Should I Break It Off With Mr. Sensitive?

What follows is not advice.  I don’t like being given advice so this is not advice.

Usually when people ask for advice what they’re really asking for is clarity.  Most people know what they want to do and want validation for their choice.  Whenever I ask someone what I should do, I end up doing what my first instinct told me to do the minute after I needed to make a decision.

Here’s a situation fellow HSP princess-sleepyhead wrote about on her blog of the same name about a man in her life she named “Mr. Sensitive” and my non-advice.  I edited her post slightly:

I received a PM at Facebook from a guy, I’ve been corresponding with this summer …and I have a few thoughts I need to share.
The story is, that I’m single and have been for a long, long time. I’m not really on the market and haven’t been on more than a couple of dates since I broke it off with my ex. It was a tough break and I decided that I had to learn to like myself and my life before I was ready to let a new man in. And in the meantime, my life has changed so many times and I have had to focus on myself more than on finding Mr. Right.
But this summer, I met this guy on-line. He’s HSP as well as me (HSP=Highly Sensitive Person) and we have a lot of interests and hobbies in common. So soon we wrote every day. Even when I went on holiday and didn’t have internet access, unless I was (in) a restaurant, I managed to write him.
Soon I felt the need to meet him. One thing is to write one-another, another is to get to know each other in real life. I need to get a feeling of another person and I can only get that if I meet them in person. And after corresponding with him for months, I got pretty impatient. But there was a lot going on in his life – and he’s suffered from stress several times and doesn’t handle it well. Originally, I thought it was cool. That would mean that he had an idea what I’ve been through. So I thought that would make him more understanding.
But I slowly started to realize that he handled stress a differently from the way I try to handle it. I have to plan everything. I usually have a plan for everything, at least in my head. It doesn’t mean than I can’t be spontaneous, it happens, but only when things are right.

He, on the other hand, apparently gets stressed by plans. He has to do things when he feels like it. An example is the day we finally met. I’d been writing with him, as usual, but we hadn’t talked about seeing each other that weekend. Early in the week, I’d mentioned that I didn’t have any plans for the weekend. But later a friend had invited me on an outing – which I guess I hadn’t mentioned (to) him – let’s call him Mr. Sensitive.  (I’d) only just arrived at my friend’s place when he sent a message asking how long he’d have to wait for me. Me, surprised, asked him if we’d made plans? (maybe I’d forgotten it, you just never know), which we hadn’t. He’d spontaneously driven to my town to meet me. He did say it was okay if I didn’t drive back to meet him, and my logic told me, that he didn’t deserve it just showing up like that. But I was still curious to meet him and my friend was very understanding, so I drove back and spent the rest of the day with him.
We actually had a good time. I didn’t want to invite him home, so we spent the day walking around town and at cafés. It wasn’t love at first sight, but I felt comfortable with him. Our conversations were pretty much like they’d been in our correspondence, so I was pretty content with the meeting and ready to meet him again.

He gave me the feeling that he’d had a great day as well, and without pushing too much, I started talking about me going to his town to see him. And that’s where the big difference between us got very apparent: If I drove to his town and spent a day with him and then drove back home, I would have to spend at least one day in bed afterwards. I don’t mind doing that, because that’s the way my life is and that’s why I have to plan and look ahead all the time. But if he really didn’t want me to come, I’d rather not spend so much energy on the trip.
But since he has this thing against planning, I couldn’t really get a straight answer whether or not he’d like me to come. It started annoying me that he seemed to not care, even when I asked him directly “do you want me to come?” he answered with a joke or talked about something else.

But in the end, I decided that I had to see him again. I already had a feeling that I couldn’t fall in love with him and I guess I was pretty annoyed by his behaviour, but if I didn’t meet him one more time, I could still have doubt. At least the one hour-drive to his town calmed me down and my mood was okay when we met. But when I went home that night, I knew that he isn’t a potential boyfriend.

Since then, I’d needed some air and haven’t been writing as much with him. And now I’ve received a message, asking me if I want to go with him to the zoo.

