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This is not going well :(

(62 Posts)
artsylady Mon 02-Dec-13 04:32:00

Hello again,

I guess some of you may remember my previous thread. I'm the arty asian American girl in NY that was breaking up with my bf. For those of you who don't, it was basically an idiotic thing where we hadn't been together a very long time. A woman he had feelings for in the past got divorced and re-entered his life. He started pursuing her. I found out, he wouldn't admit it, I went a bit psycho and read his emails/texts etc....thanks to some good advice here, I dumped him. That's the story.

So, I've been trying my best to be good. I've tried to not obsess about them or inquire whether they're together in a relationship yet. I've been living sensibly, no crazy nights out drinking, no embarrassing one night stands. I've been working, exercising, taking care of myself for a few weeks now!

Well this past weekend it all went wrong. So first off, I had a date. It was just a nice dinner with a guy my friend set me up with. No sex, nothing remotely physical happened. He's a nice guy, closer to my age than my ex (I'm 29, ex is 40), same field of work as me, better looking than ex, sweet guy....but I just got so depressed!!! It was so dull...I kept thinking back to my first date with my ex. I remember how excited and intimidated I was by him. How I fell in love with his charm and geekiness. How I just wanted to jump all over him haha. There is no way that I could come close to feeling that way about this guy I went on a date with...or anybody else I know really...

So after the date I was a bit down...well, things only got worse. For those of you that don't know, it was Thanksgiving this past weekend. So I went over to my parent's place to celebrate with them and my sister (plus her husband and kids). My mom started interrogating me about why we broke up. She only liked my ex because he's rich and educated. If it wasn't for his money and success, she would have probably been happy I broke up with him because he's a lot older than me. But no, he's rich, so he must be wonderful. So pretty quickly it went from that topic, to criticizing my taste in men, my career, lifestyle, even the way I dress. I didn't want to make a huge scene, so I just put up with it. Still, though, it's no fun being belittled like that in front of my whole family.

So now I'm back home and basically in tears sad
I honestly wish my ex could be here so I could just hug him and tell him what an awful weekend i've had. He's always been so good at being comforting because he can be so gentle and rational at the same time.

It makes it even worse to think that he's probably with her. Someone he clearly cares about so much more than he ever cared about me!

aaaaaaahhhh!!!1

madwomanintheatt1c Mon 02-Dec-13 04:48:34

So you had one date and didn't fancy the dude. No biggie, really.

Try a few more until you find one you like.

Fancying the pants off a guy who wants to be with someone else is some serious form of self-flagellation. You'd be nuts to contemplate going back - you just miss having someone there for you, though, however mealy their offerings.

Holidays are supposed to bring out the worst in families. I'm betting if you had burst into tears and said 'he doesn't love me' and wailed about how unhappy you are, and how you really wanted to be with him, but he's with someone else, they'd have been more sympathetic.

I'm not going to get embroiled though. Your threads can get lengthy and I have no real appetite for extended drama over such a relatively small thing.

uptheanty Mon 02-Dec-13 05:32:08

Did your ex fight for you?

Did he txt , call or accidentally run into you?

If not- well it says it all really.

You need to grow up & move on.

PedantMarina Mon 02-Dec-13 06:10:37

ArtsyGirl - in 99 out of 100 cases, Thanksgiving with the family sucks. If you were in a better place in general, you'd realise that there was no way you were going to come out of this weekend intact. Esp since you must have known what your mother was going to be like about this! It's easier said than done, I know!, to say "just let it roll off you", but go get a really long run in, get back to your fun job and put some instance between you and the harsh comments.

I followed your last fred with despair at first, but started to admire you towards the end. I was one of the ones who had counselled that you really should spend some time alone before trying to get into a new relationship. In theory, nothing wrong with a few dates, of course, but from what you're now posting you're already placing too much weight on this one date that just didn't fizz for you. Well, how could it have? You're still not clear in the head. And even if you thought better of the date, you'd have an even bigger problem, i.e. worrying if this guy was being painted with rebound-tinted rosiness.

Your main problem is two-fold and twisted to each other: you don't value yourself as a person without a man (I'm glaring rather pointedly in your mother's direction here) and you don't have a clear enough head to find and be with a good man.

And this can only get worse in the short term (Christmas! New Year's! Oh, the pressure to get a date!!!!), so just decide, right now, to step away from it all for a few weeks/months, and come back to the dating scene when you - YOU, not your mum or your friends or the holiday season or the threat of turning 30 - are ready.

Best of luck.

ALittleStranger Mon 02-Dec-13 09:59:25

Artsy the holidays are supposed to make you feel bad about yourself. Don't let this entirely predictable blip set you of course.

Did you explain to your mother why you had broken up with your ex? Anyone with a functional view of women or relationships would have to see that you did the right thing. If you explained the actual circumstances to your mother and she still reacted badly than the problem is with her, not you.

