Messy crush situation -- feeling confused and so broken-hearted
October 12, 2018 8:39 AM   Subscribe

I (bi, trans male) was rejected twice by someone I had big feelings for, a classmate (gay, cis male) in our small graduate program. I am 27 but these feelings I have had/are having are so akin to a high-school crush, a first love. It is hard to deal with and I am confused by our latest interactions and don't know if I should just completely forget about him or what. (Long-winded story inside.)

In a way, it is like a first love -- this is the first time I had these feelings for someone as myself, and have the other person see me as myself, and not have it be complicated/falsified by awkwardly pretending to be a straight woman (I am not out as trans. The man in my question may or may not have figured this out already). Also, it is the very first time I feel this way about someone and it is not because of wishful thinking any positive qualities about them into existence -- he is genuinely just a good human being.

We became friends over the summer. He wasn't the type I lean towards physically (though my interest always bends towards people I like on a personal level), but he was cute, and he was just such a good person. We had/have very similar values and ways of seeing the world. He was so caring and compassionate. He didn't just proclaim this of himself -- I could see it in the way he interacted with strangers and friends. All of the sudden I had this crush on him. We went out as a group one night and I got really drunk (partly because I was nervous to be around him all the sudden) and he sat with me outside the bar that night when I was so drunk and ranting about psychological science and the rest of our group was ready to move on to another bar, so I didn't look as conspicuously tipsy as I felt. I thought it was so kind. I woke up super early the next morning and was still kind of drunk and texted him about how I thought he was so wonderful. Politely, he basically said he was flattered but he wasn't wanting to date within our small graduate program and he was emotionally unavailable. "But would he change his mind, ever?" I wondered. "Or would I just make the same mistake in the future not knowing it would never happen?" I needled him a bit for him to be more specific when he said he, "saw me more as a friend," as I was honestly kind of miffed that he was trying to polite-speak his way out of telling me what I thought was the crucial truth, before he said he hates being so blunt and then admitted he didn't find me sexually attractive. I wondered if he might have guessed I'm trans and I asked, "if you would have been interested, I would have said there was something you have to know about myself first. Do you already know what that might be?" And he said, "no, but I am now curious as to what it is, but we of course don't have to talk about it." And I replied maybe I might tell him about it in the future. "Ok," I thought after that. "I will move on. Maybe he might change his mind in the future, maybe I might grow on him. Who knows. But I have to focus my attention elsewhere." I was embarrassed and wanted to sink to the floor when we actually saw each other in person in class the next day. I had thought there was a chance he liked me back too, as he was always so kind and seemingly happy to be around me had asked me a lot of more-personal things about myself when he had hung out, and was embarrassed I was so wrong. This was early July.

I did move on, mostly, and we didn't really hang out after that, though there were no bad or awkward feelings between us. It was fine. I was on all the dating sites with abysmal success. I kept thinking about how I just wish he might change his mind in the back of my head, but I wasn't completely subsumed by this crush like I had been. A few weeks ago, I noticed he'd be staring at me in class, and when I noticed, he'd look away and be smiling, just like in high school, you know, and he would be awkward around me and smiling and blushing when we'd talk. I thought, maybe his feelings did change, and mine came swiftly rushing back. In fact, I was near certain, because why else would he be acting this way? Well, I thought maybe he was too shy to pursue anything (I was so stupid to assume) and so I sent him this poem over text recently, kind of on the theme of taking chances with people. He replied, "that's a lovely thought!" And I thought, well, he liked it! We saw each other in person in class the next day and said hey and he was smiley and shy like usual. A few days went by and things remained the same. I asked him over text if he wanted to have a chat and we figured out time and place. We had lunch in between class meetings on Wednesday. It was a lot shorter than either of us thought because we both had the time wrong (they often change the meeting time without being very clear).

