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  1. Hello all, I don't know how I feel about creating a new thread so recently after my last one; it seems that just after I conquered my negative thoughts about one topic, I'm now dealing with fears about the next. I sense a pattern here and it's really quite unfortunate. I have always had jealousy issues throughout my past relationships. It's a recurring thing, I'm afraid. I thought I'd outgrown it now, but the past week has sadly shown me otherwise. My boyfriend of 3 weeks (a very young relationship, I know!) has attended his first week of on-site college after the covid lockdown. He's mentioned on multiple occasions how he previously missed having college friends (due to lessons being online only) and how he really wanted to find a social group. This monday, he got sorted into a group for practicals with two classmates (both girls), and they've been getting along well. Yesterday, he created a WhatsApp group with them, and one of the girls has already suggested hanging out at her place with the three of them. When he told me about this, he sounded so happy to finally have a few contacts. I smiled and said it was nice, but my heart sank. This entire week, I've done nothing but hope that these girls wouldn't stick around, but now it seems like they're going to be his primary social circle at least for the weeks to come. I know everyone's just looking for new contacts, I should be happy for him, and my own first friend group also largely consisted of the opposite gender without anything ever happening; on top of this all, he contacts me daily, checks up on me a lot, is clearly into me and I full well realize he has no romantic interest in some classmates he met only four days ago. But no matter how much I try to rationalize, my fear ignores my every attempt, and it hurts. To give a little background, we got together at the end of the summer vacation, at which point he exclusively had male friends. I was so relieved when I found out. I am in no position to dictate who people can befriend and know for a fact that, yes, throughout a lifetime people will always gain friends of the opposite gender, and in a healthy relationship this shouldn't be perceived as a threat. But I was, quite frankly, happy that there was nothing to provoke my insecurity. Now, thoughts such as "why did it have to be two girls?" "why did they have to get along so well?" and the likes keep spiraling in my mind. I can't seem to stop them. I know this is my problem. I know it is my perspective that needs to be tackled -- especially when it occurs only three weeks into a relationship! I plan to be the most supportive girlfriend I can be, as I deeply believe he should be able to freely befriend whatever men or women he wishes to. Therefore, I don't plan on bringing this up with him, either. Jealously is a killer. These issues are mine, and therefore mine to deal with. But it is really, really hard. Every time I look at the clock and realize that he's currently with them, I get so anxious. I haven't been able to sleep well. I'm actually, physically feeling nauseous as a result of the stress. We have many great things planned together next week, but my skies are constantly clouded, and I can't look forward to them the same I could in the past few weeks. I've been doing my best to securely bottle this up and deal with it, but every time I think I'm making progress, I fall right back to where I started. I am 100% overreacting. I don't need outside perspectives to know that this is a severe case of unhealthy, obsessive worrying over something very small and honestly very innocent. What's scaring me the most is that, until tuesday, I could set my concerns aside whenever I spoke to him, and all would be good again. But since then I've noticed that even while talking to him, I am hurting in the back of my mind. I'm trying to not let it show. But I can't quite experience our interactions the same. I'm afraid this will get in the way of our communication. I see that coming from a mile away. This is a time bomb and if I don't fix myself soon, it's bound to kill what we have. I don't want this to become another "if only I hadn't". I'm not about to let this harm us. Whatever it takes. But what can I do? What can I tell myself to put my anxious thinking to rest? Is there any chance it'll just get better with time? I know I am the only one who can solve this. But my heart won't listen to my brain, and I'm at a loss as to how else to change this. I desperately need someone to shake me up.
