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Dear Chump Lady, I made a fool out of myself

Dear Chump Lady,

Thank you so much for your articles. They have been immensely useful and have given me deeper insights about relationships. I was in a six-year relationship with a compulsive liar so have really appreciated your articles. We broke up last year. He proposed on my birthday. Unproposed two weeks later saying his parents did not approve. He got married last month. That’s that.

I was wondering whether you could give me some insight on rejection and moving on in general. Ever since I got out of that relationship, I have actively put myself out there instead of being mopey. If I like someone, I express my interests. Recently, I asked a person out. We went out for dinner. But I got drunk over the weekend with some friends, transformed into an adolescent hormone and drunk called and texted him. Thankfully I did not profess my undying love of less than a few days. However I did make a full display of silliness and stupidity. I sent him an email the next day saying something along the lines of how alcohol makes you do dumb things, an apology and goodbye.

He has not responded. No text. No call. No email. Nothing. He has been furiously tweeting about his work and other stuff so aliens have not abducted him either.

Sigh. I know I have made a complete fool of myself. I accept that. I accept that he does not want me anymore. But I have just been angry at being dismissed so flippantly. He is a journalist and he does not have anything to say? Like seriously…how difficult is it to be polite and say “no worries, see you around”? Just having a hard time dealing with this abrupt systems shutdown. Am I over reacting? I shouldn’t be complaining if I behaved like an idiot? I mean I barely know this person and I guess he really does not give a shit about me. I am making it an ego thing, aren’t I?

Would love to hear if you have something to say to this.

Thank you so much,

New at This

Dear New at This,

Your letter is a cautionary tale of why we need to work on our pickers before we put ourselves out there again. The flip side of I’m going to hole myself up in a bunker with cats and never love again is hey, you’ll do! I’m going to get drunk and make you love me. These are both pretty awful life strategies.

You invested one whole dinner in this person. Yes, you’re taking it way too personally that he never called you again. He doesn’t owe you an explanation, and in fact, I’d argue he’s reasonably gone no contact on you. Drunken texting is a red flag. He heeded it. His picker didn’t pick you.

And rightly so, because it doesn’t sound like you’re quite ready for prime time. There’s no shame in this, New. None at all. It takes awhile to get your sea legs and be comfortable with being alone. Before you date again, get secure in yourself, heal. That doesn’t mean you have to be “mopey.” It just means you’re learning to be content with your own company.

A chump hazard is needing validation from other people that we’re okay. Needing it too much. Placing an inordinate amount of value on what Mr. One Dinner thinks of us. Clearly you wanted follow up from this guy after the dinner. And you weren’t leaving things to chance, so when you were drinking and your inhibitions were down, you tried to move things forward, goading him into noticing you, answering your texts, flirting with you… anything. To the point that, as you admit, you were later mortified.

If you were healed up and in a better place, you could tell yourself — hey, maybe he’ll call, and maybe he won’t. Whether he calls or doesn’t call is no measure of my worth. Instead of concerning yourself with Does He Like Me, you’d be asking yourself — do I like HIM? Is he a good fit for ME?

Let’s say you answer yes, I do like him! He checks all my boxes! I do think he’d be a good fit for me. It doesn’t end there. There’s another step you have to master — hand it over to Jesus, New. Give your “what-ifs” to a greater power, the Universe, whatever you believe in. You can’t force these things. You’re going to be okay if he reciprocates your interest, and you’re going to be okay if he doesn’t. Because at the core, you KNOW you’re okay either way. He’s not the final say so on your self worth.

Sure, I’m allowing you some disappointment — but this shit cannot rock your world.

You are not ready to date until you can dump and be dumped — and roll with it. You don’t need to self soothe with other people.

And I’ll tell you who is attracted to am I okay? how may I please you? chumps — narcissists and abusers. They can sniff you out a mile away, sidle up to you, and are more than happy to fill every void with their colossal entitlement. You’ll take the lack of reciprocity because they validate you as a Coupled Person. You’ll buy their bullshit, and not ask the hard questions because you need. You need to please the un-pleasable person. You need to win them over and prove your worth. You’ll buy their self importance because you’re a pleaser who could use a bit of that.

Those jerks will love bomb you, and because you’re hungry — deep down hungry for that validation — you won’t question it as you should. As in, hey you don’t really know me well enough to say those things. Or… aren’t things moving a little fast? Or… I’m not really comfortable with that.

Healthy people don’t put up with narcissist “love.” They dump. They don’t spend six years with a “compulsive liar.”

Before you date, you need to be that healthy person. Examine yourself, your picker, why you invested in a compulsive liar — and then forgive yourself. Build yourself up with other life successes. Surround yourself with friends who get you. Be a better friend yourself. And when you’re strong and assured, (and okay, hesitant and awkward too, because we’re all human) — THEN get out there and date.

My sermon isn’t over.

Don’t ask men out. I know I’ll catch holy hell for writing that, but you asked my advice, so I’m giving it to you. Maybe you know exceptions to that rule. I don’t. I know women who “win” guys they then have to find jobs for, and apartments, and are rewarded with years of commitment limbo.

I didn’t make the gender rules, I’m just reporting on them. I’m not saying if it’s egalitarian or just. I’m not saying it’s fair that men have to take rejection on the chin and ask women out all the time — I’m simply saying: DON’T ASK MEN OUT.

Why? Because IMO instead of coming across as jaunty and self confident, (which you may well be) you will be perceived as dominant and take charge. You will set the bar low for that man. He won’t have to do much to “win” you, and he will ascribe value accordingly. You’ll be fine to pass the time with, or fuck. Next you’ll find yourself in charge of many other things, because you will fret that If You Don’t Do Them, They Won’t Get Done. Which sadly, often includes pressuring someone for a commitment, as well as doing more than your share of the laundry.

You can dance up to the ask a man out line. Absolutely show interest. You could say something like “Boy, I like Will Ferrel movies. There’s that new Will Ferrel movie out, have you seen it?” Big cue for him to Take the Next Step. If he doesn’t? Give it to Jesus. He’s not interested.

Look, in my experience, if a guy is interested in you, it doesn’t take a ton of encouragement to get him to bust a move. Share a sandwich. Smile at him sideways. Good guys take INITIATIVE. (Sure, bad guys take the initiative too, but they wave other red flags.)

What kind of men don’t take initiative? Men who aren’t interested in you. This is good to know. Direct your attentions elsewhere. The other men who don’t take initiative are bad men, who are interested in you in a fucked up way. Passive aggressive drips who send mixed signals and are quite content to let you do the heavy lifting on this relationship thing. Cake eaters. Commitment-phobes. You don’t need that.

New, you know what’s really great for your self esteem? To feel secure in someone’s attraction. How do you know they’re attracted to you? They SHOW YOU. In word and deed. They’re consistent.

Do you have some panicky inner fear that no one will ever, ever be attracted to you? Nonsense! Are you a cyclops? (Actually, I think even cyclops find love at There are a bazillion people in this world and you only have to find ONE. He isn’t the dinner guy. Okay. Chill. There will be other men.

Rejection isn’t lethal. It’s one person’s opinion. That’s it. Know your worth. Tattoo it on your forearm. Internalize it. Hum it as a mantra when your bad coffee date doesn’t ask you a single question about yourself. Know your worth. Tell those voices of doom in your head to shut up. Know your worth. You don’t give your love to just anyone. You don’t drunk dial your worth and you don’t midnight text your worth. You KNOW your worth.

Sermon over.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • New, I say this gently, but if I had one dinner date with a guy, then received drunken texts/calls a few days later, I would block his number and never reply to him. Replying, even to wish him well, would possibly give him an opening to pull me back in, or give him an opportunity to mess with my head. I’m not saying you would do those things to the guy, but perhaps he is cautious and feels it’s best to go NC.

    As CL says, that’s not the end of the world. There are other men out there. You’ll meet a good one when you are ready, but it might take some work for you to get there.

    As for not asking guys out, I tend to agree with that initially. I’ve learned the hard way that chasing after a guy is a bad idea. I think it’s okay to be the one to make plans or invite the guy out after a few dates, though.

    • Poor self-control isn’t attractive, is it? Normal people, I would think, would find that a bit frightening (this is happening at the point when everybody is usually on “their best behavior”? Can’t imagine how it goes downhill from here, but I don’t want to find out).

  • I agree, I wouldn’t kick myself about this one. I also have a question in regards to dating though I am no where at that point. Does anyone have an opinion or advice about allowing your date inside of your home?

  • I have dated only tentatively, Jinx, and certainly nowhere near ready for a Big Time Relationship, I gots me a young woman to raise into healthy nonchumpiness.

    Another double standard, but as a Mum, I kinda don’t want a revolving door on the bedroom. My bro’s ex was such a one, and my DN is a very jaded 21 year old. So, any dates I have had have been in public. It took me long enough to get my lazy, cheating narc POS out of our space, so I think I would be well circumspect before letting another guy in our home. Not that I am a nun- go to his place-means you can leave….;-).

    I think CL is bang on. When you can dump and be dumped, you are okay. Anything else is the Pick Me Dance. Sorry New, but you will get there!

    hug, M

    • Thanks, my home is my sanctuary and im not ready to invite others in any time soon. Its been a long time since I’ve dated and many of the men that would visit my friends who had lived alone assumed sex was a given if invited in. This whole rules things will be so new to me….

      • Same here. I could not believe how many women wanted to be physically intimate so soon.

  • That’s it.

    You’re my guru.

    I LOVE what you wrote to her. I was married to Mr. Passive-Aggressive. I dug in when he rejected me, and then he finally dumped me for good 20+ years later.

