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Relationship he had with gf who died last year


Teela

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I've been dating this guy for about a month. He's from Europe. Early on he explained that he's here because his girlfriend "Jane" was killed in an accident about a year ago. He came to the US to attend her funeral. Afterwards, he was unhappy returning home and longed to be in the city where she lived and close to her family and friends. He got an internship in the US and moved here in October.

 

He has dated a few women since coming to the US. He considered Jane his "soulmate" and says he still loves her, but that he doesn't feel guilty doing things with other people because he knows she would want him to move on.

 

Well, over the last month, a few details about his relationship with Jane have come out. He mentioned that he only had sex with Jane once, but that didn't count as a true ONS because of the feelings involved. I was surprised it was only once, but okay... Later I found out that he met her when he was on a hike in Thailand. Apparently he had spent a lot of 2008 hiking in various countries around the world with his friends and met a lot of other people doing the same, including Jane. He met her towards the end of his trip(s), when they were staying in the same hostel. He knew her for 3 days, and they had sex on the last night he was there. I was really shocked about that.

 

He returned home and she e-mailed him while on her trip for another month or so. When she got home, they e-mailed and sometimes talked on the phone. Their correspondence lasted a total of three months until, tragically, she was killed in the accident. He mentioned that when he came to the funeral, her friends were skeptical of him. He said he was Jane's boyfriend, but they had never heard of this boyfriend, so I don't blame them for feeling that way. They still have never warmed up to him, apparently, though he does get along with her mother.

 

Does this seem strange to anyone else? I really don't want to judge and I would never question him about this, but it seems to me that there was no relationship between them. He barely knew her. It seems like they met and liked each other, but he had to leave and they were in some sort of long-distance courtship phase when she died. She obviously didn't consider herself in a relationship because she told no one about him.

 

The way he talked about her in the beginning gave me the impression that this was a relationship that they had had for a long while and were very close. Now I find out he didn't even know her that well and probably exchanged less than 30 e-mails with her over three months. But the way he talks about her... I guess I'm having a hard time explaining it, but he doesn't talk about it like it was even a new relationship, much less one where they only met each other in person for 3 days and then became pen pals. I also feel uncomfortable about the way he presented himself to her friends and family.

 

Am I jerk for feeling this way?

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Three months is not a long time and therefore it was too soon for the friends and family to know. Since it was long distance she probably wanted to keep it quiet until she saw if it was going to go further. It doesn't matter that this relationship did not fit the established norms of society..the fact still remains is that he was head over heels crazy for her, he probably got the same vibes from her and she was tragically killed before the relationship could fully blossom and come out in the open. Sounds to me like he is not over her, and he is not over what could have been had she not been killed. Perhaps it is too early for him to be dating as his heart is still with her and he has not gotten over the loss.

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Am I jerk for feeling this way?

 

No.

 

In all honesty, (most likely because you know him) I think you are much more charitable in your feelings about the situation than I would be.

 

Ultimately, the less you know someone and have to put up with their quirks, the easier it is to canonise them. And the harder it is for people to measure up to your idealised version of them.

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I agree with the 1st and 3rd poster. He's not position to be dating right now, you'll just be used if you continue a relationship with him, cut your losses. Sometimes those that impact us the most spent the least amount of time in our life.

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You are not being a jerk, you are being cautious, maybe even suspicious ... but you have a right too if you are worried about the part you are playing in all this. If he says he still loves her then in no way is he ready to start dating.

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Ultimately, the less you know someone and have to put up with their quirks, the easier it is to canonise them.

 

100% Agreed.

 

He's referring to her as his soulmate because he didn't really know her well enough to have found all the little flaws and quibbles that make you realise someone is just human too. Now that she's dead, all he has is this image of a wonderful girl, when in actual fact his version probably differs quite a lot from the one her family and friends know.

 

I wouldn't stress about it too much. Death affects people in different ways, and it seems like he gets comfort from emphasising their relationship beyond what it probably was. But it's not like she's coming back to fill that spot anytime soon.

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I agree with those that say he is probably in love with an idealized version of her, not the real person. I suppose it bothers me on some level that he doesn't realize this. Like maybe he has an immature view of relationships. (He is 24, btw.) I bet he doesn't even know her favorite color or restaurant, you know? He probably knows me better than he did her, and of course any woman he's involved with will end up competing not only with a ghost, but an idealized one at that!

 

I disagree with the statement that if he says he still loves her, he's not ready to date. I would think that anyone who loses a partner will always love them, even after time has healed most of the wounds.

 

At this point, I am unsure of what I am going to do.

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Since you've only been dating him for a month, do you know anything about his family, or have you met them?

 

I know a little about his family. He was raised by a foster family, actually, and indicated that he is not close with them and never was. I haven't met them as they are in Europe, where he is from.

 

I didn't mention that I have actually known him longer than a month, but we only started dating a month ago. I've known him for about three months.

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I agree with those that say he is probably in love with an idealized version of her, not the real person. I suppose it bothers me on some level that he doesn't realize this. Like maybe he has an immature view of relationships. (He is 24, btw.) I bet he doesn't even know her favorite color or restaurant, you know? He probably knows me better than he did her, and of course any woman he's involved with will end up competing not only with a ghost, but an idealized one at that!

 

I disagree with the statement that if he says he still loves her, he's not ready to date. I would think that anyone who loses a partner will always love them, even after time has healed most of the wounds.

 

At this point, I am unsure of what I am going to do.

 

You yourself have only known him three months and have only been dating him a month so you don't really know the nature of his relationship with this woman. You are making assumptions about his past relationship and what he did or didn't know about her. Sounds like you are feeling insecure and trying to devalue the relationship he had with her. You can devalue him and his relationship all you want, but the fact still remains is that his heart is still taken..and if you feel that is okay and that he is ready to date you, then you should be respecting him rather than putting him down and suggesting that he might have an immature view of relationships. If you think that way about him then maybe he is not the right person for you.

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This sounds whacked out to me. So in short, he met a girl who he hung out with for a few days, came home and they emailed back and forth for 12 weeks, then she passed away and he moved to her country to be close to her friends and family because they were soul mates??? If I were in your shoes I'd feel exactly the same way as you do about it. Proceed in this relationship with caution.

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You know, Teela, it is absolutely irrelevant how long he knew her. He felt they were soulmates and you can't get round that by saying it can't be true. It's true for him.

 

He isn't ready to date. You say you're not sure what you're going to do. Well it's your call. You may not be as mature as you think either, or you may be a woman who has that thing about 'rescuing' guys, or you may like a challenge...it's up to you.

 

But I can tell you what he's probably going to do.

 

Keep on missing that dead g/f. It is hugely significant that he was fostered, and even more that he wasn't close to them. He is likely to have some difficulties with attachment and if he felt he attached to her, this seemingly small loss (which is very probably idealised and he has probably persuaded himself SINCE her death how close they were, but same difference in practical terms) then to him this loss is the equivalent of someone else having their limbs slowly torn off one by one and the wounds left undressed.

 

This is not a bereavement, this is a gaping hole in his psyche. If you go there, you will be opening yourself up to all the anger, distress and despair he may well yet go through. And with attachment issues, he may well either take things out on you in some way, or suddenly abandon you.

 

Of course, all may be well. That's worst-case scenario. But just be aware that it isn't really likely to go well. I'd look at yourself and try to decide what in you is wanting to take on this 'challenge' cos it's really not that sensible if you aren't yet deeply involved...

 

FWIW I once had ONE date with a guy and for some reason he got under my skin and when we didn't see each other again I was distraught for about 7 months. I tried to rationalise myself out of it but I just had to wait for the pain to go.

 

It's not always textbook!

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