Donate Now
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Will wanting a relationship ruin our friendship?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Will wanting a relationship ruin our friendship?
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

Icon 5 posted      Profile for MissTK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello hi

Sorry if I'm repeating myself here because I have written about this situation before but I guess I had a different question.

So I'm 20, never had a boyfriend, been kissed, etc. and I like this guy in my university choir who is in exactly the same situation. The way he behaves around me suggests that he may be feeling something *slightly* more than friendly towards me. We enjoy each other's company and even the other choir members have noticed our chemistry and asked what's cooking. However, this is where it gets complicated.

I'm black, and he's white (Afrikaans, specifically. Race here is still a problem to some people in this country.) Here is a recent exchange that we had (Don't mind the bad English, it's not his first language):

Me: Tell me again, you said you probably wouldn't date a person of colour, yeah?

Him: Sorry, I haven't replyed. had a mad day!! Iv'e got quite a lot to study in 2days. It's going quite well as long as I don't waste time. Yes I did say that. And there's probably a couple of reasons, but I think it's just mainly to do with the way I grew up. And the culture which in I grew up, I think (long story short).

Me: No worries man I totally get that you've had a busy day! You have a test Wednesday right? Yeah I'm also trying to study hard for exams while a still have a little time. Don't work yourself too hard:)

So what must I do? I want to bring it up in person and ask him to just explain to me and make me understand those reasons because we seem to be so good together. At the same time, I don't want to rock the boat of our friendship. I mean, what if he just doesn't want a girlfriend at all right now, regardless of the colour of her skin and me explicitly stating my feelings just ruins everything and makes things awkward? I don't want to be hopeful about something that might never happen and I feel like I just need to tell me outright that it's ME he'd never date and stop generalising. Just so that I can get over the rejection and move on with my life. I'm so confused!

[ 10-14-2013, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: MissTK ]

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd agree with you that asking more general questions at this point isn't sound. It sounds like it's time for you to decide if you want to, and are up to, taking the risk of going ahead and voicing the interest you have in dating him -- and of him potentially dating you -- or not.

How do you feel about that?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MissTK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm very, very scared to say anything. I had a crush on one of my best friends when I was in high school and when I told him things just fell to pieces. I mean, we managed to fix our friendship eventually but nothing has ever scarred me so deeply in my life. It feels like my whole life I've made a habit of putting my foot in it when it comes to confessing feelings. I always feel this compulsion to be honest but whenever I am, I get rejected and more often than not, that guy won't ever speak to me again.

For some reason I find it hard to believe that even in the highly unlikely event that a guy does actually like me and I'm not just misinterpreting actions, that he'd come to me first. My friends say that happens but it's never happened to me so I'm just wondering what I'm doing wrong here. And if I do decide to talk to him about it, how would you suggest I go about it?

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you don't feel able right now to handle possible rejection, then clearly right now isn't the right time to risk it, or even likely the right time to start dating. After all, starting or having intimate relationships always means taking those risks.

Sounds to me like what it might be a better time for is taking some time to think about what you can do to boost your own esteem and confidence around this first?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MissTK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you very much for your responses:) Sorry mine is a bit late, I kinda dozed off last might. I think you're very right. It's just these days I've been getting increasingly desperate to be in a relationship I guess because all my friends are getting serious with somebody or getting engaged and married even. I feel incredibly lonely sometimes and I can't seem to find anything to make it go away. Even though I want to find the right guy, there's a big part of me that feels I deserve the misfortune I've had with guys in the past. Like, my happiness doesn't matter and something bad is always bound to happen because I just deserve the pain. I don't know I'm sorry if I'm not making any sense here.
Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think I understand what you're saying.

I also certainly understand feeling lonely or isolated, especially if it seems like everyone around you is in a romantic relationship and you feel like you've been left behind.

But you know, you don't just want any relationship, probably, you want a good one, one that winds up being something good for you and the other person, right?

If so, I'd say the things you're saying about yourself in the latter half of your response often tend to wind up being self-fulfilling prophecies when a person feels that way. In other words, if you strongly think you deserve relationships that hurt you, where bad things happen, chances are pretty good that's how things are going to go. When our self-esteem is low, when we think we don't deserve to be happy, we'll either tend to draw crummier people to us -- who feel similarly about themselves and others -- or we'll just create or co-create lousy relationships, because those aren't building blocks for good ones, if you follow me.

There really is no "right guy," so much as there are any number of people who are going to be right for us, and vice-versa, at a given time and also what what we want; who we can mutually connect with in healthy, happy, beneficial ways. And the other person being "right" is really no more influential than US also being "right," if you follow. One thing I hear you saying, basically, is you don't think you are that person for anyone else, and if that's true, then yeah, attempts at romantic relationships? probably not going to go very well. [Frown]

Which is why I mentioned considering investing your time and energy in working on your self-esteem for right now until you feel some improvements, perhaps also working to connect with others in a host of ways not just romantically -- like maybe it's time to make some new friends in a more similar life spot to yourself right now? -- as you raise that esteem. Make sense?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Btw, MissTK, if it helps you to identify some strengths to buoy you into working on the places you don't feel so awesome, what I've noticed about you so far is that you seem like you probably have a lot to offer other people.

You have struck me so far as thoughtful and insightful, as someone who doesn't shy away from hard questions and is willing, and open to being, very real and very honest. It seems you're also very talented and intelligent, as well as also very observant of others. These are all pretty amazing things about someone.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MissTK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you so very much for your advice, it's been very helpful. I think I might have to do some soul-searching over the next few weeks before anything else can happen. I also think a problem I've consistently been having is just BELIEVING all the good things about myself. I'm going to do my best to do just that. Thank you again, God bless!
Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MissTK
Neophyte
Member # 108531

Icon 1 posted      Profile for MissTK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Heather

I just wanted to tell you that I couldn't help myself, my need to know got the better of me and I confronted this guy about his behaviour when I saw him yesterday. He confirmed that yes, he would not date me because of the colour of my skin and when I told him that he'd been giving me mixed signals the whole time, he apologised for it. He said he never meant to lead me on or hurt me, just that he saw me as a "good friend with a good heart". He told me that a good friend of his once had a messed up relationship and because of it, he never wanted to be that guy who hurt a girl's feelings because "no girl deserves that", according to him. He said it's also probably why he doesn't have a girlfriend because he doesn't want to hurt anybody.

After all this, I thanked him for his honesty and maturity because most people I know would never have handled it as well as he did I think. We also agreed that we could still be very good friends because I guess he's not a dick, like all other guys I've ever met. One of my really good friends, on the other hand, hates all of this. She's been looking out for me so well this year and she believes I shouldn't even give him a chance to be around me because she reckons he's prejudiced and I shouldn't remain friends with him unless he can accept me fully.

I mean, I cried about it a bit but I don't feel nearly as bad as I thought I would. Mainly because I guess he was so nice about it. I felt strangely numb after, like emotionless. But I guess somehow I feel stronger and like he helped me recognise my worth because he didn't break me down. I don't like holding grudges and even though I'm disappointed, it all feels like water under the bridge now. This wasn't like any other rejection I've ever had and I realise that I can't be mad at him just because he can't reciprocate those feelings. I'm really happy to stay as friends, I'm just wondering if there won't be any friction with my other friends now. Am I wrong to be so passive and understanding? Should I be more upset and indignant about all this?

Posts: 24 | From: South Africa | Registered: Sep 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Edith_*
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 107716

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Edith_*     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Miss TK!

I think Heather is not going to be around for the day, but I wanted to let you know someone saw your post, and I am sure when she gets the chance to see it she will respond to it.

If it's okay with you, I would like to let you know that there is not a "good" or "bad" way to feel in any kind of situation. Feelings are feelings and everybody have them. You have the right to feel whatever you are feeling right now, and if you think it's okay with you to continue with this friendship after knowing the way your friend feels, then you get to do that. If later you feel like it's not longer okay, then you get to opt out. This is mostly about what YOU feel okay, and what YOU feel able to do.

Hope this helps a little [Smile]

--------------------
"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it's very important that you do it " (...'cause no one else will) -Gandhi-

Posts: 420 | From: Somewhere over the rainbow* | Registered: Jun 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey there, MissTK: I'm out working elsewhere, but have a few moments to check in here and saw your post, wanted to respond.

I'm with Edith in that there are no right or wrong feelings here: you feel however you do. I *am* glad to hear you felt resilient and strong in this, because let's be real: racism freaking stinks. It just really does and there's just nothing okay about it. Even, I'd say, when it's being delivered "nicely."

But to know that and experience doesn't have to mean someone gets indignant or angry only in certain ways. What I really hear from you is that it sounds like you understood this was this person's issue and this person's limitations as a person, NOT about you being lesser, or unworthy. And I think that's a very good thing, because all of that is true: this is about them and isn't about you in that you're not the person with that bias, they are.

That said, I also think it's okay for your friend to feel how she feels, and have the concerns she has, so long as she leaves room for your feelings, too, including when they're different. And if it was something you wanted to do, now or ever, I do think a conversation with someone with bias asking them to really think about it, and how it feels to the person who is on the receiving end of it, is a good thing. Certainly for someone who says they want to be your friend: part of being your friend, after all, in a real way, means seeing and accepting you as an equal, and, for this person, working to grow past their bias, because here they are, with a friend it deeply impacts, personally and certainly in their larger world, you know?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen