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Discussion Starter #1
During the past year, I slowly grew closer and closer to an ENFJ (a long-distance friend) until we both fell in love in December and explicitly admitted as much to each other. Then she seems to have fallen out of love with me in January.

Since we had promised (at her insistance back in December) to remain friends no matter what happened, that aspect of the relationship continues, which is both a comfort and torture for me. As it is, I usually take years to get over a broken heart but under the circumstances I wonder if it will take me even longer this time. Every time I start to feel the pain in my heart ease a little bit, she'll do a little act of kindness or tenderness that sets me back all over again and leaves my delusional heart dreaming of a restoration of our romance.

Being a typical INTP, I also keep trying to understand and figure out what I did wrong. I think I did frighten her twice by my intensity when we were discussing something I felt strongly about. Naturally, as an INTP, I wasn't even agitated during those discussions but my passion about it was too much for her, and she even said so after one of the occasions. I also know she was worried that I was too poor and detached (in attitude) from material things to provide for her at the level she expected (I'm a journalist -- the lowest paying white collar professional job). Lastly, I remember she stopped opening her heart to me after I became sad (the first time) and upset (another time) at her making sweeping judgments about entire categories of people (having experienced bigotry, it is a sensitive subject to me).

So in light of all that, I wonder how to be a true friend to her now, because -- despite everything -- I don't want to break my promise, even though it hurts so much. What should and shouldn't I talk about? What does she really want from me? She has told me in the past that my letters are sweet and enjoyable even now, after reverting to friends, but I also notice her affirmations -- though they continue -- grow milder and milder each time.

Is she just remaining my friend out of some sense of guilt, obligation or desire not to hurt my feelings more than necessary? Is she insincere in friendship or just wants to be an acquaintance and nothing more? I can't really figure that out and I don't know how to be her friend.

Is this a lost cause? A friendship doomed because of a failed romance?
 

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I wonder how hurt is your friend after the break up. When we fall in love, it's an intense feeling and when stuff like this happen, we get really hurt, even guilty because we aren't that much in love. We're likely to continue our friendships. We can have a lot of interests and we like to listen others' opinions. Were you, or you think you could be seen as harsh when you had these discussions? We generally do not like overly aggressive or harsh people, you could have been mistaken like that. Maybe you can tell her when you get into a discussion that you tend to do it in a passionate manner. About the money issue, well it's important but if she loved you, she could have accepted your job as a journalist, in my opinion.

I think she wants to tell that she's not interested in a romantic relationship, but is having trouble saying it directly. I can't say if her rejection is temporal or permanent. But you should treat her as a friend, and keep your attitude in a frienship context. Maybe it's not the right time yet to directy confront this problem, so talk about the things you used to talk about, the discussions you had and all the common ground you had that made you friends. You can talk to her like, 2-3 times a week, and it'll look like a friendship. Once both of you are confortable and treating like friends, it's time to speak about this, and stating that your relationship is strictly as friends. If she ever falls in love with you again, go prudently, don't get too excited as it's possible that a breakup can possibly happen again. If she does not want to be your friend anymore, then it's her who has chosen that, but you kept your promise so don't feel guilty. It's possible to be friends!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I wonder how hurt is your friend after the break up. When we fall in love, it's an intense feeling and when stuff like this happen, we get really hurt, even guilty because we aren't that much in love.
I'm not sure I understand. She might feel hurt because she fell out of love and broke off a relationship with me?

Were you, or you think you could be seen as harsh when you had these discussions? We generally do not like overly aggressive or harsh people, you could have been mistaken like that.
I think she could have seen me as such. When I became more sensitive to that, I apologized. Also, after she explicitly severed any hope of romance in our relationship, I sent her an e-mail after a few hours of reflection and apologized for two separate things. She responded to one of the apologies and said not to worry about it as it didn't really bother her. But she never commented at all on my other apology, an apology for not being more gentle and low-key in those few discussions she apparently was distressed by.

It is ironic if she has classified me as an "overly aggressive or harsh" person. I've been accused of being perpetually diplomatic and reserved in what I say about other people, and I'm an introvert for goodness' sake. We're not known for aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I think she wants to tell that she's not interested in a romantic relationship, but is having trouble saying it directly.
She did have difficulty doing so, but did do so on Valentine's Day (a relatively tough-skinned "let's be friends" talk with a gentle sort of "life's tough, suck it up" vibe to it).

The hard part for me, as an INTP, is that I had grown accustomed to opening up my heart completely to her, which is something rare for us to do for hardly anyone at all. And, for me, it is easier to shut off that spigot completely than to turn it down after it has been opened. But if I close my heart off completely from her our friendship will, essentially, be over.

On top of that, I am struggling because how can I be open with her when my heart is in turmoil because of her? I love her so much and I miss her terribly. Sometimes it is like walking around with a mortal wound in one's chest and death in your bones. Most of the time my heart literally feels broken when I think of her or see her photograph. Sometimes I conceal my pain from her, other times I talk about it very briefly in my letters to her and yet other times it seeps out even when I'm trying to hide it. If I had more self-control, I'd just hide my feelings from her all the time, but she shattered my ability to do that with her when I fell in love with her.
 

