Releasing revenge

In a seminar I was leading, a customer service provider was irritated by the rude customers she dealt with daily. “I want to know how to get back at them,” she demanded of me.

When someone has wronged us, it is common to want revenge. When a man has led us on, then unceremoniously dumped us without the courtesy of a call or explanation, it hurts. Bad. We want to lash out at him. We want him to hurt, too.

When we hurt, we want the person who caused our anguish to be in pain. And we’re most willing to be the source of their pain!

revengeBut revenge accomplishes nothing. Maybe it makes you feel better short term. But since I believe in dating karma I think that the person who harmed you will get his due. It is not up to you to provide his comeuppance.

As I told the woman in the seminar, try to put yourself in his shoes. We have no idea what is going on with him, what past hurts have been triggered by you. All we know is he is not coming from a very high self to treat you this way. You can choose to stoop to his low level and retaliate, or you can take a deep breath, feel some compassion for the pain he must be in to treat another human being so badly, and wish him the best.

Hurting others usually comes from pain. I vividly remember hitting my head hard on a low-hanging door frame when visiting my favorite auntie. Immediately afterward she meant well by saying, “Careful.” The pain was intense and I wanted to lash out, “What a stupid thing to say after I’ve bashed my head!” But I knew that was her way of wanting to be helpful. I was a hair’s breadth away from lambasting one of the people dearest to me because I wasn’t thinking clearly. Perhaps getting close to someone romantically triggered deep wounds for him that you’ll never be privy to.

You may be thinking, “I would never treat someone like that!” However, can you honestly say you’ve never treated anyone, ever, at any time, badly? You’ve never been inconsiderate or rude to anyone in your life, whether family member, friend or stranger? If so, I want to touch your hem. Most of us, even if rarely and unintentionally, have treated someone poorly. When you put it in this perspective, it is easier to have some compassion.

You may run into the man who wronged you in jointly frequented places. You don’t have to hold a grudge. When you see him, you can simply say “hello” and keep moving. Or when you think of him and start to get angry at how he treated you, instead see if you can be appreciative that he is no longer regularly in your life. Release the thought of anger and replace it with one of hoping that he gets what he needs to break through his past patterns of behavior that alienate him from good people like you. And try not to sound condescending when you say this to yourself!

Feelings of desired revenge only fester in you, raising your blood pressure, prompting tenseness, and causing you to wallow in a mental state that you don’t want to stay for long. You can acknowledge your desire for him to be punished, but move through that feeling quickly. He will get what he will get — and he may not appear to ever be punished or change his ways, leaving other forsaken women in his wake. And unless he’s done something illegal, it’s not up to you to be the magistrate.

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29 responses to “Releasing revenge”

  1. Mitsy Avatar

    How true your sentiments. I still harbor resentment for the cop guy from Iowa who simply quit calling me and apparently had no intentions of going on that 2nd date with me. Although he led me to believe that it would happen and called me for a full 2 months during the process. I still think it was time wasted.

    However, I have been told by a wise friend that it would have been much worse if I had gone on that 2nd date or 3rd or 4th, only to have him ghost on me later or string me along until I was so caught up in him that I could not detach myself easily. I think of that and sometimes am thankful that it didn’t draw out for a 3rd month or longer. But, I also have to wonder WHY men have this pattern and why I continue to run into men who simply are not serious about wanting a relationship. I believe they have interest to begin with, but once they see that I do want a relationship and am not content for phone calls only, they high tail it away. A majority of these men have contacted me first through the dating site, so it isn’t like I “pick” these men. They pick me and then I think that this one should be better than the last..only to have it end the same.

    So, for that reason, I’m taking a dating hiatus. At least I’m not active on the dating sites anymore. And slowly, I’m beginning to feel more like my old self and can enjoy some of the things I used to without the worry about a guy calling me or not..or what is in his distorted little mind at any given moment.

    But the process has not been without scars. My only hope is that somehow, somewhere there is a decent man I’m attracted to who actually wants a relationship and has the maturity and staying power to stick with it. I think “maturity” is the key word here.

