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Its Complicated!


CluelessInUK

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I've been single for a long time. I've dated a little but after a messy divorce I've been very guarded and although I've had fun, I've never really felt any emotional attachment to anyone (exactly why I've stayed single)

 

I've got an old friend, we go back further than me and my ex wife. There has always been something between us but back before me and my wife got together, she had only just split from a close friend of mine so even though we both admitted to having feelings for each other, out of respect for him we didn't act on it.

 

Skip to 10 years later and over the last few months we've started hanging out again. We've been out for drinks with friends (and her boyfriend) quite a lot recently and about a month ago she told me she still has feelings for me and that things aren't good with her BF anymore and that they're just kind of going through the motions (although I know her BF doesn't feel that way). The more we see each other, the more the chemistry is building between us again. I've told her that I still have feelings for her too but in truth, its more than that... after over 10 years of knowing her I still get butterflies when I see her which is both scary and exciting, I haven't felt like this about anyone in a very long time.

 

Its getting harder and harder to keep a lid on it, her BF has picked up on it, so have a few of our friends. I'm trying to hold back, I don't text her, call her, message her... I just end up staring at that stupid little green dot next to her name on Facebook messenger hoping she'll make the first move.

 

My dilemma is that I've always tried to be a stand-up guy, I've had someone else come in and steal my partner away from me and I don't want to be responsible for someone else's relationship falling apart. On the other hand I've spent over 5 years being single, hoping that one day I'd be able to feel, to love, to trust someone enough to be vulnerable again and I know this is my chance.

 

I have no idea what to do, I can't carry on seeing her without stepping over a line I can't come back from. She says the writing is on the wall for their relationship and that its just a matter of time but who knows how long that could be!?! Do I carry on waiting and hoping? do I just go for it, go against my principals and take my shot at happiness? Do I ask her to end her relationship so I can have my cake and eat it!?! Can I do that?! Doesn't sound like a 'stand-up' kind of thing to do!

 

If it was anyone else I wouldn't even consider actively pursuing someone elses GF, but this girl... the chemistry between us... I'll never forgive myself if I let it slip away again.

 

My flat-mate says its a dog-eat-dog world and the nice guy always finishes last... guess that kind of makes sense but is that just because its what I want to hear?

 

Sorry for the essay but any advice would be really appreciated!

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Hey it's a really difficult position to be in but honestly I think that you should discuss it with her- say that you're interested but you won't make any moves if she still has feeling for her bf or if she doesn't feel the same. Express your wishes and accept hers. This might sound a little odd but I personally don't think there's anything wrong with ending a relationship if you aren't completely happy with your partner, ESPECIALLY if you have feelings for someone else, it's a bit cruel to her current partner if she does have strong feelings for you. It might hurt him but it'd be better in the long run

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I don't agree with taking a woman from another man IF she's happy, what you're saying is she's not happy, she's just going through the motions.... at this point it's not your fault if she goes out looking for someone else, if it's not you it will be someone else. Though it does say something about her character if she's just willing to be there holding on until someone else comes and picks her up.

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I asked her why she was still with him if she felt that way, her response was that at first she thought it was just a rough patch and that she felt like she owed it to him to see if they could work through it because they were happy once. Apparently its just got worse since I came back on the scene as he's picked up on the vibe between us which is causing a lot of friction and a lot of paranoia on his part... checking her phone, messages etc.

 

I really want to just say end it and give us a chance but even just typing that here I fell like an a**hole! But for all I know shes just waiting for me to do/say something.

 

The other problem is that given his new attitude towards checking up on her, I don't want to text her or call her and him see it and cause even more aggro.

 

Feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place here!

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she told me she still has feelings for me and that things aren't good with her BF anymore and that they're just kind of going through the motions.

 

I've always tried to be a stand-up guy, I've had someone else come in and steal my partner away from me and I don't want to be responsible for someone else's relationship falling apart.

 

Sorry, but she doesn't seem much of a catch if she doesn't have the integrity to break up with her BF on her own given what she said to you. Her actions and words don't match. What she is doing to him, she will do to you if things 'aren't good' with you two. Do you really want to risk being with such a person? Do you really want to risk being a rebound? I understand full well how lonely it can get after 5 years. I am in a similar situation and I can fully empathize with the temptation to water down your principles. However, being a stand-up guy/girl means sticking to your principles when things are tough. You may need to ask yourself why you are chosing someone 'unavailable'...Could it be another indirect way to avoid emotional attachment through entering a situation that is likely to make your worst fears come true?

 

As for your flatmates 'dog-eat-dog world' comment, the 'an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind' quote comes to my mind. I have trouble believing that such a relationship would result in longterm happiness.

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"You may need to ask yourself why you are chosing someone 'unavailable'...Could it be another indirect way to avoid emotional attachment through entering a situation that is likely to make your worst fears come true? "

 

Clio, I've contemplated that but I've had feelings for this girl for a long time, If I thought it was me just putting myself in an impossible situation because I know it'll never happen then it would be much easier to walk away!

 

"being a stand-up guy/girl means sticking to your principles when things are tough."

 

You're so right, I'm sure everyone could claim to be a stand-up girl/guy up until the point where they weren't... I can't dilute my principals or I'll just be like every other scum-bag out there! Thanks!! That actually really helps.

 

I think I just need to make the call, put it out there and see where the chips fall.

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This is a tough situation. To be honest, I'm more worried about the aftermath and how it will affect you. Say that you do pursue her and you go out with her. Her ex will still be in the background. Sometimes (more commonly then not) when people leave their exes or break up with them they find someone else to cuddle up to for a bit since they are hurting inside. Her relationship sounds rough right now, so she could be drawn to you (telling you she has feelings) because of the rough patch she is going through. I'm not saying she doesn't have feelings, but you should be cautious because you don't want to end up as a rebound trust me.

 

At the same time, if you really like this girl and are willing to work for it, then I say give it a shot. Life's about taking chances. If you just stand by and watch you might never know what could have been....so even if it does fail, then at least you know. I'm not saying it will, I would just take this very slow...for now.

 

Have a talk with her at least. If she's not happy in her current relationship by all means, go for it because if she's staying with that other guy that's not good for her or even him. It might sound harsh, but if she will break up with him anyway, then you are allowed to like her and want to be with her...and pursue her for a chance at happiness. I'd be weary though, because she is going though a tough time and might just be wanting a shoulder to lean on.

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It does worry me a little, after spending so long keeping people at arms length so I don't get hurt, letting her in could be dangerous. If the first person I let in screws me over then there is no telling how long it'll be before I let someone in again, if at all! I know no-one goes into a situation like this thinking its going to end badly but I really believe that if it works out it'll be a game-changer, its not like this is the first time its come up, we've always had a connection but the timing so far has always been wrong... maybe thats a sign or maybe the timing wasn't wrong and I should have done this years ago and instead of putting everyone elses feelings before of my own.

 

Like you said, life is about taking chances, so many times I've heard the quote 'at the end, you regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did'. If I don't take a chance on this, something that I know has the potential to really make me happy then I fear that I'll never let myself take a chance at all. If we go through life hoping for happiness but not pursuing it when it the opportunity presents itself then we can only blame ourselves for being unhappy. I guess I'd rather roll the dice and live with the consequences than spend my life asking myself 'what if?'

 

I've got to talk to her, I've just got to figure out what to say and how to say it.

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If she was so into you, she would break up with her BF and not continue to lie to him.. She hasn't, which means until she does that, all she is giving you is lip service. She is enjoying the attention you are giving her right now.. Make space between you two and allow her relationship to run its course. If she is into you and wants more, by you cutting her off she will be able to do what she needs to do to be with you..

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You've been single 5 yrs already... carry on a little longer then.. if she is worth it.

She already knows how you feel and you know how she feels. No, I dont think you have the right to barge in on them!

If anything YOU need to show some respect towards her (them) because that may someday be the root to a problem, therefore being brought up again... against you, should she feel she wants to use that against you.

 

Anyways, let them do their thing & run it's course- for whatever they do or choose.

Even IF they do break up- you still need to stay away for a while, I HIGHLY suggest or you'll end up being a 'rebound' to her. Where she is NOT yet stable or ready to begin a new relationship again.

Even if she runs right into your arms? I suggest you even mention this to her. Tell her to take it easy and you guys take things SLOWLY for a while. ( Keep on like you have been).

 

UNTIL things take shape between her and her bf.. I am wondering if YOU should back off for a while and leave them alone... since you are now having many thoughts and being 'tempted'...?

Think on this, that's going on.

Look up rebound relationships (that you dont want to be-) and respectfully treat them as friends.. or just give them their space.

 

Sound right?

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I feel you are operating off of what you WANT to do rather than what you SHOULD do. I understand entirely. This is a person you want right now, boyfriend is in the way, you get the vibes that the relationship is unhappy and this seems like a great opportunity to be with this woman and have a chance at romantic happiness. I get that, but that's based entirely off of your desires right now, and certainly not logic.

 

Logically here's what's going on.

 

1. You've known this woman for 10+ years. She is NOT going anywhere. You guys are good friends. This is a person you can wait for. It's not like she's moving away, getting married or anything. Do the right thing and wait for her to be single. Because trust me, you'll have a lot of hate coming your way if you try to end their relationship. If for any reason she regrets breaking up with her ex, she'll resent you for it. After that infatuation period ends, you'll start to feel guilt about what you put the ex-boyfriend through. Whenever there is a rough patch, you'll wonder if she's likely to cheat and run away with some other guy. Be patient and wait.

 

2. She is in control NOT YOU. This is HER life. You have no right to barge in on her relationship. Like SooSad33 said, show some respect to the relationship with her boyfriend and whatever they have. This is HER life and her relationship. Do not try to influence that in any way. If there was physical abuse or cheating from her current boyfriend then my answer might be a little different about you trying to end their relationship, but for now, the choice is all hers.

 

3. She needs time to heal from her relationship. You've had 5 years of being single so of course you are ready to go and get the future started. However, she is not in the same boat as you. If you truly care for this woman then do what is best for her. Wait for her to end the relationship and heal. Otherwise you'll risk ruining your potential relationship with her by hearing her cry for her current boyfriend, reminiscing about the relationship, having high expectations for what she has with you, etc. After 5 years being single you don't deserve that. You deserve to go through the same motions as meeting someone new. Slowly developing a relationship, building trust, seeing where this goes without trying to juggle with her coping from a past relationship and so on.

 

4. You don't want the bad karma. Sorry, but if you do this, you probably wont get a lot of support. Why? Because she jumped from him to you almost immediately. Go into a relationship not feeling like you have to over-explain things, lie about facts, feeling embarrassed around friends and family who know exactly what happened. It's not worth the stress. Waiting a bit longer completely eliminates that guilt and the knowledge that people may not be supportive given you will look like the rebound.

 

Seriously, think about these things. You are living in a world of what you want and desire which sadly, very rarely has a basis in reality and what is actually good for you.

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Not only would it upset me if a guy asked me out knowing I'm in a relationship, but also I would feel disgusted. I would feel like he didn't respect me or my relationship. I would also feel like he didn't have much integrity toward and would pursue other women while we were together.

 

I would immediately put him in the place no date zone.

 

She doesn't sound like me though. She sounds like she would be more receptive to it. But I would betcha the way you got her will be the way she leaves you ... for another guy.

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Even if you step over a line that is written on the wall to shoot at happiness and eat your cake in a dog eat dog world where the nice guy finishes last (ever consider becoming a popular songwriter?)... that still doesn't justify bonking a chick with a boyfriend. If your grand romance is as epic and spectacular as you think, it can handle your waiting for her to become single.

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Thanks for the replies everyone.

 

Strangely, I had actually come to a similar conclusion myself over the weekend. We had a late night chat in which I told her that she needs to figure out what she really wants, that I've been waiting a long time so I don't want to ruin it by rushing and then feeling guilty about it and that I wasn't going anywhere. I said I'm going to stay away and do my own thing for a while and if/when shes ready she knows where I am.

 

At least then I know that if she comes looking for me its for the right reasons and that shes ready for me. Now I've just got to keep myself occupied and see what happens.

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Even though your emotions can get in a way the reality is that she's still with him and who knows what 'could' happen just down the road because she's not completely over him. I'd just stay back you've been and keep going with your life. Just be honest with her and up front. If she can respect that makes her own move so be it. But you also don't want to confuse you either if she's in the process of a break up either.

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You did the right thing and now you'll see if "it's just a matter of time" as she said or if she just enjoys the attention on the side and finds it elsewhere if you're no longer her secondary source.

Good luck and good for you for doing the right thing/holding yourself to "stand up guy" standards.

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