taste in men though and I think it really comes down to that, rather than how attractive we are.
            “The ability to attract attention isn’t predictive of the ability to have a successful relationship or a successful anything”. Very good point. It goes against a lot of received wisdom and sadly a lot of women seem to think that as long as they’re pretty it will fall into their laps. Unless you make a living off your looks (eg you’re a model) what you look like isn’t that important. And even models get sidelined if they don’t turn up on time and are unreliable. Except Naomi Cambpell.

        • Earthskyguy says:

          Grizella…Your description of hot is nothing like mine so you should remain on what ever planet your on and not presume you know me or what im talking about..You clearly don’t.

          • Ms Determined says:

            Woah Earthskyguy. I re-read Grizelda’s post and I must have missed the line she wrote that definitively said “I know you Earthskyguy, and exactly what you, personally, think is hot.” Because what I read, verbatim, was Earthskyguy, your comments did make me reflect on a few things and I assumed she had done just that ie; used your words as a springboard for her own thoughts.

            In other words, I don’t think she was rebutting or even responding to anything you’d written. But go ahead and think that she’s written all those finely crafted, wise words personally responding to your actual comment, and exclusively for your benefit, as you have so kindly pointed out.

            Some of us obviously think we are actually that special.

  23. lo j says:

    Oh Runnergirl … Lol! Giggling this morning. Teeth and Not needing a hose down are not too much to ask. For me what it boils down to is someone who likes/loves themselves. People who love themselves brush their teeth, bathe, go to the doctor, eat well, exercise, and make an attempt to keep up their appearance. If there are deficits, it may say something about how they feel about themselves. Unless he tripped and fell THAT DAY and lost a tooth/teeth. (I would be on the dentist chair. But I love my teeth. Plan on keeping mine as long as possible.)

  24. Tanya says:

    This is a great article all of your articles are great!!!! I’m so glad I found your site I’ve been reading it for a few months possibly 9. You have s even such an inspiration and this article was right on time for me as I now realize its Biut the heart not the looks I learned this after I lost A good guy. Because I was emotionally unavailable. After a month he dropped me because he said I had too many walls up. He’s. a detective so he picked up on my vibe even though we never had a date

  25. Tanya says:

    I want to sAy to Georgie don’t feel dumb soo many people never take the time to learn to change and I can say I have support but i never had so much support for my life until I decided to try and do and be better and be a better woman to have healthy relationship. I recognize the changes in myself how u may Ask by the way people respond and act towards me it feels good and it’s true the more you learn to love yourself the more love you will receive

  26. Tired says:

    Tbh i dont know my type either , my first proper boyfiend was later my husband . I never really sowed my oats when younger . He was a mans man . A mental bully , i lost all confidence with him but thought at that time this is the best ill get . Not romantic more a father figure . I would get so frustrated at how i was a good wife and he just kept picking holes so i rebeled at 37 and started doing my own thing . He said he respected me mire in those last two years than the first 18 . Wtf i bore him two fine sons i was no way a equal . So when a ole charmer smoozer , came along . That was it . I can rember thinking why am i texting this fat guy , my hubby was toned and fit , but it could have been ronald mccdonald i just want fizz and attention . I should have left my husband and then gone looking for a better life . So now i dont know what my type is .

    • Lucy says:

      Tired, it sounds like you’ve been through so much. Hope you find a great man. You deserve it. It’s never too late to go for what you’ve always wanted x

  27. Lucy says:

    I’m at the stage where I know where my issues have come from and have dealt quite a lot with my fears of abandonment based on childhood. I now have boundaries – yes! And finally I don’t spend every waking minute trying to impress people – which was a projection of my own needs not being met. It’s funny because I’ve been observing healthy couples recently and they are so easy going with each other, and I think “Wow. So this is what a good relationship looks like?”. It’s as if I anticipated drama/chemistry because that’s what I’m used to experiencing. I’m not there yet but I feel that I’ve turned a corner because I have nothing to fear from relationships. At least some of my trust issues are disappearing because I suddenly realise that relationships are a choice and that I don’t need to be miserable with a man unless I choose to be. I had no idea that I could become this empowered. But it feels like I’ve stumbled on some obvious truth and that I’ve spent all this time thinking myself into relationship oblivion.

    • Lucy says:

      Oh and I wondered if you lovely ladies could advise me on the toxic type/toxic people stuff. I’m really worried that because I’ve been hurt so much, I might project that hurt onto someone else. I don’t even fear being hurt again. I just don’t want to be that person that hurts someone.

      I feel awful about the fact I cheated on my last boyfriend. I never thought I’d be that girl (and that’s how I ended up here). I realised that I was so afraid to declare my need for more affection from him, that I lashed out in a rather defensive manner. Although he was not at all affectionate for several months, he was not scary so I don’t know why I didn’t tell him more that I wasn’t happy. I cheated probably because I was pushing the responsibility on him rather than myself to deal with it – leading me to feeling trapped in a situation where I wasn’t really trapped at all.

      Then I do every so often take myself away from certain negative people into positive settings and I feel my issues magnified. When I experience normal people, I realise that I can be so serious, defensive and afraid of being hurt that I don’t come across in the most loving way, which is hard because I have a lot of kindness in my heart which I am unable to express so easily. My social anxiety does not help with this.

      But at least I am learning to appreciate the good men of this world, rather than freezing them out. The healthier I am, the more attractive genuinely good men are. The bad guys are steadily becoming less appealing but it’s very hard to change my dating script and pre-empt myself before misjudging another man and another situation.

  28. Peanut says:

    Natalie, I am so grateful for the work you do. I am seeing that a major problem in my life before I met the ex, is that I had no passion for life, I was just going through the motions and the ex came along, really charming and fucked up, ticking all my erroneous boxes, and I thought I had hit the mother of all jackpots.

    What I didn’t realize is that I’d had been better off dealing with the issue at hand: me and my own behavior and unavailabllity, than to fanny around with that hopeless tryst.

    My list was very similar to yours. Now I couldn’t care less about the things on it. Tall? Who cares. Attractive men come in all shapes and sizes. (Oddly enough that was such a big one for me).

    Now, I find mysel fancying certain outward attributes about men (and some are very different from the ex I thought was just so perfect for me in every way). And I gently reel myself in and affirm myself that when I’m ready to date (I’m getting there, but not there, yet) that this is what I want and will NOT settle for less on these key things:

    I want an emotionally intelligent, available man who is as interested and invested as I am, as well as romantically attracted to me as I am him, in a mutually fulfilling committed relationship based on love, care trust and respect who has these values:
    Love
    Trust
    Spirituality
    Monogamy
    Balance
    Commitment
    Responsibility

  29. Demke says:

    Lately I’ve been thinking (and very happy to say) that since getting out and moving on from a toxic relationship, I completely trust myself, and have esteem and confidence I never thought possible.

