not quite platonic
July 19, 2011 9:02 AM   Subscribe

How to deal with a "friendship" that does not fit into any categories?

So, I think this is the type of question mefites typically rake askers over the coals for, but I will ask anyway in hopes of getting some insightful commentary, experience, suggestions.

One of my best friends ever is a guy. We met in school together about three years ago. We became close very quickly, and would spend hours together talking about everything in the world. we were both single at that time. He's an objectively handsome guy with excellent people skills. At that time, I was kind of going through a rough period. I was out of shape/overweight for my body type, I wore schlubby, oversized clothing, and I didn't pay much attention to hair or grooming. I was hopelessly in love with him, but he gently turned me down.

fast-forward to today. I look significantly different. I work out regularly, am more in shape, have a healthy weight for my body type, wear flattering clothes, deal with my hair, groom my eyebrows. Get regular attention from guys (hardly ever did at that time in my life).

My friend has been in a relationship for a couple years. We have kept in touch. I know who is girlfriend is, but have never hung out with the two of them. One reason is that we no longer live in the same city, so I don't see him that much (a few times a year) and another reason is, his having a girlfriend has been a sore spot for me, especially back then, and I think he doesn't want me to feel awkward.

I just visited him and we spent the whole weekend hanging out together. We get along so well, it feels like we are an extension of one another. At the moment I live in another city and am casually dating other guys, but I've always held a torch for this one.

Recently he's been asking for hugs a lot more. Friends hug, right? (note: that is a sarcastic, rhetorical question). when I went to visit this last time, we had a couple drinks and played a truth or dare type of game (I know, I know). We mostly asked each other "truth" questions; he also "dared me to hug him" and we hugged for a longer period than normal.

I know, an oncoming car wreck, right, and we are both awful people? Basically, I feel our friendship has escalated, and I am not sure how to navigate this. To be truthful, he and I hanging out without other people has worked for me, and we've never technically done anything that would make us "not just friends", but I feel like this is ethically a slippery slope, especially now that it seems he is more physically attracted (I'm not saying he wants me to be his girlfriend; but I can feel something is there that wasn't before). On the other hand, we only meet in person a few times a year. We are in touch fairly regularly on the phone, mostly talking about our lives (about twice a month, long conversations).

what do you think? am in the wrong here? (similar experiences, advice, etc).

So my question is, have any of you experienced this kind of change/tension in a relationship, and do you deal?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

So... why haven't you talked to him about this? You're not going to know what's going on otherwise.
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Sounds like one day you will probably end up fooling around a bit. which can be intereting with a close friend and doesn't necessarily lead to anything more. I think this can happen quite often. it has to me at least.

I don't think there is anything to be 'done' just roll with it.. see where things lead.
posted by mary8nne at 9:10 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

"I'm not saying he wants me to be his girlfriend"

But it sounds like that is what you want. He didn't want to be your boyfriend when you were going through a rough period, and now that things are different (from your description it sounds like the changes have been mostly cosmetic) maybe he is interested in more physical affection but it still doesn't sound like he wants to be your boyfriend. I don't think you are in the wrong to feel attracted to him, or want more from him, but I think you might be wasting your time.

When you visited him recently, did you spend any time with his girlfriend?
posted by unlaced at 9:13 AM on July 19, 2011 [8 favorites]

Sounds like he has a case of the hornies.
posted by ian1977 at 9:13 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

I'm not quite sure if I've read this correctly, but is he currently in a relationship? Because if he is, danger Will Robinson! I'd suggest no more solitary (again, I'm not sure if that is what happened or if I'm reading it into what you wrote) drinking and a limit the contact before you're posting an AskMe about having hooked up with an amazing dude who you've really liked for a long time but has a girlfriend he has no intention of leaving and oh god what do I do.
posted by griphus at 9:13 AM on July 19, 2011 [6 favorites]

At the moment I live in another city and am casually dating other guys, but I've always held a torch for this one.

You are casually dating; your crush has been in a relationship for several years. If you want to fool around with him, make sure first that his girlfriend knows he doesn't consider theirs to be a committed relationship. She deserves to know the person she's having sex with is also having sex with someone else.

I know, an oncoming car wreck, right, and we are both awful people?