  2. Strblonde Avatar

    WOW! I agree whole-heartedly with Mitsy! It sounds like she met the same guy from Iowa that I did, except this guy was an engineer and now he is headed for Alaska. He made me so many promises of things we would do together and even asked me to marry him and go to AK with him several times. He is so clearly running from something……. including his responsibilities to his children and is justifying that behavior too. The worst part is, he professed to be such a sincere Christian and loved to take pictures of churches too. I ask myself how a true Christian could hurt someone the way he did me.

    Thank you so much for this advice, because yes, I HAVE been harboring revenge but have not acted on it. I need to delete him from my blog and block his emails. He is so high on himself right now with all the job offers he got on his recent trip of interviewing in AK. I truly feel sorry for the two women friends he has there because the one sounds like a very sincere Christian woman also. I would like to warn her but I know that is not my place either. He is also breaking his mother’s heart by leaving.

    At least this time I know it was not “ME.”

  3. Mitsy Avatar

    Cop guy from Iowa “also” claimed to be a Christian. He almost had a gloating attitude about some of his beliefs, but politically, we were more on the same page about some issues. I’m what most would call a liberal Christian. However, I find it alarming that a guy who claims that about his character would act so irresponsibly and foolishly in regards to a woman he appeared to have interest in. His behavior truly seemed jr. high at best.

    My only regret in this was not cutting it off sooner when he seemed to balk on that 2nd date. However, he led me to believe that we would see each other again. He used all kinds of other excuses to not set a firm time or date. I thought we were making some progress in getting to know each other from our many phone conversations. However, it was all just a drawn out game for him. Or..maybe he actually kidded himself into believing his intentions were good. But, intentions never did anything for anyone. It’s actions that make a difference. If a guy has a profile online and indicates he wants a long-term relationship, why would a woman believe that that was not what he wanted? I felt very duped in the process as I have had so many let-downs previously from online guys that I thought surely, THIS guy would not play mind games. Oops..wrong again. I continue to want to write a nasty e-mail to him, but I still hope at some point he contacts me again so I can blow him off. OK, maybe I do still have revenge.

    And the other thing that baffles me is how he claimed that his long-time former girlfriend treated him badly. He told me stories of how she took advantage of him money-wise. She also had ill-behaved kids who borrowed money & never repaid it back. He told me on our one and only date that I treated him better in one night than she had treated him in years. Then he turns out like he did. Go figure.

  4. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Misty — I hadn’t realized this guy you have so much anger with was someone you only had one date with. It is easy to say all sorts of things on the phone, and even mean them at the time, but life changes. Let it go! Don’t send a nasty letter, and definately release this guy with love, wishing him well. He’s out of your life now, so release thinking about him so a new, great guy can come into your life and occupy your mental space.

  5. Gatti Avatar

    True, if I like someone and they seem to like me then I want to go out on another date, very, very soon. I also believe in not having too long an email and phone call period before actually going out. A few emails and phone calls and then get to the face to face. If it doesn’t work out you haven’t invested much time and emotion. One gal told me that she and a guy exchanged about 200 (!) emails before meeting and then the meeting was a chemistry-free flop.

    Don’t let this happen to you…

  6. Mitsy Avatar

    I think the thing was with this guy was that it WAS such a great first date and there was chemistry and attraction and we had a lot to talk about. Bottom line was, this guy was not ready for a relationship with me or probably anyone at that point. He was just too much of a chicken SHXX to admit it though. Instead of coming clean, he simply quit calling or returning my calls. If this had not happened to me in the past, it might not be as big a deal, but I feel like so many online guys misrepresent themselves and it isn’t just the guys wanting sex too soon who are players. That is the thing here. A guy who leads you on can hurt just as badly as one who is trying to get sex only.

    I also agree with meeting fairly quickly. If there is no chemistry, then of course, it’s not worth pursuing. But when the attraction seems to be mutual and THEN there is a lot of contact via phone later, the normal response would be that there would be more dates to come. I just don’t know how to guard against something like this happening again. At this point, I’m not seeking anyone online as they all seem like players to me in one way or another.

