36 Reasons Someone Ghosts You After a Great First Date
by Frank Kermit
You go out on a first date that goes incredibly well. There is great music, a proper mood, great talks, laughter, and physical contact including passionate kissing, and you maybe even had sex!
Things are going so well that based on the way you are connecting, you both make plans for a second date. Then the next day, the person contacts you and says that they are not interested anymore and did not feel any chemistry. Why would anyone go through the motions of an entire first date as if they are interested only to say in an impersonal communication the next day they did not feel any chemistry?
Actually, it could be a number of reasons. It really depends on the overall context. As a coach for dating and relationships, I have come across more than my fair share of reasons why people disappear (Ghost) after a great first date.
Here are some possibilities and reasons that come directly from my experience as a coach, working with people who have dumped someone after a great first date.:
When It is Because of You
(You did something that turned them off)
Each person has emotional needs. If you did not satisfy the emotional needs of the person you dated they will have no motivation to date you again. Maybe you seriously violated the person’s emotional needs. If you did not violate an emotional need, it is also possible that you simply did not address them and were neutral. When someone tells you “no chemistry” it is possible you killed the chemistry yourself.
1. Something you said/did on the date turned the other person right off. The person could not react in the moment, (for example: During the date you made insulting jokes about a particular group of people and the person is related to someone of that group) so instead of acting in the moment and revealing private personal information, the person chose to act as if everything was OK to protect their privacy for the rest of the night to be safe.
2. You’re just a little too boring. The person sensed that you generally have a good heart, but they simply are not into you as much as you are into them. The person liked you a lot, but not as much as you liked them, so they decided it was best to cut you loose before you get more attached and got really hurt. The person might be trying to be ethical after all, but has chosen a less than great way to do it.
3. You love too much drama. The person is more sedate and seeks a calmer companion, but everything about you screams drama-drama-drama, from the things you like to talk about, to how you handle common situations that came up on your date. Maybe you acted too immature, like a child. The emotional range that comes with high doses of drama can in fact be a lot of fun in the short term, but can be very draining for others in the long term. After that first date was over the other person decided that you were too much for them.
4. You did not stand up for yourself. I hear this one quite a bit. Sometimes your date will test you to see if you would stand up for yourself, and when you didn’t, it was a turn off. Some people just do not want to date a mousy person. They seek out someone that isn’t afraid to be assertive, and are willing to speak their minds. Ever had that gnawing feeling that you should have said something at some point on the date, but held back because you were trying to be too nice and too polite? That might have been the moment you failed a test for assertiveness.
5. You came across like you were going to dump them. You gave the impression that you were not serious about seeing the other person again, so the other person decided to dump you first, before you had the chance to abandon them. Did you make the person feel they were unique to you? Did you give the impression you were the type of person that could commit long term? If you did not do these two things, the other person has no evidence to take you seriously when you say you intend to see them again. Very few people are going to stick around for a second date with a person that comes across as wanting to be independent of them.
6. You came across as untrustworthy. If the person you dated felt you could not be honest with them out of a fear of conflict, or if you came across as someone that could not be honest with yourself, they simply will not be able to put faith into anything you say or do. Trust is a key factor for any relationship. Violating a person’s sense of trust will not get you a second date, even if they decided to have fun with you on the first date.
7. You don’t make people feel safe with you. Maybe the person looked you up on the Internet after the first date and the searches revealed lots of information about you from your professional work profiles, and your social media. With the mystery gone, (and perhaps finding out things about you and your worst moments and traits), it was a no-go from there. Maybe you are friends with someone that is an ex lover of theirs, or they do not like the social circles you keep. Maybe they just did not feel safe with you, either physically or they worry associating with you will hurt their reputation. Perhaps you publicly shared too many things that your date would rather keep private and they worried you are not a good secret keeper. The bottom line is that even after a great first date, if a person does not feel safe enough with you, there will be no second date.
8. You’re a lousy kisser and/or lover. I am sorry to say this, but just because you really enjoyed yourself on that first date, it is not a direct indication that your date enjoyed it too. Even if your date had an orgasm, it may have less to do with your efforts than you might care to admit. This is not about just being sexually incompatible (see further down the list when that comes up). This is about you just not being any good. Sexual skills are just like any other skills. You can develop a better skill set, if you are willing to learn, experiment, and are open to feedback. However, unless you make it clear that you want feedback to help your date enjoy being with you, your date might assume that you are just going to be this lousy on an ongoing basis, and rather than tell you the truth, they would rather just avoid having to be physical with you again.
9. You come across too happy being single. You are not relationship minded enough. You said that you wanted to see the other person again and you really meant it, and the person believes you meant it as well. However, the question becomes are you capable? Not everyone knows how to act in a relationship. This comes up a lot for people that have either never had a relationship, or people that have been single for so long that they have forgotten the nuances of how to take another person’s involvement into account. A person who acts too happy being single, might give the impression they would rather not be in a relationship. If you expressed how much you rather enjoy doing things on your own that the other person would rather do as a couple, you aren’t going to convince anyone that you are seriously interested in a second date.
10. You would rather be with a different gender/sexual orientation. Believe it or not, just because you are willing to date someone of a certain gender/sexual orientation, it is not enough evidence you actually want to be dating a person of that gender/sexual orientation. Sometimes the frustration that you feel towards the dating scene and specifically the gender/sexual orientation of your past dates, might come across that you would rather date someone that is the opposite of the gender/sexual orientation of the person you are currently dating. If you are giving a vibe that you may not be fully comfortable in your own skin, or if your frustrations get misinterpreted as hate, or lack of attraction for the gender/sexual orientation of the person you are currently dating, it is unlikely that they will want to have a second date with you, even with the first date ending OK.
11. You are missing something they want. Some people do not want to bother with a second date if they do not see a definite future with you. If the other person is looking for someone to back them up for the long term, they will be looking for things like: stability, if you can support their lifestyle, and their social environment. Can you hang with their social groups, and at least equal or better their own current status. If they already have elements of a life plan in place and they do not see you fitting into their plans, a great first date, might also be the last date if they cannot envision a future with you being part of their life plan.
12. You are too needy. Perhaps things were going really well until you went a little too far and gave the impression that you were just too needy. This means that the other person did not feel that you wanted them because of the commitment they had earned from you; they felt you were so desperate for any companionship that you wanted a second date because it is better than being alone. Sometimes a needy person comes across as way too compliant; lacking any personal boundaries who might one day lash back because they do not feel they are getting the same level back from the other person that they are putting in. The scariest thing about getting attached to a needy person is that a needy person can go to one extreme and get obsessive, or go to the other extreme where since they no longer feel needy for you, they can dump you unceremoniously. Why chance any of that with a second date?
When it is The Other Person
(You did nothing wrong)
In the next cluster of reasons we are going to look at reasons you were Ghosted that actually have nothing to do with you, but have everything to do with the other person. In this section, it is clear that you did not do anything wrong, or incorrectly. It is just a matter that the other person was the direct cause of you not getting a second date, and possibly involved in a situation that you may not have been aware of. So when someone tells you “no chemistry”, maybe there wasn’t any, or maybe there was, but it wasn’t enough.
