Two people worrying about rejection

When we’re hurting and struggling to feel good about ourselves, the way we tell it, our blanket reason for why something has or hasn’t happened, pretty much boils down to rejection. We make it about our worth, whether we’re ‘good enough’, what we think we did or didn’t do, and likely analyse the crappola out of the other party. When we were hopeful, feeling great or even crazy about them, there were two of us and now that it’s all gone pear shaped, it is solely about us even when it’s about him/her/the situation. We end up rejecting ourselves because we decide that other people’s behaviour is provoked by our worth and what we didn’t be or do enough of.

We can feel rejected because:

  • We experienced disappointment including things not going in whatever way we’d hope that they would.
  • A person wouldn’t change for us.
  • A person wasn’t what we assumed him/her to be.
  • We misjudged a situation.
  • We didn’t hear what we wanted to hear.
  • We were or felt criticised.
  • We weren’t agreed with.
  • Our decision was respected.
  • We got called out on something.
  • Our feelings weren’t reciprocated.
  • We got into a conflict or sensed that if we didn’t take ‘protective measures’ such as people pleasing or distancing ourselves, that we would experience it.
  • We felt unaccepted and disapproved of.

Here’s the thing…

Everyone has some level of fear of rejection. Everyone.

We all have ‘rejection behaviours’, you know those certain things that we do when we feel slighted, wounded, or believe that we’re in line to experience it.

We go into people pleasing overdrive.
We try to fade into the background.
We go dark and try to avoid the people involved.
We get defensive and argumentative.
We create a conflict situation so that we can speed up what we believe to be the inevitable.
We disappear.
We go dark until we feel that the dust has settled and then see if we can slink our way back in.
We decide that we won’t make any or as much effort anymore so that the other party has to or they leave.
We fume, ruminate and berate ourselves with a stream of negative self-talk.
We fear being abandoned so may engage in clinging, begging, pleading, and trying to get the person to show or agree that they won’t leave.
We get involved with someone else as a backup or start sniffing around on dating sites, collecting attention and essentially softening the blow.
We exit a relationship and hurtle straight into another.
We cheat and play hooky with someone else so that we loosen the commitment reins and feel in control.
We post stuff on Facebook to give the impression that we’re oh-so-happy or we tell anyone who will listen that we don’t care.
Some of us will build up a person and knowing that they’re going to find out what we’re about, we devalue and discard that person to feel in control.

Now reading that list, you will recognise you in some of the examples but more importantly, you will recognise the very people that you’re making your whole existence and worth about.

It is all too easy to make ‘everything’ or at least anything you don’t like, about you. What really drives each of us are our habits (our typical thought, emotional and action responses to certain cues and triggers) and ultimately the decisions we make, often without thinking, are about how we feel about us in that context and how much of our potential to be vulnerable is being limited.

I know that a big part of why my father is not and was not around very much is because of that fear of rejection. It has always been down to my brother and I (or my mother when we were kids) to make the overtures. In the past I’ve felt very rejected by all of this, especially when I’d leave him to reach out and then…zilch. This became my blueprint for my relationships.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of over-empathising and then trying to make up the shortfall but that’s a painful choice because you keep rejecting you so that another person avoids having to do the very thing that’s needed in order for real change to come about – be vulnerable.

Now that I no longer make it about me, my worth and my validity on this planet, I can empathise enough to put that sense of rejection where it belongs – out of my heart and mind, and also into perspective.

This doesn’t mean that I ‘condone’ or absolve him of his actions but now that my whole being isn’t riding on another person’s actions or lack thereof, I’m able to get on with the business of living and doing for me what I wasn’t able to get from him or my exes.

When you wonder why they’re not chasing you down after you told them to jog on or you stopped making all of the effort, when you agonise over how the hell they can be flaunting their new ‘love’ two seconds after you broke up, when you wonder why they just won’t try, step up, fight for you, just remember, you are not the only person who’s afraid of and trying to limit rejection. That and for some people, their way of never seeing or feeling too much is to move onto new pastures and press the Reset Button….

The more you see beyond you, is the less you see so much of you in other people’s behaviour. Set you free.

Your thoughts?

I’ll do a holiday update next time. Em and I were up until near 1am sorting the house out for the photographer and then at it again this morning. I’m wrecked!

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202 Responses to You’re not the only one who’s afraid of rejection

  1. noquay says:

    Something we all have to understand is that we too, reject others, sometimes for very good reasons, sometimes not.I ddon’t have a problem with rejection if it occurs right away, more when you’re strung along for a long time, then dumped to lied to.

    • Lara says:

      Yeah, I deal better with rejection from the get-go, than when there have been lies and stringing-along. I had this done to me by my AC ex, the three times that he broke up with me. And the first 2 times, I went back for some more of the same. Then the third time was the icing on the cake, because he had started telling me he loved me, after we got back together after his 2nd breakup with me. And he future-faked and acted like he was totally in love, etc. Then, out of the blue, for no obvious reason, after a month of bizarre behavior, he dumped me. But I guess it was to be expected, since I had found out he had cheated on me a month before, and I guess he felt a little bit “small” that he was discovered and had to “explain himself.” Maybe that was his way of getting back at me, for having discovered his cheating and confronting him about it. I’ve been rejected plenty of times before, without being strung along and while it stings, it doesn’t nearly hurt as much, and I don’t take it as personally as I do when I am strung along, mainly because not only do I feel cheated, I also feel stupid for having believed them, fallen for them, etc.

    • Julia says:

      Or when you’re chased and rejected, chased and rejected until you have compromised yourself into oblivion & don’t know which way is up. They then decide they’ve had enough fun & walk away for good.

      • Jess says:

        Yes, this is what I’m going through myself right now….It sucks =(

      • Oregon Girl says:

        Yes, that has been me for over a year. Ever since I figured out our relationship was not going to go to a new level of commitment (one year ago), I have asked him to leave me alone. He approaches me and I get all excited, then he rejects me again, then approaches me, then rejects me. Etc. etc. Like a cat playing with a half-dead mouse. Finally, today, I found the courage to scream into the phone: do not ever ever ever call me again, text me, try to see me, or anything! I never ever want to see you again!!! Leave me alone!! LEAVE ME ALONE!! Then I came home and blocked both of his phone numbers from my cell phone and filtered him away from my email, and deleted him from my phone contacts. I am going to throw his clothes and shit into the garbage can first thing in the morning. I am counting today as Day 1 of no contact, even though we did talk this morning, because today I found the guts to make sure he understands how FINAL this break up really is. Please wish me luck as I know he will find a way to get a hold of me at some point in the future and I just have to find the strength to ignore him and walk away. My heart hurts so bad right now. It is literally hurting… It has been a soul-destroying experience and I desperately need to find peace so I can heal.

        • Kriss says:

          NC really works and will give you the peace you need. Good luck.

        • simple pleasures says:

          If you REALLY mean it, it’s probably going to take you another year of grieving, healing, reading BR to cool off, calm down, and move on. Stay tuned.

          • Oregon Girl says:

            Yes, I know! Amen! I am now reading The NC Rule book and it suggested getting his stuff back to him asap (and not throwing it out which is vengeful). So I sent only one email today asking him where I should mail it to (he has more than one address). Did not call or otherwise text him though. Day 2. Help me, Sistahs!!

    • Petafly says:

      EXACTLY right. I been on dates with men and early on we were both honest and when it didn’t work out it was ok. It was when my EUM chased me, proclaimed how special i was, how he can see a future with me, etc..then turned cold overnight where I got angry and felt largely rejected. Of course then I didn’t tie how hard I took the rejection to my family of origin and blamed it on me being the failure. Knowledge is power!

  2. asia says:

    I struggle with this sooooo much.

    But it makes perfect sense. I may have to read this daily as a reminder

  3. michelle says:

    Incredible post, thank you so much for putting it so clearly into writing. I love how you suggest it our responsibility to better ourselves and grow. So many of your posts helped my mind and cleared blured thinking. merci!

  4. Revolution says:

    “I know that a big part of why my father is not and was not around very much is because of that fear of rejection. It has always been down to my brother and I (or my mother when we were kids) to make the overtures. In the past I’ve felt very rejected by all of this, especially when I’d leave him to reach out and then…zilch. This became my blueprint for my relationships.”

    Nat, I could have written this paragraph, down to the very last detail (mother, brother) about my life.

  5. Revolution says:

    Another comment:

    “The more you see beyond you, is the less you see so much of you in other people’s behaviour. Set you free.”

    A to the MEN!

    Get some rest, Miss Nat. And when you’re up to it, I wanna see a pic of the new ‘do! I bet it looks so cute!!!!!

  6. Lara says:

    You’re absolutely right. I have always seen myself as the reason behind people’s hurtful behavior, but I am now realizing that not everything is about me. In a sense, I quite enjoyed the feeling of being the bad person, because it allowed me to feel sorry for myself, for being such an unlovable person who messed up everything she touched. I am trying to get over that mentality, and I have come a long way, but it’s been a bumpy ride, and I have had setbacks. Most recently today, where I sorta felt tempted to go drinking again at the pub and went for food and drinks, on my own. Then, these 2 guys sitting together, kept looking at me, in particular one of them, and I was interested in him, but he just kept looking (clearly looking and showing interest but not saying anything). I felt kinda offended, I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough to be approached, for him to get over his fear of rejection, etc. Eventually though, I managed to remind myself that this was not about me, it’s about him, and his inability to face his fears, or whatever it was. Or maybe he was just ogling me and wasn’t interested in more. His loss, I suppose. And anyway, I shouldn’t get involved with men I meet in pubs. But I still couldn’t shake off that feeling of getting annoyed that I wasn’t approached, and was so tempted to make it all about me. But no, no no, I tell myself, I’m pretty, I’m sexy, and I am intelligent, and there’s no reason for anyone not to approach me if they are interested in me, unless they are unable to overcome some fear or baggage that they have. For a long time, I saw myself as the person responsible for being rejected because I saw myself as the common denominator in all these situations. But you know what? I really don’t think so. I can’t control or predict people’s behaviors and then get all pissed off and disappointed when they don’t act the way I expect them to. I shouldn’t. I should learn to just let go and go with the flow and not think too much about other people’s behavior. Live and learn.

    • Peter says:

      So, Lara, if you are interested in someone, why don’t *you* take the initiative, instead of feeling offended that they did not approach you ? Followed by actually rationalising your own fear of rejection ?

      • Lara says:

        Because I have learned that if I take the initiative with men, they walk all over me later on, thinking that I am too much into them — more than they are into me. At this point, I don’t trust my man-picker either. It’s not fear of rejection as much as it is fear of being disrespected and abused the same way that my ex disrespected and abused and walked all over me. I’ve done my fair share of initiation of contact, etc. I don’t really fear that per se. That said, I am a rather reserved person, so it’s difficult for me to think of opening lines to make the first contact less awkward, and it’s doubly difficult if the guy is with a friend. Instead, in that situation, I send blatant signals of interest. I look at him and smile, etc., to make him realize that I am interested and not to fear rejection if he approaches me. But last night despite those very obvious signals, the guy still did not approach me. He nearly did when they were leaving, because he stood there as if on two minds, but then he left as his friend almost dragged him away. I really don’t know what more I could’ve done in that situation. Being at the bar alone already casts women in bad light, I didn’t want to appear like I was some slut who talked to every man who sat near her…

        • Elgie R. says:

          Women lose SO MANY opportunities by not being the one to speak first to the man. It’s just a conversation, ladies. I recently learned how to talk to men by watching a female coworker at a happy hour we went to together. She is not pretty but you woulda thought she was Halle Berry. She just talked to men like they were people…not *potential anythings*. I wonder if she knew how because she raised a son on her own, or maybe it just came naturally to her…I dunno.

          Anyway, since watching her I have been very successful at striking up conversations with men wherever I go. They just want to talk.

          I work with a young man who I see as attractive, but when I listen to him talk about hanging out, HE sees himself as the guy women won’t be interested in, and talks about his predator buddy being the one who “gets all the girls” because of the ability to talk to them and charm them.

          You’d be swooning over the predator, Lara. And bypassing the nice guy because he did not make the first overture.

          • Lara says:

            Elgie, well, I am one of those women who actually do the approaching most of the time, rather than get approached. Unfortunately, it has not worked out very well for me. Men do like being approached, but I have found that those who do, are those who like it mostly because of the ego boost, and not because they might be interested in the woman doing the approaching. I have approached time and again, only to realize they were never interested in me in the first place, even though they were initially sending out signals that they were (flirting, lots of eye contact, smiling, etc. — and no, I wasn’t imagining these things!). As soon as I did the approaching, bam, there went any flirtation or anything else on their part, and not because I sounded stupid or said anything wrong/awkward, etc. In fact, I offered to exchange numbers with one of my male friends (not a close friend, just someone I work with/around most days), because he was flirting with me and maintaining lots of eye contact throughout the night when we went out with friends yesterday. He did not give me his number even though I gave him mine. That kinda hurt, because it’s not like I was going to chase after him if I texted him once or twice and he rebuffed my offer for a drink or dinner or whatever…. Also, he has shared his number with most of my friends (including females), so why not me? That really hurt. But oh well. Anyway, the bottom line is, I do do a lot of approaching, but men have rarely if ever liked that. I figure that if a man really thinks I am interesting or worth talking to, he will take some risk and talk to me, just as I, a woman, have done the same and taken risks. Yes, rejection hurts, and it sucks big time to be rejected time and again but it hasn’t stopped me from putting myself on the line, even around my friends, to approach someone I am interested in. I find that men who do not want to approach no matter the level of their interest are narcissists who are afraid of their egos being hurt in front of people. At some point, the fear of rejection is not and should not be stronger than any other desire/want/need/interest. If it is, there is a problem, and I suspect narcissism might be involved. Sure, men who are aggressive and do the approaching might not necessarily be the good ones, but hey, without risk there can be no rewards. You cannot wait for things to come to you on a silver platter all the time. I have learned this from experiences in the past two years. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life asking myself “what if?” “What if I had approached that guy? Maybe we would’ve dated and eventually gotten married!” That’s why I will, most of the time, take the risk. And most of the time, I have gotten rejected because there was a reason why they never took the initiative: they weren’t interested enough to put their proverbial balls on the line. At the end of the day, I don’t want to be with a guy who cannot muster the courage to ask me out. It tells me that he is not that into me. Sure, in the case of a stranger that’s a different issue, since he doesn’t know me in order to be into me in the first place, but if he is interested in me based on my looks, why is it so hard to approach me? As I stated, I try to make up for the fact that my (good) looks might be intimidating, by appearing friendly, welcoming, smiley, etc. If they still cannot approach me… honestly, I don’t want to be the man in the relationship! I don’t want to be with a guy who has one tenth the courage I have.

            Also, keep in mind that I met my AC ex (narcissist) in a pub, and he never initiated, because his ego would not tolerate possible rejection, though he was dying to sleep with me. He was too much of a narcissist to chase after me. I had to offer myself to him on a platter. Yes, I know that usually narcissists come on strongly at first, but my ex had such a strong streak of narcissism that he would not even risk chasing unless he was absolutely sure (which really defeated the point of chasing). In fact, he wanted me to chase after him, because he felt like he was too good and too good-looking to not be chased, to do the chasing himself. I don’t want to get into a similar situation, knowing that I still struggle with boundaries, addiction to douchebags,etc. Besides, the pubs I go to, I know most of the regulars there, as well as the pub staff, and I don’t want to appear like a slut, especially that I tend to be viewed and judged negatively (I am pretty sure) because most of the time I go on my own and sit at the bar, which might send wrong signals (that I am looking for one night stands). As I stated, strength is usually in numbers. If I had been with a gf, I would’ve definitely approached the guy, since it would make the judgment less harsh. And don’t tell me that I worry too much about the way people might judge me. Attitudes and perceptions do count. I go to these pubs with my friends too. Also, not having a car limits my options for going to other pubs on my own.

            As I stated, the problem isn’t that I don’t know what to say, but being looked at for hours, and not approached by a guy, when I am on my own and more easily approachable, especially given my negative experiences with approaching guys who didn’t approach me after looking at me for hours.. I tend to view it as such: if a guy keeps looking at me for hours and I send clear signals that I am interested and he still does not approach me, then really, there is no opportunity that was lost — he just wasn’t interested.

            • Rosie says:

              Lara- I think you need to remain true to your own personality and character. It seems to me that you may still have some healing to do if you’re still seeing narcissists around every corner but I’m in full support of your decision to not approach men in pubs if you’re by yourself. This is a potentially dangerous situation for a woman. In fact, going to a pub by yourself, in general, can be a potentially dangerous situation. There’s healthy risk-taking and then there’s imprudence. I believe you are being prudent by not approaching men in pubs.

              Like Elgie’s co-worker, I’m not particularly physically gorgeous (a narcissist would not be interested in me) but I’m friendly to everybody and, thus, get approached a lot by men. Right now I have other priorities but I agree with you that few men are really that shy; it is a matter of interest or, as Grace mentioned, other priorities on his end (ex. wife/gf). I also agree with you that I don’t want to “wear the pants” in the relationship. I want a companion, not a son or student.

