Stay in Touch

Check out CL's Book

Dear Chump Lady, He says I’m not “the one”

broken heartDear Chump Lady,

I was dating a guy for a few months and he called me yesterday and said after a lot of praying that I wasn’t his “one”. He said he still wants to hang out and be friends and to message him when I’m “over” him.

Then he went on to say I didn’t have to wait until I was over him, I could message him that I’m thinking about him and praying for him. I have given and given and given and he has taken and taken and taken in this relationship. I am distraught over this whole thing. I need some advice!

Thank you,

Always Giving

Dear Always Giving,

May I offer up a prayer?

Dear God, thank you for blessing Always Giving with this rejection. She is not a fuckwit’s One.

I know it hurts, AG, but people are allowed to reject us. That’s dating. Like job hunting and rushing sororities, and Who’s Got Talent hunger games, life is about taking rejection on the chin. (Talk to me sometime about getting a book published. “I don’t think anyone can relate to a so-called ‘Chump Lady.'” Actual publisher rejection. 18 million page views later…)

As I say here often — don’t date until you can dump and be dumped. It takes a strong inner core of self worth to endure those rejections, especially when delivered by text, radio silence… Or God Himself! (“Thou Aren’t The One.”) It’s a suckfest.

But Tracy, then why is he a fuckwit? 

He’s not a fuckwit because he rejected you. He’s a fuckwit because he’s not really rejecting you, he’s inviting you to do the pick me dance.

Message when you’re over him? Conceited much? While you may not be girlfriend material, you are welcome to be auxiliary kibble supply. Please accept second- (or 15th-) tier status. But maybe with some hard work and endless self-improvement you can win the number one (or thirteenth) spot! Keep the eternal flame of hope burning, build a shrine, and say prayers for him! Ugh. What’s to miss here? His over-inflated sense of himself?

You want advice? Here’s your advice — don’t settle for lopsided relationships.

I have given and given and given and he has taken and taken and taken in this relationship.

That’s not a relationship, that’s being a codependent chump. Yeah, I said that loathsome word — codependent. You know what that dynamic is? That’s where you give and give and give and give and pick me dance to prove your worth. That’s where you believe you can Nice people into being who you want them to be. (i.e. boyfriend material.)

And when they don’t give back? You spackle. You invent reasons why they deserve their entitled status, or why it’s not entitled status, but the Natural Order of Things. Or you delude yourself that they would do the same for you. Someday. (But they’re very busy right now washing their cat.)

Or WORSE you accept the give, give, give/take, take, take dynamic as all you deserve. So you make your needs smaller and smaller. Which is exactly what he’s offering you now — did you want girlfriend status? How about hanger on? Will you accept that? Do you need some centrality and respect in your relationship? How about you learn to do without that?

UGH. He’s a jerk — but YOU are pining to SERVE kibbles to a JERK. Examine that. This is the part you control. His jerkiness? Not within your powers.

When you accepted lopsidedness, when you give, give, give to the taker, you’re driving down your self-worth. You’re telegraphing that your time and love and gifts are not worth as much. But AG — you set the price on yourself. YOU decide who is worthy of you and who is not. Does he measure up? YOU MATTER. You decide!

It’s only been a few months — not enough investment to be distraught over. Disappointed? Yes. Distraught tells me you’ve got work to do on this self-worth, picker thing. Never need it That Bad.

What to do going forward?

Message him.

Dear Dickface,

You said I could respond when I was “over” you. Well, I’m over you! After a lot of thinking, and praying for you, God has spoken.

She told me you’re Not The One.

<3 AG

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.
  • Ouch. This one is painful for me, because I’ve really struggled with dating in my 40s, to the point where I find I am close to 50 and much happier being single.

    I have a long history of codependency, and it shits me. Still, it is what it is.

    Just today I was being morose because I remembered that awful feeling of Not Being Good Enough – of going to considerable trouble to attend an event that I’d been invited to, and then turning up and being largely ignored by the invitee.

    This happened just recently, but it first happened when I was 16, and it’s funny how the same pattern has repeated itself several times, and it really still stings.

    And yet I can remember dating and doing the dumping myself, so I suppose what goes around comes around.

    I take my hat off to those of you who are boldly doing laps of the dating pool; you have more guts than I do.

    But yeah – rejection is God’s protection, all right. Even I can look back and say that truthfully!

    • Here’s a simple way to think of it. You set your standards–such as no sparkly people, no on who takes subtle digs at you, no one who doesn’t like your friends being around or you spending time with family, no one who makes you feel guilty about spending time alone. No alcoholics, unemployed people or people you need to “help” to do adult responsibility. No one who doesn’t pick up his share of the checks or do his share of the driving (if physically able). No one who is rude to other people, especially waitresses or their mother. No one who wants a nurse and a purse. No one who keeps jumping boundaries. No one whose story doesn’t add up.

      You hang on to your own house, your own car, your own bank accounts, your own job, your own friends. You keep an eye on all your relationships by working on your codependency.

      You keep dating casual until you are reasonably sure that the person you are dating meets those standards. Then you spend a year or two making sure it wasn’t an act. If we don’t know anything else, chumps know that people can wear masks. If you see bad signs, you don’t spackle. You end the relationship. Every single time. And if he dumps YOU because you know your worth, you have standards and boundaries, then he’s shown you what he is. Sometimes you get dumped because the predator can see you aren’t going to be fooled for long.

      • LAJ, Love this. I am trying to figure out where I could have it tattooed and still see it, to remind me every day that I do not settle, I do not tolerate any of this behavior. If I get one whiff of this, to tippy-toe out of there. Ok, well maybe I will just print it out. 😉

        • Ring, my “shorthand reminder” tattoo of LAJ’s is a crown tattoo I had placed where I can see it every day. It reminds me that I am the Queen of My Own Life and I plan on staying on that throne for life. No more giving anyone power over me ever again. Although finding a consort would be okay. 😉

      • L-A-J, such excellent advice. I just celebrated my 10th anniversary to my second husband – the good one – but I’m going to print this out for my sister and other friends. And heck, for my 16-yr/old daughter who is just entering the dating scene.

      • LAJ – AMEN! Best advice ever. It’s hard enough employing these techniques with “friends.” While I’m not up to the dating game just yet, I’ve found that this is good advice for people in general. This is how you should live life. It does actually strike me as odd because I want a lot of friends, but there are people out there that are best if they remain acquaintances. Pick the ones who are good and who have your back as your close friends, keep the others at arm’s length or as that person that you say “hi” to every now and then.

      • Great advice LAJ! I have taken a screenshot and will read it every time I go on a date. If I ever go on a date again.

      • “Sometimes you get dumped because the predator can see you aren’t going to be fooled for long.”

        YES! This is so true!

      • This is great advice LAJ. The best I’ve read in a while that covers everything. I will save it to my phone and print it out and put it in my wallet. Thank you! Its these gems of advice that make Chump Lady and Chump Nation the best!

        • This x1000! A real man (or woman) should love you because you’re independent and don’t NEED them, but WANT to be with them. LAJ, absolutely brilliant.

          • During an argument, I made this statement to my boyfriend “I WANT to be in a relationship with you but I don’t NEED to be in a relationship with you”. In true narcissist fashion he said ‘that was the most hurtful thing you could have said to me”. Took me reading on this site to finally figure out who he is and why my statement was supposedly so ‘hurtful’ to him. They are just so manipulative!!

      • Excellent, LAJ!! Copied and pasted into a word doc. Need to make it into a poster that I can look at all the time.

        Oh, those “sparkly” people! We were all taught from the Disney and romantic movies that the sparkly one’s were the keepers when they should have been flushed down the toilet as the sparkly turds they were! And my ex-narc-husband — way over 20 years ago I remember thinking he was too good to be true and like a nice guy Prince Charming. Yeah, he was too good to be true, because he’s fake like Prince Charming. From the meme, “He says you are the love of his life, but forgets what you look like and has to put a shoe on (dick in) every girl in the kingdom.” lol 🙂

        • I remember saying the Traitor was too good to be true when we were just dating…
          Too good to be true = not true

          • Lovedajackass,
            I just needed to tell you that your posts are so on point and full of so much wisdom!!!!!

            Yes, RUN, when someone is jealous of everyone-your friends, family, animals that love you, their co-workers, co-workers children.
            RUN, when someone thinks the Fed Ex guy making a delivery is actually blocking “his road and deliberately making him late for an appointment by stopping to make a delivery, even though driving around the truck would allow one to continue on to appointment and be on time
            RUN, when someone thinks everyone in the universe is the reason his life is a disappointment
            RUN, when someone is confused that you would receive a compliment
            RUN, when someone fires the yard maintenance man who he just knows is deliberately disrespecting him because he asks to be paid when his monthly bill hasn’t been paid for 3 months
            RUN, when someone says, omg, they are begging me for my money, when in reality they are expecting payment for services rendered
            RUN, when someone makes up a bs complaint to get a reduction in bill at a hotel when their weren’t any issues with room
            RUN, when someone makes up a bs excuse about a meal at a restaurant that he nearly completely devoured and then demands a lower bill

            I could list a thousand reasons to RUN from these “nice guys”, when in reality they are bat shit crazy, bottom feeders

            Triple yes to everything!!

      • LAJ,
        I haven’t begun dating yet…heck, I’m still married to my jackass (but living separately thank God!). And what you said is PERFECT!!! I’ve been chatting with my mom and sisters and specified some of my “deal breakers.” Such as, smoking. I will NOT date someone who smokes (no offense intended to anyone who does…)

        And if I get one inkling that his stories aren’t lining up…I’m out!

        I think my working out some of these things in my mind will help me when (if) I start dating. Kind of like exercising my brain.

        And I like the timeframe you mention. I’d read Gary D. Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages (back when I was trying to save my marriage, before I even knew he was cheating), and Dr. Chapman wrote about “the tingles.” That feeling you get when you’re “in love!” And that “the tingles” last up to about 2 years. That’s when your “I’m in love” brain starts to “de-tingle,” and you stop ignoring the person’s flaws.

      • LAJ, thanks so much. I needed that. I think in your first paragraph you described every relationship I’ve ever had …

        I’m not dating at all right now because I’ve recently entered a 12 step program, which is doing me a lot of good.

        I also know I am very likely still to throw away all my hard-earned experience at the first sign of Twu Wuv, so I clearly still have a lot of work to do.

        Plus that whole keeping-an-eye-on-all-your-relationships: well, like I said in an earlier post, I am now apparently a bitch mafia goddess who will cut off your index finger if you cross her, because I’ve had to enforce some boundaries in the last year with a couple of friends. But I’m much happier with this than with the old Lola, who was a doormattish, people-pleasing, pretzel-twister into Whatever You Want, Honey.

        • Lola,
          I also heard “I’m a bitch or you have a smart mouth”, when in reality you were setting boundaries with a freak who has no boundaries, he doesn’t even grasp the concept!!

      • LAJ: Yes. So much yes. Except for the driving. I hate driving. I always feel panicky and lost when I drive long distances, even with GPS, and I’m only 47 but I cannot see to drive in the dark or rain. But all the rest, YES.

      • LAJ:
        As always, the brilliance in your posts !!

        What is it with these asshole narcs and flying monkey’s praying?!!!!

        Stbx has the “Christian family “ full of flying monkeys that have to pray before doing the dirty work for Narc freak !!!

    • Amen, Lola Granola!!!
      I’m in my mid-late 40’s and have been single almost three years now.
      I’ve been ghosted (which to me is worse than being actually dumped) several times, have actually dated someone briefly once for a few weeks.
      I have actually come to enjoy being single over dating.
      If it happens, it happens. If not, I’m good.

