Mind Games/My pattern.
QUESTION: I have a lot of trouble with the beginning of relationships.
This is what happened most recently:
A guy online, on a dating site was being wonderful. He told me he talks out problems, is a nice guy and is pretty much everything I want. He requested the phone but I don't like the phone so I suggested instant message. We moved to email and I let him add me to Skype on his own time. We talked nearly all day for two days straight while he was at work and after until bed. I felt good about meeting him and even wondered a little if he was 'the one'.
Day 3 he was getting really lazy. Not reading or typing properly. Yet the end of day 3 he said I "made his week" when I told him he is only the third person I let be on my Skype. He TOLD me the more I love, the more I need him, the happier he'd be. So I threw him that bone.
Day 4 he completely ignored me. At the very end of the day he typed 'ho'. I was like 'what?'. He said typo and 'How was your weekend".. So he KNEW he was gone a while, if felt like a whole weekend to him and he was STILL being lazy. Can't correct a 2 letter message? Wow. I made a joke about it. I waited 20 minutes. He never went that long between messages at night. Then I told him it doesn't feel right anymore. I waited 40 minutes then told him he is not who I thought he was(the man I liked said he wouldn't ignore or reject me. He is evolved and wants me for who I am.) Also to take me off his Skype, it's for close friends only.
It was silent for 3 days. I figured I had nothing to lose and emailed "Are you SURE not meeting wouldn't be a mistake?". He replied that he'd love to it was his work stressing me out and he didn't want to cause me problems.
I said no it was the ignoring me that bugs me. Then he read a few emails wrong and responded nonsensically. Then started ignoring me again. I sent one about my cats health, one about a really funny show and one asking if he is still working. All ignored.
I got so upset I typed this but didn't send it yet for fear of being seen as crazy and because my pattern is keeping me alone (censored it for you):
Alright if you are the type of guy that likes to ignore women and take your sweet time returning emails then why did you talk to me for 2 days solid first? Why would you lead me on? You are upsetting me because you went from Mr. Wonderful to a guy who ignores me and obviously is NOT INTERESTED. I don't want this s*** in my life. Talk to me or don't but don't pretend to be awesome but really be an a**hole. I hate these head games, it's f***ing bull****.
Is all this to get out of donating to poor Bugs?? (my sick cat he says he wants to help, pfft right he didn't donate to fundraiser this whole time. I NEVER told him he had to help, he offered then did nothing) I think he would rather stay sick then get help from someone like you. Someone who treats his care giver so badly that she gets chest pains and make her wonder what she did wrong. It must be why you are ignoring me or you would have helped him after you ignored me the first time because it's not about me, it's about him. You are heartless. How hard was it for you to pretend to be a good guy???
Are you getting off on telling me you are one thing and then acting another? If you are so f***ing busy how did you talk to me for like 300 messages and emails straight. I blocked you because you give me chest pains because I literally FELT your interest shift. You stopped listening and got lazy.
You pretend it's about work but it's not. You just want to lead me on for some reason I can't fathom. I expect consistency and I am not wrong for that. I want the guy I was talking to on the dating site, not this guy. You are nothing like you said you'd be. If you were you'd actually care how I felt but you don't. You don't care about me on even in a basic human level, you only care about yourself and your idea of the perfect woman.
Why couldn't you just tell the truth? Why couldn't you just treat me how you planned on treating me instead of pouring attention on me just to instantly stop. How do you think I'd feel; "Oh yeah baby our issues match, we have so much in common.. on second thought f*** you. I'll just blame work"..
Ignoring me is cold, way colder than rejection, it gives me chest pains and makes me wait whether I want to or not. I should have known, when I seen you were a Scorpio I should have NOT giving you a chance, I should have instead JUDGED YOU how you must be judging me. I should have just have known you are a selfish, aloof, piece of s*** liar after the first few conversations..
