Friday, March 10, 2017

Is it me ... or just bad luck?

It's the end of another burgeoning romance.

Have just broken with a gentleman that I've been seeing several days a week for the past couple months and talking with on the phone several times a day.  It was way too soon to call it love, but there was definitely an emotional investment, and I feel that it was mutual, at least to some extent. 

We had no agreement regarding exclusivity but were, in fact, exclusive during the time we dated. We enjoyed each other's company immensely on every occasion and met most of each other's friends and family.

The problem? He has plans to go on a 2-week cruise with his ex-girlfriend four months from now. Even though he has trip insurance that would cover most of any cancellation fees, he doesn't see any reason to cancel because, in his words:

  • The trip was planned before we got together. 
  • We had not advanced to the point of a sexual relationship. 
  • He no longer has a sexual relationship with her.  (Given our extremely advanced ages, this is probably true.) 
  • He and his ex-girlfriend always have a good time traveling together. 
  • The travel agent's husband was the only one other male in the group and if my friend cancelled, so would the travel agent's husband.   (Guilt?)

From my perspective:

  • I couldn't imagine resuming where we left off after he takes a 2-week trip with his ex. 
  • Sex or no sex, a big factor in driving a couple apart is inability to share experiences, and a 2-week trip with his ex would not be a shareable experience. 
  • I was reluctant to invest any more time in a relationship that likely/probably would end in heartbreak. 


  • He dated his ex-girlfriend for six years. They apparently are not particularly congenial on an ongoing basis and break up when one or the other of them becomes intolerably unhappy. 
  • I first met him about nine months ago, during one of those breakups. 
  • They reconciled soon after we met but we exchanged occasional emails and phone calls for the ensuing 6-7 months then started dating about 2 months ago, after he said their relationship was over with, for good. 

The Questions:

  • Am I doing something to present myself as just an acceptable back-up option?  This is the second time this has happened to me. The last breakup occurred when my then-love felt compelled to search for an ex from 40 years ago.  They connected on Facebook.  I broke up with him when he went to Las Vegas to spend a week with her. That proved to be accurate foresight on my part as to the best of my knowledge, he is still with her. 
  • Was I being unreasonable to expect this one to cancel a planned trip with an ex? A friend says that four months is a long way off and that I should have given him more time, but given the history I was fearful that he would reconnect with his ex and that our breakup would then be even more painful.
  • Am I wrong to feel like I would have just been someone's back-up plan? 

What I'm looking for now: Cannot say that I'm devastated over this breakup because of the short amount of time invested, but I am sad because I thought we had something special and that there was potential. Would love to hear some opinions. Men may have a different take on the situation than women.

  • Was the expectation that the planned cruise would be cancelled unreasonable?  
  • Was I wrong to feel like I'd be just a back-up option? 
  • I've never been willing to settle. Should I be now?


Tom K said...

First off on the positive side at least he was truthful and told you about the trip and who he was traveling with.
It appears that he and ex have not come to conclusion about their relationship so you are not being unreasonable about your feelings concerning this.
The fact that they were together six years means they were intimate and possibly still are. Intimacy is an important part of any relationship, age makes no difference.
And if settling means sharing him with his ex then settling wouldn't work.
Let him take his trip if he calls when he returns talk to him and be honest on what you expect if he wants to continue his relationship with you.
If he is unwilling to let the past go then there most likely is no future for you with him.

Zan said...

Thanks for the helpful advice, Tom K. If the situation isn't totally broken already, and I think it is, I'll probably follow your suggestions.