              • Lara says:

                Hi Rosie,

                You are absolutely right. I do have a lot of healing to do. I do not see narcissists around every corner — I acknowledge a decent man when I see one — but I have seen/met/and luckily avoided quite a few narcissists (unfortunately did not avoid my ex before it was too late). I know one when I see one. I even have 2 male friends who are narcissists. I study and work in an academic environment, namely a university (with professors and doctoral students) and let me tell you, if there ever was a narcissist bunch, professors and phd students are it. I’ve seen more incidence of narcissism in this sector than in any other — and anyway, most narcissists are quite well off in their careers. I still distinguish between AC, players, and narcissists. Not all AC are narcs (though all narcs are AC). I know for a fact that my ex is a narc, right down to his harem of women who provide him narc supply. He was like a parasite who leeched off of me, and sucked me dry. Really, I was not even half the woman I used to be, by the end of this pseudo-relationship. Anyway, as for meeting men in pubs, I have done a few one night stands, and I am always careful and listen to my intuition and take safety precautions. One can never be safe enough in such situations of course, but then again there’s risk involved in everything. You might date a serial killer for months and not know it, and then be his victim. Who knows. I don’t do one night stands anymore, and I have stopped looking for men in pubs, to have relationships with. I used to, because it felt like it was my last resort — I have a very small circle of friends and in the past year they’ve put some distance between me and them, and my work environment isn’t very conducive to meeting a lot of men who are age-appropriate and not taken.. Anyway, I’ve stopped thinking of men in bars as good candidates, although, if you think of it, there are plenty of men who go out for drinks with their friends, just as my male friends go out for drinks with our group of friends (myself included). It doesn’t necessarily say anything bad about those men, or that they are not relationship material. The problem is that when everyone is sitting in their own little groups, you don’t get to socialize with strangers. I’ve spent years going out to pubs with friends and there has not been a cross-table socialization at any point. You get the idea.

                As for that guy I wanted to talk to — I saw him again, at the same bar. Now I know I don’t even want to talk to him. If he even talks to me, I will push him away and leave. I am thoroughly disgusted at him. He was drooling all over the girl serving them at the bar. Flirting with her, asking if he could buy her a drink, totally obsessed with her. He kept his eyes locked on her as she went around and turned his head around even if she went to tables. He was following her around with his eyes. His friend even had to wave in front of his eyes to stop him from doing that, and to talk to him. Anyway, the bar girl even made a point that she has a boyfriend, but that didn’t stop him from being in-her-face flirty with her. Creepy. Before that, he had his phone out, and was looking at pics of women on his facebook, and telling his friend, I don’t know how she ended up with this ugly man. Apparently he thinks she should’ve been with a gorgeous guy like himself. All this time, his guy friend next to him was waiting for him to put away the phone, to have decent conversation. How rude. I can imagine this guy being one of those men who talk on the phone while out on a date with a woman. Anyhow, glad I did not disrespect myself by talking to him. It’s amazing how observing people for a few hours can do to you. He was looking at me the same way he was looking at the bar girl, the previous time I saw him, but he never bothered to talk to me. I am guessing he’s just one of those men who ogle but never dare to put their balls on the line to approach a woman, and anyway, he’s so gorgeous that the women should approach him… Dodged a bullet by not talking to him / being talked to. I should’ve realized this from the first night I saw him, but I am learning to keep my eyes open and listen to my gut feeling.

                • Rosie says:

                  Lara- I’m sorry. My post wasn’t a criticism of going to bars by yourself; it was a feeble attempt to support you as it seems posters were giving you advice to act in ways that may go against your personality and sense of personal safety.

                  Yes, being in the academic world, you probably do come across a larger number of narcissists or, at least, those who score a little high on that scale.

                  Anyway, I’m glad you’re getting yourself back from the walking lizard that is your ex-bf! Thankfully, you got out before he gave you any little “presents” from Thailand! Also, thankfully, you got to see that other guy unfold a little bit without having your time wasted on a date with him. He’s an immature, objectifying little toad, incapable of a real relationship, it seems. Yes, you dodged a bullet!

                  • Lara says:

                    Oh, hehe, not at all. I didn’t take it personally or as a criticism. Thanks for the support! I just thought you were mentioning something that I’ve thought about more than once, before doing one night stands especially. :)

                    I was so scared of having gotten little presents from Thailand this last time especially (he had gone to Thailand in September 2012, a day after our break-up which he initiated ) and had slept with someone, as I found out much later, in April 2013. He had gone to Thailand before that (before meeting me), so the chances of me getting something from him were incredibly high, only that I was naive and stupid enough to think he really was going there for the temples and the nice weather, and not the sex tourism.. *facepalm*. Anyway, when I found out for sure that he had cheated on me, I got tested for the whole range of STDs, TWICE — at two different clinics — just to be sure.. When I confronted him about the stuff I found on his phone (pictures and videos of the woman in his hotel room), he actually claimed it wasn’t cheating because he did it a few days AFTER our break-up and not before… of course, the fact that he had not only put himself, but ALSO MY LIFE at risk was lost on him (HIV is so prevalent there, it’s scary! And we used to have unprotected sex because he promised me he hadn’t had sex with anyone since his break-up two years before, which I again naively and stupidly believed *facepalm again*). Instead, he turned the whole thing around and told me he could no longer “do this” because I had snooped on his phone, something that he claimed his exes had done in the past (for a perfectly GOOD REASON). Anyhow, I am glad he’s out of my life. He was so toxic in so many ways. Now that I think about it, I think he thought I had lost interest in him after his last trip (we were long distance and he had come to visit me when I snooped on his phone). I went to visit my parents (my dad was diagnosed with cancer, something that my douchebag ex did not even comment on or offer support for) and I was a bit uncommunicative because my parents didn’t know I was back with him (they knew half the story of his AC behavior only, and didn’t approve of him even then). I contacted him a few times via phone calls during the 2 weeks that I was away from home. Then I had a conference for a couple of days, and by the time I got home, he was already acting weird — I think he was thinking that I was looking for someone else or that my parents had told me to stay away from him or fade out on him or whatever, which I was totally not doing btw, though I was emotionally quitting on him. His gut feelings were sort of right, but I was still invested in the relationship if he had wanted to make it work, but he had never been interested in a relationship in the first place. It just struck me, though, that my “distant” behavior (which really emulated his behavior for the past year and not deliberately — funny how they don’t like it when you give them a taste of their own medicine) may have prompted insecurities in him, and he decided to end things rather than me doing the breaking off. I probably would never have broken it off, though, toxic as it was — I just didn’t have that emotional strength (not yet anyway) to do it. I still had a caretaker personality and couldn’t bear to see him hurt despite all the shit he had done to me even on his last visit, during which I wined and dined him, covered all his expenses here, etc. He had then future-faked me at the airport and told me I could come visit him, and that he’d spend money on me, and take me places, but then, when he got home he told me it was better for him to visit me again. He never had any intentions of visiting again, of course — he had only tried to visit me one last time to see if he could get a threesome out of it. When he couldn’t, he thought his money was better spent on another vacation to Thailand, which he told me he was going on, in his email a month after he broke up with me.

                    God. What a terrible, toxic drama. It’s been a while since I even thought about it, though — which is good. It’s a massive improvement from the times I used to re-play the whole thing in my head, over and over again, all day long, day after day, week after week. And now, ever time I remember him (not that often) or think about the whole break-up, I get a different perspective on his behavior and the dynamics of our “relationship.”

                    • Rosie says:


                      “only that I was naive and stupid enough to think he really was going there for the temples and the nice weather, and not the sex tourism.. *facepalm*.”

                      Lol! You’re funny! :) I laugh a lot when reading your posts because of the humorous way you share your stories. I can relate to feeling foolish at not seeing the obvious. When the guy who brought me here tried to booty call me, it didn’t occur to me at all it was a booty call. I feel very foolish at not knowing that that was the reason he called. We weren’t friends, after all, so why else would he be calling, especially since I did have sex with him just two nights prior?

                      Yet, if a certain lifestyle isn’t our lifestyle then it makes sense that the obvious wouldn’t be obvious to us because we operate out of a different mentality. Clear as mud? ;)

                      Ironically, I readily forgave myself for violating my own values by having sex with him that one time but I’m having a much harder time forgiving myself for not seeing the obvious. I suspect that it’s my own ego and pride issues.

                      I’m glad your STD checks came out clear. What a scary time for you! It’s obvious that you’re healing. I remember when you first started posting and your posts did read as your being more of a caretaker (as you said). Now your posts read as if you’re much stronger, more self-confident. Go, Lara! :)

                  • Elgie R. says:

                    I agree you dodged a bullet…that ogling was probably a show for you…trying to make you feel “less than”.

                    However, my best relationship was with a man I approached in a bar. He was the wingman of the “hot guy”. When those two men walked into the place, I knew all the women would be vying for the Adonis. I instead went for the wingman as he had a handsome face and I wasn’t attracted to the Adonis. The wingman and I talked all night, went on a date two nights later and had a steady drama-free relationship for four years. He was a good guy, but I did not have that “in love” feeling I place so much value on and only seem to feel with ACs.

                    • Lara says:

                      Hi Elgie,

                      Those were exactly my thoughts about his intentions in ogling that bartender, even while it was happening. In the past, I would’ve felt bad / rejected and felt like that other woman had something I didn’t have, etc. I am glad my thought patterns are changing. Funny how these types of men (and women) think that they will make you feel bad about yourself because of their behavior. Well, I sure didn’t. They don’t realize that their behavior says nothing about me, and everything about them, and that it disgusts observers, not because they are not the ones who are being ogled/approached, but because he is acting like a disgusting creep. They have no understanding whatsoever of what makes someone a creep and what is disgusting behavior and what is normal behavior. Dodged more than a bullet. I feel like I dodged an incoming surface-to-surface missile or a nuclear bomb…

        • grace says:

          he could be thinking anything:
          “she must have a boyfriend”
          “last time I spoke to a woman she shot me down”
          “I’m not sure if I’m over my ex”
          “I’ve got a girlfriend”
          “I’m crap at talking to women”
          “I’m leaving on a manned space mission next week”
          “She must be waiting for someone”
          “It’s that actress! I should ask for her autograph. Nah, she would get pissed”
          “I just made a vow of celibacy”

        • Tinkerbell says:


          You CAN make the first move. It’s how you behave afterward that influences where the r/s goes. If you’re going to be overly amorous, overly giving, then , of course. you’ll strike out sooner or later. Just be aware of moderating your behavior. When you are comfortable doing that, you’ll feel more comfortable speaking to a man first, even initiating a convo. Like Elgie says below. You can talk to him like he’s “just people”, not someone that you’re going to become intimate with. He’s got his insecurities, too. I think one of the greatest gifts is the ability to make a stranger quickly feel comfortable in your presence. People want to feel comfortable. Awkwardness sucks.

        • Ann says:

          Hi Lara, I think the biggest mistake we women make is seeing men as potential spouse/husband/boyfriend/ someone to complete us,(like Elgie mentioned. But the reality is that they have the same issue like we women do and maybe even more :) Also a guy just looking or smiling at you is not something worth thinking about IMHO we should not over evaluate such little gestures. It does not mean you missed out on anything, remember what is meant to be will be. No need to fight for something that is supposed to come naturally and slowly. See any man like a brother maybe a potential friend and the rest will happen itself if it is meant to be.We have to take things easy and find ways to be happy alone and not expect too much from men. All the best!

          • Rosie says:

            Ann- I don’t believe in the whole “what’s meant to be will be” philosophy as human beings have free will. We have the ability to introspect and deliberately change our course of action. However, I agree with you that, as women, we tend to overanalyze and read more into something than what that something deserves.

          • Lara says:

            Yes, I think you’re right. I still struggle with the whole guy is looking at me therefore he must be interested. I should realize that a guy is only interested if he is showing real interest: by approaching me / asking me out. That said, I do not mind doing the asking out / approaching first, provided that I’ve observed the person for some time (to eliminate any overt red flags like in the case of that guy who was drooling over the bar girl) and that he has made some clear gestures to show his interest. I am definitely not the type of woman who sits around at home and expects a guy to come to her feet and propose. But there are limits to how far I will go in showing interest and with whom. But yes, from my experience, men who are interested will do something about it. Men are doers, more than people who sit around and think and analyze and see things that aren’t there. The men who haven’t been ‘doers’ — who have not shown interest or not acted on it — have, in my experience, turned out to have had something wrong with them. That’s not to say that all doers/chasers (i.e. all those who are a bit more aggressive) are good men, or that all those who don’t approach are bad, but by and large, I don’t want a man who cannot take a small risk (of being rejected) if he really likes me / is interested in me.. I don’t want a man who’s so shy that he’d rather not ask me out.. I mean, if he’d rather not ask me out, then… why bother???! Do some really nice men lose out because of this? Maybe, but really, it’s not that hard to approach someone — I have never seen a woman tear into a guy just because he approached her and asked for her number or wanted to talk to her. I don’t want to be the one wearing pants in the relationship, and with guys like this, that’s usually the case. There’s definitely something wrong with a guy who is so scared of rejection. My ex was similar, though his sex addiction made part of that fear go away. Still, he would not have approached me had it not been for his guy friend. And he ran away at even the slightest hint (in his head anyway) of being rejected or criticized in the slightest (in the nicest way — not that I’ve ever criticized him, but if I disagreed with him, he felt criticized).

            I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who is so sensitive that he takes disagreement as criticism. I don’t want to be the extension of someone else’s personality/mind. If he wants a clone to date, he can maybe look into investing in cloning technology lol.

  7. JenniferA says:

    Well I found out the Eum is engaged. I feel sick and sad. Very timely post as usual. When will this ever stop hurting?

    • Asia says:

      Aww Honey.

      I felt the same way when I found out the EUM moved in with his new girlfriend and decided to claim her daughter as his own, but often told me if I needed to make sure I never got pregnant.

      In due time it will stop hurting. You really do have to take the focus off of him and put it back on to you. Each and every time you.

      And as this article stated, his own fear of rejection is why he does things in this manner.

      Be strong.
      Have to tell myself this too.

      And remember focus on you , and a negative mind wont lead a positive life.

      • JenniferA says:

        Thanks so much Asia!
        I have a lot going on in my life right now, very positive things, and it’s so wonderful to wake up every day and know I’m moving forward in the direction I want to go! I think the thing I’m holding on to is the fact that I felt a safe space with him I had never felt before with anyone and allowed myself to open up in new and exciting ways. I know he felt the same and instead of growing and changing, he ran away. I need to remember what he helped me realize about myself and save that for the next person who will love and care for me the way I deserve. :) I got this. Just really sad. :)

        • Tinkerbell says:


          So? You’ll meet someone else. The world did not stop turning because you found out he’s engaged. Maybe I didn’t read with understanding, but it sounded like you just recently met him anyway. What have you lost?

  8. Deepend says:

    I could write a whole article on this subject, having experienced it myself many of these outcomes, but thank you Natalie for beating me to it. You’re so right – we do all sorts of things to avoid being rejected ourselves.

  9. missmilkie says:

    decent people reject and then DONT create hope in you! shyt happens! But users do. Love yourself enough to stop the user’s abuse (cuz thats what it is!) and friggn shut the door…and SEAL IT! detox ur life! its the only one you have. but dont hate..feel sorry for the users who will never see the light. learn from ur experience as not to let history repeat its self. you owe it to YOU! dont waste ur time on those who dont respect you. but respect urself first! ;)

    • noquay says:

      You are right, they are users. The problem comes about when they have a hidden agenda (a hidden person in their life more like it) and you do not find out for a long time. you rid them from your life post haste but the hurt remains. you move on yet YOU may not meet someone suitable for years and THEN there is no guarantee that that person is not attached. it takes time for folks to unfols, especially when the relationship is long distance. I think the very unequal playng field between men and women is part of why we women have such a hard time with rejection. A good many of us do not get over it. Most of us women are smart enough to dump a user quickly but that’s no guanantee that you will not hae to keep dumping, dumping, dumping,until someone turns up who has some integrity and then you hope to hell you are compatible because you have wasted sooo much time already.I do wish we lived in a society that valued honesty and integrity.

  10. teachable says:

    I do hope yr getting some rest on yr holiday Nat :)

    Re this post, correct me if I’m mistaken however it struck me as boiling down to a case of not everything others do or say is ‘all about me.’

    In fact, maturity perhaps, teaches us that very little about the behaviour others, if indeed anything at all, is about us. To my mind, thinking otherwise is a form of self obsession, &/or grandiosity / narrcissism.

    Nat is right though that in the face of rejection, most of us have at one time or another, made other people’s (ie the rejector’s) business our own. For me, being mindful not to do this (which I can be hard, esp for those of us who are very sensitive & tend to take things personally) this is really about having healthy boundaries. That is, being able to appropriately distinguish between what’s my & the other party’s responsibility in a relationship (of ANY kind). Get this straight & the rest will fall into place. :)

    • MeAndTheBump says:

      I’m finding that remembering that “it’s not about me”, not taking the rejection by my EUM ex as a reflection on my worth, helps bring acceptance and (gulp!) even compassion for his behaviour. Not condoning it, but letting it be. And helps shut the door on him in a way that doesn’t internalise the anger and hurt me more

    • Lara says:

      I think you raise a very good point, teachable. I recently had a fallout with a ‘friend’, who said he was going to remove me from facebook and stop talking to me because his gf thinks there’s something going on between us. I was really hurt and offended, that he was discarding me just like that (no, there was nothing going on between us, I was NOT interested in him as more than just a friend, even though at some point before he got together with his gf, he was working on getting me to sleep with him). He also told me that at some point we can reconnect, I think he was implying that he would do that if things did not work out with his gf. I told him, thanks but no thanks, I don’t want “friends” who treat me with disrespect and discard me like that, then pick me up at some convenient time of their choosing when things aren’t looking so good for them. At first I was offended at his behavior and what it was saying about me, that I was discardable, etc., but really, it was a momentary lapse in judgment, and I realized that the only thing that is about me, is what I decide to do about the whole situation. That’s the only thing I can control, and it’s the only thing that will be “about me”. Why he chose to discard me, why he views me as discardable, etc., isn’t so much about me, but how he views people, friendships, his relationship with his gf, among other things. Sure, if you do not exert your boundaries with people, they will learn to walk all over you, and then it CAN BE about you, but if you have policed your boundaries well with people (as I had with this guy), nothing they do is really about you or because of you. I really do think, though, that there was an element in his behavior that was based on his perception of me, as being unable to establish boundaries — he knew my problems with my ex and how he kept yoyo’ing in and out of my life and how I kept taking him back, so maybe he thought he could do the same after all. Maybe that’s the only manner in which his behavior was “about me”. But again, by telling him to hit the road, I basically stopped thinking negative thoughts — about why “everyone” disrespected me and treated me like an object they could put down then pick up at some point — and just think about what I was going to do about the situation: THAT is what mattered, now how someone thought about me, and how his perceptions shaped his behavior. And at any rate, if it’s about his perceptions of me, it’s mostly based on his values, etc., and only partly based on what I have “taught” him with past behavior, and by showing him my boundaries, I would be taking care of the latter — which is the only thing I can have control over, in any relationship. I don’t know if this makes any sense. It’s hard to put it to words.

      • Tinkerbell says:


        Why is it a big deal? You don’t know what the dude is thinking so don’t go making assumptions that he must be thinking this, that and the other about YOU. This gets people in trouble – assuming. The dude has a gf! If it were me, all I’d be thinking is that, for whatever reason, he is insecure about his r/s with the gf. Not your problem.

  11. Genki says:

    I understand this post and think that it can apply to many people however it does not apply to me, I recently wrote a long letter to my husband (now separated) about how the hurt is not so much that we split up, its that he lied to me, treated me bad & I took way too long to start to respect myself. i was trying & trying to work things out when he was not working at all, except on the other woman! So for me….I think if he rejected me but did not lie & play games it would not have been so bad. I can take rejection it’s a bit sad…but I think everyone likes what they like so how could I be upset if that’s their choice….but when they lie & pretend that they are into you it just seems so odd…I mean I really couldn’t be bothered to coordinate those games. And that hurts me more than rejection for valid reasons ie: incompatibility. So now he wants to rerun the relationship, no way mate on yer

  12. MeAndTheBump says:

    Yes! “For some people, their way of never seeing or feeling too much is to move onto new pastures and press the Reset Button….The more you see beyond you, is the less you see so much of you in other people’s behaviour.” Thank you NML! It’s so hard when their behaviour opposes your own strongly held values and sense of care, trust, respect that you thought you shared with that person. But it’s their crap. It’s their values. Not us. I have been wrestling with feeling wronged and not condoning it, but that makes it about me, makes it personal… when actually the EUM ex (narcissist) is just putting himself first, and behaving in line with his values which are so different from mine anyway (I didn’t realise this for so long), and not giving me a care or another thought. So I should not give him another thought either.

    • JenniferA says:

      Nailed it! Totally agree. I see that his moving on and getting engaged to someone else is his way of not having to process (feel/care) what happened and accept responsibility for his behavior. Poor thing. I used to be that person. I’m so glad I suffer and learn and grow cause the lessons just keep coming! :)

  13. Bebesgal says:

    This is what I am struggling with now, and have always been struggling with all my romantic disappointments. I see it as a reflection of me being unlovable. Rejection is part of life. I get it. It is more difficult after months of I love yous, talk of marriage, kids, and future to I can’t ever get married again after having a bad day with his ex-wife. It hurts because even with all the compromises, i still wasnt enough. While I don’t become clingy or needy after the break-up, I then wonder why I am not good enough to be chased after when only a few days ago I was the best thing that ever happened to him. I compare myself to friends who have boyfriends that keep chasing even after the breakup. I wonder what they have that I don’t. Well, I know I have low self-esteem. Months after the break up and falling off the NC wagon once, I am still having a hard time. Its been another month since i went NC again – without telling him. He desperately wanted to stay friends. You can’t be friends – now I know. How do I stop from needing the validation from external factors, and start liking me for being me? I want to learn how to stop being so hard on myself when the other fails to follow through. Because at the end of the day, I have a wonderful life filled with great friends, a good job, and a family that loves me.

  14. Selkie says:

    I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve been strung along, left in the dark, and on the receiving end of the fade out. I’ve also been broke up with on the phone, no fuss, just said he was out and hung up. Both hurt. The second one didn’t even give me a chance to sort out what just happened or to talk. I was left to sort it out with little information and yes, I made it about myself for a long time. Rejection sucks anyhow it’s dished out, but if we have a decent sense of self separate from the relationship, I don’t think it’s as devastating. In hindsight, I had put a lot of hope into the second scenario and it was the disappointment of my wrecked fantasy rather than the actual rejection that stung so much. If he had sat down with me and had a little more compassion, explained a little more, I think I would of felt less ambushed and abandoned like I was throw away trash.

    On another note, I am in the drivers seat of rejecting someone right now. It was a man I met through mutual friends. He seemed like a nice man, nice to talk to and when he asked me if I wanted to go hike sometime I said yes. I was not romantically interested in him, not ever gonna happen, and we were in the company of hiking friends so it seemed harmless to me and not like a date. We ran into each other again while I was talking to another mutual friend (who I actually was attracted to), and this guy just zeroed in on me. He sat too close, held my hand, stroked my hair and kissed me on the top of my head ( this was the second time I ever even met him). I was so shocked at his forwardness, especially in front of this other fellow that I just got real stiff and went silent, kind of just froze up. I was really awkward for me. So first guy excuses himself and leaves while second guy is acting like a horny dog. They are friends, so I don’t know the dynamics between them before me. Anyway, I find a reason to leave and escape, feeling like I need a shower and also laughing to myself how the timing of this couldn’t have been worse, like it was some kind of cosmic joke. The guy I like is not that interested and walks away and the guy I don’t like it all over me like a dog all in one scenario. I felt like I was taking part in a Lucille Ball like comedy bit. Anyway, second guy has been calling me and I’ve been avoiding him and not returning his calls. I feel conflicted about how to handle it. On one hand, he was disrespectful and invaded my personal space and assumed way to much about what was okay with me while barely knowing me. It made me feel bullied and like I owe him nothing but rejection at this point. The other side, is that he deserves an explanation and some honesty, that he was just way to forward and crossed boundaries that made me uncomfortable. I could be adult about this and face it, right? So I took a deep breath and called back to tell him. I avoid confrontation and having my feelings be belittled
    (which I assume he will tell me I am too sensitive, misunderstood, etc…) so my heart was pounding as the phone rang. Well it goes to voice mail, I leave a message, telling him where it’s at. Five minutes later he calls, I ignore. He message says he saw I called and didn’t leave a message ( I in fact did ) and went on to tell me how we were meant to meet, we should be sharing, life is about seeing where things go with people you connect with, he really felt I came into his life for a reason, etc. etc. It took a lot of courage to call him and face this, then the message gets lost? Ignored? I’m still stuck in this cosmic joke? So, now I’m at square one. Again. I will run into him, so I feel like I need to handle this by talking to him, but my gut says he isn’t going to let this be. I want to handle this with some compassion, but I’m feeling tread upon. How do I handle this weird situation? I gave up on the first guy, btw. Can’t even imagine what he thinks, but I’m chalking it up to just not meant to be.

    • micheyl says:

      Oh Selkie, I completely get where you are at! I have been in that awkward, shocked into silence state by horribly forward men who cross every boundary imaginable! My stomach literally started going into knots when I read your words. You want to act with compassion for this complete tool who is not showing you any compassion or respect! I got the creeps reading how he kissed you on top of the head! I know these men and they don’t deserve your compassion. It makes me angry for you that you are put in this weird spot of feeling sorry for him/ not wanting to hurt his feelings but yet feeling violated at the same time. Plus the fact that he just completely ignored your message! WTF. I say flush hard and if you run into him just be prepared with lines. I get the fact that you were so shocked by his behavior how can you even have a response. But just prepare yourself for next time. Practice lines to yourself like “I really don’t feel comfortable with this.(when he touches, stands close, kisses your head…) I don’t know you and I don’t want you to act so familiar.” Or however you would word it. Just have something available in your back pocket to throw at him so you make it clear he is passing a boundary for you. If he gets offended and says, oh but we are meant to meet (?? in his mind only…) then you’ll have to be very stern and clear with “That is not okay with me!” Who cares if he thinks you’re a bitch. Any “rejection” of these men and they will say you are a cold bitch, never thinking maybe they are a creepy jerk. It’s probably better he thinks you are a “bitch” then he won’t stalk you and claim you were “meant to meet.” Good luck and be stern! You have to !!

    • sushi says:


      He is walking and talking like a freak. Kissing you on the head and telling you you are meant for each other?? You need to run or at lest show him what distance is. You really don`t owe this any guy compassion, you don`t know him, yet he overstepped the mark repeatedly. This is not OK behaviour because he is ignoring your wishes ( you told him in a message)and is very pushy. I think it`s better not to be nice, so to speak because he is clearly reading into your niceness whatever the hell he wants. I think don`t answer calls and when you bump into him again and he pushes you for a date or shows you any unwanted attention you can firmly, matter of factly and politely say “I am not interested, I made it clear in a message”. And then ignore.

      • Selkie says:

        Pauline, Micheyl, and Sushi,

        Thanks for your feedback. My immediate gut says he got the message too. I think he pretended not to get it so it would make it ‘okay’ to call me again and also to try and get me to call back and nicely ‘reject him’ again so he could talk me out of my own opinion. He was pushy and inappropriate; his own common sense would dictate that, so I believe he is either a stalkerish type control freak or possibly not right in the head.
        This is a good example of people pleasing. He DID cross the line in a big way, yet I try to be nice while telling him to fuck off ( in my message). I talked to a guy friend of mine about this and like you all, he said to tell him bluntly to stay the hell away from me, that any niceness at all would only encourage him. So, having already said in my message that he made me feel uncomfortable with his actions, I’ll ignore him now. If I run into him again, I’ll be distant but civil unless he comes on to me….then I’ll drop kick his clown ass ( verbally, of course ;-) ) Thanks everyone for seconding what my gut was saying to me. My niceness gets in the way of my own judgment sometimes.

        • sushi says:


          I was nice ( in a way you are nice to your 80 year old neighbour or a cashier in a supermarket) a year ago to a man my friend across the road introduced me to in regard to some work on my property.
          I didn`t go ahead with the work and he started calling me asking me on dates. I politely declined. Months later, I had to unpolitely say to him; stop calling me. Now he showed up at my door twice now, told him to stop. The friend saw him walking up and down next street to mine ( he lives an hour away). I`m all freaked out and considering calling police, will they even take it seriously I don`t know. There was nothing unpleasant about him, unlike your guy but he made me a bit uncomfortable initially as I felt just while talking he was a bit too much in my personal space. Lesson, got to really trust that gut and even if you do and act on it -if they are a nut it is not enough. Forget being civil, your friend is right.

          • Selkie says:

            Eeks Sushi. That’s kind of scary that the guy was wandering around your neighborhood. There is something off about a man who gets in your personal space uninvited, too soon, or when you haven’t shown interest. It’s aggressive and shows a lack of social sense at the very least. Worse, I think it’s an attempt at control or a display of entitlement. Please be careful and keep eyes in the back of your head. This kind of guy worries me. It’s good your neighbor is on the look out too.

    • Pauline says:

      This man doesn’t deserve any of your compassion and not a lot of anything else either.
      He pawed you over in front of a man you were talking to (and one you liked) and any decent man worth his salt wouldn’t behave or do this to a lady he liked and respected in a million years.
      I would take a calculated guess and say his friend walked away because he knows this guys creepy moves and doesn’t like the way be behaves towards women and probably doesn’t like him either.
      Big Red Flag’s all over this guy.
      Don’t get it twisted Selkie, your gut and intuition is spot on and please don’t make excuses for your perfectly normal aversion to inappropriate touching and phone calls from a strange man whom you don’t particularly like. He already knows how you feel and he did get your phone message and is ignoring it.
      You don’t need to do anymore, keep ignoring his phone calls and don’t engage with him. FLUSH! FLUSH! FLUSH!
      When you see him in another social situation, be polite, say hi, and if he puts his grubby paws on you again as he did before, tell him (in a loud voice) to keep his hands to himself and push him away. That will be you, looking after you and respecting you.
      He’s had his ‘One Shot’, keep it simple and just blow him off!

    • A says:

      Selkie, chances are that he did hear your message. Avoid this guy, he’s not respecting your boundaries (you’re clearly not interested and he’s leaving you these messages that are way too intense). Stop worrying about his feelings — a guy like this will take advantage of it. He wasn’t worried about your feelings when he was making you uncomfortable during the hike and still refused to back off.

      You don’t owe him anything and he will take any contact with you as further encouragement, even if that contact is an attempt by you to let him down easily.

      • Elgie R. says:

        Geez…this was just the standard C**KBLOCK move! Should called him on it right there. Shoulda said “Whatcha doin? Why you blockin? We aren’t a couple.” Then picked up conversation with the one you liked. Case closed.

        • Rosie says:

          Elgie and Selkie- What’s a c*ckblock? Isn’t it usually a derogatory term men use toward women who reject them?

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Thanks, Rosie. I have the same question. What are you girls talking about?

            • Selkie says:

              A c***block is a maneuver when one man interferes or purposely gets in the way of another man interacting or getting a date with a woman.

              • Rosie says:

                Ah. Got it. Thanks, Selkie, for explaining “c*@%block”. Yes, it sounds like he was “blockin’” but worse. Something’s wrong with him and I hope you don’t ever have to be alone with him.

      • Selkie says:

        Hi A. I never went on a hike with him, we only talked about it once. I ran into him completely unplanned when he did this crap. I’ve never spent any time with him, thats what made it so shocking when he started touching me. I really only barely know him, but assumed he was decent since my decent friends associate with him. It caught me completely off guard.

    • MaryW says:

      Selkie, he sounds creepy and manipulative. Your description of his actions makes me cringe.

      If you bump in to the mutual friend again (the guy you like), you could ask him if the (creepy) guy is always so inappropriate around women.

    • Snowboard says:

      @Selkie –

      Also this guy sounds like a player anyway. He is blowing super hot to win you over. But if he actually won your interest, I wonder how long it would be before the cold tap switched on…

  15. Mike says:

    Thought this article was quite appropo with my current state. It’s not a lover or anything, but a friend.

    The part that I’m confused by is the following:

    “We decide that we won’t make any or as much effort anymore so that the other party has to or they leave.”

    If someone is pulling away for whatever reason with no explanation am I suppose to continue making effort? i.e. asking them what’s wrong? etc. When do i throw my arms up in the air and just decide it’s time to not make that effort?

    • micheyl says:

      Hi Mike, it sounds like the quote is more in reference to your friend. They are pulling away/not making an effort so you have to make more effort or leave. You have made more effort and now you will most likely leave.

      I think you need to look at your situation and their behavior and decide when it is time to stop. How are they responding when you ask what is wrong? Is there a genuine discussion or just “nothing…” and ambiguity? Are they being respectful regarding your concern and efforts? Are they treating you with as much care as you are treating them with? If it is all one-sided I think it is fair that you can stop making the effort…

      • Mike says:

        Thanks Micheyl.

        I didn’t look at it that way, but thanks for the clarification.

        I’ve asked those very questions you have posed and the quick response is that he is pulling away for whatever reason. It’s not about me and I’m certainly not going to take the responsibility because if you’re not telling me, how am I really suppose to know. I’ve asked him a few times and his standard response is, “don’t take it personally, I’m just busy”. So, I just stopped asking.

        Guess I’m just gutted because it feels like it just happened overnight. One day we were thick as thieves and now strangers and I can’t for the life of me figure it out.

    • Rosie says:

      Hi, Mike- I’m in that situation now with a couple friends. One lives a little far away, have texted and called her. She called once and I returned her call and haven’t heard from her since so I’ve let it go. I put in the amount of effort the other person puts in. It’s a matter of self-respect and other-respect. If that person is pulling away, it may have nothing to do with me (most of the time it doesn’t) so I leave her/him alone out of respect. If it does have something to do with me then it’s that person’s responsibility to let me know; I’m not a mind-reader so my response is the same–I respect that person’s decision.

      • Tinkerbell says:

        Yes, I do the same. I treat others exactly how they treat me. I made my sister angry with me, for which I wrote her an apologizing email. I did really mess up and now feel a bit embarrassed about my behavior. Apparently she is still angry over the incident, or my email did not sound sufficiently contrite. (I’m not really good at humbling myself). So she is still not responding. I’ve decided to leave it alone, give her time and she’ll eventually come ’round when SHE is ready.

        • Mymble says:

          Email is kind of lame if you really mean the apologise. Very EU. (Speaking as someone who exchanged a bout a billion emails with an MM).
          wouldn’t it be better to pick up the phone or better still apologise in person? If I was really angry with someone, an email just would not hit the spot.

          • Tinkerbell says:

            Thanks for your comment Mymble. My sister emailed me just yesterday today about issues with our deceased Mom’s house. It was the first response from her since she received my email over 1 month ago. I’ve become increasingly upset and worried that I’ve lost my sister for good. In the meantime, I fished around and found out from my daughter that she is no longer angry. The reason I didn’t use the phone was because I was afraid she would really let me have it and I didn’t want to get bawled out. I know it was EU behavior. And even worse, she has told me that she doesn’t like personal correspondence to be done via email. When I sent the apology I requested a meeting with her to discuss the situation in depth so we could clear the air. I will be talking to her by phone – I will call her – later today. I’m very glad she is talking to me because I treated her badly. I had my reasons, but I think they were misquided. One of my worst traits is that I get an idea in my head that someone is thinking a certain thing or is trying to use me or being devious for whatever reason and I will hold on to that thought and then retaliate. The other person doesn’t know where my anger is coming from because my assumption was totally off. It’s hard for me to find a happy medium between feeling I must defend myself against being taken advantage of and realizing that that is really not what is going on. Before launching my journey to becoming a stronger, wiser, more emotionally balanced person, I was quite reticent in my relationship with my sister. I didn’t want us to be angry with each other because then she would not love me anymore. So, now as I’ve been doing this work on myself (which certainly isn’t linear, as Natalie tells us) I’ve waivered back and forth between extremes of people pleasing and defensiveness . Hopefully, in time, like a pendulum I’ll remain in the middle instead of swaying to and fro. But, it’s a bit hard on my relatives and close friends because I’m not quite the same person as what they’ve been used to being around.

            Thanks for your input. I had come to the same conclusion about the way I was dealing with the issue. Definitely EU.

      • Mike says:

        Thanks Rosie.

        Great words and I’m sorry you’re going through the same thing.

        I’m a bit of a control freak, so when I feel like someone is pulling away, my immediate reaction is to panic and go in like gangbusters and remedy the situation by trying harder, but you’re correct; i.e. put in as much effort as the other person does.

        I do like your approach with regards to people having a problem with me (if it does have to do with me). It is their responsibility to let me know and not for me to play the role of Nancy Drew.


  16. teachable says:

    It does make sense Lara. I would still contend though that everything about yr friend’s behaviour is/was about him & his circumstances, not you. People are rarely either as magnanimous or as intentionally hurtful as we think they are. Usually they are just going about their lives, just as we are, not thinking all that much about how they are impacting others (unless cause arises, like in yr case w yr friend which he tried to ameliorate by saying he’d re add to u fakebook later if things didn’t work w his gf). We all act in our own interests (ultimately) all be it that we try to respect those around us also (to varying degree’s depending on eone’s measure of interity). This guy merely showed you more of who he is ie either spineless & a bit manipulative toward his current gf. I wouldn’t over think this one too much. He’s no big loss & fakebook is so NOT worthy of stressing over. x

  17. dancingqueen says:

    Hey Selkie

    My two cents? He heard your message and is trying to force his presence into your life because he knows that you are kind and he has rightly figured that he can play mini mind games like missing your message.

    I have to be honest: he comes across as a bullish and insensitive lout. How dare he kiss your head

    I think you deserve to date someone that you like.

    • Selkie says:

      Thanks Dancing Queen. The mere thought of him is disgusting to me. It made me feel pushed in a corner, as it was happening. A decent man would of felt how I stiffened up and turned my head away from him and understood this as discomfort and unwelcome. He was insensitive and bullish. Makes me cringe.

  18. Woman says:

    Thank you again Natalie for a timely and thoughtful post.
    I am going through a difficult time right now with family, school, finances and emotions regarding the EUM. And it is so easy to think that I brought all of this on myself.
    I have serious issues with my father. He undermines everything I say/do, and pretty much assumes that I know nothing about who I am or how I want to live. As a result I am not able to have honest conversations with him bcos it always ends in a fight. And when that happens he takes out his frustration out on my mother and blames her for not encouraging me to be receptive to his opinions.
    At the moment I am finishing up my last year of university in a different state from where my family is and I am seriously considering not going back home after. A couple of days ago, my mother confided in me and told me she plans to leave my father by the end of next year. And to top it all off, I have a major exam next week, and school work is beginning to pile up.
    I feel broken, exhausted and guilty. Guilty bcos I feel I could have done something to change all of this. My father has been absent from my life for about 10 years (though not entirely his fault) and we only got reunited 6 years ago. Re-establishing that father/daughter relationship has been rocky, but his inability to genuinely listen to me, my mother or my sister, has made the past 6 years unbearable.
    It is during these times that I am most tempted to re-establish contact with the EUM. I know I shouldn’t but I feel as if I need someone to help me escape even if just for a little while. It has been incredibly difficult and sometimes I wonder how long I can continue to survive until all these emotions finally break me, and I end up doing something I will regret.
    If you believe in a God, please pray for me. I need all the positive energy I can get right now.

    • grace says:

      Concentrate on the exam. Everything else will still be there when the exam is done. Yeah, great.

    • Revolution says:


      Oh honey. I feel for you, I do. Listen to Grace, because she’s right. Just focus on the immediate right now: your exam. I used to get pissed when I was younger and my mom used to tell me things like that, because I thought it was too simplistic. Now, at nearly 36, I realize she was right.

      I feel for you and for your family, and I will pray for all of you. Instead of calling the EUM, maybe it would be best to call a close girl friend instead? Just pour your heart out to her, and you’ll feel like you can cope, at least for another day.

      I know it sounds trite, but this too shall pass. And don’t feel guilty about your mother and the divorce. She’s a grown woman with decisions of her own to make, and you couldn’t have prevented anything. I’m sure she’s been thinking about leaving your father for longer than you realize.

      Sending you prayers and good thoughts, my dear. You’ll be okay.


      • Revolution says:


        An additional thought: you mentioned “escaping” for a little while. We all need to do this sometimes, just to get out of our own head. I don’t know where you live, but have you thought of maybe taking a day hike with a close friend (preferably platonic)? Or visiting a museum you’ve never been to? Someplace visually stunning, someplace that your brain will be forced to make sense of (and therefore too preoccupied to have depressive thoughts) because of it’s foreignness/beauty?

        A day or two like this can do your brain wonders, especially when sharing it with someone with whom you have a positive relationship. Anyway, just a thought. I know that this always works for me when I go loopy (which is pretty regularly, as of late). Please keep us posted, love!

    • JustHer says:


      I agree with Grace totally because I was in the exact same position as you a few years ago. I ended up getting depressed and unable to focus on my studies and failed the exam. I was subsequently rejected from an incredible job offer.

      It had a knock-on effect on the rest of my life and everything just fell apart.

      I recommend that you should focus on the exam because you need to stop the dominoes tumbling. After that, you can focus on fixing the rest.

      Good luck

  19. micheyl says:

    I have been in a complete funk over the past week or two. I have been reading posts but just haven’t had the ability to write lately. I think for me the disappointment post and this rejection post go hand in hand with what I am feeling.

    It all started from my ex husband informing me he was back with his girlfriend. Now don’t get me wrong, yay for them. I want no part of that AC; in fact I am grateful for his girlfriend so that there is a responsible adult around when ex husband has our kids. But, then I guess I fell into this funk of disappointment/rejection memory lane. That I was not important enough for another effort by ex husband #1, ex husband #2 or Mr. Unavailable. (rejection) And the disappointment that none of these relationships worked out. I feel that it is me – what is it about me that doesn’t make these men want to try harder?? And what is it about these women they “replace” me with that DOES make them want to try harder. It was such a blow to me when Mr. Unavailable hinted so blatantly that he was going to break up with the girl that he moved onto after me; but then he announced that they had had a discussion and decided to work things out. WHAT the WHAT??? But yet with me, there was not discussion, no just HIS decision that it wasn’t working, so good-bye. I have felt replaced and rejected and disappointed and disrespected by all three of these major relationships in my life. Anyway, I guess I have been having a funk about it all. I know what is good for me to move on and let go of this self-judgement and not allowing my feelings of self-worth and validity go hand in hand with these idiot men’s behavior. I am learning, but in process still. How come the one announcement from my ex husband about something that I am actually happy about (getting back together with gf) can cause this spiral of memory and bad feelings inside of me.

    And I agree that a lot of the behavior on their part stems from their own fear of rejection. But then why isn’t their behavior shown to these other women? What, are they only afraid of being rejected by me? Doubtful. Ex husband #1 has been married to replacement wife for 18 years! Ex husband #2 does more with his gf’s kids than our kids. And Mr. U well, he had this serious discussion with his current gf after only dating for a little while. AND the topper for me is that both Ex #1 and Mr. U emphasized that these women were not the end all be all for them. Somehow they felt more for me when we were together and yet they show them the respect that I would have wanted for me. Doesn’t make sense. And I know it shouldn’t matter to me if it does or not. Sorry just had to rant.

    Massive rain storms and flooding in my community, so I am a bit under the weather, literally. Thanks BR community. I love reading all your posts even when I don’t always reply. xoxo

    • grace says:

      Maybe he’s thinking “I’m not gonna screw this up like I did with Micheyl” or “I can’t bear the thought of starting another relationship, and it would be hard on the kids” or “I’m x years old, time to accept that’s always going to be a bit crap”. And, yes, some women are more pushy/desperate/assertive/better communicators/whatever. Whether they actually “win” in the end I don’t know, but you can only be the person you are.
      Maybe one day you’ll be with someone and HIS ex will be thinking “What does Micheyl have that I don’t?”
      Someone said to me recently (related to health and death rather than relationships but I took it to heart) “The control that we think we have is an illusion”.
      We can barely control our own stuff(diet, smoking, staying up too late, jobs, housing etc) never mind the complexity of someone else’s psychology.

      • kookie says:


        i don’t know why reading your post made me think of sylvia plath and her husband ted hughes, a very famous literary couple. she had been depressed most of her life, but met fell in love with a fellow poet but it was a tumultuous marriage; he cheated constantly was the most EU poet husband ever and she killed herself by stuffing her head in her oven. her husband ended up shacking up with the mistress soon after, had a baby with her but he of course was just as awful with her and she killed herself and their young daughter too in the same way that his first wife had- sticking her head in an oven. after two affairs that ended in the suicide of his partners he finally married one of the girls he at one point had been seeing while he was still married to his first wife and sleeping with the mistress who killed herself, and with her they stayed happily married for decades until he died and by all account had a strong and happy union. his wife wrote about their life together and seems he really did change .this last woman who “won” didn’t have anything special about her to finally change him, i mean she was part of the harem at one point so she wasn’t even shiny and new or anything , it wasn’t about her but something inside him snapped i guess and she was around when it did. or maybe he never changed but she had a thicker skin or something, but i pray that the ability to suffer abuse or horse whisper jackasses into normalcy should not be your portion in life. i hope you find a man who doesn’t need two suicides to knock him into being a decent person. there is nothing wrong with you, you aren’t some bad luck omen for love. i promise.

        • Revolution says:


          Or maybe the last wife put up with more BS, so it stuck.

          Incidentally, the Plath family history is full of tragedy. I was so sad when I read about them, all the deaths. Almost made me wanna write a letter to the only remaining daughter (who’s an artist, I believe). Guess some things in life are more important than ACs and EUs.

          • Teddie says:

            Incidentally, I read “The Bell Jar” last week. I don’t think all can be blamed on Ted’s philandering. Sylvia had been so mentally ill for most of her adulthood, she’d also been subjected to some ill-conducted treatments. Ted published “Birthday Letters”, dedicated to Sylvia, shortly before his death, had been writing the poems for decades, so he’s not the cold-blooded monster he appears to be in his love life, may have had BPD himself. Sadly, the only surviving daughter (artist and author of children’s books, living in Australia) is childless, so those lovely poetic genes will not be passed.

            • kookie says:


              agreed, i don’t think the philandering is all to blame. just like i don’t blame any guy in my life for making me EU. i had to have been a lil EU all by myself and they fanned the flame. just found it interesting that he did seemingly manage to change and be a great husband afterwards, maybe he got help for his own demons, my point to micheyl was that it wasn’t to do with something sylvia or the mistress did not have that his eventual wife did have to change him or whatever.

        • micheyl says:

          thanks Kookie, I had a good laugh that my story brought Sylvia Plath to your mind! haha… Yeah, I don’t want a man that requires suicide to trigger questioning his actions… If he even did that. Probably not.

          In reality, as the sun peaks out, I know that I am in a better place without these men that have “rejected” me. I lost my strength during these relationships and I feel I am becoming a strong person now, growing to the point where I won’t lose myself when I am with a man. So the next time I am in a relationship (cross fingers) I can see things from a place of strength and hopefully neither party will feel rejection.

      • micheyl says:

        thanks grace, yes you’re right. I can only control my own stuff (if even that!) Aside from his EU qualities my ex (my girls’ father) has some mental issues that complicate things even more (bi-polar). So to try to understand his psychology is really challenging. He may be maturing in ways too. I never know if it is just an upswing or maturity… But he has these periods where he seems to try harder and then periods where he regresses back into a complete jerk. It is exhausting. I guess I was just feeling sorry for myself on one of his upswing days.

    • Mike says:


      Why in the world would you want someone to try harder the second time around? They SHOULD have done so from the beginning so that a second time wouldn’t happen. It’s plain and simple. This is what you have to keep reminding yourself of. You are good enough…for you. If someone can’t see that, that’s their problem. Your worth isn’t dependent on someone else – that’s just too big of a responsibility for someone to carry.

      Your relationships did not work for whatever reason, but did you want to stay in a relationship where you were going to be unhappy in the first place? That’s not love and you certainly don’t want to teach your kids that, that’s what love is either. Love doesn’t mean sacrificing your own happiness for the sake of being in a relationship. Your partner is supposed to take part in your happiness not provide it to you.

      I hope this finds you well.


      • micheyl says:

        thanks Mike,

        you are right. I have tended to lose myself during relationships and become dependent on them. Not so much with my children’s father. We reached that point where I was DONE and no going back. But with the other two, I guess I was the one that wanted the second chance because they were the one’s that made the (sole) decision it was over. So I felt, especially with Mr Unavailable, that I was blindsided by the breakup. I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing my happiness during that relationship. I guess that is why it’s been so hard to let go, especially as he has poked around, not letting go and basically turned me into the other woman for awhile. But it is becoming easier for me to “reject” his attempts to reconnect. He still contacts me as I go NC. You are right, I need to feel good enough as I am now and expect someone else not to judge me but love me for who I am. It is a hard path, but I am on it.

        Thanks for your reply

        • Tinkerbell says:

          Micheyl, dear. Not to be snarky, (and I know you know better), but a man cannot “turn you into the other woman” without your compliance. The way we construct our phrases is symptomatic of our thought processes. When we get it straight in our minds, which is so essential, we express ourselves more appropriately. Don’t you think? I support you. ((Tink)).

          • micheyl says:

            Tink, you snarky thing you! (haha!) No, you are right. I admit complete compliance. But I guess the thought was that I wouldn’t consider it under “normal” circumstance whatever that is. And I did so more than willingly at the time with him, maybe because I felt still attached to him and that it wasn’t “reality” that he was with someone new. Anyway, I am proud to say that that behavior has ended on my part (not his as he is still trying from time to time) but I have made my boundaries and have actually stuck to them! yay.

            I had a few aha moments lately. I was writing in my journal last night and literally thought out the relationships of these three men. And I realized I wouldn’t want to be in their current partners shoes for all the world! 1st ex hubby is born-again christian (nothing against just not my cup of tea) still not able to communicate with wife; 2nd ex hubby is not a great dad – I have accepted but current gf is trying to make him fit in her family dynamic; and Mr unavailable – brought his gf to England yes, but fucked me just prior to their trip and is still trying to hit me up and confessing love yada yada. I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes trying to picture a future probably with this AC and he is doing all that behind her back.

            I feel bad for contributing… but also don’t hate myself because honestly I was so wrapped up in my issues with him that had been ongoing before she arrived. feel sorry and I definitely don’t feel good about my contribution. But it is what it was; and it is not happening now – he is the one that has to live with the guilt as I am not contacting or pursing him. He is the one.

            Anyway, thanks Tink. Can’t get one past you ;)

            • Tinkerbell says:


              Love your sense of humor especially when you said you would not want to be the partner of any of your exes. I had to chuckle. Our feelings regarding our r/s history is similar. H#1 was a strikingly good looking tall dark and handsome SOB who meantally and physically abused me, H#2 was an overprotective angel who would’ve given me the world if he could’ve, but had NO INTEREST in sex, then died of diabetes complications after I complied with a life of involuntary celibacy for >23years, then lastly was the MM. I don’t even the paramour of H#1, nor the wife of the MM.

              So you see, we both dodged a few bullets. Thanks for your comment, Micheyl. Keep strong. I read your posts regularly.

    • Allie says:

      I know your feeling. My ex husband out of the blue announced he wanted the divorce and there was never a chance to try again or try to talk at least. Of course he had other women there waiting for him. He stayed with her for 6 years on and off. I also had those thoughts “why she got the second and third and fourth opportunities and not me?” … Because she was always willing to be reset.

      • micheyl says:

        Allie, yes, I guess we don’t know exactly what happens in these relationships that last… but if our own experiences are any indication then it is highly doubtful their new relationship is the healthy and loving one that we desire for ourselves. I like to think that these women are not as evolved in their process and are willing to not only put up with the behavior (as we were at the time also willing to put up with the behavior) but also don’t question it the way we did, or at least maybe they don’t bring up the same uneasiness in the men when they are acting in an AC sort of way. Does that make sense? Yes, their willingness to be reset is more than likely. I guess even though at the time, I was willing to be reset, but even with that willingness I knew all was not right, so maybe these women don’t even have that knowledge yet. Hmmm, well I do and so that is why it could not work…

  20. teachable says:


    I’m with others on this. He DID get yr message & just attempting MORE boundary busting by falsely claiming he didn’t. You don’t need to do anything else. Just keep yr hand firmly on the flush handle. You owe him nothing & the dude’s a creep! x

    • Selkie says:

      Thanks Teachable. I think you’re right. The more time I have to think about it, the more I see the obvious.
      Hope you are well, eating Tim Tams in the genie bottle. Thanks for peeking out to visit us. x

  21. grace says:

    Your post reminded me of a book my father wrote. In it, he recounts his prayer when he left his home country to marry my mother. In it he sets out his hope for the marriage he wanted to have. Well, we know how that turned out.
    Other people’s past, their disappointments are bigger than we can imagine. It was there, in my case, before I was even born.

