Magic, Madness, Sin: The Tale of My Relationship (Advice Needed)
I'm sorry if you decided to read this. I realize my problems are not the end of the world. However, my friends told me that if I worry about them then they are important to me and I should talk about them. Especially with people who might understand.
For the past 3 years I dated a man who I didn't love. I knew it from the start but I settled. I wasn't miserable, he treated me well and we had fun together. He worked full time while I went to college 45 mins away. Around our last few months together I wasn't content anymore. I wanted to date other people, I wanted to be honest with myself, and be young and reckless. I never cheated on him and he knew how I felt. We didn't see each other very often and I got wrapped up with my college life and friends. We both knew I was drifting. So we decided to take a break because I needed to figure out what I wanted.
I'm a music student. I play the clarinet. I'm smart, stubborn, loyal, outgoing, and calm. I always strive to be this perfect person I have in my head. You can't be her but you can try. At the beginning of my junior year in college, near the end of my relationship, I was introduced to a woman. She had short hair, always wore sports bras and plane shirts, and never left the practice room because she was a graduate student from Asia. I was born where she came from so people automatically assumed I could talk with her in Chinese. However, I hated speaking the language because I'm not very good at it. My friends knocked on the door to her module and introduced us. The second time I encountered her was a few weeks later when I invited her along with my friends to a dumpling party. She practiced day and I thought she needed a change of scenery. She also didn't make friends yet and probably didn't know her way around. After that, she hung out with us practically on a daily basis. I found out she had a girlfriend of a year from back home. One day I was sitting beside her and noticed that the picture of her girlfriend as her homescreen was no longer there. That's when she started getting for physical towards me. I am not a lesbian and never questioned my sexuality. To this day I still believe she is my only exception. With her touch and attention, she was reeling me in. I've never felt such excitement to see someone before. Just looking at her made me want to kiss her. She is in fact very shy, very closed off, submissive, adorable, and funny. Our attraction towards each other became quite clear to everyone. At a sleep over one night, I laid next to her. In the morning, I awoke to her hand in mine. When she opened her eyes we stared at one another for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, she made the move and kissed me. I as overjoyed and felt my body take flight and a million butterflies swirling around us. I held her hand, walked around with her, talked about how happy I was. Later that day I found out she still had a girlfriend. I felt stupid, used, and betrayed. I confronted her and she said she was sorry, it's all her fault, and she needs to talk to her girlfriend. I demanded that she never speak to me again. A few days later, my friends begged me to make amends because we were spending thanksgiving together and they didn't want things to be awkward. We are both adults and we can work it out. We talked and agreed to put the past behind us and move on. Then she mentioned that she broke up with her girlfriend after telling her what she did with me. Her girlfriend wanted to make it work but she couldn't. She wasn't. in love and hadn't been for a while. We obviously were still very much attracted to each other but out of respect to ourselves and our exes, we wanted to wait before doing anything. That lasted...a few days. For the next month we were happily dating, spending all of our time together. It was perfect. I've never felt so important to someone, never thought someone so remarkable, and I have never fallen harder. Well, never at all actually. But there I was, with the person of my dreams, who happened to be a woman and I was so proud. We shared everything together, she told me difficult stories and fears she's never told anyone.
She's very experienced. Out of all four of her relationships, all of them were between 1 to 4 years long. But they never asked her about her thoughts and feelings, never asked her opinion on things, never respected her. The one she loved the most we her third girlfriend. This crazy bitch cheated on her the entire time and abused her. I would have left her ass the second she crossed the line but my girlfriend stayed with her. She said "if hitting me makes her happy, then she can." My girlfriend explained that she felt it the second she saw me. Love to her isn't physical appearance or compatibility, it's a feeling. She knows that she wants to date someone based on this feeling. So when my friend opened the practice room door, she stepped out and saw me for the first time, she knew. I didn't know but she did. She had never met someone as beautiful, compassionate, respectful, and inspirational.
