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Author Topic: Love Him, But Don't Want Him
MichSM2
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Hello everyone,

You probably remember me months ago as the depressed chick who felt so alone and confused. Well, my life has changed a lot because I have met the man of my dreams. He loves me, is concerned about me, and wants a future together.

Nevertheless, I feel like I am forced to love him. (If you don't believe in fate or reincarnation, then please don't read this). I know this may sound superficial and/or selfish of me, but I don't like the fact he is a (dark) blonde. I have very dark hair, and so does all of my family members. He stands out next to me.

I have an aversion to blonde hair on men. As much as I love him, that one flaw literally gives me nightmares. I don't want a good man, who is very much my equal, to leave me. I love him, but don't want him. Deep down, I wish he had darker hair. Maybe it's the cultural cliche, "tall, dark and handsome" that has infiltrated my mind. Can someone help me?

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fille_francaise
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I'm really quite confused because you say:

"...my life has changed a lot because I have met the man of my dreams. He loves me, is concerned about me, and wants a future together."

& then:

"Nevertheless, I feel like I am forced to love him."

It's such an oxymoron. You love him, but you don't want him because of his blonde hair? Is this really because of his blonde hair, or a matter of something emotionally deeper? I just can't fathom a woman having the man of her dreams, a man that loves her & wants a future together with her & she shuns him only based on the color of his hair. No offense, really, I just don't understand. Love is unconditional, & if it's true, then trivial things such as haircolor, shoe size & height shouldn't be in a factor. Not only that, but if you weren't attracted to him initially, why are you two together? I say this because I know that I don't like guys with dread locks... but I wouldn't put myself in a relationship with a guy who had dreadlocks unless I am willing to make the sacrifice of loving him inspite of the way his hair looks...

If this is something you simply cannot stand, the most I could suggest is that you suggest to him to color his hair to the level of your liking. But if this issue goes a bit deeper, like you don't love him, like him for other reasons, I say get out of the relationship. No use in lying to him or yourself. It's unfair to the both of you.

I hope I didn't come off as rude; it wasn't my intention.

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-- death cab for cutie.

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-Lauren-
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You know, if you can't accept something as natural and trivial as hair color in a partner, you need to take a break from the dating scene. It would be absolutely unfair to ask him to dye his hair simply because you don't like to date blonde men. How would you feel if he told you to gain/lose some weight, despite it being at a healthy amount? Or change your eye color? Mmm hmm.

If this is something you're literally having nightmares about, you need to let this man go and get seek therapy. It's not fair to keep him around if you can't stand looking at him, and it's extraordinarily selfish to try.

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Ecofem
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Hi MichSM2, glad to hear you're doing better!

If I remember correctly, you mentioned once that you're African-American? Do you think that part of worrying about his blonde hair be a subconscious fear that your family or others might not accept him for being a different race? (Not to jump to conclusions or anything, I say this because I know dating people of other races can sometimes cause family tension.) Regardlessly, I definitely second Miss Lauren's advice here: If staying with him feels like torture, ohmigosh, get out of the relationship! Good relationships feel good and make you happy, not panic. There are "good men" or people" of our dreams" who are not good for us for various reasons.

How's your life going otherwise? How are your studies, friends, family and hobbies? If I also remember correctly, you're interested in anime and Japanese culture? Still into that, any new interests?

Something that really stuck out to me in your post:
quote:
You probably remember me months ago as the depressed chick who felt so alone and confused. Well, my life has changed a lot because I have met the man of my dreams. He loves me, is concerned about me, and wants a future together.
Did you stop feeling depressed because you met him, or was meeting him part of a few things that made you feel better? What's the story behind you two getting together? Was he really into you, that because he cares for you so much that you feel required to love him back? Are you also feeling future-minded or is it more of his goal? I'll write more when you write back. [Smile]
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MichSM2
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Hi Ecofem,

Yes, I am black. I always felt alone prior to him. After meeting him, I feel happy. But I am also always anxious around him. I've never done interracial dating before and he seems like he could be marriage material. I don't want to think too far down the road, but it scares me because we just look like physical opposites. I also feel like I'm abandoning my heritage and family (basically who I am) the longer I spend time with him. I know he loves me very much. But I don't feel like I can return the same affection to him.

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Ecofem
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MichSM, I'm around but have to work on another project for awhile. But I'll be thinking about your post and will reply tomorrow at the latest. [Smile]
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logic_grrl
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He loves me, is concerned about me, and wants a future together.

Nevertheless, I feel like I am forced to love him.


I know he loves me very much. But I don't feel like I can return the same affection to him.

