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  #11  
Old 03-27-2016, 11:48 PM
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. . . these were the expectations and/or agreements. We agreed to make regular scheduled time to see each other and keep in touch. This is what you do in every relationship.
Is it? No, not everyone in relationships agrees to schedule time together on a regular basis. I don't, because I like spontaneity and prefer that my lovers get in touch when they are moved to see me, not because we've promised to see each other X number of times a week or every third Friday. I hate obligation in relationships. Many people are like me and would feel oppressed if expected to come up with a schedule. Maybe he was similar and feels better when he can just wing it.

I am not saying compromise is impossible - but wanted to point out that "This is what you do in every relationship" is a statement that you can really only make for yourself.

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However, he seemed to feel pressured eventually by those expectations. Maybe he did see it as demanding, but I honestly don't think I was.
For someone like me, that kind of expectation does feel like a demand. I am just sharing that, not out of criticism, but so you can see another perspective. The expectations that you've believed everyone has in love relationships simply aren't universal. You and he were probably speaking different languages when discussing what you wanted out of the relationship.

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For example, if I said "Hope to see you soon" he would get defensive and think I was being passive aggressive about scheduling a date.
Yeah, I don't want anyone I'm dating to think I am *hoping* they will call or want to see me again. I feel that saying I'm hoping to see them soon makes me sound like a beggar for their attention. It's "giving away" my personal power to be *hoping* he'll want to see me soon. I don't say that. It also feels like a manipulation to me.

Plus, I often wind up dating guys who have similar outlooks as I do -- meaning that they don't like a lot of expectations in relationships -- which also taught me not to say things like that when I am dating someone. If someone says that to me, it certainly can feel like pressure. If we already do have something planned in the future, I would say, "See you Thursday" or "looking forward to the concert," but if there are no plans in place, a person who dislikes obligations placed on them would not like to hear that you are "hoping" to see them again "soon." Just say general things like, "good night, sweetie," "take care," or "good luck with the [whatever]." It seems like a little thing, but it actually isn't.

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Regarding "meaningful" I just meant quality. That it wasn't just sex, but that we spent time together as friends and built our relationship.
What I am wondering, however, is if you ever said to him that you wanted and expected your dates to be meaningful and not just about sex, and how you said it. He may have interpreted it as too much expectation or that he could not provide you with enough of whatever meaningful interactions you expected. Even if just knowing that you were wanting things to take a certain track so that the relationship is "building" or "going somewhere" could've felt like too much pressure to him if it's at odds with what he wanted. Not everyone needs a relationship to "go somewhere" (the "Relationship Escalator").

Please note - it's not important to try and figure out how he interpreted things. What's much more important is to know what kind of message you send when you ask for what you want.

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I don't think having expectations is being demanding.
Hmm, well, I do see expectations as demands. I feel strongly that it is perfectly fine to have preferences, but where people get tripped up is in having expectations. I've come to learn that expectation is the killer of relationships.

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. . . Whereas, when you're in a committed relationship, you know your partner wants to hear from you, and even though you're busy, you make an effort because you want to and because they want you to.
You are contradicting yourself in this one statement. Yes, people probably do want to hear from people they care about and it's best when the people they care about get in touch because they want to -- but not because it's expected and an obligation. And hey, if I'm busy and can't get in touch with someone, I would rather they be understanding and patient than disappointed and feeling hurt.

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I made it very clear in the beginning that I wanted an emotional connection...he felt it and made an effort, but then seemed overwhelmed and exhausted by it.
It seems to me there was basic incompatibility in the ways you both approached "committed" relationships. Is he an introvert, by the way?

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Why did he feel he was expending so much emotional energy to meet basic relationship expectations?
Hmm, "basic relationship expectations" are different things to different people. Some people strive to hold no expectations in relationships, while others expect the world handed to them. "Basic" for you was probably not what is basic for him.

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It really hurts me that I feel like he treated me like I WAS a burden, when I let him initiate most of our time together.
Don't hurt yourself with this information; let it teach you. You don't have to be victimized by the thoughts you're having about what he wanted and how he treated you. You can be empowered by the self-knowledge you can gain from looking at your part in it.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-28-2016 at 12:31 AM.
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  #12  
Old 03-28-2016, 12:22 AM
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Thanks nycindie....You've given me a lot to think about. :/
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:11 PM
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Hi polycurious123,

I thought maybe the guy you were seeing got worn out because of his saturation level. By that I mean that different people can handle a different number of dates/partners before they get *saturated* or overwhelmed. You can call it "polysaturated" if you want. In any case, he was (perhaps) over his saturation limit.