  7. Gatti Avatar

    With one exception, every guy I went out with since I started this dating lark in December has wanted to go out with me again, but I was the one who decided not to (or it just was not possible to get a time for another date with my mad schedule).

    Not a single player in the bunch, as far as I can see. And I’ve found the farthest thing from a player and am going to stay with him and let it develop. We live two hours apart but that doesn’t seem to be stopping anything.

    Maybe middle-aged British guys are different? I don’t know, but my ex has already found someone else and is living in her house already! Now there’s a second date with a hey-nonny…

  8. Mitsy Avatar

    Maybe some of those British men need to move to the states. Particularly NE Mo. :0

    P.S. Did that bother you at all that your ex is now living with someone? Just curious.

  9. Gatti Avatar

    Mitsy, it kind of shocked me and I had to consider it a couple of days before I really was sure how I felt about it. I just felt that it was very sudden and strange. In a way it’s really good because he still owes me some money and he’s living rent free there, so I’ll get my money faster! We get along fine now when we have to communicate. Otherwise, I don’t really care. He was verbally abusive for nearly our whole relationship, so I wish her much luck and hope that she’s finally the woman who will say “Not with me, matey!”. She doesn’t even live there at present! She teaches in a foreign country till the end of the school year. He got a sweet deal…

    And I have a sweeter one. I did something the other day (a totally innocent, innocuous thing) while with my new boyfriend. It would have started World War 156 with the ex. “Is that all right?” I asked and he said, “Of course, it’s fine, I like it”. Who cares what the ex does, when you can have acceptance like that!

  10. Gatti Avatar

    By the way, Mitsy, I got really annoyed and upset at Christmas with a guy who I talked with a few times on the phone and exchanged a few emails. He seemed really keen to meet right after Christmas, and then I got a “Have a nice life” email on Christmas Day morning (super timing…) because someone from before had come back into his life, he said, and he couldn’t do two relationships at the same time. Anyway, he had told me about some of the awful dates he’d been on, where the person showed up and was nothing like they had presented themselves. Then, after beginning his purported relationship he was on the site every day. I wrote to him and asked if there had been perhaps a misunderstanding and he was still available. No, he said, it was all true, he was just checking up on “favourites”. Oh.

    Just before I deleted my profile from the site I noticed that he had modified his. I guess his “relationship” didn’t work out. I wondered what I could have said in three phone conversations that was worse than the “slim” woman who was too big to get out of her car or the guy in the dress.

    Even though we never met I was hurt to be passed over like that, because I’m everything my photo and profile said. But I got over those feelings in a few days. If that’s how flakey he was I wouldn’t want to go out with him anyway. And something much better came along.

  11. TAS Avatar

    I have heard of “wishing someone who has done you wrong” happiness with what ever they are doing or will do, and letting them go, instead of doing the whole revenge thing on them.
    It’s hard not to want bad things to happen to them, especially if they did you wrong for no apparent reason. In my case, just plain disappearing after talking about trust and honesty and other words that make you believe and trust them.
    And the Goddess is right and has a good point, in that I don’t know what his past was truly like, or how many relationships he was in that turned out bad (other than his two divorces) or whatever is in his past that he’s not okay with or is afraid will happen again or it could be something he doesn’t want me to know about. Whatever it is. We just don’t know everything about someone because we all have things that are so painful we don’t share them with many people, even really close ones.
    Again it’s really hard to not want the revenge, to see them hurting and feeling bad for what they did. For them to be hurt by someone they totally were into, who just blew them off like they meant nothing to them.
    But, I want to be the better person, so I’m trying to wish him good thoughts and hope he’s doing great and things are moving along for him.
    But it’s still hard knowing he’s not going to be there for me anymore and I won’t be seeing him again and I’ll probably never know why he stop talking to me.


  12. Mitsy Avatar

    I think the hard thing about online dating is the continual possibility of meeting someone you think is great and then never seeing them again. This phoniness that others dish out (quite thoughtlessly) is a hard thing to deal with. After all, most of us assume that the reason these men have profiles online are because they DO want to meet someone as well. When things “seem” to click with someone, it’s just so VERY hard to understand someone who pulls the wool over our eyes or vanishes for no apparent reason.