But I allowed myself HOPE. Only a tiny glint because momma didn't raise no fool but shame on you for messing with my life. You want to be my hero but you ain't doing ANYTHING to make me want you anymore. You are being lazy and cruel. And then you blame work like I am stupid enough to believe suddenly you don't have two seconds to answer an email, fuck you.
So I guess my biggest problem is not being able to ignore the evidence. I can't just be like everyone else and say stuff like 'it's too soon for him to care' and 'people have lives'. All I can see is who he WAS and how not replying is not only cruel but takes like 20 seconds!
I am not putting expectations on him. These things are the impressions he gave me when I asked him questions about his character! I ask the right questions so I don't waste my time.
I don't know how to ignore declining interest and being taken for granted..
I don't know how to ignore when I am CLEARLY being ignored or put as a last priority.
It gives me chest pains, then resentment happens, then I point out his behavior, then he leaves, then he comes back and blames something dumb, then the problems are still there and he wont talk about them, then he is gone again.. repeat with him or a new dude. ENTER my hell.
It is why I am doomed to be single. Do you have advice?
ANSWER: Hi Erin!
Sorry for the late reply, and thank you very much for your candidness.
In return, I'm going to go ahead and be completely candid in my response to you. I apologize in advance, but it appears you are doing a number of things that I think are very likely sabotaging your endeavors to develop the type of relationship you would like.
First off, you must bear in mind that relationships, like Rome, are not built in a day, or even four days. They are a gradual process that, ideally, continue to grow, change and develop over years or even decades. While it is natural to go through what is called a "limerent" phase, it is not healthy to confuse it or even skip it for immediate attachment. Beyond the fact that there is so much to know about an individual AND yourself than you could possibly learn in a matter of days, people change. There is no effective method of figuring out whether or not you have the right partner in any short span of time. It seems that you erroneously think you do:
1. You both dove into this relationship headfirst without first checking to see if there was any water in the pool. You unnecessarily, gullibly and rashly made a huge investment into someone whom you know next to nothing about. Would you put all your life savings into a company that you'd never heard of? Of course not, you'd either spend some time figuring out what you were getting into, or put in a little bit at a time and see what happens, or go with another company that you know and trust. Yet you allowed yourself to become so invested in this particular individual that you allowed it to cause you physical pain - which you blamed on him, but I'll get to that later.
2. You started the self-disclosure way too quickly. You implicitly trusted someone with no good reason to, but simply because... well, you wanted to. Trust is built by one person fulfilling responsibilities, and this takes time to demonstrate and observe. Simply wanting him to be trustworthy and him actually being trustworthy are not the same thing. Without evidence, your trust is unwarranted and naive. I am not trying to advocate paranoia, I think it's vital that we trust people. However an ounce of healthy skepticism is an integral part of developing healthy trust. Trust is not something we ought to give freely, but rather allow to develop gradually. I have to wonder why you would take what a man says at face value even though you only met a few days ago.
3. You immediately assume it would be alright to be vulnerable enough to write a letter expressing all your feelings about what happened without regard to whether or not he was ready or even wanted to read it. This demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of personal boundaries and is potentially harmful to you.
4. As a consequence of all of this, withdrawing from this investment became a painful decision that you took offense at or felt threatened by and, as a result of that, said a lot of things you had no cause to say.
What I think is more important than this, though, is why it happened. Reading your letter was pretty eye opening. It demonstrated a number of underlying attitudes which probably led to the decisions you made.
Human beings all carry biases around with them. However, it is our duty as civilized and rational beings to recognize those biases and start working on them when they start interfering with our happiness. We live in a world now where we don't have to make biased snap judgments about situations and people because our survival is no longer dependent on those judgments. Instead, we are blessed in our ability to seek something more satisfying: harmony and happiness. Biases get in the way of that. It's time for us to look at what biases you may be carrying so we can take steps to work on them.
