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I actually was talking to my work friend today, I asked her honest opinion on our friend and she essentially ord-vomited all the same issues I’ve been having. A few coworkers overheard us and were like “are you talking about friend? yeah, he acts really strange.” then listed things they observed how he treats me and my work friend, also noting how he treats his girlfriend is very cold. I was speaking with his roommate who said he didn’t notice any of this, but he doesn’t hang around us as much, and apparently he’s very affectionate with the girlfriend when they’re alone. I am worried she’s dealing with similar problems I dealt with when I was with my ex, but I’m also worried I’ve been making a big deal over nothing. Roommate said he would observe our friends behaviour [and he does agree he can go a little overboard with his white knight complex and will act like a chivalrous knight and it comes off domineering and intimidating] but we should explain to him one thing we’re concerned about then wait until we bring up another issue. If we approach him in a group or give him a list of problems, he will feel attacked and lash out verbally. So I’m figuring out the best way to approach him and will be talking to him about our biggest grievance when I see him either next week or the week after [depends on right time and how comfortable I feel] I will be stepping back from our dynamic, and possibly boundaries will help.
Thanks again for your input [as well as everyone else, it was very helpful]
Regarding the party [because a lot of people including K and B asked about that] it’s because all my friends will be there. I’m not 100% comfortable going since I have a pretty good feeling of what’ll happen, but of the people going, two live at the apartment [friend and roommate] so they have to go, then there’s girlfriend and work friend, and I’m mostly going for work friend because she’ll be sitting in a corner while friend socializes with his high school friends [he always forgets about work friend, girlfriend and myself when his older friends are around, though I’m a little curious how he’ll treat his girlfriend in this situation] As for their relationship [brace yourself for this shock] he doesn’t like her. He’s told me before she even asked her out how annoying he finds her, and when I asked how their relationship was going his response was [and this was the only time he’s called her this] “my parents love her. She’s the favourite out of all my girlfriends.” then she walked away and he added, “sorry about that.” then quickly changed the subject. So while he hasn’t said, “I don’t actually like her.” I find their lack of chemistry and his actions towards her odd. Other friends find it odd, regulars and coworkers find it odd, you’re preaching to the choir regarding their relationship. I’m just dropping the subject and waiting for one of them to snap [and honestly, I don’t know who’ll break first, he seems to have very little patience for her yet his parent’s aren’t harping on him anymore, and she’s over the moon she’s got a boyfriend, especially since, like I mentioned earlier, a lot of girls like him.] I am taking a step back regarding his physical closeness, but I still don’t want to lose him as a friend. As for the flirting, I’m trying to do it less, but I’m bad at flirting, as is he, and we didn’t realize that’s what we were doing until people pointed it out, so it’s become our default. [and I know that could be an act, but he’s told me stories about his terrible flirting, his friends have told me stories of his bad flirting, and I’ve seen him try to flirt with girls he liked. He’s bad.]
Do you feel I should address my concerns to him? [not about the relationship, about our friendship and his questionable behaviour] or should I just quietly bow out and hope distance fixes things?
I know the feeling, and I really hope it works out for you, but remember, are you falling for her, or the image of her in your mind?
I also know how frustrating it can be when someone you care about doesn’t instantly reply. Remind yourself they can be busy. I would like to say, ten minutes to an hour for a response is quite good. As an adult with friends working completely different schedules [three office workers, two in call centres and the rest retail] having ten minutes to wait is bliss sometimes I have to wait four to eight hours and get a text that begins “sorry, work was crazy, I almost forgot to take my lunch.” Granted, I know that doesn’t help because in that time my anxiety-riddled brain can go bonkers.
I would still tell her how you feel so at least you’ll know and can stop living in this purgatory of “maybe, maybe not.” I would also look up some ways to avoid hyper-focusing and dwelling on an infatuation
Firstly, yes, my fiance is a wonderful man and I’m the luckiest person to have him. I want to stress I’m not pursuing my friend, this is just how our friendship has progressed [we tend to make a lot of innuendos, sex jokes and flirtatious banter] I discussed it with my fiance, he said it was a little questionable, but he trusts me completely, it’s my friend he’s convinced is up to something. As time’s gone on he’s stated he dislikes my friend [especially after that dinner, obviously, which my friend still doesn’t believe my fiance doesn’t want his friendship. I’ve told him to his face twice and my friend still acts like they’re best buddies and nothing happened] and while he won’t tell me to stop being friends with him, my fiance does hope I walk away from my friend. As for how I would feel in a similar situation, I was years ago. He had a longtime friend who he knew through an online game and they were flirtatious. I met her in the chat a few times, she was very nice, wanted us all to meet in person one day. Unfortunately, she passed away, it was very hard on my fiance. We decided to have a photo of her at our wedding because she was one of the first people we told and she instantly said she would attend.
