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Author Topic: Validating and Empathy - do I have it right?  (Read 1022 times)
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« on: June 17, 2018, 02:05:54 PM »

Ok just finished re-reading Validating and Empathy. Amazing articles. Could one say though they go hand in hand? I mean is Validating essentially communicating effectively that you empathize?  In other words once you actually can feel/understand why this person feels the way they do, even if it is outside your experience or opinions or worldview or even point of view on a situation you were also involved in, you make the other person aware that you've heard and understood them without judgment and in fact without even relating it to yourself (even if you don't 'agree', even if their pov is at odds with or even hurts you)?
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2018, 03:54:43 PM »

Hi 1stTimer,

That sounds about right to me. You remind me of years ago when I had a pretty regular mediation practice in order to deal with the anger I felt being with a partner that was particularly tough to communicate with. I wanted to feel in control of myself and so I was sitting at a zen center many times a week.

One by product was an incredible uptick in my ability to see how much pain other people were in. It was amazing. Everywhere I looked I could see how hard people were trying and grasping around trying to make their way in the world. My heart opened very wide.

All this awareness actually got me into a pretty weird situation once where someone tried to attack me though. I had intervened to prevent him from hurting someone else and then he turned his fire on me, but I managed to defend myself and he ran off.

Do you feel a desire to try out these tools? Is this something you can try with the woman in your life? Or others as well?

wishing you peace, pearl.
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 04:04:19 PM »

Hi Pearl thanks for reaching out I've seen your words of wisdom and, yes, empathy on many posts here so thanks for contributing your opinions and experience to this one.

The thing is I do feel I am both empathetic and 'validating' in fact I've been called empathetic and a great listener by a few people, most specifically this one female acquaintance I have who has helped me through this by being, herself, quite empathetic. But she'll repeat often it is because of how supportive and empathetic I am and how much she always loved talking to me because of it.

However, I've learned from my own thread I lacked certain... .skills... .necessary to both, mostly taking my own pain/feelings out of the equation. Both when listening to someone or trying to communicate how much you care which it turns out you can communicate the exact opposite of when you don't remove yourself.

So I guess my point is I have always cared for and always wanted to use 'those tools' on this woman and by and large did, it is one reason she liked me so much. She called me once to meet her in tears and told me some very personal things about her past, present and about how she was in therapy. She was very scared to do so and very appreciative that I listened and did not judge her as she thought I would. So I "get it".

But I'd like to yes, if things go ok when we meet (I'm still not convinced about why she wants to), I would like to listen, support, empathize and validate completely as I can without bringing the baggage I had before. Basically, leave the hurt/pain I had from this and just be there for her with full empathy and 'radical genuininess' which is probably easier to do than spell :| First I need to see why we are meeting since I didn't make that happen other than a nice 'hi' after two months after a painful for both of us break.



Hi 1stTimer,

That sounds about right to me. You remind of years ago when I had a pretty regular mediation practice in order to deal with the anger I felt being with a partner that was particularly tough to communicate with. I wanted to feel in control of myself and so I was sitting at a zen center many times a week.

One by product was an incredible uptick in my ability to see how much pain other people were in. It was amazing. Everywhere I looked I could see how hard people were trying and grasping around trying to make their way in the world. My heart opened very wide.

All this awareness actually got me into a pretty weird situation once where someone tried to attack me though. I had intervened to prevent him from hurting someone else and then he turned his fire on me, but I managed to defend myself and he ran off.

Do you feel a desire to try out these tools? Is this something you can try with the woman in your life? Or others as well?

wishing you peace, pearl.
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pearlsw
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 04:21:54 PM »

Hi Pearl thanks for reaching out I've seen your words of wisdom and, yes, empathy on many posts here so thanks for contributing your opinions and experience to this one.

The thing is I do feel I am both empathetic and 'validating' in fact I've been called empathetic and a great listener by a few people, most specifically this one female acquaintance I have who has helped me through this by being, herself, quite empathetic. But she'll repeat often it is because of how supportive and empathetic I am and how much she always loved talking to me because of it.

However, I've learned from my own thread I lacked certain... .skills... .necessary to both, mostly taking my own pain/feelings out of the equation. Both when listening to someone or trying to communicate how much you care which it turns out you can communicate the exact opposite of when you don't remove yourself.

So I guess my point is I have always cared for and always wanted to use 'those tools' on this woman and by and large did, it is one reason she liked me so much. She called me once to meet her in tears and told me some very personal things about her past, present and about how she was in therapy. She was very scared to do so and very appreciative that I listened and did not judge her as she thought I would. So I "get it".

But I'd like to yes, if things go ok when we meet (I'm still not convinced about why she wants to), I would like to listen, support, empathize and validate completely as I can without bringing the baggage I had before. Basically, leave the hurt/pain I had from this and just be there for her with full empathy and 'radical genuininess' which is probably easier to do than spell :| First I need to see why we are meeting since I didn't make that happen other than a nice 'hi' after two months after a painful for both of us break.


Hi 1stTimer,

My first boyfriend and I met at 17 & 18 and when I look back I am still amazed at how well we communicated. My next serious relationship started in my late 20’s and we had communication problems. We went to counseling, it was probably my idea, and I started meditating too, but his/our problems were pretty big.

I guess what I’m getting at in a roundabout way is that…Sometimes our communication skills work with another person and sometimes they don’t. Having had them work with one person gave me some confidence I had those skills, having them not work with the next person was pretty frustrating. I pulled out all the stops to try to make it work. I probably should not have made that level of effort looking back, but live and learn. Smiling (click to insert in post) I stayed through some pretty horrible stuff. I find myself in a similar situation again now, making heroic efforts during a pretty extreme situation.

So, again, you may be a good listener in some settings, but for some reason in this one, all the typical stuff you bring is not working so well. So, one approach is to literally toss all you thought you knew about communicating and be willing to start over again. It’s not easy, but it can be done, and reaffirmed over and over.

