(Closed) The One That Got Away [LONG]

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
2290 posts
Buzzing bee

I made it all the way through. You did a good job writing it; it was easy to follow. 

You know what your reaction to K stems from, and you know it’s not logical. That’s very good. You control yourself when he’s around because you know your thoughts about him aren’t really what you want or need. That’s even better. 

I think what you’re doing right now is just fine, and, possibly, one of the most effective things you’ll be able to do when it comes to this. Maybe you could talk to a counselor about this, but I think you’re handling it pretty well already.

I guess I don’t have much advice, but it’s great that you’re as self-aware as you are, and that you’re handling this so well. If you keep doing what you’re doing, I think you’ll be able to have the truly platonic relationship that you’d like with K. It may take a little while, but I think it’ll happen eventually. 

Post # 4
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I can remember seeing a university therapist in my early 20s to discuss my childhood. The poor woman was probably used to people turning up and talking about how homesick they were…. she seemed completely overwhelmed to hear the story of how I grew up.

Anyway, those sessions reinforced something that I knew already… that it is one thing to be self-aware, and therapy is designed to increase your self-awareness, but that being aware of the problem does not necessarily mean that you are able to solve the problem! Diagnosis is a million miles away from cure. This is where therapy fails.

I wish I could advise you better. The only thing I wondered was how close K and your Fiance are. I would definitely try to avoid seeing K in one on one situations, no matter how tempting it is. It just adds fuel to the fire. Instead, only see him with your Fiance, or friends, present. Mixed groups are much safer, and you have a distraction if you start feeling awkward. As far as groups go… the larger the better…. so perhaps invite him last if you are having a social gathering, in order to make sure there are lots of people there first?

If I have some better ideas, I will let you know… but it’s tough to get over a crush!

Post # 5
130 posts
Blushing bee

@HonoraryNerd:  I agree with Rhopalocera – your writing was clear, and I didn’t have any trouble making it through. 

I also agree with Rhopalocera in that your self-awareness is good. I think that while your Fiance might be totally comfortable with the relationship he see between you and K, he may not realize the effect K has on you, and I am not sure how he would feel about that (he might totally understand).

Right now, I think your position is fine – your contact with K is limited, you are completely committed to your fiance, and your recognize your reaction to K is from a childhood involuntary reaction. I think where it could get dangerous is if that involuntary reaction manifests into something real. For example, you can hear K is coming into town and think “what should I wear?” and that is immediately followed by “nope, stop thinking that, who cares, K is a friend!” or it can be followed by “I should go buy a new, flattering dress!”. The difference in such mentality is what could potentially make your involuntary reaction to K become involuntary feelings, which turn into voluntary feelings and actions.

Let me clarify – I believe you are completely committed to your Fiance, and I think you are handling everything great! I don’t have any advice in that read. I think continuing to maintain both the self-awareness AND the deliberate actions not to act on those involuntary feelings (i.e. not buying the new dress) will ensure your relationship with K continues to develop in a platonic, mature way. Continuing to keep your interaction in a group setting, discussing his girlfriend or love interest and your Fiance will all work as subtle reminders to your brain not to go back into involuntary high school mode. 

Really proud of you for overcoming a difficult childhood, and conciously fighting those inner demons. Personally, I know that is hard to do. 

Post # 7
3210 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@HonoraryNerd:  I know you said your Fiance doesn’t tend to hang out with you and K, but that may be the easiest way to normalize the relationship! I’m good friends with my FI’s ex, and it’s because we were all in similar circles in high school. Once Fiance and I got serious, I thought it was weird that he was still such good friends with her, until he integrated me into their friendship. 


Post # 8
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

@HonoraryNerd:  I second  @letigre:  the solution may be to bring the two men closer. Normalise it so that K is part of the family. The ideal would be for him to be like a brother to you both.

Post # 9
708 posts
Busy bee

A person can be a good human being and also bad for you.

I think wanting a ho-hum friendship with this man is unrealistic. Your feelings from him were cultivated in a time of your life filled with uncertainty and insecurity, and his decency and kindness to you were a saving grace when you decided to not tolerate abuse from your peers.

He is the one you turn to when you regress. You turned to him when the deep-seeded anxiety caused you to break up with your fiancé. He’s a crutch and you’re carrying him along with you even though you’ve been walking fine for years.

You’re wanting the attention from him that you can’t have. You can’t have it because he doesn’t want to give it. You can’t have it because you’re not supposed to solicit it. It’s all very taboo. Taboo and sexuality is a powerful thing, so I’m really not judging, all I hope you’ll do is consider the hold it has on you, and whether that’s really the best baggage to carry into a marriage.

Some people, for lack of a better phrase, serve a purpose in our lives. They come in, change us in some way, and then they’re out. Their impact on our lives is lasting though the relationship is not. Sometimes, this is for the best.

This bit in particular makes me uneasy:

[Fiancé] gives me all the physical attention I need and I’ve learned that just because he wants alone time doesn’t mean I’m inadequate. However, this all means absolutely nothing and goes right out the window whenever K comes to town. Nothings ever happened and nothing ever will happen because, like I said before, K’s a gentleman and still pining over the other girl and has no problem telling me no.

