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October 29, 2007

please offer your advice

the following email was sent to me today, asking for relationship advice. I think collectively, all of you will do a better job than i ever could. I am posting the email with his permission ::

Dear Ze,

Thank You for creating the show, some of what you said in The Show becomes something I calibrate my meaning of life and decision making. - I am going through something now that I don't think I can make it. I'm sorry to be so dramatic. But please, read on first. I was in my German class two years ago, I met a girl named Ms.M,


I liked her that very first day. I soon found out that her taking German was because of her German boyfriend whom she met in Prague and has been having a long distance relationship for the past three years and still going. We stayed friends and kept in touch after the German class was over. She gave me some cookies she made that Christmas as a gift. And we became close friends, good friends, and best friends. You know, we had so much fun doing things together.

Even though she lives in City B and I City S and we met in the past two years about once a month sometimes more sometimes less. We would talk about so many topics that at times we were ready to pull out a piece of paper to write them down as we'd jump from one to another, we laughed, we enjoyed the food and drinks on the table. Have you ever had someone who you can sit across the table with to talk for three hours, six hours, twelve hours and you guys had to stop because the last train is leaving? She's my soul mate. When I was falling asleep in the library trying to study for a midterm, it was often the thought that I got to meet her for another cup of coffee that weekend, another dinner at the French cafe the following Friday that stimulated me. I learned a lot from her. We enjoyed our time and talk, something I cannot overestimate.

Her boyfriend came to visit once a year or so. In the first year, I had no trouble of his visiting at all, because I stick to the "we are just friends" line of thought. This year, he visited again for a month. The difference is that Ms.M and I had met a bit more in this year, shared even more personal things, and the last time we met for lunch, opera, and dinner then dessert, Sept 23, before her boyfriend came was such, such a great time for us. We both knew that. Boy, was that day fun? But I couldn't sleep the night her boyfriend arrived. I slapped my forehead to remind myself that she's a friend, a very, very good friend and it really would be enough just to stay like friends. Really. Oh yes, very much.

When I imagined that her boyfriend might propose to her, I knew I'd be shattered, so I thought to myself: I mean, maybe she'll move to Germany, that's fine, before then, I will just be the best friend, the best company and just enjoy the time with her when her boyfriend isn't around and when she does marry, and when her boyfriend is around he will make her happy and I am on the side that's fine. It really really was her comfort and happiness that I was concerned. I mean, basically, friends with Ms.M would be a fantastic thing, Nope, no more is needed. More is absolutely great, but what I had was also fine. Great! So I was on the plan that never to tell how I felt, because if I did, the risk was losing her, our friendship. I couldn't bear that.

We emailed each other every day, too - last week, I received an usual email from her. She told what she had done and that she had a soothing conversation with her cat. I answered as usual. But when I review her email again, which I liked to do, I noticed that the word soothing might signify something, in particular, something that's not soothing. So I asked if what I daydreamed about might be true, and after several emails exchanged, we met the next day, last Tuesday. The last email she wrote before we met she mentioned that she finds it a horrible feeling that she doesn't know what she will say exactly, and what I will say, which loses me as I generally thought that the problem might be with work/family/her boyfriend, so whatever my opinion, she should not be distressed.

So we met the next day, She still wouldn't talk so I talked for about 4.5 hrs just hoping to calm her down first, but to no avail, she still didn't tell anything. I noticed that she's getting more and more nervous and by the end, she needed to do a bit of work in her office so we parted without our usual good-by. That shocked me a bit as it was the first time to see such behavior as she presented. - Then I got on the bus returning to City S, half way, she called. She was crying on the phone. So I persuaded her to let me turn around. I then turned around to go back to meet her. We sat down, she started by telling that she might have to end our friendship. The next fraction of second, I thought that her boyfriend might be too jealous or something and required her to stay away from me, but then I know that if he was like that, Ms.M will simply kick him out of the picture instead, so I was still confused in that fraction of second. Then she said: I have been falling in love with you.

That was quite a surprise. She's the woman of my life and I never thought I stood a chance. Now I was being told face to face. Imagine how happy I was! Next she asked how I felt. I mean, I had my plan not to tell for a really long time and even forever. But now it seemed to be the best time to tell. I told her too that I have been in love with her and also that plan of never telling. She told me, too, that she liked me since day one. but it was until she I met someone, two months after start of that German class, she had the courage and reassurance to take action such that she felt more, I guess concealed about her feeling, with that knowledge that I know that she knows I was with someone. I was overjoyed. I was overjoyed. We continued to talk a bit more. We then walked a bit, we finally kissed and hugged. - We laughed a bit at all the little things we did in the past two years.

She wrote me soon after we parted that day, to tell me that she would prefer to be a bit of silent and asked if I want to meet her up for lunch today, Monday 29 Oct. I completely understand. In fact, I always give her absolutely boundless time and space to do what she has to do. Because her boyfriend from Germany was still visiting, and she needed the next few days to make a decision. I think he left either today or yesterday. Then came yesterday. She wrote to tell me she's sorry that she could not make it today to the lunch. She said in the email that she still wanted to do things with friends and family of her boyfriends, whom she met and befriended in her visits in Germany, and that they are her world and family, too. And that there are other reasons too, but that is the biggest. She asked me "not to try to speak, write, or see [her]" and that she meant everything she said last Tuesday and hope, above all, that I don't doubt her feelings. She bid me some well wishes at the end of the email.

Here's the original: I am also asking you not to try to speak, write, or see me. I am so sorry to have forced the thing to it's crisis, but unlike you, I do not possess the ability to hide my feelings. I am glad and without any regret to have been completely open and frank with you, face to face. I hope, above all, you never doubt it.

[My name], I wish you the greatest happiness ever, to the nicest and most selfless person I know,

Ze, I am sorry to bore you with this. I am so sorry. But I can't breathe the moment I read the email. I can't do this. I can't make it, Ze. I am so sorry to trouble you, but I am losing the best friend of mine. Consciously or unconsciously, she's been my motivation to do well at work, to live well. I was really going to accept the fact that she and I couldn't be but we could stay friends, and I am absolutely fine with it, I was happy to be like that. But then she told me of her love, and I told her, then now, I am crowded out of the picture. I lost her. She sent me another email later yesterday to tell me that she's sending me a letter. "Rip it, shred it, and burn it - but please read it first, It's all there". I haven't gotten the letter yet, but I don't think I will make it this time....

