Just Frances

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Slamming doors; breaking hearts

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 15th, 2013 by Frances Ryan.
Tags: widowhood, sad, ego, dating, crazy, confession

It started a couple of years ago. There was a boy. I liked him and I thought he liked me. But he wasn’t willing to commit. He didn’t want me as his girlfriend; he just wanted me as a play toy. So I walked away. Admittedly, I walked away wishing he would fight for me to stay, but he didn’t. And it broke my heart.

But I slowly got over him to the point where I was beginning to accept that this boy I liked didn’t like me back.

Only he knocked on my door a couple of months ago. And I stupidly answered and let him in. Even though I knew it would all end in tears because I liked him so much and he didn’t like me back. Or at least he didn’t like me enough.

But we got on. And I didn’t bring up commitment or the fact that I wanted to be his girlfriend, not just his toy. I figured that if I played it cool, he would just realise that he could never risk me walking away again because he liked me oh-so-very-much. And the only way to keep me would be to commit to me.

Every time I wanted to broach the subject of what he wanted from me, I chickened out. Every time I wanted to invite him to be more “relationship-ish” with me, I chickened out. Instead, we just drank cups of tea and sent daily text messages. On occasion, we’d have lunch or spend a few hours out and about in town together. We were, after all, just friends.

I told myself that he’d come around. I told myself that he would fall in love with me if I didn’t push him.

Then something happened. We didn’t get in a fight, but he did something that upset me. I voiced my upset and said we needed to talk. But instead he asked for time to reflect. There wasn’t a conversation or an explanation, just silence. He never said why he was reflecting. He never said he was confused about what he wanted from me; from us. He just said he needed time.

Only silence breeds uncertainty. And when I asked if he was OK and for him to at least say hello, he simply told me he needed time. No explanation; he just needed to take some time.

So I asked that he tell me if wants to end things with me. Or if he needed to think about how (if?) I fit in his life, I asked if we could at least agree for him to reach out and say hello in a couple of days. Just to let me know he’s still there.

(And, apparently, my attempts to say that I understood and that I was happy for him to have time were misinterpreted. Damn electronic communication!*)

Finally, he came by to talk today. I feared that he was coming by to say he didn’t want to see me, though I allowed myself to hope he was going to swoop me into his arms and tell me that he couldn’t live without me.

Instead, he suggested that I knew all along that he was never going to commit, but that he was perfectly happy with how things had been going before I got mad at him for the way he’d treated me. He didn’t want a commitment with me today any more than he did a year ago and he thought I understood that. Only I didn’t understand how someone could seem to enjoy my company so much yet still not want to be with me. I still don’t understand.

So about 10 minutes after he arrived, I asked him to leave. I asked him to have the decency to understand that his treatment of me was hurtful (even if he didn’t think it should be). I asked him to understand that I want more and I will always want more. I asked him to understand that I felt used. But he refused to accept any of those things.

I walked him to the door with humiliated anger and when he asked if we could at least be friends, I told him to never, ever contact me again.

And then I slammed the door behind him and sobbed. I sobbed and wished that he would fight for me, knowing that he never will.

My heart is broken in a million little pieces because there’s this boy out there who I like so very much, and he doesn’t think I am valuable enough to commit to. He doesn’t think I am important enough to hold on to. He doesn’t think I am worth his energies or his love. Yet he’s perfectly happy to keep me around for entertainment value.

I knew that finding love after Paul died would be difficult, but I never realised that it would hurt so very much. And to be honest, I don’t know that my heart can take the disappointment of failed attempts anymore.

I never realised how very lucky I was when I met Paul: A man who instantly knew my value and worth; a man who couldn’t wait to commit to me; a man who made me feel important and loved every single day.

I know I will never find a replacement for Paul—he’s irreplaceable—but certainly there’s another man out there who will treat me as well as Paul did. A man who will love me with the same passion that I love him? A man who wants to share his entire life and his entire world with me? Isn’t there? Somewhere?

* I admit that much of the problems I’ve had with this boy is due to the difficulties of expressing thought and emotion via electronic communications. I wish I could take all of the misunderstandings away, but it’s too late now and likely wouldn't change the outcome.

Note: I realise that there are two sides to every story. This is my condensed side of the story and I fully admit that the unabridged version would be more than I’d ever want to admit. I made mistakes; he made mistakes. But I have to realise that no matter how many mistakes either of us made, the fact is this: He was never as invested in “us” as I was. I only hope that I can remember that moving forward so that I can remember to never, ever open the door should he knock again. (Even though I know I will. And I hate myself for that!)