    Recently dating, I don’t worry about whether or not someone likes me, that’s the last thing on my mind, it used to be the first. I can usually get a pretty good idea whether or not someone is ready for a relationship and demonstrates
    what I’m looking for in a partner, in a relatively short amount of time.

    It’s nice to feel the butterflies and be attracted to someones appearance, and that they are successful, etc. But all of that means nothing if you can’t know for sure if that someone doesn’t have your back, for better or for worse.

    I am so glad it didn’t work out w the ex Assclown…. I’ve never been happier. Staying with toxic people, trying to get them to change, sticking around for whatever reason, is like doing time. You hurt yourself and those around you. And if you stay cause sometimes he’s good, but sometimes you’re just not sure…. If he’s the right one, you won’t have a doubt. You’ll know you can trust him.

  30. teachable says:

    Anthea,

    They are some serious red flags you are raising. Feeling controlled & not seeing eye to eye on $ issues? Why are you living with this guy? I fear you’ve moved too quickly. I’d be taking a HUGE step back if I were you. These are not fear of committment issues. They are areas of genuine concern which need to be addressed to yr satisfaction, or rest assured, they will arise later, when the consequences will be far greater than they will be if u address them now.

  31. Magnolia says:

    I met a guy yesterday that I was actually attracted to. I suppose it was far too instant: what do I know about the guy? That he has a good job at my university and is cute, and looks to be about my age. Oh, and he has a name that is similar enough to mine for us to have a little laugh about it. That’s it. Still I find myself wondering if I should look him up and ask him out, considering that I am so rarely attracted to anyone.

    My toxic type has fallen into two categories:

    one, the fellow-wounded guys who played into my victim mentality, encouraging my anger and anxiety as justified, and then posing as the rational males who were providing sober advice, my rock to lean on, when in the larger picture they were using me for financial stability and making sure I never realized what a valuable thing that is. These guys would inevitably be guys I wasn’t physically attracted to but eventually let in because of the emotional support / anxiety air-bag I craved.

    two, the high-display of businessy-type-ness, but Napoleon-complexed shorter A-type men who I would be attracted to for their “knowledge” of the real world; but unfolded to be controlling, anxious, image-obsessed men who wanted me to behave more like an ornament to their high-powered lives.

    There was another dude at this event yesterday who is also cute, and who said, “Hi Magnolia,” when he saw me (and I had forgotten his name) and he also has a stable job (just not as flashy). I suppose I could just as easily wonder about him.

    I would feel much better able to court/explore long-term partners if I knew I was committed to staying in one particular place. This week my student event with all the media stuff happened and I found that so many people around me stepped up to offer me support.

    I relate to what grace has written about having a tendency to flit and the perks of that, and about the resentment around committing/putting in more effort. I had a number of moments this week of feeling genuinely supported and it was great and also terrifying: what will they all expect in return?

  32. Peanut says:

    Amy,

    I sooo enjoyed reading that. My ex was a wounded musician and even bendy type. Once I remember him saying all whinny like, “You’re prettier than me.”

    Also he was jealous of my jeans and I kid you not, the last time I ran into him, he was wearing jeans JUST like the ones he referred to being jealous of.

  33. Peanut says:

    Vanessa,

    “I haven’t felt this juicy in all my life!” I love that! I can relate. I’m getting a pretty rich life on all fronts (except the money one. I’m a poor art student, lol.) I’ve done a lot of work to overcome low self esteem and it’s paying off. I battled anorexia in my last relationship.

    I’m in my late twenties and have been persecuting my body until recently. I’ve gained twenty pounds since the breakup and I couldn’t be happier about it. It suits me well.

    I’ve waisted countless hours trying to fix my body, when other than reasonably take care of it, I needed to do nothing. Whoever I’m with next is a lucky man. I’m a pretty lively gal these days.

  34. Tired says:

    Thats the thing i dont know who i am at mo , when i was married i loved gardening and reading like i was old bfore my time . Then i wouldnt go near the guitar because i thought its what the ex mm is all about how do i know im not sub consciously doing it because of that . But ive loved music and guitars since being little . Now im just going to be me and to hell with every one eles . Dont be aloof smile more etc etc was all i would get . The running round after friends to . Example yhis fri id booked tickets to see a bsnd and it went from one friend driving to me . Then another friend wanted to go but didnt know way , google iton ya phone . I said you never had this trouble when going off to see a bloke . So i said id come out my way and grt her . Then other friend got arse coz of having to leave earlier . Thrn at last min texts says aint going now . I thought here am i running around speasing everyone , not any more . Its not just with the ac its right across the board withfriends as well thst ive got to toughen up . Plus finding out who i am what i like and what i want from life .

  35. Julie says:

    I have been in crisis and I think I am beginning see the light, finally. I have been struggling with the feelings of love I have for this man, feelings I can’t deny or just wish away. And I am now realizing this: I am in love not with a real man, but with an illusion that I created. It includes the man who was part of all the good happy times (and there were a lot of them), and in response to the rest I stuck my head in the sand. I made up excuses for him, believed his words over his actions, and created a fantasy of the man I thought he was, or could be. So now I am finally willing to confront reality. Do I love the man who is actually in front of me? The one who for 3 years repeatedly told me he loved me, was my soul mate, the love of his life, and then left me several times for other women, each time coming back with more escalating rhetoric that tugged on my heart and let him back in? Do I love the man who caused me such emotional pain, time and time again? I’d have to be crazy to let someone like that into my heart.

    • natashya says:

      julie, it sounds like you are splitting and are in fantasy land with this guy. if you were truly the love of his life, what is he doing frolicking around with other women?

      you are not crazy, but you could do with nat’s books. both ‘mr. unavailable and the fallback girl’ and ‘the dreamer and the fantasy relationship’.

      i know from experience that illusions are VERY hard to get rid of, but it can be done. start with NC.

      it’s sounds like you’re in pain. love isn’t pain. pain is pain. please, kick this assclown out of your life. you deserve better.

      hugs.

  36. Tired says:

    Nancy dont beat youself up over it . When we are caught in the throes were caught . Stop paying for stuff . Spend that money on yourself . But least youre begining to see it . Id do same thing . Make a fresh start or draw a line . A friendship with men or friends is a two way thing . If ypure not getting a return walk away . How much do you want to keep on giving to get nothing in return ? There will be plenty of men out there who will be better friends x

  37. lo j says:

    Anthea … Wow. I have been where you are with a man who threw fits so to speak. Yelling, name calling, turning things around and before I knee it, I would almost believe he was “right”. And I would think, he just has a hard time with stress, dealing with stuff, etc etc. But then he would leave and I would think, someone who loved me would NEVER want me to feel like that. If he loved me, he wouldn’t yell, threaten to leave, cause me to have that “sick guy feeling”, he would make sure I felt reassured, loved, protected, AS HE EXPECTED ME TO DO FOR HIM, as I would do for my children. When you love someone, that’s what you do. It’s not always perfect, but when it isn’t, you take responsibility, NOT blame the other person. How much does he blame his ex wife for their marriage?? You really really need to look at this with eyes wide open. Listen to your gut.

  38. lo j says:

    “sick gut feeling” I’m so sorry. Good grief.
    And by the way Amy… He looked like a garden gnome with a pigeon brain and was STILL an asshole!! Hee hee!

  39. Peanut says:

    Earthskyguy,

    Only you know if you’re emotionally available or not.

    Looks have nothing to do with it on a deeper level. What people find ‘hot’ is very subjective and relative to everyone.

    All the unavailable exes I was addicted to we’re certainly not ‘hot’ by societal standards. The last was near bald at 24 and sickly.

    What Natalie is saying is that it doesn’t matter what someone’s superficial qualities are or how ‘hot’ you think they are, if you don’t share core values it’s not going to work. And she’s right.

    Do you really think out of billions of women on the planet, there’s not at least one available to you that you’re attracted to where you share core values?

    But in order to know what you’re authentically attracted to, you must do the hard work of finding out what your true values are, and then living by them via being consistently emotionally available.

    • Earthskyguy says:

      Peanut…Read my posts again..You’ll find no where that says hotness matters on a deeper level…Lets do a bit more thinking before reactionary typing people.

      • I want to nip this in the bud as the ‘tone’ of the comments is sliding.

        Earthskyguy, when you said

        “Natalie. I love all your posts and have found them invaluable in helping me but i do have a critisism about this post and that it sounds like we should all be going for people we’re not even attracted to.”

        The things that we criticise others for are often things that we are guilty of ourselves. What you criticised me for, is not something I said or implied and yet people have responded to you about what your comment sounds like and now you’re telling them off about that too, even though you were the one who made a comment of a similar nature by responding and you’re the one who brought “hot” into all of this.

        Let me quote you this from one of my previous posts on this subject:

        “So what are you trying to say Natalie? I should have a relationship with no chemistry/an ugly person/a dead fish/the opposite colour/someone that triggers my gag reflex when we have sex/someone who doesn’t take care of their body/somebody poor?”

        And then let me point you to: http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-trouble-with-being-blinded-by-intelligence-in-dating-and-relationships/

        and http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-trouble-with-being-blinded-by-appearance-in-dating-relationships/

        • Earthskyguy says:

          I’m not telling anyone off about anything Natalie…I’m saying they’ve missunderstood me and need to read my posts again. I notice youv’e convieniently left out that i was told i’m from another planet when point out that i’m meant to be lowering the tone. Maybe you should start there then you’ll have a logical thread to follow from where it all started. Unless this is a man bashing website and your the leader??

          • Earthskyguy says:

            Also …That quote you put of something i’ve meant to have posted is completely false..I don’t know where you got that from but i know uncatagoricaly that the post you’ve put up isn’t something iv’e written so i’m sorry but your completely wrong..You need to put the correct posts up if your going to make a point, because the post youv’e shown, ISN’T MINE.

            • Earthskyguy, what are you talking about? The quote is from my post. I even give you the link for the post so in what frickin planet am I saying that you wrote it? I didn’t say that you said that. It was to highlight your original point. I also did not say that you were lowering the tone. I said the tone of the comments was changing. Why are you so defensive?

              Let me highlight in the comment just so we can all be clear here:

              Let me quote you this from one of my previous posts on this subject:

              “So what are you trying to say Natalie? I should have a relationship with no chemistry/an ugly person/a dead fish/the opposite colour/someone that triggers my gag reflex when we have sex/someone who doesn’t take care of their body/somebody poor?”

              And then let me point you to: http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-trouble-with-being-blinded-by-intelligence-in-dating-and-relationships/

              and http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/the-trouble-with-being-blinded-by-appearance-in-dating-relationships/

              I don’t care if you think that this is a man bashing site because I know that this is not the case. You are being deliberately provocative now and you’re not actually thinking before you hastily write a comment. You are for the second time, putting in writing that I have said or implied something that I didn’t. The very same thing that you are pissed off with other commenters about. I responded directly to your responses to Peanut & Grizelda – I did not endeavour to play Judge Judy here.

              This has got absolutely nothing to do with being a man. Ironically when I wrote the previous posts that I tried to pass to you, they were predominantly aimed at women who had said the same thing that you originally did.

              I provided you a quote from my post on the very issue that your comment stems from – people who object to values and accuse me of implying or stating that they should forgo looks etc. I then provided you with two links so that you could read further on the subject and spare me from reiterating the same thing all over again.

              I don’t care if you don’t like me or the site but don’t overstep my boundaries and respect the guidelines. If you’re going to accuse me of something, get your facts right first.

  40. Ms Determined says:

    Well this post came at a good time, but DUH, they all do. Because Nat has CCTV in all of our homes and places of business, watching us night and day, taking notes and clicking her tongue. Oh wait, the clicking tongue thing is probably just reserved just for me.

    Because, yunno, I’m not very good at being patient. I had the sex with the new guy (sorry Grace and Natashya, but hey how YOU doing Victorious). Maybe I should rename myself Ms Determined to Get Laid. And that worked out well. And because we are all BFFs here I can totally provide Too Much Information and pour us all a vodka tonic and say the words “horse” and “hung” and you’ll all know what I mean. Happy days. All that aside, it’s all soooo freaking interesting. It’s as if I am watching me, as I’m watching him. He’s giving me trust, care and respect (it’s obviously waaaaaay too early for love, but there’s lots of affection, as you would imagine at this early stage). Doesn’t look like blowing hot though, because there’s no future faking going on.

    I like him, he likes me, but this negotiating someone who is not your usual ‘type’ thing is a headfuck. We have shared common interests out the wazoo, and our values seem closely aligned. All good so far EXCEPT there’s something that’s bothering me. He’s name dropping famous people in our industry all the time and I’m getting the ‘hilarious anecdotes’about various celebrities he’s worked with…and it makes me want to punch him in the fucking face. It’s cringeworthy, and it’s having the opposite effect he’s clearly intending. AWKWARD. He fits the profile of a total high achiever who has something to prove to himself and everybody else. Not sure what this might mean down the track. Maybe I’m the train to Assclownville but can’t see it.

