How you brought ghosting upon you

So there are quite a few articles on ghosters deeming those people lacking respect for others, lack of morals etc. I am not necessarily arguing with this, but as with everything there are two sides to ghosting. Every relationship, no matter how short lived, has two people shaping the relationship. If someone ghosts you, it is utterly unhelpful to curse the other person and paint yourself as victim. If this happens with you more than once, it seems to denote to a pattern in your behaviour. So what kind of pattern?

Since I have now been ghosted twice I am in the process of making some conclusions about my own behaviour. Although I have been ghosted only twice, there have been numerous guys I crushed on who did not respond to my feelings and I still kept hoping. In the event of ghosting we actually got into a more romantic relating but it was short lived. However, I think the habit of crushing on guys who obviously did not feel that way about me and unwillingness to let go are clear pointers to my problems.

So….I lack self-respect to accept the word no. Instead of just accepting that either guys are not interested in me or what I want, I just somehow convince myself that they are not ready to see their feelings, they are intimidated by my insightfulness or whatever. The two guys that ghosted me were sending me clear signs that they were not interested in anything more than just a casual relationship or flirt. Granted one guy was not really vocal about it and confused the hell out of me with his behaviour, but that should also be a sign. If someone cannot make up their mind about you do you really stay and try to convince them that they should want something more with you?

It is somewhat scary to discover that the message I have been broadcasting over the years is that I lack self-esteem. In all these occasions I wanted to convince someone to like me who either did not like me or did not like me enough. From the opposite side, when someone has tried to endlessly pursue me and I have already rejected me, it either freaks me out or just makes me look at this person with pity. I assume that the objects of my affection also saw me in the end as somewhat desperate.

Now my ghosting cases are not as clear cut because obviously both guys had feelings for me. However again, my willingness to put up with their ambiguity clearly sent a signal that I don’t value myself enough. If you keep sending this signal long enough, the other side is going to be less and less interested because they will see how little value you put on yourself.

This is a sensitive topic for me because I do not value myself highly. Never have and still don’t. Realizing how everyone around me can see it freaks me out to a degree. I am not sure how long it will take to fix this though. It might be years and years of work still to be done.

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We get what we think we deserve

So, I have spent quite a lot of time recently thinking about my previous relationships as well as my work experience. By relationships here I don’t only mean romantic relationships, although I am going to use those to exemplify my point.

So, I have been recently ghosted by two guys. I hate to admit this but in both cases I was hoping that the guy comes back. In one case I was pining over him for one year thinking we had something special. This kind of pining is nothing new for me. I have done it several times before. I am guessing partially I engage in such behaviours because it is safe. I mean if the object of your affection is far enough he cannot hurt you right? But partially it has been because I have always felt that these guys were something special, that we had some special connection, it is just that they had not realized it yet.

The thing is, even if we had something special, I was totally willing to look past the obvious lack of respect which was shown to me upon their disappearance. I think I have also done the same with friends….You know you are this one friend that keeps contacting others and they never contact you…I always thought that there was something wrong with me for ending up in such situations. In a way there was…me thinking that somehow I needed to convince others to hang around me. Me thinking that I needed to show to some reluctant friend or partner that I am really worth spending time with.

The thing is, I cannot imagine someone else trying to win my approval like this. I think it would probably be off-putting, someone thinking they have to jump through hoops to spend time with me. But this is exactly how I have functioned most of my life, thinking myself was never going to cut it – I needed to put in special efforts in order to keep people around. And I did. And it never quite worked. Mind me, being me is not yet working well either, but at least I feel less disappointed when someone rejects me.

I have always felt that it was me being judged and not me evaluating whether other people are fit enough to be my friends or partners. I never thought I was even in the position to choose. And no, this is not one of those posts which describe how bad I was and how I have miraculously recovered and now apply selection process upon other people. That would be a lie. It is never such an easy process. However I have gotten to the point where it makes me sad to realize how other people have treated me over the years.

