This is one of the rare unfiltered (yes, it was THAT beautiful #nofilter at all) photos taken of me in the middle of nowhere by the Nevada-Utah border when I was working on a project last December. I decided to use this picture because besides it being a fun memory, it’s also the Webster’s pictorial definition of exactly what it feels like to date an emotionally unavailable man.

I never knew what “emotionally unavailable” meant until a few years ago. I had heard the term once or twice and I thought it was just some bizarre psychological term that seemed too diagnostic and unrealistic. How could anyone be emotionally unavailable? All my friends and I DID was cry, laugh, scream, get angry and cry some more. It seemed too complicated and way off base. I BLED emotions.

Fast forward to a year later after a horrible, heart-wrenching, not-ever-going-to-recover-from-this-I-want-to-die breakup. I found myself in a onesie and pink ugg boots (remember when those used to be in style? me neither), in my car driving just to get lost. I had gotten to the point where I felt like I had nowhere to turn. I felt like I was a sneeze away from a padded wall and straight jacket. I turned on the radio and it was accidentally on an AM radio station. Before I could change the station, I heard a woman explain her broken relationship and it sounded so similar to mine that I had to pull over the car. After a long pause, the radio love doctor that was listening to the woman said: “it sounds like he’s emotionally unavailable.”

HUH?

I drove home and didn’t need to do much research until I understood what emotional unavailability meant. I immediately connected what I was learning and began to recognize family members, friends and the majority of guys that I had been with as emotionally unavailable.

This was invaluable to me because I got to see patterns in what I was attracting and what I was attracted to. I feel like being involved with someone that’s emotionally unavailable is something that needs to be discussed and understood because once you get what it means, you can then identify it after a few dates (or even one date) and save yourself the months, years, tears and the feeling of hopeless insanity that’s inevitable when you decide to have a go with a guy that’s of the emotionally unavailable species.

It’s not that your guy is disinterested, that he’s “changed,” or that you “did” anything to make him act a certain way. You’re not “unlucky” in love and you’re definitely not going crazy. He’s just disconnected and unavailable. 

Stop focusing on his “good” qualities. This isn’t about being good or bad. He could be curing cancer and rescuing kittens every day, but if he’s emotionally unavailable, It doesn’t matter how many kittens he rescues or what he cures, he will never capable of emotional intimacy or connection with you. Or the girl he cheated on you with. Or his ex. Or the bartender with the fake tits. Or the girl he dates after you. EVER. His emotional availability and ability to commit to you has nothing to do with him having redeeming attributes and accomplishments. It’s about being capable of a mutually exclusive, monogamous, caring, loving respectful partnership in which he’s consistent.

Emotionally unavailable men are the guys that you feel like you can never read. They’re the reason Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda had anything to talk about, ever.

They’re the guys that you’re always talking to your girlfriends about, trying to analyze and decipher. Emotionally unavailable guys are unable to tap into their emotions and because of this, they lack empathy. They always seem to have a lot of women attracted to them because they’re so ambiguous, Johnny-Depp-mysterious and hard to read.

Every women wants to be the chosen one that finally “cracked the code” and got the “bad boy/reluctant, Mr. Big” to finally give up his ways and “settle down.” We’d rather play doctor/detective/therapist/mommy and get an emotionally unavailable man to “change his ways” and to “see the light,” than spend our valuable time actually FINDING a real gentleMAN that doesn’t need fixing because we tell ourselves that “the gentleman” is an urban myth that doesn’t exist. Instead, we have to turn some douchebag into our do-gooder project and save them out of being who they are totally okay with being (themselves).

These guys always give you excuses as to why they don’t want to jump into a relationship right now and will blame their last breakup, current job, new job, old job, school, sports, commitments, bad timing, trauma, illness in the family, their dog dying, their lack of money… and the list goes on and on and on.

They will blame one or all of these things on why they aren’t able to “fully commit” right now (as if you’re asking for vows to be written and a ring to be purchased).

They’ll have ZERO PROBLEM using you for sex, hooking up, and having you do things for them all while giving you dose after dose of false hope for a future together. They will wreak havoc on your emotions, send you mixed signals and completely f*ck with your head and heart.

In the beginning, he will be the man of your dreams. He’ll give you all of the attention and care you’ve ever dreamed of but once he has you hooked, he’ll turn cold and weird again and you won’t be able to read it or understand. You’ll think that maybe you did something wrong so you stay in an attempt to understand him better. Then, he’ll throw you a little bone and make you feel like the him that you first met is coming back and you’ll get really excited then all too quickly he’ll get icy and weird and ambiguous again.

You stay because you are CONVINCED that the guy you met in the beginning is him and that you must have done something to set him off into being the emotionally unavailable f*cktard that you’re currently with. You know that he is capable of being what you wanted (because in the beginning he was all about you and so attentive and perfect), so you wait, waste more of your time and put up with more of his crap. Everything is on HIS terms. You don’t realize it because you’re too busy trying making excuses for him and trying to figure his un-matching words and actions out instead of figuring out why you’d want to stay with a guy that treats you poorly and make a dignified exit for good.

So now that you have an idea of what it means to be emotionally unavailable, what are some signs that your guy is emotionally unavailable?

Here are just SOME of the signs that you’re with an emotionally unavailable dude…..

  1. He always talks about his ex (or his exes). Like, a lot. Without you even asking, he tells you details about his ex. What their relationship was like, what she’s like, what she does, what she was like in bed, why they broke up or ANY details that you shouldn’t want or need to know about a chick that you will at best never meet and in reality already Insta-stalk and know. Duhhh.
  2. He’s in a relationship with someone else, is “separated,” still talks to “her,” still has to pick up his stuff from “her” place, etc. 
  3. He texts/emails/Snapchats you more than he calls you. 
  4. He doesn’t label the status of your relationship. You never have “the talk.” You desperately want to ask him what you guys are (are you dating? Bf and gf? F*ck buddies? WHAT?!) or if you’re exclusive but you also don’t want to “scare him off.”
  5. He’s always making excuses. He makes excuses for everything. He’ll make plans with you and you’ll get all excited and then he’ll have an excuse for having to cancel at the last minute, not show up and then promise to make it up to you in some grandiose way. He ditches you, reschedules and flakes. At the last minute. Repeatedly.
  6. He tells you that he “isn’t ready” to be in a relationship, but is still with you, stringing you along, hooking up with you and giving you false hope. He doesn’t seem to empathize with this or with you at all. He doesn’t really ask you about you, your background, your family or seem to want to get to know you or your loved ones.
  7. He picks and chooses when to respond to your calls, texts, snapchats, etc. He’s unreliable and there’s no consistency. Sometimes he is very responsive and other times you’ll see that he read your text or opened your Snapchat and doesn’t respond for days.
  8. He can’t commit to anything, even the simplest of things and everything is always about him.
  9. He doesn’t involve himself in your life. He also doesn’t seem to empathize with you when you’re going through a rough time, or the only time that he seemed to display empathy or be what you wanted him to be was before you slept with him.
  10. His room/dorm room/apartment/house looks like 50 college frats took a collective sh*t on it (I call this mattress-on-the-floor or blow-up-mattress-even-though-I’m-26 syndrome). Everything is in disarray.
  11. You feel like you don’t connect intimately during sex and sex never develops into anything that feels emotionally intimate. He doesn’t look at you or kiss you during sex. You feel like you’re in a porn; like you’re having porn start sex most of the time. He’s quiet. Like, weirdly quiet. He doesn’t ask you what you like or what you’re into, he just assumes and goes through the motions while you fake your way through “nirvana.”
  12. He never refers to you as “his girlfriend,” “mine,” etc. to you, his friends and family. 
  13. He tells you that he has a lot of things/issues to deal with right now. 
  14. He’s not that into holding your hand or other forms of PDA. 
  15. He tells you that he can’t give you what you want right now. He seems to have a lot of other commitments taking up his time. He’s weird about you being at his place, ever being in a close proximity of his phone and you feel guilty wanting to discuss your relationship with him because he never brings it up.

LASTLY….. You find that YOU feel out of control; like you’re on a never ending emotional rollercoaster without a seat belt. You’re on cloud nine singing “Happy” with Pharrell one minute because he’s being attentive, caring and “back to his old self,” and the next minute you’re a mess because he cancelled last minute/flaked again/abruptly “had to go”/mentioned that maybe you guys should take a break/is shut off/says he needs time/makes YOU feel like you’re coming on too strong and demanding too much, etc.

Emotionally unavailable men cannot ever connect emotionally. They are incapable of feeling empathy because they are emotionally constipated.

The red flags are there. You may not see them but your gut knows that they are there and if you don’t see them, it’s because you’re choosing not to. “A mistake made more than once is a decision.” Don’t DECIDE to stay, thinking that you won’t find better, that you can heal/fix him or that you can change and be better for him. You’re already better.

You think that if you change or if you love him more and stick it out, he will all of a sudden combust into the prince on the white horse that you know he’s capable of being and “come to his senses?” He won’t. The second you get wind of emotional unavailability, cut him off, run and never look back. it’s not your job to fix anyone.

Who’s dated emotionally unavailable men? What do you guys think?

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113 comments

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This is one of my favorite posts so far!!! My roommate and I were reading it just now laughing and can’t believe how spot ON you are Natasha. I too have dated my share of emotionally unavailable men and after reading this post, i’m certain that I am dating one now 🙁 Oh well. I never understood what being emotionally unavailable meant. You explained it so well! Do you think emotionally unavailable guys ever change and become available?

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I love all your posts! Omg! I’m going through a horrible break up. I thought it was me and what I did and didn’t do. My ex fiancé was the most disconnected selfish narcissist Dbag. Just because he made some money and got in shape. He’s the guy that always made B.S. excuses when it came to me. When it came it about me or us. It was always yeah yeah! I’ve been beating myself up over and over again . I know one day I’ll be myself again. I’ve never felt this torn down in my life. Every article that you wrote in relationships, so spot on. I’m really glad I found your site. You’re absolutely amazing!!!

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Hi Tennille!

Thanks babe :)) It takes one to know one! You are absolutely amazing! You WILL get past this. Keep coming back here to the blog and always have your own back. Be compassionate with yourself. You deserve it xoxoxoxoxo

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Thanks for responding!

🙂 xoxo

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FUCK YES!! Literally the guy I dates had a mattress on the floor. Seriously love this!!! I related to every single thing posted. You got a new follower. 🙂

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LOL!

I’m so happy it helped 🙂 Thanks beautiful xoxo

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Natasha. You just shut it down girl!!

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LOVVVVED this. So true, so needed and so dang accurate. You are on fire! Love this blog

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This is so true!! Signs we need to be on the lookout for to save time and energy on these useless guys.

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Yes! Exactly…

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Totally useless!

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This is AMAZING! Reading this is like looking into A mirror of the past! Yet i never put it together, and This is so great because it lays it out on the table when I would notice certain things but just make up excuses! LOVE IT!

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Love your analogy! This was like looking into a mirror of (thankfully) the past for me too. I am looking so forward to our event for the blog Brittany 🙂

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So am I!! It’s goi g to be AMAZING!!!!

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This is the first time I post a comment but I have read all your posts. This one got my attention because too much condicende it’s my actual situation with a guy he left me because of his parents he doesn’t have a mind of his own he’s 25 but acts like an 18 year old still does what his parents want we started talking again and he just told me to stop talking to him completely because I made him feel bad about something so he block me on facebook and his phone. Long story short, just every sngle thing you said here it’s the same thing with him. But how do you do it when you really like him?? I know I should save myself all the drama and problems but it’s hard when you like him.

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I will.

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This sums it all up for me and my (now) ex girl lover. It happens to Lesbians, too. Your blog is so full of common sense , yet genius material that all women need to read! Love your writing style. A+

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LISTEN TO THIS WOMEN. DON’T ALLOW MEN TO PLAY WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. ?

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This happened to me. Came on strong, was attentive, seemed to care about my life, made time to see me, etc. A few months in, he tells me he loves me and calls me his. Then it was all downhill from there. We are long distance, but daily texts turned into every few days. He would throw me a bone, and I would be all happy. Then 5 days of silence. When I brought it up, he would scream and make it all about how hard his life is. He’s ignoring me, currently and I’m giving up. I don’t think I can ever trust a man again.

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Hi Gigi!

Thanks for reading 🙂 What you described sounds very familiar. It’s classic emotional unavailability. Don’t give up, make the conscious decision to be DONE. Remember: The only way that the relationship will ever work is if it’s on his terms and if you accept his behavior, which you can’t because it is impossible to have a mutual, respectful, loving and trusting relationship and be that way. So, in a sense, you are rejecting him; you’re deciding to put an end to it instead of giving up in deflated defeat. I know how hard it is and it will take you a while to trust again, but you will. Work on yourself, be kind to yourself, have your own back and act in your own best interests. You deserve so much more. xoxoxoxo

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Is this also red flags?
1. He is in a relationship with someone for now 6 years..

2. He told me she is mentally ill and the Only reason he is staying is because he feels sorry for her, and that he sees her as a best friend

3. He ALWAYS brings up his mother-issues, how she abused him and neglected him (he never had a father in his life)

4. He showed me interest early on & moved things really fast forward, he didnt want to talk so much, mostly just kissing touching .. But also a lot of interest in my childhood. He bought me gifts and wanted to see me every day..

5.He makes a lot of stupid desicions, he bought “us” a house so we could live there, and now he wants to sell it..

6. His family situation is really odd. His kids is living with their mother in another country, he never wants to speak about his kids and havent seen them for a long time.. And he cant tell me why, or doesnt want to

7. After we had sex the 2 time , like proper sex … We also slept over in “our” new house together.. He started to become cold against me, told me he needed time & that i must be patient and that he thinks about me all the time & then he did the silent treatment on me for a month(he text me a few Times during this ST) he also blocked me from whatsapp..

8. I confronted him at his house, and after that he Said i was immature & that he like me but cant imagien a relationship with me, wich he clearly wanted earlier.. Before he would tell me to not doubt his Word and that once he made up his mind, nothing could change that..

9. He smokes a lot(sometimes marijuana) drinks and drives, and have a hobby that take up most of his time.

10. It has now been 2 1/2 month since he rejected me, we have seen eachother to talk about what happend…he blames the fact that im to Young for him (not a issue before) that he dont know where he wants to live (he is lying because he bought a new house) he also give me mixed messeges, he Said he want me but he cant, he told me “my heart says yes but my mind says no”
He says im so important to him and that he thinks about me a lot.. He wanted to hold my hand all the time while he saying this. But he almost NEVER answer texts, and when he told me he wanted to see me.. He breaks it, he always push it forward..”next week, no next month”

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Hi Beautiful!

Thank you for your comment and thank you for coming to the blog. I read through your comment and YES, 100% each and EVERY one of those is a giant red flag to get away and STAY away. Do not wait for him or put up with these games. You deserve so much more Lina. xoxo

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Hi there.
This is my first comment because I just found this site with all the research I’ve been doing the past few days.

You ask why? Of course because I’m searching for answers as to why my heart feels like a bomb was detonated in it. As do many posts said, I am absorbing not all the blame and trying to make sense of who was the culprit that set the bomb off and why I let him put one in there in the first place.

I don’t want to defend him, but I don’t want to be one of those women that blame and look for answers instead of turning inward and taking some responsibility in the situation.

Is he emotionally unavailable? My gut says yes especially with how we started. He nailed like 11 of the bullet points.

Somehow, we persisted through his mess and ended up in a relationship for 2.5 years and moved across the country together.

He left me yesterday officially (actual real break up this time with our therapist) after he disappeared on me 4 times in the last 3 months since the move. Jumping on a plane to Texas each time making it more cold, calculated and hurtful.

I would love some support in figuring this out and recognizing my mistakes (I believe there is so much I have to understand and mend within myself) while also understanding his issues and not taking blame for those. It was a toxic relationship on both sides, but did I resort to it because I never felt secure with him? Did I try desperately to gain control in ways that were not mature because I wasn’t getting what I needed from him emotionally?

It was so hard to read him. It was so hard to know what was going on in his mind. His words became worthless by the end even those he was a true wordsmith. Writing the most beautiful words to me pouring his “heart” into them, but actions were all over the place. He stonewalled me in fights, which led me to frustration and anger I never experienced before in my life. But then he made me feel crazy for my reactions. It was always twisted and turned that I constantly questioned my sanity and what I said and didn’t say.

Help!

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Hi Julie!

Thanks for reading and for sharing your experience. I read through your comment a few times and I think that you already know the truth and that you answered a lot of your own questions. You are very smart, very aware, very beautiful and very perceptive. Everything that you are saying is classic Emotional Unavailability. I would definitely say that he is emotionally unavailable. The being hard to read, being hot one minute and cold the next, saying beautiful words but never really backing them up with actions… this is all what emotionally unavailable people do. He dimmed the light that you are. The best way to move forward is to understand that the only way that the relationship would ever work would be if you accepted his behavior and if it was on his terms (which, is hurtful), so by saying no to that, you are in a way, rejecting him by having your own back. I know it’s hard. You deserve better than this. He is not going to change anytime soon. I have many posts on Emotionally unavailable guys- keep coming back here to the blog and keep reading and just know that you’re not ever alone. If you need anything, I’m always a comment away and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. xoxo

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How do you know when a guy is emotionally available?

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I married one. 3 years, army, living in the middle of nowhere, then 2 nine month deployments where i had to move all the way back home with my “sleeping in different bedrooms, treat each other like shit” parents, waiting, saving our paychecks to ensure our financial stability when he got home, and always fighting for him to be more considerate and physically and verbally affectionate… working on us more than me… all for him to take me on vacation back home with family, make me think we were going to go back home and do better now that we were out of debt (thank you, me, for being such a penny pincher and not spending his paychecks on a boob job or spa days for myself while he was in a war zone) and his stress levels would calm, so that he COULD loosen up to show me affection… only to dump me at my parents house less than two weeks into the vacation, with part of the shit i brought in bags, after telling me he wanted to separate to divorce, be alone… and then spend 400 dollars of our money on a strip club and a dating app.

talk about a real piece of sh*t.

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I’m so glad I found this, I thought I was crazy, that it was me. He broke up with me a week before Christmas saying he wasn’t sure if his feelings were strong enough, and he was in a bad place financially and couldn’t treat me right. It had been 9 mths of what I thought were happy times. I’m a people pleaser and love hard so was devastated. When I think back I can see the warning signs, he only chased me for about 4 weeks at beginning, I always had feelings of not being very wanted by him but put it down to my own insecurities. I also found he wasn’t very empathetic, but he liked to tell me all his woes and enjoy my support, also he bragged alot about how he knew how to treat woman but I can’t think of many times a real effort was made for me. Stupidly I took him back after he came begging in New year, was perfect for 5 weeks then the distance started, blowing hot and cold, telling me he still had money problems so I couldn’t be priority, making me feel disrespected, everything on his schedule. It was awful, I’d taken a step back this time so I could see what action followed all the words and I’ve just been miserable. After 5 weeks of it I told him how I was feeling. I got blamed for not texting first, being distant etc.. (our whole communication was always on text even though I’d said we need to talk on phone or in person about relationship stuff) Got told he couldn’t give me what I wanted right now. I was dumped on text for a second time 4 days ago. It hurts so much but two days ago I blocked him on social media and messenger. Within an hour I got a text saying I guess we can’t be friends then!! I told him no, for the best and have gone no contact since. I feel I should of screamed at him for actually having nerve to ask that, can he not see how he has treated me?! Why would i be friends?! But I’m guessing EUM’s don’t acknowledge how they treat you? I’m a calm person, it’s not me to shout and scream. I’d rather show with my actions that I’m walking away, head high and will move on and he can be left wondering what’s going on in my life. I still feel like i m making excuses, is he really eum? But got at least three spot on from the list, I’ve got to remember it’s not me, not my fault, I can’t fix someone and I deserve better. It’s hard but I’m determined to stay strong. Thankyou for your wonderful site xoxox

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Ugh. Was in a 3 year relationship like this until a few days ago. The signs were all there, but just when I would try to talk myself into ending it, he would give me just enough to keep me. It was like he could sense he might be losing me, and do just enough to reel me back in to him. The sex was red-hot, but yeah, not a lot of eye contact or tenderness.

It’s still so raw and painful. I really I loved him. Regardless he was incapable of ever loving me back. He looks so happy on Facebook and I’m a blubbering mess.

Been pouring through your blogs today, and it has really helped me see some things. My new mantra is ” people never change, they just unfold and reveal themselves over time.” Truer words have neve been spoken.

Thank you for helping me see some things about him and especially about myself. I know I will be stronger for it, eventually.

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I’m so happy that the posts have helped! Thanks Diane <3 You're so much stronger than you even know. I believe in you and you're not alone, you're part of a tribe here 🙂 xoxo

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So I’ve just ended things with a guy because he refused to make me his girlfriend… We were “exclusively” together after he was finally ready and only saw eachother, but when I asked his thoughts on us dating or ever dating he said he just didn’t feel that way about me. Everything seemed fine between us so I can’t grasp why he just couldn’t commit or if I should have waited longer to see

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I suspect that I was wih an EUM for 2 years. It ended 10 months ago. I’m not sure why it’s impottant for me to understand whether he is EU or just didn’t love me, but it is.
It really hit home the fact that he can be the loveliest person out there but that doesn’t mean he’s emotionally available. I realised I was thinking that because he’s kind and sweet that the fault has to have been mine.
He never wanted to have “the talk” and would always make comments like “Who knows where we’ll be in 10 years time” or “I don’t like talking about the future” when I made any illusions to the future. He also never told me that he loved me but would say things like “My sweetie who I love” to me instead of just plain old “I love you”. Sex was sweet and affectionate but eye contact was non-existent as were cuddling and talking afterwards. He was always up and off to do something the minute it was over.
And yes, you guessed it: he eventually became very attracted to another woman a year and a half into our relationship. I told him to decide what he wanted to do about the attraction and he decided that although he was attracted to her he didn’t want to lose me. 4 months later he started an emotional affair with a completely different woman and that’s when I walked away. His parting words were “maybe I don’t love you enough” and “you love me more than I love you”.
His emotional affair partner left her husband and children and they’ve been joined at the hip ever since. It’s been 10 months and I haven’t heard from him once in those 10 months. Granted, I told him, in no uncertain terms, that I didn’t want to hear from him but it just amazes me how easily he slotted her into the Lily-shaped hole I left behind. She met his kids almost immediately and has been more or less living with him ever since.
So, going full circle, the thing that bothers me (but shouldn’t) is whether he is EU or just didn’t love me. It’s also a question I will never get an answer to and I should just let it go but I’m battling with that. The whole experience has made me feel unworthy, second-best, not good enough. It’s a terrible way to feel.

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“….it just amazes me how easily he slotted her into the Lily-shaped hole I left behind” – Lily

That is also at the heart of what I am feeling, how easily replaceable I was. It made me feel so cheap like the value of our time together was at bargain basement price. I know you saw red flags, but it is the conflicting messages these guys send where their words and actions don’t align; therefore, we push pass the red flags b/c of the mixed signals. They are often so sweet we only see the potential, and hope the longer we stay, the more we will grow on them, as they grew on us.

“So, going full circle, the thing that bothers me (but shouldn’t) is whether he is EU or just didn’t love me. It’s also a question I will never get an answer to and I should just let it go but I’m battling with that”. – Lily

The answer is in his history and past relationships. Does he have a pattern of this behavior? just know he did not treat you with kindness and empathy even if he met someone new. To quote Natasha it would be best to just accept the fact that you’ll never be enough for relationships with someone who is emotionally unavailable.

For me I felt like I was just there as a placeholder to keep his company, and to supply cuddles, sex and conversation until he could find his upgrade. I get so mad with myself for allowing this to happen to me, but it would have happened anyway. I grew up quite religious and always believed in soul mates, so I didn’t waste my time dating men I had no interest in. So of course the years went by and the soulmate never arrived. When I met “best friend-lover” I was really in a dessert, and any glass of water would have been really refreshing. What made him so appealing was he was really a sweet guy, and I couldn’t believe my luck. I found out he had a history of short relationships, and one night while he was tipsy he told me those girls did not mean anything to him, but I was different. He had a history of getting girls into bed quickly, and he tried with me, but I made him wait 3 months. I stupidly though since he was willing to wait I was special (dumb – I know). We had friendship, great sex, fun together I thought wow how did these other girls let this guy get away. Red flag number 1 – He told me he doesn’t fall in love, but one night he whispered in my ear – “I love you”. I was naïve in relationships so I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended I didn’t hear, and just continued kissing him. I should have STOPPED. 90% of the relationship was good by actions, he never said one unkind or unflattering word to me, and we never fought. We had disagreements, but never anything that came to raised voices. They were other red flags, but it is too much to get into right now. Right now he is in Mexico with a “friend”. In the beginning I struggled with how could a guy that empathized with minorities could be so reckless to invite a female to go on vacation with him, and not see that it would hurt me, and when I told him, he said he was not cancelling his plans. That’s why it is important to run from the emotionally unavailable, and never think you are the exception. They know they are not going to stick around, so they make you feel so wanted and special in short time, so when they leave, and they always do, the healing is so hard.

