How can I get over him while I'm still in love?
October 4, 2009 6:12 PM   Subscribe

How can I get over him when I fell for hard for him? Recently my "friend" I have been seeing dumped me. Ok, his name is Alex. We said we would take it as friends and see where it goes since I prefer my relationships to go like that anyway but I need to get over what happened just over the summer. This is going to be LONG, I must warn you.

We started off first working together for a couple of years. He got fired while I still worked there. I was coming out of a long relationship that was emotionally abusive. So, I wanted time to work on myself. I got several months of working on myself before he started to take an interest in me and was aggressively pursuing me. I know all the signs when a man is interested. He told his friends about me. I know because one of his buddies asked a question testing to see if I spilled the beans about him being fired from his job. When I answered that my friend left because things were getting hectic, etc. Alex's friend smiled and said "I know he was fired I was testing you. You are a good friend." Yea, I don't like being tested but I sheepishly laughed and smiled. So, I knew Alex had something for me. Another time is when he asked me to come down to a bar he regularly visits. I didn't know if I could make it but on the way I made a surprise visit. His family was there. I met his family, awesome bunch.

Upon leaving he asked me out on a date. I said "I'll think about it." Then he said "My parents love you!" I said "really?" He said "yea." It was cool, but I was cautious because we didn't even date yet. So, he invited me out again to a family bbq. His family loves him. He is the cool, calm seemingly collected guy. The only two things I noticed at the function were him throwing beer bottle caps at one of his female cousin's face jokingly to which another female cousin replied with "That's not nice, that's not nice" and gave him a 'what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-you-look'. Also, I overheard a conversation in he still owed one of his family members some money and the guy was pissed at Alex for not agressively reaching out to let him know the situation. Anyways, minor things.

I agree to a date and we didn't start on our first one until 2 weeks later. But in between time, he was talking and joking about things like marriage and talking about kids. Barely know the man, I needed to be friends first. But he was seemingly sincere, charming and swept me off my feet. Had many qualities I liked in a man. Wasn't obnoxious, didn't argue, not controlling, easy to get along with. We both had sarcastic humor but I learned his is more witty and crass. It turned out to be a downside because while I can be sarcastic I like to have real conversations and lift people up.

His sarcasm includes name calling, which he does with everyone. He called me dummy and asshole in which I reminded him more than once to be cool with that. Well, he didn't remember and has done it a few more times. Cool. I still thought the positive outweighed the negative. But then I started feeling insecure as to how he felt about me. When we were together he would be all over me and wishing how I would proudly state I would never leave him and him never leaving me but kinda half jokingly. Then at the same token, he would say something sarcastically like, my taste in music or movies. We went to a movie rental spot and even though he told me I could pick out the movie, whatever I wanted, he was there talking how he wants to see a comedy because he basically didn't trust my taste in film. I thought "This man had the last pick of the movies and the one before that... I like to get what I want." So, he kept up making sarcastic jokes and I was feeling a bit sensitive so I walked away and told him he was making me feel bad. He apologized and asked why I was being so senistive he was only joking. I replied "That's just me."

Now, I noticed when his sarcasm gets to the point of cutting me, even if hes playing and I call him out on it, I can't help but notice he seems distant for a moment and less playful. He can't help his sarcasm, and some of the times hes done it and I would lightly point out in a good-natured fun manner how he is being insensitive he comes back with "I'm only teasing. I didn't mean it." Ok, I was willing to look past all that. Because in truth I was being guarded and figured once I get comfortable then I could let my guard down with him and not take what he says seriously. But I couldn't help but think why he thought it was funny to joke about beating women or beating me "like a man." To me, there was no wit in saying that. If you are dating someone, wouldn't you try to make an effort to not be as offensive until they get to know you better? But maybe I was offending him. Either way he didn't let me know if I was.

He hooked me in only to back away and he was going to just let me fade into the background until I asked for some real honest discourse from him. All I wanted was to have communication where it was real and not just poking fun all the time. When I did, is when he opened up and said "A man knows what he wants and 2 months is more than enough time to feel a connection." He wasn't feeling a connection so he emotionally pulled away from me. That hurts. I couldn't get through his snide and sarcastic remarks which always left me guessing as to what his intentions were. I keep thinking I did something wrong. I keep thinking "Well, if I wasn't so guarded, if I didn't display my displeasure with things that bothered me so much." I did feel in my gut more than once that he was an aloof character and will let things fade into the background if he isn't interested so that always made me cautious before I got to dating him. He is also prone to boredom and I don't know if pursuing me was something to get out of his boredom. I'm trying to keep in mind on why he wasn't good for me but I still feel hurt. Despite his sarcasm, I held on to the supportive sweet man who was consistent in at least keeping me in his radar. These memories I can't get over. How can I get over him?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Calling you dummy and asshole after you ask him to stop is emotionally abusive.
Cutting you with insensitive teasing is emotionally abusive.
Joking to you about beating women is emotionally abusive AND A HUGE RED FLAG.
You deserve better than this.
posted by bookmammal at 6:23 PM on October 4, 2009 [8 favorites]

Despite his sarcasm, I held on to the supportive sweet man who was consistent in at least keeping me in his radar. These memories I can't get over. How can I get over him?

