Am I setting myself up for failure?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by jj2md13, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. jj2md13

    jj2md13 Member

    Nov 11, 2013
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    Hi All!

    I'll try and shorten the story, but I can't guarantee anything! I met, we can call her C, a little less than a year ago at a bar that we happen to frequent quite often. We started talking, exchanged numbers, went on dates and eventually ended up dating. I learn C has never been in a relationship for more than 3 months, and yes, I know, initial red flag, but I wasn't going to turn back now so I moved forward. My last relationship lasted for about 3 years and the previous around 5. C has a successful job in health care, has her doctorate, and for the most part has her life pretty much in order; minus the relationship part I guess. She is very independent, which is one of the reasons why I fell for her in the first place, but her independence proved to be a focal point in most of our arguments. We're both 25 by the way.

    Now, C isn't really out, to a lot of people. Her two roommates, best gay guy friend, one co-worker, her mom and sister know. That never really bothered me in the beginning because hey, everyone comes out in their own time and some might take longer than others. She 'came out' I think her sophomore year of college.

    Fast forward to about 2 months ago. Pre-move, she was so busy with packing, getting everything in order and what not, which was fine, because I was wrapping up my old job so we both had a lot on our plates. Normally, we'd see each other on the weekends and then either Tuesday or Thursday's. Post-move, I think we went on a 'hangout' binge and were seeing each other almost 5 days out of the week (yes, I know, not healthy, but hey you live and you learn). I think we fell into sort of a routine and were just spending TOO much time together, but neither of us wanted to really say anything because we did enjoy our time together. A few weeks ago, things got a little weird. She became a little more introverted, and rude, more than usual haha. We also hadn't had sex for a little while, so I knew something was up. I confronted her, and asked her about it. She said she was just getting a little stir crazy and wanted a night out with her friends, but also didn't want to not see me (On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, she works late, so it's hard for her to see people during the week). I told her to go out with her friends and I would do the same, but next time to just say something instead of me having to pry it out of her. I'm not a mind reader! (Rant) I've never, ever had a problem with her hanging out with friends or family. I encourage it, because they're such an important part of your life, relationship or not. It's also good to have separation, which clearly, we forgot. Everything was fine and dandy after that.

    Fast forward to two weeks ago. We had made plans to hang out Thursday (She get's out at a normal time Tuesday's and Thursday's). I don't hear from her after work, but that's fine, since she usually runs errands or takes a nap or something. Normally, I get there for 6, but I have to leave at 5:30 at the latest because crossing the city at that time of day is not fun (I like to be punctual). So, I text her around 5:30 saying I'm heading out. She finally texts me about 5 minutes before I get to her apartment saying she fell asleep. I say no worries, I'll be there in 5. She then proceeds to tell me she just made plans with her best gay guy friend and is leaving the apartment soon. I am less than pleased. I say fine, but can I at least come by and get my computer (I'd left it there a few nights ago), so I could get some work done. She doesn't answer. I call, she hangs up. I call again and she hangs up, again. I finally text her saying it's not okay to ignore me, and it's not okay what you pulled tonight. If you wanna go see your friend, I could care less, just don't make plans with me then just ditch me. Not cool. Anyway, she calls me about a half hour later, and apologizes and such. I just say okay, we can talk about this at another point. She calls me again about a half hour after that and wants me to come meet her for dinner. I say okay, and she just apologizes again. She knew she screwed up, and said that she's just so used to being independent and things are always spontaneous with her and she feels like she can never do anything because we always have plans. I reiterate the face I could care less if she sees her friends, and that I want her to go out with them, just don't tell me you're going to see me then tell me five minutes before I come over that there's a change of plans. We talk more and eventually work things out and I just say we need to communicate more. We are great on a day to day basis, but when it comes to our relationship, communication is almost nonexistent.

    Fast forward to last week. I was really busy working late. She had a conference Tuesday and her sister was in town Wed-Sat, so we made plans to see each other Saturday after her sister left. Everything was fine. I even went over Tuesday when she wasn't there (no I don't have a key, her roommates let me in; we're all friends) to borrow a ladder so I could hang some things in my apartment. I left her a flower, a card and some 'heat-holding socks' since her feet get cold at night. She loved them and immediately called me after she got home. Said she missed me and was looking forward to Saturday, blah blah. Friday night rolls around. I'm out and about with my friends and she's with her sister, in the same vicinity of the city. I text her saying she's more than welcome to come by where we are if they would like. She politely declines, which I figured anyway. So then I tell her okay, and I'll see her Saturday. She says, I hope so. I can feel her bailing again, and I guess I was little upset she didn't want to introduce her sister to me, since she knows I exist, but whatever not the point. I say, well what do you mean, I thought we had plans and she was just like I'm waiting to hear on my friends, so I don't know what the plan is. We go back and forth for a while. I ask her, 'so you telling me you'll see me all Saturday all week, wasn't a definite plan' and she goes 'yea'. I've had it. I call her. We hash it out for about 20 minutes but get no where. She doesn't understand why I can't be more flexible and I say everything is always on her terms. When was the last time she waited on me, blah blah (we always stay at her apartment etc.) I finally end things, which probably wasn't the most mature thing to do over the phone, but oh well, things had been building up for a while and we literally had this conversation last week.

    She calls me Saturday afternoon and we talk; yell, all of the above. She finally says she doesn't know if she wants to be in a relationship right now, so I say okay, I'm coming over to get all my stuff. By the time I get over there, she has all my stuff packed and ready for me. I cry. We cry (this was the first time I've ever seen her cry by the way) She said she wants to be with me, but she just needs some time to herself and to think about things; about our relationship. She did say so really sweet, and heartbreaking things (I'm not going to share details). I say I don't want to regret just walking away from something good, but I'd be willing to wait for her. She said this isn't goodbye, we just need to be separate for a little while. I agree, and she said she'd talk to me tomorrow (Sunday).

    I go out Saturday night with my good friend from home. We end up going to some 'lesbian night' and just have a good time and it got my mind off things for a while. C asked what I was doing, and I said I was out with my friend, M, so she knew that I was probably out at the gay night. Sunday rolls around and she calls me in the morning. We agree to meet. We talk. She reiterates the fact she needs time and space, and I say I'm more than willing to give her that. She says that she still wants to talk, and to hang out, just not be around each other as much as we had been. I said okay, for now. We part ways again. Sunday evening rolls around and my best friend (also gay), who is on OKCupid, said she was sifting through all the profiles and she saw C's profile come up. Now, I know she'd had one before we met, and I watched her delete hers, so I knew it must have been recent. I go through slight rage mode, but then decide I need to take a breath, and not say everything that I would like to. I call her; give her a chance to explain herself. I was very calm (back pat). She said she just reactivated it Saturday night and she was upset that I'd gone out to a 'lesbian night', so she was like screw it. She said she didn't have any intention of talking to anyone or anything remotely close to that. I understood her point, and just said okay. Do I believe her? Not really. I technically had no right to be mad. The only thing I had a problem with was that she was telling me she wanted time for herself and to be alone, yet she's back online less than 24 hours after we broke up. Anyway, we chat. Shoot the shit a little more. I tell her how much of a hard time I'm having with this. I've barely eaten or slept in 3 days. I can't stop crying; you know, the whole breakup mix. We've all been through it, but it never gets any easier does it? I told her I felt like this was just a walk in the park for her and she wasn't having nearly a hard enough time than I was. She said that we just deal with things differently and just because her physical reactions (i.e. crying, not eating) aren't the same, doesn't mean she's not hurting just as badly. I finally tell her that just 'half-talking' to her was killing me. I didn't want to not talk to her, it's like rubbing salt on an open wound, and she agreed as well. We agreed that we wouldn't contact each other at all this week, and then on Sunday, regroup and see how things are going. I don't want to have false hope, but things are still so fresh, I feel like things could maybe work. She said she wants to see me the following week, but I don't want her to have her cake and eat it too. Do you think I'm being played?

    Am I silly for thinking things might change after a week of not speaking? Am I setting myself up for failure?
  2. Omglol

    Omglol Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2013
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    i think u guys walk on egg shells with each other and there are huge huge communication problems here which has nothing to do with never being in a long term relationship. ive never been in a romantic relationship but I understand and have learned the foundation of a healthy communication system. it also sounds like u try but u are not being met half way, u keep pulling teeth and that's just not fair to u . i am sorry to hear u are going thru all this drama

    there is so much yelling and bickering and arguments going, it is emotionally, mentally and physically draining. sounds like she has a lot of issues to work on, from being in the closet to having avoidant personality and being passive/aggressive both of u.

    all these issues happening less than a year of knowing each other it does not sound so fun. i do think its disrespectful to cancel plans 5 min b4, i dont appreciate. and silent treatment or hanging out etc is just now that is a red flag. some ppl do need time to cool off but brushing off issues no matter how small or big, not sharing ur feelings and how something bothers u or bothers her and avoiding addressing the issue and putting it on the back burner... let me put it this way... it's like after shocks after a earthquake BUT the difference is it's the other way around, u dont feel the after shocks, u gradually become aware of the wobbling lamp, u know something is wrong u hope for the best and dont think about it. now all this time that the problems have been ignored, feelings have been hurt, ppl have been misunderstood and taken for granted, no respect and no validation and that's when u see the walls cracking hinting at a bigger mayhem, and then like u said it all came crashing down and u watch it crumble down, something that u believed could be something so good and positive and a chance to experience deep loving relationship has now turned in to this..

    ok philosophy class is over :D. my number one recommendation is to see a therapist. 2. take time for urself and go through the motions u have been crying a lot and not eating it's time to listen and pamper urself. I think taking a break is a good idea. I would also avoid broken promises and basically.. words are words, thoughts can be deceiving, feelings are not its how we react to a situation. it's ok to have doubts but

    you 2 need to have a face to face honest conversation about a few things. no yelling, no threats, good job for that time u called her and didnt blew up. that's good. but sounds like this relationship is a headache and to be blunt love is not everything and love doesn't hurt. best of luck to u , i hope u feel better!
  3. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2013
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    You're setting yourself up for failure if you don't address the underlying problems in your friendship/relationship. A week of not speaking might give you both the space to reflect and figure out what you want and are willing to try; it will not in itself fix anything.

    You've broken up how many times in the last month? Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, and thinking that blowup + reconciliation + rekindling is going to get you someplace new is a little crazy. Without an effective way of communicating and shared ground, you are going to keep having the same fights.

    And here's the thing: your already know that. You know that your girlfriend doesn't have much experience negotiating past the first honeymoon rush, that this is her first long-term relationship, and that communication is not a strength you guys have. Everyone - individually and in a couple - needs to learn to do this, and it doesn't always come naturally. (My now-fiancee almost broke up with me when I put my foot down on the same kinds of conflicts, until she came back and said "I'd rather be with you than always be right; I bought this book on communicating, and maybe we could work on it?" Two years later and we practically never fight, and never for longer than a few minutes.) The question is: is this relationship, and this woman, worth teaching/learning the skill? And does your girlfriend want to do it?

    If she does, then couple's counseling or some resources are a great idea. Like I said, my fiancee bought a book. She read it; I read it; we talked about it. We built checks and check-ins into our lives. We found ways to call each other on lizard-brained defensive reactions. We learned to deescalate fights. It was hard, but thinking that you can do any of that without it being hard is unrealistic; thinking that you can be in a relationship without these situations coming up is also unrealistic.

    If she doesn't want to actively change the way you communicate, walk away. Insanity is thinking you can change someone without their effort and consent; insanity is having the same fights over and over; insanity is thinking you can reset and repeat and somehow magically get the relationship you're dreaming about. And her on-again, off-again "I need space" thing could be code for "I like you but I don't want to have to work at it." You deserve better than that.
  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
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    Walk away, she can't help but be who she is right now which is a non-committing member in a relationship. She is also passive-aggressive about it. Making plans to keep things going and then decide the plans are too confining the last minute.

    She just wants you at her beckoning call but she is not even reliable as a friend. Forgive her for trying to do this with you and failing. But these are issues I think she has to reach some maturity on her own.

    @lorienczhu, I find myself taking notes from your advice and I benefit from them. So thanks.
  5. Moses

    Moses Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2013
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    I don't have much advice, as I think the wise ladies above me have it covered. The one thing that struck me was the plan/no plan sitz.
    I'll put my hand up. I'm a no plan kinda girl (slap on the wrist). haha. I like to see how I feel on the day and roll with that. That sometimes means that I cancel plans, and I will try to avoid making plans in advance. If I see a friend infrequently, I will stick to our plans, but meeting a 'planner' very regularly would be very constraining and trying for me. It's just the way I am. The good news is that I have a gf who is the same. We simultaneously quiver in horror at a text that says 'What are you doing next Saturday?' and wail, 'How can we answer that? It's only Monday, we don't know how we'll feel on Saturday?'. You probably think that is the bizarrest thing on earth and flaky and all sorts of bad things, but there are lots of people out there like that. Granted we tend to be independent and self-employed and free spirit types, but it doesn't mean that we are uncaring, unfeeling people. We just frustrate the planners, and vice-versa. Bases solely on that and your issues around that in ur relationship, I wonder about your mutual suitability. Perhaps it might be worth knowing that your probably gf doesn't mean her cancelling of plans in the horrendous, disrespectful way that you see it as, or at least I hope she doesn't. She prob really hates being penned in with plans. Even though the last minute cancelling was sucky, I'm not denying that. She didn't handle it well, but if she was hiding from you and not answering her phone, even though she knew you were outside, something more was going on there I suspect. So, am...a conversation telling each other how you feel about that might serve to reduce the hurt somewhat. It mightn't change anything in terms of how you are and what you need, but still could b a conversation worth having.
  6. jj2md13

    jj2md13 Member

    Nov 11, 2013
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    Hi again!

    First I want to thank everyone for the advice! I hearing third-parties' points of view is something I definitely needed. I really value all of the advice given and I think most of you seem to be on the same page with this!

    I guess a little update:

    Monday and Tuesday went by and I was hurting pretty badly. You know, it seemed like two weeks had passed and it had been about 48 hours. I think it was the times when I knew we usually chatted were the hardest. Still nothing though. I holed myself up in my room. Cried. Hugged my cat (yes I am a cat person haha) etc. I turned my phone off after work hours because I didn't really feel like talking, or explaining the story again for the hundredth time.

    Unfortunately, Wednesday morning, I was in a car accident with the person I work for (I'm a PCA). I am just fine, and he has some minor injuries. Could have been a lot worse, yet nonetheless, scary. I told my roommates to obviously let them know I was okay. My roommate is friends with C's roommate, and obviously he told C (kinda felt like a game of telephone). She immediately texts me just hoping I'm okay and if there's anything I need to let her know and keep her updated on what happens. I kindly acknowledge the text and respond a few hours later, just thanking her and saying I appreciated it. As I'm sitting in the waiting room (had a lot of time there yesterday...) they have this episode of Grey's Anatomy on TV (I love Grey's by the way). In the episode, Meredith and Derek have broken up, but they're still sleeping together, and Meredith doesn't know what to do because she wants him in her life, but she wants all or nothing. I had a slight epiphany and realized that everything will be okay. Meredith and Derek broke up and dated other people; got back together, broke up again and I'm not saying that C and I will end up like Meredith and Derek (at all), but I think I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I actually looked up the definition of relationship and it said something about two components working together. This break up didn't happen over just that one instance. It was a two way street and I think we both equally contributed to it. Do I agree with the way she went about things? No, but I finally understood where she was coming from. I think we overindulged ourselves, in ourselves, and it became toxic and unhealthy. She was sending up giant red flags and I was ignoring them. Because we cared so much about each other, neither of us really had the heart to say, 'no I don't really want to hang out with you today, or tomorrow, or whenever' so it just kind of spun out of control.

    Anyway, she calls me around 7:30pm as I'm leaving the hospital. She just asks how I'm doing and all that good stuff. We chat for a few and then I told her I needed to tell her about my epiphany. Conveniently, she lives on the way back from the hospital where we were, so she said to come by. I told her I was quite frankly all talked out, but I think we both needed to hear what I had come about. We walked down to this local bar and grabbed a drink (much needed) and food. I told her what I was thinking and she 100% agreed with me. She said she was completely wrong in the way she went about things (mind you this is the first time I've ever heard her admit she was wrong) and that she was really sorry for the way things panned out. I told her her everything was going to be okay. Whether or not her and I will work out romantically or not, we would be okay. I also said we still needed time apart and if we ever do feel like working on this again, it's going to be like baby steps. She fully agreed. After that we just hung out and chatted for while. I think it was nice to remind ourselves what it was like to hang out and not have this giant cloud hanging over our heads. We also needed to remember what it was like just to be friends, hang out and have a good time. We still agreed to check in on Sunday, but I think for once we are actually on the same page.

    I'm not going to hope that we're going to get back together, because honestly, I don't think we will. Unless there are some drastic changes, with the both of us, and if we are both willing to put the effort in, you guys are right and we should shouldn't be together romantically. What I do know is that I'm slowly coming to terms with it. I think whatever happens between us now we're just going to have to hit the ground running. Everything with us became so planned and regimented, we forgot about the mystery you need in a relationship. Everything happens for a reason, and if something is meant to be, then it will be. Most importantly, for the both of us it's been a learning experience.

    Thanks again all and I will keep you updated!

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