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I've broken up with my boyfriend, and he's not taking it well at all.

We were together almost 3 months... but as much as I wanted to, I just didn't have any sort of deep emotional attachment for him. He's a super sweet guy and at the start I really enjoyed being around him. The longer we were together the more obvious it becamse to me that it wasn't going to work.

In my eyes, it wasn't a bad breakup. There were no ill feelings on my part. It simply wasn't making me happy. We had actually been dealing with this (had broken up right before Thanksgiving because of it) for a while now.

I honestly think the reason he's having such a hard time is I had changed his life so much. He's almost 28. Had a girlfriend in high school but nothing since. He has no friends, only really talks to people at work or on the internet. He keeps telling me that he had nothing before me, I was the best thing to ever happen to him, he loves me so much and that now he has nothing.

I've already told him that I want to continue talking to him and see him on occasion. Because he is a very good person, just not someone I can date. At first he said he was done - if we weren't going to be together he'd rather not talk to me or see me. Fine. Then we talked on the phone to in theory get things out in the open... ended up being this horrid hurtful hour and a half conversation about everything that we dislike about each other. By the end of it, I was so mad I was in tears... and he had changed his mind and wanted to be friends... I was furious at how immature the entire conversation turned in a matter of minutes.

Anyway - I have told him several times very clearly that we both need time to let things sink in before we talk again. He keeps pushing it. Trying to have casual "how was your day" conversations then gets mad when I'm not responsive (online conversations only) and has sent me very long emails about how he feels. He also returned everything I've ever given him at some point last night... all the cat food and toys I gave his cats, my old water fountain, any kitchen type items I had used to cook with at his apartment, etc.

I think he's completely over reacting, but I have no idea how to get through to him.

I'm at the point where I think its best to completely cut off communication, but I don't think he deserves that. He doesn't deserve to keep wondering what he did wrong, why he's so horrible that nobody wants to date him, etc. But its not doing either one of us any good to continue like this.

I'm sorry - I mostly need to vent. I don't really have any close friends to talk to about this and honestly the whole situation is a little embarassing because I really feel like I've treated him like garbage. Not intentionally, just trying to keep space between us to avoid feeling like I'm leading him on.

I hope things get easier.
 

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From a guy's standpoint, I honestly think you need to make a clean break. I know girls cherish relationships and they often say stuff like "we can still be friends" and "lets keep in touch" but this guy sounds like a clinger and there's no such thing for him as backing off and just being friends. If you try to maintain a friendly relationship with him it just signals to him that you might still be open to resuming the relationship the way it was. This guy doesn't have much experience and he probably thought that you were "the one" and doesn't realize there's two sides to that. Do this poor sap a favor and tell him that he's just not right for you and that he never will be. Don't waste time on that "you're a great guy and perfect for some girl" balderdash because that will just make him think you're still interested. The only way to get him the message is to put it in terms that leave no doubt. FINAL. DONE. OVER. FINI.

Good luck. ;)
 

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i know it's hard, but sometimes, you kinda have to be a little mean to get your point across. In the long run, he'll benefit from that. You can't force yourself to have feeling for someone. And it's better to be honest three months in than drag it out for three years!

Wishing you the best
 

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I agree, it is probably best to cut the ties completely for now. Your friend just simply does not have enough practice in relationships to have a clue about HIMSELF and his wants and needs, which is totally vital in order to be able to think about someone else's wants and needs! He has to slog through all the emotions and experiences that everybody must, in order to grow up and be ready for mature relationships. Osnobunnie (I can't remember your real name :) ), it sounds like you were honest and tried to be kind. He's just not at your place yet, it sounds like he's still in the high school type stage. Don't beat yourself up trying to make him feel better.

A good way to gauge difficult interactions is to check whatever you want to say against these ideas - "Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?" If whatever you say fits, then feel free to say it (or wait until it does fit). And when someone says stuff to you that doesn't fit those three ideas, you don't have to take it their words in, if they weren't coming from a spiritual place...

Fran
 

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Why DO girls say "we can still be friends" after they break up with people? I've never ever heard a guy say that, and it often just causes problems. Even if the split is 100% amicable.