    He’s definitely not my “type” (especially physically…ahem, except in abovementioned department). He’s shy and a little (? maybe a lot) insecure. I am watching myself exhibiting the values I claim to value myself…I am being kind and understanding that maybe he feels a little wrong footed and is pulling out all stops to prove he’s worthy of me. In all other respects he’s lovely, and awesome, and interesting and kind to me. And as I’ve mentioned, totally on board with the fact that there’s a young Master Determined. It just doesn’t seem right to truncate things here just because of this one thing (and normally, I would have by now, thinking “Obviously this means I need to stick to my usual ‘type’, anyone else is just going to irritate the fuck out of me” and attaching myself like a limpet to the nearest assclown.)

    It’s time that will tell. (Unless it’s you ladies who will tell of course, which would be awesome.)

    • Tracy says:

      Yes, Ms., the name dropping would be irritating. But maybe it’s him just wanting you to find him appealing. I’ve had friends who name-drop like crazy, and once you get to know them they either drop it, or you can call them on it…it’s kind of like a bad habit for them. Otherwise, if you enjoy his company, his physical ‘assets’, the fact that he is cool with your kid, just keep rolling with it. You don’t need to make a decision today. I think when we’re used to dealing with ACs, they keep us on such eggshells that we feel like we have to decide on them (or, rather, be on uber-good behavior because we want them to decide about US) asap. One step at a time!

      • Confused123 says:

        Tracy:
        “when we’re used to dealing with ACs, they keep us on such eggshells that we feel like we have to decide on them (or, rather, be on uber-good behavior because we want them to decide about US) asap.” This made so much sense. :)
        This was an A-HA! moment for me.

    • runnergirl says:

      Hey Ms. D. You make me laugh. I don’t have any startling insights to offer. He’s going to have to unfold, personality-wise as obviously some other things have already unfolded! The only problem for me is that once I engage in the sex thing, I tend to wrap myself in red flags of the justifying zone. So I’d just be careful of any red flags other than wanting to punch him in the face for his name dropping. That would annoy me too. If you find you are on the train to ACville, you can hop off fast, sex or no sex. You’ll know within the next few months. At least he’s kind, lovely, and awesome for now.
      I’ll bet Master Determined is a little doll.

      • Ms Determined says:

        Oh Runner, Master Determined is almost all the man I need, he is so delicious. Almost. Except for the obvious. Sometimes you wonder how it could get better when you have a (albeit small) man telling you he loves you to the stars and back, and you know he actually means that shit. This is enough to put me on cloud nine most days. Most. Until you see a drawing come back from school after a session talking about families and in particular, “what mummies love to do”. You know, pictures with a description written by the teacher of what the drawing represents. Heart melting things like “My mummy loves playing with me”, or “My mummy loves to take me to the library” etc etc. Even cliched crap like “My mummy likes to go shopping.” That would have been fiiiiine.

        But no.

        I got a picture depicting “My mummy loves to drink wine.” Yep, total doll. But waaaay too honest.

    • Tabitha says:

      Hey Ms D. How YOU doing?
      Well I am glad you had the sex and everything was good/great. Very jealous.
      However, the name dropping thing. Yuck. Either this is an early stage thing he is doing because he feels insecure and wants to try and impress you, or it is something he does all the time.
      If it were me I think I would try to make a joke out of it. I am sure you of all people can do this! It might make him think twice about it. I would be worried about how red faced I would be if he got nervous and did this in front of my family and friends further down the road…..
      Could you tell him you find it a bit, erm cringey? I know it is really embarrassing and a minor thing if the rest of the relationship is going so well, but if it didn’t matter to you wouldn’t have mentioned it here.

    • sushi says:

      Ms Determined,
      Name dropping/showing off is cringe.
      I think option one; he has low self esteem hence the high achieving to prove to himself and the world otherwise, and might then subside when it gets through to him that you like him as he is ( sorry, sounds like quote from Bridget Jones film).
      Option two; superficial impresses him and that is a value, personally I would not be able to get along with that as is empty and fake. Shame if he is great otherwise, because you will look at him as a bit of a sad person and it`s hard to have respect for someone like that. Have you expressed your view on the subject?

      • Ms Determined says:

        Sushi! No I haven’t come out and told him it makes me want to punch him in the face (there is such a thing as too much honesty I guess), but I have said I would rather we didn’t talk about work. Tonight he didn’t, which is a good sign. Interesting what you say about the superficial thing being one of his values, gurrrrl you are smart AND sexy! This hadn’t occurred. I will be keeping my eyes peeled, and thinking of sushi all at once. Which is kind of gross, peeled eyeballs and raw fish…but thank you x

        • sushi says:

          Ms Determined,
          I will never be able to eat sushi again…will be thinking raw, peeled eyeballs. re expressing yourself, you could try yawning?

    • Sunyata says:

      Why don’t YOU just tell him how you feel?
      Let him know you feel irritated and feel like punching him in the fucking face and will likely scream if you hear one more namedropping story and see what happens?

      He might fall madly in love with your fierce honesty, he might feel relieved to not have to tell another goddamned story to try to impress or entertain you, or he may walk.

      If he walks, he was going to walk anyway because that’s one of those things Natalie talks about that we try to ignore in the beginning but end up being the thing we can’t ignore.

      If he doesn’t, then you know you’ve shown your true self and he’s down with it.

  41. NoMo Drama says:

    I run into this one so often it’s become my SOP to check for it as soon as I meet someone who seems interesting: I find myself drawn to a guy because he’s friendly, easy to talk to, intelligent, interesting. It seems as if I can get to know him at a relaxed pace, no pressure, but it almost ALWAYS turns out that he’s so laid-back because he’s not in the game, so to speak — he’s spoken for. If he wasn’t flirting with me and it turns out like that, I’m not mad at him. Many of the qualities I seek in a friend are the same as I’d seek in a romantic partner, so in my book the friend zone is not a bad place to be.

    I’ve just learned that friendly attention is often just that, and I can roll with it. The opposite — the uptight attached guy — is annoying; you may have met him: “Great party, how do you know Jane?” “I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!”

    I don’t think that initially being attracted to someone who isn’t all over me but shows interest in me as a person is indicative of a ‘toxic’ type per se, but as I said I have learned not to read more into first meeting someone than what I see. I shun people who try to get all over me and hardly know me; that kind of instant intimacy behavior is actually a kind of avoidance IME. It’s often some kind of act with an ulterior motive behind it.

