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Mad short passionate affair and getting over it

(163 Posts)
Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:16:00

Hi, first of all, I just want to get this off my chest, and so this may be longer than strictly necessary, and I recognise seeing the other threads on here, what a trivial problem I have. Secondly, I'm also a man, and not a parent, so this may not be the best forum for this, but I think I might get some good practical advice.

I met a woman last year and had a short relationship. It wasn't on holiday, but it was overseas with work. It was just incredibly intense, and within a short period of time, we both seemed to be head over heels in love. I was the most amazing man she'd ever met, and she said she had to pinch herself to check I was real. After we left, we said we'd give it a go and I would visit her, this time in her home country (we met in a neutral country, so to speak, where she works).

In the mean time, we skyped, and talked every day. Then she told me she had an ex. He was "depressed all the time", "there was no way it would ever work", her friends didn't like him, but I said I understood she needed to be gentle. I'd arranged to visit her, and on the way to the airport, she messaged me to tell me she still had feelings for her ex, but she still wanted me to come. I still visited her, but it was an awkward time. I was staying with her parents, I didn't speak the language. I left, and she wrote to tell me a few weeks later, she was getting back with her ex. I found out he'd flown to visit her a few weeks after I did. So, not unreasonably, I felt somewhere, she was lying to me.

I spent months thinking about her, but sure it wouldn't work out with her ex, and she messaged me a few times to tell me she wasn't happy, but then other times, she'd message me to tell me things were great.

All this was driving me a bit mad, so we went no contact. We got in touch a few times about work. I then met someone new, and although I'm taking it slowly, I have so much fun with her, she makes me feel good, I'm comfortable with her, she makes me laugh - there's no drama, which is a good thing, but perhaps the drama was part of the attraction with the ex.

My ex has now got in touch to tell me she has split with her ex. I say "sorry to hear that" (of course I'm not), and I'm seeing someone new. She then messages to tell me she has a fantastic new job (paying Xk more than before - why do I need to know this?).

I'm angry in a way that we didn't get a chance to see how things would work between us, and she's affected my self-esteem - I have to give her credit - she's smart, talented and ambitious, and as a result, is in a really good place in her career, more so than I am I'd say, although I'm also very fortunate to do what I do.

I do recognise she's no good for me (or those around her). Before her ex, she was married to her university professor for a short while. Being cynical, I could suggest it helped her immigration status at the time, and when she finished her studies and got a job, she left him (this could be unfair of me). Now she has a new job, she's left this other bloke. I suspect he is going to be distraught, and I feel sorry for him. I also don't know if he knows about me, and thought they were still together when I was with this woman.

So, this is been quite long, so thanks if you got to the end of this. In short, I don't want her back, I recognise she's no good for me, and I'm much happier with my new girlfriend, I need to get over my ex. Any advice would be gratefully received! Thanks

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 17:22:06

LessMiss - I think if you're not a super-active type, being with a super-active type can be pretty tiring to keep up with! I didn't read this as a gender thing 'why wasn't she doing more baking like that Nigella?' but more a personality difference. The OP was noting that he felt a bit overawed by her drive and ambition, not that it was a bad thing.

I'd like to point out there's nothing wrong with knitting either, mind you! wink

BicBiro Mon 01-Apr-13 17:35:56

I agree that if you are spending this much time and energy thinking and analysing your old relationship them you should not be starting a new one. it's not fair.

if you told the new girl how hurt you are feeling over the ex she may well decide not to take a chance with a man on the rebound.

TheOwlService Mon 01-Apr-13 17:40:27

"Treat him mean, keep him keen" - maybe its a case of that OP?

Whatever anyone says to you if it was a very intense relationship it wont be that easy to banish from your mind. Plus, you sound like you are trying to convince yourself regarding your new girlfriend.

Might be better to just spend some time on your own for a while, put things into perspective? Like others have said time and no contact should sort it out eventually.

LessMissAbs Mon 01-Apr-13 17:42:32

tribot my mother-in-law, who is 63, skis and "climbs mountains" and has recently finished walking the Great Wall of China! Yet I don't think she'd describe herself as super-active, just alive and reasonably active. OP, do you know how many people are out skiing and hillwalking at weekends? I agree, this woman is wasted on this man. He sounds very metrosexual if he thinks skiing and hillwalking are the mark of a superwoman, and 2 boyfriends and an ex husband are the mark of a wanton woman. Probably best left to going round garden centres and walking the dog at weekends!

