I am really attracted to someone I know I shouldn't be, when I'm not single and I know he is not the kind of person I should be interested in. We see each other almost every day of the week, and I'm in a new city with not many other friends. How can I find my way out of this feeling?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A few years ago, I was a bit wild. I was single for a long time and had a lot of inappropriate sex with not appropriate
people, men and women. I drank quite a bit at that time. It was fun and it was an experience, but it left me unhappy and confused.
In the interim, I found a therapist, and worked a lot of things out.
Then I fell in love with a very kind, stable, supportive partner. Due to economic circumstances, things have been difficult (he was unemployed, I was underemployed), but we were happy and I love him very much.
I just moved to a new city to go to graduate school a month ago and he stayed there (he unequivocally told me he didn't want to come with me, but he wanted to stay together and work on getting out of being unemployed, and I respected that). We're both busy now, and although we'll only be apart for a month or so at a time at most over the next 7 months, our relationship is now long distance. I'm more excited here, and feeling more happy in my choices and in who I am, than I have been in years.
There is a guy in my class who I wasn't completely sure about from the beginning. Although we had things in common in terms of interests, I found it hard to talk to him about them, and I found him quite self consciously cool and arrogant at first. He is very exhibitionistic, attention seeking, and loves to tell lurid stories about his years of taking drugs, sex, etc. I am far more quiet and introverted and I found this boastful and tedious, but I also answered him back with a kind of yeah yeah, I've seen all that tone because I was annoyed by this. I associate exhibitionism with emotional imbalance, and I avoid those kind of people because usually they lead to drama. They are also exactly the kind of people to whom I used to be attracted.
A couple of weeks later, we ended up hanging out alone without our other friends, and he was very open with me when I didn't feel like I'd invited that or it was socially appropriate. I was appalled when he told me that he had encouraged someone to take a lot of pills and they ended up in a coma. (he didn't present this as malevolent or uncaring, more as something he feels guilty about, but it is something I would never discuss with a near stranger, or feel at all ambivalent enough about to relate as an anecdote - not that i'd ever do something like that anyway)
I spent a lot of time after that thinking and trying to work out what kind of personality he had, why he had chosen me to tell these things to, why things were so tense between us, although sexual attraction was something I entirely dismissed.
After class this week I went for a drink with my group and I told him straight out that I thought he disliked me at first. After a couple of drinks, he said he was pleased that I was so much less reserved than usual. His ex-girlfriend showed up in the pub, and I know that he wants to get back together with her (because he told me on a previous occasion!) Then after a couple more, I felt his foot nudging against mine under the table and the way he was looking at me had changed entirely and I could see things were heading in a certain direction, which I didn't expect. I got up, made my excuses, and left quickly. Since then, we've met each other at university and been quite neutral and polite.
My problem is, since then, I am insanely lustfully attracted to him and I cannot stop thinking about him or that night. It feels a lot like previous encounters that I've had, and I realised that although I'm so glad I don't have to deal with the drama of them anymore, they were exciting. I know he is not shy about sex. I see the rabbit hole and where it could go, and do not want to go near it. I feel guilty. I've been able to rethink the things that I know I'm not happy about in my relationship for the first time, I'm trying to figure out what the root of these feelings are (distraction, independence, etc), but I know that this is not going to help me manage and diminish this day to day feeling.
I am controlled about my drinking and know that this is the most important thing to avoid with him, but any other advice you can give me on how to think about this and how to make my relation with him as neutral as possible is welcome. I cannot avoid him, I'm ok with being friendly with him (we are in a group that spends about 4 days a week together) and I know after a certain amount of time, the feeling will ebb off. I know how inanely romantic I'm being, and I know I'm just flattered because its been such a long time since anyone has been so overt in finding me attractive. I just need some perspective.