  42. Tired says:

    Mymble , yep spot on his wife kicked his hot arse out . Funny wish we could tell that yheir toxic but somtimes. You cant or wont see it . I heard how new women thought he was a sexy guitar player and said in front of her husband that she wanted to shag him . Thing is wife threw him a out and not looked back. Its just theses good old last couple of months of nc and blocking thats helped me see it. All for what it was . Saw a pic on that good old fb of him and his new buisness . Some random mutual friend had shared it and yes it hurt but i looked again , hes got fatter , lost more hair and looked estatic in picture not as nat says really not that special . I laughed at thought of him getting his big fat arsr into a footwell with his arthritic knees to valet it . Good luck with that , hope you pay her back the money shes spent on ya lol . Then do you no what that it it didnt bother me . Rode it out. Who cares it really is passing away . Great seeing it take place

  43. EUM Roberto says:

    My type was the “damsel in distress” who needed to be “rescued” by me being the “white knight” or the hero that saves the day. In reality i just became enabler and doormat. That was the old me in marriage, Now that i’m recently divorced i don’t even know what my type is.

    I really haven’t been “dating”. I just “hang out” and “hook up”.

    Except for this most recent woman, She is so not my type, We are both severyly EU, but we are getting very close and super intimate – almost like trauma bond.

    We both have major trust issues but are learning together to trust each other. Even though we were burned in the past by the opposite gender, not all of them are bad.

    When i hear “all men are assholes” or “all men cheat”, that’s a red flag. I am so glad i do not hold those negative views towards women as a whole. I really took a chance and put myself “out on a limb” and risked being vulnerable with this current woman and she has been nothing but sweet and loving to me which is a huge releif.

    • EUM Roberto says:

      oops – not “trauma bond”, what i meant is we are both coming out of traumatic relationships and we are bonding over our past experience

  44. geekgirl says:

    I ran into the ex today. IT was totally unpremeditated, and i think I’m still in shock. I was actually on my way to the university (where I work), and he was at the busstop outside.

    It was horrible. He talked about himself. he is seeing someone else. He is getting evicted He it thinking about getting back together with his ex. This is the woman he has a (3 year old) child with, and he thinks its his duty to make his family work

    He’s right. It IS his duty, and he’ll probably make a good dad. But He didn’t tell me about the child for the first 3 months we were together. If he had, I would have asked a lot more questions about the old relationship, before getting too deeply involved. As it was, I was already hooked by the time I knew. Although he assured me it was over, he was always cagey when talking about it, and I was always worried that he would go back to her. It kills me that she gets to have him, and then I feel like a selfish bitch, for feeling this way.

    i just feel like some piece of trash that got tossed aside. For nine months, he talked about wanting to be with ME. He said I was the woman he was going to marry . and blah blah blah. I feel so STUPID, for believing him. He clearly hasn’t spent a second of time, missing me, and I have been missing him for months.

    • Magnolia says:

      geekgirl, sorry to hear you’re feeling a bit bruised. but did I hear right: he’s seeing someone else, AND thinking of getting back together with the ex?

      sometimes it’s good to run into these guys and get a good up-close reminder of what we’ve been “missing” for months. I had that opportunity after almost 18 months of struggling to get over pangs of sadness over the exAC, ran into him, he talked about himself, blah, blah …

      and I was suddenly cured of pangs! Let the healing begin!

    • jewells says:

      Hi Geekgirl, sorry you had to go through that. I think I’d feel the same way if I happened to bump into the ex and had him blather away about his life without me after all the promises he made. The ex had all but proposed, but then panicked and bailed, and I too felt like I was the equivilent of tossed trash. It’s sooo disempowering. The high of feeling loved, finding ‘the one’, flitting around on cloud nine. Then to be unceremoniously dumped like trash and they go on to ponder their ‘options’ aloud. Gawd!
      But there are articles here of Nat’s that can get you through that – I don’t know the names of them, but ultimately it’s about being lucky that we didn’t win the ‘booby prize’. They weren’t what we thought they were, so count our blessings that they are no longer our problem.
      Keep your head up, talk it out with good friend, go for a mani/pedi and repeat – ‘he’s not that special’!

      • geekgirl says:

        Thanks guys,
        Yup, Jewells, I have been reading the HELL out of this site all night.

        And Magnolia, yes, with someone else, but will dump her and get back with the ex. He feels bad for trashing peoples lives.

        I did the whole whiny “didn’t you ever actually care about me ” CRAP (no, he didn’t, not particularly).

        But after about five minutes I kicked myself up the arse, said, “Well, you didn’t trash my life”, and just got up and walked away. I’m a little proud of myself for doing that. I had a really productive day at work, too.

        • jewells says:

          Yeah Geekgirl, I whined about “how am I ever going to be able to trust anyone again!?” and “omg I can’t even win with someone who’s crazy about me!”. Which were, in hindsight, conflicting. Luckily in the fog I did manage to see enough light to make him fess to his wife and she made him go NC with me, leaving me to find BR and my sanity again. Whew, close call. The more I examine the interactions throughout the ‘relationshit’ I see more clearly the hooks, the manipulations, the manifestations of control, the fast forwarding and future faking, the ‘all about him’s’, the delusions of grandeur he held below his initial impressions of humility, the crocodile tears that paraded as emotional vulnerability…
          I don’t miss HIM one bit (I miss the fantasy though), I doubt that he misses me, but I know he won’t forget me :) He’s a mind f**ker of mind f**kers, there should be an awards ceremony for that category alone.

    • Ms Determined says:

      Geekgirl. Really? Are we doing this? Are we talking about egg guy? Because this shit has gone beyond reasonable. How he can even talk to you with a straight face is ridiculous, and how you don’t pull out an *actual* carton of eggs and throw them at him one by one as he flaps his asshole gums in your direction is beyond totally fucking unbelievable. He didn’t tell you about his CHILD for 3 months? (I would fucking LOVE to know how he casually dropped that one into conversation.) I think this gives you an idea about how ‘flexible’ he is about any concept of duty, or obligation, or just even just basic human fucking decency. And now he’s all waaaah waaaah about “making his family work”. (Hot tip for egg guy: Actually admitting that you have one might be a step in the right direction.) And I’ll just bet the reason it didn’t “work” in the first place was that he couldn’t keep his penis from straying into strange vaginas. Ugh.

