Rejection teaches you how to please yourself.
Ohhh yes, that first relationship where it went from "oh yes I suppose this is nice" to "I had no idea that loins could actually glow like this". That, my dear, is wicked intense chemistry. It's profound and life altering.
Of course you stuck around so long, you hadn't known it could be like that. Give yourself the grace that you yourself would give to someone you love and feel protective of. You wouldn't judge them, and for sure not with the cruelty with which you talk to yourself. Knock that shit off, you deserve kindness and compassion instead.
And the good news is that now you know how it can be physically, and guess what - he's not the only one who can make your loins glow.
It's possible to have loins that glow, and also a heart that glows, because the chemistry comes with someone who is kind and crazy for you and likes your presence and silly jokes. That's what you're looking for. Because loin glow fades with time (though with attention it can be built back into a fire), and you need to have all of that kindness and respect still around.
I fell for this guy who made my loins glow, but there were a lot of things I didn't respect about him. But yegods, the sex! He just wasn't that into me, and made dumb excuses like Mr Sike* and then tried to use me to prove to his next girlfriend (who he married) that he was A Nice Guy Who Stays Friends With His Exes, and that's when I noped out. I still think about him, and about how glad I am that I'm not with him, both for all the reasons I didn't respect him, and for how not-into-me he was, and because, frankly, my husband now is SO MUCH BETTER in bed than that guy ever was.
Back then I thought that was the best I could manage, but you know what? Therapy and choosing to be myself even if it's not popular (like Polly said) made it so that I got the raging loin glow AND kindness AND someone who's totally 1,000% into me.
But for now, focus on being kind to yourself. Make up a bunch of jokes about people who are the worst, and make Mr Sike* the punchline for all of them. You, though, wrap in warm fuzzy thoughts and mindfulness meditation when you start to rag on yourself. You deserve better, everyone does. Love yourself as much as you love others.
*It's "psych" you clown, but also what is this, the 80s?
Hey now, if I hadn't dated that hot guy who was into climbing I wouldn't have learned that I don't like climbing
My God. This guy is a psychopath. Whenever I've gotten entangled with one of those, it takes about a year of recovery before I've been able to look back and say, "I'm SO GLAD that sociopath is no longer in my life, what the hell was I thinking??"
I think that we fall passionately in love with sadists and other inappropriate characters because they trigger our childhood wounds. That 'stars and rainbows all aglow' sensation is not love, it's sublimated terror. We bond with these people because our psyches are trying to right an ancient wrong, not because they make excellent life partners.
As Heather says, the only way to truly heal the wounds of sadists past and present is to embrace the self that they rejected. As long as you're focused on them, and the dynamics of failed or abusive relationships, you're just perpetuating the wounding.
'Men’s preferences are arbitrary and have nothing to do with you.' Write this on a post it and never forget it, LW.
I'd add that they're often driven by self-serving interests, especially in the case of a guy like you describe.
Unlike you LW, I've experienced your exact rejection around five times in my 20 year dating career. Hurts like hell every time and takes a while to heal. You learn to spot and avoid these men as you go along. Now at 40, while my capacity for overwhelming passion has been diminished over time, it's been replaced with a preference for putting myself first and seeing people for who they are: just people. No one is that miraculous all the time. He knew, possibly intuitively, that he couldn't measure up to your high regard for him for too much longer. Also, he's going to treat his new girlfriend or someday wife like shit. mark my words. His behavior is not limited to you. Unkind, selfish people who take from others are often the worst to the ones they are closest. Feel sorry for her.
Thank you, Heather, for the kindness and clarity in this response. I wish I'd had this to read years ago.
Edit to add if it helps, LW: I'm now married to a wonderful man and have a kid. It will happen for you, if that's what you want. Value your time and follow Heather's advice.
Wow! The guys who tell women they are seeing about the other women they are dating are clueless and/or sadistic.
Also, I always thought it was PSYCH!! Based on that alone, I would erase him from my life and my social media!
You had me at “dipshit sundae”.
But seriously, LW, I was once dumped by seeing the dude change his relationship status on Facebook to “in a relationship” with another chick. Less than a week after we had just spent the holidays together on a trip with my best friends. Even though we had “never said we were exclusive”, it took a massive toll on my self-esteem and took a shockingly long time to get over that feeling of being treated like I was absolutely nothing. But I did. And now I can see he was just a fuckboy, and a coward!
Forgiving yourself is always important, but especially in cases like this where you feel bad and there's not a ton you can do to feel less bad. Because for me, these are the situations where my brain convinces itself that the only way to gain control back is to figure out what you did wrong and what is wrong with you as soon as possible. Which you have to also forgive yourself for, because that's a natural survival mechanism. My entire profession revolves around probability and it's still hard to get myself to remember that some things are just random chance. Having a great connection with someone who wants you to be someone different could be x or y or it could just be the luck of the draw. And mourning the end is necessary, obviously. But there's also something to be said for delighting in the absurdity: that of all the people you had a connection with, it was "sike" guy and sike guy sucked and isn't it sort of bewildering, his specific sort of terribleness? And again, for the record, sike guy sucks! He's awful! He sucks!
Silver medal, definitely better than the bronze, but harder to be happy with from what I hear. I'm so sorry you've had to go through this.
Attraction is weird. There is no other way about it. If we could totally understand all the factors to make ourselves attractive to whomever we wanted to pick, what an awful mess that would be. Every one would be out there gaming the system, and most of us, we'd still be lonely.
Have faith, there is fortune out there. One day soon, you'll look up and see a rainbow, then look down, and well, who knows?
Again, really, I'm so sorry this happened. You put yourself out there, you gave it all, and it blew up in a very messy way. For getting dumped the first time, via text no less, you're holding up admirably. I wish I had your clarity the first time I was dumped. Best wishes.
Wow, did I need to hear this today – and I'm an oldish lady who hasn't dated in years! I just moved to a new place (heaven, paradise, like living in a fairytale) that is just outside the city where a guy dumped me decades ago. Our families were close, so I saw a lot of him and his new wife for years. I thought I was over him, but moving here brought back all the great memories and none of the reasons why I felt like I dodged a bullet – I do remember thinking that from time to time. Anyway, all the old feels are back, comparing myself to his new wife (a doctor, by the way, so, yeah) who is his long-time wife now. Sigh. Thank you for reminding me to enjoy who I am - the luckiest person alive to have this wonderful new life here - and to be unapologetically ME. :)
>you’d be innocently gazing out the window at a downy woodpecker and that dumb pecker (your husband not the bird)
Also, I remember seeing someone on Reddit say that she *liked* rejection because it's the end of the delusion. I love that attitude.
I was reading this while out for lunch (burger & fries, because I'm worth it and I'll burn off some of it tonight at the rollerskating rink, doing laps for 2 hours) and I got choked up at the last few lines.
LW, you definitely dodged a bullet with that f*ckwad and you deserve far better than "Sike boy".
He’s bad. I felt cold darkness on that text. Sorry you have to meet this shadow in the forest. You need to surrender yourself with lots of beauty and love from pets, nature, art to compensate/balance out this exposure to cruelty.
Please keep weaving birds into your letter replies.
So I have had this experience but it was actually hotter in my head than when we were actually together? I suppose we’d have some ridiculously dramatic reunion and it would be physically intense for like two minutes but then it would go right back to being all fantasy again and overall dull. Has this been your experience? I actually think this type of experience is only actually possible with someone who is not really good for you in the long term.