What Did I Do Wrong?

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
What Did I Do Wrong?
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 10:08am

So I have been lurking around the boards on here lately trying to help some with their relationship issues. Hopefully my thoughts have made a difference. Sad to see how there are so many people out there who do not know how to communicate effectively. So it is nice to see that there is a safe place for others to vent and to try to get advice.

I am not sure if men are allowed to make original posts. If not, then I truly do apologize and will remove this immediately. And I am not used to asking anything from anyone because I much more prefer to give. But I am at a true and total loss right now and would appreciate any advice possible. Because I know there are many women on these boards. I do not have any family nor any friends. And I honestly do not know where else to turn.

I have rushed into many unhealthy relationships in the past. With basically all of the wrong women for me. Trying to find the love that I never felt growing up. Not really because of what I need. Simply because of what I wish to give. I have just learned the hard way that you cannot really force things. Even when those things are the most important things to you. I try to take life as a learning experience. So I resigned myself to the fact that when I stop looking so hard, then maybe something good will come to me. Rather hard for a passionate person to cope with. But I truly felt it was for the best.

Then I unexpectedly met someone. Not just someone. Someone who literally took my breath away. Someone who made me feel like I could fly. The craziest thing of all is that she really seemed to like me. Saying such things as "I don't want this to ever stop", "You are a constant to me now and I can't get you out of my mind", "I want to be the only one to do that to you for a very long time because that is how you make me feel", "Because of how strongly I feel about you, I want to constantly remind you so that you will never need to ask me how I feel about you", "You make me so happy", "When we meet, I will be the happiest I have ever been", "I think I am falling for you, will you catch me?" "I like ending my day with you", "You have been the best thing to happen to me in a long time", and "There are times when I think of you and wonder why I did not stumble upon you sooner, so many things I need, so many things I want, that I get a little watery eyed thinking what this all is". Sorry for all the examples. Just thought that they may help.

She has two young daughters and has just been divorced. I have gone through two of them now and know exactly what it is like. All the transition within your life. So many changes. You trust that the long run will bring you happiness but the short term brings many tears and guilt. So I was very, very aware of this when we first started to talk. We both agreed to take things slow. Even with the intense attraction. Also believed that being friends was most important and vital to any happy relationship. Talked on the phone all the time and texted like there was no tommorrow. Sent e-mails to one another all the time. Ended our days talking to one another and saying good night. We agreed to meet and did a few weeks ago. The weekend was just beautiful. We did not have sex at all but the kissing and touching was even better. She claimed that the weekend was amazing.

Since I got back home, things started to be different. She seemed sort of stand-offish. Has barely texted me recently and when she does it is always trivial things. Has not e-mailed me in weeks. We no longer talk every night. I know one thing she said is that meeting me made it all so real. So I have tried to be understanding and have given her the space she seems to have been needing. Sort of hard when she said all those other things to me and again being as passionate as I am. But I know that if you truly care about someone, what is best for them sometimes is what is best. So I have not pushed anything. Have liked taking the time to get to know her because the most special things all take time.

The other night, she texts me and says that the ex met a woman and that the kids have met her already. Even after only a few weeks of dating. How selfish it was of him to not think of how it may effect the daughters. I could not agree more. I e-mailed her yesterday and told her that I totally get why she is upset and that she has every right in the world to be frustrated. That with this being a period of transition, the kids need as much consistency as possible. That even though kids think in simple terms, their feelings are no less important. I confirmed to her that I was here for her no matter what and that she was very special to me. I did not say anything romantic at all. Did not seem like the time or the place for it. I just wanted to be there for her as much as possible so that she would know that I care.

After that mail, she said that in lieu of what has happened with her ex, and with her kids asking her why she is on the computer all the time, that she has decided that she needs to really focus on them. Which I cannot help but appreciate and understand being that I am an educator myself. But now she is not even talking to me at all. Will not even let me in as a friend.

I know that she needs needs to be a mom first and foremost. And I know that meeting her daughters right now would be a mistake. As would taking up all of her free time. But why does she feel the need to shut me out of her life completely? Should she not be happy too and would her own kids not want her to be? How long does it take to send a two minute text saying hello to a friend or that you are sort of thinking of them? Why say such romantic things to someone with such consistent passion only to suddenly take them away? If she did not like me in person and her feelings changed, why not be up front and honest with me instead of leading me on like she has? Why do people have such a very hard time communicating with one another?

And most importantly perhaps, what exactly did I do wrong?


Because I am at the point in which I am almost about ready to stop even trying. Why even make the effort to make a relationship work when all it leads to is more and more hurt?


I am a hopeless romantic and one day will most likely find myself back out there again. So I really want to know what mistakes I have made with her so that I can perhaps try to be a better partner the next time. What exactly is it that women want?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I know that it is sort of long.


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2008
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 10:46am

Hi pleases32,  It don't think you did anything wrong.  IMHO this lady still has not processed her D/end of her M and is not really ready to start a relationship with anyone.  Unfortunately you showed up in her life a little too soon after her D.  After finding out about her exh bringing a new woman around her kids the reality may have set in for her and she realizes she needs to focus on her and her children's healing.  Her comments to you may be her way of trying to let you down easy.

As hard as it is, IMHO, I would let her go.  If you want to leave the door open you can wish her well and suggest that she may call you in the future when her life and her children's life is settled but I wouldn't make any more contact.

I don't think you made a mistake other than connecting with someone who is too newly divorced.

I wish you the best!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 12:25pm

I, too, am a hopeless romantic. With all of the professional advice out there, I think that you were both guilty of moving too fast, too soon but more so you due to your own experience with D.

I did the same thing after my D but kept my R a complete secret from my kids the entire time. It was not a R that would lead to marriage and both of us knew it from start to finish. I wasn't ready to even consider M again and I don't think your woman is either. Who, after being bit by a dog they were trying to pet, would immediately offer the other hand to get likewise bloodied?

Meeting you just made it real enough for her to realize this. She then acted on the reality over the fantasy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 12:42pm

I dont think you did anything wrong.

I think she realized she is in no way ready to be in a relationship.  And I think her EX bringing a new woman into the picture probably stung a great deal.

If I were you, I would simply wish her well and let her know that when she is ready to try a relationship to let you know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 2:02pm

I am assuming that you met this woman on OLD because you talk about her saying these romantic things and then meeting her in person & then going home.  In one way I do think you were a fantasy for her but I don't think she meant it to be only a fantasy and then reality set in and she hurt you.  I'll try to explain.  I've been divorced twice too--the 1st time, my kids were little and I had been married for 13 yrs and all of a sudden my DH decided he didn't want to be married because I guess he was bored or something.  So I started working for this guy part time who was my age & single and I developed this fantasy in my mind about him even though he was my boss--sometimes we'd hang out & go out to dinner or the movies but usually not just the 2 of us but I had all these things going on in my mind, but deep down I really knew he wasn't right for me because we were too different--that went away which is good and good that we never really developed anything romantic cause I still work for him full time & it's 16 yrs later.  I think that maybe this woman was upset about the divorce and then she meets this guy (you) online and you're nice and she can forget about the divorce and start saying romantic things to you & builds up this fantasy in her mind--it's a nice distraction.  then she meets you and it's probably a nice weekend but she has to start thinking about relality--if you don't live in the same city & she has young kids, how is she going to do this?  Would she move, would you move?  How can she keep this up & still take care of her kids?  I can see them complaining about her always being on the computer and her not having time for them.  if she's the custodial parent, she probably has a lot less free time.  My ex was able to get a GF right away because although he saw our kids often, he could kind of do it when it was convenient for him and at first he didn't even have a place for them to stay on weekends--so if I'm the one home w/ the kids every weekend night, how do you think I could meet someone?--I couldn't.  I think she is seeing the reality of the situation right now and wondering if you don't live nearby what does being friends even mean and maybe she feels embarrassed having said all those things to try to step it down to being friends?

I wouldn't say you did anything wrong, except that being experienced in the OLD world, I would discourage anyone from saying anything romantic to someone they haven't met in person because I do think it's all a big fantasy until you actually meet.  That's why I won't even bother w/ anyone long distance.  I want the opportunity to meet right away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 4:04pm

<< What nice things others say ultimately does not mean a single thing. >>

I disagree. However, what people say needs to be challenged and fleshed out before being internalized by the listener. I recently came off a 1 year stint on a dating site where I heard all sorts of loving/romantic things from women. If they didn't know me yet, I asked for enough specifics related to their compliments, and corrected them accordingly, to make them think twice before tossing out praise without a solid foundation.

Sure, it would have felt better to just blindly buy in, but look at the results of doing just that in your own case.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 4:56pm

In my personal opinion, you can't go back to just being friends after connecting romantically.  I know you two were not involved for very long, and that you agreed to move forward slowly.  But there was romance involved, and that complicates the issue.

Especially given the fact that this woman now finds herself dealing with her EX bringing a new girlfriend into her Daughter's lives.  Her life is probably pretty complicated, and she may feel the need to just not add to it and possibly subtract what she can.

My Daughter has a friend whose parents are 6 months post divorce.  The dad has been dating for quite a while now, and has recently introduced the kids to his new girlfriend.  None of the kids are handling it well, which has left the Mom in a situation that is not only frustrating but also very stressful.

My Daughter has been coming home and sharing with me, what her friend has shared with her.  And to be honest, it is pretty heart breaking.  I can only imagine what her Mom is feeling, given she is the one that is taking the brunt of the kids reaction.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2009
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 5:08pm

I am sad to say that from all your posts, you come across being in that grey area/thin line of martyr/needy. And I am just basing this on your posts here.

You've said so much "I am only thinking about her, but...".  At some point, it becomes self-serving and frankly annoying, no offense meant.

In a healthy relationship, each partner thinks about the other as equally as possible.  When you see the other side isn't giving back as much, you deal with it and/or move on. 

She was going through a rough time, you were there, she and you shared whatever it was, and she's moving on. This is just a post-divorce rebound social statistic data point with all the traits in the right place and time. She didn't do anything wrong, she just reacted to the recent loss in her life. You were the target of that reaction.  She was sincere in that she felt what she told you she felt, but it was destined to be short-lived because of where it got originated, the remains of a past lost married life.

This isn't about you, so don't make it.  Lick your wounds, move on, be more cautious with the next person you meet that's carrying an obvious baggage.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 6:39pm

Pleases, what you did wrong was forget to balance your romantic side with a healthy dose of reality.

Some people confuse the new relationship energy with love.  It's an easy mistake to make - all those hormones and pheremones can do a real number on our perspective.    This is what was going on when she said all those lovely things to you.   And just to be clear, she wasn't deliberately misleading you - she would have meant it at the time.

When someone says lots of lovely things, especially if you haven't known them too long, you need to step back and acknowledge that this is their hormones talking.    Glenn says he fleshes out and challenges those declarations.  And when I was back dating, I simply said to myself "time will tell".   But whether you take Glenn's approach or mine, the underlying idea is that such declarations are most likely a trick of all that new relationship energy and you need to not place too much creedence in them.

Regarding the friendship thing, once there are romantic feelings involved, a simple friendship is no longer possible.   Besides, how would any future girlfriend of yours feel about you being close friends with someone who you loved but couldn't have?   It's just not workable.   

There will be more girls for you.   Just make sure to keep a good dose of reality alongside your romantic self.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-12-2012 - 9:27pm
pleases32 wrote:

Actions always speak louder then words. This is just my opinion and I have had that confirmed even more through this last experience.

I guess life is always a learning experience and the best thing that I can do is to simply learn from it and move on.

I think that really is the point--this happens to everyone.  We go through things and learn from experience.  Personally it turns me off a lot if someone I haven't met starts saying really romantic things to me--I usually try to correct them and say "well we really don't know each other yet" or something like that.  Of course that's also the tactic of scammers, which I think women have to watch out for more than men.  (I just read an article about that in a magazine and one attribute of scammers is people to say very loving things too early, so now it makes me even more skeptical.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Thu, 09-13-2012 - 12:21pm

Just so you know, the woman that worked out for me from my dating site was one of the first few women that I conversed with and she was the last one that I ever thought I would fall in love with. We chatted casually with zero romantic overtones for 6 months but only while both of us were at work since we both believed that this would lead to nothing and didn't want to waste our personal time. The last 8 months since has been a wonderful journey of discovery which (upon looking back) was built upon a fairly decent, friendship only relationship with no other intentions but that.

She visits a week from tomorrow and an engagement ring is waiting for her.