Okay, here's a thought:

It seems like one of the things you might be saying is that he fits a list of criteria for "ideal guy" or "marriage material", and you feel you ought to love him.

But it sounds like you're maybe not actually feeling it, or at least not as much as he is.

Does this ring a bell at all?

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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Ecofem
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Back! I've been thinking about your posts and trying to read in between the lines of what you're saying. As in, I trust what you're saying, it's just that I don't think this is about his blonde hair at all...

On one hand, I know societal/familial/personal pressures surrounding interracial dating do exist. I'm white and have dated people of different backgrounds, but this wasn't really an issue for me. Although I totally from friends that it totally exists; I can't really comment from personal experience other than that I can imagine it's difficult, and makes the blonde hair issue seem a lot less "superficial"-- literarily.

On the other hand, I really think it's different-- here are a few takes based on my personal experience:
quote:
I always felt alone prior to him.
quote:
I also feel like I'm abandoning my heritage and family (basically who I am) the longer I spend time with him.
My guess is that at first it felt really good to have such a great friend and confidant, but over time you've realized subtle-but-big personality differences. Right now I'm dating someone who grew up in a very different environment than I did (under communism in Eastern Europe, where comparatively poor Americans were completely rich) and, if anything, it's interesting sharing perspectives and experiences. Despite our differences, I don't feel like I'm abandoning who I am or anything-- instead that we appreciate and enjoy each other for who we are, although we certainly butt heads at times.

Contrastingly, I dated someone a few years ago with seemingly more similar background. I definitely felt like I was abandoning who I was over time; I didn't realize it until later, when I felt like a blank piece of paper and I really freaked out. (My family did see it though.) He was a nice enough person, but we were a bad match: he made me feel as if my interests (art, being creative) were worthless compared to his political activism, that I was holding him back from saving the world. That was pretty crappy; the point here is, if you're feeling you're abandoning who you are with him, then it's a BAD relationship for you. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

quote:
After meeting him, I feel happy. But I am also always anxious around him. I've never done interracial dating before. I know he loves me very much. But I don't feel like I can return the same affection to him.
I also often felt anxious in previous relationships, especially when I first started dating. I was like "argh! why can't I find be in a relationship that lasts more than two monhts!!" and figured I was just not a "relationship" kind of person. Well, yes and no: I wasn't the right person for those relationships. Either I had to work on some stuff on my own or the people or the timings were just bad. At first I'd enjoy them, but I'd grow more and more anxious at time went on. Because when you're already dealing with anxiety issues, a "bad" relationship is probably the worse thing you can do for your psyche. At the same time, those little freak-outs on my part was my gut telling me a relationship just wasn't right, that I should end it. Ultimately, it was definitely the right decision.

quote:
he seems like he could be marriage material. I don't want to think too far down the road, but it scares me because we just look like physical opposites.
Personally, as much as I may like or care about someone, thinking about marriage or super long-term really freaks me out. Granted, I'd like to be with the person as long as we enjoy it, but putting this type of pressure on a relationship can make it harder. Try to think more short-term, as how you feel right now or in the past/upcoming week. If you're feeling anxious now, why would you want it to continue to feel that way? I don't mean this as a jab, because it took me awhile to realize myself, but it can be hard to judge a relationship as good or bad when you haven't had a lot of dating experience. Like, if you haven't had a really positive experience, it's hard to realize that relationships like the one you're in now aren't ideal.

Finding a great relationship unexpected can be awesome, absolutely-- but it's also not a panacea for all our other challenges, we have to deal with those first. If he came along and it was good.. However, if you hadn't been able to work through things like loneliness and anxiety alone, chances are they'll eventually return-- threefold and seem even harder to deal with.

Another thing to think about is how you were when he met you versus how you are now: Maybe he was partially attracted to you for feeling down, that he wanted to love you and help make you feel better. That's a nice thought maybe, but when you start feeling stronger, it's a shock to you both: You think "ugh, he likes me and I feel like I should like him, but it just isn't happening!" and he could think, "Where's that lonely girl-- I can't relate to her when she's happy!"