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I am currently trying to recover from a relationship with an emotionally unavailable man. In the beginning of our relationship he was so caring and affectionate, used to call and send me messages twice a day. He always said that he wanted to settle down, start a family and was looking for the one, promised me a bright future together, calling me ‘the one’. At first, I was lukewarm and a bit skeptical about ‘our bright future’ but once he got me hooked, he started acting in a very strange manner. He suddenly got extremely busy with his work and studies, found thousands of excuses not to respond my phone calls. When I asked about our future together, he answered that he was not ready to commit right now, as he had too many things going on in his life at the moment.
I feel devastated right now. Spending almost a year with him, hoping he would change was such a waste of time and energy.

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I’m so confused about my relationship. Some of the EU traits were there, but others weren’t. At first I wasn’t attracted to him and was afraid because I’d just survived an 11 year relationship with a classic EU man. But he was kind, understanding and patient and he won me over. We were deeply in love, completely open and honest and had a true connection. He brought me into his family because he wanted them to get to know me and love me. I bonded closely with his mother, children and siblings. They all love me and I love them like my own. He moved me in with him although I maintained my own home that my grown son lives in both for my son but also because my guy has a 17 year old and his custody agreement with his ex has a morality clause of no overnight guests of the opposite sex when he had visitation. He acknowledged me as his girlfriend with everyone and on social media. I wasn’t hidden or not validated. He told everyone how happy he was to have found me and they all told me about the wonderful things he said. Everyone was happy for us. I wasn’t a secret or a gray area. He asked me to marry him very early on and we talked about our plans. When I suddenly lost my job he was supportive and wonderful. I found a new one quickly. We had a good, joyful life full of plans for the future.

Then he began to change and withdraw. It was inexplicable and because we’ve always had complete openness I was baffled. I’d try to talk to him and he’d say “I don’t want to talk about it” but he’d assure me he loved me and wanted to be with me. I gave him many opportunities to easily get out but he never took them. He’s 62 (I’m 52) and about the time things started to go wrong his company was bought out and he was in fear about his job, which he’d always loved. They gave him a promotion to general Mgr but no more money and the new owners are mismanaging the business. His dream job became a nightmare but he can’t leave because of his age and not being able to match the salary. He has some health problems and his dad dropped dead at 63 so he has fears he’s going to die soon. He also plays in a band which has become a burden and not a joy. The other members are younger and they book gigs constantly so he never has a weekend off. He wants to quit because he’s exhausted and depressed but it covers his child support so he drinks to get through the weekend. In the past six months he’s begun drinking even more including work nights, he never wants to leave the couch, sleeping all the time and he’s been being unkind and distant. At times it feels like he’s doing mean things to antagonize me. I found out he’d been texting a girl he met at a gig behind my back although I know it went no further than texting briefly. It was still a betrayal that hyrt me deeply and I briefly left but he told me he loved me and asked to work things out. Still after we got through that he’d give me the silent treatment for days over me being upset with him over legitimate rudeness or inconsideration. Then after a weekend apart when I spent a few days with my mom and he’d given me the silent treatment for 4 days, I came to talk to him and he was in bed, obviously still out of it from a night of drinking and I tried to talk to him. He gave me the “I don’t want to talk about it” deal again but I pushed him because I’m tired of him being so unkind and then punishing ME when I wasn’t the one in the wrong. I told him I just wanted the answer to one thing, if he thought we should stop seeing each other and break up. After repeatedly saying he didnt want to talk about it he blew up and screamed at me “Yes, I think we should stop seeing each other. Yes, we should break up!!” I asked if he was just saying that because I’d confronted him and wouldn’t let him avoid the conversation and he screamed “I answered your f*cking question. How many more f*cking questions are you going to f*cking ask?” I said “So do you not love me anymore?” And he yelled “Yes, I don’t love you anymore okay!!!!” He never got out of bed or even looked at me the whole time. I gathered all my stuff, took it out to my car, came back and kissed his head, told him I’d always love him and I was sorry he didn’t love me anymore and I wanted him to be happy and left. I haven’t heard from him since and that was May 7th. He told his mother what happened but that he still loves me and I’d pissed him off and that he needs his space and wants to be alone. I knew I was taking a chance pushing him but I was tired of being punished for doing nothing and him always getting me to apologize just because I wanted to always make peace and work things out. He treated me so poorly at times and hurt me but would never explain or apologize. We’d just act like it never happened

He’s still miserable and drinking and his family is upset and worried. I feel he’s suffering from depression. His mom says this isn’t her son and she can’t believe he could so coldly shut me out of his life. She says I’ve always been patient, loving and good to him and even if he no longer loves me, I deserve better than this and that she admires me and loves me like a daughter. His whole family knows how happy we were and no one understands what is happening. He told his mom he feels like he’s under a black cloud that he can’t get away from and he feels smothered by everything. I’ve been gone since the 7th and he’s still unhappy.

It’s so hard because it would be so easy to just write him off as EU and in some ways his behavior hits the marks perfectly but in others it doesn’t. I don’t know what to think and I still love him deeply but I can’t reach out. His family all hope he will reach out to me. In the meantime I am so unhappy. I feel abandoned and invisible. I don’t know if he’s really EU and I’ve just been a fool or not. Would a truly EU guy bring you into his life so deeply? Would he not escape when given many opportunities to do so? Would he tell his mom he still loves you if he doesn’t?

I’m sorry this is so long, but I’m so lost and shattered. I’m still hoping he will come around but the more time goes by, the more despair I feel.

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Hi Joan. I was reading your comment and feel like you were writing about me and my ex boyfriend. He is doing this exact same thing! We have been together for 15 years and about a month and a half ago he plays the disappearing act, gone cold to me, doesn’t talk to anyone most of the time, isolates himself into his home, drinks and smokes his pot. His mom ended up into a long term care facility due to age related dementia and not being able to care for herself. He was her primary care giver for years, could not go anywhere, Christmas’s and New Years was spent with her because of her workers not coming into work with his mom, so he ended up having to stay with her the whole day, except for an hour to come see me and open up our gifts we had for each other. He lived with his mom and I live with my mom, because my dad passed away and I felt guilty leaving her alone and now I am here still.
Anyhow, I believe with seeing his mom failing, it has brought him into a depressed state and has shut me out. Won’t even address my messages I have sent him on facebook! Nothing. He contacted me once on facebook about 3 weeks after the first no contact. I don’t know if he is EU neither. Over the past 15 years he said he loves me, I met his family, he has met mine and actually looks at them as his own family. He did have a breakdown 2 years ago because of his mom and his job situation.
I would just like to know what happened between you and your loved one? Thanks

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I just got out of a relationship with someone who may be like this. We had been friends for a while, and we started dating. He told me he had been into me for quite a while, but just couldn’t work up the nerve to actually make a move until then. He told me I was perfect for him and that he was amazed that we were together. For quite a while things were great, we at least talked briefly every day when possible and he always went out of his way to show that he loved me. He always wanted yo spend time with me, and we had a lot of great times together. I honestly thought we had something really special.
Well about a month and a half ago he went on a hiking trip with his mother and when he came back he had to work extra to make up for the days he missed at work. We couldn’t see each other much those couple of weeks because he was busy, and I didn’t like it, but I understood. It would have been fine but after that nothing ever ended up going back to normal. He was always busy on the one day a week that we always spent together and it wasn’t even stuff that he couldn’t easily do any other day. The times I did get to see him he always wanted me gone early for dumb reasons like needing to do his laundry. I was lucky if he talk to me more than once a week. The only times he seemed to make an effort to talk to me was when I was at work and he knew I couldn’t talk. And what really drove me crazy is that when we had plans and I needed to find out when he wanted to meet up, or you know anything important like that, it became impossible to get a hold of him.
I tried talking to him about it a few times and asking what changed. Every time he just tried to shut down the conversation as quickly as possible and say whatever he could to get me to stop talking about it. Just because he didn’t see a problem, he insisted there wasn’t one. That it was all in my head. I knew something had changed with him but he refused to try to see things from my point of view. I asked a couple of out mutual friends if they knew anything about it because I was desperate for answers. They all said that it didn’t sound like him at all. Well two days ago we had a small argument and I even ended up admitting that in that case I was being somewhat unreasonable, and gave a real heartfelt apology. I tried calling him later that day to see if he wanted to spend time together (like he had said he did after the argument was settled) and he said that he couldn’t make me happy. That I was too high maintenance for him and he couldn’t do it anymore. I was devastated. I want so badly to know what happened to the guy who fell in love with me. Why was it so unreasonable to want to talk to him on a semi regular basis?
I’ve begun to wonder if maybe he never honestly loved the real me. Maybe he just loved some idealized version of me that he had imagined that I was before we started dating. When I showed that I have flaws, and need to feel loved sometimes, I guess that all came crashing down? He must have realized finally that I wasn’t the perfect girl that he dreamt of.

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Omg! Reading this is like being a fly on my wall watching me in my relationship. I have one question. Do I tell the guy that is emotionally unavailable why I am leaving and how I feel that he’s emotionally unavailable? If so, how do I go about doing so?

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Happy it helped! No, I would always avoid telling people who they are. Just speak with your actions! 🙂 xoxo Thanks for reading Stacey!

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Very grateful for this article. I was in a pseudo relationship for 4months with a man that started off hot & heavy in pursuing me, texted daily & was good to me (for the most part). I met his lifelong friends & a cousin, but was hidden from his mother. That’s a big red flag that I ignored. I allowed him to lead the relationship even though I knew in my gut that it felt wrong. Honestly, I suffered a lot of anxiety because I never felt secure with him which was my own fault for ignoring my intuition in the first place. I guess I stayed because he had me believing that he would eventually be ready for a relationship (his words). I never pushed anything because I knew he was emotionally unavailable. I allowed myself to have feelings for him despite knowing all of this. I felt he was starting to have feelings for me & right when that happened he bolted. After month 4 he said he needed a “break” & to “work on himself”. I am devastated, but ultimately I ignored my self in this. Your article has helped shed light & ease the heartache for me so, thank you. Truly.

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Thanks Elena! So happy that it helped 🙂 You’re not alone xoxo

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Hi Natasha,

I always go back and read your posts and this one resonated so strongly with me today. My situation was perfectly described with your comments. I wish I would have had this a year ago! However, I have learned my lesson and hopefully, will not waste any time with EUM in the future. I think the basis of the my issues had to do with where he fit on the Kinsey scale, so I would love to read more about that in the future, if you need a topic suggestion:-)

Love, Dawn

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🙂 There will definitely be more. Thanks Dawn!

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Hi Natatsha. This is the first time I’ve commented on one of your posts. Your post just highlighted things I have been going through. I met a guy online, we met, he seemed great, well adjusted, down to earth, good job etc. We saw each other a couple of times, he fast forwarded a lot about our future together and I felt great hearing all these wonder things. Then before you know it he stood me up two days in a row and then ghosted me for three days. I was bummed about it and felt it was such a shame. He contacted me and said he had had heaps of pressure from his ex. He was so sorry, he wanted to ring me all weekend and felt so bad. He said he really liked me and wanted another chance so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He switched right back on again into lots of phone calls and texting. Seemed really happy, had me over to his place for dinner then lunch another day. He made plans for the future. Some of them he kept and others were completely forgotten about. He would tell me that nearly all the lose ends with the ex were tied up and not quite. He said he would tell me about it but when I questioned it he always tried to change the subject. The weekend he ghosted me and I asked him what he did instead he changed the topic as well. So then he gradually faded a bit but still was keeping me on a string, took me out to lunch one day and I have never heard from him since. The day he took me to lunch he insinuated we were in a relationship and was very affectionate then ghosted again. I did find it hard get to know him on an intimate level and he didn’t seem to want t know much about me (he said he knew everything about me) he had financial worries and pressures from an ex. The sex was like porn sex as you said and funnily enough I was seeing the red flags and persisting with it to see if it would get better. I thought as time went on and he realised I didn’t care about the financial problems he would relax and settle down a bit more and get his act together. There was a lot of smoking, drinking that I was keeping an eye on. I had read about emotional unavailability and realised he was in that category. I was also worried about potentially being a rebound. As much as I hate being ghosted and I actually genuinely thought the guy was a good guy and I liked him and I know he liked me, he probably did me a favour. We have had no contact for two weeks. I left a voicemail at one stage saying “hi, how are you, haven’t heard from in you in while. I think the way you treated me is really uncool. I wish you and your boys all the best for the future”. I just felt I needed to get some of my power back from this guy who clearly never had me in mind and had everything on his terms. Love your website and your articles!!

