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Getting out of the Friend Zone and Fixing a Relationship
January 23, 2012 6:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to figure out how to get over a relationship, but don't want to rule out the potential possibilities of re-establishing a relationship with this person in the future. Any advice?

I met this girl online a few months ago and we seemed to really hit it off. I found that as we discussed, we had a lot in common. However, the more time we spent together, the more things started to fizzle. I told her I liked her a month later and she told me she wanted to try us out. However, a day later, she tells me she is a lesbian and doesn't feel attracted to me. Therefore, I try to be a friend to get her to like me and I feel miserable the entire time (I know, I know, my fault). She continues to drop indicators that she likes me (once even saying that perhaps we really do belong together), but pulls away. We finally meet four months later and I spend a week with her and her mom. Same indicators of interest, but still doesn't commit. She starts talking about re-establishing contact with her ex-girlfriend, which is a major bummer to me.

I decide when I get back that I'm not going to sit around and be her douche when it comes to her ex-girlfriend. So I've withdrawn from her with little contact for the last half month. I finally tell her through email that I need space and block her on Facebook. I then feel guilty and re-add her, but tell her I still need space.

She hasn't said anything in relation to these events, although I still find it curious she has me listed as her "partner" on her Facebook. I've since deleted this connection on my profile but she doesn't do the same, although I express the wish that I wish she would (we started calling each other "heterosexual/homosexual life partners" and I realize that was making me a doormat).

I also realize that as I was getting to know her, I revealed far too many of my own insecurities. We're both gamers and I expressed how I don't like gaming around people because I feel I'm not good enough. I often even complained that I wasn't as good at a game she introduced me to (even though I know her skill comes from tons of practice) I realize I need to get rid of this low self-esteem, but I've learned it since I was young. Growing up, I had parents who did nothing but discourage me (due to a number of illnesses I had), so it's difficult, but I'm trying.

I also realize that I need to work on my issues. I've been writing in a private journal and realize that I hand way too much of my power to people. I recently heard "dating guru" David Coleman speak on my University's campus. He lauded me when I said that the one who has the most power in a relationship is the one that cares the least. However, it has been harder for me not to care. All of these issues are chronic (meaning, they've happened with multiple people) and I am just now learning to end the cycle.

For now, I'm not talking to her. She's still on my Facebook and can see what I post (unless I limit it), but I'm updating on it less because I'm personally of the belief that social networking sites kill the mystery in a relationship (I no longer immediately add new potential dates to my Facebook). I've often contemplated just deleting it, but I also use it to keep in touch with some of my real life friends, so I don't think it's worth doing it for one person. I realize that I gave her too much of myself and that this smothered the attraction that was there. So even if I don't get her back, I want to be the person that initially attracted her (if not better) since I feel this is closer to my authentic self (without the depressing behavior).

I also have decided that I'm not going to quit dating other people because of her. I'm doing what I can to get over her because I realize that can only help my chances if she comes back around. But it's even more important to prepare for the inevitability that we might not be able to work things out.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx to Human Relations (43 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
He lauded me when I said that the one who has the most power in a relationship is the one that cares the least.

You are not that person. Move on.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:28 AM on January 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I know that the heart is a strange and impetuous organ and sometimes tearing yourself away from attachment feels like rending your own flesh.. but let go, let go, let go. This girl is either very confused about what she wants, in which case you need to let her figure it out before being involved with her deeply... or she's a bit if a player, in which case you need to DTMFA.
posted by ottergrrl at 6:29 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Three words: Too Much Drama.

Seriously, it's not worth it. This isn't making your happy, and it's not going to magically produce a happy outcome. Even for people who enjoy drama, there needs to be a core of good feelings and mutual respect, and I'm not getting even a hint of those here.
posted by Forktine at 6:33 AM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everyone, thank you!

