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Author Topic: processing error
carlyn_101
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Member # 102515

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I'm having trouble processing some events that have happened over the last few weeks. In the aftermath though, I find that I'm sad on numerous levels and for a lot of different reasons.

I recently moved back to my hometown and being here has made me feel somewhat isolated and unfulfilled. I've been catching up with old friends from the past in an effort to create some kind of social life for myself again. There is one person in my hometown who I always admired and felt very drawn to. We had a weird start as friends, but I value him so much as a person. He's extremely original, artistic, clever with words. From August to December 2011 we hung out several times a week. I really think that there was mutual respect between us, though he rarely adheres to normal social frameworks. Then we had a falling out. When I got a job away from home, I started hearing from him again. For about a year we didn't see each other, but every couple months we'd catch up. It's been consistently inconsistent, I suppose. When we finally started hanging out again, there was a palpable sexual tension between us which made our interactions somewhat stilted. It was almost funny. At that point, I didn't know what I wanted from him...just that I liked his company and wanted to be around him. Then, the other night, he basically came onto me. He has a girlfriend, so I put the brakes on that situation quickly (even though it was something I wanted physically). I have never felt so attracted to somebody in my life. He basically suggested a "friends with benefits" type situation, with the expectation of secrecy (from his girlfriend at least). He told me he was partially using his girlfriend for her family's connections to the art world, but that that was his own personal situation. He said he thought "we" were on the same page as far as the chemistry business was concerned. He started saying all of these things about how he found himself attracted to me, especially more recently, and that he'd always found me interesting to talk to. He even went back to the year before, and kind of gave his appraisal of why things never happened between us then. He's mentioned being unsatisfied with his relationship but the problems must've been more serious than I thought. He told me that they'd been dating for 8 or 9 months, and that he'd never had any urge to stray before this.

I'm kind of blown away by this. I am having a hard time believing that his character would allow infidelity. And I'm wondering how he really sees me. He's said in the past that he respects me quite a bit for my thinking, and I've not given him much reason to think I'll just drop my pants for anybody. I mean, obviously I was attracted to him, but shit.. I'm trying to figure out whether I radiate low self-esteem or something. Or whether he really doesn't see a problem with the situation. He's obviously much more sexually free than I am, but to have such a huge disconnect is unsettling. I'm having so much trouble reconciling these actions with how he's been in the past. I can't tell whether he's just really unhappy in general... He's always been an incredibly powerful, charismatic, intelligent person.

On the one hand, I'm really sad for his current state. But on the other, I'm disappointed and wondering if I'm crazy to have been his friend at all. I still want to be on his side, though. It's really odd.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, I feel like someone who says that they are with a partner because that person benefits their aspirations -- particularly if their partner is not appraised of that motive -- probably isn't someone where we shouldn't be too surprised that they wouldn't have an issue keeping other secrets from them, like engaging in a relationship with someone else dishonestly.

I'd try not to project this person's stuff unto you, or worry about how he sees you. It sounds like he's possibly not really seeing anyone very clearly besides what he wants from them right now, you know?

--------------------
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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carlyn_101
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Yeah, you're probably right. That just seems like such a miserable place to be, mentally. I can't help but wonder what's causing it in his case. I've seen him be so relatable, brilliant, with a pretty distinct moral framework. Do you think it's weird that I still care about him and want to be his friend (after such a display of disrespect)? He apologized for it on the spot, and afterward. Bleh, I don't know. I want to see him in a better place, but I know I can't be involved right now.

I'm not sure if his girlfriend's family connections are the main reason he's with her anymore, or not.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I don't think it's weird when anyone finds they still care about someone who is...well, perhaps (or certainly) being a wretched person in some respect. We can't just turn care off and on, after all.

But I do think that when someone is behaving like this, it's wise to think about how sound it is for us to get close to them. I also think it's smart not to get it in our minds, at all, that we can "fix" them, and to decide they will benefit from our help, especially if we have asked what's going on with them, said we feel like they're behaving badly and seem like in a bad place, and they haven't agreed with us and asked for our help to get out of it.

--------------------
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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carlyn_101
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Definitely. I completely agree about the "fixing" aspect. I've been involved in situations like that before, and they just end badly. Ugh. The whole thing just makes me so sad. And also, I have the weird sense that I missed some really interesting sexual opportunity here--utterly irrational, I know. Attraction is so strange.
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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Well, $20 says that the way it would have probably been most interesting is with some yucky fallout.

Really, chemistry between people tends to stick around, as I've noticed. So, if this person decides not to become a total tool, chances are good you may be able to revisit this again and pursue something sexual if you want, where exploring that can be what's interesting, rather than just drowning in drama. [Smile]

--------------------
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
   

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