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Hi Laura! Thank you so much for sharing and for your love, sisterhood and support 🙂 I’m so glad that the blog/posts have helped! I wish that I could comment further but I have too much to say to type it all out. Just know that you’re not alone and that you’re supported, backed and believed in. All my love to you sister. xxxx

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Brilliant article – perceptive and so on the mark. Those red flags cannot go un noticed after reading this gem! Xxxx

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Thanks Lorelle! I’m happy it helped! 🙂 xx

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Does it not seem that they are a lot of men that are emotionally unavailable? What causes this behavior that they see women as disposable? Is it that they are searching for the “one”, and not giving their heart to temporary girls? This is a tough area because a man could be emotionally unavailable, or just not that into you. If I were to answer one of my own questions I think – If he is “just not that into you” then he is emotionally unavailable to YOU, so it doesn’t make a difference.

It just hurts to know my “best friend-lover” always had a shelf life place on our relationship. All the words, the romantic gestures, the dancing on the beach at midnight, the bonding…..was all for a moment and he had no intention of a future. (crying) in the end I was disposable. It was cruel to work himself into my heart, settled in, then uproot and leave with another woman whom he called a “friend”. They are leaving to go on their Mexico vacation tomorrow. He has moved on while I am sill here (angry now). He said after we broke up (due to him asking the “friend” on vacation) he and his friend are now friends with benefits. we were not together for years only 6 months, but it felt so comfortable and good. It hurts to know I was only a placeholder for him. In the end he told me he was not emotionally invested, but he sure did not act that way when we were together.

(Resignation) …. He asked if we could remain friends, I tried at first, but it felt so unnatural and crazy! I had to pull the plug on the friendship – that also hurts. I know I must accept some of the responsibility. He got in my heart b/c I allowed him in my head. I really must see the signs and not think I can change someone, so that in the end he will see how we are iron together. I must only allow whole men into my life, and stop with the fixer-uppers.

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After being for 2 years in a rollercoaster, I decided to let him go, but after reading this article I’m completely in peace with myself and I know that I have nothing to regret abbout him , this article is amazing, thank you gorgeous

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YAAAA! So happy it helped! Thanks sister 🙂 xo

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Hi! I’ve been eeading about emotional unavailability for so long, because I also want to find an evidence that the man I dated for 3 months was a commitment phobe or EU. Maybe I just want to find an excuse for myself. People simply change their minds and there is nothing deep in that.
My story began at the end of March. He was my student on a course in a private school. Handsome, good looking, smiling all the time, full of positive energy. We had had lessons for a month, before he invited me for a walk at Easter. Firstly, it was just an e-mail with an explanation why he woul be absent, but then it turned into a conversation. After 2-3days of writing and exchanging some opinions, he invited me for a walk. We were walking for 4 or 5 hours. The conversation was great. He was talking a lot about himself, but I also did. He had a lot of activities and adventures. He also started to tell me about his problems with family. His mother and father separeated for 15years, now coming back together (?!-a bit weird…) He drove me home. After 20 minutes I got an e-mail with 2photos with a description -these are the things we were talking about – his ferret and his motorcycle. It was a bit weird 😉
Next week he invited for a walk at the weekend. We went again. After that I went to my friend, and then I got a text message : I am dating an awsome girl! We were e-mailing eachother all the time , exchanging interests adnd so on. Then, after the break we had lessons again. He was present on lessons smiling at me, but also being confidential about everyting.
In the meantime, I started to receive reports from a website(where you look for a job), who was checking out your profile. There was one woman, but I didn’t know her. A week after our first meeting, there was a girl waiting for him in front of the building of our school. I saw her, he aproached her, kissed her in a cheek and they went away. Ofcourse, it was none of my business because we weren’t together, however, I felt a bit weird. After 2 days I recived an anonymous e-mail about him – ‘i don’t know if you realize that te man you have been meeting is in a relationship. If it doesn’t bother you or you only count on the spring romance, good luck with that, but if you you aren’t, I think you should know’ . I sent him this e-mail and his comment was – ‘nice, I didn’t realize that someone could look into my stuff on the cell phone.’ I thought he would call me to explain. The next day, he wrote me and ask what I aas doing at the weekend. I said I wanted to talk aboit the letter. He met me and told me something, but not clearly, and said that he ended the relationship not long ago. He mentioned the ex’s name, and I reminded myself that it was the girl who was checking out my profile and the job website. She was checking me for 2weeks. I trusted him though. I went with him to the beer festival at the weekend, where he kissed me passionately and after the event wanted to take me to his place. He was touching me, kissing and we had a long walk. I refused to go to him,but he insisted. I took a taxi and went home. Then he started to send me romantic texts, coming to meet me everyday, because he said he couldn’t miss the opportunity to be with me. He started to write me things like-i thought i would not find anyone as great as you. I think about you in a perspective of months or years. I adore you. He came to me by car,we had passionate kissing and huging. He started to call me his honey, baby etc. I was more withdrawn, I thought it was to quick, but I felt so great and could resist his charm. He was invitng me to his place. After 20 days I said Yes. I went for a dinner. After the dinner I fell asleep in his arms and woke up in the morning. He texted me, and asked-what will you do when you fall in love? I said that i’ll be happy. He said that he will do what he did-he will love me and stare at me. Most of his romantic confessions were through text messages. He gave me flowers every week, and little present from his businnes trips. He cooked for me, took care of me. He was sending me selfies from a gym, from his bed, saying that he would like to wake up with me and drink coffee. Once he even sent me a photo from his business trip with a bed in the room saying- wanna step by? I felt a bit weird. After about 2months I had sex with him. He left me keys to his apartment. Then we had sex at weekend and spent time together. I accidentally met his mother. He was coming to his place unannounced. It was her flat, but she left it to live with his husband, however, she came sometimes and slept over whenever she wanted to. After my short conversation with her, she was doing someting jn a flat, and then, without any goodbye, she went out and closed the door with the key, not saying anything. He did not comment on that. I felt awkward.
Then he told me that his mother wanted to sign a contract with him on a flat, because he wanted to buy and keep his new ferret in a flat. It was crazy for me. How can a mother do sometjng like that. His father was a bit withdrawn from all of this.
I met his friends, he took me to his birthday. Then we spent time together. I went to pick up his new animal after 2 months. He was very loving for the animal, he kissed and huged it all the time, even though it was a bit stinky. He was taking photos of it and put in on instagram. Once we went for a walk, he was sitting next to me and took a selfie, then posted on facebook and waited for likes. He waited for likes of his photos, especially those posted on forums about mountains. He like photography. On his facebook account, he had a lot of photos, some artistic, some of himself, many without a shirt, exposing his chest. Maybe it’s noting special.
After 3 months, I felt a little change in his behaviour, he stopped calling me babe, stopped inviting me over to his place, not wanting to meet so much, not making any plans. He wanted to go with me for vacations. Then he cancelled it. I thought I was to blame, because I was not pushing him with dates, but I said I remembered about it. Once, I decided to talk to him about vacations, but his mother called him, and they were talking for 30minutes about nothing important. She knew I was there, but she kept talking. He did not stop her. I was a bit nervous, and wanted to go, because it was a bit late. Unfortunately, the door to his apartment slammed, because of the wind (maybe he thought it was on purpose) but I told him it wasn’t and turned it into a joke.
We were going out for football events, because it was Euro 2016. I saw that he became cold. I decided to wait.
He stopped asking me about plans, stopped holding my hand, and his kisses were a bit forced. I thought that maybe it was because I was too cold. I told him I see the distance between us, and he said that maybe he is tired, and has so many things to do. And his family is problematic, that is why he has problems. But I knew that those ptoblems did not accur 5 days ago.
He went with his friends for a trip, he came back, and nothing changed. I wanted to ask him, how he sees our realtion. He said that it was more like a friendship that the relationship. I was shocked. I went home. Then talked to him, he used some excuses. He said that he is not that opened as I may think, and his family influences his relationships with others. And it’s all chaos. But on facebook, he looked like everyting was great. Posting a lot of stuff, commenting, reviewing etc. He was very active there.
I just wanted to know where we were. I was torturing myself for 2 weeks, and i exploded. I tried to get to him gently, he only said that his mother even controls his finances. He had her in her cell phone not as-mum, but as CONTROL. I was weird.
He told me that “I am very important to him, not like ordinary friend, and he wants to keep in touch, but not everyting works out as we want. It is hard to describe it bla bla bla. There is someting about me that my parents know, some that my friends know, and some that noone knows. (Everyting written on fb messeneger) After more than one week, I was so fuious that I was used and lied to I decided to write him that he treated me like a romance and a short story. And he even did not have a courage to tell me that the eye. He only responded, okay, let’s leave it like that, my feeling just changed, I feel guilty, and you get angry at me.I did not talk to him for 2months. He did not, too. I discovred I had his book on my shelf. I wrote him and told him that I can give him this book. He agreed and we met. In the conversation, he told me that his behavious comes from his past – when someone gets close to him, he withdraws. It is hard to get to him.
I stared to blame myself for every singl detail in this failed relationship (?). That i was too cold, too demanding, not spontaneous enough, too nervous, too closed, too shy. He wanted to take me to weekend trips, but I couldn’t. That we spent monotonous time together. That i did not hug him or kiss him enough…

I found out that he found a new girlfriend, i think after a short time, but i am not sure. He went for a weekend with her, was so happy, posted on facebook. She is 9 years younger than me. She’s 23(former young model), he is 29. Now I think they are in a relationship. I removed him from facebook, because I did not want to know more.

To sum up, my friends told me that they did not like this anonymous letter at the biginning of the whole story. Than they told me that it looked as if it was to good to be true, and that he is a bit narcissistic. That he thought about himself mostly, describing every little thing that e was doing, from picking new furniture to the attic he was building, to the things he would it after the gym.

What do you think about it? Maybe I was pushing im too hard, but I just wanted to know where we were.

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Hi Kitty!

I wish that I could help, but I have too much to say to type it all out and not enough hands to type or hours in the day. This is why I cannot give specific advice in the comments. I do offer coaching if you are interested. The link is at the top of the home page!

Thanks for the love, for reading and for your understanding.

You’re not alone XOXO

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This post saved my sanity. The relationship I just got out of was like a Lifetime story, so I’ll spare you the dramatic details. In short, but the man was mean, emotionally unavailable, a liar, a cheater, lacked empathy, never wanted to label our “relationship” (even though he was bringing me around his friends and immediate family), and so selfish. Everything was on his terms, and despite me putting up with his egregiously poor behavior, he ended up dumping me in the end- telling me that I reminded him of his ex wife and he couldn’t bond to me emotionally. By the way, he stopped talking to me two days before my birthday (this past Dec 3rd). After the break up I really struggled with whether he thought the other woman (who I met- long story) is more attractive than me, and whether he thought I wasn’t enough for him. I feel like my mind was totally being f*cked the entire time- he was selling me the dream, but his actions never matched his words. I’m so glad I came across your blog and specifically, this post. Thank you so much! Healing is a process and I see where I wasn’t loving myself by staying in that relationship for so long (almost 2 years). I spent so much time trying to analyze and understand his mixed signals over the months, but now I see things much more clearly, how they really were, after reading this.

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So happy it helped! Thanks Megan 🙂 You are loved, supported and never alone. XO

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I always thought it was a particular event: something(s) I said or did to make him switch so I blamed myself. It couldn’t be him because he was almost perfect. I cannot point to an unkind word my ex spoke to me while we were together, and he did the nicest things for me. But of course they were red flags. His lack of empathy came out when he didn’t care if he was losing me b/c my replacement had been lined up. That is when I realized I had very little value to him, he just pretending all along.

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I had a very similar situation. I couldn’t find any abusive behaviour. He was doing all the nice things for me and was polite. He promised me many things. However I emphiseze that most of the things were written in text messages. But as you said, his behaviour changed almost overnight. He started to withdraw himself putting the blame on his work, difficult family etc. He did not want to work on it. He did not tell me anything specific about my mistakes or anything. He wanted to stay friends, but his explanations were so complex. I’d prefer to hear that I was not the right person for him, but he hadn’t told me that. The worst thing was that he made it all public, because he posted memes which surely were about me on his public wall on Facebook. What was it for? To make him look like avictim, and to present me as a crazy one? Do normal mature people do that? I would never have an idea to do this even though I could, because I was so disappointed.

