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Unrequited love over the internet

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Emotional advice I am a depressed 24 year old, and I have very few friends, most of which live in far away towns. I often feel very lonely. I have no previous relationship history at all, am very shy and anxious - socially and generally - and have pretty much no self esteem.

A few months ago, I started reading someone's blog. This person was funny, beautiful and seemed to have quite a lot in common with me. I kept coming back often to read their posts, they made me laugh and forget about my pain for just a bit. I often sent them anonymous messages interacting with them, and the responses would make me so happy. I wanted to thank them somehow for getting me through, so I sent them an anonymous message saying how grateful I was and explaining my situation and my illness. They replied with their own heartfelt message saying they had been through something similar, and wanted me to show myself because they wanted to talk to me and get to know me. I came forward; afterwards I made my own blog, and I also started to talk to them on Skype.

Two months down the line, I realise that my feelings for them are very complicated. I don't know what's going on with my own head where they're concerned. This person has offered me friendship, and has helped me through some of my problems over the past two months... And similarly, I have tried to help them back. We talk a lot, sometimes for hours, about a lot of things. We share some great passions. I feel as if I have revealed my entire life to them. Because I am a naturally anxious person, I often worry that I am annoying or weird to them, or that they don't like talking to me, or that they've forgotten about me... I feel as if I am little more than a speck on their radar. I know I'm probably being stupid, and many times they have said to me that they truly consider me as a friend, but I can't help it.

I think I have fallen for this person, and fallen hard. It's ridiculous to believe, because we have known each other all of two months. I don't know if it's real, or if it's a dangerous obsession, a product of my depression and my desire for any kind of attention and affection, or a different underlying problem altogether. All I know is that this is the first time I have felt this way about anybody. I can't stop thinking about them. It makes me happy when they appear online and when I talk to them. I look at their pictures and they are so, so beautiful. I have fantasies of meeting them and hanging out with them and loving them, all the time.

But at the same time, it feels as if my heart is breaking. I know that I can never be with them, that it will never happen. They live in a distant country to me. They are probably oblivious to my true feelings, and probably don't feel the same and only want me as a friend. They talk all the time about having other people online that make them happy, people they're very, very close to that they have known for far longer than me. My affections are probably unwanted, and I am terrified they will jeopardise our friendship...

They are everything, and I am nothing at all. Above all, I know it's unhealthy, how I am feeling and behaving. The more I see them and talk to them, the more my heart aches, I feel as if I am going mad. I even feel as if I should stop speaking to them and end things altogether with them, just to save myself the pain and save them from me and my insanity.

I don't know how I'm really feeling. I'm scared; I don't want to lose this person... but my feelings won't go away. I don't know what I should do. What's the best course of action. I need help, badly.

Unrequited love over the internet

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There are lots of different kinds of love. This person has shown compassion and has given you the greatest gift: time and unconditional acceptance. That is what you crave, and this person fit the bill.

This person has told you they consider you "a friend." Accept that and let that be.

Can I ask why you refer to this person as "them"? Do you pay to talk to "them"?

Unrequited love over the internet

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(Good question, Susie, that's exactly what was going through my own mind as I read that.)

Unrequited love over the internet

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I'm the OP, sorry I couldn't figure out how to reply to your responses. It's just a matter of keeping their gender private. I don't see why it matters. I don't pay them anything, we talk mutually to each other.

Unrequited love over the internet

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Well, it's up to Susie to say (assuming she now has anything else to add?), but actually the fact is it's you your very self who's indicating that this person's gender matters. And that's because withholding the gender of the person subject is not normal nor, one would think, ever necessary (certainly not for guarding their anonymity), which points to it having some bearing on your feelings, which itself means it's to whatever extent part and parcel of your problem... the problem you want us to help you out with solving. You can't solve anything properly without having all the available pieces of 'evidence' on the table.