    I would love to see a new system in play with some of these dating sites. They need some other kind of screening process to weed out some of the players or men (or women) who lie. supposedly has a screening process to weed out those who are married or have a criminal record, which is a good thing. However, the allure of the internet makes it easy for those who want to lie or misrepresent themselves to others. I think online dating “could” be a really good outlet for dating. However, it has not proven successful for me.

  13. Gatti Avatar

    As I said, Mitsy, I had a mostly enjoyable time with internet dating, but that could be due to a number of factors.

    Perhaps because the pool of possible matches in the US is so great, there are that many more bad guys. Or maybe American men are different, although I’m sure there are jerks here. But I didn’t meet any of them. I have a fairly high set of criteria for who I would contact, and I seem to have picked fairly well, even when it didn’t catch fire or work out.

    Admittedly, there is a certain thrill at looking who is new on the site and would this one or that one be a **teensy** bit better, but…all my various profiles are down now. There is at least one man who can be trusted, it seems!

    I’m sorry that it’s not been a good experience for you.

  14. Strblonde Avatar

    I’ll have to agree…….. internet dating has not proven very good to me either even though I think I did a fairly good job of weeding out the bad ones. I AM glad I never met some of them. I just don’t know how I’m going to recognize the next guy that comes along and professes to be such a good, honest Christian with the same values as me (spiritually, politically). The guy I met from Iowa just sent me an IM one day out of the blue. He had done a search for certain criteria, then sent the remaining three choices an IM. Only 2 of us answered and the other one turned out to be wacky he said. So I was “it.” He convinced me it was God’s doing……. how could I argue that? God DOES bring people into our lives for different reasons, but I don’t think one of those reasons is for that person to lead me on and hurt me the way he did. Considering all the things we had in common though, it was easy to assume that as well. I do know he grew up with a verbally abusive father (a minister, none the less) and that certainly has colored his perceptions. In fact, I dated another man with the same situation. He had problems too, of course. I detailed that in one of my “blogs.” I have just deleted this guy from my friend’s list and blocked his IM and emails. No doubt he will think I am bitter. I am hurt; I am deeply disappointed, but I am not bitter. God will get me through this as He has before. It is just getting more difficult to believe that God DOES have someone in mind for me because I have been divorced for 16 years now. Maybe it’s because I still haven’t gotten it right???

  15. Mitsy Avatar

    I can so relate to your experience. Cop guy from Iowa really led me to believe he was very interested in me. However, I am very bitter at times and will admit it. I’m angry that every single guy I’ve ever been interested in LED me to believe that he was also interested. I don’t believe I’m such a bad judge of character that I’m getting it wrong each time. I know that on several occasions I’ve had guys who had obvious spark, interest, much in common as well as attraction and it was mutual…not one-sided. Then the guy never makes that 2nd date or 3rd or whatever. Eventually quits calling or simply never calls again after the first or second date and then that’s it. At 46, I’m not desperate. If marriage was all I wanted, that would have happened many years ago. However, it would have been to the wrong guy (possibly two different guys even). I am continually hurt and frustrated that men my age seem like immature boys when it comes to dating. They can’t deal with dating in general so they go “poof”.

    I’ve pretty much decided if I ever do meet someone, it won’t be from online. At this point, I can’t even encourage people to go that route since I think the odds of really finding someone are quite small, despite what the eharmony commercials say. I think they need to do a documentary to show the “other” side of the online dating system. I imagine it would expose many men (and possibly some women) who have lied in their profiles, about their intentions, and otherwise used people or took advantage of them in some way. I really think it is a crapshoot regardless.

  16. Strblonde Avatar

    Mitsy, I’m so sorry you are feeling bitter at times but I totally understand. I was that way for a long time with my ex. You are right — it is extremely hard to understand why they go “poof” when there seems to be mutual interest. But yes, they ARE immature when they think that is easier for a woman to accept and they cannot find the guts or the wisdom to tell her that “you just aren’t right for him, even though he thought you might be.” I ordered a book online that I could download called, “Catch Him & Keep Him” by Christian Carter. It is told from a man’s point of view why guys do the dumb things they do and how women can counteract. I will admit I have made some big mistakes in dating and fell right back into the same pattern this last time too. (I should have RE-READ the book!)

    I do thank God that I didn’t end up marrying one or two that I thought was “the ONE” or even the one that actually proposed. I would have been divorced a second time I’m sure. As I said, I deleted Iowa guy from my blog friends and blocked his email. He left me an offline msg essentially wondering “why” and blaming ME. I guess some really are that dense.

    It is easy to say, “Let go and let God.” It is NOT easy following through on that. I keep praying, that is about all I can do. I have good friends that keep me from sending him a nasty email and give me good advice. It would serve no good purpose. He is just waiting for a reaction out of me, but if I say nothing it will show him his comments mean NOTHING to me. The above article also, helped me SOOO much! I also believe in “what goes around, comes around.” I have just seen it happen with my ex. I had to wait 20 yrs but it finally happened. Hang in there.

  17. Gatti Avatar

    It saddens me greatly to hear that the men you are meeting are playing the religion card and then acting in a “non-Christian” manner. Again, the UK doesn’t usually wear it’s religion on it’s sleeve, and I contacted men who designated themselves everything from Jewish, to Spiritual but not Religious, to Atheist (which is what my boyfriend listed himself as, and I think he’s the kindest, most caring man I’ve had the pleasure to meet).

    So maybe it would be better to concentrate on values as they are shown in action rather than making assumptions based on some religious designation?

  18. Mitsy Avatar

    Strblonde, I’ll have to check out that book you mentioned. Thanks for your thoughts and advice.

    Gatti, I am such an unconventional Christian that that was not really high on my list of “must haves”, however, I always thought it would be nice to have a guy who would actually be willing to go to church with me. Cop guy from Iowa was one of the few who actually made the fact that he was a Christian and wanted a Christian, plain in his profile. His behavior actually turned out to be “less” Christian than some of those who did not put that high on their profiles (for being one or wanting someone who was).

    I had no illusions that saying you were a Christian meant that they were without sin, but I did believe that a guy who claimed to be one would not exhibit the bad behavior I had seen with so many other men. I expected a bit more and I got quite a lot less from him.

    I have never pursued the Christian dating sites, partly because finding a guy who had some common sense and treated me right was more important than if he were a regular church-goer. I doubt that I could be with someone who claimed to be an atheist though.

    I think players come in all different shapes and sizes. And I also believe in karma. Sometimes we just have to wait a lot longer to see it come around.

  19. Aggressively Single Avatar
    Aggressively Single

    Dear Mitsy, you’re spending so much time and energy on a guy you had ONE date with. That’s a lot of energy going in a negative direction! Why not listen to Goddess – she is the voice of experience!

    We all want you to find happiness, you seem like a very nice person. You deserve someone special, but I despair of your ever meeting anyone until you make a few changes. You gotta adjust your attitude – YOUR attitude, not all the guys you meet who all seem to be awful from your description.

    None of us are perfect, and it’s very painful to take a personal inventory and accept responsibility for things that happen to us, that we bring about. And make changes were necessary. No pain no gain, right? Gatti, you are such a gentle voice of wisdom here, I wish I had your soft diplomatic style, it’s no doubt one of the qualities that drew this new great guy to you!

    I don’t know how many dates those who don’t like on-line dating have had, but if you only have a few and expect a lot from them, I don’t think that’s realistic. My best girlfriend always had the best dating attitude – a lot like DG – and her philosophy was fo “fill the funnel”. If you’re looking for someone special, maybe you need to meet 20 or 30 or 40 guys to find one or two who click. Put 25 into the funnel, have the right attitude, and eventually a good one will come out the other end. And in the mean time, just date to have fun! Expect to meet nice people. And you will!

  20. Mitsy Avatar

    I’ve basically moved on from this last guy, but it made me realize that I’m not willing to go through 30 or 40 for guys to try to find the right one – if he’s even in there. Mercy. I don’t have that kind of stamina. Maybe some women do, but I don’t and won’t even consider that. I just got tired of the games and at this point being alone is not as bad as having my expectations dashed again and again or going out with someone I know I am not interested in.