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@Kitty
Is your ex acting like he was the wronged party?

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It is hard to say, because on one hand he said that he is sorry and it’s his fault, but then added- i’m sorry that it is so painful for you that my feeling changed. He was explaining himself a lot, and after some time when we met, he said that he has some kind of a wall, and when someone knocks on this wall and gets close, he withdraws. And it is even hard for his parents to get to him. I don’t know if you have read my whole story above.
Now, I know that he is in a relationship with another girl, 6 years younger than him. As I said before, he started to date me when he hasn’t dealt with his ex-girlfiend. Or maybe, he didn’t break up with her. I also got an anonymous e-mail about him at the beginning of our dating.

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@Kitty

I re-read your story, and I think this is someone you should stay far away from. After my bad experience I did a lot of reading, and inner work thanks to Natasha’s blog, and other source materials. Personally, I think he was a commitment phobe because of the way he fast forward the relationship, and future fake. It sounded almost like he wanted you to fall in love with him, and when you did he pulled back. Relationships come and go, but this guy fell back when things were good, not when things were bad, that’s a red flag. Committed people settle in when the going is good. Regarding the new girlfriend – I told myself my ex was where he wanted to be, and with whom he wanted to be with. I know it is hard, but we have to stay on the white horse, and put our emotional well being first before fake friendships and sad stories. He made you feel like you were the exception to rule with his other girlfriends, but you will not be if you become an option for him. You and I should work on forgiveness for our exes so that we can move on with our lives. I have to forgive myself for being in this situation, and allowing a man to lead me down a path.

You were not wrong for asking where the relationship is going. It is your life and you have a right to answers, and to know what is going on in it that you can make intelligent decisions.

“Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes . . . . ” – Taylor Swft

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Thanks for your words. You know, I was thinking there could have been some things that could scare him. But maybe I was overreacting.. I described them above – slamming the door once, not wanting to kiss him. Maybe he wanted more of my affection, but I wasn’t giving it to him, although we were very close (also physically). He called me sweet names, I wasn’t. I felt like I was afraid of something (but it was only my impression after all this). I wanted to be ready, even though I felt a lot inside. I think he saw it. I never told him I loved him, but I think that I had courage to ask him about us,so maybe he would have done the same if he was not sure. I also did not introduce him to my family and friends. It was not the best time. My friends had a new born child and most of my friends left the country or were busy.

I was so confused and sad. I could not sleep or eat. I just thought I lost my chance for sth big..

I was thinking that I wasn’t kissing him or hugging enough. I love to do it. I did it, but then I did not want to push it. I don’t know. However, I felt lost,because I got so much affection and then it ended. Maybe I did not reciprocate it or was not spontaneous.
He was mentioning the problems with his family. His controlling mother etc. But it is also in the story.

Nonetheless, I think that people talk to each other about problems, or they should at least have courage to tell the person that it is over. He said that he felt like it was more like a friendship than relationship. I was wondering why. That is why I had so many that doubts.

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Hi Kitty ,

Your story is so similar to a lot of ours. That feeling that everything came down to a particular moment in time , some miss opportunity that we didn’t take, maybe our eyes were looking left when they should’ve been looking right, maybe if we had used the proper grammar in the sentence . It is always something to make us feel less than because in our eyes we were dealing with someone who was perfect, so when things fall apart perfection can’t be wrong so you look internally to point the finger.

I know you don’t want to hear this but these men are jerks and he treated you unkindly. I am willing to bet that you are one on a very long list of the names who had the same experience as you with this man. This is a well honed pattern of behavior. There Was nothing you could have done to change the outcome. Only thing you could have done was to get out sooner. What you need to do now is to build up your self-esteem your sense of value, clear boundaries that if he should return you can say no thank you take your business elsewhere.

Something I know now that I didn’t know then you cannot be your boyfriend’s therapist you’re not there to fix him. There are so many stories here on the Blog of women who were there for their boyfriends, and once they got themselves together they didn’t stay with the long-suffering girlfriend they move on to someone new with a clean slate. We have to find men that are whole, and not the fixer-uppers. Every day I feel myself a little stronger, some days are better than others, but I am determined to come out on the other side. I Don’t want to go back to crying on the floor in the bathroom at work. You were bombarded with afffection because that is one of the red flags of a commitment phobe. These guys have a dinstinct way of moving almost scripted. Believe me you could not have changed the outcome.

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Again, thanks for your support. Another thing was that I followed his prevoius relationship (he said it was a relationship), and I saw a lot of travelling, walks, concerts even some lectures in museums. I started to think that we did not spend time like that and he got bored. There were walks, birthday parties outdoors and at his friends’ place, even one short trip. But it was very physical. I needed that, but I didn’t feel it was too much, I liked it. He was proposing all the trips, he said he would take me to many places….but in the end he didn’t. I thought I was not consistent and he gave up asking.
I was not against kisses and touching. I even felt that maybe I was too easy, and he felt that it would be only for physical contact, because I allowed him. I visited him a lot. We spent a lot of time laying on a bed huging/kissing. After almost 2months we had sex. I had this impression that he didn’t have to put any effort to pursue me. I am aware of the fact that he also left the previous girl, even though they spent their time differently.

In the end, he told me that it was complicated and complex, and he wants to stay in contact, because I am very important…ehhh And noone knows everyting about him and blablabla other excuses.
I thought he felt stupid to tell me the truth, that he got bored or I was not the one he was looking for.
I told you, I know that we meet people and with time they can change their mind, but I had this gut feeling that it is too fast. And the red flag -anonymous letter from his ex. The best thing is that I thought that maybe he wrote this e-mail himself….crazy thought 😉 But this e-mail was like a prophecy-‘If you are looking for a spring affair,good luck with that, but if not, you should know’. It was written like a man was writing that, but you can change they gender while writing 😉 The e-mail was not violent or sounded like a threat. It was more like a normal warning or information. I think that he might have not ended his previous relationship properly, and the girl was suspicous and looked into his cell phone. That’s mandess.

Yeah, everyone after that kind of experience should find peace.

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I am so so sorry you are going through this, and you seem like a really nice person who had the mis-fortune of crossing paths with an emotionally unavailable man. I do believe him when he told you about the wall that he has inside. The best thing he could do for himself and females is to get some help (which he won’t) and stop leaving wreckage.

There is a very famous book you may want to read. “Men Who Can’t Love: How to Recognize a Commitment phobic Man Before He Breaks Your Heart”.

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I heard about this book. Thank you for letting me know. On one hand after all his excuses I became so angry that I told him that he told me lies and he could look me in the eyes and tell me the truth. And I added that you recognize a real man when you see how he ends things and not how he begins them. He wanted to stay friends I did not want to lose contact. After a month after writing him all this I started to regret that. But I think I had the right to be angry. I wonder what would have happened if I had agreed on stayinstaying friends… But it was too much for me. I could have told him something more calm and dyplomaci, but I was so angry.

It is so hard to look at all this objectively. He was also a bit self-centred. Some people even thought that he is narcissistic.

Thanks for nice words. I try to be nice, but maybe I shouldn’t be so nice and naive.

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I also thought about not posting any photos or tags on Facebook for more than 3 months. For me, fb is not a sense of life, so I did not care about it. But maybe he did, however he also did not post anything there. Would he withdraw because of that? See how stupid it was to analyze every single detail.

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Hi Kitty

Are you feeling any stronger?

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Hi Tavamac!

I have just finished reading the book you recommended. It was almost like reading about my story. The only thing that bothers me is that I could have waited and see how things would develop when I would have withdrawn in the moment when he started to be colder. Would it help? Was there a chance to overcome his fear? I started to give him all my love and understanding and tried to figure sth out, help him. I know that it was a mistake. The book confirms that. I have to admit I acted like in panic to lose him and he escaped from me. He convinced me I was very important to him, but I let this ‘relationship’ to go in his pace not mine. However, I enjoyed it and thought it was crazy but pleasant. I omitted all the red flags and his unresolved previous relationship. I don’t know if he was telling the truth that it was different issue with previous girl. I may suspect that he would never have admitred that it was something similar. Maybe the previous did not let him to act so fast and it took longer to pursue her…no idea.
All in all,do you think that whatever I would have done, the outcome had been the same?
I had these thoughts of being too clingy and started to think about him as my perfect ‘the one’. He created this atmosphere, I felt great in it. But maybe I lost myself in it, not thinking about myself. If I had been in charge of it, things would be different…or maybe not. Now, he is with this young woman and maybe she is more self confident and doesn’t have this pressure in her mind to create a solid relationship at this point.
The book tells you the patterns of their behaviour but I think leaves you with a small doubt that there is hope. But I think that you have to be so ‘patient and wise’ that it may somehow kill you inside.

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Hi Kitty,

I read the book at least 3 times b/c I did not want to miss a thing, and ensure this never happens to me again.

“All in all, do you think that whatever I would have done, the outcome had been the same?” – Kitty
ABSOLUTELY, this a biological, chemical reaction. A NORMAL/HEALTHY relationship needs to grow, it has to move in a forward direction. May it be slow, or fast, but it needs to move forward towards commitment. With a commitment phobe, it is stagnant like pond water. What I have realized in reading all these stories on the blog is the standard shelf life of these relationships is 2 years, but eventually it will end. This is not something he could have gotten over with you, by himself, or with the “right” woman. This is a phobia and requires therapy. Even if he marries this new girl his problem will come out eventually. The pattern is “idealize”, “devalue”, then “discard”. The stories here show a consistent pattern of behavior.

” I could have waited and see how things would develop when I would have withdrawn in the moment when he started to be colder. Would it help?” – Kitty
My dear, you would not have wanted it to get to that stage. If it got there your self-esteem would have taken hurricane force lashings. Remember he wants out. I know you want him back, but the scene will play out again, and you cannot win. If you are with a man that is not emotionally invested in the relationship then you will never be a priority. Staying with him on a diet of crumbs is saying to him “I have no value”. So what does that mean? In a relationship like that the door is wide open for cheating, ghosting, managing down expectations until the unacceptable becomes normal, and you are a glimmer of yourself.

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“If you are with a man that is not emotionally invested in the relationship then you will never be a priority. Staying with him on a diet of crumbs is saying to him “I have no value”. So what does that mean? In a relationship like that the door is wide open for cheating, ghosting, managing down expectations until the unacceptable becomes normal, and you are a glimmer of yourself.”
WOW!!!
These words are very insightful. We are not the one’s with the deficit, it’s them.

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Thanks for all your comments. I don’t have anyone who shares the shares a me problem as me. It would be nice talking ro someone like that, because people don’t understand that.
On the other hand, isn’t it possible that he just changes his mind? Maybe he got to know me better and decdied that it’s not what he was looking for? And I might be searching for some extraordinary excuses to make myself feel better? Can’t we assume that it was that? However,the whole beginning was disturbing/exciting. I let him to get close to me physically very fast, I did not set boundaries. You know,the thoughts of beIng easy to catch,to nice, agreeing on everything. But I did not have any problems with him so I agreed on most things. Maybe when I started to be more stubborn…he thought…oh! That’s bad.

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I saw he loved travelling and wanted to take me for trips. It did not work out. Maybe I was not consistent and we spent most of time at his place. He could have been bored and decided that it was not for him. As I told you, I spent a lot of time at his place,almost every evening cuddling and laying on bed.
I also smoke,maybe he didn’t like it. Maybe he wanted to spend time differently, but he saw that I was talking about travelling and not wanting to just sit in one place, but eventually we mostly did that since I started to come to his place.
This is so confusing. I know as if I blame myself again, but this is disturbing.
I had this crazy idea to send a message to the previous girl who sent me an anonymous e-mail. I wanted to ask her anonymously about him. Some of my friend told me that it could have been him who wrote me this message. Crazy idea…or maybe not?
A lot of maybe maybe maybe…

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“On the other hand, isn’t it possible that he just changes his mind?” – Kitty
Yes, that is possible, but changing your mind suddenly and often is also one of the red flags of an emotionally unavailable person, and the commitment phobe. However, you don’t have to guess as the book says his history will give you the answer. If he is accustomed to short intense relationships then he has a problem. I’ve been down the same road with my ex, and I have wondered all the same things that you have, the feeling of inadequacy and not measuring up, but I am getting over that. I am getting over it because I do not see him as SO special anymore. When I look back now I can no longer idealize a man who would invite another woman to go on vacation while still in a relationship with me. I find it despicable. I don’t care if while on vacation he was embraced by the spirit, and he bent his back and fell to his knees – he was still unkind to ME! Let him “change his mind” – two can play that game – change yours about him, change yours about yourself.