My conclusion thus far is that it is also about the treatment I was willing to accept. I would have willingly taken back those guys that ghosted me just because they came back and it somehow boosted my self-esteem. It would have not been their luck to get me back, but instead my luck to have them back. I would have felt validated because they decided to return after all. Rationally I am starting to understand that this is the main problem in my thinking, but oh boy, emotionally it still feels like nothing is wrong in this mentality.

So overall, I know rationally that I accept subpar treatment, but it will be quite a struggle to get there emotionally….

People that don’t want to marry you…

So I might be threading on a thin ice here, but…..I think if you feel like you don’t want to marry with your partner after a reasonable amount of time, they are probably not the one with the big letter. Sure there are also commitment phobics, but statistically it is a small population. Naturally there is also another extreme – the ones with five, six whatever marriages….. but lets assume most of the population is in-between those two extremes.

I have never truly wanted to marry with any of my previous partners. There is a high chance that I had also issues with commitment phobia which I can describe in the next post. However, now when I look back at these relationships it is easy for me to see that none of these guys was really right for me. Yes these relationships worked somehow, some more than others, but there was never this great feeling and the idea of spending my whole life together with these guys made me feel somewhat uneasy. Still, I had a high need for approval, so I wanted to know if those guys want to marry me.

Interestingly I think that these guys felt the same way as I did, but they did not have an immense approval seeking and need for love clouding their decision making. So they were probably more upfront with me which let me tell you, I did not appreciate at the time. It hurt my feelings and made me wonder if I am so unlovable….

I would make a comparison between holding a regular job and being in an average relationship. About 50% or more people do not particularly enjoy their job. Yes, it might provide some sense of security and occasional gratification, but if someone asked them if they want to stay in this job for the rest of their life, they would clearly hesitate. I think there is a great proportion of people who feel the same way about their relationships. Those people might or might not be married at this point. Marriage is not the determining factor, but I think someone doubting whether they want to marry you or refusing to marry you for years to an end, might as well be.

I have always been an idealist. I think I have managed to find myself a job which I enjoy and which I might want to hold on to till the rest of my life. I think from a perspective of relationship I err to the same idealistic thinking, meaning I would want to be with someone with whom I don’t doubt and this other person does not doubt either. It should feel right for the both of us (mind me I am not talking about the occasional rough patches down the line). Being with such a person without marriage would not be a huge issue with me, so it is rather the doubting and indecisiveness that is a relationship killer for me.

Of course a totally separate question is why marrying is important for you as a person since as I said, I have wanted to marry for questionable reasons myself…

People that cannot make up their mind about you

So….I have spent my life running after wishy washy guys. The interesting part is that for most of my life I was blaming myself for their wishy-washiness. You know…if  I would only be better looking, more functional, more feminine whatever….they would not be doubtful…..or better yet, oh if I had not said this wrong thing or done this, they would be completely willing to be in a relationship with me.

I guess I am in the midst of break-through because for the first time in my life wishy washy guys are starting to annoy me. The motivation goes like this….I am a rather persistent person, meaning I can work hard for the things I want and furthermore, it never feels like super hard work for me. Others can wonder and tell me that I must have no fun in life, but for me working towards things I want has always come natural. I am this one person who achieves things not because they are most talented but because they are most hard-working. But….the drawback has been that I have also invested way too much energy into things which I should not have…

Take my previous relationship for instance. According to my ex for him the relationship was dead years before we broke up and he secretly hated me for not breaking up with him. Needless to say that throughout this period he behaved badly with me and really did not make any effort. Somehow I still kept on working because I simply did not want to give up. Whether I loved him or not was not even relevant at this point because I simply thought that if I work hard enough I can still get this thing to work. Alone…

I have held the same belief with wishy-washy guys…You know if I only work hard enough they will see how awesome I am and will want to commit to me. Needless to say that I also hold a secret anger when they don’t. I was angry at my ex for all these years he did not make any effort anymore.

I think it is starting to dawn on me that you can actually invest your energy on fruitless goals. My ex relationship for the last years was this fruitless goal. All these guys that cannot make up their mind are a fruitless goal. It is hard to work against the current. It is much easier to work for something in team. If you are trying to convince someone who is wishy washy to be in a relationship with you, you are working against the current. Why to make your life more difficult through this? The energy that you are wasting on trying to make things work with such people can be used for some other things in your life.