By day 3 I sensed an underlying attitude you have that may be detrimental to your goal of finding a great relationship: You wrote him off as "lazy" and implied that he was an "asshole" and a bad guy. This is the fundamental attribution error. When people do something bad, we tell ourselves it was situational - I was tired that day - but when someone else does something bad, we don't give them the benefit of the doubt. We assume it was dispositional: He's a jerk or a lazy person. It didn't seem to cross your mind that maybe he really was just tired from work. Bear in mind, just because we get romantically involved with another person doesn't mean it's suddenly ok to neglect other aspects of our lives. Not responding to someone because of work is a perfectly legitimate reason.
You may say "But it was just two letters, I would have fixed it." That's projection: Assuming that whatever you can, feel you should or want to do is necessarily true for everyone else. Lots of people simply do not like messaging or are less meticulous than others, or don't see the need to make that much effort if, for example, they are genuinely exhausted.
Rather than taking a relatively small risk of waiting a little longer to see what would happen - which may have resulted in a great relationship - you irrationally eliminated this small risk, thinking that was better than changing your behavior to greatly reduce a large risk. This is, naturally, called the Zero-risk bias.
You have so little information to go on; just four days of behavior, and yet you seem so certain that you know what this person is all about. You are falling pray to the "clustering" illusion which is leading to the illusion of transparency and trait ascription bias; the assumption that you can truly know a person based on just a couple events which, you believe, indicate what is going to happen in the long run and that, from this, you can determine exactly what kind of guy he is. You are then baldly asserting that it is not definitely one certain thing - that he was busy with work - and that it was definitely a certain something else which, incidentally, happens to be the perfect excuse to paint him as a terrible guy. But how could you possibly know that to that degree of certainty? None of your "evidence" that you were "clearly" being taken for granted would hold up in court. Even if work was just an excuse or a lie, so what? Why is that so inherently awful that you have to write such a vitriolic letter? As I mentioned earlier, it seems to me that you have an inadequate conception of personal boundaries. It is NOT alright for you to behave in such a way around someone with whom you have not yet established enough intimacy with. Even if you had, some of the things you accused him of are completely unsubstantiated, downright insulting and almost slanderous.
Next, we need to address some of your problematic thinking, which I think stems from your underlying beliefs. I believe your past experiences may have caused to frame current or even future ones very narrowly, and that you are looking for any smidgen of evidence that confirms you were right all along: this guy will be a jerk too. That's the confirmation bias. You are looking at his behavior and assuming you have already figured out what's going on without giving him the benefit of the doubt. You've already tried and sentenced him without giving him his day in court, so to speak.
You seem to have unrealistic expectations and assumptions about what a person should or shouldn't do, and what it means if they don't live up to YOUR expectations. You set your expectation by his initial behavior and words - impossibly high standards - and expected them to continue that way. By those standards, taking even just 20 minutes to respond - which is perfectly normal and acceptable - failed to meet up, and you felt justified in punishing him. So after presenting him with high expectations and a severe price to pay for not meeting your demands, you asked him to meet you again and he declined. Are you surprised? What good reason does HE have for trying again?
You are placing a lot of blame on him for your situation. But another human being cannot, for example, magically cause you physically pain without touching you. Another person may do something that triggers a causal chain of events, but that STARTS WITH YOU. We are bombarded by external stimuli all the time, but HOW we interpret that stimuli is up to us. Regardless, the event has to go through a chain from what it is to how it makes us feel to how we interpret it to what we do and THEN to how it affects us physically. It feels very direct, but that's just because this chain is so efficient. It's important that you get a hold of this process, and perhaps seek out the appropriate professional help to do so if necessary.
You are using hyperbolic language, jumping to slippery slope conclusions and have a pervasively negative attitude towards this whole thing. As long as you continue to engage in this kind of unhealthy thinking towards relationships, you will DOOM YOURSELF to being single. Whether you like it or not, a relationship takes two people who will not see eye to eye on everything. You may want to look at how you form romantic attachments to others. Yours seems close to what is described as the "fearful-avoidant" style of attachment: While you want an intimate relationship you are fearful of it. This causes you to avoid the very thing you want, for fear of being betrayed or hurt. This is not healthy, and I strongly suggest you seek help in dealing with this issue.