Furthermore, I don't even know what gender *you* are. Plus I wouldn't like to guess, considering I myself often get confused for a male on here. Aye, there is a very fine line between genders (not a lot of people realise that). But the fact that normally I *can* tell yet in this case can't quite, already tells me an awful lot.

So I'd hazard a guess and say this is a same gender 'friendship', yes? Well, if I'm correct - what's so wrong about that? If that's the way you're wired, then you were wired that way for a REASON. I wouldn't try to deny it if I were you. Denying your true nature is *guaranteed* to make a body unhappy. So saying that - is this part of the reason you're depressed?

Am I close?

Unrequited love over the internet

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Their gender does not matter to me. I am pansexual, gender does not matter to me in general. It's not part of the problem. This person's and my gender are complicated, and that is a private matter for us, not something I want to go shouting about on some random message board (regardless whether it's anonymous or not), when it isn't even part of the problem I'm having.

The problem is that I have become far too obsessed with this person. I don't know whether I am in love with them or whether it is my mental illness. Nothing to do with gender or sexuality. Please can we drop this line of discussion because it isn't relevant and it's just making me even more stressed.

Unrequited love over the internet

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(Looks like Susie's elsewhere for the mo so...)

If it's not part of the problem then there's no need to start off with hiding it, you can in future just say, 'Hi, so happens I'm pansexual and...'. If you don't point it out by so obviously trying to hide it, you won't trigger people's natural response to intrigue (we're puzzle/case solvers, emotional detectives; that's why most of us exclusively-advisers do this). And if by saying it neutrally or even with a bit of pride over the fact you're not run-of-the-mill, people will follow your cue...that's how it works. (YOU, to a large extent, anywhere between influence or dictate how people should feel about you (via vibes and subconscious behaviour), not them. So that this person wants to keep spending so much time with/on you, shows you that you do *not* think you're pants, you just *think* you do. Same goes for why I'm responding right now (I hear the deeper stuff as well as the surface noises).)

You, on the other hand, come over mighty defensive about the fact of this pangender-ness (including going OTT in saying 'shouting' about it). So I beg to differ with regards to whether it plays some at least background part. That's for us to decide, anyway, because, well, if you knew precisely the deepest reasons for your dilemma you wouldn't be here asking for opinions and advice about how to remedy the situation in the FIRST place would you (unless you just wanted to have a good old vent or fat-chew, that is).

As it happens, it *does* have a bearing on the problem because it could quite possibly be that this person hasn't ever HAD a same-sex relationship before (or with someone so closely alike) and is nervous, meaning s/he would for the time being want want to keep you ensconced within a certain range without giving you the means for/any cue for coming closer of your OWN volition and initiative, i.e. before *s/he's* ready to make that leap.

S/he could also somewhere in his/her mind wonder whether you were confusing love with needs attachment. S/he's been there before, remember? Even if you're different, s/he'd be bound to project her past feelings about this all onto you, it's only natural when devoid of many more yardsticks.

Whichever.. S/he'd need and want to keep control over the 'whether' and 'when'.. which is EXACTLY what I can see is going on between you two already.


"Because I am a naturally anxious person, I often worry that I am annoying or weird to them, or that they don't like talking to me, or that they've forgotten about me... I feel as if I am little more than a speck on their radar."

Always look at the sustained actions and then you won't even need to say anything. 'I truly deeply like you' is as 'I truly deeply like you' *does*. Plus the ether allows all manner of fallicies and excuses ("Oops - someone's at the door, gotta go, laters! / Gosh, I didn't get that email", etc.). People don't ever have time, they MAKE time. So if they're making time, they think, for whatever reason(s), that you're worth it. Berbom.

Furthermore, you don't have to be depressed to want attention and affection - it's the human condition...the more pack animal you are (as opposed to a 'cat'), the greater the craving. But it's about degrees.

"I think I have fallen for this person, and fallen hard. It's ridiculous to believe, because we have known each other all of two months."

