The Art of “Maneuvering”: When They Won’t Commit but They Won’t Let You Go

“Oh! He wants me

But only part of the time

He wants me

If he can keep me in line…”

–       “Voices Carry” by ‘Til Tuesday

It’s really incredible…These past few weeks have just been inundated with calls regarding the same issue so I figured I may as well just discuss this in the open.  It’s almost creepy how over 50 readings in two weeks, nearly all of them started the same way:  “Every time we get close, he/she pulls back. But, when I start to back away, he/she gets closer, but he/she won’t give me a commitment . What’s going on?”

What’s usually going on is what I like to call “Maneuvering.” It is a merciless act of cowardice and selfishness of one lover towards another, beyond teasing. It’s basically keeping your partner at “arm’s length” – just far enough where you don’t have to have the responsibilities to meet the other’s expectations, but close enough to enjoy the benefits.

Here are some samples of the mentality behind the Maneuvering act:

1 – “I only like/love bits and pieces of you, so if I don’t get to close I don’t have to deal with anything I don’t like.”

2 – “I’m not totally sure about what I want, so I want you to just stay available to me and put your needs on hold until I make up my mind.”

3 – “I know you want a commitment, but I don’t. I figure if I keep you at just a distance, you’ll be satisfied with the little bit of me I’m willing to give you instead of losing me altogether.”

4 – “It turns me on to see you beg and cry over me.” (I kid you not).

5 – “I’ve got a couple of other people I like to keep handy. I don’t want to settle down until I see who wants me the most.”

The list can go on but if you notice, none of those reasons have any consideration for the other person.  It’s all “me me me.” (Or as my friend calls it, “Swimming in the Great Big Lake of Me.”) It’s nothing new. Maneuvering is not some trend that’s going to go away any time soon and I can almost guarantee if this sounds familiar to you, then you are not the first to have suffered by the hands of your maneuvering lover, nor would you be the last.

To me, personally, I consider this behavior emotionally abusive.  Love and emotions have nothing to do with the offender’s actions — it’s all about control, like any other type of abuse. What makes it so extra wretched is that it’s subtle, like a poisonous gas rather than a flamethrower in your face. There’s usually no violence involved or anything that can be covered on your insurance policy. But, the results of being on the end of that “I want you, go away, don’t leave me” game for too long, thinking there’s no alternative, no one better for us, and we have to settle for what we’re given “or else,” can be incredibly damaging.

“Maneuvering” may not necessarily be an aggressive control tactic, but make no mistake…it IS a control tactic, nonetheless.

In all fairness, there are times when people Maneuver the ones they love and don’t realize it. They don’t think that blowing someone off for three days after a powerfully intimate weekend of passion or a mutual proclamation of love is hurtful to the other person. Sometimes they get themselves caught up in the mundane – either work or other obligations and just don’t think about it. But, whether or not they are aware, it is what it is, which is emotional sabotage and a power play, and it’s important to never lose sight of that.

Of course, we have to ask why anyone would allow themselves to be put in such a horrendous emotional condition in the first place. Again, there are a plethora of reasons, but, the first and foremost is good ol’ fashioned Addiction and Fear.  Addiction; when the high points are so high with that person they make you feel divine and that’s all you can think about. Fear; that if we let this person go completely we’ll be alone for the rest of our lives or just be alone – and there are way too many of us that think of that prospect worse than a death sentence, especially with women, with much thanks to mass media and sex culture.

Nine times out of 10, the next question I always get after my client understands that they are being maneuvered is, “Is there anyone else coming into my life?” 

Sometimes, I just wanna scream, “Does it really frickin’ matter? Grow a spine! Learn to love yourself better and enjoy some independence for a while, fa gawd’s saykes!”  But, alas, I cannot.  Besides, if someone had said that to me when I personally went through this nonsense myself, I would’ve just been like, “What do you mean love myself better? I love myself just fine! Screw you!”

Psht…yeah.  Denial gives the lovely illusion that we really have our shit together, doesn’t it?

Now, I can give you some general guidelines on how to get out of a situation like this, but I’m aware every situation, though fundamentally the same, is unique. It’s not going to be so easy if you’re dealing with a co-worker or someone you see on a daily basis. Besides, those who maneuver usually have a sense of irresistible charm or can be intimidating, which is how we get into their clutches in the first place. But, before you take any steps to change the dynamic, you just have to realize one very universal, hard-core  law:

You will never change them. Period. This is who they are.

So, with that, the ball’s in your court.  Ask and answer yourself with perfect honesty:

Is this enough for me?

Let’s face it: There’s no point in trying to break something off if you really, in your heart, truly do not want to! So, live your truth. If you’re willing to take what little your lover’s willing to give, then accept it. But, if you do that, then you no longer have any grounds to complain.

However, if you do find that this situation is toxic and you wish to change, I do recommend seeking professional or helpline trained advice. But, here’s what I’ve found helpful:

1 – Stand your ground. Do not allow yourself to be sweet-talked, cajoled, or convinced that you’re “making too much of this.” The reason why he/she keeps coming back to you is because you keep giving him/her what they want. Stop giving the naughty kid dessert if they’re not going to finish their dinner!

2 – Let them yell. If their way of keeping you around is to go completely off the wall and yell, well let them. Watch the show and see how stupid they’re acting. Don’t answer back. When they’re calmed down, simply ask in a very level cool tone, “Are you finished? Because so are we.”

3 – STOP WITH THE MICRO-MEMORIES! You know: “Well, right before he/she was about to leave, he/she stopped by and sniffed my hair and touched my face, which they never ever do, and there was a little smile at the corner of his/her mouth and I just knew somehow that he/she really loved me by the little twinkle and then so and so said…” Just…stop it.  When we are obsessively focused on these tiny, tiny, minute little bitty details of what he/she said or did or wore, whatever, we are keeping ourselves from looking at the big picture.  “He said I was special, but started dating someone else.” Period. Bottom line: You’re not that special. If you were, he/she’d be with you and he/she’s not. “He/She said he/she doesn’t know what he/she wants.” But, he/she knows enough that they want some of you some of the time, not all the time. This is the stuff you should be paying attention to. The obvious!

4 – Don’t take it personal. Seriously. Do not for one minute think you are being treated like dirt because you deserve it. No one deserves it, ever. If you give someone your heart, your time, and your consideration, you’re giving them real beauty. Sucks for them that they can’t appreciate it. These people would treat anyone this way. Unfortunately, in this particular circumstance it just happens to be you. But, it’s never ever your fault!

5 – Come to the realization that you’re not really in love. Face it: Real love is mutual. Real love is fulfilling and doesn’t need anything. Real love has trust and respect. You are not respected. You do not trust this other person because you question what he/she is doing or where they are when they’re not with you. You ask when you’ll hear from them again! Love doesn’t ask why or when.

Real love doesn’t call a psychic what his/her love is doing and when or if they’ll be together again!

You are willing to take bits and pieces of attention and affection as they’re thrown at you. This is not the act of someone in love. This is an act of an addict. And the object of your affection knows they can get away with just throwing you scraps and leftovers of their adoration, so they see no reason to change.

Give them a reason to change.  Give yourself the chance to get what you really, really want. People don’t come in bits and pieces, but whole packages…just like you.

And you deserve a whole package!

As for those who Maneuver? I kinda feel sorry for them. They’ll never know the true majick of Love. Pity. What a loss…

“Voices Carry” info: http://www.allmusic.com/album/voices-carry-r20216/credits

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About T. Ray

Writer, visual artist, musician, divinationist, playwright, and "armchair nutritionist." She currently resides in Vegas with her jenday conure, is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and is pursuing her Master's in Journalism/Media Studies. All things come down to food and Star Wars. Contact: contact@theblacksiren.com
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210 Responses to The Art of “Maneuvering”: When They Won’t Commit but They Won’t Let You Go

  1. kathy stahley says:

    Thank you

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      You’re very welcome, friend.
      Many blessings — and good luck! — to you. )O(

      Like

    • sally says:

      3+yrs ….everything you say is truth

      Like

    • Daisy says:

      I broke up with him because in addition to doing all of the above he cheated and didn’t feel the need to apologize because I “snooped” on him. After reading this I now understand why he didn’t feel the need to apologize. He kept calling me every couple of days which is what he would do when I break up with him and before I know we are dating again. Ugh! This time I entertained him for 3 weeks then I told him to stop calling me. Which he has respected so far for 8 weeks. Except he won’t return my possessions. I returned his. I now understand why after reading this. It’s control. He is never going to return them. I guess he thinks I’d be calling after them. I asked him once and I won’t be asking again. He can keep them

      Like

      • Krystle says:

        Whoa! Go girl! Yep! Control! And everything makes sense! Especially after reading your comment! SMH! Perfect sense. Can’t wait to get where you are!

        Like

    • Andrew says:

      I found this article, even though it was written a couple of years ago, I’m finding these behaviors still rampant. About a half year ago, I started working with this girl that was a very personable, charming etc and a flirt. Always dropping sentences which required some form of ego stroking, or some other sort of validation seeking behavior. I was told by this girl that she liked me, and once I decided to pursue her…very little time passed before flags started popping off everywhere. She’d flirt heavy,we’d joke, laugh have a great day, go to lunch together and we would have a great time. Finally we agreed to go do something together and have a day together so later I show up at her house instantly a different person, cold withdrawn, distant..almost opposite of what had occurred a few days prior. I felt everything was one sided and it was awkward.

      I remember really thinking hard trying to figure out what had happened, tried asking her about it and got some excuse, so I drop it…withdraw a little..and bam, within a day or two of not texting her or ignoring her at work she’s back with the flirting, acting like she really likes me etc…
      I even asked her once about why she’s so hot and cold all the time and once she gave me the “I was hurt once and don’t want to lose you the same way..but I don’t know what I want, or the I’m not in love with you but you have a big piece of my heart kind of crap and a couple excuses later I cop an attitude and push her away. About a day later or so she’s texting or emailing me again with this pity party “Im sorry I destroyed your life” kind of stuff.

      The problem with me is in this situation before I really opened my eyes to the situation and stopped ignoring my gut..my heart was so tangled up in this girl, and wanted to believe every damn crumb. When she says and acts like she cares…its pretty damn convincing, there lies the problem, regardless of the facts..It’s hard to get out of that “yeah but it might be better if I just show her how serious I am” mentality.

      I think quitting someone like this cold turkey is the only solution. I already know by ignoring her, she’ll try that crap until I cave and I have…and the horrible cycle just rinses and repeats…the only one that was getting beat up in this was me. I now understand what its like to be surrounded by facts and obvious warnings/signs and still feel the need to cling to the tattered shred of fantasy. It’s horrible. I appreciate this article and constantly refer back to it on the days where her “act” is believable. Actions do speak louder than words…infact, if you have the actions, words aren’t even necessary are they?

      Like

      • Ms. Ray says:

        I couldn’t have said it better, myself.

        Though this girl as you describe sounds damaged, there is nothing you can do to create stability in the situation until she has committed to do so. Obviously, she hasn’t, so her pain is causing you pain and I am so sorry for that.

        I’m touched that my words help you and hope that you find a true connection worthy of your attention and affections.

        Many blessings!

        Like

      • Doug says:

        Andrews story helped me. I went thru a very similar situation. I am not completely over it yet, but almost. I agree with his statement “quitting someone like this cold turkey is the only solution”. Even though I experienced this first hand, I still can’t believe that someone would put in so much effort into such aggressive flirting for a long period of time and not really be interested in me. At least once a day it still hurts. I really believed the things she was communicating to me. I still come back to this website when I feel bad, and it helps me. And I laughed when I read “…and still feel the need to cling to the tattered shred of fantasy”, because that’s me too.

        Like

    • WOW Thank you so much for this! I am going thru exactly everything you described. It’s horrible and gut wrenching. This has never happened to me before so it’s new to me and I was not sure how to deal with it. I never looked at it as a form of emotional abuse. What an eye opener.

      Like

  2. schulz says:

    This was very helpful and has summarised for me what exactly I have been dealing with for the last year. Someone who makes me feel wonderful, but is only around me for short periods of time. He is in regular contact though and calls and textes me regularly to ensure that I am okay when we are not together but as you say, this is not the whole package and I suspect I am not the only woman he is seeing. After a let down yesterday and a massive lie about why he could not see me, I have decided to vote with my feet. Deeds, not words hence will not be responding to any more calls/texts or requests to meet up. I have tried to make it work but it doesn’t. If I speak to him to suggest we part, he will try everything in his power to prevent this citing that he loves and cares for me and I am the only woman who has ever made him feel this way. It is sad, as we are both going to lose something very special but it doesn’t work so its time for me to go.

    Like

  3. Ms. Ray says:

    I am so sorry to hear your story and had to endure this. You are not alone — not by a long shot. But, I am thrilled to hear you have placed the love for yourself over the addiction of how he makes you feel (sometimes), as he really never gave you anything else.

    You can find someone who makes you feel like a Goddess much easier than he’ll be able to replace the unconditional love you gave him. Trust me, the loss is his, 10-fold.

    I wish you all the luck, love, strength, and everything you need to receive all that you truly deserve!

    Many blessings )O(

    Like

    • schulz says:

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, you are so right. I have not lost anything apart from the anticipation of our meetings but most recently the sense of lonliness and uncertainty when he would leave. This became compelling and shifted me from being once a happy, content individual to someone who doubted and disliked themselves for particpating in such an arrangement.

      For all his declarations and recognition of what was being handed to him and his insighfulness on his feelings ( he often declared that I made him so happy, calm and that he loved and cared for me deeply) he still chose to go down the path of keeping me at a distance, confusing me, letting me down and lying to me. Perhaps his state of mind is born out of fear or learnt behaviour. Whatever it is, it is so sadly destructive when clearly there are elements of goodness and a kind loving man trying so hard to emerge.. But the prevailing state of mind such as what has been discussed, takes over and eventually destroys everything that was built.

      I don’t think I was addicated to him. I did actually have feelings of love and compassion and my need was not so great that I felt ill when I could not see him. But I agree, it was unconditional and a kind of love that was probably unique to him or maybe not.

      I have concluded that the only approach to distancing myself from this situation is to abstain from all forms of contact. This character will work very hard in manipulation to win over my trust, a pattern which I am sure is familiar to others. It may seems harsh and I know I will be made to feel bad, but its seems to be the only way forward.

      Like

  4. Grace says:

    Read this and cannot tell you how spot on this is! I feel like I am slightly loosing my mind over this man it’s been a year and now finally I am done with him – reading this has helped me so much. Whenever I feel down about it I re read your points!
    Thank you so much

    Like

  5. I found this page by googling ‘won’t commit but won’t let go” because this describes by boyfriend of 4 months. I’ve moved overseas so that’s complicated things even further, but yesterday he told me over the phone, ‘I’m scared of being in a relationship and I don’t like making promises I’m not sure I can keep’. Weak and pathetic… and so hurtful. I know I can do better than this and I know I deserve better too, but cannot find the courage to break it off. But thank you for posting this. I’ll come back to it again and hopefully find that courage soon. x

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      You’re so welcome, friend. But, you know, breaking off situation like yours really isn’t about courage — it’s about Trust. Trust in knowing the Universe would never deprive a really good person another really good person like you! May you always have what you need — Many blessings )O(

      Like

  6. Florence says:

    This is such a good article which I have had to read over many times. I consider myself to be a very strong and independent woman and to find myself in a situation like this has been ridiculous. There is always the element of doubt as to whether I have been being too cold. But this just proves it is the manoeuvring person who is the one with the issues and always has the control. So many good points here. Has helped me get some sanity!

    Like

  7. Liz says:

    this is absolutely spot on. i have been involved with someone for almost a year and a half who will not commit to me, tells me he loves me but isn’t capable of being “in love” with me, doesn’t tell me i’m beautiful, isn’t very nice to me overall, and doesn’t make me feel special. yet when i cut things off and i block him out of my phone and facebook he figures out ways to contact me saying he misses me and that it is mean and hurtful and rude that i am ignoring him. and because i am afraid of leaving off on bad terms with him i engage in conversation again after a weeks and end up back in the same cycle all over again. it is incredibly miserable, and heartbreaking, and just plain sad. i love this person very much, though i am not denying that i am a sort of addict to this kind of poor treatment as my last boyfriend didn’t treat me very well either. though this person won’t even be my boyfriend. but he won’t let me go. i need more from him, i know i do, but i seem to end up sacrificing that for the scraps, because i can’t seem to let him go either.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Oh Liz, I am so so sorry you’ve had to endure this. I’m so sorry that anyone has had to endure this.

      Make no mistake though: These men are predators. They have no idea what ‘love’ means. So how can they feel anything at all, when they can’t see past their own egos and need for control? Love is wanting to make someone happy. Love is complete. Love is comfortable and natural.

      The only thing natural and comfortable for men like these is selfishness.

      The game is to raise your spirits to give you that ultimate “high” and then slam your esteem down to the floor to discourage you from having any confidence to make decisions on your own. That’s the addiction / dependency cycle, the classic model of abuse if you looked in any textbook.

      You owe him nothing.
      You don’t owe anything to anyone who hurts you, ever!
      You don’t owe him your courtesy.
      You don’t owe him your respectfulness or to be nice.
      You don’t have to be nice to anyone who isn’t nice to you.
      You don’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to.
      No one can make you feel bad unless you let them — So, don’t let them!

      “Oh, baby why you being so mean to me?”
      Answer: “Cuz baby, you gave me a reason!” *click*

      You don’t have to be anything at all, except Free.
      Free to be You.
      Free to find love.
      Free to be loved and loved in return.

      You don’t have to be nice to ANYONE but YOU.

      It doesn’t make you a bad person to defend yourself.
      It doesn’t make you a bad person to stand up and say, “No!” and it doesn’t make you a bad person to believe in yourself.

      It makes you STRONG!
      And that is why they want you to feel like a bad person because when you fight back, they can’t control you! They can’t control a warrior.

      Just leave the game. That’s all. Healing from it will be hard, recovery will take time and hopefully, assistance. But, it’s not impossible! And you’re not alone. Just stop caring about what they think because what they think never had anything to do with you, anyway.

      You’re not alone. You can do it. You can do anything.

      Many blessings to you!
      )O(

      Like

  8. Liz says:

    thank you ms. ray. from the bottom of my heart. your words brought tears to my eyes. i know what i have to do, i just need to find the courage to do it.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      <> Hang in, sister! You don’t need to find something you already have. Just unleash it! 🙂

      Like

      • Princess says:

        I just dumped mine after 5 yrs off and on. It feels really good for him to call me and I don’t HAVE to answer. It’s like I was asleep. If I do call back I make it short and get off the phone. Absolutely no texting either. He texts me it gets ignored. You know I’m looking forward to dating someone new, but first I’ve been taking care of me. Treating myself to the movies, spa etc. the funny thing is I thought I wanted him but the key is you should want someone who wants you and is ready to give you a real relationship not a faux one. Crazy thing is we are in our 40s!!!!

        I love this article spot on! I know it’s about control because he says to any mention of marriage “I will get married when I want” forget me. It doesn’t matter how I feel. Well on 8/19/2013 after he made that statement I told him that is his right and its also my right to want a real commitment and marriage and I had hoped it would be with him but I can see now its not. So I am going to be fair to myself and start dating others till I meet the one that is willing and ready to commit to me” His jaw dropped. Felt awesome! First week I cried, couldn’t eat but this is week three and I feel great!