I am not saying that what happened was entirely your fault, but by the same token I am saying that if you had done things differently, things probably would have turned out differently. In the end, I'm pretty sure he just felt overwhelmed by what he entered into - and he is also responsible for that - and when he was reprimanded for wanting to ease off, he probably felt that he could not reciprocate the needs you demanded, and ended it. Think about it: what if someone sent you such a message that you wrote to me because you didn't message them immediately every single day? Wouldn't you feel a bit overwhelmed by their demands and expectations and accusations?
I am also not saying that you have to ignore anything. There is no reason to ignore any information, it's all potentially relevant, but why the pessimistic bias only towards bad evidence? Why the compulsion to make immediate judgments rather than waiting to see what he has to say, or giving it more time? Sure, it may take only 20 seconds to reply, but why does that mean he MUST reply in 20 seconds? Why the rigid standards, rather than some flexibility, patience and compromise?
Ultimately, what you choose to accept, believe and do about this problem is up to you. As I often tell people who ask for my advice: you can be right, or you can be happy. It's your choice. However, there's no need to go it on your own. If you have access, I highly recommend seeking a professional such as a therapist, counselor or life coach, to help guide you on your journey to achieving a more fulfilling life. Good luck with it, whatever you choose to do.
I wish you well on your journey.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I know you can only go on what I said so I am not upset. I would like to clarify and ask a couple questions though. It may at times sound like arguing or anger but it is not at all.
We just see the world differently and have different wisdom.
1. I did not invest greatly in him. I don't think about him at all anymore. I was worried about my reaction. He made a lot of promises and then got cold, where as I am who I say I am. If I feel bad all of a sudden I tell someone. So the only thing I am guilty of is forgetting people do not have as much character, it's not really gullibility.
It was a glimmer of hope.
It has lead to being badly disillusioned for trusting their word about themselves. I am real, I don't understand people who are not. What a waste of time and how cruel. Dashed hopes cause me pain even if it is just a glimmer of hope because I rarely allow myself to feel any.
2. True. I do agree. But get this: if you treat people how you want them to be, they tend to act accordingly. If I call a guy a jerk he becomes a jerk. If I treat him trustworthy and real then it will make one that deserves it very happy. I can not control who deserves it. I can only offer it on faith (sometimes) then snatch it away when he turns out to not deserve it. Acting mistrusting right away gets nowhere with men, they expect trust instantly. I can not be fake, so therefor I must once in a while take someone for what they tell me.
3. I didn't send the letter. I was venting. He disappeared and I was more than happy to let him.
4. True, I didn't send it though.
As far as me acting out like I am surviving, my life has sucked. I didn't have a lot of food to eat and people treated me like crap my whole life for being poor and/or different. Not the run of the mill stuff, terrible things. It was because I was obviously wounded and they knew I wouldn't resort to violence or ratting. I was raised very poorly. I was raised to to stand up for myself but not taught how to fight and I was beat by my mother into never reporting horrible mistreatment by anyone. I was a huge target for bad people my age and by adults alike. I had few friends, the ones I did have were nasty behind my back. Until I grew up, moved, became a shut in and picked two wonderful friends online that treat me well, as I do them.
Guess what happens when you make excuses for people? They walk all over you. If he didn't write he wasn't "busy", he can send a mail while working at the same time, he told me that's how he rolls. He just didn't REALLY want to talk to me.
I used to be that girl who made excuses. I would even think a man might be dead when he didn't return my calls. It has made a fool out of me when there are simpler reasons for peoples behavior.. Either they WANT to talk to you, be around you, get to know you or they don't for whatever reason.
I see it all the time, interested people will find a way.
When was the last time you really liked a girl and then just messaged her "Ho" after not talking to her all day? If he doesn't feel a need to impress me at all anymore then he is losing interest. Which he was and did. I don't care anymore. I feel I dodged a bullet even more scared than me.
I agree with the paragraph about not taking the small risks. I do not like risking my feelings or even my day on a bad bet. If he was open and honest none of this would have happened. I can't deal with people's fakeness appropriately.
About me thinking he is a bad guy. He told me several times he was going to donate to my kitten's charity page, he has a bad liver. I told him he doesn't have to. He said he feels bad for him. He did not donate to him. I mean wow. Even if you hate a girl, if you want to donate to a sick kitten you just do it. I am glad he is gone. Before you make excuses for him, he does not have money problems. We discussed our situations and he wanted to buy me a bed and shelves. I turned both down. But I can not be prideful with another life.
Slander is only bad if you tell others really. I didn't send the letter or post it online with his name. Slandering in your head isn't a crime :p
I am starting to feel like you think he is completely right and I am completely wrong but I am pretty sure I was 100% right about him. I was only concerned with HOW BAD it made ME feel. Because I never even met him yet and I don't want to feel terrible. I also don't want to blow it with my next boyfriend before it starts.
(Later I see that you gave him some responsibility in this too, I typed as I read)
Ok I don't get why it is wrong that I hold him to his OWN WORDS. Why is that so unrealistic? And he didn't decline, he said he would love to but he didn't want to stress me out because he works a lot. To which I assured him it was only the ignoring me stressing me out. Wait maybe he did turn me down then but he didn't come out and SAY it. WOW so fake. He could have continued ignoring me but instead he came back to blow a little smoke up my butt? He is so not for me.
Him not responding in 20 minutes gave me a bad feeling because he WAS ignoring me.
What reason does he have to still meet? Well he said I am beautiful, he likes my body, he loved my profile, that we have a ton in common, that he knows he likes me already, that he wants to please me in bed, that he would love to meet me, that he wants me to need him, that he is sure whether or not we move forward would be my call, that he loves my openness, that he loves my compassion I have for my friends and animals, that he loves talking to me and even that our issues are compatible with one another.. And if that fails to try to get sex lol.
I blame him because he is not who he said he was. I am honest and real, he pretended to be. He wasn't just a normal person playing tons of games the way people do to be polite or cowardly or whatever, he was that guy but pretending to be like me. I see that now.
Here is why he is mostly to blame; You can't blame me for trust and hope. That is like saying it is my fault for burning myself even though the stove was off. His stove was a burning with no warning light. Ok, fine people do that. But HE PRETENDED HE HAD A WARNING LIGHT. And he assured me his was off. Multiple times. Of course I am mad at him for burning myself.
I obviously know it starts with me, in this case "over feeling" and for that reason I did not send the letter. I think I am more emotionally mature then you assume I am :)
Yes I am afraid.
I am seeking help. Self help. I think for myself. All I can really do is form relief around the way other people see it and learn from it. Like I learned from you that my fear has become a hair trigger. I am terrified of feeling like a chump AGAIN by these dudes who say one thing but act another. Especially after sex, to feel so low and so used. Guys play at relationships to get sex then ignore a girl after. What is the difference between that guy and a normal dude? NOTHING. If anything that guy is more charming and caring. For this reason, and from getting rejected on the spot for wearing a hoodie (on a Sunday with no real plans), I haven't had sex for three years. I wont even meet a guy after that rejection for not dressing up to do nothing.
I thought this one was on the special side of compatible with me, I wasn't scared to meet him.
I now think I need coping mechanisms both for when someone backs away innocently but will return, and for if they do what this guy did.
He did exactly what you said. He made himself overwhelmed writing checks with his mouth his butt couldn't cash. The question is HOW?? How do I handle it differently. It angers me because I am more thoughtful than that.
If someone sent me that letter I would think they were crazy and abusive, I'd show my two friends, block him and have chest pains for a couple of days. I would assume he had bipolar but I would also know I led him on. When people are angry with me the first thing I do is assess my level of blame for the situation.