(I actually thought when I first read that comment that this thread was an April Fool).

Agree with BicBiro that the OP has done exactly what he has criticised his ex for doing.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:54:58

LessMiss, I can see how what I was saying could be interpreted in that way, but I agree with the thrust of what you're saying. I was attracted to her by her energy, her drive and her achievements, so I wasn't suggesting she should be knitting, and I wasn't criticising her for her achievements. I admire her for what she's achieved. I wasn't suggesting it was a problem. When I was with her, and things were good, I loved being with that energy. However, when I was rejected, or when I was put on an insecure footing, the dynamic changed, and I felt tested. For example, we went mountain climbing (her first husband has climbed Everest), so I did find it a little daunting, knowing there was an ex waiting in the wings. I had expected to go there on a fairly secure footing, as her boyfriend, but the revelation changed that.

When I went to visit her, I was invited to stay at her parents - but thinking we would have space and time together, while at the same time, meeting her family. They seemed to think she still had a boyfriend, which made it awkward. It was a mistake to stay there, but in return, we had planned she would visit me, and stay in my flat, to see both of our real lives.

I certainly have a romantic history, and I clearly still have feelings for an ex, and I suppose many do, but I had been told that was definitely something from the past, and not something that would be returned to.

Plus, I did wait months for her to change her mind, and the first time she told me she was unhappy with her ex, I wrote to tell her that I still had feelings for her, and that we could start again as friends if she wanted that.

As soon as I meet someone new (we're in month in), she then tells me she's broken up with her ex.

I do worry about the effect this is having on my new relationship, but I tend to have good and bad days about my ex. When she told me about her new job, it wasn't that she has a new job - it's the vulgar description of the salary that I suppose upset me. I agree entirely I'm thinking about her too much.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:56:25

LessMiss, I do think you're misinterpreting my point about her being "superwoman".

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:03:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I'd withdraw that post Rufus, it's too specific.

I do understand how you feel and I felt like I'd read a different OP to Abs, but the good thing about mn is that it gives you a wide range of opinions.

You just need to move on, she wasn't right for you, you weren't compatible really and it's not reality.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:10:55

Ok, I've asked for it to be withdrawn

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 18:12:39

she kept you asa back up, in case her current relationship didn't work

depending where she is from - there are cultural reasons for some of her behaviour - if you share her nationality with us it may be easier to comment further

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:13:47

I think MissAbs and I are actually making a similar point though - if you're with someone like that, it can be great. However, if they reject you, it can affect your self-esteem (and it has)

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:15:27

HappyAvocado, I'd be very wary of saying her nationality in case it made it obvious I was talking about - If I were to say SE Europe, that might help, but I don't want to be more specific.

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 18:19:19

I don't think you should say her nationality, this is way too specific anyway and you should get that last post deleted.

Rufus, she's obviously a charismatic clever and wonderful lady, but I would bet my bottom dollar that there has been a string of admirers over the years, young successful female academics are much admired by older male academics for a start. That's not to diminish what you had, but I suspect she had a way of making you feel very special which is not the first time she has been that charming (the lines she used sound slightly cliched to me). Think of it as an amazing experience, but there are many things in what you have said that mean as a long-term bet she may not have been a good one.

Sometimes it is exciting to be in the orbit of someone really amazing, so treasure it for what it was, but really do try not to let it spoil the real relationships you could have- obviously you never got to the deep genuine stage of true love (sorry, you didn't, you were both a bit infatuated and it wore off for her) and pining after her is going to keep you stuck. There's no guarantee whatsoever that you could have made a great life together, indeed, I know what it takes to do well academically and for her to achieve all that she would have made a lot of sacrifices along the way, including relating to family life and time in relationships.

I think you are hankering after an ideal and not a real person, you never really knew her deep down and it is definitely time to move on. Do not become her safe back0up for when it fails with the ex.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:19:40

I want to get to the stage where I'm happy for her, but I suspect she's playing games. When I met her, and she told me these things about her, I was pleased for her.

However, when she wrote to tell me she was splitting up, I said I'm sorry and I'm with someone else, she wrote quite tersely "glad you're happy". Then the next email was I've been offered a new job with $Xk, with $Xk start up funds - which to my ears sounds boasting.

