Message Hook





The message – whether in text form or through some other electronic medium – is a tempting and ultimately manipulative tool of ours. During our seduction of you we use it to brilliant effect, peppering your day with these short form billets-doux in order to draw you close to us. The glowing compliments sent through letters glowing on your screen. The tingle, the excitement and the smile to oneself on receipt of this message. They are like so many little gifts, each one waiting to be opened by you and the delight spreading across you face as you read the latest missive that contains our rapturous love for you. Each time one arrives you wonder what it might read and you are never disappointed as we sprinkle our fairy dust over you from afar through the electronic devices we are both connected to. You feel wonderful, savouring that rush of appreciation. It is fantastic and memorable and you never delete them, storing up all these heartfelt tributes and declarations. We know you will keep them and most of all when the misery descends you will sit scrolling back through these text exchanges, evidence of a happier time, remnants of the golden period.

As time advances you begin to expect these messages. It is entirely understandable. You get used to waking and seeing a message waiting for you, more welcome than a cup of tea or coffee being brought to your bed. You anticipate the rush and we do not let you down. The content of the message feeding your desire for love, affection and passion.

This repeated sending of messages is designed to condition you. We want you to equate the arrival of the message with pleasure, with affection and with love. We ingrain it into your routine. The first thing you do on awakening is to reach for your phone on your nightstand and look for our message. This is done to make you frequently check your ‘phone during the day to see if there is a message from you. You experience phantom vibrations when you ‘phone is on silent and in your bag or pocket. You pluck it out and check and feel dismayed as there is no message. Perhaps there is but it is not from us and you being to feel anxious as you await your daily hit. Eventually it arrives and you feel the surge of delight coursing through you as we deliver. Little by little, in accordance with our methodology of salami-slicing you start to focus on the relevant device, waiting for the ping, the buzz and/or the flash of light. You keep glancing at your ‘phone, mind unable to focus on the task in hand. Once that message arrives, you open it, devouring it like a starving man given food after two weeks adrift at sea. You spend more time responding to the messages, checking the ‘phone and cultivating ways to keep the flow of messages going so that it becomes the matter which you focus on the most during the course of your day. You wait, watch, check and keep back and forth beginning to will the ‘phone to buzz and provide that message.

Soon you start to prompt them, messaging us first when you have not heard from us. Once you waited a morning, then an hour and now it has become the first thing you do when you wake up. You see no message from us so you message us. We reply at once and the relief washes over you in an awesome way. But then the reply times elongate and that short space becomes a longer pause, a growing hiatus and this prompts you to message again. Oh we know the messages you will send to try to pretend you are not anxious because you have not heard from us.

“I’m not sure if my message reached you, my ‘phone has been playing up.”

“I am struggling for signal here. Did you get my message?”

“Just wanted to check my message reached you.”

“Don’t worry about responding straight away, I know you are busy.”

“Just wanted to make sure everything is alright, no rush, answer when you can.”

The desperation seeps through the ‘phone, the increasing anguish and anxiety tangible and then we release you from your worries and reply which prompts a flurry or replies, your gratitude evident even though you may not write as such. How the fuel flows and it is all deliberate. We have actively structured our approach so that you become conditioned to act this way. The ‘phone becomes the barometer of your day. Early message received? You can relax and enjoy the next two hours until you start wondering where the next one is. Such power is wielded by us through the simple act of sending you a message and we haven’t even started on using it to devalue you yet.

So often you rely on receiving the message but the irony is, you rarely actually get the message.



  1. This particular guy said that this (sleeping with him) wasn’t the problem. (Because yes, he can talk and I actually asked him, – he is pretty rational and I think truthful — too truthful for my feelings. As I said, I can’t even complain about him.)

    BUT I also believe that men don’t often realize themselves that they are still chasing neanderthals. I have read and thought about that a lot, and it really might be in their genes. Also oxytocin (when present, like, it’s not in psychopaths or autists) works differently in men. :(

    So, I have those theoretical thoughts, but in the moment, I just think, we connect. And it might well be that guys think the same, but afterwards really pull away and it really might be too easy.

    But then again, one hears of long term relationships that have started that way. I’ve had one (with a guy who also never made too much effort ever since). So, I don’t know. This new guy is really nice and feeling and cuddling and then it’s like it had never happened. When I’m with him he doesn’t pull away at all. But he tried to insist that we were friends only (while he wanted to cuddle only).

    I met one or two decent guys who said and also stuck to their words, that they don’t “go all the way” with a woman when they aren’t sure that they will want to keep doing that and stay with them later on, because they think that women expect that and feel connected, and men don’t.

    In short: I neither know how to deal with normal guys, nor with narcs. Hurra.

    I do think it’s the better way to wait and watch them for quite a while. Unfortunately that’s not how I work – I want to feel and connect, and I am well aware that’s not how most men think in the beginning. When I am in the middle of the situaion, I only think of the connection and want to get closer. But I’ll keep trying watching their behaviour and how they act on their words, first. :/

    1. Just saw this one, ava. I feel much the same way you do. And I consider it narcissistic and a massive flaw in a man to want more what they cannot have or to be averse to things they asked for and actively participated in, it is imo a part of being accountable for your actions. Not saying they should be equally interested in someone who likes everyone the same, but you seem plenty particular.

      I am very confident in knowing if I like someone or not without manipulation. I don’t feel inclined to hyper manage the structure of a relationship, I am focused on the content. I do not however want to be disrespected.
      It’s just to me the guy sounds like he’s managing structure, controlling emotions, and making assumptions unnecessarily (that last one might incite some harsh words on my end). I do not like being taken for granted. I feel he’s possibly calculating.
      In addition you can feel he’s attracted to you, which to me makes it more so likely he’s manipulating.

      1. Wow, thank you nunya!
        It is certainly a type of control.
        Yes, I can feel he is attracted to me and likes me, and he said so, too.
        And then come the “but” … AAAHHH noooooo where do I know “conditional” from …. *frustrated look*


        What would he calculate? ?
        He has like … 1 month left in this country (by his own choice). He said clearly, he will leave, he doesn’t WANT to get attached.