    • Tanzanite says:


      ” other peoples past,their disappointments are bigger than we can imagine.”

      I totally agree with that Grace.It is also there long before we are born.

      One more thing Grace.

      I have been reading about your situation and for obvious reasons I can epathise with you.I think it’s because we are the same age and have had the same experience-almost identical.

      All I can say is I have been thinking of you and hope you are ok.

  22. noquay says:

    One word: Ewwww!

  23. Able says:

    I wish I wasn’t so good at predicting things but as I thought would happen I got a high holiday email from the ex. No, not an apology or expression of remorse. As predicted it reads like a carefully parsed wrap-up with coded phrases that, to the casual reader, would sound good and closure-like–but I know better. It’s also a creep on my boundaries warning shot across the bow to be prepared for her being in my social/work realm over the next month + .

    It’s also painfully obvious how it’s all about her.
    No surprises here.

    I won’t respond, but my reaction is “good for you, you got to grow. Good for you.”

    • Selkie says:


      It’s about them and feeding their egos…..dipping in to make sure we don’t forget them. When they get insecure and feel like maybe we are moving on and not an option in their back pocket anymore, they sneakily appear. It’s very much about them. The mere fact they keep contacting is a boundary bust. I block the ex’s who do this. They no longer have the right to just pop in and out again to make themselves feel better. It’s selfish.

      • kookie says:

        able and selkie,

        irony is that sometimes we are the ones with the huge egos who go NC but then keep getting insecure that the EU have forgotten us and send smoke signals as nat says. we are all EU, egocentric people but i guess we tend to label the ex who cares less as being the EU one. the one who cares less has less consequences , so don’t play the game with them. ignore her and don’t be tempted to dip and out of her life when NC gets hard!

        • Lara says:

          I wasn’t EU when I met my ex and the whole time I was with him. This third time that he broke up with me, I didn’t expect or want him to contact me — I had had enough and fell out of love with him because of the sh*tty way he kept treating me even after I took him back twice. The first two break-ups, especially the first time around, I really wanted him to contact me, but it wasn’t an ego thing at all — I was still in love with him and wanted to get back together but I didn’t think I should be the one to contact him since he was the one who had broken it off. After the second break-up (also initiated by him), I didn’t really care all that much whether he contacted me, but when he did, I was in a very bad place emotionally due to my dad being diagnosed with cancer, and I replied to his text, and he used my vulnerability to sneak back into a pseudo-relationship, until he got bored again and broke it off for the third and last time. When he contacted me after this last break-up, at first I got a high of emotions, for some reason, even though I wasn’t hoping at all that he would contact me. He didn’t want to get back with me, and was a douche in his email, but I still got that emotional high from the fact that I had received an email from him. I think it’s because it gave me the satisfaction that he may have been struggling with his decision and feeling like the jerk that he was. Doubt that’s really the case, as he still is and always will be an AC. But at the time, it sorta made me feel that way because in parts of his email, he was justifying his behavior. Most of his email was still pretty crappy and abusive and passive aggressive, as were the texts that followed that email (which I didn’t reply to either). I actually blocked him on all forms of communication after I got that email, after I processed the contents. So I don’t think everyone is EU per se, or that they want the AC ex to contact them, or that the reason that they want the ex to contact them has to do with ego issues…

      • Lara says:

        Amen. My AC ex did this so often, and he thought he could pull the same act after his third and final break-up with me. I didn’t reply to ANY of his messages after this last break-up and he still wouldn’t stop. Then, he finally got the hint, I think, and said, “OK you’re pissed off.” Even then, he was minimizing my silence, making me look like the crazy bitch who was mad at him and rebuffing his efforts to be “nice.” I am not sure if he will try again. I hope not. I really do hope he won’t try again. I have been patient with his attempts, resisting the urge to hit back and tell him off. I just don’t want to be forced into giving him that satisfaction.

        • TJ says:

          Hi Lara,Just reading through the comments and something about this post made me want to comment. I have been through the NC thing and currently am doing it. You mention resisting the urge to write back & tell him off. In my experience, the ex always manages to get some sort of contact with me somewhere down the line. The time before, I literally told him off & what a jerk he is, then cut him off completely for 1.5 years. I then ran into him somewhere & slowly he contacted and I had a weak point & I ended up letting him back in. Well, this time I chose a different route. I didn’t “tell him off” or get angry with him (even though he deserves it, and I feel anger) & what I did was wrote him a letter telling him that I understand that I am not someone he wants a real life with, that he chose his path, I am not allowing him to come in and out of my life anymore & that I am never going to get together with him ever. I told him that I accept all those facts and wished him well. I am hoping this tactic will finally get him to keep his distance. Perhaps I am dreaming about this, perhaps he will always try to find a way but the whole thing comes down to me having my head on straight when he tries.

          • Lara says:

            Hey TJ,

            I told my ex that I accepted that it was over, when he broke up with me, but I didn’t tell him I didn’t want to talk to him ever again (unlike previous times). In previous times, I told him I didn’t want to be friends with him, and despite that, he contacted me and got me to take him back after I had a weak moment or two. But this time, I accepted to be his friend. He added me on facebook as well. Then, a few weeks later, with no explanation or anything, he removed me from facebook, cut off all contact. No word or explanation from him as to why he did it, and I did not contact him. I think he was doing it because he thought I would chase after him. I didn’t, so a month later he emails me an explanation for his behavior (his cut-off is usually about 3 weeks – a month, when he starts panicking if I don’t contact him after a break-up). Didn’t reply, because I felt like he didn’t deserve to feel better about what he’d done (if he even felt bad about it, that is, which was doubtful!), and that he didn’t deserve any attention from me whatsoever after the horrible way he treated me during our ‘relationship’ and the disrespectful way he treated me even after he had ended it and I had accepted to be friends with him despite the fact that I’d found out (months before the breakup, that he’d cheated on me). Anyway, he texted me once after that, then I think he realized what I was doing — that I didn’t want to talk to him ever again ,and that he’d lost his chance to weasel his way back into my genitals again — and told me, “OK, you’re pissed off, I won’t contact you again.” I think even there, he was sorta being passive aggressive and making a veiled threat/blackmailing me, that he would never contact me again. That sort of stuff always scared me and made me reply in the past, because I didn’t want to “lose” him forever. Apparently he thinks too highly of himself. lol. Talk about a blow to his ego. He must be suffering real bad from that hit to his ego. Time to go to Thailand to boost up some of that ego, with some narcissistic supply in the form of Thai prostitutes drooling over… him… err, his money… Anyway, I am convinced he won’t ever contact me. I dealt him the biggest blow to his narc ego (being totally ignored), so he will not get back in touch with me. He has, however, left his facebook open for anyone to add him (unlike in the past, when only he could add other people, not the other way around). I think he has done that because he thinks at some point I will regret it, and come back and chase after him. lol. What an attention whore / egomaniac. Geez. I also know that he is now back in touch with the ex. I mean, he had always been in touch with her apparently (via email), but a few months after the break-up, I found out (he didn’t know I had found out) that his ex visited him in Turkey, while he was working there (I’m in Canada). He didn’t tell me anything about it, of course. But I suspect the break-up had something to do with that. Also, he removed me from facebook then added his ex back (he had also removed her at some point). It’s like we’re all replaceable/interchangeable lol. Removes one, puts another at the top of his harem of exes/women. I also found out that, after his second break-up with me during Christmastime, he had right away messaged a woman he then admitted to have been sleeping with back in the UK, but she didn’t reply because she was in a relationship with another guy now that he’d discarded her because he was (temporarily) with me. God. What a mess. I am glad that at least some women have the sense to refuse to be part of his harem. Though, I do know for a fact that he is still in touch with that same woman via email. How and why I know all this stuff — it’s because I had a gut feeling about this whole thing, especially after we got back together the second and third time. The feeling got more intense: that something was wrong/not computing, so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t being taken for a ride, and sure enough,I found out that I was, and that I’d been cheated on with multiple people, including a (probably STD-infested) Thai prostitute. I will not stop snooping on any man I am in a relationship with, if my gut feeling tells me he is cheating/there are red flags. Better safe than sorry. This man put my life at risk, despite all that I’d done and all the love I’d given him. PUT MY LIFE AT RISK. That’s a big one, I’d like to think. So I have no blind trust in people anymore.

            • suzy says:


              LET HIM GO.

              and I think you are.

              Ive seen your posts, but confess ive not been following them faithfully, but, hey I can see all this stuff is about you letting him go. You are a feisty lady, and I can see you need to be in control and need to get on top of whatever has wronged you….but
              LET HIM GO.
              When you put energy into you LARA, you are going to come out shinning.
              I can see you need to work all this out, but start thinking, you are not going to be able to right all the wrongs, repair the wounds,change what has happened and importantly, you are not going to change anything about him…
              He’s a douche-bag with a mega sized magnet. and
              you need to LET GO.
              I think you are doing that. Keep posting here, I think its a great way to sort all this shit out we all have in our heads, hearts and souls.
              One day you will post here a one line comment that will sum up your experience….and it wont hurt anymore. It will be worth just one line.
              In the meantime…keep on
              LETTING GO.
              Much love, from someone who comes here, to occasionally comment, but mostly read to help , let go.

    • Lara says:

      I got a similar email from my ex a few months ago, a month after his break-up with me. It was all about him of course, and not an ounce of remorse or anything. It was full of passive aggressiveness and it was obvious he had spent a lot of time writing this out, as it was obviously cut and pasted into the email (font colour and size and alignment of lines being indicative of the cut and paste job). One example of his passive aggressiveness was him telling me how he was going on another trip to Thailand (I had found out he had cheated on me in Thailand and confronted him about it, a few months before he broke up with me), and noted that he was going to do a threesome there. Not sure why I needed to know that, or in what capacity. I think he was just itching for a reaction from me — preferably negative and nasty, to justify to himself that I was indeed a crazy person and that he did the right thing to treat me in the shitty way that he treated me. Or maybe I am giving him too much credit for having a guilty conscience. Maybe he was just fishing for attention because that is what he loves: attention. After all, he always complained that people and especially women, did not pay attention to him (the nerve he had to tell me he wanted women to pay attention to him! or maybe that didn’t require any nerve seeing that I was the biggest doormat on earth). He even started complaining about not being given the attention he deserved, seconds after I had told him that my uncle had passed away. He just changed the topic and started complaining about that. Amazing that I stuck around for so long with this guy, that I even managed to love him. If there’s anything I regret more than the fact that I met him, it’s the fact that I wasn’t the one to give him the boot.

  24. Oli says:

    What a great post and how timely.

    I found myself checking the list of behaviors and seeing my own actions embedded in there,but most importantly the actions of several people I dated in the past who I blamed for being insensitive and flat out assholes.

    I see now that I may have lost track of the notion that they too react in fear of rejection and Its not about me.

    Side note I have an interesting story about an ex I saw last night after 3 years. He had cheated on me (probably numerous times) and was emotionally unavilable during our relationship. Once I dumped him for his indiscretion that I had proof of, he immediately jumped into a relationship with the woman he was cheating with and is still with her. After three years I am over him and the whole thing and agreed to meet him to catch up. Im indifferent and honestly don’t care. Well, turns out hes the SAME PERSON. Hes been cheating on his girlfriend with numerous women he admitted to me, and was having tons of problems with her having anxiety about him being faithful. Same story different girl. I found myself smiling inside. Not because I was smug about his or her fate, but because once again Natalies words rang true. These guys DO. NOT CHANGE. So my advice is that no matter what that nagging feeling is that creeps up inside of you and tries to smash down your sense of self worth and feeling rejectionable by these assclowns and EUMs, Take comefort knowing that if someone overlaps you or leaves or cheats with someone else it may take weeks, months or even years but they’ll eventually be up to their old tricks and WILL remain true to form. They follow an inherent relationship blueprint and If they arent self aware the chances of change are slim to none. Be ever so thankful that they made an exit out of your life! And know that you are NOT rejectionable.

  25. tired says:

    Hi I know this off topic in a way but I wanted to say to all the people here that it does get better . It’s took me a yr but I can say hand on heart im over the arse clown that bought me here . I got a B in my English o level and I have got over my pain . I’ve seen him since with the ow and I realised it wasn’t me but money it was all about money . But I wanted you girls to know you do get over it and the joy when you haven’t thought about that person is just great . Good luck I still come here for a pep talk and to ‘re in force my thoughts and boundaries . Xx

    • Tabitha says:

      Tired! I don’t comment much these days as my life is too boring, but I still read avidly.
      So brilliant to hear how you are doing. And congratulations on your exam result!!
      It is a year since I saw the ex narc, and nearly a year NC. I still think of him nearly every day and it really annoys me. I truly don’t care any more and can see it all quite clearly for what he/it was. If I ran into him I wouldn’t care less. I think I still think of him because it was so damaging at the time and I was so confused and bewildered. It is a kind of emotional scar. It doesn’t hurt any more but it is still there as a reminder.

    • simple pleasures says:

      Tired, when I came here I followed your very painful anguished heart wrenching and
      self-examining posts. And I noticed when you faded away from posting. I’ve thought about you all along wondering what direction you’d go. You were playing guitar and taking English classes, you were our “shop girl”. And I always thought when you posted you were like a poet. And now I see the direction you went. Well done! NML can be very pleased that her blog has helped someone. tired, please post occasionally, as you no longer need us on a daily basis, but change your name.
      Perhaps something like, no longer tired, but inspired. with great appreciation to you, s.p.

  26. Tanzanite says:

    Hi Natalie/everyone.

    I have said this before but rejections hurts the most when it from someone you really love or someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally.

    I don’t feel rejection when I fail to get a job,even though that’s exactly what has happened.

    When I was in the honeymoon phase I felt great and at an emotional peak( even though it was temporary) Then,I had to process the fact that this person who once thought I was the best thing since sliced bread no longer wanted to be with me.(Through his actions) I hadn’t changed.I think it hurts because You feel at your best, and it’s still not good enough. If you think about it, there are people in your life who will accept you no matter what but we don’t appreciate it enough.

    I think that rejection effects people differently by using one of Natalie’s brilliant quotes-

    ” Let’s be real : the reason why some people move past things quickly is because they never stopped by in the first place ”

    This got me thinking.Why is this such a bad experience for us,in comparison to any other break up ?

    I used to think it’s because love is the ultimate prize but I had a husband who loved me, so it couldn’t be that.Then,I looked at Natalie’s quote and attempted to reverse it to get the opposite answer.

    ” Let’s be real: The reason it hurts me like never before is because this was the time I really stopped by ”

    Does anyone else have any other views as to why ?

    • grace says:

      When you break up with someone you love it’s a bereavement. A friend of mine said that to me and it was good to have the depth of it acknowledged.
      it IS worse when you stop by. At least it was for me.
      We’re talking again but I am not optimistic that we have a future. That said, I am quite happy. Our church members are being struck down left, right and center with cancer, stroke, parkinsons, dementia. It puts things in perspective. Life is so short and fragile, enjoy each day.

      • Tanzanite says:


        Thank you for that.

        I can’t deny how I genuinely felt just because he turned out to be an AC.

        That was the only way I could move forward.

        I think this lapse was triggered by some of the messages left for you.I really did hold his hand until he found someone else.

        You are in a good place Grace and you have a solid foundation.If one day you meet a man who is worthy of you,you will be able to look back at this relationship and say you did your best and he treated you well ( It does make a difference). I look back and can say I did my best but I only have AC memories.

        The biggest problem for me is not being able to cry something out.If anyone else has the same problem try this link.

        This quote nailed it for me.-

        “Remember much of the pain is separate from you because it was either unacceptable to you,too overwhelming to deal with at the time it was happening,or simply accumulated to become too large of a burden to carry”

        • SearchingForSatori says:

          I also left a husband for the AC/EUM WBMH (who brung me here). I think in this situation the fallout is more intense and recovery more difficult. In addition to recovering from the AC/EUM experience and all that entails, we also must face our choice and rebuild a life from the ground up. It’s like starting at ground zero.

    • Tinkerbell says:


      Could it be that he, initially, over estimated his feelings for you? Same thing as he wasn’t that invested, which is the same thing as he “never stopped by”. Three different ways of saying the same thing. You’re not going to know. IMO, when a person mysteriously leaves a r/s that the other person thought was meaningful and compatible, with no explanation, there is no use twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to figure it out. I know it is extremely frustrating, but what else can you do? Fill up your life with other activities, other people and try to forget. Don’t give it/him more importance than he gave it/you. Good luck.

      • Tanzanite says:


        It could have been he overestimated his feelings for me.I was always resistant at first because of the age gap but he gave me all the reassurances I needed to give it a go.When I mentioned I was worried about the age gap he would say-,”There is a reason we have met each other at this age “.When I told him we could never have children I remember him stroking my hand and saying it didn’t matter.

        You know when people say -” They never leave their wives/husbands ”

        Well, I did.It is a testament to the confidence I had in him that I left a good husband.