Also you had a meh date? I'm sorry but that's just how it goes. And until you meet someone you're interested in in their own right then of course you'll compare them to your ex. There's no harm in taking from your relationship an idea of what you do want (e.g. older, alpha male type), as long as you're also clear about what isn't good for you (err, all the rest).

I still think some counselling would be really beneficial if you could afford it.

Fairylea Mon 02-Dec-13 10:07:32

I think you need more time alone. When my dh left me (out of the blue for an old ex he found on facebook) the first few men I went on dates with were some sort of weird experiment (in hindsight) of trying to find someone who was better/more interesting/ less annoying/same or different looking to my ex- it was all about my ex rather than enjoying the date for what it was and giving the person a chance in their own right.

You need to get to the point where you actually don't have a fuck to give about your ex anymore and then you'll be in the right place to.meet someone new.

I did ! - I am now remarried and have another child.

Also, you have a toxic mother. Like mine really. You need space from her to rebuild your self confidence. She is chipping away at it and making you.look backwards to your ex rather than forwards.

The relationship with your ex wasn't right or you would be together now. So try to hang on to that and immerse yourself in activities and friends, find yourself again as a person ... not just the ex of the ex.

Well you got all excited about your X and look how that turned out - he sounds like a right twat. Things might just need time to grow with this new guy - some of my best friends have been people that I didn't immediately feel a connection with or even like! Or it might just be too soon.

A little distance from your toxic mother would not be a bad thing and work on yourself instead of giving her faulty opinions any head space.

artsylady Mon 02-Dec-13 18:01:56

I did explain to my mother why we broke up! I told her that he was pursuing this other woman and I didn't want to be strung along like a complete idiot. She really likes him but she didn't really have an argument to my reasoning, so she started going on and on about how I pick the wrong men. How my other ex was a complete loser and how now I found a suitable man but obviously didn't assert myself properly confused

She's honestly not as terrible as she sounds. Most of the time we get along fine, but she's so critical. It's not just of me but my sister too. The thing is that my sister always succumbed to the pressure and did as she was told, while I was the more rebellious one so I get a lot more crap.

Honestly, though, I don't know why on earth she likes him so much anyway. I swear if he wasn't a professor with a lot of money, she'd hate him and say that he was too old, not good looking enough, too assertive, whatever. It drives me mad, as if money is the only thing that matters in a relationship. I've got my own career, I've been completely fine supporting myself. I'm not going to let someone treat me like crap because he has $$$!!

The date really wasn't that bad. I think it's just my mother's stupid comments that made me feel like it went badly because I was inadequate, rather than there being no chemistry.

artsylady Mon 02-Dec-13 18:17:29

Alittlestranger Would you say that my ex is an alpha type man? I never really understood this concept, that's why I'm asking

artsylady Mon 02-Dec-13 18:26:54

PedantMarina Thanks, that's really sweet of you to say!
And you're right, I've realized it too. I do find it difficult to value myself without a man. This is something I realized in the past few weeks so it's difficult to change. The only thing I can do now is try to be single for a while, but truly single....no messing around or one night stands either...so that I can enjoy my life without a man. I guess I've spent my whole life like this, trying to impress and please men, that it's difficult to imagine not doing that!!

longtallsally2 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:27:11

No idea about the alpha male, but remember the old fridge magnet that you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince . . .

In the meantime, book a holiday, volunteer, apply for a new job, set yourself a challenge, try to do something nice for someone every day . . . Life is rich and full and varied. Don't hang around for a man to make you happy. You will find one. In the meantime, there is a life to be led. Read books, buy the box set of your favourite TV programmes, sign up for evening classes, visit every state in the US - or just one that you haven't been to yet . . .

Best of luck

longtallsally2 Mon 02-Dec-13 18:29:20

Sorry didn't mean to sound brusque. Certainly not criticising. I was brought up to expect to be someone's wife/partner too, despite having a good education/career. It took me a long time to really believe I could be happy without a man - and of course, that was when I started to meet nice ones . . .

Best of luck

artsylady Mon 02-Dec-13 18:32:20

Longtallsally2 thanks for the nice advice! You're right too, I bet that once I change my thinking I will start meeting nicer men. I feel like I'm so used to being with losers that when a decent man like my ex came along (even though he ended up hurting me, he has a lot of positive qualities) I wanted to do everything possible to please him. I wonder if he picked up on that and took advantage

longtallsally2 Tue 03-Dec-13 09:28:48

Yup, consciously or subconsciously certain types of men will be drawn to the vibes you give out.

It won't be roses all the way - we all have tough months/years and good ones. And when you do have a tough day/month, your thoughts will go back to your ex and you will want him for the safety he made you feel. I had/have an ex like that too - we had 10 years together before I was able to let go, and it was the hardest thing I have ever done.