Some people have a saturation level of one person, and those people are best off being monogamous. Some monogamous people would feel drained and overwhelmed if they tried to take on a second partner.

Was your guy polysaturated? Perhaps.

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Old 03-30-2016, 07:34 PM
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Is it? No, not everyone in relationships agrees to schedule time together on a regular basis. I don't, because I like spontaneity and prefer that my lovers get in touch when they are moved to see me, not because we've promised to see each other X number of times a week or every third Friday. I hate obligation in relationships. Many people are like me and would feel oppressed if expected to come up with a schedule. Maybe he was similar and feels better when he can just wing it.
Hmm. Do you have any sort of minimum frequency below which you just feel ignored, schedule or no? I've been working on the "no expectations" thing and it's challenging for me
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  #15  
Old 03-30-2016, 11:12 PM
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Your story strikes a chord with me. This line of thought (trying to figure out his thoughts) seems unproductive. I would encourage you to focus on yourself, your priorities, boundaries, and your life in general without someone in the picture. As others have suggested, clarity in these areas make it much easier down the road to be in alignment with someone.
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  #16  
Old 03-30-2016, 11:41 PM
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Re (from icesong):
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"Do you have any sort of minimum frequency below which you just feel ignored, schedule or no?"
It would depend on the circumstances, and on what I knew about the other person. I live in the same house as Snowbunny, so I pretty much take daily contact for granted. Now if I was dating someone new I probably wouldn't expect daily contact, but beyond that it would really depend on the person and the circumstances. Heck I can imagine being okay with about once every three months, if the other person was introverted enough and/or had enough on her plate. Though if you don't spend much time with each other, the time you do spend should be quality time.
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2016, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Is it? No, not everyone in relationships agrees to schedule time together on a regular basis. I don't, because I like spontaneity and prefer that my lovers get in touch when they are moved to see me, not because we've promised to see each other X number of times a week or every third Friday. I hate obligation in relationships. Many people are like me and would feel oppressed if expected to come up with a schedule. Maybe he was similar and feels better when he can just wing it.
Hmm. Do you have any sort of minimum frequency below which you just feel ignored, schedule or no? I've been working on the "no expectations" thing and it's challenging for me
Nope. I live in NYC where just about everyone is stressed and busy, everyone stays late at work, everyone has a long commute. I need to decompress from just my daily life a lot of the time, so I need my "me time."

There is a man I see who doesn't contact me very often - maybe every three or four months. I leave it up to him because he has more on his plate than I do. He texts me when he wants to see me and, if I am able, I do. I won't drop everything to accommodate him (and he knows that), but I will try to see him if I can. We have a great time whenever we get together, but we don't converse in between, and I absolutely do not feel ignored or forgotten when we're not in touch. I have no doubt he's thinking of me. I just don't feel the need to see or talk to someone daily or even weekly, so I never place those expectations on people.

I would feel ignored if I tried to contact someone two or three times and he didn't respond at all. But as far as frequency, sure, it's nice when I've been involved with a guy who can and wants to get together once or twice a week --but that feels like a lot to me, and is not a requirement. If a guy expected that of me, I'd feel suffocated.

Also, if someone promises to call or get together with me, I do prefer they keep their promise, but I know that in life anything can happen and get in the way of plans, so I don't count on anything until I see it happening. Low expectations = less disappointment. However, continually being unresponsive or breaking promises does send a clear message that someone isn't truly interested, so I don't put my life on hold or hang around waiting. I just figure we've moved on.
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Last edited by nycindie; 03-31-2016 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 03-31-2016, 05:28 PM
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nycindie, I want to thank you for your insight in this thread. I have been struggling with too many ecpectations from my part in my first ever "off the escalator" relationship, the one with Jeremy. Reading your posts here has made it clear to me what was my problem.

Jeremy is very introverted and now as the NRE is fading away, we have been seeing each other less often. Our last planned date got cancelled because I got sick, and now it is over a month without any dates. However, he has been having quite so active social life otherwise: seeing his friends and family. Which of course is good that he has been able to do, especially since I was sick and thus not available.

Now, I suggested a date for this week and he declined it saying he was overstimulated socially and had to have some time on his own. Boy, I felt hurt! I could not pin point why, because... well, this sounds so normal and reasonable. After reading nycindie's posts on this thread I could see the underlying expectations (that he did not meet). My expectation was that he should have me as a greater priority than the other people in his life, 'cause we are dating.

How silly of me! Those other people have been in his life way longer than me - of course they are a higher priority! They are his family and friends. I am just someone he is seeing occasionally - and we have even discussed the issues of relationship escalator and commitment and agreed on not being "in a committed relationship".

It is enlightening to realize such emotional reactions in me and to bring the underlying expectations into daylight. I wonder if it would help me to start calling Jeremy something in line with lover-friend and not boyfriend... The word boyfriend is so loaded, and sometimes the words do have a lot of power. Edited to add: Jeremy has not called me his girlfriend, and I have felt a bit hurt about that as well. Now I think he has been very wise He saves the title "girlfriend" for a possible future escalator partner!
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2016, 08:50 PM
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I don't know, I have to push back a little bit with all of the people talking about having unrealistic expecations and everything because hey...you know, sometimes we need what we need. And while it sucks to be into somebody who isn't aligned with your needs, and be hurt by that, it doesn't mean that your needs are not valid, or your position needs adjustment.

Personally, if I did not have meaningful contact (phone calls, message conversations with some substance, in person visits all count) for a matter of months then I do absolutely feel ignored, neglected, unimportant to someone, basically that I am being ghosted. I'm not into that.

This resonates with me because of my affair with the Worm King last year. I was on fire for him. We saw each other more than once a week for the first couple of weeks...then it was two weeks before I saw him...then a few weeks...then six weeks...and we only ever talked on the phone ONCE and he went from initially texting me every day, to not at all.

He said first that he had a tendency to get jealous. I told him I would be exclusive for him, with no request or expectation of him committing the same to me. He told me then that I was "needy" and to get my needs fulfilled elsewhere. So I did. He gave me constantly conflicting signals. It was confusing, and yes...it MADE ME FEEL insecure as hell. I had no idea where I stood with him ever. There does come a point where it's ok to say that the way someone behaves triggers an emotional response in you...good or bad...but then once you recognize that, it really is on you to change the situation if you need to. And you cannot control the other person's actions or try to even influence them, you can choose to either deal with your emotions somehow or move on.

But the part of that experience that I think is relevent...is that for a while after we parted ways, I drove my brain around in silly little circles trying to figure him out. What was his motivation for acting that way? What was his deal, what was he thinking, what does he want, and is there a way I can BE that whatever it is?? Nope. All of those hours of thought were an utter waste of my time. Because at the end of the day, it just doesn't matter if he only wanted me on the most casual basis, or if he just wasn't that into me, or if he had emotional unavailability due to his past, or if he got bored, or WHATEVER. He just was not a good candidate for what I really need...which is far more honesty (including honest with self and partners) and communication about where we stand and a level of engagement that feels comfortable to me.

Not all non-escalator relationships are super casual. It's one thing to be understanding of a partner who has a lot on their plate. But I am not down to be anyone's "once every 3-6 months" booty call, nor to be ghosted and treated as though my feelings aren't important, or emotions aren't allowed, or any of that. I don't want to feel as though maintenance of my relationship is a nuisance or a chore. If dude doesn't want to spend time with me, it's time for me to move the heck on.

OP...there is nothing wrong with you. K? Just work on being enlightened about what your needs really are, and making them a priority with future dudes. Don't compromise things that will cause you hurt. There are too many fish in the sea for us to be doing that.

EDIT: OP, clearly though, moving on is a process...I still fantasize about conversations I'd like to have with my disaster, I still chew on the matter trying to glean some wisdom from it, I still in fact miss him and wish I could see him again. A tiny piece of my spirit says "maybe I could do it all differently and it could be ok" ...but I know better. Haven't seen him since September. So I'm not judging you one bit for still dwelling on this.
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Last edited by Spork; 03-31-2016 at 08:54 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-31-2016, 09:00 PM
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Jeremy has not called me his girlfriend, and I have felt a bit hurt about that as well. Now I think he has been very wise He saves the title "girlfriend" for a possible future escalator partner!
This is cool if it's what you want, but recognize that you're looking to him to define your relationship. Nycindie's relationships work for her becasue she defines what she wants and gets involved with people who match that. You can have a non-escalator relationship in which you would be a girlfriend and a high priority and see your partner frequently if you're clear about wanting that. The key here is to be solid in yourself about what you want, not to look to your partner to tell you how it's gonna be.
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