I don’t know you but since I found your site I have read almost every story and looked at almost every photo so I will tell you what I think.

You seem like a nice person but you are not attractive and men don’t like htat. Don’t be mad at me for saying that because I don’t think you are ugly you are just not bueatiful. You don’t wear makeup and you don’t make effort on your hair. You look like you walk around looking plain and men want women that are attractive and who wear makeup, do up their hair and wear killer little dresses.

You are also very smart and thats good but men want to be the smart one and men want to be in control. You are one of those women who is to independent and men don’t want that. You might make him look stupid in front of his friends if you know m ore than him.

The good thing is that you are a good writer and that you are funny. I bet that if you had a makeover and bought new clothes and let men lead you would find a new husband easy. This guy just wanted a better looking woman that;s why he just wants to be your friend.

I hope I didn’t upset you I just want to give you a view for what men want. Good luck.

by What men want at 9:55am (GMT) on August 16th, 2013

My first reaction to your comment was to delete it – especially as you opted to use a non-name and a fake email address. But as my comments policy allows for that, I’m going to let your words stand for public viewing.

Whilst I appreciate that you think I am unattractive (or at least, not beautiful) I don’t believe that my looks have or will act as a barrier to me finding love—nor do I feel that my intelligence will prevent me from finding a good guy.

There are more than enough men out there who appreciate a woman who is comfortable enough with her looks to not cover them with spackle, as well as men who are secure enough in their own self to not be intimidated by an intelligent, independent woman.

Plus that, where my looks may fail, I have it on good authority that I’m actually a pretty nice person with a great personality and a good sense of humour. And the right guy for me will appreciate that much more than mascara.

As for the guy in the story above, his lack of ability to commit to me is an issue within his brain and personality and has nothing to do with my looks or intelligence. It’s his loss, though it’s sadly also mine because everything else about him is wonderful(ish) and I’ve lost someone I care for.

As for you, it would seem to me that if you’ve scoured my site you must be intrigued by how awesome I am. But your opinions on what men want? My guess is that the vast majority of the men I know would say you’re wrong. And it’s their opinions that matter to me.

by Just Frances at 11:39am (GMT) on August 16th, 2013

As a man, I would like to say that the first commenter is wrong. You, Dear Frances, are beautiful. Not only are you beautiful in your photographs, but you are beautiful in your words here on Just Frances and you are beautiful in person. As for you being smart, yes, you are. You are extremely intelligent. Some men (like me) find smart women to be a massive turn-on. If I didn’t already have a wife, you would be exactly the kind of woman I’d pursue.

This “boy” you talk about? He certainly is a boy because no “man” would treat you this way. From the sounds of it, he doesn’t deserve to scrub your toilet much less be your boyfriend. I know your heart is breaking, but I promise you a more worthy man (MAN not boy) is out there for you. You are an amazing woman who has so much to offer. Don’t sell yourself short by settling for some idiot who doesn’t realise a good thing.

by Pete at 9:44am (GMT) on August 17th, 2013

Thank you, Pete. for putting words to some of my thoughts.  The first responder is part of the problem.  His attitude and that of like thinkers keep women from becoming all that we are capable of being.  We no longer live in the dark ages where a woman must serve her man.  We want to be equals and stand side by side…not walk two steps behind.  As for the beauty part, he just insulted ALL my girls with one statement.  What a behind the times arse.

Frances, you are worth so much more than the boy will ever be able to understand.  My heart aches for you.  You deserve better.  I love you. xxx

by Mom at 5:56pm (GMT) on August 17th, 2013

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
  And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
  As any she belied with false compare.

And apparently it holds true for women as well as men; thank goodness.

by Ephemera at 10:13pm (GMT) on August 17th, 2013

Thanks, Pete and Mom. As for my appearances, I’ve never claimed to be a cover model, but I do know that I am attractive. Not the best looking woman in the room, but certainly not plain or unattractive. Still… my personality makes up for the lack of makeup! :)

As for the boy, if I’m honest I know that had he wanted to commit to me, it would have been a frustrating relationship because he would let me down over and over again. He really is a good guy, but he isn’t the most reliable of people.

Still (I say realising how stupid I sound) I was willing to give it a chance. After all, he may walk on the ground yet I think my (extreme like, it’s not really love!) is rare.