Is there a time set up to meet her again? Or you just have some positive texts indicating it could happen but it’s not a go yet?

I am so sorry for all of your pain around this! We can only do our best on this stuff, never beat yourself up buddy!

Want to practice a bit by thinking out what you want to say to her? Just write it out if you like and we can all take a look, offer ideas.

wishing you peace, pearl.

p.s. thanks for the kind words! you humble me!
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 04:40:12 PM »

Hi Pearl, now that is a fascinating insight. Fascinating. And yes, I have never dealt with a woman like this before and she did or said something at some point that spun me down the drain and really affected every communication we had after. It rocked me because it seemed to indicate she was not only entirely different than I thought but then I would ever want to be with. I realized in retrospect she was simply trying to get something she wanted from me in a very clumsy way but it did set up a spiral of very bad communication and when I look at some very reactive responses I had vs what would normally have been more empathetic/caring ones I can trace them all to that.

On another level however I did also realize that I could have, while maintaining the boundaries/limitations of the depth of the relationship I was able to have early on, I could STILL have validated many things she did w/o giving up those boundaries. Again part of this is due to her, shall we say relentless, persistence so I put up resistance. But I could have found a way to validate regardless if I had better wits about me. For instance some very nice supportive texts she sent that I think few other women would have at that time e.g. "I don't care that you live with your mother, I like you, and I think it is great you take care of her and I believe in your business". That is some amazing... stuff... to hear from a woman in NYC. And it rocked me but I never even let her know how much it meant to me for fear it would encourage her to push even harder. So part of what happened is she never really got how much I was caring for her and how I was in fact lowering my boundaries.

As of the latest, she (to my utter surprise) reached out and said 'would you like to meet at (the place we met) soon?' Surprise because I just reached out yesterday by text after 8+ weeks of total NC (except for the really nice email I sent a month ago) and I'm surprised that a) she replied so fast (I figured most women would at least do hard-to-get or make-him-work) and so nicely and with the open door ("let's talk soon?" and b) that after simply saying 'that sounds nice' (not knowing it if was an invitation) that c) she'd get back to me less than a day later wanting to meet in person and at 'our place' no less.

I'm trying to be a blank slate about what to say Smiling (click to insert in post) I'm still filled with some fear she wants to tell me she is getting married. Don't ask why, her text to me seemed so... .happy... .and I guess I didn't assume it was because of me. And now she is in a rush to meet. Other than that or that aside my plan was to listen and if there seems to be either the need or opportunity to apologize for lashing out at her when she 'cut and ran'. I was going to say something like "I am sorry I lashed out I had no right to say those things to you I am sorry if they hurt you. I had just basically promised the day before to protect you and make your happiness important to me and I should have done that and listened and understood instead". Or some such. I wont say anything about 'alway will from now on' kind of thing since no idea if we have any 'from now on'.

IF there is some need or opportunity might let her know that although I didn't share it with her I thought she should know how amazing and appreciated things like my birthday and her texts and other things she did were. Not sure if that is a place we get to either.

Otherwise plan is to listen. I'm guessing if she responded so fast and reached out to meet so fast she has plenty to say. Of course it is possible she just can't wait to see me again and has been in pain and missing me as much as I have.

Hi 1stTimer,

My first boyfriend and I met at 17 & 18 and when I look back I am still amazed at how well we communicated. My next serious relationship started in my late 20’s and we had communication problems. We went to counseling, it was probably my idea, and I started meditating too, but his/our problems were pretty big.

I guess what I’m getting at in a roundabout way is that…Sometimes our communication skills work with another person and sometimes they don’t. Having had them work with one person gave me some confidence I had those skills, having them not work with the next person was pretty frustrating. I pulled out all the stops to try to make it work. I probably should not have made that level of effort looking back, but live and learn. Smiling (click to insert in post) I stayed through some pretty horrible stuff. I find myself in a similar situation again now, making heroic efforts during a pretty extreme situation.

So, again, you may be a good listener in some settings, but for some reason in this one, all the typical stuff you bring is not working so well. So, one approach is to literally toss all you thought you knew about communicating and be willing to start over again. It’s not easy, but it can be done, and reaffirmed over and over.

Is there a time set up to meet her again? Or you just have some positive texts indicating it could happen but it’s not a go yet?

I am so sorry for all of your pain around this! We can only do our best on this stuff, never beat yourself up buddy!

Want to practice a bit by thinking out what you want to say to her? Just write it out if you like and we can all take a look, offer ideas.

wishing you peace, pearl.

p.s. thanks for the kind words! you humble me!
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 04:55:00 PM »

Hi 1stTimer,

If you don't mind, let me hone in on on something I've noticed in your posts. I am from the same country as you and I tell ya, I get how lousy dating there can be. I do. People asked me out a lot, but it was hard to figure out who was serious and looking for what I was. Dating is not easy. But, that said, man, don't ever put all your eggs in one basket. This woman is not the only woman in that giant city you could date, okay? Sure, it feels that way at times, it is hard to find accepting, loving, understanding people, and I would no longer make a huge effort to date. I'm just a bit over it all and content to not do it - if I found myself single.

But man, please, if you want a partner don't let yourself ever, ever think there is only person or it is impossible. I have a really cool male friend back in the states who was single most of the time I knew him. A really long time, like twenty years. He tried and tried and nothing clicked. I, on the other hand, could barely get to my mailbox without being asked out! hahahahaa. Kinda kidding, but... .not by much.

