Well, that was short lived.

I guess I can change my FetLife profile back to “single”.

Tony failed to show any significant signs of communications improvement in the last 72 hours. This afternoon he said on the phone he would “do his best” to come to my place tonight, after Liam fell asleep.

Of course, it didn’t happen. That phone call was at 2pm. There was no text, no doorbell ring, or phone call, until 9pm. He called to tell me he was in the zone with work and it was much better for him to get his stuff done so when he did see me, he would be far more fun.

Our conversation started off with just work talk, and other niceties. But then, we turned it serious. I’m not exactly sure how it all went down, but I laid out how the small broken promises had added up in the last three days. Saying he will text or call and not doing it, over and over again. He responded that he was sick, etcetera, and I retorted there is always something. There is always a nap, or illness, or thing with his kid, or work, or time with a friend (rare), but there’s always some reason he can’t text or call or see me.

He joked I was an orchid not a cactus, and I – now kind of pissed off – said that I had reduced my desires and hopes to something that amounted to 10 minutes of effort a day. Hardly orchid-like. A few words and occasional phone call were all I ask for between the times we see each other. To me, it seems like a crack in the sidewalk, yet it seems like I’m asking him to jump across the Grand Canyon.

I also raised the issue that I had with finding out he had been dating someone else while saying he was exclusive. It felt like he was splitting the facts so finely that he could say he was telling me the truth, when in fact he lied to me over and over. I asked him to please at least admit that it was true he had lied – and he said it was.

I asked him: what would have happened if you’d had a connection with her? And he had no answer.

It spurred me to say there was so much I wanted to tell him about my own journey, especially the place I was in a year ago, because while I know it will make no difference to how he treats me or what we do next, that at the very least I want him to know that I understand. That he could have told me he wasn’t ready, and we could have dealt with it. That I broke someone’s heart because I wasn’t ready to have anybody – even someone I loved – dictate what I shouldn’t or shouldn’t do.

I can’t take a 40 minute conversation and recount it all here, but we covered a lot of topics.

He said he’s terrible communicating with everyone; it’s not just me. He hates to text (they are all work related) and pick up the phone because it’s always stressful. I explained if I thought it was just me then I wouldn’t have continued to give him all the chances I have; I knew he was a bad texter when he went silent for three days after we had three amazing dates our first week. While I know he’s like that with everyone, it doesn’t make it better.

I told him I felt like I was on a roller coaster: with every text or call I receive the sun is shining and the birds are singing, and then when he breaks a communication promise or fails to respond, I’m flung back into a pit of despair. I said I was tired of being frustrated with him and banging my head against a wall all the time.

He – of course – said he didn’t want me to be frustrated with him. Doesn’t want me upset all the time.

I conceded that I also didn’t want to be constantly reminding him that he was letting me down – that it wasn’t fun for either of us.

I asked him whether all the things he said to me were true, or if he was telling me what I wanted to hear. Perhaps it’s a dumb question, but for what it’s worth, he said he felt all those things.

I asked him whether there has been anyone else he’s been involved with (I added snarkily “because I know asking you if you’ve had sex with anyone else is the wrong question”) and he said “no”.

He said he wasn’t ready for something this serious. That it scares him when I say I adore him (I said it scared me too because here I am, despite all attempts to avoid it, having fallen in love with someone who can’t give me what I need when he’s not physically present). He has shit he has to sort out.

I told him I was getting angry and resentful and even if I continued to try to be okay with what he could give, resentment is not a good foundation for moving forward.

He finally said “perhaps we need to take some time apart”. I agreed.

I said I’d never been in a situation before when I let someone go who I loved, when I didn’t want to let them go. It’s the same for him, obviously. We agreed it doesn’t feel good and it’s scary. I told him if either of us meet someone during that time that is a better fit, then we would never have worked out anyway.

I asked him how long he wanted. He said I should decide and I calmly explained that he is the one that needs the time. We landed on the end of August. Chuckling, I told him it meant he would have to respond to my text or phone call when I reached out to him.

I also said – and again, I know it’s dumb – of course he could always give me a call. This isn’t about saying goodbye because I don’t like him. And of course, I had to ask him just once more if he really wanted this to be a “goodbye for now” instead of a “goodbye”.