And, Ephemera, you’ve once again forced me to actually read and understand poetry. I’m mildly familiar with this piece but I’ve never taken the time to pay attention to it. I really must add “learn about poetry” to my list of goals!

by Just Frances at 10:02am (GMT) on August 18th, 2013

Wow, I am stunned. That What Men Want guy is a total idiot. there are just no words. I feel sorry for any women that even KNOW him. Except they probably get a lot of entertainment out of talking about what an idiot he is! Did anyone even read his post? His spelling and grammar are atrocious. Probably the reason he does not want a smart woman. No intelligent woman would want him around. Oh, and he does not need a woman to make him look stupid-he can do that all on his own.

by Ant Elizabeth at 1:57am (GMT) on August 20th, 2013

Wow - what an idiot the first commenter is. I think you are very pretty, and if making an ‘effort’ for men is what counts then it’s a good job I am married and not on the dating scene. I hardly ever wear make-up or wear killer dresses. I sometimes brush my hair if I’m going out - actually I used to be better at that before I was herding a toddler everywhere.

It is so hard dating people who won’t be more transparent about their real feelings, but don’t let it kill all hope of meeting someone who will ‘fit’ in all the right places just for you.

by Lynne at 2:18pm (GMT) on August 20th, 2013

Ant Elizabeth, I had noted the first guy’s spelling and grammar, but figured there was no point in addressing it as he wouldn’t take too kindly to a woman pointing out his errors.

Lynne, it really is hard dating full-stop! I think the worst thing with this guy is that I’ve known him for years and he knew that I was under the impression that things were different than he apparently thought they were. I’ll stop short of saying I feel that he led me on, but I do believe he knew what he was doing and that he was hoping I’d just go along with the status quo.

It’s really my fault for letting him back in my life in the first place. Still, with him now gone, I’ll have more time to find a man more worthy of me! :)

by Just Frances at 3:59pm (GMT) on August 20th, 2013

Whenever someone adopts a nom-de-keyboard such as “What ‘xyz’ wants”, I wonder how long before the trolling starts.  Our first contributor (for want of a term more befitting) has, once again, reinforced this prejudice, and like most of them, has labelled himself with a misnomer.

While it’s true there are men who are more concerned with superficial aspects of potential partners, or are threatened by being outshone by them in one or another aspect, they’re not worthy of consideration.  Petty-minded fools like that are no companion for anyone, let alone someone of your character, intelligence and, yes, natural beauty; though that’s in the eye of the beholder, it’s said, it’s a function of a person’s inner light, their humour, joie de vivre and charm, as much as any physical features (though you’re not lacking there either.)

In terms of the ‘boy’, asymmetric relationships rarely end well, so if his level of commitment was different from yours, better not to pursue it any further than has already happened.  It’s a pity that this will lead (or has led) to an end to the underlying friendship, but if he’s been taking more from it than he’s given, I’d question the value even of that.

You deserve better, and in time will find it.  Patience, I always find, is a particularly elusive virtue, but is the more valuable for it.

by Nick at 5:27pm (GMT) on August 20th, 2013

Thanks, Nick. You are correct in saying that some men do, in fact, go for the superficial looks. And further, you’re right in that those aren’t the men I should waste my energies on.

As for the boy, I am terribly upset to have to walk away from him, but I can’t continue a friendship with someone who treats me the way he always has. He’s not treated me badly (per se) but he’s never truly been a good friend, either. I wish things were different, but they’re not. And I can’t change him or the way he treats me.

Lesson learned. Now I just need to remember it ...

by Just Frances at 8:39pm (GMT) on August 21st, 2013

This breaks my heart because you really deserve to be happy. I hope this boy isn’t the man from your dreams because I keep wishing that your story ends with the two of you falling in love and living happily ever after.

I’m sorry you’re so heartbroken but I’ll send prayers that things turn for you soon.

by Jenn at 1:49pm (GMT) on August 30th, 2013

Thanks, Jenn; I’ll take all the prayers I can get.

The man of my dreams is still an uncertain character. I can’t make out his face and can only feel a presence. Sometimes, I have through that this boy is that man, but I’ve had dreams of this boy independently so I’m not sure.

Regardless, I don’t see our story ending in happily ever after because it would be up to him to make a move to start that process (I recognise that we’d both need to change patterns of behaviour for it to work) and I don’t see him making the move. So now I just need to take the knocks and move on. There’s no sense in pining away for someone who doesn’t care for you! (It’s easier said than done!)

by Just Frances at 3:19pm (GMT) on August 30th, 2013

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