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Still struggling after breakup after 5 months

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Sorry for the long post, I am hoping that by writing all this down it will be a bit cathartic and you guys might be able to give me a bit of a support.

Basically back at the beginning of January I met a slightly older woman and we kind of hit it off, I’m 38 by the way. Well to cut a long story short, I was seeing her quite intensely… I don’t really know how to describe the relationship as we weren’t boyfriend/girlfriend but it was a lot more than friends with benefits. She’s 45, three kids and just divorced although she’s still living with her ex-husband – they been separated for 18 months now, have separate rooms and the house is up for sale although taking forever to sell but they are also trying to make it easy on their kids.

Anyway so the story is that from January to May we were seeing each other pretty intensely and we even went away for Valentines Day and her birthday. When we weren’t together it was whatsapp 24/7. Everything was going good but at the end of April she started saying things like she felt she was holding me back from meeting someone my own age and possibly having a family of my own, I told her to stop overthinking but she was adamant that we should take a break. So we went for three weeks in May without any contact, I got back in touch with her and we chatted a bit and she dropped the bombshell that she had started seeing someone. It hit me quite hard and I went a week feeling bad in all honesty and eventually messaged her a long winded message saying I wanted her to be happy and couldn’t do the friend thing. I then blocked her and deleted her from FB. Kept her blocked for about a week before messaging her just before I went on holiday for a few days saying I had fallen for her, wanted to be with her, didn’t care about the complications, baggage, etc, etc. It was all true.

We then arranged to meet up when I got back and went for a meal and to the cinema at the beginning of June, I fully expected us to just be friends and she was going to let me down gently after having sent that message but in the cinema she held my hand and then afterwards we went back to mine. I thought we were back together. I asked her about the guy she had been seeing and she said it was over and nothing, was just a couple of dates. A couple of days later she was working in another part of town and her company put her up so I went to stay over at the hotel she had been put up in and we went out in the evening, the entire night she seemed really distracted and was on whatsapp a lot, almost every opportunity she had like when I went to the bar or the toilet. I called her up on it and she said it was nothing. We saw each other a few other times in June but it was constantly on my mind.

I had also noticed that she wasn’t messaging me anywhere as near as much as when we first got together and it sounds a bit stalkery but everytime I went on Whatsapp I could see she was online, I’d message her and even though she was online it would take sometimes an hour to respond and it felt like someone was more her priority. Throughout most of June it just felt like I was making all the effort to message her and it was a chore to her. She also kept going out with her friends on a Friday or Saturday night rather than see me. Then I noticed one time when she came over to mine and we were on the sofa watching tv but she then went on whatsapp, a few times she leaned forward so I wouldn’t be able to see who she was messaging. I caught a glimpse of her whatsapp and there was 4 numbers there where she hadn’t saved them as a contact so instead of a name you just see +4479 and then the rest of the number. I’m assuming now these were guys who had given her their numbers on nights out or something along those lines.

This was massively bugging me so a few days after that I sent her a long message asking what was going on and if she was in an emotional relationship with someone else and she wrote back saying that she wasn’t seeing anyone but in a roundabout way was keeping her options open – she’s always maintained that long term she needs someone her own age and who also has kids. I didn’t really know what to think and she said can we just keep things casual. I didn’t really want to but kind of agreed but she kept coming up with excuses whereby she couldn’t see me.

We met up for a drink the night before she ended things and spoke a bit about it and she asked if it were possible for us just to be friends. I told her I don’t think I can and said I obviously want more, told her to sleep on it and the next night she sent me a message saying: “Rich sorry but gonna take a break I’m sorry don’t worry I won’t block you as we can still stay in touch x things are different in not feeling it anymore x sorry x”. I asked if there was someone else and she replied with “Of course I meet people when I go out I suppose i won’t know what I’m looking for until it hits me”. The final message she sent read “I suppose I just need to fancy someone more please don’t feel bad I know you have tried harder lately buts it’s not enough sorry”.

And that’s it really, I didn’t reply to that and haven’t contacted her since – 5 months now. She messaged me the night after ending it with ‘You ok?’ and I didn’t reply and two weeks after that tried to reach out if you can call it that by challenging me to a game of Words with Friends on Facebook, again I ignored and deleted her as a Facebook friend a few days after that.

I know she is now seeing someone else, one of the guys she was likely messaging in those final weeks whilst still with me. I'm pretty sure of that because out of curiosity I looked at her FB a few weeks ago and she was in the Caribbean with him and her children so I assume he would have had to be on the scene for at least a few months in order to not just meet her children but go on holiday with them. It also makes me wonder if the reason she chose him over me was for the money as I don't imagine Caribbean holidays come cheap. Her ex-husband was quite well off and she was used to that kind of lifestyle, I just wonder if that is why she went for this other guy as he will be able to give her that.

I'm not really sure why I am posting this. Just some support really, I don't expect her to reach out but in a way it makes it worse that she hasn't, almost as though the relationship and me meant nothing to her. I guess she has completely moved on now and I don't even feature in her thoughts.

Still struggling after breakup after 5 months

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it's quite typical for people to want a richer lifestyle than currently enduring. you can second guess her motivations forever. best solution is to ask her why she selected this guy over you. perface that you are just inquestive and will not be upset no matter what her response is. from all the attention she is getting i assume she is pleasant physically and emotionally to men friends. what is very obvious is that she is adamant for a platonic limiting relationship with you for some reason. is her new lover older than her? based on her convos with you this could be primary reason for selecting him along with his lavish wealthy treats. she may simply be following the money for her children's benefits.

Still struggling after breakup after 5 months

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Hi, Rich.

So the first problem I'm seeing is that you were dating someone who was still living with their ex. This isn't ever a good idea, usually people need to be off on their own away from their ex for a bit to be stable enough to begin dating.

Another problem is that this is a 45-year-old woman using smartphone apps to meet people. I'm not saying it's wrong, it just seems a little...immature. I won't knock people for using every tool at their disposal to meet new ppl, but from my experience the people who typically use dating apps aren't very serious types.

I can understand that you wanted more from this person, but maybe it is for the best that things turned out as they did. True, you could have tried to be friends, but how would that have worked out once she started seeing someone else? You likely would have lost a friend anyway.

I do want to say it's impressive that you've gone so long without talking to her, especially when earlier in the year you had a hard time leaving things be. You are doing the right thing I think, but checking her Facebook is probably a bad idea too. Best to leave it all behind you.

She probably was right though, you could find someone a little younger who is on the same page as you. In the meantime, pursue your interests and try to further your life. And I can't stress it enough - avoid social media and apps if you can, they likely won't lead you anywhere better.

Still struggling after breakup after 5 months

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Thank you for the replies. I don't think reaching out to her and asking for any sort of explanation will do any good to be honest. I have thought about it but she was less than honest with me whenever I asked her about the texting before and what was going on with her in that final month when we got back together. From the photo I saw he looked around her age and possibly a bit older so I have no doubt that on paper he is what she is probably looking for. I do wonder if she has fallen into the trap of going for another guy just like her ex-husband, he might not be able to provide for her emotionally but has the money side behind him - she told me the marriage became loveless and sexless due to her ex-husband being too career driven. Who knows though.

The lovebombing has made it very hard to get over, I've never been showered with so much love, attention and affection before. I know it's a red flag but I had no experience of it and I truly felt like her 'one' I suppose. Even in the weeks before ending it she was telling me that she had never felt cared for in the way I cared for her, that I was her rock, how she loved how genuine I was, that she had never got on so well and laughed with someone like she did with me, that I was the best cuddler she had ever experienced amongst other things. Despite knowing she was texting others whenever I called her out on it she would tell me I was being insecure, she was just a needy person and that I was overthinking things.

It left me bewildered I guess and I think part of my healing is coming on sites like this to try and make sense of it all.

Still struggling after breakup after 5 months

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A few of the people I dated seemed to be liars, especially one I dealt with earlier this year. When someone outright tells you one thing but does another, constantly, it's not a good sign.

The way I look at it? You got to have a little fun and not be alone for a while, and maybe you needed that break. Appreciate it for the positives it brought, and try not to view it entirely negatively.

On that same note, don't keep running back to the arms of a bad pairing. She can say you were the best cuddler, but apparently that wasn't enough in her eyes. Find someone who appreciates your outta-this-world cuddles enough to stay, Rich.

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