13. The person was using you to pay for the meal and lavish date, or using you to get into a venue that you have access too. Once the person got what they wanted in exchange for a little compensation touching, they moved on to the next target. You never actually had a chance for a second date, because dating you again was never the goal. The goal was to use you for the experience of a date.
14. The person is running scared. The person did not expect to like you so much and wasn’t ready for the potential connection that seemed to be developing, so they ran away from you using any excuse they could think of. (Run Forest Run!) Some people really have a fear of intimacy and you came across too good to be true. For example: Your date was a virgin (or very inexperienced) and did not know how to process intense emotions that comes after having a great first date. That person does not want to feel pressured into going on a second date, as they were not ready to experience the next level of intimacy that a second date may represent. (This is assuming that you did not have sex on that great first date.) The pressure that a virgin feels to perform sexually on subsequent dates can be more than enough to cancel any possibility of dating you in order to avoid that pressure. At the same time, they do not have to be in a position to admit to being an adult aged virgin (which can be stigmatizing for some).
15. The person is trying hard to date someone (i.e. you) who is not their type BUT isn't willing to push through the next level of a second date. You weren’t the type they were normally attracted to and they were looking to be open-minded on a first date, but could not fake it enough to make a second date happen. Sometimes people date as part of an experiment to try putting themselves out there in new situations to learn about who they are (self-actualization). This could involve dating someone they weren’t really attracted too in the first place. Usually, this kind of self-actualization process requires the person to give people like you an honest chance with a series of dates before calling it quits, but not everyone has that level of resolve.
16. The person lied on the first date about something, and is worried they will get found out. You got dumped before you even have the chance to dump them later on when you would have found out the truth. People who lie on a first date are not usually expecting to have a second date, or subsequent dates. It can happen that they realize they really like you, but they know that they have already ruined their long-term chances by lying early on. In most cases the person in question might be self-sabotaging with this kind of behavior pattern as part of a fear of intimacy, which helps keep them out of any potential serious relationships. A person that lies so much might have incredibly low self-esteem and figures that you will eventually end it when you get to know them, so they dump you first even though they actually want to date you. They feel it is better to dump you now instead of you abandoning them later, and justifying their low self-esteem.
17. The person was a professional (sugar baby/sex worker) looking for you to pay money for companionship on an ongoing basis. They discovered through the process of the date that you were either not wealthy enough or not willing to accept such an arrangement. Rather than try to change your mind or reveal their true intentions, they would rather focus on recruiting an easier client and cancelled any second date you tried to set up. This gave them the ease of not having to reveal their true intentions if they wanted to keep their economic interests a private matter.
18. The person was running a bet or taking part in a contest with some friends. Maybe it was who could they get to date them? Maybe it was how many first dates could they get, or how far they could get someone attached to them who wanted a second date? This one is cruel, but it does happen. You might have been a target for someone else’s participation in a contest or bet that had nothing to do with you. One such scam I came across in my coaching practice involved getting the “targets” into heated text messages after being dumped and insulted. The texts would then be posted online as a means of ridicule. Very cruel indeed! If something like that ever happens to you, as much as you are being baited to write back hatefully, try as much as possible to walk away. The person you think you are cursing out might not even be the one writing to you.
19. The person wants to play a mind-game with you to see if you will chase them. Some people are legitimately interested in you, but the way they react to any attachment/attraction is to push that person away really hard to see if they are going to “prove” themself and chase them. Some people will have no interest in you at all, but they love the attention you may shower on them by pushing you away, and having you come back to chase them again. Some of these people could be suffering from a mental illness of some kind, while others are just malicious. Either way, if someone pushes you away that much, accept it and move on.
20. The person was a people pleaser. Fear of conflict makes some people act completely agreeable during the first date to the point of misleading you to think you actually stand a chance at a second date. They hide behind a polite façade to the point of aggressively going along in the moment with anything someone presents them with, to the point where they react with a backlash the next day with a rejection. It might be a good thing that you did not end up dating that person more than you did!
21. The person was cheating on an existing partner (or attempting to cheat) They decided against it and ended it before things got out of hand. In this vain of thought, if the person was actually trying to cheat and got caught (or almost caught), it would make sense to end it quickly before you sent a series of text messages that the cheaters partner may come across. When someone tells you “no-chemistry” most people will back off at that point, which is what the cheater counts on.
22-The person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI). I have come across difference cases of this as a coach. Some people with an STI desire socializing, even limited physical touching, but cannot risk giving into the impulse to have sex, so the person cancels any potential future dates where sex could happen. Instead of wondering why someone broke your heart, you might actually consider being grateful that someone may have just spared your health without you knowing it. It is easier for an infected person to dump someone than to expose their health status to a relative stranger. In other cases, a person with an STI rather than deal with being in a relationship may go out for anonymous sex without ever telling their lovers of their condition unless directly asked about it. It is easier to simply disappear after a first date sexual encounter, than to go on subsequent dates where the person would have to reveal their status of their STI, which they would rather keep private.
23. The person is just not ready for something serious. It is very possible that the person really liked you and really thought about getting more serious with you, but then decided that you were too a good a distraction and did not want to be tempted. Some people need to be hyper focused on things like getting an education, establishing a career, or even raising kids, and are just looking to causally date and have fun. However, they met you, and really liked you and even considered allowing themselves to break their own rules, which explains why the first date was so great. However, realizing that you really are the right person, but at the wrong time in their lives, it can be easier for some people to let you go completely instead of continuing to see you and be tempted with a strong distraction from their previous set goal plan. Others may or may not agree with this decision, but the issue is not whether it is agreeable; the matter is what it is.
24. The person is Immature. Very sad to say that at some point, it really can come down to a simple matter of a lack of maturity. The inability to know what they want, getting swept away in the moment of the first date, then making the snap decision to recant and disassociate without the benefit of a more personalized goodbye. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the person being too immature to take any accountability or responsibility for their own actions, or for leading you on.
When it is Neither of You
Lastly, in this next section are situations where it is not you, or the other person that is at the source of you not getting a second date, but some real possible situations that people find themselves in, or issues of compatibility that has nothing to do with how a person feels. Rather than discuss the real reasons, it is easier for people that do not know each other beyond a great first date, to simply cite “no chemistry”, so that they can end this particular stage with you, because it is just easier that way when life happens.
25. The person was hit with a crisis situation that required all of their focus and attention, and simply was not in a position to even entertain getting into a relationship much less date. A personal medical diagnosis, sickness of a family member, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and any other major sense of loss that a person would have to cope with. Tragedy can kill any feeling of chemistry that may have actually existed, and the person would rather set you free than to be honest and risk you wasting your time waiting for them. Tragedy changes people, and the person they become might not be a good dating partner for you in the future anyways.
26. The person could have been triggered by a past trauma and just cannot date you. It has nothing to do with you personally. It could be that you remind the person of someone that hurt them; or it could be the feeling of connection and chemistry that triggered them; and they associate good feelings with a core hurt. It is easier to dump you than to deal with past trauma.