Not yet.
posted by headnsouth at 9:14 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

If you can see a "train wreck" coming from a mile away, the responsible thing to do is get off the tracks before you get run over. I don't see any evidence that this guy is madly in love with you; just that he might be interested in a hookup. You have a lot of time away from this guy to dream up romantic scenarios; you need to take off the rose-colored glasses. As long as he has a girlfriend, he is unavailable. He might show interest in you, but if he's committed to someone else, that is not the kind of interest you want. If it comes up again over the phone or in person, you should lay it on the line- you seem attracted to me, I know you have a girlfriend, I don't know what's going on but I'm not interested in this.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:15 AM on July 19, 2011 [18 favorites]

1. He has a girlfriend.
2. You live in different cities.

Move on.
posted by something something at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2011 [10 favorites]

I'd say, don't let him blur the lines between friendship and romantic/sexual partners, especially when he has a girlfriend. Keep all your contact (physical and communication-wise) strictly appropriate for friends (and that includes you meeting the girlfriend and getting to know her), and if he tries to get a few side benefits here and there, call him on it and tell him that's not treating you or the girlfriend well. He has to decide what he wants and stick to that — no trying to have his cake and eat it too.
posted by orange swan at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Talk to him about it... and if it is him showing interest, that's not a great thing, really. As Teddy Roosevelt said (sort of):...if you will steal cheat for me, you will steal from cheat on me.

Keep all your contact (physical and communication-wise) strictly appropriate for friends (and that includes you meeting the girlfriend and getting to know her)

And in that regard think about amount as well as content.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 9:21 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

He doesn't sound like a very good boyfriend OR friend - after all, he spends a lot of time getting emotional support not-from-his-girlfriend AND hitting on his good friend. Give yourself the gift of not slipping into hook-up land with him. You can be a good friend to yourself and him by maintaining boundaries.

If he does leave his current relationship, be sure you think he'd be a good boyfriend and friend to you before you get together with him.
posted by ldthomps at 9:21 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Something about "I didn't look very good before and he turned me down; now I am thinner and dress better and he's attracted" doesn't sound very good to me, at least not for a serious relationship - maybe for something casual. It's not exactly that true love should be impervious to appearance, but that this set of pre-existing experiences seems iffy. You'll always be the former-plain-girl in the relationship, and what if you gain weight or in some other way return to your previous iteration?
posted by Frowner at 9:22 AM on July 19, 2011 [9 favorites]

So he turns you down, but later pushes things into sexual-tension territory with you as soon as you've lost weight, while he has a girlfriend? Since you "get regular attention from guys," can't you do better than him?
posted by John Cohen at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2011 [18 favorites]

It sounds like you both want to mess around. It's probably not going to stop being a thing until you actually DO it... or you meet someone who blows you away.

I sincerely doubt that you are going to meet anyone who can compair to this magical dude until you stop talking to said magical dude.

You don't like the girlfriend and her existance doesn't seem to make you want to stop this clearly emotional affairy interaction (at the very least from your side). You know this isn't right. And Cheating isn't just shitty. When you do shitty things, it absolutly wounds your "good soul".

lay the shit on the table and tell him you dig him and always have. If he wants to mess around, he needs to break up with his girlfriend. If he doesn't- this harmful flirtatious relationship- that is stopping you from moving on- needs to end for a while.
posted by Blisterlips at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Also, "friend hugs" that are really "attracted hugs" are counterproductive at best and creepy at worst. I would have a lot of trouble with someone who didn't actually say anything but kept asking me for hugs-with-intent.
posted by Frowner at 9:26 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

Until and unless he's single, you'll have to keep the naughty bits at least 4ft away from each other.

He already knows how you feel/felt about him because you broke the ice on that one a while back. So, if he wants you enough, he will walk away from his gf on his two feet.

I'm not saying he's not interested. I think black/white statements like "interested"/"not interested" only add to people's frustration because they can see signs of interest with their own eyes. There is, however, a bright line between "interested enough to be of any use to you" and "not interested enough to be of any use to you" and as long as he's with someone else, this guy is the latter.