OK, those were my takes on this; do you think they could be valid or am I way off? [Smile]

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fille_francaise
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MichSM2:

I apologize; I didn't realize that this was a matter of interracial dating. Now everything makes sense. I can understand you being hesitant & freaked out about interracial dating. I want to put in my 2 cents because I, too, am in an interracial relationship. I am black, my boyfriend is white with sandy blonde hair. ;D

You said that you feel like you're abandoning your heritage the longer you spend time with him. How do your parents & close relatives feel about your relationship with him? If they are of acceptance of it, then let that be enough. Their support is all that matters. You are not, by any means, abandoning your heritage by being with him. You should have no problem continuing to remain true to yourself & to your culture. Take this time to introduce each other to the differences you share. Although it's very overwhelming, try looking at it in that light rather than "we're just so different; our cultures clash." Teach him about black history; introduce him to soul food; show him the dynamics of a black family. & let him do the same for you with his culture. Thinking this way will make it feel like it's an adventure for the both of you rather than a burden holding down your relationship. My boyfriend & I are very open with our cultures. I've continued to remain true to myself, & he is doing the same thing. He has shown me the side of his heritage & I have shown him the side of mine. It can be fun, & new & exciting, if you let it. Always let your common ground be the love you have for each other. If you do, everything else will fall into place.


Your anxiety is completely valid. I've only dated a few black guys, but most of them have been either white, or of Spanish decent [of course this wasn't a choice of mine; these things just happen]. Even though I'd dated people with such different backgrounds, I STILL get nervous when I go out with my current boyfriend. You feel like all eyes are on you & suddenly, you are completely aware of every look people are giving you. You start becoming paranoid & you may not want to give him the same affection he's trying to give you because you feel so frazzled. I feel this way a lot of the time; this is normal. It's not fun, of course, but it comes along with interracial dating. I really do believe that people who can't handle the stares, who couldn't handle a confrontation or the issues that arise with IRD shouldn't date each other. It takes 2 very strong & understanding people. Both parties have to be willing to make sacrifices & deal with issues equally; if one person is uncertain, the support will be unbalanced. If you love him & you see a bright future with him, focus on THOSE things. Forget what people think; everyone will ALWAYS have an opinion about you two. Let them stare, let them say what they have to say & continue on in your own little world with your Boyfriend. No one knows the true contents of your relationship but the two of you, so don't let other people's ignorance keep you both from having a great life together. That is the best advice I can give you about that. It's not easy; as I've said, I'm still struggling with stares & comments, but I hold my head up high, grab his hand a little tighter & keep walking because I love him & really, all you need is love.


I'm saying all of this with the thought that you still want to be in this relationship, & you want to try to make this work. Of course, though, if this is bothering you so much [you said you're having nightmares about it] then do what is necessary to leave the relationship. But there is no shame in admitting that you feel anxious. & if you're open minded to making this work, then continue to be the strong, black woman that you are & keep going. It's going to be difficult & require a lot of patience & willingness. If you let it, though, it'll become more & more comfortable with time.

I would also suggest that you relay your feelings about this to your boyfriend. I have a good feeling that he will be understanding & he may give you the peace you need. You never know. Just don't give up & give him a chance, too. He may not be black but he loves you. He desires your time & wants to have a life with you. He may be onto something. :]


Sorry for becoming longwinded.

Just think about it, Sweetie. & hang in there.

[ 01-28-2007, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: DarkChild717 ]

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"...Our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds."

-- death cab for cutie.

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DarkChild717
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Hey, Fille: We appreciate your desire to help this poster, but posting personal contact info (like AIM SN's) is a no-no, and is against our guidelines. It's really for your and all of our user's protection. Thanks!

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Ecofem
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Thanks for sharing your very pertinant personal experience, fille. [Smile] As DarkChild said, while exchange of personal contact info isn't allowed between posters, you two are more than welcome to talk on the boards. Such as in this thread or in your own thread in Village People.
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MichSM2
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quote:
Even though I'd dated people with such different backgrounds, I STILL get nervous when I go out with my current boyfriend. You feel like all eyes are on you & suddenly, you are completely aware of every look people are giving you. You start becoming paranoid & you may not want to give him the same affection he's trying to give you because you feel so frazzled. I feel this way a lot of the time; this is normal. It's not fun, of course, but it comes along with interracial dating. I really do believe that people who can't handle the stares, who couldn't handle a confrontation or the issues that arise with IRD shouldn't date each other. It takes 2 very strong & understanding people. Both parties have to be willing to make sacrifices & deal with issues equally; if one person is uncertain, the support will be unbalanced. If you love him & you see a bright future with him, focus on THOSE things. Forget what people think; everyone will ALWAYS have an opinion about you two. Let them stare, let them say what they have to say & continue on in your own little world with your Boyfriend. No one knows the true contents of your relationship but the two of you, so don't let other people's ignorance keep you both from having a great life together. That is the best advice I can give you about that. It's not easy; as I've said, I'm still struggling with stares & comments, but I hold my head up high, grab his hand a little tighter & keep walking because I love him & really, all you need is love.
Thank you so much for your post. Yes, my anxieties are very similar to the above. I am black, and he is white. Whenever I am with my girlfriends, they always talk about how they prefer darker-haired or black men. This is my first interracial relationship so I am learning along and trying to stay strong with him. The good news is we were long-time friends before we decided to officially court together.