      • I got ghosted AND dumped all in the one text once. How is that even possible?

        But hey – there are no bad dates. Just good brunch stories.

  • PS Anyone who believes in ‘The One’ along the lines described here IS actually a fuckwit. You have been saved a life of misery.

    I know, I know – we’ve all done it; we’ve all looked into their eyes and seen The One there. A few years back, I was told I was someone’s soulmate. Except that a woman he’d been in love with years earlier was also told that she was his soulmate, and I assume the woman he’s been dating now for around four years has been told the same thing.

    I am not cynical about romantic love; I just have a realistic idea of its limitations. It’s like making major life decisions while on crack cocaine.

    • Ugh. I hate the idea of soul mates and mystical love because it makes it sound like if you just find that needle in the dating haystack, there will never be any arguments, disappointments, or disagreements. It’s not enough to be in love and be good to one another, she will share your love of [sports team], your politics, your religion, your standards of cleanliness, your libido, your stance on cilantro, your favorite movies, your preferred temperature for the house, yeah, pretty much everything. Sounds like a Stepford wife-bot, not a failable human being with interests of her own. It pretty much guarantees that any time the going gets rough, he won’t dig in and do the hard work with you, he will realize you are not his soul mate and start over.

      • This is exactly what happened to me. We were soulmates, then we weren’t. He said “marriage shouldn’t be work”. I laughed out loud when he said that, but he was deadly serious…

        • Same chumpluscious. My STBX also said marriage was too hard of work. He said we had too many things happen to us: I lost my job a week after we married (8 years ago), his dad died, my grandfather died, I party hard enough at his cousin’s wedding (for real), I didn’t go to his brother’s wedding because my cousin’s wedding was the same day so we split the day (and he never told me it bothered him), I didn’t organize well enough for him, I didn’t like how much he went to happy hours, I got cancer…to me most are normal relationship problems. Most are simple communication issues that could be overcome. But to him they were reasons to cheat and end the marriage.

          He currently is starting over with a new woman. Had her pregnant 5 months after he left me. Instant family do over.

          • Eyup, #metoo – ‘this shouldn’t be so hard’, ‘this shouldn’t be work’, eg. you are Failing to Meet My Every Need at All Times.

            It’s a very immature approach to love and life, but I think it’s an approach I shared for years as well – I thought the same way.

        • Yep, I got that same line when the MC told him he needed to work at communication, marriage, sexual compatibility, etc. Assholio was aghast. It should all be as magical as it was with the AP!!

          • My STBXW would say that marriage was hard, I never thought it was and said so. She wouldn’t elaborate other than to say that there were times we didn’t agree, or that there were responsibilities. Yeah, that is part of a grown-up relationship. Maybe it was giving up being with other people? That’s part of the package. She might find someone better looking, richer, or a better lover than me, but she won’t find anyone who was willing to give her more love and care. Her AP is a serial cheater who blew up his own marriage to be with her. I guess they are in for a trainwreck some time soon.

            • My STBX is expecting a child with his new girlfriend in a couple of months. The news surprised me, as he never seemed to enjoy the responsibilities of parenting. When I inquired about their relationship he told me that it could evolve into something more, but it’s difficult with the complications of our divorce. For now he says they are committed but she wants no money from him, just for him to be involved. It occurred to me today that he has interpreted that as she will not have any expectations of him and that he will not have as much responsibilities with this child. I think he’s in for a big surprise.

    • Yeah, I fell for the soulmate line too. I wonder how many soulmates my ex-narc-husband has had over the course of the last 30 years? lol I’m sure the current whore du jour is a soulmate too. lol.

      Being told I’m someone’s soulmate = Martha running for her life!

      • Martha….^^This^^ Last time I heard someone call me their ‘Soul Mate’ my first thought was to run for the hills. I didn’t at that moment in time, but I eventually did. I can’t stand that stupid word. Ironically, nine minutes after we broke up he was online searching for his next soulmate and found her within two weeks.

  • We all roll our collective eyes at that moron and then high-five you for not being stuck with that for life. You dodged it! Hooray!
    Don’t settle.

    • Yeah, AG, I really did roll my eyes when I read ‘I wasn’t his “one”.’

      No pick me dancing for fuckwits. Some nerve! What a pompous ass!

      Please read all the links Tracy supplied in her reply to your letter to save yourself from peacocks. Take care!

  • Ha ha

    My EX who admitted to me that she was seeing (having sex with) another guy contacted me after 5 months of NC.
    She cried that HE had been seeing someone else on the side all the time AND given the EX an STI. Now she wants me back.

    I just laughed in her face and closed the door – sucker !

      • Yep. In the major epiphany of my divorce journey, I was talking about CheaterX’s picker–how could anyone pick Schmoopie, she of two (according to her) abusive ex-husbands, a track record of cheating with married men, and a history of fiscal mismanagement. I didn’t get into all the above, as I was shopping for attorneys and Schmoopie’s personal character wasn’t relevant. The fact that she’d convinced CheaterX to co-sign a car loan was. The attorney was shocked and remarked that Schmoopie must’ve seen CheaterX coming from a long way off. I was about ready to give some kind of response that indicated my puzzlement as to what she saw in CheaterX because her track record showed she had a really bad radar for picking me.

        Then I realized–and this really was the moment that I trusted that He Sucked–her radar was working as per usual. CheaterX was JUST like the men she’d previously dated. Water does, indeed, seek its own level.

        And I was absolutely too good to be married to someone like that.

        • Kb,
          You have just shone a light on my dbag stbx & his cheap, trashy MoW-Howorker that I hadn’t been able to see before. Thank you.

          “And I was absolutely too good to be married to someone like that.”
          You ARE. I AM.
          Hot damn. Monday morning genius.
          Thank you.

        • Schmoopie was an amateur. My ex-wife’s AP managed to get a $200 k unsecured loan out of her.

        • Hah, and I found a typo. It’s not a “really bad radar for picking me” but a “really bad radar for picking men.”


    • As CL has said, when the bird comes fluttering back with a broken wing… break the other wing.

    • She’s got an STI and she wants to come back to you????

      Did you say “EWWWWW”??

  • Perfect timing, yet again CL. On Saturday night I was texting with a boyfriend from my past who recently divorced and wanted to “reconnect”. We exchanged a few nice texts and one brief phone call (that I initiated) when out of the blue he texted me Saturday night to come over to his place because his kids were unexpectedly with his Ex. I thought for a moment and texted back that I’d rather go out somewhere in public to which he offered a waxing poetic reply about my eyes and lifelong love and adoration for me and my kisses. For the first time in a long time, I set a boundary with a man. I told him that I was no longer that “someone” he remembered (e.g. where 20 yo booty calls are ok for me)… and that I was now a woman who knows her worth. He texted back “well, I guess I know what the parameters are, enjoy” and I didn’t hear from him again.

    And you know what – that is perfectly fine with me. It felt good to stand up for myself. And because I did, I could quickly see that if a man can’t respect me in the beginning – he certainly isn’t going to respect me later.

    Chump Nation and CL – thank you for showing up every day. I know I’m getting closer and closer to meh – and ready to start dating again 🙂

    • That is great! Things sure change when we finally begin to feel (and live) our true worth.

    • Yes! While it’s a blessing to be able to come here for knowledge and support, the most important part is applying a new approach to our relationships, being aware of the give-and-take balance and understanding our worth! Good on you!

    • I read a short while ago

      “Pay good attention to how people react when you set a boundary. It’s an indicator of where their respect for you ends.”

      Or some such sort. You get the picture…if they can’t respect your perfectly normal boundaries then they just flat out don’t respect you.

      • I don’t think Narcs respect anyone unless it is their latest fantasy on a pedestal. They think they are better than everyone and are the exception to the rule. Boundaries with mine, forget it he just pushes through, goes around or gets mad. I can’t even speak for more than 30 seconds, I kid you not before he will cut me off and redirect convo back to him. That’s fine as the less I speak to him the happier and stronger I get.

        • Lady B, your description of narc behavior is spot on.
          “Boundaries with mine, forget it… or gets mad.” So true especially with the getting mad part. It doesn’t even need to be a boundary, just a simple need that may contradict Narc’s thoughts at the time. Example: after a movie at the theater, I needed to get to work but had to use the restroom before drive home. On way out, Narc decides it’s a good time to read movie posters. When I say I need to go, his response was to get mad and retort in front of other people, “Well, you took your time going for a piss!” Narc’s, if you let them, will make you reduce your needs to nothing. And ditto about the 30 seconds to talk before it is time for an interruption… sometimes it’s only for Narc to say something irrelevant but about himself like, “I’m tired” or “I’ve got a lot of work to do”. Always Giving, that jackass did you a favor. You should really send the text CL suggested!

          • Chills, Walking! I spent three decades with exactly that sort of passive aggressive shit, being “punished” when I dare assert my needs. If I needed to be somewhere he deliberately dragged his feet. If I was ready to leave the grocery store he decided it was time to go peruse the magazine rack while the ice cream melted. If I needed his help in the yard he would grab a bag of chips and stand 3 feet in front of the TV for several minutes instead of come out. He will not be dictated to. Scott Wetzler’s Living with the Passive Aggressive Man was an eye-opener (it is like the primer to Lundy Bancroft).

            Hurry up and fucking wait Bitch, no one is the boss of me!

            Disordered assholes, the lot of them.

            • Wow, yours actually went to the grocery store with you? Assholio was much too special to do anything that could remotely be considered “women’s work.” And yes, the more important it was for me to be on time for something, the more he dragged his feet and dawdled. And if I left without him, it was rage channel for days.

            • I realised recently he did this, the lateness and slowness is passive aggressive pre teen antics. Another tactic which was fucking maddening was when I would speak he would say ‘what’ like he didn’t hear me so I would say it again, a lot,! My kids do it now and I don’t repeat myself as they must learn. It’s insidious and unconscious disrespect that says ‘you don’t matter to me’
              Basically convo with him involves excuses when you point out any issue, the main one being how tired he is and of course the subject must be about him. Oh and any detail about me or my schedule will be forgotten as soon as spoken. ‘ him: are you going to the hospital tomorrow, me: no it was today’ I told him about hospital appointment two hours away, three days ago, he does not retain this info. Narcs only remember things that relate to them as other people aren’t important so why would you remember anything.
              Fucking pointless talking to him and the less the better. Chess moves all the way with these fools no authentic self hiding in there.

            • OMG!!!! The magazine aisle!!!! Narcs must be cloned! LMFAO, I’ve been forced to wait because of the magazine aisle! I will have to read Wetzler’s book – thanks for tip.

              • It was a real eye-opener. I will head for the hills the moment that shows up with any potential future guy. When it is hard to identify your loser as an actual abuser ala Bancroft, this book totally picks up the slack. I had a covert narc passive aggressive abuser type and it was like living with a walking Rubik’s cube. 10 months post-abandonment and 4 months post-divorce (28 years married) I can see it all so clearly now.

                I was the “Rescuer” type of woman attracted to my disordered POS per Wetzler. I propped him up and made him look great. He is a child. But he can’t do feelz and will do exactly the same with any future woman. I trust he sucks.

              • Oh, another huge indicator is that my fuckwit would have his clicking finger hovering over the mouse if a certain band’s concert tickets were going on sale. He was johnny-on-the-spot if it was something that mattered to him, but was always perpetually a few minutes late if it had anything to do with me or our daughters. We actually missed our daughter’s baptism at religious summer camp because the flaming asshole just had to pull over at a convenience store to buy some snacks and toodle around looking at stuff for no apparent reason. We missed it by 3 minutes.