So. I finally did it.

I will miss him. I’m going to get back online to help with that – probably within 24 hours. It’s the only way I can possibly avoid obsessing about what and how he’s doing. I know it will fade over time, no matter what.

What I won’t miss is the frustration and pain which has been a recurring presence since the end of December. Thanks to everyone for sticking with me even though I know I was a broken record.

Ann xoxo

78 thoughts on “Well, that was short lived.

    • Yeah, and it’s what made it so frustrating. I know there were other things that would have also been an issue, it wouldn’t have solved everything, but it would have been a start.

    • Thank you Beatnik. I know it will feel better not having the almost constant frustration, but I do wonder if I will always, well, wonder… what if?

      I’m hoping the three months whizzes by and I’m in some amazing new relationship and could care less where Tony is at. A girl can dream, for sure.

  1. I think you’re going to be much better off without the constant frustration of a man who just reuses to live up to the most meager needs, though given every opportunity in the book. I know his hurts deep, though and I feel for you. It always sucks to lose someone, even if they provide a roller coaster instead of a smooth ride.

    • It does hurt Hollie and I know you’ve been through it as well. I know I wont miss the frustration but I will miss him and the time we spent together. I need to be able to not wonder about what he’s up to. Of course my fear right now is in three months I will still have not found anyone and he’ll be deeply into some relationship. That will be hard to deal with.

  2. You did good. Really really good. No matter what the response was, you got in your questions, got out your thoughts and moved it forward for better or worse. He wouldn’t have done it.

    Sending my love.

    Btw, I have to let you know there is NO WAY I am staying off Tinder for 3 months til end August, woman! Fughetaboutit. We shall Tinder together and compare notes.

    • Thanks Darling.

      I’m not going on Tinder…it’s different in my city I think…it’s really predominantly a hookup app. I dunno, maybe I will change my mind after a week on OKCupid. I have to avoid POF for now because I know I will look Tony up and see if he’s been active.

      You could still stay off Tinder for a few weeks 🙂

    • Thank you SFL. It is hard. I woke up wondering whether he truly does love me or if he just went along with everything. I can’t know the answer. Maybe I will in 90 days and maybe never/

    • Me as well. I will hang in. I reactivated my OKCupid profile and I have my son this week and some good weekend plans with friends. Doesn’t stop me from thinking about him, but it will all help.

  3. I’m sorry Ann.
    But all I can advise is to truly let go, don’t think of whether he’ll have met someone and you won’t. It’s not your business any more.
    Big hugs.
    BIG hugs!

  4. I’m sorry to read this. But also kind of glad. The beginning of the end. You can go through the kind of pain that will lead to the end of pain or you can go through the kind of pain that will lead to even greater pain. Your pick. Both suck.

  5. You know how after you get off a rocking boat you feel a bit queasy and like you don’t quite have steady footing for a little while? It’s normal. You’ll even out soon and be ok. Hugs to you while the horizon is still in erratic motion.

      • I know it must feel really bleak right now. But let me remind you that you, on your own, are enough. A good man will just draw out the awesomeness you already possess. In the meantime, I hope you have some fun and get a shit-ton of amazing sex. 😀

        (no baby, still. I’m going insane.)

        • I didn’t want to ask when I saw your last comment…you must be going crazy!!! My kid was early so I never got to experience what you are going through. Won’t they induce you at this point?

          I don’t feel horribly bleak. I know it’s the right decision. I’m just sad it couldn’t be different. And although the there may always be this tiny part of me that hopes for a fairytale reconnection at the end of the summer, I am not going to proceed as if that’s the case and of course that desire may change over time as I get my distance and know things are truly fine.

  6. I am so glad you have made this decision Ann. I know how hard it has been for you but, as I’ve said before, you really do deserve better than what he had to offer, which honestly, wasn’t much to begin with.
    Focus on YOU now and put him out of your mind. He doesn’t deserve the headspace.
    Be well
    Kat x

    • Thanks Kat. I will do my best, for sure. I don’t think I will be able to fully get him out of my head – a part of me I’m sure will wonder what it will be like to see him in three months…assuming that happens, of course.