Well, guess who is happily married now? He is. I'm not! Smiling (click to insert in post)

So, let go of those limiting thoughts on dating. You don't have to keep at it, I know I won't when/if my current relationship ends, but if you want someone don't stop trying! You are in a big city, go stand outside! You will meet someone!  One of the best guys I ever met was just right out on the street! hahahaaha. I waved him over and voila - date, friendship and joy!

with compassion, pearl.  
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« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 05:10:22 PM »

Hi Pearl, thanks for the insight. However to clarify; I do NOT think this is the only woman for me, not by a long shot. I think right now due to my situation (financially insecure until this business gets off the ground, closing in on it and living situation) it is a hard 'sell' in NY. That said if things were all in place I know I'd have options. Women have always liked me (I don't mean I am head turning hot I just mean like the woman who is my confidant at my wine bar, LIKE me). And as I get back in my former great shape I get a lot of looks and smiles again like I used to (I even had the 25 yo "hottie" receptionist at my gym majorly flirting with me today, good for the soul). So I am in no way 'this is the only woman in the world for me' or 'she is the only one who would like me NOW'. I just met her at a time I didn't meet anyone else and I developed what is important to me; a real connection.

But I do appreciate the kind of support she showed me as it is a quality I want in a woman. Stand by my side support me (and vice-versa of course).

On the other hand, I have NEVER been a multi-dater, I hate the concept for myself and the person I date (other than maybe the first 2-3 dates just getitng to know each other). I don't connect that easy and don't really care to. Otherwise I could have dated any # of women I struck conversations up with at this self-same wine bar (life has been very proscribed for a few years, work work winebar work).

I think what you describe with your male friend is a conundrum of modern big-city dating I see all the time; men find it much harder to meet women because of the dynamic involved (ask,pursue) and women are asked out at the gym, at the bar, in class, on the bus, at school etc. They change jobs and get asked out the first day. Most have jokes or bad stories about how ot get rid of the men hitting on them, tindering them and otherwise trying to get with them.

It makes for something of a false narrative/fools-gold for women here. They start to believe they in fact have all these options and sure, if you can't get to your mailbox w/o being asked out you start to maybe... .devalue... .other men or find it easier to break up because the next day you can have a date. But (again this is from observing many female friends) they start to get older and realize even with all these supposed 'options' they haven't ended up with anyone. Yet they still have the same set of rules and standards (must be this, must do this). And often men like myself escape their grasp. And though we don't have access to endless women asking/tindering/buying drinks, I think (speaking for most of us, not the rich playboy playahs) we perhaps end up appreciating who we date or end up with more.

Not trying to start a huge gender-war generalization here but that is my experience. For instance in the two months we 'broke up' (after our 36 hour committed relationship) I've had almost no access to dating. Sure I could have hit on multiple women at the gym and bar but that is a tough go in a city where every other man HAS to do the same thing. I'm betting my lady friend got asked out and dated plenty in that time. She has told me she gets asked out at the laundromat with no make-up on with sweats on. So again it can/could be easier for her to 'replace' me than it is more me to 'replace' her but at the end of the day not sure it actually works out like that, date or not. I guess we'll see when we meet.

Again no gender-disrespect meant here, just from my observation of my female friends ranging from 25-55 and from wathching as a total observer at my wine-bar for ten years.

Hi 1stTimer,

If you don't mind, let me hone in on on something I've noticed in your posts. I am from the same country as you and I tell ya, I get how lousy dating there can be. I do. People asked me out a lot, but it was hard to figure out who was serious and looking for what I was. Dating is not easy. But, that said, man, don't ever put all your eggs in one basket. This woman is not the only woman in that giant city you could date, okay? Sure, it feels that way at times, it is hard to find accepting, loving, understanding people, and I would no longer make a huge effort to date. I'm just a bit over it all and content to not do it - if I found myself single.

But man, please, if you want a partner don't let yourself ever, ever think there is only person or it is impossible. I have a really cool male friend back in the states who was single most of the time I knew him. A really long time, like twenty years. He tried and tried and nothing clicked. I, on the other hand, could barely get to my mailbox without being asked out! hahahahaa. Kinda kidding, but... .not by much.

Well, guess who is happily married now? He is. I'm not! Smiling (click to insert in post)

So, let go of those limiting thoughts on dating. You don't have to keep at it, I know I won't when/if my current relationship ends, but if you want someone don't stop trying! You are in a big city, go stand outside! You will meet someone!  One of the best guys I ever met was just right out on the street! hahahaaha. I waved him over and voila - date, friendship and joy!

with compassion, pearl.  
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 05:31:36 PM »

Hey 1stTimer,

No offense taken, at all! I appreciate hearing your thoughts on this. I think it seems pretty hard to be a guy in terms of dating, and I appreciate that you get for us women that quantity can be a real drag too! I adore men, completely, and never see them as replaceable. Nope. Everyone I dated was special to me and I wish them all well no matter how things played out in the end.

Well good! I just wasn't sure how you felt about this stuff and I'm glad we could get that cleared up! I didn't want to be worrying about ya!  I hear ya too. When I've been unemployed I haven't felt like putting myself out on the dating market. When I date I like to have something to offer, not feel embarrassed or less than.

So, brass tacks here, you had a special connection and you are hoping for what? Just a conversation with her? A chance to rekindle things? It got pretty far and then she pulled the plug and you want to know why? What's really eating you here?

warmly, pearl.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 05:43:50 PM »

I agree on unemployed/noting to offer though to clarify I am not; just been building a start-up technology for years after life went sideways when my dad got sick. I did say to this girl when we met what you said; I want to be with someone when I am happy and whole and can support them financially/emotionally/fully, I am not one of those people dating so I can feel happy or whole. I think that is pretty darn healthy thinking myself. She just wanted what she wanted. What can I say (doing the mustache twirl)?

So, brass tacks here, you had a special connection and you are hoping for what? Just a conversation with her? A chance to rekindle things? It got pretty far and then she pulled the plug and you want to know why? What's really eating you here?

Man I didn't even give her a chance to pull the plug. I mean I guess she was but not sure why/what/how. I'd love to know what she meant by 'see things differently'. At first I thought she was saying (which angered me greatly) "you wanted a relationship and I didn't you misunderstood" which was a GREAT Lie. Now I think she may have meant 'you see this as just seeing what we have I see this as Our Future'.

