Learning Curve

Learning Curve

Every time something ends with a guy, I want to run back.

Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to deal with feelings of loss.

Maybe it’s because I want to stay with what’s familiar.

Maybe it’s fear that I won’t be able to find something as good. I mean, the relationship has ended, but it was something. If that something wasn’t good, I probably wouldn’t have stuck around for as long as I did (or want to go back, for that matter).

Also, I have a tendency to try and fit the square peg in the round hole: I try to make it work with everyone who shows interest in me. Whether we are compatible or not: continually trying to fit myself into a place where I don’t actually belong.

I throw myself back at them after they leave me.

Before I married Doom-n-Gloom, he left me three times. All three times I went crying to him asking him to take me back.

Loserman was the same. Three fucking times he ignored me and ran away from me. Except with him, I never went back the third time. Except with him, there were all sorts of mini-ignorings in between the mega-ignorings.

I am still left with the questions:

  • How do I make the feelings I have for someone just go away?
  • How do I keep myself from going back to something I like?!

*I* was the one who left Alaska. I told him how I felt, but never gave him a chance to actually try to do what I asked. I just up and left him.

And I have feelings for him. I like him, and I don’t like starting over and over and over again with someone new.

He’s one of the few men who can actually handle me (in fact, I think the only one)! Even Doom-n-Gloom and Loserman could never, truly handle me. Both of them would withdraw when I had needs or got upset with them. Both of them would ignore me instead of dealing with an actual problem. Eventually it would go away – even though it always came back again later…

Alaska didn’t ignore me or hang up. He’s not the one who told me to leave. I left because I was uncomfortable. I left because the conversation wasn’t going how *I* wanted it to.

On New Years Eve, I ran away and ignored Alaska – just like Doom-n-Gloom and Loserman would always run away and ignore me…

The fact is, I want to try and see if maybe I am wrong about Alaska.

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25 thoughts on “Learning Curve

    1. Ann, I miss him. I miss the good things about him and there were good times, too. You’re right that he didn’t treat me well at key times, but he can learn if we communicate, right? We’re still getting to know each other and isn’t that how a relationship starts? I didn’t give him a chance to show me that he could be the way that I asked.

      1. Well shit, Smitten, I get you on missing someone!! Tony’s absence sucks donkey balls, as one person put it. What I read from your descriptions were some things that seemed fundamental to him and his respect and treatment of you which was not cool. I don’t know if that can be adjusted through communication. That kind of treatment shouldn’t show up at the beginning of a relationship!

        1. You’re right, Ann. And I totally suck at this dating thing. I have no idea what I’m doing or what to do… Feedback is good for me, but I might not always do what everyone wants me to.

          1. Ultimately they are your choices and only you live with the consequences. But you know I believe if you are aware, you can choose a different behaviour this time. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if you just stay away? A few months won’t change something that’s meant to be.
            Consider writing down what behaviours and characteristics you expect. IMHO, this man failed on basic respect and kindness, and those are non negotiables.

          2. That was the perfect thing to say. What *is* the worst thing that could happen if I stay away for a few months? I am learning the behaviors I need, that’s why I told him about it and pulled back. I will stay away and try practicing my impulse control.

          3. One thing that helps me is avoiding situations where I know I’m liable to not stick to my resolutions. For example, if seeing Tony’s name in my text messaging screen makes me want to text him, I delete the messages. Deleting someone from my phone (but maybe writing their info somewhere) which means I will have to do some other action to reach out. Not going on a “drink date” when I know I’m likely to just ask them to come home with me. Etc etc. It’s enough to stop me. If you don’t put yourself in that path, it will help 🙂

          4. I deleted all my messages to/from him last night when I wanted to reach out to him 🙂 He is still a contact, but his name now starts with Zzz so I don’t have to see him if I don’t want to. Your advice is priceless, Ann. I shall attempt to avoid the path of temptation!

  1. Do you want to be “handled” or do you wanted to be cared for, nurtured, loved? Seriously, I get that he tolerates many of your quirks, but if you go back and read your own posts, you see very clearly that he was pretty far from “handling” you in social situations or “handling” you when you needed him with that switch. “Handling” you on day-to-day communications is not the same as stepping up and being there when you need him … like being at your side with a group of people you don’t know, or recognizing that he’s pushed you way too far and past limits. You stated your needs and desires very clearly, yet he ignored those, conveniently “forgot” what you said, or simply didn’t give enough of a shit about you to take them seriously. Smitten, honestly, what are you thinking? Yes he has good qualities, but not enough to overcome some critical poor choices he made early on. And if he wanted to overcome them, why isn’t HE the one pursuing YOU and trying to win you back?

    1. You’re right. He didn’t try the times when I asked him to and then again he didn’t try to *understand* me when I was explaining myself afterward.

      I am thinking that I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I am thinking that I was trying to have something with someone. I am thinking I want a companion and someone to share his bed and himself with me. I may have been married since last September, and I had Loserman during some of that time, but I haven’t had a true companion or anyone who really *wants* me. It’s depressing.

      And yes, I think every day that if he truly wanted me, he would pursue me.

      1. Dating is challenging for everyone. While I am happily married, there was a couple of years there where we separated and had a pass to see other people while I figured out whether or not I was willing to do the work to repair our marriage. The dating was not the reason I recommitted to trying to repair what was broken; it was because I really saw my DH through the veil of anger and hurt. He is a good man and he loves me, which is a good start for a good marriage. While our personalities and our interests are widely variant, our core values are similar enough and strong enough to make me recognize that he’s a good man for me. We worked it out and are now very happy and solid together, but we both had to learn to listen and to alter some of our behaviors and the ways we communicate. It was damn hard work on both sides, but we agreed to work at it together and have continued that pathway ever since. We both wanted it; we both contribute equally to having a healthy, happy relationship.

        Alaska is not the man you want or that you need; he is a placeholder. The danger with settling for that is being too busy when someone more suitable and more compatible crosses your pathway and assumes you are already committed to someone else. Go out and try your hand at dating. But don’t try to push it or twist yourself into a pretzel trying to make a relationship too quickly, too soon, or with someone who is not pursuing you with at least a similar level of effort. I have friends trying to date ranging in age and experience from 20s to 70s and they all say the same thing: it’s damn hard to meet a compatible someone.

          1. You’ve made amazing progress, Smitten. You are questioning your options and your impulses rather than just acting on them. Forward progress, however tiny and incremental it may seem.

  2. Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Don’t do it! Ok now that you know how I really feel, lol I will say that it doesn’t matter how many good moments there were because he has too many red flags. He doesn’t deserve a second chance and there are better guys out there. I do know how it feels though to want to go back to comfortable (I did it multiple times myself) but I learned most men won’t change and round 2 ends the same way as round 1. Don’t waste your time on him as there are plenty of other fish out there.

    1. LOL! Thank you for the levity!

      I’m so sick of trying with new people but you are right. I shouldn’t have to lower my self-standards to be with someone. My man is out there, his time just hasn’t come yet. And I keep trying too hard to find him. There are some painful loose ends that need to be tied before I will be ready for him. This is a huge learning time for me.

      1. It wasn’t until I stopped caring that I finally found a guy perfect for me. I dated a lot of wrong guys in that time. I almost feel like my don’t care attitude helped me attract more guys because they saw that I didn’t need them. Women tend to be too clingy Intially and then the guy doesn’t have to pursue. Guys like to chase so let them!

  3. It sounds to me like you are in the “bargaining” phase of grief/loss. You’re looking for things to hang onto to justify going back because the path alone seems scary. He is not the only man out there. You will find someone else, someone worthy of you but you need to love yourself and know your self worth before you even consider allowing someone the privilege of being with you. Hang in there.

    1. It does seem scary, and I’m sick of it. You are so very right about the bargaining – I seem to really get stuck at this point. And, yes, my man is out there waiting for me to get my shit together 😉 I really look forward to meeting him!

  4. Two quick thoughts, since it seems you’ve already gotten some good responses. I could go over the dynamics of the dating chases but that might be a whole post of it’s own, so I’ll just stick to the big two.

    1. You should be proud of yourself for leaving, seriously. It shows you’re learning from all those past experiences and you are putting your needs over his. That’s a big deal. You were looking out for yourself, doing what you needed, and that was the right decision. Stick to your guns.
    2. A friend of mine was recently in the middle of a complicated move to a different state, and she kept having second thoughts (doesn’t seem applicable, but keep reading). Before all the craziness with the move she was excited to leave but in the middle of the craziness she couldn’t help but think maybe it wouldn’t be better to stay. I kept telling her that ALL change is stressful, period, even GOOD change. That’s why so many people never do so many things they need/want to do, they start making the change, the stress surprises them, and they stop or it keeps them from even attempting it. Moving to a new state, getting a new job, leaving a relationship, as examples those are all big changes, big stresses that cause second thoughts and can even inspire panic. Just remember ALL change is stressful, even GOOD change. 🙂

    1. Oh, Johnny! Thank you for the vote of confidence ❤
      1. I will stick to my guns. If I go running back now, it basically just tells him that I am willing to compromise on my needs anyway. And I'm not any more.
      2. That was a very awesome story!! Change is so very scary. I like that you put it this way. It gives me different perspective. And hope.
      XOXOX – thank you!!

  5. Hey Smitten – I’m he last one probably to take advice from but if I had listened to others smarter than myself, I think the path I would have taken was to take a little break and see how I felt “later”. How much later, I don’t know what’s sound reasoning, but space and time add perspective.
    With that said you know I’m unable to do it – and I’m in a bad place. You were very strong to make the decision once and look, here he is again. My bet is that if you take a little more time for yourself and sort out what you need/want and if he truly can give that to you – he is still going to be available to you at that time.
    Good luck. I’m team Smitten no matter what ❤️

    1. Hey, Madeline ❤ Big hugs and kisses to you, my dear!! XOX!
      I need to find something, besides men, to keep myself busy. I'm lonely, but shacking up with every guy that shows interest in me, and then falling for them, doesn't seem to be working. *sigh*
      Good luck with all your crap! I've been thinking about you ❤

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