        He didn’t mysteriously leave.I went no contact after I realised he wasn’t going to step up and I had tolerated AC behavior no sane human being would. I feel bad about cutting him off like I did but my life was falling apart.I saw him at a later date with a child he probably had whilst we were supposed to be together.( For all I know he could have always been with someone else )

        As bad as it was, I have no problem with facing up to the fact he might have overestimated his interest.People makes mistakes.I do have a problem with the fact he kept me going for a long time,right up until the time he impregnated someone else and the man who said he would always love me no matter what, doesn’t even speak to me when he sees me.

        One other thing.I have paid off all my debts from the marriage,saved my self from bankruptcy,redecorated the house to a good standard,give up a job I hate,lost weight,enrolled to do some GCSE’s which I will need to do the Nutrition and Food Psychology course I want to attend.I have a good family ( struggle with my mum at times ) but that is also an indication of how far I have come,she doesn’t bother me half as much as she used to.I have friends I can talk to.I have a lot going for me but even with all this in place I still have momentary lapses.It will pass.

        Thanks Tinks

        • Tinkerbell says:


          I get it. I’m very happy for you and all you have accomplished since you began your struggle. I commend you for realizing how far you’ve come. Most of all you are THANKFUL for all that you do have. It’s important to give thanks. That’s something a lot of us overlook. We get so caught up in what is NOT going right and forget to notice the positives in our lives. Like you, I’ve come a long way also. But, I am clearly not infallible. I’ve been struggling so hard to be a good person but at the same time stand up for myself. I’m finding it’s a slippery slope and sometimes I can get carried away with the “You’re not going to take advantage of me” aspect. Learning how to regulate our feelings/behavior is also very much part of the job we’ve set up for ourselves.

        • TJ says:

          Hi there, I just wanted to say to your point about him “keeping you going until he impregnated someone else”. I have the same feelings about my ex for the fact that he is living with someone he says he loves, but was chatting me up & telling me he loves me as well, to the point where I started expecting something or getting me to think we had a future then cutting me off completely when he got me to admit I still had feelings. Very difficult to understand someone could use another person that way to get their kicks. But I suppose if I could understand it then I would be like him and I should thank my lucky stars everyday I am not. Figuring out how I let myself get so involved to the point of sobbing uncontrollably & not being able to eat is something I will have to work out and conquer.

    • JenniferA says:


      I totally agree. This time I really stopped by. That is and was the difference. I always held back/tried to control the relationship and this time I just let it happen because I never got any of the usual feelings of anxiety or misgivings with him. It always felt right, safe, comfortable. And I was still wrong…

      • Tanzanite says:


        I know it’s no consolation but a few of us have been wrong.

        The moral of the story is beware of confidence tricksters/future fakers.

        • Tinkerbell says:


          I love that quote. I need to type it out and put it on my fridge. I am a person who has no trouble crying it out. I don’t hold back or try to suppress my hurt and pain. I just occurred to me that that is probably why I get over stuff a little quicker. I exhaust myself indulging in my emotions and then, suddenly, I turn the corner. It’s an intricate process that I can’t explain too well.

          • Tanzanite says:

            Searching for Satori

            It sure is like starting from ground zero.

            I don’t know about you but my husband met most of my needs.He was a husband and best friend rolled into one.I do miss coming home from work and telling someone what a rubbish day I’ve have had.

            It is possible to rebuild after a bad experience but it isn’t easy.

          • Tanzanite says:

            Hi Tinks

            I’m really envious of you now because if you can really cry something out it does make recovery quicker.And what I mean by crying is tears accompanied by noise that crying should make.When I was at my worst there were tears everyday but without noise.I had to put ice on my eyes to take the swelling down so I could go to work but I never really felt the release.Most of the time now i’m ok because there is no new pain, I am content most of the time, I’m focused on other things but I do have triggers.

            My head has been telling me for years that my times up on grieving the relationship that never was.I also think if I had the ability to really cry it out I would be fine.

            Suppressing hurt has been the norm for me for a long time.

            I feel better today. Thanks Tinks,Grace and all the other ladies for your input on this.

            • Tinkerbell says:

              Hi Tanz,

              Just saw your post. Yes, I think I’m able to get over disappointment relatively quickly because when I was heartbroken, like I was not long ago, it consisted of sobbing, moaning, wailing and talking to God asking “Why, why, why?” I carried on like that for a full week and had puffy eyes, also. Then, for another week longer I had frequent episodes of tears which I brought on myself by listening to certain music. I had to force out the intense feelings until I reached the decision that I was being ridiculous and that no other human being was worth all that emotional drama and subsequent exhaustion. But, I came to the position of ACCEPTANCE that it was his problem, (the ED), and I would not be able to fix it. Tears until doomsday would not change a thing. Our r/s was and still is otherwise near perfect for us both. I had to come to the realization that I would feel a lot better if I would stop having theatrical hysterics and stop making it a matter of life and death. I could not change the situation so I had to change my approach to it. Once I did that, I was much calmer, and philosophical about it all and he and I have been having a great time just enjoying each other. I think when we are so overcome with hurt and disappointment we need to realize that our PERCEPTION of what we are dealing with is key to our healing. Now, in my case, we have a highly compatible relationship to start with. I am not speaking about EUM’s and AC’s. On the contrary, when I was involved with the MM, the r/s was so ultimately dissatisfying (except for fantastic sex) that it was like taking off a heavy load of misery shame and self persecution when I went NC. It is important for us to see negativity or blocks that we may experience with the right perspective to help us heal. If I have to chose, I’d rather have a bit less vigorous sex life but be able to enjoy the genuine love, care, trust and respect of a good many any day than have to tolerate the opposite.

              • Tinkerbell says:


                Another thought for you and anyone else, which certainly should not come as a revelation to any of us. When we suppress our pain, our feelings they last much longer and become much harder to overcome. Try to learn to FEEL it, no matter how tragic for you it may be. Then you can begin to address the root cause of the pain. Give a shout out if you see my posts. (((Tink))).

              • Tanzanite says:

                Hi Tinks

                I also think it’s a lot to do with how solid your foundations are.

                I’m sure you have heard of Maslow’s Heirachy of needs ?

                I don’t have some of those things in general but the rest were hanging from a thread when I was in limbo land with the AC.The more of those things you lack,the more you will suffer.

                My perception is a lot better now.I no longer ask myself what is it about me that turned a great bloke into an AC.I now realise after the love bombing phase he reverted back to who he really was.

                I have been reading about you problems but I didn’t comment because I don’t know anything about it.I didn’t think I could help.I am with you though,a loving relationship is worth more than great sex with an AC.( I know that now ) It was less about the sex for me even though it was fantastic,it was the feeling of being loved,companionship and purpose.

                When I realised I needed to make some female friends I joined a support group.That is when I could compare my life to others.We all have our ups and downs and it was nice to know my life wasn’t that bad.There were 2 married women in that group who hadn’t had sex for a very long time.One was like you,she loved her hubby,it didn’t bother her.She had a solid marriage and great times with her man.The other was sad and dissapointed. I once asked her if her husband and children had noticed a change in her since she was attending the group and she said they don’t notice me anyway. (everyone commented on how much I had changed over the weeks.I had found an emotional connection)I think she had a problem with the lack of sex and said she would probably have an affair given the chance.I never asked them the reason why, but it proves it is a lot to do with perception and whether your basic needs are being met.

                • Tinkerbell says:

                  Hi Tanz,

                  It’s OK that you didn’t comment on my situation. I did not expect all the advice and support that I received. That, in itself deserves my gratitude. But, you have certainly helped me in another way. It’s been many years since I was in college. I’d forgotten about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Thanks so much for mentioning it. I have been searching for reasons why I am the way I am and why I have certain needs. One very important thing I was reminded of as I was rereading Maslow is the importance of sex. I’d totally forgotten and realized once again that sex holds a prominent place among our most basic needs. During my 23yr marriage, my husband declined sex. He happily provided everything else, but about a year after we got married he no longer was interested. I accepted the his refusal of intimacy and remained faithful. Somehow insane as it was, during my prime years, I was forced to become involuntarily celibate. Reading Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs helped me to understand why, even after he’s been deceased for 7 years, and I’m in love again, I have such an overwhelming need ( I mean almost an unnatural craving) for affection. During my marriage, I couldn’t even get hugs and kisses. I’ve been deprived for years! This is probably why when my friend was seeming to pull away from me because of his sexual inadequacy, I panicked and cried my eyes out. I KNEW there was a locked box somewhere but I could not for the life of me find the key. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Thanks so much for mentioning it. You’ve given me much to research and understand. And, you keep taking good care of yourself. You’re doing well.

        • grace says:

          But even then it may not work out, sadly.
          I asked the ex if I hadn’t spoken to him in the beginning and continued to ignore him (it wasn’t personal, I suspected he was too young) if we could have avoided getting together. He said he would have always spoken to me. You can only control so much, and it’s not much.
          Counsellor said that relatively late in life I had my first genuine relationship. He also said he can’t fault how I’m choosing to handle this and it won’t go on on indefinitely. I feel he’s right.

          • Tanzanite says:


            I know Grace,there are no guarantees and no entitlements.

            I too, decided to really let myself be vulnerable and meet the love of my life late in life.Unlike you, it wasn’t reciprocated,but the pain is still the same.

            Your situation wont go on indefinitely,something will have to give. You can still come out of this with your head held high.

  27. Tinkerbell says:

    Well, Tired! This is a surprise! I’m glad that what I was thinking in regards to you is WRONG. I said to myself, “She probably went back to the MMAC and is embarrassed to let us know”. I’m delighted to know that you kept on moving. The reason I thought otherwise is because it was such a huge struggle for you. You are a role model for a lot of BRers. Stay strong and be happy. Tink.

  28. Peanut says:

    This is so great because it really knocks the sails out of the thinking that someone ought pursue us when we tell them it’s over.

    There was a part of me that wanted my ex to prove himself after it ended. He did. I saw him driving to his house with the ex in his passenger seat shortly after the breakup. He proved he was the type of person to soothe via sex and such with others, whereas I went home and healthily cried it out. I am better than that, than using people and creating a tumultuous deficit in their lives. What a vampire that man. I deserve better.

    Right now I’m trying to cultivate my talents to coincide with my career and enjoying the time I have left with my grandparents and little old lady dog. It’s going to hurt like hell when they are gone; they are my family and care about me, but I’ll have built such a firm, sturdy foundation, both economical and emotional, I’ll be alright and just fine to stand on my own two feet. It’ll hurt like hell, but I’d rather attach to my grandparents and animal and go through the inevitable pain of losing them, than never learning to enjoy and grow with them.

    Well, it’s back to the books and library to learn more about this awesome world and all of the neat things these quirky beings we are have created. Enjoy the weekend Nat, BR ladies and gents!

  29. Andee says:

    I have a new read on breaking NC and the inevitable feelings of guilt and renewed rejection thanks to my best friend. She’d been NC for about a month and the guy contacts her. She talks to him, he’s looking for help for his kid, blah, blah, blah. She helps. She also calls back the next day and surprise! No answer. No thank you, no nothing. We were talking about it today and it occurred to me. Sometimes we are probably asking the universe “What if he’s changed? what if I made a mistake in going NC? What if he’s turned into the perfect guy now?” And maybe these instances where they contact us or we can’t resist the urge to contact them are the Universe’s way of assuring us that no, he hasn’t turned into the perfect guy after we left and he hasn’t changed. It’s like you’ve put the question out there by doubting your motives and your resolve, so the Universe conveniently gives you the answer you maybe didn’t even know you were seeking. :)

    • SearchingForSatori says:

      Oh my gosh, classic AC behavior, filling a need, in this case a shoulder, then silence/rejection.
      I think you may be onto something with your theory. 13 weeks NC and I received an “I Love You” text. Previously I would have thought that meant something and run with it. I utterly amazed myself when this time when I realized, “just words.” No hope, no anxiety, no desire to respond. It’s taken more than a year, but I’m seeing it for what it is.

      • Andee says:

        Good on you! My friend’s ex texts her stuff all the time like “I’ll love you forever” or “you’ll always be the one in my heart” and I’m always like what are you supposed to do with that information via text? Just text back and be like “Cool, I’m packing my stuff and will be right over so we can start planning our wedding and figuring out our lives together! :) I’m always like don’t you think if someone actually did realize they were in love with you or that you were the person they wanted to be with they’d get in their car and drive or take a taxi or RUN to wherever you were, Billy Crystal in “When Harry Met Sally” style?

        But then again, they wouldn’t mean that either. These choades are terrified of being vulnerable to rejection, to actually investing and putting themselves out there. They wouldn’t know how to do it. Texting is that easy way to say something and not have to be around to deal with whatever it means to the other person. Nat taught me that it’s the laziest form of communication and while it’s dead useful in certain situations, it shouldn’t be treated as a valid forum to express your feelings. When I get texts from people of a highly personal nature, I’m grossed out. You want to text me directions to somewhere, or what time you’re getting there? Fine. But don’t ever text me some shit you say you really want me to know about how you feel. I’m not going to take it seriously.

  30. tired says:

    No didnt go back.lolx

    • Tinkerbell says:


      I agree with Simple Pleasures.

      When you joined this blog you were in a deep, dark, negative and unchanging space.
      So you took the name “Tired”. Now that situation has changed for the better. Instead of posting under Tired, you need to give yourself a more positive, uplifting name. Leave the past, just where it is. The past. And, yes, let us know what you’re doing. Your English and therefore your writing is much improved, also. Please know that we are ALL happy for you, even those who don’t know your story. We are inspired by someone who benefits from BR and was able to overcome huge barriers to their happiness.

  31. KatheM says:

    I had a fling with some guy and then he disappeared on me. Ever since then he always looks like he’s going to have a heart attack when he sees me. (Same company.) You know someone is anxiety-averse when they want to go out to lunch but once they are at the security exit and see you standing on the other side waiting for your friends, he turns around and grabs something from the coffee bar.

    It hurts my feelings but I keep reminding myself it’s him not me.

    • Sm says:

      Kathe I find this bemusing. It would hurt my feelings too. I bet he knows he should have ended that appropriately and is now afraid you might confront him. I’m sure very soon you are going to laugh at his behavior.

    • Wiser says:

      A couple of things I’ve discovered is that when someone acts like an ass and treats you in an appalling manner: 1) they KNOW they’re an ass and have acted with no integrity, 2) you are a constant reminder to them that they are an ass who has no integrity and 3) weak people with no integrity are uncomfortable around others they perceive are making them feel bad. Eventually this discomfort will turn to any number of negative responses to you: dislike, disrespect, avoidance, coldness etc. because they aren’t capable at looking honestly at themselves and owning their own poor behavior – so they will project their unease and dislike of themselves onto you. It’s unfortunate and unfair, but often true.

      This can be very painful when it’s someone you’ve liked or loved and now because THEY acted badly, somehow the blame gets shifted to you. Avoiding you is about THEM avoiding their own bad feelings about themselves, not avoiding you because you’re “not good enough” or whatever. Again, it’s about them, not you!

  32. doveofpeace says:

    I broke up with my ex 1 month ago because I couldn’t take anymore crap and bulls*** from him. Has been NC ever since. It was a messy and ugly break up (a lot of blaming and hurtful words involved) and I sort of feeling bad about it. But the worst part is, that he has disappeared all together after I told him to take a hike. He didn’t try to call me to apologize or offer me a friendship either. This is so unlike him. He knows very well that he wronged me. He stood me up for 10 days leading to the break up. Usually he’d come back, say sorry and promise to make it up to me. And he knows that I will always take him back because I love him so much. This time though…it’s like he is done with me and the realization is excruciatingly painful. Well I guess in his mind I am not worth fighting for anymore…

    • Sm says:

      Dove you don’t want this guy back. He probably stood you up because he was with someone else and now she’s the next one he’ll be standing up. Guaranteed.

  33. Sm says:

    Nat your father sounds like mine, except I grew up in the same house as him. I think it’s worse when you live with a parent and they are completely uninterested in your life or you as a person. Think about the lesson a child learns from that and the blueprint followed. It’s all bad though. I forgave him a long time ago but continued to live out that legacy with one failed relationship after another.

  34. Sm says:

    Sometimes it can be something we did to get rejected. A guy I met at the gym asked me to dinner. I was taken aback because it was the first time I’d ever seen him, we had only said a few joking lines to each other and hadn’t even exchanged names. I continued my workout and after I thought about it for a few minutes, I gave him my number, I just thought how else am I going to get to know someone. So he calls me a day later than he said he would and in the span of 3 minutes, calls me ‘baby’ twice which grossed me out. I mean I didn’t even know what this guys occupation is and he’s already calling me an endearing term. Needless to say I didn’t go out with him. I know it was a minor infraction, but had he started out in a friendly lets get to know each other mode, I would have been receptive.

  35. noquay says:

    Very wise. Yep, it is almost like we are supposed be disappear. Sell out, quit our job, take whatever financial hit is necessary so that they, little babies, do not have to be reminded of what a$$holes they really are. AC came within a hairs breadth of being fired last year, he was persona non grata among most of us actually doing our jobs. I am hearing rumors of financial difficulty, the latest girlfriend is avoiding not only me but most colleagues in my circle as well. Meanwhile, his attempts at getting lil Noquay off of the leadership of programs and stuff he is interested in has failed to the point that I have pretty much taken over one program and am making great strides with another. But yeah, I am subject to avoidance (good), rumors of being some sort of desperate old maid psycho, resentment, and outright anger.