I'd like more than a conversation. I'd like first of all to see how I feel when I see her vs two months of spiraling out of control. I'm not sure what would make me happy:

1) Us both saying our piece/apologizing/burying hatchet? Maybe. Again not sure how I feel about her 'in real life' at this point.

2) Us realizing separately we really want to be together and we've taken time to get out of the whirlpool we were in and come back together? Maybe. It would be nice to think we had a real connection and are both ready to give it our all. It might end up being amazing. We really never had a chance to find out you know? We really never dated in any real way we had 'actual' sex once (pretty damn good and highl compatible). Thus my point was always 'lets' commit to each other and date like that and see what we have'. That might have been very different from her 'let's buy a king size bed and figure out where we'll move and what our date night is and you need to meet everyone and do you see yourself as provide and protector and I want to keep my job'. Know what I mean? :| I might have gotten much closer to her vision in the last two months. She might have gotten further Smiling (click to insert in post)

Other than that I dont see many scenarios, cleary she wants very much to meet. Could be:

1) Give me a piece of her mind
2) Explain what was going on and whatever about her 'past' she needed to tell me (as in "she does this all the time sorry"
3) Tell me (God knows why we'd need to meet for this) she's engaged/in-love?
4) See if I want to date but not exclusively (not)?

I know she is deeply in therapy for some serious issues, most of which she has not shared yet but alluded to, and talks to him about me a lot, and conferred with him the day after I said 'be my one and only' (bad choice of words) and he told her to confirm it. Possibly this derailed her (likely) and she has spend time talking to him and he wants her to communicate to me just for her own pieace of mind not mine. I'm 90% sure she conferred with him before replying to my 'love letter' as it seemed carefully crafted "thanks for the nice note. hope you are well" with no name only an initial.

But ho knows? Mostly I'd like to know naturally she did and maybe even still does feel the way she said she felt and to let her know how I felt even if I didn't let her know well enough then. That is a start... .
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pearlsw
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 06:02:56 PM »

I agree on unemployed/noting to offer though to clarify I am not; just been building a start-up technology for years after life went sideways when my dad got sick. I did say to this girl when we met what you said; I want to be with someone when I am happy and whole and can support them financially/emotionally/fully, I am not one of those people dating so I can feel happy or whole. I think that is pretty darn healthy thinking myself. She just wanted what she wanted. What can I say (doing the mustache twirl)?

Man I didn't even give her a chance to pull the plug. I mean I guess she was but not sure why/what/how. I'd love to know what she meant by 'see things differently'. At first I thought she was saying (which angered me greatly) "you wanted a relationship and I didn't you misunderstood" which was a GREAT Lie. Now I think she may have meant 'you see this as just seeing what we have I see this as Our Future'.

I'd like more than a conversation. I'd like first of all to see how I feel when I see her vs two months of spiraling out of control. I'm not sure what would make me happy:

1) Us both saying our piece/apologizing/burying hatchet? Maybe. Again not sure how I feel about her 'in real life' at this point.

2) Us realizing separately we really want to be together and we've taken time to get out of the whirlpool we were in and come back together? Maybe. It would be nice to think we had a real connection and are both ready to give it our all. It might end up being amazing. We really never had a chance to find out you know? We really never dated in any real way we had 'actual' sex once (pretty damn good and highl compatible). Thus my point was always 'lets' commit to each other and date like that and see what we have'. That might have been very different from her 'let's buy a king size bed and figure out where we'll move and what our date night is and you need to meet everyone and do you see yourself as provide and protector and I want to keep my job'. Know what I mean? :| I might have gotten much closer to her vision in the last two months. She might have gotten further Smiling (click to insert in post)

Other than that I dont see many scenarios, cleary she wants very much to meet. Could be:

1) Give me a piece of her mind
2) Explain what was going on and whatever about her 'past' she needed to tell me (she does this all the time sorry)
3) Tell me (God knows why we'd need to meet for this) she's engaged/in-love?
4) See if I want to date but not exclusively (not)?

Who knows? Mostly I'd like to know naturally she did and maybe even still does feel the way she said she felt and to let her know how I felt even if I didn't let her know well enough then. That is a start... .

Oh yes! Sorry I didn't express that so elegantly! I have been unemployed, in my mind not dateable, but I did notice that you are building a start up, but also not in a place (work-wise) that makes you feel totally dateable.

I can only guess here, but she probably wants to see how you felt about what happened before, let you know he she felt, and you're both putting out feelers to see if more is possible. If she wanted to tell me about another guy I think I'd buy myself a pitcher of margaritas and call it day. That would be a real drag!  

Sounds like you two miscommunicated about what you were each looking for at the time? Can you clear that up a bit? She got you to get more serious than you were ready for and then she backed off, way off?

Ah, you didn't date really, but did have sex? Oh man. Hmmm. That likely set up some expectations for her, ones that you did not share. You slept together thinking it might lead to dating, and she thought it might be much more than that, and fast?

best, pearl. Smiling (click to insert in post)

p.s. Mustache twirl! hahaha. pretty funny! Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 06:47:12 PM »

Recycling Failure Formula

Many male members recycle after breakups.

So what is the most common self-sabotage male members do on these recycle get togethers?

They try jump head first right back in to re-litigate the problem of the breakup. It might last an hour or a week, but then BOOM suddenly the women triggers - then the man triggers - and matters are far, far worse than before.

Think about it. You've known this girl for a long time. She was very attracted to a man she met. Things got bad in time. You separated. She has had 9 weeks to process - people tend to put the bad aside and remember the good (human nature) in that time. If you walk into the restaurant, sit down, and open a suitcase of dirty laundry, everyone's smile will turn downward.  Even if she asks you to open the suitcase, don't do it.

If you want or need to be heard, understood, and soothed for past wounds, get a dog, or come here and talk. Also buy time, you are not ready to meet. Bringing up your wounds will feel petty, weak, hopeless, clingy, hurtful... .

Recycling Success Formula

Understand the double standard... .

She may want to talk about her concerns. Hopefully not (her laundry stinks too). If she does, you need to listen. It's not an invitation to open your dirty laundry suitcase. It's not an invitation to fix everything. Its not a request for an amateur DSM diagnosis. It's an invitation to see if you care about her enough to listen without getting rewarded for it. No rewards like soothing you, promising a relationship, sex, etc. No fishing for "I love you" or "let's be in a committed relationship".

Listen. Listen for free.

Then tell her you really want to think about what she has said and to get together and talk about it soon. She will get it all out faster if you listen and don't tell her that you're enlightened... .and when she is done, thank her, promise follow-up, and shift the night to a positive place so it ends on a high note.

You can talk to members here about how to process what she has told you and how to respond constructively.

Yes, 1T, it is a double standard, but this has been the case for thousands of years. Being a good man means putting her first. Watch the Scotty Peck video 100 times if you need to... .he knows what he is talking about.

As for your concerns about her... .when this thing gets on a some steady ground (date 3 or 4), then you can start to work on solutions that you feel are important. The focus here is solutions. For example, you can say, "while we are exploring this, are you ok to just date me". If she says no, don't meltdown, just step back for a day and make the decision to continue or exit. You don't ever need to bring up all that stuff about her prior dating or all the old wounds. Stay solutions oriented and value oriented.  :)on't ask for wound healing - she wants you to be strong.

If you can find solutions and stay within your values, continue. When you hit a place you can't, exit.

This is a dating lesson they should teach in school. Men and women are not on equal emotional footing in a relationship... .especially when the relationship is in rocky seas.

Make sense?
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 07:03:39 PM »

Recycling Failure Formula

This is a dating lesson they should teach in school. Men and women are not on equal emotional footing in a relationship.

Make sense?

Let me give this to you another way. Never underestimate what listening means to a woman. If you do it, it might make a huge difference. We are often not listened to, ignored, sidelined out in the world. You would be a notable exception and attractive if you could pull it off. And yes, she wants you to be emotionally strong.

But we're not all alike - some of us don't like/resist the gender norms. We can both be strong, and both listen - but it takes work and a much deeper level of understanding and commitment to get there.

take care, pearl.
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 10:31:55 PM »

I can only guess here, but she probably wants to see how you felt about what happened before, let you know he she felt, and you're both putting out feelers to see if more is possible.

That is what I am hoping. One reason I'm being such a weenie trying to figure out is that a few times now her behavior has caught me totally off guard and spiralled me out of control, she is not like anyone I ever dated. So I'm trying to steel my self for possibilities vs getting waylaid. Like I said the first time I tried to meet and say 'yes I do want to be bf/gf/relationship' (after her 'guaranteeing me' I'd ask her for that by the end of the month me not realizing she had a plan but coming to the conclusion it made sense) we had a timing debacle; I showed up to ask her she showed up to pull out the twist-the-short-hair cards re other men, fideility etc. She even said after "I didnt' mean most of that I just wanted to get you jealous so you can see we should be together" but the things she said festered and affected everything after.

If she wanted to tell me about another guy I think I'd buy myself a pitcher of margaritas and call it day. That would be a real drag!  

Thus positing the above. I mean as a woman; other than sitting your husband/bf down to say you met someone else does the above make ANY sense? A guy you almost ended up with, had a blow out with, didn't speak for two months while you meanwhile (somehow) found someone else serious, now the other guy reaches out with a nice text. Would you sweetly reply, tell him you'd love to talk, reach out and set up a date at the place you met just to tell him? Doesn't compute does it?

My only other negative scenario preparing for (again so I don't flip and spiral but just accept calmly outwardly) is her therapist told her she needed to meet me tell me off in person to move on.

I mean she did IMHO move very fast for my reaching out out of the blue to set up meeting (and again at the bar we met, also my regular one).

Sounds like you two miscommunicated about what you were each looking for at the time? Can you clear that up a bit? She got you to get more serious than you were ready for and then she backed off, way off?

Would that it were that simple; she got very serious from day one, made it clear she wanted a relationship with me, I was a) not ready b) not that interested, and in part because I didn't trust the depth of her feeling. Also as hot as some of the things she revealed sexually (after a few drinks) they didn't sit well for me in terms of 'I want to be in a relationship with this girl' precisely because she did say them so early.

We eventually became text friends,then friends,then sort of friends with benefits. She pushed incessanlty for more and made it clear (to me at least) she had a future planned for us (I should reconsider my move to Cali where I wanted to start a fresh life and stay in NY with her). We got closer, she pulled (and said she didn't e.g gave me keys to her apartment, cleared out drawers in her bedroom for me, told me she wanted me to start sleeping over and hold her in my arms, got upset that even though I offered to take her to the ER I didn't follow up and come nurse her to health, etc etc). She threw some guy in my face, told me that she dind't consider monogamous unless specficially asked, I asked and very nicely (be my one and only) and said lets start all over again this weekend on real date as couple and I'll even ask again she was very happy, then it got weird with her a) making me confirm next day I asked and would ask then launched into whole 'a lot of people will want to meet you I have not had a real bf for 10 years' b) telling me the rest of the week NOT my gf until I *officially* asked on the weekend which did not sit well with me c) had dinner asked (she still said very scared) d) slept over for first time over with her in my arms as she'd always asked, she spent day (after being scared to simply be bf/gf day before) future bombin e.g. 'I am going to replace the queen with a king so we can sleep together every night, this place is not big enough for two where would we move when we are ready to get a place, hours of what our pet names should be, can Saturday be our official date night so we can explore the city together, an hour reviewin family album, the next valentine's day et cet cetc. Then the next day she made me meet her and told me I was a great guy but she wasn't ready for a committed relationshp with me, said she didnt do anytihng wrong we see things differenlty, I didn't stick around long enough to find out what she meant as it honestly felt like a 4 or 18 month set-up to get me to put all my cards and heart on the table just to get revenge for my rejecting her early on so I said thanks for opening my heart to dating i am going to go date. Was super hurt because felt set-up AND because I'd finally put my hands down and opened my heart to everytihng she said and a future I'd sort of closed myself off to for years.

Phew

Ah, you didn't date really, but did have sex? Oh man. Hmmm. That likely set up some expectations for her, ones that you did not share. You slept together thinking it might lead to dating, and she thought it might be much more than that, and fast?

Gotta tell you not a lot of sleeping together. "Messed around" 3-4 times betwen December and Apirl, mostly me pleasuring her (a lot :| ). I was clear I only had so much to give working 80+ hours a week, working to get a foundation under me, most of my emotional energy being on taking care of my mother (who was close to suicidal for months due to my father passing and family issues) and could only give so much. Howevr I got closer and closer to her, which culminated with a) the keys she gave me b) a day where we finally slept together, hours of great sex, she said after she felt like she was on 3 valium for days, etc c) she gave me drawers in her bedroom to start moving in and then the whole uncessary campaing to make me jealous since I was already aboard.

She claimed to have been pullng back since clear i didn't want relationship but nothing about her behavior supported that (keys, drawers, 'you'll ask me to be your gf', things like "I am falling in love with you" and "we have our lifetime to figure it out" and relealing over and over she spoke to her sister, mother, grandmother about me. Doubtless she starte exploring options but the entire 'ask me' then 'confirm you ask me' then 'must ask me officially' then future bomb all were in line with eveyrthing she did from the beginning; try to get into a serious committed relationship with a FUTURE.

Not sure why she flipped out right after we did 'pull the trigger' since she worked SO hard not only for months to enginner it she made damn sure for that last week it was signed sealed delivered and I'd cross over hurdles to prove it. She made sure to turn a committment to be a couple into an entire plan for our future. So either a) she scared the hell out of herself (not having had a relationship in ten years and I guess in fact ever) or b) she didn't sense a true committment on my part or trust my motivation (you never kiss me first, I'm surprised to find out you even talk to your friends about me, I didn't even think you liked when I sat in your lap and kissed you, etc).  Maybe when she expressed so much fear on Official Date night and I said 'we are just agreeing to have a committed relationship so we can see what we really have together' (truth) that is what she meant by 'see things differently' since clearly she was seeing us as basically being engaged. I mean the girl wanted to talk finances and confirm I saw myself as her provider and protector.

See it gets quite complicated :| I think she scared the hell out of herself. I think my motivations might have been conflicted and also less future thinking than hers. I thikn I found out subsequently how much I actually care for her and DID (DO?) want to try to build a future with/around her. I have no idea where her head is at yet again she's jumped at the chance to see me 2 months later after just a sweet text for me so either another cut and run, revenge or something real. Who knows man. It should not be this hard. I've never had this much work ever. My last gf, whom I loved deeply from almost second one, ran before our 3rd or 4th date. Diffference is she tracked me down, explained her issue (just got out of damaging emotional relationship not ready), I backed off, she tracked me down 6 months later invited me to dinner had flowers waiting and sais sorry I was not ready I am not will you have me in your life? and it was great. This makes that look like a cakewalk.
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 10:47:33 PM »

I have in fact been listening Skip Smiling (click to insert in post) so most of the below was pretty much my plan. Was not planning on bringing up any of my pain/issues as much as listening IF she wanted to talk. Are you saying I should not however address/apologize or anything? My plan e.g on 'The Night' if it is brought up is to acknowledge that I should have listened and understood vs lashing out, that I should have been there for her as I promised when we agreed to be a couple. Some such. Without referencing my pain/hurt of implying my actions were caused by hers.

I really am past needing to bring up any of my 'wounds'. I do mention them here but don't have any desire to tell her how hurt I was by anything she did; the hurdles, the backing off, the... .anything. I get that despite any of her own issues be they mental,emotional,substance abuse, past relationship, family abuse, lack of relationship experience, heck even sexual addition a lot of this went down because of my own issue, my own inability to validate her due to my own fears, and my lashing out for the same reason instead of taking the time to hear/understand/protect.

If she's here to be heard fine, if she's here to simply move forward/mend that is fine. If she's here to either 'get revenge' or 'rub my face' in some new person I'll just be ready for it and handle it the way I should have handled the other unexpected issues; with aplomb and move on. I really think the discussions here and honestly her replies to me have gone a long way to soothing the hurt and confusion. Just her sweet reply took 95% of all the pain and such away and the fact she reached out has as well. I can deal with the rest.

I don't mind the double-standards of male-female relationships, I only really mind them (these days) with women who don't get that being treated in such a way requires reciprocal double-standards of different sorts to make it work and to make it worth it for any man to willingly give them.

Recycling Failure Formula

Many male members recycle after breakups.

So what is the most common self-sabotage male members do on these recycle get togethers?

They try jump head first right back in to re-litigate the problem of the breakup. It might last an hour or a week, but then BOOM suddenly the women triggers - then the man triggers - and matters are far, far worse than before.

Think about it. You've known this girl for a long time. She was very attracted to a man she met. Things got bad in time. You separated. She has had 9 weeks to process - people tend to put the bad aside and remember the good (human nature) in that time. If you walk into the restaurant, sit down, and open a suitcase of dirty laundry, everyone's smile will turn downward.  Even if she asks you to open the suitcase, don't do it.

If you want or need to be heard, understood, and soothed for past wounds, get a dog, or come here and talk. Also buy time, you are not ready to meet. Bringing up your wounds will feel petty, weak, hopeless, clingy, hurtful... .

Recycling Success Formula

Understand the double standard... .

She may want to talk about her concerns. Hopefully not (her laundry stinks too). If she does, you need to listen. It's not an invitation to open your dirty laundry suitcase. It's not an invitation to fix everything. Its not a request for an amateur DSM diagnosis. It's an invitation to see if you care about her enough to listen without getting rewarded for it. No rewards like soothing you, promising a relationship, sex, etc. No fishing for "I love you" or "let's be in a committed relationship".

