How can I stop feeling broken and try to make friends without baggage?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a young 20s female, in grad school.
So, I have a really bad time keeping close friends. I have a lot of acquaintances, and a few friends who will actually invite me to events once every few months, but that's it. All of my confidantes stopped being my confidantes after a year, some becoming non-friends, some acquaintances, and some staying friends that I'll talk to once every 6 months. (The ex mentioned below, let's call him "Bob," thinks the problem would be that I get anxious and push people away because I'm scared that they'll do it first. It's a possibility.) I jokingly call this the "one-year curse."
I also avoided dating for the past 7 years because I wanted to work on myself (slash I had some serious Forever Alone stuff going on in my head). Finally, last November, I started dating. I met Bob online. We hit it off and started seeing each other. We were very serious.
Five months later, we broke up (de jure, I ended things, but de facto it was 50/50, with Bob saying "I need X" and me saying "Nope, not happening.") I did everything right: no contact for a month, when we did resume contact making sure someone else was around, didn't hang at his house unless his roommate was there, I only spoke to him after I was on the dating pool again, etc.
We stayed friends. About four months ago, I told Bob about the "one-year curse," and he promised he'd be an exception and that there's no way we wouldn't be friends in a year. He also finally convinced me--after trying since we met--that I should try anti-depressants for my depression and anxiety. He was my best friend, basically.
Yay, I thought, I'm doing better! The cycle of crap has finally broken! Thanks to citalopram and Bob.
A few days (a week, tops) after we broke up, Bob began seeing Jane. They're very serious and plan to move in together in February. I was super excited for Bob, since he was clearly way happier with Jane than with me, and he really deserves to be happy after a hard go at things. I gave Bob (GOOD!) relationship advice, suggested he try to work through early bumps, etc. I saw Bob 3 times since he and Jane started seeing each other, but we'd regularly IM.
But I was also anxious, since I got the distinct feeling that Jane would get jealous of me. And lo, she did. One Friday, I gave Bob something he had asked me to order for him, and we had dinner. At dinner, I asked him for Jane's favourite dessert, so that if I ever got to meet her, I could make it as a peace offering. That night, she told him that we weren't to see one another; a week later, she asked him to have zero contact with me. And so it has been, for the past couple of weeks. I wasn't his friend anymore; I was a liability.
So I'm back to square one, feeling like there's something inherently wrong with me that prevents me from making friends. Like I've made no progress at all.
I also feel like there is 0 point in me trying to make friends right now, let along trying to date. I have no confidantes, I have no social activities to go to, and I feel like if I tried to make friends by going out to clubs or whatever, that I'd only be setting myself up for more pain as they inevitably ditch me. None of my friends in town are easy to get a hold of, even if I did think they'd be open to talking to me more often. And since people are now moving away post-graduation, I have no support network left.
What the hell can I do to get past this?