The second month was winter break. I didn't want to admit that I had fallen in love so quickly because I honestly didn't believe in that. I rolled my eyes at sappy, clingy, unrealistic "love." We were sappily, clingily staring into each other's eyes when my roommate said "Just tell her you love her already!" I was mortified and proceeded to argue with her about how it doesn't happen so fast and the 3 month rule. When we had alone time, she held my hand, looked at me, nod whispered so softly, I wasn't sure if I heard correctly, "I love you." I wanted to say it back because I knew I left it but all I responded with was "thank you." A few weeks later, we were laying in bed and I couldn't help it. I rolled over and we looked at each other in silence for some time. I couldn't stop giggling. I said "I want to but I don't know how to say it. It's too soon." She said "I know" and smiled. And with that stupid smile, I gave in. She got me. I whispered "I love you too." She kissed me passionately and said "thank you for telling me." We didn't say it often because we both don't want those special words to be overused. Only when we felt it. That heart skip, or the stomach turn, or the overjoy, or the looking at her and thinking "God, she's wonderful." Then she went away. Back to Asia for winter break. For an entire month. I was scared to Skype for everyday like she wanted, because I think that talking less would make this separation easier and less painful. I didn't think we would be okay. But after a few calls, I realized she missed me just as much as I missed her. She took lots of pictures and was just as present as she was when she was next to me. Except for the 13 hour difference and all. But we made time for each other.
When she came back, the spring semester started. She was taking more classes, worried about homework, practiced more for upcoming auditions. I was still the same. With more classes than her, more homework, practiced for 3 to 6 hours a day, and a job. These things I can handle, but she as having a stressful time. I offered to help, stayed out of her way, gave her space to focus. I understand that she's busy. So I occupied myself with other friends. Male friends. Who like to take me out at night and have fun with. They all knew I had a girlfriend that I love very much and we are close enough that they respect my relationship. My friendships with either sex are strictly that. It hurt like hell when I found out she had a girlfriend, why would I do that to someone else?
My girlfriend and I hadn't spent any alone time together in over a month. I got angry over it. She stayed distant and busy. I always want to talk it out, she doesn't think it helps and it's a waste of time. When I ask her what would make our relationship better and happier she would say "I don't know. Whatever you want." I can see she's turning into the person she used to be with her ex girlfriends. I tried and tried to come up with solutions to help us through. All I ever wanted was to spend more time with her. I'm not a high maintenance girlfriend. I have my own things to do and my own life but I would also like to spend time with the person I'm dating. So I asked was "Please, ONCE a week, spend one hour with me." Seriously that is it. She said yes and never did it. It seems like every time I leave the room, what we discussed get thrown in the garbage. Then she pulled away more, turned away when I kissed her, never holds my hand, waits hours before texting me back. I was miserable and she was fine. So with one last effort, I sat her down and said "how much do you want to date me? 1 thru 10." She said 8. I accepted that with slight disappointment. When I tried to say that this isn't working and I needed to see home contribution from her end, she kept telling me to go. Just leave. I stayed and tried to push more. Tried to get her to fight for me because I said that this is the last talk. I'm done if I don't see any progress. But the one thing that made me walk out the door was when she said "You are acting just like my ex girlfriends." I stood up, grabbed my shit and said "how could you say that to me after I've tried so hard to be everything but them? We are done." Later she texted me and thanked me for being her girlfriend because she knows that she's a shit one and that I will be happier with someone else.
She spent the next few days talking to her best friend. She was obviously heart broken according to other people. To me, I only saw her busy. Her best friend came to me and said "You know she loves you right? So much. She was crying. I didn't know what to do." She might not understand but people like my girlfriend, they don't cry. Ever. I've only seen her one time get emotional over something serious. So I knew she was really hurt. "She said that you fucked up her life. All she wanted to do when she graduates is stay here, look for a job so she can be with you for a long time. You are so special to her and she's never met anyone like you." We talked about this before. She mentioned I was the only one who made her want to stay here instead of go back home to her family but we haven't talked about it in so long that I didn't think she meant it. Basically, we are back together. She started becoming distant when I started hanging out with men who we both know like me. She had told me when it first happened she wasn't cool with it but I ignored her and thought "I trust myself, so should she" and kept doing it. She began to go into the "I don't care" mode to keep herself from getting hurt. Coming from her cheating ex girlfriends, I understand. So I stopped that. I hadn't talk to any of them since. But the way her brain works is that because she had such high expectations for our relationship, me doing those things tarnished my "perfection" in her eyes. I was the perfect girlfriend and now I'm just like her others. But she knows that it isn't true. She loves me and is trying to get over this mental barrier of when each time she sees me, she thinks of the other men. Instead of the person she adores and wants to build a future with.