No, you haven't. It's been probably more like a year's worth of interaction squeezed into 2 months. There's the difference that makes all the difference.

The burning question is WHY...What is it *precisely* that you mean to them?

"They live in a distant country to me."

So what. So did my now-husband.

"They are everything, and I am nothing at all."

And is your keyboard nothing at all as well? Amazing that a non-keyboard can type, don't you think? ;-p Anyway, when it comes to friendship or romantic pairbonding, what YOU think of you means diddly squat (unless you intend to date, shag and marry yourself?). The other person cares only about what THEY think of you, how THEY see you, and WHAT they see - not what you tell them WITH YOUR MERE MOUTH to see, think or feel.

Oh, and how you're feeling and behaving is only unhealthy if it's found to be non-reciprocal yet you refuse to accept it (and way beyond the point of reasonable). So you can cut that silliness out as well, can't you.

"They are probably oblivious to my true feelings"

I doubt that very much. Look at how Susie and I both noticed your omission. We're just primed for noticing these things on the conscious level where others might only get some elusive sense and think they've not noticed or it's immaterial/means nothing much of anything. And the same noticing goes for inclusions.

So let's try to establish what and how much s/he knows, shall we?

The written correspondence..
1. Does s/he talk to you like would a mentor/teacher?
2. Does the off-topic conversation feature any personal stuff that has nothing to do with your respective uniqueness?
3. Whose replies are usually the longest?
4. Who 'knocks' for whom the most?
5. Who responds the fastest? HOW fast?
6. Does she either fish for or present cues and opportunities for compliments from you?
7. Have you ever, whoops!, crossed a friendship boundary into romance-ville, no matter how seemingly unnoticably by them, and what was their reaction?
8. Tell me everything you've noticed that filled you with hope, even if only fleetingly in that precise moment.

What you should consider, however, is that you might NOT want him/her specifically. That you've pre-conceived barriers in your mind against you and s/he ever getting together in-person - barriers that I've just illustrated are either *false or as yet un-established* - hints to me that it's not, and that in actual fact it's that you want what you've for the first time sampled with him/her, with SOMEONE ELSE. That you've no clue who that someone else is or where they're to be found or HOW AND WHEN to be found, is what's contributing to your heartbroken sensation. Here's the evidence for that suspicion:

"I even feel as if I should stop speaking to them and end things altogether"
-versus-
"I don't want to lose this person"

Seeming total contradiction, anyone?

It's not a contradiction, though, is it. And what's really behind is - to whatever degree - is actually (along with the pangender 'issue') PART of the reason why you insisted on referring to him/her as 'this person/them'. They're a template. They've woken you up to what it is you've for so long - much longer than even you realise - been hankering after.

But let's test for certainty, shall we? Let's see if you now find you can feel bothered to answer all my points and questions as lead in the direction of finding out whether there is in fact any scope to this relationship getting taken to a higher level.

Unrequited love over the internet

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"Please can we drop this line of discussion because it isn't relevant and it's just making me even more stressed."

Genuinely didn't notice that last line until just now. Plus there's no edit facility on here. Sorry about that...although I'm not, actually, not really, not in THAT way. [1] I guarantee you won't actually spontaneously self-combust. [2] Better out than in and suppressed. (Notice how similar suppressed sounds to depressed?) Only 'zits' that pop can then heal. Maybe if you'd medicated or squeezed it long before now it - this thing which, quote, isn't even part of the problem (as is a part of you who carries a problem) wouldn't be so great as to have the power to make you (cough!) EVEN MORE stressed.

Nobody cares about this fact except you. Take a deep breath and finally get control of IT rather than it controlling you. This is a very well behaved as well as caring forum, but if anyone (hypothetically) *were* to try to make you feel wrong or ashamed about it, I'd come down on them like a ton of bricks.