Please, please, please, Help.

I'm so sorry.

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Comments (50)

being true to yourself and sharing your emotions — whether encouraged by her admission of feelings for you or of your own volition — was the best thing you could have done. keeping those feelings inside would have destroyed you and slowly would have manifested themselves regardless of your will. love has a way of doing that.

i assure you that she was probably already well aware of your feelings for her before you verbalized them.

right now, the only thing you can do is give her the space she asks for. she is clearly working through some things that she needs to deal with alone. it sounds as if she is making decisions based on fear. perhaps in time, her fear will dissipate.

be confident in the fact that you possess a kind heart and have been a generous and loving friend to her. you should never regret that.

none of us should give our hearts based on what we think the return on our investment might be. we give our hearts because, at our best, we are selfless loving creatures. sometimes that love is returned; other times it is not.


having pieced my heart back together more than once in the past few years, i know that it is the most difficult pain to deal with, knowing there is nothing you can do to "fix" the situation.

what should i have done differently?
what if i just said this?

but sometimes time truly is the only thing that change or heal things.

truthfully, i doubt there is anything anyone can say right now that will truly ease your pain. but i am so so sorry that your heart hurts. :(

Posted by: beenit at October 29, 2007 4:14 PM

what's that saying? "if you love something, set it free. if it comes back, it's yours to keep." something like that. that's my advice. i did that with a girl i loved, and she moved on. obviously she wasn't the right one. later, i did it again with another woman, and now she's my wife. if it's meant to be, it will work out in the end. only when love is freely given can it be truly appreciated. (sorry to lean on tired/mangled cliches, but they're what's coming to mind right now.) just know that if you really want to be with this girl, you need to be ready to lose her forever. otherwise you'll not be able to give her the space she needs.

Posted by: JC at October 29, 2007 4:51 PM

It sounds to me like she is having difficulty deciding between you and her boyfriend.
Her boyfriend has been in her life for a long time, and the fact that she travels to see him and knows his friends and family well makes it seem like she has built a solid relationship with him that will be difficult to break off.
Even if she loves you more, she needs to know that you will welcome her with open arms. People sometimes mistake the polite silence of shy people (like you and me) for a lack of feeling. She may wonder if it is worth losing the comfortable relationship she has in order to be with someone who is capable of hiding his intense love so well.
She has asked you not to contact her, but the fact that she told you she is falling in love with you means that she wanted to know if the feeling was reciprocated. It is good that you told her how you feel.
Now it's up to you to decide what you really want. It's no good to be in love with someone who is married to someone else (you are already suffering enough as it is). She will either become your girlfriend or become the distant memory of someone you once loved while you search for someone new. If you love her as much as you say, then you have every right (an obligation even) to let her know exactly how much you care.
On the otherhand, she may simply be feeling cold feet about the progress of her current relationship (she may also think a proposal is imminent), and it is only natural for her to think, "What if I am really supposed to be with my friend?"
Ideally, I believe you should do everything in your power to "win" this girl, but be prepared to move on if her love for you is not strong enough for her to break off her current relationship.
You seem to be a very sensitive and loving soul. The incredible bond you have with this girl is a rare and miraculous thing, but it may be that it came into being because of the openness and beauty of your own soul. That means that if you continue to be open and good, you can probably find it again with someone else.
Personally, I've been on the girl's end of this situation. I wish the person in your place had had the courage to step up and make his feelings known. Now I am haunted by what might have been.
Do your best, and with or without her, you, with your big heart, will be fine.

Posted by: Diana B. at October 29, 2007 5:06 PM

Whatever you do, don't do nothing. Don't sit by yourself and work your mind into knots. Talk with friends or family about it. Talk to your pets, if you have to. Write lots of bad poetry so you can look back and have something to laugh about.

Posted by: jGolden at October 29, 2007 5:32 PM

You love her, she loves you. She's scared to give over to that feeling. Is the German boyfriend offering something you are not willing to give her?

She has said don't contact her, but I would. I think she doesn't want to hear from you because she doesn't want to confront her own feelings. She doesn't want to make a difficult decision, and she would rather hurt you than this other person (maybe because she knows you better - we do tend to do that!). Anyway, I'd write her one last time... just a simple "I love you and I am still here, if you'll have me" sort of thing. If not, be prepared to move on. And walk away. Try not to be bitter. Remember the good times.

Sometimes people make really stupid decisions, and they regret them later, but they still have to decide for themselves. This is how we learn.

You: just breathe. Everything will be all right, and all things work out as they should (even though you might not understand). You will see. Keep breathing.

Posted by: steph at October 29, 2007 5:52 PM

I agree with Diana B. completely. You have to fight for this as hard as you possibly can. Then fight harder. If you just let her go, you may spend the rest of your life regretting it. Show her how much she means to you. Read the letter. Then go! Don't wait around here. Go go go!

Posted by: Matt McVickar at October 29, 2007 5:53 PM

This woman is too involved with her German boyfriend, and she's not being a good friend right now. You would never to that to her.

Her confession of love was a device to coax your own feelings out. You're a very sensitive guy. I'm sure she knew about how you felt and I doubt the sincerity of her surprise.

Her remorse is that she knows how you feel about her, and she feels guilty for cultivating these hopes in you when she knows she doesn't have any intentions of reciprocating them. Because she knows how fabulous you are and what you really deserve.

It seems pretty manipulative and cold... cold.

You need to move past romantic feelings for her. You're in love with her and as long as you are "just friends" she will continue to use your good nature when she is feeling down about German boy. This is toxic for you.

She's in no condition to reciprocate your feelings at the moment anyway, considering she has a powerful connection with this German wichser.

Posted by: nesnora at October 29, 2007 5:56 PM

if i could give any advice, draw close to your family and friends. they are the ones who will remind you who you are amidst all this. and read lots of kahlil gibran. :)

(nice beenit)

Posted by: moo at October 29, 2007 5:59 PM

You can make it!

