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Relationship Health Message Board


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[QUOTE=LittleRose1982]Well it certainly sounds like he wants to keep you around, but it's likely to be for selfish reasons. He wants one of you, can't decide which one, so he wants you both hanging around so one of you can be "back up", so to speak. That's what it sounds like to me. Of course, I could be wrong. But if he really wanted to be with you the way you want to be with him, the decision would be easy for him. He wouldn't be considering a relationship with her. It's one thing if he has loose ends to tie up in regards to the relationship and needs to seek out a sense of closure from her. But it sounds like he is really considering going back to her.
For that reason, I really think you shouldn't write him back. Don't necessarily ignore all his calls. When he gets back, if he calls, answer the phone. Let him talk. But don't take back the things you said in the e-mail. Don't falter just because he's trying to hang on a bit. Stay strong and prove to him that you don't need him. You'll be more desirable in his eyes if he thinks you're even the slightest bit out of reach. ;)[/QUOTE]

I think this is fantastic advice...you're already starting to see just how true it is that people only treat us as well as we demand to be treated. I think NG was starting to take you for granted, as many men do once they sense that they have a 100% hold on a woman and there's no longer much mystery or challenge. Thinking back, I think this is an important reason why many relationships that get too intense too quickly eventually fade out or burn out...it's just very difficult to sustain those feelings of newness and excitement 24/7. Anyway, the reason that NG is still pursuing you is, in my view, because you've pleasantly surprised him by taking a firm stand and refusing to put up with anything other than the caring, devoted treatment you deserve from a boyfriend. I'd like to think it's because of what he said, but if it was, then why wouldn't he have been making this kind of effort to reach out to you all along rather than pulling away and keeping his distance UNTIL you made it clear that you weren't going to put up with having to compete with a loser ex-girlfriend. If he was as smitten with you as he's claiming now, I don't see how he could have restrained himself from making such an effort all along. Sounds to me like he's one of those confused guys who doesn't really know what he wants from women or relationships, so he runs hot and cold...when a woman seems genuinely interested in him, he backs way off, and the only way that it seems possible to rekindle his interest and enthusiasm is to back way off yourself and make him realize he could lose you if he doesn't get his act together. Do you really want to have a man in your life who plays these kind of immature, manipulative games with you as opposed to one who never wavers in his feelings and commitment toward you? Especially one with the gall to believe you'd still have any interest in seeing him, despite what you said in your email, just because he's being nice when he is still stringing you and probably his ex along...did he say anything at all about being a complete idiot to question whether he's rather be with his ex than with you, and being 100% sure that you are the one he wants from now on? If not, then he hasn't demonstrated the basic respect and devotion you should merit from anyone you date. Honestly, I think expecting a man to want you and only you, without having to keep his distance from you and need time and space to consider whether he'd rather be with another woman, is the bare minimum that ANYONE should demand from a significant other.

I know you like NG, Sophia, but this whole situation still really worries me...I don't see any real evidence that anything has changed here. Would NG have even bothered to contact you before leaving if you hadn't stopped contacting him? Is it you he wants, or just the thrill of the chase and the challenge of pursuing you? It did seem like he lost interest until you told him to get lost...I have a hard time imagining that his need for a continual challenge and desire for a woman who is not quite within his grasp will change anytime soon. As LR says, this rather dramatic turnaround in his behavior is almost definitely due to the fact that you stood up for yourself and now seem out of reach, once again presenting a goal for him to pursue. Whether you want to be with him or not, I think contacting him and being nice and understanding is the absolute worst possible move you could make at this point. I'd be willing to bet money that NG would back way off again, if not disappear completely, should you give in and let this go so easily. There's nothing desirable about someone who doesn't believe they deserve only the best treatment and act accordingly, and/or someone who is willing to settle for someone who doesn't meet their standards. So while I almost always agree with GE's wise insights, in this case, I'd urge you to be much more cautious and less forgiving than she suggested. Yes, NG has finally demonstrated that he is somewhat attached to you, but it took you breaking up with him for him to come around. What has really changed here? I can't see that he's giving you what you want and deserve now anymore than he was a few days ago...the only way I would say that you should go ahead and be nice and friendly with him again is if he apologizes profusely for putting you through such stress and uncertainty and swears that you are the only woman he has any interest in.

It actually really makes me mad on your behalf that he has the arrogance to write to you, essentially ignoring what you've said, and STILL won't give you any indication that he's made a firm decision to keep his ex out of his life from now on. Please don't let this half-hearted effort placate you to the point where you let him off the hook for what in my opinion was an unacceptable way to treat you. If I was in your shoes, I would tell NG thanks but no thanks--you certainly don't need to wait around for some guy who even had to consider whether or not he wanted to be with an ex rather than you, and who continues to fail to apologize, tell you he was an idiot to even have to think about his ex's desperate attempt to crawl back to him, and do anything and everything to make it up to you and show you how sorry he is and how much he truly cares about you. If you still have feelings for him and don't want to be quite so definite in what you tell him, I think you should nonetheless tell him that what he's put you through is completely unacceptable to you and that you deserve a man who has no doubts whatsoever about whether he wants to be with you and only you. Then tell him you'll consider letting him make it up to you, assuming he shows sufficient remorse and devotion from now on, but only if he is firmly committed to never having anything to do with his ex again. That's really the least he can do, and the fact that he's still hanging around as if he deserves a chance WITHOUT swearing off his ex and begging your forgiveness demonstrates either an alarming amount of arrogance or cluelessness, neither of which make me nearly as big a fan of him as your man as I was before he started with all this nonsense. As someone who wants the best for you and most of all wants you to avoid being hurt again, I just can't be that enthusiastic about any guy who would put you through such painful turmoil just as you were starting to get attached and vulnerable to him. Whether or not he really is a player and this is all just an ego trip to him, or whether he's genuinely confused, you are still an amazing woman and a fantastic catch who should only be with a man who is completely crazy about you and 100% committed to you and you alone. I strongly suggest that you read LittleRose and Hiya's posts over again and try to think through this situation as objectively as possible. What would you advise Greeneyes or I to do if we posted our concerns about the exact situation you're going through with NG? Under what circumstances or conditions would you tell us that it would be acceptable to take him back, if any? What standards of behavior and commitment would you advise us to demand if we did decide to give our NGs another chance? Somehow I don't think you'd suggest that we let him off as easily and be as nice and generous as you proposed being in your most recent post...but only you can determine what the best course of action is for you. All we want is to see you treated like the wonderful woman you are and the only way to achieve this is to demand it and refuse to settle for anything less. Well Sophia, I'm sorry for being so blunt here, I just feel protective toward you and don't want you to settle for anything less than what you deserve from someone you are supposed to love and trust completely. I guess this was one of those not so concise emails you were referring to? Hopefully you made it all the way through my ramblings and have found some comfort and strength in all the support you have here :).





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