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What exactly happened attachment wise?

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  • What exactly happened attachment wise?

    I was actually dating two guys for a short while last year. One was nice, funny, attentive and an all around good guy, but from a different religious and ethnic background, which could have been a problem. The other was same ethnicity, same religion, family approved, but had the annoying habits of pressuring me for things I didn't want to do, always being contrary and dropping out of conversations he himself initiated by text. So obviously, I decided to drop the second and focus on the first. He treated me well, so I decided to put my concerns about the religious stuff on the backburner and go with it.

    everything was fine for a while. We saw each other on weekends and talked daily and dated well for about three months, at which point I started wondering what our status was and how exclusive. Seeing other people would have been a deal breaker for me, so after skirting the issue for a while, I decided to bring it up. When I did, he told me that he liked me, my personality and how I treated him, but relationships weren't for him. I was frankly shocked. I had had no indication of this at all it the time we had been dating. I tried to save myself the trouble down the road and end it there (tried). He told me that it wouldn't be fair to me if he didn't love me back (ouch, but also what? I never said I loved him). I thought if that's the issue, then there's no issue, so I assured him that I liked him but not to the extent that he should feel guilty for not lurving me, as it wasn't quite love yet on my side either.

    anyway, it was pretty strained after that. We never got back to the harmonious relationship we had enjoyed before. Contact was less frequent, less substantial, I kept track of not initiating a disproportionate amount of Contact. He did contact me about equally, but it became hard to pin him down for dates. I confronted him about it and he told me he suffered from depression, using weed to numb his feelings. I immediately backed off. I tried to take the relationship pressure off and help deal with the depression. Things were still steadily declining between us, but he refused to ever end it. He just kind of kept placating me while keeping at arms length and out of sight any way he could without offending me. I had cried in front of him in that first spat and he kept repeating how he didn't want to hurt me again, thereby justifying his inaction (according to him). I set a deadline for how long I was willing to deal with it (three months). I came across the concept of attachment styles and it was like someone had been spying on me. He was clearly avoidant. I told him about It, which was probably a mistake, but he never disputed anything. On different occasions he said that he appreciated the things I did to try and help him feel better, but that it wasn't working.

    After the deadline passed and on a particularly frustrated weekend, I broke up with him. All that time I hadn't been negative At all about him as a person. I was taking into account his complicated inner workings and I thought of him as a good guy. However, at this point I was initiating all contact. Not daily, but regularly and for two weeks it was 0.1 reaction from him. An hour after I was seen-zoned, I broke up via text. Now I get a response. I can imagine he felt relieved that I had finally done It, but I can't wrap my mind around if he wanted to break up so badly, why he wouldn't just do it himself and drag it out for so many months.

    Trying to understand his inner working have become a habit for me and I'm still wondering about that. Whether my assessment that he was avoidant was actually correct. I thought At first that he was dismissive, because the description of the pattern fit, but he lacked any indication of an inflated ego. Henever said anything bad about me either. Was he actually anxious? What does it say about me that I stayed for so long? I consider myself generally secure, but I had turned into an anxious mess by those last two weeks, which is why I had to get out. I'm really just trying to make sense of what happened
    Last edited by Allthecolors; March 7th, 2018, 09:34 AM.

  • #2
    I'm having an aha moment after writing this: they say that people who fear relationships and commitment fear losing their self identity. I never understood this. You can be your own person and be in a relationship. The great thing is sharing yourselves with each other. But looking back he and I never fought throughout all of this. We hardly disagreed on anything. I never saw him angry. I had been angry once after being stood up and again on the day of the breakup, but he never protested or expressed dissatisfaction with any of my behaviours. I guess all he knew to do was go with what I said or avoid the issue altogether by disappearing. Maybe he had lost himself already and I just didn't know it. What causes someone to do this?

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    • #3
      Look, these people are called IDKs (the I don't knows of the world). They bumble around without any shape and form and they don't know. They don't know what happened, they don't know what's happening, they don't know their momma's middle name or yours. It's their mantra. You fell for an IDK and the last person you're going to get any answers from is them. IDKs are either inherently IDK or they've flipped the switch and really don't personally want to have anything to do with you (for their own reasons).

      Regardless of why I think you should dwell less and move on. Take this with a grain of salt and don't beat yourself up so harshly over it. What matters is that you got out and you are not associating with this person anymore. What you're not doing though is continuing to pick up with your life and work on yourself. Make a commitment to yourself and do that.

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      • #4
        He was clearly avoidant.
        No, he was clearly a different race and religion and he was using you for filler because he will be marrying the woman his parents choose for him.
        He left breaking up to you because as far as he was concerned, it was your choice to continue on or not after he clearly told you he wasn't interested in any thing serious with you.