And as to that other part of your question, in a nutshell it is not inherently immoral to have feelings for an unavailable person provided you don't act on those feelings.[1] But just because it's not immoral doesn't mean it's a good idea. You can't help how you feel, but keep playing the numbers game to increase the odds you'll meet some guy who will sweep you off your feet. Force yourself to do dating activities a certain number of times a week, even if your heart isn't in it.[2]

[1] The unspoken can do more damage than you expect, mind.
[2] Don't lead anybody on, but you can at least make yourself go on one date with some unattractive shlub who isn't him, you know?
posted by tel3path at 9:38 AM on July 19, 2011

And also, there are a lot of people out there who view their almosts and the people who had crushes on them as a sort of relationship-bank, from whence they can extract admiration and sex when they get bored. You were an "almost" to this guy - that chubby girl who had such a crush on him. He probably has not nurtured some kind of secret passion for you all along, or been secretly thinking "oh, if only she were prettier!" (and even if he were thinking that...) This is something where he's bored or thinking of breaking up, and you're right there in the relationship bank.

One of the most difficult things for people - especially straight women, who are socialized to believe in capital-R romance- to accept is that if you cherish a long-term passion for someone and they're not initially interested, it's very, very unlikely that anything good will happen in the end. You'll have invested all this love and energy and emotion into someone who almost certainly won't love you back; even if you do hook up, it's the culmination of years of longing for you and a sort of "eh, okay then" for the other person. This is different from having a casual crush on someone over a long period and not knowing whether they are casually interested right back. It's the "long term passion" plus "other person definitely uninterested" piece that's a bad idea.
posted by Frowner at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2011 [37 favorites]

If he wanted to get out of his relationship, nothing's stopping him. If he wanted something to happen with you, it seems that nothing's stopping him there either.

But again, so far he's not doing either of those things. Attention feels good, it's not surprising that he's accepting so much of it from you. But if he knew how invested you were in the results, I bet he would back off.

Also, you're a safe person for him to string along and absorb attention from, because you're in another city. There are no consequences for him, and that makes people reckless with others' feelings.
posted by hermitosis at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Friends do hug, especially when they haven't seen each other in a long time.

Honestly, it seems like you're still infatuated with this guy, and your paranoia is just wishful thinking.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Listen to hermitosis! You're really wasting your time and energy on this guy. He is definitely stringing you along. I think you need some closure on this relationship and here's how I'd do it -- man up (as they say) and come clean with your guy. Say, "I really love hanging out with you and I enjoyed our last visit but I have to come out and say that I have feelings for you and I don't think it's right for us to hang out right now when you're in a relationship. It's too painful for me and last time I felt like I was getting some signals from you but I think you are committed to your girlfriend and it's all made me very uncomfortable. I'm going to keep my distance for awhile -- if you're ever interested in pursuing a relationship, call me when you're single."

You can do this and you'll feel better for it. But then write on a little piece of paper: "he never called" and move on. Somewhere out there is the guy for you and you're keeping him waiting while you pine for the unavailable. Don't make that guy wait any longer and put yourself out there to find him and be found. I'm truly sorry -- these crushes are just the worst and the pain of unrequited love is a real sort of pain.

As they say, let it go... if it was mean to be, it will come back to you. Good luck!
posted by amanda at 10:20 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

How nice it must be for him to have both a girlfriend AND a stand in for use when he is between girlfriends!
Don't do this to yourself, please.
posted by Frosted Cactus at 10:34 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

If you're at all serious about continuing to have a relationship with him, you can do two things. You can completely stop flirting and avoid all physical contact, and thus put him firmly in the "platonic" zone. Or you can make him talk to you explicitly about his intentions, and what you both want out of each other.

Don't dance around the awkward bits. Pin him down. Ask him, "Are you trying to go somewhere with this?" Ask him, "Why all the hugs?" Ask him, "Are you in an open relationship with your girlfriend?" Ask him, "Are you trying to find out if I'm still interested in you?"

If he's willing to talk with you openly about this, maybe you can sort something out. If not, he's just using you, or he's too immature to know what he's doing, and you should keep your distance.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:37 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Be an adult. Ask him, "What are we even doing here? What is this all about?" Have a conversation with him and then you can define what it is among the two of you.

Don't get involved with him and his flirting until and unless he breaks up with his girlfriend.
posted by inturnaround at 11:02 AM on July 19, 2011

You're attracted to him.