        Like

      • Ms. Ray says:

        *SALUTE!*

        )O(

        Like

  9. Jen Valenz says:

    Wow!!!! You were so dead on!! In everything!!!
    As I read it was all dejavu to me!! It all made sense. Its like you were there as these things had happened and were said to me! What an eye opener! Luckily I was able to cut the cord right after I heard the stupidity come out of his mouth!

    Like

  10. Eliza Britton says:

    Thank you! This makes things so clear although I already recognized much of this about myself. Seeing it in writing helps further clarify that I must stop allowing him to do this to me. We are both married and work together. He’s 12 years younger and a serial cheater I think. I have been faithfully married for 22 years but drank the Kool Aid. How do I initiate the break. Do I tell him face to face or just walk away without saying anything. He’s extremely manipulative and I am very emotionally invested. Thank you again for your helpful insight! I can do this.

    Like

  11. james says:

    This article has been important perspective to me. I exhibit many of these “maneuvering” traits. I want to show love and share love with women. but don’t feel a full compatibility with the women that I come in contact with, so I don’t feel comfortable giving all of myself. I don’t feel these women have been “The One” so I only give what I can. I’m verbally honest about it with them about the situation, in some cases coming out and saying “I like you and I enjoy spending time with you, but I don’t think you are the one”. Do you think it is just better to not engage with women emotionally or romantically at all, out of concern that it would be abusive to give them only what I feel comfortable or able to give, and not everything that they want from me? Thanks!

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      I love and care very much about all my readers, but I’d prefer not to turn my blog into a Q & A advice column. However, I feel I need to make an exception here.

      James, good news, my friend: You are not a maneuverer. Not by any means!

      A “maneuverer” is someone who doesn’t let go, but won’t commit. They make promises, they manipulate and let their lovers believe that they are “the one.” But, when the time comes when they don’t want to be tied down or have to be responsible for their partner’s well-being in any way, they run — and YET, Goddess forbid the one they run from starts dating someone else! It’s a cruel and dishonest, possessive, selfish behavior.

      Totally different than what you’re describing.

      If you’re honest and up front, that’s not playing games. That’s being honorable. That’s the way a lover should treat another; with honesty, respect, and the care enough to lay things on the line and not allow the other person to have expectations that will never be fulfilled.

      It does sound like you may have a case of intimacy anxiety and some guilt, but don’t feel bad that you’re not connecting. It happens and that’s what dating’s for. As long as you live and speak your truth, you’re alright. No one can ask for more than that. It’s up to your partner to determine whether or not they choose to stay with you or look elsewhere. This may sound mean, but truth is, you’re not responsible for anyone else’s feelings.

      You’re okay.

      Like

  12. james says:

    Blessings and Respect Ms. Ray!

    Like

  13. deborah says:

    This article was so helpful…After he screwed up, and was caught. Now he wont let go. This has been going on for four years… he does not care that he is hurting me because of the way i feel even though i told him. I ask him to leave me alone so I can heal, but he waits 2 weeks and calls or texts again. He acted as though I was the last on the earth last weekend (showering me with an action filled weekend) only to not call me for a week. Then asks me out on saturday, and when I said that I did not want to go; he types as you wish. So on Sunday, I learn he went to a movie with someone else…I was again devastated an hurt…I pray to discover the way to get through this hurt and pain.. Four years back and forth;back and forth; He won’t commit to a relationship, but won’t let me go…

    Like

  14. Carida says:

    I have never heard a better explanation to the question I just asked?!! no one could say this better!! it makes me so sad to know its me that’s being treated this way, yet, I cannot let go! I need. further help before my life is gone…please, help me…..xxx-xxx-xxxx… 😦

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Carida,

      For your protection, I have edited your phone number. I would lovingly remind you that this is a private blog, not a public forum. All I give here are my thoughts and perspectives on elements of life that affect me, my clients, my work, and my world.

      I have said all I can say on this matter. Though this may sound harsh, I promise this advice is out of love: You don’t need a psychic. You are already aware of what’s happening. I recommend that you seek professional therapy to find out why you subconsciously choose to be stuck to something that is harmful to you.

      I hope you reach out and get the help you need as soon as possible. I wish you all the best.

      Like

    • Jermaine says:

      Hey, I’m having issues also I don’t know if your still having them these comments are about two years old but sweetheart don’t ever let someone or something have that much influence over your life to where you say it’s gone, that really touched me because I know how you feel but keeping fighting in the end you’ll end up with someone much much better just have patience. God bless

      Like

  15. Davidac says:

    I really needed to read this, because this is my exact situation rightnow, after reading this now I’m crying & it’s driving me crazy.

    Like

  16. Chris says:

    Ms. Ray,

    Finding this blog post today must have been sent from (insert deity or higher power of choice here). It is exactly what I needed to hear/see/read at this exact moment in time. It resonated with me. I just cannot express how much this has changed my view and opened my eyes. In fact, it inspired me to type out a rather lengthy text to my just recently on-again BF ( I have to type out texts because he NEVER wants to discuss feelings/goals, etc. and won’t let me say what I need to say).

    We have been seeing each other for 7 months. In the very beginning, he told me to let things ride and see where it was going. Perfectly reasonable for the beginning of a relationship. But as the months went on, and I developed feelings for him, I wanted more of a commitment and a declaration of whatever he was feeling and wanting from this. We’ve been exclusive all along but it took him forever to introduce me to his friends and family, and even longer to ever introduce me as his girlfriend. Every time I attempted to get him to tell me what he was feeling or wanted (and I didn’t do it very often, trying to give him time to decide for himself), he would shut down or get mean and emotionally push me away.

    Then it became a pattern. We would get close, have some fun and good times, he might open up and give me a tidbit of information about something from his past or childhood, I’d start thinking we’re finally moving forward, only for him to clam up, get mean, cold, and distant, and push me away. Then he’d miss me, he’d say and do what I wanted or needed to feel connected to him, and the whole pattern would repeat. First it started out as the downturns would be once every several weeks with more of the good times. Finally, it ended up being every other day practically, we’d be fighting and running through the pattern.

    I broke up with him halfheartedly twice. Then we had an argument so bad that we both said some very nasty things about each other that really can’t be taken back and broke up for what I thought was for good. I missed him. It took him a while, but he finally told me he missed me. Then out of nowhere, he started talking to me again (unfortunately we’re coworkers, so we still have to see each other often) like we were back together. I had told him I’d done all the work to try and fix our relationship and it was now his turn because I was done with that. So for a few days in a row, he invited me out to dinner, to a party, to hang out with him and his friends.

    As of last night when I dropped him off at home, he seemed to want me to be on board with physical affection when I was still unsure of what he felt or wanted because he never tells me. I turned him down and went home. He then accused me of having been with someone else and seeing someone else. I told him it wasn’t true. And today I woke up thinking to myself, “What the hell am I doing?” He’s getting exactly what he wants… someone to talk to about his daily frustrations, someone to take him places so he can drink, someone to have sex with (we haven’t for a couple months now though), and someone to be there when he decides he wants someone around. Otherwise, he can do whatever he wants, go anywhere he wants, and he doesn’t have to tell me a thing (and resents if I ever ask). In short, he wants a perpetual doormat of a girlfriend to give to him whatever he wants while he gives nothing.

    I found this site and see that you put into words what I knew deep down but didn’t want to admit to myself. Today, I am taking my life back and going to actively look for a person that will adore me as much as I adore them and willingly share their life with me.

    Thank you!

    Like

    • Princess says:

      Are you sure we weren’t dating the same guy? Lol. He won’t even friend me on FB. It took him a while to introduce me to his friends. Sometimes I’m his girlfriend other times I’m a friend. I asked him if he as sex with all his friends to which he said what is up with all these labels. So for a while I adopted monkey see monkey do which drove him CRAZY. Now? I dumped him. 🙂

      Like

  17. Ms. Ray says:

    I can’t begin to describe how overwhelming and humbling it feels when someone says, “Thank you.” All your comments and declarations of independence (!) and newfound strength are inspiring to ME.

    Because, as you know, I’m still human myself…

    It’s so funny how people go out of their way to ignore or run from reality, even when it can mean their freedom, don’t you think? Pain is temporary and fear doesn’t stem from the actual change, but from the unknown. So, if you’re already in pain, then what on earth could be worse if you let go of what’s hurting you?

    Relationships are not 50% / 50%, but 100/100 — you have to be a whole person to successfully be with another whole person. Take some time to complete yourself and you’ll find that anyone who comes into your life thereafter could never hurt you this way again.

    I love my readers. Sometimes, you’re the best of me.
    I Thank YOU.
    )O(

    Like

    • Ask says:

      Awesome comment. I’m free from him. He is trying to use my property he still has as bait. He has contacted me 3 times about “returning” them but hasn’t actually made the effort. After I broke up with him we decided to mail our stuff back to each other. I mailed his. He has come up with one excuse or another as to why he hasn’t returned mine. Well they can be replaced. He can take them and shove them up his you know what 🙂

      Like

  18. Linda says:

    I have read this post and I can’t tell you how right on this is with my situation. My ex of 4 years and I grew apart and finally I decided to cut contact with him in February. I was doing very well with ignoring everything. He continued to text me on holidays and on my birthday. Yes, even Valentines day. ::puke:: Anyway, he contacted me on my birthday in May and I thanked him. I went out that night with friends and he was up the road. We had a wonderful night together and he said he felt bad about how things went and that things could begin again. I told myself I’d give it a shot and if I didn’t see improvement I’d cut him off again. Well it’s now almost September and I’ve seen him at least once a week. Sometimes two to three times and he especially wanted me around for family gatherings and holidays. Well I still can’t get him to come forward about a commitment. It seems the summer has been one big party for both of us. I know in my heart that this is not enough and I deserve the best as he gets my very best. He has confided in me about a few important things, one being a job change. He is also a few years younger. He is in his late 20’s. My problem is that when I tell him to back off and give me time which I tried the first month, he doesn’t acknowledge it. He texts me things randomly that reminds him of me. (A song, memory) I wish he would just listen and leave me alone or just grow up. Any advice on what I should say even if it’s in a text. I’ve tried with no success.

    Like

  19. Emilio says:

    I feel like I’ve lost my mind over her. Everything you have said, I know is exactly the right thing. I just can’t let her go. I have to though.

    Like

  20. ads says:

    this article is an eye opener and has helped me get rid her……………i don’t wanna think about her any more
    my question is what do they get out of all this,,,,what pleasure do they get in holding some one on the hook when they don’t hv feelings at all for the opposite person
    makes me wonder……are they the way they are bcoz they are insecure………….do they need psychiatric help…….lol
    any thing tht can be done to inflict little bit of pain when getting rid of them

    Like

  21. That has been my question as well. What does a person get from holding on to someone that they do not care about. How do they keep people emotionally strapped without any return?

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      The pay off is the control, itself.

      Knowing they can have what they want, when they want, with whom they want without having to give anything back is the reason why they do what they do. That’s why I said in the post, “Stop giving the naughty kid dessert if they’re not going to finish their dinner!” Maneuverers, like any other type of abuser, doesn’t see another person as a living, breathing, feeling human but as property. The mentality is, “I know I can get whatever I need when I need because he/she always gives it to me no matter what I do.” And they keep you “strapped” by making promises and telling you what you need to hear. Once they see that you’re going to give them what they want, they pull away again.

      Just like a drug.

      The worst thing you can do to a Maneuverer is take away their control by NOT giving them what they want, but NOT answering their calls when they expect you to, and by NOT caring about what they think, what they do, or where they are. Going on with your life and finding happiness with someone who cares about what’s important to you and respects you is the best remedy for the situation because a Maneuverer will never see a reason to change.

      Many blessings,
      Ray )O(

      Like

  22. deborah1772 says:

    Thank you Ray for that explanation. All I can say, is that it is tremendously hard to let go, but the pain is much less. Taking a step back allows one to sincerely think and has been very beneficial for me. While I still think of him often, I will stand up for myself in all situations, move on, and refuse to choose hurt and pain. I am stronger, and now see red flags for what they are, and will not donate more time to that which deserves none. Again, thank you, and now I know the real work begins in me.

    Like

  23. Pingback: Give Too Much, Expect Nothing Back | MS RAY'S PSYCHIC EPISODES

  24. Ann says:

    Thank you so much this article! You opened my eyes!
    I went from a strong, independant, high educated, happy girl to an insecure girl who blamed her self for doing everything wrong.
    He wants to be friends, acts jealous, is emotional and does not want to commit! Everytime i come close he will pull away and make me believe it is because of me!

    Im going back to the one i was before him! Strong, independent and happy!

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  25. Erin says:

    I have a question, does this concept apply to ex boyfriends as well who wont let you go and say things such as, maybe we will be together later on. Doesn’t want a relationship but tells you he loves you all the time and demands your time and constant communication yet will not commit to you again? And also says things such as, you’re everything I’ve wanted and more now, even from when we were together. I feel like this is just as manipulative as well when his sole intentions is to just be friends.

    Like

  26. Erin says:

    So I’m guessing its a good thing to let them go.

    Like

  27. Ann says:

    Thank you so much!
    You have no idea how much this helped me.
    My ‘ex’ wants to be special friends, but still flirts with me, is jealous and touches me although I clearly stated what i want. He keeps crossing the line. And everytime I talk about dating or about letting go he blames me for misinterpreting him.
    I will hold this in my mind:
    4 – Don’t take it personal. Seriously. Do not for one minute think you are being treated like dirt because you deserve it. No one deserves it, ever. If you give someone your heart, your time, and your consideration, you’re giving them real beauty. Sucks for them that they can’t appreciate it. These people would treat anyone this way. Unfortunately, in this particular circumstance it just happens to be you. But, it’s never ever your fault!

    He just wants to experience all the great things i have to offer without considering my emotions!

    Thank you!

    Like

  28. Sally says:

    Amazing that at my age, 62!, that this is hitting home, dated 14 years ago, could not make him behave, let him go, reconnected 2 years ago, says all the right things, wants to marry me (someday) did I mention my age?, I walk away, he’s back, I walk away, he’s back, I catch a strange text from someone, I walk away, he’s back….who’s the dummy? But there is a huge part of me that thinks I enjoy the “drama”…….he’s charming, fun, and I need to walk away, for good!

    Like

    • Daisy says:

      Wow it still happens at 60?!?! These men never grow up! Walk away girl. Walk away. He is never going to change. Never.

      Like

      • SunShinee says:

        Hi,

        So I’m not too sure if this is exactly like my situation but I’ve been with my guy since April 2011 and we held a long distance relationship for a year until 2012 when he said he loves me soooo much he needed me in his city. I moved me and my daughter to him. 400 miles away from home. But my daughter and I got our own place. So after all these years… September 2013 we got pregnant and we had a miscarriage pretty far along in the pregnancy. We were both shook and shattered. We mourned in two different ways. Well..long story short he started to be so mean and left me. But not really lol I still see him 4/5 days out of the week if not more (I pick up his two kids every day after school and they are with me until he gets off) and I go to all of his family events. They are practically my family. He has the keys to my apt..we still sleep together. But he broke up with me. He’s always telling me about how single he is and he needs space and he’s not ready for a relationship. Ummm okay so I’m 26 going on 27 and he is 38../12 year difference/ but we balance each other perfectly. He tells me all the time that he loves me and I’m perfect for him he just wants me to go to counseling because the baby tote both of our spirits down. But he doesn’t want to go with me. He says its me who needs the counseling…but I don’t have the money and honestly- all I need is him. Not someoby to pay to “talk about my feelings” when all I need is his love and hugs and kisses. I think he wants me to have closure because I tell him that I still have dreams about the baby and think about what it would look like. Anyway, I text him all the time and he doesn’t text back and call and call and he says he works a full commission job and can’t answer…but he talks to evetbody else all the time. He blocked me on fb bc I got mad and told him on his wall I was mad bc he wouldn’t talk to me for like 3 days lol and he also blocked my Skype from him “/ So I don’t get to be in his ” social media circle anymore” and he knows I break into his page just to read his post (I know, how pathetic) but dang I feel like I’m missing out on that part of his life. He yelling he’s single and I’m not. See, if I were to tell him that I’m single as well, he’d really leave me. He wants me to stay and be there for him and get counseling even though he also said even if I get counseling he’s still not ready for a relationship but I better be by his side and not venture off because I’ll really mess things up and he’ll leave. Ummm I’m confused. I try to ask him, and even beg him to tell me what I need to do to get him back and he says I have a few changes to make (which he’s told me) (also learn to live through the day without being in communication with him) – that’s hard because before the baby incident, I talked to this dumb dumb everyday all day. He would call me every break every lunch, when he gets off, on his way to work. We used to make people sick how we talked so much, but people loved our relationship. (People live there life to be like ours) but I just shake my head now because on the outside we look so good and our little 5 person family looks very close knit like everything is good. Our 3 children (2 from his previous relationship and my 1 from my previous relationship) don’t even know we’re not together. They just want us to hurry up and get married. We have a 6, 8, and 10 year olds. They wants us to have more babies (they didnt know about the baby we lost- let alone know I was pregnant because of all the problems I was having when pregnant) but I think my daughter knew because she just kept touching me and my tummy and she seen me sick more the the other two. So we look good but were not together. But he won’t tell his mom were not together. He plays like we are at all the family gathering…every weekend when we go see her or if she comes to us… Ugh he makes me so mad but I love him so much. I don’t want to leave because I’m scared I’m going to ruin our family we’ve blended together. But I don’t get attention from him and he doesn’t let me talk about me or my feelings…its all about him and what he wants and how he wants to be treated. But I still have to be his girl-states him. See I’ve been in a relationship since April 2011. He hasn’t since September 2013 (which is so stupid) I’m just scared he’s talking to other women -let me add that he is an absolutely gorgeous and very fit 38 year old. Very smooth and all these damn women want him. (I’m not jealous of the women- they are jealous of me) but I feel like he’s giving them talk time and bs time like he use to give me…I think somebody else has taken that place and that’s why he’s always “so busy” because he’s trying to jeep up with there convos( which I’ve went through his phone and read- but he lies to them and tells them he’s coming to see them but he never does- they cry and tell him he’s so mean for lying about coming and how cone they will never see him just text) he’s never serious with them. Okay so I asked him why in the world does he do this to these poor stupid innocent women and he says utd just for fun- for entertainment. But I think what if he gets one that’s really hot and he’s starts to really feel her and she sends all the right photos – he can easy just go see her because he finally ran into the right one. He says it’ll never happen and I’m going to be his but I have sometjings to change. I’m changing everything he ask me to do because I want him back ALLL THE WAY so damn bad and love him so much. He says I’m stupid because I’m not looking around that I already have him and I need to quit worrying but he’s out in the world shouting he single and saying stupid crap. Women try to give him money just to see him he’s so damn fine lol but he’s mine! But not really :/ Wth…so do you see the confusion and I don’t know if this is like what your talking about. Really I just want somebody to talk to me about this and help me understand if this is worth it or not. I don’t feel whole without having all of him. I want all of him back but i don’t know how many more months I can go on like this because I’m counting and its been 7 months since he’s been being a dummy. His mom says just wait for him to get his finger out of his butt and stay positive and don’t let him break your spirit – but he’s the one who gives me the spirit and makes my face light up when I talk to him. He’s the reason I smile. But she said stay positive and she knows he loves me and wants to marry me and blah blah blah and just wait and not do anything that I would regret if I want to keep my family together. But were not really together :/ Grrr is so frustrating and dumb. Now everytime I see him I can’t focus. I just want to talk about how to get us back together and he says I’ve ruined the evening and I need to just leave him alone and just let time be and be happy he’s here with me. I’ve asked him if he’s started dating yet and he’ll say no but he should be. That crap hurts my feelings(but I’m a girl and an emotional one) and I told him then why is he stringing me along if he thinks he should be dating and he said he’s trying to fix me first because he loves me and wants me. I’m fixing everything…every couple of months its a new list of what I need to fix and I fix it and then he has more for me to fix. I feel like damn I’m not going to be me if he just trys to change me and he says Jes not changing me. He’s helping me grow up and I’m going to end up resenting him for it but he’s helping learn how to be in a loving relationship because he’s had years of practice and I need to work on me for me to be “more grown up” ummm hello- I take care of three children and BOTH of our homes. I’m a busy 26 year old woman. Even his mother commends me for what all I’ve done and how far I’ve come and grown up. I have a lot of responsibility and he gets to play..I don’t go out and party – he does. He takes me out sometimes but not all the time since he’s been “newly single” -> which I find so so stupid because hes with me and I’m with him. One time I asked him why he leads women on just to let them down and he says because its entertaining and he’s a Sales man, so he told me its all about the art of closing the deal. He can get any woman to jump! They are all so stupid and fall for every word and they find baby sitters and pay them lol and then he never shows, why? Because he’s at home with me and the kids being loved and taken care of and fed and house is cleaned and he’s being massaged by me every night and get so Much love from all 4 of us just showed in love and warmth lol and the next day they are crying and yelling and cussing and pissed and then he knows he accomplished that one and then tells her to get her psycho ass away? He’s so confusing..i don’t get it? Maybe one of you will??? I just wish he’d stop playing and make me his spouse and do the right thing in front of the kids. He knows I want at least one more baby (a mix from the both of us) because I want to complete my family and have something we can share as well that’s both of us. But he tell me to wait until we are married for our last baby…but how in the hell am I going to make it to marriage if this fool is running around yelling he is so single! I he such a sexy sexy dummy!! But I love him so much- hell I moved here with no friends or family and been here almost 3 years now and I’m just ready to move on…I can’t mourn right because his crazy self has been doing this since our baby died and I just want us right again. Is he worth it? In my head he sometimes is, but lately- I miss talking to him throughout the days and wish he’d leave all those stupid girls alone. Is he having a mid life crisis? Is he silently crying for help? Or is he just being a player bc he knows how cool he is and how liked and adored he is. Or is he trying to “get this out of his system” bc he’s almost ready for marriage with me and is ready to settle down. Oh how bad he wants us to get a house bc he hates when I have to go back home ( I live 6 minutes from his apt) lmao and he hates when I have to leave bc he can’t sleep on my chest and grab my butt till he falls asleep LOL but he doesn’t want us to move in together until we are married.?? He’s so confusing! That’s why his mom says wait it out. I’m the winner he’s just being dumb right now. So is he worth it? Or is this literally sick and I need to RUN and not look back? I just want all of him. I’ve been here for him..just ready for him to come back to me fully like a real man and be the man around the house and pull his pants up because his ass is pushing 40 and its time to begin our lives. I know this is long but I had to let y’all see what I’m going through and I need answers real answers!!! Or if somebody has a story like this and tell me what y’all did. I just want all kids of opinions (good and bad) and I will weigh then out and write a list. Whichever is best for my daughter and I will choose. I just feel like if I leave, I’m letting his kids down.. “( I love them so much!!! And they love us so much!!! And he knows that. The way to his heart is through his kids. That’s why I’m with them everyday. He loves how I handle his children and he loves me..he’s just being a jerk right now.. Please send all opinions.

