didn't work out. It's been three months since we ended things, but I can't come to terms with what happened, mostly because I either: don't want to accept the hard truth, or what I believe are hard truths aren't really true.
For about a month and half after the incident described in this linked post
, things were idyllic. We went on a weekend away together, spent a lot of time hanging out, talking, laughing. Then, every weekend in April, he was busy with things he'd planned before we met. Whenever he left, it was out of sight, out of mind for the most part. One weekend he ran a 3-day relay race. I'd heard from him a few times during the race, but the day he actually got done - nothing. Which was totally fine by me when he explained what had happened (phone died, no charger, etc), until I noticed that he'd had time to change his Facebook profile picture but not send me a brief text letting me know he was okay.
If this sounds petty on my part, I get it. But I was still okay with that until it became clear to me that his hobbies and FOMO (fear of missing out) were actually his top priority. He was gone every weekend in April, but during the week spending time alone together wasn't a priority. Whenever we'd plan date night, he'd show up late. Or invite friends along. Or try to stuff in as many activities as he could with friends, but not plan things with me 1:1. To make matters worse, we have a mutual friends circle that we both did things with - but not as a couple, because he didn't want people to know we were dating in case things didn't work out. It was as if spending time with me alone wasn't exciting enough - there always had to be other people around. I would ask my friends if I was being ridiculous for getting insecure about his actions, but many of them (both male and female), said that my concerns were somewhat valid. I was advised to temper my reaction to some extent (after all, we'd only been dating 3 months), but my friends also said they'd never let a man treat me the way he did.
Regardless, the time we spent together was amazing. Our chemistry was off the charts, we had fun, the sex was good. I didn't realize it, but I fell hard. I ignored the little red flags - how he would describe negative qualities of his exes, but never did a gut check that it may have been his actions that prompted their reactions; the fact that he kept saying we weren't bf/gf or in a relationship, but we were exclusive; the fact that he said he had trouble being accountable to any woman because he'd been burned so badly in his marriage. On my part, I thought that being ultra-flexible, being available, and showing him how much I valued him would demonstrate to him that I wasn't his ex-wife. He'd kept repeating that I checked off all his boxes for what he wanted in a partner, so I thought that that would be enough for him to want to make the relationship work.
It just got worse. Maybe he became complacent, and I became too "available". I tried communicating with him using the "I love spending time with you, would you like to..." type conversations; or "I love getting texts from you, do you think when you're gone you could text me a little more?"; except, we started having these 'talks' every ten days. Or he'd go out with his friends and not get back to me for 6-7 hours. This from a man who would text me for hours when we first met (honeymoon phase)? It came down to something very simple: to me, the lack of texting signaled disinterest, but when I talked to him about it, he said he wasn't a texter, that I was the 'perfect girl', and that he wanted things to work. In hindsight, I became this clingy, needy, yucky person that most definitely wasn't her usual self. Subconsciously, I knew I wasn't being treated well. He attempted to text/ stay in touch more, but the intimacy that comes with progression of a relationship wasn't there. Why did I continue to give him a pass? Because he'd do little things here and there that made me feel special. Little gifts, put air in my tyres, rides to the airport. But he'd still show up late to things I planned as a couple, because he was 'on a doggy playdate with his dog's favorite playmate', or 'he got lost on his way back from his friend's birthday party, and left too late.'
The final straw for me was after the chaos of April (when he was really busy with work and his social activities), when I planned a date night. He wanted something calm and relaxing, so I planned a couples massage - it was the first time in his life he'd gotten a massage. He said he was going to be late so I pushed back the appointment. When he finally showed and I asked him why he was late, he said he'd had an impromptu happy hour at work that he had to go to. I was crushed. This was the second time in two weeks that I felt like I meant nothing to him. The week before, he'd invited me to an event the following weekend (we hadn't seen each other in ten days). The day of, we went to breakfast, and ended up having sex at his place (my idea, not his). Immediately after, he said, 'Sorry, I invited X and Y from our group of friends to this event, and they don't know we're dating, so you can't go with us.' And pretty much asked me to leave. Did he intend to disrespect me? No, he didn't. Was it inconsiderate in the extreme? Yes.
I gave it a couple more days, and on a date night when we were supposed to meet at 8 and he showed up at 930, I unloaded all my frustrations. I called him a 'walking red flag', told him that even having sex with him was hard because we had no emotional connection (things I regret saying and have since apologized for). He was definitely very affected by my words, and with his pride and stubbornness, I should have known it was the nail in the coffin. He said he'd felt the emotional connection recently lacking as well, to which I responded that I didn't think you could build an emotional connection with someone who wasn't there physically or otherwise. He said that his being busy, and wanting 'separate' lives had been a problem for girls he'd dated in the past, but that when he met me, he'd found himself wanting to make time for me. I guess he'd reverted to his old, true self. He said he wasn't ready to be accountable to any woman, but that he'd asked me to be patient and would get there. He said his uh-oh moment was my reaction to his shenanigans in costa rica. That at that moment, he'd had doubts as to whether we were compatible. We ended things two days later (he wanted to), and I have been a wreck ever since.
We keep seeing each other at work, and at social events. We're perfectly fine, on the surface. He assumed I had moved on, until a week ago. I laid my pride and dignity aside, and told him that the insecurities I was dealing with when we first dated (lack of my own social circle, not having friends/ activities) were no longer valid. Which is true, because now I'm so busy I don't know which way is up at times. The difference is, I'd make time for someone I cared about. He agreed that we'd spent some amazing times together, that we had great chemistry, but he truly believed we wouldn't work out. Why? Because he said he's going to do things with his friends sometimes, and not include me. Or that he'd do things with his friends first, and then with me. Or that he'd tell his friends things, and not tell me. He said this was why it was difficult to be with him - but what he didn't realize is that I'd be okay with that. What I did want is balance (something we'd talked about when we first dated, and he was confident he'd be able to do). He said he was looking for a (I quote) co-parent, but that he wasn't willing to settle, but that he hoped he'd find someone as kind and gentle as I am. He said he'd never met someone who was kind even when she was mad, and that he'd had to get used to someone who wanted to do nice things for him, like cook him dinner or bring him soup when he was ill (doesn't everyone do that?!). And he also wanted to find someone who could sit with him in companiable silence and do her own thing while he was busy doing yardwork, or reading, or puttering around his boat (which I'd demonstrated I was able and willing to do, I guess).
Here's what I don't understand. We are perfect on paper (his words), and we have great chemistry. I wasn't asking for much - just balance. He agreed I wasn't asking for much with the texting. But he also said something incredibly offensive: while agreeing that I never bugged him with texts or calls and mostly left him alone, that every time I 'talked' to him about being more communicative, he felt that he'd be 'rewarding' that kind of behavior if he actually began texting more. And he felt it wasn't sustainable because his mom, ex-wife, and brother all had the same issue with him and it wouldn't change. Am I crazy, MeFites? Was I asking for too much? Is it really that we aren't compatible or he isn't mature enough or ready for a serious relationship (he says he is)? Is there any girl that would be okay with this kind of behavior that also cares about him, and would also display the qualities that he said he loved about me? I've been broken up with before, so this isn't a case of being rejected. I fell in love with an idea of him - shades of a man who did sweet things for me, who initially complimented me and gave me attention, and wrote me the sweetest Valentines day card, ever. Who told me after our first weekend away together that 'this thing has legs and we're going to make it'. The man who tattooed his wedding ring on his finger because he thought his marriage was going to last forever. It's been two years since his ten-year, horrendous marriage/ divorce, so is it possible he's just not ready for a serious relationship yet? Will he be ready for it with the right person, and I just wasn't the right one? Was all of this my fault because I was too needy? If I'd met him a couple years from now, would things be different? I understand that after ten years of being in a loveless marriage, two years is a drop in the ocean. I have a doctorate, I'm beautiful, and I have no lack of attention from the opposite sex. Yet, the heart wants what the heart wants. Please help me fall out of love with this idea of a man by telling me what I need to see that I don't see. Thank you, MeFites. :(
Throwaway email: email@example.com