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A difficult change

  1. Sep 18, 2009 #1

    honestrosewater

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    So I met this guy online. At first, I thought he was gay. (I love that story.) After talking to him for a while, I thought he was strange. After a while more, I found him annoying. And after even longer, he became a good friend. I started to like him, and I wanted him to like me. We kept growing closer and it seemed at times like he might be willing to give us a chance, but whenever I asked about it directly, he said that he wanted to just be friends. Fast forward about four years. He is my best friend. We have gone through this cycle several times of me wanting more, him saying no, and me accepting that and giving up. No matter what I do, the cycle keeps repeating.

    He and his girlfriend broke up several months ago, starting another cycle of us growing closer. It's incredibly hard for me to not be there for him when he is sad. Anyway, I finally realized that we had to give our romantic relationship a chance. Something had to change. We had to go on a date. It seemed like a very simple thing. After a lot of back and forth, I got a straight answer from him. It was a no. He thought it wasn't worth it. (We live about 1200 miles apart (though those things can change).)

    So he wants to just be friends, and I don't want to just be friends, and I don't think anything is going to change that. And as long as we try to just be friends, I'll keep having to go through this oscillation of growing closer to him, caring more about him, and then having to push myself away. And that is just too painful and not fair to me. So we just can't be friends. I don't think I ever really managed to explain this to him, but I finally just had to say goodbye.

    It's been about a month since our friendship ended, or changed drastically. We've talked a few times. I'd like us to be able to be friendly now and then, like old friends. I'm okay with it sometimes. Sometimes, I even almost convince myself that things are better this way. But sometimes I miss him almost as much as I did the first day, and I wish there was something I could do to change his mind. And I'm not sure what to do when I feel this way.

    Maybe it's just a physiological process that has to run its course. He was my best friend, and we did talk almost daily for four years, so turning to him had become habitual, I was accustomed to him being there, there are a lot of memories to distance myself from, lots of what-ifs to let go of, and so on. Or maybe it's something psychological that I have to reason myself through. Or maybe it's a mix of both. I am not sure. So when it feels like things are worse now than before, I don't know if I would be better off ignoring it or confronting it. He is the one that I would normally have talked to about something like this. So... what do I do? I'm trying to do my homework, but this is distracting me.
     
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  3. Sep 18, 2009 #2

    lisab

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    Such a sad story...I feel bad for you!

    As far as heartbreak, yeah, I think it just has to run its course. I would treat it the same way as an "in person" break up...hang out with your friends, work on a hobby (or start one), write in a journal...that sort of thing.
     
  4. Sep 18, 2009 #3
    sigh... you know its kind of depressing seeing how this describes my experience almost word for word.

    You made the right decision. Trying to remain friends would be very difficult because eventually those feelings would just keep coming to the surface again and its unfair to ask that you go through that. Its perfectly natural to miss this person, and you will for quiet some time but eventually you'll learn to live with it. Oh and a good idea is to try and keep yourself occupied, whether you do this by going out with friends, burying yourself in work etc is up to you, just as long as its an activity that will keep the guy off your mind.
     
  5. Sep 18, 2009 #4
    You did the right thing even if it was difficult. Give him space and maybe some day he will come around. But certainly don't wait around. Live your life. Try new hobbies, travel, spend time with friends and family, start running every day. Use this time for YOU. Do things that give you confidence and do things for yourself, be selfish! Don't try and repress anything. Take time each day and think about things. But confine the time, don't let it take your entire day. Then a few months later you will find you think about him less and less. He will never leave your mind, but even the biggest heartbreak does lessen and you are able to enjoy life again. Trust me!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  6. Sep 18, 2009 #5
    I think it is immature to develop relationships online. So you were wrong ;p.
     
  7. Sep 18, 2009 #6

    chroot

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    All people, if they simply live long enough, will experience some form of unrequited love. It's certainly painful, and I'm sorry you have to endure it.

    Long-distance relationships are honestly rarely successful in the long term. The distance allows them to remain at a simmer virtually forever, mainly because it's very easy to expose only the best parts of one's personality and lifestyle. I won't say that all long-distance relationships are fictions, but they are very easy to idealize, romanticize, and exaggerate.

    honestrosewater, you are better off doing almost anything other than pursuing a man who lives 1,200 miles away and has repeatedly turned you down. As un-romantic as it sounds, in truth there are thousands or tens of thousands of men in the world who would be a perfect fit for you, and all you need to do is find one.

