Just a really complicated friends-to-lovers situation

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
sodabutt
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Just a really complicated friends-to-lovers situation

Unread postby sodabutt » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:18 pm

So i have had romantic and platonic relationship with this girl for a long while. We had been pining for each other our junior and senior years of high school and things got complicated after we graduated.

We had always been very touchy-feely and affectionate platonically and we kind of just decided that by then we were basically already in a romantic relationship, we just hadn't kissed, and we starting referring to ourselves as girlfriends (side-note, I have since come out as transnonbinary and use masculine terms to refer to myself now). We dated for a few months, but during winter break I asked her to kiss me and she refused, and decided that we should break up. I didn't try to press the issue because I felt that if she just wanted to stay friends, we could still have that and I wasn't entitled to anything from her.

But, this turned out to be much harder for me than I thought. These past couple months I've really just wanted to experience a proper romantic relationship, but I consider myself demisexual and at the very least I know that I can't develop feelings for people just by looking at them - I need to have a deeper connection first. I knew that I was still in love with this girl, but I thought i couldn't form feelings for anyone because I was still in love with her, so I ghosted her. I didn't mean to, and I know now how much it hurt her, but I just couldn't separate my feelings from her without cutting her out. And now I feel extra guilty, because even with my selfish justification I still couldn't feel that spark for a new person, and i felt I wrecked our relationship, and I was holding my other friends at arms length to avoid getting feelings for them, and I still felt utterly lonely.

After this spring break let out she reached out to me again. I think after starting therapy again I was motivated to respond. So we talked, and she told me that she broke it off because she didn't think it was fair to me. She said that she very much loved me, but that since she couldn't bring herself to go any further and we were both at college that she couldn't give me what I wanted and didn't want to hurt me that way. She also told me that she thought the reason I ghosted her was because I was upset with her.

Now I just don't know what to do. I feel like i can't fall for anyone else because she's still on my mind, but since I ghosted her so hard I don't know if I even feel the same way about her. i don't know if we can be friends without loving each other this way, but at this point shes my only real friend outside of college and I considered her my best friend, and I don't know if I have what it takes to cut her out of my life on purpose. please if anyone has advice, I am desperate for help

Sam W
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Re: Just a really complicated friends-to-lovers situation

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:15 am

Hi Sodabutt,

It sounds like losing this relationship was really hard for you, and that it's still bringing up some tough feelings. You're certainly not the first pair of friends to discover that you can love each other, and be comfortable with a lot of physical contact, but find that one or both you finds yourself not feeling the romantic relationship. In fact deep, loving relationships will, for many people, be much longer lasting than any given romantic relationship. So that love you feel for each other may not mean the relationship is over.

While the ghosting sounds like it ended up hurting both of you, getting distance from a friend after breaking up is actually something we recommend. The friendship has a better chance of repairing and going back to normal if both people have the space to work through their feelings away from each other, and the chance to get over (for lack of a better word) the romantic elements.

While it can definitely be tough to get into someone new if you still have lingering romantic feelings for someone else, it's not actually impossible. So, if you're feeling like you want to explore other romantic opportunities, that's not an inherently futile exercise (with the caveat that right now, exploring relationships has the added difficulty of social distancing).

In that last conversation with her, did you get a sense of whether she wants to rebuild the friendship?

sodabutt
not a newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:40 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: Proud about how much I love my short hair
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them/he
My sexual identity and orientation: asexual, demi sexual, bisexual
Location: United States

Re: Just a really complicated friends-to-lovers situation

Unread postby sodabutt » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:11 pm

Hi Sam,

Thank you for responding! She does want to rebuild the relationship, but after this initial text was surprised when I told her I wanted to hang out with her when the virus blows over. I felt really bad about that, because until then I didn't realize that I had hurt her the way I did. It seems obvious now, but at the time I guess i felt that we could just immediately go back to being best friends like we were before I ghosted her, and its just silly for me to think that it wouldn't have effected her at all. Hopefully during the epidemic I can work on talking to people from my phone, and by the time we're able to see each other again we will have somewhat repaired our relationship.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7213
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Just a really complicated friends-to-lovers situation

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:14 am

You're welcome!

Okay, so it sounds like taking things slow and gently exploring and rebuilding the relationship is a sound way to go, given that you both are interested in being friends again. I think using the time where everyone is more or less stuck inside to cultivate friendships (both with her and with other people) by phone is a great plan. Plus, it's a great way to look after your own emotional needs and check-in with your friends during a pretty scary, stressful time.


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