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Old 03-20-2007, 08:18 PM   #1
veronicam
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questions

Hi everyone, I used to post a lot here but forgot my password. Anyway, there are a couple of issues I was really hoping you guys could advise me on.

First of all, I broke up with my bf a few weeks ago. We'd been friends for ten years and a couple for less than one, so I am hoping that eventually we can be friends again. However, he was a lot more into the relationship than I was and was really unhappy when I wanted to breakup, so I'm not sure how to deal with him from now on. I was going back and forth about whether or not to end things for awhile, but finally I realized it just wasn't fair to keep him hanging in a relationship I wasn't at all enthusiastic about. I guess I should probably give him space for awhile? Does anyone have any advice as to how I can let him know that I'm sorry things didn't work out, that I still care about him, and that someday I hope we can be friends again? For now I'm keeping my distance, but I hate the idea of never talking to him again and really want to avoid that if possible.

Second, I'm wondering about a guy I've met recently and whether or not he's interested in me as more than a friend. I don't want to get involved with someone else right away, but I can't help but be curious because of some things that have happened since we started working together. When we used to go out with coworkers and friends, he'd make a big point of telling my ex (who was still my bf at the time) how lucky he was to be with such a "great girl" like me. Then one night I drank too much and he offered to drive me home, which also necessitated him driving me to work the next morning and back to my car after work the next day. I thought he was just being a good guy, but on the way back he started telling me how he didn't understand why I was settling for my bf when I had so much going for me and could (according to him) do so much better.

Normally, I would have told him to shove it, but since I'd been debating breaking up for so long anyway, I kept my mouth shut instead. His opinion didn't impact my decision to end things, but it echoed what a lot of my friends had been telling me...I just don't get what his motive would be for saying those things if he wasn't trying to get with me himself. Then again, my other friends were saying the same thing, so I don't know. I'm not sure how to take that at all, but I do like the guy, and I wouldn't mind if our friendship turned into something else over time.

So anyway, the next day when he was driving me back to my car, I said that it was a bit out of line for him to tell me to dump my bf and he said that he didn't say that, he just said I could do way better and he didn't understand why I wouldn't hold out for more, but if I was happy, then he was happy for me. I said I wasn't ever that happy being tied down and then changed the subject, but I just got an odd feeling from the whole thing. Plus, when we got back to my car, he made a big point of spending a lot of time chiseling all the ice that had accumulated off of it for me, and I don't think he's naturally inclined to be that sort of super nice guy. I know that isn't a lot to go on, but I kind of get the sense that he's interested, though it might just be my imagination (and a little bit of wishful thinking). So I'd really appreciate any opinions you have to offer on both issues...thanks in advance

 
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Old 03-20-2007, 09:50 PM   #2
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Re: questions

Both your questions have the same answer: honest, upfront communication. It is really all you can in either of these cases. Then leave it to them, especially the first guy. He may not be receptive yet, but so be it. The second guy and you need to sort out your signals and get on the same page re attraction or not. All the best, Sera

 
Old 03-21-2007, 07:15 AM   #3
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Re: questions

Thanks Sera! You are totally right, I really need to be more honest and open, especially with my ex. The other guy isn't really a big deal to me, since I'm not looking for anything at all serious right now, and might be better left as a crush to flirt with sometimes. But the situation with my ex is really gnawing at me because I really want him to be happy and for us to stay friends if at all possible.

I actually got an email from my ex late last night, and while I really want to respond, I'm not sure what to say. I'm going to post some of his message in case anyone has advice:

"I just want to say that I miss you, care about you, and would still like to be together. It hurt me that you don't care about me anymore and that you don't feel like you did in the email below anymore. I am getting over it and over you but I don't understand how all of a sudden you didn't care about me and why. As I've said to you before in an email I guess I will never understand you. Anyways I don't mean to make you feel bad just wanted to get that off my chest and was hoping that since we last spoke you could offer some sort of reason. Although I don't know if I want to hear it."

The thing is, I don't have a good answer. I still care about him a lot, just not in a romantic sense. And even if I did, I'm not at a place in my life where I want to be involved in a serious relationship anyway. It just didn't seem fair that he was so committed and serious about being together when I was always going back and forth in my head about whether or not I even wanted to be a couple. Obviously I shouldn't say that if I want to stay friends...I'd just really like to let him know that he didn't do anything wrong, and that I do care for him alot, just not the way a girlfriend should. He deserves someone who is as into him as he is into her, and that's just not me. Anyway, any suggestions as to how I should respond would be great...I'd like to write him back soon but I don't want to say something wrong and make him feel worse.

 
Old 03-21-2007, 07:18 AM   #4
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Re: questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicam View Post
The thing is, I don't have a good answer. I still care about him a lot, just not in a romantic sense. And even if I did, I'm not at a place in my life where I want to be involved in a serious relationship anyway. It just didn't seem fair that he was so committed and serious about being together when I was always going back and forth in my head about whether or not I even wanted to be a couple. Obviously I shouldn't say that if I want to stay friends...I'd just really like to let him know that he didn't do anything wrong, and that I do care for him alot, just not the way a girlfriend should. He deserves someone who is as into him as he is into her, and that's just not me. Anyway, any suggestions as to how I should respond would be great...I'd like to write him back soon but I don't want to say something wrong and make him feel worse. :confused:
What you have just written is the answer to give him. You have stated honestly what your feelings are. This is what you can share with him. It is clear from what you have written that your intentions have never been bad and that you feel deeply about retaining his friendship.

 
Old 03-21-2007, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: questions

I was going to say the exact same thing. That whole section is really well worded and very caring. You sound like you care a lot about this guy and hope for the best for him. That's what a good friendship takes, wanting the best for someone.

I just broke up with my bf of three years, but we're still fabulous friends. It's hard a lot of the time to realize that that's where we are right now, as I still care for him a lot, but it really is working. Still, I only think that it's working because we both realize that that's how it is and are comited to staying broken up, but also staying friends. I CANNOT tell you how important communication is. COMMUNICATE with him...seriously. I would say, re-read what you wrote above and then tell him it. Say it, out loud to him. Don't email it, say it. It's that much more real and powerful. If he can't understand from that and still wants you back, then maybe you do need to give it a rest for a while. Let him know that you care and that you're still there for him, as a friend, and then move on. Check in after a bit, but do give him his space. But don't back off until you've said those things to him. They're pretty well worded and will let him know just what you're worried about and how much you care.

 
Old 03-22-2007, 07:49 PM   #6
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Re: questions

Hi, and thanks so much to you both for your thoughtful responses. I'd been nervous at the idea of responding to his email and not wanting to say anything wrong, but I took your advice (except for the in person part--I'm terrible at expressing myself in person when I'm not sure what to say, and I think it might be best not to be face to face until things are a little less fresh) and just wrote him this message:

"I'm really sorry that things turned out the way they did, and that you feel like I don't care about you anymore. That's not true at all, I still care about you very much, but I just really didn't want to be in a relationship anymore, and it seemed unfair and cruel to pretend otherwise. You're a great guy and a great boyfriend and you deserve to be with someone who is as serious and committed to your relationship as you are. There's really truly nothing you said or did wrong, it's just that I felt really uncomfortable going on together like everything was fine when I was growing more and more sure that I needed and wanted to be on my own again. I guess sometimes feelings just change over time and if there was anything I could have done not to feel that way, I would have done it.

But I'd been going back and forth on that for awhile and was feeling quite guilty and dishonest for not being upfront with you. You deserve better, and I didn't want to repeat some of the same mistakes I've made in the past, namely not treating people well once I realized that I wasn't as committed to the relationship as they were. I know that's a pretty lame explanation but it's the best I can do, at this point anyway. For whatever it's worth, I'm very sorry for the way things turned out, for hurting you and for not wanting the same things as you, and I hope you believe that I'm trying my best to be honest and treat you how I'd want to be treated in the same situation. If you want to talk more, let me know. I hope that we can be friends again, at least at some point, but I also realize that it's up to you if and when you want the same thing."

It's kind of tough because I don't really know EXACTLY why I wanted to end things, but I guess it just wasn't right if my gut was so insistently telling me to get out. Dandelion, I'm so glad you shared your story...it gives me hope that hopefully (in time) we might be able to be friends again. I guess it's tougher to pull this off when one person isn't happy about the breakup, but I'd hate to throw away a decade of friendship because we didn't work out as a couple. I'm still friends with most of my exes because we still care about each other as people, just not romantically, so my fingers are crossed that this situation will work out that way as well.

Anyway, thanks again, and I will keep you all posted...in the meantime I guess I'll just wait and see what he says and hope for the best.

 
Old 03-22-2007, 08:07 PM   #7
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Re: questions

That is beautiful..you are honest, your love and concern shines through, and it is clear that you are owning your feelings and actions. Keep us informed, wontcha. Cheers, Sera

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:00 PM   #8
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Re: questions

Sera, you are so sweet and supportive...it helps so much to have people to vent to, especially now, because if I followed my inclination to email my ex back instead of post here, I'd probably regret being so harsh.

Last edited by veronicam; 03-24-2007 at 03:08 PM.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:18 PM   #9
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Re: questions

Kind of sounds like false bravado to me. He feels rejected, and sometimes, when you really care for someone, no matter how gentle and kind you are about the rejection, it's still rejection, and it still hurts. It sounds like he was lashing out, perhaps to save his ego.

But in any case, no, I don't think the friendship can be salvaged. He was either not invested enough in a real friendship with you or he still loves you too much to be around you as a friend, and it would just hurt too much to know you didn't love him back. Either way, sorry to say the friendship is toast, but I've seen your posts here many times before, and dang girl, I wish you could bottle just a little of what you have. You get men to fall madly in love with you and you move on so easily and never seem to get your heart broken, and have no trouble finding yet another great fantastic guy to have fun with, who will fall madly in love with you, and I can't even get a second date!!! Dang!!

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:42 PM   #10
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Re: questions

I am sorry but not really surprised about the response you got, but don't be tempted to bite back. I agree with Larrylou'smom that there was probably a bit of angry bravado in it. You have acted decently and honestly all thru this situation and knowing that will take you a lot further than the momentary satisfaction of a smack back. You have done all you can, now it is time to tie a bow around it and move on. Cheers, Sera

 
Old 03-24-2007, 01:02 PM   #11
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Re: questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicam View Post
Hi everyone, I used to post a lot here but forgot my password.
is this who i think it is?? hmm..i knew something seemed familiar..

 
Old 03-24-2007, 04:03 PM   #12
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Re: questions

So you guys are all right, there is no saving this "friendship," and I'm kind of sorry I even made the effort. His response only made me feel stupid and bad about myself, especially because I was a fool to leave myself so open to be slapped in the face. Well, no more...I guess it's almost a relief to be able to move on without having to worry about walking on eggshells trying to preserve a friendship with someone who doesn't care about me at all unless he's getting laid. I don't wish anything bad for him, but I sure feel a lot less concerned about how things go for him than I did before those emails.

I thought it'd be easier on him if I made it sound like the problem was that I didn't want a relationship rather than that I just wasn't interested in being with him, but that just made me an easy target to be insulted and degraded. I'm going to bite my tongue and not write anything back because I know you're probably right that he's just lashing out because he's hurt over the breakup, but it's pretty tempting!! Instead I told him that I was glad he was honest and that things were settled, and that I'd drop the rest of his stuff off outside his house sometime...I hope that is the end of it and that I can stop worrying and feeling guilty now. Anyway, moving on...

Lance and LLM, it's great to hear from you guys! I really missed this forum. Yes, it's the same me that you recall from awhile back under various aliases...I just can't seem to make a username last very long on here . Anyway, Lance, how are the ladies and the fencing going? I hope all is well with you. And LLM, I think I remember you from way back too...I've been following your posts, and while your advice is as wise and perceptive as other, what is really amazing to see is how much progress you seem to have made on your own situation. I don't mean to assume too much or to pry, but you sound a lot more confident and content these days. Hopefully time has helped at least a little bit in that regard and it's not just wishful thinking on my part! Anyway, I apologize if I'm getting too personal, but I had wondered how you were holding up, and I was really happy to see you still here sharing advice and sounding more at peace. I hope everyone else is doing well too, though it was awful to hear about Ruth...what a great lady and a terrible loss for those who knew her .

 
Old 03-24-2007, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: questions

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Originally Posted by veronicam View Post
Anyway, Lance, how are the ladies and the fencing going? I hope all is well with you.
well stacy, fencing is ok, medaled in my last tournament, as far as the ladies are going, its been interesting. i've mainly been using online sites and i've been out with a few women but there hasn't been any real connection with any of them; sometimes the conversations would be really good that's all there would be to it. there's never any progression beyond just talking. there needs to be that "something" there that just happens on its own that neither of you have control of and i'm just not seeing/feeling it. the more i think about this stuff (which is too much already), the more i realize that there is no logic and you really can't force any of it.

i find the method too artificial and contrived for my taste; not to mention the countless hours spent on messenger talking to women that you end up meeting only once or never at all.

for the most part, i think the women on those sites are just fake. the one girl i met that actually wanted to get to know turns out to have drug use issues which, of course, was the dealbreaker. tonight i was supposed to meet up with another one but she's been acting distant so i'll give it a rest; she probably won't answer her phone anyway, ...so, for now, i'm concentrating on doing the things i enjoy and becoming good at my job, which i like for the time being and i'll see what happens.

sorry i can't offer any advice to you. i was actually surprised to hear that you broke up. i remember you being excited about the relationship and it sounded like you guys were right for each other. this stuff is just so unpredictable to me.

 
Old 03-26-2007, 08:09 AM   #14
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Re: questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by veronicam View Post
So you guys are all right, there is no saving this "friendship," and I'm kind of sorry I even made the effort. His response only made me feel stupid and bad about myself, especially because I was a fool to leave myself so open to be slapped in the face. Well, no more...I guess it's almost a relief to be able to move on without having to worry about walking on eggshells trying to preserve a friendship with someone who doesn't care about me at all unless he's getting laid.
Hi VM!

Well, this may be jumping to a few erroneous conclusions. I'm just speaking from my own experience here, but I know that if my ex wanted to be friends, there's no way I could. My situation was a bit different because he was dishonest and disrespectful, but even if he hadn't been, and had simply decided he didn't love me or didn't want to be with me, and had handled it the way you did, I still don't think I would have wanted to be friends with him, because my feelings for him were so intense that there's no way that I could look at him, or be around him, and not be the one to be with him. Not just to "get laid," but because I loved him so much, that it would have been crushing to be around him and love him like I did and know he didn't love me back and watch him move on and be with another woman. That would have just been too painful. So even though this guy of yours reacted rather childishly and let his pain and anger get the best of him, I would cut him just a tiniest little bit of slack. I don't think he doesn't care about you unless it's to get laid, it perhaps could be his romantic feelings for you are just too strong to be ok with just being your pal. It's sad when things turn out this way between two people, but mutually deciding it's over with honor and respect and parting friends isn't always possible. But in any case, it's good you've done the positive, grown up thing and walked away and moved on. Good for you.

As for my own situation, happy, no, content may even really be pushing it, just more accepting of what I can and can't change. That's really all there is to say about that. I always seem to get in trouble when I talk about myself too much, so I don't!!

Yes, it was very sad to hear about Mama Ruth. I was in shock, and very saddened, it was a great loss here and I'm sure for everyone who knew her in "reality." I miss her.

Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 03-26-2007 at 08:12 AM.

 
Old 04-03-2007, 07:39 PM   #15
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Re: questions

Hi guys, sorry for the delayed reply, but it was great to hear from both of you. I'm happy to see some of my old friends still around here!

Lance, I'm not surprised to hear you're beating up on the fencing competition . Have any cute female fencers crossed your path? I still think your true love will share your love for fencing! Anyway, I agree with you about online dating. I did some of that myself a year or two back and while I had some good results, I don't think I'd try it again. You're totally right that there's too much that's illogical and intangible about chemistry to be able to tell who will be right for you from an online profile. For instance, my most recent ex and I seemed like a good match, definitely good on paper, but in the end I just didn't feel that romantic and sexual connection you need to make it as a couple rather than friends. And with online dating, besides the fact that are a lot of fakers and weirdos out there, even when you're dealing with cool people, it's just so tough to predict who you will click with based on anything other than hanging out and getting to know them. It seems like a much better bet to meet people in the course of everyday life, but of course that's a lot easier said than done. It really does seem impossible to predict this sort of thing, so I guess all we can do is enjoy our lives and hope for the best...and maybe enjoy our time with the Mr. and Mrs. Wrongs of the world while we wait and see if the right ones materialize. So I think you have the right idea and as always, I wish you all the best of luck with everything.

LLM, as usual, I think your advice is right on the money. My ex more or less said the same thing you did, that he didn't want to just be friends because he wanted more than that and he didn't want to be hanging around while I was pursuing other guys. That's fair and reasonable, it just made me a little sad and angry to hear it, but now that I've had time to cool off, I can totally see where he's coming from. We haven't talked much since that email, though I tried to keep my reply friendly and break things off without any further animosity. I guess sometimes all you can do is be honest with people and try to treat them the way you'd want to be treated in their shoes, even if things don't work out the way either of you would ideally like. I tried my best to break things off as gently and kindly as possible, but it was probably pretty naive to think he'd just happily accept it and want to go back to the way things were considering he didn't even want to break up. So, it is what it is...mainly I'm just glad not to be feeling guilty about staying together when I knew deep down I didn't want to continue the relationship. As for your situation, I'm really glad to hear that things have gotten even a teeny bit easier for you to accept. I can understand that something that painful never really gets better, but you are such a wonderful person and so deserving of happiness that I hope time soothes your hurt and maybe even brings along an amazing new guy to help you forget all about you know who. You never know! If anyone deserves that, it's you, so I will keep my fingers crossed and hope for positive updates. Thanks again to all of you for your advice; it helped me immensely to have you all listen to me vent and provide such thoughtful and supportive feedback.

 
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