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#421521 - 01/08/13 02:31 PM Too complicated
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
My brothers,

I'm struggling with something which is tying me up in knots.

I dated a guy during august/september last year. We hit it off instantly. Connected on many levels, but didn't connect sexually; primarily because I was surprised I'd met someone so awesome that I could enjoy is time with. And also because he's not typically the kind of guy I'm physically attracted to.

Well, I made the mistake of getting physical with him too soon, and as a result, developed feelings of love for him (this is typical of CSA survivors).

He put the breaks on our dating. We didn't talk for a few weeks, and then started communicating and have hung out a few times since mid November. Each time we enjoy each other's company, but its been strictly platonic.

I've communicated to him in not so covert ways that he was attractive, handsome, and complimented many qualities of him. He has largely been unreciprocal. So I have taken the hint, and have decided to let go of my stronger feelings (how I do that, I don't know).

What I do know is that I would really love to be his friends. He has all of the qualities I admire in people I would want to befriend; he's hilarious, brilliant, charming, challenging, insightful, sensitive, honest.

I'm all tied in knots because I really want to be his friend, pursue a friendship, and I'm also acknowledging that I still have a part of me that wants something more from him. My therapist has encouraged me to embrace the feelings of want, and try to pursue a friendship with him.

I don't know how to do this. It's been fairly easy to hang out with him in spite of these complicated feelings, but when he's invited me to do something with him AND with another girl, I just about fell on my face. What does it mean when someone wants to include another person? I feel violated, confused, and don't know what the appropriate response is.

So I said I would have to pass, because my schedule is going to be tight (it will be). If the girl wasn't coming, I would try to swing it, just so I can get some time with him. But since the girl is coming, it adds another layer of complexity I don't know how to deal with emotionally. Not certain I can be entirely present as I try to process my feelings.

Hope all that made sense. It's a complicated emotional entangled thing. I'm astonished that he's willing to be friends, in spite of the feelings I have expressed for him. I'm equally astonished that *I* want to be friends, in spite of how complicated the feelings are for me.

All I know is - I would regret not trying to be friends with him, because meeting someone like him is an extremely rare event in my life. I need MORE people like him in my life, and to walk away from this friendship/relationship because its so complicated would be something I would probably regret for the rest of my life.

UUuuuuuuuuugh.

Does anyone have experience deciding to be friends with someone they also have deeper feelings for, but realize that their deeper feelings will not be reciprocrated? And if so, did you have any regrets pursuing a friendship with them? I know that hindsight is 20/20, so I'm looking for answers from anyone who has experienced this.

Help.
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If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421527 - 01/08/13 03:28 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Luftraumm Offline


Registered: 01/06/13
Posts: 17
Loc: Brasil
I'm sorry it all ended up so complicated magellan, in my experience i always ended up pursuing the feelings of love, ended up in a codependent and failed relationship.
I would say, friendship is almost immortal. It endures quite a bit of time away and stress, so i guess you could try to wait out the turbulence for now, and try to meet this guy on a more tranquil manner.
Try to stay calm, focus a little on yourself and see if you can go by this with a little less expectations.

I for one always put a lot of expectations on any kind of relationship.
and as for trying to de-sexualize a relationship, i never managed to do that...

hope this helps in some way...

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#421531 - 01/08/13 04:11 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6607
Loc: FEMA Region 1
fubar deletion


Edited by Still (01/08/13 06:20 PM)
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#421532 - 01/08/13 04:19 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 288
Loc: MO
I have been in many relationships which have been with women ' friends' and no sexual activity.

I am currently in a relationship with a friend that was sexual for a couple of years and is no longer. She simply decided she no longer wanted sex. I cannot feel comfortable just hanging out with her. But I usually see her once a week, or three times a month. I also take care of the dog for her when she visits her daughter.

It is difficult for me, and trying to discuss intimate non-sexual relations is not very successful. So, it has to remain a limited friendship. It is easier for me when I am less depressed and feeling less vulnerable. However, I am still maintaining the relationship, by responding on her terms.

For example, I will bring her dinner, and stay the night , massage her arthritic arms and legs, but get no sensual response. I think if I did it would make it harder for me to honor her no sex expectations.

Figuring out how to pursue a sexual relationship at the same time is difficult, but masturbation while watching porn is always a temporary solution. It will not work in the long run, and whether I can maintain the friendship when I have another lover is yet to be seen.

