In May of last year, a lady friend from Robert’s hometown texted me saying that there were rumors that he and his ex (39) were still in contact, probably getting it on, but she had not seen them together and she had no proof. I confronted him and he told me that he would not entertain gossip. I broke it off as I believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
In December of last year, we broke up for ten days. I was mad because Robert didn’t make plans with me for the holidays. I was working and he went to visit family in another town (his excuse being that he asked me what my plans for the festive season were and, when I told him I’d be working, he didn’t see it necessary to make plans with me). However, we continued having contact during this period and I eventually told him I’d clear my head during my annual leave.
On the 29th, I went on leave for two weeks. During this time, I had no contact at all with Robert as I had no reception where I was. He did send me text messages which I later read when I got home. One said, “I don’t feel like living anymore.”
In January of this year, he begged me for us to work on our relationship as he said he saw a future for us. I agreed as I do love him, but the doubt was still there. During the year, we’ve grown closer (only one breakup for three weeks, which was in April, and we made up as we usually do). But by the end of September, the doubt was back and I told him I’m out for good and that this is the final breakup. He suggested we try couples therapy and I declined.
A few days later, a “voice” told me to google-search his ex. To my shock, one of the first results was a brand new photo of her and Robert at their baby shower. I was devastated!!!!! I confronted him by phone, he denied it, and, when I told him I could send him the photo, he confessed. Technically, I was not supposed to care as we had split up for five days, but I had a meltdown due to the shock.
I asked him how far along she was and he told me that the baby is due in a week. He said that they hooked up and had a-one-night stand during one of our breakups (this was not a justifiable reason for me as he know we always break up to make up). He said he wanted to tell me in August when she texted him about the pregnancy, but a few days later I was in a car accident, after which he helped me to recover and we were happy together and so he didn’t wanted to hurt me.
He asked me to forgive him and I did, but I told him that I will not be able to trust him again as I did not cheat during any of our breakups. Surprisingly, I feel sorry for him. I told him that he needs to prepare himself for the life-changing experience of parenthood and forget about me, and he said he will wait and see if the baby is really his.
I offered my shoulder to cry on as he sounds down in the dumps. I do love him a lot. But I do not think we will get past this situation. I specifically told him when we met that I don’t date guys with children because I don’t have time for baby mama drama. Please, please, please: your guidance would be much appreciated. — Having Doubts
I’m not sure what you want me to say? By your account, you never trusted Robert – even from the “get-go” you had “doubts.” You’ve broken up – what? — ten, twelve times now? You “break up to make up” and consider it cheating if either of you has relations with anyone else during one of your breakups. So… are these not really breakups? You actually believe Robert when he tells you he had only a “one-nght-stand” with his ex during one of your breakups? I mean, come on. You’re 31 and behaving this way? It’s time to grow up, stop being naive, stop being such a drama addict, and stop being so freaking passive.
Nothing at all – not one thing you wrote in all these paragraphs (and all the ones I edited out for brevity) suggest you’re an active participant in your life. For example, you get mad at your boyfriend for not making holiday plans with you after you tell him you’ll be working and then you breakup with him for two weeks when he does his own thing. It’s like you’re setting him up to fail. When someone asks what you’re doing and your hope is that you do something with him, fucking say that! Don’t say, “I’ll be working,” which indicates that you don’t have time or interest to make plans. When you break up with someone, BREAK UP. Don’t hold your partner to the rules of a monogamous relationship if you’re actually broken up. And if you aren’t actually broken up, don’t call it a break-up! Call it an argument or taking some personal time or whatever.
I mean, really, this is all basic being an adult 101. If you don’t even have these very rudimentary skills of functioning in an adult relationship, I’d take Robert’s suggestion for therapy and run with it (except, go solo – not with him). You cannot take these awful skills of manipulation and dysfunction from your relationship with Robert and apply them to the next relationship. You have to learn how to be a grown-up who trusts her gut, follows her instinct, clearly expresses her needs, and respects boundaries. You have to grow up. And if, at 31, you haven’t been able to do so on your own – either because you lacked good role models growing up or you’re really immature or you’ve been deeply damaged in some way and need help healing – it’s time to get the professional support that will get you where you need to be in order to have successful, happy, functional relationships.
My results are similar online. Even on Match.com, where activity is made visible to me, I have changed my profile three times, and every time I write multiple women who read the message and view my profile but do not respond.
What is the proper approach to talk to women? — Not Matching
My gut feeling is that you are probably treating women like potential job candidates that you’re interviewing. Your line of questioning is likely coming across as very goal-oriented, which is understandable since your goal is to find a match or someone to date. But when you think about getting a match or getting a date as the ultimate goal, you suck any potential fun out of the equation and you ignore the better goal of seeing if there’s a spark.
Finding a spark is one of those things that’s hard to quantify and even harder to manifest. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to manifest. The spark is either there or it isn’t. No amount of “correct answers” or even right questions is going to create the spark. The spark is created by chemistry – by something that is almost entirely out of your control. Your job, essentially, is to get out of the spark’s way – quick blocking it with your pursuit of a goal and let it do its thing. The key is, you really don’t need to say much at these speed dating events or even online. What you need to do is to present a great image – in person you want to dress well, groom yourself well, have a flattering haircut, have good breath, smell nice. Post photos on your dating profiles that feature you in good lighting, with a warm smile, dressed in flattering clothes, and occasionally in locations that give some indication what your interests might be.
Listen more than you talk. Respond to interesting points made in profiles or in-person conversations. Ask questions with easy answers, like: do you have any upcoming travel plans? Have you seen any good movies lately? Do you have any pets? These are simple conversation-starters that get you – and the other person – out of the way of a potential spark. The answers to the questions are almost irrelevant – except for their potential to lead to a conversation; the real point of them is to establish a neutral tone from which you can gauge attraction and chemistry. These things are actually more important than whether you share common interests. Interests can be established and can and do change over time; chemistry is either there or it isn’t.
Finally, the “proper approach to talk to women” is pretty much the same as talking to anyone. Women are people, after all. We aren’t a great mystery you need to solve. And if you’re meeting women in specific spaces created for match-making, whether it’s online or in person, there’s a good chance the women are feeling a lot of the same things you are: a little (or a lot of) anxiety, some excitement, maybe frustration. Focusing on putting others at ease can have a wonderful effect of putting yourself at ease, too (and, again, makes space for that spark to shine). When all else fails, “you have a great smile,” is a simple way to ease a little tension.