For years I was in love with a man who was my best friend. The circumstances were different, but like you, eventually the truth came out. It was the hardest time in my life, but having gone through it, I am so glad I spoke up about my real feelings. At times I felt like I could not manage the grief, but I did, and so can you. I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time, but please have faith.

It sounds to me like this situation is beyond your control. You have loved her the best that you can, which is more than many people could have done in your circumstances. Over the next few week, try to treat yourself with the same tenderness and emotional generosity that you have given to her. No matter what happens with this woman, you deserve to have love and joy and openness in your relationships. Your love is valuable! Everyone should be able to look at the person they love and say "I love you". Everyone should be able to kiss and to hold the person that they love. It may seem like you have lost everything, but when I went through something similar, I ended up with so much more than I lost. Your friend doesn't knows what she wants yet, but you know what you want. You want to love her. It was very brave of you to tell her how you feel. It was the right thing to do, and it was time to be honest. You can't control what she does next. I know that you can handle whatever happens, because you have already displayed remarkable courage.

You can make it! One minute at a time.

Posted by: Kate at October 29, 2007 6:20 PM

It's time to distance yourself from her. Although she thinks of you as "just friends", it is apparent you don't. Because of this, you're not seeing anyone else. Drop her for now.

It's hard. It will be difficult. It will take you a long while to get over it. However, it will be better in the end.

Once you find your own special person, you can probably safely resume your special friendship with this girl. At that time, you have someone who you truly love and actually loves you in return (and that is very nice feeling). After that, you and this girl will only be "just friends" and you won't have those mixed feelings that seem to be getting in the way.

Until then, it's time for a cold shower and some saltpeter. Back away. She's very taken by someone else, and she isn't looking.

Posted by: David W. at October 29, 2007 6:29 PM

Oh dear heart. . . You sound immeasurably lovable. I'm so sorry your heart is broken. Please know that you are being thought of and cared for.

I wish you all the love in the world. I wish you unexpected joy when your tears end.

xo

Please make it through. You sound like you have so much to offer and such a big heart. And insofar as a group of strangers can offer you our hearts... we do.

Posted by: ingrid at October 29, 2007 6:32 PM

This is useless, don't bother with the whole set them free bullshit. Go on and live your life forget about it...anyone who is worth it will be there unconditionally. It really does
n't matter confession or not. You're only responsible for yourself, love and lost we've all been there and will suffer.It's the beauty of life. There is somone out there for you...don't waste your time.
K

Posted by: k at October 29, 2007 6:53 PM

She needs to make a decision. It’s a very simple one, but don’t let it get complicated. Unfortunately,you can’t make it for her, nor can you force her to make one.

If she decides to stay with her boyfriend, do not play the “Maybe she’ll leave him” game. Get a new girlfriend, have some one night stands, whatever. But don’t wait for her. If you do find yourself thinking these thoughts, then it’s time for you to take some space yourself.

If she keeps giving you mixed messages, like in the quoted message, then you should stop seeing her. I’m sure she meant what she said, but she also wants to stay with her current boyfriend. If she can’t make up her mind, or is unwilling to sacrifice for her choice, everyone is headed for a world of hurt down the line.

As for the letter, don’t destroy it. If she really meant what she wrote, she wouldn’t mind if you kept it. If it says “I love you, but I want to say with my boyfriend,” throw it in the bottom of your filing cabinet and see the previous paragraph. The more I re-read your e-mail, the more likely that seems. Don’t destroy it, but don’t call her again.

Finally, a caveat: I don’t know you and I don’t know her, so I MIGHT BE COMPLETELY WRONG. Keep that in mind whenever asking strangers for advice.

Posted by: Peter of the Norse at October 29, 2007 6:54 PM

Nesnora's right. Forget about her.

Posted by: sean at October 29, 2007 7:08 PM

"Faint heart never won fair lady"

It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't.

Go for it.
At least then you'll know!

Posted by: Will at October 29, 2007 7:21 PM

The good news is, we've all been here before. I know you probably feel like no one can understand what you're going through, but trust me we've been there.

The bad news is, this will take time. Just like the Flu, there are few other cures than time that will solve this problem. Drink lots of fluids and try to meet someone new.

Posted by: alan at October 29, 2007 7:24 PM

"she's been my motivation to do well at work, to live well"

He has much larger problems than the girl. Hanging your self worth and productivity on someone else is one of the worst things a person can do to themselves.

Posted by: Q-tip at October 29, 2007 7:31 PM

Love, you gotta love it.

The most important thing for you to do is to know the peace that comes from embracing real love.

When love hurts, the only way to make it better is to love more...and you can always love more.

Love your friend by trying to understand and give her what she needs. Witness your love in action by loving your neighbors; go work a shift at a soup kitchen, with love in your heart. Love your family and friends, let them know how they've touched you. Very, very importantly, love yourself. I can't even begin to tell you how I've struggled with that point in my life. Know that you are good and have much much more to learn and give. Do good things for yourself, exercise, set personal goals.

And most importantly, in my opinion as a believer, love God for giving you all that you've experienced. Know that He has much more in store for you and that any questions you have about life can be answered by Him, through love. It is how He speaks with us. It is the only way that we may know Him.

Even though it may hurt terribly, it is in these times that you are closest to gaining true peace, through love.

PAX

Posted by: Christopher at October 29, 2007 7:39 PM

ouch

Posted by: möchtenfüreinbiergehen? at October 29, 2007 7:53 PM

Here's what I think. It's classic European/American relationship issues. Only problem is that you're not in that relationship, and you're a security blanket.

Does the story go like this? German boy meets American girl. American girl wants relationship with European guy. European girl lives on another continent (full of other attractive available European women), visits for limited time, leaves girl wanting more. European guy doesn't care that girl is wanting, doesn't commit to serious relationship. American girl needs emotional intimacy & acceptance. American girl finds sensitive American guy, uses him for acceptance & emtional rescue; treats American guy like doormat.

It's happened before, people have written books about this (Hemingway Sun Also Rises comes to mind).

