Out of the mouths of men-how walking away can actually make it work

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    I’ve done the walking away 2 times with 2 different men – their behaviors have been different. The first one was with a commit phobe guy and after dating for about 2 years I finally fed up one night and left without much explanation. I guess he was very confused but he didn’t pursue me. He asked to meet up like every 6 months for casual lunch which I went but he never pursued me and offered to commit. It’s been like 7 years and he’s still a commit phobe.
    The second time is pretty recent. I left my husband who cheated and became someone I didn’t recognize, after the relationship got really toxic. Recently he’s been pursuing me wanting me back. He’s been doing therapy and other activities that are supposed to help people become healthy, and has cut ties with a bad circle of friends. But that’s all after I really left him. Before that he said he would do these things and never actually did. I tried to get to him in various ways before but he didn’t take me seriously then.
    I can say that though both times I left with intention of really walking away. I never expected them to or hoped my walking away would trigger them to want me more or anything.



    Thankyou ladies for you support.

    Although I am hoping he will contact me, I am very serious about this. It took me 4 months to build up to this. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. Especially when he told me I was his soul mate. I am having good and bad moments, but I am keeping busy and I know I will not cave in.



    I believe this is so true that you must show that you will walk. I had a very long term relationship with a man who would do anything for me and bent over backwards to please me. After that ended I started seeing a very busy man who is more self focused so I don’t know how to handle it when he wasn’t making me a priority. He wasn’t giving me the communication and quality of time that I wanted and this was causing problems about a year and a half into the relationship. I quietly began to envision my life without him and worked on getting comfortable with the idea of being single again. I then told him that it wasn’t going to work because we wanted different things and I ceased all contact. He continued to find reasons to reach out to me Two weeks later he asked to meet and we had a long talk and he agreed to what I needed saying he did not want to lose me. that was about a year ago and since then I have felt so much more at ease in our relationship and he has stepped up.
    I firmly believe this would not have happened if I had not walked away. I feel a different level of respect from him and no more resentment from me.



    Just know this… Walking away is not a ploy to get a man back.

    Just as no contact is not a ploy to get someone back.

    The purpose of both is to get YOURSELF back.

    You have to fix the most important relationship, before you will have success in all your relationships. That relationship is the one you have with YOU.

    You must love, like and respect yourself before you can be with another.

    Tbe reason they may come back (if they are serious & not just messing around) is because they see you valuing yourself and that is so attractive.

    Others value us by how much we value ourselves. We teach people how to treat us by how we act and treat ourselves, and what we allow.

    That’s why they say men love bitches. They don’t really love a bitchy woman, but they do love the independence, strength, self reliance, and self worth of a woman who knows her value. That’s the difference



    My only problem with walking away and it “working” had been that I was serious about it. So when he showed up in my case with an engagement ring, I had to say no, there was no turning back for me. I wish in that case I had exercised my “walking rights” much earlier.



    This is so true. Thanks so much x



    I had totally forgotten about this post I did back in August!! LOL And yes we’re still together and celebrating a year back together in a few weeks!! Love all the comments here. Phillygirl you always have such great insight. No walking away is not a ploy or playing games. You have to really mean it and realize that if you’re not getting what you want then you have to move on and find it somewhere else.

    KateK: We are both lucky that our busy guys stepped up and decided to make us a priority!! I’ve found now that it is so true that people make time for what is important to them. They don’t make excuses. I know what you mean about being so much more at ease and relaxed in the relationship. That is why I hate to see women on here trying to decipher a guy’s mixed signals. They are stressed out and not even enjoying the relationship trying to figure the guy out. I really feel like if you are getting mixed signals from a guy, he’s not that interested. You will know when a man is committed and focused on a relationship. It sounds so simple but that’s how it really works!! And you will know when you have it.



    Timing is definitely crucial. Thinking back to the relationships I ended, I stayed in them entirely too long hoping that things would change. I wasn’t getting what I wanted but I didn’t value my self enough to walk when it was clear things were not going to get better. By the time I was ready to leave, I was done with them and had lost any romantic feelings. Each time they came back and pursued me claiming that they would do whatever I wanted them to do. But in two of the three cases it was too late, the damage had been done. If I had left those relationships earlier, there may have been a chance to get back together and make it work. In the third case, we parted as friends and although he wants to get back together, he still has a lot of work to do before I would even consider it. I’m not waiting around for him and I have moved on but we remain friends.



    I’m with Philly and Kaye that this has to be for real. Not a ploy or a game.

    I didn’t exactly walk away from my husband, but he told me he didn’t want a relationship and so I said “fine, let’s end it”. He changed his mind! He knew 100% I wasn’t just saying it and I genuinely meant it. I really did and I would have walked. He treated me differently from that day forward.



    I think it comes down to intent and sincerity. Guys figure out very quickly when you say something and you have no intention of backing it up with action.

    In fact, this is a required parenting skill. You don’t threaten a punishment or a consequence and fail to follow through. You are better off saying nothing if you don’t mean it, and aren’t serious about taking action.

    Why? Because as humans we all know that words without action mean nothing. We know a doormat when we see one, because they may make a lot of noise (whining, complaining, yelling) but in the end they will DO nothing.

    No one respects a person who yells and screams (or even calmly expresses themselves)saying they won’t tolerate something, yet continues to do so.

    It’s the same thing with needy feelings. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think that you are acting needy. I guarantee you that if you are in a needy state of mind, men can both smell and sense that a mile away!

    So what you do you? You spend the time working on yourself. Get involved in activities, cultivate friendships outside the relationship, have hobbies and passions that are your own, that you can do with or without your BF. The way to successful relationships are to have a truly fulfilling life without a man. They are an addon and a bonus. Not the focus.

    And for any of you that doubt how important it is for a man to feel respected and to fully respect and admire the woman in his life…read male forums and read advice from men. Men equate respect with love. In other words, they can’t have one without the other. Unless they are a complete loser themselves and have no respect for themselves. Please don’t want or accept a guy like that!


    Missy Nicole

    I’m in the early stages of breaking up. It wasn’t because of cheating but other issues we were having, come to think of it it wasn’t that serious to break up at all. Anyway, well we had sex but on my terms now I’m completely walking away. I love him enough to walk away. Hopefully he will realized that what we had was special. To be continued


    Solita mejor

    Will a man that said he doesn’t want a long term relationship and no feelings for me come back? I asked him to stay away from me, to forget about me and not to look for me… I think he is gone…right?



    Solita just think about it. Why would he come back if he has no feelings for you? There would be no reason to. I’m sorry but no, I don’t think he will.



    It’s always worked for me, the problem lately is that I no longer want them when they dare to come back because I move on and I find them walking away extremely unattractive.



    I have not read the comments so maybe I will have more thoughts.

    Anyhow, my BF told me the same thing. First of all, one time before I broke up with him I had almost already did and I saw his shock, he was shocked and told me I did not think you were this strong. Big surprise.

    Secondly when I did really walk and after we got back together after over 3 months one time I asked him how did he know he loved me. He said he knew he loved me because of how much he suffered after I broke up with him, that he had to put away everything that reminded me of him as he could not stand looking at them. Mind you we had never even lived together and I have only been to that apartment once but no matter what city he would visit, if we were there he said even if he had been there thousands of times in his life before he would always remember when he was there with me.

    It is true that men often realize what they had when they lose it.



    lot of the thoughts shared here were insightful.

    -I fully agree that continuing to break up is not a solution, it leads to one of those toxic relationships. That was the reason I told my BF when we got back together that it is his second and last chance and if he messes it up it is over for good. I meant that. This also means that I am not throwing fits although I never did it frequently, did occasionally especially during PMS. It also means not dumping him left and right (this is something I have had to learn) because the second chance was the last I said I would give it so there better be a good reason if I end it because then it is good. I am not going to make a fool of myself as then no, no one will take me seriously. I have never even done a full second round after a complete BU, so this is new to me. Either we can relate to each other differently or there is no point and because we want to continue, we both are more committed to working through issues, which he was really closed off to before.

    -I disagree on patience, being patient is a virtue, being patient is something men appreciate. You have to ask directly in a feminine way for things you want to have but then you only ask it once. No pushing. Patience does not equal settling for less.

    – The two month wait was not true in my case, it took over three months. He did want to get back once after a month but then he fooled with me so that was when he got blocked and while it is true that he started really showing an effort around two months, it took more than a month for me to give him a chance as I was really finished with him at that point.

    -My BF also wanted to take it slower, I was like even slower??? But I really hurt him too. The first month I thought I was getting less than before, it was really making me tense, I did not want an FWB. It took him over a month to really know that he had to put in a very serious effort because he too wanted long-term but wanted to make sure he can do that. From that point on he has done a lot more than during the first round and things have been entirely different. Men are slow with commitment of any form, even commitment inside them and that has to be decided inside first.

    -It is very true that walking away as a manipulation tactic never works. Men sense it and hate it too. They also sense when you are really gone. When I was emotionally gone, fully closed it in me that was when my BF freaked and he must have sensed it. I also walked away with the intention to really walk, as much as I had loved him, I hated him behaving the way he did at the end and did not like the person he became at all. I thought that I had loved someone that never existed. I think this also really hurt him because he always wanted to show me his best side as I inspired him and he thought of me as someone who was a very good person and he said that he could not live with himself if I thought of him badly because there are people whose opinion does not matter to him but mine really did.



    #And for any of you that doubt how important it is for a man to feel respected and to fully respect and admire the woman in his life…read male forums and read advice from men. Men equate respect with love#

    Like many others have remarked, I, too have learned an enormous amount about men in terms of how they view dating and relationships etc. from reading this site. On another forum I pop into now and again, I find the difference between the male and female perspectives in response to the same dating/RL dilemma quite remarkable. Invariably the former virtually mirror what I’ve learned (about men) on this site, while those of the females-albeit far less experienced than the ladies here-demonstrate far less understanding of the opposite sex and how they ‘operate’ and respond in general. So yes, respect and the ability to make their women happy rank very highly on their agendas, something some of the women there cant seem to get their heads around.

    Kaye-I enjoyed reading about your own personal experience and glad to hear things are working out for you!



    Hi everyone,
    This is all very new to me but I have read some of the existing posts on here and found it really helpful and also saw the great advice and experiences some of you share so I thought I would give it a go.
    I started dating someone I met online although I know how seedy many will consider this it was not like that at all. We spent a lot of time getting to know one another prior to meeting and knew it was going great straight away.
    We became inseparable pretty quickly and there was no reason for us to not work out I saw no red flags at all. It seemed to naturally progress where we got very involved in each other’s lives. 2 months in he started to act very strange we had a situation which he seemed to use as an excuse. Constantly saying he’s confused about what he wants yet can’t let go, I’m the best thing to happen to him etc yet wouldn’t see me. His excuses just weren’t adding up.
    Eventually we got to the point when he told me his ex (a co worker) had come back after previously leaving with no explanation and he has feelings for her. (Still saying he has feelings for me as far as loves me) therefore wouldn’t be fair for our relationship to continue atm.
    I know this is wrong and I ended it saying I wanted no part in this calling him out on all his lies over the previous few weeks to which there was no response other then self pity.
    I have stayed away almost a month but feel as though it is getting no easier. The relationship was perfect and I know a lot of it is the manipulation by saying things to keep me hanging on but I just don’t know how to get over this. It was such a crushing experience leaving me humiliated and just so very lost.
    Do I try to get back in touch for my sanity? So much feels so unresolved the connection even to the end felt too intense for this to be the end.



    Please… DO NOT get back in touch. Forget him. Unfortunately there are at least a couple red flags right off the bat here.

    Online dating isn’t seedy per se, but you have to be really careful, smart, and keep a bit of detachment as you are getting to know someone in any situation. Online can attract even more weirdos or issue laden guys. Many of them are only looking for sex, have attachment issues, or may not even be who they say.

    If he came on very strong right out of the gate..warning sign one. If he was making all kinds of promises and commitments in the first few weeks it almost always means they are going to burn out just as quickly. Either they only like the chase and the rush of excitement, they are using you to get over someone else, they are already in another relationship and are cheating, or they have other issues and just want someone to fill the GF role for a little while until the idea of true commitment freaks them out a couple months in, and they bolt. In any of these situations it was never real or going to last.

    That is why it is our role as women to slow and keep the pace to observe, evaluate and determine a man’s true intentions over time. By watching to see if actions and words match. And there is consistency of behaviors. Anytime someone comes on real strong in early stages and professes love before there is sufficient time to truly get to know one another (it takes months and months at the bare minimum to truly see most facets of a person,and really know who they are). A man professing undying love only weeks in, isn’t Iove with you, it’s only lust or infatuation and those things alone do not develop into true love. Only if they are accompanied by a true and deeper understanding of who each of you are at your core, along with mutual respect, common values, ethics, compatibility-not only chemistry… But in key important areas such as opinions on marriage, children, spiritual matters, finances, political views, and communication styles.

    2) You only knew this guy at a surface level (or just below). Two people dont have to see eye to eye on everything, but a real foundation borne of more commonalities (at least regarding important values) must be present.

    Forget him. I don’t think this was ever going anywhere. Focus on the reality here, you really didn’t know this guy half as well as you tried to convince yourself. Now you have an inkling of who he is, and it’s a waste of time and a fantasy you built up. Not reality.

    I’m sorry you are hurt, but take this knowledge you’ve gained and use it as experience for the next attempt (when you heal and feel ready).

    Slow down,truly watch and dont get sucked in so easily. Dating is about peeling back layers and getting to know a person. We don’t really know anyone at month or two, or even at six months. It takes significant time, honest communicating, & a bit of a tough outer shell (while protecting and keeping a soft heart) to weed out the undesirables.

    This was not wasted if you learned something. Experience and hurt are only a waste if we do nothing with the lessons they teach us, and keep repeating the same faulty mindsets and behaviors without making adjustments.

    There were some lessons here. About him, dating, people in general, and yourself. Examine that. It will grow you, if you let it.



    Thanks for sharing all of these stories.

    I started seeing someone about 4 months ago. I have such an amazing time with him, I like him a lot, but he never brought up an exclusive relationship. It always seemed like it would happen, but never did. So I finally asked him directly, and told him honestly how I felt about him (all good stuff) but that I needed to know where he stood. He said he liked me, thought I was wonderful, didn’t want to stop seeing me, but also, didn’t want an exclusive relationship yet with me because he didn’t feel “excited” about it. Maybe in the future, but not now. He also said I was the nicest human being he has ever met. I told him I would see him, exclusively, but not casually. This happened just today. It is so hard to leave, however, how can I stay and just be his friend when I want more? And, be in a casual relationship and “wait”? Both would ruin my self esteem. So, I’m sad, and I’m committed to moving on. Who knows what will happen.



    Annette, you did the right thing. He does not feel “excited” and because of that he does not want exclusivity. What does it mean? He is going to sleep around? 4 months is the time when any decent man would decide one way or another, he wanted to string you along (not yet, you have to work to earn his excitement, you see). Kudos to you for walking away.



    Thank you to all who have shared in this thread. Kaye your experiences and how you had the strength to take the risk of losing the man you love inspires me to take the leap. After all, the most I will lose is a man who loves me when he’s with me, but treats me as if I don’t exist when he isn’t, which is most of the time. As much as I love him and have for 12 years, I am worthy of so much more & it is all waiting for me. Thank you & best wishes to each of you who have shared.


    Walk away guy

    I began having feelings for a close friend. She’d text me all day and we hung out every night. I was awkward because the transition and my deep feelings for her. It didn’t happen. I’m not completely sure why but I’m on day 1 of walking away.
    I’m hoping for the same result. That she misses me and comes back.
    Thank you for sharing. Needed it this morning



    Have just been reading all your stories and felt like sharing mine with you guys.
    So,I met this man one night,6 months ago,he’s a musician and we hit it off straight away. The next day,he asked me on Facebook.That was when it all started. Every morning early,without fail,he would initiate a quick conversation to say hi and then often just leave the conversation with no warning,leaving me wondering where he’d gone. In the beginning,I wasn’t smitten,so it was all very casual,I would be pretty dismissive but he kind of liked that. After 1 month of talking everyday,nothing deep,always him initiating contact,I found out that he had a girlfriend.I was really annoyed at him,even though we weren’t anything,just flirting a bit.He told me that they’d been seperated and had got back together just for their little girl,because when they broke up,she wouldn’t let him see her. We continued talking for two months after that and then he asked me if he could come see me because he needed help with some of his songs in English on his latest album (he’s French and I’m a translator).I said ok.When he got to mine,the chemistry was unreal. We were very close,kept touching one another,hugs,nothing sexual but it was there…6 hours later and I told him I needed to sleep,that he should go home. Letting him go that night was the hardest thing ever,and for him too. We spoke after and I told him the truth,that I’d felt it too but he had a girlfriend and I wasn’t going there,I wasn’t going to become ‘that’ girl. He said that she’d thrown him out,that they kept on fighting,that he wasn’t happy in the relationship and yet he was with me.A week later,he came back and I caved. I’d been on my own for a year now,so I’d missed feeling wanted and loved,and we were just so good together. We slept together and it was beautiful.So connected. That was on the 31st of August.After that,he’d write (never phone) and say ‘hey beautiful’…not much else,and a week later we were supposed to see each other. I was so happy. But he never came and didn’t write to say he wasn’t coming. I got mad and sent him a message saying that it wasn’t ok for him to not let me know that our plans had changed and that I thought it was best if we left it at that.He wrote back giving me another excuse (which are all plausible) and said that he would respect the fact that I didn’t want to continue like this anymore. A week later,not even,he started again,saying hi early in the morning,etc. He would ask me if I was at my place,and if I said yes,why?,thinking he was going to come over,he would just say ‘for no reason,just wondering where you were’.I got so fed up of this behaviour,but as soon as he would push me to my limits,he’d come back saying something so sweet that I fell for it again.Anyhow,to cut a long story short,last night he was supposed to come to my place. I cooked a good meal,cleaned my whole place up,shaved,did my make up…everything to seem effortlessly perfect when he arrived!!!We’d been talking about him coming all weekend and even that morning. I was so looking forwards to finally having him to myself,face to face. And an hour before the rendez vous,he wrote a short messag saying that he could come,that he was really upset but he had a guitar lesson to give,bla bla bla. And something just broke inside of me. He didn’t even reply to me answering him and still hasn’t. So I unfriended him off Facebook which is our biggest form of communication and wrote a small message wishing him the best but just said that this was not doing anything for me anymore.He hasn’t written back…and he probably will,but I need to be strong and stop living this fantasy relationship in my head based on some amazing chemistry,that we all know isn’t love. I am not expecting anything to change,but I will just say this,us girls are suckers for words and we want to believe that the guy we like will see sense and love only us. But guys aren’t as affected by words as us. They are more spur of the moment, visual creatures. If a guy hasn’t manifested that he wants to be with you after 3 months,it’s time to walk away. And stop giving them this tremendous ego boost og being able to keep you hanging,exactly where they want you to be. I sincerely hope that he does miss me and feel lost without having me around,but I am not doing this for him,I’m doing it for me.I will miss having him in my life but when I think about it,I never really did have him in my life,I just grew dependent on something virtual,longing for his attention,accepting every crumb he was willing to throw my way. I’m worth so much more. And the worst thing is,he has very little self confidence himself and yet is an extremely dominant male.I guess Annie Lennox was right,they say the greatest cowards can hurt the most ferociously.I wish you all good luck & strength,know your worth and don’t settle half assed relationships which aren’t really relationships to start off with!A man should treat you like his queen. So accept no less than a king. Peace & love to all you lovely ladies xxxx Emma



    Wow Emma!! Reading your story brought me back 30 years when I was young and in love with a married man 20 years older than me. I would have died for this man and yet I never expected him to leave his wife. I didn’t want a husband, I wanted a lover who worshipped me in bed and that’s what I had. I remember one evening similar to the one you describe, I waited for him in my perfect setting: in a negligee, ready to serve him a candlelight dinner. He never showed and never called. That was the night I knew my heart was in wayyy deeper than I had planned. I tried to stay away from him but he’d always return by giving me that deep, dark stare. Had I been stronger and looked to meet someone who I could be in a real relationship with, I wouldn’t have spent all those years pining after him. Fantasy relationships are simply that – fantasy. We all need and deserve more than that. Best to you.

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