If you REALLY can't bear to have ALL piece of your jigsaw touched on, however, then the answer's simple: [a] state you'd rather someone else tended to you and I'll happily bog off to help someone else, [b] fail to respond and wait for someone else to pick this up. Simples! :-)

Unrequited love over the internet

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OK, I'll respond because you took the time to answer. I'll tell you if only to ease your suspicions. Both of us are transgender. My friend refers to himself either as male or genderless, and sometimes people use gender neutral (they/them/their) pronouns for him. I am also male. I have never had a relationship with anyone before, romantic or sexual, let alone with another trans person. This person, however, has had relationships with both men and women and also considers himself pansexual. I don't know if he has had any relationships with trans people.

Regarding the questions you posed:

1. Does he talk to you like would a mentor/teacher?
Most of the time, yes. He usually helps with my problems; he is a private person so most of the time keeps his own problems to himself, if he does talk about them then I try to help him as well.

2. Does the off-topic conversation feature any personal stuff that has nothing to do with your respective uniqueness?
Yes, some of the time. We have both shared personal things about ourselves because we feel like we can trust each other and trust each other not to tell anyone else. Which is why I am so reluctant to reveal information about his gender and sexuality as it is a personal thing and I consider it a breach of trust.

3. Whose replies are usually the longest?
Mine are usually, because I am a wordy person. I go into detail a lot.

4. Who 'knocks' for whom the most?
At first, it was usually me who initiated conversation. However, recently he has initiated some conversation on his own.

5. Who responds the fastest? HOW fast?
I do usually, but only because I am on my computer a lot. He usually takes anywhere between ten minutes to two hours to respond. He, however, has stated that he has a busy life a lot of the time and so cannot reply right away every time.

6. Does he either fish for or present cues and opportunities for compliments from you?
No. I compliment him on my own, because I want to. And he compliments me on things like my art, writing, and when I am feeling down.

7. Have you ever, whoops!, crossed a friendship boundary into romance-ville, no matter how seemingly unnoticably by them, and what was their reaction?
I don't know because I am not very good at reading social situations.

I think you have wildly misconstrued about the fact that I use gender neutral pronouns for him. It's not because I'm using him as a template, or because I am worried in any way about same-sex relationships. It was out of respect.

I do want a relationship with him, not someone else. Otherwise I wouldn't be feeling as I do about him. I wouldn't be fantasising about him, specifically.

Those barriers DO exist. He talks all the time on his blog about having a crush. One of his close friends has talked about being in love with him, and he has at least acknowledged his friend's feelings. It's possible that these two are already an item. I believe he is oblivious to my feelings, because I approached him as a friend and he has said that he considers me a true friend. And even if something happened, how would we even work out a long-distance relationship?

The reason that I wanted to stop talking to him is because I am feeling like I have become far too dependant on him, and far too obsessed with him. Because I feel like it is unhealthy, the amount I have become attached to him. It was mainly for my own good, as well as his, because if my behaviour gets to the point where it will threaten our friendship anyway, then isn't it better to not let it get that far? My line of thinking was that I would explain to him that I need time to get my head sorted out, move on, and become stronger on my own, so that further down the line we can have a healthier friendship/relationship where I am not counting the seconds until he replies to me, pouring out my heart and soul to him, or checking his blog every minute, or staring at his selfies for hours. It is precisely BECAUSE I don't want to lose him that I wanted to do this. It is not contradictory.

I hope I have provided some more adequate information. I apologise if I come across as rude or defensive.

Unrequited love over the internet

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I realised I missed out the final question.

8. Tell me everything you've noticed that filled you with hope, even if only fleetingly in that precise moment.
I don't quite understand this question. If you mean have I noticed anything he's done that's made me hope we can have a relationship, then there's not really much to tell.
- The fact that he spends so much time talking to me, even if he takes a while to reply. He has said that if he didn't want to talk then he would say so, because he is a pretty blunt person. And he did actually do this once, when he wasn't feeling well. So I doubt he would be the kind of person to make up 1000 excuses for avoiding me.
- The fact that he seems pretty easygoing and open with me, especially as time has gone on, when he is generally a pretty closed, private person on his blog.
- The fact that we also talk about personal stuff rather than just chatting about our hobbies and shared likes/fandoms all the time.
- He complimented me on my appearance.

