Why can't I quit her? My head says NO but my heart says GO. please HELP!
April 30, 2009 7:42 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I quit her? My head says NO but my heart says GO. please HELP!

Some pretext before you start reading: I'm a pretty conservative guy. I've only had one serious relationship in the past (for one year and it ended badly when I started attending college). The prospect of one-night stands aren't that appealing to me. In the four years I attended undergrad, I've had opportunities to 'hook up' with girls but decided to pass if there wasn't a prospective of a relationship. In short, I was always looking for that special connection with someone. I never found it throughout college (in part because I wasn't actively looking; instead I sacrificed the latter two years of my social life for academics). Things changed recently with a person I never ever thought of as a potential girlfriend.

Here are the details:

I'm 23, recently graduated and work full time. She's 20, and will be a rising junior at the school I graduated from. We are both from the same hometown but school separates us 100 miles apart during the semester.

We met through a mutual friend, actually her ex-boyfriend (and only bf) of two years. I consider him a good friend and while the two were dating, it NEVER crossed my mind that I could see her as a potential girlfriend. However, they had a falling out as soon as she left for her freshman year (my senior year); they don't speak to each other anymore, I don't speak to him at all anymore, (and he has moved four states over).

Things started heating up this past winter when she came back from school and I had time off from work. We hung out on a daily basis, and although there was nothing intimate, there was a special bond forming between us. Daily hugs were long and drawn out, we would hold hands and cuddle on the couch for movies. After she left to go back for school, I thought that would be the end of communication, but she constantly texted me, which would follow up with me calling her every two or three days. I would never call her on the weekend out of respect for her space and allowing her to 'enjoy the social college scene'. Plus, I didn't want to be a burden if I called everyday. Conversations would be filled with nothing and everything, and for the first time in a long time, I finally felt that special connection. We flirted through text and I talked about going to visit her. However, things reached a boiling point when I mentioned the idea of visiting her for valentine's day, in which she abruptly told me that the flirting had to stop. She said she wasn't ready for a relationship, wanted to explore her options with other guys but wanted us to stay amicable and be 'friends'. Yes, the dreaded F word. Caught in the moment, and in an act of desperation, I told her everything that was on my mind and how I felt about her, how it was only the beginning of something special, and how I didn't want to lose that. It culminated into me running out of words to say and us deciding to take a break from talking to let things cool.

Fast forward two weeks later (late Feb). I caved. I texted her a simple, 'how are you doing', and this vicious cycle continued again. Flirting. Laughing. Long passionate hugs and holding hands. Pretending everything was the same again before that 'talk'. She would now start sending emails to me at work. I visited her a few times, with the first time slept over (but on her couch), and most recently (about a month ago) slept over with her. However, things did not get intimate, and I did not want to bring up the issue in an effort to avoid that awkwardness. Note: a main reason why I am attracted to her is that she is very conservative and although we didn't get intimate, I definitely felt it was progress from both sides.

Two weeks ago, I went back to school for a big concert and she knew I would be in town, however, not a single call or text Fri or Sat. I gave her a call and we met up for a picnic Sun. Things were going smoothly until I dropped her off, and in a jokingly way said 'hey, you never called me the last few days'. She shrugged it off and said 'you know we are really good friends. You have your friends at home and I have mine at school'. We left things at that
and there have been one or two texts between us the last two weeks. I've tried to give her space by not calling her at all, especially since final exams are this week. But in the last few days, I feel like salt is being poured on my open heart wound - on her facebook, she's been flirting with a new guy non-stop whom she met through her best friend at school.

I have not said or mentioned a single word to her about this new guy, nor have I called her in almost two weeks. However, in the past five months, if there was a lull in the communication I would call her and things would be 'back to normal' and have escalated progressively each time. This is where my ambivalence sets in - I can't help to think that if I cut her off completely, then I would lose out on the opportunity. The only reason I am seriously contemplating contacting her is that I just don't want to look back and regret not doing enough at the time.

