To Find Love You Have To Clear a Path For It To Find You

cleartyhepath

 

Name: INeedHelp
:
Question: 21 years ago, I met M at work. I developed a crush on her, but I was convinced the feelings weren’t mutual. However, at an office party, and filled with liquid courage, I admitted my feelings toward her, and kissed her. She seemed to be open to this, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll just add that we had a falling out soon after that, I left the company, she moved away, and we lost touch for the most part.

With the advent of social media, M soon friend requested me on every platform. While I was still miffed at her, I always accepted her friend requests, but never really socialized with her. She would reach out, and be persistent about it to the point where I gave in and let the hard feelings go. She would talk about meeting up and meeting her son (she has since married and had three children, I’ve remained single) and I would be up for that, but when it came to making concrete plans, she would always flake out. I’d shrug my shoulders and move on.

Eventually she started emailing me every day. The emails were so constant, it was as if we were dating. Now during this time, I realized I still had some feelings for her, and I still tried to find someone of my own, but it just wouldn’t work out.  Eventually during one long late night of talking (I never bring up her husband, and she doesn’t either. I’m assuming he’s a traveling businessman or whatever, since she was so available for lengthy chats) I fully admitted I still had feelings for her, and she admitted that back at our job, she also had feelings for me, but since I never really made a move on her, she kept them to herself. And this led to several months of flirting between us, and we both developed stronger feelings toward each other. Of course, I’m still trying to find someone for me, but it’s not working out at all. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, maybe there’s a reason that me and M are ‘back’ together like this.

We met for lunch a few times, but nothing happened. If I would try to hook up and go out on a ‘date’ with M, she’d rebuff me with excuses. Moral rage aside, understand that I’m growing older, nothing is working out for me, and I’m desperately lonely, plus it takes two to play this game, and she’s in constant contact and sounds like she’s in a marriage where he is taking her for granted. Finally she admits that even though she’s tempted, and I’m the only man that has ever tempted her, for the sake of her children, she can’t step out of her marriage.  I make a conscious decision not to reach to her anymore, but she persists in contacting me. When I call her out on her behavior and accuse her of just using me for attention, she angrily denies it. And I, admittedly lonely and with feelings for her, put up with this for a few more weeks, but eventually the communication on her end slows, to the point that weeks would go by and I wouldn’t hear from her. I unfriend her on all accounts, and she never reaches out to me.
That was four years ago. During those four years I harbored both resentment and genuine feelings toward her, and I honestly missed her as a friend. But I summarized that she despite her denials, she was teasing me and using me for attention. So I moved on as best as I could, still trying to find someone of my own. I had a few dates here and there, but again, nothing worked out. And my loneliness escalated. Since M and I both had mutual friends on social media, I would come across her name, and even just seeing her name caused me a mix of heartache and anger. Even though I unfriended her, I blocked her on Facebook, thinking that at least I wouldn’t even see her name, but I found out rather quickly, just because I blocked her, I would still see her if she showed up on a mutual friend’s account. I realized that my anger toward her was eating away at me, so I forgave her. I unblocked her, because deep inside I thought there was a possibility in the future that we’d be friends again, and I at least would welcome that.

Last year out of the blue she reached out to me due to some friend’s random post. And again, since I’m so lonely and I missed her as a friend, I friend requested her, and she accepted. She was distant and cold at first, but eventually we got back into the old habits of emailing constantly. And I welcomed that as a friend, but also what happened is the flirting returned, and the feelings returned. She claimed that the reasons she ‘disappeared’ four years ago was due to her feelings toward me, and due to her kids, she could never act on them, and she knew I would be unhappy about that, so she just figured to leave things the way they were, but she was thinking of me, and that’s why she reached out.

Eventually I did persuade her to meet up, and we did. We met for dinner, and it was like we were a couple. (She’s never wore her wedding ring around me). We ended up fooling around for a hot minute, but not having sex. She stopped me, saying that she really wants to, but because of her kids, she could not. Admittedly, I was devastated, and yes, moral outrage aside, I was lonely, my continued efforts to find someone else failed miserably, and I took it as a sign from the Universe that there was a reason that after all these years, we were ‘back’ together. But if she wasn’t going to be intimate with me, and not hang out with me,  but on social media email me constantly, there was no point to me continuing on with this, and just accepted that she was using me, whether she wants to admit it or not. She still emails me, but my responses to her vary from no response, one word answers, or depending on how lonely I am, I engage with her throughout the whole night.

I know, she’ll never ‘be mine’ because of the children. I get that now. I guess my dilemma now is if I should still be her friend. I’m still lonely. I reach out to friends and church and nothing seems to ease this pain. Despite the dating apps, the meetups, the speeddating events, it’s not working out for me. But she is still always there, reaching out to me. And I still want to believe there was a reason me and M continue to keep connecting after 21 years. Can the Universe be this cruel?
Age: 48

 

For the sake of your sanity, you have to exorcise this woman from your life for good.  Let me bottom line this for you: M. is an attention whore. A big, fat, flaming attention whore. She’s bored and probably lonely herself so what does she do? Why, she starts trawling through her contacts and address book, recahing out to men from her past. And you know what? That in and of itself isn’t unforgiveable. It’s when she starts taking advantage of other people’s loneliness that she becomes evil.

Let’s get somthing clear: her children are not what keeps her from consumating this one-sided flirtation. Nope. She’s in a shitty marriage that doesn’t fulfill her and is looking to other men to give her the attention and affection her husband doesn’t give her. That way she can stay in her miserable marriage without having to risk the security her marriage provides.

Fuck this chick. Seriously. Of course she’ll deny it when you accuse her of using you for attention. Of course she’ll say you’re the only guy that has tempted her (spoiler alert: she’s lying.) She’s way too deep in denial about the state of her marriage. She’s incapable of admitting she’s not happy and seeking attention because she’s unhappy.

She takes her ring off when you two go out? What the what?

That’s someone either lying about being married or desperate to play single for a few hours and forget they have a husband and kids at home. Dude, back away from this woman. She’s unhealthy for you. She’s unhealthy, period.

Now let’s unpack the loneliness you mention several times in this letter. OP, I get it. I truly do. Yesterday I got one of those group texts wishing me a Happy New Year. I had no idea who sent it, so I replied back asking the name of the sender. He gave it to me and said, “You were in my contacts so that must mean we got along. So how are you?”

I wished him a Happy New Year and got out of the conversation.  As badly as I felt for this guy, I wasn’t playing along. He sent that text because he wanted responses, something I truly understand. I just wasn’t going to get sucked into something I knew had the potential to get uncomfortable.  I hope he was able to reconnect with someone, though. That would be nice to see: two lonely people connecting on a night where many single people probably feel totally alone in the world.

I was consumed with loneliness today, the day after my cat passed away. You have no idea how many times I wanted to reach out to guys from my past, just to get some quick if meaningless interaction and attention. I came close twice, both times deleting the text I was writing. I meant what I said yesterday: Moon left to clear a path, and I have to see that through. If I reconnected with those guys, they’d hold me back. I don’t want to spend one day of 2018 being held back.  We seek attention from people we know aren’t healthy for us because we need relief from the pain of isolation, not realizing that the temporary relief we feel actually does more damage.

OP, you have to cut this woman out of your life. You have to, or else you constantly fall back on that attention and stay in your safe little comfort zone. She’s not your friend. If she was, she’d know that what she was doing was hurting you. She’s too immersed in her own misery to be empathetic to anyone else’s.

You have to find something – a passion or vocation or hobby – to distract you. You have to find pleasure in other ways. You also need to clear out all the stuff holding you back, starting with this idea that nothing ever works out. That’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Download and app, talk to a therapist, hell – do a Stuart Smalley and talk to yourself in the mirror. Just get that shit out. Perform a complete purge. Open up some space for the right thoughts to take up residence in your head.

Definitely keep going to events and activities, but stop going to dating-specific events and cut way back on use of dating apps/sites. I’m telling you, those platforms and mediums simply are not productive for finding anything substantive. For the most part – the people who go to those events and who use those platforms – just aren’t emotionally available. Join groups that revolve around a topic or activity you enjoy and that make you feel good about yourself. Stay in that zone, as you’ll be surrounded by others with similar outlooks and relationships of all kinds will develop naturally. That’s when great things will start to happen. Sorry, but dating apps and events are fillied almost exclusively with people who keep going around and around and around, meeting the same people, going to the same events. Know why they do that? That’s their comfort zone.  They know such endeavors will go nowhere. The’ll meet someone, date them for a brief time, ditch them, then return to the app or similar event and repeat the process. It’s depressing.

Go do something that fills you with joy and excitement and a sense of accomplishment.  Not only will that make you feel connected to someone and possibly even someone else, it will quell some of the loneliness. That’s when things are going to happen for you. I promise you that.

Thoughts?

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9 Responses to “To Find Love You Have To Clear a Path For It To Find You”

  1. Parenting Says:

    I’m torn about judging this woman as I dont know her situation…but Im having a hard time imagining under what circumstances its legitimate for a married woman to string a single guy along for 5 years texting him all night and going on faux dates that end in makeout sessions and sad confessions about staying for the children. She may very well be so self absorbed, she doeant realize how much pain he is in. She may have convinced herself she’s doing nothing wrong since she’s been “honest” with the OP about her situation while being “honest” in her marriage by not sleeping with the OP. Whatever it is, the OP is being used as an emotional tampon. Cut and run.

    And its absolutely true that filling your emotional needs with time wasters pushes away opportunities for building a real connection. I dont know why that is, but I’ve seen it over and over. Cling to people who are not relationship material and you somehow repell the people that are relationship material.

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  2. Coffeestop Says:

    The reason this guy is lonely is because he is hooked on her and not letting anybody else in. He needs to never communicate with her and possibly get some counseling.