        Sincerely,
        Hopelessly in love & Confused

        Like

      • Ms. Ray says:

        First, please let me express my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the grief you and your …um…sorta-kinda-not-really ex went through.

        As for clarification, if you scroll up, you’ll recall one of the points in the post that says, “STOP WITH THE MICRO-MEMORIES!” And here is where I am going to modify it for you, “STOP WITH THE MICRO-DETAILS!” Step back and look at the big picture: He sleeps with you, but says he’s single.

        BOOM! There’s your answer. You’re not his girlfriend.

        You’re not his girlfriend, but he doesn’t want you to see anyone else? BOOM! He’s a Maneuverer. This post is about you. You moved your life for him. You sacrificed your needs for him. You are waiting on him. You are revolving your life decisions around him and you have given him this complete and total control because you want to believe that when he says, “I love you,” he might mean it. He, on the other hand, has it all — A cute younger woman who’ll babysit, give him something nice to touch, and cry over him while he talks to who he wants, goes where he wants, spends his money where he wants, and does what he wants.

        “I just feel like if I leave, I’m letting HIS kids down.” Not “our” kids, “his.”

        I lovingly recommend that you read up on all these comments here. Then, I hope that you please find someone who can help you understand why you’re holding on to this destructive addiction, why you’re trying to “win the heart” of someone who has taken everything from you, and help you take your life back.

        I wish you all the luck in the world.
        Many blessings,
        Ray

        Like

  29. Chris says:

    To SunShinee,

    Oh, my goodness, girl!

    I’m a reader. I absolutely love to read just about anything and everything, including shampoo bottles and cereal boxes if nothing else is handy. But, my God, I tried to read your post. I really did. I got about a quarter of the way through it, and I just couldn’t continue.

    I’m not saying this to hurt your feelings. You need help. I’m saying this as a person that has gone through the maneuvering bullshit, extricated myself successfully, and am happily single now.

    YOU DON’T NEED SOMEBODY TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. And this man DOESN’T MAKE YOU HAPPY. HE USES YOU. PERIOD.

    Let him go. Stand on your own two feet. It’s over with him and you are nothing but a glorified babysitter and giver of anything he wants to take from you. That’s it. I know that hurts, but you need to face the reality of the situation, pull yourself together, and GO. And NEVER EVER speak to him again. He will try to draw you back in. Be strong and don’t give in. He is bad for you and only holding you back from finding yourself and eventually, when you are healed and ready, finding somebody that doesn’t complete you but that ENHANCES you. There is no such thing as another person completing you. That’s Hollywood bullshit. It’s not real life.

    Get some counseling. And I truly am saying this from a place of caring, not out of harsh judgment or hate. I, too, have been needy and been taken advantage of by not one but two maneuverers. I finally figured out, said enough, and now I’m in the process of being perfectly happy and okay being me and being a mother to my son. And some day, the right one will come along, the one that makes me a better me, not one that I become dependent on for my own happiness.

    I wish you all the best.

    Sincerely!
    Chris

    Like

  30. Chris says:

    LOL, I agree! I was looking for the “Like” button for your reply!

    Like

  31. Nick of 3 says:

    Hello
    Thank you

    After 5 years of an exclusive and committed and loving relationship

    He decides of isn’t exactly making him feel fulfilled
    I have 3 children and be never married or had kids

    We never lived together
    And aside from vacations
    He never slept over my house
    He was wonderful with the children

    He initiated all the closeness and family dinners and holidays

    I would only stay by his
    3 or so times a week. When my mother would mind the children

    After seemingly 4 good years of this atrangement
    He said he felt like he had a part time girlfriend. That he was always waiting for me

    Said he loved me and my family

    We truly simulated a marriage amongst friends and family but just didn’t live under the same roof

    We would joke that that’s why we got along so good

    This past year of on and off (making our 5 years of having each other in our lives)
    Was painful
    He needed space to see what he wanted

    We had agreed based on my terms that as he was figuring things out
    My options were open to date and see others
    But we would be sexuality exclusive

    I would date , and do my own thing

    As he did as well

    But after 3 months of this , it didn’t feel good
    To see him casually
    it didn’t feel good when I was on dates

    Cause I love him

    So on a beautiful getaway together I told him when we got back home I didn’t want to date him anymore
    It didn’t feel good , I felt to much for him and wanted more

    I didn’t ask him for anything
    I simply stated calmly and genuinely what I felt

    No pressure

    It’s been a month since I’ve spoken or seen him

    He lives only 4 blocks away

    I miss him terrible

    He did come by my house and bring a gift to my son for his b day
    called my mom on a holiday
    called my brother

    His mom and sister contacting casual too

    I truly feel that if he wanted what I wanted
    to resume or start BACK to an exclusive and committed relationship
    However with new agreements that fulfill both our needs..

    He would undeniably make a point to do that

    Regardless of who walked away under what terms

    It was done kindly and lovingly

    Not under bad or harsh words

    But I decided to distance myself from his small bids for “staying in touch”

    As I would need compelling and profound feelings that he truly does know what he wants

    When a man loves a woman regardless who walked away .. He would come to her and express this undeniably

    It’s just baffling how 4 years someone gives you all of them
    Makes you feel safe and invested for the long term

    And then reach a threshold and say

    I don’t know if I like this anymore

    Some may wonder “well why didn’t you just get married”

    In my heart I feel he felt he could never provide or care for my entire family

    Didn’t have the resources

    I never asked him to or pressured marriage
    I was actually good with our arrangements
    I figured in years time when things were more within our capabilities
    We could live together
    maybe marry in our old age 🙂

    Perhaps he only wanted me and me only
    Even if he loved the kids

    He just couldn’t bring himself to live under one roof… He wanted me all to himself
    and the guilt of that made him confused and he needed to separate from feeling anything deeper

    Anyhow
    he always remained steadfast. In saying how much he loved me
    and would always be here for me and my family

    His friend and family always reiterate how I was certainly the love of his life
    As he calls me

    Sometimes 2 people can love each other deeply but circumstances
    Likes and wants… prevent them from moving forward

    It’s so painful. Especially when we got along so well..He’d say I was his soul mate 🙂

    But here I am.. posting here

    We both deserve to be happy in love

    I feel saddened that it’s just not with one another

    Good luck to all of you

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      I’m very sorry for the way things turned out for you. But, please understand that your situation, though sad and strained, was not maneuvered — which is what this post is pertaining to.

      Maneuvering is about being manipulated to the point where you are giving someone everything and they’re giving you nothing in return, but not letting you find your happiness elsewhere. Your situation was committed. It may not have been traditional or completely fulfilling, but he was committed to you. People who have been maneuvered don’t have that. They have, “I’m not yours, but don’t see anyone else or else, I love you, I’m going out and doing whatever I want and I don’t have to call you, where you going, baby?”

      Thank you for the kindly words, but I’m afraid I don’t feel your situation is relevant to the post.

      Much luck and blessings to you )O(

      Like

  32. Kash says:

    You are intelligent

    Like

  33. Andy says:

    I am 30 and I been “dating” a 25 year old for the past couple of months. She had just gotten out of a 4 year relationship and she came after me. We have same group of friends. She visited her ex of 4 years a couple of weeks after we started dating and I didn’t like it but i acted nonchalant about it. I had caught wind thru our group that she didn’t want to commit to anyone yet I kept asking her out and we continued to hit it off. She recently told me that she was planning a big trip with another ex. I told her that I knew she didn’t want commitment and I was “okay” with that but I did ask her to be monogamous her only reply was that she couldn’t commit to that. I’ve given her all of my heart and all of me past few months. When she told me that she couldn’t commit I told her that she needed to find someone who could meet her needs and she left and I haven’t heard from her. I’m really hurt. I really,
    Really liked her and enjoyed our times
    Together. I gave her all of me and my heart and treated her like a queen.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Andy,

      I’m so sorry you’ve been hurt. But, from what you’ve just recited, she made it perfectly clear where her heart was and what she wanted. She did not make promises, she did not tell you not to see anyone else. You were not maneuvered — you fell in love with a dream. You got caught up in the “what if’s” and the micro-memories, not looking at the big picture.

      You also made a huge mistake by not giving her your truth. How can you be fulfilled if you’re not honest about what you need? You said you were cool with something when you were not.

      A relationship is 100% / 100%, not 100/0 or even 50/50. By giving someone “all” of yourself, you lose your identity. You lose half the partnership. Who wants to be in a relationship that’s all about them? How can they respect you? By revolving your entire person around another, you are denying your own experiences, your own history, and your own conquests.

      What caring person wants to be treated like a queen from a slave? Queens want kings (or other queens). Be one. Partnerships are successful when both parties are equals. Lift yourself up! If you love her, wish her joy with whomever she chooses. Unfortunately, it wasn’t you. But, rejection always means we’re meant for something better.

      I hope you realize that she will not be the last person you enjoy good times with. Find yourself, find your own crown, and find a real love. I wish you nothing but the best and many blessings of strength, healing, and peace.

      Goddess bless,
      Ray

      Like

  34. Jelena says:

    Thanks a million Ms. Ray for writing this article, I have been in precisely the situation you described and although it was only an online exchange, I feel seriously damaged emotionally. Goddess Bless You!!

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      You’re very welcome. It is very damaging and way too common. However, as with all damage, we can heal and be stronger, wiser, and truly fulfilled.

      Goddess bless you, as well! )O(

      Like

  35. Tricia says:

    Great article and great comments, and very spot on description and advice. I would have loved finding it before, because it points to many things that I experienced and needed advice on, and also to my pondering about the ethics of not talking to people. Yes, we do not owe anything to anybody who is there just for themselves. .

    I dated this guy briefly twice. First time I dumped him because he didn’t showed me any respect and acted selfishly. After the reconciliation, he really changed and tried seriously, but he was still hot and cold, and I started to see him playing games. What put me on the alert was he saying that he could mess with my head if he wanted, the bloody idiot.

    I confronted him. He denied everything. He asked me for sexual exclusivity and I thought that meant that he would be offering his. Finally after a stupid argument I asked for monogamy, sexual exclusivity, and to date seriously with the two feet in the trying. He dumped me with grandiose words about how great I am, but his feelings for me weren’t that strong to offer his soul in that way; and that he couldn’t make me happy; he even let it slip that he had gone out with me mostly because of my conversation and to go out. I felt completely used because before dating we have discussed everything and being friends with benefits wasn’t in my list. His feelings weren’t strong enough for that exclusivity. Still that didn’t stop him from asking for mine!

    He wasn’t working at my workplace when this happened. However, two months later he came back, and it has been a sour time for me since then. More than a year now. He has done the unimaginable to get close to me, and be my friend. at the work place. I haven’t moved from “we won’t be friends” from day one, because I told him, before breaking up that this time there wouldn’t be friendship. I have focused on my work, be polite and speak to him when strictly necessary. It has been very hard emotionally, but his seek for friendship has been all at the workplace never in private. .

    To me, the most difficult thing to understand about these people is the fact that they think that they can be selfish and disrespectful, offer nothing, and expect us to be friends and OK with that. Being friend is something reciprocal, give and take, not being THEIR friend when it suits them, the way it suits them. How sick is that? Also, it is very hard, emotionally, because no one wants to give the silent treatment and ignore anybody, especially if you have feelings for that somebody, and I have empathy for his human misery, insecurity and sense of lack of worth. That is he needs to get his power from this games and control and manipulation. He doesn’t seem to understand my position, really! It is really sad.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Oy — I have to say, “What put me on the alert was he saying that he could mess with my head if he wanted,” freaked me out. Hello, Sociopath – party of one! And essentially, even though I am not a licensed therapist or a specialist in the field, it doesn’t take 10 years of schooling to figure out that this clown is obviously suffering from something diagnosable.

      Good on ya for steering clear. He’s made his position very plain, very eerily plain.
      Many blessings!

      Like

      • Tricia says:

        Thank you for your blessings Miss Ray!.

        Yes, I think he has mental problems. Like borderline or something similar because he feels a great sense of abandonment and lack of worth but still he is able to be very ruthless to get “his power” in private and feel the macho he is . At work everybody loves him, he is sweet, competent, he is into volunteering for charities and everything, help people in need, so it is difficult to mix both parts of him. If he was a bad boy per se it would be easier to detach.

        He has always been abandoned by his girls, and one can understand why. The funny thing is that he doesn’t seem to take responsibility except for his good behaviour (and he can be very good), the rest he feels sorry, recognizes that is not OK, but then he cannot stop himself for doing it, so his inner sense of blame and self-worth decreases, and he needs of more “power” to compensate. He even accused me of being manipulative when I told him what I wanted or how I expected a man who is with me to behave. .

        I have heard that he is leaving the workplace, I am not sure if permanently. I hope so.

        I hope life puts him in his place and that somebody does to him the same he has been doing to me. I am a bad person for wishing that?

        Like

  36. M says:

    Hi Ms. Ray,

    I really enjoyed reading this piece of great post as it somehow mirrors my situation.

    My now ex boyfriend left me for an oversea job after 18 months into relationship (we lived together for 6 months). Then 3 weeks after he left, he broke up with me. I let go him and we reconnected back after 3 months because he contacted me and told me how much he missed me. We started to rekindle our relationship and stay long distance for another extra 3 months (I visited him twice and he visited me once, 10,000km away). The very last time we met, he was so grumpy and everything seems not right. He said our life rhythm was different and he cant picture me as his future partner anymore. We are both scientists in different fields and I got a tenure-track position in a university back home and he is taking up a temporary 1-3 years position in another side of the globe. I am willing to give up my stable job and move for him and he said he cant take this because this means that he need to commit to our relationship if I do that?!!! He broke up with me and sent me home with heartbreaking statements such as …” I dont think we should be together, I see no future with you because you’re not someone I would imagine to get married with..”.

    I left and started to organize myself and back on my life track. It’s very hard and I’m still trying hard. However, he still told me that he loves me and care for me via text over the last few weeks. But when I reciprocate, he backed off and said ” our love facing too many circumstances that we cant overcome…. I think this situation is the best for us”. I stopped talking to him for almost 2 weeks now and I dont feel empower at all. I missed him, but I know I missed only good part of him, the 18 months that we spent together. I wish I could get over him and get a good life for myself.

    M

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      M, you’re describing my point about being addicted and not in love. How can you miss someone who throws you away like trash when you get too close, then says, “I love you” when he wants you? You don’t feel empowered now because you’re still stuck in the illusion that your ex can change into the person you want him to be.

      Step back and look at the truth: He’s controlling you because he can. And you’re letting him.

      This is not love. He is not the last man on earth that you’ll find. You are not destined to live the rest of your life alone. If you let him go, there will be someone else.

      You’ll get over him as soon as you realize you never loved him for what he really was. That person you lived with for 18 months has been gone long ago.

      I wish you the best and many blessings,
      Ray

      Like

      • M says:

        Hi Ms. Ray,

        Thanks for sharing your insights with me. I felt mistreated yet I missed the “old” him who I used to live with for 18 months. The fact that he has been gone long ago sometimes shattered me into pieces and I dont know how to pick up myself again.

        I know he doesn’t love me enough. He blamed me for being pushy towards a more “committed relationship” and my biological clock (we are both 29 yo) has put so much pressure on him. He blamed me for always want “to see the light at the end of the tunnel” and why cant I just let things float for a while?

        I flipped through the journal I wrote when we were in long distance relationship and I found out that he always make me cry. Ms Ray, you really nailed it – Im not in love, I just addicted to his love, and keep wallowing in the sweet memory that we had together, which already been gone long.

        I want to walk away from him. I am working on it and I know I can. Thanks.

        M

        Like

      • Ms. Ray says:

        Treat it like getting over an addiction, not a relationship and that should help.

        Blessings!

        Like

  37. Blue says:

    Ms. Ray

    This is very heartbreaking to me, I meet such a wonderful guy in the beginning he was very attentive to my needs calls frequently, texting daily we were intimate for one year & a half. Then I asked about his status, he tells me that he is single, no children, and his age. Come to found out after my own investigation he lied about everything. I was stocked we stop dealing with each other for 2 months then here we go again he was talking about you kept on pressuring me and I’m not ready for a commitment I like my freedom but, then he wants to know what I doing and why I am not responding to him. Its simple as I pull towards him, he pulls back so I started to mirror his image and he started the chase. Yes, I fell back in sadly but, I really want to leave because the sad part to this is that he has lied, stood me up, pulled disappearing acts, no calls, no shows, then after we have sex he decides not to call for a few days so I don’t bother to see why because I already know he’s dealing with other woman but there is no commitment with them either. He is just playing in the field without providing stability and security. I am so mentally drained but, when his fear response kicks in ..he will text saying that “ Since your ignoring me I will not call your phone again” then another text “You better reply back I m not letting you go that easy “. Last thing he said to me that I am going to make you an honored woman in the near future. Sorry folks but, this one did it for me I have walked away with no contact no explanations.

    Like

  38. mily says:

    Great article. Exactly what I needed to hear/read. Thank you.

    Like

  39. Beth Bradley says:

    After 15 years of a yo yo relationship and one attempted suicide, and one very near attempt, I finally (I hope) see that if I keep on I will destroy myself. Your article is so ‘real’ and so spot on. His control is frightening and yet sometimes if feels like love and those are the moments I have hung onto like a fool. I am now getting help, from all areas, and I am determined to rid my heart and my mind of this man I still love, but know is killing me slowly by degrees.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Oh my Goddess, Beth…

      As much as it pains me to hear any of my readers suffer, to read your words of self-destruction is just downright horrific. So, here is where I lovingly step in with your “clue-by-four” of the day:

      NO ONE, NOTHING IS WORTH YOUR SOUL!

      There is no job, no person, no family member, no anyone, anywhere that is worth destroying yourself over. Ever! Keep this in mind when you think you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life without him, because that’s not true. Keep this in mind when you think you can’t live without him, because you can. Keep this in mind every single day, every moment, always.

      For the love of all that’s sacred, I hope you’ll PLEASE get help if you’re not getting it already. PLEASE.

      From the heart,
      Ray

      Like

  40. Tricia says:

    Hi Ms Ray,
    I left a comment a few months ago about my manipulative ex at work. I would like your practical advice, as there have been developments in the last 2-3 weeks.

    Things were as usual, me keeping the distance and not talking much to him, my silence a strong boundary to keep him at bay, but being polite and courteous and focusing on work. About 3 weeks ago he changed his rapport with me for the best. He started to be openly nice to me, made eye contact, open body language, nice manners, approaching me to talk, waving hello even if I did not, compliments on my clothing, quite lovely to me. I thought it was a nice change, but I thought he also wanted a change of behavior in me or whatever it is that he wants from me. I was cautious because I have seen him go back to jerk other times he has tried, but this time was different, way different, and he surprised me by keeping his momentum longer than expected. It was really lovely, Still, he made several subtle aggressive-passive comments in between his compliments on my looks. I know who I am, so any of those comments do not work on me, they reflect who he is, and that he hasn’t changed a bit. I was surprised when he kept going with his niceness and openness for a few days. However, as soon as he has seen that I haven’t changed my behavior and I don’t pay him extra-attention, he has returned to his pathetic game playing. Like yesterday, passing three times passing at cms from my table (he doesn’t need to do that) and no hello, no looking, no contact. It was me the one who said hello, out of courtesy, and because I am no playing any game. My hellos don’t mean any interest in him.

    I know I don’t want him back. Still all of this games annoy and affect me, because they are at work, and because it is just mind games, and he is playing games on me on purpose to bend my will, instead of accepting that he dumped me and that I am free and don’t owe him anything. On the other hand, I have strong reasons to think he might be a borderline, so I don’t want to be nasty or crash him, and I truly feel compassion and I would like things to be different, but they are not. .

    To be honest, i don’t know what to do, how to approach this mentally so I don’t get sucked in into this mental games vortex or I don’t care what he does to me. Your advice would be much appreciated.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Hi, Tricia!

      I’m honored for your trust and that you seek my advice.

      However, I ask that you please understand that this blog is not designed for individual counsel, but for general observations, support, and universal musings. The feedback I give to each of your amazing, brave, and wonderful comments is for all of you.

      If you — or anyone — would like my personal guidance, you are very welcome to set up a divination (empathic/tarot) appointment with me by writing msraytarot@gmail.com and I would love to help!

      In the meantime, remember that your heart’s an idiot that only understands desire and pumping blood. Use your head.

      Many blessings! )O(

      Like

  41. JulesK says:

    I won’t lie. I wasn’t expecting the most insightful “identify and ditch the commitment averse person, the earlier the better” article I’ve seen to come from a “professional divinationist”. This is gold.

    Like

  42. crazyaboutaqua says:

    Thanks for this article. Good advise. I know its an oldy but goody.

    My situation..SCRAPS. Its been casual for a year and a half. I started pushing for more. He said I don’t like being pressured into a relationship. Found out their are others involved. He denied it…more than once. Last time I saw him was a month ago. I pushed for more…he avoided the topic. The whole time I was talking he was trying to act silly. After I went home.. mad…I text him and said we want different thing at this point. I have to accept other offers more seriously..let me go. That was a week ago.

    Yesterday I get a text…here is my new number I do miss you. So I text back…who is this? No reply…so I said oh must be so and so…because you didn’t reply. He said you said you moved on so no need to reply. It went from there.

    I said who has time for this. He came back with all I said is I don’t like being pressured. I said you got what you wanted then. He said I guess.

    Then said let’s meet for dinner…I said I am not sure I want to be strung along anymore. You made it obvious that you don’t want me in your life or around your friends or family. Its not like we just met.

    He asked again..and said lets go to dinner and talk. I said I tried to talk to you and we want different things.

    That’s how we left it. He will be back..AGAIN. I am not sure I want him.

    Good luck!!

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Just remember that any attention you give him only encourages him to take advantage of you. He made it very clear he wants all the benefits but none of the responsibilities. It’s not about wanting him at this point, but wanting the situation because unfortunately, they’re mutually exclusive.

      So, I lovingly recommend re-phasing your statement from “I am not sure I want him” to “I am not sure I want this situation.” Then, I think you’ll find your real answer.

      All the best and thanks!! )O(

      Like

  43. Stephanie says:

    WOW.

    Not sure how it happened, but I certainly understand why: I just found your blog on the art of maneuvering, and it absolutely couldn’t have come at a better time.

    I’ve been riding on the Crazy-Go-‘Round with a maneuverer for 41/2 years. I’ve broken it off more times than I can count, ofter for months at a time, but he always comes a-knockin’ in some form or another, and draws me back in, only to dismiss me ONE MORE F’ing TIME.

    In the past 3 months, he reeled me back in with his shoulder surgery, his mom’s passing, Christmas, and today, New Year’s Day. He breaks contact then breaks my heart. AND why do I keep thinking there’s actually an authentic person there, who loves me and really wants to be with me? Because he tells me so, sometimes.

    BUT, he never commits, and never stays.

    ANYway… he texted me today (while I was walking with some women, and happened to be in his neighborhood), and, like an idiot, I went over to see him, thinking he’d had enough of being alone and had decided to try seriously to be with me.

    Once I got there, he immediately began acting dismissive and “neighborly”.
    When I pressed him about what was going on with us, about why he broke ‘no contact’ like it meant nothing, he replied, “Well, we both like… love each other, but can’t seem to get along in a relationship, so it was just my way of keeping in touch.”

    That was it.

    Then he asked me if I still felt like we couldn’t just be friends, if I still felt like there had to be no communication between us.

    OH YES. NO question about it.

    I got up, got my things, & thanked him for playing. I told him that I wasn’t sure what more he wanted besides me… maybe someone younger, prettier, smarter, or better in bed, and that I hoped he would find it. (All very sarcastically, of course.)

    And I hurried out the door, down the stairs, across the street, and into my car.

    I got home and felt broken. Again. Totally bereft. But then I somehow miraculously found your blog, and here I am, feeling so much better. The two chocolate bars and the bowl of ice cream helped a little bit, but it was your words that stopped from breaking and sobered me up. He’s so damn good, it’s unbelievable. Always playing Mr. Innocent. “I guess I’m just not very good at this stuff.” Oh man. Sigh. Shaking my head.

    God, I’m rambling to a total stranger. If you’re even reading this. Sorry for going on.

    Thank you. Thank you more than I can say.

    I can be me again now, and never go back.

    S.


    “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ~ Maya Angelou

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Oh Ms. Stephanie, please don’t feel bad about “rambling to a total stranger.” I do it all the time — it’s called “blogging!” LOL
      And don’t apologize for sharing your story. I hope you took the time to read the others and remember that you’re not alone and it’s not your fault.

      I am touched that I have helped in some way. Happy New Year, indeed!
      Enjoy your freedom! You deserve it.
      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  44. Stephanie says:

    Ray ~ I was not expecting to see a response. It meant a lot to me. It’s so difficult for us authentic people to wrap our heads around the fact that we can be in relationship for years with someone who may have NEVER been speaking from a genuine position. Realizing that has stopped me from trying for some kind of meaningful closure – imagining how I’d pour my heart out for nothing, because he can’t even be trusted to speak honestly. If we can’t trust what someone says, we have nothing, and we must move on quickly, as awkward and awful as it might seem, as much as it hurts.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Angela says:

    Dear Ms. Ray…
    You’re so insightful and kind with your advice and responses and I am relieved to read about people in similar situations. Here’s mine…

    I was in high school, he was in college…I was 17 he was 21. We had a rough break up then, I was devastated (first love). Flash ahead 30 years. Both married, we met up on Facebook and it was all innocent in the beginning, but after 3 months of emails we decided to meet in person. We shared a kiss, which was totally electric and we were off to the races emotionally. The relationship was very powerful and seemed so perfect, like a second chance… My husband found out and kicked me out of the house, I moved in with my lover, and while it was sudden we made the best of it still very much in love. After a year or two and once the reality of divorce and my responsibilities to my family got too heavy, my ex husband was always around my parents and I was so ashamed of having betrayed my husband who is the most kind, loving and forgiving man alive.. I didnt feel comfy bringing the guy who broke my heart as a kid and whom I cheated on my husband with…back to visit my parents. Anyway,,,,he tells my after two years that he just doesnt love me the way he used to. I was crushed and thought it was crazy to think the Honeymoon phase would last forever. We had tried to live together before this and it didnt work out…I left, big surprise. However, we stayed together through our divorces, I had several operations, I lost my job and he paid all of my expenses for at least a year…I was contantly moving every year. We both became addicted to heroin and crack for another few years. We are both clean now, but that was a horror.

    Once I got clean I had to take a good look at the mess this relationship was. I was going to his apt, cooking him dinner and sleeping there every night! I had my own place, but this was our routine. We had been growing distant, not intimate for long periods of time. Granted, I must tell you that we do have an extremely co dependant situation. I started therapy and my therapist made me see how toxic our relationship had become, we have terrible trust issues to boot.
    So I tearfully told him I had to stop coming over to his house, that I had to start learning to live on my own. I asked him for no contact via text or phone and the sex was over. He was still using drugs at this point, and really went off the deep end I was terrified for his safety, but had to keep on my path to independence. I might add, I had never lived alone in my life and was filled with fear at this prospect. Luckily his dealer was arrested and he was forced to clean up. Once he stopped using, we started to see each other again, I admitted I missed him terribly and visa versa. He still maintained that we were not in a relationship, but he acted like we were and I kept pointed that out to him….he had no right to be jealous, to come over to my place unannouced, accuse me of seeing other men….if we are not in a committed relationship! We would argue over this quite a lot. He finally admitted that he fearful of getting too close because of our past issues, I can understand all of this, I really put him through the ringer and was so upset that he didnt want to work on the relationship, but wanted to be just friends at this point. I would yell and scream, make him leave my house, tell him not to contact me, but he always did and I always let him back in. I problem is, we get along so well as friends, we are like Jerry and Elaine but I dont want Jerry and Elaine, I want to be loved and cared about, kissed and desired. I told him several times I dont want to be in this limbo yet he would not let go. I told him other men are asking me out and I feel like I can’t go because I feel loyal to him. I am so in love with the person I got together with six years ago, I keep the sick dream alive that one day we will work it all out and grow old together (I am 53 he is 57) We have not gone one day without contact in six years.

    A few days ago we were having a great day and so he decided that since I was in such a good mood, and thought I wouldnt flip out when he told me that hes been meeting women when he is out and admitted he would like to call them, but wanted to know how that would play out with me…I told him what he told me when I said I would have to move on if he was unwilling to treat me as his love, and the response was, I guess Ill have to deal with it. The next day I finally accepted a dinner date from a guy who has been asking me out for YEARS. Who shows up a few minutes before the date was to arrive? You guessed it! I simply told him I was busy and he had to leave, and not call or text but he could email me if he wanted to. The date arrived without incident. He brought roses, we had a very lovely date and kiss goodnight. Of course, the next day the other guy came over and saw the flowers, but didnt ask any questions. We had a fun day hanging out, cooking, laughing…like best friends. Today, he was giving me the cold shoulder, and I decided to go out to a local club to see a band…and he was already there. It was awkward, because neither one of us goes out to clubs alone…usually we go together. So he was chatting like mad to one of my friends, practically ignoring me, and I was standing right next to him. Finally I had enough, my girlfriend was rolling her eyes she already has a boyfriend, and looked sick to death of this guy chewing her ear off. I gave her a hug and gave the guy a quick wave.

    Now I am surprised he hasnt called or text to see if I was ok. I guess this is the final stages, It just felt so horrible being ignored by him so obviously. Im sure he is wondering who I went out with and maybe this is payback or maybe he is really moving on? The part that gets me is that we have been though so much together, much more than I can even type, and we are still good friends and on the rare occasions we give in to our lower nature, its the best sex either one of us has ever had. I would much rather work on the issues we have than move on again.

    Can this situation be saved or am I living in my own private Idaho!?

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Hi, Angela, thanks for sharing your story.
      As I’ve explained to my readers, this isn’t an advice column. I think if you read the other stories, step back and see the big picture of your situation, then look at some of the language you used, I think you’ve answered your own question. 😉

      Just remember that it takes both parties to participate for issues to work out — and there’s a difference between “issues” and just drama.

      Take care!
      Many blessings )O(

      Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      OH — and GOOD ON YOU for conquering those drug demons!! Awesome!!

      Like

  46. Mr B says:

    Dear M.S Ray

    I can’t thank you enough for your article. It’s opened my eyes. The topic is timeless and though it was written almost 3 years ago it still gets the attention.
    I guess I have an addictive personality as far as I am staying in what is after almost 3 month of courting as yet undefined, hoping one day she would call me her girlfriend or that allows me to speak in a loving way. It’s all out of bound for her. She puts restrictions on language and says she doesn’t know what she wants, even if she wants a relationship but then again likes to go on dates with me from time to time to see how she’d feel one day. Initially it felt like she was emotionally available but after the first 2 dates she suddenly withdrew, but not completely. Always had something important to busy herself with, there were friends that had to be met, restaurants that were urgent, classes etc… and trips abroad that could not be avoided. Sometimes there’d be time to spend time together, but she’d rarely know this in advance. I had to wait for her be in call, like a hoverer. It felt awful. It’s been almost 3 months but we have met 6-7 times. Lots of texting and talking from far though. She says she needs to figure out what’s going on with her, that we haven’t even met much, but of course jeperdises all chance of meeting. It feels like double message, a Luke warm invitation while simultaneously saying no. I feel pretty insecure in this whole thing and the word love feels almost illegal. It’s not the first time she’s done this and from the stories she tells me of her previous relationships, she has always somehow tortured others with dis-affection until they gave up and then she turned her tune in the last minute. The other day we decided to just be friends and literally couple of days later she writes to me and suggests we spend a whole 24 hour together, something I had suggested when we were dating but she had rejected on the ground that it is not a desirable idea. I’m really confused here. All I want is a loving relationship without whole load of neurotic mind games. But she seems pretty obsessed with not letting go of control over this whole thing, does not relax/open herself and I can’t really relax with that neither. She seems to have a lot of friends, some with whome she’s shared kisses and intimate miments with, but they still are in the picture sort of almost uncountable, because oddly kissing doesn’t count and I find the whole thing uncomfortable as constant reminders that she can’t let the ghosts of the past go and drags them into the next relationship.
    After all this rambling, for which I apologise, my question is am I being manoeuvred and is it possible to just be friends with her? We have not slept together yet as both she has been reluctant and I find it difficult to feel turned on by the double message situation.

    Many thanks again

    Like

  47. Eva says:

    I just find the whole idea of dealing and engaging with someone you never even got to call your boyfriend/girlfriend non sense. And how anyone could have difficulty cutting such a parasite off is simply beyond me. Look at it this way. This guy/girl never became your boyfriend/girlfriend in a real sense of the word. They are therefore not your ex. In fact they are your nothing. You don’t owe them ANYTHING. Cut them off and move on.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Eva,

      Although I appreciate the sentiment, one has to remember that when you’re underwater, you can’t tell if it’s raining.

      “How can anyone have difficulty cutting off such a parasite?” It’s difficult when your fear of being alone overpowers your self-esteem. It’s difficult when you are hopelessly hooked onto the parasite’s promises. It’s difficult when the high points are so high, they become addictive, so you make excuses for the low points. It’s difficult when you have to see them every day. It’s difficult if your material situation is dependent upon them. It’s difficult when you try to see someone else or move on and they disrupt your life to keep you from doing so.

      Fear and addiction.

      Maneuvering is abuse and abuse is about control. It’s not always obvious, it’s never easy. To have the self-esteem and the courage to defy the social programming that your worth is defined by your mate, that you have to settle or be alone, to be able see the big picture, and to realize that this is not love is not a given for many people; It’s a hard, painful, and sometimes scary journey. It’s awesome to see that you have that strength! I hope you can understand and appreciate what a gift that is. Read these astounding stories and comments for yourself…

      Many blessings! )O(

      Like

  48. cathy says:

    You have described my relationship perfectly. It is a charming coworker who doesn’t want to commit but won’t let me go. It’s been 5 years like this. I have tried to have relationships outside of this and find it hard to open up due to emotional strain and they never transpire. I needed this. I needed to hear that this is not love. That this is abuse. That what he is doing is wrong. I thought he needed time. I am done with him.Thank you.

    Like

  49. Rianna says:

    Thank you for this! I have just ended things with a guy I was on and off with for almost a year. I definitely think he had these maneuvering tendencies, although I do believe it was a result of attachment/control issues from having a very rough and traumatic childhood, bad timing, and his own fears. From the very beginning he told me he didn’t think he was in the place for a relationship (I foolishly brushed this off…and later learned that he had VERY recently broken off a long term relationship soon before meeting me). All throughout our time together he would mention things like, “I wish I’d met you at a different time”. Every time we got close he would come up with some “issue” that he had with me and push me away. He also would say things that were “jokes” but made me feel insecure…I think he said these things because of his OWN insecurities. Furthermore, he had exes or girls he’d had “complicated” relationships with, still in his life (had a few people he liked to keep around maybe…?) All of this made me very insecure and paranoid and that insecurity got the best of me sometimes, and would cause issues.

    When things were good, they were great. He acted like a boyfriend: talking to me all day every day, going out of his way to do nice things for me, talking about a potential future. He opened up with me about everything from his past, was emotionally vulnerable, and always supportive of my goals and passions. But, he would continue to push me away, and would tell me we should try to just be “friends”, so as to see if a relationship would really work out for us. At the same time, in his most vulnerable moments, he would tell me that he was afraid that if we got into a relationship, we would never break up, would be together forever, and he wasn’t sure if he was ready for it. I do believe he was telling the truth. However, I also believe that he is very self-centered, and he used this maneuvering behavior unconsciously to keep our relationship at a level that was comfortable for him. I finally realized that I cannot keep waiting until HE is ready, and that even if he was ever ready, there would be so much distrust and resentment built up, it would have a terrible foundation. I told him that after this much time and how close we’ve gotten, I need commitment (at least a “dating” label!) or to walk away. He told me that he cannot give me commitment right now, he is not in a position to “limit himself”, and that I should not hold out for him. So, this is my time to finally move on. The jury is still out on whether he will contact me again in a few days or weeks like he usually does…

    I am heartbroken of course, and yes I am feeling the “but what if I never meet someone that I feel so strongly for?” kind of feelings. But I know I need to get to the point where I realize that the stress was not worth it, and that I cannot change him.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Rock on, kudos, and well done to you!

      One thing to remember is that we’re all victims of victims. We are all fighting battles that others can’t see. And though your empathy is a beautiful gift, it is important to remember that everyone has a choice to remain a victim or become a survivor — *that* is what determines our true character; not what happened to us, what we do about it.

      That man didn’t do anything about it. And when someone chooses to remain a victim and benefits by doing so, then “reason” becomes “excuse.” There is never an excuse for abuse.

      Love finds those who love themselves. 🙂
      Many blessings to you! )O(

      Like

  50. beanfishy says:

    I read this and I have no idea to deal with this situation. My boys Dad does this and I am still with him (of course, we have two boys together). I have tried so hard to leave it behind but he reels me back in and I have no idea how to get out of it. What do you do when its the father of your children acting this way?

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Dear Beanfishy,

      You’re not going to like my answer: Get help.

      Seriously, I am not blowing you off. The key to your freedom lies in your statement, “…he reels me back in.” What you’re neglecting is that no one can “reel you in” unless you take the bait and get on the hook. In other words, he doesn’t reel you in — you allow him to.

      Until you understand what it is that he has that your subconscious can’t let go of, what drug he has that you’re addicted to, the cycle will always continue. The best way to break it is to get to the root, with you. You’ll never change him; You can only change yourself. And the best way to do that is through down-home, no frills psychotherapy. Not a life coach. Someone who has the education, credentials, and experience to analyze, understand, and unlock the “whys” in human behavior. It’s hard work. It’s scary work. But, it’s always worth it. Your freedom is worth it!

      Sparing your children from modeling their future relationships after yours is worth it.

      There are always resources for those who have none in your community if cost is your concern. When we really, really want something, we find a way. I hope you do.

      Best of luck and Many blessings! )O(
      Ray

      Like

  51. Esther says:

    I cannot believe by finding this, reading it and now seeing it…how my perspective has been altered. I’ve been in this abusive situation for ten years…I have children with this man and I’ve been in a bubble…you’ve explained it all so perfectly. The giving me enough to hook me then taking it away…I niavely thought because we have children it was commitment but he does it to them too…just enough to make them excited then goes off…we don’t hear from him but I have never moved on. I feel such guilt…I have damaged my children..ironically I thought hanging on in there would complete us all. He gets in touch eventually and comes back…always saying he needed time and can see I was right for him…it’s horrendous.seeing this…I wonder how someone gets like this without seeing how abusive they are being. The worst part is knowing I had previously got out of another abusive relationship…but it was the opposite…so much commitment I couldn’t breathe….that’s why I liked this last relationship…i thought he had set me free..by being non committal. Clearly I have issues with attachment..how I form my relationships with men…don’t want my son or daughter to go through this..thank you for writing this really helpful article.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Dear Esther,

      I am so sorry to hear you go through this. You asked a very good question, “I wonder how someone gets like this without seeing how abusive they are being.” It’s very simple: All they can see is themselves. When you go through life in a mirror, there is no one but yourself. Your ego rules over all things.

      I once had a client who was maneuvering her partner and didn’t realize it. She was under the “I don’t know what I want” category and didn’t have any idea what hell she was putting her partner through. I called her out on it. I told her straight up, “What you’re doing is abusive. You are hurting her. Because of you, she is starving for the love and attention she needs simply because you want your cake and eat it, too.” The line got dead silent for a moment until she responded, “Wow. I had no idea I was doing that. I guess I need help, huh?”

      You can’t blame yourself, though. You only made choices on the information you had. You genuinely thought you were doing the best for you and your children. Best thing about today is that you can always make a better choice! Don’t worry about your kids, either. They may be smarter and stronger than you think. Maybe it’s time to have a talk with them?

      I’m very glad I was able to help!
      I wish you and your family tons of love, strength, and blessings! )O(

      Like

      • Esther says:

        Thank you so much, your response is insightful and I appreciate you taking the time to answer that question… I can’t imagine only seeing me but that does make sense…I can’t be responsible for him not seeing but always felt I had to rescue.. I feel by my children seeing that I am set free that they will see I a have inner strength and hopefully they have enough resilience too see they are strong too xxxx thank you so much, genuinely this has helped probably more than you could know xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  52. Ricky says:

    Please help if you can.I am in this situation as well but I broke trust with my long term partner only a day or two after we broke up. So it makes it twice as confusing as there is a huge amount of guilt I’m carrying. She said she still loves me, thinks about me all day long, she even tells her friends that she misses me greatly and cant stand the thought of losing me.An stated it would destroy her if I started dating again. She has asked if we could be friends after 2 months of not speaking to each other. It’s been 4 months since though of me trying to do anything and everything possible to just get her to commit to trying to rebuild the relationship and go through the process of rebuilding trust but she refuses to commit to it.The more I persist to push the further away she gets.An when I pull back she comes running to me again. When I ask for space to be get grounded again from all the stress this is causing me she refuses to give it. Testing me after only a few days. An showering pity on me. I notice vindictiveness. It’s kind of blatant at times. She’s even said if you back off there is a better chance of us getting back together. I think this is a unique situation as I’m trying to repair a relationship with a bitter woman who has lost faith in love and trust. I dont want to loose her but I wonder if I’m making things worse by doing simple little things like trying to hold her hand ect. She absolutely hates it if were in the company of friends and I try to indicate that were in any kind of a relationship.I’ve begged her to let go. Or to just tell me to leave her alone but she refuses. Can the friendship she’s asking me for be just a test to rebuild trust that I continue to fail by running before walking ? Pushing for commitments when I should be just thankful for an opportunity to be able to prove myself. It’s ripping me apart with confusion.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      “It’s ripping me apart with confusion.”

      So, you’re asking me if I think you should settle for something that’s ripping you apart? Remember in the post: Stop with the micro-memories! Step back and look at the big picture. Nothing and no one should ever rip you apart. That’s not love. That’s not joy. That’s not partnership, that’s not anything. That’s “wow, that person really needs to get some help and isn’t doing it because she’s too preoccupied in disrupting your happiness.”

      And because you are allowing her to disrupt your happiness, somehow you’ve convinced yourself that you should be “thankful” for someone that is “vindictive” and ripping you apart.

      I think you answered your own question. 😉
      Blessings! )O(

      Like

  53. Ricky says:

    Kindly thanking you for taking the time to reply I understand this is your blog and not a question answer post so i’m even more grateful. It’s good to hear the voice of reason sometimes.Better to hear it from someone outside our circle of family and friends. It’s just hard letting go. I’m usually quite a positive and confident guy never had problems meeting people. An I find it easy to love the right person and find it easy to make long term commitments.I’m not perfect by any means but at 41 I’d like to think I’m able to be in a healthy relationship. My ex suffers from depression. These relationships I think turn obsessive. With one person giving all they have till their drained still yearning for the love back. I think I’ve turned into that obsessive Guy who has given everything he had into the relationship just surviving on the sort of affection depressed people are able to give in floods then in crumbs constant pushing away and then reeling in. It makes it harder to let go when I’ve been drained like this for so long. Years of always looking for small clues that your appreciated.I’ve grown accustomed to this sort of relationship it causes anxiety and frustration holding onto someone who’s always detached from their emotions.This anxiety is what I’m going through now. It’s a sad thing. I can see in her eyes that she’s still in love with me but her anger and bitterness outweigh it. Like mentioned in other replies it’s hard to believe she would choose to have anything to do with a man still in love and willing to work with her when in her own self she doesn’t want to be in a relationship she lacks the self confidence to be in one. An I guess I’m a bit of an ego boost to her I also actually do believe she doesn’t want to lose a close friend (well neither do I but it is what it is) . I guess it’s a case of cant live with cant live without. An the big picture looks so ugly I don’t want to face what I’ve put myself through and endured for so long. Maybe I’ll walk away with nothing but gain my dignity back eventually. Again thank you for your wisdom and kindness.

    Like

  54. Joanne says:

    Oh wow..all of these stories seem so similar to my own…I have been off and on with a man for almost two years now..he was very full on when we first met up and told me that he had been divorced for 8 years and was broken by it when his wife left him, he said that he had never been able to let another woman close enough again as he was terrified of being hurt again and he wasn’t willing to go there again…trying to cut a very long story short here but after the initial month or so he started to withdraw and ignore me for days or even weeks at a time.i thought it was something I had done and when he eventually would speak to me he would say it wasn’t me and I was the best thing to happen to him…he does suffer depression and it was this that made his wife leave him originally…anyway we took things slowly only really going out locally to the coul,e of places he felt comfortable in. it was always difficult as I hurt when he hurt I have been very patient and never pushed him for anything and he admits that, then in April last year he said he needed to talk to me and to.d me about a girl 20 years younget than us who he works with who he had chased for a year or so previously she enjoyed a good banter with him at work but had never been interested in going out wih him. Apparantly when she realized that he had met me she suddenly started to show an interest and he admitted he had thought about seeing how a relationship with her would go. he decided however that he couldn’t because he realized he had strong feelings for me and that was that. fast forward a few weeks after that conversation and he dumped me for her. Since the. He has been with her ..on and off… But still. I texting me every month or so saying its me he should be with and not her. I am not a stupid woman but sadly I had fallen in love with him and it seems whatever he does I am always there, so a year went by and then last month he started texting and ringing and persuaded me to go see him for a chat, he told me that it was over between them and he wanted to try again with me as I was the only one he could ever see himself being with long term he talked about plans for the future and said was I willing to give it another try….I told him I was scared that he would go back to her again within a week, a month or whatever …and guess what…about two weeks went by then I got the dreaded texts…not feeling great…can’t chat tonight….so I txt him and said just tell me please if u have changed ur mind again?….that was a week ago, and I’ve not heard a thing!…I know what ur advice will be, my best friends and family have said it all to me…..just want to know do u think he feels anything at all for me? Can’t believe he has done this again and also will he come back again for the 100h time,, 😞
    aid

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      You already know what I’m going to tell you. You already know what you’re telling yourself. You already know what you’re dealing with. You already know that whatever he feels for you, it’s not love because of the way he treats you, so what does it matter?

      He’s done this to you because you let him. The question you should be asking is, “why?”

      Please start your healing.

      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  55. Kelley says:

    This read really helped me today. I fell for someone after being very hurt but my ex husband a couple of years ago. This new man made me feel “special”, even told me I was, but he didn’t want a relationship with me and made lots of excuses as to why we couldn’t be together. This helps me realize he is at a loss and I’m the winner in this situation.

    Like

  56. Frank says:

    Ms. Ray, i read your article and ALL of the comments. this resonates so well with my ex long-term gf (6 years), who cheated on me, made me move out, then started texting me after 2 months, calling, coming over for talks – then we had sex a few times, she broke up with her new bf, promised me love, said she couldn’t live without me, then within two weeks she’s cold, doesn’t find time for me at all, “loves me” but doesn’t show affection or make time to be with me, doesn’t want any commitment because it stresses her out, doesn’t want exclusivity, wants to use me as a resource (i.e. a button to push when she needs it). i wait restlessly for her to show love in any way, but i get words, just a lot of words. reading your wise article/comments really helps me a lot. thank you!!!
    i hope you don’t mind, i came upon an article about Malignant Narcissism that dovetails nicely with your elaborations on Maneuverers:

    https://walkingnarcissists.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/protecting-yourself-from-malignant-narcissists-and-its-derivatives/

    Like

  57. Soma says:

    Wow, this article is spot on.
    I was in a 3+ years relationship with her. She was only 17 1/2 when we started dating and she came out of a relationship a few weeks before we started dating early 2012. After living together for 2 1/2 years, she was done with the relationship. I tried to recover the relationship but to no avail. She wanted to remain friends but I didn’t, so I went No Contact. 5 weeks later I was on a holiday when she texted me in the middle of the night. I was doing great again and that is when she approached me.. She misses me a lot and wanted to ask me out for the movies. She was unsure if texting me was a good idea but she needed to vent and lost sleep over it. She was afraid of either of my possible answers. If I said yes, it could be great again but tumble back down in the end. I thought she meant giving the relationship another go so we did date twice after I got back home from the holiday. She came over to my place and we genuinely had a great time! At the end of the first “date” we kissed and hugged. A week later on the second date, we drank wine and she became very open about our breakup and what she wanted with her life and asked me how I saw our future. She believes that there is a 50-50 chance of reconciliation between us. She doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now. Her mindset has changed about society and about relationships etc. She still wants to keep me in her life though, with intimacy too. I didn’t answer right away (since it would prolly kill the great evening) if I could do this but the next time we chat, I will make it clear that our perspectives and wished dont align, I cannot do this. It is either all or nothing! So nothing it is. She is moving away to another city this weekend also.

    Like

  58. AngelaJ says:

    I am currently and have been in this situation for atleast 3 years now. Says he is ready to move on and begs me back time and time again. Once I’m back, every time, I have to wait for things to “fall into” place. All in hopes things will finally move forward. So far we have one week in starting fresh….. I already feel the control on his side. This article Nails it! Hard part is, I know this and Yet I continue to come back
    Or hang on each time in hopes “this time he’s serious”. Ugh Men!

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Angelaj,

      Fear not! Not all men do this. You allow yourself to get on the hook because he has the drug that gets you high. It’s never about love. Find out what that is and kick the habit. You can do this!

      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

      • AngelaJ says:

        Thanks to your article…. I’ve left the creep. Wow 3 1/2 years of trying and believing it would see day work is painful to let go and accept but I have. It’s what happens when you give your
        Heart away to what you thought was once real. Thank you so much for this article. It’s what I needed. On to new beginnings.

        Like

  59. Jason says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this article. I somehow feel I’ve been trapped in such a situation for the past few months.

    Going after this girl has seemed like a roller coaster ride. One moment we are in love & suddenly after hanging with a group of friends, it’s dissipated. When we meet to talk about it, all problems seem to go but the cycle repeats eventually. I can feel she has something for me -“probably micro-memories talking” but she did get me something expensive & thoughtful for my birthday- “probably to keep me by her side as she remains unsure”. She admits there are times she want to get hug/kiss/hold my hands but she holds back because she’s afraid to commit. Too many times I’ve been stabbed by her sudden dissipation of “love” and no matter how hard i try to move on, i still bounce back to her. She always reciprocated my hand holding & hugs but never once initiated it – sounds like “bits & pieces of affection”. She cries whenever i ask her if I should wait for her and then later holds my hand after saying she thinks not as she doesnt want to hurt me further. She too had problems letting me go.

    Last night we talked over the phone. I gave my best speech and asked her to take a plunge with me, to give us a try. She said no again. & i told her this was it. I didnt want to go through another roller coaster ride. She leaves a line that says “moments like this i want to say i love you but i shall not. like you said, dont wanna give you another roller coaster. thank you. i’ll stick to my promise (of not contacting you selfishly).”

    I am more heartbroken that she didnt want to give us a try. She said she was a coward & always runs from commitment. So now my brain is in a debate to whether she has been manoeuvring me because it seems i have the above mentioned treatment & “symptoms of an addict” OR is she really having a commitment phobia.

    Sorry for the long post. I woke up this morning feeling like i’m ready for another roller coaster ride. & my closest friends have been annoyed enough at my reluctance to let go. Help ):

    Like

  60. Ali says:

    Thank you so much Ms Ray, your wonderful article has answered so many questions. I especially love your explanation of what true love is. It made me sit up when I read it and face the fact that I might think I am in love, but no I cannot possibly be, as true love is mutual and respectful. You have given me the explanations and now it is up to me to do the work and extract myself from my demoralising relationship. It will not be easy, but I realise I must do it.
    Thank you again
    Thank you so much again

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Ana Vega Martin says:

    Wonderful article. Thank you Ms Ray. I cannot describe how spot on this is. I have wasted 4 yrs of my life on a guy like that, on and off, which is very depressing. However, it’s never too late to regain some dignity I guess. Although I have been completely ignoring him for the past 6 months, he is still trying to get his way back in, I find messages under my door pretty much every day and he constantly sends me flowers. Every time I feel I’m about to fall again into his trap, that he is so persistent so it must mean he loves me, I read your article. Then I smile and throw his messages away 🙂 Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  62. nam says:

    Hi I meet a guy 3 years ago and he said that he is not married, which is correct because they are not legally married yet, Our relationship created a baby, On my 6 months pregnant he tell me that the another girl what he call a wife is also pregnant and will give birth same as my due date.
    My world turns into something cannot explain, after 2 months of depression I gave birth. AFter that I ask him “what if your wife know about you having another baby?’ what will you do? What if your wife ask you to separate with me and our baby, are you going to separate? He tell me that he will fix this and he can handle. One day the wife know about this , and he call me and he said everything is over for us. No body should know that he is the father, and his telling me that we have many differences and we cannot be together. An he said if they saparate he will not go with me. And even he is single he will not select me either, I just give birth but he give so much pain. Then after few months he said no need to separate because the wife accept it, but even 5 minutes of his time he cannot show up to see the baby. He said that I need to wait because everything will be ok. I ask him for commitment he said he cannot commit, His asking me to give time for his wife, Need more understanding. I already blocked him many times but his keep on coming back. I cannot see the sincerity, the love but until now Why I cannot let him go. Its pain and difficult.

    Like

    • Ms. Ray says:

      Oh my Goddess, Nam — what a terrible, heartbreaking story!

      That you are blocking his phone calls and contact tells me that you are letting him go, but you’re just in the healing process so it doesn’t feel like it.

      You’re right. There is no sincerity. You were used. He is a selfish, egotistical man who lied to his wife, lied to you, and wouldn’t be surprised if there were others, as well. From what you describe here, he is worse than a maneuverer; he is a man who defines his masculinity through conquest and breeding. This is why he won’t let go of you. It’s not about love, but control.

      For you, that beautiful child you brought into the world was out of an act of love and passion. For him, that baby is a trophy and a guarantee that he will have control over you for the rest of your life. He knows you will need his money, and at times, the child will need a father.

      The man you were in love with doesn’t exist. You were in love with someone charming, full of promises, and made you feel special. He is a fantasy. The REAL man you fell in love with is a user, cruel, and weak.

      Your child is lucky to have you as a mother, and I have no doubt that you will find someone who will want to be part of your family. I wish you all the luck and strength in the world!

      Many blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  63. Sonia says:

    This is going to sound ridiculous, but this sounds like a friendship I’m in. Now that’s freaking sad.

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      It IS ridiculous.

      So, if you weren’t you…what would you say to you?

      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

      • Sonia says:

        I would tell “me” that I deserve a friend who would engage in a reciprocal friendship with “me.” And I did. I left.
        That was one month ago and not one day goes by when I don’t want to go crawling back, begging mercy, agreeing to a friendship completely on her terms, giving her 100% control.

        In all fairness, our friendship didn’t start out this way, but the drama of the push-pull- I’m leaving, no stay, now I’ll ignore you, no don’t go, but I’m not going to put any effort in, I can’t do this, well here are my excuses that aren’t 100% true- became highly addictive for both of us.

        I became some I was not, so much in fear of losing “her.” She was never my friend, really. The fear though, outweighed all other senses. It wasn’t until I reached out to her, again, and she responded with lies as to how she was so busy. I didn’t even ask her why she hadn’t reaches out to me, she just offered lies, unprompted.
        I then asked her for a mutual friendship and gave her the option to leave or stay in it. Not 5 minutes later, she unfriended me on Facebook, never explaining herself.

        I went back. All for this woman whom
        I admired and had an instant emotional connection to. To me, she was my mother/sister/best friend wrapped up into one perfect female. I couldn’t leave. Why? Because when would I have another emotional connection like this? It’s only happened once before. So when I read that line in your post above, about “when am I going to meet someone new again?”, I chuckled. It applies to a friend level, too.

        Even after my “friend” walked away, I went crawling back two weeks later. I begged her via a text and voicemail. She stone-walled, giving me the silent treatment.
        I asked her to reconsider her decision, giving her two more weeks while I waited for her to decide what to do with me. Finally, my husband said “this is borderline abusive and this woman is no good. She’s not your mother, sister, or best friend. She’s not even a friend.”
        So rather than give her two weeks, I sent her one final Facebook message, wishing her the best and blocking her on Facebook, to put this behind me.

        Exactly two weeks later, on the day that I gave her to make up her mind, someone resets my Facebook password. I can only assume it was her, as she was the only one that knew that email, but the reason as to why escapes me- it’s not like she could hack my facebook and then into my email. So the reason why she did it (assuming it’s her), escapes me.

        I was a customer at her business. Now word is that she’s telling her superiors all about me, bad things, like I’m not leaving her alone and she’s scared of me. This hurts me so, as I always put her feelings before my own and she knew that. She was by far, in control of me. Now to badmouth me, after I wish you the best and block you on facebook, is beyond me.

        I experienced the fear, the drama, the highs and low of addiction. What I don’t get, is why drag the person back into it, if you really aren’t ever going to be “in it”? This happened multiple times for me. The loving thing to do would be to allow the person to walk away, rather than have them repeat the same process.

        My “friend” controlled everything though, it wasn’t just the dragging me back in. It was all on her terms and I allowed it. I became this puppet, which I usually am not, because of fear.

        So again, not one day goes back after walking away a month ago, that I don’t think about returning. I’m not sure if she would accept me back, although I’m 100% certain that there would be some sort of punishment involved and she’d have even more control.

        She wanted the control, I wanted the connection. Who won?
        She’s missing out on a friend who would have been there unconditionally. Me? I’m not losing much. Still though, I find it funny that this has caused me so much pain. All for this person who isn’t a good match for me in a platonic relationship and treated me poorly.

        I almost feel like I’m going through, would I could only equate to, a drug withdrawl.

        Like

  64. N says:

    Hi Ms. Ray

    So i came across your article and i think it kind of relates to someone I’m having a friendship with. I currently only have eyes for the most beautiful woman alive and i cant read her for the life of me. She has very low self esteem, due to an ex which she cannot get over the things he has done to her. I’ve known her for many years but only currently started seeing her up to 4 times a week going for a drink or movies as she says i make her forget everything happening around her, which is okay i would do it for any friend. I told her about a month ago that i was developing feelings and she told me i dont know what feelings were so she blew me off completely and i decided to end our friendship. Now i am back. On coming back, our jealousy levels have risen, i cant stand seeing her speak to a guy in the club and she cant stand seeing me speak to a girl in the club. I recently started going on dates with another girl to try get out there and this has completely started a war between my friend and i. She told me that i am a typical man that doesn’t listen , that is oblivious to anything she says, but she has not told me she has feelings because whenever i ask she blows me off and says i am a great friend. When we had this fight she told me she was going to leave me and let me get over her because all she ever does is hurt everyone and everything she does is her fault, and i should date whoever i want and hook up with anyone i want and she will go away. While saying this i asked her what is that she wanted from me, and if she just wants me as a friend and nothing more thats what she should say, and her response was: that is what i want…

    I am heartbroken

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      I am so sorry that you’re hurt. However, I hate to say this, but you’re not being maneuvered. She isn’t leading you on and making promises she has no intention of keeping. She’s not depending on you to take care of her. She has made it point blank on a number of occasions that she is not ready and not interested. You really are not paying attention and “oblivious to what she’s saying.”

      You, unfortunately, are in love with a fantasy. You’re in love with the idea of this “most beautiful woman in the world” not this clearly emotionally damaged human being that needs to cope with her pain without hurting others in the process.

      She has made her intentions clear. You are in denial. Your heartbreak and grief is over a woman that does not exist. I am truly sorry.

      There is a blog post here called “Why Doesn’t my BFF Love Me Back.” Take a look at it…might help.

      Best of luck to you.

      Many blessings and strength,
      Ray

      Like

  65. jade says:

    This is the best article I’ve read regarding unrequited love. N trust I’ve read all of them. I finally walked away from the guy I love n won’t commit to me. A year later and still broken promises. This past month all I can think about is the rejection I’ve endured these several months. It hurts to know that he won’t change and I have to let him go. Maybe that’s what I needed in order to move on. My favorite line in this article “real love is mutual real love is fulfilling ” this changed my outlook. If we were meant to be feelings would be mutual . Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  66. ladygraduate says:

    I have just been dumped after a year and 4 months, i met his family, friends, we went on holidays together and spent 4/5/6 times a week together. we spent so much time together, people would say we were in our own world together. it had been the best connection i’d ever had with anyone – i said i love you first and i waited for him to say it back, he did about 6 weeks ago. now out of the blue and just before i was about to meet his grand parents, he says ‘something is missing’ and is crying all the time as he tells me he ‘wishes he’d never said anything, i was perfect, he’d never find anyone as good as me and why was he doing this?’. told me he’d had a break down before it happened and he couldn’t ‘live with this feeling of doubt nagging away at him’. sounded like he wanted to get back together at one point ‘i’m not sure why i’m sabotaging everything for no reason’ but then i extended my olive branch and put my cards on the table, told him i was here and i wanted him back. he says there’s no coming back from this. but keeps wanting to talk to me, talks about getting counselling and he doesn’t want to lose our connection. this has come out of the blue, he didn’t distance himself before, didn’t seem less affection, didn’t stop calling/texting me everyday and made plans for us 2/3 months away for New Year. is this a shock to him too? he is clearly the same profile as the people in the comments/article but i am such a strong woman usually and i feel so weak. if he has depression or a breakdown and has no one to talk to how can i walk away :(?

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      How can you walk away, IF you really want to? Like this:

      “I’m so sorry that you’re going through such a difficult time. I hope you find the help that you need. In the meantime, I need to do the same. I wish you all the love and peace in the world. Take care.”

      Relationships should never be based on pity. As long as you’re in the picture as his emotional crutch, he will not get help. He’s not setting his boundaries, so you need to set yours.

      The red flag you missed was waiting for him to say “I love you” back. If they have to think about it, it’s usually not a good sign.

      I wish you the best,
      Many blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  67. 32wishes says:

    I love this and definitely needed to read this today

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Eleanor says:

    Thank you so much for this excellent post, it is spot on and just what I needed to help my resolve. A few days ago I dumped a guy after a about a month of passionate but mixed messages and confusion. From his response and messages since, it’s clear he thinks I’m not going to be able to resist him and will cave in when we see each other again socially. What he doesn’t realise is that my eyes are open now and I recognise both of our unhealthy behaviours. Although I’m really disappointed and still crave him, I know I’m worth more and have learnt a lot from this. Thanks again.

    Like

  69. Jamie says:

    I think everyone on here needs to read up on DISMISSIVE AVOIDANT ATTACHMENT. Sounds like many of the manueverers fit that bill.
    And if you’re obsessed with this man or woman who won’t commit but won’t let you go, you may just be ANXIOUS PREOCCUPIED attachment person.

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      I do not believe that any professional psychotherapist, no matter how talented or renowned, would be able to make such bold diagnosis from a few words on a screen.

      Be careful with generalizations and boxes, my friend. Once you’re inside, it’s difficult to climb out…

      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  70. Jespek says:

    Thank you so much for this article. Every word resonates with my exact situation. All of it I knew deep down but was holding on to “MICRO MEMORIES” or the crumbs he was throwing me every time he reeled me back in. Now that I’m not contacting him he is chasing me for the first time & trying to make me feel guilty for moving on, after reading all the comments and responses I see now that he’s just trying to regain control.
    Also the part “love doesn’t ask why or when” really made me realize I’m not in love but addicted. Reading your article has given me confidence that I’m making the right decision moving on and that I will find someone who is willing to give 100% of themselves.
    It’s his loss, not mine!!!!

    Like

  71. Runningman says:

    After 2 years of being with a woman who cannot show emotional or feelings, does not say I love you (other than for the first couple of months), Having been threatened that she would walk away numerous times when things were a little tricky (designed to keep me keen, scared of her leaving and under her control), having caught her out on talking to other men (that she subsequently lied about and I was made to feel SO guilty for accusing her), having got engaged anyway and moved in together and helped her out of her financial difficulties whilst making mine worse(!) because I convinced myself it would improve the situation (it didn’t), having gone through a near breakdown trying to appease and please someone who gives out no affection and only crumbs of what she thinks is “love”, having now been told that she is depressed and living with me is the cause, I have finally decided enough is enough. She says that she still wants me (actually she said “I don’t want anyone else” which is slightly different!!) but cannot live with me and thinks we could work living apart. I need to get away for my own sanity…This article hit home in so many ways especially:

    1 – “I only like/love bits and pieces of you, so if I don’t get too close I don’t have to deal with anything I don’t like.”

    2 – “I’m not totally sure about what I want, so I want you to just stay available to me and put your needs on hold until I make up my mind.”

    3 – “I know you want a commitment, but I don’t. I figure if I keep you at just a distance, you’ll be satisfied with the little bit of me I’m willing to give you instead of losing me altogether.”

    So easy to be taken in and fooled and taken me so long to figure out what was going on. Resent all the time I have wasted on this person. It’s not real love – they wouldn’t treat me this way if it was. 😦

    Like

  72. Max says:

    Thanks for this succinct and informative article. You really cut to the chase. Maneuverers can be so seductive that it’s hard not to get attached. By the time they start to reveal their real selves, we’ve often begun to believe there’s something real going on and that there is a rationale for the manipulation, distancing, silence, game playing. And it can be anything real or imagined or manufactured. It just has to convince you or you have to convince yourself that there’s a good reason for the other person’s abuse, that it’s temporary and will get better and you can fix it
    –which you can’t. Or you think that something about you makes them behave this way, so you do handstands trying to out maneuver them just so you can continue the illusion that relationships like this can be healthy, which they can’t. What you have to manipulate to get, you have to manipulate to keep. That’s just too much work and it sucks the life and fun out of the relationship. And you.

    People only improve when they realize their behaviors aren’t working. Either he/she cleans up their act (don’t hold your breath) or when they find you are no longer buying into their drama, they move on. Run like heck from anyone who isn’t consistently there, giving you quality time and instilling a sense of trust and respect between the two of you. You want a partner not a project.

    Like

  73. Tera says:

    This is amazingly helpful. Been stuck in a toxic relationship for 3 years, with all the nasty consequences you can imagine. I do see my part…and I have come to the conclusion that I deserve better than this and only I can make the decision to move forward. To love myself more. Thank you.

    Like

  74. Max says:

    As soon as you figure out that these behaviors have nothing to do with anything you do or do not do, you realize the you are dealing with very dysfunctional people and they will make you dysfunctional. As soon as you disengage, clarity sets in. You no longer feel responsible or compelled to make a twisted situation healthy. You see crazy for what it is and you don’t think twice, blink twice, or feel any regrets about walking away.

    Like

  75. Katherine says:

    Omygosh, I was in pain from this type of relationship so I googled what was happening…my eyes cross-eyed with confusion as to why I feel traumatized by this “love” of mine-or absent love , or whatever it is…it is not love…I found you and your blog, and I am going to bookmark this and start uncrossing my eyes. I am really terrified to let go, and I don’t why, because I don’t get much.
    Blessing to you and thank you so much for this ❤

    Like

  76. alicia says:

    THIS WAS THE BEST ARTICLE I HAVE EVER READ! Every last part of it is true.

    Like

  77. Cassie Craft says:

    This is perfect!! I’m going through that now. I’ve been dating my now ex boyfriend for a year starting December of 2014. Well ldecember coming on our one year I found out he’s been talking to this girl through Facebook messages saying how perfect and beautiful she is and how he’s single and stuff. This has been going on for two months until I found out from the girl messaging me the convo asking if he’s mine. Well I had a breakdown bit was still with him to try and work it out but he still seemed a little distant and literally the day before our one year I talk to him about us and realized there’s no passion and he doesn’t know what he want so I break it off. We were living together and still are because we don’t have enough money to break the lease and get separate apartments. It’s now going on April and he’s been acting like we’re in a relationship and stuff since maybe February. I know he’s holding on to me just incase he doesn’t find anyone better but I’m sure he’s talking around. He always has is phone flipped down, I looked through his wallet and found a condom (we never used them by the way), and one I tripped over his phone charger and unplugged his phone on accident so I went to plug it back bit when I picked up his phone he smacked it from me acting like he was looking at something then plugged it in himself. Like obviously he doesn’t want me to see something. But it still kills me because I just can’t move on from him. He’s had many partners in his life and a lot of girls that are friends but I’m the only girl who’s met his whole family and he still invites me to family events. I can tell he still wants me but he told me that he’s never been ready to commit. Should I wait it out or just completely shut him out. Some days I say to myself I don’t need him or want him because I don’t even trust him but other days I think I remember how it use to be before he talked to her and maybe he will change. I don’t know what to do.

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Dearest Cassie,

      He tells other women that they’re perfect behind your back and SMACKS you — and you “don’t know what to do”?? No, my friend, you know exactly what to do; you even said so in the beginning.

      This guy, from what I can see from your account, is a serious player. He’s made you the front woman for the sake of putting on a good face for his family, which is why he introduced you to them.

      He doesn’t want you, he needs you. You make him look good and you take care of things at home, so you’re useful to him. Period. But, if he wanted you, there’d be a ring on your finger and there sure as hell would not be other women.

      Look at the big picture.

      It’s hard being financially dependent on someone, I get that. But, this is a toxic relationship and you know it. Please get help, get out, and for God/Goddess’ sakes, find a man of taste in the 21st century that doesn’t still use a flip-phone!

      Many blessings )O(
      Ray

      Like

    • Max says:

      As long as you live under the same roof, he is in control. I don’t care if you have to move in with a friend or rent a room somewhere, or toss him out and get a roommate, you must be apart from this man. Secondly, he has shown you numerous times that he can’t be trusted. Listen to yourself:

      “But it still kills me because I just can’t move on from him.” (You are codependent. This is addiction, not love.)
      “He’s had many partners in his life and a lot of girls that are friends but I’m the only girl who’s met his whole family and he still invites me to family events.”
      (He’s been around, so what. Meeting his family is nothing special. You live together. That in itself is supposed to be a committed relationship, but he’s not honest and you can’t trust him. How can that be love. He may put on a face for his family, but he shows you who he is when the family is not there.)
      “I can tell he still wants me but he told me that he’s never been ready to commit. Should I wait it out or just completely shut him out. Some days I say to myself I don’t need him or want him because I don’t even trust him but other days I think I remember how it use to be before he talked to her and maybe he will change.”
      (I can promise you that it will not change. No matter how much you want it to. No matter how many “psychics” tell you it will. Living together is a commitment. So he shares your home and bed, but doesn’t consider that a commitment. How sad for you. You may want him, but what you want is the myth he created to get you emotionally hooked. You do not need him. The sooner you are away from him, the sooner you will recover and be able to move on to greater independence and healthier relationships. At the very least, close the bedroom door and tell him that the two of you will not be sharing a bed. Do not engage in sex with this man. Do not go with him to family gatherings. Do not care if he talks to other women–better he is their problem, not yours. He has you well trained and he doesn’t respect you. The sooner you take back yourself, the better and stronger you will feel and the more control you will have over your own life. Do not look for him to change and do nothing to manipulate the situation thinking that it will bring about change in him. This is about you, not him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Katherine says:

      “I think I remember how it use to be”…I can completely empathize with you Cassie; often, we can get trapped in the memories of how it used to be with someone; those happy , comforting memories have a powerful hold on us and can keep us in something that is toxic, or not good for us in the present ….it almost deludes us to not look at the present situation…I know, because I was doing that-I mean it was so addictive to feel this way…. But you took a step into the present by writing this so be easy on yourself and understand that you must move on for a better future…make space for a man who wants to be with you, who values your feelings, and time. It will take some time, it is a process letting go, but you must do it so that your heart can be open for someone else. It is better to leave someone in the present while you still love them, than to leave them hating them for the past and constantly hate them in the future. Leave him, before you hate him, or you will just end up hating yourself. Love to you

      Liked by 1 person

  78. Max says:

    I again reiterate that this is the absolute best article I’ve read about these types of people. Without tossing out a lot of psycho-babble Ms. Ray has expertly defined a personality type and how those who fall victim to these types of people can see through fog of these dysfunctional relationships enough to extricate themselves with no regrets. Moreover, this article isn’t another of those “how to get him/her back” articles, nor does it attempt to provide guidance on how to out maneuver someone to get them to behave in a way that normal, healthy people do. Relationships with maneuverers suck at even the strongest self esteems and undermine one’s ability to be certain that the other person’s behavior isn’t a reaction to something the victim has done or has failed to do. In the case of consulting a psychic, if more “psychics” would cut to the chase and advise people to run like hell from anyone who isn’t fully present in their lives until such time (if ever) they can behave in reciprocal, healthy ways, perhaps people who have sought out the help of a psychic would be less engaged with these characters–but then again, a lot less money would be made for psychics. People want to hear what they want to hear. In an experiment once, I queried a dozen psychics about a person I’d dated who was clearly a maneuverer. Every single one of them indicated (in one way or another) that he loved me and that he just needed time to get his act together and he’d come back around and our relationship would be as it was in the early stages when he was trying to win me over. The dates kept changing as to when it would happen. I knew it would never happen and I’d gotten to the point where I had lost interest. If I’d still have been vulnerable to this person and taken this advice, who knows how much longer I’d have stuck around waiting for the miracle of his reform. I believe that when a psychic tells someone something, they sometimes really expect it to happen and when it doesnt, it can be devastated. Hence the term, “for entertainment purposes only.” Although, I must admit I have had readings that came true, but never about maneuverers. In summary, thanks for your integrity and for providing real guidance that many resonate with and can believe. If that comes from your psychic abilities, you are the real deal. If it’s just good old solid wisdom, it’s still priceless. Thank you.

    p.s. I’ve really had trouble finding bonafide psychics who can read me, Is anyone real?

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Dearest Max,

      Thank you very much for your review and kind words.

      As for being “real,” for over 35 years as a divinationist, I have nothing to lose or gain being otherwise. If I don’t feel a connection or if my client is not happy with my reading, they don’t pay and I’ll gladly refer them to someone else that can assist them.

      I will give it to you straight, though.

      Write me if you’re interested: msraytarot@gmail.com

      I’d like to try to help!
      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

    • T. Ray says:

      PS — The psychics that led you on weren’t necessarily “wrong” or ingenuine. They are most likely guilty of surfing the strongest energy wave coming from your hopes or his intent, not action. Not saying that there aren’t bullshit artists, but many psychics, especially clairsentients and clairvoyants, have a hard time picking up the objective frequency because many of us are sentimental healers. I wrote about it here on this blog site; the piece is called “Surfin’ Psychic.” Check it out.

      Like

  79. Wow, thank you this is exactly what I’ve been going through and everytime I’ve tried to walk away he’s come back stronger telling me he lost me once and he’s not going to let me go…it’s just exhausting the fact that I gave so much of myself to him unconditionally, loved him and the whole time he could care less as long as he could get what he wanted and do what he wants. this article is wonderful so glad I came across this. I told him more than once and he still refuses I’m going to have to really stand my ground I do deserve better but now I just want to focus solely on me. it’s time to get out and enjoy me again!!

    Like

  80. bruce richardson says:

    i have been dating a girl for 3 years. we both went thru divorces, and are about 3yrs removed from that, but her past was with a very controlling and manipulative person. This created a lot of ups and downs thru our relationship and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions with the highest of highs, but the lowest of lows as well.

    she says she cares for me very very much, but still keeps me and my children from getting involved in her life. I have met her children and she has met mine but she is moving as such a slow speed and is very resistant to move our relationship forward. if she truly cares for me why won’t she make some changes to move our relationship. I feel like all she does it talk about it, but never any action. I really feel like her failsafe or backup plan because I am always there for her.

    I do put her first and treat her like a princess and i love and care for her very deeply, but i am afraid that she can never give me what I need and deserve ever? I keep hoping but 3 years in things have not progressed much if at all.

    She has claimed how she is a broken person and trying to repair herself (thru counseling as well) so she can truly love again and trust in love. I want to believe her but I really want more of a deep meaningful relationship and maybe she just is not capable of that. I really felt like she was “the one” and my soulmate, so i am devastated that I may have to part ways and say goodbye. she is a wonderful and amazing girl, but maybe just such a mess that she can never have the good meaningful relationship again. any advice?

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Hi Bruce!
      That’s quite a situation. My loving advice would be to offer to go to therapy with her. She would see that you are supportive, as well as serious about her well-being.

      If she responds positively, then you’ll know that her intentions to “walk her talk” are true. If not, you may need to consider there may be other mitigating factors at play. Perhaps she may feel your “treating her like a princess” is suffocating and is afraid to say so?

      I do not feel malice from her actions, but if she is not willing to allow you in enough to get help together, I would consider that a red flag.

      I wish you luck!
      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  81. bruce richardson says:

    T. Ray,

    thank you so much for the advice. I will do that. I think she is a genuine and good person as I have known her for over 8 years. I think she is just scared from her past and she is being very cautious if/when she takes the plunge the next time. That being said, I don’t want to sit here and defend all of her actions, because they drive me bonkers sometimes. Patience can be difficult sometimes, but I also know patience in this case may bring me the biggest fulfillment of my life.

    She has been very open with me about her therapy sessions and tells me all about them, so I will give your advice a swing. I will say that because some of the ups and downs I would get a bit insecure and clingy at times and I know these are behaviors I simply must avoid.

    Like

  82. Max says:

    Eight years is a long time to not have known someone and three years is a long time to not have moved forward in a relationship. “I really feel like her failsafe or backup plan because I am always there for her.” Listen to yourself. Would you rather be a priority or an option? It is natural to become insecure and clingy when a person is playing the approach/avoidance game. While counseling is a wonderful thing, are you prepared to wait for her to get her emotional act together and are you certain that if/when she does, she will actually be there for you? My hunch is that the minute she finds someone who will call her on her BS, she will be all over him and you will be left feeling awful. When that person drops her, she’ll be back and if you’re smart, you will have found a healthy relationship. You want a partner, not a project. Think of the fun you could be having with someone who is ready now.

    Like

  83. Bruce says:

    Max,

    thank you very much for your response. I agree, a partner not a project and yes I do deserve to be a priority. I am accepting this realization more and more each day and while this is a tough pill to swallow I need to focus on me and what I need. I only posted out her to get a different perspective from other people, which really helps cuz I am a talker and that helps me work thru things.

    While I think she is a wonderful and amazing girl and we could have a great future, I just need to go my separate way for my own fulfillment and she can do what she needs to in order to get healthy, if she can. If we cross path’s down the road, then sobeit, but I cannot continue this project anymore. We are at just different points in our lives and while we match up well and the chemistry is there, sometimes that just is not enough.

    Like

  84. Max says:

    And chemistry is powerful, but believe me, you will be head over heels when you find someone who is really there for you. Even if the chemistry doesn’t emerge at first, the more comfortable and safe you feel with someone who is really there for you, you will find feelings more profound than you ever had with the other person. Of this I am sure.

    Like

  85. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    I had been single for 18 months when I met my ‘maneuverer’ he’s a colleague and 15 years older. The first time he walked in the room I remember saying to everyone around me ‘he’s a bit of a silver fox’ to which everybody thought I was joking or being crazy. I guess to most at first glance he’s not the most attractive guy in the world and even now I look at him and think yeah maybe he isn’t. Looks aside, he’s a charmer, withing a few weeks of him working on and off he was hovering around me, my colleagues noticed and said ‘wow he’s all over you’ and I was honestly oblivious too it. Anyway, he managed to get my phone number from work paperwork and started texting me, we text for a while, he’d message me reguraly and at first I was a little creeped out, but he carried on and actually he managed to charm me, we went on a date, had an amazing time. He text me afterwards and said I had fun did you? I responded to say that I had. Then low and behold he disappears, then I find out he’s been messaging several other girls at work? One of which who was 16?! The other he was trying to invite out as friends (as she is taken) but that is how he first started to sell it to me.

    It broke me, I actually thought he liked me for me and thought that I was special, so I cut off all ties. I’m not sure how long it was but I knew I couldn’t trust him, the other girls he was messaging cut him off too, they had no interest in him that way at all. Somehow he worked his way back in with me though, I don’t even know how, there’s just something about him. We started texting again, he got a full time place at work, I saw him everyday and everyday he would go out of his way to make conversation with me, to be near me, even if what he had to say was irrelevant work stuff, he just had to be near me. When out on work engagements he’ll make excuses to spend more time with me, let’s grab a coffee, let’s just nip here or there. We went out on a few days out, had a few movie nights and yes we slept together but these meetings were few and far between. 2 days out and 2 movie nights with him in around 4-5 months. Although I would see him at work everyday, some weeks he’s text me when he left, and over the weekend and fairly constant then I wouldn’t hear from him outside of work for weeks and weeks.

    I found out that his ex still texts him, that if she snaps her fingers he runs to her. Even though he knows that she’s playing games, (she has a new partner) even though he swears he would never get back with her. When I found this out, I realised how jealous it made me but I knew what he was like from the start but I just can’t stay away. I realised it was time to cut ties. I told him, I care about you more than I should actually and I know that you don’t. He told me he does care, but he’s not ready for a relationship. We had a huge discussion about it and I told him I couldn’t keep seeing him, it needed to stop. The next day we were at work I tried my best to avoid him, but he tried his hardest to corner me, he kept asking where I was, he came to find me just to make small talk, the following day the same thing, despite the obvious effort I had been making to steer clear of him. I told him I need some space and he replied with a rather blunt ‘no probs’ response.

    The following day, yeah he avoided me and yeah it was awkward, I could still feel him looking at me from across the room. I’m not sure if I am making a mistake in think he is a maneuverer. I mean when he was texting those other girls, he was fresh out of a relationship and no doubt just trying to occupy his mind. When he’s been distant from me, maybe he’s been battling the grief of his break up. I know his ex had a form of mental illness and in the years they were together this must have taken its toll on him so maybe that’s messed him up? Maybe I’m being to harsh in ending it, but he’s hurting me, the times when he is distant I cry, I get angry, I tell myself this is the last time. Then he texts and asks about doing something and suddenly it’s like I’m as happy I have ever been.

    Oh I forgot to mention to, as soon as we are apart (say on holiday from work so zero contact) he texts me, like he misses me. Every single time there’s more than 2 days of us apart. It’s so hard to tell what’s happening, I’m so confused and racked with guilt that I’ve ended him and essentially told him to leave me alone for a little while. Have I been too harsh?

    Sorry for the long old heart to heart I just need somebody to clarify if I’m doing the right thing!

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Hi,

      Not a classic maneuverer, but extremely close — toxic, definitely. I am truly frightened to think what he would have done if you tried to see someone else while he was working his wiles on you…and the other women.

      You know your own answers, that is apparent. Ask yourself if you really have a reason to feel guilty; Did he love you in a way you deserved? Did he give you everything you needed? Did he respect you and care for you? Was he there for you when you needed someone? Would you have considered him a true friend you could always trust, as well as a lover?

      You don’t need clarity. You have plenty of clarity. Read your words again and see for yourself. What I believe you are really looking for is validation.

      You have it.

      Best to you!
      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you, for you’re response.

        I do know, but at the same time I feel I am still battling the part of me that cares. I always see the good in people and I know that I am far too soft when it comes to men, or in fact anyone. This is the first time I have ever taken it upon myself to end any kind of relationship with a man, so I am finding it difficult.

        You’re right he wasn’t there when I needed him, but did he know I needed him? Did he know how much I cared? This is how my mind thinks about it.. But also no, I couldn’t trust him, I doubted things he told me because I know he lies, I’ve seen it first hand, but then when he tells me he has done something or been somewhere he hasn’t I instantly believe him.

        In some ways he did care for me, he took me outcome he bought me things. He would text to say he was worried if he thought I looked down at work. But those times he wasn’t texting me or wanting to spend time with me or cancelling arranged meetings (for things he had lied about doing) no he didn’t respect or care.

        Sorry, I’ve ranted again. I feel like your post has helped me so much even though I broke it off before hand I have gained comfort from your post and the comments of other people who have been in similar situations. Your response again has raised more thoughts and things to ponder and I thank you for being so supportive and helping me as a complete stranger.

        You’re right I know I do but I’m having an internal battle at the moment.

        Thank you for your support.

        Like

      • T. Ray says:

        Okay, I usually don’t respond twice, but I feel very strongly about this.

        You are stuck between what is REALLY him and the idea you have of him, or rather his potential. You have no problem letting go of HIM, you’re having a problem letting go of the fantasy, the “what if’s.”

        This is a point I tried very hard to drive in my post. You have to distinguish the difference between the reality and your dreams.

        You’re doing the micro-memory thing. You’re doing the “what if” thing. You’re doing the “but, but” thing. No — there is no but! There is no “what if!” There is only the big picture.

        He wanted you the way he wanted you when he wanted you how he wanted you and he did not give a shit about what you wanted. Period.

        You were a NUMBER. His ex came first. He was playing the same game with other women at the same time he was playing you. PERIOD. There is no “what if.” This is fact. This is truth.

        There is good in everyone. But, if you harp on the potential and not the reality, this is how you get your heart broken. This is how you get abused.

        I would like you to watch this, please: https://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave?language=en

        Listen to her story. Listen to what happened when she had that “internal battle.”

        I’m very glad I, among these amazing readers and brave commenters, have been able to give you some support. No one has to go through life alone.

        You’ll be alright. 🙂

        Like

  86. Tammy says:

    Thank you so much! ! My ex has fooled around with others, even sent nasty pics. Turned around and says sorry. Wants to come home, but won’t commit to be and won’t be intimate. .just wants the comfort, love and care that I give. I realized I get nothing in return, but the little bits and pieces. I’m so over that. I’ve described myself as an addict, so reading this really hit home. I deserve so much more. I’m ready for a real relationship that is mutual. I can’t wait to experience it. Knowledge is power and this article, along with me opening my own eyes to what I’ve been in denial about, really gave me what I needed. Thank you! Wish me luck. . I’d rather chance the fear and pain of breaking things off for a chance at real true love than to remain like this in an emotionally abusive relationship.

    Like

  87. Tah says:

    Ya the ugly truth…….. they will never change!!! 10+ yrs and still the same….what not have I done….. i travelled all the way to uk from bangladesh just to meet him…..excuses after excuses……I finally gave up!!! Cant hurt myself nemore…..And um happy…everytime I feel like going bk to him… I read this article…. really effective. …. thnk uuuuuu

    Like

  88. Aaron says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been a habitual maneuverer and I feel we need to be defended to some extent.

    Believe me when I say that I don’t want to be one. I want to be normal like everybody else. I had a good childhood, supportive family but I could never find a woman to date me until my mid-20’s. After that, I passed up numerous good relationships and good women (some of which I regret.) Whatever I do to women, I don’t intend to hurt them even though I know I do. It’s a combination of attraction and addiction to the person tied with fear and insecurity about not finding anybody else to like me. I’ve gone to numerous therapists. Nothing really helped. My mind would bounce back and forth between wanting to be with a woman for life and not wanting to see her ever again (within seconds.) It’s so hard to handle and it can almost drive one insane. I would see all sides based on family pressure, societal expectations, my own heart, my brain, her heart, her mind, and so I could never decide on a direction to stick to. I never want to disappoint anybody so I ended up disappointing everybody.

    I take a little bit of offense to maneuvering being called an art. It’s not done consciously or with the intent of manipulating anybody. I want to be a good person, and ironically I feel I am a genuine good person in every other aspect of my life with family, friends, business, etc…. I don’t think most others who do this are malicious, (which I understand doesn’t make matters any better for the victim.)

    Today, (and thanks partially to the wording in the post, “It is a merciless act of cowardice and selfishness of one lover towards another, beyond teasing,”) I decided to commit to a woman I’ve been doing this to for 3 years. I have anxiety and my stomach is in knots but I also experienced similar feelings when we were apart. I know we have something special yet I always found faults to justify why I shouldn’t be with her. That gave me an internal ‘license’ to keep looking. That’s wrong, and I knew it, but it’s almost like I couldn’t help it. Looking for the next good option can be addictive like drugs are to some people.

    I just thought I should explain the other side of these situations. Not that it’s a valid excuse but it’s more of a mental illness than an intent to destroy lives or want to control people. I don’t know if I can fix it but I’m going to try as hard as I can.

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Hi, Aaron!

      I thank you so much for bringing a different dish to the table. And I cannot tell you how beautiful it is to read that you’re rising to your challenges and working through your issues. I am so very touched that I was able to help and I thank you for sharing that with me!

      As for anxiety, I understand that little monster very well, better than I’d like to, in fact. So, I can certainly sympathize…

      …to a point.

      Much abuse is caused by mental illness or emotional damage, aside from malice. Usually there is a cycle in place; the abuser was once abused, who was once abused, who was once abused and so forth. Domestic violence can be caused by addiction, PTSD, an undiagnosed form of autism, personality disorders, etc. But, no matter how you slice it, abuse is abuse. Though I completely understand that you were in no way condoning your own maneuvering behavior, but a spade’s a spade.

      And for many, maneuvering IS an “art,” because they are usually juggling more than one partner, more than one lie, more than one lifestyle, or more than one excuse. But, as for you my friend, I believe that all you needed to get you through before you found your relief was to learn how to communicate. “Hey, you’re really amazing, but I have an anxiety disorder and it may make things difficult. Is this something we can work through together?” or “You know I think you’re one of the most wonderful women in the world, but I’m feeling irrationally afraid right now. Can we talk about it?” rather than, “I can’t do this, but I don’t want to live without you, go away, don’t leave me.” If you’re with the right woman, it would work great majick.

      Your commitment issues or anxiety issues did not fall from the sky. If therapy did not help you, chances are the therapists were unable to get to the root or give you the tools to cope. Regardless, I believe that if one does not change, then one has not done “everything.” Have you tried a new diet? Acupuncture? A physical outlet? An exorcism? A makeover? Medication? Aromatherapy…? List of possibilities really do go on and on. You don’t have to think outside the box — you have to think there is no box.

      There is always a way, especially for a condition that affects over 40 million people in America, alone. You are not alone. Awareness is the biggest step towards healing. I’m really proud of you and you should be very proud of yourself, as well! Best of luck in your new relationship and all things in life. 🙂

      Many blessings!
      Ray

      Like

      • Aaron says:

        And yes, none of my therapists have brought up avoidand/dismissive attachment style or maneuvering or relationship OCD which is what I thought I had and brought up based on web research.

        Like

    • Aaron says:

      Thanks for the comment and the good wishes T. Ray. I guess it is an art from the standpoint that we probably find ways to get better at it but it’s not like it’s a craft we mean to hone because we want to create something beautiful. It’s the finessing of a coping mechanism. What’s weird is that I accept full responsibility after the fact. I don’t deny what I’ve done wrong and haven’t blamed the other person. But that’s not ok. It’s just like saying sorry doesn’t mean it’s ok to have hit somebody. It’s just not ever ok.

      I came across this which really fits and may be helpful to others…
      UNDERSTANDING THE NEEDS OF THE AVOIDANT/DISMISSIVE ATTACHMENT STYLE
      http://the-love-compass.com/2014/03/01/understanding-the-needs-of-the-avoidantdismissive-attachment-style/

      People like me have gotten used to being independent and need some independence but we create mistrust and make our partners have more anxiety and clinginess which seems like it would start a vicious cycle.

      Like

  89. MAX says:

    I do appreciate Aaron’s comment, but I believe he is in the vast minority of people who maneuver. Most of them are so mired in their “art,” that they can’t even see (nor do they want to) the pain and confusion they cause those that fall for them. And all too many are so practiced, that when someone gets wise to them and walks away, they just find someone else and start the whole cycle over. Frankly, I hope that nobody reading Aaron’s post embraces it to the point where they start to expect or believe that the person maneuvering them will come to the realization Aaron has and wait for it to happen–most people do not change because either they aren’t self aware enough to or they don’t want to do the work to make the changes substantive and lasting. I needed counseling to be able to work through the issues that kept me in such a relationship. I have come to believe that notwithstanding clown yoga and aromatherapy, only a good therapist or other mental health professional will be able to help a person who maneuvers work through the issues that lead them to treat other people like crap.

    Like

    • Aaron says:

      I appreciate your comment too but it’s hard to know our intent unless there was a study done to see the percentages. We try to leave relationships so as not to hurt the other person… but then we can’t because in some way we love the other person (which is why we fall for them to begin with.) And when the other person loves us so much and makes us feel good about ourselves (often by enabling our behavior,) it makes it hard to stay away for long.

      Again, no excuses, but mutual weakness and lack of conviction keeps the cycle going.

      Like

  90. MAX says:

    It’s called co-dependence and it isn’t love–it’s addiction. The difference is that the maneuvering person gets to feel good (perhaps because of the power he/she has over the other person) and the person on the other end walks around feeling hurt and jacked around. Real love is based on healthy self esteems and healthy boundaries. I never felt that the person maneuvering me had anything close to love for me. And when I woke up and realized what was happening, I lost all respect for him. It isn’t mutual weakness. It’s one person exploiting the other. Never make the victim at fault in the same way the perpetrator is. People who maneuver are practiced manipulators and most people don’t realize what’s going on until they are well into it.

    Like

    • Tricia says:

      My own manipulator also had psychological problems but he was aware of those and actively manipulated and lied to me on purpose, sometimes on serious issues sometimes to create a better reality. He made demeaning comments to compensate his poor self-esteem, if it wasn’t because I know who I am and stopped him right there at the beginning he would have continued. I think he has damaged people in the past, but he always presented himself as the victim, the poor sensitive guy. When I remember him, the first word that comes to my mind is misery, the second unhappiness, so this is a great reminder of what these people create in your life. I think nobody should be used as a free psychologist in the name of “love”, read emotional use and abuse. My manipulator played his own psychological shortcomings as an a tool to manipulate further, that is, he played with my empathy and sympathy buttons to further raise his self-esteem by trying to manipulate me more. This is normally done by most manipulators. They don’t respect you. They don’t love you. Using another human being’s feelings is degrading and evil no matter the excuse. I don’t care why manipulators manipulate, if they do, you should get out there right there right now, because, if they need psychological attention, you are not a psychologist. At least they would pay a psychologist and treat them with respect. For wasting your emotions, empathy and time and disrespecting you, you get… played around. I am not interested in any manipulator’s reasons at all.

      Like

      • Aaron says:

        Yes, it may be co-dependence but if it’s an addiction, why should such a person be chastised as a bad person any more than a drug addict or alcoholic? The manipulation is what’s needed to feed the addiction. In a way, it’s not personal (although the other person should leave to avoid being hurt further.) Just because a person is aware they have problems, doesn’t mean they can easily fix them or stop them from controlling their actions. When people like maneuverers are told they’re bad people, it probably makes their problem worse because it lowers their self-esteem.

        Like

  91. MAX says:

    Frankly, considering that these people don’t generally care about the self esteems of the people they hurt, if being called out for their behavior lowers their self-esteem, that’s just too bad. I don’t feel sorry for anyone who abuses another either physically or emotionally. Drug and alcohol addiction are diseases and require treatment, but there’s no call to feel sorry for the perpetrator when a drug addict or alcoholic drives under the influence and kills someone, beats their spouse, kid, or an animal, steals from their loved ones, or otherwise engages in unacceptable behavior because they have a problem. These actions are bad and so is the emotional abuse and consequences perpetrated on the victims of maneuverers. I never once heard the manipulative person who tore my life apart, nearly cost me my job, and basically played on my misguided love for him ever apologize for the crap he pulled — not to me, his ex-wife, his child, or the myriad other people he hurt. Even mentioning that he had issues and should seek help would bring on a visceral reaction. So, from the viewpoint of someone who went through this, saw her role in the equation, and got out–if your self esteem is damaged because someone calls you out for being a jerk, it wasn’t that good in the first place and if your problem is worse because of it, that’s on you. Never put the victim and the perpetrator on the same level–that’s like someone shooting someone and asking the person with the bullet in their gut to feel sorry because the gun kicked back and bruised the shooter’s shoulder.

    Like

    • Tricia says:

      Right to the point Max! I totally agree. Use and abuse of other person’s heart, emotions and life is never justificable. i personally know drug addicts, heavy drinkers and people with esteem and psichological issues that have never used or abused any person and have never been active manipulators, said demeaning comments, need to lie upfront or be violent . I have also known others who have and do. Victims and abusers can’t and must not be put at the same level, ever. I personally don’t care about the abusers” needs, feelings or issues. I found that the more I cared the more they consider that to be a weakness to exploit to manipulate you further. And not all manipulators have psychological problems.

      Like

  92. lisa crawford says:

    Just found this today… very interesting and all very true. Me and my partner broke up 8months ago and he started seeing a woman he has worked with for about 15years, within 3months of us breaking up 😕 i was absolutely gutted. But couldnt let go and i clawed and clawed until i made myself very poorly it was a very dark place. I have got better even though he still contacts me and i see him all the time… suppose in a crap way it just gets easier to deal with.. i loved that man so much and gave him everthing i had for 5 years and then he just does this, but actually it boils down to him letting me treat me this way and me too affaid to be on my own. So i have booked myself a holiday in canada and go for a whole month i need to get away and leave this behind me and hopefully when im good with myself ill find a good man. Its been nice to actually write this down. Although i could of wrote about 20 pages of whats happened over the last 8 months.

    Like

  93. Emer McCarthy says:

    You are so right, so much of this struck home.

    Like

  94. alone says:

    Is it my fault?

    Am I the guy maneuvering?

    Am I not capable of an intimate loving relationship?

    I’ve come to that I’m not healthy emotionally or psychologically, but is it only me?

    I’ve not been fully honest or transparent in previous relationships because I had to hide the parts of me that I feared would be rejected if I let go and revealed a layer. So, I played along trying to be the person that someone would love. But, not able to be in a healthy relationship with myself, it was impossible to be with someone else for more than a couple of years at the best. I would always break away…

    And for the last two months I’ve tried to break up with someone I deeply care about and have been with for almost a year, and I’m not able to see clearly if my reasons are from:
    *low self-esteem (I don’t deserve to be with her),
    *care (I’m not able to commit to her wish for marriage and kids, she should be with someone else)
    *fear of enmeshment (she doesn’t want to take care of herself, not fully independent, rely on support)
    *desire for sexual freedom (I’ve not ever felt fully free of shame and guilt around sex, don’t think I can be with just one person for the rest of my life)

    As you can imagine we had a rough time and she left back to her hometown for a month, where she slept with a guy she calls her best friend, said she needed to take care of herself (we had a rough time with sex for the two months before her leaving).

    I still have the image in my head from skyping with her and seeing how she points to her genitals with the message of her going to get some service. I’ve come to realize how deeply it hurts me (and other men) to not be able to deliver sexually and then feeling worthless and impotent.

    That she went with someone and opened up emotionally and sexually with someone else was painful, that she was honest about it before going into it helped me (I think). But how she did things, just cutting me off, frustrated (and maybe angry/revenge) is really difficult for me. I’m afraid if she doesn’t get what she wants she will just cut of and take care of herself as she sees fit.

    She said she needed an emotional break, so she made one, and it did break me apart, I try to look at the good side of it that I now can work on healing (what was already broken) so I’m seeing a therapist and reaching out for help (including here).

    After she made this break I reached out to her, more vulnerable and honest than before. Now she says that this is typical of her relationships of hot/cold that she tries so hard, then let’s go and the guy comes back, then he pulls away and the cycle continues.

    Right now I’m in a lot of pain and I wish to change, I wish there was a pill or an operation to fix me, but realize I have work to do with therapy and it will take time.

    I thank Aaron for his links to the attachment style types, it seems she is the anxious and I am the avoidant, not an easy combo, I don’t know if we are healthy together. Like Aaron I also function well in other aspect of life, and I don’t want to hurt or harm anybody.

    I’m 40 and she is 30 and still rely on support from her parents, she tries to work but have not been stable or financially secure in herself, she talks about how she wants to be in a partnership (I hear dependent) and enjoys that guys pay for her, that she is taken care of.

    I’m so scared of being trapped, manipulated, controlled, and a slave to someone. I know that is not what she wants but… I can’t help but think it. I want to have a healthy relationship, I wish I could commit (I haven’t seen anyone else, I never cheat) but the word commitment just sounds like death or a lifelong jail sentence at the best. I don’t know what she means by commitment, is it only on her terms?

    When she takes charge of her life and pulls away from me, then I find her attractive as a mature independent women, but when she get so needy and jealous that she complains about me staring at girl that I was not attracted to then it’s hell. If I actually see someone I feel sexually attracted to I start to feel bad and shut down my feelings.

    She was going to lunch and dinner with male friends at the beginning of the relationship and thinks it’s normal that they pay, just friends she would say, but she yells at me for being nice to a customer at work thinking we are flirting when I’m just doing customer service, I smile and joke with the male clients as well.

    When we had a rough time she called up a male friend to come over and support her. She had an older male as a client and expressed how she felt safe and taken care of by him, knowing that he would support her if things went bad. She had barely broken up with her ex before she got with me. I usually take a couple of years before I reach out and open up with someone again.

    We both come from very difficult childhoods, we care about each other, but we stir so much pain up.

    I don’t want to be seen as someone who is maneuvering, and I think it takes two to tango. So, I agree that one has to lead and step out, but maybe I’m too attached to the dream of how good it could be to finally be intimate on a deeper level with someone, I’m split between wanting independence and feeling so alone. If we split I think she would get with someone again fast, and I would be alone again for years.

    I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what is good for us, I don’t know what is healthy for me.

    Split between wanting deep intimacy and full freedom, resulting in always feeling alone.

    Like

    • Max says:

      Okay, I’m no psychologist or psychic, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but your e-mail was painful. I can address each point word for word and take up a lot of space here. But since it is late, I will just cut to the chase. Your relationship sounds codependent and dysfunctional. Nowhere is there any mention of how much fun you have together and how you honor and respect each other, integrate your lives, and see a friend, supporter, and ally in this person. Frankly, she sounds like a manipulative, selfish loser who can neither take care of herself emotionally, physically or financially and you worry that she will run to seek “intimacy” in someone else. Friend, you should be doing a zippity-do-da dance as she goes out the door where she can become someone else’s problem. Look, we all play a part in our dysfunctional relationships, but sounds to me like she’s driving you nuts, making you doubt your own stability, and she has no problem leaping into the arms of someone else and rubbing it in your face. Don’t think she doesn’t know what she’s doing or that she doesn’t mean to. She is fully aware of what she’s doing and she’s doing it anyway. Do not make this about you–that there is something wrong with you. Most normal people would react the same. Do not try to save this relationship. Do not believe her moments of independence or good behavior are permanent. Loose this woman. You will feel so much better the day you say to her that you deserve someone who can reciprocate, who supports herself, who is cognizant of your feelings, and works on issues with your rather than jumping into bed with someone else. You will not be alone for years–even if you are, better to be alone and healthy than wrapped up with a crisis queen and feel like a tennis ball bouncing again and again against a wall. Good luck. Lose her, find yourself. Once you get off the crazy train, your life will move in a far better direction.

      Like

  95. Amanda says:

    Exactly what i was going through thank you!

    Like

  96. Doug says:

    Hi, A year ago I met this extremely attractive 22 year old and there was an immediate mutual attraction. I am twice her age (but I still look good). After our first meeting, she was a very aggressive flirter and put in a lot of effort to get my attention. Throughout the year there were many dozen flirting incidents. We talked many times, but she never found much interest in my life and almost never shared personal info about herself. It seemed like she was keeping me at arms length. Every once in awhile I would see her flirt with another man and then I would distance myself from her. But she would always put in an effort to get back into my life. It was not a sexual relationship and she was not interested in money because I am not rich and I never spent a penny on her. What I eventually figured out was that she was not interested in me but was interested in the attention flirting got her. She was chubby and unattractive when she was a teen and the attention made her feel attractive and wanted. I had in-love feelings for her and its been hard for me to move on. I have read your article several times and it has helped me put things into perspective. You are right that “You will never change them. This is who they are” and when I look back there was nothing but “micro-memories” and that I have to “Come to the realization that I am not really in love”. I think that there will probably be a steady stream of men into her life and I feel sorry for the guy that marries her. And even though I experienced this, I am still dumb founded that someone would be so misleading an put in so much effort just to get attention.

    Like

    • Doug says:

      Time has gone by since I posted this and I now know that she has a boy friend and was keeping me around for the attention and maybe as plan B (or plan C, D …Z). Even though I experienced this I find it very hard to believe that someone could be so dishonest. I found that not seeing her helps and when I think of her, I make sure those thoughts of the bad things I experienced. Thanks for your article – it helped me.

      Like

      • T. Ray says:

        Oh Doug, I am so sorry.

        Broken people do damage. I’m truly sorry it had to be your heart this time.

        I am glad I, and hopefully all of these amazing survivors’ testimonies and comments, were able to help a little.

        You will heal and you will love again.

        Blessings,
        Ray

        Like

  97. tahmina says:

    11+ years… and he is still doing the sane

    Like

  98. tahmina says:

    hello ms ray…ur article is going viral….and i believe it has saved many of us lives including mine….what i cudn’t do in 11 years…. i cud it in a sec by just reading ur article…..and every time i feel like talking to him….i just reread ur article……….u should start writing a book…

    Like

  99. Tara says:

    Very well written, something I needed to hear and you said it perfectly! I think we all tell ourselves they will change because of the little special moments they let us have with them. Even if they could change (which is highly unlikely), they aren’t going to do it while they too are stuck in the same toxic cycle of being able use someone who is at their beck and call.

    Like

  100. Doug says:

    This is my last post. I just want to say “THANK YOU” Ms.Ray!!! You shared the lessons you learned from the pain you went thru with us and I benefited from it greatly! I probably read this article more than 20 times and it was always during my darkest hours. The last of my pain went away when I read the article (http://www.thebolde.com/backup-guy-may-smartest-dating-move/) which tells women what a great idea having backup guys is. And that’s what I was, just a backup. Now I understand how completely SELFISH my ex had been to me. I now longer want her and I am glad she is gone. I probably will never come back to this page, so I just want to say thank you so much for the enormous amount of work you put into this page. You helped free me from the worst agony I have ever felt.
    -Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    • T. Ray says:

      Doug,
      First of all, I’m proud of you and I hope you’re proud of yourself, too!
      Second, my heart is truly touched that I was able to help you, but I have no doubt that you would have found your answers one way or another because you were looking for them. Don’t stop looking for answers. Don’t give up on love.
      Last, I was appalled at that horrible article. Thank you for sharing that with me. I made a comment and made it public. I hope that young lady learns her lessons before teaching them.
      Best of luck to you!
      Blessings,
      Ray

      Like

  101. Maxine Hillary says:

    Actually, I wasn’t that appalled by that article. Unless there’s a ring on your finger, there’s no real commitment and when you assume so, you are lining up to get hurt. I make it point never to put all my emotional eggs in one basket after having been true blue to more than one narcissistic SOB who wasn’t there for the long haul. When you only date one person without a commitment and they dump you, you are left picking up the pieces of your life, your heart, sometimes more. I’d never call them back up guys. I’d call them friends who are less than a committed partner and more than a buddy. It can be respectful and beneficial to all. It’s all how you handle it.

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      It promotes using people and trivializes the power of connection.

      If your life and heart are broken into pieces after dating someone who won’t commit to you, you don’t need someone else — nor is it anyone else’s responsibility — to clean up your mess and fix your esteem. Use a therapist, not someone you would be treating the same way you were treated.

      “Do unto others…”

      Like

  102. Katherine says:

    Hello, I do not usually respond to other people besides the author, but Maxine, I am sorry I feel that you are not really in the right to be voicing such opinion on an article that was designed for people who are suffering from relations where they wanted and hoped for something more. Commenting like this on other sites and articles, okay, but people are trying to grieve over the loss of themselves through these type of maneuvering relationships and Ms Ray gave people a venue or vehicle to express their need to heal , not to feel ashamed for wanting commitment. Ms. Rays article dealt with trickery and deception, what you are speaking of -in reference to an article she did not write, is something different-and that’s okay too, I understand what you’re saying, you have been hurt as well and do not want to commit until you are sure. But be mindful of where you are writing this. Support , don’t be condescending.

    Like

  103. Anon says:

    I know it’s been 4 years since you wrote this… But thanks.
    This article helped me… I’ve been suffering from this (It’s not a disease but it’s the only way I could think of to say it lol) for more than 3 years now… I think I’m aware of it by now.
    But I just can’t let go… I don’t know what to do about that… Maybe it’s fear.. Maybe it’s an addiction or maybe even pride… who knows?

    Is there something that could help me.. Just to let go?
    Nowadays it isn’t a big of a deal… I’m pretty fine but she came back once again and I don’t want to fall for that again.

    Thanks!
    Oh… And btw if you wanna “scream” at me from the other side of the keyboard… Just do it :P.
    This is a person-to-person question on the internet… No need to be professional, just reply the way you want to reply, as honest as possible 🙂

    Like

    • T. Ray says:

      Dear Anon,

      Little girl is walking up the mountain and sees a rattlesnake. Snake says, “Oh, little girl, I’m so happy I found you! I somehow got lost — it’s too cold up here and there’s not enough food. If you don’t help me, I’ll surely die.”

      Girl says, “Oh, HELL no! You’re a snake! You’ll bite me!”

      “Oh no no,” says the rattler. “How could I possibly harm the one person who can rescue me? I may be a predator, but I am not unkind. Please…I beg you. I need you! Please help me and I promise no harm will come to you.”

      The little girl thought about it. She thought and thought and decided that all living things deserve a chance — and the snake did seem very sincere. Besides, she figured, why would anyone harm the person who shows them kindness?

      “Oh, Okay,” she says. “I’ll help you.” And she picked up the snake and tucked him under her cloak for warmth and — OW!!!

      She screamed in pain. “Why did you do that?! You promised you wouldn’t bite me, you promised!”

      The snake smirked. “Sweetheart, you knew what I was when you picked me up.”

      You know what she is.

      Best of luck and blessings,
      Ray

      Like

    • Katherine says:

      No need to feel ashamed, I am still in the process of letting go of someone who I really love but is toxic to love. What has happened during the times of return-the truth just became more exposed in ways where I was gutted…you may love the person, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. I hope you let go before you hurt more, or I hope that this time around, maybe she will see your worth. But you need to see your worth before anyone, then the real truth comes out. I suffer too lately, and I am still in this “letting go process”.

      http://tinybuddha.com/blog/loving-someone-isnt-enough-make-work/

      Best to you

      Like

  104. Chelsea Hicks says:

    Wow…you saved my life! Thank You🙏🏽

    Like

  105. Apc says:

    This post was really spot on and it is the exact situation that I have been dealing with for almost 3 years with my guy. It truly is emotionally damaging and I have never had my feelings hurt by any guy as much as him. Whenever I need to get some motivation to just walk away I have to re-read this post. It really helps and I just can’t believe that there are so many people who are “maneuvering”. It hurts my feelings a lot. Thank you for this post again, it really does help.

    Like

  106. Leanne says:

    Omg just hit home so so hard x

    Like

  107. Tam says:

    Great read put everything into perspective for me

    Like

  108. Connie E. BEBO says:

    Exactly, thank You! Best I’ve read on subject!

    Like

  109. Steen says:

    This article was so ON THE MARK for me. It describes exactly the situation I have been living for 3 years now. I especially agree with the part about real love.. “real love is mutual, fulfilling and doesn’t need anything.” It just feels good all around..and that’s what I want and deserve.

    Like

  110. Erin says:

    I needed this and it was an excellent article!

    Like

  111. OMG, I have dated a guy for four months who has pulled all of this and above. I thought he was confused or afraid and put his many road blocks, but he is a 55 y/o gamer! The “I love u’s” and “I miss u’s” fall flat without the actions to back them up. Most recently and not the first time he went on a business trip and I barely heard from him and when I did it was short texts, no emotion, no phone call and lame excuses “too busy to call in meetings”. Backing up before the trip we had three fabulous weeks together and the night prior to him leaving he staged a huge fight. He apologized the next day after he was gone but while on the trip he was back to his old ways of emotionally abusing me! I ghosted him by not replying to his last lame text, deleted our picture and him as a contact on my What’s Ap account and haven’t heard from him since but he’ll be back and I’m done!

    Thank you for opening my eyes as I couldn’t quite put my finger on the emotional roller coaster dating him. As I know he hasn’t really cheated but he prioritizes drinking and hanging out at bars with his guy friends over me on many occasions and littered with more excuses. Yes, he is also drunk most nights and I am glad to be rid of that too!

    You’re the best!!!!!!!

    Like

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