Perhaps in the back of my mind, I keep thinking that something 'great' would eventually develop out of this 'not so much friends, yet not gf/bf' relationship. However, it has become too taxing on my heart, with all the rollercoaster up and downs associated with it. I feel like I am perpetually trying to catch that prized fish, I know exactly where it is, keep dipping in the water, but only get nibs back. If I continue to try, will I eventually catch it?
I told myself I would never want to be the guy that would do all the chasing, and in order for a relationship to work, both sides would have to put in equal weight. In some aspects this hurts more than my first (and only) serious relationship post-break up. For my first relationship, the timing was right but the connection (looking back now) wasn't that great. Now, in my current situation, the connection is off the charts, but the timing is a little off. I am extremely attracted to her physically but can't see us being only friends.

I'm stuck in a rut now and I don't know which way to turn. The past year since my graduation has been a downward spiral. I had a great paying job with a career path set up, but was laid off due to the economy two months into 'the real world'. Returned back home and found another job, live at home, and give half my paycheck to my folks to help out with the mortgage because my father lost his job as well. The opportunities to meet women are bleak, since the demographics within the new company are middle-aged and with families.

So which way do I turn? Run for the hills and cut her off (something I don't think I am ready for yet), or continue to keep it casual (even though it burns like hell to find out about this new guy)? I am still (foolishly perhaps) holding onto the hope that when she gets back home for the summer, we would have more time together as she wouldn't be bogged down with schoolwork and the distance.

I sincerely appreciate any advice you guys have. Thanks for listening (and reading).
posted by anonymous35 to Human Relations (35 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
She's not a girlfriend. She's a friend. And as far as she is responsible for this mess (I think your preconceptions are 90+% to blame, to be honest) not a great one for you. Stop talking to her, stop reading Facebook (if you're prone to this sort of thing, don't have a fb/stalker catnip account in the first place), get some interests and hobbies and meet new women. Her interest in you as anything other than a friend is zero, as evidenced by the fact that "heating up"=hugs. You've convinced yourself that there's something there when there isn't. Accept that and pour your energy into something else.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:51 PM on April 30, 2009

Man, Anonymous35, sounds like stuff is rough these days for you. I understand much of what you are going through, and I've been through similar issues myself. The difference here is that you've already let her know how you feel and she's clearly not on the same page. She likes having you when you're around, and she clearly also likes spending time with other guys when you're not (or even sometimes when you are). Since the two of you are not on the same page, I think you may possibly be holding out for something that will only hurt you more. If you are this torn up about what hasn't even happened yet in a casual, undefined more-than-friends thing, then I'm afraid that it's going to hurt WAY worse later when she continues a relatively typical college girl behavior (flirting and getting attention from guys). I believe that part of your issue may be related to the general Life Rut that you are in, and the companionship of this great girl is a much needed distraction from the icky other situations. Continuing to keep it casual, while temporarily fun, may likely burn you more in the long run, especially if you have a wonderful summer and then she returns to school to hop back into her old patterns, although after a summer with you, maybe she'd want to stick it out, but long distance is tough, especially when you're in college. On the other hand, heartbreak is part of life, and although it sucks (and I am one to avoid it), it does indeed build up scar tissue.

Best of luck to you.
posted by cachondeo45 at 7:54 PM on April 30, 2009

This is one of those situations where you think you're really unique, but everyone has experienced it, everyone has gotten the same advice, and everyone has ignored it until they hit their breaking point. So, let me give you the advice you will likely ignore.

Do not talk to her. Cold turkey. You say you're not ready to cut her off, but it's the opposite. You're not ready to talk to her yet. You need space and time to build some emotional distance. Once you've built that distance, you can decide if you want to resume communication. Famous quote: "If, after having been exposed to someone's presence, you feel as if you've lost a quart of plasma, avoid that presence. You need it like you need pernicious anemia. "
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 7:56 PM on April 30, 2009 [11 favorites]

Take a break from her. It will suck for while, and that's the point: your liking her begets the reason to distance yourself.

And to answer your question: If I continue to try, will I eventually catch it?

I don't think anyone is the history of the world has been convinced into going out with someone—or perhaps capitulated, but not persuaded.

Anyway: right now you're that guy: the one back home, the older one, the graduate. And your current life probably looks unappetizing to her, or at least as an unappealing as it is to you.

Work on yourself first. This might not mean you'll get her, but it will prepare you for the next girl, and the one after that.

You said: I just don't want to look back and regret not doing enough at the time.

For the purposes of your sanity, don't think this. It never, ever comes down to what you did or didn't do or say. You will think it did, and it might seem that way, but it's not; it will never be.

Good luck.
posted by trotter at 8:02 PM on April 30, 2009 [4 favorites]

You are in a rut and your brain is telling you you need this girl to escape. This girl is not in to you. Also, she is behaving borderline unethically. She knows how you feel about her and she seems to be in part using you for your attention and admiration. You sound like your head is on pretty straight; I recommend you find something to do to foster appreciation of yourself. Start journalling, for example. Your life consists of your paycheck and this girl. Thats bullshit. You can get out of it. If journalling isnt your thing, start working out. Do anything you can improve and feel good about yourself. This single girl is the only thing in your life that makes you feel good; thats unhealthy. You might also want to look into online dating.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 8:17 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

Sounds to me like you had your chance, you didn't take it, and she got tired of waiting for you and moved on. With that said, cut her off. You won't feel better having constant reminders of her and this new dude. Don't make a big deal about it or tell her what you're doing... just fade into black and give her complete space. Find ways to spend your time that don't involve thinking about her.

I think the biggest problem is that you're coming from a position of scarcity as far as women are concerned. You don't date much and you haven't found that many girls that you have been romantically interested in - that makes losing this one girl so difficult.

I'd suggest trying to meet some more women than you normally do. You'll probably find that girls that pique your interest aren't as rare as you once thought, which'll make the prospect of losing one or more of them a little easier to bear.

Hang tight, try to move on.
posted by PFL at 8:38 PM on April 30, 2009

Anony, I really feel for you, as does the rest of the human race (we have all been there at one time or another and to be honest, I'm in a similar state right now, but am getting over the infatuation -- I thought my head was going to explode for a while).

This is partially what helped me: learning a bit more about limerance. To realize that half of this is your head and not in reality. You mentioned that you already told her how you feel (congrats, seriously, a lot of people can't get to that point) -- but she told you, she was looking to meet other people, etc. That is your answer.

As the other posters have mentioned, take a break. Don't respond to any invites, don't even have a long phone conversation. Focus on why you need to end this and focus on things such as how she already told you that she was not interested. To get over a guy, I sometimes focus on behaviors that make him a jerk -- I think about his bad traits

If you live in a large enough city, try craigslist - there will be lots of people available right now. Go and meet some of these people (don't use them to get over the person, but if you are ready to meet other people, keep an open mind, etc.).

After a week, a few weeks, however much time you need -- you can go back to your friend (only if you want this person as a friend, but free yourself of the obsession first). But remember this is a friend and nothing more. Reset your mind first. Good luck.
posted by Wolfster at 8:42 PM on April 30, 2009

The opportunity is gone. Ignore your inner romantic and go cold turkey no contact. It's for the best.
posted by Happydaz at 8:44 PM on April 30, 2009

She said she wasn't ready for a relationship, wanted to explore her options with other guys but wanted us to stay amicable and be 'friends'.

That's it in a nutshell.

Sorry to call a spade a spade, but "not ready for a relationship" means "not ready for a relationship with you."

The very second a guy shows up whose fedora is worn at the kind of rakish, jaunty angle that pushes all her buttons, she'll be suddenly be more than ready for a relationship with him, and you'll be standing somewhere on the sidelines feeling like shit. And that's somewhere you don't want to be.

The best way to avoid this is by repeating to yourself a thousand times a day: "it's not going to happen; it's not going to happen" instead of reading possibly-maybe-kinda-sorta-more-than-friends intentions in her actions, because they're really not there.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:51 PM on April 30, 2009 [5 favorites]

With time it will get better. Find something time consuming to do.
posted by zenon at 8:52 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Cut this off.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:18 PM on April 30, 2009

Speaking from a similar (and painfully ongoing *sigh*) experience, the hurt and damage of letting yourself linger in the spot that you are now in is only going to harm and won't ever help. Staying in contact right at this moment is only going to prolong your suffering. You will continue to endure those achingly wistful highs and those nauseating crashes, while she remains either blissfully unaware or willfully blind to what you're feeling ... it hurts, and it drains too much of you away from areas of your life that you can control and improve.

