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18-05-2016, 22:47   #1
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How to act around Ex who you feel mistreated you

Hi all

I'm a girl in my early 30s and really wish I would have figured how to do this by now! I had been happy being single and I don't really date much so I'd like people's advice on how to manage themselves when running into Ex's...I'm going on a group holiday to another country. Now there's loads of us going so should be plenty of opportunity to avoid this guy but I'm still worried and panicking about it a bit. I know if I was truly over this I would be indifferent but the problem for me is it's more than just being left disappointed that it didn't work. I think this guy has handled things terribly so I don't want anything to do with him now. General advice would be great but if you want me to bore you with the background it's below!


I was seeing this guy for around 3 months, know him through mutual friends. I thought things were going well and we were getting closer. He seemed to be taking the lead, we were having a lot of fun, spending a good bit of time together (and not just for sex) and he had opened up about a few personal things to me. I felt very happy and relaxed about it all. Then he suddenly backed off for a week and was a bit hot and cold the following one, acting weird and was a bit of a **** one day when we were out with friends. I confronted him about it and I guess it pushed me into having the "talk". He felt things had been really full on and he wanted to slow down a bit. I asked him if he saw us going anywhere and he said he wasn't sure yet. This panicked me and I left feeling very confused - I know the running off is due to some of my own issues and insecurities.

I mulled over it and got back to him a week later because I wanted to talk to him and tell him where my head was at. We ended up meeting up and talking again a couple of times over the next few weeks. I told him that I thought we were onto something good, that I'd been having a great time and I'd like to see where it goes with us but I only want to be with him if he treats me right and is open with me about things like wanting space or to slow down. And that if he's not interested to just tell me and I'm happy to leave things. He got back to me with a lot of mixed messages and what I think now are maybe a bunch of stock lines...he's not ready, he's scared, he panics at labels, he has issues he wants to sort out., he's afraid he can't give me what I want. So I said it's a goodbye chat then? He said no. I told him if he's not ready to go away and come back when he is and hopefully I'll still be around. He said that sounds terrible to him. I asked what he wanted and he said he wants to keep doing what we're doing. I asked what he's not ready for, he said more of the same. I asked if he wanted a friends with benefits thing or that he wanted to keep seeing other girls and he said no. He also admitted it was him that had been driving things forward. So it was a total deadlock...he ended up spending the night (no sex) only cuddling but quite an intimate night. This was all very calm and non confrontational by the way...maybe I was wrong to ask questions but I was just trying to find out what was going on.

I thought I'd just leave it after that, that he needed space to think but about a week later we were at a mutual friends event and he just acted like nothing had ever happened between us. This really threw me. At first I felt ok because I had been honest and open with him and I can't do anything more but by the end of the night I felt really angry and confused. I thought it was so weird. That was all over a month ago...I haven't heard from him other than some drunk whatsapp last weekend which made no sense so I think they were accidental. And other than that he's been liking my stuff on FB...which I don't read into but take it that he's trying to be friends. I haven't contacted him. My impression is he's not interested and is trying in a very silly way to be friendly. A mutual friend let it slip at the weekend that he had said all was grand between us which really surprised me and opened up the old wound.


I feel so stupid writing all of this. I know it shouldn't make a difference because the outcome is the same but if he'd just said he didn't want to continue I could have been a bit disappointed and moved on. I don't know if he's oblivious to his behaviour or sticking his head in the sand but to me he's a head wrecker and I feel led on and I don't want to be friendly with someone who treated me like that. Please tell me if I'm overreacting though!.

So on this holiday, I don't want to make it awkward or create tension among friends. I think I can be civil and say hi but I don't want anything to do with him other than that. I suppose I don't know what he'll be like but I'm worried about him trying to be friendly. If he is I feel I have to say something. But to be honest I do want to let him know I don't like how he's acted. I know myself that I can't forgive him unless he acknowledges that it wasn't a nice way to treat me and apologises. I should be focusing on the fact that this is not the kind of person I want to be with but I guess the upcoming holiday is stressing me out. I've thought about sitting it out but it's a lot of money to lose and to be honest I've backed away from situations like this before and I don't want to lose out. I think I need to start facing these type of problems instead of running away.