Read “Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It” . After these types of men there is a lot of rebuilding that has to be done, but I am enjoying my new sense of value, and seeing myself as a diamond. I am not saying that some days I don’t feel down, but I force myself to change my thoughts.

My story is not that different from yours except I gave my ex a second chance (big mistake). He has this innate ability to draw you in, and make you bond with him. You said “this is disturbing” and the reason it is your mind cannot wrap itself around how someone that made you feel so special and safe could suddenly switch? It makes no sense, it is not logical, it does not compute. You try to explain to friends, and they don’t get it, and you start to question your sanity LMAO.

Stay on the “white horse” and do not contact his girlfriend. You do not know if she is still in contact with him. A lot of these guys like to keep exs as friends. Don’t do anything that will make you look desperate and crazy. I read that on this blog.

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Can someone explain to me why they like to keep exes as friends? Say the girl dumped him, wouldn’t that wound him too much to stay in contact?

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You know, they say that these men attract or choose women with low self-confidence. I don’t know if it was the case. Maybe it is an issue with me, but acruelly I got over my last relationship and I was single for more than 2 years. My last relaionship was quite rocky,but I rebuilt myself and was happy. Of course I missed the relationship and love,but I do not want to be perceived as love addict or something. I just fell in love, but than I was desperately trying to fix sth…and what was it? Still don’t know, I was trying to find the problem. I qas trying to talk it over and I even started to excuse myself for some maybe imaginary issues. No idea. He became distant and a bit unpleasant but I still tried to figure it out. It was like testing me, how long I would do that. Someone once told me: If something is not good for you,escape from it. I did that but still so many doubts.
He acted as if he was hurt by me with my harsh words about him. Like I was the one who did not understand his issue…Sorry baby…my feelings changed…
Maybe I do have a low self-esteem that’s why I cannot Regis and I let him control me. But on the other hand,as the book says- a lot of women acted like me. Even begging for his comeback. This os like addiction. Like you loose your dignity.

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Get this- I am a 47 year old mom of 4 amazingly well adjusted kids with a fabulously successful career and still darn attractive and I just fell for one of these- hard. Coming out of a painful divorce, this guy completely charmed me. He was gorgeous, mysterious, thoughtful, attentive and an incredible writer. He took me away on trips, came to see me every day at work, told me everything I had ever wanted to hear and completely swept me off my feet. And then, when I had fallen madly in love, it stopped. He disappeared for days. He would never have time for me. He went from planning the future with me to not being able to commit to the next weekend and from calling me his girlfriend to saying he ‘didn’t want to define us’. But whenever I started to leave he showed up again and reeled me back in. I stayed for over a year and had my heart broken repeatedly.

How could I, a confident, successful, well adjusted woman with lots of options fall so completely for this guy? Literally NO ONE could understand what I saw in him. But I couldn’t let it go- I tried harder, lowered every expectation, tolerated outrageous disrespect including lies, broken promises, being stood up, phone calls unreturned, and even getting me to pay for my own Christmas present- a trip together to Tulum- and never paying me back.

I am finally getting my bearings but can’t overstate how deeply I fell for this guy and how difficult it was to extract myself. Every time I would leave, he artfully lured me back. In retrospect I am now able to put together a pretty outrageous list of things this guy did that were OBVIOUSLY NOT OK. These include: standing me up for my daughter’s wedding – BY TEXT, telling me he was at a family wake when he was on a date with someone else (even though we were ‘exclusive’), engaging with his ex-wife about the guy she left him for 7 years ago when we were away for a weekend alone, and being irritated I wanted to see him the day of my dad’s funeral. The list is actually endless but the first one should have been more than enough to never speak to him again. But for whatever reason I kept doing the mental and emotional gymnastics required to keep him. And he never made a single change. It became a source of shame that I couldn’t leave so I just kept trying harder. Its a trap. And SO SO SO not worth it.

Your post really helped put and keep this in perspective. Thanks for that.

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Thanks SO MUCH for sharing Elizabeth. You are loved, believed in, supported and never, ever alone. I’m happy that the post helped!! Thanks for reading and for being a part of this tribe 🙂 XOXO

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Elizabeth,
Thank you for sharing. My situation was not exactly the same as yours, but I understand your feelings. The confusion of how you got to that place and why did you accept certain behaviors that are not acceptable.
Relationships are overwhelming and confusing at times. Based on what you’ve posted, you now have better boundaries for yourself. You wouldn’t accept this behavior again. I hope you can look at is as a learning experience and not beat yourself up.
You approached the relationship with an open heart and I hope you can do that again in the future.

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I think that in my case I should have establish some boundaries at the beginning of this ‘relationship’. I actually agreed on everything he wanted. Of course this was I thought it was okay for me and I liked it. I even excued him for this anonymous letter from his ex (but as I told you I had this thought that maybe it was him who wrote it..crazy stuff) before he even explained it for himself,which of course he didn’t want to do and had to be forced to say anything more specific. I believed that it was my chance for something special. I regret that I wasn’t more careful and pulled away or be careful at that point. And it was the very beginning and I could have maybe saved myself. I think that when he saw that I believed him so quickly, he felt safe and could move forward which he did. The nenet day he kissed me for the first time and became very eager on inviting me to his place…I refused. But then he saw that I like to be physical with him. Maybe I gave him signals that I don’t look for anything serious either. Maybe I mistaken the feeling with sexual drive (I mean I felt true feeling, but he didn’t). What if I slowed down at the very beginning? Or was more careful? I’m just curious. I should have established my boundaries,but I didn’t. He could spend good time with me, but actually I don’t think he did some much for me. I think that he just saw that I’m eager on everything and he doesn’t have to make any extraordinary effort to have me. He just texted a lot of warm and loving words and I was his. This is sad. I should have been more demanding and proud from the very beginning. Does this come out of low self confidence and the feeling that if someone just has a little interest in me I become so excited and don’t pay attention to anything else? I should have had much higher standards.
But at the same time I think that I ignored red flags about his ex, unpleasant mother and my friend telling me that he may be self centered and he text messages looked like something rehearsed and too sweet or romantic,but at the same time not so masculine. As I also told you, at the end of our ‘adventure’ he bought himself a ferret and I thought that his affection to this animal is way bigger than to me. He even posts the photos on instagram of this pet with comments like: A new member of the family; Did you come to play with me?; A little partner for naps, or This moment when you bring your little treasure a lot of toys,bit they prefer to play with the plastic bag, adding some grotesque hash tags. I know that you can love your animals..but do men do it? I know you may laugh at it 😉 but he is 30 yo.
Some of my friends say he has a severe problem with his head.

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Yah, what’s the deal with them loving their animals so much, but being unable to love people? I find that quite strange.

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Hello Kitty (that’s funny – get it ..the cosmetic brand). However, seriously:

“What if I slowed down at the very beginning?” – Kitty
The outcome would have been the same. You are dealing with a limited man, with limited capacity for emotions (Mr. Unavailable and the Fallback Girl). My relationship started off fast. I was meant to be a hit and run on the first night, he tried and failed, but in the end I was still dismissed for another woman.

“I’m just curious. I should have established my boundaries, but I didn’t.” – Kitty
I had boundaries which were well spoken, but I think he only saw me as a sit filler. To ppl on the outside I looked like a girlfriend, I went on dates, met friends etc, but from the beginning I was placed in this box. I just didn’t know it. You cannot delude yourself that you were more, you have to go through the stages of grieving. “One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive” – anonymous

“Does this come out of low self confidence and the feeling that if someone just has a little interest in me I become so excited and don’t pay attention to anything else?” – Kitty
You probably were matching his level of intensity, and got swept up. I think you are a sweet person who believes the intentions of ppl and integrity. You would never act that way unless you were serious about a person, so you expect the same treatment. The next time put yourself first and protect your heart. Get a list, write down what your dealbreakers are and the standards you have set for yourself. If a man ask you to his place on the second date – politely say ” l would love to see you again, how about dinner”. If he is not interested, move it along.

“As I also told you, at the end of our ‘adventure’ he bought himself a ferret and I thought that his affection to this animal is way bigger than to me.” – Kitty
If this was on a public and not “friends only” posting this is highly suspicious. It sounds like playing to a crowd. However, what I have come to learn is emotionally unavailable does not mean emotionless. A red flag of the emotionally unavailable is their words and actions seldom align, Personally I think it is because they like to manage down expectations. The ferret cannot tell the difference, for him it has no expectations. Don’t fret the ferret – Hitler was also was a dog lover.

Don’t take any of it personally, it is not about you this is his modus operandi.

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Thank you again and again 🙂 I knew that you would post something great. Your posts are very helpful. I can see a different approach and little by little stop to be so blind. I think that this animal is just different, original, not common. Not a regular car or dog,but something drawing attention of the crowd. Surely, the posts are public and I think he thinks that in this way he creates himself as someone one of a kind and cute. It may be appealing to people. On the other hand, some people may think it’s appealing but also childish or feminine.
It’s so awkward and confusing about him. My cousin met him and said that he had been a nice guy, but he had noticed that he was good looking, cared for details (like expensive,flashy watch,leather bracelet or a tight necklace with a little cross around his neck) and exposing his body (fit, muscles etc.) I think he knows that ladies pay attention to him.

You know, my story was shirt but he turned my heart, mind and world around…and then dissapointed me. People change their mind. I was defending myself from thinking about ‘forever’, but I started to feel safe. And maybe this was the turning point in my story.

One last doubt that I had was our evening with dinners and alcohol. We drank wine. Maybe twice I drank too much. I thought, maybe he thought I drink to much and then we get physical. I’m not saying that he thought of me as an addict, but I started to think that he could have had a bad opinion about my behaviour. Madness..

I there him out from my friends on Facebook some time about go. I think every woman should do this after having a similar experience. If someone asked him about this, maybe he said that he did this,not me 😉 How someone could have done such thing? He is so fantastic.
BTW, I like your comment about Hitler 😉 One of my friends said exactly the same thing.

Thing about my boundaries was that I knew it’s too much too soon, but I loved the ‘taste’ of it. I even agreed on sitting on the backseat of his car,because he said that he just wanted to hug me properly. It was after 2 weeks of our story. I agreed on so many things. But I felt so good.

Is it so easy for people to pretend?? Do you think that his friends know how he really is? They just don’t want to create a mess in his life and just stay silent? Are they aware of any ofurther this? Maybe he has different groups of friends and his new girlfriends meet different people? Am I paranoid?
And the anonymous letter looked like written by his ex,but who knows who wrote it… It was written in the male form 2 minutes after his regular e-mail to me. I don’t think that anonymous letters come to you on daily basis.

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I’m so happy that this helped! Thanks Kitty 🙂 xx

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I thought of being hot and cold and thought that he wanted to show how it is and strted to do the same. Then I started to be demanding when he pulled away. Or maybe before that. I didn’t want to force him to do things. I just had some comment which might have looked like demands, for example about calling me, not just texting, and saying that he was nicer earlier. After a while I thought it was childish. And the question: Who are we for eachother? Would he talk to me about this or would he ask me why am I this or that? Do men do this? I think communication is essential,but I was sometimes ambiguous. Maybe I was playing a bit. Don’t know. I asked him about his feelings, he didn’t. I know men are not so keen on talking about things, so I was wondering.

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“I started to feel safe. And maybe this was the turning point in my story.” – Kitty
It could have been, but I won’t know for sure. However, remember these emotionally unavailable men like to manage down expectations, so when you started to relax in the relationship thinking it would grow, he may have felt he had to rein it in. Try this exercise – everyday do something nice/rewarding for yourself. Or do something that you should do, but due to depression, and barely making it through the day you have been putting off. This is what I have been doing for myself and it works! You start to treat yourself like someone deserving of compassion and care. This is funny, but I made myself take my vitamins b/c I was not looking after myself.

Regarding the drinking, don’t worry about that. I thought the same thing at one point myself – then I realized nobody is perfect all the time, and do I want to be with someone who holds all my occasional indiscretions against me. Especially since he was the one buying the alcohol. You have to take him off the pedestal you have put him on. This is YOUR mind elevating him to that status. Bring him back to earth with the rest of us mere mortals.

The boundaries are for you, they are your deal breakers they are not there to get someone to love you. They are there so you can separate the idiots from the decent. Your boundaries may not be compatible with a potential lover’s. They are about YOU. I understand that it felt good, so don’t beat yourself up about hugging someone you liked. Remember he is a limited man so this relationship was never going to work. You have to move past the betting on potential and truly look at the core of the individual https://postmalesyndrome.com/i-feel-like-my-ex-has-changed-and-is-in-a-better-relationship-help/ . Next time you write in I want to hear something nice that you did that day for yourself.

“Is it so easy for people to pretend?? Do you think that his friends know how he really is? ” – Kitty
His true friends know how he really is, emphasis on true. More importantly you know what he is really like, and if you could go back in time you would have told yourself – abort mission. Honestly some ppl just like to live their lives in the moment without due care, or attention for how their attentions are being interpreted. It is the lack of empathy.

Don’t worry about the anonymous letter, it cannot change anything at this point. File it away b/c you may never get the answers you want. You have to create that closure for yourself.

I don’t think you were playing with him, not you. If you were ambiguous it is because deep inside your spirit you knew something did not feel right. Something was missing even if you could not put your finger on it. This is why you were asking him about his feelings, it was to clarify the relationship, and hopefully to silence your doubts. BTW my ex never asked me about my feeling towards him either, why, b/c they were irrelevant. He was very much a moment by moment person. He knew I was not going to be a part of his future.

I think you are still attaching your value to his behavior. However, who made him the judge and jury of your worth? You did. You have to start re-programming your thoughts. Make a list of all the things you didn’t like about him then you will see he is not so special.

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LOVING the sisterhood & support!!! XO

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You are definately right, I made him the judge.
He asked me about my feeling after 2weeks-what will I do when I fall in love? Almost all of his confessions were through text messages. Maybe once or twice he told me he adored me,and once he heard a song about man loving a woman, and he said-do you hear it? It’s a beutiful song. That is why I’m going back to such moments. I sometimes regretted telling him that-he treated me like a short affair, and he can tell these lies to his new short affair. I told him that he was rude. And he did not act like a real man. In his answer he used emoticons (smileys). That aas what really pissed me off. However, I judged him, after all his confessions. I treated them as a lie. I did not consider it to be true. I was angry and disappointed. I did not listen to his explanations. I was crying and felt rejected. That is why I repeat all my questions about being more reasonable. But I think people who feel and have feelings,sometimes get angry. Someone told me that after proposing me friendship she would punched him in the face..

I try doing things for myself. I’m not sitting and thinking about him all the time. It was short,time passed,but he left his scars on my heart.
One day after writing me an essay about his problems,he was having fun on Facebook writing comment and stuff. But the day before he seemed so concerned and confused. I did not know what to write for 9 nine days. He did not write anything. And then I wrote the furious note.

For me,communication is basic. But you have to reciprocate and do not withdraw and wait like a princess for man’s move. Maybe I was a bit like that, because I felt that he is trying so hard for me. But was he? I idealized him maybe.

At the end of the year, found a new job, now I’m moving to a new flat in April. The things aren’t that bad,but I still think aren’t out him sometimes. I fell in love with him,but I did not manage to tell him that.. maybe I should have,but I was scared,or waiting for the better moment. But he actually did not tell me that straight forward,looking into my eyes. I adore you-once…I love you-none.

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Adding to this, I have this feeling that he was waiting for my confession. I think he tried, because when he went to a trip, he sent me messages like: I adore you, I did not reply like this… it was 3 months, I still did not tell him that even though I felt it. And this the the problem is a “fall back girl” who is also scared of commitment or maybe it is me who is emotionally unavailable. Why did I stop myself from telling that? You only live once, seize the day… I controlled myself or something. Maybe this is a lesson for me which actually I didn’t want to go through. His question was: do you want to go separate ways? I didn’t know how to react. I said: you offered friendship and now you are asking as if we were in a relationship? I was confused. Maybe I’m short tempered person, but I was bragging about something which wasn’t even established. He showed me his feeling and I did not. You should be spontaneous and live happily.

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Hi Kitty,
Do not regret getting angry, never invalidate or discard your feelings. Your ex did that to you, so don’t do it to yourself, it is what will get you though this bad patch. You must go through the grieving process, and accept he was not who you thought he was. Your ex had an agenda; hence, him telling you he adores you after only 2 weeks. This is called fast forwarding, walking hand in hand with love-bombing and future faking. You were entitled to your anger b/c you were led to believe that he was emotionally invested, and cared more than he did. Let’s pretend you listened to him with the composure of a monk, would that have changed the outcome? Would he be your BF today? They are some seminars on YouTube called The Work by Byron Katie. She is phenomenal. These helped me to see reality as it is and not what my ego wanted it to be.

Oh I know about the scars, it doesn’t matter if it was 3 months or 3 years any involvement with the commitment phobe, Narcisist, and emotionally unavailable past 1 hour is too long. They do things to work themselves into your heart, all knowing they have a limited capacity for action. One of the things I have learnt is the first 3 months of any relationship is usually called the honeymoon stage, so I will not bank too much on it in the future.

You did not reciprocate the “I adore you” when he said it because you doubted his sincerity. Your female intuition may have been warning you to proceed with caution.

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This kind of support makes me so happy to see. You are amazing ladies (& never alone) !! <3 XOXO

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In this case we could also assume that the honeymoon phase was just a test, how people communicate and are compatible with each other. He may have decided I’m not for him. He was just looking for someone else and resigned…
But the whole thing with the pace of this situation. We knew each other one month before he asked me out. He was (for sure) with someone each else at that point. Then he complemented me, ‘adored me’, kissed me so much, and couldn’t spend a day without me (as he claimed). Maybe it was just pure fascination and it passed,when he saw that I’m not that dynamic as him, we don’t spent time actively as before I started to stay at his place. I was coming in the evening, leaving next afternoon and so on.
Maybe not getting to his bed during the honeymoon phase, we would have got to know each other, going away for weekends,spending time on walks, having picknicks etc. It went too physical I think. And then started my demands, the accidental slamming of the door,stupid comments about he change of attitude etc. I was not showing him much affection in front of his friends. We did not have one photo together. Why I did not take it? Like I was ashamed to ask? This is stupid. But for me maybe it was not the most important. But I regret it. He loved taking photos, he was handsome and I should like to take a photo of him and me. People said we looked beutiful together. He only had one photo with me. I don’t like the Facebook exposure.
I think I might be a withdrawn person and I’m afraid of men or I’m too shy. Maybe, after 2 years of being alone, I did not know how to behave and be exciting. I needed closeness and feeling,but maybe I just lost myself in that.
Isn’t there a possibility that he was sincere and he just resigned? Or after the honeymoon phase came this short phase of withdrawal that some men go through and I destroyed eeverything. Maybe he just wanted to slow down a bit. He was saying at the beginning of my investigation that there is nothing wrong,maybe he’s just a bit tired.
I was impatient.

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And we were meeting almost everyday during those 3 months. He went away twice on trips. Once with his friends after a month of our story. He invited me to go, but I had to work. Then he went with his friends to the seaside. He said it was their tradition. They did it every year. At that point I started to suspect that he was having TOO great time there. My imagination was a bit twisted at that time, because I felt the difference before he went to this trip.
You know, I got used to seeing eachother everyday, that I could have exagerrated his withdrawal. And I started to get angry inside. This is neediness and unjustified fear. He wasn’t going anywhere, just we did not meet. Once or twice. Maybe he saw that I was starting to trap him and I was really clingy.

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Hi Natasha, thank you. It is best to have your own back, but it is nice if another person has it as well.

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Always! xo

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I feel your pain and confusion, you mostly blame yourself for the demise of your relationship. One that meant alot to you, and that you were hoping would progress further. It feels like you were reading a really good book, and then you turn the page, and the leaves are torn. You feel let down, and since you see him as wonderful, then you MUST be the problem. It is the only thing that makes sense. If you were really fantastic, enigmatic, alluring, sensual and fun he wouldn’t have so easily left. Wild horses couldn’t drag him from you. His leaving is the validation of what you think about yourself – You are not enough. Friends tell you you were too good for him, but you don’t believe them b/c if it were true he would have fought for you, but he didn’t. It gets even crazier b/c if you accept he is not perfect, then even the limited don’t want you. Do you see where I am going with this? You just can’t win.

Did he really like you and just change his mind?

It is possible BUT . . . and it is a big but you have to make the assumption you were dating a NORMAL man. You have to assume he has a history of good romantic relationships, no history of triangulation. You have to assume that letter never happened. You have to assume he is generally emotionally available with minimum baggage. You have to assume he usually makes his girlfriends a priority. You have to assume he has the emotional maturity to fall in love, and not just with the idea. You have to assume he is generally not careless with his words/actions. You have to assume that if you talked to any of his exes your experience and theirs will be different. If you have any answer that is no, then you have to make the biggest assumption – YOU COULD HAVE CHANGED HIM.

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Thank you for your incredible support. It means a lot to me. I was reading about fast forwarding and future faking. It fits this situation perfectly. However, as they say, if you look for the symptoms of anything especially any illness on the Internet, you can be sure that your little headache is 100% brain tumor, or when you feel a bit worse..you will die on couple of days. I’m joking of course.
It is so hard to believe that it is possible to meet someone like that or that this kind of people actually exist. I know that it so weird and confusing. I asked the question about whether he could have changed his mind, because it is as hard to believe as the whole FAKING situation.
You know, I cannot even say that it was a relationship. I thought that maybe his effort did not bring the result because I wasn’t that affectionate and did not want to reciprocate his words or say simply ‘I miss you’ or kiss him more often. I was doing it at the beginning and then I didn’t want it to look ‘too much’. It was stupid because we had sex before, so I shouldn’t be distant. If I had seen something like this (that someone is colder)and it bothered me, I would have told it to the person, especially when I claimed I loved/fell in love with him/her. Maybe it’s just me who thinks like that. Maybe men don’t do this.
We can think it’s a bit illogical, because I demanded from him declarations ‘where are we?’ but I never told him about my feeling straight forward. What he could know… I’m just assuming. Walking hand in hand, hugging, kissing, sex, cooking, caring, spending time together, using sweet names…it was him. I was colder. In spite of sex I think I wanted to be sure about anything, but in my mind he was safe to be with. But relationship works when two people work on it.
Would he resign that easily if he was honest? You know, people get to know each other and think about the future and think-oh god this person is not what I imagined. It doesn’t make any sense. So they leave early enough. You just have to deal with that.
I had dream last night about him and his new girlfriend. I saw them together with his mom who adored her,and told me that she remembers my behaviour and good that I’m not with her son…ehh..it was not a pleasant dream.

You know the thing about his mother, is that possible that she influences his behaviour or its a big fat lie? He always talked about his mother influence in a negative manner but he obeyed the rules…a bit too much I think. He looked like he couldn’t say ‘no’ to her. Or he lied and demonized her and wanted her to be his excuse while fleeing from me.

I had this concern that when she came to him unexpectedly(she had keys and came whenever she wanted,she payed rent-he was building the attic in the house,so maybe it was their deal), talked to me for 20minutes, I was standing up, didn’t say-let’s sit down and talk or let’s drink tea, or even-I’m going home now, I was standing and talking, she was saying sth and then me and him went to separate room. I had this feeling,that maybe she thought I was rude and told it to him the next day, because she went out without saying goodbye and closed the door with the key. It was bad first impression. But it was his flat. I don’t know. And then she was coming unannounced to his place for the whole day or to sleep over. Once she was about to come at 10pm, he said I could stay,but I did not feel comfortable to stay there that late when his mommy was coming. But this was the evening when the door slammed I think. Bad timing. Still-he had his mom named as ‘CONTROL’ in his cell phone. I was interested what could it mean. Not many people do it. I have never seen something like that.

You know, have this impression of being more and more closed and soon, I will start to build the wall around me, because I won’t know if I’m too affectionate or too cold. If the man is honest or not. Maybe he fell in love with me? Or maybe he has hidden agenda. He is sweet…oh so maybe it’s fast forwarding… etc. Confusing. But as you said,you think that I was acting in the proper manner. Is the old saying still valid? – when he loves he will wait…or…people don’t give up so easily when the care.
I had this impression that with this new girl it’s different, she was affectionate, told him all the sweet things, she was consistent with her feelings (fresh, careless). And he knows that this is a relationship. Maybe,she said she loved him somewhere on a trip, spontaneous beautiful moment. I also fell in love with him…so why didn’t I tell that? It wasn’t his role to ask about every detail of my feeling. It had to be spontaneous. I remember myself how I was. Maybe i’m not like that anymore. I think I control myself and I’m too shy. More waiting for man’s step. The initiative should be on both sides and I think it was,but not with the feelings. After spending night together, in the morning I did not go to him to hug him good morning while he was making breakfast. He looked so good,because he was fit, so every girl would go and do it…bit not me! Little things,but important. I think he was sad because of that. Still I demanded him to be affectionate. Once, I was mean a bit because of that.