                I will never forgive that asshole for that kind of crap–he is sharp and quick as they come when it is important to him but if it about his kids or me it is way, way WAY down the list of concerns and actually becomes a weapon he uses to assert his authority. Horrifying.

      • I love this point. Read Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear” which illustrates precisely how predators (from psychopathic killers to your basic cheater) test boundaries to see if someone is vulnerable to their games. We have to get to the point where we understand that we MUST evaluated and select the people in our lives, not just be grateful that someone pays attention to us.

        • Thanks, I have been meaning to get my hands on that book for a while but always end up here on on the you tube !

          • The Gift of Fear can be downloaded free online…I have it saved somewhere but am unable to find it in my laptop so I can’t include the link, sorry.

        • I need to read this too. When I met the second narc I was still raw from leaving the first one and so a vomited my whole story to him, unknowingly telling him how vulnerable I was.

        • That book was in my daughter’s stockings this year (yes, as adults I still fill their stockings, they look forward to it!) Heavy message from Santa but the jolly elf gives a bigger shit about my girls than their fuckwit father. I hope they take the massage to heart.

        • LovedAJackass, i read a while back that when they are setting you up and reeling you in, they will often do 1 thing that shocks/hurts you, just to test the waters, see how you react and adjust their program. It’s usually within the 1st month. This test will determine if you are strong enough as a person to turn your back on the friendship/relationship and walk away, or are you someone that can be broken down with the correct combination of crazymaking/gaslighting/lovebombing.
          My test came around the 3rd week, as i later remembered it…we were getting along splendid (as per the usual narc program) when all of a sudden a regular online chat we were having turned sour. He said i said the wrong thing, i “dropped the ball” he never wants to talk to me again and of course cussing of all sorts… i was shocked. And in tears. He cutme off for 2 days…
          Came back on the 3rd with “live you, miss you” etc… and i was doomed, because i had sympathy for him and had started to develop feelings, so the whole sudden blowup shocked me to my core. Of course i wanted the bandaide of “let’s make it better again”.
          Little did i know my boundaries were just tested, would i put up with the crazy behavior and verbal abuse. I didn’t know this is a red flag.

      • Oh, I love this quote, and want to render it in cross-stitch as a reminder to myself.
        “Pay good attention to how people react when you set a boundary. It’s an indicator of where their respect for you ends.”
        Cheater and I have just had a bout of email regarding boundaries. He described buying a house with a fenced in backyard, and how really ANYBODY would want to go up to their fence, lean on it, look over it. He bulldozed the fucking fence, then scampered about claiming other’s territory as his own. Then he claimed I violated HIS boundaries by reading some of his personal stuff which he left on MY computer. Some of which I copied for evidence, in case I need it.

        • Mine told me he couldn’t have anything to do with me anymore cause I told his mistress we were still sleeping together after he left me for her but let me think we were working on things.
          I betrayed HIS trust…..this was D day #4.
          You can’t make this shit up.

          Good riddance.

        • I think the exact phrase was “be mindful when someone reacts in anger to you setting a boundary”
          Couldn’t remember it this am, was pre-coffee 🙂

    • And the stampede of desperate women who would have coyly floored their cars to get over to his place?
      YOU win the AWARD for being not one of them.

      Cheers to you.

    • Chumplady, I would DEARLY love this page to have a “LIKE” button! I really don’t have anything to add to this post, but I like it so very much.

    • Thank you for all the supportive responses… I love you all so much. I’m never alone. I have my tribe.

    • ICSTMC,
      Poetry. Just plain UNCHUMP-like poetry right there.
      Thank you for your example of MIGHTY Self Respect. Isn’t it a dopamine shot and a half? You’re a heroine to me today.
      You ARE ready and Meh cannot be far!
      I hear tomorrow is a Tuesday…

  • No reciprocity= pain, misery and cheating down the road. Get away from this fool…..and get away from him fast! He seems to think very highly of himself……and very little of you! Dump is sorry ass !

  • I’m stuck on the ‘one’ bit. What an arrogant asshole. For GOD’S sake you were dating for two months.

    Send him this: Bless your heart; I’ll stop praying for divine intervention for your entitled ass.

  • Its weird, I started dating perhaps a little “too early” after cheater died yet, there were lessons to learn I simply WASNT going to learn sitting alone reading Bronte novels.

    I was very briefly tricked by a catfish, asked a (supposedly real) guy on a date and got turned down flat. I went on a few dates with a man I now see as a “taker” and met a nice Sheriff who couldn’t spell the word “woman”.

    I did cry a few times, but it didn’t break me. I was sure there was some sort of “adventure” and “goodness” out there. Im glad I had already stuck my toe in the dating pool when I was reconnected with old BF from long time ago. I had seen just enough to know that while there are good folks out there, they are mixed in with the fuckwits and to me middle aged fuckwits are so much worse than the young fuckwits from Round 1(when we were all young).

    I realized that my old BF (now husband) was quirky but kind and decent and rather a keeper. (We had an argument over a bowl in the kitchen on Saturday…annoying but survivable. He didnt call me names, yell or fuck a howorker over it.)

    The fuckwits from this round taught me what I needed to know – and for that Im glad.

  • I’d message back with thanks. So grateful not to be stuck with a self-absorbed ass.

  • I love this post especially the suggestion of responses at the end! You are so awesome CL!!! Giving, I hope you understand and remember this lesson for the future in your dating life. It really is as simple as chumplady says!

  • perfect timing this for me, my boyfriend of 7 months told me a week ago he didn’t want to be in a relationship with me or anyone, but wanted to be friends, I tried for a week but after getting some advice on the forums here I cut all ties at weekend and walked away, I have found out that he has been texting other ladies from a sex only site, close call there am thinking

    • Very close call! When they get involved with porn….they get “porn dick.” Limp dicks that only respond to porn. Not to mention……they progress from porn to live hook ups. Which means…STDs……more lies…more betrayal.

      Any man involved with porn… dangerous. Porn is not “innocent fun.”

      • It’s never “just porn.” Go to ….thousands of stories of women who thought it was “just porn,” Most often….if you check the cell phone/computer….credit card statements… will find other ugly things.

        Why would anyone want to be with a man who contributes to the worst scourge on planet earth? Porn encompasses, drugs, disease, human degradation, human trafficking. Men who view porn are funding/contributing to all of these human scourges.

      • Agree — porn is a huge problem. My abusive jackass cheater managed to still have frequent sex with me (yuck!!!!!). However, upon discovering his 20+ hour a week porn routine … (at home, at work, while watching the kids ….) …

        I also discovered how extreme and vile his porn interests were. We are talking really nasty, hateful stuff. I cried after seeing some of the stuff — my heart wrenched for the poor women in the images. It was absolutely shattering to realize the man I was married to … the father of my girls … would get off on female suffering. It still guts me to think about …. 🙁

        • Yes to ALL of this. Porn is always just the tip of the iceberg. Once they are hooked it becomes like any other addiction, it takes more and more and sicker and sicker stuff to get them off. And viewing porn in massive quantities, especially the deeply disturbing stuff, indicates a shallow mind that objectifies women and lacks any sort of empathy or human feeling.

          I’ve told this before – my ex kept an Excel spreadsheet that was over 1500 lines long, of porn star stats: names, birthdays, where they were born, height, weight, measurements, hair color, whether they did men, women or anal, etc. He swapped them in and out, based on who his favorites were at the moment. It sickened me more than the hundreds of porn sites PER DAY in his viewing history. It was like horse racing stats or something. That he looked up and kept track of that level of detail about those women while clearly not ever thinking that they were human beings was frightening.

          • Jess Mom,

            This is what gutted me, too: the idea he was getting off on female suffering. And with mine, he wanted to act it all out, with HIM as the woman being fucked and degraded and ME as the man taking “her” against “her” will.


            He had his own Fantasy Dick-ball League going!

            Horrifying. All of it.

          • As if the porn dick, porn and hooker addiction weren’t enough-
            mine actually had a rating system that he used to write on all of his numerous porn DVD’s………… which I didn’t know until after he had died. His last secret porn stash with ‘ratings’ was in the contents of his office that was shipped to my house after his death.

        • And then, while it may not have been physical, he had to be able to tolerate your suffering.

          • My DD caught stbxh watching porn a few years ago. THAT should have been my last straw.
            But I was a spackling chump, then.
            I’m getting better now.
            Thank God I have DD basically to myself now.

  • You deserve to be someone’s Plan A and not forever a Plan B, C, D…Y, or Z.

  • “The One”- LOL! What exactly is “The One?”

    “The One” for now?
    “The One”- til a new “The One” comes along?

    God answered YOUR prayers- NOT his! God is telling you to run….and don’t look back. This fool is not “The One.” He’s a self centered loser. He got what he wanted from you. Now he’s done with you.

    Text him this: FUCK OFF LOSER!

    • I wish people would stop believing in “the One.” That doesn’t mean we should settle. But believing in “the One” is often a gateway to spackling all sorts of bad behavior from the person you think is “the One.”

      • Also, be aware that when some people are looking for “the One” they use sex as a dating tool to help them figure out what their feelings are. As in, “I’ll have sex with a bunch of people and THEN I’ll know which one I really have feelings for.” I suppose this is modern and “sexually enlightened” thinking, but I find it appalling, especially for those of us who can be deeply wounded by casual sex that has all the depth and meaning of trying out a bunch of used cars before buying one. The last man I had sex with was someone I was completely crazy about but I should have been more careful. For me sex was a joyful celebration of those feelings. For him it was comparing me against all the other “models” to get the best one. I don’t plan to ever be treated as a used car again!

  • Methinks we have here a Jesus-cheater in the making — if he’s not one already.

    I’m just a poor agnostic, but I always assumed that prayer was supposed to serve as a means of getting the moral clarity and inner fortitude to do the good, the true, the honest — not serve as an “out” for doing the difficult and uncomfortable.

    • Me thinks you are right. My nowdeadcheater never ever mentioned praying for me but he apparently went to Church and asked God if OW was the one for him and he cried over it which indicated to him (not sure how) that God gave him the green light to pursue OW (never mind the faithful wife at home).

      • After I tossed mine out and declined to pick-me audition, stbx started telling me he wanted a “spiritual marriage” w me and to pray together. He had never said those words in 31 years to me. But “Jesus” was all woven into the text messages he fotgot to

        • [Bleah..tiny phone keyboard]
          …Forgot to delete w MOW-HoHoWorker. (The devoted married mother with a special needs child).
          No, thank you. You don’t get to co-opt belief systems to try to manipulate me. Go back to skankland where that version of “Jesus” blesses your 3 year betrayal. Get thee behind me, cheater!

      • Yeah, my ex Jesus Cheater went up to the alter at least three times to “get anointed with oil”, have “hands laid on him” and “prayed for” — the joke was on me, because when I thought he was praying FOR OUR MARRIAGE. He was actually doing IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT to all the church folk watching the Jesus Cheater. He had already started a massive smear campaign behind my back (all lies) during the time he was “praying to God” to see if he should stay married to me. You see, God told him to leave his faithful spouse so that he could be “happy” with his whore. Sure, makes sense to me! I do hope God let’s me have front row seats on the day he dies so I can witness how the narc justifies this one. But I’ll be a meh by then, so maybe I won’t care. lol. 🙂

    • I agree. It drives me nuts to read when someone’s jackass says, “I prayed and God told me to leave you” (or something along those lines). It’s cowardly — “Hey, God is making me do this … so you can’t be upset with me!”