  2. Coming back a few months later now, to reflect on this topic again. I'm currently doing better -- stopping to think about the topic for too long does still get me uneasy, but I've gotten to a point where I believe to have it under control. The quarter life crisis as mentioned by Seraphim was a new concept to me, but it definitely seems to cover a large amount of what I've been feeling. Throughout the past month, I've been fortunate enough to talk with some peers who seemed to recognize my struggles. I realized that a lot of them had many doubts about their position in life, about how quickly the years were passing, and mostly, about what it meant to not be a kid anymore when being one has been the only reality you've known all your life. It's unknown territory, and that makes it terrifying. I was admittedly doing the worst among my friends, but at least finding out I wasn't alone in these fears, in that moment, was of great support. I've also reflected, a lot. - What do you think will change about who you are and who you want to be as you get older? This, in hindsight, was a key question. I used to be very insecure about myself in the past, struggling to find a version of me that I was happy with -- but through the years and with the feedback from many kind friends, I've finally come to a place where I am confident, comfortable, and genuinely love myself for who I am. I'm an enthusiastic and bubbly person, often described as a source of energy and positivity among my friends. I also always was the youngest. And one way or another, I believe I've intertwined these two concepts, afraid that if I lose one I'll also lose the other. When I pictured myself as an e.g. 40 year old, I couldn't see the same youthful bundle of energy that I used to be; and I didn't (and frankly, still don't) know what kind of person to replace that with. There's an uncertainty about whether I'll still love myself the same, if I can no longer be the person I've so happily grown into. It sometimes feels like I'm on a countdown to "losing my spark". That, I think, is what made it such a hard pill to swallow for me. - Why are you so superficial about something we all know is fleeting / why do you continue to need to be soothed about something every living being faces? This was a tough question for me to think about, to be honest. There's a part of me that instinctively believes that, since we all face this same problem, it can't be that bad -- but another part that says yes, it is, and we're all just going to have to suffer through it anyway because the world can be a dark place like that. I think ultimately, I just find it hard to put it in the broader perspective. During my fulltime job this summer, I've had plenty of time alone with my thoughts. I'd sit there ruminating about my fears while everyone else around me seemed to go on happily about their day. I felt very alone with my thoughts and for 8 hours a day I had nothing to help take my mind off it (I worked a production job, so my brain was always free to wander off). What I believe made me so susceptible to this was the fact I had too much time to create that negative mental state and then wander around in it, with nothing to help me redirect my thoughts towards something productive. - Why do you think these things are harder or mean more to you than anyone else? I don't believe they're harder on me than on anyone else; I do believe I was doing a poorer job at handling them than the average person, or at least the average person that I externally observed. My thoughts were harder on me. This really was something I was doing to myself. - What do expect some miracle that will keep you young? No, none at all. I can either accept what will happen and make the best of it, or continue to dread the inevitable. Life moves on, whichever I pick. I honestly did shed a little tear when I read all these comments about living in the moment, enjoying the here and now, and all the little things in life. It's not uncommon for me to have these negative thoughts and then later fault myself for spending the day worrying rather than going out and doing things. Because I should be going out and doing things. And fortunately, thoughout July and August, I have; after meeting up with friends a lot, visiting amusement parks, travelling to some new cities, etc etc, I do feel quite refreshed and like I am in a much better state of mind. Sitting at the office 8 hours a day, 5 days a week just wasn't doing me any good. I wasn't moving forward. Perhaps that's partially at the core of what stressed me out so much. It was also good for me to realize that the world around me hasn't changed a bit between then and now; merely the way I look at it. And yet I am doing so much better. So here we are now, I'm older again -- two whole months! -- but with that time only came improvement. If that isn't evidence, then I don't know what is, haha. I really shouldn't be so scared. In response to Lootie: if I remember to do so, I surely will! I really like the idea of coming back here when I'm older again, to reflect on and record how things have changed. If anything at all, maybe it can help someone else in the same state I was in when I wrote my initial message. And of course, it'll be a nice little overview of what time in the end has actually done for me. Love the geography analogy, too!
  3. Hello, I realize it's not that long ago (<1 year) since my last thread on this forum, where I explained that I was living my best life yet worried that I was lagging behind on everyone else in terms of relationships (I was single, haven't been pursuing, still am). Since then, I frankly put it on the backburner and haven't been too worried about it. Unfortunately, that all changed at the start of this week. I encountered people talking about "the wall" -- women hitting 30 and "deteriorating" from then on forward. First I wrote it off as just another made-up cultural belief, but it did bother me. And the more I read up about it, the more I realized that, while not such a hard limit, there is some minor truth to it. Between 30 and 40, most consider you to be middle-aged, the first wrinkles start showing, etc. I realize that I am still only 23 (turning 24 in two weeks) and this is years away from me, but.. it's much closer already than I am comfortable with. Quite frankly, it makes me anxious. Worst of all, this being on my mind opened up a whole other can of worms. Just yesterday, I happened to be scrolling through some old photos. Photos from times that felt like yesterday, but in truth already lie 6-8 years in the past. I was 16. And now for the first time, I saw just how young I used to be. I never thought that I had physically changed much since that age (I've always naturally had a very young looking face), but now, it was visible to me in all the small details. By no means do I look "old" now, but this was the first time that comparison made me feel something. Made me realize more than ever that time is not standing still. I am losing my youth. Soon, for the first time in my life, I will no longer be referred to as "the new generation". I will no longer be a student, and I will no longer be "the youngest member" anywhere. Scrolling through the same pictures, I saw how much younger my friends looked, how much younger my parents looked. The past few years, I have been terrified about them growing older and older, realizing I've been taking them for granted all my life but they may soon no longer be there. Realizing how long ago these photos were taken and how quickly the years have passed.. I'm scared. I'm really, really scared. They are losing time and there is nothing I can do to stop it. What began as "maybe now is the time for me to hurry and start dating" now has nothing to do with romance anymore, and has changed to a constant feeling of dread with regards to time in general. I've never feared growing older. In fact, I was always looking forward to gradually experiencing every phase in life. But since this week, I've done nothing but obsessively think about it. I'm honestly distressed. I had to retreat to the bathroom at work today because I felt tears welling up and didn't want my coworkers to see me that way. I realize there is nothing to be done about it, and we all face these same problems, but I just cannot cope with it right now. It's not that I'm missing anything: I still do live a wonderful and fulfilling life, and was very happy in general until the moment this popped up. Now it's gotten into my head and I'm just a mess. I'm not sure either what I can ask from you all here, I just needed to get this out of my system somewhere. I'm stuck in a state of fear, and suddenly lost all sense on how to process this.
