Dealing with a love Conundrum
August 31, 2014 9:21 PM   Subscribe

Should I take the leap, and take the risk, or should I just forget about it and move on?

I seem to find myself in a bit of a conundrum with love/relationships, and was hoping to have your expert advice on the issue/matter as it is slightly complicated.

While traveling oversea's one summer and living there briefly, I met this lovely lady and hit it off immediately. I have never met anyone who had such a direct impact on my soul and being as she did. She is very pretty and very beautiful, but I also admired her simply for who she was and who she is, some of her values, her personality especially, and how we got along. It actually felt pretty compatible. I have seen many beautiful women before, however this girl was stunning and had the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen.

As I left we developed a relationship chatting, sending each other messages, talking over skype, etc. etc; it was lovely. However, for some reason, things dissolved right at the most critical point, where we both wanted to commit, and things fell apart.

If we had been here, and been able to see each other and things fizzled, I would be understanding of the fact that we at least gave it a shot and things weren't meant to be. However in this circumstance, I feel that despite giving the relationship a "shot", it still wasn't ever able to fully blossom due to the fact of never making the commitment and taking the leap to go down to visit her, despite talking about it many times.

Despite her moving on, and myself dating other women and seeing other people at times, I never felt the deep connection like I did with this one, and have battled with the question of taking the leap, and going down there to see what happens. Or if I should completely forget it.

What do you think? I would love to hear you response and your advice.

Thank you in advance so much for your help and taking the time to review my message. This is a peculiar circumstance and it would be of great insight.
posted by wak5700 to Human Relations (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You don't mention how long ago this happened or if you're still in touch. If it was quite recent and you've still kept in contact, I would say go for it and by go for it, I mean, phone her up and see how she's going, not fly down there. Baby steps.

If we are talking years ago and you haven't heard from her since, I would move on. After all, neither of you made a move then or bothered to maintain contact for a reason and in her shoes, I would find it pretty freaky if someone I had a few skype chats with years ago turned up on my doorstep today wanting a relationship, which is what it sounds like you're thinking of doing. Sometimes life is just about timing. I think we need more detail...
posted by Jubey at 9:46 PM on August 31, 2014

I think that if you do decide to try to rekindle this relationship, you should do so by sending her a casual message saying, "Hey, I've been thinking about how I felt like we had a connection, and I wish we had given things more of a shot. Would you be interested in getting back in touch?"

Also, I'm not sure if it's what you're suggesting, but do not—I repeat, do not—just show up at her doorstep. That sort of thing is extremely uncool and doesn't give her room to kindly and freely say "thanks but no thanks." Doesn't matter if you're friends now, doesn't matter if she wanted to you to visit once upon a time. Traveling to her without her say-so puts huge pressure on her to do what you want her to do, as if she owes you something. Frankly, it would be an absolute dealbreaker (and actually kind of scary) to me.
Grand romantic gestures are only romantic if the object of your affection has made it super-clear that they want that. They have never won over anyone who wasn't interested in the first place. Treat her with respect—like, say, an adult who knows her own mind—and ask her if she wants you to visit.
posted by you're a kitty! at 9:49 PM on August 31, 2014 [3 favorites]

First, this is not an unusual dynamic you describe. This story is old as time.

I think this failed because underneath it all, she rightly surmised that you see her as more of an object, and less as an equal person like see yourself.

Let me clarify...

You leave a lot of details out and you over-simplify AND over-romanticize your connection to this person.

Dude. If it was going to work out, it would have.

You did not go to see her, or commit, or whatever... because keeping that barrier allowed you to keep the relationship at arm's length, romantic-like.

In story books you are ever-after. In real life one of you runs away again. Or, as I suspect, the way you view women is a little "off," and that is for sure a big turn-off.

I know from experience when you are emotionally ready, the right one shows up in your life.

I know from experience you can't recapture whatever fleeting thing it is you are holding onto.

Reality can be far far better than any fantasy you've been nurturing. The trick is to commit to the Here and Now.
posted by jbenben at 10:15 PM on August 31, 2014 [14 favorites]

I say absolutely follow-up with her. Chances are she's moved on or not interested in the same thing you are BUT she might be and it's worth checking for that reason alone. Actually I think it's worth checking on because I think it'd be very hard for you to move on with anyone else until you've found closure with her. The closure might be one last rendezvous that ends up a giant let down, a meet-up that sparks something wonderful and long-lasting, or just no reply at all. If she replies, you'll have your answer and, in case she doesn't reply, I'd consider giving yourself a time limit for waiting... one month? six months? etc. and then vow to mourn your loss so you can truly move on. (Again, my fingers are crossed for you!) Jubey and you're a kitty! gave you good suggestions for doing so.

I agree with jbenben that such situations involve a lot of fantasy and romanticizing. I am a fan of an article that I read this summer; sadly, I can't remember the title or magazine. It argued why people "should" have flings in the summertime or while they're temporarily abroad but to then leave them behind (on a good note!) and why, like to take that positive energy and go on into the world. (I'm not saying you should do this but rather that, looking back, I can relate to the wisdom.) I feel for you because I've been in such relationships before and it was hard letting go of something that brought me so much hope and joy in my daily life. (In fact, I love my current relationship and wouldn't trade it for that but I do miss the sweet longing and happy reunions. Nowadays I see such relationships as being different but not necessarily better or worse than ones that are very solid and take place long-term in the day-to-day.)