Do three things, friend:

1. step outside your box
2. recognize her pattern
3. evalutate & decide to walk away

I'm sorry friend, she is using an age-old device to keep you at arms length; catnipping with you to fulfill the intimacy & acceptance lacking in her relationship with the German.

Move on, find someone worthy of your love. She's not.

Posted by: osmack at October 29, 2007 8:03 PM

This is a destructive relationship for you. She has a boyfriend, you are there for temporary work, and you may hope that by trading your best puppydog impression that her loyalty to a dog will change everything.

Again, this is destroying you.

Walk away, wish her the best, lick your wounds.

Don't look back, keep going forward. Disconnect, and you will feel your spirit rise.

Make a rule for yourself. Only have people in your life that make your spirit strong, make it grow, that don't cut the grass underneath your feet.

Posted by: danielmcvicar at October 29, 2007 8:13 PM

Keep the letter and keep the memories, but don't let thoughts of her bring you down. Think of the good times and try to make more, even if it's with someone new. I'm sure there are plenty more wonderful women out there in the world.

Don't be afraid to explore and I'm sure you'll be able to find someone.

Posted by: Jeremy at October 29, 2007 8:18 PM

Ask the calmest part of yourself each day, "what should I do about this today." Follow the instructions. My best offer is to tell you to respect her wishes BUT for one last communication letting her know you received her message and will respect it from there on, and remind her that you love her and hope she comes to be with you.

Dignity is what you balance in this final communication.

I don't think "friends" is going to work anymore, and that's where you have to take a stand. "I want you for my mate, not my pal," and stand firm, loving and with equanimity.

I had to let someone go like this, and it was horrible. Each day I'd walk and think about how many steps away I was from the night he told me, and then I'd cry because it was shadowing me constantly.

He married, had children and it took my emotions years to adjust (I had other relationships but could only compare to THAT supremely keen one), but I had to accept it, so I did. You can't make someone be where they don't want to be; you don't know the whole picture.

But I can tell you this: she will always remember you. AND you have to live as though it is over and she has passed away, grieve it, and move on. If she comes back, that's a plus, but you must not wait for it.

Like the person above said, live one minute at a time, like everyone said, fill your time with people who love you and like you and are curious about you. Create, meditate, zone out, walk, read, sleep, listen to music, exercise, this is your project now. Do what is in front of you. Honor the love you two shared by becoming as wonderful as you possibly can.

And don't give up - that's not the point. The point is to love, and you have, and you will again!

Friends can see for us in our futures what our broken hearts don't give us the objectivity to see. And Ze, what a wonderful thing he has done for you! Look at that! The world at your feet, telling you, from just your story and not having seen your face, that you will succeed.

The man I lost so long ago stayed close enough to my world that I was able to see he chose the life that was right for him. And I loved him enough to humble myself enough to accept it, but it still really sucked, BIG time.

Best to you,
Jeano

Posted by: jeano at October 29, 2007 8:23 PM

"It's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't"

Letting her go (while letting her know you would welcome her with open arms) is a huge thing to DO. 'Fighting' for her will make a mess of things I would suppose. You've already had the longest job interview imaginable. Wait and see who she hires and respect her decision.

That's what I would do (and have done). My heart mended and I found (and married) an even better soul mate...

Posted by: Josh at October 29, 2007 8:31 PM

I feel for you, man.. i've been in similar situations (although not to the same magnitude). Here's my concern- you are basing way too much of yourself on this person. It's unhealthy. I'm not saying it's bad to invest in somebody- but when all of your eggs are in one basket, you have a problem.

Posted by: face at October 29, 2007 9:15 PM

First and foremost, do as she says. She knows how you feel and who you are, beyond that she must make her own decision.

Second, LIVE. You must live your life, do not hesitate to go out, meet people, work, play, LIVE. Wallowing in your misery will only make it worse.

Finally, the hardest part of this advice: what you are feeling is not unusual. The passion of youth is all consuming and gives both joy and sorrow, but it does fade. That doesn't make the way it feels any less real, but you should know that there is more. There is more to a lifelong relationship than that passion. I know this must sound trite, and the fact is that you are never likely to believe it when someone tells you, you must experience it yourself, but that is why you must live your life to the fullest no matter what. You must live so that you can learn, you must suffer so that you can grow wise.

Posted by: Gus at October 29, 2007 9:33 PM

It's important to have this experience, as extreme as it is. I've always fallen on the side of conceeding my pleasure so that others might be happy and continue despite the lack of pleasure it brings me. You seem to fall in this category, and my opinion would be to let her off the hook. No regrets, just the experience to look back on fondly.

It's going to hurt for a while, but this is a wonderful opportunity. Without loosing that past, you have to chance to look at the world from a completely new perspective that might lead you to find something out about yourself that you didn't know you enjoyed.

You've experienced 'love' as we best understand it. But it's time for Chapter Two. That would be my advice and I'm proud to leave it with you. Don't let it consume you, embrace this loss and move proudly forward. (I'm sorry, I know this is probably not prefered advice, but I sincerly trust it).

Posted by: Garrison at October 29, 2007 9:41 PM

It's pretty freaky...I could totally relate to the first half of that story. The difference in my case was that I didn't last as long as you before freaking out. My mate got so concerned about my own welfare that he went and told her how I felt. I thought it was obvious but she was surprised when he did. Since then there's been some subtle changes in our relationship (she hardly ever mentions her boyfriend any more) but overall we're ok. It doesn't stop me thinking about her constantly, though - nor change the way my stomach ties itself in knots when I see her. I am getting better though so I feel like I'm out of the trough. What it comes down to is having a good number of friends who think you're crazy and can bring you back from the precipice. It will take some time to get over it but be patient.

Advice? Well I'm pretty hesitant because I know very well that you could probably write 10 times that story on your relationship and still only be scratching the surface. The positive is that all the cards are on the table. However, you can't spend your whole life waiting to see if she's going to dump her boyfriend and come back to you. As hard as it may be, at some point in the future, you need to draw a line, step over it and don't look back.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward at October 29, 2007 10:01 PM

ok so what you gotta do... is get a boombox....