Any advice appreciated!
19-05-2016, 09:45   #2
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Look, he's pretty much told you and shown you he's not as interested as you are - the whole afraid of labels thing is horse manure, really.

People like him can be confusing as it seems like they're interested but then not, but then are. It's head melting.

To be honest, you've already expressed your thoughts to him about the situation and I don't think anything will come from you confronting him again other than more head melting. If you have to be around him then I'd suggest just be civil and just try to avoid him when you can. Next time a guy blows hot and cold and goes on about labels in that manner etc run far away!
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19-05-2016, 10:52   #3
Sinister Kid
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I opened this thread thinking that this chap had done something awful! I can understand why you are hurt but to be honest, I don't think he mistreated you, he just didn't handle the situation very well.

Regarding him being friendly "in a very silly way", maybe this IS his way of being friendly. Plus, any more than that silly contact could be misinterpreted as leading you on? I reckon he doesn't realize how hurt you are over the whole situation, you saying to go away and come back when he is ready and hopefully you'll still be around is leaving the door open, of course he doesn't think you are pissed off!

I think you should write it off. Go on the holiday, be polite & friendly but don't interact with him more than you have to. Just try relax & enjoy yourself with your friends.
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19-05-2016, 11:00   #4
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I could've written your post almost word for word but from your exes perspective. Was seeing a guy early last year and we went on a group holiday together a few months after it ended.

A few weeks before we went he sent me this massive message calling me out on my behaviour, saying that I led him on, I was as much full-on as he was, we needed to clear the air etc. He'd obviously taken it all an awful lot harder than I realised and I apologised for upsetting him but held firm on my conviction that I didn't want a relationship with him. He is a quiet enough guy in general but he pretty much sulked for the entire holiday and was reluctant to get involved with a lot of the craic and fun. I'm not sure if that was my fault but he is an adult, I tried to make conversation with him a few times and he more or less blanked me so I left him to it. Please don't be like that. Take a step back and realise that he didn't treat you badly. He panicked and withdrew, but he appears to be extending a hand of friendship.

It comes across like you're angry that he doesn't want a relationship with you.
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19-05-2016, 12:19   #5
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OP firstly, no you werent wrong to ask the hard questions, you just didnt get the answer you wanted.

Yes, it seems like he's been ambiguous, but you have to accept that sometimes no answer is your answer.

Theres no real future here. If he wanted to be with you, he wouldnt be acting like this.
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19-05-2016, 14:30   #6
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Op here...thank you to everyone for replying. And yes I agree "mistreated" is too strong a word and it's more that he handled the ending badly. Well I think he did anyway.

Just to clarify, yes, I am disappointed it didn't go anywhere with this guy. I was having such a good time that I hadn't even thought to question where it was going but I was blindsided when it felt like he suddenly changed. But I know people can change their minds and you can't be angry at someone for not liking you so as much as it hurts this is not what I'm hung up on, well not anymore anyway.

I'm annoyed at how things ended. Maybe I focused on all the wrong things. He was all over me that last time we spoke, kissing, cuddling, not wanting to let me go and I honestly thought he was confused and wanted to take things slow. That's how I read it. Now I know from his behaviour since then that he's not interested. This is where I felt led on...I feel like there was an extra month of ambiguity where if he had just told me properly I could have known where I stood and would have starting moving on. I felt like I made it easy for him to be honest and he had been quite open when we were together so the vagueness has surprised me. I guess I need to get better at reading the "non verbal communication". My lack of dating experience is showing there.

I know it's nice that he's trying to be friendly but I'm uncomfortable with it because if I had wanted to keep a possibility of friendship with someone I would have been clear with them. But I suppose I can only speak for myself. I think if it was a random guy I would have just written it off already but I expect more from someone "in my group". I'm trying to tell myself it's just an ending, it doesn't matter how it happened but the idea of a friendship or even acquaintances after that is not sitting with me right.

I really need to find a way to let go of this!!! Clearly I have some issues and insecurities to work on if I'm having to write all these lengthy posts.