Very fair point about the girlfriend, though I should point out we’ve been friends for over a year and have always acted this way. His girlfriend hasn’t been dating him long, she was one of the friends we hung around with for the same amount of time, and she’s seen [and commented on] our friendship. About a month ago, she asked him out without telling us and wanted to keep it a secret. If we didn’t overhear her bragging to a coworker she was dating our friend, we’d probably still be oblivious. Yes, that whole hugging me in front of her happened after we found out they were dating [which again, it’s only been a month] but when we confronted her with this fact [as in myself, the work friend and the roommate] we said we were fine and nothing had to change. And I’ll admit my friend took the “nothing will change” statement to heart since we’re still as flirty, cuddly, clingy as before. We still sit together when we go out places. I’ve deliberately waited for his girlfriend to take the seat next to him, and he’ll get all confused. Twice since we found out they were dating he’s looked at me all sad and asked why I didn’t sit next to him, and once [at her house I should add] when everyone else got up for food [I stayed in my seat because I wasn’t hungry] he took our friends seat next to mine and moved it so close to me he was practically in my lap. [no joke, I asked the person sitting across from us at the table if there was no room and she replied “oh no, there was enough room to put another chair between your friend and the person next to him] I know I’m not defending his actions very well, I’m mostly trying to say it’s a very new relationship and he’s acting like they’re not dating outside of walking beside her when we’re in a group. Otherwise, it’s the exact same dynamic as it’s been for a year, and if you were to ask who his girlfriend was, everyone instantly picks me. I know his girlfriend isn’t happy, she refuses to say anything, but I’m leaving things as the way they’ve been because that’s what we all agreed on. So until she backs me into a corner and starts demeaning me [I’m betting it’ll be at the New Years party he’s hosting because my fiance is banned from attending] I’m leaving things as they are, just trying to take a step back from her as a person and avoid any extra physical contact with him.
Reading your above post, I’ve met a number of narcissists and while you make a good point, he is different from them, which is why I hesitate to conclude he is one. Yes, I’m also aware of my tendency to “save” or “fix” people, and I’m trying not to with him, but there is a part of me that’s trying because [as far as I’m aware, it could all be a lie] I know him and I know what he’s going through. This is where I get confused because of all my past trauma I’m constantly double guessing and seeking validation because I’m convinced I’m making stuff up, what’s happening is not really happening, like sure he keeps bumping his leg against mine, but that’s a coincidence, not intentional [to which everyone including my fiance is like “he’s a straight dude? Yeah, it’s intentional.”] I’ll examine how our next hangout goes [if it’s not the party it’ll be movies next week] and if he’s still rather physically close I’ll say something because I have been trying to keep a little distance since he’s now dating someone [despite how she treats me]
I’m sorry to hear that. I was in a similar situation a year ago with my fiance, so I know how your wife feels. The difference is, she seems unwilling to fix it. I felt distant with my fiance, we talked through it and decided to have more us time. We picked one day a week to be alone, go on dates, be intimate, or just cuddle on the couch and watch a movie. He also disliked how much I’m on my phone so I’m making an effort o reduce the amount of time I’m on my phone. I didn’t like how I would be in one room and he would be in another, so now I’ll bring my laptop into the living room while he’s playing video games, and he’ll come into the bedroom to nap instead of on the couch. It’s little changes but they’ve made a big difference. The fact she won’t even go on a date night upsets me. Furthermore, divorce isn’t “quitting” it is a healthy option. [no, I’m not saying run out and get that divorce] We grow and change as people over time, and someone you loved five years ago might not be the same person today. The other major one is if your future goals don’t align. There’s a show I love Aggretsuko [yes, anime fan, go with it] in its second season, it pushes this point home. Retsuko falls in love with this perfect guy, and Tadano is amazing. The two get along perfectly, they’re both better people together and want to be together forever. The conflict comes when Tadano tells her he doesn’t believe in marriage and doesn’t want kids. Retsuko realizes at that moment that’s her dream, to one day be a wife and mother, but Tadano doesn’t want that. They both love each other, they’re perfect for each other, but to live “happily ever after” Retsuko would have to give up on her dream. They break up, it’s painful for both of them, but they know it’s for the best. That’s a very painful lesson we don’t teach enough, you’re not losing, or quitting, by forcing yourself to stay somewhere that wouldn’t fulfil you, you’re failing yourself.
