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Posts Tagged ‘relationship after divorce’

Ever felt strong emotions or a strong attachment to someone you probably shouldn’t?  I’m there.

I’m inexplicably drawn to a man who stirs up emotions I have never felt before.  It sounds wonderful until I say that he is not emotionally available.  I think sometimes he wants to be, but then other times I think it’s a game of cat and mouse that he likes to plays.

It’s the worst game of back and forth with poor communication mixed in.  Riding this ride is a natural wreck for me.  It triggers
feelings of not being good enough and wondering what I did wrong – only I know I didn’t do anything wrong.

I’m not sure how to get this guy out of my head, out of my heart and out of my system.  There’s always this small nagging pull.  It’s even worse when he randomly reaches out.  I can logically tell myself that his random texts asking how I am doing have no substance, but they are enough to cloudy my mind.

So it’s even more important for me to remind myself of my basic must-haves and that a loving relationship should be just that … loving.

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I’ve been emotionally unavailable. I thought I was in a position where I could open up and love a potential life partner, but I wasn’t. I was able to develop deep feelings and perhaps love that person, but I wasn’t able to open up and let go of my defenses. I think I just might be ready now.

I can’t blame the guys I was dating for the relationships not working out – many shouldn’t have worked out! Some were amazing experiences I think I was supposed to have in life. Others were a testament to what I have learned since my divorce about myself … how early experiences shaped my thinking and behaviors; how family dynamics created learned dysfunction; how I created barriers that led to repeated experiences and how I have to take chances in order to live a fulfilling life.

I have the power in my life to create a healthy life with a healthy relationship. The first step is knowing I deserve it! The second step is allowing myself to take chances – emotional chances where I open up and don’t create an invisible safety net. I won’t lose myself in the people I date and I know I can survive if the relationship doesn’t work.

Now I need to make a decision; do I stay in the city I live in now or do I move elsewhere. I can’t open myself up to a relationship before I answer this question. I have a small network of incredible people I call friends and that will be difficult, not impossible, to recreate elsewhere.

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I’m finding myself in a sad place right now. As I have worked to learn new coping skills, I have also worked to purge negative relationships from my life. I haven’t let down my defenses, so I haven’t developed new healthier relationships. This leaves me in a state of loneliness.

I realize that my previous relationships were based upon being needed rather than wanted. This is the enabler role I learned as a child. Now that I don’t want to start a relationship off with a “need”, I am finding that I feel neither needed nor wanted. That’s a pretty lonely place to be in. Ironically, I rediscovered the tidbits below.

  • If there is one thing about which you are not in control, it’s who loves you, stays with you, gets ill, or leaves you.
  • When a heart is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, it holds nothing back. And sometimes it gets broken.
  • If our hearts are closed because we don’t want to suffer, they won’t be open enough to recognize the joy as it flies by.

My heart is broken, for a number of reasons, and I don’t quite know how to put it back together.

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I’m not sure why this thought hit me today, but I am glad it did. I realized that I would tell a friend to move on and end whatever relationship she was in if he/she were experiencing the same “dating woes” I am.

I’m a firm believer that if someone is interested in you they will make the time to see you. Lately, this belief has been over-shadowed by phone calls and text messages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see someone investing an effort to connect, but there should be a warning bell if that’s all there is. You have to spend time with a person to really get to know them and figure out if you are compatible.

If the person you are getting to know or seeing doesn’t value your time and doesn’t make opportunities to see you, he/she won’t in the future either. The getting-to-know-you phase and honeymoon phases are when people are on their best behaviors, so if your needs are met now they probably never will be.

It’s great to give people the benefit of doubt, but there is a cut-off point where you have to be real with yourself and realize hope is not going to turn into reality.

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This is a brief post where I rant about flakey behavior. I’m not a needy person and I’m not demanding either, but I do think you should treat people with respect and consideration. I get that things happen and “life” can get in the way sometimes. Sometimes plans have to be changed because you just can’t make them. It isn’t a big deal until there’s a strong recurring pattern of not showing up and making excuses.

I used to accept a string of excuses and explain away flakey behavior. (Notice the past tense there?) No more. We all deserve equal consideration. There is no one out there that is so great that their needs always trump everyone else’s.

So, to the self-absorbed, self-important, self-centered or those who are simply unaware, we’re not a match. I don’t want to waste my time waiting when I could be spending it laughing and making great memories with people I care about and who care about me.

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I’m trying to take stock of the dating lessons I have learned over the last year. I can honestly say I am not the same person I was 12 months ago. I have had a lot of positive personal growth and still have more to do. (Personal growth should never stop in my opinion.)

Consistency is a big lesson I have learned. For me consistency builds trust. When behavior and availability is consistent, I trust more and can open up more. Inconsistent behavior and availability makes me think a person is flakey and can’t be depended upon. I don’t go into jealous girlfriend mode and wonder about cheating or who the guy I am dating with is spending his time, but I do wonder about his interest and sincerity.