        But in a way, I feel, I am not “allowed” to want or demand anything more (by “demand” I mean, like, going out, some activities). When I saw him the last time, he hm … seemed responsible, he didn’t want to do anything but cuddle because I had told him the time before that, that I couldn’t do “more” without some form of … relatiionship, or friendship. But I wanted more and he was reluctant and asked, if it was really ok for me … aaaand … I don’t know, was he just responsible or taking my feelings into account, or is it more like — now I am not “allowed” to protest or expect anything else, as it was my own choice??
        It’s a bit confusing, in this emotional situation.

        He makes me feel so frustrated all the time and he does the minimum which keeps me hanging on.

        And at the moment, he ignores me, and I hate this situation, I hate that I even wonder, and waste my time on it … (did he simply fall asleep, is he working, is he with someone self, did he block any other online activities for the moment because he’s doing god-knows-what online, does he just ignore me, if yes, why … his status on FB is gone.)

        I will ponder more on your words, it’s a very interesting take on the situation and spot-on …

        But what would you do – simply leave the situation altogether, no contact? Wait? Or try talking to him??

        I certainly feel that I am in the weaker position … So you think he wants (more or less) consciously control and that’s why he is this way? He seemed so genuinely kind.

        1. ava, I don’t know either.
          iWhat was bothering me is if he was still having sex and saying the “friends” thing because that literally makes no sense. And I think it is a common narcissist move to maintain a sexual relationship while managing the details, so that’s what was bothering me, but I can’t tell from reading if that’s happened or not.
          The other thing that bothers me is keeping a relationship sexual while delineating what a “formal” relationship looks like. I mean, I get it, the future wife and mother of your children might be wooed more interestingly or committed to more greatly. The timing might be right, one might be more motivated, the chemistry might be high. I don’t know…I don’t really think about these things, I just think about what I want to do and what interests me. But specifically saying you are to do things a certain way, regardless of your needs and interests, bothers me. I can’t quite tell from what you are saying if that’s what he’s doing, but it’s just selfish if that is the case. But if he’s just busy and maybe interested in someone else, it is what it is. If he’s at least loosely concerned about your wellbeing but not wanting to commit to anything, that’s fine and understandable? I don’t see what his leaving has to do with grabbing a beer or taking a walk or whatever. I just don’t like to be managed with rules n stuff for no reason. If he’s lost interest it’s all a moot point anyway? I’d just look out for him attempting to maintain a sexual relationship with you while managing the structure for no reason (by structure I mean a lot of “we do this, not that, you are for this, not that…that is dictating as though you have no thoughts on it).
          But in the end, that’s all just my opinion and what I react to, I don’t know for sure. He could just be a normal dude, but really you should be focused on how you are treated and what you want and what you are ok with. I just think some guys throw in little manipulation traps for no reason (like you said “conditional”) instead of taking things as they go. But being just blown off due to not being interested is different. I think you should just think about what you want and be confident about it, definitely don’t base your emotions on what someone else is feeling or thinking. The other commentors could be right too, he just may not want to talk that much.

          And I agree with SP regarding facebook, I can get obsessive about things, it’s good to just focus on people you want to talk to instead of on what someone else is doing (the negatives). But I dislike FB and may shut off my account again also. Triangulation drives me insane. Ha, I have this guy I have to sign out with when he pops on because he drinks too much and will just show me his dick at some point, so I just ended up taking him off message.

        2. Yes, Facebook is horrible that way. :( That’s why I’d been asking him to meet in person, considering that he lives 10 minutes away!

          Now, storytelling time:
          I met a friend of mine today, and he said, that this guy maybe didn’t want to lead me on and would think that I would assume that if he went for dinner with me that it would mean that our relationship was progressing. While my friend wouldn’t assume that because he has a girlfriend (unfortunately, she is the luckiest girl alive).

          So, I wrote to the guy I’ve been dating (kind of) just that – that he would be wrong to think that way, and that he should just talk to me, and so on. I then also added that if he wants to keep controlling the situation by being this way, and if he kept ignoring my messages (on and off) that I had no choice but to cut him out of my life.

          And then he was suddenly all sweet and talkative, and super nice, and asked me about my job interview, and everything else, and then went on explaining how stressed he was and that he had had a job interview this morning via videocall himself.
          And asked if I would like to go for dinner on Monday, like nothing had ever happened. !
          Explained his plans for the weekend, too, and that he hadn’t asked me for tomorrow because he thought I was on a trip (which had been planned but cancelled due to the weather, which he didn’t know).

          Hot – cold – up – down – …. like I hadn’t had enough rollercoaster rides in my life …

          1. Oh this is more recent? Sometimes when I’m frustrated I just say what I feel and hope for the best. That’s interesting what the friend said, but yeah I hate assumptions, massive peeve for me, I was wondering if anyone else felt that.

          2. Ava101, Those are all red flags. I got the hot cold thing too and even had to Google it because no one had ever done that to me before. It is called ‘intermittent reinforcement.’ Either your guy is a narc and is manipulating you, or he is not interested enough to care how you are feeling about things. Either way, it is time to cut it off and he is leaving anyway. Block him on FB and be done with it.

          3. Hi SMH,
            I’ve had plenty of that before from the exnarc though in a completely different way.
            I Made a red flag / blue flag list today and guess what – the blue side is 1/10th of the red one …. When I take the feelings I am having when I am with him out of the equation there’s nothing there.

          4. Ava, I know it’s hard but it’s better to cut your losses now. I say that from experience not having done that! I was just as confused as you are once but did not find HG until I had already escaped, which was a herculean task. Had I found him sooner, I probably would have been very defensive too yet I also like to think that I would have come to the realization sooner and that my escape would have been much easier. At this point, I am more than a year NC and I do not think I could have done it without this blog.

            The bottom line is that you should not have to ask over and over for what you need from any relationship that is worth keeping.