    Interestingly though, tonight I talked to a guy friend at my part-time job. He wanted me to meet a “friend” of his. I had sort of heard this guy’s name and once had known his ex-wife, but I had not seen her in years. I am a young looking 46 and am totally turned off by a lot older looking men (more than 5-6 years). This guy comes over and he’s at least 60 or older! We talked briefly and he asked about us going out sometime. I told him that maybe we could, but I was pretty non-commital. He knew where I worked during the day (at my office job) and said he would give me a call. I said..”yeah, OK”. But, I’m thinking…this guy is NOT what I need or want. So, then later another friend/co-worker comes over to me and says something about this guy talking to me. She told me that she set up her cousin with this guy and the cousin went out with him once and that he had a belly button AND foot fetish! On the very first date, he pulled up her shirt to SEE her belly button! Then at one point, he wanted to see her FEET! Needless, to say, that was her first and last date with this guy. So, that pretty much cemented it for me. If he calls, I’m going to tell him that I’m looking for someone closer to my own age, which would be the truth. But, even if he were younger, I would not want to go out with a guy like that. What a story though.

  21. Mitsy Avatar

    And just for the record, I did not “bring about” the bad behavior of previous men because I was not at fault for how they treated ME. It was THEY who led me on, not the other way around. I never lead a guy on, and I have no respect for people who play that game. END OF STORY.

  22. […] even. With this one I disagree. Getting even is childish. In “Releasing revenge” I discuss how it may make you feel better short term, but it only perpetuates the hurt and […]

  23. Pookie Avatar

    Hello. I wonder if you could give me some feedback on this scenario? Thanks.

    I’m a 1.5 year Match survivor and a midlife divorced woman (experienced with pathological narcissists, passive-aggressives, identity-free guys, liars, players — hey, I’m stuck in Southern California) sharing custody of a child. Have met a lot of whackos and some nice fellows. Just about gave up when my 90% match appeared about three months ago. I’m here, he’s on the east coast. We talked for a month and he came to see me. Roaring great time. Following week I went to see him. He’s only D’d 8 months, had a 4-year LDR with a gal during/after his 20 year marriage broke up. Though I knew the timing was bad, our match was cosmic, down to small details. During my visit to him, though, he told about the 4-year gal and said there was a “90% chance he’d never be *involved* with her again,” at the same time talking marriage, pregnancy, moving there, where my daughter would go to school etc. with me and about how perfect we were for each other, how he’d never connected with any person in his life like he did with me etc. Wanting a committed 3-6 month test relationship. These seemed to be serious, mature conversations. And I saw his large collection of single malt scotches and furniture-free 4 bedroom rented house. Started noting the flags. He came to see me again and we’d planned 2 more trips: 1 to his *family* and 1 for him to see me again. His last visit to me was like a honeymoon, though I saw him fill a highball with scotch, and noted that he drank every day we were together. He made occasional odd comments to me: “I’m going to stalk you for the rest of your life.” “I’ve put bugs in your clothes in your closet.” “I can’t wait to dress you in beautiful clothes.” “I’m the ultimate male chauvinist pig.” The week after his last visit his communications to me changed abruptly — stopped calling during the day, claiming work stress. It took him 9 hours-2 days to answer my TMs. His nighttime calls pushed back to his bedtime and he’d yawn into the phone. I stopped putting effort into the calls and noticed that he asked me no questions. During one call he seemed annoyed and said, “Maybe I should rethink this whole thing.” I asked for clarification the following weekend and he said we were moving at 2 different speeds — though he’d set the speed. I pulled back as my guts felt that he’d pulled back. By the next week he was begging off on calls and sent a long e-mail about the rocks in our road. I responded, having then seen that his supposedly cancelled Match membership had been active in the last 24 hours, and restated all that he had proposed to me, the possibility that I’d been fed fantasy, the possibility that he’d taken another direction, and what I was looking for in a relationship. He responded the next day with a 2-line “Dear Jane” e-mail. No conversation, no explanation, no regret, no consideration, no respect. I wrote him one long one back showing appreciation, thanks, restating what I’d hoped, recognizing the difference in our feelings, being concerned about infidelity and alcohol, and wishing him well. No response and nothing since then.