Listen. Listen for free.

Then tell her you really want to think about what she has said and to get together and talk about it soon. She will get it all out faster if you listen and don't tell her that you're enlightened... .and when she is done, thank her, promise follow-up, and shift the night to a positive place so it ends on a high note.

You can talk to members here about how to process what she has told you and how to respond constructively.

Yes, 1T, it is a double standard, but this has been the case for thousands of years. Being a good man means putting her first. Watch the Scotty Peck video 100 times if you need to... .he knows what he is talking about.

As for your concerns about her... .when this thing gets on a some steady ground (date 3 or 4), then you can start to work on solutions that you feel are important. The focus here is solutions. For example, you can say, "while we are exploring this, are you ok to just date me". If she says no, don't meltdown, just step back for a day and make the decision to continue or exit. You don't ever need to bring up all that stuff about her prior dating or all the old wounds. Stay solutions oriented and value oriented.  :)on't ask for wound healing - she wants you to be strong.

If you can find solutions and stay within your values, continue. When you hit a place you can't, exit.

This is a dating lesson they should teach in school. Men and women are not on equal emotional footing in a relationship... .especially when the relationship is in rocky seas.

Make sense?
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 11:22:07 PM »

Man you wouldn't know I'm a good listener by the way I answer your questions huh?

She got you to get more serious than you were ready for and then she backed off, way off?

Having re-read / listened: Mostly the short answer is yes. I think she got me to realize I was more serious than I realized and then she backed way off not buying it. She did even ask me before the Big Date: This is not all just because I went on one date is it? So I think she didn't buy it in her heart. And maybe at that time it was conflicted on my part. I am far less so now. I realize truly what she meant/means to me and what I do in fact want which is much closer to what she future bombed me with IF it is where she is at. I know it sounds unfair to say IF and I should either be there or not but again this is all predicated on connection for me. If that is not the connection we SHARE than the wanting of that future doesn't exist.
You slept together thinking it might lead to dating, and she thought it might be much more than that, and fast?

I thought we'd slowly move to dating as I opened up which to me in my experience has always been monogamous/single-person. Except she was already past dating and planning our future (before we even slept together) thus the conversations about whether I should move to Cali being such triggers for her/us; I didn't see how a person I'm hardly even dating yet (at that point not even having had intercourse) who knows I'm struggling with getting closer can ask such a huge thing of me and 'us', she's seeing it as she is falling in love planning her future. We were like on different parts of the race track.
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2018, 01:02:11 AM »

Wow.

Okay. Let me gather my thoughts here: (I'm not usually so concise, but here goes)

1) It sucks to be a guy. There is that much thinking involved before/after dates?

2) I'd listen to Skip over me! hahahaaha. He has a ton more experience regarding guiding guys with dating stuff. I'm a non and I would never put that much effort into a date.  But I am here to help/support you too! We all are!

3) Gosh I hope this works out! But if this part is this hard, what are you expecting in the future... .?

4) I could not figure out what was up with a woman with BPD/BPD traits in terms of dating based on any of this. Yikes! I can only offer insights as a non woman who has dated. Sorry!

5) I bet this conversation, between all of us here, would go a lot faster in person over tea or another beverage... .and probably be quite insightful.

6) Good. Let's keep focused on short answers. Makes it easier to help!

7) Yes, she got way ahead of you. Maybe she felt like she'd put herself out on a limb? But, man, really think through if you were being love bombed and if her and your excitement and expectations about relationships match. It's great to be excited, heck I've gotten excited when I've met someone and clicked, but love bombing? No. Respect your own inner timetable and check your gut. Off to the races can blow up in faces. (I just made that up.) What did Elvis tell us, "Only Fools Rush In?" Listen to Elvis.  

8) I have been trying for days to absorb/get your story. For some reason it is a bit hard to get clear about. I am trying though! Thanks for shorter, to the point replies!  

9) All I know is don't lash out at women you want to date. That would scare me and run me off, unless I could somehow sense it was truly a one-off. But again, I am a non.

10) Most importantly, get your own communication stuff in order. The better self you bring into a relationship the better chance you have to get it right and make it last!

with care, pearl.

p.s. I hope you don't mind me being a little cheeky. Just woke up!

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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2018, 01:15:34 AM »

11) If she could say or do anything that could make you spiral out of control then the focus needs to be on you. What can you do to calm yourself down, keep in control, as a rule? Time to take up meditation? What could you do so that never happens again because that is not good for you anyone you might want to date?

12) I'd defer to Skip on the apology question. He may have more ideas about what this expresses to her. I am guessing, if he does suggest one, he'd say it ought to be short, and not open up more trouble for you, but let's see... .

13) Great, it looks like you are learning a lot here! I think it is good to get things out here rather than make mistakes with a person in person!

14) Beware of anyone playing jealousy games. Extreme jealousy is one of the ugliest things in relationships in my experience and to be avoided at all costs. I overlooked it in my SO and paid a big price.

more later, pearl. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2018, 01:45:27 AM »

11) If she could say or do anything that could make you spiral out of control then the focus needs to be on you. What can you do to calm yourself down, keep in control, as a rule? Time to take up meditation? What could you do so that never happens again because that is not good for you anyone you might want to date?

Nope don't need meds. I'm generally VERY calm, controlled and good at redirecting fear/anger/stress into something positive. Some things she said/did were so outside my experience and came at a time also when I was just exposing myself back to the world after years of solitude and loss and also clearly some lost confidence. It was a bad combination. I'm feeling better, more centered and prepared. Funny thing is on the blow-up day I KNEW she was going to cut-and-run, in fact when she started saying it I showed her my phone with an email I wrote to myself the night before with almost her verbatim words. Now the question I had for MYSELF was "if you KNEW she was going to do this and had the email ready to show her when you met, how come you didn't have a game plan to handle it calmly?" The only answer I can come up with is that whilst I expected her to cut and run in fear, I didn't expect her to ask me to pretend that I was some 'great guy' who just 'saw things differently' i.e. the entire hurdle and future bomb never happened. I felt utterly manipulated.

12) I'd defer to Skip on the apology question. He may have more ideas about what this expresses to her. I am guessing, if he does suggest one, he'd say it ought to be short, and not open up more trouble for you, but let's see... .

Yeah if it comes up will likely keep it generic so she knows that I know to keep it together and consider her first

14) Beware of anyone playing jealousy games. Extreme jealousy is one of the ugliest things in relationships in my experience and to be avoided at all costs. I overlooked it in my SO and paid a big price.

That is the thing Pearl and almost why I lost it here. I am NOT a jealous man, I lean almost too far the other way. I even said this to her much earlier on I'm not jealous of my girlfriends because I date people I trust. I don't get bothered when they come home late, go on trips, talk to other men. Because I am secure and because I choose good women. I told her if I ever get jealous I'll know I'm with the wrong woman. But she did some things specifically I think TO get me jealous (as part of her 'you are going to ask me to be your girlfriend by the end of the month you just don't know it yet' campaign) and I even 'owned' the 'dalliance' in terms of ok, you are right, I never made it clear I wanted a relationship. So that was about it for my 'jealousy'. But it wasn't the 'I sorta messed around' or the I'm going to go on a date tomorrow you said you don't want a relationship that did it. It was when she said ABOUT her date 'he's a nice guy but I know I'd cheat on him if i dated him, I'd never cheat on you because the sex is so good and I like you so much'. That is a DISTURBING statement (still disturbs me). I said is he the kind of guy you'd marry and she said totally, so I said "Even though you know you'd cheat on him" she said 'yeah he just doesn't do it for me like you do".

That statement is really what set me spinning for the next 3 weeks until the Big Split. Because up until then she had professed to be very much like me about sex (I'm decidedly not typical guy here) which is very selective and discriminating and one man/woman at a time (she even said "I am a one-man woman". And the person who could even think let alone say what she did is terrifyingly not that. I mean forget the sex part of the above, that means she'd knowingly steal from this man the right to have a loving monogamous respectful relationship for the rest of his life. Knowingly. And yeah saying a week later "I said things I didn't mean" didn't mitigate the statement and is part of why I got so so wound up when, after asking her to be my one and only and her agreeing, she made it clear that she was NOT my gf until I "officially" asked. Any women I'd dated to that point would already not need the question, official or otherwise, to be committed/monogamous to me in their hearts, and now I have a woman who not only did 'dabble' with someone else, has said to me they have the ability to conciously betray someone if their needs aren't being met.

at some point I still need some clarification/assurance on this if we get past this spot because it is not something I'm forgetting and it filled and fills me with grave concern. One challenge at a time however.

more later, pearl. Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2018, 07:21:04 AM »

Update on texting:

After the intiial nice reply that ended with the "talk to you soon?" she texted the next day at noon "Would you like to meet at (the wine bar we met that is my regular place) soon?"

I was unclear if she meant that day or in the near future so said just that (since I was downtown and would have needed to rearrange things if the former) "Sure. Do you mean soon as in in a little while or soon as in sometime this week?" No reply.

So just taking the bull by the horns and suggesting a day this week (Thursday likely). I'm sort of on the fence about suggesting someplace else. It is not an easy place to get a seat, it can be noisey, I know almost everyone so privacy will be hard, it has the added trigger of being where we met. I'm also thinking drink doesn't help things like this, especially with her (being treated for black out drinking, has said repeatedly she doesn't remember things said after 1.5 drinks inlcuding, erhem, when I said 'will you be my one and only' and she said "YES!". Alternately I can suggest a place right across the street which has the "advantage" (?) of being our actual first date which has I'll assume good memories for her as it was after that one I got all the 'you are so handsome and so nice I really want a relationship with you" texts.

Thoughts? Seriously man none of this should be this hard.
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 10:06:02 AM »

It's hard, but try to disconnect a bit from the past... .if a girl you were interested said, "hey, would you like to meet at Joe elbow room sometime" what would a confident. courting male say.

I love that place (healthy mirroring and validation). What works for you? I can do it Thursday this week or the next week. (example only).

Strong, confident, on a path, and able to accept and work with what she throws at you with out breaking a sweat.

She told you she liked type A men... .what does that mean? She is saying step it up a bit, please. If you are good with that, go forward. If not, move on.

Play to what she gives you. If she is coy or a little hard to get now, do what you would do if she was someone you were trying to meet.

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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2018, 10:12:46 AM »

She will also say a lot "You decide please". So nothing wrong with doing just that. It isnt just the past it is trying to have a conversation in a crowded noisey place where it is hard to sit and 1/2 the people will be watching us. Anyway I'll go with your advise.  No reply to my 'Sure did you mean 'now' soon or sometime soon' (again asked as I was way downtown). I'll reach out today and say 'Let's meet at "place" at 7pm Thursday'. Is looking fwd to seeing you to 'unmanly'? :|

Well in any event sent a text, limit to how much egg-shell walking I can or will do. I just said 'And another beautiful day. Does Thursday at 7:30pm work for you".

It's hard, but try to disconnect a bit from the past... .if a girl you were interested said, "hey, would you like to meet at Joe elbow room sometime" what would a confident. courting male say.

I love that place (healthy mirroring and validation). What works for you? I can do it Thursday this week or the next week. (example only).

Strong, confident, on a path, and able to accept and work with what she throws at you with out breaking a sweat.

She told you she liked type A men... .what does that mean? She is saying step it up a bit, please. If you are good with that, go forward. If not, move on.

Play to what she gives you. If she is coy or a little hard to get now, do what you would do if she was someone you were trying to meet.


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This board is for evaluating the pros and cons of staying or leaving a relationship. Please focus on evaluating options.
All members should learn to use the basic relationship tools to better manage the day to day interactions
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