So basically, we had 20 minutes. I stalled and talked to him about normal people things and school-related things. And then I was like, "I'm sorry if sending you that poem was awkward. I wasn't sure how to go about things." And he said, "that's fine -- I wasn't really sure what you meant by it but I did think it was a nice thought generally so that's why I replied as I did -- but just so you know, we had this talk in the summer and, we talked about being blunt, and nothing has changed. Nothing has changed." And I was like, "oh, I'm really sorry." And I was so embarrassed. And I told him I never would have brought this up again if I didn't think he changed his mind. And at some point, I mentioned how I noticed him looking over at me in class a lot and so that's part of why I thought he changed his mind and he was like "oh, maybe I was seeking out [classmate]" but he was kind of smiling when he said so for whatever reason and I mean, this wasn't just once and it wasn't just in that one setting and does not square with all of my memories. I apologized and he said, "no, please don't be sorry," and he looked really sad and he apologized and I was like, "why are you sorry? what do you have to be sorry for? it's fine." Though now I wonder if he was sorry because I was disappointed, sorry because he is unwilling to date given the circumstances, sorry because he doesn't find me attractive still.... He said at one point, "I think you would be better off saving your affection for someone else" and at another, "there's actually a good dating scene in [our city]" to which I said, "sometimes." And he laughed. I didn't go into detail about how, actually, it is particularly challenging for me. I don't think it was his intention but him saying that made me feel like such a creep. Like in no way did I mean to just spring this on him apropos of nothing. And overall, I was so confused because I really thought it was going to be different this time given his change of behavior around me. I asked him if he had told anyone else about this situation and he said no... which was a lie. It has kind of become an item of gossip among the class (it's a very queer-friendly group -- so not negative attention, but attention nonetheless). I thought about it later and I was angry that he lied and it makes me wonder how much of our conversation was he being truthful about anyway. Was I right that perhaps he indeed thought differently about this in the last few weeks, even briefly?

Anyway, I pretended everything was fine the rest of the day (I am very good at doing so) while he seemed kind of dejected. We are on break from school for a few days and I didn't get to wish him a good break at the end of class, so I followed up with a text later to say so and to say that I was sorry for putting him in an uncomfortable spot so many times and that it was never my intention. He followed up to say that he understood and was glad we got to clear the air and wished me a good break too.

Do I give up on him forever? I really don't want to, to be honest. I am continuing to find other people to date -- going out with some guy I met over the summer this weekend and there's another guy I might meet up with soon -- but as I said, I really really had big feelings for this guy for whatever stupid reason. Should I continue to be friends with him in hopes of things being different once this program ends next spring? We will likely end up in the same city. I want to, but I think part of the reason I got myself in this embarrassing mess again was that I left a spot open in my heart for him. I think I just want him to say, "no, this is never happening," but he hasn't and I don't think he will and I don't know if that's because he is trying again to be polite over truthful, if he wants to hold my heart hostage because he enjoys the boost of self-esteem it might give him, or if this is more circumstantial rejection. I think it is the latter (but of course I am biased towards wishing it were so) -- we both talked about how we don't have a lot of time and he said he has kind of given up on being social and just hangs out with his dogs and cooks. I would have made time for him, though, in the little time that I have. I don't know how to feel or what to do. I am too old for this mess I think, but at the same time, I can find beauty in the fact I was able to ever feel anything like this about someone at all for once in my life.

Metafilter, please advise/talk some sense into me. Is this never happening? If so, why won't he say it outright? Why would he act this way? I am almost embarrassed by the fact I am so clueless/dumb about romantic situations at such an age, while I have been fine, even succeeded, in professional situations. Someone posted on the blue about how non-straight/non-cis people don't tend to have milestones on the same schedule as those who are -- it is a small comfort to me now, at least, to think there is a reason for my bumbling . . .
posted by sevenofspades to Human Relations (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I understand the urge to try to read too much into every tiny thing, but this guy has actually been really really clear and unambiguous about not being into you and there being no chance of being into you in the future. He's actually been really mature and nice about it, and has let you down very clearly without being a jerk. But you need to move on now and stop making this his problem. He's not interested, he will never be interested. You need to work on how to move on and seek out other people.
posted by brainmouse at 8:47 AM on October 12, 2018 [51 favorites]

Best answer: This is never happening, he has said he is not sexually interested in you. Even if he was looking at you, he doesn’t want to have sex or be in a relationship with you. He did say it outright, and you’re not hearing it because you like him so much. But you really need to stop.
posted by corb at 8:52 AM on October 12, 2018 [23 favorites]

Response by poster: This has all been quite so embarrassing and I feel embarrassed reading your answers back too but I appreciate the reality check. I don't understand how I could invert things in such a way as I did . . . Please feel free to keep the comments coming though.
posted by sevenofspades at 8:58 AM on October 12, 2018

Best answer: None of us were there for the glances and smiles so as I see it, you have two possible scenarios:

1) he isn’t interested, has said so clearly, and you’re misinterpreting other gestures out of wishful thinking;

2) he isn’t interested, has said so clearly, but is giving off mixed signals consciously or otherwise indicating some sort of interest.

