I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

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Cherry
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I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Cherry »

This is going to be a long one, so I apologize in advance—as the story in a whole starts back in January.
A little backstory, I’m a college student rooming with roommates (all girls). I was vibing with myself and my independence (I’m never been in a relationship and rarely if ever am interested in someone) when for some reason my interest turned to one of my roommates, I’ll call her Blue.
I don’t know what decided to change but I developed (feelings?) for her, or how I now like to call it—a very intense emotional connection. I craved to be around her and near her and wanted to know everything about her—and yes, I do know it sounds a touch obsessive. For six months there, I was pining in unrequited (feelings?) toward blue, and had come to the content realization that it would never happen and we’d never work because of our family backgrounds and religious backgrounds. The confusing part about my pining for those months is it was never sexual. When I think of anything sexual it’s always centered with a guy and never really a woman. I never saw her in a sexual way, which is why it messed with my head so much why I seemed to want her so much, just in not a sexual way. And yet I never felt this strong of an emotion towards any other female friend, nor a man.
But because of my personality and general quietness, I’m never one to say anything nor initiate anything in fear that I’d make her uncomfortable or ruin our friendship. And for a while there, everything was swell. I was vibing in my unrequited longing and she had no idea and it was great….. until one night she said she liked me (in a sexual way too) and everything changed. My headspace for months of—“oh this is just a daydream, it will never and could never happen”—came crashing down because the last person I ever thought would say that they were interested in me said they wanted to kiss me. Now I suddenly had to face my very confusing feelings for her and figure it all out.
So when all of a sudden I get asked, “Why haven’t you done anything?” and I’m forced to be honest with not only myself but Blue as well, i’m a loss for words. Because of course it’s not simple. It’s not easy. This world is more than feelings and how I (think) I feel about someone and I think these past six months have shoved that hard into my face till I understood.
And I guess i’m just very confused with my feelings right now because for the past six months I didn’t look at anybody else, didn’t consider anybody else, didn’t even think about anybody else cause my mind was focused on one thing (My mind convinced me I was taken, even tho we weren’t dating, nor did I want to ‘date’ in the traditional, sexual way). Did my fear only now catch up to me now that the once imaginary world is now a very possible reality?
I think a lot of it is fear talking, and I have been too scared to do anything sexual with her even though she is clearly interested and is willing to do whatever I’m comfortable with (which isn’t anything other than cuddling). Ive been open and told her about my confusion and my non sexual feelings and she’s been an angel with giving me grace on how confused I am regarding how I feel—but I know it’s not fair to not be able to give her all of me, and I struggle to do that. I’m scared to do that —and that’s not just with girls—every guy who’s tried to kiss me I skirt-skirted away because it freaked me out.
I just feel selfish taking up her time and space and closeness (something I finally have after all these months) while not being able to give her what she wants (even if she says she doesn’t mind).
Please if anyone has any advice on this I’d love to talk—it’s been a hard few weeks dealing with this on my own.

(And funnily enough, we did kiss one night a few weeks ago (my first and only kiss!) when I was braver than usual because of some grape juice ;), and all I could think was, “oh this is strange. Why is it so wet?” And I also had no idea what I was doing and couldn’t figure it out. So…. Haven’t tried it since and haven’t been interested in it, which falls along the lines of me not being sexually attracted to her—but still into her in some other way because I don’t think of any of my other friends like this.
Sam W
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Re: I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi Cherry,

Those sound like some seriously intense feelings to be dealing with for so long! I am glad to hear that you've been able to be open with her about what's going on and that she's respecting the fact you're still trying to sort out how you feel.

