June 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm #36506
I fell in love with a man many years ago and he did not return my (unrevealed) feelings. We became friends all the same. I eventually came to terms with how he felt, and have had another relationship since. Our friendship though has continued ever since and is now of long standing. Whilst at times it is a close and beautiful friendship, nevertheless I am constantly seeking signs or words that he values me and the friendship and that he won’t walk away. He is not someone who can or will give that, and I never get it, and it is a constant source of distress and insecurity to me. I feel within myself that I would be happier if I could just walk away from the friendship completely. I have tried a number of times over the years but always end up going back. I have also tried to find ways of dealing with the friendship better, so that I just accept it and enjoy it for what it is now, but I don’t do a great job of that either. I know he would be surprised and hurt if he knew I was thinking of walking away from the friendship, but I feel I need to do this for my own well being. I just don’t know how. Any ideas would be much appreciated.June 5, 2013 at 5:15 pm #36509PaulaParticipant
So you are in love with a man that has yet to return how he also feels about you. Now you are friends with him, very close friends but you are debating within yourself about your true feelings for him. Did you tell him how you truly feel? Dose he really know? Maybe he doesn’t know and feels your just a close friend. I’m thinking its something inside you that’s conflicting with what your feeling vs what is now. I’m no expert but look within and see what is really troubling you and ask yourself, “Do you know how to express your feelings”. “What’s holding you back”?June 7, 2013 at 10:08 am #36577Susie QParticipant
I am curious – did he ever know your true feelings for him? I just ask this, as I have a friend who is in a similar situation (although she was intimate with here guy, but only ever on a casual basis – not sure if you ever got there). She has since moved away from him, but has not stopped thinking about him (she actually plans to see him again soon). But even while she was living in his same city, she would fantasize about having this “relationship” with him, and would be disappointed when he did not reciprocate. It was like she had created her own story and relationship in her head and would go so far as to put words to his actions. But the thing is, he never knew her true feelings – she never expressed that her feelings had grown deep for him. Based on her actions, he probably thought she only wanted a casual relationship as she never expressed anymore than that, and would joke about being his booty call. From hearing that kind of talk from her, he probably thought that is all she wanted. She would make presumptions as you did “he is not someone who can or will give that” – how do you know for sure? Maybe he can or cannot, but you will never know until you ask, and until you divulge your true feelings. For my friend, her fear is she will lose him, but the thing is she never really had him, or at least had him the way she wanted. I have been practicing, as difficult as it is at times, to just spill it all out…hold nothing back – and I have to say so far the results have been very positive – issues have been resolved and dialogues opened up. Worse case scenario for you, he confirms what you believe, and then you can make a choice to accept you will never be more than friends and the glimmer of hope is removed, or you move on – but at least if you choose to move on, it is with knowledge and understanding. Best case scenario, he may too have similar feelings but was afraid to express them as he thought they may push you away as a friend? And even better case scenario, you have taken your first step in being honest with yourself and others and have begun a practice to express yourself to others. Good luck! And I would love to hear how things evolve…June 10, 2013 at 3:39 am #36651
Thank you both for your replies, I do appreciate it. Susie Q, I haven’t ever directly told him how I feel. Very early on in the friendship we had an altercation, after which he sent me a note saying that he valued me deeply as a friend but felt I saw the friendship as something more. He then went on to tell me, which I hadn’t realised when we first became friends, that he had just come out of a “love of his life” 3 year relationship, and the last thing on his mind was another relationship. I denied that I saw it as anything more than a friendship, which wasn’t honest of me, I did it to protect myself I guess from what I saw as humiliating or embarrassing or rejecting. But here we still are, years and years later. We have had our ups and downs in the friendship – spats we call them – but we have always come back to each other and the friendship. I have wondered over the years, there have seemed times when I thought his feelings might have changed, but I guess I was resoundingly put off by what he told me way back, and like your friend, have not had the courage to express my feelings to him, for fear of losing what at times is a most beautiful friendship. I now feel like I just need to look after myself and my own feelings, and move on, I’m pretty certain he now just sees me as a long standing friend, and there are times when I think he sees the friendship as quite casual and not that close at all. I feel like I just need to occupy myself with other things and other people and not even try to go there with whether he may feel differently. I am trying to learn acceptance, which I should have done years ago, and although a part of me wishes I had walked away years ago, I don’t want to regret the good times I have had with him. I am trying now to learn how to find fulfillment from within and from doing other things and spending time with other people, and trying not to notice a gap where I would have preferred him to be. But you have been accurate in picking that I am not that good at expressing what I really feel…..June 17, 2013 at 4:47 am #37038AnonymousInactive
Hello everyone and thanks for reading my first post. I am 29 and have 2 little children. More then 2 years ago I met a man through mutual friends, we had a very strong connection from the start but both obviously caried our past within this new relationship, he was a virgin with no prevous partners and has been dealing with depression due to unemplyment . I just ended my 10 marriage in a bad way. I guess we were both lonely and tired of it. Also we are both foreigners in this country, which means I have no family and on only one friend here. Only weeks after meeting I became pregnant which obviously caused huge stress for us and has put our relationship under a big strain. Our relationship has been going on and off constanly since and was never really stable or let me to feel that he was commited to me (us). Also I already a had a daughter from my marriage which he loves and she loves him too. Despite all the ongoing issues he was always around helping with the kids when I needed it. We both love each other dearly and want nothing more than end this madness and be together properly but somehow we both can’t seem to move on and always keep falling back into the old habits and argue about nothing really. He’s been home to his mum recently for several weeks and when he came back siad for the first time that he is now ready to spend hs life with me and for us to get married. But nothing has followed those words since, instead I have been nagging him constanly with my old habits trying almost desperately to get him to talk and then he rather closes up completely which leads to him leave my place or the situation and me with more questions and frustration. I am right now feeling very low and sad, I love him and I wanted us to be married since we had our son. I felt happy that he finally managed to sort out his issue with his mum which are cultural and prevented him from commiting to us previously. On good days when all is well between us I feel so happy and wish that it should be like this forever. But once we argue and I realize that there is hardly any communication possible between us I feel so frustrated and wonder if we truely have any future as a family…!? I’m so confused and heartbroken, not sure if it is really my fault, do I pressurise him too much with questions? I know I lack patience but where is the balance? All I wanted to know where I stand with my kids, I told him that if he wanted us to be married and a family he has to improve also and talk to me. Just to come back from a trip home and say ” I want to marry you” and expect me to have no questions about it is rather unrealistic I think. I guess I have to let go and keep breathing. Any words of advice are greatly appreciated, as you can tell I am confused and mentally and emotionally messed up right now. Thanks to you all. AnneJune 17, 2013 at 4:54 am #37040AnonymousInactive
Sorry this was meant to be posted as new topic.June 18, 2013 at 3:13 pm #37164TeraParticipant
I had been in that situation and it worked out for the best when I completely walked away. I know on the surface it may have seemed kind of cold and heartless and may even appear resentful to the other person but it was nothing like that. I walked away because I was stuck in a painful holding pattern in which I wasn’t going anywhere. It was also emotionally draining me, on top of making me crazy. It had nothing to do with the other person whatsoever. In fact I still deeply love the person I walked away from, but I no longer feel the attachment or pain of their unrequited love.
When I walked away however I made sure to pull the plug completely. I blocked all email contact, blocked their number on my phone and deleted all messages and anything that could tempt me to look back. I even had a special private goodbye ceremony for just me which involved flowers, balloons, a poetry reading, dressing up, and a personal celebration afterwards. Not only was it a great day, but the ceremony seemed to make it official somehow.
Sometimes life offers us situations where there is no clear cut answers and that’s those times when you just have to make a clear choice. In my situation it worked out better because I could finally breathe again. It also reminded me that the beautiful dream I held for that relationship was never a reflection of that persons love of me to begin with but rather the love I had for myself. To be more specific, I was only using that person as a reason to feel loved.
Since walking away from this person, if I were to ever see them again, I would still love that person just as much but not with the same attachment. It would feel more clear because I am not expecting anything.June 22, 2013 at 11:00 pm #37307
Thank you so much for that Tera, it really resonates with me, particularly that you “could finally breathe again”. It’s really helpful to hear that someone else made the difficult and painful choice to walk away but that it had a positive outcome. I’m in the very early stages of no contact at the moment and hope I remain strong enough to maintain it. Thanks again.June 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm #37389TeraParticipant
You may be surprised to find you’ve already made it through the hardest part. For me I found it fairly easy to move on when I made the decision to let go. I didn’t really have any regrets, and if there were it wasn’t long for that feeling to go away. I guess it’s because I stopped giving all my attention to that person or the thought of them anyways. Now that my attention could go somewhere else all that faded away. I was still the same person free to love or not love as I chose. Whatever happens from here, I wish you great happiness.July 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm #38283JoParticipant
From what I have read it seems you have made the best decision for yourself. You settled for friendship and you made the most of that but it was never enough and you have suffered enough. You are a brave lady. Having taken those first steps just keeping going and stay brave…