If she seriously wants this, go out on that date, talk about your dreams, do the work together. You both deserve to be happy, as do your kids. As someone who’s parents divorced, I can tell you, the kids know when mom and dad are upset. You can show them more if you are honest, civil, and loving. It will hurt, but how you handle it [divorce, reconciliation, or remaining in a loveless marriage] will teach your children a lesson, and hopefully the right one. Yes, work together, fall back in love with each other, remember why you fell for each other, and rediscover the people you’ve become [13 years, so much can change. Think about your favourite show 13 years ago, is it still your favourite? time marches on and things change so slowly you don’t notice]
I wish you both the best of luck and I hope things work out better than you dream.
Regarding his girlfriend [honestly, this is the most times she’s been called that. Most people don’t know they’re dating and he has only once referred to her as his girlfriend. In fact, when she gave him his birthday gift he gave her a high five and said “you’re an awesome friend” then gave me a hug a few minutes later] as I said, I don’t like her because of how she treats me. There’s a small part of me that gets joy out of how he comes to me and not her most of the time [and I know I shouldn’t] but I have tried to take a step back. Hence why at the party I sat across from him and not beside him as normal. [but as my friends observed, his focus was on me and not his girlfriend] I’m currently working on not being so open with her [my therapist suggested it] I’ve known her for a little longer than him, but I know more about him in 8 months than her in nearly 3 years of working with her. She gives me one-word answers or walks away, and when I talk to her about things she will say things in a judgemental tone. She’s also diagnosed me with a learning disability despite the fact I’ve explained why I am the way I am, and that I have been tested for the learning disability she claims I have and I do not, then she’ll go “yeah, but it’s usually misdiagnosed, so I still think you do.” The last time I told her anything in an attempt to be friends was when I was super excited I had a breakthrough in therapy. I told her I discovered the emotion I typically feel is shame [huge deal for me, I had no clue. typically, if I’m not happy, I’m sad, other emotions don’t register] and she looks at me, scrunched up her face and goes “oh? you didn’t know you constantly felt shame? Because it was really obvious to everyone.” and skipped away.
As for my family, I have all the abuse [I use to say “all but one” but another breakthrough in therapy, turns out it’s all of them *unenthused cheer*] I know it doesn’t excuse it, and it really doesn’t help my case when I say things like “they were only physically abusive when they got mad, so it wasn’t so bad.” But it’s how I rationalize and cope. They were people doing the best they could, despite it being bad. My parents had a very rough divorce [hearing them screaming every night for 3 years can make anyone triggered by arguements] We moved to another Provence with my mom who would get upset whenever we reminisced or called our dad, dad’s side, or old friends, so my sister and I stopped contacting them, and they eventually did the same. It’s strained, but we’re slowly rebuilding that relationship. [which he encouraged me to do]
My friend specifically wants me to confront my mother, who he doesn’t like [yet she finds him charming and can do no wrong] I was a parentalized child, had to play therapist for my mother, became her “rock”, was emotionally manipulated and verbally abused. When I was in my gaslighting relationship I developed an eating disorder [which she brushed off as “you’re not thin enough to have an eating disorder”] and began self-harming, which resulted in her getting mad every time she saw and would hit/punch me or throw things at me [which normally happened growing up when she caught me doing something she didn’t like] my mom has moved far away and whenever she comes back to visit she stays at my place. She’s visiting next month and has voluntold me she’s staying. This is why my friend wants me to list all those things to her and go “and for those reasons, I am not comfortable with you in my life.” To which I know exactly what will happen, she’ll cry, probably hit me, and start screaming about what a terrible mother she is. Instead, I limit my interactions to texting and the occasional call. When I’m with my mom it’s odd. The first day everything is fine, and then she’ll say/do something upsetting and I just have to bury it, but in the years she’s been away I’ve become more open and willing to talk about things, so having to bite my tongue around her and her side of the family [aka, the people my friend want me to confront and cut out] it causes me a lot of anxiety, which causes me to have a panic attack, which then causes my mother to hit me and tell me to “stop making a scene” which, as we all know, fixes a panic attack. [spoiler alert, it doesn’t] then she leaves in a huff, goes to my sisters [who is far better at coping and is aware of my struggles] and proceeds to vent to her about what a terrible person I am and how bad our mom feels because of my actions. Lather, rinse, repeat. But I love my mom, and we do get along and have fond memories and good times together. We’ve just became different people and she doesn’t like that, and she has a tremendous amount of guilt surrounding all the stuff growing up, but she doesn’t believe in therapy, doesn’t want me being too open with a therapist [which is why she doesn’t know I go to therapy] and becomes defensive when I bring up the past.