He's attracted to you.

Maybe you and he would be a better fit than his existing relationship... and maybe not.

You're asking if you're in the wrong, but relationships are predicated on attraction, and again, you and he seem attracted to each other.

Rather than asking if you're in the wrong, you might ask something else:

What do you want?
posted by darth_tedious at 11:04 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Not all of it is sage, but I heard some very practical and good advice from Dan Savage in a podcast a while back. "When you are getting mixed signals, listen to the ones that aren't telling you what you want to hear."
posted by jph at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2011 [14 favorites]

I'd be inclined to be blunt-but-optimistic in this sort of situation. "Look, you know I've always had a thing for you. If you're serious about all this flirting you're doing, then I'll wait until you're single and willing to ask me out like a gentleman. If you're not serious, then it needs to stop right now."

Possible outcomes:
1. [Rather unlikely] He breaks up with his girlfriend and asks you out. Confirm that he's really single, ideally by checking with a mutual friend who you trust, and then, what the hell, why not go for it?
2. [Somewhat more likely] He respectfully backs off and goes back to friendly conversation. Stay friends — that sort of respect and self-control is a rare and valuable thing.
3. [Depressingly likely] He pretends to agree, and then makes an obvious pass at you the next time he's drunk, tired, sad or lonely. Tell him to get the fuck out of your life and never come back.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:25 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Do you really want, for a boyfriend, a guy who cannot be trusted around his female friends?
posted by Ashley801 at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

(And if you're thinking, well, yes he's behaving untrustworthily around me, his female friend, but it's only because [we're best friends/I'm special/we have such a history/I'm different] but it wouldn't be that way with just any female friend --- I think you would be mistaken.)
posted by Ashley801 at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

He's having an emotional affair with you and has been for some time. He rationalizes this because it's only over the phone.

His creepy selfish side (ego) is starting to wonder if he can take it further since he's always known you are willing, and now you are hot.

I posit this person is not your real friend OR the relationship is ok but terribly lopsided in his favor. Either way, I KNOW he's a shitty boyfriend.

You should feel indignant he used your honest and pure feelings to make up for the shortfall in his primary relationship all this time. You need to reframe how you see this fellow. I don't think he is you think he is.

Also, movies lie to us. Nice and Good people do NOT just end up in these sorts of predicaments. You don't want to go down this road any farther than you already have. The blame for the next steP will be yours, since guilt and blame aren't really his strong points. Run.
posted by jbenben at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Aside from that, I also think it's really telling that while he's "escalated" your friendship, it sounds he has only escalated it physically/sexually.

Recently he's been asking for hugs a lot more.
we had a couple drinks and played a truth or dare type of game
he also "dared me to hug him" and we hugged for a longer period than normal.

I don't see one single thing in there about things escalating in a "I want you to be my partner" way. None.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

This, too.
posted by tel3path at 11:48 AM on July 19, 2011

Also, "friend hugs" that are really "attracted hugs" are counterproductive at best and creepy at worst. I would have a lot of trouble with someone who didn't actually say anything but kept asking me for hugs-with-intent.

Yeah, this isn't playful hinting, it's cowardliness. He's trying to get you to initiate so he won't have to have it on his conscience. Let this dude go.
posted by invitapriore at 11:48 AM on July 19, 2011 [7 favorites]

I know, an oncoming car wreck, right, and we are both awful people?

Ick. No good can ever come of rhetorical questions like these.

Because either you don't think you're an awful person--and refuse to recognize the very deliberate, aware (oncoming car wreck!), and immoral results of your actions, or you do think you're an awful person, and continue to act awfully anyway. Why?

I'd guess that it's because--as many geeks turned pretty--you buy into a model of relationships with men where only one girl can ever win. If you get this guy to cheat with you, it's not only rewarding because you get to have fun sexytimes, but because you win over his current girlfriend--you're better, prettier, more interesting. And, more, you'll be proving that you're more interesting by having a morally questionable, exciting, high octane love affair behind her (stupid, clueless) back.

But the truth is, this model is broken. You can't win here.

Because the truth is, the loyal, suddenly-hot best friend doesn't win. If he wanted to be with you--that is, be in a committed relationship with you--he would have done that a long time ago. Or he would do it now, now that you're hot. He would show you that you're worthy by treating you like you're worthy.

