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Old 09-07-2005, 09:49 PM   #1
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stacyishere HB User
What to Do?

He & I broke up a few months shy of two years ago. I loved him with all my heart, thought he was the one - but it turned out, he didn't feel the same way and we ended things very amicably. We have remained good friends, almost best-friend like. He is one of the closest people I know and I am the same to him. Of course with this closeness, it leads us to fooling around occasionally (we have never had sex), and it also leads us to some conflict when we get too close and then he gets scared and pulls away.
We have had a discussion after a few times of fooling around about us getting back together, but he is not ready to be in a serious relationship, he feels screwed up about his parents divorce, he wants to get his career on track first and he decided to go back to school in a city 2 hours from home. He told me (and others) that he can see himself with me long term, but right now he can't give a relationship the time and effort that I deserve - but not to wait for him to figure it out because I have to get out there too and figure out if he is really what I want.
So, he left a few days ago, and of course I am sad. It feels like I've lost my best friend. The tears came when we said goodbye, and he comforted me by telling me that we would see each other again, he was just moving a couple hours away and that I would be able to come visit him and everything would be fine. I told him that things would definately change, and thats what was making me so upset.
But, I do know that this will be good for me in the end, because now, with him gone, I should be able to finally move on and get over him. My dilemma is if I should go visit him or not. What I'd like to do is to visit soon, in the next couple weeks, and then maybe once more and then maybe not visit anymore - kinda weaning myself from him I guess. I really don't want to cut things cold turkey, because our friendship has survived an awful lot to just end it. I figure this way, we can still call ourselves friends, but we won't be close friends. Does this make any sense and is this a good idea?

Any advice is appreciated!
Thanks!

 
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Old 09-07-2005, 11:16 PM   #2
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dsleik HB User
Re: What to Do?

definately dont end a friendship, but the best thing to do would to avoid the intimacy..it will only make things worse. if hes not ready for a relationship, then dont mess around w him ....(he'll have his cake and eat it too" ) his parents divorce and school are the things on his mind i think. he needs time to focus on what he wants, and not stress about a relationship. hes probably doing a good thing by saying that he cant give you the relationship you deserve...at least right now. of course, id go visit, but no touching, only hugging! hes someone close to you and its not doing any harm if you remain close. i would say move on in the dating scene dont wait for him or you will be worrying about what hes doing, who hes with etc.... i always say...whats meant to be will be. good luck! stacey

 
Old 09-08-2005, 12:00 AM   #3
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eaglesgirl37 HB User
Re: What to Do?

I disagree...this guy has kept you hanging on for two years now, giving you just enough hope to keep you from moving on or getting over him but not even close to the kind of love and commitment you deserve from a relationship. It's like he doesn't want you, but he doesn't want anyone else to have you either. You really need to break free of this unsatisfying arrangement if you are going to get on with your life and find love again with a man who actually wants you to be his girlfriend, rather than someone he knows is around to hang out with or hook up with when he's in the mood without demanding anything in return. Long distance relationships are extremely difficult (and in my opinion, miserable for those with strong sex drives and at least one good, close proximity relationship in their past to compare it to...generally just a very bad idea unless they are for a limited and short period of time), but they're an absolutely terrible idea when one partner isn't willing to commit to being in any sort of relationship. You deserve so much better...this guy is keeping you hanging on, tossing you scraps every now and then to placate and appease you, but not providing you with anything close to the kind of loving, devoted relationship you want and should have. He's like disease for you at this point...I understand you are close friends, but if you want to get over him romantically and eventually have a love life in your future, you need to cut ties to him ASAP. I'm not saying he's a bad guy or that you shouldn't or can't be friends again in the future, but the way things are now, clinging to him is preventing you from mourning the loss of this relationship and beginning the process of moving on with your life as a single woman, finding your independence and hopefully finding love again before long that won't end and won't have such limitations and strings attached. You say that you want to preserve the friendship, but the way you make excuses for his unwillingness to commit to you and hold out hope that he might want you again in the future strongly suggests that you are holding onto a lot more than friendly feelings for him. I think if you are really honest with yourself, you will realize that you want more than that, and know that the chances of you ever getting the kind of committed, loving relationship you long for from your ex are slim to none. You need to let go for your own sake or you will be holding onto these slim hopes indefinitely, never healing or moving on, just being stuck in this state of limbo for the next four years while he has the time of his life in college, living the life of a free and wild single guy. You deserve to be free too, to have a life of your own, to move on and find a man who actually wants a relationship with you, who you'll be able to see more than sportatically over the next four years. I know it seems like it will be easier to "gradually" cut ties with him, but you need to make a clean break and you need to make it now. To be blunt, you've already been hanging onto him for much much longer than was healthy or beneficial for you. Believe me, I know how much it hurts to lose someone you feel/felt was your true love, but it only gets more painful and more difficult to move on and be happy and in love again the longer you hold onto something that isn't there anymore. He's moved on, and you should too, unless you want to spend the forseeable future yearning for someone who hasn't wanted to be yours for years now. You deserve better, and the only way to get on with your life and find the kind of love you really want and deserve is to move on...and to do that, you need to cut ties with your ex, at least until your feelings for him truly are nothing but platonic.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 12:20 AM   #4
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eaglesgirl37 HB User
Re: What to Do?

PS--I think it's awesome that we're all 3 Stac(e)ys! I wish you all the best of luck regardless of how you decide to proceed...girls named Stacy always have a way of coming out ahead!

 
Old 09-08-2005, 02:53 AM   #5
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realguy HB User
Re: What to Do?

Maybe it"s time to move on and end this one-sided friendship. Forget what he tells his friends. He wants to keep you around while he figures out what he wants from life. That"s not love, it"s having a sure thing to go back to.
Listen to Eaglesgirl.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:12 AM   #6
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dsleik HB User
Re: What to Do?

alls im saying is that obviously their relationship has ended as a couple...the intimacy of being just "friends" needs to end.....and they both need to do their own thing. i DID say move on if you read my post. however the strong, survive and theres no reason why she cant be friends w him unless it hurts the both of them to not be"involved" i also said dont wait for him but why is everyoen so against trying to be friends w an ex? if you cant be friends w an ex it shows, jealousy ( you cant see them w someone else), insecurity, etc. how can you say you are in love w someone and then have no contact w them whatsoever if the relationship has ended on good terms??? just proves yourenot strong then. i was w my ex bf 5 yrs and we ended on good terms. we are friends because the closeness of our families, eacother, caring, etc. we talk maybe once every other 2 months just to catch up, we are both with other people but that doesnt mean we cant see how school is going, etc.....

 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:20 AM   #7
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Ruth6:11 HB UserRuth6:11 HB User
Re: What to Do?

I dated seriously from the time I left home until the day I met my husband at age 34.

Never in all those years was I able to "just be friends" with a man I had loved and been involved with -
and trust me, I tried.
Maybe it can be done, but feelings just don't go away on their own and the pain of being with someone you love(d) who is now "just a friend" was personally unbearable for me.
Good luck if you do try - otherwise the way you end things is really up to you - just be sure that you know what end result you're really looking for. Cold turkey or tapering off - - it still hurts for a long long time.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:34 AM   #8
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stacyishere HB User
Re: What to Do?

Thank you for your advice. I'm still not sure what to do - I know that I still do have feelings for this guy, and I know he has some feelings for me, but he doesn't want to act on them. I do get the feeling he is keeping me around as a back up girl when it comes to acting all boyfriend like sometimes. So, I do have somewhat of a clue when it comes to what he may be doing.
But, that being said - he does encourage me to move on, and we do enjoy each other's company because we enjoy a lot of the same activities.

I don't know what to do yet, but in the end I am hoping that I can let go of him and still have at least a shred of a friendship survive through it. And I think that him not being here is going to help me do that. I also am going to try to put myself out there more and meet new people (although I am terrified to go through another breakup like this one). I think the key is in visiting him in the next couple weeks and then stopping the visits. I am worried about him and all the changes he is going through with his parents divorce, selling his childhood home - its all been very rough on him and I want him to know that sometimes are constant, like my friendship, but I also realize that he is going to actually start this new life, with new friends and girlfriends etc to help him through it.

I do know that I am ready to let go of this hurt and longing - and I will be ready to find someone to return all the love that I have to give.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:51 AM   #9
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evy38 HB User
Re: What to Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stacyishere
Thank you for your advice. I'm still not sure what to do - I know that I still do have feelings for this guy, and I know he has some feelings for me, but he doesn't want to act on them. I do get the feeling he is keeping me around as a back up girl when it comes to acting all boyfriend like sometimes. So, I do have somewhat of a clue when it comes to what he may be doing.
But, that being said - he does encourage me to move on, and we do enjoy each other's company because we enjoy a lot of the same activities.

I don't know what to do yet, but in the end I am hoping that I can let go of him and still have at least a shred of a friendship survive through it. And I think that him not being here is going to help me do that. I also am going to try to put myself out there more and meet new people (although I am terrified to go through another breakup like this one). I think the key is in visiting him in the next couple weeks and then stopping the visits. I am worried about him and all the changes he is going through with his parents divorce, selling his childhood home - its all been very rough on him and I want him to know that sometimes are constant, like my friendship, but I also realize that he is going to actually start this new life, with new friends and girlfriends etc to help him through it.

I do know that I am ready to let go of this hurt and longing - and I will be ready to find someone to return all the love that I have to give.
Hi Stacy,
I understand how you are feeling and that you don't want to let him go, but remember, the more you concentrate on how he feels in this relationship, the less time you spend on dealing with how you feel about this relationship and what your needs are. Really think about this, investing yourself in how he feels is denying the truth that this is really over and you need to move on. You can not be friends with someone you still have feelings for. And, it's not because you are immature or lack self-confidence or self-esteem. It's because you still have FEELINGS for him. Watching him move on, meet and get involved with other women, or treating you like a backup will HURT you. It will make you feel unloved, unattractive and unheard. I would say that finding the strength to break cleanly, until you are completely over him, is a better sign that you have strength, self-confidence and self-esteem. It is the mature and strong thing to do, for yourself.

Last edited by evy38; 09-08-2005 at 08:54 AM.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 08:54 AM   #10
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LittleRose1982 HB User
Re: What to Do?

Hi Stacy! You say that he is encouraging you to move on... what exactly does he do to encourage you? Have you shown interest in another guy and he supports that? What do you think would happen if you told him you were seeing someone?
I definitely think that all intimacy should have stopped when you broke up 2 years ago. As much as he may care for you, he is stringing you along. Maybe he doesn't realize he's doing anything wrong because you've been so willing and accomodating. But all it's doing is confusing you and preventing you from healing from this break up! In my own personal experience, getting over a breakup quickly ALWAYS corresponds with how quickly I break off contact. Especially intimate contact. If you keep looking back, you're never going to move forward. It's time for you to move forward. And the best way to do that, as painful and unfair as it sounds, is to avoid visiting him. And I would highly recommend avoiding contacting him in general at least for awhile.
Don't give up on the idea of a friendship with him, but DO give up on it happening right now. You are not healed from the break up, and until you are there is nothing good that can come with remaining close friends.
I know it's tough to hear, and it's even tougher to put into action. But once you're past the painful part you will be so glad you did it. The important thing now is you focusing on moving forward. Him going away to school is probably the best thing that could have happened. It provides you with an opportunity! He's 2 hours away now... it's the perfect time to stop talking to him and lay the relationship to rest.
Of course, explaining all this to him is another hard part. He has to know you're struggling with whatever relationship the two of you have. And if he really does care for you the way he claims, then he will be understanding and want what's best for you. I do hope that he IS encouraging you to move on, but it's got to be in more than just words. He's got to SHOW it. Let you go.
Trust me. What you two are doing right now is self-inflicted torture. It's like a drug addiction that you have to break. It sucks going through the withdrawal, but once it's out of your system you are SO GLAD you did it! And you feel 110% better too!!

 
Old 09-09-2005, 06:42 AM   #11
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eaglesgirl37 HB User
Re: What to Do?

That is really great advice, Evy and Rose. No one is saying you should never have any contact with him or be friends in the future, just that right now, you obviously want more than that, and to settle for being friends when your feelings for him go far beyond friendship will leave you feeling hurt, confused, and stuck. Evy is right that you are spending too much time thinking about his needs and thoughts and not enough time focusing on what is best for you. Honestly, all that stuff going on in his life may be difficult, but they are not reasons why he can't be in a relationship if he really wants to. You are very nice to be so sympathetic, but please realize that he's using all the stuff troubling him as convenient excuses not to be with you. I'm sorry to say this, but if he really wanted a committed relationship with you, nothing would stand in his way. In fact, when we are truly in love and devoted to our partners, we want and need them MORE, not less, when we are overwhelmed with outside stressors and problems. I'm sure he cares for you and isn't intentionally trying to hurt you and keep you stuck in an unsatisfying kind of limbo while he gets exactly what he wants, but it's clear that you have stronger feelings for him and want more of a committed relationship with him than he does with you. He wants the best of both worlds--to be free to be single and do what he pleases with other women while he's away and also to have you waiting around willing to drop everything and act as a temporary girlfriend when he comes home or feels lonely. That's a nice set up for him, but it is really unhealthy and stagnating for you to be stuck in that situation. I personally don't think that we can NEVER be friends with exes, but I think it can only be beneficial when both partners are completely over the breakup. When a couple tries to stay friends after a breakup and one person is still romantically attached, it always ends in painful disappointment for that person, who if they were completely honest with himself or herself would realize that they are holding onto the friendship because they hope the relationship will revive itself if they wait long enough. There's no shame in telling him you still have feelings for him and want more than to be his backup woman and friend...you are going to need to take time on your own, without putting his needs and wants ahead of yours, if you're going to move on and be happy again. It takes a brave, strong, and confident woman to be honest about her needs and put them before anyone else's interests...it's a wise move to cut contact with him until you are able to get over him, because you're never going to heal and get on with your life as long as you allow him to keep stringing you along and keep your hopes up. For the time being, you need to be on your own in order to get over the breakup and move on with your love life with a man who wants to give you as much commitment and love as you give him in return. Unfortunately, you're just not going to be able to do that as long as you let your ex keep one foot in and one foot out the door, getting the best of both worlds while you are inevitably disappointed at his lack of devotion and commitment. I think it's great to be friends with exes eventually, but it just doesn't work and is actually very detrimental to attempt to do so before you have both moved on...clearly that isn't the case with you, as the lines are still blurred between romance and friendship, and you are not getting as much back from him as you want and deserve.

 
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