I'm actually going to start with a little thought experiment, one that I've found can help untangle that jumble of what-ifs, fears, and other feelings. If you could snap your fingers and your relationship with her would suddenly be exactly what you wanted, what would that look like? What would the dynamic between you two be?
Cherry
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Re: I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Cherry »

Thank you for the reply. I think that if I could snap my fingers and our relationship could be just what I would want, it would be really similar to what it is right now. We act like we’re in a relationship with everything expect anything sexual. Cuddling, talking, sleeping in each other’s beds, going on ‘dates’, are all things we do now and have done recently in the past month, which is exactly what I wanted for all those months. The only issue now is I feel like she wants more, and I don’t know if I want it myself. I love where we are at and wish we could just have this ‘relationship’ without the difficult conversations and awkward pulling away that’s been happening since she said she liked me. I feel selfish for taking up all her time and space but not giving her the complete, full relationship she wants.
Do you think it’s possible I’m asexual or something along those lines? Or maybe just scared and freaked out at the thought of being intimate with anyone? (Definitely could be a combo of both). And it is selfish that I do want to be her partner in life, but just not with everything that comes with being with a person? Or do you think I just really like her as a friend and it was just a obsession? Feel free to be brutally honest as i need any clarity I can get. Thank you again and I apologize for the many questions.
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Re: I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Heather »

Hey, Cherry.

You know, before anything else, I'd recognize that it's pretty common in intense relationships to be having big conversations often, and sometimes even very early on. It's not surprising, really, and also probably often a very good thing: after all, we're all more vulnerable when emotions are higher, when things are more high-stakes in any way, and in relationships that really matter to us, amongst other things.

Generally, I don't find basing our whole sexual identity on one person or relationship makes a lot of sense, but if it's helpful to think about if you're asexual or not to you, or even if, in this dynamic with your friend, where you're at is in an asexual place, we can for sure talk about that.

We also may not want to be sexual at all or in some ways with someone even when our overall orientation would include them and doing that, you know? What we want from a given relationship can sometimes have a lot to do with some part of our identity, and other times, little to none. I think what's most important here, though, is that you sound clear about what you want and don't want right now, and that you know you don't really need reasons for those if they don't seem apparent. What you want and don't can be just because. And no, I don't think it's selfish to want to be with someone in every way save sexually, and to want to be a partner to them. Sex isn't THE one universal big thing in all relationships, just like say, religion or location or being married or not isn't.

It's just that you always have to recognize that what one person wants in something they consider a life partnership and what someone else wants won't always (or even often, I'd say) be the same, so it may be someone else won't want what we do and so won't want that kind of relationship with us (or only with us). Make sense?

How do you feel about saying all of the things you have said here to her?
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
Cherry
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Re: I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Cherry »

Hi, thank you for replying to me! You guys have been so much help and have given me so much clarity with not only my relationship but my identity as well. I already feel more at peace.

After reading what Sam wrote, I responded and sat on it for a while and thought it through. When Blue and I were sitting together a little later, I opened up and basically shared what I shared here with you guys, and how right now I don’t want to have that kind of sexual relationship with her but still see her in a romantic type of way. As always, she was very understanding and said that regardless of how I feel, she still cares for me and will always respect and honor how I feel, and that she is perfectly content in what we are doing now and doesn’t expect anything more. Thank you Sam for helping me with thinking it through.

Heather, that makes complete sense what you are saying. I often forget that sex isn’t the main point of a relationship, as it’s so often shown to me in movies, shows and books I read. It makes sense completely what you are saying that not every partnership is completely the same.
After talking about it with Blue, I felt better and felt my anxiety ease as I stopped pressuring myself into thinking that I had to be sexual with someone because I feel like I love them so deeply. I know that because it’s my first ‘relationship’ and the most I’ve felt for someone, it will take time for me to feel comfortable and it’s taken me a bit to be vulnerable just in general.

Thank you, both of you, for helping me find clarity. I needed someone to talk to and someone to give me advice and wisdom, and you both came in clutch when I needed it most. I really appreciate this site, as it’s been so stressful the past few weeks not having anybody to talk too—and in a matter of hours you guys have completely changed my mindset and eased my anxiety—along with helping me be brave with sharing how I feel. Thank you thank you.
Siân
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Re: I’m confused because of a close relationship with a friend

Unread post by Siân »

Hi Cherry,

I'm so glad that you found the conversations here helpful, and I'm especially glad that talking with Blue went so well. What a lovely message to read!

One of the really cool things about relationships is that you can build them into any shape you want - and that includes having all the romantic, connected things without having to have sex in there if you don't want it.

I didn't see anything specific you wanted to talk more about in your latest post, but if there is then we're here any time you need us!
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