the way forward with a broken heart
May 21, 2010 6:56 PM Subscribe
How do I approach friendship with a (formerly?) broken heart?
posted by bearette to human relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I know this topic has been discussed here before, the whole unrequited-love-then-friendship thing, except that my situation is a little different than what has been discussed previously, and also, I am moreso looking for approaches to this and experiences people have had.
My story and question:I used to live and study in China. While in a grad program there I met a Chinese guy I'll call J. We became close friends, spending several hours a week together, alone and just talking. I got a crush. He didn't want to date. I had difficulty, but we pretty much remained close friends, even traveling together, until the end of the program when he got a girlfriend and I got very sad. I decided abruptly to return to the U.S. (not really because of that, for a number of reasons.) We didn't say goodbye.
About a month later I emailed him, and we got back in contact. I suggested we talk on skype sometime; he suggested every Fri and Sat for 2 hours each time (these were "language exchanges" like we used to have, but really we'd talk about anything and everything). We did this, sometimes talking for 3-5 hours at a time, for a few months (over skype). Later on he got busy with various life events, and stopped being so available for skyping, which made me a bit upset.
Well, I'm going back to China this summer, for the summer only. He knows this, but we haven't talked recently- I was basically the one making the effort the last few times, so I stopped. He still has a girlfriend. We never spent time together as friends with other people; we always hung out 1 on 1. I don't know how to be his friend when he has a girlfriend physically there (talking on skype, I could forget about it since he almost never mentioned her; he knew that would make me upset.)
I wonder if I should just let things happen as they come? I view the friendship as slightly different than one between two people in the same country, since our chances to see one another are a lot less. It was a very valuable friendship. I guess I'm wondering when it's worth it? If he makes an effort to get together (likely) how I deal with my feelings?
Frankly I don't understand romantic relationships well. At the age of 31, I've never had a "relationship" lasting longer than a month. (unless you count some loosely held together relationships that were basically close friendships with no commitment and some sex involved). I've had close friends my whole life though, and tend to feel de-valued when they get into relationships. It's definitely a pattern in my life.
I was looking to get feed back about how to approach this, in thought and/or in action. Examples from your own life are helpful.