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  3. Noquay Says:

    Attention whore pretty much sums it up. Don’t give a rats what her marriage is or isn’t like. It’s her job to fix the problem or leave it. On her own. Dude, you need to first seek out therapy, find out why you wish to be someone’s emotional doormat, then get out there big time, in the real world.

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  4. fuzzilla Says:

    Ugh, attention whores and their mixed messages are the WORST. If you’re in their clutches, you can know full well you’re being stupid, and yet the mushy, vulnerable part of you still feels like, “But I really like them, and I’m not making things up – they ARE consistently seeking me out, acting like I’m so special, etc.”

    Being alone IS better than being with someone awful. You could quibble that he’s not really “with” her (and he’s not), but he wants to be and she’s hogging all his emotional bandwidth. It’s a cliche but it’s true – you have to be okay with being alone before you can be happy in a relationship.

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  5. Sheba Says:

    It’s nothing to do with the universe, it’s to do with who you both are and, more pertinently right now, who she is.

    You guys don’t seem to communicate at all. Even back 20 years ago, you apparently both liked each other, you even kissed, and yet somehow the communication still failed and you couldn’t make a go of it. And now history is repeating itself. I bet she had a heartrending, tragic reason back then as well.

    She’s not a terrible person for being lonely and reaching out and wanting some response. But it is really, really terrible to do this to someone as vulnerable as you obviously are, when you obviously have no intention of fulfilling it. Your attention makes her feel desired and wanted, and sets her up enough to stay exactly where she is. She is using you, and you do not deserve that.

    Please try not to create narratives around it about signs from the universe, star crossed lovers, all the rest of it. It is not that celestial. You two have a dynamic that makes you miserable and keeps you apart. I don’t think you’d be happy if you did get together. She’s someone who keeps people on a string.

    The only way you’ll find what you’re looking for is if she’s not in the way, as Moxie says. You are obsessed with the idea of her, not who she really is.

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  6. Beta Male Says:

    I really hope you are getting therapy or considering it. It sucks when someone only considers you a shoulder to cry or a make out partner at most but would never seriously consider you a possible boyfriend. I’ve been there a lot and it’s frustrating. You cling on to some hope that you two would eventually get together but think about whether you really want to get together with her or do you like the fact that you feel desired by someone, particularly one you desire. Could you really be friends? No because if she really wanted your friendship you would be friends, instead you’re just a safe person for her to vent to and it’s unfair to you when it’s pretty clear you want more from her that you know deep in your heart that you will never get it.

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  7. Yvonne Says:

    Interesting that you keep repeating the same sentences. Specifically, you talk about your loneliness and about how nothing romantically is working out for you. Yet nothing works out with your married friend either. It’s almost like you are telling yourself that you ARE involved with her, that she’s “back” with you for a “reason”.

    After 21 years of her unavailability, I wonder if you are, on some level, using this woman to avoid a real relationship. Maybe she is actually safer for you because you can never really get involved with her. You certainly always seem to fall back on her, even though all you end up getting are false starts and drama. Yet somehow you manage to convince yourself that it’s meant to be. Why?

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  8. Ss16 Says:

    Moxie wrote a fantastic response. That’s exactly what I would say. OP, I hope you would read my response because I have been through pretty much exactly what you have been through – only that I pulled out of the situation much quicker. I am a woman and I was in a relationship with a married man for a year last year. Long story short, he told me exactly the same thing that she told you and even though I knew being in this relationship will do an unimaginable damage to my mental health, I did it anyway. After a year, I finally have had it and we ended things. He reached out to me once after and said he missed me and kept stalking me on social media every single week (he would like my posts all the time). The healing process took months – as I’m sure yours will, too, so I wasn’t able to block him immediately. Eventually, before the end of the year, I decided to make all my accounts private, and unfollowed all of his accounts, so I will no longer see anything about him, not even his name (and yes, I so resonate with the feeling that even seeing the name would cause an incredible amount of pain).

    Since ending the relationship, I have talked to a therapist, built up activities and hobbies and started a side business. I have tried very very hard to date and sure, I’m still alone at this point, but Moxie is so right – go easy on the dating apps, it most likely won’t result in anything substantial. I have made peace with the fact that I will have to deal with whatever situation I am in, single or not. Until one day, someone truly deserving of my love walks into my life again.

    I hope you’re able to cut this woman out of your life completely. It is extremely painful to do that – as I have been through – but you need to do it for your own sake. You are the most important person, not her. And hell no, she is not your friend. He said the same thing to me too – wanting to be my friend – and you know what? I don’t want to, not anymore. I hope it helps. And hang on there, we will all do better in 2018.

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  9. ATWYSingle Says:

    I meant to add this when I originally wrote the post:

    The idea that something is destined or fated to be is usually a coping mechanism to ward off pain. When I wrote about Moon dying and that it was part of some grand plan, that was more a case of me trying desperately to make sense of him dying.

    In the case of the OP, I think his loneliness is so profound that he’s looking for something to occupy his thoughts so he’ll feel less lonely.

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