Not all consistency is good either. There were two guys who would always text late at night. With one it made sense because he worked evenings, but with the other it didn’t make much sense. Instead, I began to wonder about his actual motives and finally decided it was more physical than emotional. (I don’t think I am ready to get married tomorrow, but I know I am not interested in a purely sexual relationship.)

Making excuses is something I don’t always realize I am doing when I am doing it. My awareness is improving, but it remains a challenge. I tend to make excuses for the person I am dating. This ranges from instances when my feelings get hurt to when they are not responsive. My self-appreciation is increasing and I am starting to realize I deserve to be treated with consideration, respect and eventually love.

Passion isn’t an indicator of love or genuine interest. Again, there’s a difference between physical attraction and compatibility and an emotional connection. Just think of how many hook-ups are alcohol induced! These are mostly physical connections with no real depth to them.

I don’t think strong passion is something that is always present in a relationship. Attraction and passion ebbs with high and low periods. That’s where other elements kick-in that make you want to invest the effort to keep the relationship going. This is when it takes both people investing effort to keep the relationship going and alive.

A big lesson learned is that actions should match words. I’m included in this bucket too. If I review my past, there are definite times when I just went with the flow of a relationship because it was easier than breaking up or because I felt guilty. Wrong move! You can’t force emotions.

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I recently broke up with a wonderful man. Why, because the timing just wasn’t right and there were some differences that were too great to overlook. I refuse to be a person or part of a couple that breaks ups and gets back together over and over again. That’s drama I am not willing to jump into, but I do wonder if we might get back together in the future. It’s probably not a good idea to entertain these thoughts, but it’s what’s rolling around in my head and my heart.

So, when is it a good idea to get back together with an ex?

I’ve come to realize that after a break-up it seems like the bad memories and reasons for the break-up fade away. (Let me say that these bad memories do not include any violence or cheating. Deep physical and emotional pains take time to heal and I am not dismissing those pains, but they were not a part of this relationship.) I’m trying to remain realistic and remind myself of why we broke up without harping on the past. There weren’t any actions that require us to attempt to forgive the other. Our problems were a combination of communication issues and personal issues we both need to work on. It wasn’t a bad relationship; it just wasn’t the right relationship at the time.

Commitment is something I am scared of and he was pushing hard for a commitment I just couldn’t make. Our communication was also off a bit, but both of these can be improved over time and with effort. We both need to grow a bit as individuals before we should consider coming back together as a couple.

It’s interesting in that neither of us blame the other for the break-up. We both played a part in it and our conversations since have been emotional, but healthy and positive. We are actually sharing more information about our feelings and frustrations.

We’ve both admitted to missing the other and expressed a desire to work on building a friendship in the future. Essentially, emotions are too raw to attempt to be close friends, but we both value the other person. It’s possible we aren’t the right partner for one another, but I do see him as a valuable friend with positive influence.

I miss him and not just the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it feels wonderful to be held in the arms of a man you care about and to know he cares deeply for you, but I want more than a physical connection. I need to trust the person I am with and trust is difficult for me. I don’t worry about my partner cheating, but I don’t always have faith that they will be there when I need them emotionally. So, yes, I am lonely, but I don’t want to jump into a relationship so that I don’t feel lonely.

Before I can even consider getting back together, I need to know that I have changed; I need to know he has changed. It won’t work if everything is the same.

So, for now, the plan is to take it one day at a time. If, in a few months, we still have feelings for the other we can talk about getting back together. If that happens, we need to move slowly to make sure we are not repeating the past. It may be that we are meant to be friends. If that’s the case, I will be lucky to consider him a friend.

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I recently broke up with my boyfriend and all of a sudden several guys from the past have cropped up. It’s like this cosmic test to see how much I have grown or how lonely I am.

  • Guy #1: I met while on vacation. There was a definite attraction, but there were several red flags that cropped up. He’s very accomplished, but yet insecure; he’s intelligent and manipulative; he’s caring and attentive and then can turn and be purposely hurtful on an emotional level. He’s had some crazy personal experiences in the past few years which he says has changed his personality. I won’t don’t want to break his confidence and relay the details, but they are significant enough to where I have extra compassion for him.
  • Guy #2: I met online about a year ago and went out on an initial coffee date to meet and see if there was an interest to pursue anything further. There wasn’t. The guy was nice, but he had crazy ugly teeth and his thoughts about people and his job were far too different from mine. He worked for the government to collect back-taxes. He didn’t seem to have any compassion for the people he pursued for back-taxes. I’m sure he has run across some jerks in his career, but not everyone who owes back-taxes owe them intentionally or are jerks.
  • Guy #3: I also met online. He’s an attractive, good-hearted man with an amazing soul. There wasn’t a romantic connection when we met and we decided to be friends. Eventually our dinner invites faded and we stopped exchanging emails.
  • Guy #4: I met through work and went out on two dates about three years ago. It never progressed into anything – we didn’t even kiss. I was fresh out of my divorce and he was a bit flakey. I also learned of a nickname of his that led me to believe he was a man-whore. We didn’t end on bad terms … I started dating my lovely hippie, masseuse guy and he started dating another girl. Oddly, we worked less than about 50 feet from one another last year and rarely exchanged hellos. We simply had different lives.