So, this is my experience, it is workable for the present and although I obviously would prefer a different relationship, ut us the one I have.

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#421533 - 01/08/13 04:24 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Still, that's not whats going on, and not sure I understand the conclusions you drew.

Shorter version - we dated for a while. I initiated the sex too soon. I started feeling love for him. He stopped our dating. After a bit of time passed, we both decided to try and be friends with each other, even though I still have feelings for him. And now I see that we could potentially become really good friends, which is what I want to aim for. We have great conversations, get along very well, and talk about really personal stuff. All great qualities to have in a friend.

I'm struggling with wanting to be friends with him (he's an AWESOME guy), but have deeper feelings for him than he has for me. My therapist is recommending I embrace the feelings and allow some natural process for me to resolve these feelings so a friendship can blossom between us. I don't know how that works.

There was no abuse or manipulation. We've been in touch all the while, so this is not a sudden thing.

I'm confounded by his wanting to include a friend to go out and enjoy an evening. I suppose this is 'normal' for everyone else, but for me, its a struggle, complicated by the fact that I have a hearing loss which makes it difficult for me to hear in groups of people. I actually met this girl on our 1st date; it was accidental that we ran into her as we were walking around; she's a friend of his. And she's quite a nice girl, too.

_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421535 - 01/08/13 04:27 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Luftraumm]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Thanks for your reply, Luftraumm. Yes, its complicated. And yes, friendship is almost immortal, it does endure a lot. Our friendship, if there is to be one, is still in its infancy, but I see incredible potential for a great friendship to emerge.

I just don't know how to work through and resolve my deeper feelings for him and not get hurt in the process. My therapist recommends I attempt this, and I don't know how this is done.



Originally Posted By: Luftraumm
I'm sorry it all ended up so complicated magellan, in my experience i always ended up pursuing the feelings of love, ended up in a codependent and failed relationship.
I would say, friendship is almost immortal. It endures quite a bit of time away and stress, so i guess you could try to wait out the turbulence for now, and try to meet this guy on a more tranquil manner.
Try to stay calm, focus a little on yourself and see if you can go by this with a little less expectations.

I for one always put a lot of expectations on any kind of relationship.
and as for trying to de-sexualize a relationship, i never managed to do that...

hope this helps in some way...
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421537 - 01/08/13 04:29 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: genedebs]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Thank you for your reply, genedebs,

Do you mind my asking; why have you chosen to remain friends with her? And is it satisfying to you?

With this person, we apparently really enjoy each other's company, in spite of how complicated my feelings are, and how confused I am. When we're together, the time just flies. And conversation is ridiculously easy, and fun. And we can talk about personal and intimate things. It's the basis for a great friendship. I just dunno how to work through my other feelings for him.


Originally Posted By: genedebs
I have been in many relationships which have been with women ' friends' and no sexual activity.

I am currently in a relationship with a friend that was sexual for a couple of years and is no longer. She simply decided she no longer wanted sex. I cannot feel comfortable just hanging out with her. But I usually see her once a week, or three times a month. I also take care of the dog for her when she visits her daughter.

It is difficult for me, and trying to discuss intimate non-sexual relations is not very successful. So, it has to remain a limited friendship. It is easier for me when I am less depressed and feeling less vulnerable. However, I am still maintaining the relationship, by responding on her terms.

For example, I will bring her dinner, and stay the night , massage her arthritic arms and legs, but get no sensual response. I think if I did it would make it harder for me to honor her no sex expectations.

Figuring out how to pursue a sexual relationship at the same time is difficult, but masturbation while watching porn is always a temporary solution. It will not work in the long run, and whether I can maintain the friendship when I have another lover is yet to be seen.

So, this is my experience, it is workable for the present and although I obviously would prefer a different relationship, ut us the one I have.

_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421539 - 01/08/13 04:49 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 288
Loc: MO
She is helpful, supportive, and we have many common values.

Sometimes we can do something really wonderful together, like a road trip to see the leaves turn. Or to a play. When we don't get too dee[ it is comfprtable and generally safe to be with her.

I can express my craziness and fears without chasing her away, but sometimes she will change the subject to herself when I am being too needy.

Yeah, it works and I have known her for more than 30 years,

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#421540 - 01/08/13 04:52 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: genedebs]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Thank you for answering my questions;

You are very blessed to have her as a friend.



Originally Posted By: genedebs
She is helpful, supportive, and we have many common values.

Sometimes we can do something really wonderful together, like a road trip to see the leaves turn. Or to a play. When we don't get too dee[ it is comfprtable and generally safe to be with her.

I can express my craziness and fears without chasing her away, but sometimes she will change the subject to herself when I am being too needy.

Yeah, it works and I have known her for more than 30 years,
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421541 - 01/08/13 04:52 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6607
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Sorry for getting it wrong. I get easily confuzzled frown
_________________________
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#421542 - 01/08/13 05:04 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Still]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Don't worry about it, Still. thanks for taking the time smile

Originally Posted By: Still
Sorry for getting it wrong. I get easily confuzzled frown
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421551 - 01/08/13 06:18 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Candu Offline


Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Magellan
My therapist is recommending I embrace the feelings and allow some natural process for me to resolve these feelings so a friendship can blossom between us. I don't know how that works.


Maybe ask your therapist. Because I haven't got a clue either. So don't think it is only you.

But be careful. A friend like you describe is a fantastic thing to have. I hope you figure it out without too much grief.

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#421561 - 01/08/13 07:48 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Magellan,

A couple of thoughts:

1. Why not try it and see where it goes? My suggestion would be just ver as honest as possible about it and let him know that you're trying to adjust your signal strength (so to speak) so if there are any odd signals he's aware and can say something comfortably and so can you.

2. I don't see anything odd about him wanting to include other friends in your outings. A friend group can be a great thing and it would probably tone down your pair interacting, making it less intense. IN other words, the girl should ideally be decreasing the complexity. You could deliberately hold back and watch their interaction and let your feelings arise and dissipate through the course of the evening, participating enough to be present, deliberately letting the intensity drop.

3. I would guess your other feelings would get worked out by the changing dynamic as your relationship progresses, as long as the boundaries are clear. Again, having the third person could help with this. A trio has a less binary dynamic than a duo.


Danny

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#421563 - 01/08/13 07:56 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Randy65 Offline


Registered: 04/14/12
Posts: 109
Loc: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Hi Magellan,
It seems that if it is truly the friendship that you would like to have with him, the girl should not matter. When past feelings are involved the water gets muddy. From my experience communication is key. If he is aware of your feelings of friendship and it went past that in the past, he may be asking the girl to come along to see how you handle it and to see if you really plan on keeping it on a friendship only level. I'm not sure if I would back away from the friendship because of lack of alone time with him. Just be yourself enjoy the time with them and you might gain a nice girl friendship also. The not knowing would be worse to me than taking this step.

I also want to commend you on the progress you have made my friend. Your posts seem to have a passion for life and you are so open to opinions and advice and give it back in such a great way. You are on such a great path of healing, and I'm really proud of you. Sure we have our bad days, but brother you are kicking it. Great stuff!
Stay Strong smile
Randy
_________________________
My Story of CSA
http://youtu.be/EJIlKCRL_6M

My Story of CSA: The Day God Entered My Heart
http://youtu.be/vpCWEp6u9zM

My Story of CSA: "Flashbacks" (Trigger Caution)
http://youtu.be/xLd5Fe-MxVM



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#421565 - 01/08/13 08:04 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Thank you for your encouragement and ideas and posting.

I feel stupid that I already said I can't make the get together; I have therapy up until an hour before the time they're going to meet and would have to race home then race over there to meet up with them. I'd be willing to do the racing around to meet with him, but since she's coming, not feeling it. Too much anxiety about how I will perform in a social setting like that; growing up with severe hearing loss really SUCKED.

I'm feeling pretty conflicted about my feelings as well, and part of me is hoping to talk with him about my confusion and internal conflict. I'm entirely confused if I should talk to him about it at all, or if he's already picking up on the signals or whatever. You may be right, maybe he's bringing someone else along to lessen the dynamic between the two of us. Part of my damage is constant teashing and psychological torture of others kids befriending another person and leaving me in the dust - read - severe abandonment issues. It doesn't help that I grew up with severe hearing loss, and hearing in situations where there was more than 1 other person talking was impossible.

So I have a lot of anxiety around adding a 3rd person for 2 reasons - abandonment issues due to trauma, and my severe hearing loss (which just in the last few months has been remedied).

I don't want to inflict him with any of this drama. he doesn't deserve it. Our friendship (if there is to be one) is still in its infancy.

So i'm feeling a lot of hurt and turmoil and loneliness and confusion and it fucking sucks. Part of me feels so completely damaged by my childhood experiences, that I wonder if I'm fooling myself thinking that it is even possible for me to have a healthy friendship with him at all, in spite of my strong desire to have one. UGH.


_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421595 - 01/08/13 09:56 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: DannyT]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Danny, this reply was really REALLY insightful. I feel dumb that I didn't think of this. And you're absolutely right. I wish I had the balls to follow through with going out with the three of us; I didn't see this as an opportunity to actually deepen the friendship. Instead I let my fear of abandonment and jealousy get the better of me. And anxiety about not hearing (and consequently being left out of conversation).

Dammit!

Originally Posted By: DannyT
Hi Magellan,

A couple of thoughts:

1. Why not try it and see where it goes? My suggestion would be just ver as honest as possible about it and let him know that you're trying to adjust your signal strength (so to speak) so if there are any odd signals he's aware and can say something comfortably and so can you.

2. I don't see anything odd about him wanting to include other friends in your outings. A friend group can be a great thing and it would probably tone down your pair interacting, making it less intense. IN other words, the girl should ideally be decreasing the complexity. You could deliberately hold back and watch their interaction and let your feelings arise and dissipate through the course of the evening, participating enough to be present, deliberately letting the intensity drop.

3. I would guess your other feelings would get worked out by the changing dynamic as your relationship progresses, as long as the boundaries are clear. Again, having the third person could help with this. A trio has a less binary dynamic than a duo.


Danny
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421609 - 01/09/13 01:20 AM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
DannyT Offline
Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 402
Hi Magellan,

Glad it was helpful. Don't forget, you can always take a rain check and suggest another outing yourself.

Danny

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#421621 - 01/09/13 02:19 AM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Hey Magellan --

Oh, you're gonna not like this much, but I'm going with DannyT on this one. Rain checks are okay!

One thing I'll add from my experience - you'll REALLY hate this one - why purposely put yourself in a situation with which you're uncomfortable? What's the payoff?

Point is, you have choices. Take it from me - been there - you don't have to be Joan of Arc. Though I'll admit I look good in armour.

Have you considered other activities with other people with whom you're absolutely comfortable, doing things you all enjoy...and without the baggage.

Just a thot.

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#421642 - 01/09/13 10:41 AM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
Thanks Lancer,

Rain check (and suggested later get together) already offered. I feel dumb that I'm unable to function socially this way.

As for other people, I've been doing quite a lot of that. I don't have the great time I always have with this one guy I'm talking about. It's an extremely rare event in my life that I find someone I've met who I really really like going out with, where there is inspiration, charm, ... magic.

Most all the others people I've been hanging out with - it's mostly just 'bleh'.
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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#421739 - 01/10/13 03:00 AM Re: Too complicated [Re: Magellan]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1600
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Magellan
... but when he's invited me to do something with him AND with another girl, I just about fell on my face. What does it mean when someone wants to include another person?


I think it just means that he wants to include you in his circle of friends. And whats wrong with that? You might make some new friends through him. Could be an opportunity. What have you got to lose?

Jude
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#421775 - 01/10/13 12:29 PM Re: Too complicated [Re: Jude]
Magellan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1438
Loc: California
You're entirely right. I didn't think of this when he extended the invitation. I was afraid he was playing mind games and I was also feeling jealous.

I was hurt by a lot of childhood taunting and mindgames pretending to be my friend and then ditching me for someone "better" than me.

My hearing loss has also made it impossible for me to hear in groups of people; I always wound up feeling left out because I couldn't hear.

Between all of the above, I had a tremendous amount of anxiety and gracefully declined for legitimate reasons. Not enough time to enjoy a casual get together without feeling rushed to meet up.

But still, I feel dumb and naive. I don't know how to function socially in these situations.

Originally Posted By: Jude
Originally Posted By: Magellan
... but when he's invited me to do something with him AND with another girl, I just about fell on my face. What does it mean when someone wants to include another person?


I think it just means that he wants to include you in his circle of friends. And whats wrong with that? You might make some new friends through him. Could be an opportunity. What have you got to lose?

Jude
_________________________
If I'm acting despondent, Please ask me if I'm eating sugar. I keep forgetting sugar makes me crazy.

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