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As I sit here at 5am writing this, I have tossed and turned in bed for the past hour or so, unable to fall asleep. The event? That which we have all experienced – telling someone of the opposite sex you care about that you like them and not having things work out.

As this appears to be a highly distressing event that occurs in the lives of most people, I think it would be helpful to document my thoughts and feelings at each step. This serves a few purposes. First, as I have been in this situation a few times in the past, others may find some methods of mine for dealing with this situation useful. Second, as other people have been through this situation, something useful may come out of other people’s experiences from reading this. Lastly, it’ll allow me to look back on this later, when I am more dispassionate, and draw my conclusions on such experiences.

The girl in question is one that I had met a few years ago, in college. She’d been my roommate’s girlfriend and we’d talk once in a while. However, the conversations have always been interesting. A year or two passed and her relationship dissolved. In these situations, I have always pulled back. After all, the person needs time to evaluate his or her experiences, and it takes time for emotions to settle.

We talked somewhat intermittently through the past year and a half, but recently (in the last 2-3 months), conversations have exploded in both time and depth. 3 hour conversations per day regarding our childhood revealed very similar experiences and extremely unique perspectives. I was intrigued at having found someone who understood me so well. It appeared to me that she wanted someone independent and mature, which sounded just like me. Although, in these situations, it’s always very easy to project our own feelings onto the other person. Nevertheless, it was clear that we both respected each other a great deal and I’d made it clear to her that I liked her a lot.

Fast forward to a conversation yesterday, where we were talking about the qualities we’d desire in a mate. Interestingly enough, I’d made up a list a year ago, and had added “Is Single” as an afterthought, almost as a joke. Ironically, that almost definite fact is well, not quite as definite as I’d thought. I expressed my disappointment at the situation and she expressed her disappointment at the change of circumstances which would probably result in decreased conversation. She’d really enjoyed our chats and appreciated my unique insight into things.

There were no hard feelings at all, as we had a sufficient level of mutual respect to understand each other’s point of view. She liked my ideas and found conversations with me really useful. I found her sense of humor relaxing and enjoyed communicating with another human being who really understood me. Some people would call that “leading me on” as she never mentioned that she wasn’t single, but what is the proper course of action when you think someone likes you but is not sure? I don’t think there’s any set scripts for that as the person may be offended at the implication if they had no particular feelings. She enjoyed talking to someone, so she just kept talking. Kind of hard to fault someone for that :)

It appears to me that she likes me, as great respect for a person + deep, fun, meaningful conversations generally results in a feeling of romance (at least for me). That results in a strange situation, however. Normally, I’d close the door to all future romance in these cases because if a) she’s single – if she returns later, that means I wasn’t really the one she wanted but she just couldn’t find anyone better and is settling b) she’s in a relationship – if she breaks up because of me, then it would indicate that she does not enter into relationships with an understanding of what she wants.

However, she’d indicated to me that this thought process is based on the assumptions that people do not grow and change, which is quite interesting (and these ideas are exactly why I like her). After all, much of her interesting ideas come from her experiences in previous relationships.

I was also well aware that this may be an attempt on my part to “hurt” her in a way, kind of like a “you rejected me, so I’ll reject you forever” kind of thing. If that is the case, then that would mean that I didn’t really care about her, which is exactly the opposite of unconditional love. My respect and like of her as a person should not stem from the condition of possible future romance.

I’d tossed and turned these two ideas over in my head for most of the day and woke up at about 5am, unable to quite consolidate it.

As I’m writing this now, I suddenly realized that all of this is pointless! The event of her breaking up, being another person, etc. is all in the future. I’m making all these implications of if this, then this, based on the assumption of this, all for just one of many possibilities that might happen later. What’s the point of doing this now? Later, if and when these situations occur, I will have much more information, plus I will be a different person!! Any “plan” or “door closing” I do now is completely meaningless. It’s like “I’m closing the door now”, and later, we kiss or something, and “the door is open again now”. As I’m learning from the decision analysis course I’m taking at Stanford, a decision is a at least partially irrevocable allocation of resources. There’s no decision here! In fact, there’s really no issue here at all.

It’s actually really simple. We are two people, who enjoy laughing and discussing theories about various aspects of life. We do exactly that, and should continue doing that since it creates value for both of us. If and when issues come up, I’ll think about it then since I’ll have much more information.

As a side note, apparently writing things like this down can sort out your thoughts quite well. Of course, I’m well aware that I may feel differently tomorrow. We shall see!

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5 Responses to “A Throbbing Heart Leads To A Sleepless Night”

  1. Lala on October 15th, 2007 9:53 pm

    I have the same type of situation with guy. We talk all the time, but if I am out with friends or at a party he will ask if ‘I found any cute boys’ (through text). It started to annoy me as we had gone on a date, so in a way my situation is a bit different, but not much. I’m trying to see that he’s playing some kind of games or something. It irritates the hell out of me that we still talk everyday, and sometimes he talks as if he is interested, then other times he seems as if he wants me to find a guy for myself.

    Yeah, some confusing shit liking people can turn into, no?

  2. fred on January 28th, 2010 6:51 pm

    I also have the same situation with a girl and we also talk every night. We have conversations on mostly anything and everything but recently I just told her my feelings. She apparently doesn’t have the same feelings for me. I wrote her a letter afterwards explaining my feelings because I too also find writing my feelings down really helps. I let my emotions and anger get the better of me for a moment and in that moment I think I lost someone important to me. I don’t know what to do anymore… I want to go back to when we could openly talk because I’ve just realized that being in a relationship isn’t the only way to show one’s affection. I care about her alot and I fucked up really badly. Its just that these feelings I have for her. They won’t go away. But I fear that she will and if that ever happens I will live my life in deep regret.

  3. carl on July 24th, 2010 7:09 pm

    I have the same story. I really fell hard for a beautiful, intelligent, and entertaining friend. I could be everything for her. A lot of guys want her and have less than pure feeling and intentions for her. She has so many options that she’d never know that I’d go to hell and back for her. I’ve never had a girlfriend where simply being next to her makes all previous feeling of joy and milestones melt away. She however knows little to non of this as she rarely opens herself up to talk about big things like this and i can never mention it because i managed to fall for her just in time for her to reconnect with her past love. I may have mentioned a portion of my love to her but without her knowing all of it, it will never be enough to turn her towards me, but i won’t ruin her love with her past boyfriend. Its not my place.

  4. jacky on July 27th, 2011 6:05 pm

    i told a guy i like him in 8th grade..
    he laughed at me…now i read this and i realized
    that placing your thoughts on a paper and looking back might help in the future
    ~thanks for your advice
    Jacky,10th grader

  5. zoe on April 10th, 2012 10:33 pm

    There aren’t words to say how thankful I am. priest did it, he saved my couple and brought my husband back to me. Now he is as he used to be in the first years of our marriage: PERFECT! He no longer come to visit other ladies and stopped watching porn on his computer. All the effects I asked priest have been granted by his spell. It’s a true miracle. A million times THANKs to