Posted by: craig at October 29, 2007 10:14 PM

By the time you get this far down the page you'll have decided what your next step is. If you haven't decided, then maybe your decision is to be a bit depressed and indecisive for a while. That's ok for a little while, but...

Don't choose to let her, or anyone else, decide how happy you will be.

You'll have to decide on your own whether or not to pursue her further. If you choose to control your own destiny, then whatever choice you make about her will be the right one, because it will have been made with the right weight on the evidence, and the right expectations.

Posted by: Theran at October 29, 2007 11:09 PM

Do not ever, ever let the woman you love get away without a fight. Talk to her. Go to her. Do whatever you need to do. If you love her and she loves you, chase her. Do not allow geography to be the excuse that seperates lovers.

Best of luck mate.

Posted by: McPat at October 30, 2007 12:19 AM

I'll keep it short.

I know it hurts and probably will hurt, but believe me, you have more than what you can see now. If you loose her, you'll come through even if it doesn't feel like it now, so don't give up. You can't place your whole worth in another person.

Still, you may have something worth fighting for. You can tell/show her that you love her and want her to be with you...(yes, get a boombox if need be), but don't put too much hope in that working and don't try to force her into something, just let her know.

Thanks. You've helped me think about something that's been on my mind these past few months.
("City B, City S?")

Posted by: Typo180 at October 30, 2007 12:37 AM

You sound like a beautiful, kind person. Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck, and that happiness and love will be yours soon.

Posted by: Sa at October 30, 2007 1:36 AM

Unrequited Love SUCKS!

go outside at 2 AM and say that real loud, wake the neighborhood, then kick something and run as fast as you can for as long as you can until you can't run any more (pick a safe neighborhood though)

Even if she surprises you there's gonna be stuff to deal with that can get pretty damn boring.

But for now, live fully in the pain and fully in the joy until your cup runeth over, oh, and welcome friend to the bi-polar express we call human -- relationships, the abysses is wide open, jump in.

I've got my finger on the applause switch and I know you know you can do this!

Posted by: do it. at October 30, 2007 2:12 AM

What you should do:
1. Write her a letter. A long, beautifully crafted letter that expresses your desires, conflicts, past, and future. Be creative and use good grammar.

A letter is a physical object that sits somewhere, out in the open, always a reminder. Very unlike an email, which is lost among the list of other emails in her inbox.

My guess is she might not send you a letter any time soon. She took the easy way out-- she is now going to live with the boyfriend she has been "comfortably" dating for the past however many years. You are the understanding best friend who will always be there for her-- so she assumes that she can run away from the strange, conflcting emotions she feels around you and even so, you'll still be there for her months from now. And you can meet for coffee and everything will be the same.

She is deepy ingrained in her boyfriend's life, and to abandon that would require immense amounts of change and broken hearts. She is choosing to withdraw from you, instead of the MUCH MUCH MUCH more difficult option: reject her boyfriend-- which comes with rejecting his family, his family's expectations, all the effort spent in maintining the relationship, in learning german, in preparing herself to live in foreign country. Much is invested in one man, her boyrfiend, whereas all that's invested in you are occasional coffee house conversations and the confusing feeling of love.

So write her a letter. An impressive one that she'll want to hold onto. So however long from now, whereever she is, you'll still be with her, physically. And she'll remember you.
And go on living your life, meeting new women, beginning new relationships.

And maybe, just maybe, some time in the near, maybe far future, you'll both be unsatisfied, still in love, and she'll find that letter and give you a call. And want to start over again.

Posted by: Jason King at October 30, 2007 3:05 AM

It's a beautiful story, an old one, and you're both in love with it.

The story, not each other.

If you really loved her, you would have convinced her sooner you were a better man than the other. She hates you for being a coward, you know.

If she loved you, she would choose you, unwaveringly. Her indecision disturbs you, doesn't it? But it doesn't surprise you...

You could look for another story... one where the boy and girl clearly want to be together.

Or you can hold on to this story, milk it for the pain and the intensity you'll surely never feel again.

Either way, choose without regrets. Take whatever time you need.

It's a beautiful story.

Posted by: Christine at October 30, 2007 3:55 AM

Work harder. Think about yourself, what you can do for yourself, since she doesn't want you to do anything for her. Don't be bitter, but know that she is now looking to her boyfriend exclusively for the things you once did for her. So, do what you must to forget for the time being. If she comes back, you will be all the more ready for her, or perhaps you will be ready for someone else.

In short, kick some ass. Watch some movies of people killing themselves to achieve amazing levels of coolness, such as Rocky. Then increase your own coolness. Basically, you need to fill your life with lots of asses to kick.

Posted by: blunderboy at October 30, 2007 5:51 AM

methinks this is densha otoko all over again...! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Densha_Otoko

i say keep at it- rock on. or, if you want better advice, i advise mcpat's advice.

-jay was here!

Posted by: jay aoyama at October 30, 2007 6:26 AM

Turn away.

I've been through what your talking about and I hate to say it, but she just broke up with you. You see she did think of the time she was with you as dating and not just being friends.

My heart goes out to you bud, but not because you lost your girl... that happens. But because you wasted so much time with a girl your not intended to be with and not looking for the one you are supposed to be with.

Theoretically (in my opinion) there is at-least one person who fits your needs to the 99% of perfect, probably more. You found a great one, to be sure... but she clearly is only at 60% capacity of need providing. She isn't with you and although being friends is great... it is nothing compared to the intimacy of a romantic relationship. She will never be your 99% even if you do somehow get her. There are too many factors that will keep her from being able to love you fully... which sucks.

But I do promise you your 99% is out there. But you have to be able to see if a girl is able to be right for you. It is a hard thing to find and it has great rewards... but you have to keep looking.

I haven't found my 99% yet, but it is ok: I'm still young. The most I hit was a 73%. And oddly that was very similar to your situation. But it is these relationships and feelings that keep me going and looking.

Good luck to you: start your search dammit.
-Bob

Posted by: Bob at October 30, 2007 8:33 AM

I can totally relate to the advice from those that are saying, "be patient and respect her space." There's something noble about recognizing the emotional investment she's made with this other man and his family.

