Friends and Feelings

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Friends and Feelings Empty Friends and Feelings

Post by Mr. Lucky on Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:01 am

Hey all. I'm brand new to posting here, though I've been lurking around the blog for a little while now. You all seem very nice, and I was hoping to get some input on a specific situation I'm finding myself in. It might turn into more of a rant, who knows?

Over the past year or so I developed very strong feelings for a friend of mine (let's call her Lisa, since she's TEARING ME APART). Admittedly, I handled this... rather poorly. I was very obvious about it, and very needy, and I think I may have made her pretty uncomfortable (which I've apologized for). When she made it clear she did not reciprocate, I said that I still wanted to be friends, and I tried to get over my feelings for her.

Then she started dating another one of our friends (call him Mark, to keep The Room reference going), and I was devastated. I got really jealous and sad. It certainly didn't help that because we're all in the same major, I had to see them almost every day for the next two months until the semester ended. I tried to act cool, as if it didn't bother me, but despite my ACTING...TALENT, I don't think I was very convincing.

One night shortly after they started dating, they came to my apartment to work on a class project and then play video games (I mistakenly thought I could control the dynamic better at my place than anywhere else). I had to watch them sitting together on my couch, holding hands and ...being cute and stuff. It was the worst.

Mark actually caught me alone one day later on and said that he didn't want to lose me as a friend. I told him that truthfully, I was a bit jealous and that he shouldn't take it personally if I were distant from him for a while.

I haven't really talked to either of them for about a month or so (and in fact I've set a hard rule for myself not to contact Lisa at all, at least for the time being). I suppose my question is, can I / should I try to salvage friendship out of this?

On the one hand, I used to really like hanging out with them. I don't want to miss out on a couple real, valuable friends just because I'm being stubborn. Plus I don't have many other friends anyway (I guess that's a whole problem itself).

But on the other hand, if being around them will make me feel lonely and worthless, and will remind me how easy relationships seem for EVERYONE ELSE I KNOW BUT ME, wouldn't that be worse than being alone? Also, how much of this is genuinely me wanting to be friends, and how much is just residual feelings I still have for Lisa? Won't I always want more than friendship from her? I don't even know myself.


I don't know. Thoughts?
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Friends and Feelings Empty Re: Friends and Feelings

Post by reboot on Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:18 am

Been there! And it is a no fun situation. Sympathies. What I would do is tell Mark that you want to stay friends with both of them, but hanging with them as a couple is rough right now, and ask if you and he can hang out 1:1 on occasion. After a bit of time, try hanging out with them in a larger group, not you+couple so you can dodge them if the feelings get overwhelming.

Most importantly, though, you need to lose your attraction to Lisa and the best way to do that is meet other women. You might even be able to enlist Mark's assistance in this as a wing or to introduce you to some of Lisa's friends that you might not know.

Good Luck!
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Post by Caffeinated on Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:30 pm

Welcome, Mr. Lucky!

Reboot's advice is solid. I'd add that this is a good time to try to get to be a little closer to some of your other friends or try to move from acquaintance-level to friend-level with some other people you know, and try to expand your social circle in general.

As for whether you'll always still have residual feelings for Lisa, that's a hard question. Sometimes the feelings for someone will go away after a short period of mourning, sometimes after a longer period, and sometimes those feelings just stick around and stubbornly refuse to fade out. And it doesn't seem possible to know in advance which kind they'll be. So maybe spend some time away until you feel better, then try being around her in a casual larger group situation, and see how it feels.
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Friends and Feelings Empty Re: Friends and Feelings

Post by litterature on Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:43 pm

My advice is, first of all, to make sure that you trust who you're asking for advice. Since there's a sizeable amount of Nice Guys, creeps and flat-out criminals out there, and since there are some taboos around unrequited feelings, you're probably going to hear some stuff that won't help you much and people who don't realise you're an actual human being rather than some abstract case study or some opportunity to make a point about something that is completely unrelated to you. Luckily this is a good place.

I think the first part of reboot's message is pretty good, but there is something that I'd like to mention, too. With situations like yours, "getting over it" isn't the #1 priority. The #1 priority is avoiding anything that might make you bitter or resentful. This is because, first of all, you might not get over it after all (people take it for granted, but personally unless someone behaves in a disappointing or harmful way, or they change, or you change, I don't really get how you're supposed to stop liking someone once feelings have got to the point where they're kind of serious), and next, because getting over someone isn't always a good scenario - I know it can be pretty confusing at times, like you don't worry anymore but you also don't know what is what anymore, and that kind of emotional swamp is the opposite of what "moving on" is supposed to mean. But most importantly it's because bitterness always leads to dick moves, so that's by far more important than "losing the attraction" to someone.

I also have to say that I have extremely bad experience with going out with other people just because I was forgetting someone else. I hurt myself, I hurt others, and I ended up in a relationship where I wasn't trusted and which ended with having someone showing up at my place and telling me they were going to kill themselves, even though I really was in love... and the nail in the coffin is that to date I still am attracted to the person I originally had feelings for even though years have passed and even though now I know a relationship with her wouldn't be ideal for me, so personally I don't think it's such a bulletproof way of moving on. Actually I think it's a bad idea - of course meeting someone else helps, but I'm not so sure about actively looking for it. It's as if not being into someone who reciprocates your feelings was some sort of horrible disease and you had to get out of it as soon as possible. Well, YMMV I guess...?

Anyway, I guess it's OK if you try and meet them in a less stressful setting, but if you can't manage don't doubt yourself because you can be sure that anything that helps you avoid bitterness is the right move. Which is not to say that it isn't going to suck, but oh well.


Last edited by litterature on Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Friends and Feelings Empty Re: Friends and Feelings

Post by Mr. Lucky on Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:19 pm

Hey, thanks for the feedback, guys!

Reboot, I think that's the gist of how I'm going to handle Mark.

I know that the best way to move forward is to meet other women and to expand my social circle in general. But I'm a really shy introvert with practically zero dating experience, so those tasks seem herculean sometimes. I suppose my strategy for the immediate future is to a) reconnect with friends/acquaintances I haven't talked to in a while, and b) keep an eye out for events going on in my city that might be conducive to meeting people.

Litterature, I'm sorry to hear about your bad experiences. I suppose in my situation I'd be more susceptible to entering a bad relationship, so I'll keep that in mind.
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Friends and Feelings Empty Re: Friends and Feelings

Post by reboot on Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:39 am

Your strategy sounds good. The big thing is to occupy yourself with new people and thoughts/activities until the attraction peters out. And it will peter out given time and neglect. You just need to not feed it for a while
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