    For now, consider just dating casually for a while. Date for the fun of meeting new people, not because you expect or desire to meet your husband-to-be. Join some online dating sites if you're not interested in traditional ways of meeting other singles (something like 30% of today's newlyweds met online) and have a ball. Don't get involved with anyone who lives more than a comfortable driving distance. There are plenty of men in your area who are looking for a girl just like you -- make it easy for them!

    - Warren
     
  8. Sep 18, 2009 #7

    honestrosewater

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    Thanks. You guys are right. I know you're right. I suppose I still sort of wish that I could make sense of it or understand why he didn't think it was worth giving a chance. Maybe a reason wouldn't help. I don't think I'm going to get one anyway, so I probably should let that go.

    I have gone on a few dates. I tend to only get along well with people who like math, and most people -- for some unimaginable reason -- don't like math. Actually, going back to school now and taking freshman math courses, I can understand how people get turned off to math. My calculus professor is pretty cute, though. :wink: But I think he might be married. :boh:

    Where do I find a stud who who loves math and running?
     
  9. Sep 18, 2009 #8
    PF Dating services is in the works... maybe... maybe? :cool:
     
  10. Sep 18, 2009 #9

    SpaceTiger

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    You can't rely on the internet for friends or love interests. You need to go out and meet people near you; otherwise, your life is just going to be one vacuum after another. It sounds like this guy understands that and it's why he keeps turning you down. I'm sure he enjoys talking to you, but that's not enough for a relationship.
     
  11. Sep 18, 2009 #10

    honestrosewater

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    Does anyone here live around Tampa, FL? There are several people here who I would love to meet, but everyone lives far away (I think).
     
  12. Sep 18, 2009 #11

    Moonbear

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    We keep telling you we need that PF dating service! :rofl:

    Hey, it's a refreshing change to read a "guy trouble" thread instead of a "girl trouble" thread around here. :biggrin:

    Anyway, on the serious side, yes, I also think you did the right thing, as hard as it feels. It happens to everyone eventually, and everyone manages to get over it somehow.

    I also agree with Warren that it's rare for long distance relationships to really work, and especially when they START long distance. I really think the only time they stand a chance is when they start out local, and someone moves after the relationship has been established. And, yes, the problem is they tend to drag on far longer and be more painful when they end than if you lived closer to that person to see their flaws much more quickly.

    Hang tough, kiddo!
     
  13. Sep 18, 2009 #12
    1. You did the right thing. I have to say that right off the bat. There's no need to (and I mean this in the best way possible) waste your time with someone who's vacillating over something very important. It's a bad game of tug of war.

    2. This is sort of what was happening with my best friend, except obviously, I'm not gay and we're not in love or some stupid thing. I just had to accept that we were getting busier and so we couldn't chill out as often as possible. With his new girlfriend, things are getting even more awkward when we have guy hangouts (me, him and a bunch of our friends) and he totes his GF along. Makeout session after another and he relentlessly succumbs to her every whim and fancy. It's sickening. Not a good place to be, don't care if he's not my best friend anymore, don't care if I don't chat with him about stuff, had to live with it and move on.

    3. There are tons of fish in the sea. Yeah I know it's a tired old statement but my God is it ever true. When my ex broke up with me, I was depressed and down for like 5 months. She was my first and I had waited long for someone like her, so it was really really tough for me. Then of course 2 years has passed, and now I'm working in the UCSD hospital. Holy crap. The girls are pretty and smart and have great personalities. I'm in freaking love.

    You'll find a better guy, don't worry about it. Be patient, and the right person will fall from the sky (not literally hopefully).
     
  14. Sep 18, 2009 #13

    honestrosewater

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    Well, I am not looking for a long-distance relationship with anyone. But given where we were, there were only two paths available. I don't know exactly where the other one would have led.

    So how do I find these guys? I meet guys all the time, even walking down the street. I haven't liked any of them. There is no one at work or school that I like, except perhaps my one professor, who is probably married and is off-limits as long as he is my teacher anyway. I have been on three dating sites, and on the only one where I've ever met anyone cool, I have been through all of my matches within a 100-mile radius. Seriously. And I am being very open-minded and casual and giving everyone a generous chance. The results are just that I seem to be compatible with an extremely small percentage of people.

    So how do I find them? I mean, I am not in a huge rush, but it certainly would be nice. I think my chances of meeting people are much better online, but obviously, I want to meet someone who lives near me or could live near me soon.
     
