I'm 16, female. I'm very inexperienced when it comes to relationships. I have a hard time finding people attractive beyond physical appearance, because that's not what matters to me. I've had two crushes in my entire life. When I was 14, I was in my first serious relationship. It was with an older guy and he wanted more from me than I was ready to give. It was... toxic and very abusive. Eventually he raped me, I think. I switch back and forth because I really feel like the non-consensual sex with my fault. It's a long story, but the point is I really have trust issues and I have serious PTSD. Even most close friends can't hug me without freaking me out sometimes, and they don’t know because I’m very private about my problems. I have nightmares on the nightly, I cry in my sleep, most dreams wake me with a jolt and leave me trembling. I have an intense fear of kissing people. I also have several other problems, but I'm healing. I'm working on them and I am well on my way to recovery. I have a history of eating disorders, self harm. I have manic depression (bi-polar), and I've attempted suicide three times. I have bad nights, but honestly, I don't think I'll ever try to commit again. I'm a mess, I'm crazy, I know. It's a lot, I know. I really am working on it. I'm getting there.
There is this boy. We will call him Bob. Bob and I met a year and a half ago, at school through mutual friends. I've always sort of had a superficial attraction to him, but I knew he didn't like me and it was obvious that he had a serious crush on another girl in our group (who didn't like him back). But I watched him from afar, and we got to be moderate friends. And I was very lonely, and being someone who doesn't crush very often I jumped on the chance for a relationship. I asked him out over the summer. He took me on a couple movie dates, very casual. I could tell he wasn’t all that into me, and me having a problem with initiating physical contact, nothing really happened. We were at a beach party with our friend group and he was texting his best friend at the time while at the party (the girl he liked, part of the friend group, at the party) and she left her phone behind. I saw the text and it said he didn’t think he liked me that way. It hurt, but I knew it was going to happen. There wasn’t a spark. I let it go, and was fine.
The new school year starts, and we start to grow much closer to each other. I’m still over him at this point. Then another friend in the group finds of list that he had written. A list of girls he liked. My name was on there, along with the girl he liked in our group, and many other people. I notice my feelings acting up again, and there is a little spark in me that he finally likes me. He knows that we found the list, and he knows we know the other girl’s name was on it. But he doesn’t know I know I’m on it. And then… We began working on a collaborative project for school. He was directing a play written by a senior, and I was acting in it. He was falling in love with the senior, and she with him. It tore me apart but I knew it would be selfish of me to try and block them. I pushed down my feelings. I knew the senior already from school activities. She came to me with her feelings; she told me she liked him a lot. She seemed very sincere. Problem was, she already had a boyfriend but they were having problems. I gave her advice, and basically said “talk to Bob about it, but don’t do anything until you’ve squared away the boyfriend”. They ended up going out together, but somehow the boyfriend stayed in the picture. It was crazy. But meanwhile, Bob and I were getting closer and closer together. He was coming to me with his relationship concerns and I was coming to him about mine (I was kind of sexting, flirting, whatever, with this 23 year old British guy online and… It’s complicated but I was having minor boy problems). His relationship went strong for about a month, and then other concerns about other boys came into the picture, and she was being very manipulative and was playing mind games, and she ended up basically putting him on hiatus because she had to choose between like 4 boys. She was seriously hurting Bob and he decided to end it. He was really torn apart. And I helped him through it. We were seriously close. My feelings were still there but I shoved them down as hard as I could. I couldn’t let this ruin our friendship. He started hinting via text about messing around, casual stuff. It knew some of it was pointed at me. But he was just telling me about how he loves that girl, the girl in our friend group. He has the biggest fucking crush on her. But now he says he’s over it. So. Many. Mixed. Signals.
I had started hinting at my past, and eventually I just gave in and told him. Eventually, everything. Piece by piece. He told me things about his past, not nearly as dark. But that brings us to this incredibly close and trusting relationship that I have with him now. It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. I love him, I just don’t know in what way. Friendship love or romantic love? He’s my best friend. He’s seen me broken, and I never let anyone see that. It doesn’t scare me when he touches me, I hug him every day. He seems to be attracted to me, somewhat. I feel like there is definitely something between us. And to be honest, we are perfect matches for each other. He have the same ideals about love, we are both lonely. We like the same music, and films, and many other things.
I don’t know what to do. I never feel this way about people. I hate that the one time I'm incredibly attracted to a person, all of a person, it's odds against me...
Should I just hang back and let him ask me out, if he feels that way? I hope I didn’t ruin it by asking so early freshman year. I should have waited. Or should I ask him out again… I don’t know. I feel like I’m just his second choice. What do you think?
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