      I know it seems fucking crazy that you spent all that time thinking about him. That’s because it is fucking crazy. Look at who this guy IS. Would you really rather YOU had had his magical baby that ceases existing for months at a time and reappears when he wants to convince himself that he’s not such a bad guy? I mean fuck him. Seriously, fuck him. You are too smart, and way too sexy for his rancid omlette offering. You should be thanking your lucky stars that you only see him by accident at a bus stop. And he should be thanking his lucky stars you aren’t packing a razor blade encrusted whisk. Asshole.

      NEXT!

      • jewells says:

        Ok, Geekgirl, you gotta fill me in on the history – Egg guy?! Really?

        Oh, and Ms D – right on! Way to Determine! So apt, so to the point… I hope you’re here if/when I almost fall off the wagon :)

  45. Tabitha says:

    Can I just make a little comment with regard to opting out of the dating scene. A few posts have been made regarding this. When I got divorced, I deliberately spent two years in absolute isolation. I did not flirt with anyone and bizzarely, nobody made any attempts to flirt with me. Seriously. It was like I had a big sign over my head saying “Romantic No-Go Area”
    When, after 2 years of this, the ex narc started his incredibly hot pursuit, I was knocked sideways by it. I was still determinedly independent and told him so, but of course, being a Chaser, this just turned him on.
    Anyway, what I am very inarticulately trying to say is this. I smugly thought that because I had spent two years out of the game, that this was enough. That my abstinence would miraculously make me relationship ready. Um, well no, as it turns out. My two years of sitting on my arse had made me a world expert in “Friends” and the collected works of Marian Keyes. But in that time I had done NO WORK WHATSOEVER on myself. Hadn’t occurred to me.
    The fact that we are all here on BR does imply a certain willingness to do the work but I just wanted to point out that simply not engaging with men for a 12/24/36 month period won’t make an awful lot of difference without the painful self reflection, analysis and building up of self esteem that most of us need to do before we can embark on the kind of relationship we would like to have. And that we all deserve.

    • NoMo Drama says:

      I was just thinking about that myself. It’s not enough to avoid dating, or even just “work on oneself” for a period of time. After a certain point all this reflection and working on one’s issues is not enough; it requires one to get back out there. I’ve been out of it so long, it’s like, “get back out where?”

    • Fifi says:

      good reminder!

  46. Lostinspace says:

    After many years of fatal attractions to MM and EUM, I found this site and had my own epithany. I finally understood what was going on and why I was choosing this type of man. So I resolved to think better of myself and try and date a different type of guy.

    I have been seeing the current man for around 6 months. In the beginning he seemed different: more attentive, not pushing for the physical stuff, and generally treating me with repsect. But now i’m not so sure that I haven’t ended up with same man, different persona.

    I have yet to meet anyone in his life, even though he’s met my kids etc. Some days he calls me 2 or 3 times, and then other times he’ll go off the radar for 2 or 3 days with no explanation. We see each other on his timetable, not mine, and even though he says he loves me and everything is great when i see him, I think he has commitment issues. He talks about stuff in the future, then *forgets* he said it if I press him on it.

    He rang me Friday night and was his usual self. I emailed him Sat morning and didn’t get a reply. He was working, so I didn’t think too much of it, but we’re now at Monday morning and I’ve heard nothing from him! I find it really hard to believe he’s SOOO busy that he can’t pick up the phone. I’d call him, but he almost never picks up, so why bother?

    Hmm. I tempted to pull the plug on this one. I really like him, but I really don’t want to get sucked into another dead end relationship.

    • geekgirl says:

      Lost in space,
      I hate to say it, but the things you talked about are not great signs.
      Just think about it. He knows you like him, right? So then, he knows you are waiting for his reply. He’s not dumb. So not replying is at the very least, being completely inconsiderate, regarding your feelings, and at the worst, deliberately toying with those feelings, to keep you insecure.
      I just can’t see any explanation for a PROLONGED failure to reply that paints him in a good light.

    • Recovering EUM, Davide says:

      Hello, lostinspace.

      It sounds odd that in 6 months you have yet to meet any of the people in this man’s life. I rule out the possibility that he is a hermit or an unusually dedicated research-worker far from his place & family of origin.

      I remember feeling frustrated last year when a attractive new acquaintance did not respond to my email, and a follow-up 3 days later. After 7 days I emailed her one of my photos of a grave, adding that there had been a death- of my aspiration of a response to my emails…(:

      In peace, Davide.

  47. Eva says:

    Dear Lostinspace

    Run for the hills now! I spent 7 years of my life (what a numbskull) with a man who behaved in exactly this way. The relationship was off, on, off, on, off on etc After 6 months if you haven’t been to his home or met anyone who knows him this is a massive red flag. Please don’t do what I did in keep giving the benefit of the doubt and hoping he’s going to be different. Read some of other of NAT’s posts on here, you’ll find them really helpful. I know I have. If it feels wrong, it usually is.

  48. Lostinspace says:

    Thanks guys :) He rang me earlier to say he’d lost his phone, hence the no contact. I do believe him, but that doesn’t take away the fact he has been bloody inconsiderate (as you commented geekgirl).

    It does bother me that I haven’t met his friends/family. I have asked him about it and he always says “yes, course you can meet them”, but does nothing to precipitate any such meeting. Problem is, he lives 300 miles away and always comes to me since he is currently living with a family member and he says he sleeps in a tiny box room with a single bed (I know his address and have sent stuff there, so I’m fairly certain he isn’t hiding a wife and 6 kids). But yeah, red flags by the bucket load.

    • Magnolia says:

      Lostinspace,

      I dunno. Women sent stuff to the exAC while I was with him, and as you don’t tend to put “aka your lover” on the outside of the envelope, I could only guess at who the little cards were from. If I’d asked, he would have said, “a friend.”

      “Fairly certain” isn’t certain.

      But he doesn’t have to have a wife and kids for it to be strange that you haven’t ever seen “his side” of the long distance relationship.

    • Mymble says:

      Lostinspace

      Ah yes, the I lost my phone excuse #261.
      It is a feature of married men that they do not like to chat at the weekends, as this is the time when they are most busy being married.
      That also would explain why he does not answer – he has it on silent. I am not saying he must be married with 10 kids but fact is he could be, and you’d not have a clue.
      And.. you haven’t seen where he lives either.. why IS he living with a relative in a cupboard under the stairs, or whatever, anyway?
      The fact that you’ve posted stuff to him proves nothing whatsoever about where he actually lives, and with whom.

    • Vanessa says:

      I’m wondering: how did losing his phone prevent him from returning your email? Sure we’re all using smartphones now and all, but…doesn’t he have a computer?

      Suspect.

