How do I get away from this man?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-01-2010
How do I get away from this man?
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 3:30pm

Hello there, I haven't been here in a long while but I'm back and I think I have found myself in another mess. This is a bit long, so bear with me.

In September I met a man who is 6 years younger than me and had just got out of a 3 year relationship.  When I met him I had a gut feeling about him and was almost turned off by him.  I knew he was not available for a relationship.  However, he came on strong and we began texting/talking a lot during the week.  He "won me over" I guess you could say.  Over the course of a few weeks he mentioned that he had cheated on his former gf, he would make "jokes" about sensitive topics, etc..  This was a major red flag so I cooled it for a bit with him.  I also thought it was strange that he rarely wanted to see me but we talked all the time over text.  Then we were finally able to meet up but he didn't seem interested in taking me out on a date or anything.  After the last few guys I had dated I didn't want a serious relationship and I wanted to just get my feet wet dating casually.  This was just the beginning.  In October after meeting up once a week or so, we had sex and things took a turn for the worst.  After this he acted even more strangely, I wouldn't hear from him for days and at one point I moved on because I hadn't heard from him for a week and a half.  We would have plans and he would constantly blow them off.  I found out through a friend that he had been seeing his ex, I had a gut feeling thats what had been going on the whole time.  After this I didn't talk to him for a month.

In December he texted me and said he missed me and things changed a little bit.  I never said a word about his ex, and never asked him if he was seeing her or not.  Looking back he lied about every little thing.  I was very upset that he had basically cut me out of his life when he wanted and decided to walk back in.  I told him that I could not do a casual relationship and we should just be friends.  I stood my ground.  BUT he persisted even more and I caved and we began talking every day again (looking back I see that he was having problems with his ex and I was his rebound, again).  At this point I felt like we were dating, we saw eachother once a week and things were great, we got along well.  In January, out of the blue one day he said we could only be friends and that he wasn't ready to date.  I was devastated because our relationship was progressing and as soon as we got close he always cut it off.  However, he kept texting, kept his foot in my life because I let him.

In February I found out he was not only seeing his ex the whole time we were dating again, but he was dating another girl too.  They both contacted me and we all revealed our stories about him.  The worst part about it all, is that he was telling his ex they were going to get married and have kids all while he was screwing two other women and playing with our emotions.  I am mainly disappointed in myself for not walking away when I saw the red flags or had bad feelings about things or about how he was acting.  I wanted to keep the relationship casual, but from the start I didn't want to be used like I was for his needs.  What bothers me is how him and I would get extremely close and as soon as that happened he would run away and sabotage it.  All of this just shows me that I am falling for the most unavailable, disrespectful men and I can't stop.  Its almost as if I'm addicted to these chaotic relationships/people.  Over the past month I've been anxious, depressed, not myself.  I am not sure how I can stop this toxic pattern I've gotten myself into.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 7:51pm

I would say one big thing is not to ignore red flags.  Also you have to respect yourself and not let people treat you badly.  If someone is canceling plans on you for no good reason, why would you put yourself in the position of making plans with him again?  If someone hasn't called for a month, then just casually contacts you with no explanation about why he has been gone, why would you just let him come back?  If you don't insist on being treated with respect, then you'll keep attracting these kind of jerks.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 8:30pm

  First was there any talk of relationship?  Does not sound like it. Just realize that you committed too fast.  When one is getting their feet wet it is a common error to start thinking as if there is a relationship.  He did not treat you badly.  It is that he is a free agent and is figuring it all out too.  That is what people do figure it all out.

  Just keep going out and do not waste time on the negative.  Forgive and forget. 


Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 6:21am

Definition of stupid: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Stop being stupid about this guy.

No contact. The only way you're going to stop torturing yourself and wasting your life on this guy is stop talking to him or trying to be his "friend" instead of his lover. 

This "man" is really behaving like a boy. Children do what feels good. Adults make decisions and have a plan. You can either keep participating in his childlike game or you can decide you want to surround yourself with adults.

Time to grow up my dear. He's not going to so now you have to decide if you can.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 11:40am

Identifying that you have a problem is the first step.  The next step is getting some counseling to figure out why you continue to do this over and over again.  You saw the red flags but ignored them, why?  Are you afraid of being alone?  This is the issue I have seen over and over again with women who get involved with the wrong men, or continue to stay in toxic relationships.  Get educated, understand yourself, and then you'll be able to start making the necessary changes to fix this problem. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 4:29pm

Agree with the others. You are ignoring the red flags. You have to respect yourself enough to be able to walk away from a guy if he is not walking the walk.

There was a comment too about exclusivity. Never assume you are exclusive with anyone unless you have had the talk. You two could be on totally different pages in this regard, and thats when people get hurt.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 2:16am

Leslie, of course I remember your original story/situation, but isn't this the second time you've had a similar relationship situation since you were with your son's father?  

