May 21, 2013 at 9:46 am #35923KumoParticipant
This post may be a bit long, but I have an issue that I don’t know how to deal with:
I am a college student who has a somewhat inexperienced love life. I met a recent friend (another student) about a year ago, and it seems we’ve gotten to know each other quite well since we met. But not long after I’d met her and gotten to know her a little, I started to have a crush on her. For the most part, I did not enjoy the experience when I first became aware of it. For a while, I was confused, scared, and upset that I had these feelings for her. I kept my feelings from her for about a month and a half, all the while trying to make sure I fully understood how I felt about her. And during that time I became aware that she did not feel the same way (I observed her behavior toward me and compared it to mine, and it was not similar). As soon as I figured that much, I felt guilty and angry at myself every time I thought about her, saw her or talked to her. By the end of that month and a half, my negative feelings were eating me up to the point where I just decided to tell her how I feel – to get it off my chest. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to have a problem with how I was feeling, and even though she never said she felt the same way, she did say she was flattered. I also told her that I hoped we could still be friends and she said of course without hesitation.
We got to know each other more after that, and before the year was over, we became closer friends and confided in each other often (as friends do right?). In January, I went to complete a college project abroad. While I was there, we kept in contact. I returned in March to finish the rest of my semester, and then I realized that my feelings for her, while not as intense, were strong enough to leave me feeling frustrated and anxious every time I saw her or thought about her again. To add to my confusion, we were both very busy during that time. Although we’re good friends, I barely got to see her on campus, and when I did, it was randomly, and she was mostly with another friend in particular. And sometimes I happened to see posts on Facebook that indicated she was with at least one other friend at various times during the semester. Knowing this I became jealous that those other friends seemingly got to spend more time with her than I did, despite the fact that those friends are also female. When I thought about my relationship with her, I became dissatisfied; after all, I barely got to see her or really spend time with her in person, and despite all the time we spent getting to know each other as friends, it was almost entirely through non personal means (i.e., texting, Facebook, email). After wrestling with my feelings for quite a bit, I told her I was sad because I didn’t think I’d get to know her more, since it didn’t seem like there was time for it. I also told her that I still liked her. Again, she said she was flattered and of course I can get to know her more, as well as she’s thankful to have a friend like me and that she just wants to be there for me. Even though she seems to have accepted my feelings, I still have trouble accepting them, especially since nothing changed even after the second time I said something. By that I don’t necessarily mean that I hoped she’d return those feelings (I only said it to get it off my chest and have made no advances whatsoever). What I really mean is that the nature of our relationship hasn’t changed; we still communicate mostly through text/Facebook, and now I can’t see her in person because it’s summer break and we live in two different states. And I still feel jealous of her other friends even now (at least one of them is still near her for the summer).
Now I know I already said a lot in this post, but I think the immediate issue is that I don’t know what is causing me to feel dissatisfied and jealous. I want to say it’s the crush I still have on her, but I’m not entirely sure. The only other reason that leads me to think that is I also have this fear at times that she will end up with someone out of the blue, though realistically it doesn’t seem like that would happen. Even if my feelings are not the cause, I want to move on from having them. From the beginning, I hardly enjoyed feeling that way about her because I worried it’d make our friendship unnecessarily complicated. And I think I was right. I think I would’ve been fine had I only saw her as a friend. As it is, I am 20 yrs old and I’ve liked only four girls in my lifetime so far, her included. In each case the feelings weren’t mutual and I’ve never been in a relationship. I don’t think I’m ready to date yet and I haven’t been very interested in doing so. In one way or another, I haven’t even had the time or opportunity to explore that part of my life (this year I’ve been very busy with my studies, especially in preparation for my experience abroad). Overall, I have very little experience with this part of my life, and although I consulted many friends, family, and even a counselor about it, I didn’t find much of their feedback very helpful. I’ve had to look into a lot of this on my own, but ultimately, with as little as I know, I get so confused whenever I feel this way about someone, and I never know how to handle it. I read several articles of online information, and even a number of posts on Tiny Buddha about unrequited love, but all of it seems to be steps ahead of me (as if the reader looking for advice has already been in a relationship, or fallen in love, which I’m not entirely sure is the same as a crush/infatuation), and I have a very hard time relating to that information and applying it to my own situation. I even looked at my previous experiences with girls for clues but no luck. Ultimately I’m afraid that I’ll strain the friendship or ruin it because I don’t know how to deal with any of my feelings, especially the dissatisfaction and jealousy (in addition to sadness, that’s pretty much all I feel when I think of her now). Our friendship is really good overall and I don’t want to do anything to mess it up, and/or hurt the both of us.
That said, I really hope someone on this forum can relate to my inexperience, and perhaps help me to understand exactly how I’m feeling (because I just don’t know anymore and have overanalyzed it too many times). And if someone can help me to understand how I may move on from having these feelings without ending our friendship (another friend recommended I forget about her, but that doesn’t feel right to me), I would greatly appreciate it. I am very desperate.May 21, 2013 at 11:05 am #35924PeterParticipant
Whether its actually love, just a crush, or may be just the bond of friendship, we all experience unrequited feelings in the pretty much the same way and it all stems from one thing, attachment.
You develop a strong attachment towards another person, that person doesn’t reciprocate the same level of attachment, and so you feel anxious, dissatisfied, frustrated, fearful, and jealous.
In your short, you desire something, you don’t get it, you suffer. All unfulfilled desires and attachments cause suffering. It can be simple.
Here some questions you might want to ask:
What void are you trying to fill with this person that you yourself are not able to fill alone and why?
What feelings does this person elicit in you that have resulted in this attachment? Why are you not able to elicit these feelings from yourself?
Why do you approach this relationship like you’re walking on eggshells? Is it because you know that if you put strain on it and test its strength, you may find the bond weak? Would you not want to know if it can survive the strain and simply let it continue oblivious to the reality of situation?
“If in a relationship there is no tension [meaning no knowledge of self and others], it ceases to be a relationship and merely becomes a comfortable sleep state, or opiate – which most people want and prefer.” – KrishnamurtiMay 21, 2013 at 2:08 pm #35937KumoParticipant
Hi Peter and thanks for responding. To be honest, the idea that I’ve developed such attachment is actually something I very much agree with. I think I already found the root of where my attachment comes from (or somewhere close), and actually wrote about that exact thing in the following post:
While I don’t necessarily feel like Im walking on eggshells with this particular person, she does make me feel happy most of the time. I think she is one of the few friends in my life who I really trust, and I feel like before I met her I actually didn’t know what “real friendship” was, in a sense. I never really had a consistent group of friends until I got to high school, and when I finally made some I was so afraid that it wouldn’t last so I became a people pleaser. I held myself back a lot and grew to dislike conflict entirely. I at least knew deep down that I wasn’t handling this in a healthy way, but I guess I felt like this was as good as it would ever get for me. Then as I got know her, I realized that there I could have better. Meaning, I could fully express myself and there would be people who would accept me for that. I learned this after meeting other people too, but she was the first person to show me that. I know attachment hurts, but I don’t know how to let go. It was bad enough that I started relying on her so much to keep me from feeling lonely, but now none of my friends and family are close enough to me for me to feel any better. For as long as can remember, I’ve been alone in my thoughts, feelings, and myself. I didn’t fully express myself to anyone, not even family. It’s so hard to express myself now and I hardly know who I am, but in my relationship with her, along with some others (but very few), I’ve gotten as close as I could and it felt like I was leaving the dark place I was stuck in. I know I should learn to be ok with myself and not rely on others to make me happy, but what am I supposed to do when everyone I feel close to is not near me right now? And even if I didn’t feel as attached to her or anyone else, based on how I grew up without many friends, my idea of a friend (or someone who cares) is someone who is always there (at least in my heart), and someone I can spend time with in person, in the flesh. I guess when I see others spend time with each other in person and I realize that I can hardly do the same, I don’t know what to think about my relationship with someone (especially my friendship with her). Isn’t physical presence in a relationship important? What am I supposed to do or think when I can’t have that?