27. The person was struggling and/or questioning their sexual orientation. They decided to try to date someone like you to see what it would be like, to either prove, confirm, or disprove something. Sometimes you are just someone else’s experiment while questioning.
28. The person really liked you and intended to date you again, but felt their friends and or family would not approve of you so they dumped you. Family and friends can be very important factors in deciding whom a person continues to date. It is interesting to note that seeking the validation of friends and family approval is why some people will continue to end up perpetually single.
29. The person was seeing multiple people at the same time, and someone made the move before you did to earn a monogamous commitment. For this reason the person had to dump all the other people they were dating. I have witnessed how dating another person can motivate an admirer to pursue someone. It is a common enough occurrence that as soon as someone starts going on dates, others who worshipped from afar, or who were dating casually until now, suddenly feel compelled to make a move and secure the affections of their would-be lover. Sometimes people can date you just to make someone else jealous for exactly this reason.
30. The ex of the other person came back into the picture between your first and second date. It is easier to tell you that they felt no chemistry, instead of telling you the truth. With that said, if the communication is happening right in front of the newly returned partner/formerly ex, it would make sense for the person to completely downplay any chemistry that might have actually existed. There is nothing quite like seeing the person you like dating others to light a fire of motivation to aggressively pursue (whether out of jealousy, or a legitimate belief that they should be together).
31. Off Limits. After a great first date, the person comes to identify you as an “Off-Limits” person. This means that they came to realize that you were someone they never should have had a first date with, or they already had such a hesitation, gave into temptation, but afterwards came to their senses not to pursue you any further. Perhaps you are a co-worker and they do not want to complicate anything by putting their careers in jeopardy if things go really bad. Perhaps they realize that they were romantically involved in the past with one of your friends or a family member (or vice-versa), and would rather follow a rule of non-fraternization. Putting someone in the “Off Limits” category is about avoiding dating someone who, for reasons that have nothing to do how you feel about the person, could complicate other areas of their life.
32. Different stages in life. After a great first date the person goes home and recognizes that you are both at very different stages in life. For example: One of you wants the lifestyle that comes with retirement, while the other to seeks a lifestyle that is just starting out with a family or new career. A great first date can reveal the awesome potential you may have as a couple, but if your lifestyles are incompatible because of the different stages you may be at, those incompatibilities may be more than enough to end things before a second date ever gets started.
33. It’s about the kids. This reason lumps together all the cases having to do with having kids. Perhaps it is that one of you wants kids, and it comes up during the date that the other does not want, or cannot have kids. Perhaps is it a matter of one person never wanting to be a parent or step-parent, only to find out the other is a single parent already. It could be that one person is not interested in helping raise younger children, and the other person has younger children. It can be politically incorrect for anyone to claim they are skipping a second date, after a great first date, because of the issues surrounding having children. There is no fault, blame or judgments here. Just people that went on a date who are not compatible for a long-term involvement because the issues surrounding having kids will eventually end the involvement regardless of what a great start it had.
34. Incompatible pasts. Each day of our lives we all make choices, and with each choice we make there are consequences. We do not control what those consequences might be. Whether it is a series of choices that leads to having a criminal record, choices affecting your health today, choices about the education you opted for, or the job environments you had to work in, or choices in the people you have dated in the past, each of us has a past built on the choices we made, both good choices or bad choices. Not everyone you date will be able to handle or accept your past, just as you will not be able to handle the past of everyone you ever date. There is a difference between being non-judgmental about someone’s past, and getting romantically involved with someone with a past that you would not want to be associated with. When getting more serious beyond a first date, it is important that you are with someone that can fully accept your past. If someone does not accept your past, or you cannot accept theirs, then it is best to end it. Again, no fault, blame, or judgments here. Just people that went on a date but are not compatible for a long-term involvement.
35. Sexually incompatible. This is different from a person just being lousy at sex. The issue here is that you were not compatible. For example: If the other person was just looking for a one-night stand and you did not make the first move or give them a sign, it is not just an issue of not having sex, but an issue of having different sexual values. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with your love-making skills, but you just aren’t used to going at the pace as your lover, it does not mean you aren’t good, it just means that you are not seeking the same kind of touch. Some people like a really gentle touch, while others like it more rough. There is nothing wrong with either. Even if you had sex on the first date but the sex was not what the other person is used too, or hoped for, and there was no sign or discussion that you have similar sexual values as the other person, then a lack of sexual compatibility can be classified as a lack of sexual chemistry.
36. There actually is no chemistry. The date came across as just two good friends hanging out but nothing more. It is good to get along with your date, but if all you do is act like good buddies, it may not be enough to help generate attraction. And yes, even if you had sex on a first date, friends can experience casual sex together and enjoy their time together, but still lack the chemistry necessary to take it to the next level. So when someone tells you that they did not feel any chemistry, it is possible they are lying for any number of the reasons listed above, or maybe they are being rather truthful, in that they just did not feel what they needed to feel to see you as anything more than a friend (that they were willing to try having sex with).
Chances are, that in reading these stories from my years of coaching, you might see yourself in one of them, or even come up with a few more possible reasons on your own.
Regardless of the reason, you might just be better off without a person that would Ghost you to begin with.
You are not in control of others rejecting you. You are only in control of how you come across. If you are coming across in ways that unintentionally turn people off there are things you can do to change that. Just do not give up. Even with the odds against you, you can still find what you are looking for, as long as you are willing to put in the work. With that said if you continue to have no second dates, you may want to sign up and see a dating coach, before no second dates turns into no first dates either.
25 reasons you got ghosted dumped after a great first date
by Frank Kermit
I recently came across a question about a particular dating dilemma. You go out on a first date that goes incredibly well. There is great music, mood, great talks, laughter, and physical contact including passionate kissing. Things are going so well that based on the way you are connecting, you both make plans for a second date. Then the next day, the person contacts you and says not interested and did not feel any chemistry. Why would anyone go through the motions of an entire first date as if they are interested, only to say in an impersonal communication the next day they did not feel any chemistry?
Actually, it could be a number of reasons. It really depends on the overall context. As a coach for dating and relationships, I have come across more than my fair share of reasons why people disappear after a great first date.
Here are some possibilities and reasons that come directly from my experience as a coach, working with people who have dumped someone after a great first date:
1-The date came across as just two good friends hanging out, but nothing more. It is good to get along with your date. But if all you do is act like good buddies without any sexual tension, then kissing may not be as passionate for the other person as it was for you.
2-The ex came back into the picture between your first and second date. It is easier to tell someone that they felt no chemistry, instead of telling you the truth. With that said, if the communication is happening right in front of the newly returned partner/formerly ex, it would make sense for the person to completely downplay any chemistry that might have actually existed.
3-The person was cheating (or attempting to cheat) but in the end decided against it and ended it before things got out of hand. In this vain of thought, if the person was actually trying to cheat and got caught (or almost caught), it would make sense to end it quickly before you turn stalker-like and send a series of messages that the cheater partner may come across. Hard to keep pursuing when someone tells you “no-chemistry”.