Ask yourself why he really wanted to "keep you on his radar" -- was it because he was suddenly going to undergo a personality transplant that turned him into a decent human being, or was it because he was looking for a new target?

No, seriously, ask yourself that. Because the guy sounds like a serious jerk to me, and the only reason he was trying to "keep you on his radar" was because he wanted an easy conquest and he thought you might be one.

When you realize that he thought you'd be easy, then you can realize that you could just prove him wrong about that by deciding he's an asshole.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:26 PM on October 4, 2009

I agree with bookmammal. Raise the bar. If you enjoy being kind, you will appreciate it when you find it in someone else.
posted by johngoren at 6:29 PM on October 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

This question is all over the place, and I'm having a hard time understanding where the "I love him" comes into play. Am I right in that you only dated for two months, and it was mostly light and teasing and occasionally bitterly sarcastic and that, when you finally said you wanted something more serious, he indicated he wasn't interested? Because that sounds like what you are saying.

I'm hearing that you think he was being offensive, and so you are looking for some validation about breaking this off, but it seems as if you also don't feel any closure, and that he was really the one who didn't want things to progress.

I think this last point, that you don't like the way things ended, is why you are really having trouble letting this go, and not because you were head-over-heels about Alex.

So sit down, write all that you have told us down, read it over, and make a decision: either burn the letter unsent and move on, realizing you are never going to have a perfect breakup with someone, or send the letter to Alex and hope he gives you the answers you are looking for about why it didn't work out. The two of you are the only ones who can make sense of this.
posted by misha at 6:29 PM on October 4, 2009

How can I get over him?

Raise your standards. You broke up with one emotionally abusive man just in time to acquire another one. Something to think about: the "supportive, sweet" things he said were designed to manipulate your emotions just as much as the "HA HA just teasing about beating you up and calling you stupid. Why so sensitive?" stuff.
posted by rhizome at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

maybe make a pro and con list, because this guy sounds like a total douchebag.
if your friend or sister dated him, what would you say to them?
posted by k8t at 6:32 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Despite his sarcasm, I held on to the supportive sweet man who was consistent in at least keeping me in his radar. These memories I can't get over. How can I get over him?

Well, it sounds like you really liked this guy, and I realize what you wrote here isn't exhaustive, but from what you wrote he sounds like a jackass. So just remind yourself of that.
posted by delmoi at 6:39 PM on October 4, 2009

He's a sweet man who called you a dummy and an asshole. That's cognitive dissonance for you.

He rejected you. That's reason enough to feel hurt. Don't feel sorry for feeling bad about that. Mourn the relationship in whatever way is best for you.

Then move on.
posted by inturnaround at 6:51 PM on October 4, 2009

It is funny how often nasty remarks are presented as comedy that you are supposed to find enjoyable.
posted by johngoren at 7:15 PM on October 4, 2009 [6 favorites]

You know what? You are strong.

You came out of an abusive relationship with the knowledge that you needed time to work on yourself. You met someone and you took it slowly.

When this person violated boundaries you set for your interpersonal relations, you STOPPED him. When he questioned your right to decide how to be treated, you did not back down!

You don't need us to tell you he is a jerk and not worth your time. Or to tell you you'll be fine. What you need is permission to feel sad for a little while, and to wallow in it if you want. Sad music, hot tea, and bad poetry will get you through this, and you'll be back to being your best.
posted by Sallyfur at 7:51 PM on October 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Some people think that if someone is angry, it is possible for ANYTHING to come out of their mouth and they don't really mean it.

I don't believe it. Thoughts and actions may be instinct, words must be deliberately spoken. He chose to say those things.

Figure out what qualities drew you towards him and find them in someone else.
posted by variella at 7:57 PM on October 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can understand why you'd be hurt someone you wanted to be with didn't want to be with you. Even if it's someone really bad for you.

But I wonder what it would be like if he was exactly the same way he is now, and he did want to be with you. Would you want that? Would you want to be with someone who repeatedly makes cutting remarks, either because he knows they hurt you, or because he doesn't care that they do?

I mean, you get him or you don't get him. But you don't get to change him. You get the guy who jokes about beating up women, and calls women who find him attractive 'stupid' and 'asshole' and uses his sarcasm as a weapon. Against you. Of course you were being guarded. This man was trying to cut you down. Why are you trying to get with that?