I was advised to give her the space she needs to get over it because that's what she asked for. So I need to be patient and distant. We recent started talking again after a few weeks of practically no contact. Apparently she's changing slowly and trying to be like the person she was the first month of our relationship. The happy, loving, open person, not this submissive, distant, empty shell. She has someone helping her through it. And I can see her trying but she's still so unbelievably stressed that she can't focus on this problem and I don't want her to. She has many auditions coming up and spends most of her time practicing. I know she's going out with our friends to eat more and seems happier but she's not fitting me in anywhere. I'm just sitting here, waiting for her to come back to me. I'm not that type of person. I waited long enough and I've seen little progress. I know she needs a lot more time but I think I'm done. I don't feel the butterflies I used to when I see her, I'm not 100% sure I want what she will result to be, I'm not happy or comfortable. Yet, I know I should appreciate the little things, but I just can't. I'm also trying to alter my mindset but I'm not sure if it's worth it anymore. I don't think she has time for a girlfriend and I need more from the person I'm dating. Not a lot, but something. We don't really talk anymore, we aren't ever alone, and I don't feel the same when I'm around her. But we both still love each other so much and I want to make this work. I just don't know if I can wait any longer.
So my looooong point is, should I stay or should I go? I love her. All I want is her and I can't imagine being with anyone else.
"I'm sorry if you decided to read this. I realize my problems are not the end of the world. However, my friends told me that if I worry about them then they are important to me and I should talk about them. Especially with people who might understand."
Yeah... less of the pre-empting, I'd prefer to do my OWN thinking, thanks, Control Freak Number Two-Zillion-and-Three. (Calm, my arse.) ;-)
"For the past 3 years I dated a man who I didn't love."
Well, that was a bit silly, then, wasn't it. Who told you fun was the be-all-and-end-all of relationships, point-wise?
Listen, you have two choices: accept you're a control freak and make those lemons into stunning lemonade or give it up and resign yourself to being BOG-STANDARD. But you're never going to be as perfect as you can possibly be if you keep misidentifying what controls on life's panel are yours to control and which most definitely AREN'T.
Let's start with lesbianism. Who told you you can't be the perfect version of yourself unless you're heterosexual? I'll tell you something for nothing: being perfect requires open-mindedness, not blinkers. So that, hopefully, is the first restrainer strap removed. Which one's next?...
This: "Later that day I found out she still had a girlfriend. I felt stupid, used, and betrayed. I confronted her and she said she was sorry, it's all her fault, and she needs to talk to her girlfriend. I demanded that she never speak to me again."
You didn't do that because she 'still' had a girlfriend. Clearly she didn't! Clearly it was a relationship that was already more petered-out than on. Nay. You just panicked at finding out and facing up to what you were, sexually (big deal!), and used the fact of the bubble having gotten popped - in the form of you finding out the romance was tainted rather than pristine. All because you didn't mind being a lesbian only if the new union had some element that made it seem far loftier and more spiritual than your bog-standard lesbian relationship... which, you discovered, it didn't. ACTUALLY, IT DID. You were just - AS PER USUAL - misidentifying the particular element(s) that makes any relationship special. It's not ABOUT circumstance, it's about your spiritual sides matching, including your moral make-up. And, news for you, you don't control it, it controls YOU...
"I didn't want to admit that I had fallen in love so quickly because I honestly didn't believe in that. I rolled my eyes at sappy, clingy, unrealistic "love." We were sappily, clingily staring into each other's eyes when my roommate said "Just tell her you love her already!" I was mortified and proceeded to argue with her about how it doesn't happen so fast and the 3 month rule. "
It also demands that, aside from keeping a check on ones own and one another's good behaviour in the context of whatever respective boundaries mean most to you as a person, you throw away the rulebook, cease being so anal-retentive.
Are you or are you not ready to throw away the rulebook, Control Fream Number Two-Zillion-and-Three? Because that's it, that's your issue in a nutshell and nothing more. You're a commitmentphobe of the type that doesn't feel safe - DOESN'T TRUST YOUR EMOTIONS OR THE EMOTIONAL LIFE ITSELF - unless you have safetyrails, safety signs, and a health & safety book tucked under one arm and rulebook under the other...oh, and a hard-hat.
YES, the logical side of your mind is supposed to supervise relationships, but ONLY if and when the emotional side is getting out of hand and/or stuffing up. Otherwise, your logical mind should BUTT OUT. You fall in love emotionally, you increasingly bond emotionally, you conduct yourself emotionally, you react emotionally, you make decisions emotionally... I repeat: you don't allow Queen Logic to reign unless Queen Emotion is decidedly failing in her remit. Berbom! Yours? You aren't even giving her a CHANCE to fail because you won't even allow her to try! And whenever you do, you don't feel SAFE enough so you remove her from the room after only 5 piddly minutes.
Your girlfriend is a LOT braver than you, that's all I can say. You can call it loathness to be sappy or any other dressed-up excuse but the simple fact of the matter is, you're a grade A chicken, "Buuuck-buck-buck-buck-buck-buuuuuck!" Are you going to sit trembling from behind the sofa your whole life or are you going to get out there and LIVE?
So now we know precisely why you want to be perfect, don't we. NOT because you want to add to and make a difference to this life by showing the rest of the lazy beep-beeps how it's done without actually dying in the process, but because you're scared and your so-called perfection is your safety rails and rulebook as tell you what to think, when to think, how to speak, when to speak, what to say, what x y and z should like and feel like, what to do when/how/where/whom with, etcetera...
WHEN you've chosen (yes, CHOSEN - it's just a committed decision) to grow a pair, THEN you can compete with the rest of us authentic control freaks. Until then, you're a pretender giving yourself a misnonmer.
(Sorry to be so hard on you but, control freakery - aka Bust-A-Gut-ery - is my specialist arena and I'm one of its top execs. Because I have my whole life *earned* it. By doing it the RIGHT way, controlling things that are my RIGHT to control and denying myself the arrogance of failing to recognise all those things that are outside of my control panel and rightly so. So I'm not about to show recognition for someone whom at this premature juncture is a mere pretender to that room of thrones. Capiche?)
SO!... being a chicken, and with fear being infectious despite some others take longer to get infected than others, MUCH longer, namely, your truly brave types (her) - FINALLY she yielded to the contagion and GOT SCARED OFF. So, no - she's RIGHT, actually: "whatever YOU want". She'd already DONE her part. You hadn't. You were/are so busy trying to control things that aren't your right to control that you overlooked YOUR OWN duties.
Congratulations. You wore down the faith and bravery of a previously tough cookie and have rendered her almost as chicken as you. What are you going to do about it, eh?
"I can see she's turning into the person she used to be with her ex girlfriends."
Yeah. They were chickens, too.
"When I tried to say that this isn't working and I needed to see home contribution from her end,"
What a cheek! I'd have told you to leave as well!
So what are you going to do about it? Oh, ANYONE can ask to see someone more or ask for how much they like YOU, blah-blah-blah... But who wants to see someone who's so heart over-guarded that they can't let go and fall ALL the way into authentic love? What would be the point? What - 'FUN'?? Pfff.
In love with a man, in love with a woman, in love with a Martian!... Love is not meant to be fun and frivolous, those are mere side bonuses.
So what are you going to *do*? It'd better be something huge, that's all I can say. So cease going to the hilt only with things that don't matter - like the length and intricacy of your post - and instead start going there with the things that do.
" I'm just sitting here, waiting for her to come back to me. I'm not that type of person. I waited long enough and I've seen little progress. I know she needs a lot more time but I think I'm done. "
You think you're done? Why? Because Mohammed (her) won't yet again come to the Mountain (you) and thereby risk only her own heart and ego? PFFF. Whaddaloadab*llocks. "Done" does not write one of the longest posts I've ever in my decades of forum experience seen written.
It's massive gesture time aka money where your mouth is time. Because "I love you" is as "I love you" *does*, not says. Read that last sentance again.
...Otherwise, if you can't bring yourself, then at least have the courage to decide it's a case of Right Person (god, yes!), Right Place, WRONG TIME (yours) and let the poor woman go so that she can find someone with matching ball size. SHE, quote, DOESN'T HAVE TIME ***FOR YET ANOTHER CHICKEN***. End of!
And let that be a lesson to you: when opportunity comes calling, CEASE the 'oeers!' and 'what ifs' and GRAB IT! With your heart, not your sterilized set of tongs. ;-p