Ottergrrl: I've considered both possibilities. At the very least, she probably feels like she can hold on to me. I'm not making excuses for her anymore. She asks me to do things for her (check her websites, offer advice, do business stuff with her, etc.) without showing an inkling of respect for my own feelings. Lately, she's been a little grumpy with me over even the smallest mistakes. I'm of the belief that relationships should be mutually beneficial and I'm not getting that here, even as a friend. But it is also hard because she gave me the most awesome Christmas gift. I would lump her in the "confused" category, based on the evidence, but I also realize that I'm not clearheaded enough to confess. At any rate, she isn't showing respect for me. That's where I also agree with Forktine.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:40 AM on January 23, 2012


to confess = to assess
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:41 AM on January 23, 2012


The older I get (I'm not exactly ancient, but bear with me), the more I recognize that these sorts of relationships are just. not. worth it. Honestly, don't worry about the future—that is, don't try to get over her and hold out hope that you two will work out. If for some reason that does end up happening and everything is sunshine and butterflies (which I doubt will happen, given your description of her), then great! But what I'd be more concerned with is that you'll end up sitting around waiting for this girl to make up her mind, not get over her, and keep feeling this way for far, far too long. So I'd advise against attempting what you're asking about here, and just move on.

On preview: Your additional comments make me even more sure you should just forget about this girl. Hang in there!
posted by divisjm at 6:44 AM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


You wanted to be more than friends and she is a lesbian. She told you that explicitly and you seem to not want to listen and make her seem like the bad guy.

Stop listening to people who give advice on love and dating and call themselves experts. They don't know anything about your specific situation. The aim is not to take advantage of people who you don't care about so you can exert power of them. That's stupid.
posted by anniecat at 6:47 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


The beginning of most new romantic relationships should, in my opinion, be fun. This sounds like no fun from the outset, so I can't imagine how much less fun it'll be as you go along. Stop communicating with this woman.
posted by xingcat at 6:48 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Annie, I would believe that if she didn't quit playing these confusing mind games ("I'm your's," "We do need each other," etc.). And even if she was, I acknowledge that I have to get over it. I just highly doubt it.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:50 AM on January 23, 2012


People do weird shit. They change in ways that can't make total sense to anyone but them.

I'm seriously oriented towards trying to make things work out (which is happening in my epic breakup right now), but even I try to keep in mind that sometimes someone important to me gets so far out of whack from my own narrative that it's not even worth it to try to unearth and resolve the details - at that point it's important to figure out what you can figure out and be willing to let go what you can't figure out.

There are other mechanisms available aside from figuring out every little part of the mechanism that got you to this point. Folks decide to let things be water under the bridge or they can break off the relationship or they can start a different household or whatever.

But I agree with others that your best bet here is to figure out what you're willing to do, set boundaries, be appropriate about hers and move on.

Friendship may or may not happen, who knows, but don't push either one of you forcing it to happen.
posted by kalessin at 6:50 AM on January 23, 2012


Oh, it was very fun! We had a lot in common, I just revealed too much about myself. I looked over our old conversation and realized that had I played things differently, the outcome might have been different. Ah, well. :/
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:51 AM on January 23, 2012


My last comment was to Xingcat. Sorry!
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:53 AM on January 23, 2012


I think that's a harmful thought process. There's no reason to think things didn't work out because you revealed too much of yourself. If she had been into you and available, she would have been happy that you shared yourself with her and she would have enjoyed that. It didn't work out because it wasn't meant to be -- stop beating yourself up.

You'll find, eventually, that it's not a question of doing the right or wrong thing most of the time, but of clicking, of being the right people for each other.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:56 AM on January 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Kalessin: Thanks for that. I do realize that I spent too much time with her at times and spent little time with her at others. I think my major issue was that I was too clingy. I neglected to mention that when I told her I liked her, I was feeling suicidal at that moment and confessed it. She told me that she turned me down because she felt like I was pressuring her. She did identify as a lesbian when I met her, but she's had a boyfriend prior to me and says these confusing things . . . so she's either a) unsure or b) her sexuality is fluid or c) something else.

This is important because I said, "Well, if you weren't a lesbian, I'd date you." Then she confessed she had feelings for me and started telling multiple others. Then a day later, she regretted it, saying that my feelings made her feel pressured. So I don't know what to think.

I wish I could go back to that first month with the knowledge I now have. I feel things would have played out differently. I believe she's really a kind person, she's just been kind of a bitch with me lately. Ah, well.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 6:57 AM on January 23, 2012


My feelings of suicide made her feel pressured. Because, alas, I was lamenting why I was depressed. And those feelings included not ever finding anyone to date. But I now realize that's because I don't put myself out there enough. But I can see now why she said what she said.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 7:00 AM on January 23, 2012


"Friend zone."

Is a stupid idea.

If people fancy each other, they can move from friends to more-than-friends at any opportune time. There is no "zone" to which you get banished. You're friends or you aren't. If you don't want to be friends with her, don't be, but there is no such thing as a "friend zone" which acts as a kind of penalty box that you can get out of.

She says she can't fancy you because she's a lesbian. And then she does all kinds of weird shit with Facebook statuses (probably for a specific audience that you don't know even exists at this point, btw). When someone is giving you mixed messages, pay attention only to the parts of the message that tell you what you DON'T want to hear.

Frankly this person sounds mixed-up at best, and the more you interact with her, the more mixed-up you become. She has taken you by the hand and led you a merry dance through Bananasville. I feel very sorry for you.

It's your life, and I can understand why you want this so badly and why you're probably dying to see this through to whatever end it will come to, if only to satisfy your curiosity. I think that you will find that it really isn't worth the effort, but if you really need to find this out for yourself, go for it.
posted by tel3path at 7:02 AM on January 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wait, crossposted.

If you're struggling with suicidal feelings, do not interact with this woman any more at all. She will be like poison to you and I'm not kidding.

If you were in robust mental health, the damage might have been almost worth it as a learning experience. If you've been suicidal, then staying away from her is a matter of life or death.

Block her, don't return her calls, erase her, send her one message that you are taking time out to work on your mental health and you won't be in touch, and then DON'T GET IN TOUCH. Don't look at her Facebook, nothing. Cold turkey.

Get professional help immediately for the suicidality and associated problems. Stay AWAY from someone who WILL make those problems worse.
posted by tel3path at 7:05 AM on January 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


So if I decide not to talk to her, then what? Do I delete her? Tell her the friendship is over? Talk about it with her (a few of my friends recommended that)?

Also, thank you for the blunt honest, Tel3path. I know that love is the great equalizer. It makes idiots of us all. :)
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 7:06 AM on January 23, 2012


He lauded me when I said that the one who has the most power in a relationship is the one that cares the least. However, it has been harder for me not to care. All of these issues are chronic (meaning, they've happened with multiple people) and I am just now learning to end the cycle.

I tell you what, this "dating guru" is handing you a recipe for being one of those creepy fortyish dudes who complains about how women ought to date him because he is so awesome but inexplicably they won't. "Dating guru", my ass. What, is this the Ayn Rand school of relationships? "Don't care about the relationship too much because what you need in a relationship is power over the other person", yes, that's a recipe for assholism. Stop now while you still can. (Frankly, the whole "not going to be her douche" comment - ickity ick ick ick, if I were a young woman and I heard you say that, it would raise a GIANT red flag because it's a creepy, gross remark. That's not to say that you're a creepy, gross person - it's just, don't say stuff like that. It doesn't sound tough or manly, it sounds gross.)

You sound really unhappy - just the tone of this post sounds unhappy, and it sure takes me back to my youth when I knew and dated some young men probably not unlike you. Who were actually really nice young men struggling with a lot of the fucked up stuff about gender and patriarchy that make things really difficult for guys.

Here's what I think:

1. Things won't work with this girl, and that's going to be really painful. You absolutely should do whatever you need to to get and maintain distance from her. Try to tough it out for a week because this will help you to make new habits.

2. You sound in this post like you have a lot of anger - at other people, at women, at this woman. You probably also have a lot of buried anger and fear about yourself, because IME that's the fount of a lot of external anger. Men who are angry at women - men who quickly become angry at women when they don't get what they want - are really off-putting and scary, because it's like they can't treat women as regular human beings who also have complicated feelings and also make mistakes.

There's a big difference between "I'm angry at someone because she did [rude, thoughtless thing]" and the sort of deep, uncontrolled rage that some dudes have. A lot of dudes who have too much anger are terrified of "being a doormat" and "not being in control", and they can't relate to women as equals because equality means that no one is "in control" - my experience with this type of fellow is that as long as you're doing what he wants, he'll give you the moon on a silver string, blow his paycheck on you, etc, and then he'll get really angry and resentful and scary if you stop doing what he wants because he thought you were in a transactional relationship - that you owed him love and sex because he was buying you stuff. I used to watch one friend in particular date these awful, awful con artist women and spend all his scanty resources on them, drive them all over creation at the drop of a hat, etc, as long as they provided sex and were fakily agreeable, and then he'd explode into anger and resentment when these women (who were SO obviously not good choices) started showing their true characters. If he'd been able to relate to women as equals instead of sex-and-love-dispensers, he could have seen through these women right away.

3. When you meet someone you can love and trust, you will be able to tell them what you're afraid of and show your weaknesses.(I mean, they'll also like you for your good qualities!) IME, a lot of folks in our hook-up culture get this idea that they have to have impermeable surfaces and never show weakness or...something unspecified and bad will happen.

4. It's not having low self esteem per se that puts people off (I have dreadful self esteem - or so people tell me, I just think I'm realistic - and I still date just fine). It's the low whine of misery in someone's tone, and it's resentment. IME, sometimes folks project resentment to cover up fear, shame and misery - dudes resent women for not putting out and being compliant, people resent others who have skills or luck or beauty, people resent others who have put in work and achieved success. (This is different from critiquing systems that restrict opportunity, or being pissed off because someone has a lot of advantages and acts oblivious and entitled). Resentment is very off-putting because it says to others "I will resent you too as soon as you cross me".

5. On another note, the young woman in question should not be talking to someone who has a thing for her about going back to her ex. That's taking advantage and it's not kind. It's exploitative, because it's using your admiration for her as a big ego-stroke - it's a form of stringing you along. Again IME as a young woman, sometimes it was hard to manage stuff like that - a dude gets hung up on you, you're in a bad situation, it's very easy and tempting to try to have things both ways. It's bad behavior; the one time I took advantage of someone like that is still very high on my Shame List. But it's a human mistake, not some kind of special Woman Mistake that you can avoid if you "care less".
posted by Frowner at 7:06 AM on January 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


Tel3path, she didn't make me suicidal. I confessed those feelings early in the relationship (within a month of knowing her) because I really trusted her. But I see that probably wasn't the best thing. Right now, I'm depressed, but not suicidal.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 7:07 AM on January 23, 2012


Frowner, I understand your frustration, but I'm trying to avoid being the perpetual doormat. I realized during my trip there that I would do ANYTHING for her and I felt like she was starting to take advantage of it. Hence, why I tried to take back my own power.

It's not so much that I think men NEED to be powerful (I try to be feminist) as much as I think you shouldn't let someone have power over you. It's an issue that I'm struggling with and just learning how to manage. Therefore, my thoughts probably aren't as well developed. Ideally, I would want to be in an equal, mutually beneficial relationship where the (realistic) needs of both partners are served.

As for the "dating guru," my campus invited him. He did offer some practical advice, but I'm still sorting through it to figure out how much is fluff. I do agree with him that the one who cares the least does hold the power. And that's because usually the one who cares the most tends to be obsessed. I'm not saying that's bad advice, the idea is not to get obsessed with one person to the point that it is hard to recover when you pull out. And I realize I have this problem.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 7:13 AM on January 23, 2012


Also, regarding the douche comment (I didn't use that phrase literally, I just told her I couldn't handle it) . . . I also recognized this is bad. But I was functioning in "friend mode" at this time so she probably didn't know I couldn't handle it. Or maybe she did. But I agree with your number five. It was wrong.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 7:15 AM on January 23, 2012


[Hi, xShinigamiEyesx, moderator here. You need to sit back a bit now and just read the replies and evaluate the advice. Answering every comment is known as "threadsitting," and is strongly discouraged here. Relax now and see what people have to say without responding to everything.]
posted by taz at 7:18 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dude, just send her one email saying, "Hey, I'm taking some time out to work on myself. I think it's better we don't stay in touch. Best wishes, xShinigamiEyesx."

Then don't read any messages she sends to you, block her, filter your email, close every possible door she could use to gain access to you. The end.

This will be hard. Do it.

It doesn't matter if she made you suicidal or what some dating guru said or did or what. Your mental health has been poor, you need to stay away from things and people that are guaranteed to make it worse. If, instead of getting caught up with this girl, you said you'd been drinking to blackout, I'd tell you to get to AA and stay away from bars. There would be no "but the drinking didn't make me suicidal" or "how do I stay away from bars" or "but I don't like the religious aspect of AA", you could either follow the advice or not, but it would remain what it is.
posted by tel3path at 7:19 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I do agree with him that the one who cares the least does hold the power. And that's because usually the one who cares the most tends to be obsessed. I'm not saying that's bad advice, the idea is not to get obsessed with one person to the point that it is hard to recover when you pull out. And I realize I have this problem.

The solution here is not to get in a position where you have power over the other person. It's to have power over yourself. To understand and have control over your emotions while still being able to open yourself up to another person. Withholding a pert of yourself in order to 'keep control' will only make you miserable and keep you from attracting any woman worth dating.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:21 AM on January 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Honestly, not only should you not date this woman, but you should not date anyone at present. Deal with your depression and your insecurities first. Learn to know a good relationship from a bad one, a psuedo relationship from a real one. Figure out how to relate to women like an adult, and figure out what you can fairly expect from them in return. Learn not to be friends with anyone who treats you like crap. Learn that if you aren't really satisfied with their friendship, you shouldn't be friends under false pretenses expecting things to somehow change at some point. Above all, learn that when someone tells you she's a lesbian, it's game over. If she the next day tells you the two of you should be together, learn that's still game over, because that just makes her too messed up and confused to date.

Learn all this, and then begin again to try to find someone to be with, because only then will you have the tools to keep yourself from winding up in another situation like this.
posted by orange swan at 7:22 AM on January 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


I read the first sentence of your question and then kept reading it, trying to find the relationship you said you needed to get over.

There wasn't one.

I kept reading that you saw indicators of interest, but nothing actually happened. She told you she was a lesbian. This is kind of an inkblot - she has told you she's not interested and she has said things you can construe as her being interested; you believe she is in fact interested and the refusals are a result of her being confused. Why? Because it's what you want to believe.

What you had here was not a relationship in the dating sense; you had a friendship with someone who likes the attention you're giving them and enjoys drama in her life. Which is why she's keeping you on the hook but has never actually been with you, and honestly I'd put a reasonable amount of money on a bet that she never will.

Tell her you need space, tell her you have to be out of touch for a while because you've got some feelings you need to resolve, and then actually do all those things. Hope is toxic in situations like this, and she's feeding you little bites of hope here and there to string you along and keep you on the hook. It doesn't matter why she does this to people, it only matters that you stop letting her do it to you.

Healthy relationships aren't about power. This is, because it's not healthy and it's not even a relationship.

Just walk away. Ideally in the direction of a competent therapist.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:24 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tel3path, she didn't make me suicidal. I confessed those feelings early in the relationship (within a month of knowing her) because I really trusted her. But I see that probably wasn't the best thing. Right now, I'm depressed, but not suicidal.


Look man, if your depression stuff drove her away, she'd have stopped talking to you entirely. Not declare herself lesbian and start sending out mixed messages. It wasn't that.

She sounds like a typical young person--wrestling with a lot of emotions, confusion about their sexuality, and perhaps well-meaning but still quite callous. She desires attention but not necessarily a relationship from the person giving her attention. You are giving her a lot of attention and investing a lot of emotion into this relationship and she was not giving you similar return. Her behavior is confusing and manipulative at the worst.

You sound like a typical socially awkward young person. Insecure about dating and social interactions, thus all of the important relationships in your life must be agonized over endlessly, actions must be analyzed, people need to talk circles around one another about what they're feeling or not feeling. And all of this is complicated by the fact the people involved are generally all in the same insecure, confused-about-feelings boat so conclusions are never really reached.

Here is how you break out of the cycle of overthinking and find freedom. This applies to all your future friendships and romantic relationships, not just chicks:
1) Pay attention to actions

Is she dating you right now? No? OK, she doesn't want to date you. When people want to date you and you want to date them, you date. It is not like storybooks where everyone goes on a journey of self-discovery that ends in two lovers reconnecting and eternal happiness. No, in the real world people date when they want to date.

2) If someone says "Yes" then "No" then "Yes" then "No" then "Yes" etc it means NO.

If someone feels good about you--good enough to be worthy dating--they say "Yes" and date you. No mixed messages. "Feel good" doesn't even mean "in love", it means "mildly attracted enough to go on a few dates to try things out." This chick isn't even at that point yet.

3) If a relationship causes you this amount of confusion and frustration and you've known the person for less than a year, the relationship is not worth it.

People who cause this much drama this early into friendships or romantic relationships are people who like drama. It sucks to be in relationships with people like that.


4) Ending short-term friendships/relationships should be short, final, and you must stand firm.

The relationships in point (3) are not worth drama or agony of a drawn-out ending. Without an extended history you do not owe the person anything and they do not owe you anything. Contact the person, say a couple sentences along the lines of "I am not getting what I need out of this relationship, I need to work on myself, I would prefer to stop talking with you", block them, defriend them, whatever and stop talking period. No matter how many times they contact you, because someone invested in this level of drama and mixed-messages will try to re-establish contact and set up the cycle again.
posted by schroedinger at 7:29 AM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I read like two sentences of this and was already screaming "run away, run away".

Dude, I have been there. She is fucking with you. You are not capable of handling a relationship like this in a healthy way. Do not do this to yourself.

Stop looking at her facebook. Defriend her. Get on with your life.

And for god sakes, don't listen to dating gurus.

You should really stop trying to date for a while and get your shit together. You'll find someone eventually who is actually available for you.
posted by empath at 7:30 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


None of the information you provide (including the awesome Xmas gift) make this girl sound like a good person - maybe she is, maybe she will be later, but she is not good for you. Take the very thoughtful advice provided by people who want you to get help and get yourself organized before worrying about romance.

And what is going on on campus that a dating guru will come in and yet you don't see to be getting the help you need for serious depression?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:33 AM on January 23, 2012


You're slowly trying to pull her towards you, and you're being so kind and friendly and supportive to hear that you make it impossible for her to push herself away without feeling bad. Thus you have her trapped. She is playing her own part in this by trapping you in turn - feeding off the support you give her and dropping confusing hints, which keeps you close, hoping that she will "come back around", so you give her more, and so on. You're both vulnerable enough to crave this kind of false intimacy and so you're both stuck.

This unhappy painful drama is being perpetuated by your lack of honesty with yourself. Why would you do anything for her? Because you like her so much? Or because you want something? You want her to respect you, but are you respecting her? Are you really her friend, or just someone who wants to fuck her? If that was really and truly off the table -- as it should be given this history -- would you still be friends with her?

This dynamic is not working for you, and I doubt you are in a place where you can be her friend without more drama. Tell her you need space and stop talking to her, and let go of the idea that she is going to come around one day.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:33 AM on January 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


Therefore, I try to be a friend to get her to like me and I feel miserable the entire time

I don't know if anyone called you out on this, but don't ever, EVER do that. That would be called "Nice Guy" syndrome. Take that link seriously and you'll already be halfway on your way to healthier relationships with women. I will note that more than a few women can tell when you're doing it, and it rarely ever works.

Also, if she's identified to you as a lesbian with no fluid interest in men, that's where you should have stopped getting your hopes up, emotionally moved on, and been there for her as a friend. True friend, not be-friends-in-the-hopes-I-get-laid friend. And if you can't be that to her, the healthiest thing at this point is to stop contacting her, spare both of you a long parting facebook message or phonecall and let it be.
posted by Ashen at 7:34 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kalessin: Thanks for that. I do realize that I spent too much time with her at times and spent little time with her at others. I think my major issue was that I was too clingy. I neglected to mention that when I told her I liked her, I was feeling suicidal at that moment and confessed it.

Oh, and holy shit, don't ever do that to someone again. If you weren't serious about it, it's abusive, assholish behavior, and if you were serious about it, you need to be in therapy today. Get help from your RA or whatever resources you have from the college.
posted by empath at 7:41 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is an Internet thing. It's not real. Move on.

ALSO - she likes women! It's not gonna happen. You've done all of this to yourself, IMHO, by not understanding this preference on her part will not change. She likes women. She likes women.

Frowner nailed this. You're not listening, so far. Re-read that comment. It might save you years of angst and drama, if only you can see the patterns you're engaging in.

You don't owe this Internet person any more of an explanation. Just block, delete, and get to work on yourself. Do it.
posted by jbenben at 8:13 AM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just called our University's Student Counseling Services and I set up an appointment as a result of the comments posted here. As of right now, I'm reluctant to block, although I know I probably should. This is to prevent possibly undoing those actions at a later date.

At the very least, I am getting help! And I think that's important!
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 8:26 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


FWIW, I don't think it's fair to say this wasn't a "real" thing. Regardless of whether or not this was really a relationship, the feelings are real and that's what matters in the moment. You liked her and then you got your heart broken. I think it's important to honor these feelings.

Your question is about how you get over it while keeping the possibility open to be together in the future. Like all the other answerers, I don't think there will be a possibility to be together in the future, and even if there was, it wouldn't be healthy for you. She told you she's a lesbian. Either she's a lesbian, in which case, sorry, you're the wrong gender, or she was lying, in which case, well, she's a liar.

But here's the thing: even if there were good reasons to be with this woman, I truly believe that when things end with someone, you always need to get over them as if there's no possibility for the future. It's the ONLY way to get over someone. I understand that seems scary now. You still want to be with her, so moving on feels scary, like you're losing that chance.

But you just have to find a way to have faith that you will meet someone else who is right for you and it will be SO MUCH BETTER than the friendship you had with this girl.

As for practical solutions, I suggest talking to a therapist. You're in school, which means you should have access to at least some form of talk therapy. Also, along the lines of Frowner's advice: I would suggest trying to make some platonic female friends. Only do this if you can do so not as a way to find a girlfriend. In fact, promise yourself you won't date anyone for the next 6 months if that's what it takes. But I really think you could benefit from hard evidence that women are just other people, not mysterious creatures sent to earth to vex you.
posted by lunasol at 8:34 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


As of right now, I'm reluctant to block, although I know I probably should. This is to prevent possibly undoing those actions at a later date.

Don't block her on anything, but don't engage either. Hide her on Facebook so she doesn't show up in your feed. This will be a good time to learn self-control: Don't check up on her. Don't close doors, but make it clear that you need space, and stick to it.

And don't think of this in terms of the future. The hope that this might change is a bad thing in this case. It means that every time she says anything you could construe as encouraging, you will hear that and not whatever else she's saying.

As far as getting what you want from this - a relationship - that ship has sailed. In fact, it never stopped at your port in the first place. Everything you do right now needs to be in aid of two things: Fixing yourself, and letting go of your emotional entanglement with this woman and/or your desire to be with her. It's over. It's not only over but it never started. Get space and let it be.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:34 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This girl is playing you, lesbian or no.

The only relationships I've ever had that were worth having did not involve "power games." I've had the other kind, too, but they were a waste of time and energy. The good kind of relationship will come your way if you're sincere about wanting a partner. Don't get burned by this one experience.

The "friend zone" is not a thing. The only guys I friend zone are guys I would never date in the first place. You are who you are, it will come out eventually-- so work on being the best person you can be, to yourself and others.
posted by stoneandstar at 9:03 AM on January 23, 2012


I know that love is the great equalizer. It makes idiots of us all.

That's not true. Believing this will set you up for a world of hurt in your relationships. Real love brings peace of mind. Manipulation on your part or another's, confused motives, clinging desperation, etc. (basically most of the stuff going on here with you and this girl) are not things that should be present in a healthy relationship. That's not love. Love makes you stronger, not weaker.

And yes, sometimes people we choose to date and love will let us down, but even in those cases, it isn't love that made those people jerks, it was simple human error or deception on their parts.

And love shouldn't make you a doormat. Forgiveness is one thing, surrender is another, and yes love is about those things too, but what you're going through here is not actually a display of any of that.

Regardless of whether or not this was really a relationship, the feelings are real and that's what matters in the moment.

This kind of thinking will make you crazy if you're depressed, have low self esteem or are in a vulnerable emotional state for a different reason. If you think like this, you prioritize sensation above wisdom and you can fool yourself into thinking infatuation is love, unstable or untrustworthy people are actually really awesome, well-adjusted potential partners... if only you keep all those plates spinning, say the right thing, do the right thing, whatever.

I promise you, the right person won't be driven away by your genuine vulnerabilities. You're inventing the possibility that there is reciprocal, healthy love here and that this girl will turn around and be your partner someday. It's never going to happen. She likes girls but isn't willing to let you 100% go romantically, maybe out of pity, maybe out of confusion or even selfishness. The reason doesn't matter. Stop talking to her.

Chances are, someday you'll find real love, and believe me, it will look NOTHING like this. Real love NEVER does.
posted by devymetal at 9:47 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


I haven't read everyone's answers so it may have already been said.

(coming from a lesbian) It is a VERY difficult process to go through , admitting/realizing and understanding who you really are. If she has already been with girls and is confused STAY AWAY you will only get very hurt. You need to let her figure herself out and if you can not just be friends then you need to move on it's not worth it.

On another note, step back and think about why you are stuck on her. I bet you will realize it has nothing to do with her at all and more about your own insecurities and going after something safe. In other words it's safe to like her because deep down you know it will never happen and this way you can't really be rejected - You are WAY better than that, go out there and find someone that deserves someone like you!
posted by kungfusaki at 10:51 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Regardless of whether or not this was really a relationship, the feelings are real and that's what matters in the moment.

This kind of thinking will make you crazy if you're depressed, have low self esteem or are in a vulnerable emotional state for a different reason. If you think like this, you prioritize sensation above wisdom and you can fool yourself into thinking infatuation is love, unstable or untrustworthy people are actually really awesome, well-adjusted potential partners... if only you keep all those plates spinning, say the right thing, do the right thing, whatever.


That's not really what I intended to convey, sorry if I was unclear. What I was getting at is that, often in these situations, especially with people who have low-self-esteem, they will feel doubly bad - they'll have the hurt feelings of rejection, PLUS they'll feel bad for feeling so bad. It actually has nothing to do with the other person - it's about understanding how you're feeling, and letting yourself feel that way without judgment.

You can honor your feelings without letting them rule your life. Again, therapy is helpful for this.
posted by lunasol at 3:37 PM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of weird, but I actually feel better after applying the advice today! I decided that every little accomplishment is a victory. I did Facebook stalk today, but I also stopped going to her site, mostly to avoid her being able to track my IP (that's one way to put an end to that habit!). I'm realizing by doing that, the temptation is decreasing. Additionally, I called my school's counseling center, scheduled an appointment, and even dragged myself to a Japanese club meeting that I wanted to attend. These are all significant steps.

I'm also seriously considering not dating for six months. I already have several significant female friends at my University, so I'm not lacking in that department. I think the best thing I can do to recover is to build a new life, work on my self-confidence, and become the best person I can be!

Thanks everyone!
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 5:05 PM on January 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


So I finally got the confirmation that I needed that she truly is a lesbian and she doesn't feel the same. Yeah, it kicked my heart in the behind, but it also made me feel oddly better. I had to talk to her and be upfront, but she told me what I needed to hear. I'm not sure where the friendship is going to go, but I can only hope for the best.

On a positive, I started asking multiple people out and I am "playing the field" a bit (in the sense of getting to know people). I know that I was discouraged from doing this, but given my low self-esteem, this has also helped. I know that I can be in a relationship and that it has nothing to do with me. I'm just shy and I'm learning to get over it.
posted by xShinigamiEyesx at 11:53 PM on January 28, 2012


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