        ... but you knew all that from the beginning but you chose the man that you knew was going to be a problem. I suggest that you look into why you chose the one that you knew likely it wouldn't work with for the long haul... are YOU perhaps afraid of commitment or maybe its you that has an avoidant attachment style?

        Adding quote:
        Originally posted by Allthecolors View Post
        I was actually dating two guys for a short while last year. One was nice, funny, attentive and an all around good guy, but from a different religious and ethnic background, which could have been a problem. The other was same ethnicity, same religion, family approved, but had the annoying habits of pressuring me for things I didn't want to do, always being contrary and dropping out of conversations he himself initiated by text. So obviously, I decided to drop the second and focus on the first. He treated me well, so I decided to put my concerns about the religious stuff on the backburner and go with it.
        Last edited by phasesofthemoon; March 8th, 2018, 03:25 PM.
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
          No, he was clearly a different race and religion and he was using you for filler because he will be marrying the woman his parents choose for him.
          Actually, we had discussed it early on and from the point of view of his religion, it wasn't a problem at all. The only one with the hangup was me and if I decided to put it behind me, that would be the end of it. I did continue after he told me didn't want to be serious, but our relationship was fine. He had been attentive and sweet and thoughtful right up until that point, so you can forgive a girl for thinking 3 months was maybe too early to put my foot down about commitment. I was under the assumption that he would break up with me if he disliked me. To this day I don't think of him as a bad person

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          • #6
            Well, asking if he's got an avoidant personality isn't going to help you to go forth more dating savvy. You were filler and you knew that deep down. He may not be a "bad" person but he's not a genuine one I can almost guarantee you that much.

            The only time that words trump actions is when someone tells you they don't want anything serious or they don't want to be exclusive. The best thing to do to protect your emotional health is give someone the boot if they tell you that.

            Who told you "it (religious differences) wasn't a problem? Him? pffft. You should have asked him to introduce you to a sibling or other family via skype. If he turned you down then you'd know he's full of shit and just telling you what he knows you want to hear.

            Just my view on what you've written... you can take it in or ignore it.

            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

            Comment


            • #7
              I've met his extended family on his mother's side twice at his and his grandfather's house, actually. They knew we were dating. According to the way he said he experienced his religion, it wasn't a problem (at least not at that point). I had talked to a friend who married inter-faith, and she encouraged me not to let it stop me from giving it a chance.

              I may very well have been "filler", but It's weird how many negative assumptions you're making based on what I've written. It's true, I should ponder my own growth, but this was rather recent so I'm still working some things out. I'm sorry for having lingering thoughts and feelings. I thought that was what a forum was for and not telling strangers that other strangers aren't worth their time and energy unless they conform to a certain timeline and set of behaviours. I appreciate you're trying to give me a dose of reality, but you're swinging way pessimistic and there are other ways to approach things.

              Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
              Well, asking if he's got an avoidant personality isn't going to help you to go forth more dating savvy. You were filler and you knew that deep down. He may not be a "bad" person but he's not a genuine one I can almost guarantee you that much.

              The only time that words trump actions is when someone tells you they don't want anything serious or they don't want to be exclusive. The best thing to do to protect your emotional health is give someone the boot if they tell you that.

              Who told you "it (religious differences) wasn't a problem? Him? pffft. You should have asked him to introduce you to a sibling or other family via skype. If he turned you down then you'd know he's full of shit and just telling you what he knows you want to hear.

              Just my view on what you've written... you can take it in or ignore it.
              Last edited by Allthecolors; March 9th, 2018, 01:48 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rose Mosse View Post
                Look, these people are called IDKs (the I don't knows of the world). They bumble around without any shape and form and they don't know. They don't know what happened, they don't know what's happening, they don't know their momma's middle name or yours. It's their mantra. You fell for an IDK and the last person you're going to get any answers from is them. IDKs are either inherently IDK or they've flipped the switch and really don't personally want to have anything to do with you (for their own reasons).

                Regardless of why I think you should dwell less and move on. Take this with a grain of salt and don't beat yourself up so harshly over it. What matters is that you got out and you are not associating with this person anymore. What you're not doing though is continuing to pick up with your life and work on yourself. Make a commitment to yourself and do that.
                Yeah, dealing with someone so pathologically indecisive was a drain on me. I swear he didn't seem that way at first.. He seemed so assertive... I'm not really beating myself up about it. People who dwell less experience less personal growth I've heard. I've been through worse than this. I know I'll deal eventually. I think accepting your feelings is good for your mental health, so I've accepted that I need some time to process. Thinking of it as a psychological excercise will also help me know the signs early on as well as help me make a decision on what to do if there is a next time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Allthecolors View Post

                  Yeah, dealing with someone so pathologically indecisive was a drain on me. I swear he didn't seem that way at first.. He seemed so assertive... I'm not really beating myself up about it. People who dwell less experience less personal growth I've heard. I've been through worse than this. I know I'll deal eventually. I think accepting your feelings is good for your mental health, so I've accepted that I need some time to process. Thinking of it as a psychological excercise will also help me know the signs early on as well as help me make a decision on what to do if there is a next time.
                  Sounds like you've been doing a lot of googling.
                  Stop that!
                  The bottom line is that he just wasn't that into you.
                  He became complacent when he realised you wanted more than he did.
                  And you decided that he needed saving from depression or something.

                  You Swear he "didn't seem that way at first"
                  THAT'S why we date , to get to know a person. The honeymoon period is anywhere between 6-12 months. If cracks start to show before that then you know it's a lost cause or at least should do.

                  You have been through worse? Yet say you will be wiser next time??
                  The red flags were in your face. You saw them, you ignored them. You do recognise the signs , hopefully next time you won't ignore them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Maggiemay4791 View Post
                    You have been through worse? Yet say you will be wiser next time??
                    The red flags were in your face. You saw them, you ignored them. You do recognise the signs , hopefully next time you won't ignore them.
                    I've dated a sociopath before. It's hella not the same and I've learned not to do that again for sure.

                    Yeah, I do a lot of googling. If I hadn't been, I might be thinking he was just not that into me and that may be so, but that would paint him as a weird guy who treats you really well, contacts well and frequently while secretly not being into you. There was more at play than that.
                    There was some saviorism involved in me staying. He reminded me of my ex (not the sociopath) whom I did love, but a lot less jaded, a lot less selfish, a lot less deceitful. I didn't stick around for that one when it went sour. I came across attachment theory and it hurt my heart to let his self fulfilling prophesy turn him a bit more into that. It was saviorism. I told him about it because I knew I couldn't unilaterally fix it with "love". He was the only one who could decide to get help for himself. But I stayed because I liked him and I wanted to see him get better. I keep saying he's a good guy. I've never dated someone with so little selfishness. He was kind. He wasn't just some user.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Allthecolors View Post

                      Yeah, dealing with someone so pathologically indecisive was a drain on me. I swear he didn't seem that way at first.. He seemed so assertive... I'm not really beating myself up about it. People who dwell less experience less personal growth I've heard. I've been through worse than this. I know I'll deal eventually. I think accepting your feelings is good for your mental health, so I've accepted that I need some time to process. Thinking of it as a psychological excercise will also help me know the signs early on as well as help me make a decision on what to do if there is a next time.
                      It sounds like you know what to do and you're learning. I think we can all call it whatever we want: psych, IDKs, not that into you, etc. At the end of the day this guy just didn't stick around and he wasn't what you thought. That is always jarring and I think someone has to be off their rocker if they're not at least perturbed by such behaviour. The fact that you are disturbed and you are learning from this means that you have a set of beliefs and a consistency in which you wish to live your life. When dating, the second you feel impervious, unperturbed, numb or have no feeling is the second or the day you stop and do some soul searching to find out why. Wish you the best. You'll do fine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Allthecolors View Post
                        I've met his extended family on his mother's side twice at his and his grandfather's house, actually.
                        It's rather odd that you keep adding details. In any event, no matter what I think, he clearly told you he didn't want to be in a exclusive, committed relationship with you but you chose to carry on none the less. Your friend did you no favors by telling you what you wanted to hear which was to give it a chance.

                        They knew we were dating.
                        Are you sure or did he just tell you that they knew you were dating and he told them that you were a friend?

                        According to the way he said he experienced his religion, it wasn't a problem (at least not at that point). I had talked to a friend who married inter-faith, and she encouraged me not to let it stop me from giving it a chance.
                        What is good for one, is not good for another. To clarify... did this friend tell you to continue seeing him before or after he told you he didn't want to be in a serious relationship with you?

                        I may very well have been "filler", but It's weird how many negative assumptions you're making based on what I've written.
                        Did you want me to give you positive feedback on a short relationship that ended as soon as you started to make waves about being serious?

                        It's true, I should ponder my own growth, but this was rather recent so I'm still working some things out.
                        Yes, and I'm giving you insight into what very well COULD have happened. It's what most often happens when someone continues on with a person that has told them that they don't want a committed relationship with them.

                        I'm sorry for having lingering thoughts and feelings.
                        That is normal, what isn't "normal" in my opinion is seeking ego solace by labeling the one that turned down a relationship with you as having an "avoidant attachment styles. although it seems to be common lately for rejected people to tell themselves such things when they would have been better to listen to what they were being told I.E. "not ready to be in anything serious."