    This was a man I could have married. I’d never felt a 90% match with a human like that before in my life. I took it hard, bawled for a week, blamed myself and second-guessed. Then found “Men Who Can’t Love,” a book about commitment-phobic men, which included actual statements that Mr. East Coast had made to me. (Now for reality: He’d said that he didn’t think he’d ever loved any person except his mother. He’d said he knew his marriage was a mistake early on. He referred to his overweight ex-wife as an object. I knew there was trouble.) So, as I heard so eloquently yesterday, my heart loved him but my head knew logically that he was bad news.

    In the book his type of guy often makes “curtain calls,” contacting weeks/months later to start the seduce-reject cycle all over again. As much as I’d like closure and to hear him say he wants to visit me again to straighten things out, it’s a pipedream and even my daughter thinks he’s too scared/embarrassed to ever contact me again. Personally I think he *knows* we were a great match, he knows he’s playing and an LDR with me would have been easy to compartmentalize, he knows I’m onto him, he’s said he moves on without guilt or regret — so I think he’s forgotten me already. So much for the photos we took of us together on our last weekend — him loving and attentive, quite the gentleman.

    A man who is that poor at resolve misunderstandings, clarifying misinterpretations or wanting to make things right is someone who only wants an armpiece who won’t ever be any work. He made zero effort — to keep me as a friend, or to know me on any level — just 1.5 weeks after talking about how we would raise children together. How does the pendulum swing so wildly?

    And after all this, I wish him well on his road. I hope that someone comes along who will smash his arrogance to the floor, who will obliterate him into humility because he actually does love her. He told me he loved me, but it sounded like words without feelings. I wanted to be his mate, not his candidate, and I told him so.

    It’s hard to finally find such strong feeling for someone, and then have them not love you back. I will remember him for the rest of my life.

    And if he should reappear in some way, should I listen or tell him to take a hike and cut him off? Feel duped, or feel lucky that I had the experience?


  24. Pookie Avatar

    Hi again. I’d like to add to the above that Mr. East Coast is a VP at a large US consumer corporation responsible for a $50M business. Two graduate degrees. Very cultivated and elegant.

  25. Dating Goddess Avatar


    You said it: “And if he should reappear in some way, should I listen or tell him to take a hike and cut him off? Feel duped, or feel lucky that I had the experience?”

    I feel lucky to have most experiences as I learn about people and myself from them, even unpleasant ones. I think you’ve answered your own question in your comment. Why would you welcome back anyone who behaved toward you the way you described? The 90% match was his mask. You could see by his behavior he was far from a match from you, no matter what he showed to the world.

    Also, I’ve found that anyone who’s talking permanency within the first 1.5 weeks is a red flag. They don’t understand that you’re falling for someone who you really don’t know at all. Attraction is great, but as time goes on, one’s real self emerges. I made Mr. Romantic promise to not propose to me again for a year after the initial time the first week.

    If he calls, you can tell him how hurt you felt, but it won’t do any good. Or he’ll try to make excuses. Just be pleasant and don’t agree to further contact.

  26. Pookie Avatar

    Hello Madame Goddess and thank you for your perspective.

    I checked out the Heartless Bitches site red flags list (it’s REALLY long) and Mr. East Coast fit a whole load of them — right down to offering to adopt my daughter (her dad is still alive) even though he’d never met her. So yes, i’ve learned about those who profess too quickly. He put on a full court press to close the deal with me — but I thought that it would be much easier and cheaper to just get sex locally rather than travel 3000 miles for it ….

    What guy would have me meet his grown sons on my first visit, would have me speak on the phone with his relatives during his visits to them, if I meant nothing to him? What guy would talk about how he would propose, where we would travel to, having surgery so he’d stop snoring? I’m baffled by the inconsistencies. What man would bother with the expense, energy/hassle and planning, if he didn’t have real intentions toward someone? I’ve read that, generally, men are too lazy for that. THIS is the part where I second-guess myself and wonder if I was too tough on him too quickly, so he ran.