          5. Agree on the intermittent reinforcement, SMH. I probably at some point would have handed the guy his balls verbally for the assumptions bit, after I slept with him of course because that’s when that spring is sprung typically, but HG says this is just fuel maybe? Besides, they’ll just say a woman telling him he should permanently fuck off and die is a stalker.

          6. Also Nunya Biz, It did not matter one iota what I said to him – through the years I called him a liar, a control freak, everything under the sun, including a psychopath. It was all just fuel. I finally wounded him when I called him a man-baby. That is the one insult I would recommend everyone use if they really want to get rid of their narc :). I did it post-escape, so I was not that attached anymore. I then got a silent treatment in return and blew up – I really went to town.

          7. I think thst you are all right.
            I atill wonder why it doesn’t register in my brain … and why I don’t see that he gives me precisely nothing.
            And then again there are the memories of the hours with him which are the opposite. Maybe you’re right that these moments have hooked my brain chemicals.

          8. Ava, The memories of the hours with him are part of the intermittent reinforcement. He gives and he takes away, then he gives again, which is a relief, and then he takes again. It is an endless cycle. Mine had such a serious case of approach/avoidance that it did not matter what I wanted – even when I wanted exactly what he said he wanted, he would then switch and want the opposite. It’s not what any kind of relationship with anyone, even a friend, should be about.

            Nunya Biz, It did start pretty quickly after I slept with him. I did recognize it for what it was at first – I called it ‘controlling’ – and I left him. But that was only the first of the five times that I left him.

          9. The one I have issue with I am very attracted to but has done all similar. Sometimes I think “what’s the harm?”
            But he is all projections, mirrors and shelving, triangulating. I’m not in love with him, but he wants me to be I think (not so he could do anything about it, mind you). I only say I’d have verbally insulted him because I’m not always restrained in that way, I can be impulsive, and assumptions really are a trigger for me, but also a red flag.

          10. SMH, I like that the insult he responded to was sort of validated as correct by his response. Kinda funny.
            I think I have a knack for wounding insults and I can get pretty personal, but mainly I think they have to relate to the narc’s facade while being true. Yours apparently viewed himself as a mature man, which clearly he had parts of him that were not.

          11. Nunya Biz, Exactly! Totally immature. Overreacting to perceived slights also fits the narc profile to a T. That is when I became convinced that MRN was a narc and found HG. Similarly, when I told him he had a personality disorder he deflected and blameshifted, which also validated my observation. To this day, I laugh at the man-baby thing (in fact, it is part of the reason why I am SMH). Nothing mattered until I inadvertently wounded him with a mild tease.

            It did make me think though that he must have daddy problems and perhaps that’s where the NPD comes from. Someone told him growing up to ‘man up,’ ‘don’t be such a baby,’ ‘stop acting like a girl,’ and all the things that get said to boys to turn them into ‘men.’

          12. Ugh…I was thinking about that too. And that’s probably the thing that sucks me in, it makes me feel protective when a man has issues like that.
            The whole thing sucks.

          13. Nunya Biz, It does suck. Of course I would not have teased him like that had I had the slightest idea but I did not and the tease was meant to be affectionate. He knew that I knew little about his childhood. He had never mentioned his father to me at all. A mature man would not have taken it so personally, but rather would have perhaps responded that it made him uncomfortable or something, or at least would have later explained. But because MRN is a narc, he couldn’t do that – his narc defenses instinctively went up.

            I apologized several times but I also told him that his reaction was completely over the top and the real reason I left him was because of his shitty behavior, not because it was an affair, which is what I had first told him.

          14. It’s not like the “intermittant reinforcement” (or what was the term) I had with my lovely exnarc.
            It’s not like that.

            But there is one thing that makes me alarmed, and that is his lack of emotional reaction to my over(?)-reactions. He just stays calm and nice and then gives in, most of the time.

            But there might be other personality times with a litte …. too flat emotions?

            Yes, I am trying to stay away and will look for someone who also gives me something. Or stay away from them all.

      2. It’s over now anyways, I’ve just lost it, overtired as I am.
        And I think you’re right about the control / manipulation. Seeing how far he can go, and how much he can tell me what not to do / say / want.

        This sounds ridiculous, but not to an exhausted person who had simply wanted to hear that someone would keep their word:

        His FB status was hidden this evening, so I TRIED not to think too much of it. I logged out to go peacefully to sleep. But I saw that I had a message (from a lady friend as it turned out), which is why I logged in again. Saw that “he” was online, and when I opened our chat in the messenger view, it said the same “active”. Aaaand: — gone —
        My messages to him marked as unread. Those were a reminder that we would have had a date earlier this week, and of his promise of dinner.

        Empathy: I had thought so at first, he told me like he wanted a bunny, and loves animals. I had thought that he was extremely nice and caring. Doesn’t bestow that on me much currently, though. :/
        He mentioned that last time I saw him, he said “you’re an empath, too, right”? (like our friends). I had asked him why he mentioned it, and he said, because many vegans were.

        I had meant to ask him about that next time I saw him … which isn’t happening. Ah, I feel so out of control, you’re right.

        1. Ava101, I just read your comment. Stay out of Facebook or you will go crazy. I’ve been deactivated for a year and cannot be happier. When I escaped the narc, he started to punish me by triangulating with another supply that was a mutual facebook friend. I didn’t talk to him anymore but could still see his activity. He was online exactly when she was online sometimes at 4 in the morning, when I got online he left. Only to come back again while she did the same etc. I wanted to kill them both, got so so angry and hurt. Until I got tired of this shit and shut down my account. Don’t let him play with your mind, be better than him and show him you don’t give a shit. I know how it hurts, I’ve been there. 😘

    2. Well, so, I have talked with two empath friends about that guy, they say, he’s reaaaaally introvert, so they don’t really know what’s going on inside of him. He had had a closer friend than them, who has left this place, but even he hadn’t know a lot of things going on, so – lack of communication is maybe a trait of him, and not just sth towards me.

      They also said that they know that in the past, he had taken his ex relationship very, very seriously. And that they can’t imagine that he’s just using me.
      They also say that he is really under a lot of pressure right now, he’s fucked up his thesis so to speak, – almost, and having several job interviews all over Europe. :/
      They also said when we were all together, he had had only eyes for me and seemed to really like me, and they couldn’t think why he would have gone off me.

      So maybe he actually was thinking MORE about it all in serious terms, than me, who wanted to enjoy getting to know him.

      Agree that when it’s too fast for himself, so, he should have thought about that beforehand, granted.

      Wrote him that, also that I don’t want to lose him altogether because of his stupidity and all, and that led to his reply and explanations about stress he’s having.

      So much for the daily soap, I’m going to think about all of your comments later more. And am thinking about what to say to him or ask him about on monday.
      Thank you!!!

      I saw the baby swans today with my two friends, soooo cuuuuute, trying to climb on their mother’s back when the river got too fast, they were drifting away …. aweeeee soooo fluffy!! ;)

  2. HG , I’m just curious about something that cropped up here .
    SM doesn’t know about you or your blog etc ,but has it ever happened that one of your exes could eventually find their way here.
    With the blog they would be none the wiser but with Instagram I’m not so sure , lots of very screw Ladies in the world HG.
    Just asking


  3. I would like your diagnosis, please.

    I met a guy about 3 weeks ago by the name of Tudor. (Yes, seriously. *lol*) I liked him right away, and he was the same. Next day, I chatted with him on Facebook but I had to do all the work so eventually stopped. It took him 5 days to get back to me. I was chatting at the exact same time with our mutual friend, his colleage, about an event coming Sunday, so I asked him if he wanted to come. He said “yes” immediately,, and showed up on Sunday, radiating smile at me from afar, didn’t move from my side all day, was very attentive and nice and all.
    When we left our friends around midnight, I asked him to go dancing, and we did. Anyways, he took me home with him … and then said the next day that he doesn’t WANT to get attached, or me to him, … He wants to leave the country in about 1 month (though not clear where).

    I took him 3 days again to get back to me, but never asked me out. … when i asked him thursday night he then agreed immediately to meet saturday after that … but I had to force him to actually do something together .. though he cooked for me …

    And then repeat, … when I wanted to see him, he said always yes right away, and was just lovely. Then said last Saturday that he did not not like me, that there was attraction and chemistry .. but he wasn’t in love and he would leave soon. And the age gap was too big. (Thanks so much.)

    He didn’t want me to stay the night, but we had spent all day together. I asked him if we could agree on meeting some time the following week, without me having to wait for him to write … (and he said that was normal for him, all his friends were pissed off /th him). But no.. he couldn’t. AND from day 1 when I tried to make clear *sigh* that I wanted him _at least_ as a friend and get to know him, and not just “fun”, he said we would go out for dinner and we never did. Been in a pub once because I had gotten too frustrated that day.

    Sooo that was last Saturday, today is Thursday, … and n o t h i n g from him. Last Sunday I had sent him pictures of my trip with a friend out to the ocean, because he didn’t want to go with me. No answer.

    So, I suppose that your advice to me is clear: don’t contact him.

    The question is: why??? do I keep experiencing the same things, and is this about my boundaries again, yes? But he was sooo soooo nice WHEN I saw him and acting like a friend, and looking after my car, …
    Why do I even keep wanting him to contact me? The connection drops completely in between this way. :( I don’t know him well enough, to know how much I like him.

    My ex says we were using each other. How am I using him? I just liked him so much right away, and just wanted to enjoy time with him, like going places, going out for food, going on walks, watching movies. But nothing from him. Where did this go wrong when he clearly likes me? Just … I really don’t know .. not enough?? Too shy to approach me (that would be ridiculous). He seems pretty rational and logical about it all. But cuddled me all day long last time I saw him and absolutely not at all like he didn’t want to see me again. He also said he hardly knew me. Yes, that’s why I had wanted to spend more time with him, ….. :/

    1. Ava101, Best for HG to answer, of course, and pardon me for butting in, but it sounds to me like your guy is leaving in a month and doesn’t want to get involved. It also sounds like you are doing all the work and you slept with him too soon. For some reason, men lose respect for us if we sleep with them before THEY think we should. It’s like they all have a madonna/whore complex. Women don’t sit around thinking ‘oh man-whore slept with me on the first date – I have no respect for him – he’s not worth my time’ – but men do seem to think this way!

      1. SMH, I question if empath men think that way though. I don’t think they do, I think they are more like us. I’m all for delaying in the case of determining a narc though.

        1. Nunya, but this guy is not a narc, I had watched him for the duration of one party and then for a whole long day, with other people present, closely, and asked some crucial questions. Ever since, he didn’t give a sign of being a narc. A bit pre-occupied with himself right now, maybe, but with his thesis due in a month and looking for a job in a different country, might be reason enough (no, I don’t like to make excuses, but at least he has a good one. Of course I still think he should have enough time and energy left to text me though. :/ ).

          I’m going for a walk with him tonight, as “friends”. :/ It took him one week to contact me again. :(
          Well. I’ll see what happens.

          1. Thank you Ava.
            Maybe he is just distracted, I’d be very curious to know what HG says. For me the thing is I think the things he says are hurtful in a way and yet he still continued. Do being “in but out” strikes me as both controlling and self interested. I don’t know, to my mind it requires a slate of assumptions to speak on those terms.
            You seem to have genuine interest in a good way, so I don’t know what your ex meant either.
            I brought up the empath men question because I can’t recall empath men ignoring discomfort, more like being “oh, I didn’t mean it that way!” If misspoke or saw a negative feeling and going to reasonable effort to avoid hurting anyone as an empath would. The lower level of unnecessary, controlling judgment prevents anything besides trying to “see” what will happen like you describe you feel.
            I was wondering SMH opinion too. We’ve discussed this before and it’s something that came to mind at some point.

          2. Nunya Biz and Ava, I never had that discomfort with empath men. Someone who causes it would make me wary now. But it’s kind of a rock and hard place thing because along with the discomfort comes other kinds of excitement, which I have not found with empath men. In other words, some kinds of narcs keep you on your toes in ways that empath men do not. I did have a mostly good relationship with one empath guy awhile back. He was really full of life and a doer, but that imploded because I wasn’t really attracted to him. He was more like a brother to me than a lover.

            I agree, nunya biz, that being in and out is controlling.

          3. Thanks SMH, I was wondering your experience, that makes sense.
            The way I look at it lately though is….
            some relationships with empaths maybe didn’t work out for whatever reason (timing, life incompatibilities, etc…) and they also didn’t work out with the narcs for OBVIOUS reasons.
            So I feel like an empath is the way to go, I’ve had attraction and a narc can never work. Maybe that one just wasn’t right but there are millions of people : )
            And as you say he was “full of life” etc… I think empath men can very much be like that, surprising, unique, creative, energetic…AND empathic. What a combo. I feel so protective and empath men are a good place to put that.

            I just have this problem with a man, it signals narc to me, that might consider having sex with someone and then think the sex is too soon.
            Like, um….you were there too.
            Why would someone be against something they did? It just seems like a complete lack of personal accountability and farming out negatives onto others (projection). I can’t even wrap my mind around how the thought process happens. But they do it. They don’t even know they are doing it, they’ll talk about it in circles and just not see the issue. It’s weird.

            I remember bringing that up in some rant on the other thread we were talking on…that sort of man doesn’t deserve to enjoy sex with a woman, I just don’t get how he cannot be protective of what he is involved in and who would share an aspect of life with him. Sex is meant to bring people closer, it is a form of intimacy, and inability to cherish that is a MASSIVE red flag, imo. This guy seems like he is doing a push/pull by having sex/cuddling and saying “friends only” out the side of his mouth, it doesn’t make sense. But he keeps showing up. Plus he keeps shelving her:

            “This new guy is really nice and feeling and cuddling and then it’s like it had never happened.”

            I personally have no desire to marry a sex partner and “getting serious” is a mutual decision that grows or develops or doesn’t, I don’t require it, but when someone is projecting and objectifying they will pretend the world suits their view of themselves and that they are the center of all attention and not account for the other person’s wants/needs/desires. Maybe she would decide he isn’t enough for her or something else. And he’s managing and defining outcomes rather than living them. Besides, what also stands out to me is that “Friends” is amazing! I have a female friend texting me right now, I don’t say “we are just friends”. She is my friend, that is a cherished position. I only want to be friends with a romantic partner, that is how it should be. He is downplaying it like it’s less meaningful? I don’t like this guy.

          4. SMH, just so you know, I read about your no-contact issue. Hope you are well. I have been feeling temptation recently, kinda sucks.

          5. Hi Nunya Biz! Very kind of you to check in. It does suck but I managed to get past it without any further temptations. Coming here helped and it also helps that I am insanely busy again – don’t even really have time for this blog, much to my distress! Soon I will be travelling and will have even less time!

            Funny but a week ago I was chastising HG for disappearing (actually really for disappearing without announcing it, not for disappearing per se) and now I cannot keep up!

            HG, could you please take another break – maybe until the end of July when I will finally have some time again? Don’t you have a holiday to go on or something? :)

            Re your other comment Nunya Biz – I think narc men have problems with sex because it is all tied up with their egos. They can’t do anything out of sheer enjoyment, right? And no, I wouldn’t reject an empath man at all. In fact, I would like to find one that I can fall in love with!!

          6. SMH:
            thank you!

            Hm, he’s not an empath either …
            I thought kind of normal, but yeah, it’s getting too much of that discomfort.
            Maybe just … not motivated to do anything, our mutual friend (his colleague) told me, he was about to miss his deadline for his PhD thesis, too, …

            More like a brother … yes, isn’t that maybe often the case for ‘us’ with more empathic men?

            It is one of the traits of my ex-narc I was attracted to, indeed: active, go-getting, and certainly never holding back on what he wanted and was thinking (or wanted me to know he was thinking). Decisive and driven.

            The “maybe”s, “going with the flow”, “just chilling”, etc. of the current guy drives me crazy.

          7. Ava101, My narc was decisive and driven too, and that was also very attractive to me. People who dither drive me nuts!!

          8. SMH, I’m glad your lapse was only temporary, but I hope there are no additional hoovers soon, be careful.

            Reading this whole thread with you and ava is helping me. It’s just the thought of “what could just once hurt really” and some stupid shenanigans I’m not deterring because I’m not completely letting go of the whole thing. The thing in my favor is that I become more and more aware of his thought process through these conversations and it is very off-putting to me, which is good. Also “ego sex” sucks. I mean, it can be good in the moment but the motivation is just such a turn off and I really like genuine, connected, intimate sex. Not in my favor is that I’m not all that serious toward him as far as emotional attachment or as far as anger and avoidance. Also not in my favor is that I find him very attractive.

          9. Nunya Biz, I would be really shocked to get a direct hoover, though he could very well be creeping me online without my knowledge. He has done that plenty of times before. But all the usual venues have been quiet now for awhile. I think creeping his and IPPS’s social media actually had the opposite affect of what one would think. Rather than make me more obsessed, it satisfied my curiosity and made me somewhat bored with them.

            I wish I’d had the benefit of this site when I was entangled. It would have helped me so much to understand and respond appropriately but I was so in the dark. I basically knew what was wrong with him but not how to deal with it and I did not realize that a personality disorder was a permanent thing.

            So I am glad this is helping you maintain some distance. I am guessing that the physical attraction will wane as you become more and more knowledgeable about his thought processes and start to experience him as a damaged person. I think towards the end with MRN, I really felt like I was dealing with someone who was either a child or mentally challenged, neither of which appealed to me very much! That is not to say that I couldn’t be fooled again but once you see it, it’s hard to unsee.

          10. I am now more confused that ever and eating my words. ;D

            He showed up to our date and was lovely. I had gotten out my credit card to pay and he wouldn’t let me. He did all the work, he was nice, polite, …
            And just when I had wanted to start to talk with him, an aquaintance of mine came at crashed our date. ;D It couldn’t not invite him to our table. ;D
            So, after a while, “my” guy and me went to a pub, and he was still all lovely, and I tried to talk to him, I asked him about everything, and told him clearly, that I didn’t want a relationship at them moment because why would I, when I never hear from him and he’s giving me nothing?

            He passed all narc tests.

            So … he said I had been upset before because I had thought he was just using me for sex, so he thought we should just go out as friends for now, and also watch a movie sometime.

            He said .. it was normal for him, not to write for often, ever. He had met his ex girlfriends not more often than me now … He was writing more with me than anyone else. He didn’t deny anything about any women he had dated in the past, I had heard about. He actually had mentioned one of them before, I just had misplaced her (thought it had been at another place).

            He kissed me very tenderly, and held me in his arm, and stroked my hair and my hand just a little.
            And said then he had had a wonderful evening, and we should do it again.

            That was all after me telling him, no relationship, and that he had also made it impossible for me to have an affair with him due to his never communicating, and so on.

            He also explained about how he was much more stressed and under pressure because of his thesis now than 4 weeks ago and that he would also loose money if he didn’t finish (because or work scholarship).

            And that he was still going away.
            And that he needed more time, it was going to fast for him.

            So there is a dilemma, I feel time pressured because there are only like 5 weeks left, he feels pressured because of his thesis and therefore decided not to have time for anything outside of that, and at the same time it’s too fast and too much for him.
            Also there is a 2nd dilemma … if he continues like this, I WILL fall in love.

            Maybe he is more of a sweetie than I had given credit him for. as I am always in a constant state of panic / fear / …

            But now he doesn’t understand that he HAS given me what I need to proceed, and wants to meet me as friends for now. (Plus kissing me. :) ):

            I am soooo confused. I had more expected him to finish it all tonight… or that I would blow up… I had no reason to, no triggers that is.

            He also said there was noone else, he was seeing, that was not the problem at all, also no online messaging and stuff. And I believe him.

          11. Agreed, HG. Ava, I can’t tell you how many times my narc made everything okay, had a reason (excuse) for everything, made me feel that I had worried for nothing, was a sweetie pie, etc.

          12. Hi Ava. Congratulations on your new well-paid job!
            I am not sure I understood the whole situation here, but I believe this guy said he does not want to have a relationship at the moment because he is finishing his thesis and moving to another country soon. If I got all that right, my question to you is, why are you still wondering about him and thinking you will fall in love with him? He kissed and hugged you, those are very powerful gestures that can mess up with one’s ET. The guy may be manipulating or just being nice to you, I don’t know. Either way, I think it is up to YOU to protect yourself (your heart), to apply more logical thinking and take the control of the situation by ending this story up because he is not interested, does not have time and is going to live in another country. I hope this does not come across as harsh. It is not meant like that. I just wonder why you are so into this guy when he has said he is not. Am I missing something? Or is it just that you would like to know if he is a narc or not?

          13. I agree with HG,
            And I also want to say thank you for sharing your story regardless of outcome. My opinion shifts and in the end what matters is yours. I hope you are happy no matter where things take you. I think I will have to ND with HG if I ever end up with these kinds of questions. I get skittish also, it’s challenging.

          14. I know, HG, that he shows signs and behaviours my exnarc, did, too, and that it could be narcissistic if calculated.

            However, I have watched this guy closely, every single variation in his facial expression, his eyes, … I have asked him all crucial questions, too, and talked to several people who know him, listening closely to their descriptions. Also asked him about things, others had told me about him, and compared his answers, and they are all ok.

            I also know, I’ve said this before about other guys, but this one I have known now much longer: he is not a narc. He is simply immature and messing everything up. And caught up in himself, in an immature in-over-his-head and egocentric way.

            Yes, it could be future faking, yes, it could be withholding what I want, yes, it could be binding through hot-cold, … but I’ve checked it.

            Yes, I know about instinctive. … But he also does everything I want him to – he wasn’t at the moment because I had been waiting and watching.

            But you just gave me the idea to ask someone who knows his ex if there was ever a sign of abuse. Didn’t hear anything about that so far.

            Anyways, the original question was about myself, … why do I keep hanging in there.

            Oh, and in addition to having been invited for dinner tonight, I got a new job today, which is very good paying, so there’s hope for future consultations. ;D I can’t afford your luxury segment prices right now (and you still owe me one answer).

          15. Congratulations on your new job. Remember having read my work you will see many more red flags but your ET will be fighting to obscure matters, hence your degree of uncertainty and doubt. That’s why you present the facts (not opinion) to the objective, dispassionate expert – me.

          16. Ava101
            Congratulations on your new job. What you can’t afford Ava is to get further involved with this person (and possibly spending money in the process) when your emotional thinking has you all over the place and confused. Please consult with HG who has zero emotional involvement and can better look at the “facts” to determine if the signs are there to continue or not.

          17. Hi Lou,
            no, you have perfectly summed it up. That is the big question: why can’t I myself maintain distance and stay away from him.
            I had been in this regard in a much better state before talking to him yesterday. I had expected everything, but exactly not how he behaved yesterday.
            Maybe I am really just not used to a nice guy simply meaning what he says. The latter is kind of new to me.
            But also: I reeeeelly like him. And I am pretty sure he likes me, and so it’s hard to accept that he decides against it, and also that I don’t get to enjoy the time with him that is left.
            I don’t feel manipulated, I don’t feel the potential to be just used anymore, I want to enjoy more time with him.
            So there is the part that understands logically what he said and that he will be gone, and the other part that feels good when with him. Doesn’t feel good in the long gaps in between.

          18. Thanks for answering my question, Ava. I understand what you are saying and I think it is good you are talking about it here. It is also good how you recognize how your logical thinking is in contradiction with you emotional thinking. I know it is easier for me to think logically regarding your situation because I am not emotionally involved with him. I just hope you can see that, even if you could enjoy these few weeks with him, you would very probably end up feeling more frustrated than you are now once he left. I know it is hard to accept but you need to respect his boundaries, and your own boundaries as well. And, there are other fish in the ocean.

          19. Ava101, congrats on your new job! I’m very happy for you, for your achievement that you should be celebrating.
            Excuse me if I seem obtrusive but I couldn’t help but follow your story about the thesis guy (you all know I don’t trust people who don’t finish their theses). All I hear is he he he he he. You, wonderful Empath with a heart of gold who just kicked ass and got a wonderful new job… what do YOU want? Do you want this indecisiveness? It seems to me you have a very clear idea of what you want and instead, are lying to yourself by telling yourself -and him- that you don’t want a relationship, when on the other hand you complain here that what you want is a relationship. Narc or not narc, HE is setting the pace and establishing the nature of whatever it is he is doing, be it a flirtatious game to give him a boost before his thesis or a future faking. Don’t fall short from your objectives. I have done that too many times in the past because, being a love devotee, I tend to idealize any moron that I have in front when my logic, on the other hand, tells me that they are just negotiating with me and trying to sell me something I was not looking for. I hate to say this but experience has shown me many times: when a guy wants to contact you, he does. There are no excuses, unless he’s dead, in hospital, or kidnapped. You mention that he said he never contacted his exes often. But you are not content with that. If he behaves in the same manner with you as with his exes, are you gonna be content? You also say “he had given me what I need to proceed.” Let me ask you: why do you need to proceed? With what? Don’t do. Just don’t. Stay alert, watch his moves, but let him do. I would consult HG if I were suspicious of him being a narc. And I agree with him that your ET is creating a mirage that you want to believe. Please, don’t be offended by my words, I’m just speaking from my own experience of creating Disney fantasies in my mind. I have a friend that used to say this to me (sorry for the image): Love is like a fart: if you have to force it, it turns into shit.

          20. SweetP
            Love Is Like A Fart sounds like the next Disney movie to be released. A musical (of course) starring Shit Emoji and his new love interest rapper T. Paper. Imagine singing along to the soundtrack for that one. Actually they could borrow a song from the Frozen soundtrack……

            Let it go……let it go…

          21. NA, that is genius! I can predict a total hit! They will also make t-shirts for kids to know the value of real-life relationships! 💩❤️🧻 let it gooo…
            Ok, something tells me Mr. Elite here is gonna reprimand our scatology.

          22. SweetP
            Nah. We got away with that much because he’s busy disposing of a different piece of shit on a another thread lol.

          23. It’s a great reminder, Lou.
            And congrats on your new job, Ava!

    2. Ava I will offer some insight I’m not Hg but I think I can see what has happened here
      Ok from what you have written this man does not sound like a narc but a guy who is becoming overwhelmed by your attention. I mean this kindly put you are in pursuit mode and he is picking this up big time.
      I may be old fashioned but it’s best to let the guy take the lead in the beginning and it’s your best bet to pace the relationship.
      Let him make arrangements etc if he doesn’t so be it move on.
      Back off for awhile and see what happens, you are showing too much interest which can scare a guy off.


      1. Thank you SMH and Kiki! I do want the input from you all, and I appreciate it. I think you’re both right.
        I am just not learning it.

        Kiki, this is a bit embarrassing to admit, but he actually said that… he had felt my attention right away and me like a predator lol but he had enjoyed that and had gladly went along. Another day, when he was showing me some dance moves … he lol kind of taught me that HE was leading and I had to let loose and follow his lead.

        Still, I felt time pressured, why didn’t he … And … I don’t understand why he responded always immediately and said yes immediately to whatever I suggested, on the same day. And talked about being friends at least.

        It has been 1 week now that I’ve seen him and I haven’t contacted him anymore. Nothing. :( Like … why couldn’t he suggest a simply friend-like thing, like going for a walk, coffee/pint, dinner, … anything. ?

        I hate it that he forces me to let it go and to feel this way. I am feelng like I always do (helpless, unseen, unwanted), and also sad and dso disappointed. Why couldn’t he take into account what I would like, he never asked me, just assumed. I don’t know if I should write him the latter.

        Not sure if he would have ever asked me out. He said maybe. I had thought that that group event was a great opportunity.

        1. Hi Ava. I think you have identified an emotional pattern of yours that is recurrent: feeling unseen, unwanted and helpless. Try to change that pattern by changing your thoughts and reactions to the situation. The guy doesn’t seem to be interested in having a more formal relationship. It’s ok, that happens and it’s normal. Don’t dwell in it, you’re just reinforcing your old pattern and you may be even reproducing it unconsciously. Try to think differently. Change that old pattern. I know it more easily said than done, but it’s doable.

          1. Hi Lou,
            yes, I know … but it’s not going away. :( I’ve so tried to change my patterns. Been at a solstice fire on Friday and the person leading the ceremony was talking a lot about ancestors, forgiving them, letting them go (the dead ones) … so … I’d been thinking, well, no, I stil haven’t forgiven my father at all. :/
            But the guys in my re-enactments are becoming a bit nicer at least … small comfort.

          2. Hi Ava, maybe you can try to make it more simple and direct. You don’t have to forgive your father to stop thinking or feeling a certain way. You just have to see the recurring emotional habit and stop it by doing something different, something that will help you get out of it. It is not done overnight, but each time you stop the pattern, you will be forming new connections and weakening the old ones.

          3. I don’t know, I just wouldn’t be interested in the guy anymore and then he’d possibly become more interested and that would turn me off.

          4. Haha, nunya,

            knowing myself, if he showed constant interest, I’d also go the other way. …
            There is a sweet guy (but I rationally think we are not suited at all) who is very compliant and made it clear that he wants to be with me, and sends me cute photos of baby swans, …
            (I know, great sentence, putting these points right next to each other ;D ). ….
            So, what happens? I know (for sure) he would be there always and start a relationship, and I’m not interested at all and get thoughts like “OMG I need my freedom”.
            I know, it’s all messed up.

            The other guy, I want – he’s an aquarius like myself. No balancing out. Makes for great fun, but also great conflict.