That's all I can think of at the moment.


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"Both of us are transgender"

Excellent! Best of both minds - what a useful and rare, innate skill and benefit!

So you're on a journey of self-discovery, still, aren't you. Long Haul, but where the destination reached is far more exotically satisfying.

Talking of destinations...

Question: assuming you're British, have you ever stayed in Brighton? I'm suspecting not. But I think you should. Oh, BOY, do I! I think you'd find it a wholly liberating experience that would be at the very least be the start of a whole new attitude and life experience.

I have my own rare and 'unique' skills/depth of, and enough multitudinous evidences of outcomes to predictions/analysis at this late juncture in my life to prove them indisputable - which tends to be well received when it's good news, not so much when not what a person wants to hear (not talking about you here). However, it's not unusual for someone to have a disconnect/delay between subconscious motivations and awarenesses to point of articulation of such. So we'll have to agree to disagree for now if what we're disagreeing over is you thinking I believe you ONLY, SOLELY hid the gender ID-ing pronouns out of his representing a template. I don't. I get that you'd also wish to protect his identity. However, on that score, there's no breach of trust when talking on a forum about an unidentifiable individual because given that no human being is *literally* unique within the total world population, in that instance they're but a concept. That's a beauty of the internet. So relax with a Cadbury's caramel. :-)

Alternatively, like a calculator, if you punch in the wrong digits you're bound to get the wrong sum total output, so...? Benefit of the doubt on that motivations score remains in play for now.

And no, you didn't come across rude. Just defensively over-guarded. *I'm* the 'rude' one (me --> :-p). But helping someone with a more deep and complex issue requires greater encroachment into what normally are considered healthy boundaries, so I am perfectly aware how pushy I can be.

So that's that, now to the details...

"This person, however, has had relationships with both men and women and also considers himself pansexual."

Prove it. You only have what he's told you. Hearsay. That's the downside to the internet: information can be to whatever extent falsified or hidden. He could be full of hot air for all you know, sat there acting like mentor when in actual fact just another pupil. As you said, you've advised him too, right?

"At first, it was usually me who initiated conversation. However, recently he has initiated some conversation on his own."

Okay, then. So obviously he misses your chats and feels a level of something being amiss after any prolonged period of absence. That's definitely a show of cultivated need on his part. So we can establish with certainty that you're definitely friends by now, both of your needs having mutually found an ongoing source of supply. You're both hooked, IOW, but with you however much further ahead on that path than him and him playing catch-up. He also can take as little as 10 minutes, with 2 hours being quite short in the context (if true) of not being constantly at his puter, unlike yourself. (But the 10 minutes indicates his reasons for the delay as likely genuine.)

"No. I compliment him on my own, because I want to. And he compliments me on things like my art, writing, and when I am feeling down."

Question: If he compliments you on your skills and talents, AND to lift your mood, then what and in which circumstance(s) is it you compliment him about that you imply is different in nature?

Question: Who tends to start the complimenting on any given occasion? And has he ever complimented you when you've indicated you have to log off?

"I don't know because I am not very good at reading social situations."

Not automatically, no. But you've just apologised to me for being *rude* and defensive. I didn't say you'd been rude, that was your own conclusion. SO...
Question: Have you ever said anything to him that afterwards has had you thinking, 'Whoops-sh*t, I possibly shouldn't have said that!'?, or even not thinking at all, just feeling apprehensive until his response has come in?

"I do want a relationship with him, not someone else. Otherwise I wouldn't be feeling as I do about him. I wouldn't be fantasising about him, specifically."