Briefly, he has not met my family but I have seen some of his family members. In his entire family, only his mom and my boyfriend are natural blondes whereas his father and three other siblings have brown hair. My boyfriend's hair is not sandy like his mother. It's more of a dirty (brown/blonde mixed) color. From what I have heard, many girls regardless of race think he's handsome and would not mind dating him.

That aside, this is my first serious relationship so my family members are not used to me dating. Why the anxieties about losing my identity as a black woman? They have high expectations of me because my future academically and career-wise looks good. I have often heard them make not-so-nice remarks about interracial couples. They even shun biracial babies. Other than that, I still love my family because we are very close. I told him once he meets them and they get to know him, they will realize he is genuinine and a good match for me.

Why is he a good match? He recently left a long-term romantic relationship and decided to court me. We were friends but never too close because he was dating. So far, we realize we enjoy each other's company. We are our own indivudual selfs. We share each other's cultures. Although he is white, he probably knows more about black history and black (social) issues than the average white college student. I enjoy the fact I can vent my frustrations freely or have an intellegent conversation about race and current events with him. He grew up around black people which made the transition from friend to girlfriend much easier for me. I didn't have to "teach" him about me or my race. I can share everything with him that his race doesn't even phase me. He loves me because I make him happy. I love him because he allows me to be who I am.

Why do I still wish he was black? To please my family and society? To have black children of my own? To be considered normal in society? Those are the anxieties that run through my mind even though I will never leave or dump him.

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Heather
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quote:
even though I will never leave or dump him.
I only have a minute, but seeing ANYONE say this about a brand new relationship makes my spider-sense tingle like nobody's business, even knowing y'all have been friends for many years, and you clearly once felt very strongly about him (more when he wasn't available, perhaps?)

And combined with cooment like that you feel you're "forced" to love him, and literally have nightmares about his hair -- to be frank, nightmares about his race would trouble me, but about his coloring (especially when you bear in mind that if he had darker hair doesn't change his race) REALLY just confuses the heck out of me.

So, setting aside issues of race and coloring, can I just ask, especially given previous issues of yours, if you think you feel, in any way, like you don't get to choose who you're with because you need to accept anyone who likes you and is willing to date you, especially given your history of intense esteem issues?

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Ecofem
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It sounds like the two of you are doing a good job sorting things out, MichSM. Your anxieties seem very understandable when you describe them this way. It sounds like they could be worked out over time with effort on both parts. I think people's concern (such as my own) was that your anxieties stemed from jumping into a relationship without working out other things, like that he was your only friend/support person; at first it was good but then it started getting difficult but you felt stuck. But it doesn't seem that way (as much at least) now.

How long have the two of you been dating? Have you told them you're dating someone/someone non-black yet? Do you think them knowing more about him would make you feel better? In any case, I think it'd be totally ok to call out your family on their negative comments on biracial babies, for example. Or talk to your friends about how, while it's totally fine for them to live whomever, it makes you feel judged for dating someone who is white and blonde-- see what they say.

[ 01-28-2007, 05:21 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Ecofem
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OK, I just read the post Heather linked and I have mixed feelings again. You know, we can be great friends with someone and want a relationship for a long time to have it not work out in reality. And it's totally ok and happens a lot. That he broke up with his ex to go out with you doesn't necessarily give the relationship more support nor does it compell you to stay in it. As Heather said, racial issues aside, something internal just doesn't seem to "right" here; sometimes internal issues can show themselves on a superficial (as in surface) level.

How are your other platonic friendships? Do you still talk to your mom for hours a day on the phone? (This is totally ok, I'm just asking. [Smile] ) Back to the race and self-esteem issues, I can see how anxieties about their approval race-wise if you're feeling you look to them (your mom and the friends you mentioned previously) for "approval."

[ 01-28-2007, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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MichSM2
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Initially, I wasn't looking for a relationship with him. He didn't break up with her (his girlfriend broke up with him so this freed him a bit). After a while, he realized he had romantic, genuine feelings for me. And I admited to him that my feelings for him had grown stronger. So far my relationship is fine. There are ups and downs but that's because we're figuring out more about ourselves. So in a way, love just naturally progresed over time between us.

Platonic friendships? I feel like they are somewhat slipping away. The only person I feel most comfortable talking to is my boyfriend. I don't feel alone or depressed around him because he knows and appreciates the real me.

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MichSM2
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I do admit I have a history of self-esteem issues (Heather mentioned it). I brought it up with my boyfriend a few minutes ago, and he even confessed he knew about my esteem problems for years now. He couldn't do anything about it because he had his own relationship and friends. He could offer advice but just watch from the distance. Now, he wants to work with me.

We have been dating since November.

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Ecofem
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Re: Platonic friendships. I totally know how a fresh relationship can become the first priority, that s/he is your closest confidante and friend, and you want to spend every second with him or her. [Smile] That's great and should be enjoyed, but other friendships shouldn't be completely pushed to the back burner. It's good to have other people in your support network, such as to share your happiness about a new relationship! So why not take the time to get in touch with some of these people, like to meet up for lunch or watch a movie-- I'm sure they won't hold your absence against you. [Wink]

Re: Self-esteem. Significant others can really support us with this, but I'm talking more about personal effort, like talking things out with a counselor to figure out where it comes from and how to feel better about it. It can really help to have (good) professional advice.

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MichSM2
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I sought professional counseling last year but I stopped going to the sessions. I truly hated the experience because the person just could not help me. And I don't have time for it either.
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fille_francaise
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Oops; sorry about that. I hadn't a clue. ;/

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Heather
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If all the rest of your relationships are slipping away, that's a BAD sign, not a good one.

It's vital to healthy romantic/sexual relationships that they are but one of the close relationships we have: not the ONLY one. And when you have esteem issues, that's even more important (what happens, for instance, if this fizzles or y'all split up? What about when you've got disagreements or conflicts that make you feel bad about yourself? What about when you need the ear of someone else to get support for the inevitable issues that crop up in any intimate relationship, and you need that extra ear to figure out how to best bring them to the table with a partner, or even just to get an outside prespective to be sure things are okay?).

And social isolation also tends to result in romantic relationships tanking a lot earlier than they would otherwise. Being someone's only person may seem romantic at first (or, for someone inclined to enjoy control of partners, like a bonus in that way), but after a while, it's hella stressful and a real drag. Personally, I have to say that over the 20+ years I've been dating, that's probably been the biggest single reason I've broken up with people: because they made me the center of their whole universe, which however much I cared for them, felt more and more creepy as time went on, and also left me in a position where that person usually got resentful when I wanted to hang out with my friends and invest time in the other firendships and relationships in my life that were important to me. Plus, again: just plain creepy and scary.

Per the counseling, it often takes a few tries to find a counselor who is the right one for us. Flatly, given your history, and the fact that it's clear that with this situation alone, you could use an objective ear, I wouldn't advise blowing it off and I'd encourage you to make time. After all, if we've got time for the investments of time and energy a serious relationship requires, we've got time for an hour a week with a counselor.

[ 01-29-2007, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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MichSM2
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Heather, I have been to three different counselors. One of them was very helpful to me but she chose private practice elsewhere and she does not live near me anymore. I truly adored her. After that, I went to two other psychologists but it was a waste of my money.

I still have friends, Heather. But I just don't feel close to them like I used to. In fact, I like talking to other people other than my boyfriend. I still see them, but I don't even find comfort in spending a day with them. Why? I feel nothing for them. I cannot be myself around them. They cannot relate to me. I can spend a few hours with them but that's it. I don't want to completely abandon them. Do I seek an objective ear? Of course! I'm always calling or contacting another person and asking for their input. Guess what? I try to make time for my own interests too. For example, I told him I want to be a working mother, and there's nothing he can do to stop me from pursuing my aspirations. I know who I am. I know who I am not.

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Heather
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Sometimes, you know, as we grow and change, we outgrow old relationships. So, perhaps you just need some new friends in the mix.

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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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fille_francaise
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I feel the same as you do, MichSM2. I have aquaintances, people I will willingly call & maybe get coffee with, but nothing more than that. I find complete comfort in my boyfriend being that he is the only one that relates to me the most. We can converse about real things, important things. Of course, if I had this connection with a girl that is a friend of mine, I would be spending just as much time with her as I do with my boyfriend. It just so happens that the only one who understands me is him.

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"...Our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds."

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-Lauren-
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To be blunt, what're you gonna do in the overwhelming circumstance that things don't work out?

Friends are pretty neat people to have on your side, and forging relationships that often have a DEEPER sense of mutual understanding and support come a heck of a lot easier, and tend to be hardier, than romantic ones.

I've seen many a friend push away everyone else close to her but her boyfriend (who held the same attitudes and beliefs I'm seeing here, btw), and you can bet that when he upped and left, everyone around her was too resentful to really offer much support.

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