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The bottom line is-from your post- No matter how I had behaved (being a strict girl not keen on sexual closeness so fast), the outcome would have been the same.
Or these people never ‘pick’ certain kinds of women? They know who will be a good/easy target for them. But I think I differ from both of those girls, the one before and after me…hmm sounds ‘funny’…3girls in a year. Oh well…

I talked to my grandma about this. It was interesting to hear her opinion. I omitted yhe fact about having sex, and she was confirming your opinion,my friends’ opinion.
But she added that if a man ‘gets what he wants too fast,he may go away’ because they assume the girl is used and is no secret to them. Hmm..she is still unaware of my behaviour. If she knew,maybe she would not be so supportive towards me. Maybe this is just plain truth..

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Hi kitty,

It is confusing “did I mean anything?” or “was he just pretending?” I think one of failures is that they are people out there who think differently than we do, a different set of core values. I didn’t comprehend know how you could spend time with someone, have passion and your still not able to fall love with that person and the relationship is one sided. It made no sense me especially since I thought this was the type of life that was all people wanted – your bestfriend-lover. They are ppl out there that just are passing time. Regardless it is all EU.

Yesterday I did what Natasha said you shouldn’t do , I went insta-stalking after receiving a text from my ex after a month of not hearing a word. Yup, I stalked the present gf, I stuck my head in the toilet. Needless to say I was not in a good place for the remainder of the night. It was painful and unnecessary, and I paid dearly. I really had to pull myself together.

In the end all the questions and obsession for me came down to 2 areas: The need to “know if my ex is in a better relationship” , and the need to find out who he is at his core. None of it is good. The first part is to validate that I am to be blamed for why things didn’t work out, and the second part is determined if the new girl will get the emotionally unavailable guy, or the awesome one that I also saw. I do understand your confusion. Think of it as a court of law you never really know, but The facts speak for themselves to lead you to a verdict, and you do have to accept the verdict.

I will try to check in everyday, but I have a minor surgery next week, so I maybe offline for two days. Here is my email [email protected]. We can skype each other, that way I can get your full story without it being broken up and you can hear mine.

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<3 XOXO

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Ladies, I”m from Netherlands 🙂 . I have a question my ex (emotionally unavailable men) owes me alot of money . He told me when he out of blue broke up with me that he will refund my money…. 2 weeks later no money. I call him ,. Send him text( he is online but ignore me . Its like he love attention because he is ignore me WHAT SHOULD I DO i need the money😞

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Natasha/

This really hit home. I dated my boyfriend for a year and a half. He was my best friend and we also shared a lot of mutual friends. He was great but was so hot and cold and could never say how he really felt about me even though I felt like he loved me I always doubted if we were on the same page and how invested he was. He would do really confusing things and I would always call him out and then he would feel so bad be good for a few weeks and then do something mean again. Nothing like cheating- but like not including me in plans etc or doing his own thing and putting his needs first all the time..he was also a horrible communicator and I felt I was always the one initiating texts and asking for plans. I felt he put his plans and himself before me. I don’t consider myself someone with low self esteem- I would always tell him when he did something I didn’t like and even tried to break up a few times saying we aren’t on the same page let’s take space and he was always like no we are im sorry. I laid out what I needed and expected in a relationship from the get go. He would send me mixed signals – and the relationship wasn’t maturing in any way when I felt it did he would pull away. Finally I went home for break and he barely reached out it was always me and when I got home he told me he had some parties to go to and didn’t invite me. I felt horrible and ended up ending it. A few days later he called me and He cried which was shocking and finally said how I much I meant to him but that he realized he can’t have a relationship at this point in his life and wants to be on his own. I realize it’s not me it’s his issues and a lot of times I felt needy when that’s not who I am. But it’s hard for me to understand why he can’t have a normal relationship I wasn’t asking for much just fundamental normalcies of dating someone for a long time in the real world. I have to see him here or there because we have the same friends even tho he said he would try to respect my space. It sounds like he’s emotionally unavailable but how do I get over him if I have to see him so much? I was a great girlfriend and in the end I think he did love me but never really showed it or said it- will he one day mature and realize that he was so stupid for letting me go? I don’t understand why he didn’t just walk away during the five times I gave him outs if he wasn’t ready for a relationship? Why was it on me to officially end it why did he drag it on ? He said he couldn’t give me what I wanted or needed but I laid that out so clearly during the relationship why did he stay and not change?

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Hi Lauren!

Thank YOU! I’m so happy that the post helped!! 🙂

I wish that I could answer your questions, but I have too much to say to type it all out not enough hands to type or hours in the day. I would also need more details. This is why I cannot give specific advice/answers in the comments.

Thanks for your love, for reading and for your understanding. Keep coming back here to the blog. All my love to you soul sister.

You’re not alone XOXO

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Lauren,
I can commiserate. I also dated someone who was hot and cold and he never shared his feelings. I struggled with not knowing how he felt about me. I think it’s important to know where you stand with somone, reassurance is necessary. The guy I dated was also a horrible communicator and I was the one to initiate most of our dates/time together. This felt exhausting after a while. Why wasn’t he trying to spend time with me? Like you, I felt that I was less important to him than he was to himself. You are with someone so they can enhance your life, not make more work and cause confusion.
I also consider myself someone with good self-esteem.
Is it worse to see him all the time or never again? In your situation the guy told you he couldn’t have a relationship, in my situation I ended it. After I ended it via email (because, of course, we could never discuss feelings) I never heard from him again. Even though I ended the relationship I feel wrecked. I wanted the relationship, but I had no choice but to end things.
I know you are hurting, but think of all the times that he disappointed and hurt you. This is a temporary hurt, if you had stayed in the relationship you would have an undetermined amount of hurt.

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First off, thank you for this blog and your insight. You’re literally saving my sanity right now.

Something else to watch out for (having learned this from very recent personal experience) is Emotionally Unavailable Men (EUM) hiding behind long distance relationships. The distance naturally affords them a limited amount of contact behind which they can hide their inability to consistently emotionally engage in a quality manner. My relationship lasted for two years and ended very abruptly (via text while he was, ironically, less than five miles from my house) because that natural stop-or-go forward point wherein the relationship goes from long distance to local forces their emotional unavailability out into the open. A lot of the symptoms of an EUM were there, it just took much longer to suss them out than it would have had we not lived five hours driving time apart.

Another thing to watch out for is the EUM’s sh*tty response to a dignified exit. If my EUM ex got any more petty about my concrete, dignified, and immediate departure from the relationship, he’d have to change his name to Tom and start a damned band with the Heartbreakers. EUM (and even more so narcissists because I have several of those in my past too) do not respond well to boundaries. In their mind, your boundaries mean you didn’t *really* love them. They often press for contact, attention, and/or any sort of reaction (even a negative one) because attention is how they validate themselves. No contact is the only way to move on from these people. You can’t be friends etc with them because it’ll just open a door for them to continue to use you. That being said, anticipate maximum petty from these fools once that boundary goes up. Stay strong and erect an alligator moat if that’s what you need to maintain no contact.

And always remember: there are 3.5 billion men on the face of the planet; none of us needs to waste our time on the ones who have issues with themselves. Their baggage isn’t ours to haul. We’re not the damned bell hop at the Hotel Relationsh*t.

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YES! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing Stephanie. You’ve inspired me to write a post on these topics 🙂 All my love to you soul sis! XOX

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Stephanie –
This sounds so familiar. Over a year ago, I reconnected with a high school friend. Had not seen each other in over 30 years, but met up for lunch and I was hooked. Charming, good looking, successful, etc…but married/divorced many times. I couldn’t believe someone would let him go he was so wonderful! He then proceeded to charm me, text, call, future-fake, act like he was all about me. Couldn’t wait to see me, be intimate, how I always made him smile, how all his co-workers wanted to know why he was so happy. Forward to first date…stone cold. I thought he was going to have an anxiety attack. He was just days out of a divorce!! He said he longed to have a relationship with me, but didn’t feel romantic feelings. What?! What was I hearing? Granted, this was the FIRST person I dated out of my divorce…but I was in my 13th year of being alone…I guess longing for the same. However, I was ready to commit to someone so wonderful. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and it’s been a constant tug and pull with us. Him acting like he cares and wants me, while simultaneously telling me he’s not ready to date or doesn’t feel anything for me. Always asking for a hug when we meet/part, talking to me about everything…I always clung to hope, but after reading Natasha’s blog, I realize I fell for an emotionally unavailable man. Friends said that while he would light up around me, and possibly truly want to be around me because I made him feel good, he would never give himself to me. Now onto the “let’s be friends” part…it’s on his terms. When he wants to call me, text me, banter on Facebook, grab a quick lunch…and now, he tells me that he might be interested in someone! Apparently, she’s asked about me because he said he’s already told her about me and that “we’re just good friends.” What you will allow, will continue. That has never rung more true after reading your post and reading almost all of Natasha’s blogs – what a great help this has been. I have long felt this was all my fault – that I wasn’t good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or he would love me. Everybody tells me what a beautiful, smart, witty, caring, loving person I am, and he did as well…once…but I still thought I could change him. He and I have fought, laughed, forgiven and no matter how many times I leave him, he always reels me back in…on his terms, at his convenience, when he needs me. I’ve probably pushed away better men always waiting for this EUM to come to his senses. I am ready to leave him, I say through tears. My heart is torn, and I truly feel that I can recover, but I must sever all ties (especially social media) and it’s so very painful. He’s like an addiction. But thank you, thank you, thank you, Stephanie and Natasha, for giving me the courage to do so, and the knowledge that it will get better. I know I fell in love with the illusion of him…the man I know/thought he could be, but I don’t think he ever wants to change…all I can do is leave for my sanity.

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Becca,
I felt the anguish in your post. I hope you have left him behind. It’s hard when you want someone and they don’t show up for you in the way you want them to. I hope you can focus your energy on yourself and finding someone worthy of your love.

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I am currently dating an emotionally unavailable guy. Its been going on for about 4 months but I had no idea people could actually be like this when we first started. He s always respectful and is always ready for any intimacy we seem to be sharing. He loves that in fact. But we had the talk and he’s now told me he doesn’t want a relationship. This is probably one of the hardest situations I’ve found myself in because I’ve already invested so much in such a short span of time and have tried to break it off 3x now. I just keep going back. I keep telling myself I’d rather be “happy” with him than miserable alone. HELP! I just cant seen to find the ressources to leave and never look back. I’m at the point where I honestly told myself I’ll be stuck wanting him forever. I’m completely delusional and really at a loss here. This is simply self destructive and torture!

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Hi Ashly!

I wish that I could advise and answer, but I have too much to say to type it all out not enough hands to type or hours in the day.

Thanks for your love, for reading and for your understanding. Keep coming back here to the blog.

I do offer one-on-one coaching if you’re interested and would be happy to help further 🙂 The link to it is on the homepage!

All my love to you soul sister.

You’re not alone xo

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Ashly,
I hope you don’t invest more time and energy into someone that is giving you less than you deserve. You should be with a man that values you enough to be in a relationship with you. I”m sorry that you are hurting and I hope you can find the strength to leave. I know this is not an easy task.

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They will come on strong, say everything you want to hear, treat you like a queen, make your head spin (in a good and bad way), then they will chew you up and spit you out and never look back. I just had my first experience with an EU. I kept making excuses for him because my mind wouldn’t let me believe that he was actually doing what he was doing. I had no idea what hit me until it was over and clarity took the place of the pain. These blogs have helped me actually define what he was doing. Avoid these me at all cost.

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I’m so happy that the posts have helped! 🙂 Thanks Jaymi!! XOXO

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Oh Natasha! This is spot on. I’ve had a few long term relationships in the past and their endings have been for clear reasons – but this last one ….I was stumped until reading your posts. He’s what you call an EU F*cktard!! For the last few years I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right, but thought it was me (his constant put downs didn’t help either). I kept trying to please and seek validation. Like you say ‘he was the man of my dreams’ for the first part – but then he went all distant and would turn icy, only to completely change and be lovely (in hindsight when it suited him). I went through your list of warning signs and OMG…ticked almost all of them! Trying to figure it out had been almost driving me crazy. We’re both in our mid 40’s and I honestly hadn’t experienced anything like it before – but now it all makes sense. He’s a cat for sure….and he ain’t going to bark. So grateful for your post as it has really cleared things up for me. Looking forward to Indifference :-).

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Hi Krista! I’m so honored to have helped 🙂 You are loved, appreciated, understood, believed in and never, EVER alone. Thank you for being a part of this tribe and for sharing <3 Indifference WILL come and the pain WILL pass. xxxx

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