    Never again.

    I’m fine on my own. If a guy wants me, I might want him back if he has the balls to ask me out. If he doesn’t ask me out, then he’s not interested, or he hasn’t the balls. Simple.

    New, learn to be fine on your own for a bit. It’s more attractive, anyway, ironically. Not the militant, “I don’t need a man,” type of independence, but not the clinging to his pants leg, boring as shit life-on-hold-until-I-land-a-man type of neediness. Something in between. Try to be someone calm and able to hold up your end of a relationship, someone who has interests that are interesting.

    Will be interesting to hear from the guys on this one.

    • “Learn to be fine on your own for a bit” EXACTLY! At the moment I am not sure I want a man, I’m not ruling it out altogether, but I really want to see what I am capable of on my own. Then at least I know I can’t “need” a man. I spent 18 years with someone who would tell me what I wanted to hear but never come through. After 14 months I am just now starting realise that he set me free, and I am finally starting to “be fine on my own”

    • I also was married to Mr. Passive Aggressive! Who rejected me first as well… I did move on from that initially… if you could call hooking up with a bunch of random guys “moving on”. Just when I got it together and realized hooking up was empty and not really a long term solution, he decided he WAS interested in me. And that’s when I attached myself so totally and completely to him for the next 13 years until the cheating.

      I did not do the random hooking up this time… mostly because I was scared shitless and the guys just aren’t as available as in the college days. Er, I mean, I’ve grown 🙂

    • I’ve been asked out a lot. I never assumed it meant that she had to do all the relationship work in the future or carry the load etc. I have no idea why being asked out would be a signal for a man that he was soem big deal or that the woman was some type of doormat. Time to lose all these sexist double standards, IMO. People are people.
      “If a woman does not have the ovaries to ask me out, then she is not interested etc”
      How’s that sound?

      • Sorry, I agree with CL 100%. I don’t think it’s a good idea for all the reasons she stated to ask a guy out, plus a lot of the women’s experiences in doing that support her view.

      • The Chump Man is not asked out a lot. Collective sigh time. But I agree with Arnold. If I was, I would be a bit flattered, but not overly so. Sliding up to me and asking about the movies, with a tummy that’s grumbling loudly, is, in all contexts, the same as just flat out asking me out. So no need to play pussyfoot, ladies! If you want a date, I’ll take it at face value, nothing more or nothing less. But – one thing – if a woman does ask me out, she had better be sans bra, with her erect nipples standing at attention, so I know the odds of sexual copulation are exceedingly high. (and I wonder why I don’t get asked out alot….)

  • Love love love love love every word of this post. And especially, “Do you have some panicky inner fear that no one will ever, ever be attracted to you? Nonsense! Are you a cyclops? (Actually, I think even cyclops find love at” I’m still laughing over this!!! No, New, we are not cyclops! Just keep reminding yourself, not a cyclops 😉

  • I*m heading to bed but wanted to tell NAT to stop sweating this stuff. I’m more than two years out and only NOW feel like I might be datable. I’ve dated, don’t get me wrong, but I really wasn’t ready. Some of the early ones were incredibly funny because I was simply too much of a wreck to be in polite company.

    Get yourself sorted, stop asking men out, get laid if you need to but put the focus on yourself until you can, as CL says, roll with rejection one way or another.

    And don’t worry about feeling like a fool. it’s part of life. You’re simply a footnote in this guy’s life, just like loads are footnote’s in your life. Forget about it and move on.

  • New,

    I agree with CL’s advice. I also agree that it’s important to allow a man to ask you out. To let that happen. I did too much asking my STBX out and now, doing that is a HUGE red flag for me. I’m not ready to date, but when that time comes I’m going to be mindful that I don’t trip over myself to get anyone’s attention. I’m in the process of working on enjoying my own company and getting to know who I am again. I’m taking it very slowly and learning to enjoy not having to please everyone, especially my ex. I did too much of that.

    As for drunk texting. My STBX did that and it grossed me out. I’m sorry to say that, but I hate that kind of thing. Sure, a few flirty texts are ok but drunk texting? Ugh. Nope. I’d run for the hills. My cheater drank too much and it always creeped me out when he texted drunk, so that’s something I’d be cautious about.

    I say this is a learning curve. Forgive yourself and forget about “wanting” this man to be polite and end it nicely. Just take some time and be gentle with yourself. I figure even if I spend the rest of my life “alone”, it’s still better than being with a cheater.

  • My son said it is so expensive for a man to take a woman on a date that if he felt it was going no where he didn’t call again. He tried to be a gentleman but he moved on. Nothing against the women. His wife was introduced by a mutual friend, bingo, that was it.
    When my brother dated between marriages he had women calling him every day. Yeah, he was a good looking guy but he wanted to do a little of the chasing. He said he had a very active life and got tired of it fairly quickly. He met his second wife, through a friend, and she was not one of those that called him.
    These days there are bunny boilers and stalkers galore out there so this man may have just decided to be safe. He didn’t know you well enough to blow the phone call off as something funny you did. Move on. Next time you go drinking let a friend be in charge of your phone.

    • Honestly, getting drunk and calling people up is probably something to think about as possibly problem behavior generally speaking 🙂

    • A guy has to watch for entitlement signs in a woman, and if she is not paying for her share of dates-Run.
      Marc Rudolph explains this as a sign that if you were to marry her, she would take you for all you got.

      • That’s interesting…
        I always insist on going dutch during dates,they always seem offended,including my ex cheater husband….

          • Absolutely…and I get the feeling these are the guys who would probably complained about women being gold digging whores..the irony.

        • Check the 2007 CDC stats referenced by Paul Elam on his youtbe video, as wel as the studies done by the University of Pennsylvania.
          It is prety clear that women initiate about 70% of all intimate partner physical violence.

      • I think it has everything to do with whether the person in question is a giving individual or not. I’m not very old (28) but I was raised very traditionally. I view relationships as reciprocal. In other words, I support my spouse and he supports me. My mom always told me that both parties need to give 110% for the marriage to work.

        Here’s what I’ve figured out: if you get two people together who share the same values, this type of relationship works out quite well. In college, I dated a man who was working his way through school. He went to school days and worked nights at FedEx. He didn’t have a ton of money to spend on dates. I was flattered, however, when he bought me flowers and paid for our first date. Out of respect for his circumstances, I didn’t ask him to pay my way on other dates and I picked up his tab more than a few times. (That took some doing because he didn’t want me to pay.) Point is, both of us were giving people and that made it work.

        On a side note, both of us married “takers,” so maybe our personality type attracts them?!

        I think the key is reciprocity. Traditional courting practices aren’t bad. You just have to screen out the users before getting emotionally attached.

  • I also agree with CL’s advice. I “chased” my STBX husband and asked him out initially 20 years ago. When I look back, I see that I set the bar very low for him. He had such a boyish charm about him…he “needed” me to take care of him….VOMIT!! I had major FOO issues I now realize. I was with him for six years (living together for three) until I made the appointment for us to go shopping for the engagement ring. He joked about being “lazy” and needed me to “motivate” him…money was tight…but he was “motivated” enough to buy himself a new motorcycle…and certainly motivated enough to start living a double life with his mistress down the road.
    So now I am embracing being single. I may go on the occasional date, but I am finally learning NOT to need anyone to validate my self-worth. I will admit that in the beginning of the separation, I had my share of regrettable bed mates in an effort to prove myself desirable as woman…but in reading great books and my CL blogs….I have shelved the dating and remain focused on going back to school and enjoying my kids. I don’t know what God has planned for me..but I’m content for what he reveals to me…even if that means being single. One thing I have happily learned is that I would much RATHER be alone than settle ever again. Now that I am alone…I am not “lonely”…whereas when I was in my marriage…I felt very lonely. That speaks volumes to me.

  • New At This, time to spend more time just getting to know yourself. I’m not saying you become a cloistered nun, but embrace being single for now. Nothing wrong with that. Come to a point where you are fine with being who you are on a date. Don’t worry about what he thinks of you. If the real you does not appeal to him, you gave both of you a gift. No sense in wasting time on forced relationships. As Brene Brown says, when faced with a vulnerable situation, go with the intent of “Don’t shrink. Don’t puff up. Stay on your sacred ground.” As Tracy said, know your worth. Believe you are enough. The only person who can affirm you the best is you because you can give it to you any time, any day and you can choose to be gentle and forgiving with yourself. You can’t make the other person act the way you want them to act.

    I had a high level of self-acceptance before I was married. Lost it gradually during the marriage and the cheating extinguished most of my self-worth when it related to my ex-husband. Found it again years later when I left the marriage. There’s not enough money in the world to make me live that life again. I am not at all interested in dating right now. I’m having way too much fun getting to know myself all over again. And I won’t ask men out on dates either. Just not my style, I guess.

    Good luck, New. Don’t worry about the one that got away. Make it about you instead by fixing your picker. Also, don’t make your preference become an expectation. You have no control over his actions. Let him go.

  • Out of the ballpark, CL!! I’ve ready many of the recommended reading books on this site. After getting past the big hurricane of hurt, the best book has been _How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk_ by John Van Epp. It really should be called _How to Fall in Love with a Good Person Who Knows Your Worth Too_. If only there was a course using this book as its textbook. Another excellent read is _Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love_ by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller. And the best thing to do, read this blog regularly and re-read the posts that most resinate with where you are in the moment.

  • I swear by all The Rules books by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. I knew my picker was broken, and imposing a better social algorithm forced mine to improve to a level it wouldn’t have otherwise. The Rules are objective when you are not. 🙂

  • NewAtThis: Thank you for your heart-felt and brutally honest letter. We Chumps are especially prone to Clinger Moments, even when they’re not intended to be and especially when we think nobody’s watching. But they’re still Clinger Moments.

    CL pointed out that abusers and narcissists can smell a Chump from a mile away. From a guy’s perspective, I should also point out that a guy can smell “ISSUES!” from a mile away. Especially on a first date with someone who’s still wounded and still trying to make sense of the Mind-Fuck That Was with their former partner. Often the details of said betrayal come fast and furious early on into a potential new relationship and this innocent New Person is confounded as to what to say and powerless to alleviate the hurt that was bestowed upon the grieving Chump. That doesn’t exactly set the tone for a healthy relationship.

    I’m certainly not accusing you of being in that camp. But all of the other behaviors you outlined in your letter are classic Chump Hallmarks. It’s one thing to write CL letters and fill up these comment boards with Tales of Chumpdom. Fuck, I probably know of some of these Chumps’ former marriages better than their asshole ex-husbands do! Lol.

    But when you tell yourself you’re ready to be Out There again, you have to make sure you’re truly ready. You have to know your worth and not let what Mr. Compulsive Liar put you through define you as a woman.

    Sure, you can offer that you were in a long-term relationship that didn’t end well. But leave it at that. The details are not only immaterial but they also scream “Issues!” to a new guy who’s just trying to get to know you.

    It’s a difficult body of water to navigate, to be sure. In the gay world, I often get: “Omg! How’s a guy like you still single?” Now, feast your Chumpy eyes on that question and tell me that’s not a wide open door for me to absolutely LET LOOSE with all of the hallucinatory details surrounding the downfall of my previous relationship. And believe me there was a time that I would. But now I know better.

    As for drunk-texting and calling, not only is that unacceptable behavior once you’re over the age of 22, but it too screams “ISSUES!” Your feeble attempts at damage control the next day is also a Chump Hallmark. But who can blame us? We put years into toxic relationships where we keep getting shit on, and come out of it confused, disoriented, and instinctively oriented to FIX everything.

    My advice is to make peace with the “prospect” of Mr. One Dinner coming to a dead-stop. It’s one guy and one ill-fated date. It’s not the end of the world. And don’t feel you like you have to explain away every single perceived “mistake” that you make, no matter how silly. That’s enabling Chumpy behavior from our past relationships, only now we’re making excuses for our own silliness instead of our ex’s lecherousness.

    My other piece of advice, something all of us Chumps can learn from, is to not only leave it up to Jesus, but leave it up to Darwin. Adapt. Go with the flow. Don’t feel the need to Take Charge and don’t treat a potential relationship as a Chump Project. Us Chumps are so used to STRUCTURE and RIGOR in our duties as Marriage Police Officer/Enabler/Co-Dependent/Kibble Chef that true spontaneity vanishes with our ex’s sense of monogamy.

    CL’s advice about the Will Ferrel movie is spot-on. Just go with it. See if you get the arm around the shoulder. See if he walks you to the door. See if there’s potential interest in a Second Date. If not, well you still got to go out to see a funny movie and laugh your ass off. Again, it’s not the end of the world.

    Just remember that not even Brad Pitt himself can undo what Mr. Compulsive Liar did to you. This is why so many Chumps go from one bad relationship to the next. The issue isn’t Brad not being handsome enough, understanding enough, or good enough in bed. It’s that we retain so many of the behaviors that allowed us to get trampled and shit on in the first place, and don’t adjust our picker on the other side of a Mindfuck Marriage.

    Take the time for you to learn about yourself and grow as a person. I’m not a big believer in gender roles myself, but tradition is tradition. If a guy is still expected in 2014 to get down on one knee and propose, then he’s damn sure expected to ask the girl out and initiate the relationship. That’s just how it works. And if you’re taking care of you and working on you and getting “It” together, with a freshly polished picker in tow, then you’re going to be attracting the right kind of men in your life and THEY’LL be the ones asking you out left and right. Mark my words. 🙂

    • Er, wasn’t it “traditional” to discriminate aginst gay people at one time? Seems slavery was once a “tradition” too.

      • Maybe it’s just chumpy of me, or maybe I’ve learned my lesson, Arnold–the reason you let the guy pursue is because if he doesn’t, it’s a sign that he isn’t that into you.

        As CL says, I don’t make the rules, I just follow them. It just is the way it is. A motivated guy will ask a woman out if he is interested in her.

        A depressed, cynical, passive dude will not. I’m not into any of that, so the rule seems legit to me. Am I wrong?

        I have had the opposite occur, as well. I have had men ask me out when I have shown zero interest in them. These are men who are very bad at reading social cues. Women make it very clear when they like a guy.

        Just curious–what happened with the two women who asked you out? Where did those relationships go? Were they a type?

        • Stephanie, both of these women became my wives(not at the same time, though). They both cheated like crazy at about the 5 year mark. I mean serially cheated.
          I see no reason to think that men who do not ask you out, if you are interested, are depressed or passive. The thought may just not have crossed their minds or they may be shy or something.
          Being shy is not the same as being passive/aggressive and studies have shown it is genetic.

        • Stephanie, I was pursued relentlessly, only I was too young and inexperienced to go with my gut. He pursued me alright but spent the next 19 years showing he just wasn’t that into me. He pursued his 22 year old in a similar fashion. Hours and hours of text messages with hardly any time for her to respond inbetween. Maybe she was just an escape route? With these people, does their pursuing mean anything at all? Seems to me you can’t trust that either!

          • Funny, Ex was big on the millions of texts and FB messages with the final OW (and all the others, actually, when I think about it). When we got together that wasn’t around so it was lots of phone calls. Then, he said he didn’t get enough attention. Not sure I could have gotten his attention in between all his texting. He was somewhat distracted.

        • I chased my disordered narcissist for five years before he gave in to marriage. Sure, he asked me out and loved-bombed for a week or two but then I was hooked, making all the moves and moving things forward for the next eight years.

          Things would have most certainly died between us so much sooner (perhaps when he a dozen mutual friends he didn’t really care that much for me six months in) and I wouldn’t be here now.

          It’s not exactly tradition but biology, imo.

      • Fair point. Denying women the right to vote was “traditional” as well. But no matter how intertwined social discrimination and social gender roles may have been at one time, in the context of this discussion they’re apples and oranges.

        • I disagree. Buying into this rye of dating rule perpetuates sexism , IMO. It is no different than cow towing to other forms of bigotry.

    • Great post Chris. Why do we Chumps always forget that we DON’T have to control all the details of “EVERYTHING’? Just let it be. Peaceful…..

  • New,

    Chump Son here. For a guy’s perspective.

    Chump Son may be a man working on his NPD-father issues, but I’m also a father, too, with two teens (a boy and a girl at home). So, I speak from that angle. And from that angle, I have this to say:

    New, you are not ready.

    At least that’s what I perceive. I agree with TimHeals comment, above. I’m not trying to kick you when you are down. We all make mistakes. But you are thinking way too much about one date with no follow-up and, frankly, your behavior was a little weird.

    Since there are many betrayed women on this forum, I have sometimes couched my advice in, “Here’s what I’d tell my daughter.” From my own Chump experience, I learned that we Chumps have to sometimes be a bit harsh to be fair to ourselves, to our kids and to others. It’s an imperfect world, and when it comes to NPD-type people, some pretty tough rules apply. Well, using my father example in reverse, here’s what would I tell my son if he said to me: “Pa, this woman asked me out and we had a nice date. Then she drunk-texted me then she apologized…..”

    Now, I would not consider this NPD-toxic behavior, but it is kind of silly, and it’s not a great advertisement. So, New, write this experience off and learn to drink less and never drive or text while drinking.

    The thing that strikes me about your account — and I know it’s incomplete — but it seems like maybe you are trying to avoid the grief phase. You are jumping into dating pretty quickly, saying to yourself, “I’m over that.” But I don’t think you are. It seems like you may be trying to avoid some pain/grief/a tough period of reflection by launching into another relationship, maybe way too quickly, too impulsively. Frankly, getting all worked up over a date like it’s high-diplomacy (“Did I say the right thing?” “Did I have food on my teeth?” “Did I mispronounce the name of the French dessert?”) should be pretty passe for us adult Chumps. If someone likes you, if the fit is there, if YOU are ready and they are really interested, then some little faux pas won’t matter. If someone likes you, he’ll see that bit of broccoli lodged between your front teeth. Then he’ll lean over and whisper, “Hey, broccoli. Front teeth….” You’ll be mortified. There will be a sudden broccoli-extraction. Then it will become a joke. If he’s smart and not too slick, he’ll say, “Hey, it was cute!”

    So, don’t beat up on yourself, but do use your alone-time to work on things: yoga, your picker, your NPD radar set, etc. etc. Join some clubs — a book club, a language learners group, an exercise class — because you want to, because the subject interests you. As you heal and strengthen, good things will happen.

    And watch the drinking. That’s a cheap anesthetic for Chumps.

    I’m sure things will work out for you. With the right healing time, your adventuresome side will work for you and not against you, will attract others and not leave you feeling anxious.

    Hang in there! And listen, as always, to the Mighty CL, the best Oracle this side of Delphi!

    • Good insight on avoiding grief. I think that’s it — the whole fear of being “mopey.”

      Sometimes you’ve got to mope awhile. Grieve. Not spackle over it or self medicate with other people.