      I’ve been involved with these types before. Trust your intuition sooner than later, I’d say. I wish I had.

  49. Lilia says:

    Well, I made an inventory of the men I´ve been involved with and they all seem to be variations of my narcissist father. The big difference is that my father is the apparently vulnerable, conflicted type and these guys have all been popular alpha males, but still! They are soooo vain and self-absorbed. After an initial hot pursuit, everything was always about them.

    It is so clear, it´s almost ridiculous. There were:
    – an irreverent Cassanova/poet and alcoholic
    – a talented musician, leader of a popular local band, very unfaithful
    – a succesful artsy film photographer, now internationally acclaimed, very EU
    – a surfer and bully (my ex husband)
    – a pretentious journalist/writer (ugly as Large from the Addams family, but king of his own harem)
    and so on.

    This is very embarrasing because I usually don´t even like “popular”. I don´t like the role of groupie but that is what I have become in those relationships. It seems to be the only role I know, I can´t imagine what it would be like to interact with men in another way.

    So, what I´m wondering now is how do you learn NOT to act like that? Or, how do you learn to interact like equals in romantic relationships?

  50. Intotouch says:

    I’m stuck in no-mans land. Four years ago I realized my pattern. Since then I’ve only dated two men but saw pretty quickly that they were commitment phobes and dropped them like a stone. So yes I know my type. Yes I now avoid them. This is an improvement. But I’ve yet to fancy a man who is not that type. I dated one man who seemed fine but I didn’t fancy him and had to stop seeing him. Any advise? Or do some of us stay addicted for life? Like alcoholics who can never take a drink.

  51. Revolution says:

    Ahhh….my toxic type. Yes, I’ve definitely had the “Artist” in his many forms. Always misunderstood. Always on the verge of creating something great.

    …And always broke. Always self-absorbed. Always a philandering coward.

    See where I’m going with this? But guess what? Imma pull a Judge Judy on my OWN ass and say to myself, “You picked him.” And my own stupidity doesn’t give me carte blanche to paint every man with the AC brush. I need to grow the eff up and look for something better.

    Incidentally, I thought of you all yesterday, when watching my niece in a community theater performance of “Peter Pan”, playing the hell out of her two roles, Fairy #16 and Indian #22. With the last scene of the play, I found myself quietly cheering Wendy on under my breath, as Mr. Pan (the most famous EU of all) blew into her window and she (now older, happily married, and with a daughter of her own) told him to take his fairy dust somewhere else.

    I was like, “Damn straight, girrrrrrl.”

    • McKenzieM says:

      LOL! Rev, you always have the best posts.

    • Sm says:

      Rev no truer words were ever spoken, ‘my own stupidity doesn’t give me the right to paint every man with the ac brush’. I have a friend who continuously says there are no good guys when I’ve watched her chase after the worst of the worst, the real truth is that she is only interested in the bad ones. We all need to remember this. I don’t have a type per se, my men have come in many forms but the one thing they had in common is that they were all eu, that is my type. I can smell them from a mile away.

    • Munchkins says:

      Lol I like that. As exciting and fun as Peter Pan was he was never ready to grow up, and smart girl Wendy knew when to move on.

    • Jule says:

      Oh Rev, that’s awesome and oh you are so right on about the artist type but yeah we pick em. Work in progress. We’ll get there. Hugs girl.

  52. misty says:

    Revolution,
    You just made me laugh out loud! what a great post….x

  53. Demke says:

    My ex contacted me today. I was in my first meeting for my business with potential clients… It was going very well, I look down at my phone… And it’s a picture of something funny… A personal joke via txt. He sent one last month as well, saying that he wished we still laughed together. Today has been 5 months NC. I didn’t
    respond to any txts.

    I feel that I am ‘good’. Moving on and happy, overall. I just don’t understand why today’s txt bothered me a little. Such a ‘crumb’. 6 years… It ended badly… No adult discussion… Just me walking out on him finding out he was lying and
    cheating. That was it.

    I would rather an apology than anything else. Some human decency, maybe. I was able to pick myself up, dust myself off… And just live my life and succeed full speed ahead. Rather than being depressed and obsessed over him… Hell, I spent too many years doing that.

    Why does he have to txt at all? Why not leave me alone, completely? I don’t need these monthly reminders… It’s worse than my period. Lol.. I thought of blocking him. Or.. Sending him back a pic of the place where I walked out on him… Lol.

    I loved this person. We were together a long time. And I am doing my best to be happy and just enjoy my life (which I am), but when I here from him… I miss him. I’ll full out admit it. I wish he wouldn’t do that… Txt at all… I want to block him out.

    Ladies… What’s your take? I’m struggling tonight. Thanks xo

    • sushi says:

      Demke- my take- he is an asshole. He knows exactly what he is doing, scratching your wound. So he lied and cheated and now misses the nice times? Not to mention the big effort/changed man ; a text a month. You do need to block him, people like him take the “no” as an invitation for another round of asshollery ( been there) and you are doing so well, why put up with something that rattles you, it won`t lead anywhere. I know it`s tough to block, feels like last thread of connection to him and the finality thing is not easy. Be strong.

    • grace says:

      Demke
      Every year one of my exes puts a crimp in my christmas and birthday by emailing me. I haven’t responded in five years.
      I’ve had them redirected to my junk folder but every so often I still pick them up as I check my junk for legitimate email.
      I think about it as little as possible, to the extent that I won’t allow myself to even wonder why it pisses me off so much.

    • simple pleasures says:

      From my understanding “no contact” means “no connection”, not “non response to contact made”. Seems that you need to block his access to you or you’ll stay on his leash. Take it from another who had 6 years plus some…and I thought I too was in no contact for a year before I realized my nonresponse was still a connection.

  54. Demke says:

    Thanks ladies :)… I Soo appreciated your responses and ‘take’ on it, all very good points.

    Lol! Sushi.. Yes, asshole fits the description pretty well. And even though I considered it ‘final’ 5 months ago… What u said about blocking him, is the last thread of connection to him… You’re absolutely right. And after I received the little crumb… I actually thought that. Why should he even be allowed to send me txts? Why should he have any access to me, in any form? sending pics of things we used
    to laugh about. As little as it seems… It has some kind of effect on me. Doesn’t last long. But. You ladies know what I mean… Y’all went through it. For some mysterious (f’d up)
    reason… These ‘types’ leave their mark like no
    other. I am not sad or angry about it. It’s just
    hard to believe that after so long, it’s finally over. Finality for me was a relief, a shock, a blessing,
    and disappointment all at the same time. Strangest experience/relationship I’ve ever been in. I’ll never be the same. …I don’t even mean that negatively. It has changed my mind set, for the better. I’m ‘awake’. Lol… Makes me think of that Katy Perry song (can’t think of the name).