            Thank you for your remark about my questions. ;D
            They must sound weird sometimes … When I am in the middle of an (emotional) situation, totally caught up, … I’m really not seeing the whole picture anymore. When I have managed to take a step back and have dissociated myself from the situation, it looks different. But doesn’t help with my feelings or cravings for connection. But I can see that my own patterns are not exactly helping. I do take tiny steps, and to me it’s even incredibly hard not to have contacted that guy for a week until he finally did. This week, he’s incredibly communicative. Maybe he needs uhm physical contact, haha. Yes, it’s sad.

          5. AVA101, I don’t mean to be a buttinski, but my vote is for giving the baby swan guy at least one date. You might be surprised! He sounds like a sweet guy.

          6. Yes, ava, that’s kind of why I wanted to throw my comment in there because I think these kinds of things can be frustrating and I have certain things that put me off, one of them being that a person is not comfortable with affection. I like to be affectionate and to me it is too challenging if they are more interested when I am less so. And I don’t want to be gamey about it, it frustrates me. Some guys I feel just can’t be satisfied with a normal amount of give and take, and I think it’s a good idea to see if they can be and if not maybe it’s not going to work?
            But then yes, I agree with you, if they are too interested and clingy I get very put off with that. So that’s why I was asking questions as well, because it often isn’t just a good click, but I feel it should be. Maybe sometimes it’s about incompatibility, but other times, like you were saying, I think it can be a question of intentions.
            Clingy definitely makes me nervous though, I felt a guy got clingy that I wanted as a friend and I just stopped talking to him.

          7. Do you think the guy has empathy, ava? I think that would be my main question, it’s a lack of empathy that would bother me in the situation you describe.

          8. Thank you all, I still have to think more about it. I am loosing my patience right now, though.

            Haha, MG, “give the baby swans guy a chance”. I actually had, I went on a walk with him, and out dancing. It’s not working, but also, he doesn’t understand or see much about me. There is a small, soft part which resonated, and he is so caring, which makes me want to snuggle up – but really nothing else. :/

            Been also very casually dating another guy (also, to keep me destracted …), who has shown way too many narcissistic traits and quite a few downputting remarks, therefore I had to go no contact on that one.

            So, no real alternatives. ;)
            But you know, how it is, when you want to be in the arms of one specific man, it is just like that. I wish I could simply conjure someone up, I feel equally attracted to.

          9. Ava101, I get it. There’s just no chemistry with the baby swan guy. If it’s not there, it’s just not there. Of course it hasn’t stopped me from being with the same guy for a few decades. (And he doesn’t even like baby swans!)

          10. I think a soft guy can still be narcissistic, whether N or no. Good you tried, you never know. I hope I didn’t talk too much Ava but your situation was driving me crazy so good luck with that, I hope you talk more if you decide you want. I know what you mean about wanting to conjure, I feel the same.

        2. *Eeek*
          you might be right, MB, but that guy almost makes me more nervous.

          I can find very soft guys very hot though. Depends.

      2. I think Lou, Kiki, and SMH have made such great points.
        Your questions are interesting, ava : )

  4. Dear Mr Tudor,
    Our eldest son just referred to our youngest as a “caregiver” to the partner we are all having issues with

    It appears there are correlations with codependency ie codependent caretaker versus caregivers

    Have you written about this … or able to shed more light on the subject
    This is most interesting indeed
    Thanking you
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  5. The messages are definitely used to groom their victims. Its a tool and to keep tabs on you.
    A tool to reward and punish, cause insecurity, worry. My narcs used these message hooks for all of the above. Its all mind games and can wreak havok in your life if you allow it. Ive had to try and compartmentalize a lot of the tactics over the years. Not had to chose to. Ive had to protect myself emotionally from a lot of it but youre never completely removed from it. Its better to not stay in this type of relationship. Over time if you dont leave and dont develop a thick skin it can affect your health and sanity as well as your self esteem.

  6. You’re back!!!! Yaaaayyy!!!!!
    It does feel like forever when you’re gone HG. Can’t imagine what your silent treatments must have felt like to your Intimate Partners.
    Pure torture I would guess.

  7. Hello HG, Hope all is fabulous with you and yours.

    Were you creator or executive director on Netflix Prime’s original series “Good Omens,” with David Tennant and Michael Sheen? It uses many of your terms and even makes reference to tickety boo!

    Happy web weaving on your travels. Steer clear of the tangles ;-)

      1. Hello HG, Lovely to have you back. We experience your absence in dog years: 1 day feels more like seven ;-)

        Thank you for the reply. I finished the Good Omens series while you were away and googled it to find the creators are too old (one dead) to be the real you, but I appreciate the confirmation. I think you may enjoy parts of the series.

        1. I have listened to the radio dramatisation and found it well-written and well-dramatised.

          1. HG, I really hope you try your hand at writing and executive producing a film or series. It would be exceptionally entertaining and educational.

          1. Dear Mr Tudor,
            Welcome home …. trust all is well in Tudor kingdom
            We were all getting worried …. I think this has been your longest break (1 week)
            Wasn’t sure if it was work, pleasure or fury …. haha
            See …. you really are loved needed and wanted
            Glad you have returned, you were sadly missed
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  8. Just went thru this a day ago. It doesnt happen often but upsetting when it does. It is conditioning and addiction.
    On that note…wheres our messages HG were gping thru withdrawals here. We need little message presents 😄 gawd even this blog has me hooked 😁

    1. Dear Chihuahuamum,
      Ain’t that the truth ! I’ve missed everyone !
      I was checking day n night …. is he there yet, is he there yet ?
      I think I’ve contributed to half of his 14 mil hits 🤣
      He could’ve posted “thinking of you all” …. every day…… “back in a week” ….. just so we knew he was ok …… he disappeared and returned in true narc style 🤣
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      1. Hi bubbles …lol my ex narc would disappear with no explanation and pop up as if nothing happened it was easy to end that quick. Thats something i cant tolerate it causes me a lot of worry and stress. In the end it wasnt worth it to me.
        I knew HG would be back but more comfort crumbs wouldve helped 😄

        1. Dear Chihuahuamum,
          Sadly, they “all” disappear and turn up unexpectedly
          I bet Shieldmaiden wouldn’t settle for comfort crumbs, she’d survive on her own and catch her own rollmops …. haha
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