BicBiro Mon 01-Apr-13 18:24:28

she's just trying to make herself feel better because she's put out that you've moved on. you really do need to cut ties. there's little point trying to work her motives out. you need instead to work out why this short relationship has impacted on you so greatly, and that means time out of ALL relationships while you reflect.

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 18:25:56

I am not sure why you say - you want to be happy for her?
if she hurt you - it is painful and it sometimes takes ages to get over emotional pain
obviously she is playing games - you haven't seen her for ages and she is still trying to mess your head...
isn't it connected with the fact that you have met someone?

however, the more you try not to think about her - the more you will (that how our brains work smile ) - if it bothers you - look for a CBT session with a professional

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:26:50

True, I'm sure she'll do very well for herself. I think she has made big sacrifices, and will continue to make them for her career. Right now, she is thousands of miles from her family, and her new job will mean that she has relocate 3000 miles across the US, and start again, in a city where she doesn't have any friends - but she will make a big go of it, she will meet someone new, and hopefully make a happy life with them.

The thing is I could sense she was unhappy, and I felt for some reason, for a short time I did make her truly happy.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:30:48

To be honest, I do think she was a little put out. When I met her, we were at a young academic conference, and they awarded some small funding at the end - and I won it and not her. And it upset her, as she was used to always coming first. I'm moderately talented myself! There was one incident when she got jealous, where I was chatting to another woman. She definitely likes to be centre of attention.

In a way, it's quite cathartic to get this off my chest, as it's hard to tell anyone in RL, as they think it's all in the past.

BicBiro Mon 01-Apr-13 18:33:20

oh god you're one of those 'fix it' men who can sense sadness a mile away and think they are the remedy grinI bet you thought you were soulmates didn't you?

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:34:55

Maybe, but when I met her she told me she was unhappy, and she also told me I'd made her happier than she had been in a long time

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 18:39:32

you made her happy there and then, she moved on after she used you

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 18:41:02

I accept that - after she went back to her ex, a few times she wrote me messages like "I have to pretend to be happy, and you remind me I'm not", but she kept with her ex, until now

happyAvocado Mon 01-Apr-13 18:44:19

so now she wants you to fix her?
had using someone else for ones own needs ever worked?

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 18:44:46

Rufus, I am going to be pretty frank. This would never have worked long-term in a million years, for a start you are very competitive with her and you cannot have this type of jockying for position all the time, she needs someone (as perhaps you do) who is supportive, not competitive, and happy for her to make professor by forty. Lots of men are attracted to successful women like this, but in my experience very very few can provide that type of support without some resentment and bitterness creeping in if their own academic careers are not taking off in exactly the same way (which is why the older academic/younger female is a much more common pairing). I know (sadly) plenty of male academics who are open about this and look for a partner who isn't going to determine where they live/the next move/drive everything forward as they simply want to be the prime mover in their families' lives. She is clearly a very proactive person, and you, perhaps rightly realised you might end up trailing her and not the other way around.

This may not be you, but you certainly do display a competitive (and a bit of a game-playing) side- you didn't have to let her know immediately that you were in a relationship when she texted/contacted you, a simple- sorry you are unhappy, we've all moved on would have done (her next text was a response to your announcement, a few weeks in, of a new relationship which was probably too soon for you and is now what has created the uncertainty).

You were young, it was fun, you were both clever attractive, sparks flew but nothing you have said remotely convinces me you were suited long-term.

Rulesgirl Mon 01-Apr-13 18:45:07

Some very good advice here Rufus especially from Mumsyblouse. She seems to have been just a fling and real life didn't match up to the dream. Real life was staying with her parents...you got to see what she was like and you didn't like. Also it would seem that she lied to you maybe was even cheating on both you and her ex. Not really a very nice thing to do to anyone. Do you really want a woman like that? How could you ever trust her?
I think if you were to tell your passionate fling that you had finished with your new lady and that you are free, I think she would play you around some more and you might find out that she is actually still with her ex or gets back with him again. Maybe she only wants you cause she cant have you and loves the excitement. Maybe you only still hanker after her because you couldn't have her.
I think you owe it to yourself to see where this new relationship goes. You really seem to like her and its only a month in so this could really grow into something real and amazing couldn't it? This lady could potentially be "The One" who you settle and have babies with. The start of this relationship is more mature and realistic and you are getting to know each other on a proper footing.

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