      I would think if the person were sincere and something felt off in the relationship, he/she would say something like: “I was feeling indecisive about the relationship, so I prayed and gave a lot of thought to it. I’ve decided it would be best to break things off.”

      I also found it odd how much he wanted her attention focused on him during her prayers. Tell him when she prays for him? So strangely specific (and egocentric).

      • God told him to do it and well, that makes him practically God himself. Don’t cry over that nut job!

        I know it hurts now, but soon you will roll your eyes with the rest of us.

        • “She for God in him; He for God alone.”
          Lots of historical precedent for that nonsense.

  • I think this is the biggest lesson to learn.
    After the divorce, after the vomitous crying, after the rage, after the fuckwit is gone, this is where your head and your heart should be. When people tell you that you should learn to be alone first before dating I believe this is what they really mean, learn to value yourself, learn to know in your heart that you are truly enough, learn that you can handle whatever life throws you and that it might suck but you will find a way to handle it.

    I think the biggest step I took towards self worth and believing in me was breaking things off with the Lovebombing Lawyer I dated for a bit. He wasn’t happy. He did everything on the surface right but I could see his surface behavior was just that (thanks to CN) and I knew I didn’t want any more disorder in my life. Finding the words and the courage to end that relationship left me sad but empowered. It was the first time I broke up with anyone just because I knew it wasn’t right and I was 40 something years old. I think I ceased being codependent that day.

    • My ex/pervert/cheater (Dancing Dick)…..found a new woman with Godspeed. Before the ink was dry on the divorce! He’s planning to marry his new “head janitor” woman next month. They just click their heels and move on….as if nothing happened.

      The “head janitor” woman knows nothing about his voyeurism, porn addiction, lewd texts to neighbors- or his interest in very young women (head janitor woman has a 20 year old daughter). She knows nothing about his felony record (Theft by deception) or the domestic abuse charges from 2 states. She only knows that his wife was a bitch.

      • Those are big signs of their disorder. No capacity for self-reflection or capacity to defer gratification while they work on themselves.

    • That’s a mighty thing to do, breaking up with someone who is love-bombing you, especially when you’ve been recently hurt and the love-bombing can feel good (even when we know it’s too much, too soon).

    • I guess that’s one “favor” my ex did for me – there was NEVER any love bombing of any kind in all of our 35 years together so I am immediately suspicious of anything that smacks of it. Over the top compliments, attention, etc. just make me massively uncomfortable.

      • I was in a similar situation – uncomfortable with the whole compliments, attention etc…until my counsellor pointed out that I was uncomfortable being treated well, respectfully and kindly and was misidentifying it as love bombing because of how low I had sunk in my previous relationship.

        Being treated well feels AMAZING! And it really shows you how little you were settling for in the past – which is super embarrassing to think about now.

        • WFH, that is an excellent point. thanks for that. Yes, since I received zero compliments over the course of my relationship, I am probably overly suspicious of the motives of anyone who says something nice. I’ll have to watch that.

          I’m glad you found someone who treats you well. 🙂

  • UXWorld….Hey! I would rather hang out with an honest pagan ….than a phony sack of shit Christian….any day!

  • UXWORLD – well said! I am sick and tired of hearing I prayed and prayed and prayed. For what? To get what you want? It seems to be so fashionable to advertise just how good of a Christian you are by posting how hard you pray. Very annoying. My relationship or non – relationship with G*d is private and nobody’s business.

    • I don’t mind sharing spiritual journey reflections with people. I definitely prayed a whole lot during the years before dday. Some of that was along the lines of, “WTAF, God? With all Your advantages, You could do better.” Epic spiritual struggles. Finally, landed on “may his truth be revealed” as the only prayer I could sincerely muster. It was, in due time, and devastatingly, but a true if difficult gift. I still wrestle with spiritual puzzles all of the time, and that’s ok, I think. Whatever aspect of my brain, heart, soul or personality it is that leads me to do that is the same thing that leads me to writing, photography, art, nature, etc. But, yeah—the darkest and most tangled moments of spiritual struggle are often terribly private.

    • Religion is just one mask these disordered people wear. Then there’s “Victim” (please fix me); “Misunderstood Expert” (I’m special but people don’t see it); “Martyr” (I had a sick spouse, sick kiddo, abusive or dying parent, a job that takes my whole life or Everyone depends on me but I have no time for myself but you will understand); “Too Pure for Money” (but I need yours)….

      • Lovedajackass, this is such an important point. They swap masks in and out. Part of my dating journey was to discover that the masks the cheater had worn were pale imitations of real attributes–and not to confuse the two. It would be easy to say: I’ll never date any military/christian/doctor/policeman/lawyer/construction worker/gym bunny/volunteer coordinator/minister/ fill-in-the-blank again!! But the truth is these disordered jerks find admirable traits/professions/vocations to emulate in order to hook you. These things don’t create disordered jerks. Disordered jerks seek them out. Learning to discern the masks among the people is the most difficult part of our journey I think.

  • Hey ‘you can pray for me guy’. God told me he has plans for me. They are plans of good and of hope and not disaster. (Loose Jeromiah 29:11) I guess you’re right. I am not meant for you, because…. you’re not good, this had no hope, and it would have been a disaster. I will pray that you grow up and learn to love as a couple. I will pray for your future partner to have the patience and spine to stand up to your lack of companion capabilities, and I will do it far far away without contacting you. I will wait for my companion, my agape and Eros man because he is coming to me, and it will be more than awesome.

  • I heard “I prayed and prayed” PLUS I heard “I had to go to years of counseling to leave this relationship!”

    everything, everything was blamed at me. Even though after counseling and church he promised to be a better person and husband and father…..

    It was all evil me…. all along.

    Jesus or Therapy Cheater — get the hell off the tracks!

    • * blamed on me.
      * If you sense you are with a Jesus Cheater or a Therapy Cheater get your body off the train tracks of that runaway train disaster. There is NO help for either of these creatures.

      • I like the Zac Brown lyric—“I lay my heart on these tracks/Your train comes along.”

      • Magneto. ..
        Well said. Thank you.
        Mine thinks therapy jargon will help. Ha! Between Ddays 2&3 (26 years) I became a therapist and pulled my head out of my codependent ass. CL gave me the balls to declare my independence and CN ~ my glorious mighty tribe ~ you keep me sane, grounded, teach me what boundaries and self-love look like, and crack me up daily.
        THIS is what I was praying for all along.

  • I am sad to read when people attempt to use ‘Christianity’ for manipulation. It’s not Christianity that is phoney, it’s not
    JESUS that is phoney, He is true, it’s the people who falsely claim Christianity for the intent of trying to get someone to stay…that is the problem. And it is a problem!! It messes with your head!! And we’ve had enough of that!!!! If someone were truly a
    Christian their actions would prove it. Their inside faith would manifest itself in outward actions, consistently over time, not just verbal claims with actions that contradict their words over and over. Actions, not words matter, that is the proof of what’s inside a person. It will come out. No more second guessing our own gut and being gaslighted. Wait and watch and see. So many of us chumps are so trusting we just believe the words before we see actions. It’s hopium…we need real hard proof, which are actions consistent over time.

    • Yes, This. There are any number of disarming virtuous-seeming identities people adopt to cloak their exploitation of others. They run the gamut of religious beliefs, political beliefs, professional credentials, etc. But a wolf in sheep’s clothing doesn’t make actual sheep a bad thing.

  • Yeah., He really is the The One big asshole.
    That alone should turn you off to him.

    Stay away & find a “adult “ not a man/child.


  • One of the more ridiculous things my Ex said to me in the six months following D-Day before I went NC… he stood there with his fake crocodile tears running down his cheeks (he’d fake-cried many times during our 17 years together, usually after he raged at me for 2 or 3 hours then when I cried after being raged at, he would burst into even Bigger and Better Tears than me!), he said, with those self induced narcissistic fake tears running down his cheeks:

    Cheater: “They say it takes about a year!” (his voice choking up)
    Me: “what does?”
    Cheater: “Getting over someone!”)
    Me: [speechless, incredulous that he was crying because he had the sadz over how long it would take ME to get over HIM! He was crying for himself though. Not for me. It made him sad to think of me here all pining and longing for him while he waltzed off into the sunset with Big Miss Moose.

    I think this moment was the first inkling I had in my pre-CL days, of realizing what an entitled conceited ass I always knew he was.
    I remember thinking WTF.

    Actually it took me about 3 years but I’m not only over him but am quite Meh, thank you very much. I don’t know if he is still with BMM or not; and don’t care. Have heard they “broke up” but he still lives there because he can’t afford his own place, and all I can think is good riddance.

    • I remember coming downstairs after d day 1 and finding him bawling…because he was worried about HER and how Shen would handle him breaking it off with her and wanted to know how he could find out if she were ok without contacting her…oh so valiant ???? I remember feeling completely discusted and now if I could go back I would not have responded the way I did. All this talk of them grieving the AP makes me seriously ill.
      Watching it happen in front of me was just more dissonance to try to figure out. Well, d day 2 a few years later tells me what I should have done then.

    • Oh, your Cheater has no idea how long it takes to get over spending years with a disordered jackass.

    • Wised Up,

      Sounds familiar. My ex-boyfriend, after discarding me the second time, threw himself a mini-pity party saying, ‘I felt guilty for two weeks, but I’m getting better.’ Also, ‘I might be alone for the rest of my life’ although he was already running around. Me. Me. Me. from these entitled liars.

        • When I cried, Punk Boy would mock my tears…oh waaaaaah…. boy hoo ….. And scrunch his face up in a grotesque mimic of my very real tears. Looking back, I believe there is a serial killer in a movie that does that to a victim.

          At the end, my beloved shih Tzu had a terrible accident where he was trampled by a larger dog. It was not intentional it was just a horrible thing that happened in a nanosecond. When I was still sad about it six months later, just very very guilt ridden and grief stricken he said with venom and I quote:

          “what do you expect to be coddled all your life?”

          • He’s a monster, Kennedy!
            The thing that is starting to amaze me is how long the mask can stay up…
            They TRULY suck

            • Thank you for validating me. ????

              I remember the night he mocked my tears but minimizing the loss of my beloved little munchkin man – he is lucky he did not leave in a body bag.

    • Yeah my fuckwit was crying the blues all over FB when she dumped him but not one post when he nuked the family. 30 yrs, 2 grown sons and 2 grankids and all he could cry about was the tramp. Not that I want my personal life splayed on social media-just saying quite telling. Wow! Good riddance!

      • Yep, my STBXW asked me, “What about his feelings for me?”. Why wouod I really care too much about the feelings of a two-timing bastard who obviously doesn’t give a shit about my feelings of those of my kids? I asked my wife if he really even cared about her. How could someone subject someone they love with the pain of ripping their own family up? She didn’t really have a good explanation for this one. I told her that I thought we had planned to be together for ever. Her answer was, “Well, at least you had thirty years” WTF?

  • My thinking: don’t send any message to this guy at all. He has told you who he is. Believe him. Grieve what you wished he was as you move forward.

    Block him on your phone/accounts so he can’t contact you when he needs a new ego feed. It will only jerk you around and there won’t be any purpose in it. Even if you live in a place where you see him around, it’s still beneficial to make it as hard as possible for him to reach you.

    CL is right about doing the work on your own soul. Read through the resources she references to help with that, but maybe also seek the help of a therapist who specializes in personal empowerment. Maybe you have some other past trauma that makes you extra susceptible to feeling over-attached. Give energy to working through that so others can’t “own” your heart.