I know how tempting it is to think that 2) is a better scenario for you because then you’d be in with a chance. But 2) is not actually better, because 2) will just mess with your mind and keep you in limbo. It’s not “one step closer to a relationship”, it’s “one step further away from someone who can communicate their thoughts and desires clearly.” You don’t want 2) either.

Whatever the situation here: he’s not the guy for you.

But, don’t feel bad for feeling ‘clueless and dumb’ about romantic situations! All of us are, at all sorts of ages, we are hopeful and fallible and we daydream and wish and play sad songs on repeat. What you develop with practice is a toolkit for dealing with that part of yourself - which in this situation would be a decision to go “okay, I may be perceiving some ambiguity here, but I also know he’s told me very explicitly that he’s not interested and so I am making an executive decision to class this under Not Interested, Move On even though I know my brain would like to obsess over all the details indefinitely if I gave it free rein.”
posted by Catseye at 9:06 AM on October 12, 2018 [19 favorites]

Best answer: No means no, and he's been clear. Disappointing, perhaps, but there it is.
posted by chapps at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: He has very kindly but very clearly turned you down twice now. He's not saying "this will never happen" because he's a nice guy and doesn't want to hurt your feelings even more.

But I will say it since it seems like you need to hear it. THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Please don't be the guy who can't take no for an answer.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2018 [7 favorites]

Best answer: This guy has said no, repeatedly and politely. He's acting "this way" because he's trying to be polite and not make it super weird for the rest of your shared program.

You seem really unwilling to believe anything that he says--it seems like every time he tells you something you don't like, you come up with a reason that it might not be true, or at least not the whole truth. Consider that what he's saying is the truth, and no amount of wanting it to be different on your part can change that. You're not right that he must have felt differently. He's telling you how he feels. Believe him.

You shouldn't remain friends with this guy in hopes that he's going to magically change his mind. If you want to be his friend, be his friend. If you're only being his "friend" in hopes that he's eventually going to change his mind and start dating you, then you're not really his friend.
posted by mishafletch at 9:25 AM on October 12, 2018 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I’ve been on the other side of this and yeah. It’s incredibly frustrating to try to deal with people who are convinced that you’re into them because if you’re anything but a huge asshole they’ll be encouraged. I wouldn’t apologize. I’d leave him alone about this topic forever. Apologizing further just demands more emotional labor and he’s already provided a ton.

Re: the looking at you thing...I was accused of looking at someone in a similar situation but what the other person didn’t realize is that he was basically staring at me or looking at me noticably a huge amount of time. I noticed and would look back occasionally because it was obvious and grabbed my attention. He then took my reaction to him as me looking at him...yeah, that’s not what was going on and I was super uncomfortable with the situation and definitely not into him. When someone is centering their attention on you it’s really REALLY hard not to glance at them. This may explain his attention in class.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 9:47 AM on October 12, 2018 [21 favorites]

Best answer: Also when this happened our eyes met a couple of times and I smiled because it was so incredibly embarrassing for me to be obviously stared at and it was also embarrassing for the person unknowingly (?) doing the staring. In the future, if someone says no once you need to move on and stop looking for signs that they’ve changed their mind. You can easily fool yourself and the result can be really disastrous. Now you know and will be better equipped in the future.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 9:54 AM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I don't think you should apologize because as Rock 'Em Sock 'Em said, that is more emotional labor for him on top of all the emotional labor he's already been doing for you.

I think you should back away and give him some space for a while, and put this energy into the rest of your life. He's said no, multiple times.... case closed. Do not pursue this further. Crush energy is very powerful! Maybe it would help to redirect this energy and put it into your friendships, school, work-- whatever needs your attention. You will feel better about yourself if you do this.