But you can't sit around waiting for life to happen to you. There is so much that you can do with life - train yourself to push him to the back of your mind, when you feel sad, eat a bar of chocolate, grab life with both hands, and get on with living it. smile

MadBusLady Tue 03-Dec-13 11:42:11

Don't try and make excuses for your mother. She IS toxic and she has done you a lot of damage through her hyper-criticism and her messaging about men. These things can still be true even if she is sometimes loving and even if the two of you get on well sometimes. Toxicity doesn't come with horns and a tail. If she upsets you this much now as a rational adult when you can see quite well how unreasonable she is being, imagine/think back to how much more influence she must have had over your views and your self-image when you were growing up. Get angry about that.

You know, I have wondered a lot about how someone as clever, beautiful and fabulous as you has so little self esteem when it comes to relationships.
Then I read this thread.
Your mother has a lot to answer for.
Counselling really is necessary to deprogramme you for the toxic mindset she has dumped all over you.
You poor love, you never had a chance hmm

artsylady Tue 03-Dec-13 18:03:31

KatieScarlett awww thank you! smile

And thanks madbuslady and longtallsally2 for the advice!

You're right, my mom really did influence how I see myself and I can't believe I'm just starting to realize this. She knows how critical she is, but she's always told us that she does that for our own good, to make us better people, more successful, stronger, whatever....and that we should be grateful. So I suppose, even though it hurt me and pissed me off all these years, I never really questioned her! Maybe counseling is a good option after all! I have health insurance so money isn't a problem.

When I miss my ex, I just try to remember all the things I did for him and how time consuming it was, how I'm free now. For example, he is a terrible cook, so instead of cooking for himself he would always go out to eat (no wonder he's gaining weight!). I'm really health conscious so I just thought that was terrible and started cooking for him as much as I could. Sometimes it would be for both of us when I was at his place, but I'd often just make stuff and bring it for him. Don't have to waste time doing that anymore!!! and that's just one example!! What an idiot I was, he never even asked me for anything, I just wanted to do everything for him.

Walkacrossthesand Tue 03-Dec-13 18:15:28

Blimey, meals on wheels - what a service! I only make & take meals for ill or bereaved people - fully functioning adults can fend for themselves! grin

I have only once made DH anything (in 20 years). It was a bacon sandwich. In 1993 smile

Walkacrossthesand Tue 03-Dec-13 18:36:53

I don't mind cooking for people in my house. Quite like it, actually. But taking a meal round for someone else to eat? Only in the circumstances I referred to above. I take it he accepted your offerings? Without sheepishness ?

artsylady Tue 03-Dec-13 18:42:42

hahaha of course he did!!! And I'm telling you, that's just one example of the pathetic things I did to make him happy. Seriously, he never ever asked me for any of this, it was all my idea, which makes it even more pathetic but I loved it.

PedantMarina Tue 03-Dec-13 19:00:55

Good that you realise what I mentioned (self esteem=man in life), but knowing it on an intellectual level and feeling it in your emotions are two different things, so give yourself time.

I read an article on Cracked.com about how long it takes for for something to become a habit (60 days, I think), so I'm thinking that's the least amount of time you need to focus on yourself, rather than getting a man.

And please do read the Relationship freds about toxic parents (Stately Homes is the recurring one), where you'll discover the "Golden Child and the Scapegoat" model: thats your sister and you (in that order) to a T.

artsylady Wed 04-Dec-13 00:10:13

I know I'm completely messed up when I think about it!! When someone is nice to me (not just men) I honestly just give myself to them. This includes friends as well as boyfriends. I'd do anything for my friends, my family too even though they drive me insane.

Well both of the exes I talked about have been very nice to me, but in the end they hurt me really badly. Like this guy, he was always affectionate, considerate, giving. We'd never have a screaming match and he'd never insult me the way some men do (and I think a lot do). Although, I'm thinking that's more to do with his character than his feelings for me.

I've luckily never been in a terrible relationship like that, but yeah, when someone is nice to me, gives me a bit of affection and attention...I just go crazy. Maybe I just need to chill out a bit!!!

The grossest thing is when someone I find a bit intimidating or look up to (like my ex) is affectionate with me, I really lose it.

I've read the toxic parents threads actually. I read quite a bit on here, but I never have any good advice for people so don't want to post haha

beaglesaresweet Wed 04-Dec-13 01:06:31

you mention your mother OP, but did you have a father present? To me all this 'looking up to a man and going crazy if their nice' is a classic absent father (or emotionally distant father) legacy. It's gard to shift tis without counselling but even understanding it helps (and knowing what's behind your behaviour), you aer more likely to hold back a bit then.

beaglesaresweet Wed 04-Dec-13 01:06:55

they are, not their

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