  4. Thank you all so much for your replies. I realize I never responded to this thread again, but I did read all your answers at the time. And they helped. Hearing that 23 is still considered very young, that there's nothing wrong with focusing on friends and studies instead. The things I suppose I just needed someone to tell me. Even now, I sometimes come back to these replies just to read them again. To reassure myself, in a sense. So thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts. Most of the time since then, I've been able to just focus on living my best life and putting these concerns aside. For all the times I did still feel like I was "missing out" on relationships, I have been able to identify a pattern. It either always seems to happen on quiet days (which occur more commonly now, unfortunately, with covid, lockdown and curfew) or whenever I find myself confronted with someone I used to "have a chance" with -- people I previously dated, broke up with, or simply people who were interested in me -- who have now happily moved on and are in a healthy relationship with another. It's a certain kind of restlessness, I suppose, when I learn they have found that which I have not. The classic "I could have been with them, but I let them go, and now they found someone else while I'm still alone". As though it was a mistake not pursuing anything, while I'm fully rationally aware they weren't the ones for me, anyway. It's a toxic thought, really. This really hit the nail on the head for me. When I evaluate my situation, I really don't see the need for a relationship right now. It all seems to come forth from comparisons to other people and the fear of being "too late". That's why on one hand I'm not motivated to work towards finding a partner, but at the same time feel stressed out every time I'm reminded of it. I suppose my best course of action is just to continue doing what I enjoy, as many of you have suggested. 🙂 Having identified the root of the problem helps to calm these thoughts at least a little bit. It's days like today (just found out someone I used to date now lives together, second pattern as mentioned above) that stir things up again a bit. That's just when I need to pause and remind myself I'm not running out of time, and that it's completely ok to focus on other priorities if that feels more natural at this point in life.
  5. I'm a college student, 23 years old. My last serious relationship ended when I was 19. I'm doing great overall; wonderful grades, lots of social contacts, many hobbies. Should anyone ask me if I'm happy, my answer is a definitive yes, and for the past few years I've genuinely been living my best life. The only thing one could argue that I 'lack' is a romantic relationship. As I've learnt, I can be perfectly happy without one. And when not confronted with it, it's not an issue. But recently, I've had friends enter into relationships left and right, seen many beautfiul (glorified, I know) relationships build up in films and series, and heard bunches of cheesy love songs on the radio. Yes, I'm fine without it -- but I can't deny it's started gnawing at me. In those past four years, I haven't met anyone I'm genuinely interested in. For a long time I was convinced I had developed a crush on one of my best male friends, but I still see him lots now and I've noticed that the feeling has completely disappeared. I recently reconnected with an old friend that I'm physically attracted to, but found out there's really nothing beyond that. I've started my master's studies this month, gone to meetups, even tried a local singles group, and met so many new people overall -- but there's just no one I feel interested in. See, to be completely fair, I feel pressured to find someone. Not just from outside influences, but internally, too; and I can't exactly pinpoint why. Maybe because I feel like I merely blinked and suddenly I'm 23, and the clock continues ticking. The idea that the pool grows smaller with every year I continue waiting. Or maybe because I've seen all these happy examples and I know I deep down want to have something like that. Because of course I do; I'm no exception. My day-to-day schedule is usually packed. University takes up all my weekdays, and the evenings and weekends I spend with friends. Different friends everyday, and already without trying to squeeze in extra evenings to meet new people I find myself frequently having to choose between one activity or the other. I could go out of my way to put some of them on hold just so I can attend an extra meetup, or visit that new association in town.. but fact of the matter is I really just don't want to. I meet plenty of new people already and all I do it for is to find someone I could perhaps, maybe, one day be interested in, with no success. I'd rather just continue enjoying my time as I do now. The three previous people I've been in relationships with I've all met while not searching actively. I just so happened to run into them while I was visiting my usual conventions, campings, you name it. I didn't need to search, I just found them. We clicked, and we went from there. Which makes what I'm trying to do now feel all the more pointless. Yes, there's certainly a few guys that I met who are handsome, but I just don't feel much for them otherwise. And while you could argue that's because I don't know them well enough yet, I find myself just not having the time or energy to go out of my way to chase them. I just don't want to. And again, from experience, I know it's very well possible to find someone you don't have to "create" a click with. Someone with who it's just naturally there. But every time I choose not to give chase, I feel guilty afterwards. Like I've just been lazy; like I've let an opportunity slip away, and this is exactly why I'm not finding anyone. Sorry for my rambling. I sound more frustrated with it than I really am, I promise, but it's certainly bothering me. Should I be trying harder? Should I be going with a different approach? Should I drop it? Quite frankly, I just don't know what to do with all this.