Because if you continue to cling to this man and fixate on him emotionally, you will only feel worse about yourself. I guarantee it. And you don't deserve to feel bad about yourself.
posted by coffeeand at 10:01 AM on October 12, 2018 [12 favorites]

Best answer: I don't think you need to apologize -- it sounds like you may have been overwhelming this guy a bit with your interest, and in that circumstance, an apology can sound a lot like the overture for a whole new round of validation-seeking drama. The kindest thing to do, IMHO, is scale the texting and attempts to hang out with him way way down and just be polite and friendly and positive when you see him.

But yeah, this is never happening, he has been crystal clear to you about that.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:11 AM on October 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: He already said no twice. Politely and patiently. You're pushing for a crushing permanent refusal, which he as a kind person is probably not going to give you because it's frankly kind of rude. Don't make him be rude to you. Listen to what he has said and move on. Don't apologize, just let it be. Friends are valuable don't torch this friendship chasing some finality that isn't out there.

I've been on both sides of this, in both cases I regretted not leaving things be, I regret pushing, and I regret being pushed.

In a case that involved a trans friend, I felt like they were pushing for me to say "I don't like you because you're trans." which I didn't say because it wasn't true and rude as fuck. The truth was similar to the situation here they were a close friend in a small group and I didn't want the drama. I told them that, they didn't listen, they pushed for a "better" explanation and I tried to give them one but there wasn't a better explanation. The boring truth was as good as it was gonna get. It got ugly as the negotiating the rejection went on and on, and we stopped being friends. Haven't spoken in ages sadly.
posted by French Fry at 10:18 AM on October 12, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I think I just want him to say, "no, this is never happening,"

If he said that, you'd still be pining. "He said this was never happening but he was lying/wrong/scared and now it finally is!" is a classic romantic trope. There's basically nothing he can say (short of something unimaginably cruel, which clearly he isn't the type to do) to make you stop crushing, because that is how our big dumb brains work. You have to do the work yourself, which sucks.
posted by acidic at 10:33 AM on October 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I'm so sorry, but you need to start working on letting this go. He told you initially that he was not interested. He then explicitly refuted your suggestion that any signs (you think) you've observed in his recent behavior mean that his feelings have changed.

I don't recommend that you leave this door open in your heart. But if you just can't help holding on to that hope, you should still set an intention that you will not approach him again about this topic in any way, for your sake and his. If his feelings do change, it'll be up to him to make a strong, unambiguous move to let you know.
posted by merriment at 10:34 AM on October 12, 2018

Best answer: As you say, things are different when you transition. That means not just stronger feelings but more trouble getting over them. The first person I fell in love with after I transitioned took me a long, long time to get over, even though it was a short relationship and even though I'd often been able to just walk away from exes in the past. Having your real self and your real feelings out in the open makes rejection so much harder.

But you will get over this guy. The strong feelings you're having now don't mean that you'll feel this way forever. And just because you've never fallen this hard for someone in the past doesn't mean you never will in the future. There will be other guys this good and kind and attractive and crushworthy. This isn't the end. It's the beginning.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:07 AM on October 12, 2018 [8 favorites]

Best answer: The easiest, clearest, best thing to do here is to never bring it up again. Not to over-apologize, not to re-test the waters, and not to process it with him. Just never speak or refer to any of this again.

He has been abundantly clear and has even been kind to you in how he did it. He *is* telling you that he never wants anything more with you, you're just going through a tremendous amount of mental gymnastics to deny that fact because it's not what you want to hear. Give up all hope about this turning into a romance. It's not going to happen and any further pursuit of him is creepy and disrespectful of his clearly-stated boundaries.
posted by quince at 11:42 AM on October 12, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: You are crushing so hard that your behavior is bordering on inappropriate. This guy has turned you down, gently but directly, twice. You need to let this go. It's going to be a lot easier to let this go if you limit your contact with him as much as possible. He may be uncomfortable around you at this point. If you continue to express interest in him, I think there's a risk he might complain to your program about you.

It would also be good to understand that you are projecting a lot of fantasies onto him. You aren't infatuated with him so much as the idea of him you've created in your head. That's what happens with crushes. If he were really the guy for you, he would be into you.

I would encourage you to take some big step backs from your interactions with him. Don't ever again discuss your feelings for him with him. Limit your contact with him. Consider deleting his number from your phone to make all this easier. Good luck.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:21 PM on October 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: "I asked him if he had told anyone else about this situation and he said no... which was a lie. It has kind of become an item of gossip among the class... I was angry that he lied and it makes me wonder how much of our conversation was he being truthful about anyway."

Others have correctly given you feedback on what to do regarding this man - i.e. nothing - but I wanted to highlight this part too, as you said you feel you've fallen behind the curve with romantic experiences.

It's never a good sign to be kind of analyzing and auditing and questioning and investigating a series of interactions like this. I mean, you should expect honesty from a partner and it's okay to try and sort out major discrepancies (and I actually think you have a good, straightforward, direct approach) but your tone here smacks of trying to "solve a crime" in a way that is just kind of unhealthy and a good habit for you to be aware of (and break). Your emotions are heightened which is understandable, but his emotions are probably neutral and he wouldn't likely frame this as a "lie" worthy of your anger or second-guessing.

I don't say this to embarrass you any further; I have done this or other things just like it in my teens and 20's and only now in my 30's do I see how unproductive it is. (Now I'm making new mistakes that I won't be aware of until my 40's! Please do forgive yourself for all your exchanges with this man, resolve to do better, and move past it. That's all you can ask of yourself.)
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:17 PM on October 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: Politely, he basically said he was flattered but he wasn't wanting to date within our small graduate program and he was emotionally unavailable. "But would he change his mind, ever?" I wondered. "Or would I just make the same mistake in the future not knowing it would never happen?" I needled him a bit for him to be more specific when he said he, "saw me more as a friend," as I was honestly kind of miffed that he was trying to polite-speak his way out of telling me what I thought was the crucial truth, before he said he hates being so blunt and then admitted he didn't find me sexually attractive.

Here's something I wish I knew years before I did: people who want to date you basically never have abstract reasons why they can't date you. You will save yourself a tremendous amount of heartbreak if you start training yourself to hear anything other than a clear 'yes' as a clear 'no, and not ever.' That's hard and it hurts, but it hurts so much less in the long run.

In particular, I'd like to gently suggest that the kind of persistence you're showing here (especially w/r/t the poem) is really something to avoid now that you're presenting as male, especially (since you're bi) in future dealings with women. You didn't do a terrible thing or even anything bad at all, but it's something you might want to keep in mind.

Good luck! We've all lost our heads over someone and done something we're embarrassed about (I could tell you some stories). This will be just a story for you at some point as well.
posted by Ragged Richard at 3:14 PM on October 12, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: This crazy feeling is limerence, and it will pass, and you will be able to think clearly again. The two solutions I know of to speed that process along: 1) no contact for 6 months. This may not be practical if you’re in the same grad program, but you could go low contact. 2) wait for him to do something dumb that removes him from the pedestal you put him on.

But yes! It is good to know that your heart works, maybe works better when you’re living as yourself.

There is a third thing that can slowly help with limerence - if you are having these intense feelings as a reaction to some problem in your life, think about what that might be and what attention it might need. It seems like maybe the fact that you are not out, but sense that your crush might already know, is part of this equation. Perhaps this has generated a feeling of intimacy that makes the idea hard to let go of. I would never presume to tell someone to come out - you are 100% the boss there - but this might be something to explore in yourself. If you were going to tell someone, who would it be, and why? How do you think your feelings of intimacy and security in that friendship would change? Would it be a good thing or a scary thing? Both?
posted by eirias at 3:50 PM on October 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This makes me flash back to when I was a teen and I had a few girl friends who told me they weren't interested in me romantically, but I was super into them and I REALLY wanted them to feel the same way I did. (I was very much the Ducky to their Andie.) I'd read a lot into everything they said and did, trying to convince myself they felt something romantic for me. It was awful. And you know, sometimes eventually we did end up dating, but it would invariably be kind of a disaster. One girl liked playing flirty head games with me, she liked being pursued. She turned out to be a real nightmare in a lot of ways, very moody and manipulative. The other girls truly weren't interested in me romantically and they were only trying to give me a chance because they felt sorry for me or I'd just worn down their resistance or some other sad, fucked up thing. Either way, it was no basis for a healthy, happy relationship. There was just no way to get from "She said she only liked me as a friend" to "Now we are a couple and everything is great."

(Well, if a girl had actually changed her mind and approached ME to say so, maybe then something good could have happened for us. But none of them did. It was always me trying to force something that wasn't meant to be.)

It sounds like this guy has tried to kindly, respectfully tell you that he's not interested and never will be. When somebody says they only like you as a friend, LISTEN to them. If you can't shut off your romantic feelings for them, you're best off not even trying to make a lasting friendship happen. You shouldn't hover around them, nursing your little crush and hoping they'll change their minds. It's not good for you, or fair to them. Just wish them well and move on.

I know what you're feeling, believe me, and I can tell you from hard-won experience that you've got to give up hope of making something happen with this person. Find somebody who wants you as much as you want them. There are plenty of people out there who would want to be with you, but this guy just isn't one of them no matter how much you want it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:06 PM on October 12, 2018 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: It is never fun to be making teenager-level mistakes as a grown adult, but I suppose everyone has to learn sometimes. I'm not sure if people missed this part, but I already apologized to him before I posted this question. To be more specific, I told him I didn't want to burden him anymore or have him worry about burdening me. I said I'd like to remain cordial in the future but if he finds it difficult [given that I understand if my behavior has made him uncomfortable by now...], I understand. He was graceful about it as he always has been.

I will move on from this and never look back. I find it hard to imagine us being actual friends in the future (even when my crush waned I still would not have been able to be happy about anyone he might have started seeing) and, likewise, I definitely can't extend actual friendship right now. Thanks everyone for their responses. They have all been very helpful and I especially appreciated the responses that were empathetic along with giving the much-needed reality check.

I think part of my feelings run amok is that things seemed much more plausible at working out than ever before. He was a good person and he actually had trans friends so I knew he wouldn't be like, "what's that?" or turn me down in some awful way. I wish it were easier to identify people that might be kind about my circumstances but it is not; romantic interests/sexual partners who made all the right noises about being understanding previously took advantage of me in the end and seemed to get a boost off having someone who (justifiably, in their mind only) they could feel superior to. I was harassed on a somewhat regular basis for two years before I moved to a new city and it was probably rather traumatic. It made it so much harder to imagine ever being able to be open with someone.

Love has seemed locked off from me for a long time and I have not had a relationship in five years and have never had a healthy relationship (i.e. without abuse). My behavior with this man was like a desperation move, in a way -- I can see it -- but the temptation to be an idiot as I have been is strong when affection seems so scarce. I wish this were a matter of my perspective but it is a reality for me and many trans people I know. At least I am cognizant of this now and can do a "check yourself before you wreck yourself (and the other party as well)" next time a situation like this happens again. And the suggestions on moving on the first time anyone turns me down for whatever reason they come up with (thanks Ragged Richard) and keeping in mind there can be ambiguity between a person's words and actions and to just take them at their word (thanks Catseye) will be maxims I live by from now on.

As eirlas suggested, yes, part of these feelings run amok might have to do with me not being out and thinking I could have someone who I could share my whole self with. Apparently me being "a hard shell with lots of cracks... someone who is sensitive but doesn't want to show it" is part of the class gossip and people know there is something that I am keeping intensely private. I have a kind friend from the program (who is familiar with my situation with this man) I met up with on Friday evening who gently suggested I work on trusting people more. To be honest, I am not sure how to undo a lifetime of family, friends, and strangers taking advantage of me or being cruel, or enabling others to do so, when love, kindness and empathy, and neutrality in these various situations would have been expected. I was thinking about going out with some people from OkCupid (guy from summer had to reschedule for next weekend) but I feel kind of weary of all this. I think I will just double-down on my scholastic efforts if nothing else.
posted by sevenofspades at 7:45 AM on October 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Oh, this sounds really tough. I'm sorry. Our desire to connect romantically, intellectually, sexually is profound. Is there a campus queer center where you could hang out? Or are you worried you would out yourself if you did that?

You deserve to be loved for your whole self. I hope you know that.
posted by bluedaisy at 3:03 PM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I wish you all the good things, sevenofspades. I feel like everybody I know who has come out in adulthood has gone through a second adolescence, wherein all the feelings they thought they understood before finding their sexual selves suddenly looked different and much harder to navigate when new gender norms were in play and new intensities of feeling were on the line. Do move on, but be gentle with yourself as you do.

Nothing wrong with sitting the dating game out for a couple rounds and focusing on school. But if you do find the energy for OKCupid - could a couple low key dates, ideally with people to whom you have already come out in advance, lower the stakes in your mind, maybe?
posted by eirias at 3:06 PM on October 18, 2018

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