I love my younger friend, but he sends me mixed signals
So small back story about my self. I'm 24, I was previously engaged. That ended horribly, and I've been single for 2 years now. It's been hard but great learning to be alone and love my self. I'm also bipolar among other things, and have finally started therapy and medication. So pretty much my life has been hard and i'm slowly making my life stable on my own and working my way towards a career I love.
Now you have a little information about me, so you can better understand my situation. In July of last year I was working on a student film, and I met a lot of wonderful people whom I've become very close friends with in the past year. One person I met on this set named Jeff. I never got to chat with him during the set, other than two occasions where he complimented my hair and said it was cute and a second time he complimented my shirt. But we befriended each other via facebook and we realized we had a TON of things in common. We would have extensive conversations that lasted well into the night, and well we hit it off. A little back story on Jeff. He's 20 years old, he just like me also suffers from bipolar disorder. He lives an hour away from me, and doesn't have his own means of transportation. Making it difficult to see each other. We see each other maybe once every 4 months.
We hung out the first time at a movie theater and karaoke. I guess you can call it a date, we just didn't call it that. There I told him about my past like I've told you, and the night went great. The second time we went to a park for a hike, and spent pretty much the entire day together. Drinking beers and talking about films and past relationships. He then told me that he thought I was attractive, and that he would love to have sex with me, but he couldn't see him self taking me out on dates. It sucked a little to hear him say that, but I pretended as if though it didn't bother me. I once discussed with him that I don't see my self being married and I'd probably adopt kids, and only have one of my own. I asked if and when the time came if he could be the donor, and he said yes. He said the idea of seeing little hims running around making my life a living h**l made him happy. So it confused me on his feelings towards me. One minuet he'd compliment me the next he was pushing me away.
Another incident was for my birthday, where I invited him and group of our friends to play laser tag. At the time I was casually go out with one of his friends Andrew, when he saw me and Andrew leave to say goodbye to each other via kissing and hugging and what not. When I came back to where my friends were sitting they were all making remarks about me and said friend dating and being in love, when I noticed Jeff was gone. Every time I would bring up Andrew to Jeff he would get annoyed. I refused to admit that I was dating Andrew because he was just a fling, and this really upset Jeff for some reason to the point he said, "Just admit it! You two were going out!". I once accidentally texted Jeff good morning thinking it was Andrew. He asked if that was for Andrew I replied Yes, and he never texted back. There's also been several times he's thought I was with someone and reacted by shouting "You're with someone!?". So yeah...
There's other occasions where it feels like he says a lot of things to not admit his feelings towards me. The whole you don't do things you want to do so people don't know that you want to do them. I am also guilty of this. We joke around about me ****ing him till I break his d**k ( we enjoy dark humor), and he told me once that he was over me, and that he no longer wanted to have sex with me. I once told him there was only one person I could see my self with to which he replied "Me?" and I said get over your self. So this goes both ways. So I decided to just kill off what ever feelings I had towards him because they obviously weren't any feelings there for me. But this summer he was working at an amusement park, and I heard he could get free tickets. It was going to be my little sisters graduation, and I asked him if he could get me and her two tickets (My sister is a huge part of my life she's like a daughter to me, and he's well aware of this) as a graduation present for her. He said yes and if I could just give him a ride. I said yes (It's the least I can do), and I assumed he wanted a ride to work. Turns out he was planning on spending the entire day with us. He showed us around the park, giving us little bits of information on everything. He taught my sister how to pin trade, and hugged us telling us that today was a great day. At one point we almost lost him due to large crowds during a parade, and he proceeded to put his arm around mine and walk the park. He introduced me to all his coworkers every chance he got, and spoke them about how great I was at my job and if they needed anyone on set that i'm the one to call. It was pretty nice. It was like we were a little happy family, and it felt wonderful. When it was said and done I dropped him off and we hugged goodbye, and you could feel this mutual sadness between us. We didn't know when we would see each other again.
Then a few days after that I attempted suicide. I contacted him, which I have no recollection of. He was mortified and I felt awful for bringing him into my mess because I keep my issues with my disorders to my self or very very close friends. But he told me that he was always going to be there for me, he wasn't going anywhere, and that he accepted me for who I am, and he's staying for good. A month after that I tried again, and this time I got institutionalized on 72hr watch. He was one of the first people I contacted to inform when I got out. He said he was glad I was okay, and that he was working his hardest to come and see me and that he misses me. I told him I missed him too. This past weekend was his birthday, and I wasn't able to attend his little gathering. So I texted him at midnight to tell him happy birthday, he replied saying thank you and that he was drunk, I replied saying me too (which I was). He then called me, and I don't remember much of our conversation except him saying he had to get off the phone, but before he did he said I love you and I miss you, and I replied I love you too. We haven't spoken since.
In addition to all of this I recently noticed while clearing my snapchat conversations that he had saved conversations me and him have had in the past. One of them being where I told him that even though I pretend I'm okay, and that being alone doesn't bother me I'm terrified that I'll finally meet someone who accepts me and loves me just to put up a wall and push them away. I've been hiding my feelings towards him, and brushing them off as something fleeting, but they won't go away. I'm putting up a wall, and I don't want to act on anything if the feelings aren't mutual. I'd hate to ruin our friendship because overall I appreciate him being in my life regardless of any romantic feelings I have towards him. Plus I feel the age gap and the distance would be too much for both of us right now. I've asked a few of my guy friends about this and their all pretty confused on the matter. So what do you guys think?
"he just like me also suffers from bipolar disorder"
Says who? Him? What evidence do you have to prove he wasn't/still isn't just telling porkie-pies in his bid to get a sh*g (his very first for all you know)?
"told me...he would love to have sex with me, but he couldn't see him self taking me out on dates"
Translation: Don't want a girlfriend/don't want you as my girlfriend but I could have sex with you if you agreed.
"He said the idea of seeing little hims running around making my life a living [hell] made him happy"
Listen, the guy was perfectly honest with you about not wanting you or any girlfriend. So it's no good you trying to reel him in via stoking his male-to-male competitiveness and provoking his ego, just because your engagement ended horribly and your mind has concluded that you'd be safer/better protected this time with someone younger than you. Clearly - "the idea of seeing little hims running around making my life a living [hell] made him happy" - NO, YOU WOULDN'T.
Friendship is fine, but wait until you're ready psychologically and medically to take on ALL the potential risks of a romantic relationship *with an equal* and where mutual feelings take centre stage without the need for constant drama to intrigue and engage and basically pass itself off as something more substantial. Until then, any variation/contrivance on that theme is destined to go "Splat!".
You said you were manic-depressive. I am also. I take lithium and an anti-depressant.
You said you were on medication. One has to question if you are on enough, or on the right one(s), if you tried to end it twice. Had you ever tried it before?
The first one, the amusement park experience, seems to have gotten you way up, I’ve had such events, also, and then after that you dropped, and maybe into depression.
It looks like your medicine is not holding, as my psychiatrist worries about that with me. And I’ve told her before, if I get into a good or difficult situation, I don’t know how I will handle it, and she said something like, she could increase the med. if I needed it.
I’ll tell you how much lithium I’m on. I’m on 450 + half, 225 = 675 mg of lithium. You might want to check for how much you are on, to see if you think about that? You might go to the search engine for manic-depression to see what they are saying about dosages, to see if you think you are on enough. Get the info, show it to your doctor, and see what they say.
What does your psychiatrist say about this? Did he or she come to see you in the hospital? Did you see your doctor after you were out of the hospital? Was it ever mentioned that maybe you needed to increase, or change, your medicine? How often do you see your doctor?
I’m also on an anti-depressant called Mirtazapine, 15 mg. She had me on another anti-depressant, but it gave me so much energy, I was organizing and cleaning my house every day. Also, I believe, it gave me chest pain, or something, because she had to take me off of that.
You said, “It's been hard but great learning to be alone and love my self. I'm also bipolar among other things, and have finally started therapy and medication. So pretty much my life has been hard and i'm slowly making my life stable on my own and working my way towards a career I love.”
I rem. when I was that age, not being alone was huge.
Now, I like being alone and wouldn’t have it any other way. I see only the downside of living with someone. I wasn’t that good at the social scene to begin with, and I’m still not, but I’m not int. in that now.
Oh, the reason I got married. I had a nervous breakdown and realized I was looking at 50 years of loneliness. I realized that I had the breakdown while living alone, and had been out of a job, which meant for me, out of socialization, and alone in my apt. where I got depressed, which got so bad it came down on my head until it became a nervous breakdown.
When I recovered, thank goodness, I needed to get married so if I was out of a job again, which was highly likely, I would be alone again, and depressed, and the same thing would occur. I said, I need to get married so there will be someone in the house when this cycle starts again, and that will be my socialization.
So after I got a job, I asked this person I was dating about marriage and she said OK. Well, I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. The marriage was horrible. I stayed in it because of our child, but it was the worst you can imagine.
So, I don’t know what the answers are about that. So it is good to hear you’re working toward goals that I was probably working on oh, so many years ago, when you say,
“ It's been hard but great learning to be alone and love my self. I'm also bipolar among other things, and have finally started therapy and medication. So pretty much my life has been hard and i'm slowly making my life stable on my own and working my way towards a career I love.”
I would say, keep working on your career and your projects and your close family member situation, keep a check on your medicines and your moods. If your doctor is not helping you, you might want to change doctors.
Below is a column on being positive when trying to solve a problem that has helped me greatly.
Another saying I like is, "One problem at a time, and be positive about that problem."
by Niki Scott
June 21, 1994
“We all know people who race around in small, futile circles whenever they’re present with a problem to solve, and others who seem to be natural-born problem solvers—able to tackle obstacles, calmly, logically and effectively.
“Fortunately, being a good problem-solver is not a genetic trait. It’s a learned skill, one that can be learned at any age. If you want to improve your problem-solving skills, here are 10 steps that will help:
"The three most important things of a good problem solver are attitude, attitude, and
attitude. If you think of obstacles as anxiety-producers and unfair burdens, you almost certainly aren't an effective problem solver."
“If you view obstacles as opportunities to gather new information, stretch your imagination, learn new coping mechanisms and achieve more control over your life on the other hand, you’re probably a problem-solving whiz.”
“Be an optimist. If your general outlook is pessimistic, you’re probably not a good problem solver. Facing every puzzle with the assumption that it’s probably unsolvable practically insures that it will be.”
“Happily, changing from a pessimist to an optimistic frame of mind isn’t as difficult was it might sound. Pessimism isn’t a genetic trait, either. It’s a habit of thought we learned as children—and can unlearn as adults.”
“Keep an open mind. Most problems have not just one solution, but many—and sometimes the best ones sound far-fetched or even bizarre at first.”
“Be flexible. Force yourself to give up old, outmoded ways of thinking or acting even though they’re comfortable. Experiment with new ways of thinking and acting, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly THEY become comfortable.”
“Believe in yourself—no matter what. If you believe you’ll be able to solve a problem, your chances of solving it double. Review your past successes—frequently!”
“Take one step at a time. We all want guarantees that our imagination, diligence and hard work will pay off, but good problem-solvers are able to concentrate on the job at hand and move toward their personal and professional goals without blueprints or guarantees of success.”
“Ask for the help you need. There’s no shame in needing help—only in being too self-conscious, too self-protective, too proud or stubborn to ask for it.
“Don’t ask for help you don’t need. Those of us who were taught as children to run to an adult whenever a problem arose, or encouraged in other ways to be helpless and dependent, may find ourselves automatically seeking help now when a problem arises—whether or not we really need it.
“Resist the temptation. Asking for assistance before we’ve honestly tried to solve a problem robs us of our dignity, self-respect and self-confidence—too high a price to pay. “
“Respect the process—not just it’s outcome. Never discount a learning experience just because you didn’t get an A+ on the test.”
“Regardless of whether you’ve been completely successful at solving any problem, working on it almost certainly has gained you valuable experience and insight—good tools to bring with you the next time you have problem to solve!”
“Finally, never hold the past over you own head. Learn what you can from your mistakes, give yourself credit for trying, then wipe the slate clean, quickly, and give yourself the same sympathy, understanding and encouragement that you’d gladly give to any friend.”
June 21, 1994