Or perhaps, what you can do is appreciate what this lesson tells you: I like hot brunettes who are witty. I don't like guys who are emotionally tone-deaf, and try to belittle people. So next time round, I need to find a hot brunette who is witty and emotionally tuned in and developed, enough that he uses his wittiness to be inclusive or insightful not to be cruel.

I've met a lot of sarcastic people in my day - there's the john stewart witty sarcasm (inclusive, insightful, good!) , and then there's the bully sarcasm (cruel, vindictive, bad!) - the ones who are cruel and usually damaged or emotionally immature, and hiding vulnerability by attacking first, and putting down people around them, claiming all sorts of theoretical intelligence and totally unaware of their lack of emotional intelligence. And that emotional intelligence thing is big. Central. Almost 60% of what matters. Usually the cruel, bully sarcasm types came with an extra helping of extra-special fragile on top - just try calling them a stupid asshole on the regular, and see how well that goes down.

So stop giving away the pretty to emotionally inept losers just because they deign to ask you out, and start saving it for guys who know how to appreciate you when you say yes. As johngoren says - raise your bar.
posted by anitanita at 8:09 PM on October 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

> Now, I noticed when his sarcasm gets to the point of cutting me, even if hes playing and I call him out on it, I can't help but notice he seems distant for a moment and less playful.

This might be an indication that his sarcasm is calculated and tactical.

> He can't help his sarcasm

Again, you haven't really given any reason one should think that.

At any rate, what's interesting is that his sarcasm, in combination with what you view as his supportive traits, seems to be keeping you hooked.

In any event, just bear in mind that, viewed as you have described him, this guy seems really, deeply unpleasant.

> him throwing beer bottle caps at one of his female cousin's face

Think about that: If you had no prior contact with this person, had no existing beliefs or preconceptions about this person, and saw this, how attractive would you find him?

How can I get over him when I fell for hard for him?

Imagine telling someone at your future wedding, "I love him, because he enjoys throwing bottle caps at women's faces!" Now imagine saying that again, to another wedding guest. Go through this with every possible imaginary future wedding guest, and it's possible that you might suddenly begin seeing this guy in a very different, much more repellent light...
posted by darth_tedious at 9:18 PM on October 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Despite his sarcasm, I held on to the supportive sweet man who was consistent in at least keeping me in his radar.

You are way too easy to please.

You told us you loved this guy and then wrote seven paragraphs about some jerk. I think that if it was any kind of real love, or this was anything important, you would have known ten seconds after seeing him, not after months of thinking about it and playing games. (At least, that's how I can tell things that are real apart from negotiated compromises.)

I think you need some more months of working-on-yourself time here, because you seem to have slung to someone much too hard, just because he shows you a tiny but of attention, here. Some of that earlier emotional abuse might have conditioned you to this.

Aim higher.
posted by rokusan at 9:31 PM on October 4, 2009

If you want to get over him, get the idea out of your head that this guy was anything other than a twat of the first order. He was emotionally abusive. The guy you thought you saw doesn't exist. Guys like the guy you think you saw don't call people names like "dummy" and "asshole", especially when you've told them you don't like it.

Remember all the times he was abusive, or mean, or just downright cruel. Quit thinking about this guy like he's some kind of saint, because he really isn't. The more you focus on the times this guy hurt you (which is what he did), the faster you'll lose the rose tinted glasses.

I really don't mean to sound harsh. And if I do, it's not because of or aimed at you. It's because of this guy. You deserve far far better than this. You deserve it because you're a human being with a personality. You might have met a couple of unsuitable partners, but that happens to everyone. What they do and how they behave is no reflection on you. You're still a good, kind, genuine person. Fuck them.
posted by Solomon at 1:37 AM on October 5, 2009

I was coming out of a long relationship that was emotionally abusive. So, I wanted time to work on myself.

This is where you're at now, except it's a 2 month relationship. You need to take more time to work on yourself, because you've repeated a past mistake. This doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you human like the rest of us. You seem very, very young. Please jus take a break from dating for awhile and concentrate on school or hobbies.
posted by desjardins at 11:24 AM on October 5, 2009

He's classic passive-aggressive. He lets things fester and it comes out in different ways a la sarcasm. You are the object of his hostility at whatever is hurting him from his past or whatever is going on now. Good thing the relationship died now than to spend many torturous years with an emotionally unavailable man. It's covert abuse. That's why he said he wasn't feeling a connection with you. You got too close and he pulled away especially knowing you would not take his crap. Trust you dodged a bullet!
posted by InterestedInKnowing at 5:15 PM on October 6, 2009

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