  15. Sep 18, 2009 #14

    Evo

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    Meeting people on the internet that live a long distance away can be quite successful if you are strong enough emotionally. I know many people that met that way that moved together, got married, had kids and have been married for 10+ years.

    Kerrie, a retired mentor, met her husband on the internet, they had a long distance relationship, IIRC, he was the one that moved to be with her, they married and she retired after she had their first child together.
     
  16. Sep 18, 2009 #15

    lisab

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    True...and you not only have to be emotionally stable, but very honest. It's easy to make yourself look angelic.
     
  17. Sep 18, 2009 #16

    Astronuc

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    The internet is a meeting place for people - it's just a product of the times. Before electricity people wrote letters. Then perhaps small messages in newspapers. Then there was the telephone.

    My brother met his wife at a summer university program in Indiana. She went back to the Philippines for senior year of high school, and he returned to Houston. That's 13,743 kilometers or 8540 miles distance. They stayed in touch for 1 year. She moved to the US for university, the same one as my brother. They got married two years later.

    I have a close friend who I've known for 10 years and who lives 4200 miles away. In fact, most of my oldest friends from elementary school through first year of university live more than 1800 miles away in Texas or California.

    Hang in there HRW. I'm sure there's some lucky guy out there waiting to find you.


    If I was half my age and single . . . o:) :blushing: :uhh:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  18. Sep 18, 2009 #17

    Moonbear

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    I can definitely sympathize. For an intelligent woman, it's really hard to find a man with a brain who doesn't also have a completely over-inflated ego. Yes, they exist, but they are rare and hard to find. I would recommend expanding the 100 mile radius to 200 miles. That's still a distance that allows reasonable visits, such as long weekends together. But, more importantly, it might catch a few just outside the 100 mile radius.

    I also know people who have successfully met partners online (I just attended a wedding two weeks ago of a couple who met online who are absolutely perfect for one another...I could tell the first time I ever saw them together), but you go through a lot of duds before you find a keeper. There really are a lot of total losers looking for dates online, so you just have to be patient and not give up. I started to lose count of the men my friend met online and went on first dates with only to decide they were far too weird to go on second dates with before she met THE one. Women in my town pretty much have to find dates online. There really aren't any decent single men in my town if you are out of your early 20s...we have to import them.
     
  19. Sep 19, 2009 #18

    honestrosewater

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    I can't sleep now thinking about this. What do you mean?

    What is enough for a relationship?
     
  20. Sep 19, 2009 #19
    Real meaningful relationships are usually organic and face to face. Human bonds are created in the little moments and intricacies of interaction which the internet is unable to provide at the moment. Things like, how he smirks, how he smells, that he trips when you two walk together, how he holds your hand, that he buys you your favorite drink at the gas stop. Little every day things build connections that chatting or even video conference can't provide.

    What is enough is ultimately up to you, but we already know that talking on the phone and the long distance yo-yo was not enough for you. So don't fool yourself. You deserve someone better. Someone that cherishes, respects and is truly interested in you.

    But also I wouldn't weigh the importance on finding someone so high. Yes it's what we all want. But especially right out of a relationship the best thing for you is to focus on yourself. Go have fun! Spend time with lots of guys even if you don't want to date them. Don't focus on having a "boyfriend". Do things you enjoy and interesting men will eventually fall in your lap. It won't happen over night and may take a couple years, but so what.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2009
  21. Sep 19, 2009 #20

    SpaceTiger

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    Greg explained it really well. Although I'm sure that people can form and maintain meaningful relationships over the internet, I think the majority of us need the person-to-person contact in order for it to be truly fulfilling. I know that has been the case for me. I did the "online relationship" a few times in high school and I have to say, even when it was good, it still felt like something was missing. I still occasionally use the internet as an escape or for solace when I'm feeling down, but I try to keep it from becoming too big a part of my personal life.


    Well, in that post, I was talking about a romantic relationship. For a casual friendship, the internet can be just fine. I find, however, if I didn't previously establish the relationship in person, it's very difficult to feel as close to them as I normally would for a girlfriend or close friend.

    I should say that I don't necessarily think long-distance romantic relationships are a mistake. It depends a lot upon the personalities of the people and the distance between them, but I find it can work well so long as there is occasional person-to-person contact (I need ~once a month, at least). I have been in a long-distance relationship (3-hour drive) with my fiancée since we started dating last June and things have been great. During the semester, I see her about one weekend every other week.
     
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