I don’t trust my instincts about men

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THE GUYS

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Hi Guys,

I am 26 years old and just had my first heartbreak about six months ago. Because I’m so inexperienced, I am really confused by what happened and I am having trouble trusting people again.

The key points:

-I met a very kind, shy, sweet boy but only two months before I was set to move.

– I have never dated or had sex before. No one had ever really expressed interest in dating me before. He knew I had never dated before.

-At first I was not very into him but he kept pursuing me and I eventually developed a real attachment to him. As soon as this happened he became inconsistent and stopped talking to me.

-We reconciled the week before I left. I explained I was hurt and he told me he had been busy with work and with the death of his grandmother.

– We slept together at that point.

-We had plans to meet again in three weeks later for his birthday as I was passing through. At the last minute he said he would likely be too busy with his visiting brother that weekend to see me.

– I messaged him a few days later through Facebook to inquire about his birthday. He never read my message.

-It suddenly became clear he had no desire to be my friend or even to hook up ever again, although we had mentioned the possibility of living in the same city in the future.

-I was devastated. I felt like the same thing had happened again when he first distanced himself from me. Mostly, I felt like he must have never cared even a little for me, so I was naïve to ever trust he had liked me.

On the advice of my male friends, I never wrote him again or tried to contact him to try and get an answer. I don’t know if he ever cared for me at all. For months I felt like if I could just get closure and know for sure he had liked me at one point I would be better able to move on. Since it was my first romantic relationship and I have no closure from it I feel I can’t trust my instincts or my own judgements. It’s at the point that I don’t feel I can trust any men because I don’t know which of my instincts were right in this situation.

How can I tell what to learn from the experience? Can I contact him for help? I often feel I want him to know I was hurt in case this was all a misunderstanding. A small part of me hopes we might meet again in the future and reconcile (even though rationally I know he probably never cared for me).  I still value him a lot even though I don’t think he values me. My gut and heart are all mixed up. How will I ever sort out the truth so I can be trusting and happy in a new relationship?

Alice

Dear Alice,

We know you’re hurting and we’re sorry. Breakups are never easy, but they’re especially difficult when there’s a lack of closure. And there you have it. The most valuable piece of information you’ve learned without even realizing it, is that when relationships end, one person is often left with unanswered questions. What happened? I thought things were perfect? What did I do? Did he ever love me? The questions go on and on.

Closure happens in business. Sign on the dotted line. This is yours. This is mine. But relationships aren’t business deals. They’re messy, mostly because people with all levels of experience are doing their best to figure out what they want. At least know Alice that you’re not alone in how you’re feeling. In fact, we’d say it’s the norm, rather than the exception. (Not sure if that helps at all.)

We don’t doubt that your guy was into you and that he meant all the things he said to you. It doesn’t sound as if his behavior was premeditated. Instead he sounds like an inexperienced guy who wanted to be your hero, and fell in love with that idea, only to realize that maybe he made a mistake—the first break—and instead of moving on he tried to convince himself that he meant it all—the second go round; the one you slept together—and after he slept with you he knew for sure that he had made a mistake. (This is a guy thing. You should read our recent article, New woman, new relationship, new sex. Or Check out some of our e-reports to get some good info on guys. Maybe all of them, since we address the seven most frequently asked questions. See our e-book page.) Unfortunately, you got caught in the crossfire. And like we said, you wouldn’t be the first, and you won’t be the last.

We’re not excusing him, instead trying to help you see that it was his lack of experience that caused him to behave irresponsibly and inconsiderately.

We agree with your male friends. It’s best to move on here, and stay moved on, even if he were to contact you again. You’re not going to get answers from him.

In conclusion: There’s no reason not to trust yourself. You’ve got good instincts because you’re asking all the right questions. But remember that if you’re going to be part of any relationship, you have to be willing to accept that you’re always going to feel a little bit out of control. It’s the curse and the beauty of the experience.

Let us know if you have any follow-up questions. Or comments. (Leave us a comment below)

All the best,

THE GUYS

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