I have anxiety, so I work myself up with scenarios and scare myself before she arrives. While things are never as bad as I envisioned, I’m still on edge. This thanksgiving we visited my grandparents and my mom’s family was there [including my uncle who I did cut out of my life and is banned from my wedding. He threatened to kill me and my fiance and when I told the family they shrugged and went “that’s your uncle for you. He threatened to kill me *proceed to tell me the time he threated/attacked them as if it’s a charming story*”] it wasn’t as bad as I expected, but nobody spoke to use outside of my sister and two cousins [the other “black sheep” of the family, religated to eat in the kitchen while the rest of the family sat in the dining room. Wasn’t a problem, we called dibs on the kitchen table to avoid them.] the only thing they said [after not seeing me for two years] was “oh, you finally lost the weight” then walked away. No hi/bye nothing, just commented on my weight and vanished. This triggered my eating disorder and made my nerves bad and my mental health went down for about 2 months and very recently I started eating/recovering from it.
Basically I like my life now and any change [mom coming back, losing my friend, his girlfriend] is rather upsetting because it’ll change for the worse, and I want things to change for the better. [and I know bad things will happen, but if I can prevent them, I would like to]December 23, 2019 at 10:14 am in reply to: i am 22 F. how do i fall in love myself. what is wrong with me. please help. #329123
Well, this all sounds rather similar to my life story. I was far more confident and outgoing in school than as an adult. In my late teens and very early twenties, the majority of my friends left to attend school and the only friends I had left were rather toxic. I clung to one of them, eventually, we began dating [though he didn’t want to officially tell anyone outside of the 3 people we hung out with] and this resulted in being gaslit by him, even before our relationship began. I was very lucky, the same day I was breaking up with him [long story short, it was bad] my now fiance called me cute and wondered if I wanted to go out [we just talked for a few months before we actually went out] he has been a mental/emotional/spiritual safe haven for me and has helped me grow in so many ways.
Anyway, that background on me aside, answering your question. Firstly, I’ve been there, breath, take a step back, and connect with friends. Find a hobby and meet new people. If you can, move away from your parents, they are toxic and won’t help you in your healing/love journey. I know how difficult it is when all you see/feel is the negatives. I remember being 22 and rolling my eyes at positive thinking, concluding people who always look on the bright side are just ignoring the negative and pretending. I saw them as miserable people who refused to admit to pain and were worse than someone like me who could see the world was terrible and could accept that fact. Truth is, I still don’t like those people who actively avoid negativity, but that’s a rare extreme. What you choose to surround yourself with will greatly impact your worldview. While I don’t want you to avoid being informed, limit your news and social media consumption. Our world thrives on bad news and drama and this can really weigh on you. Something else I did the first year I tried to improve was getting a mason jar and write down positive things. At the end of the year, open the jar and read them. It’s amazing the things you forget. [I’m doing it this year] You can also journal, make a vision board or post affirmations around your home. Those last two took me a while because I was embarrassed a random person might see it and judge me for it [irrational, but something I felt at the time] I did try over the years to keep a gratitude journal, listing 3 things every day I’m grateful for. While I love the idea, I’m bad at being consistent with that one lol.
Exercise and eating healthy are also beneficial. While not quick fixes, you’ll feel better, you can also find communities online as well at local health clubs/gyms to keep you motivated, meet new friends, and discover a new positive viewpoint. Meditation is also a positive in my opinion. As well, try therapy or some other type of counselling. I know it can be expensive, difficult, or you may think it isn’t necessary, but you’d be surprised. Even as simple as a free help phone, someone to talk to, it’s very useful. I’m Pagan, and something I do is called Shadow Work, which is based on Jung’s concept of the shadow, a place where we bury our “darkness” and as someone who embraces the darkness of the world, healing by walking through the dark tunnel really connected with me.
Loving yourself will take longer than you think. [I still struggle] You can start by going to the mirror, looking yourself in the eye and saying “I love you.” [and it will be uncomfortable at first] Make a list of things you love about yourself and hang it somewhere you’ll see it every day. You are enough, and you deserve to be happy and loved. Keep working to better yourself, but do it because you want to, not because others tell you you should be smarter/funnier/better. That’s self-loving, caring about yourself enough to do what makes you happy not because this person is smarter, or that person says I could be prettier if I dress this way.
Best of luck to you.
