This is a 95% raw conversation Aria and I had with a member of our community. Nina needed to know “why is he ignoring me?” after a breakup.
She had sent him a long text wall explaining her point of view and why an answer is crucial for her well being. James didn’t answer so Aria had the idea of me roleplaying as Nina’s boyfriend to shed light on the situation. Understanding what was going through the mind of a man has proven to be a valuable insight that helped her gain closure and expose some of the common circumstances that can lead to a broken relationship.
Why is he ignoring me?
a case study
Nina: Before I completely unfriended my ex, I saw his Spotify and one day he was listening to “Save You” by Simple Plan, and like I know it’s silly and I do tell it to myself. But like those lyrics make me feel as though he wanted to fix things, and like that’s making me wonder too if I just exaggerated things and I was the reason for the breakup. But then again … If he wanted to, he would have not ignored me for like a week.
To give a little bit of context.
Aria: Oh dear, you’re in a horrible amount of pain right now. Why would he do this to you, why wouldn’t he just give you an answer, that’s the ‘lifeline’ you’re holding on to, isn’t it?
Nina: I don’t think he ever will though.
Aria: I see you’re trying to let go and be aloof while at the same time being desperate for an answer, even just a smidgen of love. “why do I not deserve love?! Why am I getting this pain from him … from guys?!”
Nina: I’m not blaming guys in general at all, just I really don’t know why he doesn’t even try when he always said he cares so much about me.
Aria: So up there, in all that text I can see a deeper side of you. Your real need is for unconditional love. That’s what you truly want. You don’t actually want to unfriend him, you want him to reach out for you and tell you how much he loves you. Would you like to know what he’s thinking? What he’s feeling? It may help you to get closure.
Nina: That’d surely give me all the closure I need but I know that once he decides to stop answering, he won’t turn back on his decision.
Nina: We’ve not talked for like months because of that
Aria: I have a better idea.
One that will hopefully soothe you.
Nina: It’s not the first time that we’ve tried, we dated in like November last year, stopped talking and now we had tried again, what lasted for a month before ending.
I’d love to hear it.
Aria: I nominate Kelham as your temporary pseudo-boyfriend to stand in James’s place. He will answer for James and give you the overt truth of his thoughts and feelings. Both bad and good ones.
Take the lead, Kelham!
how men really feel about it
Kelham: You sent me a bunch of shit. I didn’t want to respond to, and I wouldn’t have if I didn’t feel guilty about it.
Originally I felt angry that you sent that text wall to me. Why am I being criticised right now? After everything I’ve done, I get criticised again?
I forced myself to care for you every time you needed it, both when I felt like it and when I didn’t feel like it … every time.
I love you, but it becomes a job when I am forced to do it.
I didn’t force myself every time, but when I did it crossed my boundaries.
Nina: If I believe that, is it just toxic or a simple misunderstanding?
Nina: Sounding pretty accurate but I’m a bit concerned because it’s your boyfriend and I don’t want to cross any lines.
Aria: “If I believe that, is it just toxic or a simple misunderstanding?”
Translation: I don’t want to be at fault. That would be the most horrible thing that can happen to me. I’m trying to find a way to escape guilt-free from this. Because if I’m guilty it means I don’t deserve love. If you’re guilty it means you’re in debt to give me love.
Kelham: I didn’t want to respond because I feel betrayed. Every criticism I receive is a betrayal. I am being betrayed right now even though I am responding to your message which is accusing me of stuff I’m not proud of.
I’m listening to this song because I feel pain. Above that level of pain is anger, and above that level of anger is a sense of duty to do the right thing by you, as social etiquette requires of me. The pain I feel is due to betrayal. I feel resentment towards you because of that and because of criticism I received during childhood. The anger I have is because I feel like you’ll never listen. I feel like you’ll never be willing to accept my side of the story or care how I feel. The duty I have is to keep you happy and the relationship going.
Nina: Not gonna lie, you’re pretty damn accurate as to what he’d say, is there like a guy’s manual?
Kelham: “Translation: I don’t want to be at fault. That would be the most horrible thing that can happen to me. I’m trying to find a way to escape guilt-free from this. Because if I’m guilty it means I don’t deserve love. If you’re guilty it means you’re in debt to give me love”
I can’t love you by being forced to love you. Being guilted into love actually kills it for me. Being forced into doing what my girlfriend wants chips away at the love I have for you. I want to love you without feeling guilty. I actually want to love you, free of all burden.
Nina: But all I ever asked for is checking up on me and not ignoring me if I send long texts about what is happening with me
Just saw that on a game he used to play, all he’s used recently is sex chatroom so I guess the only part he misses about the relationship is sexting
Aria: Translation: I’m in a whole lot of pain because I need so much love and I feel like it’s so hard to get it. It seems like loving attention is so impossible to get that I’m willing to beg for scraps. I try to explain to you in long and intricate texts how important this is for me and I’m getting nothing. It’s gaslighting to me. It seems absurd that you don’t understand what I need!
Also, I’m trying to find ways why it’s ok for me to see where you’re in the wrong. Maybe this hate will overlap the longing and the attachment and it would make the pain go away.
Nina: “Also, I’m trying to find ways why it’s ok for me to hate you. Maybe this hate will overlap the longing and the attachment and it would make the pain go away.”
Exactly. Before I could well understand why we broke up but this time I feel a lot of hatred.
Kelham: I… when I got into a relationship, I had no idea that the other person would need so much love. I’ve never had this experience before, and I was NOT ready. I’m burning myself out here trying to keep up with the amount of love you need, but I’m running on fumes. I CANT give you what you need!
Also, I’ve never developed my emotions before, and this is overwhelming for me.
Maybe if you go easy on me, if you can teach me and show me the world of emotions then I may be able to improve. Right now though, I don’t trust you.
You’ve already hurt me and I’m afraid to open up to you.
Nina: But guys, see this. You tell someone that you’ve got an illness and that you’re breaking down at night, you expect them to at least say ‘I hope you will be okay’ that’s not too much at all right?
Aria: Translation: You abandoned me at my worst. You were supposed to be there for me, look out for me. I expected that. It’s only proper!
Kelham: I know… I feel guilty, and that guilt makes me less likely to act. I have been running on fumes for months now. I can’t do it anymore.
It was too much for me, so I reverted to my bubble of not caring about anyone. It keeps me safe. Nobody’s criticism can harm me here.
There was a long pause of silence coming from Nina. Having been in this situation myself, I knew what it meant:
Translation: Fuck your bubble! I was dying there!!!!
Kelham: I don’t hear you.
Nina: If all that was true, why didn’t he fucking say, sure seems like gaslighting.
Aria: “I don’t hear you.”
The harder you blame him the more he retracts into himself.
Kelham: Because he is emotionally stunted and doesn’t know what is going on
Aria: That’s how men work
They’re like a scared little deer in the forest, their emotions don’t come out unless they are approached gently, cautiously, patiently.
Meanwhile, the ‘hunter’ is so desperate for some food she’s willing to burn down the forest for even just a glimpse of that deer.
I was there too.
Nina: <3 Thank you guys
Aria: I hope this helped.
Take care sweetheart <3
Nina: It did, thank you so much to both of you
Big thanks to Nina for being willing to disclose her vulnerable situation. May her example reach out to people’s minds and hearts for a better understanding of our relationships and a better life!
Disclaimer: Names have been changed to protect the privacy of Nina and her ex.