Should She Move on in a "Second Life" or Wait on the Ex?
I am in the middle of a chaotic love affair. I left him about a year ago, but I was torn about 50-50 on leaving or staying. I think I would have eventually left because of the bad anyway, but I wasn't really ready to let go of the good and it was some unusual circumstances beyond either of our control that caused me to leave earlier than I was ready.
At first, he hung out with me a lot, brought me V day gifts that year, came over to eat (he loves my cooking). Then he began dating someone new and I waited it out because I knew it wouldn't last. It didn't. I still have him over to dinner sometimes and he kind of follows me around by tagging along with my son whom I hang out with online and messages me just to talk.
Here is the problem. I want him. I miss him. But, I do not want to live with him. I wanted to keep him as a non live-in lover. He however feels that it is morally wrong to sleep with me if I won't live with him (plus the perks, like cooking, laundry, clean house) and he won't. He was actually a wonderful provider but our differences are irreconcilable. He and I share a stress disorder that creates dangerous clashes and is not likely to improve.
The thing is, he and I are perfect together, when it's good. There could be nobody but me for him because he's so unusual and I adore all his imperfections. There is nobody better for me than him. Chemical, physical, emotional... he's perfect in every way for me, except for when he is abusive. His behavior is unpredictable, maybe mine is too.
Right now he's alone and waiting for me in a particular online place and for more dinner invitations. In the midst of this, I go back and forth daydreaming about the good times and even dreaming joyously about him and then suddenly remembering the bad parts all at once.
I began dating a new guy and I was upfront with him that I wasn't sure I was relationship material and that I didn't know what I wanted. We have gone out for about two months, but I don't even want to kiss him. I still love the other man. I finally sent this one away but didn't burn my bridge; I just told him I needed my alone space for right now, so he's waiting on the sidelines, emailing me and leaving the occasional voice message which I don't return.
This new guy is nice-looking, well-mannered, is financially stable and he likes me. He is the marrying kind. I'd love to be married. But... I only want what I want. If I don't get that chemical thing, I don't even want to be touched. I will pass up 99 good guys to get to the one complicated difficult vulnerable man. I have always been like this. The idea of a physical relationship with some friend-like guy, the kind I can really like as a person is a nonstarter. There is zero physical attraction for me. The crazy chemical thing I have for whoever that one bad boy is in my life, if one has caught my attention, is irresistable. I know the pattern, I know it's stupid, but I can't control who I find desireable and I get physically nauseous at the idea of sex with someone I'm not chemically attracted to.So at the moment, two men are waiting on me and I'm just screwing around reading politics, writing poetry, going to church and playing rpg online.Any advice?
Despite all the vagary and things you're telling me you're not going to tell me, I still think I can manage some advice for you. This is because the things you have told are very sensitive, and real. There are quite a few "tells" in your honesty. I know you want to do the right thing here. So let's break it down.
The online site, whether it's Second Life, or an even more adult-geared or fantasy-type site, is significant.
The online relationship you have with someone completely clouds and affects the real life relationship. I know it doesn't seem that way because of the honesty factor. But it does. Online we can be more trusting, more open, more rose-colored about people. When we then have a relationship with them in real life, we bring with us that depth of trust, and that little illusion of being above the shit that is reality sometimes.
I know that it feels like it's not significant enough to matter, but it is and it does. And by comparison, the people we only know in this dimension, pale. They aren't as 3D, trusted, interesting, deep, or fantasy-connected.
Look, this person your dating that you have no chemistry for, is a thing all its own. It has nothing to do with the ex. You shouldn't think about having a physical relationship with someone if it makes you feel nauseous. Take the new guy off the table right now. It really doesn't matter how nice or good or stable he is, if you don't have sparks then the answer is no. Politely let him know it's not working and let him go.
But don't confuse this new guy being the wrong guy, with your attraction for the ex. They are two separate things. If the right guy came around, this would be clearer.