4-The person has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and desires socializing, even limited physical touching, but cannot risk giving into the impulse to have sex, so the person cancels any potential future dates. Instead of wondering why someone broke your heart, you might actually consider being grateful that someone may have just spared you life without you knowing it. It is easier to dump a person than to expose themselves by revealing the true nature of their health status to a relative stranger.
5-The person was using you to pay for the meal and lavish date, or using you to get into a venue that you have access too. Once the person got what they wanted in exchange for a little compensation touching, they are moving on to the next target.
6-The person really liked you and intended to date you again, but felt their friends and or family would not approve of you so dumped you. The validation of friends and family approval is why some people will continue to end up perpetually single.
7-Something you said/did on the date turned the other person right off but the person could not react in the moment (for example, during the date you made insulting jokes about a particular group of people and the person is related to someone of that group). So instead of acting in the moment and revealing private personal information, the person chose to act as if everything was OK to protect their privacy for the rest of the night to be safe.
8-Each person has emotional needs. If you did not satisfy the emotional needs of the person you dated they will have no motivation to date you again. Maybe you seriously violated the person’s emotional needs, or you simply did not address them and were neutral.
9. The person is a virgin (or very inexperienced) and does not know how to process intense emotions that comes after having a great first date and does not want to feel pressured into going on a second date. Not everyone is ready to experience the next level of intimacy that a second date may represent.
10-The person is trying hard to date someone not their type BUT isn't willing to push through the next level of a second date. You weren’t the type they were normally attracted to, and they were looking to be open-minded for a first date, but just could not fake it enough to make a second date happen.
11-The person could have been triggered by a past trauma and just cannot date you. It has nothing to do with you personally. It could be that you remind the person of someone that hurt him or her; or it could be the feeling of connection and chemistry that triggered them; and associate those good feelings with a core hurt. It is easier to dump you than to deal with past trauma.
12-The person lied on the first date about something, and worries they will get found out. So you get dumped before you even have the chance to dump them later on when you find out the truth.
13. The other person was just looking for a one-night stand, but was waiting for you to make a move or give them a sign. When you did not, the person lost interest. If someone is just looking for a one-night-stand, they are not committed to anything they say in the moment, because the current moment is all that interests them. They were never interested in a second date. They just wanted sex that night, and when the moment passed, they aren’t interested in giving you another chance to waste time.
14-The person was a professional looking for you to pay money for companionship on an ongoing basis, but discovered through the process of the date that you were either not wealthy enough or not willing enough to accept such an arrangement. Rather than try to change your mind, or reveal their true intentions, they would rather focus on recruiting an easier client.
15-The person was seeing multiple people at the same time, and someone made the move before you did to earn a monogamous commitment and thus the person had to dump all other people he or she was dating.
16-The person was running a bet or taking part in a contest with some friends, about who they could get to date them, or how many first dates the person could get, or how far they could get someone attached and wanting a second date. This one is cruel, but it does happen. You might have just been a target for someone else’s participation in a contest bet that had nothing to do with you.
17-The person was struggling and/or questioning their sexual orientation and decided to try to date someone like you to see what it would be like, to either prove, confirm or disprove something. Sometimes you are just someone else’s experiment while questioning.
18-The person was hit with a crisis situation that required all of his or her focus and attention, and simply was not in a position to even entertain getting into a relationship much less date. A personal diagnosis, sickness of a family member, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, and any other major sense of loss that a person would have to cope with. Tragedy can kill any feeling of chemistry that may have actually existed, and the person might rather set you free than to be honest and risk you wasting your time waiting for him or her. Tragedy changes people, and the person they become might not be a good dating partner for you in the future.
19-The person sensed that you generally have a good heart, and that they simply are not into you as much as you are into them. The person likes you a lot, but not as much as you liked them, so decided best to cut you loose before you get more attached and get really hurt. The person might be trying to be ethical after all, but has chosen a less than great way to do it.
20-The person looked you up on the Internet after the first date, and the searches revealed lots of information about you from your professional work profiles and on your social media. With the mystery gone, and perhaps finding out things about you and your worst moments and traits, it was a no-go from there. Maybe you a friends with someone that is an ex lover of theirs, or they do not like the social circles you keep.
21-The person was a people pleaser. Fear of conflict makes some people act completely agreeable during the first date, to the point of misleading you to think you actually stand a chance at a second date. They hide behind a polite façade to the point of aggressively going along in the moment with anything someone presents them with, to the point where they react with a backlash the next day with a rejection. Might be a good thing that you did not end up dating that person more than you did.
22-The person has incredibly low self-esteem and figures that you will eventually end it when you get to know them, so they dump you first, even though they actually want to date you. Better to dump you now instead of you abandoning them later and justifying their low self-esteem.
23-The person wants to play a mind-game with you to see if you will chase them. Some are legitimately interested in you, but the way they react to any attachment/attraction is to push you away really hard to see if you are going to “prove” yourself and chase them really hard. Some have no interest in you at all, but just love the attention you may shower them with by pushing you away and watching you chase them. Some of these people could be suffering from a mental illness of some kind, while others are just malicious. Either way, if someone pushes you away that much, maybe you should just accept it.
24-The person is running scared. The person did not expect to like you so much and wasn’t ready for the potential connection that seemed to be developing, so they ran away from you using any excuse they could think of. (Run Forest Run!) Some people really have a fear of intimacy and you came across too good to be true.
25-Maybe the person really likes your company in the moment but does not see a long-term future. If someone is seeking out a serious long term partner, they may not want to spend their time with people who they are interested in, but do not believe will be there long term. Maybe the person really liked you and you read all the signs correctly. However, after the first date, it is possible the person reflected on their life goals and realized that they need to focus on dating people that have a serious long-term relationship candidacy and felt you did not qualify for that. Chances are, that in reading these stories from my years of coaching, you might see yourself in one of them, or even come up with a few more possible reasons on your own. You are not in control of others rejecting you. You are only in control of how you come across. If you are coming across in ways that unintentionally turn people off there are things you can do to change that. Just do not give up. Even with the odds against you, you can still find what you are looking for, as long as you are willing to put in the work.
Challenging life experiences are highlighted in this contributed post.
You’d like to think that as we get older, things will get easier because we have the wisdom and experience of many years. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and there are a few things that are actually easier for younger people to get through than the older generation. Here are 4 of the hardest things you can experience later in life.
You’re probably aware that in your later years it will be harder to get over an injury because our bones, joints and skin are slower at healing than they used to be. Injuries not only affect us physically, but they can seriously affect us mentally. For example: if you were to have a car crash that you were able to walk away from in later life, it would affect you in the sense that you’d feel fragile for longer, and worried about venturing out into the world again. Whereas younger people are able to recover faster physically; therefore able to face their fears faster and not allow themselves to become secluded.
A big part of your life that no one wants to experience, but unfortunately it happens to at least half of all American couples. Sometimes, divorce can happen much later in life when you both realise that you’re simply not in love anymore. Whether there is a bad and ugly break up or not, it’s still very emotionally draining to go through divorce mediation.