Tbh he sounds like a clinger (like Tim said), and is way better off being completely removed from your life.

Oh and of course you felt fine about it. You've had time to think about it. He hasn't. Give him time and space (don't respond in any way), and it'll be ok with him.
 

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just about the "let's still be friends" thing... my boyfriend and I have been dating for almost two and a half years, and some times we talk about "what if..." and I always said I don't think I could do the friends thing afterward, but HE really thinks he would want to if we don't work out. I guess it's possible... but I don't know.
 

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The problem with it, is that the couple have been in a far more intimate relationship (no matter how much you "don't do"), than normal friendship. So taking that very very big step backwards often just won't work. It certainly won't work if one party (as in this case) still has strong feelings for the other.

Sure it can work, but often only when the people feel exactly the same way.
 

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Yea the whole "we can still be friends" never works!!! Tried it and it just caused more problems than it was worth.

B.O.T- You really need to cut all ties to him. In the long run it is better for everyone involved. If you dont it can lead into something nasty (example: he thinks theres still a chance and so he become obsessed, then you get a new boyfriend and he flips out on you). Even really sweet guys can become very possesive and aggressive.
 

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Ive manage to still be friends with few guys. But the intital cut off has to be a months of no contact. You cant make yourself available to talk or have lunch and definitely dont share personal details of your life or he'll track you. It takes time for the other person to heal.

Tims right, if you say there is someone else for you, they get really mad. They are fixated on you being the right person. Distance and time can work it out to be friends. He has to move on to his next stage of life with other people to fill the gap & learn to be viewed as single again. Then you can be good friends.
 

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Tim said it beautifully. We women are so trained to not hurt people's feelings that we often deliver a ridiculously soft, qualified "blow," with the result that the guy doesn't even get we're breaking up with him. Men are much more direct, so I think a direct message is what he's most likely to hear. And the "let's be friends" thing......just soft, mushy, non-message hooey.
 

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Tim's right. Make a clean break.

I had a boyfriend (many years ago) on whom I tried the "we can be friends" thing. We were living in different cities at the time (college). When through our "friends" communication he found out that I was seeing someone else, he actually traveled to my city and followed my new boyfriend and me around and then confronted me afterward. I was horrified. I would have also been scared if I hadn't know him for so long.

Good luck to you.
 

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My first boyfriend was a lot like your guy :( I tried so hard to be nice and supportive after I broke it off with him...he flooded me with letters, emails, phone calls, instant messages...he'd go into screaming rages...wrote blogs about throwing his engagement ring into the river to cleanse himself of me...returned all my possessions & gifts. It seems like you're supposed to help them, right? You're still their friend. You've caused this, and so you're the one who's supposed to clean up the pieces. Who else will help, if not you? But it's just not true. They're like little kids throwing fits, and they have no emotional control. If you do the evil thing of dropping them like a hot potato and then acting like they no longer exist, like you don't have any feelings towards them...it really is kinder in the long run. They don't grow up otherwise :roll: It's like some guys can't believe you don't want to marry them but you can still care for them.
 

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Thanks you guys - I knew all along what I had to do but its nice to hear it from so many others so I don't feel so horrid.

I didn't mean that we should go immediately from dating to friends. Just that eventually when things settle down, I'd like us to keep in contact.

Honestly, the entire time we were together I felt almost guilty for the fact that he had been alone so long. He really is a super sweet guy who deserves someone to love him. I just wasn't that person. But I tried so hard to make up for it. I was there for him, I cooked for him, spoiled his cats rotten, got him out and going places (not often and nothing major, but still stuff he didn't normally do). It got to the point where I was really staying in it because I felt guilty. Its not like it was a horrible relationship or anything, not like I absolutely didn't enjoy being around him... I just wasn't into it emotionally.

I finally got really frustrated last night. It was almost like it had turned into a game. Every time I told him I was done with the conversation he'd panic and go into a "wait - one more question" or "wait - can't we just talk about what you did today?" kind of thing. Like seeing how long he could keep it going.

It broke my heart to be how I was, but there was no other way to get through to him. I basically told him that he had spent his life making choices that led him to how he is today. He has chosen to cut everyone out, he has chosen to be completely alone. Then I came along and he latched on too tightly. He does have friends he doesn't talk to - I told him to pick up the phone and call one of them if he needed someone to talk to because I wasn't going to be there. I also told him that we would talk again once he's settled down in a week or so. But in that time he is to make no attempts at contacting me. No phone calls, no IMs, no emails, period.

Now, in the mean time... I'm trying really hard to figure out why *I* have such a hard time with relationships. I understand you can't force feelings. If they aren't there, they aren't there. But when I stop and think about it, I've never truley felt deeply towards anyone, let alone felt close to being in love. I know I'm still young, but I grew up in a very unemotional, unaffectionate family. It makes me uncomfortable to even hug my mom and tell her I love her. I know she needs to hear it, but I just feel so weird about it that I avoid it completely.

I just want to be able to FEEL... you know? :(
 

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OsnobunnieO said:
It broke my heart to be how I was, but there was no other way to get through to him. I basically told him that he had spent his life making choices that led him to how he is today. He has chosen to cut everyone out, he has chosen to be completely alone. Then I came along and he latched on too tightly. He does have friends he doesn't talk to - I told him to pick up the phone and call one of them if he needed someone to talk to because I wasn't going to be there. I also told him that we would talk again once he's settled down in a week or so. But in that time he is to make no attempts at contacting me. No phone calls, no IMs, no emails, period.
Jessie, you must NEVER ever doubt yourself or feel bad about yourself for doing what is best for YOU! You are an adult now and you need to look after numero uno. However, I do feel that you should never have set a time frame when you said you would talk in a week or so. Because in 7 days and 1 second, he will try to contact you. To be honest, what you should have done is say "I will contact you when I feel comfortable with the situation. But until then, you will make NO attempt to contact me in any way." Because when you give a guy a time frame, they will follow it exactly.

Now, in the mean time... I'm trying really hard to figure out why *I* have such a hard time with relationships. I understand you can't force feelings. If they aren't there, they aren't there. But when I stop and think about it, I've never truley felt deeply towards anyone, let alone felt close to being in love. I know I'm still young, but I grew up in a very unemotional, unaffectionate family. It makes me uncomfortable to even hug my mom and tell her I love her. I know she needs to hear it, but I just feel so weird about it that I avoid it completely.

I just want to be able to FEEL... you know? :(
Jessie, the fact that you grew up that way and have a problem having deep feelings towards anybody is the problem right there. Since you cannot "feel," you cannot fall in love because you do not know what love is. Lack of being able to hold deep feelings is going to be a roadblock for you for some time. How do you get over it? Gosh, I wish I knew. Only time will tell.

Now Jessie, do you have the ability to become deeply attached and have strong emotions for a pet?
 

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Honestly, I don't expect him to keep to the time frame at all. I do think once he stops and thinks about it, he'll be ok. Even now, he keeps telling me all the things he's starting to realize I was right about. My only fear is that he keeps telling me things he finally thinks he needs to change about himself... but he is only doing so because he thinks we'll get back together, not because he really feels its for his own good.

As for emotions... I don't know how to explain it. I don't like being alone and this is the first time I've realized that I'm better off alone than in a relationship I'm not happy in. My last relationship wasn't any good for either of us but I just wouldn't let go because I didn't want to be single again. I was horribly depressed and hurt when it was over (it didn't help that he found someone new while we were still in the process of breaking up...) but even after nine months and refusing to accept it was over, I never felt as if I loved him.

As for pets, I think I get TOO attached. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was hear that my bridge kitty Addison had a serious heart problem and might have three months, then decide to let him go a mere week later. That was almost a year and a half ago and I still cry when I think about it. I've broken down into tears when I think about something happening to my dog as well.

I do think it comes down to the right person though. I just haven't found anyone close to who I want to share my life with. Eventually, I'd like to think I'll find him. But I'm also not very social - have very few friends I barely speak to anymore and never go out. I've only dating three guys and met every one of them online. I think that's my problem. Not that I don't think I could find someone great online, just that I've limited myself so much. If a guy so much as looks at me while I'm out I assume he's a creep :oops: I just don't know how to deal with it.
 

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OsnobunnieO said:
Honestly, I don't expect him to keep to the time frame at all. I do think once he stops and thinks about it, he'll be ok. Even now, he keeps telling me all the things he's starting to realize I was right about. My only fear is that he keeps telling me things he finally thinks he needs to change about himself... but he is only doing so because he thinks we'll get back together, not because he really feels its for his own good.
I have to agree with you there. Methinks that he is trying to butter you up. And trust me, I have seen many guys in my life do that. At least you are being cautious in thinking about what he may be thinking.

As for emotions... I don't know how to explain it. I don't like being alone and this is the first time I've realized that I'm better off alone than in a relationship I'm not happy in. My last relationship wasn't any good for either of us but I just wouldn't let go because I didn't want to be single again. I was horribly depressed and hurt when it was over (it didn't help that he found someone new while we were still in the process of breaking up...) but even after nine months and refusing to accept it was over, I never felt as if I loved him.
Jessie, our society has forced upon us that we MUST be involved with people to be happy and complete. If we are alone, then there MUST be something wrong with us. That is a load of codswallop in my book. People can be and are happy when single.

As for pets, I think I get TOO attached. The hardest thing I've ever had to do was hear that my bridge kitty Addison had a serious heart problem and might have three months, then decide to let him go a mere week later. That was almost a year and a half ago and I still cry when I think about it. I've broken down into tears when I think about something happening to my dog as well.
Well if you find yourself getting very emotionally attached to a pet, then you do know how to feel love. The problem is that you cannot feel that same attachment towards a human. And in a way, I understand. Most of humanity is far worse than our beloved kitties and other pets. But Jessie, if you start to feel a form of attachment, feelings, etc for a person as you would for a pet, then you may have possibly found the right guy.

I do think it comes down to the right person though. I just haven't found anyone close to who I want to share my life with. Eventually, I'd like to think I'll find him. But I'm also not very social - have very few friends I barely speak to anymore and never go out. I've only dating three guys and met every one of them online. I think that's my problem. Not that I don't think I could find someone great online, just that I've limited myself so much. If a guy so much as looks at me while I'm out I assume he's a creep :oops: I just don't know how to deal with it.
I am up in the air with online dating. It does not give you the opportunity to observe a guy from afar to observe his mannerisms beforehand. And we all know about the predators and other scumbags out there. However there can be some decent people out there online. But then if the online thing is not to your liking, then it probably is not the best way to approach a relationship.

But that is one thing you will have to try to unlearn with guys. If a guy is looking at you, you cannot automatically think that he is undressing you with his eyes. Now if he is flat out gawking, that's another story. But for a guy to merely glance at you and smile, you have to give him the benefit of a doubt! I mean, if a woman looks at me, isn't it wrong to automatically assume she is one who just wants to use a guy for money, etc??? But it is all about being comfortable.

Maybe the best thing is to find a guy that you will only be friends with and have him accept that as well. Because if you can go out with a guy as friends and feel no pressure nor have any real desire to sleep with him, then you will begin to break out of your shell. You need a guy that will only be friends so that you can be social with the opposite sex and learn to feel relaxed around them. Because once you feel comfortable going out as friends with a guy, you may become more comfortable approaching other guys with a relationship in mind.
 

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When the time is right you will find the right guy for you. People also can be very happy being single- take my aunt! She is beautiful (did some modeling) intelligent, and a total blast to be around, she is 45 now has a wonderful 3figure job and still hasnt ever gotten engaged or married yet she is totally happy with her life!!! She doesnt think she will get married because then she wouldnt be able to travel and go out dancing but she said if she finds a guy that would let her still do that stuff than she will keep him.
Dont try and push yourself to feel something for anyone, thats just unfair to you and him.

If you like dancing go dancing to try and meet some people or take a class in something that interest you!!!
 
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