He's not, though. He's treating you like a plaything. He's showing that by not having you interact with his girlfriend (an important component of his LIFE), by literally playing games with you, by acting frivolously with your feelings (he knows how you feel; you already told him).

The person who wins in these models isn't the other woman. And it's not the girl back home--the girl who is, all things considered, probably actually a decent person--either.

It's the guy. The guy that gets all the benefits of having a relationship with someone he genuinely cares about, and gets to fuck you, too. He knows you'll play along because, not only do you care about him, you've also convinced yourself that a little bit of his sparkle with shake off on you through your exciting, deep love affair/chemistry/whatever. You'll take your lumps, because it's as close as you can get to what you really want.

But man, you really, really shouldn't stand for it. Because his girlfriend deserves better than that, and you do, too. You deserve someone who takes your feelings seriously. Someone who doesn't keep you on the wings until you're hot enough to drink with/screw. You deserve so much better than this--and waiting around for him to give it to you is just going to make you do things that are, karmically, not-so-cool. And you know it.

So yeah, you have the potential to be pretty damn horrible. But don't. Don't do it. Be better than that.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2011 [16 favorites]

I know, an oncoming car wreck, right, and we are both awful people?

Other people have said some very good things about this statement, but I want to analyze it a bit more. Specifically, individual pieces of it.

First, "oncoming car wreck." That's something that one cannot control. A car wreck happens so fast, when you have no time to get away. (If you did have time to stop it, you wouldn't have been in the wreck!) You're phrasing your scenario as something outside your control. You see the wreck coming, but you're not in control of it.

Second, "awful people." Here, you are conflating the moral nature of your actions with the moral nature of you, as a person. This, again, is a way of making it sounds like you're not in control. If you are awful, then it's fully explained why you would participate in awful activities. If you are awful, then you don't have the psychological and moral make-up needed to avoid those awful activities. By describing yourself as an "awful person" (or at least accepting the possibility that you're an awful person), you're implying that your actions are not something that you can control, change.

So, in that one little sentence, you have twice implied that this is something out of your control. Your whole question feels this way, to me. Reading your question, it feels as though you are a spectator to your relationship with this guy. The way you've described your situation, it's as if you're being swept away by the tide, moving with currents wholly beyond your control.

My question is, why?

I don't really know the answer, but I read in your question a lot of stuff that sounds like things I've experienced. So, here's my guess, based partly on what I've gone through. My guess is, when you were (or at least felt) unattractive, you internalized a lot of messages about what you deserved, especially from other people. Our world doesn't tell us 'unattractive' people deserve a whole lot. You lacked self-esteem. You treated yourself as less valuable than others, and you let others treat you the same way. You let your sense of identity, including your morals and values, shrink down to this tiny little pea-sized thing that could be dismissed or ignored, because that's the message you took in about what you were worth. In short, you didn't learn how to respect yourself, where "yourself" is a thing with dimension, shape, and character. And now, you find yourself in a situation where one part of that undersized sense-of-self (desire for someone who previously turned you down) is in conflict with another part of it (desire to not be in a 'relationship' as this one is shaping up), and you don't know how to deal with it. You look at your situation, you think, "This is an awful situation," and, without a strongly developed sense of your own values, wants and needs, you conclude, "I must be an awful person to be in this situation." You're letting your circumstances define you, instead of letting you define your circumstances.

Or, I don't know. Again, I'm guessing -- filling in the details of your question with assumptions. Does it sound accurate? If so, think deeply and carefully about who you are. Let that little pea-sized bit of YOU grow into something that can take up control. You need to learn that you are not swept away by the tide of life -- instead, you can control it. You CAN say "no, I don't do this." You CAN say "No. I'm attracted to you, but I deserve better than this." You CAN stand up and say, "If you want me, you have to treat me how I want to be treated." I know you can, because I've been learning to do the same. Therapy is helping me expand my own little pea-sized sense of self into a full-fledged identity, involving standards, convictions, and limits to how I'll let others treat me. You can do the same. You deserve to do the same!