BUT

I'm really more of the opinion that you shouldn't let her dictate how the situation plays out. She's having it both ways right now. If she shows up on your doorstep in a few weeks won't you always be wondering if you were just the backup plan? Don't ever be Guy #2.

I think you should get the boombox as prescribed above (okay, that part's optional), and take the shortest distance to wherever she is right now. Swallow all your fear and march up to her, no matter if she's with him or his family. Grab her shoulders and make her look you right in the eye. Tell her that you'll walk away from her forever if she wants, but you have something to say. Tell her you want to spend the rest of your life making her happy and you're not about to sit at home waiting for a letter that may never arrive.

If you never confront her, you'll always keep her up on a pedestal and dream of the day you may be together. That will eat you up. You need to hear her say that she's not ready, or scared or whatever. That bit of negativity is what will help you get over her if she doesn't leave with you.

If she "decides" in the next few days/weeks/months that she wants to stay with German guy, you have to know that she will never write the letter telling you that. Not when she knows that you're sitting there waiting. It would be too hard for her. Plus, it benefits her to have someone waiting in the wings in case things end up not working out with German guy. Don't let any of this happen. As insensitive as it sounds, force her to make the decision right now.

As others have said, this is just the opinions and advice of a stranger. Don't put too much stock in it.

And please do let us all know how it works out. We're all invested in this a little now.

Posted by: be OH be at October 30, 2007 10:33 AM

Hey, I am from germany.. that doesn´t matter on this topic though... a friend posted this blog to me on IRC in order to make me giving an advise, the only thing I can say is:

I understand that you love her, what you want is, that she also loves you, but can you imagine what goes on WITHIN her?
I mean... there is a guy she only meets one time a year, she waits all the time for him, and now wants to leave her family, nation, friends, career etc. just to live together with him, how much most she loves him to do all that, especially when she saw him only so few times in the last years?

I guess its pretty much impossible to change her mind from the outside, only one that can change this all is she or the german guy she loves..

(greetings to tookish ;) )

Posted by: Dominik at October 30, 2007 10:49 AM

my advice:

Use this moment of pain to get to know yourself a little better.

Pay attention to where your mind goes - don't try to repress the sadness.

Important: Don't write back to her. I agree with those above saying that she is using you as a backup plan. Deep down you already know that, but it's less painful in the short run to continue telling yourself that your relationship with her has a chance. In the long run, it's better if you bite the bullet right now.

You'll come out of it much stronger than you are now. A mind that can bend steel !

good luck brother

Posted by: T.I.P. at October 30, 2007 11:56 AM

Thank you, ...
Beenit: Thank you for your encouragement on my telling her how I felt and explaining why the opposite might not be my best bet; and I have been and will absolutely continue to be giving her time and space she needs/wants to figure things out. But I reassure her that when she would want to talk, I am will be around. And I have confidence in our ability to talk; thank you again for your post.

JC: I am on thought that, well, she must in quite a bit of emotional crisis, guilt, and emotions that my vocabulary doesn't know. So I suppose these few days or weeks, there must be quite a few guesses/wondering in her head, and so I shall try to let her know that my doors are open and there's coffee/tea we can share, but no pressure as always-- a solid stone on the muddy road she is walking upon right now. A kind of certainty so that she doesn't need to worry about me. Thank you for your post JC.

Diana: I am shy. I feel so useless sometimes. What do I know, I mean, when I headed back to City B to see her, because she was crying and because I still didn't know what the problem was, my determination/goal was to calm her, and I wasn't going to accept anything less than her feeling absolutely on top of the world and feeling comfortable. Her nervousness that day shocked me and broke my heart to see. I told her a fair bit of how I felt but the main goal was to cheer her up best of my ability: jokes and etc. I feel silly to say this now. But that was really what I wanted in that hour. So I am unsure whether or not I have said enough to express how I really, really felt to her. If I have to pick, I'll bet my money on my not saying enough. I shall write her a letter to tell her, I mean, after all, I think, what do I know, she deserves to know how I feel and I want to tell her how I feel. Thank You for your post Diana

jGolden: Thank you for your encouragement! I shall do my best to stay on top of things, thank you. I really do appreciate your comment!

Steph: In the days between we last met and her sending me that email, I suppose she was making the choice. In fact, I don't know if I mentioned this, but she had told me that she wasn't exactly over the moon the past month. What do I know, I might be daydreaming, but could she have been trying to decide the past month? Well, that doesn't tell much, but I thought I should add it. I am not sure how things go with her and her boyfriend, but I am sure he's a fine person. I am very serious about this. And I am sure he's leading a fun, joyous, happy relationship with her, and I mean, she's my friend at the very bottom of the pyramid, so if she's happy, boy, I am happy, too! And I have absolute confidence in her that she does not make her choice on this matter with things that are outside of a person's qualities, which, aren't something I can lose or acquire easily over night anyway, but that doens't mean I won't do it for her, but it just doesn't sound very plausible right? So I never thought of comparing side by side with her boyfriend. This is going to sound so silly, please forgive me, but if love means understanding, being absolutely clear on things, gentleness, tenderness, support, being there, a load of laugh and good food and drinks and a great time and some other things, which are hopeless to try to list them all, I offer her love. Thank you Steph.


Posted by: Nik at October 30, 2007 12:18 PM

i once had a long, beautiful, tear-stained letter from a love who told me that i was the embodiment of everything perfect but that we could not be... and maybe i still have that letter...somewhere.

i have always thought of that nine-page letter as an act of cruelty, of selfish salvation. his need to unburden his soul, his heart but commit to no act and in fact, leave me with the weight of it all.

timing is everything, my friend. everything.

he too had some hard decisions to make. one where his life was ordered with an old girlfriend (see they had broken up and he went with me), with her family, her life. one where his life was open to possibility, long talks of life, love, potential. long walks where our conversations would seem to continue even in silence as we watched the world go crazy around us. i do not doubt that he did think i was perfect for him but he could never quite break from that old pattern established, where he wed her family before he met me.

timing is everything.

i left him. and it hurt. badly. i felt alone at a time when i was nearing one of those crucial age marks, when i thought my life would have already begun with the one i love and how wrong all that felt to be going it alone. but it is better to go it alone. if it is truly space she needs then you cannot force it. if this love is what you both need then it will come back around.

i left him. and i traveled. i wrote a book. i settled into a new life. fell back into a self i had forgotten i knew. i appreciated myself in a beautiful new way. i let the time sink over me, music and words my constant companions.

and then i ran into another old love. and timing is everything.

i do not think of that indecisive love with regret. i am who i am as a result of that experience, that emotion and sacrifice. and that being was able to reunite with a mate who truly is my mate. no indecision but a genuine need and desire to be with one another.

and amazingly timing is everything.