Yes, you would. But you do sound conflicted, for sure... in two minds over whether to patiently forge ahead or bail out now.

Question: Would people say you were patient or impatient? Highly curious or not particularly?

"Those barriers DO exist. He talks all the time on his blog about having a crush."

The geographical barrier doesn't. And who, when in an actual relationship, describes it as a CRUSH? Crush denotes inaccessibility/unrealisation-ability.
Anyway.. he *says*, he *says*... And who merely ACKNOWLEDGES a declaration of love from their lover? That act demands reciprocation. Unless 'love' is meant and understood as platonically.

Only provable facts are truth, including in the form of sustained, repeat, combination of total actions.

"And even if something happened, how would we even work out a long-distance relationship? "

Ever heard of planes?

This is you trying to talk yourself OUT of going higher where the initiative of approach has to be yours. Because you're not going to tell me that if he suddenly, tomorrow, turned around to you and said, 'X, I love you and want to be with you as your lover', you'd think, 'Aw, sh*t'. Right? But you would if I told you to be the one to say it. Right?

"The reason that I wanted to stop talking to him is because I am feeling like I have become far too dependant on him, and far too obsessed with him. Because I feel like it is unhealthy, the amount I have become attached to him. "

So why does that automatically mean you have to throw out the baby with the bathwater? Why not seek OTHER like-mindeds or ADDITIONAL occupations over which to share your time and mind?

Answer: because you (understandably at only 24) lack the patience to endure LIMBO... hate not knowing...want an answer now-now-now...even if you have to self-CREATE an answer.

"It was mainly for my own good, as well as his, because if my behaviour gets to the point where it will threaten our friendship anyway, then isn't it better to not let it get that far?"

If? IF? Are you a helpless puppet with no self-control? Who's the puppmaster - can I talk to him, please?

Stop making cop-out excuses to yourself.

"My line of thinking was that I would explain to him that I need time to get my head sorted out, move on, and become stronger on my own, so that further down the line we can have a healthier friendship/relationship where I am not counting the seconds until he replies to me, pouring out my heart and soul to him, or checking his blog every minute, or staring at his selfies for hours. "

Loverships are *based* on addiction. That's how they work. And LAST. Only *over*-addiction is unhealthy. Again, it's about DEGREES of anything that dictates health/unhealth, with what determines either being whether the addiction stops you from functioning normally on a day-to-day basis. And, as stated, you have full and total control over that *without* this overkill. You're like a dieter who eats too many cream cakes and decides to get around his lack of willpower and dislike of the process in how to acquire it - through the hard work of PRACTISE ("makes perfect") - by changing his daily route to one that features no cake shop. No, no, NO, that is not how life and true adulthood works. You can not call/consider yourself strong-willed/-minded, capable, mature, conscientious, or any of those associative labels unless you can literally shove your nose into your favourite cream cake and say, NOPE!, including NOT even then trying to lick the residue.

This is your life test. You 'ard enuff?

"It is precisely BECAUSE I don't want to lose him that I wanted to do this. It is not contradictory. "

Wrongggg. It's because you don't want to work towards greater patience, endurance and better strength of mind in order to have to get him, meaning you want to run away to a safer distance whereat attachment is so weakened that you can run the rest of the distance back to neutral = SAFE. Or do you want to arm-wrestle for it? ;-p

...and that is but one of the myriad ways in which you are not (not NEARLY!) humanly unique. I've met you LOADS of times before.

You can learn to work those muscles now or you can learn (when it'll be much, much harder) another day/month/year. But in this life, procrastinators tends not to get the best prizes.

Insert Countdown music: (tick-tick-tick-tick) dah-dah-dah, daaah-dah-dah.. DAH-dah!, dah-dah! dahddle-ah-dah!................................... ?

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PS:

"He complimented me on my appearance."

Ah-HAH!!!!

:-)

This thread has expired - why not start your own?

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