Younger people are more likely to bounce back from a divorce due to other commitments like work and children, so they are more distracted than say a 70 year old divorcee. Regardless of your age, make sure that you have as many loved ones around you as possible if you are going through a divorce.
It’s not often heard of, but sometimes new couples where one or both of the partners is older can still conceive, regardless of whether they think they might have gone through menopause, or simply unable to have children anymore. Having a child at a later age can be a big strain on the relationship because of the worry of that child losing one or maybe even both of their parents early.
Having children is never a decision to be taken lightly, but younger people are often more accepting of the news, even if the child wasn’t planned.
Moving house is also a massive deal for anyone. It’s completely uprooting your lives and it can be hard to come to terms with it, especially if you’re not keen on the move itself. Pensioners often find it difficult to leave their beloved homes as some of them have been living there their whole life. It can also be difficult if you’re moving to a retirement home.
Take these four things into consideration and make sure that if any of them happen to you, that you get the support you need to get through a difficult time.
You can’t choose
what stays and what fades
- Florence and the Machine
by Carrie Joyner
I’ll be honest. The trouble with love is that when you jump in, even if its half hearted and just on a free online dating site... you are still putting yourself out there-all jokes aside, you really are.
There is your picture/s the yesses and the no’s, the snap judgements. the elation of a match (if it’s one you really wanted) and the devastation if it’s a match that you accidentally swiped right on cause you were just on a swiping tear and meant to swipe left (trust me, it feels bad ignoring those guys, it feels mean).
Then you just feel bad not answering back to some people you just realize there is no connection with. There is seeing your exes on there that you can’t swipe left fast enough on...and then you see someone that you are like...hmmm....maybe, wait...yes.
That right swipe meant a lot to me those days. (The right swipes were no longer just handed out for thrills...I just wanted it to be a good match.)
So, Felipe and I (not his real name) matched. We chatted for about a month, which is unheard of on Tinder, even though most of our chatting was done on text or email after the first 2 days.
He and I both have kids and tight schedules, so I found a hole in my schedule and asked him to meet me an hour and a half before my friend was supposed to show up for dinner at a restaurant. He quickly accepted.
When I met him, he was waiting at the table on the terrace where we had agreed to meet... just as he had promised, tall, handsome and well, attractive. We sat down, had a drink together, a great
conversation....it seemed perfect.
Then my friend arrived, sat down, we all chatted politely together for a minute and soon he politely stepped away and said good bye. I hugged him inside and thanked him for a nice date- no kiss on the lips...he just wanted to know when we could see each other again.
Tuesday made sense at the time so we set the date on the spot.
Everything seemed to be going well, but when Tuesday rolled around and I had a huge presentation to prepare for the next morning, I thought he would be really upset if I cancelled.
Quite the opposite- and this is where the red flags should have started going off. “Whatever I needed would work”...”No pressure”.
I thought I met the perfect man, what a chill date.
Cut to us seeing each other for 5 weeks straight, I told him I got off Tinder (hint hint) and he just kind of swerves around that and asks when we are seeing each other again. (Red flag 2)
The last time we saw each other was probably the best time, so what came next was a bit of a shock. A private facebook message from a friend came in who asked if I was still dating Felipe. I said, no, I don’t think so seeing as I haven’t really heard much from him since the night my dog was dying/died a few days ago.
She said “oh, good”.
I asked why? Did she mean because his teeth weren’t perfect? (She was my friend who met me the night he and I first met the first time).
No! She said. He has been chatting/messaging one of her friends since a few days after he and I met. They are planning on meeting up soon.
Now not to get into specifics, but when I tell a guy I got off a dating site, it’s because I consider us as dating/exclusive.
Clearly this was not the case here.
I get that dating on modern dating sites can be a grey area.
However, when you are with someone for over a month, should there not be a mention of the fact that you are just one of possibly many?
Then I started being thankful that he knew little/if nothing of my family, had never met my son...I had never met his family.
Sometimes, the lord works in mysterious ways.
This Thanks Giving, I know what I am grateful for.
Honest relationships, true friendships and family.
As for the rest....BYE, Felipe!
Why I Will Be Single For the Rest of my Life
Even Though it is Not my Choice
by Jackie Blue
It has become politically incorrect now to admit loving being single at any age.
Admitting that you are looking for a relationship or that you are lonely or hate being single for whatever reason can easily turn someone into a social pariah.
I’ve experienced this myself.
People who are supposedly my friends are not listening to me.
Instead, they lecture about that whole self-love thing. Well, that’s been debunked by recent studies. I think it’s particularly rich when it is coming from friends with partners. Not just being lectured. I am being chastised for even admitting loneliness and my need for human contact and companionship that can only come about in a relationship.
So what have I done in the past year since I became single?
I suffered in silence.
I discovered this was not working for me. If I must be single for the rest of my life, I might as well speak out and tell the whole truth and nothing but. As Janis Joplin would say, Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. It’s time to ask hard questions to society at large. I’ve already started speaking out on social media, much to the chagrin of many.
Before I go on, let me give you some background of my situation. Ever since I was very young, I always had my vision of who my dream mate would be; what I was looking for in a man. Now, as I approach 50, that vision has never changed. However, all my life, I could never find that man up until last year some time. So, I settled for whoever was interested in me, regardless of how much I had to sacrifice. Looking back now, it wasn’t all bad. The relationships were mediocre, but much better than
My last relationship lasted 9 years with a man named "Sam".
He was close enough to what I had always looked for. A little older than I would’ve liked, but then, I was never able to attract men my own age. Our lives were fine for the first 6 years. Then he lost his job and got sick and that set off a chain of events on both our ends. It was destabilizing. To be clear, I was not angry at Sam for losing his job. This was beyond his control and he was trying very hard to find another, but with ageism alive and well in the job market, finding work was problematic. He was never the same after that job loss. Who could blame him?
The problems that manifested were the by products of this destabilization. Illness with both of us, financial issues, and bad things happening took their toll finally 3 years later.
We ended our relationship.
Should I have fought harder to maintain it? Well, at that time, I had no fight left in me. I was burned out; physically and emotionally. But yeah, I should’ve found something left to fight for it. Life was as good as it was going to get with him. Far better than being single in middle-age.
Also, at that time last year,
I met Scott through a social media site.
A few years back, I was a political blogger. Little had I known that Scott had followed my blog. One day, he approached me finally on messenger and we chatted every night.
He became night friend.
He started confiding his secrets to me and I to him.
We had so much in common, it was almost scary. We listened to each other without judgement. It turned out that Scott was exactly the type of man that I had dreamt of but had eluded me all my life.
We started visiting each other every month and a half / 2 months. I used to think that Scott coming into my life when he did
was a sign
—that I was finally going to have the relationship I wanted for once.
He was also behaving as if he was interested in a relationship with me. My mother and some friends had told me they noticed the way he looked at me and interacted with me.
Even my ex, Sam noticed it.
Scott and I made a great team whether it was cooking dinner or helping each other with some of our projects. I had never experienced that in any of my previous relationships.
He introduced me to his parents as well as his oldest friends from university days.
Then I stupidly told him I had feelings for him.
