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I have an unusual situation.

6 months ago I started talking to a girl online who was having relationship issues with her now ex-boyfriend. We became very close friends, and had a really strong genuine connection. We would talk for 6+ hours easily without even realizing. All contact was always initiated by her.

 

I'm 30(M), she's 23. She's very self-destructive with relationships. She chooses guys who treat her horribly simply because she finds them attractive. Honestly, I started developing feelings for her, despite knowing we could never have a relationship (I couldn't ever trust her, so that's a no-go, and I have a quasi-relationship with someone else around her age). Despite knowing that I was developing feelings for this girl who's self destructive and extremely hungry for male attention, I kept talking to her. I take full responsibility for doing something that stupid. She's a very affectionate, energetic person. That was the pull for me. She doesn't know I have feelings for her, although she probably suspects it. She's said I love you, I never reciprocated because I knew I had to keep some distance from her. She definitely highly values whatever kind of relationship we have, and so do I

 

It got to the point where I wasn't able to hide my frustration when she would tell me about the guys she was interested in, because it was so obvious that the relationship would be a failure. The more abusive she would be treated, the more interested she would be. I always knew that if she ended up in one of these relationships, I'd simply stop talking to her, as it's not enjoyable to hear about. She's very smart despite making stupid decisions, and she's very directionless, not knowing what she wants to do with her life - I motivated her to pursue a career as a doctor, which I successfully did. I genuinely enjoyed giving her leadership and trying to help her develop. Since I have a degree in Chemistry and know a lot of pre-med stuff, I was able to help her study and stay focused. But I knew I wouldn't be able to do this if I knew that these efforts would likely be wasted the next time she gets obsessed with some guy who couldn't care less about her. So I had her agree that if she wants my help, she needs to stay out of relationships / hookup culture, because I knew I'd just be wasting my time if not. Honestly I was hoping that she could stay out of these relationships until med school, as then she'd be surrounded by higher quality people, and I wouldn't really care if she was in a relationship like that.

 

She agreed to it and lasted about a month (even though I'm sure she was looking during this time). She started really slacking off on studying for a couple weeks, and eventually told me she's very depressed about the way she's being treated by some guy who she hooked up with (he basically started ignoring her after they had sex). She told me this about 4 days ago, and she had a Chem exam coming up today. I was helping her with Chem when she told me (which I appreciate the honesty, but she's really just telling me because she's curious about my take on the situation, wondering if I think the guy will contact her again). The guy sounded like a typical covert narc, love-bombing her initially, getting sex, then playing the victim and pulling back once he knew she was emotionally attached. It was completely enraging to hear that she allowed herself to get so used and distracted by this guy knowing it would cause her serious issues, but I didn't show it. She was probably also testing the waters and seeing if I'd be cool with it now - which obviously I'm not, since she proved that my time would be wasted helping her with if she continued with these stupid 'relationships'. I told her that if she gets into one of these relationships, her boyfriend would be the one giving her leadership and assistance, not me.

 

I realized by her story that she's a genuinely traumatized individual - that she becomes this obsessed with guys who are abusive. So I told her the only possible way we can continue is if she starts going to therapy 3 times a week, which I'd pay for (I'm wealthy, it's no issue to me to pay for it, if she actually wanted help, I'd do it without question). She said she'd do that, but she kept talking about this guy who's ignoring her, making me believe she doesn't actually want help or that the help would simply be wasted on her. She also said that she wants this guy as a boyfriend, and she wants to keep dating. She also indicated that she's losing motivation and probably will end up changing majors. I definitely appreciate the honesty, but that's obviously a dealbreaker, so I revoked the offer for the therapy, as I don't think it will do her any good.

 

I've cut all contact and now am going through the process of becoming indifferent to her. She's still trying to contact me to basically convince me to be cool with it, but I'm no longer interested. I've accepted now that she needs life to teach her things, not me.

 

What's your take on this situation? Am I extremely weird to put myself in this situation? Was I very unfair to make such a rule that she must stay out of relationships / hookup culture if she wants my help? I'm realizing now that it's a ridiculous stipulation to put on someone - I was looking for some assurance that my time wouldn't be wasted, even though it's pretty obvious that it would be. I blame myself for this situation 100%, not her

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WS.

 

You may be familiar with the saying:

 

"No good deed goes unpunished".

 

What you describe is a prime example.

 

I take it you never actually met this person?

 

Never get enmeshed and entangled in other people's problems, real or perceived.

 

Could I just add that there are worthy organisations and trusts out there which promote education for disadvantaged but motivated people, in an organised and objective fashion. You could give of your time volunteering for some such organisation and as you are well-off I am sure donations would always be welcome.

 

No truer word S.

 

"I have learned over the course of my life if someone is not willing to help themselves you won’t be able to help them . People are ultimately responsible for themselves.’"