Anyway I know I'll be able to be polite on the holiday, I still don't know about friendly but there's such a big group that I think I can keep my distance and have a good time without making things awkward.
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19-05-2016, 15:39   #7
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How to act around Ex who you feel mistreated you
Act scarce. IE dont be around him; civil replies short answers to question and otheriwse act like he is not there. But i would suggest no drame either. your not going to get any satisfaction from the situation however you play it.

OP - here is my firmly help opinion. you cannot change other people. you now know what kind of person he is.

Leave it at that.
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19-05-2016, 16:05   #8
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Go off& enjoy the holiday for yourself
Yout don't have to be bosom buddies with the guy, just civil& polite. Take the high road- that alone will teach this guy what standard of behaviour you yourself live by.

Last edited by Merkin; 19-05-2016 at 19:01.
19-05-2016, 20:42   #9
Calypso Realm
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How old is this guy?

Actually, I don't think you're overreacting at all. You were seeing this guy for 3 months not three dates, have mutual friends and instead of sharing his doubts with you in the beginning, he practically ghosts on you, blows hot and cold, acts weird in the hope you'll get the message. How disrespectful. At the very least he could have asked for some space or a break-instead he behaves in this selfish, cowardly and rather hurtful (to you) manner. Definitely not relationship or friend material for that matter.

The timing of the holiday is rather unfortunate IMO (as I'd be recommending complete NC) but if you're determined to go, I would go with the mindset of having a great time with some of the others, giving him a wide berth. He'll see what he's missing! If he ever wants to bring any of this up while away (it wouldn't surprise me if he did in fact) I'd say you don't wish to talk about it as it's all in the past!

*Next time OP a guy starts behaving this way, regardless of the circumstances, do walk away. Complete NC.*

Last edited by Calypso Realm; 19-05-2016 at 21:05.
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21-05-2016, 07:57   #10
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I really get where youre coming from. I was with a guy for 4 months and near the end he got finnicky and elusive so I ended it(right or wrong I wasnt putting up with it).
Like others have said go on the holiday, dont let this prevent you. Id suggest you try and stay busy/involved in things, if you sit around pining you wont enjoy the the trip, and besides you dont want to give him the impression youre hung up on him
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21-05-2016, 16:51   #11
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I don't see how he missed treated you.

He told you he didn't want a relationship but you didn't listen because you wanted more.

You act like you don't give a **** because you shouldn't. He doesn't.
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21-05-2016, 17:36   #12
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It wouldn't surprise me if he's a bit bothered about being on the same holiday as you too. He seems to be trying to smooth things over by adopting the "Move along, nothing to see here" approach. Unless he's a clueless idiot, he's not going to be seeking out your company. Your friends aren't going to want to be caught up in the middle of an ex lover's spat either so that could help as well.
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21-05-2016, 22:11   #13
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Op I'm sure he's stressed out about it too but, for what it's worth, I don't think he mistreated you. This is clearly a big holiday for everyone involved and to be frank, you really should be shelving the attitude towards him while on holiday for the sake of the group. If you don't think you can act normally around him then you shouldn't go as it will likely ruin the trip for everyone else.,
22-05-2016, 10:44   #14
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I hate to say it but this is kind of just dating in this day and age. Acceptable or excusable, absolutely not, but if you're putting yourself out there you'll meet as many turds as nice guys and sometimes they'll be the ones you least expect.

I think you just need to have a bit of a harder skin OP, set your pride aside and just keep a respectable distance from him during the holiday. Don't engage or stick around where he is, but don't create drama or attract attention to the situation with any of your mates either. No bitching or dirty looks or any of that. Do yourself proud.

Bottom line is that rejection is a bitter pill. I dated many fellas like this one when I was single and in my flush of anger and pride in the aftermath, failed to see that they just weren't interested in me and went about that in the most arseways manner possible for their own reasons - often their own insecurities and social awkwardness and lack of emotional intelligence which was no reflection on me whatsoever. Just a guy being an immature socially inequipped idiot and me failing to read the warning signs. In time it'll be so clear to you that you've dodged a self esteem sapping bullet with this guy and you two were completely incompatible.

Last edited by beks101; 22-05-2016 at 10:46. Reason: Typos
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