New relationship/really scared! (really, REALLY, long, and ranty)

First off, let me say that I really need to write all of this down. I have had a lot of things bottled up in me that I need to get out. I need to read the words, I need to see they exist. Even if nobody reads this thing I am happy enough that I finally get to say what I’ve wanted to say for ages on end. So for those that are interested, here is my story:

I met my first girlfriend, my first REAL girlfriend, my freshman year of college. We were just friends, grew into something more, and I fell deeply deeply in love with her. She was my everything. She was my confidant, my lover (cept sex…she wants to wait til marriage) and most importantly, my best friend. 3 years later we graduate from college and we are only a summer internship of hers away from getting engaged and moving in together, we had these plans made already.

A couple weeks before coming home, on our phone calls, she begins to become distant.

She comes home and our first meeting together she says “I don’t love you anymore. We are breaking up and I am moving to Chicago as soon as I can. Have a nice life”. She walked away from our life, from me, and from everything I had hoped for. Aside from the crushing depression I felt I also had soooo much anger. How was this fair? Why should she get to live the life she wants and kick me to the curb like I am nothing? I gave her my everything, and she just leaves me. She swore she would never abandon me, and she did. She abandoned me at the time I needed her most, and she damn well knew that.

All this time I am living at home and trying to job hunt. I was getting no where and I was scared that I was never gonna get a job, but I always had her to be confident in me and to love and cherish me. This was gone. Everything I knew about the world was gone. I was alone, I was scared, I was depressed, and I had nothing going for me in the least when it came to my life. I moved away from home to a bigger city (Indy, where I am now) in hopes of running away and getting a job in a big city. That was still wrong, I was wrong. Currently I work in a godforsaken retail joint getting crappy hours at crappier pay.

This is pretty much exactly a year ago when I started retail, and I have just been coasting/crying/job hunting to try and keep myself sane. I had made some “friends” sure, but I remained distant from them and didn’t tell anyone what happened to me that summer. It was just easier to be depressed and alone than it was to inflict all of my pain on someone and make them not like me, as everyone else does.

I also had no intention of dating anyone because, call me an asshole, but I don’t want to date some 18 or 19 year old horny teenager. Aside from being horribly scarred emotionally I don’t want to deal with my generations…advances. I am not a huge libido guy in general, but she was the only one I was ever with, in many respects, and I just want to take things slow, something my generation has no clue about.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I notice someone who works at the store I do. She is pretty, but that’s about as far as I notice about her. We are in different sections of the store, so I don’t actually talk to her much, just notice and smile if eye contact is made. Fast forward some more and I finally talk with her in the slightest. I am wearing a t-shirt from my alma mater, and she asks if I am going there. Nope, already went. Why are you here? I am a giant effing loser, how bout you? I will be a senior this year. Neat, well see ya, go Cardinals!

More fast forwarding to last week. I help briefly at her end of the store and we get to talk some more. Nothing huge, I am just joking around, making her (and others) laugh, the usual things I do at work. I end up inviting her out to a bonfire that I and the others who work in my area are having, she says yes and comes along. We don’t talk all that much at the bonfire, but I get the feeling that she likes me…a lot. I immediately go into security “my heart has been massacred stay away!!!” mode and try to be friendly, but not flirty. Then she invites me to accompany her to some clubs because she goes alone with her friend, who always ditches her. I am a nice guy (too nice…) and say yes, even though I know the night will end badly.

We are at the clubs. I can obviously tell she is flirting with me and I am doing my damndest to be off-putting, but not mean. It finally gets to the end of the night where she finally confronts me about the “issue” (her liking me, me ignoring her). I basically say “I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you”. (I don’t like telling people this whole story, it’s stupid and not that big of a deal…I am just a giant pussy about it.) I can see how hurt she is about it, I just beg “please, don’t be mad at me, I just can’t.” The sight of her hurting is killing me, so I tell her. She tries to not make me tell her ("you obviously don’t want to) but I do. I tell her everything. I apologize 500 more times to the point where she tells me to stop, that it’s ok, and that I am ok.

We end up talking a few more times, and most times I just gush myself out to her. I don’t mean to, but this is what I did with my girlfriend who abandoned me, she listened to me and cared. I have had all of this anger, this sadness, this rage, this story bottled up inside of me for a year with no one to talk with about it, no one to share, no one to just sit there and nod their heads while I talked on and on and on. She did this. She did this on THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS. She eventually said she was sorry for pushing me the club night, she (obviously) didn’t know what I had been through and realized I needed a friend right now, and she would be that.

I have not met a person, since my original girlfriend, who actually gave a shit about me like she does. She would text me if she thinks I need to talk. She never let me get down on myself. She always just listened to me (I talk, I talk A LOT). Then she did the one thing that made me think of her even more: She job hunted for me. She asked me what my dream job title was (copywriter) and the next day at work she hands me 3 jobs she found online. She actually took the time to do this for me. For me! no one does this for me, but she somehow did.

I sat back and thought about how I felt about her. I mean, I haven’t felt anything, anything for anybody since she left me, and now I’m feeling something? I was scared. I tried to think reasonably about it: What, do you think my girlfriend is going to magically come back to me? No, she is done with you. Why the hell shouldn’t I just try something that might actually make me happy? Because it might blow up in your face, and you will be worse for wear. Then I had the thought that took over the others: Look at what she’s done. She’s made you feel OK again, she gives a shit about you, she’s pretty, she makes you feel things you only felt for one other person, and do you really want to let this get away simply because you’ve convinced yourself there is nothing out there for you??

So I said “Tomorrow (this was yesterday, so, today) I will ask her if she wants to be more than friends.” I spent the entire day with her before I could do it (god I wanted to soooo many times…I was just too scared) and after I did it she was weary about it. “I rushed you” she says. I told the reasons (mostly the above) and she says “Who are you trying to convince?” It’s you, because I knew you would be like this. Push comes to shove, the night is over, she says yes.

I am officially back in a relationship.

I’m in a relationship? Oh shit…

What if it doesn’t work out? I mean, she is going back to school in less than a month and I won’t see her for weeks on end (I can drive there, it’s about an hour, but gas cost $$$, and I don’t have that) and it’s not like I don’t trust her, but I’m scared that will drive a wedge between us (it did for girlfriend 1 and look how that turned out). What if I scare her with my emotional instability? Even before I was dumped I was an emotional basket case. It’s just how I am. What if she gets to know me and then says “I don’t want any of this shit” and cuts me off? There are sooo many people in my life who told me they would never leave me, all of them have, at some time or another all of them have. What if I’m wrong? I mean, right now I am sure enough of myself to actually propose the relationship and want to be in it, but what if I’m just latching onto the first girl who reminds me of my first love? I don’t want to do that to her, but I don’t know. I Just. Don’t. Know.

I am scared. I’m really scared. I think it’s a good scared, but I haven’t done this in such a long time, I don’t want to screw it up. I don’t want to hurt her. I don’t want to be hurt anymore. Right now I have the confidence that I can spend 10 hours with her in one day (today), meet a majority of her family (kinda by chance), and bring out an aspect of her personality that I didn’t know was there (she is very shy and quiet, I made her loud), and I enjoyed it all. I think I can do this relationship, I’m gonna be pretty fearful of it the whole way through, but I really like this girl, and I’m really gonna try to make this work.

In the off chance you made it this far down, thanks for reading!


I read it (I don’t believe I did but…) and I can understand where you’re at. Love’s fucked up like that. Stop thinking about the past and look to having a better future. Instead of pondering over the negative, think about the positive. Here you have a girl that’s interested enough in you to give you more that the time of day… take advantage of it while she’s still local. Make to best of the next 30-45 days and enjoy yourself for a change.

Sorry to hear about the job situation. Hopefully when the recession lightens up, you will be able to secure a better job.

I’m really tired, but I did read it all. I don’t want my response to get too long, because I’m prone to not making any sense (moreso than usual) when I get tired.

If you focus too hard on not screwing things up, you’ll screw them up. You seriously have to find a middle ground of caring about keeping her around, but not trying too hard. Or else you will end up smothering her, or becoming obsessive/possessive and these are obviously not good.

I’ve seen it a million times.

Recent example: A friend of mine did everything that is supposedly “perfect” with a new girl of his. Took her to a school dance first date. Second date was a picnic. Third date was another social gathering of some sort.

Girl claims this guy has done everything exactly perfect and that all guys should be like him.

They were broken up within four months.

Despite my friends supposed perfectness, this girl would still go to parties and make-out with random guys that were in attendance.

Being the perfect romantic partner you are “supposed” to be won’t get you much of anywhere. Be cool and laid back, but still firm in your boundaries (which you have to let her know about) and do not at all worry if you’re doing things correctly.

Treat her like a normal person/friend and you’ll be fine.

I don’t want to sound like I’m kicking you when you’re down, but I think it really does bear examination: This job hunting and such that she’s done for you, why haven’t you been doing that for yourself? If working at this store is so horrible and makes you feel like a loser, why haven’t you been keeping an eye on the places where she found these job listings before? Why have you not been sharing your grief and anger with your old friends, the ones you had in school? They’re not going to hate you for talking about these things–they’re your friends, that’s what they’re for.

What worries me, and I may be misinterpreting what you’ve written, is that your OP sounds like you don’t actually have any old friends. That you really didn’t have any emotional connections but the ex, that you don’t have any now except for this girl. If that’s the case, it’s not fair to either of you. You can’t expect one person to be your sun and moon and stars, not your ex and not this new girl. It’s too much pressure and will send people running into the streets eventually, leaving you with…nothing. No confidence or sense of self or happiness or stability. Again.


For one thing, if that’s the way you acted around her and she’s still with you, then you’ve got a keeper. On the other hand, you’re doing everything in your power to push her away. Your neediness and negativity will drain out all of the attraction she has for you.

I don’t know how representative your OP is of your life. I’m guessing that you’ve concentrated the bad stuff and left out some good stuff. But you mentioned how many times you’ve been abandoned. The common denominator in this is you.

It seems to me that you live your life in fear. And maybe that fear stems from a philosophy of scarcity, where you think there is not enough to go around, whether it’s women, friends, jobs, or whatever. The truth is that there is an abundance of all of those things.

Something to think about?

This is going to sound way more old-farty than I am in real life, but: DATING. Try it. Try it with her. You don’t have to go from zero to relationship with no middle ground. Go out and do things with this girl, talk to her, make out with her, enjoy time together. Let that be the foundation for whether or not you enter into a relationship with her, not a conversation.

Don’t view this girl as either your path to marriage or to ruination. She’s just a girl, one of millions who might also suit you just fine (and I recognize that it doesn’t feel that way to you right now, so just file that away in your rational brain until your emotional self is ready to see it).

The purpose of dating is to enjoy yourself in combination with someone else. You don’t have to go balls-out for total commitment. It seems like you’re thinking you need to invest all the emotional energy into this new person that you’d invested in your previous girlfriend, but you don’t. Invest what feels right to you – not just what feels safe, or what seemed right with your last relationship. Let this relationship be new and develop in a way that works for you (and for her). Take some risks, but don’t risk everything.

I’ll address both of you individually because quoting would take up a lot of space.

Catlady: As for the job hunting stuff I do job hunt myself, pretty much every day. The fact that I mentioned it was she is the only one in my age bracket who actually did anything to help me instead of simply saying “that sucks”. Adults tend to help me, but my generation doesn’t. As for the friends thing and emotional connection you are totally right. For all intents and purposes I don’t have any old friends, they all moved away and stopped talking to me (aside from my roommate, and we just don’t have that relationship, never have). The ex WAS the sun moon and stars to me, probably one of the reasons she left me, and I am trying my damndest not to do the same with this girl.
tdn: I originally tried everything to push her away, but like you said she’s continued to show interest and genuine care for me since that first night or two, so I looked past me and tried for us. Aside from that the rest of what you said pretty much rang true. Whether or not there are abundancies of things right now to me is pretty much irrelevant, I can’t see it. Saying I live my life in fear would be pretty spot on, it’s more or less waiting for the next shoe to drop. I don’t know what else to say/do about it other than just try and work on it…
The internets is smart, so far you’ve pieced me together pretty good:)

Hi, Sir T-Cups,

I can only imagine that you posted here not only to get some stuff off your chest, but also to get a little feedback, a sense of right and wrong in the general sense. If I may, I have a few random and disconnected thoughts in response to your post.

First of all,


Okay. Knock it the hell off. The economy is in the toilet like it’s never been before, and lots of people are working whatever job they can, no matter how far below their skill level or pay grade, just to get by. So are you. There is no shame in it, so stop calling yourself a loser, or people WILL take you at your word and treat you like one.

I’m not going to tell you to “look for a better job if you don’t like this one” because, well, see economy/toilet, above. If your job duties suck, if the hours suck, if the pay sucks … well, that sucks, and you have every right to complain and whine to whoever will listen/read. :stuck_out_tongue: But linking your own worth as a human being to the work you’re temporarily doing until things get better is a terrible thing to do to yourself.
Now. About this girl. CrazyCatLady is absolutely 100% on the nose correct. Make this girl the center of your existence and you will drive her away.

If you don’t drive her away, then she is even more dysfunctional than you, and you’ll wish you HAD driven her off.
I don’t mean that as a knock against you, bless your heart … just that you sound like you could benefit from having calm, steady, emotionally solid people in your life, and only a drama-llama would want the emotional whirlwind of being suddenly and thoroughly put up on a pedestal.

If you have insurance and can afford it (it’s not that expensive anyway, depending on your situation) it might not hurt to see a counselor or therapist. The fact that you’re able to identify this feeling of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” is a big step forward. Now that you’ve identified that this is part of the problem, it’s time to work on solutions to that problem. A trained therapist who’s guided a bunch of other patients down this same road might have some concrete, practical ways to help you.
On preview: I see you’ve replied to earlier posters. Good for you for examining your relationship with your ex. So many people just make the same mistake over and over and over again. Don’t be one of those people! (It’s way more fun to make fresh, new mistakes anyway! :p)

Deep breaths, Sir.
Maybe three decades from now, this girl will be your longtime spouse, sitting comfortable next to you. Maybe she’ll be an ex you remember fondly at odd moments. Maybe she’ll introduce you to the person who will some day be your wife. Who knows? No one. So take it one day at a time till then.
Oh, and one last thought. Quit sh!tting all over your own generation. I can see on preview now where you’ve done that a couple of times in this thread.

You wanna not drive this girl off like you did the last one? Don’t make this one your sun, moon, stars. You wanna not make her the sun, moon stars? Have other friends. You wanna make new friends? Don’t dismiss people out of hand for belonging to the same age group as you.

As for what to do about it, sometimes all it takes is a tiny but fundamental shift in perception. Replace scarcity with abundance and see if you don’t start seeing opportunities all around you.

I had a great phone call last night where a woman hypnotized me to help me uproot some negative core beliefs. When she was done I mentioned that I could do that to myself anytime I wanted. She said that some people can, and some people really need a guide. I can post a text version if anyone’s interested.

You sound super needy and clingy. I think that’s what pushed your first girlfriend away and I think that is what’ll happen to your current one.

You have no real friends, it sounds like you have no real hobbies, and you really don’t have anything going on in your life, so you make your girlfriend the center of your universe. You would think she’d welcome this. And, she does, in moderation though. She wants you to have a life of your own too.

Great post, purplehorseshoe. And everyone else. Isn’t it funny how sometimes everyone around us can see exactly what’s going on with us, but we’re blind to it?

In so much of life, reality creates our beliefs. But I’m constantly amazed that in so many ways, our beliefs create reality.

This is about 90% of the reason I decided to post the whole thing. One of the things (I can’t remember if I actually wrote this…) I thought when I did my “step back” thing was "If I was watching this all happen to a friend, I would be saying “Come on dude, she’s right there…don’t just sit there and let this slip away”.

As for the rest of everyone’s comments, whether “good” or “bad” (in quotes since that’s pretty much a manner of perspective) keep them coming. Any comments/questions/advice you might have is more than welcome. You guys are helping more than you all probably realize…

Your last relationship didn’t work out and yet here you are in a new relationship again. Guess what will happen if this new one doesn’t work out, go on, guess. If you need a hint read the first sentence of this post again.

And actually, if you’re both late teens/early 20’s, it’s probably NOT going to work out. Don’t get me wrong, I wish you the best, but not many people spend the rest of their lives with the person they were dating that early in their life. But that’s absolutely ok, because you’ll have fun along the way and get to know and spend time with somebody you find interesting. Even if it’s never any more than that, that’s still pretty cool, right?

Try to look at the relationship that way. It should be a pleasant opportunity to be enjoyed in the present, not a means to a future end that never reached would signal failure. I think some of the expectations you’re carrying for what a relationship has to be are at the least holding you back if not actively sabotaging you.

In summary, relax a little, dammit! And good luck. :slight_smile:

Ok don’t take this the wrong way…I am totally not trying to snark on you.

Like others said, you sound kind of needy and clingy. You seem like you need someone to build your self-confidence and make it so you can get through the day. You don’t ever tell yourself you’re good enough or that things are ok or that you’ll get through something. If you don’t have anyone telling you that, you never think it.

So now you’ve got that again. Super. But what happens if it goes away? I’m not saying to dwell on the idea that it can go away (clearly you do that yourself) but you really do need the tools to be confident FROM WITHIN YOURSELF in order to really be healthy.

Being with someone who is a total Dougie Downer is a real drain and she’ll get tired of it eventually. What happens when she needs support? You can’t even support yourself.

Build on what she is giving you and internalize it and make it so you can stand on your own. Then the two of you will be equals and can have a happy time. Don’t just let her fill a void - cuz if it does go away, you’ll be back where you are now.

What you should have done after your first relationship ended was build from that and build yourself up and become ok with who you are (or change who you are so you like yourself). You missed the boat on that. You’ve just been waiting around for someone to save you. It’ll keep happening again and again until you fix yourself up.

Bestest word ever for someone who’s dating to use: Next!

Are you suggesting he become a serial dater?

Maybe. :wink:

What I’m suggesting is that no woman is the last woman on Earth. If the woman in front of you doesn’t work out, there are 99 more waiting in line behind her. And there are 900 more behind them, and 10,000 more behind them, and 3,000,000,000 more behind them.

Seen in that context, losing the one in front you doesn’t have to be a big deal. And if it’s no big deal, you’re less likely to lose her.

Ah, I dig.

But I see a lot of people making the mistake of always looking for the next person and not taking a time-out to reflect on how they might grow from the experience of the past relationship.

It’s a nice thought to be able to think/know that there’s always someone else out there. But that’s not really good advice for someone as young as Sir-T-Cups. I think once you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, and have at least a handful of previous relationships under your belt, it’s cool to just move on.

But when you’ve only had one or two other experiences AND you’re still young, the post-breakup growth is really really important while finding the next love of your life is not. It helps define who you end up being in the long trun.

Yes, of course. That’s extremely important.

But I think that that learning process never stops, no matter how old you get.

Well yeah you’ve just really learned to deal with “bitter” the older you get :wink: