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Author Topic: Not sure what to do?
Controversy
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So as I posted before it has been a while since I broke up with my ex. I'm still going through the healing process which has been going quite well [Smile] I still have some trust issues. But thats not what i'm posting about..

So my best friend is of the opposite sex. We are both single and i've known him for years. He was there for me through everything, even my recent break-up. He has helped me greatly. But recently we have been hanging out almost every day of the week!

When we hang out we do the usual "best-friend" activites. But now it seems to be progressing, without me even realizing it! We go to the movies now and practically cuddle..

He makes me so happy, in every way possible. I couldn't ask for a better guy if I ever considered dating him. But I don't know if I want this relationship to progress like that..What if him and I date, and ruin our friendship? I'd lose everything if that happened! I have no one as close as him, if he completely dropped out of my life if we ever broke up i'd want to die [Frown]

I'm so frustrated by this..and confused. I need some advice.. is he the right guy for me? and if so should I pursue this relationship, and tell him how I feel? I also have some family problems following this issue. They don't think I should date him (for unknown reasons). They don't think hes "the one". I'm also friends with this boy's ex girlfriend..

Has anyone else been in this situation? Please give me your input on how it can be solved.

I'm sorry for such a long post..

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Heather
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Well, I'm not sure there is such a thing as "the one," especially when we're educated about most people's experiences with relationships through life. What's a lot more common is any of us finding that through our lives, some people are those we have particularly important relationships and deep connections with, but having that with just one person and no one else would be unusual (and probably not so healthy, either).

But let's start at the top: this guy or anyone else at all, do you feel like enough time has passed since your breakup for starting another romantic relationship now to be the best thing for you?

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Controversy
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Well kind of, thats another thing. When im with this guy, I actually seem to forget completely about my ex. He makes me feel renewed. So in a way I think im ready for a relationship, but to take it slow. But another part of me thinks I need a bit more time. Which is fine, im not even sure if I told him how I felt that we would even jump into a relationship right away. He recently had a break-up as well, so we are both in that process of healing.
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Heather
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How recent was his breakup?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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I think around 5 months ago
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Heather
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So, you've both had a good deal of time between relationships.

Since clearly things are going on that are moving in that direction, but without -- it sounds like -- any talking about them, I'd say your best bet is to start talking about this together. Ask him how he feels, voice how you are, talk about your concerns together and see where all of that leads you so that you have some more information to make these choices with.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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Yes we have.. and alright, I guess i'll try and speak to hm about it. I'm just also nervous to do so. I know he must feel something toward me, do to how he speaks to me, and his manners. But what if he denys it?
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Heather
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Denies....what?

The way I see it, I hear you saying that things like the way you're cuddling, etc. suggest, to you, or feel, to you, like romantic gestures, or things that occur in a romantic relationship.

So, you can say that, ask if he agrees. If he doesn't, then you know that this isn't where that's going for him, and then you can talk about if you're still comfortable doing those things that seem romantic to you or not.

If he agrees, then you can talk from there.

See what I mean?

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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

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Controversy
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Yes I see [Smile] sorry for the confusion.. im just nervous. But I guess thats expected. After I speak to him about this i'll tell you the results.. I may see him within a couple days.

Thank you for replying [Smile]

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Heather
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I think it's sound to think about voicing/talking about things like this as just addressing what is already going on.

In other words, talking about this isn't agreeing to anything or even asking for anything: it's just speaking out about what's already going on, what you're already thinking, so everyone involved can have some clarity and be sure that whatever choices they are making, they're conscious ones.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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That helps me a bit.. your right because if we are doing these activities, there shouldn't be much harm in speaking to each other about it [Smile]
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Heather
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Quite the opposite, really: NOT talking about this stuff openly is how things usually turn into a mess. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Thank you [Smile] i'll definitely speak to him about this next time I see him
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Controversy
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So he brought it up before I did, and he said he wanted more than a friendship and I kind of froze up. I want a relationship with him, but there is a part of me saying no... and I cant seem to explain to him why. He looked a bit disappointed that I couldn't explain myself. But he wasn't mad, I had to go home and he told me I don't have to decide now.

He also said if its a no there will be no issue, he said he'll just forget about it and we will continue to be good friends. AHH im so frustrated..

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Heather
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Maybe we can talk about the part of you thinking no? Why do you think this doesn't seem like what you want or a good idea to you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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He doesn't really seem like the type to stay in a long term relationship with someone.. and thats what I want. I just want someone who would love me as long as i'd love them. He seems a bit fickle..

My family doesn't really approve of him for some reason.

He makes me happy to such a great degree. But for some reason it doesn't seem like a good match, what if I become unattracted to him because he and I almost have everything in common.. or maybe im just thinking too much.

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Heather
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Well, let's start with that first bit. Were you two able to talk about what he was looking for in wanting a relationship with you?

Can you also fill me in on why, if he hasn't said he doesn't want something long-term, you feel like he isn't "the type," especially since I'm not sure what that means, or who IS "the type?"

Maybe you could also fill me in on what you mean by someone who'd love you for as long as you'd love them, since how long anyone -- including you -- loves someone or stays with them isn't something anyone can guarantee? You're also voicing concerns it's you whose feelings might change -- and of course, anyone's can. This can and often does happen in relationships all the time, and is always possible, if not likely at some point.

Is it possible, do you think, that either right now as a whole, or with this person, period, you just don't feel up to the emotional risks a more intimate relationship entails?

[ 01-19-2012, 01:38 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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No, he just said he wants to be in a relationship, didn't mention how long.

Well... at my age it seems I can never find a guy who wants a long term relationship, they just want to have fun and jump from girl to girl.. and I dont want a guy like that. I just want to be with someone as long as possible.

In a way, I do feel like im not ready for emotional risks. I constantly feel like its going to end up like my previous relationship and I will be left in the dumps which would take me months to recover, as I still am.

Im also just afraid if things end up going the wrong way i'll be even more in a slump. Considering he is my best friend.

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Heather
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So, what I hear is that this really isn't something you want to pursue right now. You don't entirely feel ready for another intimate relationship just yet, period, but you also are not sure this person is the right choice for you with what you really want AND you don't want to take risks with your friendship, a relationship you DO feel good about.

Does that sound about right?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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It does I suppose... but I could also say I would feel ready for a relationship if the situation was a bit different.. like if he wasn't my best friend, I wouldnt have to worry about extra heart ache. If my family approved, I wouldn't have to disappoint them. If he wasn't fickle.

I don't know.. because there is a big part of me that wants a relationship, but a part that is screaming no. Im in conflict with myself and its really making me angry at myself.

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Heather
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Well, I think one thing to always remember is that there really isn't such a thing as "a relationship." Relationships aren't abstract like that, save that we might have some kind of ideal relationship we want, as a fantasy or ideal.

Instead, relationships are always going to be unique and about the unique people involved. So, the question is always going to be if we want THIS relationship with THAT person in THIS model. Get what I'm saying?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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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

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Controversy
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Yes I do understand that, I guess I never really looked at it in that certain way.

Well a part of me wants this relationship but im afraid im just wanting it because im lonely and I think he can fill that gap. Im not sure if he is the right person and im not sure if this model relationship would be correct... so maybe im leaning more toward the no? :/

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Heather
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It sounds to me like you are.

I also think that sometimes that desire for "a relationship" is, all by itself, a cue that we might not actually be in the best step for an actual, specific relationship with an actual, specific person. It can also be a cue that we're more focused on the ideal than the real, if you catch my drift.

I think there's a bonus with this situation right now, and that's this: you clearly have some time to think about all of this, AND the time an opportunity to take more time to find out what this person is looking for and if it might be a good fit for you or not. For instance, you can have that conversation about if he is looking to commit to something long-term right off the bat.

Mind, I do think one needs to recognize most people won't be, and that's not really a bad thing, but a healthy one. Committing to a long-term romantic relationship right at the gate, when we haven't had the time to see how even having one with someone goes is kind of asking for someone to commit to something before anyone even knows what something they are committing to. That said, with a romantic relationship that stems from a pre-existing long-term friendship, both of you do at least know a good deal about how the most core part of a relationship works for you and doesn't, so choosing to make commitments at the start isn't as iffy as it can be.

But all the same, it sounds like both of you need more time to consider and talk about all of this, together and apart, and that as of right now, this isn't something you feel strongly positive about entering into.

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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

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Controversy
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Thank you for responding [Smile] and im sorry that im replying so late.

I spoke to him about all that you gave me advice on, and we talked about what we both would want from this relationship. We came to the conclusion that we will date, take things slow and see how things go from there. He doesn't want to rush me, and I don't want to lose this chance I may have with him. He also said if things don't work out he would still be my good friend.

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Controversy
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Okay.. so should i really be listening to other people when it comes to a relationship and my own feelings?? ... My ex boyfriend texted and asked why i would date this guy. Why would he do this!? It just messes with my feelings, i was so confident in dating him until this. He said it just doesn't seem like we would work. Am i letting what me ex says get to me because i was so close to him? i havent even talked to him in months and he randomly texts me..
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Saffron Raymie
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Controversy, your ex boyfriend cannot have any idea whatsoever if you and your new partner will work well together in your chosen model. Nobody can. People are much to complex to be able to summarise something like that. Plus, if it's been months, your ex probably doesn't know much about you anymore, to boot. Your ex doesn't have any say in who you date now.

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Saffron Raymie
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Also, just to check in with you about your ex; was he the one who was abusive? In this thread: http://www.scarleteen.com/cgi-bin/forum/ultimatebb.cgi?/ubb/get_topic/f/3/t/011181/p/1.html#000000? If so, please know it's pretty typical of abusive partners to be possessive - to try to control us when we're happy with a new partner. He was controlling with you before, and now he's lost that control, he wants to stop you seeing this new guy. That's a pretty typical abusive pattern. Does that make sense to you?

I'm also concerned about the way you're framing this as 'messing with your feelings'. I know this is incredibly difficult to hear, but what your ex is doing isn't out of care of respect. It's out of control. Here's an except from an article we have here on love:

"One thing we can say confidently is that in a relationship where there is abuse, there is not love. We just can't love someone and abuse them at the same time. We may love someone who is abusing us, but someone who is abusing us does not love us. None of those basic six ingredients hooks talked about -- care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect and trust -- can coexist with abuse.

While identifying what's abusive isn't always simple, it is often easier than identifying what just isn't healthy. That can be all the more difficult in romantic love relationships because some of our cultural ideas about romance, what's romantic and loving and what's not, are messed up. Stalking someone, or being highly possessive, jealous or controlling, someone stalking us down, for instance, aren't about respect, trust or care. Remembering that we have to love ourselves first to love others, you can see why someone who is so insecure they need constant control of you or loses it every time you interact with someone else who might be attracted to you isn't going to be able to love you yet."

So. This sounds very much to me like it's your ex being controlling, rather than caring. if he was being caring, he would be respecting your descision to date this new guy. You put an awful lot of thought and consideration into dating this new person, and I respect that. It really sounds like you're making your best choices here - to switch your model with this new boy from a friendship into a romantic relationship.

Almost all relationships - of any kind, including friendships- come to an end - especially when we're younger. It's just a part of life that we all go through. Your ex really isn't 'protecting' you from anything - except living your life, making your own choices, having your own experiences.

[ 02-03-2012, 10:25 AM: Message edited by: Saffron Reimi ]

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Controversy
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Thank you for responding.. im sorry it took so long to reply but I was just overwhelmed.

And yes this ex is the abusive one.. I didn't really think he'd still want control over me after its been so much time, I guess I should have been smarter. When I just read over your response I put a lot of thought into it, and I do understand it more.

I am trying my hardest to make the right decisions. Should I maybe ignore my ex as much as possible? After he texted me about it I started remembering him in every way, and it just hurt me a lot. He even mentioned he "missed me". So I do understand what you mean by him trying to control me..

[ 02-09-2012, 02:06 PM: Message edited by: Controversy ]

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WesLuck
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People who have been abusive tend to be on a power trip. When they lose a relationship they quite often don't admit responsibility, and will do their best, at the very least, to make you feel really bad. If your ex isn't treating you right and is trying to manipulate you into feeling bad, you don't have to talk to or interact with him at all, and can even consider blocking his number. He misses the power he had over you, he doesn't miss you as a complete, unique and loveable person.

Quite often, when you feel bad after someone has done or said something that's your "gut instinct" telling you there's something wrong. People tend to recognise patterns of how others treat them, good or bad.

[ 02-10-2012, 08:45 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Controversy
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I guess your right.. i'll ignore his texts. If he texts me constantly i'll block like you suggested. I guess in my situation I just wish this wasn't how things happened. Upsets me quite a bit..
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WesLuck
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Well you wouldn't be human if you didn't get upset about someone deliberately trying to make you feel bad. But hopefully if you pay less attention to him, you'll eventually be able to get less upset.

I'll send some big hugs your way. [Smile] All the best!

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Controversy
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Thank you so much! I return the hugs [Smile] i'll try my best to pay less attention
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