Summer fling, don't mean a thing - or not
July 1, 2012 9:22 AM Subscribe
Getting far too emotionally invested in a fling. Would love advice on how to move forward...
posted by pikeandshield to human relations (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a 22 year old female grad student with very, very little romantic experience - I am by nature (and culture) reserved, a bit too rational, and overstudious, such that although I've had a few approaches/failed starts/dates (and people do tell me that I am pretty/appear otherwise confident etc etc) I've never been in a relationship, and don't really know how.
Then a few weeks ago I met a guy (also 22) through a mutual friend. We hit off instantly (gosh, his eyes!), but he was moving halfway across the world in a few weeks time as a kind of post-graduation gap year. After a few more dates we kissed, and he said that he really wished we had met earlier. He said we could just be friends, or have a fling - and though I declined at first (I had always expected my first relationship to be conventional, going through the steps sequentially etc), I was sick of being so inhibited, and went with what my heart wanted in the moment.
The next few weeks we saw each other almost every day, went on long walks, cooked dinners, went dancing; he introduced me to a hobby of his which I discovered I surprisingly loved. (I also had sex for the first time, which he left completely to my decision, and I don't regret.) He went out of his way to make time for me, and I do think he genuinely liked me too. I had tried really hard to stay emotionally half-detached from the situation - but as we got to know each other better and talked about our childhood, family, career aspirations, life outlook etc, I can feel myself starting to like him too much. He is similar to me in many ways, yet has a much more spontaneous, laid-back approach to life that I always wished I could have.
I *know* I'm probably stuck in the phase that people call infatuation/limerence; a few weeks is definitely not long enough to know someone; if there hadn't been the 'circumstances are tearing us apart!' dramatic element I may not have fired up so much; etc etc. I know all this, and I know that an LDR is not really an option - I don't want to tie him down when he's just about to start a new life, and though we've never really talked about it, I think we both wanted it to be 'just a fling' (regardless of how we feel now). But the thought of never seeing him again makes me miserable. I'm already feeling sentimental as my friends are all parting ways to move on to wonderful exciting things, and with the addition of him leaving (to also do wonderful exciting things) I'm starting to feel as though everyone is leaving me behind in life.
I'm seeing him for the last time tomorrow. What should I do? Should I stay in contact with him (as friends), or is it better if I cut him off completely and close that chapter in the book? How do I cope with this feeling of misery? He's asked me to visit several times (though he says that to all of his friends) - would this be a very very bad idea? (It's a destination I've always wanted to go to, annoyingly.) For future reference, would it have been better if I hadn't pursued this at all and avoided the heartbreak? Any general advice is great.