  6. I'll be honest, that first paragraph made me laugh a little, if only from how true it is. I have a few friends who dated in their teenage years and are still together, but I know they are the rare exception. The teenage romances I did personally experience only lasted a few months at most, and more often than not just left behind a mess. I guess looking at it that way, it's maybe better it didn't happen. Overall, I see your point. I suppose it's best I just continue treating him as a friend without going out of my way to try and make into anything else. I'll just focus on enjoying the company of that friend group as a whole, and seek my relationships elsewhere. Thank you for your honest thoughts.
  7. Haha, yeah, you make a good point. What mostly stuck with me from all these years ago was how nervous he was inviting me over. That, alongside a few other things have given me the image in hindsight that maybe there was something going on there, but I've 1. never confirmed this and 2. we've been out of touch for years afterwards. I have nothing, nothing at all, to go by now. He might not have any interest and for all I know there never was any to begin with. The reason I think this bothers me so much is the uncertainty. I'd rather just have a solid no than to be stuck in my mind with could've beens and should've dones, so I figured trying to take initiative there was the only way to find out. Honestly, I think that's also why I still want to 'make this work', as whenever we fail to keep a conversation flowing I feel like there are things I could or should have said instead. If there was any way for me to definitely distinguish between it just needing time or our compatibility being the problem, that'd be all I need. I'm absolutely attracted to him, but I've little emotional attachment at the moment, and at least then I would know whether to give it a little more effort or just drop it and move on. Dang. Yeah, things are much different than they used to be. My mind's stuck on the idea that we had that connection back in the day, and that if I had acted on it then, everything would've worked out just fine. Of course, that is a silly assumption to make, and I've nothing to back it up. I can't go back into the past and try it now. In the years we did not talk, I'd frankly forgotten about it all, but now he's back in my life and we've started interacting again. I didn't go back into this friendship with the idea that maybe I could get more out of it, but it's starting to resurface now, with the unfortunate difference that our communication isn't as good as it was back in the day. I might be chasing after something from the past. The fact we consistently see each other again after x years just makes me feel like I'm missing opportunities again and again. Maybe I'm just too late, or maybe it wouldn't have worked out anyway. Maybe even if it did we would've grown apart regardless. But yes, this is what I feared.
  8. Long story short, I went to a public event early 2014 where I met a bunch of people that would turn out to be a very dear group of friends for me. Among them was a guy that I've considered attractive from the start. We didn't talk one on one all that much at first, but we eventually began texting frequently, played online games together, and one time he invited me over to watch some movies together with him. Looking back at our interactions now, I have very strong suspicions that the attraction was mutual. But at the time I was 16, young and inexperienced, and didn't dare to ever bring it up. Eventually we stopped communicating as actively, it just kind of naturally died down. Fast forward to 2018, we out of the blue had a conversation again, he casually invited me over and I visited him again. It was fun, but I noticed that it kept feeling a little awkward. Conversation ran, but not smoothly. It felt like we missed a real click. No longer that young, 20 year old me should've known better, but I was too concerned with me 'having butchered' the conversation that day and I was afraid he wouldn't agree to meet up a second time, so I didn't ask. That was all the interaction we had that year. Fast forward to early 2020, and the entire group got back together and him and me have been talking again one on one too. It's been 6 years since I met him, and obviously he and I have both changed over time. Whenever we do talk, conversation sometimes goes well, but sometimes runs flat entirely. It generally remains superficial. I feel like he wants to try to get a good conversation going, and as do I, but we somehow just can't work it out. That click I talked about just still isn't there. See, I'm still attracted to him, and I was considering taking initiative this time and inviting him over. Problem is I feel like no matter how conversations pass, they aren't getting any better. It doesn't feel right to break a minute of silence only to ask him "hey, would you like to make plans" out of completely nowhere. It's weird. I want to make this work, but I'm starting to fear that maybe we just don't match that well. Meanwhile, the other half of my brain is convinced I'm only telling myself that as an excuse to stay away from the risk of messing up another conversation. I don't know. Should I let it go? Should I give this another try? Can we improve when we're both trying to make the conversation work but it just isn't happening? Again, I've known him for six years, where (apart from the first year) we've mostly just had spikes of contact. I don't know if I'm drawing conclusions too soon. Edit: I don't know if this is the right subforum, but I figured this mostly has to do with conversation and that this subforum would hence be the best match for it.
  9. I should probably also mention that I'm monogamous myself, so by all means I'd still have to choose one out of four (well, three now) if I did decide to pursue anything. Thank you!
  10. Hey, I actually haven't thought about it that way, haha. Thank you! And thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts! We'll definitely be back to all being peers after these two courses. What's bothering me though is, wouldn't it be weird? When I think back to my previous student assistants (excluding the two I'm now attracted to for obvious reasons ), I don't quite think of them as teachers per say, but they do retain a different label than most other students. E.g. one of my assistants from last year is currently in class with me, and to this day, I can't think of him as anything else. I can imagine how awkward I'd feel if he suddenly asked me out, or the other way around, haha. Though to be honest I don't know if that's just me. The other thing is I haven't spoken to them outside of the current courses. Especially for the ones that I won't have any follow-up courses with, that'd mean I'd have to approach them near the end of the course, and then I probably won't be able to speak to them one on one. (Though I suppose that problem in particular is not exclusive to my situation). I currently don't have any plans to pursue -- it's all just thoughts. I've been writing it off as off-limits so at the moment I'm not invested. Don't get me wrong though; if any opportunities do come my way, I'd still be very glad to take them!