If I remember right from last time, it was suggested that you spend some time in counseling, specifically, counseling for DV victims.  I'm pretty certain you got that counseling, yes?  At this point, I'd really urge you to get more of that type of counseling, and/or other counseling that the DV counselor might suggest you receive.  I would certainly tell that counselor about the relationship you're telling us about now.  

Like the others, clearly you saw red flags but ignored them -- something you just can't do.  Beyond that, I can't help but notice you talk about telling him you want to just be friends...this was after you he showed himself to be insensitive, he cut out until he wanted to let you in, etc.  This is the kind of person you want as a friend?  Why would you allow this person to remain in your life at all?  

I feel like I've said this to you before:  I think you need more work before you've been cleared up enough to date.  After I left my abusive ex I felt like I needed my therapist to pick me up by my heels and shake the junk I'd accumulated from dysfunctional relationship out of my head.  That's what I meant about you getting cleared up.  Are you still living with your parents or are you on your own?  Living there kept you in a pretty dysfunctional situation too. 

I'd also encourage you to read "Are You The One For Me?"  by Barbara DeAngelis.  It won't take the place of counseling by any means, but it may be helpful to you,  It made a big difference for me and for many others who reply on these boards as well.  

Hugs, Leslie, you'll get there.

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Mon, 04-15-2013 - 9:42am


I also remember Leslie's story and like myself I am now wondering if we are just going to have to work on our issues everyday .like an alcoholic who has to always work on being sober. For me as a codependent and being in dysfunctional and abusive relationships I have been working on myself for years now but I can still make mistakes..been divorced for years now and when I get lucky I have a date.. (lol)

Here is an example... A few weeks ago I went on a date and the guy seemed okay at first but he had called me the next day  and the day after.. Right away a red flag went off in my head that he appeared somewhat too anxious but I let it go.. The third phone call he made to me he became very agitated and said things I did not like.. Now this was a total stranger so I figured he was showing me who he really was in which I didnt like his attitude.. Way too pushy and sounding like a jerk already;  So I told him have a nice life and never spoke nor saw him again... Now I am much older and wiser but these alarm bells rang in my head....So I was thinking why would I still attract this type after so many years of healing and working on these issues.. So I guess that didnt matter in the moment because atleast I let him go although I did like him .. I thought about it later and realized he was a jerk.. and he was 60 years old....

So I think its one thing that you meet someone but as soon as the red flags are seen you have to get away and not look back considering the issues of abuse and all and I include myself in that also..

PS.. Right on about the friend thing.. You dont need friends like that.. There are plenty of people in the world to be friends with who wouldnt treat you so bad...


Community Leader
Registered: 05-14-2001
Thu, 04-18-2013 - 2:13am

Here's what I think:

When you're a healthy person you attract healthy partners and repel unhealthy/dysfunctional partners.  A healthy man is attracted to a strong, independent woman while an unhealthy guy is not interested in someone who won't accept being treated badly and/or will call him on his crappy behavior.  You may not realize it's obvious, but your demeanor and cues give off enough that attracts one or the other.  I think if you're still attracting guys who are jerks AND you're still entertaining their advances, there's more work to be done in therapy.  

I think the fact that you see the red flags and turn them away earlier than you would have is a good thing, but I think when you've "arrived" you won't have to conciously force yourself to pay attention less you fall back into it.  I also think the fact that you recognize what's not right in a partner says tons of good things about how far you've come, but it shouldn't be work.  I think the fact that it's work also says you need more work in therapy.  

~ cl-2nd_life

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2004
Sat, 04-27-2013 - 12:00am

You have to learn to love yourself. Somewhere inside you don't believe you are worthy of anything better. Men are good at picking up on this. Next you need to set a standard for yourself that you stick by. Until you know your worth, you will allow someone else to put theiir opinion of your worth on you. There are yet good quality men out there but you must become that quality of a woman. you seem to know what you're doing wrong so change your behavior. When you truly learn to love yourself, those dogs won't look good to you anymore. One more thing don't be a pit stop for noone! Be good to you and you will do good by you. Wish you well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 04-30-2013 - 12:12am

You have to learn to respect yourself, and to set standards for yourself.  If after a VERY short time a man isn't meeting your standards, then it's time to tell him that you're no longer interested.  The only reason you allow someone like this user/loser to stay in your life is because you're desperate to have a man in your life, ANY man, and since you don't respect yourself, you feel you have to accept someone that uses and abuses you.  You need to work on your self esteem and realize it's better to be alone than to associate with someone like this man.  You should get yourself a copy of a book called "Grilfriend 911" written by Jacquee Kahn.  She had the same problem you have, and her book can help you stop allowing men to take your power away.  I think she has a facebook page, too, or maybe it's "girlfriend 911".  You can also buy the book at Amazon.           Good Luck to you.