      • I totally agree with avoiding the grief. I know it sucks, but its a pahse you must go through. I tried to skip it. Went out, met guys, etc. just to stop feeling so shitty and to get some new excitement in my life. Let me tell you what: you make bad decisions doing that. Yours was doing a drunk text, mine was talking to losers that I knew I had nothing in common with just to get me mind off of my situation. It only lasts so long and the harder you try to push the grief phase down the rougher it will be when it comes back up.

        I know Im far from healed, But I am certainly much better than I was, simply by focusing on me, seeing what I want and starting to feel ok just to be by myself. Its a weird feeling, but its liberating at the same time. Its something that has to be done. Work on yourself and everything else will fall into place.

    • I’d cut yourself some slack. The aftermath of infidelity can mess you up for a while and make you act out of character.
      I think it is a really good sign that you are aware that you acted a little nuts. Real nuts do not seem to get this about themselves.

    • Great response, David.

      NAT, my first thought, as well, was that you’re just not ready. I would have said not ready for a relationship, but wondering about dating overall, as it seems like you’re attaching a lot of importance to a one-date experience.

      I agree that you may be trying to hard to avoid grief and any acknowledgement of your pain that you are actually stunting your recovery. Hey, I can read lots of hurt in the statement that your 6 year, finally engaged relationship dissolved 2 weeks into the engagement and can completely understand how hurtful it must feel to think that you stuck out SIX YEARS to get a proposal, and in only a year, he’s married to someone else. Sucks. Except… it doesn’t. He’s a compulsive liar? Why would you want that?

      Give yourself permission to hurt. You don’t have to do it publicly, and there’s nothing wrong with grieving the loss of a disordered jerk. You’re also grieving the life you thought you would have had (even if you romanticized something untrue) and the fact that it got taken away in a fairly cruel way. Honestly, it sounds to me like he fast-tracked his next relationship partially as a means to hurt you even more. Good luck with that. In the meantime, let yourself hurt. A very wise woman once told me, “tears always feel better on the outside than on the inside.” She was right.

      I also think there is a huge benefit to getting out there, but do it in ways that don’t involve dating just yet. Join groups, visit family, revisit or find new hobbies. If someone asks you out, you can go, but make it clear that you’re not really looking for a relationship, but you’d enjoy the companionship in the meantime. When you find that the subject of your previous boyfriend and breakup isn’t the first or tenth thing spilling out of your mouth, you’ve probably processed it enough to not be hurt when a dinner date doesn’t call again. That happens all the time, and you cannot take it personally…unless you drunk dialed them. 🙂

      And on that, cut yourself some slack. I bet there isn’t a single person alive who hasn’t had an embarrassing date story, and if it would make you feel better, we could all regale you with tales of dating horrors that still make us roll our eyes at ourselves!

    • The alcohol is a way to try to avoid the grief. It’s also too scary a combination with the sorrow and depression we feel post D-Day. There’s no easy ride through hell. Thanks David for the wonderful insight.

  • Forgot to say what I’d tell my son:

    “Well, it could be just a lapse, but it doesn’t sound like she’s for you. Your call, of course. But I’d be cautious. It [the behavior] seems like a bit much.”

      • Arnold,

        I think you were kidding.

        Actually, I’d tell my son that, while he needs to feel physical attraction for the person, sheer beauty is overrated. In fact, drop-dead good looks can contribute to NPD-type behaviors. Not always, but they can. I’d urge him to find someone who is a good person first and who also is someone he finds attractive. In that order of importance.

        He might not listen. (I made that mistake a few times.) But it’s the right advice. He’ll learn.

  • Chump Lady, the feminist scholar in me wants to chide you for your “don’t ask men out” piece. It’s so “He’s Just Not that Into You” and Steve Harvey and “The Rules.”

    But I will let it slide in the reasonable argument that One Woman v. Gendered Society has been a lopsided match.

    • I struggle with that one as well but I have to say that at the end of the day I do think that at least the initial asking is better done by men. After that, if things go well, then as away but the first time? And, as CL said, there are lots of ways to show interest and then let him pick up the cue.

    • Doc, I struggle with it too and for the record, I find the Rules quite ridiculous. Haven’t read Steve Harvey, and heard good things about He’s Just Not That Into You.

      I’m a pretty dominant, take charge person. And it’s not like I’m hiding my true self under a bushel. I don’t want women to wear a pretty ribbon and play dumb. That’s not the advice I’m giving here. I’m saying, let the guy bust the first move. That’s it.

      I needed to develop the sort of confidence that comes from faith. Faith in myself, in my own worth. To NOT try and control the outcome, to take charge. To sit back and let reciprocity happen. To allow someone to DO for me, for once.

      Women like me, I think we attract users or passive aggressive narcs. Because we’ll jump in and do fucking everything. We’ll straighten out the chaos, fill in the blanks, soothe, organize. And yeah — it’s a form of setting the bar low for the wrong sort of man.

      A good guy reciprocates. And IMO, he takes the initiative. At least in the beginning. Once a relationship is established — absolutely take turns asking one another out and paying for things.

      My husband is a self-described “field marshall” — he’s pretty bossy and dominant too. And it works for us. (Although we have to assign each other “zones” of control so we don’t step on each other’s toes too often.) I liked being pursued. I like it a whole damn lot.

      My cheater pursued me too, but in this weird, mixed signal, intense, controlling way. My husband was just upfront, adult, and straight forward. When I returned the attention — as I’ve described it before — it was like someone picking up the ball in a game of catch and throwing it back even harder and farther.

      Someone picked up the ball and threw it back! When you’re in that place, you know you’ve got a good one. That’s the best way I can describe it.

      What I’m advising against is carrying your ball around, approaching men going “hey! wanna play a game? Huh? Huh?” Just doesn’t end well.

      • Yeah, but what if the woman is really interested in the guy and he has not noticed?

            • I don’t advise that women ask men out, Arnold. At least for the first date. For reasons explained above.

              Sure, there are not terribly observant and risk adverse women too. (Sigh).

              • none of this works too well when you are doing online dating…you’ve got to send a message at the least. For example, last night on OKC there were 148,000 people logged in. Am I supposed to wait and hope the right guy finds my profile?

              • I realize that. But, I think this is one of the few times that you are giving bad advice.

              • Agreed Arnold. I’m not a Chump, but I’m addicted to advice columns and CL is definitely the best. I dislike this piece of advice though because it feels so…outdated. A woman asked a man out…Clutch your pearls and pass the smelling salts!

              • I agree with you 100% CL!! I don’t think it’s bad advice-I think it is SPOT ON advice! Accurate and true.

          • Being terribly unobservant doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or not interested in the woman – it simply means that you’re unobservant. I pursued my socially clueless husband 10 years ago – and now we are happily married with twins and no big marital issues. We still laugh today over how all of my hints went over his head. I also have several couple friends in solid relationships where the woman pursued the man.

            • Yes, I think the field marshall type CL describes may not be for everyone. It is fine and it works for her, but, can we really come up with a valid reason as to why women should not ask a man out on a date?

              • I’ve given you several. Look, I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule. I didn’t make up the gender differences, but they EXIST. When women get equal pay for equal work, maybe I’ll change my mind on the ask men out issue.

                And Arnold, as much as you want it — there is not totally parity between the sexes. I don’t buy that women are as violent as men. Are they as abusive? Sure — mentally, emotionally — but on par with the physical violence men show? NO.

                Gender discrimination EXISTS. I think it’s great to be a take charge person — what I am warning against is that in this world in which we live, when you behave that way in the dating world MOST of the time (there are of course exceptions) — you will be PERCEIVED negatively. As of “lesser value” than the person who confidently shows interest, and encourages interest, but doesn’t bust the first move.

                Is that fair? Should it change? Sure, that’s open for debate. I would love a world in which a man feels confident that hey she likes me, she asked me out, and then he follows with utter reciprocity.

                But what often happens to women — is that you’ve just signaled that you’ll do the Uncomfortable Thing. You’ll pursue. You’ll direct. And a passive aggressive, or noncommittal person will be the sort of person who you wind up with.

                WHY? Because a guy that you’re flirting with, and giving encouragement to, even if he’s a bit socially clueless, is — if he has any balls whatsoever — going to ask to see more of you.

                If you’re spending a lot of time around a guy, wondering, gee why doesn’t he ask me out? And it’s getting frustrating to the point YOU are going to ask him out — IMO, it’s off to a bad start.

                JMHO. Consider me retrograde, clutch your pearls, and skip this column today.

              • CL, I think the longer we cowtow to these prejudices, the longer they persist. In effect, we let the lowest common denominator dictate our behaviors.
                There are many inequites in this world. My GF happens to be a black woman. There are many folks who disapprove of her having asked me out. But, had she not, I may not have gotten together with her.
                We will have to disagree on the female on male violence deal.

              • It’s not a prejudice nor a double standard. It’s the truth -women do not do equal violence as men. Period. All the research backs that up, and it’s an insult to the women who have been hurt by men to keep harping on and on about it. You seem to always want to have the last work. I’m done here with you. CL I agree 100% with you!

              • I’ll have the last word, you are correct Meowmix, all statistics generated by reputable sources are in agreement that men do violence to women far more often than the reverse. Last year in NY, nearly 49% of all women murdered were killed by their intimate partner. A couple of old stats cos I’m not in the mood for this and it was the first hit/Justice Dept: In 1993 & 1998 combined 2 million women suffered violent crimes by an intimate partner, while for the same two years 160,000 men suffered violent crimes by intimate partners. No, female on male violence is not equal.

              • oh,but you doesn’t sound too happy,Arnold..
                I could see you have not reaching the MEH..
                By the way,it’s Suri..

              • I’d like to reply to CL’s reply below this. I completely agree with what she is offering — and I offer first-hand experience to back up my opinions! I’ve built a career in a male-oriented atmosphere and have embraced my “masculine energy” a bit too much, not making the distinction between when it’s necessary in the workplace and a jerk-magnet in my personal life. Only through two long-term disastrous relationships have I finally learned my lesson. I just couldn’t see past my own stubborn beliefs that women were equal to men in every way and so it stood to reason that we should be able to pursue in relationships. I could give dozens of stories to demonstrate how this naive and misguided state of mind screwed me up in both relationships. The first R/S was with my husband of 13 years, the second with a narcissistic commitment phobe. If I haven’t learned my lesson by now, I deserve what I get!

                I think it’s perfectly OK to show an interest at first to light the flame, so to speak, but there is a Ying-Yang that exists in our species — whether we like it or not. Men are programmed to pursue and “win” their prize. Women are programmed to BE pursued and made to “feel” like the prize. And after the wooing and “winning” has been accomplished, this dynamic must remain in place to a large extent for both partners to remain engaged. That’s just how it is. The women I know who have the most success in their relationships seem to get this fact of life and learn to make it work for them.

                CL’s post is absolutely spot-on. Read it. Know it. Live it.

              • CL, I had this same discussion with the man I’m dating. It could be that Arnold is younger, but for those of us who are older there’s definitely a preference for the man asking the woman out for the first date. That’s what we grew up doing. I’ve got several single males friends and they tell me they are shocked at how forward women are now, how they miss being the ones to initially pursue the relationship. They are wary of a woman who comes on too strong in the beginning.

                The person I’m dating was teasing me that my “go away” attitude in the beginning made him more determined, although he never pushed. To be honest I don’t think I was ready to date, but he was there as a supportive friend for many months before anything else developed.

      • CL, I’m like you: very take charge, very strong, very willing to get in there, push up my sleeves and get things done. I never thought about the kind of man this would attract but now I AM thinking about it. I’m still willing to get stuck in but only if it’s a relatively equal sharing of the work. My ex husband did pursue me in the beginning and any time I made any noises about not being happy or that it wasn’t working he literally panicked and did everything to make it work … for a period of time. I realise now that he was panicking because he was freaking out about losing supply, not because he was freaking out about losing me. How do I know this? Because when he and final OW got together after I kicked him out she was obviously having gut attacks and knew something was off and would try to break up with him (usually when he was with the kids – I assume she wasn’t getting enough attention or something) and he would FREAK OUT, just like he did back in the early days with me. He would do this right in front of the kids, which was gross, obviously.

        What I’ve learned is that someone should not freak out when you voice issues, problems or concerns or that you’re having doubts. They should be able to give you your space, talk to you, etc.

        So that is a BIG red flag for me now.

        • Dat, I’m on an online dating site and I never ask anyone out. I might send a wink or like their profile but I wait for them to ask me out or send me a message. And then I screen, particularly for those who want to meet right away without even messaging a bit. Too fast for me.

          • Nord – I agree w your wink strategy. It says you’re interested and that if they are as well and send a message you will respond. My second time through I decided that even if they wink or whatever first, then I still just wink back and wait to see if they’ll send a message. If I wink and they just wink back, still no additional move on my part. That’s my new rule after having that occur and I sent the first message only to have him not respond. After liking or winking or whatever and viewing my profile a lot.

            I also pay for my Okc membership so I can look at these dudes as much as I want and they don’t know unless I want them to know 🙂 it means I probably don’t get as many messages, but just from guys I’ve decided I’m not interested in anyway.

            That being said, I’m off the sites for a while. It’s such a time-suck. And I like real life better. Though I also have zero prospects in real life at the moment…

            • I’m not playing those games, I don’t want the guy who needs me to wink at him and wait for him to make a move.

              For the record; I took home my ex for a one night stand and forgot about him. I was NOT interested in a relationship, he pursued me despite that AND he was very gentlemanly. Performing gender roles in accordance with a paternalistic societies dictates does not innoculate you from abusive assholes, if anything it probably does the reverse. Today, I know my boundaries and when they are crossed, I’m not worried that asking a guy out or saying I like him is going to land me in the world of being used by him. I think it’s insulting to men and to women to say that we have to sidle up and let the man know we like them but never initiate.

              • I’m all for a guy winking first or just initiating a conversation first. I don’t want a guy who NEEDS me to wink first to start talking to me. But if he happened to not see me, winking is how I let him see me and see that I’m interested in talking if he is. It actually is a way of taking initiative while still letting them pursue.

                In the online dating world I think if a female shows any interest at all (like with a wink) and a guy is anywhere near interested at all, he will initiate the conversation. It’s easier to let them do it anyway (because I know I overthink the hell out of some introductory email) , so winking is the lazy-woman’s method as well 🙂

                I’m not really doing it to protect myself from abusive assholes. I almost view it as just good etiquette. And maybe it is a bit of a “game”, but is anyone completely real when first meeting someone? You don’t let it all hang out at first… everyone is on their best behavior at the beginning.

            • What I find funny is that some guys will ‘wink’ for days on end, back and forth, back and forth, then either not send a message or else send one asking me out immediately, taking zero time to even see if I’m interesting. It’s a funny world, this online dating thing. I have an account but don’t put much effort into it, to be honest. Check every few days and see what’s going on and have a date here and there but to be honest I’m not desperately looking to ‘find’ someone at this point so it’s pretty casual for me.

              • Nord, yeah, I still don’t completely understand the etiquette. It does feel like there are guys out there that just want to talk (or wink) forever and never meet (too wimpy). And then there are the ones that want me to meet their kid and offer to meet my kid on day 1 (too irresponsible). Do they actually think that’s what single moms want?? I don’t need a dad for my kids, and I don’t want to help you take care of yours. I just want some damn romance, people!

                I think that will be the entirety of my next profile: “I just want some damn romance, people!”

          • I met my current husband online dating and we have a good marriage based on respect, fun, and trust. We exchanged a few emails, had a few phone calls and he asked me out. I agree with Nord and CL on the ladies being asked out first. And for the record, I’m very much a feminist and successful professional.

            I too took care of everyone and everything and ended up with a 1st husband from hell. I chased men that I was interested in and boy did I do a number on myself for 17 years.

            I did “rehabilitate” myself after divorce from POS husband by being deliberate, setting my boundries and values IN ADVANCE of meeting anyone, and holding true to myself. Once I got over the fear of “loosing anyone” or being rejected, I didn’t waste my time pursuing anyone who wasn’t clearly initially interest in me. As simple as that. I’d let men know I was interested but I didn’t do the asking out. For the simple reason that they were either interested in getting to know me or they weren’t. I didn’t believe it necessary to convince anyone I was wonderful for them. Now, once we went out a couple times I’d call and ask them out (but always on a rotating basis until the relationship was more than casual) – and I would pay or split the cost of the date – AFTER the first couple of dates. (But I would offer to pay my way on the blind dates. I realized quickly that if they took me up on that offer they weren’t interested and I’d never hear from them again. So be it.).

            Anyway, long story short – – it worked for me; I married a good man and had one other healthy LTR in the interim as well.

            Both my normal, good-guy LTR BF and my ultimate husband told me that being self confident, and having my own interests and life as well spending time with them – was something they were attracted to.

        • I agree. I think the key is to be confident and happy enough with yourself so that if your dating partner has concerns or is wavering, you feel okay about it. You just have to be yourself and realize that you are not right for everyone and not eveyone is right for you.
          If someone is not attracted to you, it does not mean you are unattractive in general. If some aspect of your personality grates on another person, it does not mean that you are irritating in general.
          I was dating a woman a while back and every time she expressed reservations, I would just agree with her that, perhaps, we were not right together. Every time she would back off, I told her it was fine with me and that we could remain friends etc. if she wanted to.
          Every time I did this, she would reinitiate trying to be more involved romantically. So, I knew she was nuts and decided to just get the heck out.

        • Nord, I think those are good points. Especially the part about watching how the other person reacts to relationship concerns you try to bring up.

          I guess it all boils down to whether the couple is in about the same place when it comes to relationship skills in order to have the best communication. I’ve been dating someone and he has been kind and patient but MUCH more experienced than me in different kinds of relationships. I met my ex at 16, we married at 21 and were married for 31 years. The man I’m dating has been married twice and has had several serious relationships. He’s 60 and I’m 54. It has been very strange to enter the dating world after being in marriedforever land.

          Anyway, the man I’m dating has some really wonderful qualities, but he has some issues that concern me too. After being married to someone who would NOT discuss relationship issues it takes all the courage I have to bring up concerns with the man I’m dating. I was pleasantly surprised when I voiced something this weekend and he reacted well, he was even encouraging me to speak up. He said he would work on changing his behavior in this particular area, so now I guess I just have to wait to see if he really will.

      • I must admit that I did make the first move with my x which is why I think I felt guilty when I wanted to shake him but couldn’t (again I chalk that up to inexperience). The thing that scares me now is that 20 years later I am not really any more experienced. So if some guy showed me some interest I think I would either be so scared I would run and not look back and possibly miss out OR I would fall blindly and not be able to recognise a similar situation. Don’t think I am ready either.

    • Ardent men’s studies and misandry scholar here. Gotta agree with you Dr I. Time to lose the double standards.

      • CL, I think you are coming at this from a different perspective than I am. You elaborated above “If you’re spending a lot of time around a guy, wondering, gee why doesn’t he ask me out? And it’s getting frustrating to the point YOU are going to ask him out — IMO, it’s off to a bad start.” This isn’t what you said initially, you said just never ask a guy out.

        I can see where in the instance where you are hanging with someone and they aren’t showing interest in you then asking them out would not be a good move. But you made a blanket statement that basically, boiled down says that if you ask the guy out you are going to get used.

        My response to that is; I have excellent boundaries now and hell, I see red flags before they even exist sometimes so I’m not going to end up taking care of someone that way. In fact, I would take it as a HUGE red flag if a guy I asked out accepted and thereafter just laid back and let me drive. I think I’m healthy enough now not to be sucked in by that. Frankly, I’m not looking to date a dinosaur, one of my fav OKC questions is the one about whether you should you open doors for women, answers are: “nice but not necessary” or “always, chivalry isn’t dead”. I vastly prefer the former answer, the latter bugs the hell out of me.

        • Dat, the latter doesn’t bug the hell out of me. If someone feels compelled to open a door for me as chivalrous, I’ll take it. I don’t see it as an indication that I am incapable of opening a door, I see it as someone doing me a kind turn, being polite.

          I think we’ve lost a lot of kindness and courtship rituals. And liking them, or even insisting on them (the Man Who Must Open Doors), doesn’t make a person a dinosaur, IMO. It makes them a person who values courtship rituals.

          On the gender roles — here’s my deal. I don’t need to prove my flinty, independence to anyone — male or female. I was a single mother for nearly a decade. I’ve been the sole breadwinner, I paid my own mortgage, laid my own sheet rock, tiled my own bathroom floor, took out the garbage, mowed my own lawn, cleaned my own gutters. I single handedly financed a private school education for my son for 7 years as a single mother. I traveled around sub-Saharan Africa by myself, at a tender age. I drive long distances. I pay my debts. I fucking WELD.

          So I’m not intimidated — or offended — by gender roles. I don’t feel “less than.” I know who I am. If a man wants to hold a door open for me, I say “thank you.” Same if he wants to pick up the dinner check.

          I find myself in middle age in, from the outside looking in anyway, a very traditional marriage. My husband works the straight job, and as I live in the middle of nowhere Texas, I freelance. I’ve got more margin to my life than I ever had before — and I’m grateful. I cook, I clean, and I let him drive. (Okay, sometimes I want to drive, but apparently I drive too fast and it scares him.) He does the yard work. He picks up the check when we go out. I have my own money. I contribute financially, but I’m never going to be a trial lawyer.

          And my husband opens doors, nearly always. It’s incredibly nice.

          My exes? Sure, they gave lip service to equality. They didn’t pick up checks, both of them were huge mooches. One of the most galling things I ever witnessed my cheater do was when his sister’s family and his widowed mother came to visit us, we went out to dinner and he let his MOTHER pick up the check. I objected and he shushed me. He was a PATENT ATTORNEY and his mother was the widow of a COAL MINER on a fixed income. He said something to the effect of “she doesn’t have anything better to spend her money on.”

          Should’ve divorced him then. (Pre D-day)

          All to say, flinty and independent is fine — but don’t scare good people away. Don’t take offense at “chivalry.” Even if someone intends chivalry because they think I’m feeble — I know I am not. I’ll work from the assumption that it’s meant kindly.

          • CL, Obviously I am not expressing myself well today. We still aren’t talking about the same thing. Opening doors for people is nice, I hope we all do it. Thinking about why you do it and picking the survey answer: “always, chivalry isn’t dead” is what I am pointing out. That is a conscious decision that says, hey! I like biased gender roles.

            My ex was the most chivalrous person I ever met (until he kicked me off the pedestal). And he gave lip service to equality, lots of it. I’m not interested in men who see things like opening doors or carrying groceries as something you do for women because “chivalry”. That’s my point, you help each other because you want to, gender should not come into it. The reason that OKC question is helpful is because it reveals the thinking behind the answer. I’m not interested in a guy who is so unaware of gender roles and discrimination that he answers with “chivalry”. And no, I don’t take offense at it, I simply don’t want a relationship with someone who believes opening doors is something he does for women because they are women.

            I wonder how hard it was for women to finally break from that chivalrous custom of sitting in the carriage, and later the car until the guy came round and opened the door? How much shit did they get when they just popped the door open and stepped out? It may not seem like a big deal, but it’s an ownership thing, it’s paternalistic and it took a lot of women AND men a lot of years to change it. I want a guy that recognizes equality in his thinking not just mouths it.

            • I think my experience was close to yours.

              Andy was also very big on “traditional” behaviors that suggested respect for women. Over time, what I slowly started to notice was that he was great at little things, that took no real effort but got big responses, but when it came to big things (like being faithful, or being honest, or being responsible with the finances when he was out of work and I was skipping meals to feed our daughter *again*) then, he kind of sucked at the whole being chivalrous thing.

              He even explained to me once, how important it was for him to keep his promise to the AP to help her pick up things from her old house out of state.

              He didn’t even recognize his own hypocrisy as 20% of his version of the divorce paperwork outlined how I was allowed to date after we were divorced.

              I have a tentative conclusion about why they do these things: It was never about chivalry. It was never about respect. They were running pr campaigns from the word go.

              • I think this is an interesting point. My ex was over the top chivalrous, I mean beyond the pale. He didn’t just do normal things, such as holding the door for me. He insisted on doing things that men no longer do, such as coming around to open my car door, standing at the table when I got up to use the ladies room and when I came back to the table, etc etc. I think the only thing he did not do was throw down his jacket over a puddle.

                Now I look back and think, what a lot of nonsense! He was going through these massive contortions of super-chivalry in public to demonstrate his supposed care and respect for me, while in private he was engaging in the most astonishing betrayals and acts of deep disrespect.

                Yes Blue Eyes, this was simply another part of their P.R. campaign, another red flag…….

  • New – yeah, you made a drunken mistake. He didn’t follow up probably because he doesn’t want the drama, etc. And you should be glad. Because you aren’t ready for more yet. You got to make this mistake, learn from it, and move on and be better in the future. I agree you need to spend some time alone getting comfortable with being on your own. But not TOO comfortable with it 🙂 I actually think we need time by ourselves punctuated with experiences like this to really grow and learn. It’s like 2 steps forward, one step back… but that’s still forward progress!

    CL is also right that we chumps beat ourselves up way too much for things like this. And we worry too much about what other people think. It’s almost like our own version of narcissism. Because, seriously, most other people just aren’t thinking that much about us at all. They are busy thinking about themselves (even the non-narcissistic ones!). So, try not to make this into a bigger thing than it is.

  • First time I have been single as a mom. My picker has always been a bit off, but not like w jackhole x. I adored and still do adore my other x’s (boyfriends). Can’t think of one I am not friends with. One in particular, lives very far away, married w kids, has been a God send thru this whole mess. I adore him. He is sweet and kind and awesome in bed. 🙂 He is also, me husband, you woman. Me work and bring food, you cook and clean house. Not caveman, just hasn’t really ever understood a strong woman who can do for herself. Last boo hoo email I sent him, he wrote me back (got wife’s permission before I ever contacted him, I am respectful) and told me I was always out of his league and that he knew I would never settle for him. Went on to say so many wonderful things about me that I truly blubbered the ugly cry.
    I also have another x who I text when I am crazy. His divorce was a few years ago and he knows the ups and downs. He never judges me, always tells me like it is, but lovingly. He was who I texted when I got to the point of leaving the kids w jackhole just so I could get away from jack. He helped me through that being the worst idea ever.
    My bff, from 4th grade always hated x2b. We kept in touch on the down low because x thought she was a bad influence. She has pushed the hardest out of all my friends for me to dump his ass. She never abandon me though.
    My point is, you need friends of both sexes to get through this. Getting through can take a very long time for some, less for others. Men and women will offer different perspectives, both very valuable. If I asked good x #1 about the drunk text (if I had sent it) he would say it’s not lady like. 😉 If I asked good x #2, he would shake his head tell me I need my phone taken away at the end of the night.
    Bff, she would laugh her butt off and tell me I was a moron and of course the guy ran for the hills.
    You need FRIENDS. Honest friends who love you, who know you. There are days your self esteem is crap and those are the days you need them to remind you that YOU ARE A PRIZE. You need them to contain you when you have a brilliant plan to start a worm business in NYC. Those friends are the ones who call you on the bullshit you do or think of doing. Those friends are the ones who hold you up when things go desperately wrong.
    I am considering this dating thing from a whole new angle since I have kids. Seperated 6 months, filed for divorce for 3. Separated only bcz it was part of the divorce filing plan. Long story. Also shut down on x2b for a year before split while I planned and healed myself enough to leave him. I am considering the dating thing, but I have kids now. I don’t know how to navigate it.
    I know this though, any man who intends to be titled in my life (boyfriend, significant other, booty call 😉 ) he will be exactly what I need/want.
    Mr Dinner/drunkin test mistake was a lesson. Like I tell my kids, if you don’t make mistakes, you aren’t trying.
    Lesson you should take is, you aren’t ready. 2- don’t give the new guys a spot in your cell phone, go old time address book until they earn a spot. 3-drunk text your x’s that adore you and know how bad off you are (the ones who are your friends) and 4- have your bff take your phone away from you until you pass out.
    Don’t beat yourself up. Its NOT THAT BIG A DEAL. Learn and keep climbing your mountain.

  • “And I’ll tell you who is attracted to am I okay? how may I please you? chumps — narcissists and abusers.”

    “You need to please the un-pleasable person. You need to win them over and prove your worth. You’ll buy their self importance because you’re a pleaser who could use a bit of that.”

    Both truthful and painful to read. The kind of thing that leads to a deep exhale with the simultaneous thought, “oh shit, that is me”.