    Will take your advice on the off-chance he makes contact. For my own satisfaction I’d hear him out first and listen, then decide what, if anything, to say.

    Some other serious flags I recognized: “YOU MADE ME do … x” several times. Regarding a female employee-filed harrassment complaint against him that came up during our last week in contact, (really not good) he said, “I’m top management. The little people can’t hurt me.” I thought I’d choke when I heard that, and was so disappointed in his character. This is a guy who, sadly, has never done any internal work on himself at all. He has a long journey ahead, and I hope he makes it.

    Have learned about true and false selves and the MASK. Unfortunately this guy has so many wonderful talents and gifts, he doesn’t need a mask. But he was damaged early on, and it’s carried forward.

    No, I don’t want anyone who could be as rude and inconsiderate to me as he was — when I did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

    Mr. East Coast doesn’t seem to do emotions, so part of me assumes he wouldn’t care about my hurt. I expressed it in e-mail so will leave it there.

    I could see him contacting me back in between conquests, if he gets booted by his LDR again, if he’s curious; but from what I’ve written him he already knows any direct contact with me would NOT be an easy occasion as I’ve seen under his mask. Since he’s been such a coward so far, I assume he’ll continue as such.

    To me, a real, true relationship between equal partners must include honesty, trust, truth, addressing the good with the bad. Anything else is just superficial.

    Clearly my ego was smashed by this experience. I’m speaking from hurt, mostly, and from feeling like I let myself get involved too deeply too quickly. My satisfaction would come from knowing whether or not he has/had real feelings for me. It’s extremely hard to move forward without closure, but I’m trying my best; with acceptance it gets easier each day.

  27. Pookie Avatar

    Regarding the falling for someone in the first 1.5 weeks, I don’t doubt that we are at different stages of our recovery, and that he’s looking for someone to dull the pain. But to be clear, we talked for a month, daily, 1-3 hours, then met for a weekend, then met for a week a week later — it was during that time that he almost proposed one night over dinner. So we’d been getting to know each other past initial fluff.

  28. Christine Avatar

    Pookie: So sorry for the pain you are experiencing here. I have spent alot of time wishing and hoping it all went down differently in my own recent experience. But, in the end, I now want all of that time back so I could devote it to setting things right for me. I really beat myself up with all the wondering and taking responsibility for what went wrong. I wish I could have just looked with gratitude upon all the great feelings I had while I was with him. I finally realized that he didn’t give me those warm wonderful feelings, those feelings live in me and they will be there again when the next romantic connection comes along.

  29. Pookie Avatar

    Christine: Thank you for your kind words. I’ve looked back at the red flags list I made, and the BS that was said to me — so I have realized that DG’s comments are correct about it not having really been the best match. Am so glad that I chose to write him one last e-mail after his Dear Jane to me, where I feel I expressed myself appropriately, clearly, humanely, compassionately and maturely — I decided that one of us had to, and I would be true to my own character in doing so. I also realize that what you say is true: I, too, have those warm, wonderful feelings to give to someone deserving and who will return them in kind and for real through time; having been married for 12 years I know what it feels like to do it right. Interesting thing is that I’ve now seen he hasn’t been on Match in two weeks. Reasons are likely that he’s seeing someone locally (not likely, as he’d found no one), he’s seeing the LTR gal (she’s from England), he’s lost his job or he’s seeing nobody since me. Any which way it matters not. What DOES matter is how much I’ve learned through this experience, to apply to any relationship which might come after. I believe that I gave this man the best of myself that I had and have no regrets that, in the end, I put a stake in the ground and expressed what I wanted that was important to me — a healthy, necessary and timely move (a ‘put up or shut up’ moment) a week before I was to meet his family. Clearly by his pull-back I was to be a “date” for that trip and nothing more, so I *was* wasting my time. This man was not up to the effort of building a relationship, so was not the man for me. Great, Christine, how you’ve through it and I truly hope the best for you with the right person comes along. Good luck.