The point I'm making however, is that even if the right guy comes around in real life, he's going up against alot because he has to compare with the "Second Life" type relationships.
The big "Tell" for me here is that you said he tags along with your son in this online forum, and sees you. There's not alot of forums that can explain that kind of connection. I know there's one that's like Dungeons and Dragons, and I know there are a couple that are geared toward Power Exchange relationships. Being that you share this online forum with your son, I'm assuming it's one of the regular ones, of which Second Life is the standard.
Another piece of this situation is that you said you and the ex each have a stress disorder, and that you each have some unpredictable behavior. There is a very real truth to making this connection.
For some people, opposites attract. But for some people, seeing their own behavior and troubles and disorders in someone else, is very comforting. It makes them feel validated, and less alone. When you struggle with any feelings of insecurity because you have certain histories, disorders or problems, you can feel very isolated. You can feel like no one will understand you, and you don't fit in. But when you can look at someone else and identify with their damage, it makes you feel less alone. You look at this person and say - "Yeah, there goes a member of my pack. I have the capacity to understand him. And If I can get him, that means he can get me."
It is fantastic that you recognize that your disorders clash. Although it's a significant experience to realize you aren't alone, it's also important to discover what you need in order to thrive.
This rolls into the attraction for the bad boy. What is is that women see in the bad boy... I've read lots of theories, none of which made any sense to me. So I had to do some soul searching and figure it out for myself. I think it's projection of our own inner badness. Whether you're living it, or repressing it, I think you've got a little "bad girl" in you, and that's what's so attractive about the bad boy. The lifestyle, the not caring, the free wheeling, whatever you want to call it. I think when you date a bad boy, you're actually dating that part of yourself.
The reason it doesn't work, is because you're more complicated than just your badness. The other parts of you can't let you be bad 24/7. You have goals, and values, and morals and responsibilities. in the end, it's not the bad boy that causes the relationship failure, it's the rest of you that does.
You said there was this event, this unusual circumstance that caused you to leave this boyfriend a year ago. You qualified it and buried it, but that's what you said. And you said it first. And in a very justifying way. I think this event you're not sharing is much bigger than you're letting on. Maybe on some level you blame this event for the end of the relationship even though your head can reason that away. I don't know. But I am willing to bet that whatever the circumstance was, it needs some more work from you. Some letting go, some working out, some understanding... some thing.
There's one more thing you said that's very troubling to me. You said when you were first dating him, he started dating someone else. But you don't use the words "cheated on you," or "broke up with you." It may have been an open relationship, you may not have been exclusive, he may have been allowed to date others. But reading in between the lines shows me that even if that was the reality, your heart felt either cheated on, pushed aside, or dumped. I'm not saying he did anything wrong, I'm saying it felt like he did. There's a pain there. And that may be part of the rest of the story here. And possibly, leads to the confusing part of your note. You miss him and want him, but he won't sleep with you because you don't want to live with him.
I don't have enough info here. He clearly has his own issues - not having sex because he can't live with you, is very odd, and houses some drama or damage. But that's his, so I won't go there.
I can't really work through this part and offer advice other than to say - there's something wrong here. Maybe it's in the fact that he betrayed you early in the relationship so you feel you can't cross that line of trust to live with him. Maybe it's part of your disorder. If you have trust issues to begin with, and this guy hurt your heart, it has created this barrier. Our hearts find a way of communicating with us, especially when we won't listen.
If it is your heart that is saying you don't want to live with this guy, maybe you should listen a little closer.
I realize my advice was a little disjointed, and doesn't offer an overall solution. Your note was complex and unclear, but shows tremendous insight and maturity. My feeling is that you, and your situation, are very complicated. I hope the pieces of insight i drew from your email can help you to take a clearer look at the situation. Even if just one of my thoughts opens up a new pathway of thinking for you, I would be pleased. I hope you'll comment and let us know.
You can email me through the link in my Hubpages Profile, or my blog profile. If you have a relationship question, send me a note. Thanks!
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