Savage Love Letter of the Day: Shitty GF #2


Or maybe the LW could just tell his current GF that he needs to be away from her completely for three weeks just to think things through
"In fact, I fell in love with her the moment I set eyes on her."

I found the problem!
@ 1 - Maybe he did, but Dan ran the letters in the wrong order. They're both Canadian, so who knows?

What, suddenly Canada is riddled with problems?
So. LW, your girl says she can't trust the love is real so she sabotages by hanging out with the old boyfriend. Right. And you believe her. Ok.
Now here's the thing, she's full of shit.
I believe the LW should do himself a favor and get the hell away from this GF. I think he should do himself another favor [perhaps with the help of a professional] and figure out why he is so attracted to women who treat him like shit.

LW, you are the common denominator in these crappy relationships.
The only thing that drives me crazier than an acronym I don't know is an asterisk with no corresponding footnote. GAH!

I had to search for it, too.…
Dysfunction: The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you.…
She is setting you up. You are being put in the position of PROVING TO HER that the love is real, by not allowing her sabotage attempts to work. The way this plays out is, she does something shitty, then throws herself on your mercy with claims about how she fears the love can't be real, so she just has to test it. That leaves you in the position of either A) being the bad guy by telling her this time she's gone too far and it's now time to fuck the fuck off, thereby proving that your love for her wasn't real all along; or B) proving that your love for her is true and real by forgiving her YET AGAIN.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Escalate, spiral, repeat.

Either she is doing this deliberately in order to see whether she can get away with playing you, so she can fuck around with Ex-BF; or she is completely fucked in the head and you will find yourself locked in a relationship and clawing at the walls wishing you could get out.

Get out now, while the getting is good. I would say that it's perfectly legit for you to play the past trauma card right back at her, too. "Sorry, love, but you totally trigger me. For my own sanity, I can't continue this dynamic. Now get out."
You don't fall in love with someone the moment you see them. That's not love. Dude, stop with that shit.
"In fact, I fell in love with her the moment I set eyes on her."

In light of the letter from Friday ("Weaponized Kink"), with the woman whose emotionally abusive ex fell in love with her very quickly and then her successor very quickly, this made me just a bit stabby.

Seriously, dude, dial it back.

Maybe your current girlfriend is a shitty girlfriend,maybe her sabotage is just a self-fulfilling prophecy, or maybe she decided to remain friends with her ex, in which case, you need to trust her and lay off. Attempting to isolate your partner from her friends is the sign of an abuser. If you don't trust her, if you feel "disposable", why are you with her? Maybe you need to end the relationship, try to get your head on straight, and figure out why you fall in love at first sight and then start feeling disposable if she isn't totally devoted to you.
I high-five Alanmt and everyone who said similar stuff.
LW, your second question is puzzling. Why would you ask Dan if your gf is disregarding your feelings when it's obvious to all, that she is. You told her she was hurting your feelings, she didn't stop doing it.. Therefore, disregarding your feelings.
And if you sussed the last gf was cheating on you, or planning to, why did you stay..
I'm sure current gf has other friends she could hang out with, if the old bf is freaking you out so much. Not sure how her being with him means you are disposable, are they still in love or something? What explanation does she give you?
Adult time, LW.
Danielle @11 does note some red flags of an abusive BF. I see:

"I was in a common law relationship with a woman for a little over 4 years."

WTF, in 2015, says "common-law relationship" for something that ended pretty quickly and never produced children? Abusers upgrade their relationships way above their actual status.

"I’m six months into a relationship with a woman I’m madly in love with."

As noted by others, this isn't something a mature adult would say.

"Anytime things between us start getting really good, she gets afraid of getting hurt and pushes me away."

Or is she thinking, "Dude be crazy" and dials it back?

"I work two jobs and rarely get a day off. Lately when I’m at work she’s been spending her days off with her ex-boyfriend"

So he doesn't spend time with the "woman I’m madly in love with" but if she sees another male (no mention of anything inappropriate), he gets upset. Egalitarian partners might want their SOs to contribute financially when money is tight, but abusers often hold the only paying jobs in order to isolate the victim.

Attempting to isolate your partner from their friendS is (generally) a sign of an abuser. There are times when particular "friends" are better off being dropped. And (separate issue) an ex is not the same thing as all of a person's friends.

In this case, I'd say the time she's spending with her ex is just one sign among many that she's not all that into her bf of six months. It doesn't sound to me like she's seriously interested in the relationship and I suspect the LW would be better off without wasting time and money on this lost cause. Given that LW is so busy paying off debt that he rarely has time off, I think a case can be made for not looking for a relationship until the debt's paid off.
@14: WTF uses the term common-law relationship? Everyone in Canada who fills in an income tax return.

If your form 1040 asked you whether you are in a common-law relationship, and you were subject to penalties and interest if you got the answer wrong, you might use the term more yourself. I'm pretty sure the LW is not exaggerating but is saying something pretty specific, which unfortunately gets lost in the translation from Canadian to American.
I should say, *potentially* subject to penalties and interest. No penalty for getting it wrong per se, but if you don't pay enough taxes because you got it wrong, there's the same penalty as for not paying enough taxes for any other reason. And that's far more than enough talk about taxes, sorry for it.
Both relationships sounds riddled with boundary issues. LW - instant love relationships set us up to offer trust to people we don't actually know yet, who may not be worthy of trust. Spend some time getting to know people before you decide to invest your energy into working out a relationship with them. In fact, back up and spend some time alone figuring out what you actually want and have to offer. Figure out why you've stayed so long in relationships that have obvious and serious flaws, and that aren't contributing to your happiness.

As for the theories about abusive relationships - interesting reads. Instant love is a big red flag for abuses of all sorts. Whether he is more the abuser or more the abused, he is putting himself at high risk for such dynamics by getting into relationships without much information or awareness. Get out, now, and wake up. Decide what you want. Decide what is OK with you, and what isn't. Set some boundaries for yourself, and for others. Make better choices.
In more detail: LW, that feeling you get at first sight isn't falling in love, it's wanting to fuck. They're different feelings. Learn to be okay with that.

Ditch the cultural bullshit telling you that you have to love someone to want to fuck them, or vice versa. Seeing someone who's attractive doesn't mean you're in love, it just means you bumped into someone cute. It doesn't mean you should confess your undying love to them, and it doesn't mean you should loan them your credit card. It just means the hormones still work. That's it.

It also doesn't mean you should make them responsible for your emotional well-being.

Love comes with knowledge, not before. I probably felt the same way about my wife, but I didn't love her until later, because--and this is important, so remember it--you can't love someone you don't know.

DTMFA and get your head on straight before the next time you get horny and forget that that's not love.
As others have said, knock it off with the "fell in love the instant I met her" routine. When you engage in this pattern of attachment to people, you set yourself up for being used & abused. The whole tone of your letter suggests you're telegraphing to your partners that you kind of expect to be treated this way: that you don't feel deserving of respect. Get to the root of that so you stop being drawn to these types.

Yes, this is definitely a DTMFA. Your analysis of her self-sabotage routine is probably spot on; figure out why you are attracted to that kind of dysfunction (apply some of those analytical skills to yourself).

Don't know if it's that simple, Mr E.. Just wanting to fuck. I feel the attraction that is instant and strong- like falling in love at first sight- is two people finding someone to hook into. Finding people who set off unresolved, active parts of one's dysfunction. And this guy, falls in love with a type who makes him feel like he's disposable.
If we don't recognise and resolve these unconscious hooks, set in place usually in childhood by our caregivers, then we are attracted to people who act in a similar way, as we over and over again act out these patterns. Trying to heal them. Best to get to know one's hooks, resolve them- and then our attractions
will, hopefully, be towards healthier people.. As we become healthier.
I'm confused. Aren't "yeah" and "no" opposites? I recommend picking one.
@11: "In light of the letter from Friday ("Weaponized Kink"), with the woman whose emotionally abusive ex fell in love with her very quickly and then her successor very quickly, this made me just a bit stabby."

I dont know about that, but the melodramatic ones in love with being in love really make bad decisions for partners, don't they?

I feel like in the enjoyment of letting the feeling wash over them, the "getting to know" period skips a few steps of "is this person nutty like my last nutty and the one before?"

Not victim blaming, but they really need to not run so blindly into things because of how they "love" the person so fast and so much.
@23 - It's trite|cliche, but I believe we all have a certain magnetic attraction to the familial (and familiar) - to the relationship and love dynamics we experience as children. If those are dysfunctional relationships with damaged people, we have a magnetic attraction (instant infatuation and lust) to miserable relationships, which is only weird when viewed from the outside. When healthy people from healthy backgrounds do this with other healthy people, we just think it's good judgement because the end result is good. In fact, we may be misattributing here; it's a bit like being born on third base and thinking you've hit a home run.
Just walk away. You aren't doing yourself any favors. There are hundreds of millions of perfectly nice, dependable women out there who just want to love and be loved back and don't need you to get into pretzels for.

You've got other shit going on in your life, plenty of things to distract yourself with. Get yourself out of debt (or, stay in debt, but drop the two-jobs routine) and you'll have the time and energy to meet someone who actually improves your life.
How old is this guy? 36? Really? All this drama would sound plausible for people in their early 20s. Agree with all the people advising him that he DIDN'T fall in love with her the moment he saw her, and that this is the biggest of his problems. I'm also wondering how old this girl is; sabotaging relationships just as they start to get good is classic post-adolescent behaviour. Perhaps dude just needs to grow up a bit and start dating women his own age.
Had my response all thought out, but @20 said it for me.
I agree with #15. Dump the game player and focus on getting yourself in a good place- pay down the debt so you have the free time to get to know someone and do some introspection/counseling on why you keep ending up in these toxic relationships.
I just came in here to say what @2 said. "In fact, I fell in love with her the moment I set eyes on her." You're 36, man. Slow your roll a little. Get to know someone before you pledge them your heart forever.

Look, I'm comfortable predicting that until you learn how to date people without immediately staking the rest of your life's happiness on a successful relationship with them, you're going to continue to find yourself in these bad places. Dating isn't the process of finding one decent person amidst all the human trash heaps, it's the process of trying out decent people until you find one that you're actually compatible with. It takes more than a decent person to make a relationship work. Slow down. Love at first sight is for teenagers.
Old Crow @16: Thanks for the explanation of "common-law relationship" vis-a-vis Canadian tax law. I didn't know that. Yeah, then I can see the term being in the vernacular.

To my American ears, the term sounds both dated, and, when used, to connote a longer-term relationship with all the aspects of marriage except for the marriage license and ceremony: housing together, co-mingled mortgages and back accounts, children together, presenting to the world as a married couple, etc. If not trying to invoke some legal rights of alimony or child visitation, "living together" would be the casual American term or "domestic partners" (especially pre-marriage equality) for something more serious. In nine US states, there is a threshold based on statutes and case law for "common-law marriage". If met, the couple IS legally married and all rights and responsibilities would apply. i.e. you can't just shack up and expect alimony or child support afterwards. 27 other states used to allow for common-law marriages and no longer do.
You don't have to be Dan Savage to know good advice for this guy. Both women are nut jobs. And by the way, have a look at why these nutjobs are even a temptation for you. Figure that out before you fall in love again. Everyone deserves better than what those two offer.
@29: amazingly awesome advice.
Dash@29, love at first sight maybe just for teenagers.. Trouble is, it doesn't only happen for them.
Dude, get some therapy and figure out why you're such a doormat. Stop letting people walk all over you in the name of "love." And #29 is right. People don't really fall in love the instant they meet someone. That only happens in romcoms. Finally, you're only 6 months into this one. And it's already this messy? Come on.

Get some therapy. Seriously. You'll be a much better person for it.
@David: Canadian provinces have the threshold-based common-law marriage as well. The precise rules vary from province to province but as far as I know it's a thing in all provinces. In my province, my understanding (from newspaper articles) is that the threshold is two years living together and then you're common-law by default. The LW said he'd been in a relationship for four years, so that's more than enough time for it to be a common law marriage in at least some parts of Canada, and if either he or his ex talked to lawyers during the breakup I'd imagine they'd have used the term a lot.
Her exes broke her heart so badly that she's claiming trauma when she sabotages your relationship. So, she's so traumatized by her exes that she hang out with them all time? Listen to Dan's advice, he really hit the nail on the head.
Apply the smell test, Sugar. If it smells like shit, it probably is. Run.
@33: There is no such thing as love at first sight. There just isn't. Attraction at first sight, yes. Lust at first sight, yes. Infatuation at first sight, definitely. Love has to grow.
Fan, people believe it is love..
He believes it is, or was, love at first sight. For him, and obviously many others, it is true for them.
What is love? Which love are we talking about?
@38: As BiDanFan said. It's infatuation at sight. Assuming love on both ends leads to these problems.

@24: That assumes that everyone with a stable background ends up with stable partners and that people with unstable parents end up with unstable partners.

Instead of blaming the fates, i choose to focus on the childish in love with being in love attitude that doesn't even offer the opportunity for the person to question whether this is a "normal" relationship because they've already convinced themselves that the person that only exists in their head is the bestest ever!
@39: "For him, and obviously many others, it is true for them.
What is love? Which love are we talking about?

The sort that exists out of adolescence.
Love.. In its pure sense, is about looking after the other before self. Caring about their happiness, not just one's own.
We can love food, we can love a certain colour or a dress.. The word Love, covers a lot.