  11. Hey guys! I just want to get something small off my chest. Nothing big, just something I want to ventilate and that maybe other people will recognize. :) So it's been a while since my last actual relationship (I'm talking probably 2, 3 years). Sure enough, I've dated a few people in the meantime, but nothing's worked out so far. Which, overall, that's fine. It'd be nice to run into someone, but I don't need a relationship to be happy, and most of the times that I'm affected by it there's something else going on in the first place. But it recently occurred to me that in the last +/- 10 months, I've really found no one at all who caught my interest. I do realize how that sounds, but I really can't affect it -- I met a whole bunch of amazing people and I couldn't be happier to have them in my life, but I never quite felt any attraction to them. Until last month -- when I suddenly met four (!) at once. Time to introduce the problem. I'm both a student (at one course), and a student assistant (at another) where I work alongside the teachers to help other students out with their practicals. In my experience, the relationship any student has (and should have) with their student assistant is just a work-related one. Cause it's just that: work. Now of those four people I mentioned earlier, two are actually student assistants for the course that I'm a student in, and one is a student in the course that I'm an assistant for. I swear I haven't made this up-- out of all the people I have met in almost a year, the only three I've been attracted to are all off-limits. (The fourth who would have been an option recently moved back home and out of the country, so he's gone.) Now students and student assistants generally are the exact same age -- I could've easily been in class with literally all three of them. In fact, I will be in class with one of them in an upcoming course, because we follow a similar program. But the assistant-student relationship (as opposed to a student-student one) has already been established. I shouldn't act, so I don't, simple as that. But dang, why this, haha. I haven't had crushes in so long. It's become so rare to me. I've actually woken up from an unexpectedly emotional dream last night, in which I became close friends with one of them (not even anything more than that!) and felt so strangely sad when I woke up. I'm only human, so I can't control it -- I just feel like my subconscious is trying to rub it in my face. A friend and I recently made plans to go to local activities and meet more people, so who knows whether I'll find a new crush eventually. But until then, I'm going to just continue staring off into the distance, wondering if the universe is having fun with this.
  12. So previously, I've made a couple of threads about a friend of mine who I nicknamed G. About two months ago, I was absolutely heartbroken about a situation where I developed feelings for him but wasn't able to do anything with them (for reasons I won't elaborate here as it's a long story). I never told him a thing about this. It was the same period of time I permanently split ways with my friends from university, and much was at stake. I was in doubt about many things. One of these was naturally whether it was mutual -- which was hard to see with him as he seemed to be completely ignorant of the very concept of relationships (not intended as a sneer; he genuinely never openly showed romantic interest in anyone). I discussed this with others, and the eventual conclusion was that given his behaviour, I might've actually had a chance. Still, I was advised against pursuing anything. Previous advice on this forum suggested I should take a good look at whether he was relationship material for me at all. Approaching this from a logical perspective, I have come to the conslusion that no, he is not. He shuts down frequently, has a limited range of interests and conversational topics, generally shows little interest in other peoples' stories as compared to his own, etc. There's really no bad intentions, he just tends to get caught up in the few things that strongly interest him and he may forget the rest as a result. Now, this is not to say he's not a good friend -- on the contrary, he's one of my earliest made friends on university and his company is always very pleasant. We share a lot of interests, have the same humor, can still talk for hours, and our personalities balance each other out well. Still, I know the aforementioned negative traits would end up making me feel like he couldn't care less in the long run. He's a poor listener, and sometimes inexplicably goes from enthusiastically seeking contact to being very distant. While I believe I understand where it comes from, it comes across as him simply being disinterested, and would make me feel very undervalued and disregarded. I know it would end up breaking the deal for me eventually. Due to the development of my own emotions, this actually already hurts me now, as I subconsciously add so much weight to anything he does. He, I think, is completely oblivious of this. Knowing this, I've made the final decision to not pursue anything. It would only end up making me feel even worse. Even if it really were mutual, a relationship would be bound for failure. Unfortunately, my own heart still disagrees with that decision; and I still feel these same strong emotions every time I see him. Whenever we're in the same room, I will try to avoid looking at him -- but then he calls my name directly, I can't outright ignore him, and the one moment of eye contact that follows is enough to break my shields entirely. Then afterwards, I'll be back to thinking about him for days, if not weeks, continuously breaking my own heart over someone I've never even dated. Someone who isn't even aware of anything. It's stupid, but it's so painful at the same time. I can't be friends with him like this, not without hurting myself. Hence, I've cut down contact as much as I can. I don't initiate anything. I pretend I'm busier than I really am. I'm having myself get used to the idea that he's only been in my life