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Hope or Foolishness?


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My apologies ahead of time for posting in the wrong section or for not following the normal conventions used on this site. I also realize that this may be a ridiculously long post, but I am brand new to the forum and desperate for some objective perspective. I


would really appreciate some help if you guys have the patience.


Also, I will be more than happy to answer any questions or to get as detailed as necessary, so feel free to reply away. I'm a big proponent of "knowledge equals power", and I hope that the more information I have, the more informed of a decision I can make.


Hopefully you all can help me.



So, onto my problem...


I am a 28 year-old male living and working in Boston. I come from a loving and supportive family, and although I may not have too many friends, the ones I do have I value highly. I have not had many relationships to date (all-boys high school), but when I have gotten involved, I have taken my relationships very seriously. I consider myself a romantic and very loving...as long as I am treated respectfully and loved back, the sky's the limit.


At the end of May, 2007, my previous ex and I finally broke off what was nothing short of a dying and festering six-year long relationship. From early on (during which I was still in college), I always had a feeling deep down that it wasn't right, and there were many things about her that bothered me. BUT, I felt that it was my duty to try my hardest to make it work. The life lesson learned was that no amount of effort can ever make up for a lack of love and that holding off the inevitable only makes things worse.


Around the same time that the breakup ocurred, a long-time family friend contacted me to say hi and to let me know that she had finally moved to the city to start her career. She is three years younger than I am, and I have known her my whole life. Her


parents and my mother were all best friends together since growing up together, and it's safe to say that she is practically family.


That said, from the time I was 18 years old, I have had a huge crush on her. There was always some chemistry between us whenever we saw each other at family functions, etc, but nothing ever came of it. She went to college in Boston...I went to upstate New York,

and we kept in touch only sporadically over the years.


So, hearing from her last May was obviously great, but the timing was horrible. I was miserable and newly single. My heart was broken, so I never responded to her email or call. I took the time to get over my ex the right way, and my ex and I barely spoke through the rest of the summer and into the fall. The last thing I wanted to do was get into a rebound relationship again.


By the beginning of October, 2007, life was turning around for me. I had a new job, had lost some weight, and was finally going out more and really starting to get over my ex. Once the pain had cleared, it was easy to see that I had made the right decision. So, I

guess it makes sense that it was around this time that I decided to call back Michelle (the family friend) to see if she wanted to get together to catch up, etc. Obviously, in the back of my mind I was hoping for it to maybe eventually develop into something more.


She invited me over her apartment for dinner with her and her roommate (another girl), and it was a fun night. That same fun chemistry was still there, and she invited me over for a Halloween party that they were hosting later in the month. I was excited to see her again, even though I had learned she had a boyfriend who she was pretty serious about. To be honest, it was just good seeing an old friend and making new friends.


The day before the party, I found out through the grapevine that Michelle and her ex had broken up, but that she still was having the party. So I went to the party, and she was already a little intoxicated. She seemed mostly happy, but at one point I remember her

being upset over her ex. But, by the end of the party, the both of us found ourselves together and alone in her kitchen talking. We were both drunk, and eventually kissed. Needless to say I was on cloud nine, and the rest of the night went very well.


The next day she told me that she wasn't ready for a relationship. I understood, of course, but was still a little disappointed by it. The following two months were a little bit like a balancing act. Michelle got back with her boyfriend. She and I would hang

out sporadically as friends, and she would complain about her boyfriend from time to time. It was clear to me that he was no good for her and "just wasn't that into her", and it angered me because of how amazing she is. That said, I respected their relationship

and never tried a thing, but I did flirt with her and tell her how I felt. She was also very mature about things and was truthful to him.


Of course I realize that you can't necessarily trust every complaint someone makes about a boyfriend...especially if there's a potential conflict of interest...but the things Michelle said were confirmed by all of her friends and her family. If anything, Michelle played down how badly he treated her. This, of course, only inspired me to tell her more and more about how much she meant to me.


After the new year, he again broke it off with her. She quickly asked me out on a date, and the two of us had an amazing time. She was also very excited that her sister was very close to giving birth to her baby nephew, and she promised to let me know once she

found out.


The next night, she texted me that she had a nephew, and she invited me the next day after work to go with her to visit the baby. On the way over she told me that she hadn't felt so happy in a long, long time. For a brief moment, both of our worlds were perfect...


We met up with her mom and her friend at her house before planning to meet up at the hospital with her dad. And that's when we all found out that her father had passed away that afternoon. In fact, he took his own life. I'll never forget that day needless to

say, but I am thankful to have been there for her during the darkest times of her life.


Despite all of the pain and the hardship, she and I continued to date. Obviously we took things very slowly, but it always made me happy to see her smile. By the end of March 2008, things were going really well until her ex started getting back into the picture.


As if under a spell, she started acting distinct and inconsistently. She was honest with me and eventually said that she just wanted to be friends in April. She said that she was confused and that she didn't want to be unfair to me by not being 100% committed to



I was obviously upset and didn't know what to do. I had never been much good at staying in touch with my ex's, but it was as if I had never even been given a chance. I was also so crazy about her because our time together was always so amazing and great. So, I

played as cool as possible and tried being a friend. The flirting continued though, and the smiles continued. Eventually it was the beginning of May, and we found ourselves together again. By May 30, she finally built up the guts to tell her ex that she wanted to

be with me, and the two of us officially became a couple.


What followed was without a doubt the best time of my life, and the two of us were wrapped up in eachother and very happy. By the end of July, we were openly discussing marraige, kids, and looking at rings and wedding magazines (all of which was her suggestion).


We were both very much in love.


Then, for the past month or so, I had noticed that she started acting a little distant and inconsistent from time to time. I at first chalked it up to nothing, but eventually I realized that something was wrong. She had trouble reciprocating the I love you's and miss you's, etc.


Then, last Friday she told me about a dream she had where I asked her to marry me and she said "no". At first I laughed about it saying that it's perfectly normal to not be ready at this time, but I saw that she was very disturbed by it. There was more to it.


She told me that she needed more space and didn't like nto being able to give back the same effort that I put into the relationship (admitedly, I can be a bit much). But before I even had a chance to make the changes, she called me (this was two days ago)

hysterically crying saying how she wanted to go on a break.


I quickly drove over to talk things over calmly with her. She was very upset and started saying some really scary things about how she hated herself for not being 100% dedicated, etc. I did my best to calm her down and even got her to laugh once or twice. She told me that although she hadn't seen her ex in a long time that part of her still missed him. Even though I told her that I would be patient and would wait for her to get over him while together, she said she felt too guilty to be together while still not 100%

over him. She also cried about her father and said how she had no one to talk to about things and to help her.


My sweet heart is very, very lost.


So here I am...a mess and worried sick about Michelle. I know that she is confused and that she wants things to eventually work between us, but I also worry that maybe this is classic rebound stuff. Of course, nothing about our situation is normal, considering

her Dad, etc. I drove her to her psychologist yesterday, who referred her to a specialist who works with young women who are unable to accept love from a romantic partner and who are attracted to the wrong type of guy.


I had no idea that was such a common thing. Either way, I still have hope that we will make it through. Our chemistry and mutual caring just seems too strong for us not to, but who knows. I love her and don't want to lose hope, but I also don't want to end up

miserable again.

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Sorry to hear about your current situation. I feel for you bro.


My take on this is that you were very wrapped up in your own love story and took for granted that she was not on the same level as you. You said multiple times that you both were in love but I really don't see that here. Sure, she may have said it, but her actions seem contrary. Several times throughout your relationship she has called it off by saying she just wasn't ready for a relationship, saying she just wants to be friends, and then blaming herself for not being ready for you. None of this supports the "in love" you thought she was feeling.


I think she really likes you. Both as a friend and a partner. But in the end her lack of feeling "in love" and seeing you totally smitten was just too much of an imbalance in her life. It's very difficult for someone in a relationship when the other person is that much more attached than they are. Tons of relationships lose their chemistry because of this. Not that it lost it's chemistry for you... but it did for her.


She's not going to call off the relationship once, twice, etc because it's perfect for her. She's calling it off because it's not there. She probably values you so much as a friend and knowing that you did everything possible to be a good partner that it makes her feel like she did something wrong by NOT feeling what you feel in the relationship. She probably is confused as to why she's not feeling it. But one thing is for sure, she's definitely sure that this is seriously lacking something... hence her ending it more than once.

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