Posted by: Kelly at October 30, 2007 12:46 PM

Well first of all its pretty unfair of her to ask you not to respond because to drop a bomb on someone like that is a tough thing, and the best way to figure it all out would be correspondence with her. Just get everything out onto paper and send her an old fashioned snail mail. Its more personal than an e-mail, and much harder for her to ignore.

You did the right thing by telling her the truth. Either way remember that life moves on for all sports racers.

Posted by: Fish at October 30, 2007 1:09 PM

Thank you, ...
Matt McVickar: I shall do so, but un-invasively, and carefully to provide lots of distending room/timeher emotions. I probably have said this above, but my hunch is, it is NOTeasy on her. Boy, had the table turned, I were in her shoes, I'd be wreck. So I will do so with lots of lots of gentleness. Thank you.

Nesnora: I can understand your analysis very well. But may I just contradict by sayingthat, well... I mean... of course she wouldn't want to hurt me on purpose, I have100% confidence in that. But I also do not expect her to be having the clearest head , i.e, without overwhelming decisions to make and emotions. So, it did hurt me, but I am sure, 100% confident, that she only did this because she was in such a lousy position,right? I mean, you comment can be very fitting in some cases, I don't doubt that either, just I'd like to provide proof that, she might not fit that well. But Thank you so much for your comment!

Moo: Thank you for your advice, I have been doing so because my intellect tells me that it can't sustain much longer, my emotion iskilling it and I couldn't do this on my own, I need friends and family. Unfortunately, I don't have that much family around, but fortunatley I do have friends around here who consider me family. :) Thank You..

Kate: Your saying that Everyone should be able to look at the person they love andsay "I love you" touches me much. Thankyou so much. Indeed, I consider myself lucky to have had the chance to tell her that. I really do! she's , silly this sounds, love of my life, but she's also a very, very, very good friend to me. Yes, thre can be an angeda to tell her how I feel, there can be an agenda to try to remain friends with her, but there's on agenda that I am really on right now, is to take away her pain, I wouldn't want to see her in the possibly tremendous amount of guilt or fear or anything. I mean, I am in pain, I might manage it, but if I can help lighten her burden, boy, sign me up! I am all that! Thank you Kate, very much for your analysis and your gentle words.

David W: She does love me in return, just want to make sure I have mentioned that. And I her. Well, I mean, I was ready to embark on--though not sure if I'd succeed-in concealing my feeling to just remain friends-fantastic friends-with her. I have in fact told her that, hence she said that she hasn't the ability to hide her feelings as well as I do. But, I guess I didn't tell it well that I am often on the verge of telling. It is true. Thank you for your comment!

Ingrid: Thank you for simply your support and wishes!

K: I probably have mentionedthis, but I will try my best to stay on top of things, making sure nothing's falling apart. And thank you for remindingme that :) I shall not let you down.

Peter: You are right, there isn't any reason (that I know of) to destroy a letter from her. Andthankyou for your caveat, too!

Sean: I am afraid that might not be the best choice, I mean, I am sure in some cases this can be a better choice, though.

Will: Thank you for your encouragement!

Alan: I shall try my best to put myself together, making sure I am being object about all other things. You're right, it isn't easy. and I hope I can make it.


Q-Tip: I have other motivation to do things, too. But, I guess my reason is that I can set the Nobel Prize as a motivation, set for the betterment of mankind as a motivation, and in fact, I do, and I also want her to be part of my life, friends, or even lovers. But aspiratio/motivation in my opinion isn't easy to find, they aren't iPods that can be changed once a year. And, what do I know, my hunch is, I shall try the best I can to hold on to them. and to realize them as complete as possible.

Christopher: Thank you for your encouragement and sympathy.

möchtenfüreinbiergehen: Thank you for your sympathy.

Osmack: What do I know, but I suppose her asking me not to try to speak,write or see her is to make sure she doesn't make me that security blanket. But I again, I am sure your analysis fits well in other cases, just this one, I know her well, she's not like that. But I agree with you that if cases are you mention happen, one shouldn't put up with it. But I really don't think this is the case. Thank you though!

Daniel McVicar: I mean, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship where there's no fun and I am miserable, either. But I don't think this one is likethat. We both had fun together, and I might or might not have mentioned: if she's ever getting married to her boyfriend, I mean, that's not bad at all. it's good news for her and I really should be happy and I think I would. And since I don't think she'd move to Germany in the next months, or few years or so, I was/am still just wantingto be the best friend and company for her. Boy I am up for it. You know what I mean? Having a great time, comfortable...

Thank You, though, for your comment!

Jeremy: Thank you for your comment! I shall try my best!

Jeano: I shall take you advice to think clamly each morning to adjust what I may be able to do to better our positions. And I shall make sure that I pay total repsect on her choices, and show, if not enthusiasm, support. And I will take it from there and hope I can go far. And I'd like to thank Ze here for this. My appreciation for Ze I cannot express through words. The closest ones:

Thank You, Ze.

Josh: I shall keep in mind of those things I might have to endure. Thank you Josh.

Face: Your metaphor shall stay with in my mind. Thank You

Gus: No, no, no, it doesn't sound trite at all, I thankyou for your honesty and frankness. And I shall try my best to get on.

Garrison: I shall try to learn about myself fromthis while trying to move on. And I hope I will be able to reach Chapter Two. Thank you.

Anonymous Coward: I am sure getting over it is a must, and I am, really, really trying really hard to. Though, I think it'd still benice, if I can make this through, to remember this, instead of discarding it completely. Thank you!

Craig: Thank you for your advice on the music thing. I am listening to some. Thank you.