I think I have spent a lot of my life working against the current because this is how I was schooled. People kept telling me how I could never achieve things. My teachers never had much belief in me, my trainer was reluctant at first and I proved them wrong. But it is starting to dawn on me that if people do not believe in you, it is wrong people. My life goal should not be about convincing people to invest in me or believe in me.

Picture perfect lives and the death of intimacy

Modern life is screwed from the point of view that everyone is competing with one another for having more things, having better Instagram pictures….etc. I think the really screwed up message this sends is though – it does not matter how you really feel, it does not matter how your life really is….as long as your pictures are nice.

Such attitude makes people hide. Where I currently live, depression is a huge issue. I get the feeling that at least partially because people don’t even dare to talk to one another about anything really meaningful. Instead they spend all this energy trying to prove that they are normal. As long as the society and your ‘friends’ deem you to be normal, you are fine…

This is how you get these stories….but he seemed to be doing so well, I simply do not understand why he would kill himself. Or, but she had such a perfect life with such well-behaved kids and handsome husband.

Ever more I am noticing my role as a person to offer the alternative view. Not because I would want my random acquaintances feel for me for my difficult life….Quite the contrary, I think it is important that someone head up admits that they have issues. It actually takes soooo much more courage to admit that you have problems than to talk about your ideal life. This is true courage.

So I want show people that you can talk about problems, issues in your life etc. without necessarily having to feel mortified about it. Having issues should be normal. Struggling, for the lack of better word, is completely natural. If people made it less of a taboo, I would argue we would all have it easier. I think that the whole idea that having problems is something shame worthy and for god sake should not find its way definitely not to your Instagram page, but probably even not to your common dinners with your friends actually exaggerates the whole issue. I mean, yes I drink wine couple of evenings during the week as a coping mechanism, I should not be wanting to hide it because I am so afraid of being shamed or, yes, I still struggle to get my finances together, again, I should not be so worried about hiding it. But the truth is that I think most people feel highly insecure talking about any of those issues, be those their own or these of their friends.

Emotional growth is a real thing….

So if you are the rational kind then the talk about emotional growth sounds like some new age bull…. Someone is trying to sell you. I mean, I am amongst other things highly skeptical so all the people that talk about spiritual enlightenment get screened thoroughly. I am not saying there cannot be any spiritual enlightenment, but someone who suddenly renames themselves Holy Grail and claims it is the beginning of their new self gets a very suspicious look from me. The reasons for that are complicated, but the most obvious reason is that change takes time. People that claim to have suddenly become a new person overnight….well I have not discovered such possibility yet…

That being said, something as fuzzy as emotional growth is starting to feel very real to me. Mostly because I look at the situations with other people from few years ago and I look at how I reacted. Take the situation with my ex best friend. I fled…I had plenty of reason to, because she was dominating and selfish but still I fled because I was so scared of her reaction. Today I would probably face the situation head on. I still think I made the right decision by distancing myself, but did not really execute this correctly.

My emotional growth is also visible from my interactions with my ex. We have contact due to our work. Every time we meet, my ex is trying to make things sexual. I used to feel flattered by it. I was so insecure that someone paying attention to me and sexualizing me was beneficial. Nowadays I just look at my ex and think that he should grow up. I also see the utter selfishness in his behavior.