There’s two things, he’s said, that pisses me off. One is that he more than once (has) asked if the reason I’m so tired is that I’m actually sleeping too much – NO! I did explain it to him the first time so I hate that I had to explain it to him more than once. The more I have to explain, the more it sounds as bad excuses.
The other thing is that he constantly comments on my mood, implying that I’m in a bad mood. I may not be in a bad mood but to tired to joke and use a lot of emoticons. But when he asks like that, it does effect my mood negatively and I end up being in a bad mood.

So what to do, what to do???? Should I break it off completely or meet him hoping that we can build up a good friendship? I’m really bad at this kind of relationships.


She later added in a comment:  “I guess I already know that I shouldn’t waste my time on him. It’s just really hard for me to defriend people.”

My short answer to her question was YES she should break it off with Mr. Sensitive.

Princess-sleepyhead (PSH from now on) should “defriend” him, but not because he seemed noncommittal about meeting her.

Or because he showed up unannounced at her home and she cancelled plans with her understanding friend (I wouldn’t have been as cool as her friend) to spend time with him.

Or because he wouldn’t give PSH a straight answer on a very straight forward question: “Do you want me to come?”

Or because she seemed to have to explain herself to him — why she enjoyed sleeping and what mood she was currently in.

Or because she wrote “he isn’t a potential boyfriend”.

(This is the clarity part.)

Or because she “already had a feeling that (she) couldn’t fall in love with him” and was “pretty annoyed by his behavior”

Or because she “hasn’t been writing him much”.

Each one of these alone are enough of a reason to break it off with him.

But that’s not why I think she should do it.  It’s this:

But I slowly started to realize that he handled stress a differently from the way I try to handle it. I have to plan everything. I usually have a plan for everything, at least in my head. It doesn’t mean than I can’t be spontaneous, it happens, but only when things are right.

I think PSH should break it off with him because she operates differently than him.  She is so fundamentally different from Mr. Sensitive in ways that cannot be reconciled. You’d think two HSPs would be a natural match but NO.  I think she should break it off with him because I was frustrated with this guy and I was only reading about him.  I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to know him.

I’m a planner too and it is integral to who I am.  A plan is important for me to relax, get excited, invest, feel pleasure, trust, everything.  I think I almost need a plan to be spontaneous, as weird as that sounds.  Things have to be right.

Mr. Sensitive is not a bad guy.  Just not good for PSH.

It’s clear from her letter that she wants to be understanding and accommodating and that maintaining friendships are clearly important to her.  It’s admirable.  But, sometimes it’s not in someone’s best interest to place their ideals over the reality of who they are.  Maybe this is the real question, the one everyone can relate to:  my ideals or who I really am?

I say choose who you are, PSH.

Don’t “defriend” him.  Be your own best friend by sticking to your way of operating and only letting people in your life who operate in the same way or at least respect your way.

Again, don’t “defriend” him.  Don’t do anything.  Just keep making a ton of plans that don’t involve writing or calling him. He will fall away.

Ignore this non-advice and go with your instinct.


A recent tweet from @sosadtoday


4 thoughts on “Should I Break It Off With Mr. Sensitive?

  1. Thanks so much for your advice. You clearly hit the nail on the head – I already know the answer to my own questions but need someone else to say it’s okay to feel and act the way I do.
    An update to the story is that Mr. Sensitive still sends me messages occasionally. I don’t respond every time, because most of the time it’s just a link to a band he wants me to listen to or some weird gadget he’s found on the internet. But I do reply if it’s a message that needs a response.
    I really like your post and one piece of advice that I’ll keep telling myself when I’m in doubt is:
    “Don’t do anything. Just keep making a ton of plans that don’t involve writing or calling him. He will fall away”
    Oh and by the way, that sweet patient friend that I let down that day he just turned up: She IS fantastic and the next weekend, I spent time with her in stead of going to his town as we’d actually talked about. So I did somehow try to make it up to her in his expense.


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