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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » no faith in myself

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Author Topic: no faith in myself
she_who_questions
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I feel pretty deflated right now. I just spent an evening with my best friend and her boyfriend (who I like a lot). At least from my perspective, I've always had chemistry with this boyfriend. Generally I'm not stupid about detecting things like that. One time he even put his arm around me. We talk quite a bit over text and in person. I was there during the beginning of his relationship with my friend. He was very passive about that and doesn't seem interested in getting to know her (and vice versa).

Anyway, tonight got to be too much. I decided to bow out of three-way hangouts in the future. I explained to the boyfriend that I wouldn't be around as much anymore and told him that I liked him. Told him I wished him and his girlfriend well. He thanked me for being honest, and said that I'd been very brave to tell him. He also said he'd still be available to talk and everything "because I'm still his friend." I suppose I was expecting him to explicitly confirm or deny liking me back. I'm guessing, judging from his response, that he doesn't. But now I feel like my mind has played tricks on me.

I feel like I can't trust my own judgment anymore. My last relationship really undermined me. It seems as though I've misread boys' feelings twice over the past year. Ugh. How am I supposed to trust myself again?

Posts: 120 | From: Florida | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stephanie_1
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You know, people are not as cut and dry and we may hope. This means that when we don't specifically tell people how we feel and ask them how they feel in return, there will be that chance for misinterpreting signals we think are being given. So give yourself a little more credit... human beings are complex and it happens that we won't always be able to correctly judge them and their emotions.

That said, I think it's safe to say that you can trust yourself, but also need to learn to forgive yourself. A lot of what steers us in the right direction is that gut feeling we get sometimes. trusting yourself is tough, but important... don't forget you're human and make mistakes though.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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she_who_questions
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Thanks for your advice. I guess I'm mostly disappointed by the way that my romantic life is going. I've never had a guy pursue me really. At least, not in a meaningful "I want to know you" way. I just feel a sense of defeat. It seems like there's nobody out there for me (obviously this is a glum statement, but it often feels true).

To be honest, I don't see many relationships out there that I envy. I see a lot of codependency, insecurity, power tactics, etc. Truly reciprocal interest is rare...and when it does exist, it still doesn't seem deep enough. I feel like I've been reduced to dealing with guys who can't give me what I need in a relationship. Just ones who are brilliant, emotionally unavailable, and fond of deconstructing the world. At least there's a challenge in that, something to be learned. But still, nobody who's on the same page as me.

I'm beginning to doubt that there's someone out there for everyone. I'm not sure that some guy out there will find me ultimately fascinating. I don't think that most people are capable of loving/seeking in the same way I am. That may sound ridiculous, but I think I look at others in an unusually full way. People's personalities are so textured, contradictory, and interesting. I want to meet my match is all.

I'm 22 years old and have had one serious relationship that lasted 3.5 years. I've only kissed two other people, and both of those I largely regret. It just doesn't seem like I'm experiencing what I should be, at the level that I should be. Bleh. Sorry to blabber about this for so long [Frown]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, I'd actually say that, statistically speaking, having already even had a relationship that long-term at 22 is unusual. And as well, being in a relationship that long before this age likely did kind of cut back on other dating, so you need to leave yourself some room around that, you know?

I think one of the toughest things about being younger with love relationships is having the expectation that we'll find the super-super big stuff by around the age you're at, when more often, for more people, those things come a bit later. Or, rather, the super-duper big stuff can tend to be things or relationships that are shorter, or happen more in moments than over many years, if you get me. But I know how defeating it can feel, and how hopeless, especially when those aren't the expectations.

I also agree that there's a LOT of dysfunction out there and it can be a real challenge to find healthy relationships and people capable of them when you're younger. A lot of people grow up with unhealthy models, so it can take longer than we'd like for others (and ourselves) to unlearn them.

Can I ask if you feel open to having deep connections that are more momentary than long-term? Or that maybe aren't always about romantic love? When you say you've never had a potential partner pursue you, do you feel like you're the one doing all the pursuing? When you are, is it with people who are available, not like with this friend's boyfriend?

(Do you even want practical advice? Sorry if I'm going to that place if what you really want is just to voice your feelings right now.)

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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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she_who_questions
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No I definitely appreciate the practical advice. In regards to your question, I don't really understand how you can have a connection that is both momentary and deep. I certainly have platonic relationships that I feel are pretty solid, but I hold romantic love to a higher standard I suppose. Also, I'm not sure I follow what you mean by "big stuff"... Normal relationship progression got blown out of the water by my last relationship. It was the most intense, often miserable, thing I've been through.

As far as pursuing goes, I feel that the people who I like rarely notice me in the same way (at least initially). I'm always the one to start the conversation, so to speak. And I got into an unequal relationship as a result. Sometimes, admittedly, I do fall for people who are either a) taken or b) emotionally incapable of a fulfilling relationship.

I just don't think I could handle a temporary, lighter-than-air relationship. I don't know how to deal with people that way. It seems terrible to have to learn how...(?) It takes time for me to trust people and understand them. I'm not sure that that is what you meant though.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Can I tell you a personal (nonsexual/nonromantic) story about a momentary but deep interpersonal connection to make some sense of that for you? Feel like it's a bit easier to explain with an example than more broadly.

I didn't suggest that temporary needed to be light. I mean, here's the thing: LIFE is temporary. Even relationships that last a lifetime are exceptionally, exceptionally rare. And when we're younger, we're must more likely to have relationships which last for shorter than even a couple of years, which doesn't have to be a bad thing (especially since we and others are also often changing so much, and we're all just getting started in learning what we want, are looking for, and are capable of in relationships).

I'm so sorry to hear your last relationship was such a doozy. [Frown]

--------------------
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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she_who_questions
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Yes! I would appreciate hearing your story. It's easier to make sense of things through stories sometimes.

I just don't like the idea that one must wait until they are older to have a meaningful, long-lasting relationship. There is such a focus on individualism in society nowadays. I think a lot of young people "sow their wild oats" simply because that is the expectation; they are told they're missing out if they have a serious boyfriend/girlfriend. Even if that significant other is not really lacking in any way. It's very screwy.

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