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Pursue a lost crush, or seek new experiences?

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I've made one or two other posts on here in the last couple of months, but find myself at another crossroads. I like some of the advice you regular respondents give here, and I could use some perspective. To catch up to speed: I am a nearly 30 male. I ended a long-term relationship last year (kind of my only real relationship thus far), and since moving out on my own have been slowly moving forward with my life. I am not a very successful or optimistic person and have self-esteem issues, and truth be told I have my parents to thank for coming to my aid and bailing me out time and time again. But nevertheless I really appreciate my privacy and freedom, and the friendships I've formed in this city over the past several years. Okay, so now let's talk about my current situation. It is all romance/relationship-centric, but I wanted to focus on multiple issues: Part A: The Crush During the last year or two of my relationship with my ex, there was this girl at work that I started to develop feelings for, having gotten to know her through work as well as a mutual friend. I have spent nearly a full year now pursuing her, mainly by showing interest in her, going above and beyond in helping her out at work, and attempting to hang out with her and get to know her better. Up until now I guess I still thought there was a chance that maybe she felt the same connection to me that I felt with her. Upon realizing that she might have recently entered into another relationship after having been single for a long time, however, I guess I feel like that is over. The revelation puts me in a weird spot. Partly because I have sort of held onto this dead-end job because I liked this girl that much - in addition to my friends working there and having a few years of experience at it. And partly because it made me realize how much of a hypocrite I probably am - having liked this single girl for a few years of my then-serious relationship, and after that relationship having had a short-lived fling with another girl as a sort of rebound when I really wanted this girl instead. It makes me feel shallow. And it's difficult to be mad at this person when I knew there was a chance they might never reciprocate, but I am still mad because I've spent so much time showing feelings for this person and they just kind of ignored me as an option and went on to someone else. I'm not sure whether to totally give up on this girl. I mean, I liked her this much, for this long... It seems unfair to give up on her when our roles are reversed! But at the same time there is just this feeling of loss, like maybe now is the time to step aside and give this woman her personal space since she has made her decision... I guess I would like some feedback about what to do as far as this girl is concerned. Should I try to pursue a friendship with her, still? Should I tell her how I feel? Part B: Exploration At the same time, my newfound freedom since my breakup gives me the opportunity to meet new women. I have begun to try meeting new people, with limited success. Since my breakup I have been on dates with two other women. I have also "hung out" with two more ladies - one of which was the girl mentioned in Part A. After using an online dating site for almost a year, I have come to the conclusion that I might have better luck just being brave and asking girls in public for their number. Exploring new relationships opens up a lot of possibilities for me. I can look for a stable, loving relationship, which part of me really misses having and longs for, being a sort of sentimental and uninteresting guy. ...Or I could also look for something considerably more casual, and in the process fulfill a lot of long-desired fantasies and experience lots of different types of women sexually. I just don't know if I have the courage or attractiveness to accomplish either of the two things. Again, a lot of this comes back to low self-esteem, introvertedness, and a lack of experience. But um... Yeah, I would kind of like to have sex with another woman again, lol. And to be loved by another woman. A big problem here is meeting women. I haven't had much luck with the one dating site I was using, so I don't know whether I should keep using that one; use other dating sites; or to just stay away from that crap entirely. If I want to meet women for discrete sex, or a fwb sort of situation, I'm not entirely sure how to accomplish that without dating websites. But then, I don't know what dating website I should even be using for something like that! I guess I am not sure where to start with dating if things are over with this other girl. So those are my two problems, I'd like some advice. And I'm sorry if this is a lot to read and to take in! But I think being thorough, yet to-the-point, is important with Peoplesproblems. Thanks for reading and responding! ~ Alt

Pursue a lost crush, or seek new experiences?

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These two "issues" are linked. Yes- continue the friendship with your "crush". Let her know that you are now dating. See if there is a reaction on her part. You must see this situation realistically. You have no right to be "angry" at her for not paying attention to her. You were involved with someone else, and so was she. Besides, you can't MAKE her like you for more than just a friend. You said: "I have come to the conclusion that I might have better luck just being brave and asking girls in public for their number." Good idea. Yes, be brave and develop friendships FIRST, then something more when BOTH of you give messages to each other that something may develop. That requires you to be able to "read" other people and respect their reaction to you, whichever way it goes. You really don't have control of other people, so just get out there and be yourself and see what happens. Don't try to force anything.

Pursue a lost crush, or seek new experiences?

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Agree with Susiedqq. The only person you have control over is yourself. Trying to be someone you're not, or projecting your feelings onto others will always end badly. Be yourself. No matter who you're with or where you are. Communicate openly and honestly. Be true to you. And, "Those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.". Dr. Seuss. Wise cat. Good luck.

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