    Anyway, it’s comforting knowing that these situations are common. I am not alone. And even though it may ‘change’ us… It was all for a reason. I truly believe it’s so we’ll really know something good when we find it… So that we know what every day happiness is really like. We didn’t all go through this ridiculous shit for nothing! Lol…

    • sushi says:

      Demke,
      you are most definitely not alone, and you won`t feel like that for long.I undrestand you to the last dot in your post.:)

  55. Searcher says:

    Revolution’s post really resonated with me. I ALWAYS gravitate towards the artistic type, with tattoos, a deep mind, great thoughts, great conversation, misunderstood, complex, romantic, blah blah blah just like me. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that type of guy but I’ve had the most intense relationship with a guy like that that lasted about five years, and it ended in 2011 with a few communications from him in 2012 and I am still NOT over him yet. I have mentioned him in my past posts but no one knows how much I went through with him. He had a daughter that was 2 years old when I met him and she absolutely fell in love with me and I with her. Throughout our relationship, she was the glue that held us together. Her mother was a different story, with my now ex kicking me out of our first home together back in 2009 so he could move his daughter’s mother in. Then the second time around we lived together for a year before he said that we’d have to live separately to be able to stay together, only to find out that once he helped me move into my own apartment, he left me to be free and only dipped in and out of my life when he pleased. We had a unspoken rule that he would contact me every 2-3 months to say hello, that he missed me, to call me crying saying that heroin was the reason he had distanced himself and he hadn’t wanted me to see him like that, etc. etc. Every time I fell for it. I can honestly say that since I knew him so well, that part of his reasons were valid, that I do believe he cared for and loved me to an extent (however small), but there was always something more that he cared for and loved more. I was never a top priority in his life.
    This man was the most intelligent person I have ever met and he taught me so much about myself and life in general and I know he was a huge piece of the puzzle in my life, but the hardest to deal with. I’m not saying that because I’m still in love with him. I’m saying that because he was so intelligent that even he couldn’t handle it. He was one who could talk to absolutely anyone, about absolutely anything and lie to someone on the spot without even thinking, later with me realizing that that was detrimental to me. He was a true Pisces who couldn’t face reality and had resorted to drugs when he was 13 years old. After he went to rehab and was clean, he completely disappeared from my life except for a few attempts at “showing” me he still thought of me last year. He now has a new girlfriend and she is pregnant with their son (I blocked both of them on Facebook 5 months back for my own sanity). I met him six years ago and haven’t spoken with him in about a year, and I am so mad at myself for not being over him! We had lived together most of our codependent relationship, not really having any time for anyone but ourselves. Only after we had broken up did I realize that it was a codependent relationship and that I had unconsciously enabled his drug addiction. I am angry that he used me and took me for granted, but I’m also so angry at myself for letting him take away the best years of my life (19-25). I am still dealing with the repercussions of our relationship while he has moved on to a better woman (in his eyes) who is now carrying his second child. I know exactly what I would tell someone if they presented this story to me of their own, but I can’t help but feel helpless because this is MY story. I am still living in the past, being sucked back into our memories from years ago. The majority of the pain is gone, thank god, but the fact that I’m still living in the past is not. Occasionally I’ll hear an old song of ours and my breath is taken away, so I immediately turn the song, or let it play while I cry like a baby. Things like that. If anyone can offer some words of advice who may or may not have gone through a similar issue, I would greatly appreciate reading them! Thank you so much in advance!!!

  56. Demke says:

    Searcher- don’t beat yourself up for not being over him because it’s been more than a year. This is someone that you loved and spent years with. A lot of us have either gone through it, or are going through it now. It’s a process. Sometimes, it takes longer than we expect, but that doesn’t make it ‘wrong’.

    And my God… You are still so young. The best years for you are yet to come… I’m 37… And for me, my best years I have to say have been my 30’s. You learn, you grow; to get to a place where you are perfectly ok with you. Single or attached.

    Sometimes, we need just need to let things go naturally, don’t put a time limit on grieving, but do get out there and live the best life you possibly can… And one day you’ll say ‘omg… I forgot to even think about ‘______’.

    I was with an ‘artistic’ type myself for almost 7 years. Yup. Tattoos, smart, funny, bad-boy type… Who was a typical Assclown. Jerked me around for a long time. And as I mentioned in my post above… It’s been 5 mos. NC, and he’s still, ever so subtly, toying w me. So, I’m going to take the advice of the wise BR ladies and block him. Do I miss him? Yes. Like f’n crazy
    sometimes. There are moments when I feel like… How will I ever, truly, get over this person? I’ve been feeling like that ever since he txt me on Tues. But. You know what? Those feelings… Come and go… And I know over time… Those feelings will happen less frequently and it’s because I want to be happy. I do things that make me happy cause I couldn’t do it while with him cause everything was about him!!

    As u mentioned… I know how it feels not being a priority. The hot/cold, bullshit. Never feeling worthy enough of something friggin’ normal and healthy… It never making positive progress toward a true commitment.

    I want and deserve a great relationship w someone I know has my back and makes me a priority. I may grieve here n there, get confused about it… But it doesn’t last long, because I know if I dwell in it, I’m pushing away the possibility of someone great walking into my life. And… Screw that! Lol.. I’m dating a few men now, and it’s fun. Taking my time :)

    You’ll be fine… Just keeping pushing forward. Keep reading BR, and believe that it didn’t work cause there’s someone out there who’ll surprise you and treat you in such away that you’ll be so grateful it didn’t work!

    • Searcher says:

      Thank you so much Demke, it’s always comforting to know that others out there have gone or are going through a similar situation. I believe you’re right when you say it didn’t work out because there is someone better waiting for me, but it’s the negativity and skepticism that I need to also overcome to fully believe that.

      I stumbled across old instant messages from my ex and I from back in 2009, right after he dumped me the first time. It was almost a relief reading through the messages because I clearly see (now) how he was stringing me along but at the time I didn’t want to see that or accept it. It also shows me how much I’ve grown.

      Your ex still texting you reminds me of my ex randomly texting me, and after reading BR I realize that he was only dipping in and out of my life to see if I still had an attachment to him, for an ego boost and an option.

      You sound very strong so I think you’re on the right track. I think the NC rule would let the guy know you’re not falling for his sh*t anymore. As for me, I feel better today and hopefully I can retain a positive attitude towards my situation. Good luck to both of us!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

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