Try to think of it this way: right now she knows that you're interested, she knows that whatever connection you guys have is (for whatever reason) not something that's making her picture herself as your partner, and she knows that her mild rebuffs haven't put you off - so at the moment you are at best that 'safety net,' that fall-back guy she knows will always be there if the people she's currently interested in don't work out.

Don't do that to yourself.

Whatever connection you guys have can only be hurt by allowing things to continue as they are because it's constructing you as someone who can safely be taken for granted - I'm not saying that she is deliberately treating you that way, but I've got to think that that's how it's playing out. 'People treat us how we teach them to treat us' and all, yeah?

It sounds like you've done everything you can at this point. Carry on as you are and you'll only dig deeper the unhealthy rut the two of you are already in. Separate yourself for a while to take care of yourself, and who knows? Maybe she'll realize that she misses you and that the connection you guys have is special after all. Or maybe she'll meet someone else and connect with that person. If the former happens, wonderful, but if the latter happens ... well, as of right now it could obviously happen anyway, so what are you risking?

I'm sorry that you're going through this right now. It sucks, and I hope that you can do what I can't seem to do and darned well take care of yourself. Good luck to you.
posted by DingoMutt at 9:27 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

I'm really sorry, but I think you're her "Cuddle Bitch"

Unfortunately for you, I think you're a friend - if she had wanted more if would have already happened. You don't have to cut her off, but you may need to re-frame the way you see things, ruling out any potential relationship. If all the hand holding and timid intimacy confuses or annoys you, tell her to stop it already.
posted by lottie at 9:31 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

I spent almost two years in this situation and it took me a long time to realize that trying to rationalize my irrational desire for this girl was completely useless, that the girl was not interested in a romantic relationship with me, and there was nothing I could do to change this situation. She was one of the best friends I have ever had, but I regret the last 4 months it took for me to understand the reality of the situation.

Though some will possibly disagree with this, I would suggest talking to her before you cut everything off. I never told this girl exactly what happened when it all fell apart, and even though she probably knows, I think I would feel better now if I would have ended it by reaffirming to her my feelings and how important she was to me, but that things couldn't continue like this. I think this would help with getting a sense of closure. Only after about a year of her being with another guy did I manage to let go of the last handful of hope that thought it could yet work some day.

It'll be really hard and painful, but do not leave it a day longer. The longer you leave it the more days you will feel you wasted and missed out on living life to the full once you (inevitably) do get over her. Also, you are lucky in a sense, because you don't go to the same university, which should make it a bit easier. Good luck man.
posted by atmosphere at 9:37 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]

Uh, you're trying to be "the "Nice Guy." Stop. Find a girl who actually wants to date you.
posted by delmoi at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2009 [4 favorites]

Hey, I was like you once. A lot. You know what? The other day here there was a question by someone about your age asking what older people would do more of if they were that age again. The first thing that came to my mind was that I wouldn't be like you are and I was. You're 23, getting all clingy with your bad self, and while I think she may at one time not minded if you jumped her bones, I agree with the others that say the moment has passed. Another bit I can offer from experience is that as long as you're not agoraphobic or anything, forgetting about her won't be as hard as you think it will be.

Just stop, though. See how long it is until you hear from her, I bet one of the first things she says will be some variation on "I haven't heard from you." It will be then that you realize that you are doing all the chasing.

That said, you're at your parents'. You're helping them financially and all of that sounds very cool, but it also might make it tough to think about the possibility of sex. Even if you weren't so hung up about it, that is.
posted by rhizome at 10:54 PM on April 30, 2009

Cut her off cold, STAT. I went through this so many times before I figured out how to cultivate a healthy relationship, it's just utter misery. I think I spent most of my 20's totally "in love" with one friend or another who wasn't particularly interested (or perhaps was early on and I failed to make a move) but liked the attention when they weren't getting it elsewhere. You are being used. Not intentionally, but that really doesn't matter. What matters is that she is making you really unhappy, probably knows it, and this will never change. The day she meets someone else, you will be out in the cold.

Look, even if you did end up together (you won't, but, hypothetically), it'll be a short-lived and unhappy one. I know you won't take this advice, but cut her off immediately and start doing something where you will meet other girls. You will find yourself over her remarkably quick when you find another romantic intereset.

Oh, and: Don't tell her you are cutting her off with some sappy, long email that deep down you hope will make her come around. That way lies madness.
posted by cj_ at 11:01 PM on April 30, 2009 [8 favorites]

This is what we call unrequited love. You're in love with an idea of maybe if she finally saw and came around then it would just be wonderful. Problem is, she's not coming around.

There's a saying about letting go of someone you love, and if they come back...but first you have to let go. Your other option is suffering. Maybe you like to suffer, who knows.

Closure is only something you can achieve and that someone else will not give you. You can tell her how you feel, but you will just be trying to influence her again, and she's bound to not react how you like. Angry/sad/pleading letters should be written by you to her and then destroyed, and never sent. Or, put away and read to yourself later when you can say, "What the F was I thinking?"

Also, the Jaycees (a 18/21-39 volunteer/networking org) is a great way to meet people your age, do some good stuff for your community, learn invaluable skills and network. There's a chapter in most cities.
posted by anniek at 11:13 PM on April 30, 2009

Make your daily life what you want it to be, then see how you feel about her (or don't).
posted by salvia at 11:23 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

Unrequited Love: Agony and Rapture. Essential reading for folks in your situation.
posted by halogen at 12:21 AM on May 1, 2009

I'm seconding salvia.

I also want to say that I've been in your shoes and the girl's shoes. From your shoes: I fell head-over-heels for a guy who was "all that" but never my boyfriend--and even worse, he'd emotionally manipulated not one, but two or three other girls before me! The relationship would be all that friendly-but-how-friendly?-hanging-out, everyone asking if we were dating, but we weren't really, and we never did. It was awful. I went without seeing him through a summer and I felt like I saw him everywhere. Everywhere I turned, something reminded me of him.

Then he came to visit me for a day, and I began to fantasize about how our day was going to go, and maybe this would be the day we would declare ourselves, since he was driving a bit to see me--etc. And we had conversations on everything I had fantasized we would talk about (except declaring ourselves). And that day, I fell right back out of love with him. The reality wasn't nearly as good as the fantasy, and all of the sudden I saw his flaws, holes that I couldn't live with (not that he wasn't a wonderful person!). We had a wonderful day, but I couldn't have been happier to see him go. Then, he started wondering about me, and our relationship continued in the "not-relationship" form for a while, but with little pain from my part, since I had realized I couldn't date someone with those qualities. Then he moved on to another girl, and married her. I have absolutely no regrets.

My point is: you fell in love. You can just as easily fall right out of love again. You may never get there. But I hope you do. I had to watch the other three girls pine away for him, and it sucked! Life is too short to spend moping after one person. There are 6 billion people on the planet. I mean, unrequited love always sucks! The day I fell out of love with him, I listened to BB King's "The Thrill is Gone" about a million times. I was so happy something had clicked inside my subconscious.

Now the other shoe: the girl. Well, it's fun to be admired, and to have guys chasing you. Your being there, waiting in the wings, probably gives her the security she needs to flirt with other guys on Facebook. You're a prop, and not much more than that, is what I'm guessing. She's not interested in a relationship with you but she'll emotionally take advantage of the admiration and fawning you have to offer. This is a sticky situation, and I had to remove myself from it (emotionally distance myself from the guy) because I knew, deep down, why I was still hanging out with him: because he liked me so much. Or, as I'm fond of saying: "We had the same thing in common: we both liked me!" From what you're telling of her behavior, I'm guessing that's what she's doing. It sucks. Do you really want to be with someone like that? Who is emotionally manipulating you? And you're not even in a bona-fide relationship! Imagine how much worse it could get. That's why divorces happen.

I know you think, "oh! It was so special! Sparks flew and they'll never fly again!" which is half-true. Sparks fly between people who are almost too good to be friends but one of them isn't interested in dating the other. Take it for what it is. Emotionally distance yourself, get out there, fix your life, date around, and get back to the girl when you feel like you've gotten level-headed.

Is everyone on the planet your friend? No. Why? People are complex and it takes just the right mixture of time, common interests, divergent interests, repeated meetings, and "friend chemistry" for friendships to develop. In fact, more people are not your friend than are your friend, right? So, if you're asking for almost all the same qualities of friendship mixed in with that difficult character--sexual attraction--of course, you're only going to mesh in that way with an even smaller handful of people. You grew up, went to college, and moved back home. How many people have you actually met? Your pool of available people is pretty small right now, which is probably why you seem a little "she's the only girl I'll ever ever ever connect with" right now. But if you get out, and date around, you're going to expose yourself to more and more people, some of whom, even if it's a small number, will have that "chemistry" with you.
posted by Dukat at 12:33 AM on May 1, 2009 [3 favorites]

On the 2nd read--

Don't you think you deserve to be with someone who ACTUALLY WANTS TO BE WITH YOU? I have platonic relationships with male friends, some of whom who have expressed a strong interest in me, and I just wasn't attracted to them. I made it clear I wasn't looking for a relationship with them. But we have so much in common, we're awesome friends. And I treat them like friends. I wouldn't dream of not calling them if they came to town. She isn't interested. Period.

Everyone deserves to be with someone who is as wild about you as you are about them. You're born human, and you have a right to love and be loved in return. Don't settle for less, please.

I also wanted to add that maybe you're attracted to this girl's unavailability as well, since you know you have other issues in your life to resolve first, other things with which you are not happy. Is this fantasizing about someone you can't have a daydream and a distraction for you from real things? Some part of you may be afraid of facing those issues head-on and is trying to sabotage you by fixating on the unavailable, the elusive golden ring.
posted by Dukat at 2:01 AM on May 1, 2009

I was going to post the exact same xkcd.com cartoon that delmoi posted: http://xkcd.com/513/

From what you say, she wants to be friends with you. She may or may not have been attracted to you in the past. She is probably not, now.

There are a lot of cliched phrases for this situation for a reason: it's happens a lot.

Maintain contact if you want to and it doesn't hurt too much. But, when it comes to romance, look elsewhere.
posted by maryrosecook at 2:09 AM on May 1, 2009

This: I've only had one serious relationship in the past (for one year and it ended badly when I started attending college).

Dude WHAT are you doing? Look, you sound like an amazing guy. You are considerate, you are devoted. These things matter.

But that little line above, well, to be completely honest, it makes you a natural drama queen. You are in way over your head and you have no idea what you're doing, god dammit! When all these people in here tell you to cut her off, they know what they're talking about! She's using you for attention, you are not "in love" and love will never work the way you think it works right now. That "special attraction"...it only comes after you go through what you're going through a bunch of times, after you get yourself jaded enough that the fact that an attractive woman pays attention to you and enjoys spending time with you is routine, even boring.

Stop being "conservative". That's your problem. You need experience, but more than that, you need to take it to heart that you're not the first, and this isn't the only time you'll feel like this. People with experience don't talk like this. Your choices, now, are to either learn the hard way, by falling and tripping over women who probably aren't that into you all through your 20's, or to understand that what you're going through right now, with a 20-year old college girl, is just about the most universal thing ever in early-mid-20's relationships. Nobody knows what they want, everybody's a romantic, and people do ridiculous things like have cuddle bitches and plan B's and "friends" whose sole purpose is to pay them attention. That stuff's real and it's dangerous, capiche? If you're "conservative" and don't get out there and date to the best of your ability, you'll never know it when that stuff hits you. I'm not saying go out and get laid; I'm saying put yourself out there, say "I'm looking for something serious" to every potential mate, and work to develop that special connection instead of waiting for it to happen to you.

Right now, yes, cut her off. You need to stabilize. And then you need to take a big breather, reorient yourself to searching actively for a partner, and be confident that you're worthy of every bit of attention lavished on you by the opposite (or same) sex. Get out of this. It's poisonous.
posted by saysthis at 5:12 AM on May 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

Uburoivas wrote: Sorry to call a spade a spade, but "not ready for a relationship" means "not ready for a relationship with you."

This is EXACTLY the size of it. She's not interested in you, she explicitly tells you that, and still continues to cuddle with you and hold your hand? EVERYTHING here is on her terms. You're a toy in a box and she takes you out and plays with you when it's convenient.

