March 23, 2020 at 9:06 pm #344902
There is this beautiful girl from my middle school, who happened to immigrate to Canada at the same time as I did. We both settled at the same city and I felt like that was the arrangement of fate (I still do). I fell in love with her; she didn’t. So I spend my 15-18 year old life trying to be a better person so that I could match her. To be honest, my mind drifted and I flirted with several girls in this period. Fortunately, I was too unattractive to go any further 😀
We got together after I went into university, after a road trip. She came to the same university to stay with me. We love each other very much and we had a few, if any, arguments in the past four years. Basically, everyone around us said that it is an exceptional relationship. She and I feel unbelievably lucky about each other. I once thought we will be each other’s 50% of life. Ever heard of the story that human used to have 2 heads, 4 arms and 4 legs, until they got cut in halves, then they have to find their lost other half? It really felt that way.
The problem surfaced when she recently met this guy, Joe (fake name). She had been staying up late to 2am chatting with Joe. She also goes to Starbucks and his condo to do homework with him. Meanwhile, I, already graduated, am working from home. Distance and my stress from my career/family made it objective harder for me to emotionally connect with her (and now coronavirus). I felt like she’s paying less attention to me which makes me frustrated. I am also scared of the relationship between She and Joe. Back then, it was very black and white between me and her friends (only a few): she spends way more time with me talking about way more personal things; she has way more attachment with me than any other friend. Now she’s saying that she and Joe are so similar that she can receive total understanding from Joe. She thinks that Joe is her soulmate, and I am not. They have memes with each other. They send each other “hug” emojis. They tell each other that their lives have been completely brightened up after each other comes into their lives. With that said, she repeatedly assures me that she and Joe are friends, and she and I are still a perfect match for marriage. She said that she does not have any passion for Joe and they are just platonic friends.
So here is how I feel. First, I am worried that her love for me is not pure. I always thought of love as what’s in the love stories. In the story, Juliet didn’t have a male soulmate friend. Since I treated her with unambiguous love by staying away from all my close female friends, I was expecting something similar. Honestly, I felt betrayed.
Second, I always love the idea of “open your eyes wide before marriage and close them half after marriage”. I really want to understand whether my girlfriend is someone who I can trust completely. I am not saying that she’s intentionally cheating on me, but what if she’s so agreeable that some man can trick her into an affair? Joe is 10 years older than us, and I can’t be sure that he does not have passion for my girlfriend. I mean, not a lot of people go into an affair thinking that, “I am going to cheat” at the very beginning. I think it is very important for one to stay self-aware and refrain from testing one’s own rationality.
Last, I am struggling to distinguish friend and lover. If Joe got hit by a car and has to stay in his bed for 3 days, I will not feel terrible (but still will feel bad) if my girlfriend goes and helps him out by setting up some hand rails and bringing take-out food. But I will feel very bad if she gently help him out of the bed, then cook for him and do dishing for him – that makes me feel like they are already married. In fact, that’s how I now feel sometimes. I feel like they are more like couples then she and I.
I have a lot of negative emotions about this and I tried to stay away from entailing them (I read the forum guideline). But please also acknowledge that I feel bad about this. I had been bothered by this for about 2 months, crying into my pillow every 4 or 5 days. I sometimes do want to break up with her to end my suffering, but I also know that I will regret forgoing such a wonderful lover, or is she? I am having some trust issues now. Also, I always feel morally obliged to not be jealousy. I do not want to be jealousy but I also do not want to be a fool.
I need to speak from her perspective too, I guess. She desires friends and approval. She has not made a new friend for 8 years. She’s met this person who knows exactly how she feels, and she knows exactly how Joe feels. It’s just wonderful in a way that they can love and support someone, and simultaneously be beloved (hopefully it’s grammatically correct) and supported. She is probably 90% certain this is pure friendship other than affair. She’s trying very hard to take care of my feelings by making her chat history completely available to me and by communicating very clearly with me about her feelings. She also took a step back by telling Joe that she will still give him emotional support, but will turn to me for her own emotional needs.
I felt reasonably assured every time after we talked, but there will also be something that comes up and irritates me. For example, this time, it is her telling me that they are soulmates and we are not. She also told me that even if they stop talking, they are still soulmates because the connection cannot be broken.
I want to make my question explicit: what is happening here? My believes are under great challenges, and I am failing to comprehend what is going on. I felt like my legacy believes are not working, should I try building up a new belief system? What should be my best strategy? If you think the relationship should be ended, is there any advice on how to achieve maximum mutual benefit in this process? I obviously do not want her to lose both me and Joe, but she said that if we broke up, she will feel so guilty that she might never talk to Joe.March 24, 2020 at 9:13 am #345072
“Ever heard the story that human used to have 2 heads, 4 arms and 4 legs, until they got cut in halves, then they have to find their lost other half?”- I am entertaining this imagery in my mind: that’s a whole lot of halves running around, millions of halves in a big city like New York City, bumping into each other (prior to the current outbreak turned pandemic) in search for The Half. It makes for billions of halves globally, communicating online, all in search for the One and Only Half. This makes for a statistical nightmare!
Your alleged Half, your current girlfriend, met Joe, a man who is ten years older than her, “staying up late to 2am chatting with Joe.. goes to Starbucks and his condo to do homework with him.. They send each other ‘hug’ emojis” while you are working from home, stressed from your career, family and the coronavirus.
She told you that “she and Joe are so similar that she can receive total understanding from Joe. She thinks that Joe is her soulmate, and I am not”, and yet, “she repeatedly assures me that she and Joe are friends.. She does not have any passion for Joe and they are just platonic friends”, and she and you “are still a perfect match for marriage”.
You suggested that Juliet (Romeo’s Half aka his soulmate) didn’t have an additional soulmate category available to her: a soulmate-friend. But your girlfriend is telling you that you are not her soulmate-friend, Joe is. But she wants to marry you.
“Honestly, I felt betrayed”, you wrote, and you don’t know if you can trust her. You want to “open your eyes wide before marriage”, which is now, opening your eyes now.
You’ve been bothered by this for two months, “crying into my pillow every 4 or 5 days. I sometimes do want to break up with her to end my suffering”.
“what is happening here?”, you asked. This is my best answer at this point of studying your one post: your girlfriend killed the whole concept of soulmates. Romeo and Juliet didn’t get to be together because of forces greater than themselves, not because either one of them had a separate soul-friend, causing the other Half to suffer hurt, anger and jealousy, crying into a pillow!
It’s okay with me that she killed the concept of soulmates because I don’t believe in it myself. What is not okay with me is that your girlfriend is not to be trusted. Opening your eyes now, is seeing that at this time, she is not a trustworthy woman, so better abandon your plans to marry her, and make yourself available (following a period of grieving and waiting for the pandemic to pass) to meet other women, and find one who is trustworthy.
The only way your girlfriend’s behavior can fit a marriage with you, is if you and her are okay with an open marriage arrangement, where you know that your wife is being intimate with you and with another man. If you are not, there is no way that you can be okay with the thought that she is spending time alone with another man in his condo, feeling secure that the hugs emojis never turn to real hugs.
Your girlfriend, who should become your ex girlfriend, says I, has certain beliefs about relationships that unless changed, make it a bad idea for you to be in a relationship with her.
Please let me know of what you think about what I wrote here so far.
March 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm #345110PeterParticipant
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
“Most people think of love as a feeling, but love is not so much a feeling as a way of being present.” — David Richo
It might help if you define what you and your girl friend mean when using words like soulmate and love. From the what you wrote about your girlfriend who describing Joe as her friend but not having any ‘passion for’ she is likely defining soulmate and love differently then you are.
I am worried that her love for me is not pure. I always thought of love as what’s in the love stories… I really want to understand whether my girlfriend is someone who I can trust completely.
You have answered your own question – you do not trust your girl friend. You want to know if her love is pure and if you can trust her completely and then go that her love is not pure and that you don’t/can’t trust her.
I’ll be honest I had difficulty reading past your concept of love as being ‘whats in a love story’.
Between the lack of trust and romanticized concept of relationships and love I don’t think your ready for anything deeper without out allot of personal work. Your story reads more about a desire to have control over someone then loving them, writing down our thoughts is a tricky business so if I’m wrong I apologize.
I do not mean to be cruel. This idea of a ‘pure’ love doesn’t mean much to me. I think its something that people just say without defining for them selves what it means to them. And trust comes from having healthy boundaries and sense of self, trusting yourself. If you don’t trust yourself you will never trust another. The idea ‘completely trusting’ to me imply s having boundaries that are so ridged that any trespass will be enough to knock them down, or so week that they don’t exist.
We see things as we are not as they are. If you want this relationship to work you will have to trust her and get over her having any male friends. If you can’t do that , that’s fine, this relationship is not for you. That boundary, that choice/issue is yours. I will say this In partnerships where one gives up (asked to give up) their friends to make the other feel better about the relationship… its not love, its fear and possibly control, not relationship.April 9, 2020 at 11:19 am #348422
Thank you for your reply. Your reply made me felt a lot better, because I obtain the social proof for my negative emotions.
I have not seen my girlfriend for another 2 weeks and we refrained from discussing this issue. I tried to calm myself down and re-think the entire problem.
I think my girlfriend is not a lier. She really put in a lot of effort trying to make it transparent. Her decisions aside, I think I can at least say that I am making decisions based on complete information.
I think I might give it another try by getting to know Joe a bit more. If I get to know Joe and trust him, maybe I will not look at this as a potential affair, but accept their way of interaction. They are working with me too. They are changing how they interact.
If it does not work out, then I will be very sad. I will hope that they found someone who can accept this, and we three will live happily. But yeah, life is tough and one has to take the trade-offs.
Thank you again for your message Anita. I really appreciate it.April 9, 2020 at 11:37 am #348428
You are very welcome.
“I think my girlfriend is not a liar”- maybe she is honestly blind to the situation. When I say blind, I mean not just that she may be blind to who her friend is, but to her own motivations and feelings.
“I think I might give it another try by getting to know Joe a bit more”- good idea, you will have the opportunity to see for yourself what she may be blind to. I hope to read from you later, as you open your eyes more and more to the situation.
April 9, 2020 at 11:37 am #348430
- This reply was modified 2 months, 4 weeks ago by anita.
Hi Peter. Thank you for your reply. I am inspired by some of your claims, and I think these inspirations will have a butterfly effect in my life. I do need to learn to trust myself, and stop trying to push anything to the extreme.
I do have a disagreement though. Correct me if this is a straw man fallacy, but I think you implies that a healthy relationship should not pose any restriction on the other party. I do not agree with this Pareto efficiency argument.
Everyone has some predisposed belief that cannot be changed without great cost. It is practically impossible to find a pair of lovers who have exactly the same belief. So there must be times that they face conflict of belief and conflict of interest.
Because communication and empathy does not give perfect information about how one’s counterpart feels, people are acting more of less based on their own judgment and interest. As a result of this inevitable self-interest and conflict of interest, there will be circumstances where one’s motivation and behavior will cause harm to the other. Given the existence of such circumstances, total freedom should not be allowed, because it will necessarily implies the exploitation of the weak.
But still thank you for your reply, Peter. It is a very big issue for my life, and I really appreciate your comment.April 9, 2020 at 12:09 pm #348438
* Jordan: we submitted our posts at the same time. If you didn’t notice, my recent post to you is before the one you submitted last.