He said he was only interested in me as a friend
though his behavior proved otherwise at times. I now understand that Scott entering my life was nothing more than a cruel joke.
For people like me, hope is a cruel thing.
The man who possessed everything I always wanted in a man walks into my life only to walk out without a truthful explanation.
I had spent lots of money on dating sites only to have no results.
I know I am going to have to settle for less once again if I expect to be in a relationship, but no one was interested.
The smallest of bites were very short lived. None of them were my type, but again, would’ve settled.
I was given the schpiel by most of them:
They were looking for someone more:
*someone with money who could afford to travel the world and partake in expensive sports and hobbies with him.
I was told I had the “wrong look” for them.
Also, the absence of a career turned them off. I am on disability benefits thanks to a group insurance from my last job. I can no longer work due to my health. Nonetheless, I was treated as if I was a welfare recipient which is frowned upon in the dating world. Particularly if you are looking for someone with beyond a high school education. I did not renew my subscriptions to those sites.
I had purchased ebooks which confirmed what I knew—finding a suitable mate while being an older woman is problematic. Someone suggested meet-up groups for singles, but there were a few issues finding a group with people my age. And the ones that existed all took cruises and trips to Mexico together. They frequent very expensive restaurants and bars.
On a fixed income, this is not possible for me.
Besides, I do not function well in groups.
I tend to feel lost and/ or like I am suffocating and I either end up zoning out or having crippling panic attacks.
I am only able to function on a one to one situation.
I am not even going to try to pretend
Again, why would I twist myself into knots
simply to get 2nd or 3rd choice
to even look
Why would I go through the insults from men,
who are not my 1st choice,
telling me I don’t have the right look or style?
I also remember talking to men in my age group and a bit older about that whole dating scene. Mainly, I wanted to know why they were searching for women much younger than themselves? More often, why women young enough to be their daughters?
They basically told me that older women
carry too much baggage
and it was not fun for them.
Too many chips and cracks,
some had told me.
I had joined a Facebook group where people commiserated over bad experiences with dating sites and our frustration with them. Many of the women in this group were in my age bracket and many of whom, single for over 20 years. That was and still is very frightening to me. There really isn’t someone for everyone. But then, I should’ve known that was a mathematical impossibility.
Women outnumber men.
As time goes on, the loneliness gets more painful.
In that Facebook group, I had initiated a conversation thinking I must move out of the city I live in in order to find a partner. As much as I love living in the city, I knew that only rural men showed interest in me. Never city men.
I was chastised for that
saying I should learn to be a strong woman.
That is cold comfort to me.
A painful realization came.
I will never ever find another Scott.
I would have to settle for whatever I can get yet again.
However, I can’t seem to find anyone
who would even be remotely interested.
Dating is worse than a job interview. Come to think of it, I’ve had more fun at job interviews—with very bad interviewers.
So much effort just to settle.
Looking for a relationship has become synonymous with applying for a bank loan or looking for a job. You only get a loan when you prove to the loan officer you don’t really need it. You only get a job when you don’t really need one.
I’ve stopped looking as a result and have resigned myself to the fact that I will be single forever just like those women on my facebook group.
I had also come to the realization, why must I work so hard on my image just for a man I know I am simply settling for? It is exhausting trying to impress one who would be a second or even third choice.
I won’t even find anyone who measures up to Sam.
There will never be another Scott. Why bother?
I have also come to the realization that sometimes we must pay for a mistake we made for the rest of our lives.
Separating from Sam is one such mistake I made.
Sometimes there is no second chance.
What I will not do, however, is pretend that this is fun.
Frankly, I am tired of being penalized for things beyond my control.
Things like finances, poor health, not the ideal appearance as dictated by society as a whole. Not having a career. Being over 30. Exactly the opposite of what men are looking for today in any age bracket.
One only has to look to profiles on dating sites to know this.
Scott and I still talk on and off, but we have not visited each other in the last four months. Oh one can say long distance relationships don’t work but he knew I was willing to relocate. My mother and other friends just live an hour away from him.
As for him saying he wasn’t ready for a relationship, that theory is blown out of the water. He is looking to date others now. It’s only matter of time he will find somebody to live happily ever after with, especially now that he has lost a significant amount of weight. Given he’s been single for a year and a half now, and he’s lost all that weight, it will likely be sooner rather than later before he finds somebody.
The lesson here is, especially late in life, if you’re in a relationship or married, even if the relationship is mediocre, if there are no issues of addiction and/ or violence, do all to hold it together anyway. Even if he/she cheats on you, stick around. If someone drops into your life with uncanny timing, even if he/she appears to be your ideal mate, run as fast and as far as possible away from him/her. It’s just a test of your resolve to keep a long term relationship and/or marriage together.
Please learn from my mistake.
Taking A Break - Needing Space when Dating
Dating Dilemmas #83
Frank Kermit makes his 124 appearance on the radio show Passion, hosted by Dr Laurie Betito and Fritz-Gerald of Elite Speed Dating.
Topic of discussion is: Taking A Break and Needing Space When Dating
4 Communication tips for couples are highlighted in this contributed post.
A rocky patch in your relationship can cause distress to both sides. It can affect your work, your social life, and your family life too, especially if there are children involved. While it may feel like your relationship is coming to an end, ups and downs are very common in relationships, and you may be able to work through your issues to make it out the other end happier and more content. Take a look at some of the solutions below that could help you both work through your issues to get your relationship back on track.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship. However, this is one element that many people struggle with, and it’s poor communication that can ruin a relationship. Talking through your issues is difficult, but if you can do so in a way that is non-argumentative and simply expresses how both sides feel, you may find that there is an easier solution to your problems than you realize. Take some time to really talk to each other about the things that have been bothering you for a much healthier relationship where both sides feel heard.
You may not really know much about couples counselling, or feel that it is not for you, but it is something that helps thousands of couples each day to enjoy healthier, more honest relationships. Whether you have problems communicating with each other, you suffer from sexual intimacy issues or anything else that may be causing your rough patch; couples counselling could be the thing that brings you both together again in a safe and open space.
Get away from it all
Sometimes it’s outside factors that cause our relationships to suffer. If work is affecting your relationship for example, or even one person having a much more active social life than the other, then a vacation could be just what the two of you need. Putting physical distance between the issue and your relationship could be beneficial, and a vacation will give you both the chance to relax without distractions to leave you both feeling much happier when you return. A vacation will also help you establish some perspective so that when you return, you can find ways to manage your workload better or prioritize your relationship over late nights with friends to help you refocus on your relationship.
Spend more time together
Sometimes the issue can be that you’re just not spending time together. It can be difficult if your schedules clash, or you’re in a long-distance relationship, but these are issues that can be resolved by spending more quality time together. Try to spend time together, enjoying date nights that are free from distractions (that means keeping your phones away!), that let you both catch up on how you’re doing and enjoy each other’s company.
Relationship issues can be difficult, but for many people, they are a phase that will disappear with a bit of work. It’s important to remember that love is not a power play, so it’s important to treat your partner as an equal and ensure that they do the same in return. It’s difficult to deal with issues, but tackling them head on will benefit your relationship and make you both stronger for it.
by Carrie Joyner
I always figured the next love of my life would happen organically.
After 2 years of taking a break from the soul sucking world of online dating, I decided to jump back in because the old fashioned way of meeting men just wasn’t happening.
Not the right ones, anyhow.
The romantic notion of meeting Mr. Right in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store went out the window a long time ago since Steve Jobs put iphones in 90% of the populations hands.
Human interaction is scarce these days.
Eye contact is nothing short of a miracle.
People would rather Snap Chat themselves with cartoon eyes and dog noses.
-I don’t get it.
-I don’t want to get it.
I didn’t go hungry the past two years, don’t get me wrong.
I just needed to kick start the process and increase the odds of landing a dream partner before I start thinking about getting a few cats and spending every night binge watching Million Dollar Listing and fantasizing about a career in high profit real estate.
Putting yourself out there lends to some pretty deep self-analysis by being part of that online, fast food style relationship world.
Don’t get me wrong, there are good men out there…but you have to cut through a lot of weeds to find a good one.
With my iphone machete in hand, I began hacking away.
Vessel of choice: Tinder
I am tired of paying for the chance to meet someone who could ultimately end up wasting years of my life.
I spent the better part of 2 years in 3 useless relationships because of that.
Recently divorced and feeling the clock ticking in the last few years of my 30’s, I dropped the bar…forget raising it…and settled with three different men for the sake of being in a relationship.
Mild levels of attraction led to a lot of time being complacent, at times anxiety-inducing and ultimately unfulfilling relationships.
One was crazy, one was a jerk and one was just too nice.
I just signed up two weeks ago, so about 50 matches later, 4 disappointing actual dates, I am taking a deep breath and getting ready for week three.
The latest date was probably the strangest.
A hot pilot who had been texting with me for about 24 hours before I found a hole in my schedule and asked him if he was free.
He was, we set up a time and place to meet for a drink.
He arrived 30 minutes late because he was stuck in traffic and took about ten minutes to establish consistent eye contact with me.
This is where all that self analysis kicks in.
The reality is that I am sitting in front of a total stranger.
I don’t know if he has issues.
I don’t know his back story
or what really happened in his last relationships,
or how hurt he had been in the past.
The questions float around my head incessantly.
-Is he not focusing because he is nervous?
-Am I too good looking for him?
-Am I not good looking enough?
I finally hooked him in a topic that he was semi-passionate about and I had my eye contact at last.
He didn’t want to leave,
but I have to cut these things short unless there are fireworks.
Plus, my dog needed a walk.
He texted me after to make sure I got home safely, which was thoughtful.
He asked if he could see me again
and I said yes,
because maybe that first encounter
was just scratching the surface.
I haven’t heard back from him all weekend
and I am not going to reach out first
…I am old school like that.
Online dating is not how I imagined meeting my next boyfriend and hopefully husband, but it is the easiest way to start connecting to total strangers, some with good intentions, others not so much.
It takes time, energy, thick skin and courage of steel
to not cancel dates
that seem like a good idea while couch surfing with chardonnay.
But I guess you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket,
so let the games begin!
I Left the Love of My Life
by Karen Cross (cir. 2013)
I left the love of my life because
I thought I could do better.
Now I'm childless and alone at 42
Laughing and dancing with my fiance at our engagement party, I thought I might actually burst with happiness.
Surrounded by our family and friends, I looked at Matthew and felt certain I had met the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
Quite simply, he was my soulmate.
It all seemed so simple to my naïve, 19-year-old self.
I was, I smugly told myself, the girl who had it all.
So why, 20 years later, do I find myself single, childless and tormented by the fact that I have thrown away the only true chance of happiness I ever had?
Eight years after that wonderful engagement party in 1989,
I walked away from dear, devoted, loyal Matthew,
convinced that somewhere out there,
a better, more exciting,
more fulfilling life awaited me.
Only there wasn't.
Now I am 42
and have all the trappings of success
- a high-flying career, financial security
and a home in the heart of London's trendy Notting Hill.
But I don't have the one thing I crave more than anything:
a loving husband and family.
'My father warned me not to throw this love away. But I was sure I'd find Mr Perfect around the corner'
You see, I never did find another man
who offered everything Matthew did,
who understood me and loved me like he did.
Someone who was my best friend as well as my lover.
Today, seeing friends
with their children around them
as I know I am unlikely ever
to have a family of my own.
I think about the times
Matthew and I talked about having children,
even discussing the names we would choose.
I cannot believe I turned my back
on so much happiness.
Instead, here I am back on the singles market,
looking for the very thing
I discarded with barely a backward glance
all those years ago.
I know I can't have Matthew back,
and it hurts when I hear
snippets of information
about his life
and how content he is.
Fifteen years after I ended our relationship,
he is happily married.
At this time of year, so many people will be assessing their lives and relationships, wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.
Many will mistake contentment for boredom, forgetting to cherish the good things they have.
I would urge those who are considering walking away from such riches to think again.
How different things would be for me now if only I'd listened to Matthew when he pleaded with me not to leave him in 1997,
tears pouring down his face.
I was crying too,
and it tortured me
to watch the heart of the man I loved
breaking in front of me.
But I was resolute.
'One day I might look back and realize
I've made the biggest mistake of my life,'
I told him as we clung to each other desperately.
How prophetic those words have proven to be.
'I will always be here for you,'
And I, arrogantly,
thought that somehow
I could put him on ice and return to him.
Matthew and I met when we attended the same comprehensive school in Essex.
We started dating just before Christmas 1987 when I was 17 and studying for my A-levels.
By that time he had left school and was working as a motorcycle courier.
We got on like a house on fire, and our families each supported the relationship.
Before long, we had fallen in love.
Matthew was romantic but incredibly practical, something that would later come to annoy me.
His gifts to me that Christmas were a leather jacket - and a pair of thermal leggings.
Two weeks later, when we'd been seeing each other for less than a month, he proposed.
We were in my little Mini Clubman when he shouted at me to stop the car.
Scared something was wrong, I braked in the middle of traffic and we both jumped out.
Then, oblivious to the other drivers beeping their horns, he got down on one knee in the middle of the road.
'I love you, Karen Cross,' he said.
'Promise you'll marry me one day.'
I laughed and said yes, thrilled that he felt the same way that I did.
In the summer of 1989, while out for a romantic meal, Matthew proposed properly with a diamond solitaire ring.
Two months later, we held our engagement party for 40 friends and family at the little house we were renting at the time.
The following year, we bought a tiny starter home in Grays, Essex, which we moved into with furniture
we had begged, borrowed and stolen.
We giggled with delight at the thought of this grown-up new life.
I was in my first junior role at a women's magazine
and Matthew worked fitting tyres and exhausts,
so our combined salaries of around £15,000 a year
meant we struggled to make the mortgage payments.
But we didn't care,
telling ourselves that it wouldn't be long before
we were earning more
and able to afford weekly treats
and a bigger home
where we could bring up the babies we had planned.
the housing market crashed
and we were plunged into negative equity.