You are on to something with the compulsion. Do you think I have POCD? I read you talking about it in one of your answers a few days ago before I wrote you and it stunned me right away as something I might, and probably do have. Most of what people see is cool, not too clingy, really independent to the point of hair trigger self protection. But behind the scenes I am checking for mail over and over. Waiting for contact, waiting for calls, checking for evidence I am not being avoided. And in conversations I am asking questions to weigh risks. Like "why did your last relationship fail" that's a good one.
Part of what triggered the bad feeling with him was the day he was 'busy' he went on the dating site afternoon and night. He can, he was single.. but BUSY?? It started innocent, I wanted to read more interests that I may have missed.
It is not the same as a girl who goes through his stuff. I don't do that, it's not even the same animal. It is friendly curiosity that turns bitter when I find evidence, and it's uncomfortable. I don't want to seem crazy and I want to feel crazy even less.
Flexibility, patience, compromise. With someone you told me I can't even trust yet? I have all those things with my best friends. I just can't bring myself with new people.
Because those three things are how I REALLY trust.
I wrote an online therapist and they ignored me lol, even though I would have had to pay them. It only hurts when I am disillusioned first so I find it funny.
What does this sound like to you? I have played with the idea of left over BPD I didn't completely heal from. PTSD and now ROCD. If I can figure out what is likely going on I can look into forums and stuff to help heal me. Maybe somewhere to write when I have that feeling.
I have NO IDEA what to do when a guy pulls away because he overwhelmed himself. It gives my stomach a bad feeling and I just want to get away. What are some textbook coping mechanisms? Distraction don't work but it's the best thought I have had. Once my stomach hurts the need for relief is obsessive.
So my questions are:
Why is it unrealistic to hold someone to their own words?
How do I cope when someone overwhelms themselves?
How do I cope when someone is too busy but seems disinterested?
What do you think this pattern is linked to as far as diagnosis? (so I can find the right community, which community should I look into? I know you are not a doctor, I think you are really smart though)
I also have a question because you are a man. Men tell me they want to be needed but if you need them financially they get tired of it, if you need them emotionally they run, if you need them sexually they assume you cheat or worse. WTF are they talking about when they tell me they want me to need them? I have asked men I am dating. I don't need them good enough. When I tell them why I need them they say they don't want to be needed for that (a.k.a. carrying groceries). I am clueless.
Thank you for responding. Also for and not being mean.
Hello again Erin!
Sorry to keep you waiting so long.
First off, I have to commend you. I appreciate your willingness to take what I said objectively. That's a very hard thing to do when someone asks you to take on so much of the responsibility for something unfavorable happened.
I can tell you have a very analytical personality. While there are benefits to it, there are also lots of hazards. Most people I know who are very analytical tend to have comparatively less empathy, less ability to assess or, in some cases, even consider the perspective of others who do not share their view of the world. Also, it leads to a denial that you are also prone to your own biased, subjective view of the world. For instance, you said "You can't blame me for trust and hope. That is like saying it is my fault for burning myself even though the stove was off" but that analogy is completely flawed. Getting burned is not a choice, but what, who, why and how much you choose to hope and trust is. A more accurate analogy would be that I could blame you for hoping and trusting that a stove is turned off and thereby choosing to touch it, rather than waiting until you had more evidence that the stove was off. I can certainly hold you accountable for that.
You seem to have very rigid and sometimes unsubstantiated views of the world. Some examples:
"I am pretty sure I was 100% right about him."
Really? That's quite a claim. Are you omnipotent? If not I don't know how you can claim to be 100% right about any person, no matter how long you've known them.
"Guess what happens when you make excuses for people? They walk all over you."
Really? Is that what all people do in all cases? I don't think you can rationally justify such a statement, at least not as absolutely as you worded it.
"He just didn't REALLY want to talk to me."
Really? You have incriminating proof of this, or is this just the intuitive conclusion you came to for fear of being taken for granted again?
"Either they WANT to talk to you, be around you, get to know you or they don't for whatever reason."
Hmm. Seems like a false dichotomy to me. Are you saying that there are NO situations where people want to talk to you but don't? How could you prove that?
"I see it all the time."
All the time, or just pretty often, at best?
"If he doesn't feel a need to impress me at all anymore then he is losing interest."
Really? Are you then saying that every married couple has lost interest in each other? Isn't it possible that they just feel more comfortable and relaxed with each other?
I'm not trying to antagonize you. I'm trying to provide examples of how you can confront YOURSELF when you make statements that serve little purpose other than to motivate you to initiate the same vicious cycle you always have. I'm trying to demonstrate how you can lead yourself into more realistic and flexible views of the world because, whether you realize it or not, you seem to tend to look at the world through a black and white lense.
Everyone does, to one degree or another, but the question is how beneficial are these views, how closely related are they to an objective reality rather than your own subjective view of reality, and how aware you are that you have them. This is something that would take a very long time to tease apart, recognize and remedy. I think that it would be a very worthwhile endeavor, though, and would highly recommend seeking out a professional, preferably someone you could work with face-to-face, to help guide you on this journey.
In any case, I don't want to harp on your and your responses too much, that's not why you sent me a follow up. I'd like to address your questions, because they are very good ones.
"Why is it unrealistic to hold someone to their own words?"
It isn't. I never said it was. But you are conflating two different things. You are conflating holding someone to their word with the appropriate response to people breaking their word. It is very realistic and very important to hold people accountable. But it is also important to make the punishment - or the response, in this case - appropriate to the crime. Delaying a response by 20 minutes and accidentally sending a strange typo are not severe enough "crimes" to warrant a venomous two page letter and a break up. That's extreme. That's a defense mechanism, that's a mechanism for pushing away something it seems you don't want to deal with: that people are fallible and generally don't have as high standards as you do. But that's how people manage to happily stay together for sometimes their whole lives: realizing that sometimes you have to forgive, sometimes you have to change and be flexible.
It's important to hold someone to their word. It's important to hold people accountable. It's also important not to treat every trespass as though it was first degree murder.
"How do I cope when someone overwhelms themselves?" "How do I cope when someone is too busy but seems disinterested?"
These are not questions I can answer competently. My expertise has less to do with coping and more to do with growth and improvement. This is an altogether different aspect of psychology that I have only a vague familiarity with this. I hate to sound like I'm passing the buck, but you really need to seek a professional in the field of abnormal psychology or, preferably, counseling or therapy.
"What do you think this pattern is linked to as far as diagnosis?"
From what you wrote in paranthesis, I assume you have read other answers I've given, and I appreciate that, because I cannot provide you with a professional diagnosis, and I hesitate to speculate about this. The best I can do is tell you what types of disorders exhibit the symptoms that it seems you have and suggest that you seek a professional to receive a diagnosis. I think seeking a support group or community is a fantastic idea, I'm glad you are considering that.
Your behavior does fit a portion of the obsessive personality disorder patterns, particularly the conscientious subtype and partner-focused obsessive compulsive disorder, such as rigidity, tendency to over-analyze and seek out and then exaggerate the bad in a partner and your meticulousness in your communication.
That particular disorder is one I'm unfamiliar with, so offhand I didn't know of any good websites or communities for you, but after a short search I've found some that I think will be of help to you:
Psychology and Mental Health Forum: http://www.psychforums.com/forum.html
No More Panic: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?s=d7461b443e231bf888f9d924e5f1fd9c
Anxiety Zone.com: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/board,5.0.html?PHPSESSID=2c85b446f8d0ca101f
The first one seems to have a larger base, but the last two have forums specifically about OCD.
In any case, I hope that was of some help. I think it's great that you're seeking solutions to your problems, that's a huge step. I hope you find what you're looking for!