What are your love, dating, relationship, and single-person questions? I'm ready to read them all this weekend.
I met a guy on Tinder years ago. (Also, I am aware that this problem is my fault.) I was weird from the beginning. Over nurturing, texting him all the time. About a month in, I did the “needy and accusing” thing – because he didn't invite me out on Halloween.
I was very unhealthy. He explained to me, in a healthy way, that “there is one thing that keeps me from seeing you – my daughter.” I immediately tried to tell him I was sorry for being angry with him. He asked why I behaved that way when I knew he was trying to be a great dad. I couldn’t answer. I felt horrible.
One time, in our casual relationship, he asked me if I had ever been to a specific hotel. He said we should go there for a night, and I promptly said, judgmentally, “Do you have a coupon?” Then his feelings were hurt. He said, simply, “I have the money.”
That day every thing changed. There were never anymore offers to go out. He told me it was over, but I kept asking him if we could continue our physical relationship. For a while, we just hooked up. Then he texted me saying we needed a break because this was unhealthy. But I kept contacting him, asking him for more hookups. Sometimes I begged.
That led him to block me everywhere. I wish I could explain all of this to him. But ... what is wrong with me? We barely had anything close to a relationship. I thought I didn’t want one either. We were so physically compatible. I feel broken, and I know this is all my fault, but I don’t know what to do.
If you feel responsible for bad behavior and want to do better, get help. Do the work.
Therapists are trained to assist clients who need to talk about complicated relationships. There are also support groups where people discuss the ups and downs of seeking a partner. Do some searches for services in your area. You can also ask your primary care doctor about your options for help. (For the record, a quick online search just led me to a list of groups in Boston, one of which focuses on healthy dating. That kind of google might be a place to start.)
I recommend mental therapy to a lot of letter writers. I wonder how many follow up. I'm asking you – please try. You're having trouble solving the mystery of your own intentions. It sounds like you were in this relationship for years – and that you never liked the way you behaved.
By the end, you wanted this man for physical and emotional intimacy (yes?), and when you were denied, you didn’t know how to deal. You were sparring with him about the hotel, even though you probably wanted to go. It would be great to understand your motives – and why your words didn't match your feelings. Maybe the answer is that you should have walked away a long time ago.
For the record, it’s best that this relationship is over. There is no reason to stay in something that makes you feel desperate.
It is never too late to learn to be better at respectful, caring, honest communication. Make that your next task – finding someone who can help you practice.
Readers? Ideas for learning from this? How did you learn to be better at healthy relationships?