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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

LostMyIdentityAlongTheWay Mon 01-Apr-13 13:23:30

why do you need advice? you say you don't want her back. You have a new partner who sounds like she's ticking all your boxes. How would she feel if she knew you were spending significant amounts of your headspace thinking about another woman.
Can you now go totally 'no contact'. Sounds like it's emotionally exhausting being you and almost definitely being the ex. It's all about the drama from what I've read.
Cut ties and get on with your new life. Seriously... just move on and grow up. What on EARTH does it have to do with you if the new bloke is distraught/ whatever? He's nothing to do with you, there IS NO LINK between the two of you apart from the ex (I could be super crude here, but...) and he would as like wish to stick pins in his eyes than have pity from you. Which would be misplaced.
Get over her and get on with your new partner. you're lucky to have found somebody else, so being brutal, get on with it! Stop with the headfuckkery, she's not worth it.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:31:21

Thanks Lost, seeing it typed out in black and white, both from me, and from others will reinforce what I need to do. I really like my new girlfriend, and although it's early days, I don't want any of these old emotions to ruin anything.

I think reading other threads on here, the OP often knows what they need to do, but seeing someone else write it might be helpful - and this is an anonymous space to vent my feelings.

If anything, I've tried to be friendly, too friendly to my ex.

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 13:33:55

I think it's probably lingering longer than it should in your mind because of the 'road not travelled'. You never really got a chance to explore this relationship and find out if it could have been as amazing as it seemed at the beginning. However, from what you've said about her she seems like the sort of person who would go for outrageous flattery at the start of a relationship to pull the other person in and make them believe in magic, and then whirl off to the next thing when it suited her. So I'd conclude your holiday fling was never really 'real' in the first place.

She obviously wants to reel you back in now, you've been smart enough to realise that for the game-playing that it is. Treat your new girlfriend - and yourself - with respect and kick this other one to the kerb. You don't owe her any further contact, and it won't be beneficial to you to prolong it.

Sounds like you're in a good place now. Maximise your happiness and don't dwell on what might have been. She sounds like a taker, and your new girlfriend sounds much more sensible and nice to be around.

LostMyIdentityAlongTheWay Mon 01-Apr-13 13:35:53

which I guess is admirable, but she's just reeling you in, throwing you snippets, and from what you've said, using you to boost her self esteem. Because she could still have you if she wanted to. That sort of stuff.
Quite why she would wish to tell you how much she's earning is beyond me. Honestly - that makes her sound a bit vulgar to me. (Sorry!!) If her life is measured in being wanted by men and how much money she makes, then I would question that there is a side to her character that might be lacking in maturity and depth? (I'm sure there is a LOT to her that is nice, don't get me wrong. I just didn't see so much of it from your OP).

Stay strong, spend time thinking about your new gf and stop with the emotional reveries of you both, running towards each other in the park, Vaseline on the lens and musak playing. It's not really worthy of a truly adult man?

(If I go too far, well then, treat it as more of the b/w treatment, eh? grin)

starfield Mon 01-Apr-13 13:36:15

I think you need to cut all ties with the ex in a very comprehensive way (if possible, given work associations). She sounds like a loose canon, as you now can see.

Imagine losing your new partner over this. You could. Do you feel slightly superior to her (I wonder if you felt you were punching above your weight with your ex and loved the ego boost)? If so, I question whether it's fair for you to be with her, because she deserves to be with someone who think the sun rises and sets on her. It's nice that you can recognise your new partner is the better...^lifestyle choice^. That's not enough. If your heart is engaged elsewhere (whether willingly or no), you should come clean.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 01-Apr-13 13:36:46

The only thing that will help is time and no contact. Can you change your number? Block her on facebook if you're friends (hopefully you're not)? You need firm boundaries.

I tend to over think things, so I can see where you're coming from.

Amberz Mon 01-Apr-13 13:43:37

Jeeze feel for you similar thing happened to me 4 years ago , met a guy we hit it off straight away he goes overseas we still keep in touch , he then meets someone over there , I say lets forget it he wants to maintan contact, it just does your head in I spent so much energy thinking he was the one and it would work out, turns out I was wrong , please dont let this happen to you, I know how painful it is and you cant stop thinking what if , but life is too short carpe diem and all that sounds like you have met a lovley lady ,okay there may not be the fireworks like you had before but fireworks fizzle out , you need sustainablity in your life you deserve it all the best to you and your new partner.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:44:07

Thanks, I do agree with the "road less travelled" idea - our "relationship" was sabotaged by her message, the time I got on the plane to visit her. I spent so long thinking "surely she can't be happy with this ex"...

I suspect she is a bit of a narcissist (I know that's a proper term, so I'm using it loosely), as I think she needs to be continually being loved, and winning prizes, and getting new jobs and so on. Her email about her job was "they're paying me X more, and giving me a fund of X to get my projects going" - it's incredibly vulgar.

I've really got to go no contact, haven't I? What has stopped me in the past is that by going no contact, I worry that it gives her the impression that she has the power to hurt me, whereas, if I didn't care, I'd be ok to hear her news now and again.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:46:39

@starfield. With my new partner, I feel as if we're equals, genuinely. With my ex, I felt she was a bit like superwoman, and on edge a lot of the time (she skies, she surfs, she climbs mountains, etc, etc)

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 01-Apr-13 13:53:57

'I worry that it gives her the impression that she has the power to hurt me, whereas, if I didn't care, I'd be ok to hear her news now and again.'

Or you care so little, you forget to give her your new number? wink

Anyway who cares what she thinks.

LostMyIdentityAlongTheWay Mon 01-Apr-13 13:54:18

Rufus, she sounds exhausting! I'm tired just reading about her. You know what to do. It's not about going 'no contact which looks like she has the power to hurt me' - just thinking like that means you're buying into her oney-uppy mind set, aren't you! She's ghastly with such manipulation. Bleurgh.
If she texts, just text back 'sorry, busy, will be back later'... and then don't. Job done and looks natural.

FWIW - if she IS a narc, then she'll come back at you later and make out that you've fallen out becuase YOU didn't send the follow up text, and soemthing will have happened that's quite bad (in her mind) and YOU'RE responsible.

Ignore her. It's the only way to treat such individuals.
Good luck and leave her out of your headspace. You're already devoting too much time to her.

bestsonever Mon 01-Apr-13 13:55:02

Lets face it, at best she picked her 'depressed' ex over any feelings for you - so they really were not that strong for you after all. Just as likely, he was not an ex after all and you were the OM - very easy of her to claim that when you and he are in another country. Either way, would you want to accept that you are 2nd choice, which is what you would be if you had her back? Just move on, be no-one's back-up plan, as that is a route to self-esteem destruction. It's probably the dealing with rejection and the thought of acceptance that's keeping you hanging it there - that will pass in time and is no reason to go back.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 01-Apr-13 13:55:07

You know, if you start making making choices that indicate you've moved on, such as changing your number and every time your mind starts to tick it over, you press the eject button and stop the thought process, sooner rather than later the rest will follow imo.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 13:59:53

Interestingly, when I visited her in her home country, it wasn't a great success, and she moaned about me for being tight (something I'd never been criticised for before - I tried to pay my way, and the flights weren't cheap). It felt she was blaming the lack of success for my visit on my generosity, rather than her revelation about her ex.

Her feelings can't have been great for me - but although I've binned them now, I had the love letters that went on about how she was mind-bogglingly head over heels in love with me, a week before she told me about her ex

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 14:14:19

Unfortunately you've been confronted with the adage about actions speaking louder than words.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 14:17:49

Completely agree with you tribpot - I do think she's a user. The pattern I spotted is, and I could be jumping to assumptions

When she was doing a PhD, she was married to her Professor - when she finished and got a job, she moved to a new town, and divorced her husband.

Then she moves to the new town, gets with the new chap.

When she met me, she had a job offer in the UK. She then turned it (and me) down, and went back to the town and the ex

Now she has a new job, she's left him, and off she goes again.

(This might be unfair of me, but it's how it appears)

navada Mon 01-Apr-13 14:21:49

Rufus: see it for what it is ( or was ) a short lived passionate affair. It would never have been anything more than that - they never are.

Put it down to experience & move on.