temporarily, and that now I need to start letting him go. And in fact, I've found out that it works okay if I don't see him for a couple of weeks. It hurts, but given time, it's a pain I can learn to handle. Up until yesterday, actually, I was fine; having not seen him for a while. But here's the catch-- Everytime I'm just at the point of coming to terms with it, he shows up somewhere again. When I'm invited for group activities by my friends, he obviously is as well, and we see eachother there. While I'm busy trying to forget he exists at all, he still sees me as a friend and doesn't see any reasons not to occasionally contact me. Whether it's through a message or physically being near him, he returns time after time. It's as though life keeps giving me opportunities to change my mind and stay in contact, emphasizing that he's still there. I actively have to make this decision time and time again, and it never gets easier. I can't just block or ignore him -- an unexplained change in attitude like that would create confusion and tension within the friend group. And frankly, he doesn't deserve that kind of reaction, as he did nothing wrong. It's just unfortunate circumstances. But so, every time, it begins again. I tried everything to get out of this harmful loop. I've been trying to focus on self-improvement, I've gone on dates with other guys, I've done some new things, met some new people. While they all somewhat helped, they never helped enough on their own; time so far seems to be the only proper medicine. And time is what I don't get enough of in between the occasions I see him. So how do people deal with these kinds of scenarios? How do you stop yourself from falling back into this pitfall time and time again? My situation has definitely improved from where I was two months ago, but that's only because of my efforts to minimize contact. And at the same time, thinking too much about that hurts as well, as I genuinely miss the times when I saw him every day and we spent so much time together. I know it's for the best, but it feels wrong. Thinking too much about my decision makes it feel like a big mistake, and it gets increasingly difficult to stay true to it. How do I keep telling myself to listen to logic instead of emotion? How do I convince my heart, too, that this is the right decision? And mostly, how will I ever make breaking contact work if I can't break it entirely? Looking back, this problem has already been going on for far too long. It's not the same entirely, but I feel like this question sounds an awful lot like the one in my first thread about this guy..
  13. I've actually been thinking about this as well. I share most of his hobbies, so that should be fine -- but this shutting down (if your guess is correct) made me feel so unwanted. I believe I'd be able to work with it if I understood what it is and why it happens, but right now it's got me stuck between thinking he either wants to see me but doesn't know what to do, or doesn't want to see me but doesn't know what to do. I can only hope it's the former and your interpretation is correct. If it is, another concern might be (theoretically; I think it's time for me to finally decisively weigh my options here) how I should bring this if I were going to tell him the truth. I mean, if he already shuts down without me bringing up the subject.. I'm gonna have to be really careful with this. I was the only guest, yes. The strange thing though is that this wasn't the first time I've visited him over at his place; over the past two years, we've met up like this pretty much once every week. Not a single one of these times has it been like this. It's as though he forgot we were friends at all.
  14. My god, everything's a mess now. I don't know if anyone remembers my previous thread (it's very long, so to put it short: I'm 99% sure I developed feelings for a friend at university, I thought one of my best female friends did too, it was very unlikely he'd reciprocate said feelings and in order to not mess up anything within our mutual group of friends -- which only had so many guaranteed weeks left to spend together, given we're nearing the end of our common study and we'll no longer be in the same place -- I deliberately didn't act). So last week it happened. We had our grand finale as a group, with our study taking us all outside of the country for one week of research and projects together. University had rented out a hotel for us, and we spent every day together from start to finish, sunrise to sunset. It was great. I loved it. This has quite possibly been one of the best weeks in the past five years. From my previous thread here I concluded I shouldn't pursue the guy (G, as I called him there) due to my own confusion plus the risks involved for relevant friendships, and instead focus on enjoying the presence of my friends, including him, without too much tension. Which I planned to do -- and to a certain extend, managed. We'd be departing by bus early morning, and a couple of hours before we were leaving, I took some time to sit down and tell myself I would let G do whatever he'd do, that I wouldn't be affected by it; I'd enjoy the present moment with everything it offered me and I would be okay. It was a 13 hour bus trip. I'd planned to sit down next to the aforementioned female friend and just spend the time with her. Seemed the universe disagreed with all of my plans though, for when I entered the bus, the one seat I could take was right next to G. Fine, okay -- casual conversation and suppressing my feelings, which I had prepared for. I could do it. Or so I thought. But as hour after hour went by with us talking, laughing, coming up with all sorts of short games to pass the time, I noticed I wasn't doing a great job. The 13 hours went by in a flash, for me but him as well, as he stated near the end of it. What I'd been unprepared for were all the small jokes for which he'd touch my arms or hands. Nothing I thought much of, because it wasn't the first time I saw him do that, but the physical contact still caught me off guard. Then there was a bunch of eye contact