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How to let someone go gently?


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Hey guys, first post here. I've lurked quite a bit and feel that this would be a concrete place to start in finding an appropriate course of action to take concerning my problem. It's much more than the topic title implies though, so any advice or even criticism would be appreciated. I also don't know how long this post will be, so forgive me if it gets meticulously long or boring.

 

For a while in my youth I was struggling to understand my sexuality. I had slight feelings for girls on a emotional level, but excluding that my interests were almost exclusively to the same gender.

 

I met this girl growing up. We had known each other for quite a while, and we were good friends before our relationship started. She revealed to me that she'd been interested in me for a long time, even though it was blatantly obvious and had been since the conception of our friendship. She spilled out her feelings and I decided to give it a try. When we first started out I had no idea things would develop as they did. I came to the conclusion that she was an amazing person, intelligent, and over time I even started to become attracted to her on a physical level, and even more emotionally. We became inseparable for a quite some time until things became a bit sour (as many relationships tend to) and we split apart due to her wanting to date other people.

 

We remained very good friends after the fact and moved on with our lives. Lately however she's been wanting me back and it's complicated because I've been experimenting with my sexuality more now, and I'm almost positive that my future lies with another male.

 

I want to explain this to her since we have always been honest about everything, but she knows nothing about me being attracted to guys. The last thing I want is for her to criticize me for my sexuality (although I doubt this will happen, she's very liberal), or for her to take this offensively and as a result negate our friendship.

 

I just can't let that happen. Have you ever had someone so important in your life that you felt they must have a place in your life at all times, whether it be as a friend or lover, because you have a bond that extreme? We were more than just partners in a relationship, we discussed everything. Politics, philosophy, secrets. She's basically someone I can't live without, and she doesn't deserve to be hurt after all she's done for me.

 

What do I do guys?

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Neat avatar.

 

I would recommend being honest. It sounds like you two have had an understanding relationship, plus you mentioned she's liberal and unopposed to homosexuality. While there's always a risk that something could go wrong, think of how much stronger your friendship would be if you could talk to her freely about your sexuality.

 

Try to put yourself in her shoes. How would you react? Do you think she would prefer you to tell her the truth, or to instead lie or lead her on?

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Wow, this is hard. I personally think that she will have to come to terms with your sexuality, regardless of the past. I mean, I know you do love her, if even not on a romantic level you do. I'm straight, but I identify with this completely because my best friend fell in love with me and tried to have sex with me many times--I eventually cut her off because of that. I doubt your case is as extreme.

 

You must be careful keeping her as a friend, as long as she has a crush on you, mainly because, un-reciprocated feelings can become obsessive, even dangerous (not saying to you, but to her own psyche) and thus she can become real hurt by all this.

 

I suggest you tell her how you feel about your sexuality, and that thigns can never be the way they were before. she must accept you as a gay man, and if she can't...than I'm afraid the only thing you can do is to break her off, before it overwhelms her. If not break her off, at least give her time to think about herself and you, and how you are gay. That may help her more, to realize you share no sexual attraction to women.

 

also, you can reassure her that you DO love her and always will, if just not on a romantic level. afterall, who said love can be just one kind?

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I'd definitely want to be told the truth, regardless of how painful it could be.

 

Well the thing I'm undoubtedly the most worried about is her counter argument. Rest assured she will ask "If you'd known about your sexuality all along, why did you continue our relationship?" The answer to that question, on a completely truthful level, is a very selfish and manipulative one. I was young/confused at the time and it was a mistake. Thing is so much good came from that mistake, and the love I had for her was the furthest thing from superficial.

 

How can you tell someone that it isn't possible for you to love them in the same way anymore, especially considering that it happened and was legitimate in the past?

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Your question:

How can you tell someone that it isn't possible for you to love them in the same way anymore, especially considering that it happened and was legitimate in the past?

 

Your answer:

 

When we first started out I had no idea things would develop as they did. I came to the conclusion that she was an amazing person, intelligent, and over time I even started to become attracted to her on a physical level, and even more emotionally.

I've been experimenting with my sexuality more now, and I'm almost positive that my future lies with another male.

On a completely truthful level, is a very selfish and manipulative one. I was young/confused at the time and it was a mistake. Thing is so much good came from that mistake, and the love I had for her was the furthest thing from superficial.
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Well I'd hate to think of our relationship as a mistake, it was anything but.

 

If I have to bear the full force of this I will, for her sake. She may be extremely displeased or appalled afterwords, but she needs to now the truth so she can move on.

 

I thank all you guys for the helpful advice.

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