I have two separate friend groups. My group of old friends live in the east end of the city, and my new friends and I live in the west end. The only reason K and B know my friend is because I invited them to my party. They do not actively seek him out and don’t go out of their way to socialize with him. My new friend group, we all have varying degrees of eye-rolling “he’s doing that thing again.” The other day I was telling his roommate what my fiance claims he did at the dinner and the roommate sighed and replied “of course he did that. He thinks he’s some valiant knight protecting his friends when he’s actually coming off as a bodyguard.” and we both had a laugh at our friend because he does this. He thinks people see him as a bad white guy, so he will frequently step forward and go [essentially] “I am a tall, straight, white man, and I am defending the rights of all those who are not me because for too long straight white men have been in charge and it is time you listened to this oppressed group. Since I am defending said group, I am a good person.” He thinks he’s being chivalrous when really it’s coming off, well, desperate for validation?
As for our flirtatious friendship, my fiance is fine with it because he knows it’s harmless and nothing would happen [we have a very open, honest relationship] he’s more concerned my friend will cross the line. As for his girlfriend, she won’t say, because she bottles up how she feels until she explodes. When that happens, she waits until I’m alone [example, I go into the stock room at work and she follows me] then she’ll corner me and hound me until I’m crying because “see, you say you’re sorry, but I don’t think you really are.” Though I have noticed when it’s a little too intense, she jumps between us, gives me a hug [she almost never hugged me before they started dating] then cuddles up to him [and half the time he pulls away from her] Example, this one time we went two weeks without seeing each other [the longest we’ve gone in over a year] when he came into my apartment he raced over and held me for at least a solid minute if not two. After a while, I asked if he was okay, he said no, when I asked what I could do he replied “just hold me.” so I did. It wasn’t until, as I said, a minute later at least, I realized and told him his girlfriend and my fiance are in the room and he let go. [my fiance said it was fine, his girlfriend didn’t say anything] when they were leaving he slipped his arm around my waist and was giving me a side hug while we chatting in the doorway. His girlfriend was standing across from me and I could see her squirming and she proclaimed, “I want to hug Neko too!” then tackle-hugged me really quicky, turned and quickly hugged my fiance [who she has said repeatedly she hates] then grabbed her boyfriends arm and drags him outside.
Thanks for your input. your line about him wanting me to fight injustice made me smile because that’s what he does. It’s what he lives for. It’s something I admire in him. I know what he meant by it, but we have two different worldviews. His upbringing wasn’t abusive but he did have a number of toxic relatives. He confronted them and argued his viewpoint so he could receive some semblance of closure, so he advocates people do the same. I don’t like confrontation, I always tell him nothing disturbs me, he can say/do anything and I won’t be bothered, but in that friendly debate, I explained the only thing that triggers me is being in the room with two people arguing. If two people are screaming a each other I break down, so approaching my family and laying out all the terrible things they did, I know will result in them yelling at me, and I will crumble. He’s not pressuring me to do it, he’s articulating how freeing it was for him, and while it isn’t for everyone, he wants me to stop avoiding.
My New Years’ goals are working on my self-confidence, tone down my inner critic, and build on the things I’ve started in therapy. I’m trying to build a more positive future, one where I’m more emotionally and mentally stable. My fiance and I are wanting kids in the next 5 years, and while it’s not the only reason I want to become a more stable, well-adjusted person, my childhood trauma has always been a shadow looming over my vision of motherhood. I don’t want to repeat the patterns, so I’m actively working on finding stability now. I honestly feel about 5 years behind in my life lol. I know everyone’s on a different path, but I feel like I’m 30 going on 25 in terms of accomplishments. This year has been so rewarding, a lot in part to my friend, and I’m hoping to build on the successes and projects I began this year. I’m actually excited for the future [which hasn’t happened since I decided to move to this city 3.5 years ago]
lol, I love your response Inky [also, hi again] I feel like I’m bad at describing people, but I’m being honest, and I really do see the issues. While I’ll consider taking a step back from our friendship, it’s either I keep him or lose all my friends. I work with his girlfriend and our other friend, and our third friend is his roommate. My work friend and his roommate are the two nobody has issues with. I’ve never felt comfortable around his girlfriend even before they started dating, she’s very judgemental and passive-aggressive, especially towards me and I’m currently trying to put up a barrier between her and I because of how critical she is of me. If I try to take a step back from my friend, he’ll notice. I had a bad mental health month or two recently and he noticed before anyone else and was checking in on me constantly. On the rare occasion I’m upset with him, he notices and will pull me aside to talk. If I stop hanging with him, I stop hanging with all four of them because we’re pretty well woven into each other’s lives now. Another major reason I’m contemplating stuff is because I’m finalizing the wedding invitation list because I’m sending them out next month and he frequently checking up on things, asking guest-related questions, and seeing how the planning is going. I was going to go around not inviting his girlfriend by going “well, he has a plus one” and should they break up, one of the other friends will have plus ones and they’re all single [which is one of the theories why he’s trying to separate my fiance, I usually had to check with him before any last-minute “who wants to go to this place in an hour” and the majority of the time I would tell him “I would, but my fiance feels it’s too last minute” and now it’s just me invited, so I always go] but if he doesn’t get an invite, he’ll have questions. Heck, everyone will have questions, because we’re so close strangers constantly think he’s my fiance.
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Nekoshema.
Thanks for the input. My fiance says I keep making excuses for him, and my friends keep asking why I want him as a friend. I see the signs, but I don’t get that “bad person” vibe off him like other toxic people I’ve met. He has said he knows he’s not perfect [despite always joking he’s never made a mistake] and he wants us to tell him when he can improve. So I want to confront him about these behaviours because, again, I really care about him as we get along so well and have helped each other grow through the year. My problem is I’m terrible with wording, and I know if I say the wrong word it will set him off. No, he won’t get violent, I mean he will either cling to “but you said angry when you meant upset” instead of hearing my point or do that curse me out and storm off.
I have heard from a lot of people, including my fiance, they suspect he’s trying to break us up. I highly doubt that mostly because I have such a low sense of self-worth I doubt anyone as attractive and charming as him [because he is, there’s a lot of girls who have crushes on him, but he’s convinced he’s ugly and nobody likes him] would actively pursue someone like me. However, you’re the first person to claim he sees me as a “prize” which does seem to explain a few other behaviours of his surrounding his “girlfriend” and his treatment of her [it’s normally indifference. He’s only called her his girlfriend once, only to apologize to me once she left the room. He never elaborated on why though] While I admit to our flirtatious friendship, the fact he’s affectionate isn’t exactly exclusive to me. He has more female friends than male friends, and while I’m the only one he’s given back rubs and played footsies with [I’ve asked them] if he knows you’re comfortable hugging him, he’ll hold your hand or accidentally brush against you a little more than coincidentally. This leads B to conclude he’s a creep [especially since he grabbed her foot twice. The first time he was rubbing her sock talking about how cool they were, the second he grabbed her foot and when she said “that’s not your girlfriend’s foot” he apparently didn’t let go for almost a minute] granted, I don’t want to assume he’s a creep, but laying it out like that [and I’m leaving out a ton of moments I’ve had with him where he would cuddle up to me, which has doubled in frequency since he started dating his girlfriend] I can totally see how his behaviour is crossing a line, even if I’m comfortable with it.
I feel it’s all his perception of himself and I’m hoping to talk to him [but I’m not sure how to word it] so we can work together to improve his “alpha” persona when he’s in public. He tells me frequently how he’s the master of perfect first impressions and he’s terrified he’ll never live up to that first impression so he goes extra with everything. I can’t tell you the number of times we’re in a group and when the two of us leave to head home you can see him physically drop and breathe a sigh of relief and he turns into this completely different person who is anxious and sweet and tranquil. I’ll never forget this one time in the summer we were sitting on a patio completely alone [the plaza had closed and we were watching the sunset listening to some folk music] and we were just chatting about life. He was telling me how happy he is with how his life has turned out and how lucky he was to be a bachelor. We started chatting about life and philosophy all tranquil until his dad drove by and saw us. His father gave him this friendly but finger-wagging “it’s nice you’re hanging out with Neko, but doesn’t she have a fiance? You need to find a girlfriend of your own. Neko, help find a girlfriend for my son, he’s bee single for years.” then jumped in his car and drove off. This resulted in my friend who fifteen minutes earlier was overjoyed with being single to go “he’s right, I’m miserable and need to find someone. Do you have any single friends, Neko?” and when I called him out on it he claimed he was fooling himself and needs a girlfriend.
Perhaps I’ve fallen for the friend I see when I’m alone with him when in reality he’s more often surrounded by people and is, in fact, the confident, assertive, calculating person in reality and his persona has become his personality. I don’t want to believe I’ve fallen for someone as calculating as my ex, because I do see his flaws, but he’s always encouraging me to grow as a person, he wants to grow as person, and he’s always talking about how much he loves people who insist on growing. Every time we get together, while he’s doing his whole “look at me” schtick, he’s encouraging people to read books and watch esoteric movies so we can discuss and discover new viewpoints. He doesn’t want to be suck in a box, and I like having a friend who challenges me in a nice way.
I know how you feel. I’ve been in situations like this a lot. If you’re anything like me, you’ve built up this idea in your mind and that’s what’s fueling your nerves/infatuation around D. As terrifying as it is [and I know it is] you need to tell her how you feel. Go somewhere where it’s just the two of you [neutral place like a cafe] and tell her. Don’t blurt it out, but after a few minutes, you’re comfortable, explain how you feel, and tell her [I’m assuming here] you would like to go out on a date, but if she doesn’t feel that way, you’re happy to remain as friends. Think of all the reasons why you like her. Sure, you’re attracted to her, but all her positive qualities as a person, you like her as a person, so is it really so bad if she says she just wants to be your friend? It can be awkward, and it can take time to heal, but you can still be friends if romance isn’t in the cards. Should you refuse to tell her, you’ll feel worse, trust me. You’ll build your fears of telling her, and you’ll be in pain physically and emotionally. While trying to flirt or give signals to test the water is a safe move, don’t rely on it. Sure, three months may seem new, but if you wait too long, she might see you as a friend by the time you finally tell her how you feel.
From what you’ve posted, I don’t know if she likes you as more than a friend or not, but you might be playing it too subtle so she doesn’t realize you like her that way. I’m glad you found someone to talk to in the moment instead of ruminating on it alone. I can’t weigh in on the “she was drunk/she didn’t mean it” thing, but as someone who used to drink a lot at parties, the notion of lowered inhibitions causing you to make out with anyone is very likely [I would just hope no major creeps were near D to take advantage of her] above all, I would hope you have the moral fortitude in the situation to know where the line is and to not cross it, as well as to insure D [or anyone who is intoxicated] is safe.
Regarding A, I hope you’re not planning to use her as a backup in case things don’t work out with D. It isn’t fair or kind to you or to A. That said, there’s no reason not to remain friends with A. Should things progress romantically, there’s no harm in pursuing her. Even if you simply wish to be A’s friend, don’t feel guilty for texting her, you have no reason to be.
Best of luck to you.
Hi Anita! I’m so happy you’re still here ^_^
I’m a little stunned you found that old post [I honestly forgot about it] it is still something I struggle with. Interestingly, I recently said something similar to my therapist about how everyone says I’m too negative and she said “I don’t think you’re negative. I’ve always felt you’re realistic.” I almost cried. I seek validation from others, it’s one of the many things I’m working on. [a lot of abuse throughout my life, I need reassurance, because I’m always double guessing my emotions] That’s why I’m here. It’s a new decade soon and I really want to achieve my goals. I know New Years isn’t going to change much, but I’m really feeling that new year energy thing, you know? So I’ve been reflecting on a lot of aspects in my life, and my friend has become a topic for many as “why are you still friends with him?” He means so much to me, and we mirror each other in a lot of ways, but when he’s in a group, he becomes [for lack of a better word] an alpha male and a lot of questionable behaviour rises up. There’s a part of me that is worried he’s wearing masks and even when we’re one on one it’s an act, but on the other hand, I really don’t feel it is. I’ve just been wrong before, and I’m worried he might be manipulating.
Around the time I was at my lowest point, he was too, and one thing we both did was remove toxic people from our lives. The difference was, he told them to their face everything they did and gave them a choice to change or leave. I simply limited my interaction with them until they faded into the background [this includes family members] Recently, he’s been trying to convince me to do the same thing he did with the family I am in frequent contact with. We debated it and agreed to disagree since my view is I love them, just don’t like them, and I don’t want to burn a bridge because there was a lot of trauma in the past. His view is any bridge, even a rickety one, that leads to a toxic place should be burned. I told my friends this and K and B say it sounds as if he’s trying to isolate me from my family. [all three of them know how traumatic my upbringing was, K and B agree I should limit my interaction with my close relatives, and that bringing up the past to go “see what you did” would simply be a cruel excuse for a fight. Confronting my relatives, giving them the long list of abuse I suffered, then cut them out, is what my new friend wants]
Anyway, it’s stuff like that, he means well, he wants to help me grow, but his approach can be extreme, and his personality changes depending on the people we’re interacting with. None of my old friends trust him and can see a lot of red flags and similar situations. I admit I see them too. Even my therapist warned me I’m running towards him because he’s broken and I want to save him [especilly since he saved me earlier this year] I just don’t know if I should confront him or leave it, or perhaps as all my friends say, run away because he’s actually manipulating me.
[Sigh, emotions and relationships are tough lol. Hope you’ve been well.]
thanks for everything. sorry about the late reply, kind of all over the place [obviously]
that was nice what you said about my coworker, hiding frustrations just came easier for him i suppose. regarding the whole don’t smile at the rude customer, i would if i could, but my work doesn’t like that. we’re suppose to go above and beyond for the customer, so we have to act super happy friendly and jump through hopes for entertainment. yes, we do have our regulars we can kind of be real with, but the ones you don’t want to be, those are the ones you need to impress. otherwise they complain to head office and we get in trouble. life still isn’t normal there yet, but it’s getting better. still, i have been thinking about it, and while i want to move up, it doesn’t feel worth it, like it’s just moving away from the things i like about the job and closer to the stuff i don’t, and i want one of those jobs that makes me want to go. i know there’s good days and bad ones in every job, but something i’m excited to do for 40+ years is what i hope for. it was very sweet what you said about being friendly in my own way, sadly my way of being friendly is to say something sarcastic to you and give a crooked smile. [this is why i struggle making friends, i’m scary lol]
i’m glad you like the poem. in the context of the poem i was tapping into [empathizing i suppose] with the main character, with her struggle to be like the people around her. i really like The Bell Jar, but i have to be very careful reading it [i’ve been intentionally avoiding it during this week] because i completely feel for her, one of my favourite chapters is when she sits at the sea side waiting for the tide [why i put that in the poem] there’s been a few times i’ve gotten too immersed in the book and had to put it down. [maybe i shouldn’t connect with a woman who eventually committed suicide in real life] i keep getting these sparks of inspiration only for them to die out and i’m left looking around wondering why i can’t smile and carry a friendly conversation, or why i don’t know what i want out of life. i’m still trying, but it’s just hard when you don’t know how to narrow things down, or where to go. it’s twice as frustrating when most people says it’s normally something right in front of your face you keep overlooking like ‘well then how am i suppose to see it if i keep overlooking it?!’ lol, that’s the annoying part of life i guess.
thanks for all your help, i really enjoy reading your responses to forums [even when it’s not about my problems lol]
thanks. He died of an overdose. Of what I’m not too sure, but I know he did acid and my coworkers worry he relapsed and started doing coke again. I know the whole ‘hiding your pain behind a smile’ but he wasn’t like that, he really was a beautiful person. He would come to us when he had a problem, it was just an accident which is what makes it so hard for us.
im an introvert and shy, so it’s hard to strike up conversations, but it’s having to smile and nod while someone calls you an idiot for making a cappuccino with foam when they don’t like foam, or being told you don’t have a real job, or when I am in a great mood and I try to connect and people just look at their phone and ignore me. and I know it’s just ‘there’s jerks everywhere’ but a good portion of my success [to the district manager] is my ability to engage and have meaningful conversations and I’m a failure if the person is more interested in their phone then the barista trying to talk to them. We’re always expected to be ‘on’ so if I was waiting in line to buy a cookie or whatever, people come up and start asking me questions, or if I’m sitting eating my lunch again, ‘how much is this item?’ So I hide in the back and if I say ‘so this customer was annoying’ I get my manager, or assistant manager [two very positive people] question why I have to be so gloomy. Trust me, it’s a lot better than my last place, but my only stumbling block is the customers. I’m not friendly enough according to corporate which discourages me, especially when I would see him joking and laughing like the customer was an old friend and I just don’t know why I can’t be like that too.
regarding my writing, it’s all over the place. A lot of emo teen poetry, some short stories that ended in tragedy, some murder mysteries, one fantasy novel, and a bad romance. I was thinking about trying my hand at nonfiction because it’s not the fame of ‘oh it’s Nekoshema the author of x, y, z’ I just enjoy writing and would like to make money doing it so I could be a barista or whatever, but not as a ‘it’s all I’m good at’ but more of a ‘barista as a hobby’ because I enjoy all the barista stuff, just not the social aspect.
one of the last things I wrote was a poem series inspired by books I was reading at the time, the best one in my opinion was the one based of Silvia Plaths The Bell Jar
Avocados and Caviar
The feeling of nothingness
Deep – useless – bleak
Occasional twinge of melancholy
But always this suffocating doubt
Those distant days
Of avocados and caviar
Seem lost – locked away
Or captured – in a picture – beneath a bell jar
Do I love you?
Simple yearning for more?
Did I ever love you?
Trapped in hell
Crushing intense pain
Let it die
Let the sea come in and take me
And let me die
Its not perfect and it’s probably still sad teen phase but that’s probably the last thing I wrote before I gave up.
- This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by Nekoshema.
interesting, i’ll try that next time, thanks!