I've got PTSD and am socially isolated in graduate school. I met a hot guy, and had to friend-dump him because he's in a long distance relationship. Tell me I did this right!
posted by cheberet to Human Relations (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I’m a mid-twenties female who works a very high-stress job in developing countries — not military — and am currently at a Very Elite Graduate School to get my masters degree. I have had a brutal past three years, which included witnessing scenes of extreme violence and death, an abusive workplace, the death of multiple friends (which I had to help clean up after), and an emotionally abusive, scary relationship with a profoundly mentally ill boyfriend. I am a little messed up right now.
I’m currently in therapy to work on my problems, and am doing OK in grad school. I'm holding up fine.
Now, as for dating/meeting people…I haven't so much as kissed anyone since my ex and I broke up a year and a half ago, and am finally feeling interested in some kind of relationship again.
I’m naturally sociable, but my school is super work focused and I'm off-campus, so I’m isolated and have found it hard to make friends. I hang out in bars alone, attend meet-ups, and go to every public event I can. (Due to some of my problems and my career, Internet dating is not feasible for me).
Finally, I Met A Dude I Liked, a very rare occurrence of late. Super attractive, a little older than me, and shares my interests and my black sense of humor. After we met at the bar, he went to the effort of getting my number from his housemate (who asked for it to share upcoming art events with me) and texted to say he liked my website. Lots of texting about books and music ensued.
We met for drinks a couple more times, and he invited me over to his house last week for coffee, before we headed to a bar. He's VERY concerned with how certain I am about moving back overseas when I’m done with my program in the summertime. The answer is about 98%, which he didn't seem cheery about. Smoldering glances, lots of un-needed hugs, he’s super awkward around me, tells me I smell great, obviously Googled me…he's interested.
...Until I accidentally opened a browser tab on his laptop, while looking for music, and saw he was looking up...emergency contraception? I said nothing, but he got super flustered and muttered something quietly about “no pressing NEED for it, I was just talking about how it worked with my girl in (his homecity on the other side of the country).” Oh ho ho! Let it drop, and we went to the bar. NOTHING happened beyond flirtation and a goodbye hug. My guard was way up.
We had planned to go to the beach two days after this, and on the drive over there, after he was finally able to form coherent sentences again upon seeing me (this took 20 minutes), he said something offhand about how his girlfriend was a vegetarian. Well, there you have it. We hung out awkwardly for the rest of the day, and he asked if I’d met anyone I found appealing here. I said I hadn’t, and he offered half-heartedly to be my wing man — which I said wasn't going to work. And then he asked me if I wanted to go camping, or cook together. HAH.
I’ve been in this situation once before - I even posted to Metafilter about it! - where I’m spending too much time with a guy who’s really hot, who’s attracted to me, who keeps trying to hang out with me, and who has a relationship. Never again. Not now, especially.
So I friend-dumped him. I told him I found him attractive, that he had a girlfriend, and it wasn’t going to work as platonic friends.
He got a little butthurt about it. I'll admit I got drunk and sent him a text in response saying “I’m sorry, I have PTSD and I’m messed up, you’re awesome.” Left it there. I intend to LEAVE it there. Hoping the PTSD bomb will keep him run off.
But I do feel sad. He's the first person I've been romantically interested in in years beyond my ex, and the only person I've made a real connection with here, even on a platonic level. I need more companionship badly...but what I DON’T need is an attractive, flirty, interesting friend who’s in a long distance relationship that he sure hates talking about.
Folks: I need reassurance I did the right thing. Oh, and some pointers on dating with PTSD and how — and when — to bring it up.