                        I thought that was what a forum was for and not telling strangers that other strangers aren't worth their time and energy unless they conform to a certain timeline and set of behaviours.
                        The forum, particularly this one, is not to give you enabling dialogue that won't open your eyes to dating mistakes and have you clear your rejection and salve your ego by agreeing with you that the reason he didn't want to be with you was due to a label you've deemed fits him. I'm sorry, but I'll never tell someone what they want to hear. My motive in not doing that is for you to accept, learn and move on. (or not, up to you)

                        I appreciate you're trying to give me a dose of reality, but you're swinging way pessimistic and there are other ways to approach things.
                        There is never a good way to tell someone what they don't want to hear over a screen. Without a shared bottle of red wine, voice inflection and eye contact, you're going to see the negative in things you don't like to hear or you never thought of and they don't match your expectations. Sorry I was unable to validate your conclusion about this situation.



                        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Adding to above:
                          Yeah, I do a lot of googling. If I hadn't been, I might be thinking he was just not that into me and that may be so, but that would paint him as a weird guy who treats you really well, contacts well and frequently while secretly not being into you. There was more at play than that.
                          Surely you understand that most people are trying to make a good first impression and that it takes getting to know someone before one can decide whether or not they want to continue on with someone. Also, that in order to get what one wants, (long term or a shag partner) they are going to have to impress or they just won't succeed.

                          You're always going to find that men are going to be awesome in the beginning and it's only as you (or they) go on and the new relationship energy dissipates that you (or them) going discover if who you have been attracted to is going to be someone you (or them) want to spend the rest of your life with.

                          Trick is to know red flags, don't invest too early and move on when someone tells you they don't want anything serious or any words of that ilk. You don't carry on with someone who isn't on the same page as you.
                          Last edited by phasesofthemoon; March 9th, 2018, 03:03 PM.
                          "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
                            It's rather odd that you keep adding details
                            Did you expect all of the details of a dysfunctional 6 month relationship to fit into those few paragraphs? Should I tell you what we did for our 5th date and how many times we've said the words "good night" to each other?

                            Did you want me to give you positive feedback on a short relationship that ended as soon as you started to make waves about being serious?
                            I don't want anything from you. I had expected people in general not to create their own narrative and accept that as truth, but I suppose I set myself up for that in the first place.

                            Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
                            Without a shared bottle of red wine, voice inflection and eye contact,
                            I'm not talking about the way you're saying it. I'm talking about what you're saying. You seem to subscribe to the school of thought that says the most negative way of thinking is the correct one and I simply don't agree. By my judgement, you're looking for evidence to support your conclusions and that's your prerogative I suppose, but this is a story about my life and not about whatever you've learned about how people operate. Attachment theory is a psychological model that we all fit into to varying degrees, not a label I invented to make myself feel better. We could discuss why you want so badly to dismiss it, but I'd argue again that this isn't about you. I've lived this. I can confidently say I know him better than you do and he's a flawed individual, but he's not what you're trying to make him.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Allthecolors View Post

                              Did you expect all of the details of a dysfunctional 6 month relationship to fit into those few paragraphs? Should I tell you what we did for our 5th date and how many times we've said the words "good night" to each other?



                              I don't want anything from you. I had expected people in general not to create their own narrative and accept that as truth, but I suppose I set myself up for that in the first place.



                              I'm not talking about the way you're saying it. I'm talking about what you're saying. You seem to subscribe to the school of thought that says the most negative way of thinking is the correct one and I simply don't agree. By my judgement, you're looking for evidence to support your conclusions and that's your prerogative I suppose, but this is a story about my life and not about whatever you've learned about how people operate. Attachment theory is a psychological model that we all fit into to varying degrees, not a label I invented to make myself feel better. We could discuss why you want so badly to dismiss it, but I'd argue again that this isn't about you. I've lived this. I can confidently say I know him better than you do and he's a flawed individual, but he's not what you're trying to make him.
                              What exactly do you expect from your thread? The bottom line here, no matter what you add or subtract or what I assume or don't assume, whether how you perceive me to be negative... the bottom line is that you originally had the thought that going forth with him would be a problem, but you went ahead anyway. That he told you he didn't want what you wanted but you stuck around anyway and instead of looking at it as you not looking out for your own best interests (even though you've been in a less then stellar relationships before), you label HIM.

                              Look at that any way you'd like, but that stands out but you won't admit it to yourself. Its much easier to consider him to have commitment issues of some kind or some kind of undecided individual because it makes it about him rather then you. I suppose that's only human but its foolish to ignore the suggestion because then you up the chances of you always making yourself a victim and never learning lessons which is what IMO failed relationships are meant to teach us so we don't repeat.

                              Good luck in your next adventure in dating. Form solid personal boundaries that you won't tear down just to be with someone. You'll be happier and you'll choose more wisely.
                              "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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