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Fear of getting hurt means I've lost someone I really care about

(18 Posts)
myturntonamechange Thu 06-Oct-11 16:04:39

Longish story and I've name changed but please bear with me. I left my abusive ex two years ago and being with him was a hugely damaging experience which just compounded the effects of an abusive childhood (I'm a Stately Homer). So more by accident than design I got chatting online with an old friend/flame from twenty years ago. Initially I thought nothing more of it than friendship, but pretty quickly it became clear that the original attraction between us was still there. We talked online and by phone for many months more as we live a long way away from each other.

So after lots of chatting and back and forth I went to see him for a few days in July. And it was idyllic, perfect and all the rest - we didn't stop talking the whole time and lots of great sex. The first day when we ended up in bed (we managed to wait all of four hours!) he just said all this amazing stuff about how great I was, lots of nice things and paid me the greatest compliment ever. It was all slightly overwhelming and scary, also I didn't really say the same sort of things back. At one point I said 'you're lovely' and then thought he said 'I love you too'. Slight panic so I said 'no, I didn't say I loved you, I said you're lovely' and he said 'I know, I said you're lovely too'. A bit later on he said 'I love you' (I'm really pretty sure he did say this) but recovered it into 'I love you..r <body part>'.

The rest of the time we cooled the affection and intimacy down a bit as that first day had been so full on, but still had a great time, completely in synch. When I left, I thought we had reached an understanding that we were in a relationship (he'd been using this word for a while before we met) but both knew the reality of our lives (distance, kids, jobs) meant we wouldn't see each other that often. He's also just a year after a damaging break up with a real freak of a woman who treated him so badly and he has told me how very wary he is of getting invovled again.

In the following month we talked on line but not as much, not intimately and he didn't phone anymore. When I brought this up a couple of times he shrugged it off. Eventually after a month he said he didn't want a long-term relationship and I've hardly heard anything from him since. I'm just so shocked and saddened, I think about him all the time and desperately want him back in my life. My question is, which of these do you think is the reason he changed his mind:

1. He's just not that into me
2. He met someone else
3. He loves me but thinks I don't love him (I think I do, I'm just more of a slow burner)
4.The timing is wrong for him and I just have to wait and see if he comes back

I just don't know what to do, I'm in my forties but this is only the second time I've ever felt this way. We get on so well, are on the same wavelength and have this incredible physical attraction. I want to tell him I love him and want him back - but I can't can I?

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 06-Oct-11 16:46:50

He changed his mind because of either 1 or 2, but what you had with him in July was just a fling because whatever you shared over those few days hasn't stood the test of time.

If he was recovering from a damaging break up, having you arrive on his doorstep bearing sex on a plate would have had the effect of putting a giant band aid on his bruised ego.

Your passion filled time with him no doubt also went some way to help you heal some of the bruises left by your abusive ex.

Unfortunately, you've read into it a lot more than what it was. While you seem to believe that you are soulmates the truth is that, although you knew him 20 years ago, you don't know this man and you don't love him - you're simply infatuated by him.

You've said We get on so well, are on the same wavelength and have this incredible physical attraction but, sadly, although that may be how you feel, it's obvious that he doesn't feel the same.

You know that if you tell him you love him and 'want him back' (a curiously juvenile phrase and inapt because he was never yours to lose) then a) your words will fall on deaf ears and b) you'll be demeaning yourself - and no man is worth that.

Brief love affairs and infatuations are part of life's rich pattern. Now that he's made it clear it's over, you must file your brief romance away in the box marked 'learning curves' and get out there and have some more!

Rowtheboatashore Thu 06-Oct-11 17:04:21

Couldn't agree more with the last comment. I hope eventually you'll see it as "fun while it lasted". OP, the first half of your post doesn't make it sound like you were that into the guy tbh but now it's ended you're probably understandably missing all the good bits! Good luck and hope you get over this and find a new flame soon (if you want that). Take care!

QueenofWhatever Thu 06-Oct-11 22:17:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

myturntonamechange Fri 07-Oct-11 09:29:27

You're probably right but it still doesn't really add up. We spent eight months talking three to four times a week, I feel like we got to know each other pretty well. Also when we met, he kept saying what a great time he was having, how much he was enjoying finally being with me. I know he was worried about how often we'd actually be able to see each other.

And I also realised that there were reasons I wanted a long distance relationship over someone who lived round the corner and wanted to see me a couple of days a week. Firstly because I'm really busy with work and DD, but also having been in such an abusive and controlling relationship, I wanted to keep my independence and not lose the control over my life I've fought so hard to get.

rowtheboat it's interesting that you say I didn't seem to be that into him. I really am/was but again having had such an abusive past, you learn that showing someone you care can be used as a weapon against you. Men in the past have told me that they I had no idea I liked then when I thought I was swooning at their feet. Don't worry, I'm aware I have ishoos!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 09:38:50

We may never get everything that happens in our lives to 'add up' and this is particularly true of matters romantic. One minute you can be madly in love and the next, you can't stand the sight of them.

Accept that you had fun while it lasted but now it's over.

And look for a friend with benefits a tad closer to home - but not so close you bump into them everyday.

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 13:08:03

If this sounds harsh, then apologies in advance, but there is really no nice way to say this:

Sadly (and I don't want to sound cynical) some men will say LITERALLY ANYTHING if they think there might be sex at the end of it.

So he spent along time emailing and romancing you? He said lovely things while you were together? He said you're 'lovely'?

NONE of that means ANYTHING.

You had a wonderful dirty weekend with an old flame. Now he doesn't want to be your boyfriend. That's not a bad thing, it's just how it is.

Why could it be that he wants nothing further? Well, any one of a hundred reasons. And you know what ? NONE OF THEM MATTER.

You can lose your whole life wondering and speculating and creating elaborate explanations as to why men do the stramge and unexplicable things they do. That is a massive waste of your time. It doesn't matter why he's suddenly blowing cold where once he was hot. It doesn't matter if he's met someone else, or only ever wanted a shag, or is so overwhelmed by the strength of his feelings that he got scared (that last one never happens, BTW). None of the reasons matter. They make no difference to reality.

Whatever you do, don't 'wait for him to come back'. It will make you miserable. And (sorry to say this) option 3 is very, very unlikely. If a man likes you, he calls you. If he doesn't call you, it's because he doesn't like you. End of story.

What can you do to get him back? Nothing. What should you do now? Get out there and enjoy yourself.

Here endeth the rant.

AbbyAbsinthe Fri 07-Oct-11 15:28:36

Absolutely, 100% what tigermoll said. Sorry OP sad

I spent 4 months involved in an online 'relationship' before we met. It wasn't a lurve thing, but it was very intense, and we really clicked. We used to email and text at least 50 times a day. For MONTHS.

Met him, spent the night with him, it was exactly the same irl. And you know what? After the initial ' had such a great time' text on the way home, I NEVER HEARD FROM HIM AGAIN. He just wanted a fuck.

IWantWine Fri 07-Oct-11 19:53:14

Oh AA that is dreadful... what despicable behaviour!

myturn hhmmm if I had the chance I would have lots of friends with benefits wink so when one falls by the wayside he wouldnt be missed much, and quickly replaced lol...

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 20:12:56

That's what I have IWW; currently there are 5 fwbs in my life which is an easy number to manage as 3 live outside the UK.

Turned on Inspired by another thread here, I've decided I have a vacancy for a Dutchman grin

AbbyAbsinthe Fri 07-Oct-11 20:44:18

IWantWine honestly, I was pretty meh about it, tbh. I'm sadly long enough in the tooth to have half expected it... That's why I'm surprised at the OP for not considering it. Iykwim.

QueenofWhatever Fri 07-Oct-11 21:27:26

AbbyAbsinthe, that is awful - makes me feel I've been given the kid glove treatment! I think the reason I haven't considered it that way is that I knew this guy for about four years previously and we have lots of shared history and friends. I do genuinely believe he wasn't just looking for a shag although I know many here will scoff at that. I know he turned down the offer of casual sex close to home because he genuinely doesn't like it, he's been like that for over twenty years.

I also wasn't looking for a FWB, I had a really great one here in the town I live in who I gave up for faraway man. Maybe I'm naive in not just dismissing him as a player, but I'm OK with that. I got lots of other things out of it like realising someone can find me physically attractive and is not threatened by my being intelligent and successful. After my ex those are huge achievements.

QueenofWhatever Fri 07-Oct-11 21:29:04

Bugger, forgot to name change AGAIN!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 21:41:15

Don't worry Q, the pace of these boards means that many of us have memories like Swiss cheese grin

<<ponders advantages of an fwb who can yodel and ski>>

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 21:42:24

'an' - I only need one so it's a

AbbyAbsinthe Sat 08-Oct-11 10:42:10

Absolutely Queen - it's made you realise that you're attractive, and that's fab. I don't even think he was playing you on purpose really.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Oct-11 10:59:34

I agree with the others, I had a similar experience about 18 months ago, and it was only with hindsight that I could see what has really happened.

I also think that even though he probably didn't see the potential you did in the relationship, it sounds as though it was more than casual sex to him - it doesn't have to be either/or. I think he probably did care, it was more than casual/stranger sex, and genuinely liked you, etc, just not enough to want to have a long term, long distance relationship. It is likely to become clear over the next few months though whether he does care for you as a friend or not though.

And agree the confidence boost was definitely worth it in my case smile Hope it was for you too!

QueenofWhatever Sat 08-Oct-11 13:48:56

Thank god for Mumsnet! Since I've even started this thread I've been feeling so much better, just writing it down and stopping having it going round and round in my head has really helped. I think what I really miss is the good friendship (plus the chance of sex). He's going through a lot of change in his life and this has actually always made me a bit wary. He still lives in the house he bought with his ex and they lived as friends there for a while after they broke up but not surprisingly it didn't work and she moved out in the spring.

To compound things he's also lost his job, was looking to change careers and she offered to cover the mortgage while he did this but then changed her mind. So he's been looking for a new job but is finding them hard to cme by. His ex wife moved six hours away with his kids a few years ago so he has long trips to see them every few weeks.

Also if he'd turned round when we were together and said 'OK, you're the one for me, I'm moving to your town to be with you', my reaction would have been 'Oh. Shit.'. Maybe I'm not much better than him.

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