Rufus20 Mon 01-Apr-13 14:23:36

Thanks, you can probably tell by writing it down, and thinking about it, it's opened some wounds and thought that aren't helpful

navada Mon 01-Apr-13 14:26:28

Talk all you want, it helps smile

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 01-Apr-13 14:36:48

She does sound very selfish and spoiled. Probably little doubt that she will achieve great things in her lifetime, but stamp on a lot of heads along the way.

It might be very thrilling and exciting being with someone like her, but ultimately the only person she's ever going to be interested in is herself.

From what you say your current girlfriend sounds lovely.

Interesting point you make re keeping contact to show no bad feelings etc - but like others have said (and now you), I would completely cut her off. She has treated you badly and you really don't owe her anything. Occasional contact will only prolong a negative situation.

CalamityKate Mon 01-Apr-13 14:49:23

I think that it won't matter what anyone says; you're still hung up on the ex (who doesn't sound very nice at all) and you should finish things with the poor girl you're seeing now so that she's free to find someone who is happy to concentrate on her.

Really, if I thought that the man I was seeing was spending ANY time at all thinking about his ex and what she might or might not be thinking, and whether HER ex was ok, and mooning over what might have been blah blah....I'd be pretty hurt and pissed off. She's worth more than you're giving.

KeepCoolCalmAndCollected Mon 01-Apr-13 15:14:38


I don't think I have ever started a new relationship without thinking about the preceded boyfriend, particularly if it ended badly.

Interested to know how you read your man's mind though?

LessMissAbs Mon 01-Apr-13 16:00:49

I'm going against the grain slightly. I think you were unrealistic. Its almost as if you expected a woman you had met abroad, and known for a few weeks, to have no romantic history. When in actual fact, very few attractive, interesting people are fully single once they're beyond, say, 28 or so.

I think she probably was hedging her bets, and rightly so, as she barely knew you. But I think given time to think about it, she preferred you to her ex, but needed some reassurance for you that getting serious with someone from overseas was worth doing.

It also sounds like you didn't really shine when you went over to visit - why did you stay with her parents and not in a hotel? Are you very young? Its an odd thing to do, and doesn't help create a romantic setting with a new partner.

As for your comments about her job, and past partner. Why would she not tell you her news, which included getting a well paid job? You almost sound jealous. And I'm sorry, but women do make their way in the world of work on talent and not on sleeping with men (although she was in fact married to this one) - what a really odd, offensive thing to say! 3 boyfriends, one of whom is you, and one of whom she married - hardly the mark of a wanton woman! You do realise the equivalent would be to say that you used her for a free holiday - its just about as ridiculous!

I'd say you sound a bit paranoid, possibly because of the distance and lack of contact, and your brain is working overtime to think up reasons why it wouldn't work, because shes touched you, and you are scared. You sound as if you feel not worthy of her and are making excuses to make this more reasonable on your part. And it was you who very quickly met someone new! Almost as if you expect women to behave like 100 years ago - marrying their only boyfriend and not having a good career. So its up to you - I would say I think its possibly better for men to be with someone who challenges them for positive reasons, because someone who is successful and talented makes you want to be like them (its human nature). The choice a man makes of the woman in his life can really shape his future.

I also think if you were head over heels with your current gf, you wouldn't even be thinking about the woman abroad, but you're right, you can probably get used to someone if you spend long enough time with them, so you probably should put your blinkers back on, return to your unchallenging life and marry your current girlfriend.

LessMissAbs Mon 01-Apr-13 16:11:44

@starfield. With my new partner, I feel as if we're equals, genuinely. With my ex, I felt she was a bit like superwoman, and on edge a lot of the time (she skies, she surfs, she climbs mountains, etc, etc)

You seriously list this as a problem in a woman? What do you think would be more appropriate for her to spend her time doing? Knitting and sewing??

Jesus Christ. You do realise there are plenty of women out there that have an interest in sports and the outdoors? Its not a male preserve? And that its actually rather healthy to have hobbies?

See, if I was a man, I would go for the biological imperative - the woman that skis, surfs, is well educated and hard working is more likely to produce children that do well at school and in sport and be motivated and so on.

And I'll go on to say that when I meet a man, I always regard him more highly if he has a wife who is a high achiever.

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