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Needing space from a friend I love who doesn't feel the same

HomeForumsRelationshipsNeeding space from a friend I love who doesn't feel the same

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  • This topic has 9 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 7 years ago by Anonymous.
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  • #153500
    Punkin
    Participant

    I hope this post won’t be too long. I feel like I need help with this situation because all of my close friends are also his close friends and I just don’t feel comfortable talking about this with them because of that. But without talking about it, I just end up wrapped in my own thoughts and I feel like I’m in a never ending cycle that I can’t seem to get out of.  Because of this I think I need a bit of a reality check because I feel like I am acting childish for needing so much space from this person and I can’t help but feel like a victim sometimes (and the like the bad guy the rest of the time). So this is what happened: I have been in love with my best friend for what I now realize has been a long time. We’ve had a “couple” like relationship for most of our friendship, so about 8 years. By this I mean, we vacationed together, we cooked dinner, we had tv shows, etc. I realized I couldn’t deny my feelings anymore because it was causing noticable strain, because I didn’t want to be acting like a girlfriend without feeling love anymore (not blaming him, I was doing that and I needed to stop), and instead of talking to him about it I pulled away (because I didn’t think he had feelings for me, and I didn’t want to be rejected if I could avoid it). Neither one of us had any relationships during our friendship, but when I pulled away he began spending more time with someone new. It felt like it was going to turn in to something, and I realized I couldn’t watch him fall in love with someone so I finally confessed my feelings and asked for him to give me space so I could deal with it and I would get over it eventually. He agreed to and said he thought the space would be good for us, though he was scared what it would do to our friendship. After that we went from talking to each other every day to no contact for about a month. We have a lot of mutual friends so he came up sometimes, and I was feeling okay with accepting that he didn’t feel that way about me and that was okay. I still wanted to see how my best friend was, so after a month I decided to break the ice and send a funny meme. I pointed out I knew things were weird but I didn’t want to disappear just because it was embarrassing and we exchanged pleasentries and that was that. It was no where near what we’d had before, and I realized that was just what it would be now. I was sad, but I accepted it and kept going back to my new hobbies to help me move on. Now I feel this text from me had been selfish and I shouldn’t have sent it. I was trying to save the friendship and maybe I was trying to control the outcome, I don’t know. But this woman he was seeing was not happy that I messaged him (really, rightfully so). They got into a fight, she had problems with me being in his life (there were other issues that didn’t involve me as well). He came over to my house after she told him to leave, and we talked about it. She happened to be going out of town for work for a few days when this happened and he was uncertain of where they stood. We spent this time doing the things we used to do, like have dinner, see a movie, but it still wasn’t the same. I finally told him I still needed more space because I didn’t like the feeling of this being behind her back. I know he needed a friend but I made her uncomfortable and we needed to respect that. This led to more conversations that he seemed like he needed to have to talk about why he and I ended up in a couple-like friendship. He told me he too had had feelings for me through out our friendship, but didn’t feel I had ever felt the same. He said we just missed our timing. Well that made me feel so disappointed about how I let fear keep me from the possibility, but I had to accept it because he had already moved on. We continued to message cute animal photos here and there because he said he didn’t want to cut me out of his life and that eventually he and I would get to an okay place again. I kept asking if he was sure, because I felt like I needed more space to get over it, and I didn’t know where he was with the woman he was seeing, but he kept saying it was fine.  Then after a few days of not talking, I messaged him a funny video. He responded that after his talk with me he was in an official relationship with this other woman and it would be best if we didn’t talk anymore. He then blocked me so I actually couldn’t respond to it. I was devastated, and upset because I had wanted the space (but it was so easy to fall back into the familiarity of texting funny and cute things back and forth), and he made me feel like we didn’t need it to get passed it. He took my control away and that is what I think disoriented me so much with that action. I never had time to process this, however, because the next day he again came over to my house. He told me he didn’t mean what he’d said, he was sorry and he wanted to see where we would go if he and I gave a relationship a shot. He also told me that another reason he never told me how he had felt was because he thought if we had ended up together, then that would have been it (like marriage). It was too much to process and I said I needed time. I felt like it wasn’t over with the woman he was seeing (they reconciled, went on a road trip, met her friends and got I to another fight over my messages and problems with our other friends in the space of two days). He told me they were definitely broken up, and he only blocked me because they were driving and things got emotional so he appeased her. I had doubts, but I said I needed things to settle down and after a long week of tension and uncertainty I couldn’t tell how he really felt about me still and I was a wreck emotionally. I told him again, I thought we should have distance from each other and this time no contact. He agreed and said he guess he didn’t want a relationship after all, and we said goodbye (which was actually kind of sweet and I think it was the closure we needed). He still contacted me, and when I reminded him no cute animal photos anymore, he said he understood and told me to look at lyrics to song that was helping him through it, but the meaning behind what he got out of it was too confusing so I didn’t respond.  A few weeks after this he made his relationship with the woman he’d been dating public. Again, I was upset because I’d felt lied too, and I feel like he never really had any of those feelings or thoughts about me, and just said those things so I wouldn’t be mad or upset. But I understood I had put him in a tough spot and I made mistakes I shouldn’t have made, so I felt like I could breathe because it was over and I could finally just move passed it. I wish I could say this was the end of it but it’s not 🙁 A few weeks after he made his relationship public, he sent me pizza for my birthday, posted a nostalgic birthday post and shared an old memory, calling it “indelible”. I didn’t respond for a month, and I was so upset that he’d do that to me AND her, even though I know it was my birthday,  I still felt like it was out of line.  I wrote him a message explaining that I understand it’s hard, and we have a lot of memories, but I still needed more time and distance. He said he was going to respond, but I told him not to. That’s the last we’ve spoken to each other.

    I’m so sorry for how long this post is. I guess I need to get it out of my head, and like I said I can’t talk to my friends because they’re all his friends too :\ I feel childish for needing so much time to heal, because we weren’t really in a relationship, but it also feels impossible when he does things that maybe I misinterpret as more than I should. Ever since my birthday I feel like it’s always going to be uncertain and it keeps that idea of a possibility in my head and my mind won’t let it go and it’s hard to move on. His birthday is coming up and I feel like not acknowledging it is more of a statement than I want to make, but if I do acknowledge it it’ll make things worse. I don’t know what to do, and it seems like such a simple ridiculous thing.

    Thanks for reading/listening if you made it this far 🙂

    #153560
    Momongirl
    Participant

    i feel you 🙁

    but you need to move on, because it will become so hurt if you just like this.

    maybe its time to catch up with another friends, go somewhere for refreshing.

     

    #153566
    Punkin
    Participant

    I’ve been thinking about taking a little trip, I think it would be a nice break. I know I need to reconnect with some other people, too. Thank you for your advice  Momongirl, I really appreciate it 🙂

    #153570
    Momongirl
    Participant

    wish nothing but the best for you. i hope both of us finally get what we deserve, a man who loves us more than anything.

    #153580
    Sam
    Participant

    Hey! I’m new to this site but maybe I could give you some advice.

    To me it sounds like you’re still hoping for a relationship with him and that’s okay. You can’t help how you feel. But my thing is that, I don’t understand how your best friend can switch up on you like that. He’s your best friend and he should treat you with more respect, not play with your feelings. Personally, I would not acknowledge it and let it be. He had more than once to get it right if he wanted to be with you. I’m all for never giving up, but at once point you have to. When it gets to the point that you’re starting to doubt yourself, become insecure, and feel confused; that’s the limit. If he cares for you the way he says he does, he will approach you. If he never does, then you know you made the right decision and he wasn’t worth your time.

    Thats what I can give you right now, take everything with a grain of salt 🙂 I hope it all works out for you! You’re a beautiful person and these little bumps in the road of our life is are stressful, but nothing we can’t overcome. Remember to breathe deeply when you are stressed and now that thing will pass too. Best wishes Punkin <3

    #153626
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear punkin:

    During those eight years of having a couple-like relationship with him, you didn’t have a … couple relationship with another man, correct? And before him, did you?

    It is my understanding that you are and have been very fearful of a more intimate relationship with him. I agree that you indeed “let fear keep (you) from the possibility”. To handle your significant fear, you exercised control. Your control was taking space and distance, repeatedly, avoiding the perceived danger in a more intimate relationship.

    You wrote: “I feel childish for needing so much time to heal, because we weren’t really in a relationship”- you had a couple like relationship with him. You had feelings for him and he had feelings for you. Feeling so fearful of being hurt, you have been and are suspicious of his sincerity and motivations. And you retreat to your own space for a feeling of safety repeatedly.

    The title of your thread: “Needing space”- this seems to be the focal point of your thread and this eight year relationship. Regarding the “friend I love who doesn’t feel the same” part of the title- reads to me that he did have feelings for you, strong feelings, but he was afraid too. I wonder if noticed all through those years that you were unavailable for a more intimate, couple relationship.

    anita

    #153698
    Punkin
    Participant

    Momongirl,
    Thank you, and I’m sorry if you are also hurting.  I wish you nothing but the best 🙂

    #153700
    Punkin
    Participant

    Sam,

    Thank you for your advice 🙂 You’re right I do have hope that it’ll work out and it’s killing me because I know I can’t move on and work on what I need to work on personally unless I do let go of it. I sometimes feel like he really just doesn’t want to let go of the possibility and that’s why he reached out on my birthday. But I know I can’t hope for the possibility and move on, like he seems to be doing, and that’s not good for me. I am filled with insecurity and self doubt, this is true. I need to deal with these issues, and I can’t do that while I obsess over this situation day after day. It feels better today than it did when this first started, so I guess on some level I know it will get better 🙂 Thank you for your encouraging words! (And welcome, by the way! I’m also new to this forum but I really like the community. I hope you find it helpful.)

    #153722
    Punkin
    Participant

    Anita,

    No, I’ve only had this particular type of relationship and it was with him.  I never had a relationship at all before I became friends with him.  I usually (and still do) dodge advances from other men because you are right, I am uneasy about the idea of a intimate (physical) relationship with anyone, and the lack of experience with that did make me feel insecure, which prevents me from being fully present emotionally I think.  This is actually something that I was very confused about during this situation because I know I love and care about him, I’m sad at the idea of losing him, and I actually liked what we had very much as it was (but I was still frustrated that we weren’t talking about it), but I didn’t feel like I desired more than that.  After going through this, I’ve started to realize that I identify within the asexual spectrum, which I know not everyone understands, but after learning how others who identify as asexual feel about intimacy, I just know that’s where I’m at with it.  So yes, I think my lack of showing physical interest, and my insecurities with my lack of experience kept me from seeming open to anything more, and because I’ve realized this about myself I do realize that that must have been confusing and frustrating for him as well.  I feel I should deal with these insecurities, and spend more time with them before I can be in a healthy relationship with anyone, but it feels like I can’t do that while spending so much energy on the end of this one.  I don’t want to beat myself up over what I could have or should have done differently, I don’t want to resent him because I feel like he wants to keep me on “the back burner” (when I really know it’s probably more complicated for him than that), and I don’t want us to try to hold on to each other if it’s not in either of our best interests (and I really don’t want that to hurt someone else in the process).  Thank you for somewhat validating that it’s okay for me to consider this an actual relationship, because I have such a hard time feeling okay with considering it a break up of sorts.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and share your thoughts.  I really appreciate what you had to say and it was very helpful 🙂

    #153780
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Punkin:

    It very much reads to me like “an actual relationship”.

    I wonder if you shared with him that you view yourself as being on the “asexual spectrum”- if you intend to pursue asexual relationships in the future (perhaps with a compatible man on the spectrum).

    If you’d like more of my input, let me know, anytime (and you are welcome!)

     

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