With Guy #1 I have to be careful that I don’t fall back into a role I played with my family. It’s sometimes easier to put others in front of my needs. This is something I have to remind myself of and try to change when I realize I am doing it. I also have to remind myself that my boundaries are most likely more distorted or accepting of unhealthy behaviors than other people because that is what I grew up with.

He lives in Chicago, so I don’t really have to face the reality of dealing with him on a day-to-day basis or really consider a potential romantic relationship with him. (Although he has offered to fly out here or fly me to him.)

Guy #2 IM’d me a few weeks ago asking if I was interested in meeting for coffee. I was out doing something, but forgot to sign out of IM. By the time I got the IM it was several hours later so I never responded. There’s no reason for me to respond. I had told him after the first coffee date that I thought there were too many differences and not a romantic connection.

I don’t think Guy #3 reached out to me for romantic purposes, but it was out of the blue. We hadn’t communicated at all for at least 6 months or more. Then all of a sudden he sent me an email telling me about new things in his life and asking how I was doing. He since made a decision to quit his job and travel through Asia for a while. We have exchanged a few emails and IMs, but haven’t had any significant conversations.

Guy #4 always made me nervous. I’m not the giddy type, but for some reason around this man I get nervous and sometimes tongue-tied. He randomly reached out to me on IM and began flirting. I was confused about his intentions and how bold he was being, but agreed to meet for drinks to talk and ask questions. He said that he didn’t reach out to me randomly or out of the blue and that he has thought about it for a while. We talked about the events we experienced during the past three years. I told him I could offer friendship and see what might develop from there.

He has since invested a lot of energy to IM me and to call or text every day. He’s been very bold in his conversations, but there’s a large element of caution I have. I was honest and told him I am not interested in a casual sexual relationship or sex between friends. Although he said he wasn’t interested in just sex, sometimes his actions indicate otherwise. For example, yesterday we exchanged a few text messages and I told him to call me if he got bored. He texted after midnight to ask if I was asleep. He has also called late at night another evening and asked me to come over. (Keep in mind we have never kissed and since re-establishing contact we have only met in person one time.) This all adds up to a booty call in my head. Perhaps I am reading more into it, but I don’t think you invite a girl over late at night if you are interested in getting to know her outside of a carnal sense.

While I am not ready to jump into another relationship, it is comforting to have hope about a future relationship. I guess I just need to be patient and believe I will meet someone when the time is right.

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I broke up with my boyfriend the other week. I feel horrible for breaking up, but I know it was the right decision. He’s an amazing guy, but there are certain differences and behaviors we can’t bridge. I guess it’s more of me not being able to bridge or accept those differences.

I’ve talked about concerns with his drinking and those concerns came to a head one recent weekend. It made me realize that I don’t want to be someone’s caregiver in that way. I most definitely want to be someone’s lover and not a potential lover’s mother.

The break-up was as good as a break could be. There’s sadness on both sides, but I know his heart is broken more than mine is. I don’t think he understood how deep my concerns where when we talked about them before the break-up happened. Now he is running through the what-if scenarios. I HATE hurting people. Too often I compromise myself in order to avoid hurting someone.

What I find interesting is the selective memory that follows a break-up. I find myself remembering only the amazing qualities and fun memories. I guess it makes sense in a way because you aren’t seeing or dealing with the stuff that you don’t like.

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It Just May Be A Lunatic You’re Looking For

I started to see a therapist because of concern about how I was thinking about and approaching my relationship. How crazy is it that I think I am being crazy with a relationship in the early stages and go see a therapist to change my behavior and ways of thinking when I don’t even know what this relationship is.

The therapist is a great sounding board and brings a level of perspective that is very welcome at times and not so welcome at other times. In fact, if I were to assign scores to the sessions we have had, she has ruled against me more than she has ruled for me. She is the voice of reason telling me no to self-sabotage; not to cut-and-run; and to give this guy a break. (It’s not like I am a horror to this guy, but I can be a bit unforgiving with my thoughts at times.)

She’s the one who pointed out that most of my previous relationships, romantic and platonic, have been filled with chaos in many different ways, and this is the first normal, balanced and healthy relationships I have had. She’s warned me not to create chaos and not to high-tale it outta there.

Anyway, the other night I went out to karaoke with friends and someone sung Billy Joel’s song, You May Be Right, and the lyrics resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt:

You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for
It’s too late to fight
It’s too late to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just might be a lunatic you’re looking for
Turn out the light
Don’t try to save me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right

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