    • Tabitha says:

      Wiser and Noquay are totally correct.
      The ex that brought me here works in the same line as me but not the same company. It has been a year and it is clear he has been deliberately avoiding conferences and meetings that he really should have been at. At first, I was mightily relieved he wasn’t there, and now I couldn’t care less, but I do think it is because he is afraid of seeing me. He is afraid of the reaction he might get, or not get. He is afraid that I might tell people what he did. I met his boss this week and I just knew, cos I trust my gut these days, that his boss knew we had been an item. Neither of us mentioned it thankfully, and it did occur to me he has probably told him I am some kind of psycho. Do I care though? No I do not.

  36. Tinkerbell says:

    Ewww! I can’t stand guys that do that. There is no attempt to be reserved and wait for feelings to grow. One meets many guys online that are like that. Super fast forwarding. Gives me the creeps.

  37. teachable says:

    Pleasure Selkie. I have indeed been eating LOTS of tim tams in the genie bottle (yikes!) After losing 20 kilo’s with illness & stress over the past two yrs I’ve now regained 6! Possibly not a bad thing although I’d porked up a little to begin with (due to a decade plus of working 7 days a week & eating on the run) so stopping any further weight gain would be nice. :)

    Tired, I’m with tink. You are AWESOME! Look at how far you have come?! What an champion you are! I’m so proud of you! Well done!

    Re rejection, I have an opposite story to report. I’m in facebook contact with my adopted sis I havent seen since she was 2 yo & my adopted dad, when I was 13, rejected me from his new family (adopted sis was a pre existing child of his new partner, as I was with my mother, before that). I was banned forevermore from my father’s new life w his new family b.c I threatened to tell my adopted sis, she was adopted by dad when she was old enough to understand, as dad had admitted to me he intended to raise her to believe he was her bio dad. problem was, he did that with me too & when I accidently discovered the truth at 13, it caused great distress to realise my whole family lied to me all my life abt such an important thing. I was trying to prevent my new adopted sis going through the same thing I did but it backfired spectacularly. Instead of helping my new adopted sis I was excommunicated by my father (who adopted me at 1 yo). as I was offloaded to children’s homes anyway aged 3, it was easy for dad afterwards to just disappear from life from 13 onward (before tht I used to visit monthly on weekends w my sister in the homes w me, who is his bio daughter)

    I had to wait till adopted sis learned the truth herself before I could ever safely & respectfully establish contact w her as an adult. tht happened abt a year ago. we’ve been messaging bk & forth on facebook since. all very positive & comparing notes. she too, like me studied psych, so has very good understanding of issues affecting our family, altho not ready to talk to me on ph yet. she wants to meet in person first. I respect tht.

    poured my heart out yesterday to adopted sis abt some pretty big stuff going on in my life & worried afterward perhaps I shouldnt have. it was all ‘family business’ & where I fit in the bigger picture, as well as stuff re some abuse issues she already knows abt. I did this b.c im estranged frm my other sis I grew up in homes with (to a point, until we were seperated when I was 14) & my mother & I was feeling very down.

    amazingly adopted sis wrote bk & was so kind & compassionate it made me cry! she told me she see’s me as a person of strength & courage who has had the fortitude to use some horrible experiences in life to try make things better for others! I have woken today feeling at peace for the first time in a very long time. I am so grateful tht mayb one day I will have a new LOVING sister in my life. I have no real close family. something like tht wud mean the world to me, altho I will try not to hav expectations, as I dont want to get diappointed if things dont work out.

    sending much love all the br community. sometimes it worth risking rejection I now think b.c u might not get rejected & instead find something very special & precious. xx

  38. Tinkerbell says:


    What a wonderful story. You see, goodness can be born out of wretchedness. It reinforces my firm belief and one I always try to remember during my own hard times: “Nothing says the same forever”.
    I wish you happiness with your (adopted) sis. Soon you’ll be leaving out “adopted”. She’ll just be your sis. All the best.

  39. Magnolia says:

    Grace, glad to see you pop back into conversation.

    I guess at some point you have to just trust; that’s where I have had trouble. I’m sitting in my office now working on my application for the tenure-track job that opened up in my department. One of my colleagues in another dept said, “It looks like they wrote that job description for you.” I’ve seen the names of the committee members and it is stacked with people with whom I have had a very good relationship.

    At least, I think I’ve had a good relationship. I’m *pretty* confident they want to keep me here. It’s kind of like hoping someone will propose, I guess. I will be surprised if they don’t offer me the job (unless I screw up the app or interview royally); it would be a rejection and I’d feel it.

    But at the end of the day if that happened I wouldn’t be beating myself up for not seeing it coming; I have acted in good faith, I think they will, and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll have to dust off and move on. It would be a shock, and I’d feel like I’d lost a lot of what I’d invested, but I’d be okay.

    It’s always a risk. There aren’t any guarantees of not getting rejected. But I think when you have the ground of your own self-esteem beneath your feet, and have done your due diligence, as it were, you can take such rejections if they happen as a big knock from Life (kind of like a big health knock), to be weathered but ultimately survived, even when it occurs in realms so personal.

    • grace says:

      I’m not hoping he’ll propose so much us wondering when I’ll muster the motivation to break up. Yeah, talk about ambiguous. Plus ca change or however it goes. I think I have made no progress at all. Counsellor says I have though.
      We survive because we have no choice. I’m not seeing any benefit to this continued repeat disappointment. I’m fed up with it but also quite happy just to give up fighting!
      I hope you get the job.

      • Magnolia says:

        grace, when I read my comment over I realize it looks like it was entirely directed at you. I was sort of off in my own meditation after sending a line your way. as i wrote i thought, of course grace’s situation is deeper than getting turfed after a year of work. Work is not a loving partner.

        but in any case, you respond grace-iously as always! and i was wondering where you were re status, how talking-but-not-getting-back-together was working for you.

        i don’t see any benefit to the repeated knocks, yours or mine, either. i’m more of a buddhist in spirit, myself, when things turn smurf*ckety. i like a philosophy of shit happens; the idea of God watching or being able to intervene and not, in all this unfairness, doesn’t compute.

        but you’ve caught me on a red-sea bleeding day, with gut swollen like a balloon, when my sister, bro-in-law, brother and his gf, and parents are happily celebrating the arrival of my niece.

        none of my emotions are “appropriate.” maybe yours are totally appropriate for where you’re at. right now you’re hanging on, but you aren’t at square one. ((hugs))

      • simple pleasures says:

        Hi Grace,
        I have read every article and post for this blog, soooo I have followed you for “years”. And paid attention to you! So, questions about you and current sort of boyfriend. What does he get out of you? What does he want from you? What can he offer and give to you? When you told us he broke things off and you were no NC, what changed that you decided to no longer be NC? Following this blog we self examine our fantasizing, projecting and future faking. We hope to be “the exception ” to the rule. We hope our father figure in romantic clothing will validate us.
        He is a 30 plus year old with never an intimate/sexual relationship under the protection of his “family” and being a Christian. He’s under the influence of another cultural/racial background. He’s paying attention to you, a much older woman, but has told her he wants a family and she can’t provide that. Why does he want to be with you, and why do you want to be with him? You sound incompatible to me.

        • grace says:

          I know all that, I knew it from before our first date. I find it doesn’t change the emotions.

          • simple pleasures says:

            yes, that is the answer. The heart wants what the heart wants.
            We don’t live our lives and makes decisions rationally, it’s all based on our feelings. I scratched my head for a long time wondering how I could rationally associate with the math professor, there was no reasonable answer. I was in love, that’s all. I thought it was ridiculous, and worried I’d never get over him. Finally I don’t feel any yearning anymore. I have been truly no contact since Christmas. And I’m in the same room with him once a week. The heart has calmed down, not even an ember now. I wish you the very best, Grace.

  40. Enough says:

    Update on AC finally waiting for him to just pop up at my home because of NC. Its funny because he really felt rejected not once but twice. My nephews play little league football and all the teams in the little league play at one massive park every Sat. So yes his son plays for a particular team. I knew this would be one issue with NC i would have an problem with because i was bound to run into him at some point whether glancing around at the other teams or he just walks up to me to start a conversation. Well on this particular Sat it was extremely hot and i was in no mood to even see him or think about seeing him. I was amazed at how easy it was for me not just look for him and think he is somewhere out here. I made up my mind i was here for my family not him i will no longer waste energy on this guy. Minus the heat the games were great and i didn’t see him or continue to graze the fields for him. Two hours after the game at home guess who shows up at my door. AC!!!! I had my mind and my words ready to tell him to please hit the bricks. So i was shocked that the first thing he tells me is ” so you can’t speak at the game” really lol I did not see you at the game Sir! “how did you not see me i was coaching my sons team and matter of fact your brothers came up and spoke to me” I could not believe he was truly upset that I had not looked for him at the game. I told him point blank i was not looking for him at the game and i had no reason to. He tried to make it about his son and that was so a excuse to get me to talk to him. NC for 2 weeks no relations for 5 months are you serious!!! We are finished! I am so not ready for this back and forth now that its football season.

  41. asia says:


    I read that Ted Hughes cheated on the wife he was married to until he died.

    Some of these people really dont change. Its just that some people tolerate their crap far longer.

  42. noquay says:

    Go for it girl. Nothing to loose. Yep, you may be rejected, part of the process. Then you know where you stand. Clarity.I too have to think about whether I want to apply for the Head Dude job here, especially now that one of the degree programs I started teaching in may be cut and the remaining time till I retire could be teaching the same stuff over and over. Plod. Plod. Plot. This old lady doesn’t do plod well and I bet you don’t either. Read an article the other day that simply said; “some people suck”; very true. Some people lie, some cheat, some disparage. Nothing to dowwith us but unfortunately we are often stuck with the consequences of others actions. We have to go for what we want anyway.

    • Magnolia says:

      Thanks noquay! The application is in. One of the pleasures of the process was getting to see the beautiful letter one of this country’s – this world’s! – top poets wrote about my work.

      I’ll be focusing on that because I’m now fuming that, after saying to my folks over and over and over again – I WANT to be on the phone/on skype for my sister’s labour, PLEASE make sure you make an effort to get a hold of me – they tried to skype me, once, at 3 am my time (who has their computer open at 3 am?) didn’t think to pick up the phone except when it was all over and the baby was born. I TRIED to have them make a list of things to do that included me because I just knew they’d screw up, and now the baby is here and they’re just like, oops, sorry. Maybe I shouldn’t be livid but I just see this as a pretty big example of their unreliability when it comes to doing what they say they will. My dad’s comments afterward were stunning in their ignorance – I’m sure they’ve already decided it’s no big deal.

      So I was tearful and furious and bleeding through two super plus tampons onto my clothes as I said hello to my new niece on skype. And then I felt like *I* had to apologize for ruining the moment.

      These people. These are my people.

      noquay, does teaching the same stuff over and over mean that you have more brain space for interestng research projects? I like the idea of Head Dude Noquay. But only if it serves her spirit.

      • grace says:

        I don’t know your family but here’s mine.
        The siblings treat each other well, we trust each other, I always have somewhere to turn. But weeks will go by without us speaking to one or all of each other. Months even. Of all of us, I’m the only one who’s had any close friends outside their family, and even so it’s not many. It’s been reducing rapidly over the years as I’ve moved around. Someone who married into our family described us as “asocial” (as opposed to antisocial).
        An immensely popular, beautiful friend of mine was widely envied at school for her perfect life. Her mother was abusive. To this day, she has huge problems trusting women.
        I thought my ex’s family was perfect but we know how that went and he hasn’t reconciled with them as yet.
        If it’s any consolation, you’re not the only one and it’s not just you. Even if they function out in the world as well-adjusted, considerate, adults, get them in a room together and some families are crazy AND DON’T EVEN KNOW IT.
        There’s no need to feel guilty about it. It’s bigger than one person.

  43. TJ says:

    I am feeling like a complete rejected fool right now, I can’t eat or sleep. I am a wreck. I got pulled back into the ex’s trap & I let it happen. Long story short, I am the married fool that got involved with a MM. We got involved emotionally for years with him saying that when he/we got divorced we would be together. Well, he got divorced & took up with another woman & is living with her. That happened 3 yrs ago. In that time I went NC & was doing better, my marriage was stronger although I have always felt something was missing. Then slowly but surely I let ex slither back into my life. My mom died in Nov & mom-in-law in mid January, then I lost my job at the end of Jan. I was at a very weak point, & that is how he got back in. He played the all concerned role to get me to start trusting him again. He told me he still loved me, constantly thinking about me- future faking saying someday we would be together etc. It came to a head recently when I made the mistake of meeting him at his house – we ended up fooling around but stopped short of intercourse because he couldn’t get it up. He made the comment that he couldn’t because of his conscience. I told him the next day I can’t do any type of affair with him, it is wrong & he said that he doesn’t feel anything is missing in his relationship with his live-in, he has feelings for her & me. We ended it there. I told him goodbye. I feel like the lowest human being right now & I don’t know what to do. I am going crazy. I need help

    • Teddie says:

      TJ, before you decide on what to do, are you clear on what you want?

      • TJ says:

        thank you for your response teddy. Well, good question. I know I want love, commitment and happiness. I know that I should work on my marriage because I wouldn’t have let the ex in otherwise. I just seem to always get pulled back in with this ex. I have no doubt he will try contacting me again in the future & I need the strength to be able to not fall for it.

    • grace says:

      You’ve been through the wars. I would let yourself off the hook and take up flower arranging or some other creative outlet.
      It’s helped me through a few crises and I have a beautiful sampler to show for it.
      Currently sewing up a storm.

      • TJ says:

        Hi Grace,
        Thank you for your response. Yes I would agree that I feel like I have been through so much and am really down. I hear what you’re saying and eventually I will have to start eating again & will have to delve into something like a madwoman to help keep my mind off of this. I do feel very sad that I let this happen & like I said very low & I keep crying. I know I did the right thing when I sent him the letter saying goodbye & that there is no future for us period. Felt good to stand up for myself, let him know that it is not OK for him to play with my feelings like he did. Hopefully he will not contact me again. It hurts me to know that my words to him won’t really mean anything though because really all he sees me as is an “option”. But it is what it is, and I have to learn to live with it and move on.

  44. Messed Up Girl says:

    Aw TJ, I feel for you, I really do. I too let myself get involved with a MM a few months ago that I’ve known as a friend for years. He practically begged me to have an affair with him, we had sex once, again he had impotence problems as well although he did just about manage and I got a text later on from him that night telling me that he and his wife would be trying for a baby!! She hadn’t wanted any intimacy with him apparently because of fertility problems. So I was completely rejected, and I know exactly how you feel when you say you are a wreck, the last few weeks have been absolute hell for me as well, but it WILL start to get better, I promise.

    I still have to work beside the AC who did this to me and see him every day, it has been absolute torture, I had tried to retain some kind of friendship with him for the sole reason to not feel completely rejected and he has proved himself time and time again to be a using, manipulative toad of a man. You are so much better than him, believe that, as I am with the AC who used me. Feel sorry for his partner, that’s what I’m doing with his wife because he will do this again, and again until he’s eventually found out. You’ve been through a lot of loss and that’s how he’s managed to worm his way in. Concentrate on your marriage and taking care of yourself, this will begin to pass, I promise. He is not worth it. Time really does heal.

    • TJ says:

      Thank you messed up. I really appreciate it. I feel for you too, this has been the most difficult thing I have ever dealt with. Really, the thing is, he is a player. He told me 800 times he loved me & then moved in with someone else. That in itself is very telling. I do believe like you said that he will do it to his live-in in the future, but it won’t be with me. He said that he has feelings for us both, and that he wanted both & then realized he can’t have it – that is his excuse for building me up for 8 months telling me he loves me and will be together someday. I guess I should have known better since I went down that road with him before. I feel silly and stupid. I wrote him a letter today telling him that I know he can’t ever truly commit to anyone and that I am done for good. That even if he changed his ways and knocked on my door tomorrow I would never be with him anyway because I would never be able to trust him. I would be waiting for him to cheat. It must be hard for you to work with this jerk, I know what that is like, the job I lost was actually at the same company as him, that is how we met. Only good thing about losing my job is not seeing him in that way anymore. Thanks for your email. I feel like throwing and smashing something – I haven’t eaten much in 2 days and I look like heck. I do feel better after writing the letter and ready to move on.

      • knows-better says:

        TJ, from my own personal experience the best thing you can do is work on your marriage and focus on it before you lose it. Let me tell you, my regrets are HUGE and I’m living with guilt every single day and I lost my husband. I could have been brave and worked with him to make our marriage stronger and worth saving but I didn’t and I’m sad and single and the EUM/MM is not there for me, he is no where in sight. I wish I had had someone to tell me then to WAKE THE HELL UP and honor my marital commitment and love the man who gave me a commitment. I will never have him again. He is remarried and I’m alone. Think of what it would be like for you to not have HIM anymore and switch your focus to THAT man.

        • TJ says:

          knows-better, thank you for your thoughts. I am sorry about your experience, it must be very tough to deal with. You have made brilliant points & I would do well to apply what you have said to my life. I know that I need to focus on my husband now, & fell extreme guilt about what I have done. He didn’t deserve this as he is an honest & devoted wonderful man. I am the one with problems obviously. Right at this moment I am in the throes of sadness about this mess, nauseous because of it all. Fooling around on my husband, believing what the ex ‘said’ etc. I can’t see straight right now & I am devastated. But I do know this will pass. I hate to say it, but I did/do love the jackazz but I need to stop & I don’t know how. I wish I could get amnesia & that I never met this person who knew how to mess with me. Yes, I am to blame for falling for it, if I were stronger & applied what Nat says this wouldn’t have happened. Just seems like sense went out the window a long time ago for me & I am struggling to get it back. I know you are right knows-better, & I have to deal with this- I am feeling real depressed right now and thinking I may need to reach out to speak to a pastor or something. I have the compulsion to move to another city so that I am not even in the same area as the ex anymore, burn my clothes that I wore when I went to see him, that is how badly I need to put this behind me.

        • Not sure says:

          I just come across to this website and enjoy reading all the responds.
          I have an issue of my own as well. I meet this guy not long ago while travelling. We had an amazing time together. when I left to go back home we promise to keep in contact and will see each other soon. His workplace finally move him over to Work in my country for the next few years. 2 months prior to him moving over here we talked everyday, he tell me he misses me, can’t wait to see me again and spend more time together to see if this will lead to something more long term. He keep telling me to not give up on us and to hold on until we see each again. We discuss about everything and our future travel plan together. When he finally got his plane ticket he forward it to me straight away so I could book mine so we could see each other again. Eventhhough he will be coming to my country for work but we will still be in different state. I listen to him and book my ticket to be with him the first week he will be here. Just 3 days before he flight out he ask me if I could change my flight, I ask him why so sudden, he said he just got his work schedule and he will be busy all week and won’t have much time with me. I said I don’t mind. Then he said if I can’t change it we just have to make it work. But then I slept on it overnight then think if he doesn’t want me to be there, I don’t want to rock up and make a fool out of myself. We end up having an argument on Friday, he refuse to talk to me cause he knew I was upset. He said he didn’t meant to make me upset or mad and said he is sorry but he don’t want to see me now bcos we both are upset over this. I’ve told him I m not a little kid for him to ask me to book the ticket And now ask me to cancel my ticket because he is unsure. On Saturday as he was about to hop on the plane we talk again and he sAid he have been very stress with his work this past few days and he wasn’t sure if he will be on this flight. He sAid he knew I want a relationship and he doesn’t. He said he just want to focus on work and settle in first, so right now he doesn’t want to get to know me. He said maybe in a few months he will come to see me instead. I’ve told him he should have told me this before I spend My time waiting And money on a ticket for a guy who wasn’t sure if he want to get to know me, eventhhough in the last 2 months he told me he can’t wait to continue what we started and see where the future will bring us. I’ve told him if he is not sure and doesn’t want to get to know me and a relationship with me in the future then there is no point in me investing more time with him. I told him I don’t want to be his friend or want to have anything to do with him. When he arrive here he send me a text with his new number and address. I think if a guy told me he doesn’t want to get to know me and want to play around then he should not text me his new details. I’ve told him I need to let him go cause he disrespect me and lead me on and ask me to wait and have hopes And he pull the plug on me just because he wasn’t sure. I’ve told him I thought he was decent but it turn out I was wrong. I wish him all the best and told him I will cut all contact with him. H said ok if that’s what I need to do. Please tell me if I did the right thing? Is this guy really that lost?

          • TJ says:

            Hi not sure, I think you most likely did the right thing because a guy that is sincere about getting to know you would do everything he could to see you. I think also when a guy is wishy washy with you it is a major red flag. I think that you have to remember your time is valuable, and you are valuable. I have learned the lesson the hard way that if a man is ambivalent at the beginning he will continue to escalate in his ambivalence until you can take it anymore and your relationship finally ends. I think you did the right thing because you respected yourself enough to let this guy know you felt disrespected. Move on, because there are good guys out there, they are just a little harder to find.

          • Mymble says:

            Not sure;
            Yes and yes.
            He’s lost, and it’s better he stays lost. Flush flush flush. There are a lot of good posts about long distance, email relationships and why EU men tend to disappear once they have to step up and be really there, in real life, real time, face to face.

          • Lara says:

            Not sure:

            “He said maybe in a few months he will …”

            This said it all. So in the meantime you are supposed to do what — put your life on hold, not meet / go out with other guys? He wants to pick you up then drop you any time he wishes, and you will be available to be picked up then discarded at (his) whims/discretion. Don’t be “not sure.” BE SURE that he’s just playing with you and wasting your time. Been there, had that done to me, wasted an entire year where I was so depressed with the entire thing, with all the mind-effery, all the fights, all the arguments, silent treatment, him dropping me every 3 months or so, then picking up from where he left off (reset button, even denying he broke up with me making me think I had imagined it all), and me being so depressed I couldn’t get any work done, lost a lot of my friends because I wouldn’t listen to their advice or kept talking about him / the abuse he meted out constantly, etc. Now ,I have that toxic jerk out of my life (thanks to his third break-up and me deciding it was going to be the final one I would put up with) and believe me, I feel so relieved… and normal again.. He was literally on the verge of driving me insane, I was even starting to question my own sanity. Do yourself a favor and flush this jerk. He doesn’t know what he wants, or knows what he wants (to play around with you while he keeps his options open and plays around with others), but wants you to stick around long enough for him to figure it out or for him to continue playing with you and other people simultaneously.

            • not sure says:

              Thanks Lara,
              I think the same as you when he said he doesn’t want to be with me now but “MAYBE” in November he will come to see me. I am now up to day 6 of NC and have been focusing on work and on myself. Is sad to see that there are so many people out there who are so self-absorb and selfish.

  45. Not sure says:

    Thanks TJ and Mymble. I understand and need to let go of him completely. I m now in my day 3 of NC, is hard but I know I get there. Deep down I thought he was someone I could maybe try to make it work cause he seem so genuine up until 3 days before he fly out. I was so looking forward to seeing him again cause I miss him so much. Now I m just disappointed. He doesn’t want to get to know me anymore but still want to be in contact with me and be my long distance friend

  46. Jennergize says:

    I am a BR reader for five years…. have learned so much, and am so thankful.
    What just has happened to me is really a shock, especially after having learned what I have here over the years… I felt I was very aware in my relationship, and very healthy, but, Three weeks ago, the man I love, who I have been living with, raising our kids together, etc. packed up in the middle of the night and left.
    Done. Gone. NO warning that he was unhappy with me.
    This was a relationship that was filled with reciprocal romance, teamwork, consistency, very little fighting- and what issues we had we were generally very healthy about addressing openly. I have cards and notes from just a week before he left expressing how happy he was to have his true life partner in me. Our families have been deeply involved in our relationship- parents, friends, extended relatives- all involved…. we had his daughter on the weekends… all signs pointed to HEALTHY forever union. We’re educated, we both carried the finances, we had a path for growth, we were intimate sharers, and I thought both of us were vulnerable to the other.

    Now that’s all gone. Flip of the switch. He won’t see me or call me, but He sends me long dramatic texts about how I am the woman he loves, and that he will regret this for the rest of his life, but then I find out he’s already shacked up with some girl. (PAIN) He professes to be drinking himself to death and smoking a pack a day. (never had a drinking issue before, and NEVER saw him smoke, EVER.) He says he left because he is not the man he needs to be, he can’t live this lifestyle, (what lifestyle!!?? Family, jobs, a happy home, friends, vacations, respect and kindness?) He says he knows that I am simply too good for him.
    Now he’s moving to another city… not even with the new girl…he’s just running away. Hasn’t seen his OWN daughter since he left us. WTF?
    But reading this post… perhaps due to some deep, hidden lack of self love, he was fearing rejection, (which was never going to come from me) and worked himself all up and then cut it off at the pass… ended it before he could be ‘found out’ and ‘rejected’?
    I’m stumped on this one.
    These few weeks, I’ve followed all the BR breakup rules….I’ve been kind, but I have not pleaded, chased or otherwise tried to ‘save’ this… any man who can abandon children in the middle of the night with no goodbye, and immediately shack up with some equally unhealthy ‘someone else’ and self sabotage like this is not welcome back here…. no revolving doors in this home….
    The thing is…. I miss the man I lived with and loved for two years so painfully much…I miss the man he was just three weeks ago, before that night, and I simply cannot wrap my head around this one… it’s a shocker. I’m in financial ruin, and I’m so, so sad. This post was such a help tonight. I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of BR reading as I heal… If this doesn’t kill me, I am going to be one strong woman! ;)

    • micheyl says:

      Wow Jenner, that would be quite shocking! In spite of your pain, you sound very strong! I am not sure really what to say except that I feel for you and am glad you are putting your knowledge into practice. It does seem like a lack of self love on his part – feeling he does not deserve a loving relationship? But your self-love is apparent (yay!) Stay strong! You are supported by me and BR. ((((hugs))))

    • grace says:

      I saw a film recently, Up in the Air, where a groom gets cold feet. It goes like this, “We’ll get married, we’ll have some kids, they’ll grow up, we’ll have grandkids, then we’ll die! What’s the point?!” It’s not that getting married makes us die sooner, but somehow it makes us think about death. I also read the same in “Getting to Commitment” by Steven Carter.
      I actually think the commitmentphobes have one thing right. Commitment IS a big deal. It is NOT a natural consequence of just hanging out with someone or being in love. It limits your (perceived) options. It makes you number your days. You have to think about the future and ergo, death. So people will throw in a perfectly good relationship because they can’t handle that. In fact, a good relationship is more dangerous to them than shacking up with a random person and drinking and smoking.
      It’s nothing you did wrong. There was nothing wrong with the relationship. You did really love each other. But when it came down to the crunch, something in him could not take the leap of faith and that is not on you. I don’t even think it’s on him. It’s unconscious and it can take a few knocks to drag it out of the depths and face it down.
      It is a big loss, no doubt about it. Treat it as a bereavement. There’s no need to convince yourself that it wasn’t valuable or that you should have known better or that there were red flags. Sometimes it’s just bad luck.

      • Rosie says:

        Grace-Good post as always but I do think it’s on him, at least the way he did it. We have the ability to make moral choices. He’s a commitmentphobe, ok, but to do it the way he did it, to abandon his children…sorry, don’t buy the whole, “he’s not responsible for his actions because it was unconscious” argument. I was a big, BIG commitmentphobe to the point of feeling physically dizzy and nauseous when my pseudo-fiance (many, many years ago) took me ring shopping. Yet, I still had the morals and ethics to tell him that I didn’t want to be in relationship anymore. I certainly didn’t just pack up and leave in the middle of the night. I certainly didn’t neglect the children in my life (not mine) as I knew they were innocent parties.

        • grace says:

          Yes, that was crappy. What I meant was that during the relationship he didn’t know he would do that. Of course, if he did know, that makes him an outright AC.
          Jenner felt her relationship was a good one and I’m saying it very well could have been despite how it ended. It’s okay to miss that.

          • Kimmie says:

            Grace, it doesn’t matter if he knew or if he didn’t know, it still doesn’t change what he did, and the consequences of his actions, and how he hurt her, and
            ultimately who he is. People really do unfold. A lack of self-congruence is a lack of self-congruence, intentional or other wise, and no amount of DENIAL, dressed in intellectual prowess is going to change that Grace. “Water rises to the same level,” indeed.

            Most people don’t enjoy the pain and emotional upheaval of getting over the one they loved, but we do what we have to do, so we face the pain; we walk through it; we lean into it; we crawl on our bellies with puffy eyes, and sometimes vomit, heavy disappointment, humiliation, and angst, but we free ourselves from the suffering, and one day we announce to all that we’ve made it to the ‘other side.’ You take the ACTION you know you need to take, despite the feelings, and you take care of yourself-you get up in the morning and brush your teeth, and find a reason to put a smile on your own face. You do the WORK, just like everybody else–NO EXCEPTIONS to the RULE.

            May you find peace.

          • Mymble says:

            A person who abandons their children is an Assclown. It is beyond selfish and heartless.I can almost accept that a person may have an epiphany and decide out of the blue that a relationship isn’t for them. Although it sounds more to me like he is an accomplished liar. Though not really. But the children? Has he decided that they don’t work for him either?
            It’s so sad that someone could be so cowardly and selfish. There is no man on earth I would abandon my kids for.

    • Wiser says:

      Jenner, I’m so sorry! My heart hurts for you. What an awful way to be treated! Not knowing more of the situation I can’t tell if this guy is an AC and has always been pretty much an AC OR has had a breakdown and is in real emotional trouble. A man whose life is stable doesn’t just suddenly announce that he’s going to “drink himself to death.” Sounds like there is a lot of self-hate going on there. Is there some other crisis happening with him? Maybe he did something he can’t forgive himself for? Perhaps he was cheating on you while you were living together and now can’t handle the guilt?

      I’m sure you know that when someone says “you’re too good for me” – believe him. That’s the truth. Yes, I’m sure you miss him and miss the man he used to be and the life you were sharing. It must feel like your whole world has been wrenched apart. Many, many of us here know what that feels like so you are not alone! And it will not kill you. You already sound amazingly strong and you will get even stronger. Stay grounded in yourself and don’t let his chaos, whatever it is, drag you down into the quicksand with him. Keep sharing here when the pain gets too much.

    • Teddie says:

      Jennergize, this sounds very much like the sudden wife abandonment syndrome as identified on this site.
      The good news is, he is not coming back, much as it hurts, the relationship is over, heed this as it is and rearrange your life. Big hugs to the kids too!

    • not sure says:

      OMG Jennergize,
      Your story is so sad, but horrible to think how can one human being do that to another human being. Left alone a man who you have been in love with and share your life with for years would walk off like that. I hope you have lots of support and be strong for yourself. I feel sad for you.

  47. courtney says:

    Just ended a semi-happy but hot-cold six month relationship, was told the person couldn’t make me happy anymore and that he was moving back to his home state (not sure if I believe him or not).

    In any case, he left right around the time I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Now I am on a journey to heal my heart and my body and rid my life of toxins, both metaphorical and very real.

    I thought it would be heartbreaking, painful and that I wouldn’t be able to survive. But here I am. I am healing. The last thing I told him was, “You’re right, I do deserve someone better – so thank you.” when he told me on the phone (and refused to meet with me in person, because it was too “hard” apparently to face me and not risk the opportunity of me convincing him otherwise).

    I haven’t broken contact yet, albeit a quick look at his FB page which I hope I won’t do again. All my experiences with EUMS and sharing my stories here on baggage reclaim bring me to my current state – I am somehow at peace with letting go of someone not right for me.

    Whether he was a true EUM or whether it just didn’t work out is up for debate. He had his many moments of being EUM, shutting me out emotionally and trouble managing anger – but then, so did I, having brought the trust issues and insecurities that I projected from my past experiences. We both tried, but in the end it simply did not work out.

    And perhaps it’s the new BR-trained girl in me, but a part of me is really content with the fact that I no longer want to settle for a relationship that’s not up to my par. It’s time to deal with my illness and save myself for something – and someone – better. As Natalie constantly tells us, we are always mimicking our past patterns based on our beliefs. I think for a long time I didn’t believe I deserved better. “Good enough” I thought, was better than my bad experiences.

    But good enough isn’t good enough. The best is yet to come.

    • Rosie says:


      “I no longer want to settle for a relationship that’s not up to my par. It’s time to deal with my illness and save myself for something – and someone – better.”


      This guy sounds terribly immature. You find out that you have a chronic illness and, instead of staying by your side and supporting you, he bails? True, it’s only been 6 months but it sounds like he was already acting immaturely so I’m not sure he would have known how to support you anyway should he have stuck around.

      I’m so sorry for your getting a chronic illness! Oh my goodness, Courtney! You are one tough lady to go through everything you have gone through already and are going through now! Wow! I’m in awe of your strength!

  48. teachable says:

    Thanks Revvie. Hanging in here & riding the waves as best I can. Big hugs to you too & wishing all @ BR well xxx

  49. teachable says:


    You’re doing great under hellish circumstances. Yr head is thinking straight. Give yr heart time. He wasn’t who he pretended to be. It is most fortunate u learned this now before getting in any deeper. Treat yrself like yr own best friend. Sending u love & hugs. xx

  50. Tinkerbell says:


    I have to agree with Teach. He wasn’t really that person that he pretended to be. People can pretend for a limited amount of time. Sooner or later the facade begins to unravel. He was good at covering up the struggle that he was going through trying to maintain the being that he presented to you for 2 years. You did not detect his inner conflict because he was good and covering it up. This is heartbreaking and I know you are in pain. But, he is gone and hopefully he will not try to come back claiming he made a terrible mistake. The mistake was all the prolonged pretense. How does a person who supposedly never drank alcohol or smoked, suddenly begin the latter, and declare he is going to “drink himself to death?” That is very suspicious behavior or else it’s a lie? Whatever. I’m glad you are a strong woman and have gained much experience with relationships as a long time BR reader. I think you know the futility of trying to figure him out. You will survive this. Know that you have our support and wish you all the best in your new life without him.

  51. teachable says:

    Thanks Rosie. I am trying AGAIN to get a job. I am totally & utterly confused as to what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing but I figure if I just keep trying, SOMETHING will work out one way or another soon enough. Not enjoying being dead broke & still getting food weekly from a church charity AT ALL. No1 can ever accuse me of not being a bloody trier!!!

    • Rosie says:

      Teachable-Oh, you are definitely a bloody trier!!! Look at all you’ve accomplished in your life! Here you are, dead broke and still close to being a homeowner! Wow!!! And you have plans to buy more property and rent it/sell it…it doesn’t solve your immediate needs but your feistiness has been your strongest asset so far and it’s an internal quality. Thus, your best asset is with you where ever you go and will be the deciding factor, I suspect, in your getting hired as like attracts like, even in the job market. Illness limits your options but someone like you won’t stay down. You’re like fire, Teachable. Even a small, seemingly still flame is ever flickering, moving, shrinking, growing…You’ll find a job or find other resources because you keep yourself on the move even when your body seems immovable.

  52. teachable says:

    Bless you Rosie. I feel humbled that anyone would say such lovely things about me. Blushing. xxx

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!