But if that little pseudo-psychological story I told doesn't fit what you know about yourself? Well... Go back to that question I asked above. "Why?" Find the answer that does fit. Why have you presented your own life as something you can't control? Finding the answer to that question is far more important and will help you become far happier than anything this cheating dude can give you.
posted by meese at 1:19 PM on July 19, 2011 [8 favorites]

Imagine his girlfriend's reaction to this scenario: she's been dating a guy for a few years, so they're probably fairly serious. He hangs out with a female friend all weekend but she never met you, trusting that her boyfriend was able to have girl friends without hitting on them. Then she finds out that her boyfriend quite purposely "asked you for hugs" that you both seem to know were more than hugs, and seemed to encourage a dynamic that both of you recognize as "escalated". How do you feel about him from that perspective?

If it were me, I'd ask him straight up if he wants to actually date you or not. If yes, break up with GF; if not, tell him to cut out the cowardly not-really-flirting, you don't think it's fair to his GF. If he doesn't actually want to date you, then he's just trying to feel studly about being able to get girls even while he's in a relationship.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:58 PM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

I was your boyfriend -- genders reversed. You (in my scenario) stopped putting up with the "not dating" friendship thing, started dating and stopped talking to me in order to focus on his new girlfriends.

After a divorce, a few epiphanies and a very shaky long distance relationship, the you in my scenario is now my husband.

Be honest. Put some distance, even if it really hurts to have less contact with your friend. And MeMail me if you need a been-there, done-that.
posted by Gucky at 2:29 PM on July 19, 2011

Frowner for the win. I like your analysis of banking in (twisted) relationships!
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 3:26 PM on July 19, 2011

I've seen this play out twice, once with a friend of mine and once in a relationship I had.

Point one: You don't really see to care about his girlfriend's feelings (There is a difference between you caring about not being a "bad" person, and not wanting to hurt her), but let me tell you: she probably knows about it deep down, and she probably feels like shit. Do you like making someone feel like shit? Yes? All's fair in love and war? Okay, keep your head down and keep going. No? Tell him to quit being inappropriate, cut way back on contacting him and busy yourself with new friends until you've got enough perspective to be happy you avoided this train wreck.

Point two: Neither of the two "best" friends in your position got what they wanted. Boyfriends stayed with their girlfriends despite heavy flirting/petting with their flirty friend. You're being easy and available; plenty of people have pointed out that he's not acting like he's in love with you. Whatever intangibles you have outside of being hot weren't enough to make him fall in love with you before. They're still not enough to break him up with his girlfriend now.

Point three: Suppose for some reason you manage to break them up and get the guy. How are you going to feel when life gets more stressful and you can't spend as much time on your appearance? Can you ever trust him? I've learned the hard way that if you don't trust someone, no amount of love will ever fix your relationship.

Point four: I'm being pretty harsh on you here, so you might not believe me now, but: you are awesome. You deserve better than some guy who couldn't see how awesome you were before you started taking care of your appearance. You deserve better than someone who won't come out and tell you he's into you (supposing that he really is). You deserve someone who is willing to take the risk of being left with neither of you women to be with you. You deserve better than someone who is either stringing you along, or your girlfriend along, before he makes his choice between the two of you.

I was you, once upon a time, and I changed the way I looked for my boyfriend. I didn't realize it then, but I lost all respect for myself for doing that. If you cheat with him, will you still respect yourself? I was never able to trust my ex fully because I no longer trusted or valued myself. I always wondered what would happen if I gained weight or slipped back into my old bad habits. I always wondered why I wasn't good enough, as a person. Why it wasn't okay to date me unless I looked a certain way. Yes, dressing well is important..but the person you're with should love you for you, period. It wasn't until the relationship ended that I realized my own value. Unrequited love is hard and it makes you think they can give up everything to be with someone--but losing your self-respect is terrible. Nothing is worth that. I learned the hard way. Don't do this to yourself.
posted by millions of peaches at 5:21 PM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]

Because his girlfriend deserves better than that, and you do, too.
PhoBWan nailed it.
posted by spinturtle at 6:30 PM on July 19, 2011

What Gucky said. Just walk. Focus on your own romantic life. If he wants to be a contender for your affections, one qualifying attribute is he must be single.
posted by salvia at 7:26 PM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by J. Wilson at 7:33 PM on July 19, 2011

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