    This guy doesn’t need your prayers — he’s perfectly capable of praying for himself and he probably has a bucket full of other people praying for him, as he’s clearly unafraid to ask for that help. You don’t need his self-motivated prayers, either. Give your prayer energy to yourself and ignore his drama.

    Take care.

    • I agree with Amiisfree. Go no contact. It truly will help YOU heal faster, who gives a crap about him.

      CN, I am struggling. I am the music director at a church, so you can imagine the religious tones that have popped up have made me pay attention. My pastors are aware of my situation, and have extended to me compassion and grace while I and cheater attempt to work things out. For that I am so grateful. They know. The rest of the congregation? No. I slap on my happy face and do what I have to do.

      For the record, when the senior pastor heard about cheater’s activities, he wanted to know why I hadn’t yet thrown him out. Good question, and one I am still grappling with. Much of it has to do with that very term “grace”.

      One of my friends who is going through some serious stuff with her husband (alcoholism) refuses to attend church because she thinks everybody there is “judgy” and “hypocrites”. While I don’t deny there may be some of that is some churches, I called her on being judgy by assuming ALL Christians are that way.

      I believe that every single person sitting in the pew on Sunday morning has some serious shit going on in their life….but because we are (at my church) an overly educated and polite bunch of people, we tend to keep our personal drama to ourselves. No need to air the dirty laundry, so to speak. And, since we are so self-sufficient, we are terrible at asking others for help when we need it. So we suck it up, drag ourselves out of bed, and go to church looking for….whatever it is we are looking for. For those going through life-changing crap, it is a respite, of sorts. I am thankful.

      • Real Christians aren’t in the pews because they think they are perfect; they are there because they know they need help. I am glad you have found support in your pastor. I firmly believe my priest saved my life. He was my Chumplady before I found Chumplady. He is the one who pointed out that I could not forgive because he showed no remorse and no repentance. He reminded me that cheater broke the vows not me. He gently pointed out that I had been defrauded and no real marriage had been made. It took me a while to listen, and he was patient, kind, and supportive through that.

        And yes, as a person of faith it infuriates me that these disordered imposters abuse people’s goodness by parading in a Christian mask.

      • How do you work things out with a liar and a cheater? I’m not being glib.

        What are you going to do – have a GPS implanted in his arm? Make him wear a go pro camera on his head?

        You are just wasting time.

        • Believe me, I am struggling with this. I have NO desire to be the marriage police. It could very well be that it will be impossible to move beyond what he did…and it was a LOT, sadly. I just haven’t gotten there, yet. I have never loved anybody as deeply as him, and I am not willing, yet, to relinquish and turn my back on that love (even though HE turned his back on it…yeah. I know). His betrayal was a pain worse than childbirth.

          • You can’t work things out with a liar and cheater!

            Any false hope they give, is an illusion.

            I tiger never ever changes his stripes!! I’ve finally accepted that through all the wisdom on CN.

            Keep coming back to CN/ you will get the courage through wisdom on this site to finally say, ENOUGH!

      • Ivy League Chump, you are very lucky you have such a supportive and wise pastor! My now ex-pastor tried to put some of the blame on me, plus lots of other garbage he put me through (long story!) Have you made your way to Divorce Ministers blog? His blog has been a very big help to me as a Christian who is trying very hard not to swear anymore. 🙂 And also not all Christians are hypocrites like your friend thinks. If people need to be fake, happy and perfect around me, they are not my Christian peeps!

    • Amyisfree,

      Your response is absolutely spot on. Block this guy in every possible way.

      I read something awesome today: “When the past calls, send it to voicemail. It has nothing new to say.” I love that. The past isn’t worthy of our today so let’s all ignore it!

  • Always Giving,

    Message him,
    Tell him to go fuck himself and that is your final answer!

    Unimaginable, cheaters have that way about them!

  • “….don’t date until you can dump and be dumped.”

    Three cheers for this bit of wisdom, Chump Lady!!! Chumps are quick to fall in love, quick to give it our all, and quick to spackle when necessary. (At least before we become Mighty.)

    If you’re looking for a partner with hopes of marriage, there are only two options for every relationship: Marriage OR Breakup. (Unless you are okay with cohabitation.) I’ve told this to my kids more than once: You’re either going to marry them or eventually break up with them; keep this in mind and protect your heart, because more folks will fall in the latter category and only one will fall in the first.

    The ability to dump someone takes almost as much fortitude as does that terrifying path down the aisle to put your tender heart in someone else’s hands.

    One of the proudest days of my life after I was unchumped and had started dating was when I found the guts to break up with a guy over a box of Hamburger Helper. A long story which I’ll share another time. lol But trust me when I say it was a foreshadowing of how pathetic his attempts to reciprocate were.

  • “Dear Bottomless Receptacle of Vainglorious Conceit,
    I’m so over you my overies shrivel up in disgust at the mere thought of you. Your generous “offer” is a self-absorption reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge prior to the Visitations. Hell, you’d beat “Bounty” for sopping wet mess. Consequently, all novenas have been transferred to the deserving: Note you are not among that cohort. In the event I ever decide to engage in any ritual prayer involving you it will include an exorcist, a keg of holy hops and a metric shit ton of garlic.
    I Always Give As Good As I Get.”

  • As much as it may hurt now, this is in fact,a blessing in disguise.
    I recommend you take CL’s advice and steer clear of this asshole. If you don’t, you’ll be guaranteed setting yourself up for a life of heartbroken pick-me dancing to his tune. Because that’s exactly what this is, it’s his dog whistle in disguise and “feeling out” how short his leash is on you.
    The “text me when” bit is a covert way of making you do something, since he already knows youre invested and noe you’ve been hurt, he’s goading you into texting to prove something.
    He’s flipping the script of “be the bigger person” as manipulation. But, you knkw what? It’s a-ok to not be the bigger/better person, it’s ok to not let bygones be bygones. It’s ok to be angry and at the same time walk away from something that has been proven a toxic sham….if nothing else proves that the theories set forth in CL’s books are right on the $$ other than reading the comments here, I’ll give you an anecdote.

    My 1st ever “real” boyfriend (about 25 years ago, and my 1st ever sexual relation) played off the whole “loving bf bit” to a t. Walked me home every day after school/work…took me to dinner with his parents at their place…attentive lover…daytrips…fresh picked flowers, etcetcetc. at 1st i wasn’t really interested in him, but i grew to love him. Once that (me) was secured, he dumped me. No phone calls, icy and distant behavior towards meat biweekly choir practice (where we met and everyone knew we were a couple), i was cut off! The crazymaking was a twice monthly thing, when he didn’t rush out after choir had ended, like he started doing, but waited for me at the door and offered to walk me home….which i always seized upon, because i yearned to spend time with him. He would walk close but wouldn’t take my hand. He flirted all the way home, waited til i had our gate open and then gave me a cold kiss on the cheek then hurried off…i was an 18 yo going nuts.
    His best friend was an old choir member who had moved away a few months before we got into this “relationship”.
    He visited our practice one evening to come say hello to everyone. This one acted all nice to me during break, but bolted after practice “sorry, gotta do something for the family”.
    Our old friend and i sat down for a coffee afterwards to chat….word turned towards this guy and this friend told me he was surprised to hear a while back from my “bf” that we are “dating” because said boyfriend had carried a flame for another choir member for years long, before i was even a member of the choir… i was stabbed in the heart. Like, someone had really, truly gutted me. And then it all made sense…. all the times he was friendly before/during/after practices was when this chick was at practice. He bragged at practice about “mg’s coming over to family dinner this week”.
    Any and everything to make this woman jealous, because he had done the same “walk you home?” And “fresh picked flowers” bit for her before…. but she rebuffed him!
    I thanked the friend, even though i was angry at him for not saying a word, but he said he considered this issue none of his business…

    This ate up over a year of my life. The virginity/sexuality aspect of it saddened me… made me feel used, worthless, thrown away… made me feel crazy for not knowing where i stood, because he *never told me* we broke up, so i kept pinning and trying…called him at home, his family always denied he’s there…etcetcetc.

    During summer choir training camp (we reviewed the material of next season, roughly went over it and also spent a week together having fun) there was a new female member admitted. He immediately went in on her hot and heavy. She and i were placed in the same dorm with a few other girls, so he would stay up on her bunk and they talked for hours. I saw him droning around her and witnessed him always watching his true flame, to see if she’s noticing his attention ln another female…but she didn’t give a hoot.

    As much as it killed me inside, i kept going to choir, because it was something i loved. I sat with others instead of waiting for him at “our table” during breaks. If he came up to offer to walk me home i politely but firmly said “no thank you, I’ve got a ride” and walkedhome myself. When he started calling our house i told family to say I’m not home, even if i was… i made new friends, i went out to have fun, i concentrated on school…and eventually i fell in love with a great guy and the new female in the choir became a life-long friend! We didn’t squabble over this idiot, because she didn’t want him and i wasn’t going to fight for someone who used me and threw me away like trash.

    I don’t know to this day if my 1st bf was a narc, but his using women to get to one he can’t, it’s disgusting and loathsome.

    Be happy that he said you’re not the one. I wouldn’t be happy with myself if an asshole told me I’m the one for them.

    • “*never told me* we broke up”. Ug. I used to hate it when they would do that. Not bother to tell you so you had to figure it out for yourself and in the meantime unsure about excepting dates from other guys because you might still have a boyfriend.

      • Chumpin, after a while of “doing my thing” i just didn’t care anymore and accepted the friendship and love of someone who cared for me and came through for me…that love ended a few years later, but we were together growing into our 20s til our lives and plans were incompatible…we remained friends.

    • What a terrible person! I feel compassion for the young innocent and naive girl you were.

      • Thank you Mother. His family was full of assholes, now that i think back on it…the only nice one was his father. His mother loathed me, though i had no idea why. I was raised by my grandma, polite, good manners, dressed conservatively, great grades… 3/4 of them (mom, him, his sis) had a “better than you” attitude. I think that should have been an indicator. But i was too young to pick up on it.
        I guess his grand plan of bringing home the hot blond uni student being swapped for the mousey highschool senior wasn’t as polished…i thought later that he may have talked about his flame to them, seeing as his family was always at our concerts, they knew everyone… just like my family supported my singing.
        Anyhow, this was a very long time ago…so long in fact, that i had buried it really deep and didn’t think twice when he sent me a friend request on Facebook…i accepted.
        When i started going through my most recent narc relationship (the most painful) and started reading, i went through my friends list and blocked anyone from my past that hurt me deeply and unforgivably – including him!

    • MG, that 1st BF of your was absolutely a Narc.

      The treating people like objects with no feelings for them at all and then easily replacing them is the hallmark of a disordered Narc.

      • Thank you Gator, i suspected as much. My spackling self sometimes said “but we were just inexperienced kids!”. And other times the truth really hit.
        Best part was when he once caught me walking home, he said he’ll walk me to my gate and wouldn’t take no for an answer….so i walk to the gate, open, step in, lock gate…he keeps talking and i wasn’t stong enough yet to be impolite to anyone, so i juststood there…i heard my grandma open a window and ask “who’s at the front? Mg, is that you?” And before i could reply, my sister yells from another area of our yard “yeah it’s her, and the asshole is here BUT he’s leaving”

  • I blame the culture of fairy tales and “stand by your man” because “after all he’s just a man.” for the codependent thinking behavior that influenced my mother and me. Although we were both fortunate enough to live in a time when we could be educated, and we both worked and had our own money, we were still swayed by thinking we needed to live our lives to accommodate the men in them. Co-dependent may be an odious term, but many of the characteristics were drummed into me as I was being raised. Also my father was a Malignant Narcissist — and a “dry drunk” alcoholic — while I was growing up, so I was somewhat brainwashed into thinking I had somehow failed, since I could never please him.