Finally, I am starting to notice that other people are not as aware in social situations as I am these days. But my higher awareness has created certain standards which I hold people accountable for. I recently had someone disappear on me. I cared about this person and they just disappeared. Me, today, finds this behavior highly disrespectful and immature. I can understand disappearing on someone you have casually dated for couple of weeks and you cannot master the energy to have a talk. However, disappearing on someone who you have had two years of contact with, without explanation, that I find highly questionable. To me this means that you are not emotionally mature enough to have a decent conversation on what the problems in the communication are. Furthermore, I could understand the disappearing act if I was someone who is prone to making scandals, getting angry, being vindictive…I am none of those things. These days I pride myself for being quite reasonable in conflict situations. So it is hard for me to find excuses for someone disappearing. I know I would solve the situation in a different ways today….but maybe not two years ago though…

So what I am trying to say is that there really is such a thing as emotional maturity or intelligence…call it as you wish. But the good news is, you can develop it and grow emotionally through both your experiences as well as conscious effort which I have made during past years. Interestingly, never before has it seemed so relevant to be emotionally aware, I can see so many clear benefits for my life…for everyone’s life really.

If you cannot be happy alone you will never be happy in a relationship?

If you are least bit familiar with self-help literature, you surely have stumbled upon this statement. I have my own issues with that statement. I think our society is slowly moving from the community which ridiculed all the single people to ridiculing the need to be in a relationship. It somehow comes across that if you are not able to be self-sufficient, independent, completely happy within yourself, you somehow better not hope anyone is going to love you. Is this really the case?

 

I once heard my boyfriend telling me that if I cannot love myself, no one will ever love me. Oh well….I think it was a cowardly way of telling me that somehow I was responsible for him not loving me…Telling to a person that struggles with self love that unless they somehow magically achieve that state, no one is going to love them frankly is the worst you can do. Effectively what you have just done is not only told them that yes, no one is in fact going to love them, but they are to be blamed for that as well.

I mean, I get it. No one wants to be responsible for someone else’s self-esteem. No one wants to have to constantly say to someone who they are worthy and loved etc. It is tiresome. But I think somehow society is taking an issue on some complexes way more than others. I mean there are plenty of people that think they are worthless unless they achieve something. Somehow society not only does not consider this a problem, furthermore it is encouraged. Even if the roots of wanting to be successful are highly dysfunctional, somehow this is okay.

Now back to this ex of mine. I never took an issue on his problems. I was way too insecure at this point. If he had told me the same today, I would probably tell him that it sounds the same as me telling him that if he cannot be happy and satisfied while unemployed, no job will make him happy. I think this statement pretty much drives home the ridiculousness of the statement about not being able to be happy without a relationship.

To worry about other people’s feeling or not?

Recent events have made me realize how much time I spend on worrying about how other people feel. I obsess about my communications with them, try to smooth things over if I think I have accidentally hurt them and sometimes down right give free chances to manipulators through my over management.

I have also come to realize that most people are not like me. I somehow rarely questioned my obsession about other people and their emotions because it seemed so natural. Now I worry about other people and how my behaviour influences them to an unhealthy degree. However, I have also come to realize that I very much prefer that to the opposite – Not giving a fuck about how other people might be impacted by your behaviour.

How did I come to this conclusion? I have been hanging out with another guy, exactly hanging out because there is no relationship on the horizon at this point. He is one of these go getters, as in he is successful, he usually achieves his goals and yes, he is spoilt in this respect. I mean how many women run for such guys – successful, handsome, powerful….but in the process I discovered something. He is successful because his first thought is not, oh god how will my behaviours influence other people. No, his first thought is, how can I get what I want. He is not strictly speaking ruthless in getting what he wants, but he is not caring either.

It might seem like a natural combination relationship wise – someone who cares too much about other people’s feelings and someone who cares too little. But it made me realize something, I would rather be with someone who cares about my feelings as well. It is exhausting explaining the concept of needing to take into account other people to someone who frankly speaking is not really used to doing it. It is also shocking for me as I never realized my own behaviour with such clarity because I thought it was so natural upon doing something to automatically think, how will my action influence X or Y.

There is a simple example here. He once needed to visit a sports store after our sporting practice which he had scheduled close to his house. I was exhausted and I had had a difficult week. Yet he invited me along and then spent fifteen minutes choosing only to find out that they did not have what he wanted. Faced with this situation he then suggested that we go to another store at the other end of the town, at least promising to drive me home afterwards. And then I compared how I would have reacted….First, I would have never scheduled sports to some place which is close to my home but at the other side of the town for the other one. I definitely would have not dragged them to the store with me knowing they were tired and had a one hour ride with public transport to home. Finally, I would have not spent 15 minutes at the store…And you know what, it all seemed pretty basic to me….But none of these things ever occurred to him, because he is simply not used to thinking about other people….

I guess this was the moment when I realized that yeah, I need to work on my obsessive worries about how my actions influence other people. But……but it is apparently also a talent. It is a skill to be able to consider other people and the impact of your actions on them….

Dating a guy who knows he is a catch

Something that surprises me more and more is how we women (potentially might be the same thing with men, but since I don’t have experience in this area, I will focus on women) school certain men to be self-centered. You know the type – the handsome, self-confident, intelligent and flirty one. What surprises me is the behavioral pattern some of these guys have.

See I have been recently approached by one of these guys. There are several things that surprise me about the process. First it is the self-evidently flirty approach he has taken with me. He is used to women allowing him to flirt with them. The advantage that these guys have – not being rejected that much. But the second surprise is the minimal effort which he puts into courting me and how he thinks that with this little effort I will still be completely mesmerized by him. It almost does not cross his mind that I might not be, because he is a catch….

See this is where I think many women have done mistakes treating him before me. I have made this mistake over the years as well. Somehow we make excuses to guys that ‘have it all’ on paper. We don’t mind their half-assed approach, their self-centeredness, their lack of consideration towards our feelings. It boils down to following wrong ideals about the relationships, the ideals which society tells us to follow. You know – he should be handsome, rich, good flirt whatever. Yes, these qualities are definitely nice to have, but hell, if you are going to treat me like this and if you have the approach that I should fall for you just because of these qualities – no way!

See the problem with these guys is that there will always be only one diva in the relationship – him. If he is so used to women’s attention and takes for granted that he needs to put in little effort, he will not magically change in the relationship. No, he will still put in little effort, because there are so many other women that want to date him. So, what do you have when you date such a guy? Your relationship will be constant struggle for you to prove yourself to him.

So in the end, we, women spoil these guys with attention and with low demands. Somehow we would never allow such treatment to our slightly overweight, unfunny neighbor boy, but standards change with such guys. It is easy to fall into this trap, because he looks oh so perfect in the paper. I have made this mistake several times. What surprises me however is the clarity I now see the process with.

Feeling like you are all wrong

So I have made some pretty big discoveries lately and hoefully also big leaps in terms of my recovery. I had a fight with a friend that made me feel like a weeping toddler and pushed to figure out why I felt so out of control. There it is…..

You know these people that make you feel like you are some knock-off copy of themselves. Like you are the Chinese version of whatever technical product there is….Yes, my mum and my ex where those people. It was not only that they criticized me, they wanted me to become them. They scolded me about things they were good at, letting me know how horrible I was compared to them. They did not pay attention on things I actually excelled at. Furthermore, when I said something good about myself, both were quick to put me down.

Essentially I think there are two reasons why someone would do that. The first one is, that probably both have so low self esteem that they needed to constantly put someone down in order to feel good about themselves. They also needed to rationalize that the way they are, is good. Their character traits are the ones one should aspire for. So naturally admitting that someone else would have character traits that are valuable, but which they did not possess would make them so insecure that they could not let it happen.

The second reason is that it is about control. You are making the other person part of yourself. You push them to aspire for becoming you, through critizing the things you are good at and they are not. By focusing on your natural talents, you are always one man up.

So I realized, I have spent my whole life feeling like there was something wrong with me. Like somehow I did not measure up, character wise. I still have little belief in my positive traits, the ones which neither my mum nor my ex acknolwedged, and I tend to treat them as worth very little. I have spent my whole life trying to focus on things which I was perhaps not naturally the best at, just to please someone (or not even please, because they were never pleased). I am instantly critical about any of the good traits I possess which my mum (and my ex) did not. For instance I know I can be pretty charming if need be, but I just see it as superficial and vain.

To be honest, correcting this seems like quite a bit of work from my end because I will need to start actually analyzing and acknowledging what I am naturally good at.