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Mourning a relationship you never truly had

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  • #381418
    Roro
    Participant

    This is my first post! I’m 20 y/o, male and a university student!

    So about a year and a half ago I met a girl and we went on a couple of dates. She was the first person I’d ever been on a date with and I built up a lot of expectation in my head thinking she was ‘the one’ and that I was going to marry her etc etc.
    So anyway she decides to call it off after those dates.
    A year later after we went out we start talking again. She starts talking with me out of nowhere when she had just broke up with her boyfriend at the time. We talk a lot and I feel like im getting a lot of mixed signals. We talk about it and then have a break for a couple days and I forgive her and all in myself and just said I was the one holding onto feelings (when that certainly wasn’t the case). So anyway we get closer and closer as friends over the next few months. Whilst we enjoyed each other’s company I just felt constant really intense anxiety all the time, it was like I was being tortured. Just thinking about her all the time. So anyway my feelings about her got too much and the fact we weren’t in a relationship hurt too much and I broke it off.

    It’s now been two months since we stopped talking and I feel like I’m just in a pit that I can’t get out of. I think about her all the time. She’s just there in my head, sometimes specific thoughts and memories but most of the time just being there in my head. I wonder whether I should rekindle our friendship or not, unsure what the best thing is for me. I haven’t made contact with her since I’ve tried to move on with dating apps but just haven’t gotten anywhere. I keep coming back to the same place. Does anyone have any advice. (Thank you for listening 😊!)

     

    #381420

    Tell her how you’re feeling. If I knew someone felt this way about me, I would want to know. If it doesn’t change her mind, it will give you peace and closure. You’ll live in regret if you don’t.

    #381421
    Roro
    Participant

    Hi Sarah thank you for taking the time to read and reply ❤️

    I did tell her that I had feelings for her when I broke our friendship up and she said she wasn’t looking for a relationship at the point in her life. Maybe I do need more closure though.

    #381422
    Roro
    Participant

    .

    #381423
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Roro:

    “So about a year and a half ago I met a girl and we went on a couple of dates. She was the first person I’d ever been on a date with and I built up a lot of expectation in my head thinking she was ‘the one’ and that I was going to marry her etc.,  etc.”- it’s very important to learn who she is before considering that  she may be “the one”: to ask her questions, to listen to her answers and to learn about her: is she honest, is she caring, is she trustworthy.. what does she want, what does she care  about.

    “So anyway she decides to call it off after those dates. A year later after we went out we start talking again… We talk a lot and I feel like I’m getting a lot of mixed signals. We talk about it..  we get closer and closer as friends over the next few months”- you didn’t communicate with her well enough, you didn’t learn what’s behind her mixed signals.. maybe her signals were not mixed and it just occurred mixed to you (?)

    “I wonder whether I should rekindle our friendship or not, unsure what the best thing is for me.. Does anyone have any advice”- if you contact her, I suggest a better, more effective communication with her so that you can learn what she wants in life and what she  wants, if anything, with you, and whether you want her after knowing more about her. If you would like some help with improving your communication with her, such as in asking her questions, let me know.

    Edit: I just read your post a minute before I submitted mine, that she told you that she doesn’t want a relationship with you. If you want to elaborate on this, please do.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #381426
    Roro
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply Anita! 😊

    yes I think you’re right it’s never occurred to me to find out exactly what she is looking for so thank you for pointing that out.

    So when she reached out to me initially she wasn’t interested in persuing  any relationship with me. But over the next few months we got closer and closer and then I couldn’t take it. I told her that I’m getting feelings for her and she said she wasn’t looking for a relationship at that moment in time.
    So maybe it is clear that she doesn’t want a relationship but I don’t think we’ve communicated about this openly enough and I’m yet to find out exactly what she wants.

    I would love some help in improving my communication with her thank you! ❤️

    #381427
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Roro:

    You are welcome. Can you describe what you mean by “we got closer” (“over the next few months we got closer”): what does “closer” means, what words and actions took place between the two of you that resulted in you getting closer?

    I will be back to the computer in about 11 hors from now.

    anita

    #381428
    Roro
    Participant

    So that period of us getting closer was purely friendship based but we talked over text everyday between 30mins-90mins a day. We video chatted a lot and whenever we were both at university we both met up a few times and hung out for the day. We got to know each other as intimately as you do with a friendship over a short period of time. We asked how ours days were, talked about our struggles and sufferings in life and we always had a laugh together.
    It felt like a relationship but without the intimacy.

    #381438
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Roro:

    First, I will repeat the factual part of your story best I can, just the facts of what happened (I am sure the account is not 100% accurate and that it is not complete, so please correct me): at about 18 or 19, you met a girl and went on a couple of dates. Following the second date, she called it off. A year later, right after she broke up with her boyfriend, she started talking with you “out of nowhere”. A seeming friendship started. Early on in the friendship, you told her that you had romantic feelings for her and she expressed to you that she is not interested in a romantic relationship. You then did not have contact with her for 2 days, but resumed the friendship, and over the next few months the two of you  talked over text everyday for 30-90 minutes a day, video chatted a lot, and whenever both were at university, you met up a few times and hung out for the day. You asked each other how your days were, talked about your struggles and sufferings in life, and often had a laugh together.  You then told her again that you had romantic feelings for her, and she told you that she is not interested in a relationship. Two months ago, you ended the friendship.

    Second, I will repeat your thinking and feeling part of your story: she was the first person you dated and during the first 2 dates with her, you built up a lot of expectations, thinking that she was “the one”, and that you were going to marry her. When she returned into your life, seemingly as a friend, you wanted to resume dating and have a romantic relationship with her. You didn’t know how she felt about you, feelings at times that she is interested in you romantically and that she was giving you “a lot of mixed signals”. During the friendship, you thought about her a whole lot, and  you were very anxious (“I just felt constant really intense anxiety.. like I was being tortured.. the fact we weren’t in a relationship hurt too much”). Feeling so badly, you ended the friendship.

    Two months after ending the friendship and no longer talking with her, you feel that you are “in a pit that I can’t get out of. I think about her all the time. She’s just there in my head”, and you wonder if you should rekindle the friendship, “unsure what the best thing is for me”.

    My comments: as you can see I separated the factual part of the story (the objective part),  from your private thoughts and feeling part of the story (the subjective part). The gap between the objective and the subjective is responsible for much of your anxiety. When a person X falls in love with person Y, what often happens, is that X so intensely desires that Y will love him back, that he imagines it to be true. Even if Y says: I like you only as a friend, X imagines that Y doesn’t mean it, or that she loves him deep inside, but doesn’t know it yet, etc. When Y smiles at X, X sees love in her eyes.. seeing what he wants to see, and closing his eyes to  what he doesn’t want to see.

    This is why it  is very important to communicate clearly and honestly, at length when needed, so that the subjective part of your story fits the objective part. When the two parts fit, you will know how to proceed in regard to this young woman/ dating in general.

    I would like to read your reply to this post, and if you think that I missed any relevant part to the story, any part of a conversation you had with her perhaps, please add it.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #381440
    Roro
    Participant

    Thank you for helping me clear things up in my head a bit more. I think there was and is a large dichotomy between my objective and subjective experience and being exposed to that all the time heightened my anxiety a lot.

    I am hoping to meet up with her on Wednesday. I have never fully explained my feelings towards her and I’m planning to discuss my feelings for her and why and where they come from. Doing that feels important to me. I want to find out what she thinks about me and whether she has had similar thoughts and feelings in the past. Do you think there is anything else that might be important to discuss?

    Even though I do love her and care very deeply about her I’m unsure whether I would like a relationship with her. This doubt feels odd as I have incredibly strong feelings for her. We had a very very good friendship and were very respectful and kind to each other so I don’t know where this doubt comes from.

    #381442
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Roro:

    You are welcome. I suggest that you plan to meet with her in a location that is quiet enough for the two of you to be heard by each other, a location without much distractions, and at a time when neither one of you is in a hurry.

    Prepare for the meeting by typing what you intend to tell her. If you want, you can post it here and I will give you my advice on whether you should say more about one topic and less about another, etc. Be aware that even though you have a lot of feelings and a lot to say, she may not have the ability to hear too much about your feelings, as she may get uncomfortable and maybe overwhelmed. So, better use fewer words than too many words.

    Also, during the meeting, you (1) may be too emotional and forget what you planned to tell her.. so maybe (?) it is a good idea to give her a typed paper with what you want to tell her, or read it to her when you meet her, and/ or (2) you may be too emotional and not pay attention to her responses (facial expressions and words) to what you share with her-

    – this is why I suggest that you tell her that you would like to meet her for let’s say 20 minutes first time, and then a second time and maybe a third, so that each time is not too long, and during a second and third time, you will have the opportunity to bring up things you forgot to bring up in the first meeting, or things that you thought about after the first meeting.

    “I want to find out what she thinks about me and whether she has had similar thoughts and feelings in the past”- she may feel uncomfortable answering this right-there-and-then, not being prepared for the questions. She may feel too distressed or confused to even think clearly. So, you can ask her one simple question and let her know that she can answer you in a second meeting, or in writing if she so prefers.

    “Do you think there is anything else that might be important to discuss?”- not at this point. Discussing anything else will depend on what happens in the first meeting (or the second).

    “Even though I do love her and care very deeply about her I’m unsure whether I would like a relationship with her. This doubt feels odd as I have incredibly strong feelings for her. We had a very very good friendship and were very respectful and kind to each other so I don’t know where this doubt comes from”- you being unsure and having doubts is a very common emotional experience, wanting something and being afraid of it at the same time. On one hand, you intensely want to be in a romantic relationship with her, and on the other hand, you are afraid, thinking things like: what if it doesn’t work out.. what if she doesn’t like me.. what if I do something that turns her off.. what if she stops liking me, etc.

    anita

    #381448
    Roro
    Participant

    I had in my head that it would just take the one meet up but it makes more sense that it might take longer.

    I plan to say something along these lines:

    ‘So I have told you about my feelings for you but I’ve never actually explained them to you and that’s something I want to do. What I look for for a relationship, personally, is someone who is sensitive, kind and just a best friend. Whilst I wasn’t ticking off boxes when we did talk, you have all of those qualities which explains why I feel the way I do about you. I do care a lot about you but at the time (when we were friends) it just got all too much for me and there was just too much of a divide between what I was feeling for you and what our relationship actually was at the time. I still do have these feelings to be honest and that’s where I stand. You don’t have to say anything or answer right now I can understand that may be a lot’

    Depending how things go I might ask her ‘Did you have any feelings towards me at any point or ever think about the possibility of a relationship?’, ‘Would you ever be open to the possibility of a relationship?’ and then repeating to her that she doesn’t have to answer those questions right now.

    #381452
    Roro
    Participant

    I also thought about saying how I’ve felt during the past 2 months. How I’ve felt about us not talking. I’ve felt a lot of sadness and experienced a lot of memories about her. Though i don’t know if this is relevant.

    #381456
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Roro:

    I am editing what you plan to say to her just a bit, staying true to your words and message:

    I understand that this may be a lot for you to hear, so I don’t expect you to say anything at all today. I am okay if you just listen. You can tell me what you think some other time. “What I look for for a relationship, personally, is someone who is sensitive, kind and just a best friend. You have all of those qualities. I do care a lot about you but at the time (when we were friends) it just got all too much for me. I still do have these feelings to be honest and that’s where I stand.”

    “Depending how things go I might ask her ‘Did you have any feelings towards me at any point or ever think about the possibility of a relationship?’, ‘Would you ever be open to the possibility of a relationship?’ and then repeating to her that she doesn’t have to answer those questions right now”-

    -excellent questions, excellent plan- I couldn’t have worded it any better.

    “I also thought about saying how I’ve felt during the past 2 months. How I’ve felt about us not talking. I’ve felt a lot of sadness and experienced a lot of memories about her. Though I don’t know if this is relevant”- this is all too much for now. Maybe.. maybe in the future, if she expresses an interest in a relationship with you, then you can share with her these things. Now is not the time.

    anita

    #381460
    Roro
    Participant

    Thank you Anita. You’re very kind and thoughtful.

    Thank you for giving me the confidence in what I am going to say.

    I completely agree with what you said at the end regarding me saying how I’ve felt over the past 2 months is too much. I can’t seem to pinpoint why that may not be helpful to say? Could you help me understand this please?

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