    My mother had learned the art of keeping silent, even though she did not live her life according to the “rules” her domineering father had provided. My mother rebelled in her own way, finally, and I certainly chose to rebel in a more direct and dynamic fashion. Still, those childhood lessons are insidious. It took me a long time, a lot of study and research, and some therapy to break the bonds. I do not accept that it is my place to give and give and give, anymore. I look for reciprocity in any relationship I have – family and friends. If it is not there, I walk away. I know what I need for boundaries to protect myself, and to thrive, myself. I don’t accept less. If that means I will live the remainder of my life as a single woman — believe me, it is a price I am more than willing to pay. I actually have grown to love being alone some of the time, and I have learned how to initiate being social when I need that.

    I am probably considered old fashioned in my outlook on dating. The generation of men I grew up with did not seem to care for, or value women that pursued them. I have never done so, and I don’t see that changing. I also don’t send, or want to receive nude or sex pictures. I don’t intend to have sex unless I know someone very well, and have observed him over a period of time in various situations. Booty call is a foreign notion to me. Why would I want to make myself available for use by a man who suddenly finds himself alone on a night he thought he had plans? I am worth the planning part, I don’t deserve the substitute plan part. For those of you who are younger, modern chemistry aside, most older men have issues of some type which makes sex problematic any way. If the man is worth your time, then he should certainly convince you that you are worth his investment of time and caring. Don’t let a previous relationship short track your courtship — you could well be shortchanging yourself.

    Life can be sweet if you take the time to enjoy it. Make sure YOU feel you are worth the best, and treat yourself to the best whenever you can. When a man provides you with information that he is not worth it – the right attitude is gratitude for the heads up. After two months of dating, you are not “the One”? Why, thanks for letting me know NOT to waste anymore of my precious time on you!

    • I think for young women–and maybe for some older ones–they have the notion that they can “give” to a man (sex, food, time, attention) and somehow a man who has just made a booty call will “love” them instead of just seeing them as objects to be used. If we’re saying “time’s up” on other forms of abuse, let’s include that one.

    • “I am worth the planning part.I don’t deserve the substitute plan part”

      Thanks Portia-those words get jotted down in my CL journal

      I decided not to bother with a man I met who complained I wasn’t “spontaneous” enough meaning I wasn’t willing to accept last minute invites (or change my plans) when he rolled into town. I don’t think he’s married and I don’t care that he’a an attorney who makes lots of money.

  • This letter and the comments bring back a lot of bad memories for me. Very cringe worthy stuff. My cheater and his OW were the Jesus cheater types. She told me they would have sex then hop out of their hotel room bed, get to their knees and pray to God for forgiveness! But of course then they would repeat the whole process again the next weekend at a different hotel! Yuck! I can only guess that they thought this covered them in God’s eyes because Hey, they asked for forgiveness each time!!! It’s ridiculous. Then of course someone mentioned their cheaters porn addiction. I found tons of raunchy porn in my cheaters home office after he left. I was shocked, but as I think back I remember the day I had to call the cable guy because it was going buggy. The guy told me he wanted to test everything to be sure it was working properly. He hit the button for the DVR and BAM! We were watching some raunchy video of “Grannies Gone Wild”! I almost fainted! The poor repairman was embarrassed too! Or the time I opened my bill from Direct TV and I was being charged for a porn movie. Of course I protested at the time that no one in my house would EVER view that smut! But those memory cards inside the equipment don’t lie and I ended up paying for it anyways. He would view tons of porn on the computer when our grandkids would visit and then blame it on our 12 year old grandsons!! What a guy! And I was Little Miss Clueless because this stuff was so nasty I couldn’t believe anyone, much less my husband, would actually sit and watch this crap! I was such a trusting super chump! Cringe!

  • This post really hit home for me. Just this morning (while reading this post in fact) I realized that I did the pick me dance the two men I dated after my Cheater Pants…just not in the “traditional” sense.

    The first guy I dated was a widow and still very much in love with his wife. I played the pick me dance with his dead wife and I of course was losing. It went on for 9 months – me trying to demonstrate my worth/value then I got fed up and left.

    The second guy had substance abuse problems and I was doing the pick me dance with his drugs. Also a doomed endeavor. That one only lasted 3 months. I guess I am getting better.

    Incidentally, when I was finally ready to say goodbye to Bachelor #1…he did this strange anxious scrambling, the equivalent of “I PICK YOU!!”. Has anyone ever “won” the pick me dance? I saw “won” in quotation marks because I don’t think it’s a real win. I think it’s just the sparkly turd that’s Tracey references often. I knew deep down that things wouldn’t change even if I gave him another chance and besides I was so resentful at that point (for the 9 month dance) that I wasn’t interested in trying.

    Anyway, I guess the point of my post is that I think the pick me dance can happen in a multitude of different ways – any time someone gives you the message that you aren’t good enough and you respond with trying to prove them wrong. So really “knowing your worth” and being willing to walk away from those situations, instead of trying to prove your worth/dancing like a monkey…well I do think that’s the key to ending these dysfunctional relationships and showing that you are in fact good enough.

    • Please don’t use the phrase “showing that you are in fact good enough”. People should be in relationships where your partner thinks that you are “MORE than good enough”. A partner (or spouse) should view you as something better than good enough. And you should view them the same way. Otherwise both of you are just settling.
      “good enough” sounds like the runner up or Plan B to the one that got away.

      • True^^ I could see that my wife wasn’t perfect, but I loved her and felt lucky to be with her. She, however, felt we had grown apart. I wasn’t enough for her. I don’t think anyone can be for her. That, I think,saysmore about her than me.

        I had a favourite quote about long marriages. An older couple said the secret of a long marriage is not falling out of love is not falling out of love at the same time. I thought it was a great way of expressing how there are times in marriages that things aren’t always the best, but that love can help you through. This does, of course, rely on the fact that when one of you isn’t feeling the love you don’t go out looking for some strange.

        Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck fuck (sorry but this still hurts like nothing else still)

    • People who are actively abusing substances are not available to be in healthy relationships. And you can’t save them or change them. Walk away immediately. Ask me how I know.

  • First thing, there’s no such thing as “The one”. That’s warped romance novel bullshit. Either you’re compatible or you’re not. Hell I’m 51, countless boyfriends and 3 husbands later, how many times do think I thought they were The One?

    Secondly, what’s with all the praying? And he wants you to pray for him? Why, so God will make him less of a self-absorbed twit? Yes, please call me and tell me how much you miss me. Hell no.

    • Absolutely! The idea that there is “THE ONE” is nuts. Certainly people may have similar temperaments, values, interests, and goals, and this is probably why they got together in the first place, but the idea that there is ONE person out there for you is absolutely crazy. A relationship requires commitment and a willingness for give and take. I loved my STBXW with all my heart, and I thought that we would be together forever. Not because it was destined to be, or that she was perfect, but because I was committed to the marriage and family. She told me, after Dday, that she decided that I just wasn’t for her. She decided that our marriage wasn’t worth the commitment any longer. Of course, the fact that she was in an affair for over a year at that point in time might have been a bit of a problem. A marriage, or any long-term relationship, has ebbs and flows. I could not compete with a new boyfriend who didn’t have any family obligations and could be Mr. Fun Time. Actually, Mr. Fun Time did have a wife at home, no kids. He’s a prize all right!

      My STBXW and I need to be in contact because we have kids, otherwise I wouldn’t be completely NC. She wants us to be friends, or so she said at the beginning, but that just shows how shallow some of these cheaters are. Do they really believe that chumps can just say “oh, well”, I guess all those years together, broken promises and dreams, damage to our kids’ futures are not nearly as important as your happiness with your new bf. Let’s all be pals, hell, I’ll invite him over for a beer. No thanks, you obviously didn’t appreciate the gift that you were given.

      • CanadianDad,
        Me, too, I was in it 100% because that’s how I love. How I commit. I still considered him “the love of my life” not in spite of our flaws and humanness, but because of all we’d been through and tried to keep improving. That included 2 simultaneous affairs when we were married just 3 years, but I thought we were unicorns who “survived” and “came out better” (the R.I.C’s best MadMen motto). We were also in addiction recovery. Had lost a stillborn child. I felt like the marriage was our foundation and we were equally invested. Discovering a 3-years-long “EA” w a skanky MOW who had the audacity to come to my home after I helped him live through sepsis last spring was the last straw.
        I was committed alone. But HIS shame IS NOT mine. Eat that, RIC!
        NO more UNICORNS. My eyes are open now.
        Always Giving, you have been spared sharing visitation w that idiot. Spared a long, drawn-out divorce where you lose half of what you have built over decades.
        This is the ONE I’ll proudly be:
        The ONE that GOT AWAY!

  • Hi Always Giving:

    If you’re always giving and he’s always taking, then your relationship isn’t based on love. Truly you are a kibble dispenser. He’s hungry, he goes to the kibble dispenser. There’s no effort involved. He doesn’t have to earn that kibble. He just takes it when he wants.

    Now he’s coming back, telling you that you can still be a kibble dispenser.

    Here’s what you do. Don’t respond. Responding gives him kibble. He’ll probably text back a few more times, but keep going No Contact. You don’t owe him a response. The fact is that he had someone–you–who was willing to give him everything. That wasn’t good enough for him. Now he wants you back in his orbit, but only if you give him MORE. Maybe that’ll rekindle that old flame!

    You–and everyone else–deserves better than that!

    If you’re feeling sad that you were dumped, and if you’re tempted to respond to him because you feel that grow old lonely and wretched and that at least if you were with Fuckwit you’d have someone, then get thee to a therapist to do some fundamental work on your self esteem. Lots of therapists are out there who can help with relationship issues. Learn to set and enforce your boundaries from the get-go. You’ll be going through a lot of dates initially, but you will eventually find someone who respects you and your boundaries.

    Stay strong and count your blessings that you truly aren’t The One for him!

    Dating is fundamentally different from marriage. In dating, you’re exploring whether or not you and the other person share interests and core values. If either of you discovers that there’s some incompatibility, then either of you can call things off. Of course, the longer you’ve been dating that person, the more it hurts to be rejected and the harder it is to reject. Still, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. The person has crossed a boundary. Maybe it’s not a character flaw, but it’s still some kind of deal breaker for you. Maybe the other person uses tobacco products and you decide that this is something you really can’t live with. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, just not right for you!

  • This brings back some memories. Back in college I had a guy love bomb me for several months. I was unsure at first but eventually the love bombing did its job and I started to have feelings for him. As soon as I admitted my feelings I was informed that he had decided he really only liked me as a friend after all (of course this was after making out with me for a while), but that it was really important to him that we remain friends. I took this at face value so I tried to hang around and just be a friend. Whenever I did this, however, I felt like a hanger on so I would stop hanging around. Then he would see me in the hallway or something and say “how come you don’t hang around anymore?” so I would go hang around again. This repeated for a few more months. Sometimes he would even kiss me. He was always the initiator, I was being very careful not to be (didn’t want to frighten the timid forest creature). Afterwards he would tell his friends “she kissed me, she just can’t let me go, I like her but just not that way, what do I do?”. One time he pulled me into a darkened room and we were making out. Things were getting a bit more aggressive than I was comfortable with, especially considering our history. I was confused and scared and didn’t know how to stop it so I started crying and thankfully that stopped it. That was just before summer break so we did not see each other again until the fall. Thankfully, before then, one of his acquaintances let me know what he was saying about that. He had it as me being the aggressor and “I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t stopped it”. That is when I finally got pissed and realized that he didn’t like me, he just wanted me to like him because it gave him an ego boost. After that I blew him off, no contact, and never went back to his living unit again. I would still occasionally see him in the hallways and he would say “how come you don’t hang around anymore”. I would just say “you know where I live” and move on. The important point, however, is that once I recognized the fact that he wasn’t worthy of my friendship, it didn’t take long at all to get over him. AG, recognize that he isn’t worth your time, blow him off and you will feel better in no time.