You sound like a hardworking, decent, considerate guy. You deserve the same.
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:25 AM on May 1, 2009

She likes you as a friend but does not respect your feelings too much. If she did she'd keep it strictly friends-only and wouldn't use you as her cuddle bitch. She knows how you feel about her and if she hasn't acted on it in so long, chances are it won't happen.

You need to cut her off. Don't make it all dramatic, don't announce it to her, but just stop talking to her as much, stop the fb checking, stop hoping for her calls. It'll hurt like hell at first but you'll get better in a couple of months, as opposed to dragging out all the hurt now for a couple of months and THEN realizing you should cut her off and having the pain go on longer. Get it?

And for the future, hugs and hand holding are nice, but guys should take control, so take the initiative. For the next girl, once you're cuddling on the couch, just KISS HER! Otherwise nice guys like you get into the friends zone just because girls start feeling too comfortable and friendly around you. And there's nothing wrong with moving things along physically to a kiss, if you're a nice guy then you shouldn't feel like you're using her because you have no other bad intentions. A kiss might be the difference to a girl between "aww he's nice to hang out with" and "OMG FIREWORKS WHEN CAN I SEE HIM AGAIN" And if she says no, then you're in the same exact situation you are now, so you might as well take the chance!
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:45 AM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

She is an A-typical silly little girl. (I'm sure she has her good side but lets not get into that) She does not want a relationship or anything like that from you but she loves the fact that some guy really wants her. That is the only reason she keeps you around. She is a parasite sucking off your need for her. Do you really need her as a friend? I have a friend just like this. I am passively crazy about her. But I told myself a long time ago that it would never happen and just take what she is willing to give me. We only talk now and I treat her like one of the guys. What you need to realize is this girl at this point in her life is not into you. Either suck it up and get be her friend or tell her to take a hike. If you truly do like this person as a friend you will do the first suggestion.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 5:57 AM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I am sorry. Quit this, and the sooner you do the sooner you will be on the road to feeling better. You are not on the road to any better or more pleasant an outcome than what you have right now. No wishing or hoping or waiting or being the greatest guy ever will change that. It is not anyone's fault, it is a truth that sometimes a situation does not work out no matter how much you want it to or think that it should.

And I agree about no long email or letter or talk - no good comes from that.

Don't call her, text her, or email her. Not even just to say hi. Not even just because "you're friends", because maybe you are friends but if so you are friends in a way that is not making you happy right now, and you have every right to remove yourself from that kind of situation.

I would focus on the other parts of your life that you're not entirely happy about.

It make take a long time, it may take a short time, but you will look back and wonder what the hell you were thinking. And maybe you will laugh, maybe you will smile wryly, maybe you will have a tender thought - but you will not hurt the way that you hurt now.
posted by KAS at 6:31 AM on May 1, 2009

I'm stuck in a rut now and I don't know which way to turn. The past year since my graduation has been a downward spiral. I had a great paying job with a career path set up, but was laid off due to the economy two months into 'the real world'. Returned back home and found another job, live at home, and give half my paycheck to my folks to help out with the mortgage because my father lost his job as well. The opportunities to meet women are bleak, since the demographics within the new company are middle-aged and with families.

All right, facts of the situation at last in your long winding rant.

So, things:

- Your current circumstances are great. You have a job and you're supporting your parents, and they're supporting you. This is excellent stuff. You may not have as much money as you're used to -- but if you keep your eyes & mind open, you will learn a lot. Learn to treat triumph and disaster as the same, as a famous poet once said.

- You can't control everything in life.

- Trying harder does not guarantee success -- a lot of times, giving up is the smartest thing you can do. The world is always full of opportunities regardless of what you believe at any time. By obsessing about one opportunity, you're blinding yourself to everything else that's out there.

- This other person is fairly immature. I can't say if they're a good person or not, but the consequences of being immature tend to be almost equivalent to being a bad person. Being close to such people will certainly leave you with some very unpleasant experiences. Know what you want and what you're getting yourself into.