Not only is your progress regarding self-worth and healthy perspective on romantic love sidelined by your attachment to this man, but your reason for feeling assured that no boundaries will be crossed is that he’s a good guy and he’s hung up on another girl anyway. Nothing about this says that, in a perfect storm scenario, all that doesn’t go right out the window.

As I said, I don’t doubt your assessment that this is a good person. However, based on this post alone, I do doubt that this is a worthwhile relationship at this stage in your personal growth and current relationship.

I hope this doesn’t come off as cold and critical rather than a well-intentioned perspective on what you shared. I can relate to your story in a few key areas, and learning how to let go of the people who have become crutches in my life has been transformative for me. My chest gets a little tight reading this post, because it seems like you’re putting a lot at stake for this one part of your life that serves you very little. It worries me! I want happiness for you!

Post # 10
421 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@shaka:  +1… Once you move into new stages of your life, there are times where things may (should!) fall by the wayside. It sounds to be the case here, as much as you don’t want to hear that.

Getting these giddy feelings for another man isn’t fair to your current Fiance. Fortunately, he seems very understanding about the entire situation. However, that doesn’t make it acceptable. Put yourself in his shoes. If my Fiance kept longing in even the most innocent way for an old crush, I’d be heartbroken. And I can assure you that your uncontrollable change in behavior does not go unnoticed by your Fiance. Don’t voluntarily put either one of yourself in that situation. You are spending the rest of your life with Fiance… Not this guy, whom (btw) has never reciprocated your feelings. It’s time to move on.

If it were me, I would cut ties for now. Maybe have the occasional “how’s life?” conversation over the years, but def no person-to-person contact or private banter. At least not until you can have that sort of contact without feeling like you want to impress him, or want to someone feel like he finally feels a way for you that he never has… Which may or may not ever happen.

Post # 11
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Hey may be a good guy but he’s not good for you. The relationship you have with him is not healthy for you so I would advise you to let him go if you are truly unable to overcome the feelings you have when he is around. I don’t think you’re going to cheat or anything because your level of self awareness is strong but again the relationship is not a healthy one for you.

Post # 13
1319 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

@shaka:  I agree +1000.  I have had male friends in the past where there has been interest, but they are not my friends now because of background with them.  If the interest is there, they have to go if you are having thoughts like this.  The question to ask is if that friendship is worth you possibly hurting your relationship.  The potential is definitely there, and I think if he was interested you will be putting yourself in a very bad position.  Some friends are better kept at a distance, or at the very least, I would go meet him for a coffee with your Fiance, not alone.

Post # 14
2664 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Ketchum, ID

@HonoraryNerd:  I completely agree with letigre also. I used to be super attracted to one of my SO’s friends near the beginning of our relationship. Whenever he’d come around I couldn’t help but thinking of jumping on him right then and there, haha. But once we all started hanging out together more often (instead of like once a month) and my relationship with SO grew, he turned into a brother-like figure for me, and I’m no longer attracted to him. I love him to death, but I have no idea what I was thinking haha. 

I also think that maybe it’d help if you told your Fiance what you’re feeling. I know not everyone is like this, but I always tell my SO everything, and it almost always helps. Granted, I think he may be a little more understanding and forgiving than others. A few weeks ago, I was extremely stressed, and when I get stressed I kind of lose control over my emotions a little bit. Historically, I’ve had a hard time drawing a clear line between friendship feelings and romantic feelings. That’s why I’ve had quite a few month-long “relationships”, because I think I like them and then I’m like “wait, lol, jk we’re just friends”.

Regardless, there’s this kid, J, that I really really love. He’s a great kid, we get along great, and I truly believe that we could have dated and had a pretty decent relationship for a while, but I defintely believe that we’re meant to just be friends. When I was stressed a few weeks back, I couldn’t help but think “maybe I do like him”. I finally broke down and told my SO about it, and how stressed I was, and how I knew I didn’t like him I just couldn’t help but think that while I was stressed, and how I was worried about telling him. He just laughed, kissed me on the forehead, and said “it’s fine! just next time don’t be so worried about telling me so you’re not stressed for weeks at a time” and we went about our lives. 

Maybe your Fiance will be as understanding, and it will help to get this situation under control? It might take some of the stress off just to tell him about it. 


If it makes you feel any better, I think you have a pretty decent control over this, and I don’t think you’re a bad person at all. Every one has some sort of problems, OP, and don’t let them ever tell you otherwise. 

Post # 15
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Rachel631:  +1.

The problem has been acknowledged and hanging out one on one is not ideal. Imagine he did say yes one night. What then? Not worth going down that path in my opinion. 

Post # 16
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@MrsWBS:  +1. My opinion is that it really does have to end. Not wanting it to is a bit of a red flag for me. There are lots of good people in the world but that doesn’t mean they all have to be in your life or that it’s a good idea for them to be. 

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