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I have learned over the course of my life if someone is not willing to help themselves you won’t be able to help them . People are ultimately responsible for themselves.’

 

True! Thanks

 

WS.

 

You may be familiar with the saying:

 

"No good deed goes unpunished".

 

What you describe is a prime example.

 

I take it you never actually met this person?

 

Never get enmeshed and entangled in other people's problems, real or perceived.

 

Correct, never met her. I know she's who she says she is due to Facetime though. and thank you

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I don't think this makes you weird. I do think however, you are choosing to put yourself in some weird situations. Probably because you are hungry for connection and meaning. Therefore, trying to create one through trying to save someone.

 

I would ask myself... why am I investing in relationships/ interacting with women that are not viable candidates for a real relationship? Why am I willing to pay for someone to go through therapy, who is not only not my family, but I haven't met?

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I don't think this makes you weird. I do think however, you are choosing to put yourself in some weird situations. Probably because you are hungry for connection and meaning. Therefore, trying to create one through trying to save someone.

 

I would ask myself... why am I investing in relationships/ interacting with women that are not viable candidates for a real relationship? Why am I willing to pay for someone to go through therapy, who is not only not my family, but I haven't met?

 

I think you're exactly correct. the driving force of it has a lot to do with wanting to feel like I'm saving someone

 

"why am I investing in relationships/ interacting with women that are not viable candidates for a real relationship?"

It's probably the enjoyment I get out of the connection we had honestly. Also there's probably some thought that if she did significantly mature that something may develop in the future

 

I'd have no problem paying for therapy for anyone who I cared about and I thought would benefit from it. Not sure why I'm like that honestly

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The person who needs the therapy is you though.

 

Wanting to fix others is avoiding fixing yourself and addressing your own issues.

 

Not going to mince words here - your involvement and attempts to control a 20 year old were bordering on creepy. She is not a traumatized damsel in distress or an investment with an ROI for you. She is a typical young 20 year old figuring out herself, dating, her life and direction for herself. Most people that age might talk a lot, but are not serious about relationships and do sleep around, play games, etc. Ditto for guys her age acting....like that age. It doesn't make them some kind of a narcsissist psychopath for telling sweet nothings to get laid. Eventually most people grow up on their own and learn from these experiences. Not your job to attempt to control and parent her or anyone else.

 

Bottom line is that take that money and invest it in fixing your own issues and whatever is driving this behavior of yours. It's beyond inappropriate and you are doing a great deal of fantasizing and projecting.

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I think you're exactly correct. the driving force of it has a lot to do with wanting to feel like I'm saving someone

 

"why am I investing in relationships/ interacting with women that are not viable candidates for a real relationship?"

It's probably the enjoyment I get out of the connection we had honestly. Also there's probably some thought that if she did significantly mature that something may develop in the future

 

I'd have no problem paying for therapy for anyone who I cared about and I thought would benefit from it. Not sure why I'm like that honestly

 

I think you like being in control -she is vulnerable and "needs" you -so she says- and it's easier that way -it's not a balanced relationship of equals, of give and take so you don't have the upper hand and you know you never have to be vulnerable because she's not available for a relationship.

 

I started a friendship with a woman who turned out to be full of drama/train wreck (I originally met her husband through our kids and have much more in common with him but it would have not been appropriate for me to pursue a friendship just with him -and I met his mother too when I first met him -same thing -but that also wasn't a friendship I could pursue) - anyway after one train wreck after another I started to realize - I know she has an illness[es], but at bottom I do not respect her choices. I do not respect her values. I do not support her constant entrepreneurial wild ideas that are child-like and involve roping in friends and acquaintances and spending money they do not have, I do not like how when she's feeling great about life she brags. So I had to hold myself in check -because why was I interacting with someone I didn't respect? I made myself back off -I do not want to be in a situation where I am approved of because I'm there as a sounding board but do not respect the person as an equal. I'm fine with a balanced friendship where at times one friend is much needier than the other -that's life -but I have to respect the person's choices and values at bottom.

 

Do you respect this person? Is "anything is possible" -she might -remote possibility -become mature in the future -is that your standard for how you invest your time? Ask yourself why, ask yourself why you like being this person in power who feels so needed and superior -but never has to be truly close or vulnerable.

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I think you're exactly correct. the driving force of it has a lot to do with wanting to feel like I'm saving someone

 

"why am I investing in relationships/ interacting with women that are not viable candidates for a real relationship?"

It's probably the enjoyment I get out of the connection we had honestly. Also there's probably some thought that if she did significantly mature that something may develop in the future

 

I'd have no problem paying for therapy for anyone who I cared about and I thought would benefit from it. Not sure why I'm like that honestly

 

Thinking a significant change will lead to a healthy relationship, is not a healthy way to a relationship. Its a project.

 

People are not projects. life is not a makeover show where you get to feel good fixing people who did not ask you to fix them.

 

you cannot have an honest connection with a person you do not know in real life. Thank your lucky stars this person did not rip you off for the therapy money. Many people will use your kindness and hurt you.

 

I suspect that maybe you use your wealth to make people indebted to you so that they won't leave you. you don't have to do that. I think a therapist might be able to help you find your self worth and how to love yourself. because that's what really seems to be the problem from what you said.... finding your worth in what you give others.... is a sure fire way to breaking your own heart.

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It may be best to focus on why you sought out a parent-child cyber relationship when you already have a "quasi" relationship with someone else. What prompted you to seek this cyber relationship out? What is wrong with your other situation?

I have a quasi-relationship with someone else around her age.
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The person who needs the therapy is you though.

 

Wanting to fix others is avoiding fixing yourself and addressing your own issues.

 

Not going to mince words here - your involvement and attempts to control a 20 year old were bordering on creepy. She is not a traumatized damsel in distress or an investment with an ROI for you. She is a typical young 20 year old figuring out herself, dating, her life and direction for herself. Most people that age might talk a lot, but are not serious about relationships and do sleep around, play games, etc. Ditto for guys her age acting....like that age. It doesn't make them some kind of a narcsissist psychopath for telling sweet nothings to get laid. Eventually most people grow up on their own and learn from these experiences. Not your job to attempt to control and parent her or anyone else.

 

Bottom line is that take that money and invest it in fixing your own issues and whatever is driving this behavior of yours. It's beyond inappropriate and you are doing a great deal of fantasizing and projecting.

 

I acknowledge in the post that I created this situation, implying that I'm the dysfunctional one. I explicitly make the point to defer all responsibility for what happened to me, not her. The rest of your comment is assuming that you know the situation better than I do which is naive. Although your last sentence is very true

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I think you like being in control -she is vulnerable and "needs" you -so she says- and it's easier that way -it's not a balanced relationship of equals, of give and take so you don't have the upper hand and you know you never have to be vulnerable because she's not available for a relationship.

 

I started a friendship with a woman who turned out to be full of drama/train wreck (I originally met her husband through our kids and have much more in common with him but it would have not been appropriate for me to pursue a friendship just with him -and I met his mother too when I first met him -same thing -but that also wasn't a friendship I could pursue) - anyway after one train wreck after another I started to realize - I know she has an illness[es], but at bottom I do not respect her choices. I do not respect her values. I do not support her constant entrepreneurial wild ideas that are child-like and involve roping in friends and acquaintances and spending money they do not have, I do not like how when she's feeling great about life she brags. So I had to hold myself in check -because why was I interacting with someone I didn't respect? I made myself back off -I do not want to be in a situation where I am approved of because I'm there as a sounding board but do not respect the person as an equal. I'm fine with a balanced friendship where at times one friend is much needier than the other -that's life -but I have to respect the person's choices and values at bottom.

 

Do you respect this person? Is "anything is possible" -she might -remote possibility -become mature in the future -is that your standard for how you invest your time? Ask yourself why, ask yourself why you like being this person in power who feels so needed and superior -but never has to be truly close or vulnerable.

 

I definitely do prefer to have control in relationships yes. As to whether that's preferred to make myself less vulnerable is likely

 

I respect her a lot. She's very smart, creative, energetic. I think you make amazing points, it has a lot to do with me needing to feel needed and superior and avoiding vulnerability

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Thinking a significant change will lead to a healthy relationship, is not a healthy way to a relationship. Its a project.

 

People are not projects. life is not a makeover show where you get to feel good fixing people who did not ask you to fix them.

 

you cannot have an honest connection with a person you do not know in real life. Thank your lucky stars this person did not rip you off for the therapy money. Many people will use your kindness and hurt you.

 

I suspect that maybe you use your wealth to make people indebted to you so that they won't leave you. you don't have to do that. I think a therapist might be able to help you find your self worth and how to love yourself. because that's what really seems to be the problem from what you said.... finding your worth in what you give others.... is a sure fire way to breaking your own heart.

 

This is amazing thank you. I agree people shouldn't be projects

 

I know she wouldn't rip me off for the therapy money - and using money to get people indebted to you has the opposite effect in my experience. Most people will become distant and turned off when you buy them things. And I'd 100% never expect someone to return a favor to me because I bought them something

 

It has a lot to do with self worth for sure

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I agree with you Lambert.

 

And this is concerning:

 

"I motivated her to pursue a career as a doctor, "

 

From your description of her I cannot imagine anyone less suitable for such a career, its duties, requirements and challenges.

 

Very good point. Looking back at it logically, it sounds ridiculous

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This is amazing thank you. I agree people shouldn't be projects

 

I know she wouldn't rip me off for the therapy money - and using money to get people indebted to you has the opposite effect in my experience. Most people will become distant and turned off when you buy them things. And I'd 100% never expect someone to return a favor to me because I bought them something

 

It has a lot to do with self worth for sure

 

I understand. I used to think I had to be understanding and accept people as they are. And what ended up happening was, I had a lot of people in my life but they weren't the kind of people I really wanted.

 

Which to be honest, is the loneliest type of lonely... lost in a sea of people that don't understand me and don't support the life I want....

 

it was hard and it is still hard to this day. I'm still setting boundaries and distancing myself from people I've know for decades.

 

but as I'm focusing more on meeting my own needs, better people do seem to be appearing. And frankly, the pandemic has helped close ranks... when this is over some people won't make it back into my wider circle and that's OK.

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It may be best to focus on why you sought out a parent-child cyber relationship when you already have a "quasi" relationship with someone else. What prompted you to seek this cyber relationship out? What is wrong with your other situation?

 

Also a really good point. I guess it's feeling a bit dull which caused me to get distracted and eventually started talking to her. So if there's something wrong with it, it's that it's dull

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And OP, you DID ask. L:

 

"What's your take on this situation? "

 

So, a question. How do you see yourself getting out of and beyond this "Saviour Syndrome". How about getting involved with people in real life. Healthy people with healthy boundaries who do not need anyone's help.

 

You mention "dull". I cannot think of anything duller than this online person/project. Then again the unstable and unhinged of this life can seem kind of excitingly edgy, as they drag you onto the rollercoaster with them. Suddenly you realise you are dealing with a train wreck.

Thee is a happy medium between "dull" and the train wreck.

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You both have an unhealthy attachment to each other.

 

Time to let her go. She doesn't have the same romantic interest in you, and you are going to get very hurt as you continue to watch her demonstrate that by dating other guys.

 

Work on you, and then on meeting a local woman you can develop a healthy relationship with. This is not it.

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We would talk for 6+ hours easily without even realizing.

 

First thing I thought reading this is 'how on earth has this guy got so much time on his hands?'.

 

Imo if you've got this amount of free time, you should be building and enriching your own life with real-life friends (not Internet people you've never met), family, hobbies, interests, passions, voluntary work etc.

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I understand. I used to think I had to be understanding and accept people as they are. And what ended up happening was, I had a lot of people in my life but they weren't the kind of people I really wanted.

 

Makes a lot of sense. I think I have the opposite problem. When I see something I don't like in someone I have a hard time accepting it

 

Which to be honest, is the loneliest type of lonely... lost in a sea of people that don't understand me and don't support the life I want....

100%. You'll feel more invisible when you can be seen but aren't acknowledged

 

it was hard and it is still hard to this day. I'm still setting boundaries and distancing myself from people I've know for decades.

 

but as I'm focusing more on meeting my own needs, better people do seem to be appearing. And frankly, the pandemic has helped close ranks... when this is over some people won't make it back into my wider circle and that's OK.

You're a very smart and insightful individual. It's highly likely that things will work out for your benefit in the long-term

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First thing I thought reading this is 'how on earth has this guy got so much time on his hands?'.

 

Imo if you've got this amount of free time, you should be building and enriching your own life with real-life friends (not Internet people you've never met), family, hobbies, interests, passions, voluntary work etc.

 

I don't need to work, I just work for enjoyment when I'm motivated. I have a good amount of free time due to that. So yes that's a good point, lack of purpose for myself is also an issue. Thanks for that

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You both have an unhealthy attachment to each other.

 

Time to let her go. She doesn't have the same romantic interest in you, and you are going to get very hurt as you continue to watch her demonstrate that by dating other guys.

 

Work on you, and then on meeting a local woman you can develop a healthy relationship with. This is not it.

 

Agreed 100% thank you

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And OP, you DID ask. L:

 

"What's your take on this situation? "

 

So, a question. How do you see yourself getting out of and beyond this "Saviour Syndrome". How about getting involved with people in real life. Healthy people with healthy boundaries who do not need anyone's help.

 

You mention "dull". I cannot think of anything duller than this online person/project. .

 

Very good suggestions thank you. I've started some self-therapy by doing some emotional literacy work. The core issue is definitely with self worth I think.

 

Honestly I didn't find this situation dull. I really don't understand why lol

 

Then again the unstable and unhinged of this life can seem kind of excitingly edgy, as they drag you onto the rollercoaster with them. Suddenly you realise you are dealing with a train wreck.

Thee is a happy medium between "dull" and the train wreck

I think this is exactly what happened. I was feeling dull, wanted something edgy, and suddenly -- from my perspective -- I was dealing with a train wreck

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