      But I don’t want to spend that time hoping for some big romantic ending to this story, because I know that will be a recipe for disaster!

  7. Wishing you the best Ann! Time will heal all wounds, and you will look back wondering what you were thinking. One quick question…What was his response to:

    “And of course, I had to ask him just once more if he really wanted this to be a “goodbye for now” instead of a “goodbye”.”

    • “Goodbye for now, of course, Ann…”

      But who knows. He’s proven to me he can say what I want to hear. I have no way to know whether it’s the truth… even three months from now it may not be clear. May never be.

      I do believe – but I’ve been fooled before – that he sincerely loves / cares deeply for me.

      • I too definitely believe he loves you, but not to be harsh, I don’t believe he is in love with you. There is a huge difference between the two. When your in love with someone, there is always time to say hey, send a text, or do that little thing. When your in love your doing those things and trying to find time for everything else…If I were you, I would pretend it was “good-bye”.

        • I’m going to move forward as if there will never be a romantic reconciliation. I know that much of what he couldn’t give me is just who he is. So sure, there’s some miniscule chance that he’ll get himself to a place where he can give me what I need… but I can’t assume that’s the case.

          So I’m going to keep looking, keep busy, keep occupied. It’s the only way to move forward.

  8. It’s not easy, is it? Trust me, I know. But with every near miss, I’ve got to believe the one that lasts get closer. Wishing that for you.

    • I’ve talked about it in a prior post. I even talked to my THERAPIST about it.

      First, I’m going back online because I need a distraction. Why? Because I’m in withdrawal and there are a million things each day that remind me of him. Keeping busy – with LOTS of different things – helps with that. It’s the by-product of the time we spent together, and the things we did, and how much – despite everything – we did communicate.

      Also, this has been a long process of saying goodbye. It’s not as if it just happened out of the blue and I’m online dating through my tears. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what’s happened and what I didn’t get and what I need and want. Despite your previous comment that I’m somehow unable to articulate it.

      I’m not confused or blinded by pain. I’m clear-headed about this.

      I’m also going back online because I want to date someone. Not just anyone – the right someone. It’s ended with Tony so I am picking myself up, dusting off, and moving forward.

      I’m NOT going back on line because I have some neediness for affection and desire that I’m filling by getting men’s attention online – there’s not some gaping emotional hole that’s been left by Tony’s absence. I don’t mean being hurt; yes, of course I’m hurt and sad, but I’m not struck with self hatred or self pity or loathing or feeling like nobody is ever going to love me. I’m not wondering what’s wrong with me and why it didn’t work out. I’m not going to go running to the first guy who messages me even if he’s not right.

      If I was in that place? Then yeah, going back online is a bad thing because it’s a crutch, it will cover up those things instead of allowing me to deal with them.

      But that’s not the case at all.

      Tell me why you think I shoudn’t go back online. I’m all ears, and an open to the potential that I’m not self-aware and am fooling myself with all this.

      • I hate butting into others comments, but I had to this once. I think you should be going online for a distraction, because YOU have some neediness for affection and desire that YOUR filling by getting men’s attention online. You should not be going online for a relationship. If you say you were in love with someone, those feeling need to run there course and not be replaced by someone else. Emotionally you are not ready for that when a week ago your telling us that you have fallen in love with Tony.

        • It may be splitting hairs, but I’m not sure how else to explain it. There was a time when a text message on an online dating site would make me feel better – I soaked up all the messages and outreach and responded to them because it helped me feel better about myself. I would interact with men I knew had no chance of being right for me, because of how they made me feel.

          I’m not in that place now.

          Sure, it’s nice to get a comment, but it’s a different internal response.

          My frustration with Tony has lasted for months. If this was three months ago then sure, perhaps I would need time to process everything… but that’s all I’ve been doing! We just took a 3 week break and while I realized how strongly I feel about him, I also knew there was going to be no change.

          My feelings for him won’t “run their course”. In time, not everything will remind me of him. I won’t wonder what he’s doing as much. But the presence of another man – or ten men – has no impact on that. I’m not covering anything up by recognizing there may be someone else out there I want to date.

          • Well I am going to split hairs with you. You say in your post that you are going to go back online so your not obsessing over him and what he is doing. Basically a distraction. I understand you are not looking to feel better by getting the attention of other men but I think you might be missing what I am saying. I am the complete opposite of everyone telling you not to go online. I think you should. I think you should occupy yourself with work, fun, and sex. (Best of all fun and sex go hand in hand a lot of the times) Go out on dates with 1 or 10 different men. Maybe with 2 men at once…BUT..as you say in time not everything will remind you of him. What I am saying, and I think others are, is don’t go back into dating RIGHT NOW looking for THE ONE. Your heart is still healing. Your thoughts are clouded . You loved someone, and even though you did the break and time past, you saw that person again and all the flames were reignited, if not, hotter than before because it was everything you always wanted from him. Now it is only a few days later and its broken off again and even though you closed the door, you left it unlocked by saying FOR NOW. To me that would say that would say that you are not completely over him and even though you were trying to get serious, that person would ultimately just be a distraction because of your underlying feelings.

            I think distraction and interaction is good. Interaction, not just meaning sex, but getting out there and getting over him. Before you know it, without even knowing if, you will find “him” (or maybe her, another first). Your too good of a catch not too!

          • Thanks for clarifying that. I actually don’t thinking about meeting “the one”, ever. It’s not my starting point. I may certainly have some fun but other than some of the people I’d met through fetlife, not sure I’m going to go out and meet men just for hookups and the like.

            If I meet someone online who has – at least on the surface – some potential to be someone I could date, then I will engage them. But I’m not in a rush.

            Of course I’m not completely over Tony. But what do you think I’m cloudy about?

      • Try a bit of perspective reversal…if you met a guy who was “dating through his tears” what is the likelihood of a successful outcome?

        Is he operating from a position of strength or from a position of weakness? Is he relationship-ready?

        He’ll be just a version of Tony.

        Right now you’re female equivalent.

        i’m sorry, but you are. i’m not going to indulge in sycophantic ego-flattering that will only perpetuate your self-destructive behavior.

        In the state you’re in, you’ll only attract players and other emotional cripples. You’ve seen the outcome of that or are you a slow learner?

        My question still stands: why is it so difficult to take a time out? Why can’t you take a month of no dating, no sex, no men? What is it you’re afraid of?

        The benefits of doing so are unseen and always surprising.

        This session of tough-love is now over. The invoice is in the mail.

        • Despite what you are convinced of, I’m not dating through tears.

          I’m only weak if I put up with things that aren’t good for me and do me harm – men and/or behaviors.

          And despite anything that I might afraid of, it doesn’t hold me back.

        • Wow. I am trying to understand the need for hostility that you are directing towards Ann. I understand what it is that you are suggesting to her, but to be so blunt as to beat her over the head with it seems a bit much, don’t you think?

          I am certainly not one to simply blow with the wind and I know that I have been the source of some of Ann’s frustration in commenting on her blog posts, often times questioning or challenging her. But, because I choose to have compassion and sensitivity toward her and what she has been going through, I choose a different tact rather than blunt-force traumatizing.

          This situation with Tony has been considerably painful and Ann has never restrained herself from laying it all out here on her blog. As I have learned for myself, this can be problematic as we can be so in the moment when we write about something that is a source of pain that people react to a few select words or phrases rather than respond to what has been happening over the course of months or even years (as is the case with Ann).

          If you were opting for a more sarcastic approach towards Ann, perhaps you attended the same school of wit as I did and some of what we think doesn’t translate well to discernible friendly sarcasm?

          Maybe I read your post entirely wrong and you were being compassionate toward Ann and I somehow missed it in your posts?

  9. Ann, I have mentioned in a previous comment that I felt that this was the inevitable, but it doesn’t mean that I wanted to be “right”. I’m sorry that it did not work out.

    I can’t say I agree with you “jumping” back online, but just as you came to terms as to what is best for you in regards to Tony, I’m sure you’ll do the same going forward.

    Best of Luck!

    • Nope, inevitable for sure. I knew that as well but of course hoped to prove myself wrong.

      You’re not the first person to tell me that going back online isn’t good… can you tell me why?

      • Maybe I should have clarified that by saying looking for another relationship on-line isn’t a good idea right now. By all means, go out and have fun and use whatever resources you see fit, friends/networking, on-line etc… but just keep as that, having fun.

        I don’t know you (obviously) and it’s difficult to express when I don’t know the whole person. I only know you from what you have decided to share through your blog (and I appreciate that) although I don’t think you hold too much back in your writing.

        Anyway, what I guess I’m trying to say is I’ve found that if one stops stop looking for love or a relationship, that’s when it will come to you.

        In the meantime, let life happen, stop over thinking it. I know that is not easy for a lot of people. Give it shot… what do you have to lose?

        My apologies, I wish I were a better wordsmith.

        • You are quite right. I don’t hold back much in my writing. Although sometimes when there is a lot of stuff going on in my head and heart it’s hard to get it all out.

          I don’t set out expecting to have a relationship. But I’m also not setting out to meet people online where I know for sure that can’t happen. I’m open to the possibilities but not force fitting them, either.

  10. This is my life at the moment, Ann!
    I’m going Through everything myself now! I totally understand how you feels!
    It feels weird that someone experiencing the Same thing as I do, in the same moment! How difficult it Will be we Will survive! And if this is real love, its meant to be and everything Will fall in its place, sooner or later.

    • Marielle, hello, nice to meet you! I’m sorry you are going through something similar but pleased for you to know you aren’t alone in this.

      We will definitely survive. I have no doubt. More than survive, I dare say!

  11. This might sound terrible, but when people first start dating someone and get feelings for them, they can do no wrong – honeymoon phase, love blinkers, love drunk, whatever you want to call it.. I guess we just focus on the positives and decide to ignore any of the negatives.

    The fact that he COULD do wrong isn’t a good sign.

    As much as it hurts to let him go, maybe he’s just not the best match. He had dates and you had a whole bunch of sexy fun, that shows you’re both not really truly dedicated to eachother anyway, does it not?

    Chin up, we’re all still here for free hugs and to encourage you – you’re going to find someone who will treat you like a princess ann! Hugs xo

    • Nope, it wasn’t a good sign. I think it was too soon to become exclusive – likely he cared about me but didn’t know how to prevent from hurting me and also take care of his own needs.

      But you know, I read your paragraph about me having sexy fun and it meaning I wasn’t dedicated to him and my first response is – no that’s just not true. But I’m not sure how to explain what I did and why I did it. It was just sex and a way to pass the time and do some exploring. But I wished it was him exploring with me.

      And honestly, if there wasn’t a huge part of me that knew it was pointless to continue, I wouldn’t have done anything with Jason.

      Free hugs and encouragement are needed and welcomed. Thank you. It’s most appreciated.

      Hugs xox

  12. Oh sweetie. I’m sorry.

    Yet at the same time I’m kinda relieved.

    Yes it hurts, and letting go of someone you love is even harder when there is “nothing” to make you snap. But at the end of the day you’ve been left wanting more than once and this was inevitable unless he changed.

    And he hasn’t or won’t or doesn’t want to…

    Take your pick.

    I don’t know that hitting online straight away is a good idea for your heart, however if it keeps your head occupied then let it be a soft diversion. But in that, give your heart the time it needs to heal. Even if things make you remember him.

    And talking from experience, there’s still things that make me think of my ex girlfriend who I was still in love with when we broke up too. I don’t think that ever goes away. I always said that I leave a piece of my heart with those that I love. I think we will always love what they gave us and what we were in the best times anyway. So memories will always be there. Distractions or not.

    Ok, enough rambling, take it easy sweetie.


    • Thanks honey.

      I’m not sure how the heart heals from this, except with the fading of time. There’s no resolution or thing I can cling to that feels satisfactory at this point. So yes, online is a soft diversion that helps me feel like I haven’t lost the only person I’m going to have that kind of connection with.

      Like you, a piece of my heart will always be reserved for him.

    • It’s a breakup framed as a break… An option for renegotiation, as it were. I’m treating it as a breakup because i think that’s the only way I can move forward. I suppose there is a small chance of a romantically reuniting… But I doubt it. Depends who we meet in the interim, what happens with him sorting out his shit, and whether the feelings remain strong with time and space.

What do you think?