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We met in the most beautiful way. He was an architect and I worked in an olive oil specialty shop downtown and would walk past his office every morning on my way to work. I didn’t know him or that his workplace was there, but he started noticing me outside his window and would watch for me every day. It was summer, and he came into my shop one day. I noticed him; we smiled at each other as I helped him. He left. Later that day, I was rushing off to a doctor’s appointment and suddenly he was there beside me. He’d seen me from his window again and ran out down the street to stop me and give me his number, inviting me on a hike. Later he asked me out to dinner for our first date, on a Friday that happened to be my birthday.

It was wonderful at first. He was my first real relationship and the first person who I felt intimately connected, both physically and emotionally. He was loving, affectionate, and sweet. He made me feel attractive, love-able. We held hands everywhere, traveled together and went on adventures. We melted for each other together.

But over time, I became more and more unhappy, even while I tried to push it away and work on us. I have depression, and my emotions became entangled– I couldn’t tell whether it was him or outside conditions. He stopped wanting to spend time with me. He would come over, claiming he was going to spend the night with me, then would change his mind and leave. He wanted weekends to himself. He refused to come home with me to see where I grew up. He was always too busy with other things. He stopped wanting to have sex, or I would have initiate it and coax him into it. I felt lonely, always. I was upset all the time, and only now do I see it was because my needs weren’t being met. Meanwhile he kept telling me every day that he loved me, missed me, cherished us. But that he didn’t think a relationship required the effort or energy. He said he saw me as secondary and not a top priority and that I should think the same of him.

He broke up with me but still hung on. Continued to say he loved me and could see a future for us, asked me out to dinner and spent an entire day holding my hand, but refused to kiss me or look at me lovingly, saying he didn’t want to lead me on. This is recent and still going on. My heart breaks over and over again. I feel taken advantage of. We were together for 2 years. He takes the affection he wants from me, but doesn’t give me the affection or attention I need.

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