    Speaking of which, I’ve also just started reading that “Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist…” you recommend and I have had many such painful but necessary exhales. Amazon lets you read a decent amount for free, so I’d highly recommend my fellow chumps check it out!

  • NewAtThis, you’re not ready to date.

    Drunk texTing him screamed “Needy! Clingy!” Not an attractive look.

    You’ll be ready to date when you can be at peace without reassurance from your date that you were fine. When you spend more time thinking about whether you liked him, and less time about whether he liked you.

  • “The flip side of I’m going to hole myself up in a bunker with cats and never love again is hey, you’ll do! I’m going to get drunk and make you love me. These are both pretty awful life strategies.”

    Ack! There goes my two best options, back to the drawing board. Actually, I know I’m farther along than this, but the point hit home. Thank you CL.


    I am new at dating again too, and I think part of what happens to us is we deeply want what we thought we had, and we unnaturally put too much expectation and hope on the people we meet. CL is right, and I had never considered it till she said it. A date, or a meal, or a movie, is a really minor investment of time, and it is unrealistic to expect that such a minor investment REQUIRES explanations if it didn’t quite work. I experience the flip side of this, when I meet someone, perhaps have a meal and conversations, and then realize it isn’t quite right for me and want to disengage. I feel an obligation to explain, but realize that explaining means more contact with someone my picker has already told me to move away from.

    I do have an opinion about not asking men out. I started to be upset with CL making a blanket, Don’t do that, statement. Then her explination made absolute sense. I would say that there are good men who sometimes need a 2×4 in the forehead to know a lady is interested (I am one of them). Rather than ask them out though, I suppose it might be okay to make sure he knows you are interested too.

    I often think dating is like trying to make contact with a feral cat. If you pursue it, it will run or get defensive. It has to decide you are safe, and approach you on its own. The only thing you can do is let the feral cat know you are there, and remain open to contact. And, even after contact is made, both of you still have to decide if such contact is safe. And, you both have the right to end contact if you decide it isn’t safe.

    • I’d be willing to bet that there are many good relationships that started out with the woman making the first move. I think that just because one has a personal preference one way or the other(asking out vs being asked out) it is erroneous to rule out the opposing approach as invalid and unlikley to succeed.
      People are different. Some men like to make the first move. Some women do and vice versa.
      Different strokes for different folks.

    • Chumpattny — I’m all for showing interest and reciprocating interest.

      As for clueless people who need 2x4s — my husband is one of those people, and to some extent I am too. But he’s really without a clue. At one point when we were dating, one of his former clients sent him a “thank you” note that was an autographed photo of herself in a bikini. And he had to ask a guy friend — uh, what is this? Is she flirting with me?

      Yeah, so even the people who need a whack with the clue bat pursue if they’re sufficiently interested, IMO. And, of course, if they’re encouraged. I’m totally for encouragement!

  • Hello New at This

    I generally read and absorb what the other Chumps write, but your message hit close to home.

    I waited three years before I started to date again – and I joined the internet dating circuit. In the last year, I’ve met a 20+ men for coffee, a beer, or ice cream. I thought I had finally found a good match, only to be unceremoniously dumped after a three month and four day vacation via a cell phone text.

    I share that with you because I wanted to share that the amount of pain that came from the rejection – it stung! It smarted. And I had moments of feeling the same type of rejection that discovering my husbands affair created. I’m betting you did, too.

    It takes time to heal, to trust, and to find your feet again. Quit beating yourself up. You are whole without a man in your life. Slow down. When you least expect it, happiness will creep up on you and there will be a new man, the right man, in your life.

    • A good friend of mine has had a similar experience – dumped from two seemingly interested men via a text message! Seems pretty cowardly of me. I think people really need some type of explanation in order to move forward.

      • Folks, my ex husband, yes HUSBAND, dumped me (asked for a divorce) via text. After 17 years and 3 kids. Dude disappeared one day (moved cross-country to live w/OW), and informed me with a simple text “I want a divorce.”

        My dad didn’t even tell my mom. Just disappeared and served her with divorce papers the same day. When he left that morning, he hugged her, kissed her, and said “I love you” just as he had the past 40 yrs.

        So yes, IMO common courtesy dictates that when things change in someone’s head/ heart (i.e., you’re not interested in dating someone, you decided not to select someone for a job, you want to divorce someone, etc.), the least you should do is gently let them know. They’re not mind-readers, and this is the kind way to act. However, we all have to realize that some people are not considerate enough, and others are downright monsters. As for How to let the person down, it depends on the level of the relationship. Phone call or text might be appropriate for a 1-date guy, but obviously an in-person meeting is appropriate for any LTR, especially marriage.

  • Look, if a woman really likes a guy, and drops several hints of the eyelash-batting “I-heard-there’s-a-great-new-Will-Farrell-movie-out” variety, and the dude doesn’t bust a move, it is only because *one or more* of the following is true:

    1. He lacks a desire to go out with you;
    2. He lacks basic initiative;
    3. He lacks basic social skills; and/or
    4. He lacks basic smarts.

    Any *one* of these should be a deal killer to anyone one this site. So, why in the world would you lament not having this guy as a romantic interest? I mean, there are lots of folks out there, people.

    Chumps, repeat after me: “I don’t need to pick my dates from the bargain bin!” Buck up, raise your standards, and find someone who at least passes some kind of minimal threshold of good partnership.

    • 5. He’s like a dog that’s been beat too much, spending half his life just to cover it up.
      6. He’s shy. Not the same as lacking basic social skills.
      7. He’s not ready to date again, and it has nothing to do with either the woman, nor fundamental issues with himself, present situation excepted.
      8. He has not gotten his testicles back from the Pawn Shop.
      9. He has to wash his hair that night.
      10. He’s too busy making odd Bruce Springsteen references on CL.

    • Yes what Nomar said!!! And i would like to be proposed to as well… Women getting down on one knee these days gtfo!!

  • Maybe its just me, but my experience with Andy was the exact opposite of many outlined in the comments.

    I did not have a lot of relationship experience, but I have a lot of first dates experience. (I rarely agreed to second dates, and even more rarely agreed to third dates. But I was working three part time jobs while going to college full time, and time was something I had precious little of.)

    After college I moved several states away (not because of–or for–Andy, though he certainly tries to paint it that way; in Nov my college roommate & I made plans to move in with a mutual friend, Andy started pursuing me in Jan, and we moved to the Midwest Feb).

    There were a few red flags, which my psychologist eventually managed to pound into my head only a trained mental health professional, or someone who’s life had been intimately touched by abuse, could have recognized. B doubted all mental health professionals would have recognized some of them either.

    One of the people who’d known Andy a decade longer than I did recently commented that Andy is a master manipulator. He can tie you into a knot, without you ever noticing the tangles, and when you finally realize what happened, he has you believing it was your idea.

    There is mind-fuckery, and then there is mind-fuckery. I later found out about the only things Andy was honest about was his name and his birthdate. Who the hell bothers to put forward the effort to mislead their religious affiliations?!

    After his lies started coming to light, I started comparing notes with some of my friends. These people have known Andy more than a decade longer than they’ve known me. When some of the things I believed about Andy came to light, they were appalled. Not that I believed it, but based on their own personal knowledge of Andy these things were so far outside reality they were horrified Andy had misled me on such a large scale. (His work history, basic health details like how long ago his last relationship ended, and yes his religion, etc.) I was naïve. I fully acknowledge that. But, naivety in and of itself does not ameliorate Andy’s choice to take advantage of me. If it did, every sixteen year old rape victim would be responsible for her victimization.

    I guess my point in this ramble is that supposed “traditional” gender roles are only the first step, not a guarantee. If we were only looking at gender roles, Andy played the male role for the duration of our courtship, and the first couple of years of our marriage.

    Exactly how those roles play out has changed over the decades as new technology, new social mores evolve over time (and gender roles have always been in flux, throughout all of human history), but the basic purposes behind those roles have always been static: women nurture, men protect; women raise the young, men provide for the young. There is always some overlap in real life, but speaking in generalities, that’s the basic division of labor in most cultures.

    New, if he isn’t responding to you, its because he has no desire to pursue you. There’s nothing wrong with that. *That* is the kind of man you want to find. Maybe six months–maybe eighteen months in the future. Someone who knows who he is, who knows the type of woman he’s looking for, and can recognize when you are not it. Someone who is comfortable drawing those boundaries and walking away.

    When someone with those qualities comes into your life, you want to be the type of woman he’s looking for. A woman who knows who she is, what she is and is not looking for; a woman who is comfortable drawing boundaries and walking away.

    Rather than beating yourself up over not being that woman, maybe put some of that energy into becoming that woman?

    I feel like I’ve crossed over the line into preachy, and that’s certainly not my intention. I’ve been divorced 2 1/2 years now, and I don’t think I’m there yet. But my experience was not limited to the emotional abuse of infidelity, so I may not be the best example.

    I’m not sure I’ll ever be that person. I know I can never become the person I was before Andy. But I’m not sure we’re really supposed to.

    I know there are a lot of people who preach the whole, “learn from these experiences” crap. I’m not one of them. I’m of the opinion that terror and humiliation teach nothing of value.

    As I was cleaning Andy’s shit out of my house, I remember feeling like I was also cleaning him out of my head. Pulling out each structured, unspoken insult, , each calculated degradation, intended to make me feel small, and incapable, and inadequate, and slowly, over time, identifying and incinerating those beliefs which his actions had instilled in me. That I did not have the right to make my own choices. That I lacked the capacity to make my own life choices. That he treated me worse than an animal, because I was worth less than an animal.

    Maybe, in the process of rebuilding our lives, we can do so with a heightened awareness of self and others, a new understanding of how others can inspire us to grow, and a profound recognition of ways in which no one has a right to change us.

  • NAT, I don’t want to get hung up on the “Don’t ask men out” piece of advice. I do want to offer the larger context, though, of “Know your own worth.”

    Right now, it seems that you are valuing yourself only insofar as you can be in a relationship. You were with a creep and a liar for 6 years. You had sunk costs into the relationship. After six years–when you could have been either with someone who truly loved you or at least out there looking–he dumped you and married someone else!

    Count yourself lucky and feel sorry for the wife–unless she was cheating with him, in which case she’s been struck by the karma bus.

    It’s time to work on your picker. Why did you stay with a compulsive liar for 6 years, and it was only his dumping you that broke off the relationship? This is not a put-down. All of us Chumps have spackled over the cracks in our cheaters’ facades, excusing bad behavior until we were confronted with the inevitable. Look how many of us had multiple D-days, months of failed reconciliation. Very, very few people here learned of their cheater’s affairs and booted them out of their lives immediately. The desire to stay with broken people is part of why we’re all Chumps.

    But here’s the other thing that’s a red flag for me. You engaged in really stupid behavior while you were drunk. I’m not against drinking, but if you’re getting drunk, you’re putting yourself at risk in a big way. For one, you could very easily become the Other Woman. Those hormones kick in, and the next thing you know, you’ve slept with that cute man at the next table, and set up a date for the next week–all without understanding that he’s married. Then, when you do find out, you can hear the same old lies about how really he loves you, the marriage is all but over, etc.

    You deserve better than this. Seek out a decent counselor who has experience dealing with the emotionally abused (and if you were with a compulsive liar for that amount of time, yes, you were emotionally abused). Work on those issues. Get comfortable with who you are, what you truly like, etc. Feel confident enough that you can go out with your friends, have a couple of drinks, and say no before you get wasted.

    At that point, you’ll be ready for someone who shares your values, enjoys it when you are being you, and has your back.

    Best of luck!

  • CL… so, let’s suppose we men-folk agree to get you girls “Equal Pay for Equal Work”… will you girls then agree to chasing us men around more up front? Not, like chase OTHER men around WHEN WE ARE MARRIED TO YOU… but rather, when we are both single, would you be fine with breasting the flirt move? I mean busting the first move.. whatever.. stupid sticky keyboard. Single life ya know.

  • What was the context of those texts? I’d need to know before I could analyze how I’d react if I were him. Also, maybe there was no chemistry and he dismissed possibility of second date way before the drunk texts arrived.

  • Who should ask out whom? Not sure, but taking gender out of it completely, I take CL’s point as a good rule of thumb:

    Make sure you’re not doing all the chasing.

  • Why bring up intimate partner violence in an article which has nothing to do with it Arnold? And Paul Elam whom you keep referring to runs a men’s support group, whereas the stats Dat quoted are unbiased.

    • Speaking of unbiased quotes…

      I will be the last word on this thread jack and if the subject comes up again, I’m banning. Which I’m loathe to do, but this shit is pissing me off. Don’t even comment to agree with me, or disagree — this is the LAST WORD ON THIS.

      Woman are subject to more violence than men says the Center for Disease Control: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey from 2010. Summary here:…/cdc_nisvs_overview_insert_final-a.pdf

      From that report:
      From the NISVS: Nearly 1 in 5 women (18%) and 1 in 71 men (1%) have been raped
      in their lifetime.
      • Approximately 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding
      the survey.
      • One in 4 women have been the victim of severe physical violence by an
      intimate partner, while 1 in 7 men have experienced the same.
      • One in 6 women (16%) have been stalked during their lifetime, compared
      to 1 in 19 men (5%).

      Oh, and also the World Health Organization.
      World Health Report on Violence and Health, Chapter 4, Intimate Partner Violence. Page 93-94: “The Dynamics of Partner Violence” Delineates a distinction between “common couple violence” and “battering.” Also cites research that indicates that women’s violence in relationships is often self defense.…/world_report/chapters/en/index.html

      And I don’t want another WORD on this crap again. YES women are abusive. And YES women are cheaters. But they do NOT commit violence at the rates men do. That’s a fact. It’s not an opinion. And if my threads get jacked again on this stupid argument, or the flat earth society, or WTFever — you’re gone.

    • Elam quotes the CDC, as well. Bye CL. Good site. I really enjoyed it and will , definitely, promote and buy your book. Thanks, for all the help on this infidelity deal. If I make it to the US Senior Open, I will advertise the site on my bag.

      • Arnold, you are a valued member of this site and you are welcome here. All I ask is that we NOT go down this rabbit hole, especially when it’s a thread jack. Geez, I hate moderating, but I’m drawing a line on this one. If you stay away, hey, I wish you well and thanks for all your insightful commentary.

        • Okay. I will stick to the infidelity issue.
          I am 8 years post discovery on my second marriage. I have reached the 20 year anniversary of reading my first wife’s journal entry where she mentions wanting to “stop having sex with strangers”.
          I am pretty well healed up, but I hate to see what this has done to the newer folks.
          I was talking to my GF this morning and mentioned that I might be banned etc(lasted longer here than any other site) and we talked about healing vs being changed.
          What a weird trip life has been. One finds oneself in places one never expected.

          • I will never forget that night i read that excerpt. I was searching for our checkbook,looking to pay the pizza delivery guy, as was tired of cooking dinner every night for my boys and me. Thought I would take a break and get Pizza for us.
            The spousal unit, as usual, was nowhere to be found. We , normally, could expect her somewhere between midnight and 3 AM, so she would never see the kids for days at a time.
            I fished out the checkbook from a desk drawer and saw some loose leaf, three ring papaers with my wife’s handwriting on them.
            After paying the delivery man, I went back and started reading. I read about how she was in love with her therapist and was wondering if she should marry him.
            Then, I read : ” I want to stop my destructive habits-smoking, drinking , sex with strangers.”
            I have no idea why I never confronted her with this and remained in the marriage without a peep for another year and a half. I finally consented to leaving, after my dad died in May 1995 and my wife told me, two weeks after he died(she did not attend the funeral) that she and a man from her AA group were heading for Chicago together to visit museums. They would be sharing a hotel room.
            Prior to this, about 1 year earlier, she had come home at 3 in the morning and woke me from a sound sleep to describe, in detail, the physique of the young professional bike racer she had been out with that night.
            I know I have recounted this before, but, it is sort of cathartic for me.
            As far as gaslighting goes, my first wife , to this day, maintains she never had sex with anyone outside our marriage, she had ‘inappropriate relationships” where ” the chemistry became sexualized”.
            She described the body of the young man she had been out with because ” I knew you were once a very good athlete and ithought taht describing his physique to you would interest you enough to distract you from noticing I was out so late.”
            Now , folks, this woman graduated # 5 in our law school class of 280. Yet, she could actually mouth this stuff with no embarrassment, no sense at all of how stupid and absurd the things she would say were.
            I would hear how she was meeting with “her spiritual group”, a bunch of her cronies whose idea of spirituality consisted of gossiping and drinking.
            She refused to have physical relations with me after about 2 years of marriage because she “needed connection”(like the “connection” she must have felt with the random men and women she would meet in bars).
            I was in great shape. decently high sex drive and I remained in a virtually sexless marriage for 12 years. She robbed me of my youth and vigor.
            I finally left after the cruelty she displayed when my dad died and after her sister came to me and urged me to divorce.
            This is all ancient history and i have gone over it too many times. Sorry for the repetition.
            It just really still bugs me that she got away with this. Or, did she.
            She is out visiting my son who just texted me. He told me he wished I was there instead of her and that he expected she would start a few arguments with him during her visit.
            She destroyed my kids lives or, at least, grievously injured them.
            She comes off so well, at first, the spiritual counselor at her upscale CD treatment facility. She is a fucking psycho, however, a ruthless asshole who has no conscience about anything.
            How the hell are these monsters made?

            • Thank you,Arnold..
              By the way,when there is a conference on breast cancer,you should come forward to say men gets breast cancer too…
              Now back to infidelity.

      • Paul Elam,hmmm
        this is the same guy who claim to be MGTOW and claims to be ‘damn angry’ about and opposed to female hypergamy.
        Complains about females ripping off the welfare benefits of this country….yet he lives with and supported by another females.
        Oh the irony…

  • I have checked my research Arnold, stay off the MRA sites, OK? Word!

  • I disagree that everyone will find somebody. You don’t know that. There’s no way you could know that.

  • Dear Chump Lady,

    I’m in a similar situation right now and as I was going through this trail of conversation, I realised I need your perspective on my condition too. I haven’t dated anyone in a long while, in fact it will be safe to say that any of my past relationships haven’t been long term. Recently, my friends forced me into downloading a dating app and I found someone I really liked there. Both of us felt an instant connect, energy, vibe and we started talking. It used to infuriate me that all his conversations mostly revolved around physical aspects and flirting which is normal for a person you meet like this. On other hand, while I liked and felt all those sexual conversations, I somehow didn’t entertain them much because I thought it’s too early and I wanted us to know each other more than just sexting. Eventually, after around 2 weeks of constantly talking to each other and a day before we were supposed to meet for our first date, we decided to call it off. While parting ways, we discussed how our problems weren’t really real – it’s not that he wanted only a sexual relationship but that was important for him, and it’s not that I didn’t want him sexually but I never told him that before. His last words were – there’s no future which probably means he was looking for something long term as well. It’s been 2 weeks that we aren’t in touch but I feel like starting this conversation again and know if there are any unsaid words left. Please help and tell me what’s the right thing to do.

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