Struggling should have brought us closer together,
and at first it did.
But as time went on,
and my magazine career - and salary - advanced,
I started to resent Matthew
as he drifted from one dead-end job to another.
I still loved him,
but I began to feel embarrassed by his blue-collar jobs,
despite his intelligence,
he didn't have a career.
Then he bought a lurid blue and pink VW Beetle.
Why couldn't he drive a normal car?
Things that now seem incredibly insignificant began to niggle.
I began to wish he was more sophisticated and earned more.
I felt envious of friends with better-off partners,
who were able to support them as they started their families.
I stopped seeing Matthew as my equal.
I stopped seeing all the qualities that had made me fall in love with him - his fierce intelligence, our shared sense of humour, his determination not to follow the crowd.
I saw someone who was holding me back.
I encouraged him to find a career
and was thrilled when he was accepted
to join the police in 1995.
It should have heralded a new chapter in our lives,
but it only hastened the end.
We went from spending every evening
and weekend together,
to hardly seeing one another.
Matthew was doing round-the-clock shifts,
while I worked long hours
on the launch of a new magazine.
Our sex life had dwindled
and nights out together were rare.
I stopped appreciating little things he did,
like leaving romantic notes on the pillow
or scouring secondhand bookshops
for novels he knew I'd love.
He was my best friend,
yet I took him totally for granted.
After festering for weeks about his shortcomings,
I told Matthew I was leaving.
We spent hours talking and crying
as he tried to convince me to stay,
but I was adamant.
My parents were horrified
that I was walking away
from a man they felt was right for me.
My father's words to me that day continue to haunt me.
'Karen, think carefully about what you're doing.
There's a lot to be said for someone who truly loves you.'
But, I refused to listen,
convinced there would be another,
better Mr Right waiting around the corner.
I moved into a rented flat a few miles away
in Hornchurch, Essex,
and embraced single life
with a vengeance.
By now I was an editor on a national magazine.
Life was one long round of premieres
and dinner or drinks parties.
Matthew and I remained close,
even telling each other about new relationships.
But though I'd dumped him,
I never felt the women he met were good enough.
I can see now I was acting out of jealousy.
I clearly wanted to keep him for myself.
Our closeness was,
however, called to a halt in 2000
when he met his first serious girlfriend after me, Sara.
One night shortly after his 34th birthday,
I phoned to ask his advice about something.
Matthew was unusually abrupt
and asked me not to call him again.
'Please don't send me birthday or Christmas cards
any more either.
Sara opened your card last week
and was really upset.
I have to put her feelings first.'
I hated the fact Matthew
was suddenly putting another woman before me.
How dare she come between us!
Over the next few weeks,
I'm ashamed to say
I vented my spleen at both of them
in a series of heated phone calls.
I was completely irrational.
I didn't want Matthew back,
but felt upstaged by Sara.
after one particularly nasty argument,
Matthew put the phone down
and refused to take any more of my calls.
I didn't realize it at the time,
but I would never speak to him again.
I met Richard.
It was a whirlwind romance,
and within a year we were engaged
and buying an idyllic farmhouse
in the Norfolk countryside
while I continued my journalistic career,
commuting to London.
He was a successful singer
and, as we toured the country,
I thought I had finally found
the excitement and love
that I craved.
But Matthew was never far from my thoughts,
and Richard complained
that I often brought him into conversations,
even comparing them both.
They were so different.
Although outwardly romantic,
Richard was repeatedly unfaithful,
and I never felt secure enough
to start a family with him.
after three-and-a-half years together,
he walked out,
having admitted his latest paramour
was pregnant by him.
My life fell apart.
Over the next year,
I struggled to pull myself back together
and did a lot of soul-searching.
I finally understood what my father had meant.
I realized Matthew was the only person
who had loved and understood me.
When I heard through a mutual friend
that he had split up with Sara,
I wrote to him,
apologising and asking for forgiveness
- and a second chance.
It was six years since we had last spoken,
but naively I thought he would want to hear from me.
What I didn't know
was that Sara
was still living at the house
and it was she
my very personal letter.
It included my phone number,
and she left me several angry,
I had inadvertently caused problems
in Matthew's life,
so it was unsurprising
I never heard from him,
despite writing several times
over the next few months.
In the end,
I left it at birthday
and Christmas cards,
thinking he'd find a way
to get in touch
if he ever changed his mind.
Then, I heard a couple of years ago
Matthew had married
his new partner, Nicola.
For a few moments I couldn't breathe,
then the tears came.
Matthew and Nicola still live in Essex
and, as far as I know, don't yet have children.
That's the next milestone I truly dread.
It's been 11 years since Matthew and I last spoke,
and I have to accept that door has closed.
Perhaps he has found what he is looking for
and I am a distant memory.
I have had one other
significant relationship since Richard
- with Rob -
but that recently ended after four years.
Rob reminded me a lot of Matthew.
He was decent and honourable,
the life and soul of the party but with a kind and sensitive side.
But we were each too jaded
by previous heartbreak to make it work.
And while I wanted children,
he had a grown-up son and didn't want to start over again.
So once again I am on my own,
my mind full of 'if-onlys'.
If only I'd stayed with Matthew,
we'd almost certainly be married with children.
Or, maybe Matthew wasn't the right man.
I will never know the answer,
but my decision to leave him
has definitely cost me the chance
of ever becoming a mother.
Now I can only look back
and admonish my selfish,
When I visit friends and family back in our home town,
I can't help but hope I'll bump into Matthew.
I'd like to think I'd say sorry.
That I will always be there for him.
But I wouldn't be surprised
if he turned his back on me and kept walking.
To those out there thinking of walking away from humdrum relationships,
I would say don't mistake contentment for unhappiness, as I did.
It could be a choice you'll regret for the rest of your life.
Are You Willing To Pay The Price?
by Frank Kermit
I have been coaching for nearly two decades at the time of writing this article. There are times when I feel very proud and inspired by certain coaching clients of mine.
And other times, I see really good people, with really good hearts, just not acting as if they are willing to do the work necessary to have the love lives they so desperately claim to want.
It takes hard work and sacrifice to makes changes in a person’s life.
The more ingrained and practiced your repeating behavior patterns, the more challenging it will be to change those same behavior patterns and replace them with new behavior patterns. Learning the theory of addressing the emotional needs of others (and standing up for yourself) is just a first step in the process.
Putting it into practice, especially when you are not used to it, can be a little more intense than what most people are comfortable with doing.
The result is the same.
Your refusal to speak up ensures that you will continue feeling bad due to the actions of others, as well as, it ensures you will continue to build up feelings of resentment against the other person.
Resentment can kill even the most devoted feelings of affection between two people.
There is a price to pay for having a great love life.
It means stepping outside of your comfort zone
and committing new behaviors to change very specific situations in your life.
There is no waiting until you feel you are ready. Chances are you will never be fully ready.
That is the price:
To commit to new actions
even you do not feel like it.
It is a high price of discomfort to be sure.
Just keep in mind the potential benefits you will acquire in the long run, in exchange for some short-term pains:
A love life that brings smiles instead of tears
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes