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I think it is very important here to note

Philosophy Over Coffee: The Way of Things

Sometimes you have to let him walk away.

that I always find a way to give the man an option to have the last word

when I need to end things, especially when he has done nothing wrong.

As in the last example, this man did nothing ‘wrong’ at all.

I just have an awareness of what is right or wrong for me, and I know I have to move on.

I gave examples as to why I had a responsibility to move on, mainly because I did not wish to keep him stuck in limbo, which is something many older women can do to a younger man. I would become a perpetrator of sorts, and as an AWARE soul, I cannot do this to another.

So, what I do then, is to find one thing about the man that he already knows to be true about himself, and I use that as a reason that we can’t meet, or that we can’t meet again, which is something they already feel about themselves, anyway, making it more of a reinforcer. I do this to avoid emasculating a man, because when I bring up my issue for why I can’t meet, have sex, or see him again, I can create further issues for the man, and he will become argumentative. However, when you don’t say ANYTHING, it gives the other person a more determined attitude to find a way to see you again.

Let’s go back to C1. The more we talked during the courtship phase, the more he trusted me, and began revealing a host of health problems that I had no way to be emotionally available to carry for him. So, I allowed him to end the conversations, and then did not initiate further contact. If he texted or called a week later, I would engage, but be distant, though friendly. He might say, “We haven’t talked in awhile, so I  thought I’d call and see what you are up to,” and I would answer, “Yes, you are so busy and have so much going on that I’m afraid I might wake you or bother you.” I put the ball back in his court, but don’t encourage him to use me as  his pillow therapist. I am not an enabler. I will not sympathize or encourage his needy behavior.

With S1, as it became clear that his addictions were running his life, I immediately sought closure. So, I called him to the mat an  important issue, knowing it would set him off, but I had to get him to admit to it. He flew into a rage, and I allowed him to, because I knew he needed to be right because he had totally lost his authentic self. The addictions and toxic shame had taken over. When he was done with his texting tirade, I sent him a message explaining my side of things, and ended with “I hope you find peace.” He quipped back, “I am always at peace.”

I knew that just the opposite was true, as deep inside, did he, but it was a way to put the ball in his court, and to allow him to save face. I could have made clear all of my observations, all of the ‘bad’ things about him, but to what end? That is cruel, and again, it makes me a perpetrator to keep this man in a victim role. As you become healthy, then you will have the strength to know you don’t have to ‘win’ every time. You can show sportsmanship. When we hurt, we want everyone else to feel our pain, too.

The bottom line is, as you find your authentic self, you will understand better how to step out of either role, to become neither victim nor perpetrator. You will have a new way to think that will give you better choices in your dating. You will be able to say “No”, with authority and style, and you will know when to walk away. And, eventually, you will know when to stay.