- Learn some people skills. You can only learn them by loosening up and being more accepting of people. Currently you have very little -- which is fine. This is one of the more enjoyable skills to develop in life, so you're going to have fun.
posted by the_ancient_mariner at 6:36 AM on May 1, 2009

Oh, anon, I'm sorry. But she's just not that into you, and waiting around hoping she'll change is not going to happen.

You might need to get mad at her, because what others are saying about being her "cuddle bitch" are exactly right. She's USING you.

It sucks to have an unrequited crush on someone, but you know what? It also sucks to be the object of an unrequited crush. And when a decent person is in that situation, he or she is honest, doesn't play games or give off mixed signals, doesn't say that she "doesn't want a relationship" and then go make a relationship with someone else.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:40 AM on May 1, 2009

trotter: You said: I just don't want to look back and regret not doing enough at the time.
For the purposes of your sanity, don't think this. It never, ever comes down to what you did or didn't do or say. You will think it did, and it might seem that way, but it's not; it will never be.

This. Romance is a funny thing, but in my experience it's not about what you consciously *do*, it's about who you are. The two of you met, you obviously have enough in common that you enjoy spending time together, etc, but that's not enough - if it was going to be a relationship it would already be one. She doesn't feel the same way you do, and that's not something you can change. Move on, and good luck.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 7:46 AM on May 1, 2009

I know where you are coming from, anon35. You've probably met a handful of couples where the girl talks about how not into their bf/husband they were when they first met, but he was so persistent and she then fell madly in love with him after all. You feel that time will show her how wonderful of a man you are and her not seeing it now is a reflection of her immaturity. As a result, you probably want advice telling you how to win her over.

In the end though, do you really want to be that bf/husband whose partner tells people at parties that essentially, "I married Mr. Nice/Stable/Pragmatic/Cuddle Bitch, once I got tired of chasing guys who lit my fire and then disappointed me"? Don't you want to be that "light my fire" guy?
posted by teg4rvn at 8:05 AM on May 1, 2009

This sounds terrible.

1) It's never going to happen with this girl.

2) There are plenty of girls who are better-looking, more interesting, etc., and who would also be into you.

Accept these two facts as soon as possible, stop seeing and speaking to this person, and meet someone else.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:50 AM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Everyone agrees. You need to cut her off. Cold turkey.

But how? Here's a little bit of advice that I was reminded of from an earlier thread (sorry I'm new here so I don't know how to reference it) but do this: Put a rubberband around your wrist. Every single time she crosses your mind, snap that rubberband hard. Each time you check her FB page snap that rubberband. Keep the rubberband on your wrist for a few months (or until you get to a place where you almost forget why the rubberband is on your wrist).

This piece is important though: make sure it's a good sturdy rubberband that hurts your wrist when you snap it and that doesn't bother you when you're just going about your day. I recommend a typical black hairband used for ponytails.

I know this sounds ridiculously silly but it works. You need to get over this now. You only have your 20's once. Don't waste them being broken hearted and miserable.

Another benefit to the rubberband idea is that it forces your mind into the present moment and it forces you to stop feeling sorry for yourself. I resorted to the rubberband to get over a broken heart when I was 25 and it actually worked (well, it worked for the few months I kept it on anyway).

Good luck, man. Get out there and have some fun. And let yourself shake this off.
posted by ohyouknow at 2:55 PM on May 1, 2009

So here is how it's gonna go. You are going to cut her off and it's going to hurt like hell for a little bit. You'll want to text her some joke, you'll want to invite her to some concert, but you aren't going to. She's going to reach out at some point and you are going to really want to respond, but you are just going to send a quick/short reply that is neither friendly nor unfriendly, but fails to ignite any conversation. It will hurt and it will eat at you, but then it will get better. And while part of you will still want her, you will think about her less and less. You will want her less and less. You will randomly see her at a party and all these feelings will come rushing back, but that's ok. It won't be that bad the next time around and the next. Because you will come to realize that there are times when you can have intense chemistry with someone that isn't particularly good for you. It's not even that she's a bad person, but she isn't the one for you. And that chemistry will always be there, but at the end of the day, that doesn't change anything. chemistry X nothing = nothing It's that simple. Chemistry is like a drug, it's time to go cold turkey with this one.
posted by whoaali at 1:40 PM on May 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

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