I wish you fulfillment if things work out and happiness for something even better if things don't! (This sounds morbid but you know what I mean and how it's with the best intentions. :-) Good luck!
posted by smorgasbord at 1:37 AM on September 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

"despite her moving on...." Is she married? Is she in a committed, loving relationship? If so, you lost out, leave her be. If not, then go to her, now, before another minute passes.
posted by myselfasme at 5:47 AM on September 1, 2014

You did give it a shot. It wasn't meant to be.

I agree that it sounds like you've over-romanticized this woman - vague but grandiose phrases like "a direct impact on my soul and being" tend to be more indicative of an idealized connection than a real one. Things fizzled between you before the initial chemistry wore off and before you really got to know each other in a mundane warts-and-all way, so you connect her with that magical honeymoon feeling and little else. It's common and it happens to many people, but when it happens to you it feels like you're the one exception to the rule and this time it's real.

I think you should let this go. Trying to get back in touch with her is unlikely to lead to a rekindled relationship, and it's also unlikely to lead to any sort of "closure" as long as you're this infatuated. More likely, it will go awkwardly, yet you'll manage to find something small in the encounter to cling to as "evidence" of your soul-deep connection, which will reinforce your feelings for the fantasy. And if that happens, it'll eventually spiral out of control until she blindsides you with an unambiguous "don't talk to me again," and it will hurt so bad for so long, and you will have wasted so much time. I speak from foolish experience here.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:04 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

So many of us have had intense connections with people out of town. That's because it's meant to be ephemeral. We're on vacation and carefree and we're not the same people we are when we're at home, working and picking up the dry cleaning.

I'll also say that it is SO easy to be quickly, intensely intimate with people on the internet. You only see what they project and vice-versa. The world is full of people with stories about a fabulous internet relationship that fell apart when they got together in real life.

Disclaimer: Husbunny and I started out on the internet, but as soon as we decided to date, even though we were long-distance, we dated IRL. Then we moved together. We were married a year after our first date. We've been married for 12 years.

My point is that real life doesn't really lend itself to those fast, deep, intense connections because in most cases, they're pure fantasy. In real life, if you DO end up with a relationship like this, 99% of the time, they burn out very quickly because it's not sustainable.

If your affair was within the past year, if you can easily move and work where she is, give it a try.

If it's been longer than a year and the situation is geographically undesirable, move on. Think of it as a lovely interlude and nothing more.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:05 AM on September 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

You have received a lot of wonderful advice already, and what to do with it is up to you.

I also wanted to contribute something I've learned from personal experience, though it's not the most awesome thing one can here.

I have had some beautiful, world-changing relationships in my past. But I haven't been in a relationship at all for 6 years now, despite a lot of dating. When I feel nostalgic for my past loves, I realize that it doesn't always have to do with them. I tend to romanticize the past because I am alone in my present and fear I will never find anything that good in the future. Plus, holding torches gives me a reason not to take risks with other people I meet. I know all of this that I'm doing isn't the healthiest, but it's how I have been coping. And I imagine it hits close to home for you as well. You could be getting something out of romanticizing this woman you met, comparing women you meet now to her even though you don't know what it would have been like to get down to it and have a real, day to day relationship with the woman from your past. And time has this amazing ability to warp things and turn some people into princesses and some people into monsters, so it's also quite possible that your memory is distorting things.

I suggest you find some way of achieving closure and move on. Good luck.
posted by mermaidcafe at 11:07 AM on September 1, 2014

Someone wise once said "You will miss every shot you don't take."

As I see it, you have absolutely nothing to lose. Life is about experiences and if you don't do this, it will be an experience you never have but will carry the regret of not trying for the rest of your life.

Look at it this way, attempting and failing is much better than never trying- especially if it is something your heart is telling you to try. Otherwise, you would not be asking- you obviously want to do this.

Who knows, maybe, just maybe, you will be one of the lucky few that find the answer...

Don't be scared, throw caution to the wind and see what blows your way.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:10 PM on September 1, 2014

Your question is missing a critical piece of info: what does she want? The fact that she's moved on makes it sound to me like she doesn't necessarily want to try again with you, and if that's the case you absolutely need to respect that. If you don't know what she wants, ask her before going down there. If she responds with anything other than an enthusiastic "yes!" then stay away.

If she doesn't tell you to come on down, maybe listen to Canadian Rose a few times, chalk it up as a wonderful experience that you'll always have, and do what you can to move past her. Right now you get to come away from this with happy memories; you don't want those to be overwritten with feelings of embarrassment or guilt because you tried to push yourself back on her. In the long run, you'll be a lot happier if you can keep those bittersweet memories of a good time in your life.
posted by DingoMutt at 6:57 AM on September 3, 2014

From what I remember, she had asked about when I was taking the trip down and coming, to which I did not entirely know. I did not want to tell her or give her anything specific because I had done that before, and then not followed through with it, or something else had come up. I did not want to tell her I am coming, and then end up not actually making it. Also, I do not want to put any pressure on her, however, in my mind, it may be a make or break decision, and could significantly impact my life.

Bkeen, I know exactly what you mean, and I have taken into consideration making the trip many times before and have passed it up several times. It would be a risk and it would definitely be taking a chance. Honestly, I think I would be going into the situation with no expectations about it, to not put any pressure on myself or anything. And you are right, from the situation I am in now, if it doesn't work, I would be in the exact same position I was before. But at least there would be some closure I feel. As time has passed, I have regretted not making the trip earlier.
posted by wak5700 at 8:52 AM on September 4, 2014

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