too. Eventually the sun began to set casting this beautiful warm light on everything, and god, I couldn't handle it. And that was where I made a mistake and let down my defenses -- the thought of his behaviour meaning something more making me so happy that I decided I would allow myself to believe that. For these seven days, no more, and then I'd let go of that dream again. My so carefully crafted mindset of letting my feelings go was, with that, thrown out of the window. Yes, I knew it would backfire horribly. I simply wasn't strong enough. And throughout the week, as we travelled the hills, meadows and forests for the project, he and I stuck together a lot. Sometimes with the two of us, sometimes with a total of four to six people. Same thing in the evenings back at the hotel. Again, there were a lot of small jokes which had him make physical contact with me, and we could honestly talk the entire day. I felt amazing, though I kept my own promise in the back of my mind. One week. At the end of it, for the 13 hour travel back, he suggested taking the same bus seats as on the way there, which had me sit next to him again. These 13 hours, too, went by very quickly. We arrived back at university last Saturday evening. The end of our last week with this group. The very last time. It felt bittersweet, returning home after an incredible week with everyone on one hand, but knowing that this was it on the other. I passingly mentioned this to one of my friends. G heard it, and suggested I could come with him for a couple more hours if I wanted to. I did, and we ended up watching a movie. When it was time for me to go home again, I couldn't find my keys at first, and he said I could stay over if I didn't have them (I found them in the end, though). Then Sunday came, for which he had already invited me over halfway through the week. Things sound so great when I read what I'm typing here now with him clearly enjoying my presence, but with the promise I'd made to myself, I know I've been seeing everything through rose-colored glasses. And Sunday, in fact, was when the end of my 'seven days' hit me so much harder than I imagined it would. He was the first to message me in the morning, saying he was awake and had breakfast and I could come over. But as soon as I walked in, something was off. He wasn't talking. Not much, anyway. Admittedly, he'd been coughing for a couple days and had now lost his voice, so he couldn't really speak properly; and I wasn't going to force him to. I asked him if he felt okay otherwise, if he'd prefer some rest or for me to talk a little less, but he said that no, everything was okay. So I stayed. However, throughout the day, I'm just going to say -- I have never felt so unwelcome. Partly because he barely said anything and hence I was the only one occasionally talking, which I fully understood, but that wasn't all there was to it. The way his setup works (we played a couple of games together), there are two chairs next to a table with the computer, and then one more chair facing the tv, a short distance away from the others. He consistently chose that one. That, too, I guess is understandable. The tv does have a much nicer screen. But again, he barely even reacted to anything I said in the slightest (and no, I wasn't talking much more than I normally would). Didn't so much as look at me in many cases. At one point, he just picked up his tablet and started doing something else entirely. Naturally feeling like he was disinterested, I asked once more if there was anything else he'd like to do or whether he'd prefer some time alone, to both of which he replied with no. It was incredibly confusing. He was the one who invited me over, and he wanted me to stay, but then why was he behaving like this? I might've just as well not been there, with how little he responded. Was he just being polite when I asked him these questions? He's always been a very honest guy, so I really didn't know where to go from here. But most of all, I didn't want to bother him, so when he asked -- as he usually does halfway the day -- to what time I could stay, I answered with an early time, cutting it short. I ended up leaving hours before I normally would've. I'm sure he noticed this too. It was the worst possible way to end this last week. I can't tell what happened. To clarify a couple of things, this guy is someone who prefers to stay indoors all day, takes life calmly and easily, spends about 90% of his time on (card)games/series/books, has never been in a relationship before and literally nobody has ever seen him interested in any sort of relationship whatsoever. I'd have a hard time believing he was e.g. messaging another girl while I was over, should people consider this a likely scenario. I mean, I've seen that he was just browsing through some internet pages, but that aside -- it's also just not him. It's not uncommon for him to not react every now and then. I've seen him do it to everyone. I also know that sometimes he just gets so caught up in his thoughts or what he's doing that he fails to notice he's being spoken to altogether. I've never seen it happen this much, though. I felt downright ignored at times. I just don't understand 1) why he repeatedly claimed he wanted me to stay while everything about his behaviour seemed so distant and off 2) how such a great week could lead to something like this -- feelings aside, I didn't even feel welcome as a mere friend yesterday 3) where everything is supposed to go now, with this kind of last impression, and the guarantee of seeing each other at university gone I'm sorry for this again being so long.. But I'm at a loss. These seven days of allowing myself to hope are officially over now, and right off the bat I feel horrible again. I really believed I could wrap it up smoothly, but now everything just hurts once more. It's so incoherent. I didn't do anything differently than I normally did, and surely this can't just be the result of him losing his voice? We've been great friends for well over two years, but yesterday it felt like he barely even enjoyed my presence. I can't make sense of this.