Theran: Thank You. I will do what I think is right and stick to it. Thank you Theran for your encouragement!

McPat: Thank You, I don't know what else to say, but thank you McPat....Thank you.

Typo180: Thank you for your encouragement, also! I do think that I do have something to fight for. She means an extraordinarily much to me, but that doesn't necessarily mean I am basing myself on her, either, it's just that, she's a fantastic person, I shall try all I can with respect, with gentleness to hold on to.

Sa: Thank You!

Do It: Thank You! I will take your advice and try to put it in practise. And thank you for your readying to give me the applause. Really, thank you!

Jason King: Thank you for the encouragement on writing a letter to her. I think I am going to do exactly that. And thank you for your explainingof why this is a preferred way, I do think so,too just can'
t figure out why. -- Maybe or maybe not that she took an easy way out. Boy, I am almost certain that it wasn't easy at all forher. It still isn't. And I do hope that we get to share another cup of tea again. And thank you for your well thought analysis about rejecting her boyfriend, hence letting his family down being a much more difficult option. I do indeed think so, too. But I have to say that, our feelings aren't simply confusions. I mean, it can be true in real life, I amsure. but I don't think ours fit this time. Thank you very much!!

Christine: Yes, you are right. I really, really, hope that I have been a more aggressive/selfish person. But I am not. And we did have a wondrous friendship together and that was really what I wanted and nothing more. I mean, more is welcome, but absolutely not required at all. I understand your points very well, and thankyou for your comment!

Posted by: Nik at October 30, 2007 1:25 PM

This reminds me of the 1962 French film Jules et Jim, which I watched and analyzed in my comparative literature class a few years ago. My insane genius professor raved on and on about the difference between short and long-term time. Go watch it and think about how it relates to your own story. The conclusion that you should draw is that you need to move on and enjoy your life without this woman.

Posted by: Barry at October 30, 2007 3:36 PM

I really feel for you, man, mostly because I have been through something similar. At the end of my senior year last spring I confessed my feelings for a girl that I liked. The only problem was she was dating my best friend. It hurt me to do it because I felt like I was betraying him, but I didn't want to always wonder what would have happened. She was surprised, but later told me she liked me too. I felt great, and I desperately hoped that she would break up with her boyfriend.
She never did though. I loved her, but she essentially used me to make herself feel wanted and important. While she liked me, it apparently wasn't enough to make her want only me. She would say she was confused, and even though she knew the relationship with her boyfriend wouldn't last, we never made any progress.
Don't let your relationship with your girl end up like that. I think you should put some pressure on her. If she loves you like she says she does, she can't just shut you out of her life. The issue needs to be resolved. If she's unwilling to choose you, then you need to move on. It's painful and it sucks, but after a while it does get better.
I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck.

Posted by: Will Grand at October 31, 2007 12:46 AM

Thank you,...
Blunderboy: Thank you so much for your comment. Would you be kind enough to let explain me a bit more how you mean by she not wanting me to do anything for her? .... Thank you for your advice.

Jay Aoyama: Thank you, if I feel better, I shall check that out.

Bob: Thank you for your take on this. I haven't a doubt that your proposition fits reality quite well; it just that I am in such a state as I find myself that.... how should I put it.... I mean, well... sorry if I can't seem to be objective, but my mind is incredibly confused and knotted...well, as I really wouldn't want to think of a person as someone whom I, really, I mean to easily be replaceable, I could be wrong, very much, but I'd like to hold on to her as our positions merits. I hope I am making sense here.. And thank you for your advice!

Be Oh Be: Yes, I shall let you all know how it turns out. Thank you for explaining the point of the negativity thing which will help me get over this more easily. Thank you, I think I may need it. And how I feel at this moment is that, I would want her to know more about my feelings for her, I cannot say I have told them well or enough of them the last time we met. I hope to be able to sit down to talk with her at least, which, unless I interpret incorrectly, she doesn't seem to want to do. As for the forcing her to make a decision, as with all advice that I am grateful to have received from you, I must say that I am sure it fits certain situation very well, but, at least at this moment, I feel that a more gentle/supportive approach (again, I still and probably will continue to think of her as a good friend). Though I will keep all your advice/analysis in mind, I promise. Thank You!

Dominik: Thank you for your advice! I am very sorry that I might have been a bit unclear about what I wrote, i wasn't in my best position to write. But she does love me, and, of course, it is something I want. And that, again sorry if I was unclear or confusing, I don't think she is leaving her country, or friends or family any time soon, it was my hypothetical, well, fear-of-losing-a-great-friend based imagination that if she might marry and move to Germany, I'd attempt the not-telling thing but be a great company and friend for her. And I sympathize with her every time she returns from Europe, I was there a few times right after she came back from Europe, I'd try to cheer her up. Because it is the right thing, I think, as a friend or just a person to do. And I do know, to a good understanding, how much she misses him. But how their relationship is, I really don't know much. Thank you!

T.I.P: Thank you for your comment, I much appreciate it. But I must, I must, say that I really do not think that she uses me as a backup plan. I might be confuse at the moment, but I have confidence in her. But I am sure there are instances where your opinion fits very well, i am sure. But I really don't think this is it. Thank you, though!

Kelly: Thank you for telling your story. I will try, if I can be back on my feet, to relate to my own. And I shall bear in mind your words on timing, that it is everything.

Fish: Thank you for your commiseration. I do. Actually, I have, thought that it was unfair, I mean, until further explanation on her part, it does seem unfair. But... okay.... I guess, it isn't easy for her either, and such that... she might not really be in her best position to write me when she had to write me, so... I guess.. she deserves a benefit of a doubt on that front and so,,, yes I think it sounded unfair, but I do not think she meant it or when she typed it she was in total control of her emotions. But please, believe me, I really thank you for your commiseration! It makes me feel better, of course. Thank You.

And lastly, Barry: I haven't seen it, and I don't suppose I am anywhere near the point where I can see it now.... I can only count on pure chances to make it through...

Thank you


Posted by: Nik at October 31, 2007 3:08 AM

Welcome to my world.

Posted by: freedomite at November 1, 2007 5:32 AM

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