A month after we broke up, I started dating another guy. He told me that he, too, is a workaholic and there were some big projects he wanted to finish before the holidays so he would be preoccupied. True to his word, he became a bit distant, but we were talking every now and then and he would tell me how work was going and things like that. He told me earlier on that he would be flying back to his home country for the holidays. Last week, we had not spoken for two weeks when I decided to text him to see how he was doing and he told me he was at the airport leaving for the holidays! If I had not texted him, I would have never known he had left; it was like my ex all over again. I left him a long, angry email expressing my displeasure. He never replied and I have not heard from him since. We had only been dating two months. Did I over-react due to projecting my ex’s issues on him, or was I justified to feel upset? I still do really like him and would love to work things out if he is willing. Please help! I’m so confused. — May Have Over-Reacted
Gurrrl, you messed up on this one. Your first mistake was pursuing a guy who told you right away that he had the same time and attention limitations that were the core of the issues you had with your ex. I don’t understand why you’d dump one guy for being a workaholic and then immediately start dating another self-described workaholic. Your next mistake was thinking that you were more serious than you were and then freaking out when this guy whom you barely know failed to treat you like a girlfriend. Let’s re-cap your relationship: You meet, he tells you he’s a workaholic, you decide to pursue him even though you just dumped a guy for being a workaholic, the new guy is immediately distant and over the course of a few weeks you spend barely if any time together although you ‘talk every now and then,’ he tells you he’ll be going home for the holidays, you don’t speak at all for a couple weeks, and then, when you find out he’s going home for the holidays just like he told you he would be, you send a long, angry email. Yeah, I’d be ignoring you and blocking your email and phone number, too, if I were this guy.
Take a break from dating and deal with whatever residual feelings of rejection you have from your ex. Figure out why you pursue men who are emotionally and physically unavailable to you. Do you think you don’t deserve a happy relationship? Do you think you can change them? Is it a game for you to try to reform a workaholic and get him to shift his focus from career to you? It’s time to think of some more proactive ways of validating your worth. You embarrassed yourself with this last guy. Apologize for your behavior, forgive yourself for over-reacting, and move on. We all make mistakes. The problem arises when we repeat the same ones over and over. Stop repeating this one.
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