  15. Apologies for getting back to this so late -- last week's been very chaotic, and I haven't really found the time to sit down and write previously. Hoping my replies won't turn out too long.. Yes.. I definitely agree. I'm just very afraid to communicate it to him directly. He clearly enjoys being around me, frequently initiates contact and often invites me over to his place, but he's giving me plenty of signs it's nothing more than friendship. Admittedly, he's the kind of person who just doesn't really seem to be searching for romantic relationships in general. Really just does his own thing, enjoys spending time at home, doesn't chase after anyone in the slightest -- if I'm not mistaken, he's never even had any romantic relationships at all. The way he treats me is no different from how he treats his other friends, and this -- to me -- is just evidence of that being exactly what I am to him. Another friend. He's simply not looking for more. Of course that's just my own conclusion, and admittedly, it is impossible to draw a conclusion without hearing it from him directly. I might be very wrong. To be fair, that's the very reason I can't let this go. It's why, no matter how much I tell myself to stop focusing on him and enjoy the last weeks of university together with everyone, I keep drawing back to him, hoping every little smile he shoots me means something more. Because I haven't heard a solid no, even though I already believe that would be the most likely answer. I haven't had it confirmed. And it's killing me. Part of me does want to ask him for that reason, just to finally get this over with.. but I really feel the chances are so low, and the stakes are so high. I'm afraid I'll permanently derail our friendship, causing an awkward atmosphere whenever we're in the same room, potentially resulting in the friend group splitting up or not getting together with us anymore. I risk complicating things with him and everyone else in the process. And given the circumstances, it might be a point of no return. I'm just really scared of it. We definitely talk about these kind of things -- I however catch myself being afraid to bring up this particular guy. I intended to more than once, but we're both great friends with him, and I tend to chicken out. Last week though, she and I actually had dinner together, and conveniently ended up talking about relationships all evening. We discussed many guys, including him at one point; and again, I was afraid to mention anything about my feelings for him. I think part of me subconsciously believes that so long as the truth isn't out there, it won't actually harm anyone -- but I know that's a stupid way to see it. From her side, she told me she's currently really hoping to find a relationship, but all in all, she didn't seem to be very interested in G. Which one hundred percent conflicts with the signs I've been seeing (and apparently I wasn't the only one, as one of our mutual friends jokingly commented on her behaviour towards him as well, and how 'clearly she was into him'. It was a joke though, so I'm not sure how seriously I should take it.) Now, I'm trying to see this objectively. I know people tend to see threats where there aren't any regarding things they care about. And her answer made me think that perhaps that's exactly what was happening here, too. However, knowing how I've been keeping my feelings hidden from the outside world, part of me fears she's in a similar situation and just prefers to keep it to herself. After all.. the aforementioned joke wouldn't have been made if there was nothing to prompt it. Then again, I don't want to assume she's dishonest about anything -- she's a great friend and an honest person. She didn't seem interested in him and I have no reason to assume that's not true. Maybe I'm just looking too much into this. Yes.. you're right. It's sad to realise this, but I think it's something I needed to hear and understand. To be fair, deep down I just want my friends to stay. I want these friendships to last, instead of replacing them with new ones over and over every time life moves on to the next phase.. but I suppose it's just not realistic. Recently, I heard the average amount adults see friends on a yearly base is fourteen times. That number scared me. It honestly scared me so much. Maybe that's why I'm really dreading the change that's about to hit us. This actually really helps to hear. I'm trying my hardest to see him as just a friend again, and hearing from someone else that a relationship likely wouldn't work serves as a bit of support in that. I know it's just a prediction and not a guaranteed outcome, but it gives me confidence in my decision to not take the risk. It helps combating all the "what ifs" and the pain that comes with them. And unless, indeed, something changes, it's really a matter of just letting these what ifs go. I've been in a couple of previous relationships with people I didn't directly feel physically attracted to. It was the emotional connection that eventually made me feel things for them, not unlike what I'm feeling right now. Needless to say, none of these relationships lasted, so I'm trying my hardest to use that as a comparison and reason to myself I shouldn't take this in the same direction. It's just difficult. I'm hoping I can stick to this reasoning until somehow my feelings pass. Yeah.. that's the weird thing. It makes zero sense logically. I so explicitly remember that moment in which I was so certain he wasn't and never would be my type. I really didn't consider him handsome. Still didn't when I began feeling things. But now, I strangely find myself doubting that. It's the exact same guy, the exact same face.. I'm looking at literally the exact same thing. Yet somehow, it's as though I'm starting to appreciate what he looks like, apart from my preferences altogether. He's not handsome in the way I would define handsome, but at the same time, it's his particular smile, his particular eyes, everything about him specifically -- I don't get the same feeling with any of my other guy friends who I would define as handsome. And I wouldn't want him to look more like them, either. I've even been dating a guy in the summer vacation (the aforementioned previous thread) who was 100% everything I could ever ask for regarding looks -- handsome two hundred percent -- but when university started again and I saw G even once, he completely overtook my mind again instead. And I really can't explain it. But admittedly, perhaps this too is just something I've tricked myself into thinking. Because I too believe I have no idea what exactly my feelings are. I've so long thought I was just imagining it. At this point, it's simply had so much emotional impact on me that I figured it couldn't be anything else, but I'm confused. I'm over-analyzing. It's such a weird mess now.
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