    Alas, that was not the last of my dysfunctional relationships. Sigh.

  • I would be tempted to text:

    Hey Fuckwit, bless your heart. This is me letting you know that I am over you. Bye-bye. Don’t bother to reply.


  • Delete him right now from your phone and life!!!!!He is not the the one! Find your mighty girl inside you. Do not short change yourself for this clown.

  • Dear “Always Giving,”

    Change your name. Don’t be “always giving.” Expect reciprocity or you end up either living with someone who takes and takes and takes. Or you end up dumped by someone someone who takes and takes and takes. And what he’s really taking is your time. Your youth. Your life. “Giving” is a good thing if you have boundaries and if the person you “give” to also gives back. The only people who will take and take and take for years are your kids! That’s because they are not able to take care of themselves and so your job is to give them what they need until they are independent. And your job is to teach them as they grow and become civilized not to be adult “takers.” You don’t see Mama birds feeding giant bird grown-up babies.

    And don’t give anyone your heart and your loyalty without reserving love for yourself and loyalty to yourself as well.

  • SSDD..same shit different dude. I heard this same shit too after narcula went for a long walk then came back and declared that “God” had told him that he needed to move on and be with latest sparkletwat. Guessing that he was talking to whomever he was cheating with at that time on his phone and that female got upgraded to “God” to make his cheating more acceptable. After all, “God” said so. Not like he was religious or anything or was I for that matter. Told me once his deceived father told him to cheat too. Its truly amazing how similar cheaters are in their lies and bullshit.

    • I’m not very religious myself. I believe that we do not know enough to say if there is a higher power or not. Different faiths exist, with many different fine points, but the basics of most faiths are very similar. We are guided by our faiths in how we interact with each other. Every faith I know of would have us treat each other with love and kindness. Reflecting on our faith, or praying certainly can help you think through what you should do. I don’t think cheating on your spouse and children is going to be supported by any deity. Especially not if one of the basic rules of the faith forbids it!

      Besides, anyone who is hearing voices telling them to do things is likely someone you want to get far away from. Maybe they need to be reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • Always Giving,

    We were probably twins in a past life.

    I know that this situation SUCKS. (I just woke up from three dreams about my ex-boyfriend, who I wanted to marry but who left for the last time five months ago. In my last dream, my ex-boyfriend fooled around with me in a toy store and then tried to cover up the evidence, deny that he was involved with me, when the police showed up.) Just like real life. In our 2.5 year long intimate relationship and after 30 years of ‘friendship,’ he NEVER posted a photo of me (couple’s or even group) on social media. After two years of dating, he told me that he was afraid that his ex-wife, who committed adultery with multiple men and was fine with leaving HIM, might see a photo of us in a giant group photo on someone else’s social media page! In reality, he was grooming a work subordinate to become my replacement, which she did. At discard, he told me out of the blue that he ‘Just wanted to be happy!’ and ‘I want to run away from you,’ although occasionally I would ask him if ‘we’ were OK and he would say yes. He then told me, ‘I don’t see you in my future.’ Half an hour later he said, ‘I love you.’ The next day, he told me that I deserved someone who would be ‘present’ in my life and ‘You can hang around me if we keep things the same–but no lovey dovey!’ (So it was OK for me to hang around as an on-demand unpaid prostitute?). He also told me, ‘I don’t want you to hang around by the phone on Friday nights pining for me.’ Noble guy. That one. (Sarcasm.) By ending this sham of a relationship, you can avoid these indignities and the many more appalling indignities I have experienced nearly monthly for the last few years. How I wish that I had never gotten intimately involved with this dishonest, uncommitted, entitled sparkly being.

  • Always Giving – I am sorry for your pain. I wish that my cheater ex-boyfriend (first significant relationship following my divorce) would have done me a favor by telling me I wasn’t “the one” when we first started dating. Instead, he held my hand over the dinner table, pressed me for my thoughts on the future of our relationship, looked deeply into my eyes and said, “I am *very* monogamous.” This, all while planning to have sex with his ex-girlfriend on his annual three-week trip to visit his parents in Europe. (And afterwards, briefly dump me while she came and visited him in the States – we lived five hours from each other, so I had no clue what was really going on – he had blamed our relationship failure on the geographic distance.)

    Now I laugh at his use of the phrase “very monogamous.” Does monogamy come in degrees, or is that like saying “very pregnant” or “very dead”?

    I didn’t find out about his cheating until we’d gotten back together and dated for 2 1/2 years. I remember telling him once, “I think I’m someone for you, but not THE ONE.” In my gut, I knew I was a place-holder of sorts. His response: “Well, if you’re not THE ONE, then why am I investing so much time in you?” Strange reply, now that I think about it.

  • Ah, the emotionally unavailable and non-committal. They can’t commit to you and they can’t commit to leaving you alone. What they can commit to, is friend-zoning you to the back burner, to join the rest of the harem. Or, he’s trying to remain “friends” in the name of looking like the nice guy, or “letting you down easy,” (a line my ex used on me about OW-the one he’s now married to.) Some don’t realize the genuine damage they cause by trying to maintain a one-sided friendship with you. They secretly
    pity you and figure they’ll bless you with their minimal, magnificent presence in your life. That’s why you must be the one to set that boundary by not participating. It’s such a waste of energy, and keeps you from going forward with someone who actually wants to pursue something further.
    If you, as a person, don’t mind being friend zoned and are willing to accept crumbs or take what you can get from get from him, at the expense of your own peace and well-being, then you have some reevaluating to do- not to beat yourself up over, but to reorganize your priorities and take control of your part in the situation. Stop giving! Save yourself from further emotional pain and heal. Let the wound scab over once and for all, instead of picking it off and allowing it to become an obsession, in which infection will slowly set in.
    This guy has already showed you who he is within the little amount of time you’ve gotten to know eachother, and his rejection sounds like a blessing in disguise, if you ask me.
    Just be wary, that he will try to gain you back once you reject him; especially if you were high-quality ego supply, in the past. Its just a game, Christian or not. We all fall short if the glory of God, and neurosis exists in all humans. Live your word. Be done. You have better investments to pursue!

  • Never make someone a priority, who treats you like an option.

    That is what I would have told my old self.

    Always Giving, you have received a wonderful lesson, free, from the Universe/your higher power. Stop that giving lopsidedly now! I really hope you take it and never EVER allow anyone to treat you like a plaything again. You are not a plaything. You are wonderful and glorious.

  • All through my single, dating days from 51 to 56, I encountered guys who would do various versions of the “you’re not The One but we can still be f*ck buddies if you like”. At first, it hurt, but it got to be so frequent that I just started laughing it off and just IGNORING their stupid tactics. Don’t even bother telling the idiot you’re over him. Just decide to never see him again.

    There are so many men (and women) out there who are simply not prepared to conduct a quid pro quo relationship. They would rather troll for sex and avoid any sort of decent, committed relationship. That’s too much like hard work with not enough instant gratification. Problem is, they also are usually the type of chickenshits who won’t tell you this about themselves.

    I’ve told more than one of them to invest in a blow up doll if that’s what they want.

    Be glad you dodged the bullet. Next!

  • I love this post too. I just broke up with a guy last week after dating for 6 months. My fault that I didn’t listen to my gut sooner that it wasn’t right but I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt. We had lots in common and I was attracted to him but the red flags were flying high. Lessons learned and I’m moving on but the way he reacted to me breaking things off just confirmed my feelings. We were DATING, not married. It’s ok for someone to say they aren’t feeling it and don’t want to move forward with the relationship. I know for sure that I’m completely ok by myself even though it can be lonely. Thank god for good friends and family. I’m not compromising or settling!!!! Thank you CL and CN for all the words of wisdom.

  • What’s with the “praying over it” stuff? “Praying” is for your child’s health or your significant other or relative in Iraq. It demonstrates how unserious that this jerk is and smarmy (sp). And I am speaking as a practicing Catholic (most of the time, sometimes just culturally Irish Catholic). God and praying is saved for serious issues, not that you are trying to figure out who to date or dump.

  • You’re not the One but he wants to be friends. Is this the standard operating procedure for cheaters? I swear. If I hear, let’s be friends one more time, I’m going to scream. Let’s be realistic, can you really be friends with someone who says they don’t want you? What will you do as friends – go shopping, talk about your personal dating stories and boyfriend/girlfriend, be there for each other during the hard times?? And once the cheater finds someone else, will you really remain friends?? or will they dump you like yesterday’s trash??? I mean let’s be friends and hang out means, I’ll keep you around for my sexual needs. That phrase is so incredibly insulting, because they treat you like a piece of meat. That is anything, but a friend.

    • +1. Word. It is incredibly insulting. My X wants to be “friends.” He thinks that someday we might be able to be together again, ie married again. I’m sorry, but does anyone even know anyone that that has really worked out for? And if it did work out for them, on a scale of 1 – 10, how weird are they? Cuz it’s not awkward or anything to get back together. It’s a neverending cesspool of spackle and justifications.

      I think they bank on us not thinking this “friend” thing through. Or it is just all about sex? Both options not only make you look like an idiot, but you get to act like one too. Nothing like abdicating your self worth with impaired judgement.

      • Yep, this is crazy-making for sure. My STBXW floated this idea, but I think she made it even worse by saying it like, “I want to be your friend, but I know you might not be able to…” WTF!!!!! First of all, how can I really be friends with someone who has been so damn unfriendly to me, and secondly, I like how you make me not being your friend another failing you think I have. It’s not a fault, it’s fucking self-respect. Anyone who lies, betrays your trust, and hurts my kids is not my friend. It just sucks that it was the person who was supposed to be my best friend.

  • Dear AG,

    I’m not sure if you’ve previously been married to a cheater and have just started dating or if this is a recent dating experience you’ve had. We don’t like to participate in the pain Olympics here but keep this in mind:

    You’re not the one…

    He will give an STI to
    That his pervasive sense of entitlement will lead him to cheating on
    That will have to breed with this entitled fuckwit
    That will waste years or decades of your life with said entitled dirt bag

    And if you’re smart you will not be “the one” to pick me dance for him.

    Scan, discard, select and move on. That’s what they taught us for the SATs back in the day. Discard this one and move on!

  • Ouch. That is dating.

    Dating after divorce was really difficult for me because I never dated when I was younger. I learned a lot. Importantly, I learned how to identify what I was looking for and how to communicate that.

    Listen, dating is about finding out if the other person is a good fit — for you.

    No to over simplify, but there will be times when you will be rejected and when you will reject someone. If you are lucky, you will get rejected by someone who is caring, honest and speaks with you in person (don’t get me started with text messages). However, many times the explanations are obtuse or nonsensical. Don’t bother trying to untangle their reasons. (Does anyone else recall that movie ‘He’s just not that into you’?) Don’t waste any more energy on them. There is nothing wrong with you!

    And, when someone tells you what they are looking for (e.g. I want something causal right now) LISTEN to them. If is isnt’t matching with what you want, move on.


    • Yes! And I’ve watched that movie too and I remember reading the book when it came out. Use it as useful information. He’s just not that into you. The most important takeaway here is not to internalize it. It doesn’t need to be hurtful (or as hurtful) if you view in a light that is, “Hey, you can let this one go because you have nothing to work with here.” That is incredibly useful information. That means that you get to MOVE ON. That means that you can stop wasting your time, and their time and MOVE ON.

  • Seems to me that Friends with benefits -> unpaid sex supply / Kibble supply i.e. cheater magnet,
    Cheater repellant -> knowing your worth / having boundaries i.e. fixing your picker

    Today’s comments have many things to remember should I ever feel breve enough to joining the dating world again (good with Family, friends and pets as company right now).

  • Always Giving, just block his number and continue living life. Two months isn’t very long in the grand scheme of things. He at least told you with his mouth, not by break-up text. Dating is what you do to find out who someone is. Just remember, a man is like a bus, there’s always another one coming.

  • It hurts when you have made a connection with someone, or think you have, and it doesn’t work out. I’ve told my own kids that they need to be upfront and honest with their prospective partners. Show respect to one another, be honest with one another. If you want casual, you tell them. If they are telling you what they want and it is not what you are willing to give, then you tell them that.

    I am not ready to date yet, not after a thirty year relationship coming apart, but I hope to some day. I think that dating is different than marriage. The expectations are different, priorities are different. I don’t know that I would ever be able to be as vulnerable or as giving of all of my life as I was in my marriage.

    I know that there may be dates that will not be great, and others that may lead to something more, but either way, hopefully all the experiences help you to figure out who you are and what you are looking for in a partner.

    • What you said….I’ll never be a vulnerable again or giving again. That saddens me.

  • AG, I know it hurts now, but some day you will look back on this (after it has been filed in the “Bad Dates” recesses of your mind) and be thankful (and be able to laugh about) that you weren’t his “one”. The fact that he actually said to message him when you are “over” him followed by you don’t have to wait and to message that you are thinking of him…. WOW! It’s amazing the guy can walk upright based on the size of his over-inflated head.

  • Timely, timely post.

    Dated a guy off & on for a year after my divorce. Just broke things off with him for good last month. Met him through my job. He came along when I was lonely, vulnerable, feeling terribly rejected, and horny as hell. He gave me the attention I’d been missing from my XH & I ate it up.

    I’ve nicknamed him Casper because he’d get a burr up his ass for whatever reason (more than likely he was on the hunt for something better than me) and he’d ghost me. Well, being the naive gullible Chump that I am would respond to his texts after not hearing from him for a month or so & the cycle would just go ’round & ’round. I thought he’d be different. Supposedly, he was a fellow chump as well, so I thought there’d be no playing games. I was wrong & I spackled & made excuses for his poor treatment of me even when my friends & family screamed for me to run. His last ghosting took place at the end of October (after he got one last romp bed, mind you). I got 4 random texts from him the next 2 months, the last one on Christmas morning wishing me a Merry Christmas. I told him I missed him, which I did. He responded that there were “things” he missed too, but sometimes things just don’t work out. Yeah, I’m guessing back rubs & blowjobs were the only things he missed. It pissed me off. I told him that he made sure things worked out for him to have sex with me one last time before he went ghost yet again & his chicken shit ghosting me days were over as well as his stringing me along with random texts.

    I saw him face to face for the first time since October just this morning. He was a complete jackass. He’s the only man I’ve been with in 22 years besides my XH. I realized that under normal circumstances, he’s not someone I would have normally been attracted to. I was just hungry for attention. And really, he was just a lesson that I needed to learn.

    I have gone on a couple of dates since him, but for the first time in 22 years I am actually alone. I think that’s what I was afraid of was the being alone and that’s why I put up with his shit. I’d already invested time in him & didn’t want to start over in the dating world yet again. Stupid thinking on my part. I am no longer settling…I am soooo working on my picker right now. Really paying attention to today’s responses.

    • I’m dating Bob for the time being, he’s really straightforward with no drama. Battery Operated Boyfriend !

  • This letter is a classic red flag scenario that many of us probably recognize from the early stages of our own relationships. Ie managing down her expectations, and seeing if she’ll accept crumbs. Meanwhile probably dating/bonking several other people. In narc speak, hey, telling you you’re not the one doesn’t mean our relationship has to end! You can be my peripheral fuck buddy/admirer instead! Erm, no fucking thanks dude.

    • This!!! Every word of this post is true. You’re not the One, but hey let me keep you around and use you. Instead of doing the decent thing and cutting off contact, so each party can heal on their own.

  • This was such a timely post for me. Before X, there was a guy I dated who I loved to bits. I thought he was it! I was shocked when he dumped me. We dated for 9 months and I got the, “I prayed about it, but you aren’t the one” too. I was dumbfounded and just last week, I was thinking about it and feeling bad about my apparent failure in relationships. How could I not be someone’s “one?” And if that is the way the game is played, how in the world am I going to find my “one?”

    At the time, I was deeply religious (and I am now again since X is gone) and this break-up was so hurtful that it sent me reeling. It felt like he had given me the not so subtle hint that I wasn’t as spiritual as he was. That he, and he alone, could determine the course of our future together, if indeed we had one. It wasn’t a mutual, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about marriage with you. Have you thought about it? I wonder, since we’re both religious if we should think about it together and maybe pray about too. What do you think?” In my opinion, that is what someone who has YOUR interest at heart would say. Someone who thinks of you as an equal and wants to treat you as such in the future. Someone who values you and respects you.

    To the writer of this letter: Don’t let someone else dictate to you whether or not you are the “one.” That’s not even how the conversation should be approached. He’s trying to let you know that you are not as good as he is, as spiritual as he is and therefore you are “less than” and in the future, that will give him power to lord over you in other conversations as well. Tell him to take it and shove it. Really, really, you don’t want to end up with one of these types either.

    • Amen. I had one of those, too, once – the deeply religious but also very patriarchal type.

      Strung me along for a couple of years with the ‘You almost got it that time … nope … my feelings for you have vanished again … try harder … nope, you missed a spot’.

      And of course, ‘I’ve prayed about us, and I just don’t feel what I want to feel for you – I want to be head over heels in love with you, and I’m just not’.

      Which was my fault, of course – and not because he was in reality a closet gay, commitment phobic misogynist.

  • There are Givers, Takers, and Matchers. But there’s a layer deeper than that. There are the Givers who only give to Takers. They can be surrounded by other Givers, but they will ignore them in favor of the Takers. This is also toxic behavior. For yourself and for those Givers around you. If you find that you keep ending up with Takers and don’t understand why, look internally. Fix yourself.

  • Chump Lady eluded to this, but “let’s be friends” is a huge red flag. There is no healthy reason to say that.

    It is not healthy to want ‘friendship’ with someone you can no longer date. It’s fine to feel ‘friendly’ as in absence of malice, and an absence of malice needs no declaration.

    Friendship is an active state (even when it goes a bit dormant), and declaring an intent to have an active relationship with someone you tried to date but can’t – is just plain weird. It would take a very rare circumstance for this to be okay.

    • There is nothing wrong with being kind or civil to a former partner, I was taught to be polite. You don’t, however, owe anyone more than that. If you feel rejected or disrespected by this person, why would you put yourself in that situation? If you have feelings that they don’t share, why continue to put yourself through that? I know that I didn’t want my marriage to end, and that. Y feelings and my STBXWs were different at the end. I have been NC as much as possible because I am protecting myself. I can’t pretend that thirty years were meaningless to me, or ghat the breakdown of our marriage was no big deal. She would like it if I could, it would aleviate a lot of guilt I guess. Too bad, I’m not joining that circus.

  • It always hurts when you care for someone who does not return those feelings. I’m not a fan of the “lets be friends” move, but the upside to this he told you now. Too many carry on and marry anyway, because they are too cowardly to end things. Then they continue to look for the feelings that they are missing after marriage with others.

    • QB, no truer words have been shared!!!
      Beware those who cannot or will not communicate with you! If they won’t open up with you, that’s a sign that they are hiding important things/thoughts/feelings from you and yours is NOT a valued relationship. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
      They will soon be trolling for someone else and you will, sooner or (27 years) later be wondering in what kind of hell you’ve found yourself.

  • I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments, but I did want to suggest one thing. If this guy comes back around and says that he wants to date you or maybe consider you for being “the one,” or that he just wasn’t sure, or that he may have made a big mistake, don’t let him back in. I made this mistake with my ex-husband who tried to tell me on numerous occasions that I was not the one and still I persisted and then he left me 20 years later.
    When somebody tells you that they are just not that into you, believe them the first time. Trust me. Walk fast the other way.

    • Or if comes back, you could throw his “God told me” bull back in his face with something like this…
      “So you’re defying God’s word now? That saves me the hassle of telling you to go to hell.”

  • Ahhh … this blog is the warm bath I’ve been needing to soak those aching heart muscles.

    Just reading this:

    “Be in the company of someone who is proud to have you in his or her life and will make that known to you and the rest of the world. Be in the company of someone who won’t gamble with your heart and mind simply because he or she knows you’re not going anywhere.”

  • My heart goes out to you, Always Giving, because I’ve been there too, like many of us here. I loved my boyfriend for seven years. The last three, I thought he was sure about me because I’d shown him how much I could give him, how much I could support him, especially to achieve his life goals.

    When I discovered his affair with his ex, I couldn’t understand. I felt like an outsider. Many times, I thought what we had was special, that I mattered to him and that we’d successfully overcome many barriers. And oh the giving. I gave him love. I gave him attention. I put in the effort to keep long distance alive. I sacrificed my exam to support him during his PhD.

    And he turns to me and tells me – on D-Day – that he felt he was wasting his youth with me. Forget the dream of a fancy proposal at his PhD graduation… it was clear that I never mattered to him beyond what I could offer, sexually and support-wise.

    It hurt. It still hurts.

    But I came across this video of Oprah who says love doesn’t hurt.

    And it’s true. I like to think that love is reciprocal. Uplifting. Patient. Where you don’t constantly feel that you are ‘practice’ until someone better turns up. My heart still aches, considering how much meaning I attached to this person and considering how deluded I was to think I mattered to him, but Chump Nation will help us get through this.

  • I wonder if we don’t always somehow intuitively ‘know’ when they don’t really care or love us like we think they do. I remember when I was with the man I was going to marry after Cheater Xhusband. The one who called me his soulmate and the love of his life and spent months love bombing me and wanted to marry me yesterday. The lottery had gotten up to a billion dollars and he came home with ten tickets. I told my best friend that I’d better go buy some tickets too because if he won, there was no way he would stick around. That he would think he waaaay too good for me. My bff was shocked and said ‘do you really believe that?’ and I said, ‘I absolutely do.’ And I did. I knew without a doubt that if he came into that kind of money he’d be gone in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if I had won, I would have stayed. Somehow I just knew it was fake, and it was.

  • UPDATE: After I emailed this post, I found out that the fuckwit was, in fact, seeing a MUCH younger woman. He still wanted to talk to me, and when I did talk, I told him he was a Narcissist with deep dark secrets he hides and I wasn’t going to be involved in his games anymore. Probably should have gone no contact, but it still felt good to say it! He is now blocked on everything. Peace out!

  • >
    %d bloggers like this: