She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:18 am

My girlfriend and I got together in 8th grade, when she "proposed to" and "married" me on a school field trip. Unfortunately, our schedules and parents meant that we only ever saw each other at school and never got to know each other that well. It's only recently, 10-11th grade that I actually got to know her, and myself.

This is what I learned:
1. She loves me, a lot, more than I love her.
2. She's Christian, and went through a lot of doubt and conflict reconciling that with being gay, but that's mostly been resolved.
3. I was also Christian, and also had a lot of doubts about that and being gay and other things, but that's been resolved by way of my not being Christian anymore.
4. Even with that resolved, I don't actually know if I'm gay. I like her, but what I feel for her is more like love for a very close friend.
5. I've had crushes on several other people over the course of our relationship, and all of them have been boys.
6. I may have had a crush on her before she proposed but I don't remember, I didn't know myself very well then, and it might just be wishful thinking.
7. All the crushes I've had since getting closer to her have been completely unattainable, i.e. celebrities and fictional characters, but they've also all been male.
8. I like her a lot and don't want to hurt her feelings, and she loves me a lot. I would be fine with breaking it off and just remaining close friends, but I don't think she is.
9. Every time we talk I can see how much she loves me and it feels like I'm deceiving her.

tl;dr: She loves me, I don't think I'm gay, it would be awkward to break it off after 3 years, she's still my best friend by far and I don't want to lose that.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 4608
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:21 am

Hi daringdragon,

This sounds like a sticky situation, the kind where there's unlikely to be a way to resolve it that doesn't resolve some hurt feelings, and I'm sorry you're dealing with it.

You're right that it would be awkward to break things off after three years, but from your description it sounds like that's the option you actually want. It's likely to be painful for both of you to some degree, and it's unlikely you'll be able to go from ending this to being close friends right away. But, there are ways you can end it where you can try to minimize the unpleasantness. Do you want to talk about some of those here?

As for your identity, have you had a chance to explore different identities to see if there's one that feels right for you in your current life? For instance, having crushes on men while dating a woman could mean bisexual is the term that feels right for you. Or, if you realize you only experience attraction to men, that could mean straight is the word that works best. Or it could be another term entirely, or none at all. Too, can you give me a sense of if you identified as gay before she asked you out? Or was her doing so the catalyst for rethinking how you identified?

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:41 pm

I think I may have misrepresented myself a little. I think that I don't want to break up with her, but that I feel guilty about lying by omission to her, and for other things. I feel like this is a really unequal relationship where she's providing everything. She helps me a lot with my problems, and I feel like I can't give anything back to her, not even my love, when I'm just faking it. I would like nothing better than to actually love her, so I can give something back. Maybe I can grow to love her, but maybe I won't, and the longer I wait and the closer we get, the worse a breakup will be. She is my only close friend and helps me a lot with my social anxiety, and it feels like I can't afford to lose her because I'll never find another one.

With regards to my identity, romance has never interested me, and I wasn't interested in dating at all Before she asked me out all I had was a very irritating crush on one of my male classmates, and when she first "proposed" I thought it was a joke for a while. It got complicated with my faith, and when I lost that it got complicated when I kept getting crushes on other guys. It feels like that's proof that I'm not attracted to girls and that our relationship is doomed.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 4608
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:23 am

While it makes total sense that you don't want to end things and hurt her (and potentially lose a close friend), I'm also not hearing reasons why you want to continue this as a romantic relationship. You feel like you're lying and I'm hearing a lot of guilt that you don't feel the same way for her that she feels for you. But that's nothing to feel guilty or bad about. You can care about someone deeply in a non-romantic way and still not want to date them. Too, staying in a relationship on the off chance you will grow to love someone is really just delaying the inevitable. Even if you really want to, love and attraction aren't things you can force yourself to feel. As painful as it as to consider, from what you're describing the kindest thing you can do for her and for you is to end this relationship. Does that make sense?

While being attracted to guys doesn't mean you can't also be attracted to girls, do I have it right that you haven't or don't experience attraction to women (either women you know or celebrities), including the person you're dating? Too, it may also help to read something like this article to see if any of identities described feel like a good fit to you: The Rainbow Connection: Orientation for Everyone . Since you weren't interested in dating or romance before, can I ask why you eventually said "yes" to going out with your friend?

As an aside, while you may feel like you'll never have a close friend besides this person, odds are extremely good that you will. Even people with social anxiety can form close friendships with multiple people (I say this as someone with that trait), so if you do lose or change your relationship with your friend, it won't mean you're doomed to be forever alone.

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:31 am

I'm altogether just really confused about my feelings, and frustratingly, they change from day-to-day. Right now I feel way more optimistic about our relationship and have a different view on love. It's hard to get back into the mindset I had when I wrote the original post, but I think I was far more certain that the affection I had for her was not romantic love, and the crushes I had were. Right now, I'm less certain of either of them being anything, but I can't tell if these are my true emotions or if it's just wishful thinking and rationalization.

It is true that I have only had "crushes" on guys. It is also true that, with the exception of my first crush in middle school, all of my "crushes" have been on fictional characters with a particular type of character/backstory or their actors, and only appeared after I became deeply emotionally invested in the character. This type of character/backstory is not often a woman, which might explain why they've only been guys, or it may be rationalization.

I still don't know if I romantically love her, but I do feel affection towards her and don't feel guilty at all right now. Which is weird, because I remember being super guilty about it. Today has been super positive, but in a few days I'll probably change my mind again and start to doubt myself again. I'm not sure what to do and my everchanging feelings on everything are frustrating me. I'll probably have to talk to her about this but she's at a summer camp and this is the kind of talk I think needs to be in person.

I think I just made my problem a whole lot more complicated. It kind of feels like I'm a different person with different worries now and I'm trying to answer from the POV of who I was several days ago.

I accepted her proposal because I thought it was a joke, and also because I liked her. I didn't know and I still don't know if it was romantically or not. I think she proposed that way because she was nervous and it could be taken as a joke if I didn't reciprocate.

When I say she helps me with social anxiety, I mean if I'm trying to talk to someone, especially online, I tell her what I'm trying to say and ask if I should say it and if so how. If I didn't have her to reassure me, I don't think I'd ever talk to anyone online, and because I avoid people IRL if I lose her I might end up never talking to anyone except when I absolutely need to.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:03 am

I think I just made my problem a whole lot more complicated. It kind of feels like I'm a different person with different worries now and I'm trying to answer from the POV of who I was several days ago.


Sometimes as we start to talk about and process something big, that’ll happen. All the more so if anything we have kept hidden or were avoiding or compartmentalizing got some daylight.

How about we check in about what you’d like to have us talk with and help you with you about now, based on what you feel like your issues are at this stage of things? :)

One thing I feel unsure of, reviewing this thread, is if you have talked honestly with her about any of this. Talking to people we are intimate with about our doubts and concerns in our relationship is a common and important part of healthy, close relationships. Can you fill me in on that? And if you haven’t, can you say a little about why you think you haven’t?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:57 am

The big thing is I guess that my feelings change a lot from day-to-day, and I know my feelings change a lot, so I'm afraid to make any solid decisions because I might regret it later, no matter how terrible or guilty I feel in the moment. But it doesn't stop me from feeling guilty and terrible about myself, which is why I originally posted this.

I have mentioned before that I don't think I'm worthy, for lack of a better term, of her love and how much help she gives me and the gifts she gives me and how much she does for me. She told me that she loves being able to do things like that for me and that I shouldn't worry about it. I think I mentioned once how I'm afraid that I don't love her, but it was during a very emotionally heavy conversation where a lot of other things were mentioned and it may have been overlooked.

I do want to talk to her about it, and my relationship fantasy I guess is to be able to be completely open about everything with each other, and I've shared a lot of stuff with her that I haven't with anyone else, and that's part of the reason I don't want to lose her.

I haven't talked to her about this in depth for several reasons, one is that I'm afraid of it and this might destroy our relationship and I feel very vulnerable. The other reason might just be an excuse but this is the kind of conversation I would rather have face-to-face, and she's at a summer camp thing out of town right now, and even when she's not neither of us drive, we live too far to walk, and there just isn't an easy way of seeing her, especially since my Christian parents don't know I'm in a relationship. When we do meet each other, sometimes I don't feel like I'm in the right mindset, or I don't want to spoil the mood.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:54 am

I wonder if it helps to recognize that sharing your feelings and concerns and thoughts is different from making a decision?

Being honest with her and talking about your feelings doesn’t mean anyone has to take any action they don’t want to. Make sense?

I get how these conversations would probably be much better for everyone in person. How do you feel about starting to make some plans for that, and some strategies for how to go ahead and risk opening up about some of this when you can see her, instead of avoiding it?

We can also help with this if you like, including helping you work out what part to talk about first (it seems to me what is giant but has not been brought up is you possibly being gay or queer, and that a romantic relationship between you might not be the right one) and how to do that in a way you feel pretty safe with, and that also takes sensitivity to her feelings into account.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:47 pm

That does help, and it would be great if you could help me do that.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:48 pm

Absolutely. When is she coming back from camp?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:00 pm

Next week, the last day for it is Saturday. I also have to give her her birthday gift then.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:13 pm

Okay.

I’d suggest you let that day be short and just for giving the gift and briefly reconnecting. I would also suggest that on that day, you ask to set up a time and day where you two can do some talking about some things you want to talk to her about. That way, you can’t really back out, and you will have an emotional space set up where both of you know a serious talk is happening. How does that sound, as a first step?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:25 pm

That sounds like a good idea, but what I'm afraid of is that she won't have time. Her family's schedule is really erratic, and I don't think we'll be able to set and keep a concrete date.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:20 am

Instead of dismissing it from the front, how about giving it a try? In other words, why don’t you make a date for this, and let’s address her canceling it only if and when that happens.

If she knows you need to have a serious talk, it seems to me she will likely do all she can to be there.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:24 pm

Ok, I will. Thanks!

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:29 pm

Let's touch base again once you set a date, and we can do strategy from there?

Alternately, we can go ahead and start talking now about what you want to talk to her about. Personally, it seems to me the biggest hidden bombshell are your thoughts about your orientation, for a few reasons, primarily because if she has the idea you two are very close, that's a pretty big thing never to have brought up. It could also be something that is really tough for both of you, maybe tougher (especially depending on her religious beliefs as well as how educated or not she is about orientation) than the issue of you perhaps not having romantic interest in her. It also seems like something that would probably go best discussed before the latter thing, though it may spur on that conversation as a result.

But those are just my thoughts, and I'm an outsider to all this. What do you think, and what do you want to talk about with her first? Is there anything you don't feel safe telling her?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:30 pm

She's really into social justice stuff, gay rights and civil rights stuff. I'm not afraid that she won't understand this kind of thing. She'll understand if I'm aromantic or whatever and she knows this stuff better than me.

But this is my thinking right now, and from experience I know I'll have a lot more worries when I'm more pessimistic, and it's likely that I will be, closer to the talk.

In fact, I think it may be best if I lead off with my ever-changing feelings, as my certainty in our relationship is one of the things that changes, and she already knows I can get really pessimistic and worried sometimes.

alice
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 260
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:13 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm really good at taking naps.
My primary language: Engish
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: hetero
Location: New York City

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby alice » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:05 pm

Sounds like you are feeling grounded in what you are needing to bring up with her and how/what order it might be best to do that. Props for knowing yourself and listening to your gut :)

How else can we help you?

daringdragon
not a newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:07 pm
My primary language: English
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: it's complicated
Location: America

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby daringdragon » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Nothing right now, but I'll post again if I think of anything. Thanks again.

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 6485
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Vashon Island, WA

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Heather » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:28 pm

I want to just suggest you think about something:

In fact, I think it may be best if I lead off with my ever-changing feelings, as my certainty in our relationship is one of the things that changes, and she already knows I can get really pessimistic and worried sometimes.


I would (were it me) be sure to think about if wanting to lead with that is about trying to avoid talking about more challenging topics OR if wanting to talk about how your feelings always change might even be a way of building in an easy way for you to walk it back if and when you do talk about possibly being gay or not having romantic feelings for her.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Randomly_random
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:39 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: Sense of humour
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She
My sexual identity and orientation: Straight
Location: India

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Randomly_random » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:39 am

Hey daring dragon,
I'm going through the similar situation as you are in.
The similarity is really crazy.
I would love to talk to you about this.
It could help the both of us :)

Randomly_random
not a newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:39 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: Sense of humour
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She
My sexual identity and orientation: Straight
Location: India

Re: She loves me, but I don't know if I love her(really complicated relationship)

Unread postby Randomly_random » Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:39 am

Randomly_random wrote:Hey daring dragon,
I'm going through the similar situation as you are in.
The similarity is really crazy.
I would love to talk to you about this.
It could help the both of us :)


Return to “Relationships”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest