How can I make sure past unrequited feelings never return and just try to remain friends?
October 15, 2012 6:34 PM Subscribe
I really need help in dealing with a situation of unrequited love with a best friend, to becoming complete strangers, and then back to best friends again.
posted by stonecutters88 to Human Relations (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I apologize if this is quite long, but for an extended period I've gone through a situation with a best girlfriend of mine, and I need advice on how to handle my current situation. She's 22 and I'm a 24 year old male.
A little background on myself and our relationship. I was always a very shy, sheltered person growing up. I never was open to very much and was usually pretty anti-social. Upon meeting her she managed to not only open me up and get me to try new things, but changed my life in ways nobody ever has before. She was the first person I slept with, and someone that always wanted to hang out with me. She's a very special person to me.
We met a little over 3 years ago through a mutual friend and hit it off immediately. We were able to talk easily, flirt, and thoroughly enjoyed each others company. Our friendship quickly escalated. In the months that followed we escalated into becoming best friends, and then best friends with benefits. It was a mutual decision that we both wanted and we had fun in doing so.
But you guessed it, complications started to arise in our friendship, and it was explained to me through my friends that she wanted more (I should have seen the signs but more detail in that later). I wasn't ready for a relationship at the time and although we never really talked about it, we never ended up together. But fate has an odd way of working, and slowly my feelings develop very deeply for her and I asked her out. She turned me down and said we should just remain best friends.
I did not handle being turned down very well. I was so sure we were going to be together that it was the only thing going through my head, and when it didn't happen I became needy, clingy and turned into a completely different person. We managed to remain best friends, but my deep feelings remained and she started to confide in me about other guys she hooked up with and was dating. It was at that point I should have left but I wanted to stay loyal to our friendship. For 10 months I went through what I would call hell, and although we still had amazing times together, I felt like it got to a point I was no longer being a very good friend.
I left, and told her I could no longer be friends with her while I still had very deep feelings for her. She hated me for doing it, but I tried to explain that I needed time and space to let my heart heal so one day I could be a good friend to her again without being fake or thinking there was ulterior motives. I'll admit I didn't leave in what would be considered an ideal way, but I had to do it.
I made tremendous progress in healing. My friends and family noticed a significant improvement in my happiness, and my life was getting back on track. Then 6 months into our silence, my ex-best girlfriend messaged me out of the blue, and asked if we could be on speaking terms and for me to stop ignoring her. After thinking about it very long and hard, I messaged her back and we agreed to meet up and talk. Surprisingly there was no awkwardness between us. We communicated slowly and saw each other a little bit in the beginning. Over time we started getting closer again, and she realized how much I'd changed and how I truly was better off for leaving, and she even told me so. In her words I felt more "real" and she seemed to enjoy my company even more than before. We still go through a few periods of silence, but she considered me her best friend for life again.
Now my current dilemma is that I want to make sure I don't have those feelings return. I'll admit I've had a few days where I can feel my stomach churning again when I think about her, but I'm still in a much better place. I really enjoy her company, and I would not want to go through what I went through before of unrequited feelings. The two things that scare me the most are having my feelings return, or that she'll regret her decision and pull away from being friends again, and both will hurt a lot. I just want to be able to stay friends and only friends.
Can anyone please tell me what they would do if you were in a similar situation? Some of my lifelong friends are pretty disappointed I let her back in my life because of what she put me through.
So any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
Also if there's questions or more details needed I should be able to provide, I tried to keep it short enough and to the point.