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Yes, it can happen that we may feel guilty because we aren't that much in love with a person who we know is terribly in love with us and are both pursuing a romantic relationship. It's because we don't like to reject people, but in cases like this it's necessary. Haven't met her, I'm not that sure if it's her case, but it sounds like that.

I understand that. And it may be hard to come with a resolution with your feelings after you love her so much. In my opinion, I don't think she's interested in a romantic relationship, but I see that you can be friends with her. I meantion again that it's possible that she may have romantic feelings again, after talking and treating like friends.

You're heart broken, and you must overcome these feelings. I can't speak of the best way to let them go, but you don't have to shut down your heart to her. Instead keep your promise to be friends, and with that keep assured that the content of your activites and conversations be kept as friends. That's why I think it's right now not appropiate to talk about your feelings and how the relationship went, as it can wake in her uncomfortable feelings.

Maybe you can tell her that it's best to not keep in contact for a while, as you overcome your feelings and feel ready to keep your friendship going with her. An ENFJ, or more specifically, a good friend can understand that and should encourage it. I say all of this because it's possible that you may get much more heart broken that you are now. So it's not that you get to the extreme of shutting down your heart and yourself to her, but to keep it as a friendship, which is possible after both of you have their feelings solved.

If you don't understand something I wrote, keep on asking!! I know it's somewhat hard to understand this matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe you can tell her that it's best to not keep in contact for a while...
Honestly, I'm afraid that if I do that we will never speak again.

It is sad to me that my pain in reaction to the downgrading of our relationship seem, in retrospect, only guaranteed to solidify her decision to not want to have anything truly to do with me. :(
 

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Mmm.. well everything I wrote was my way on how to overcome these hurt feelings and prepare yourself for stablishing a friendship with her. If you tell her that, explain that it is because of their friendship and the persistent feelings that are accompanied, which may harm the friendship. It's a honest approach to it, I think it's the best. I hope that more experienced ENFJs here can give you more insight. But my stance on this is that you shouldn't keep on these feelings are prepare yourself for a friendship, and make you and her respect it.

Hope it has a great conclusion!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just wrote her to let her know that I won't be writing her e-mail letters anymore and would just communicate with short notes on Facebook or such. I also included an apology. I hope this helps. Thanks for the advice. It helped me realize our romantic relationship is quite dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just wrote her to let her know that I won't be writing her e-mail letters anymore and would just communicate with short notes on Facebook or such. I also included an apology.
Ack... I saw her on chat today and succumbed to the temptation to chat. She asked me how my previous day had gone and I mentioned it had started off darkly but ended brightly. She probed about why I had initially been in a bad mood, and I eventually caved in and told her I'd been lamenting the end of our relationship and that I'd be cutting off my letters (she hadn't read my letter to her about it yet). She insisted she didn't mind the letters at all because she had no difficulties in her heart regarding me (no grief, no anger, etc.), so I reversed my decision... Argh!

She meant well and I should have known better than to keep up my emotional dependency on her, which it clearly is. She obviously has moved on and isn't looking back. But it is so hard to break free of her listening ear and little affirmations, because ultimately I don't want to let her go. Yet my devotion to her, which would have been fine if our ties were romantic, is out of proportion with a friendship relationship. Despite her patience, she must see me as terribly clingy and needy, I would guess, and I feel ashamed and ugly.

I'm going to try to restrain myself from contacting her again for a while, but I have serious doubts about my strength of will in doing so. :(
 

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Well then, that chat wasn't wrong, as it cleared up her feelings and attitude towards the relationship. But get rid of those letters. It's for your mental and emotional health, as keeping them and reading them can awake romantic feelings and intesify those feelings of longing and loneliness. I understand that this is easier said than done, but make your best effort to get rid of them as soon as possible. Maybe she sees you like that, and in a way to stop a possible conflict or more that, to make you feel worse, could not tell you. But as time goes, keep it as a friendship. Friends can have a lot of devotion and caring for one another, even more than romantic relationships. So don't risk that.

I don't know you a lot, but for many people it is better to stop contact at all with an ex-partner, as it was an abusive relationship and it can just bring much more harm to them. I don't think your case is worth that action. But stop contacting her for a while, after this hard stuff you said, it's better to let her alone. Now it's your turn to be much patient that ever.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update: She and I remain nominal friends and communicate online on rare occasion, although she did call my cell phone a week ago after I was in a serious car accident and she heard about it. We both recognize, I think, that we care for each other. But the contact continues to be consistently one-way. She will ask about how I am, but she shares little or nothing at all about her life even if I directly ask, which is why I said we are "nominal" friends. It doesn't really feel like a genuine friendship at all.
 

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I went through a rough break up with an ESFJ last August and she wanted to be friends as well. I tried to be her friend for about 5 months but I kept wondering why she had broken up with me. She never gave me an answer other than that she had simply fallen out of love. The friendship became what you have now, a one-sided relationship. I would always start the conversation, and she would decide when it ended, and often times she wouldn't even respond to me.

This January we cut off all contact after she yelled at me for asking her to start the conversation every once in a while (this is seriously all I asked.) She said she never wanted to talk to me again and I sent her a very long e-mail apologizing for everything that I thought I had done to her. At the end I said my final goodbye. She texted me a week later, and I didn't reply. This is how our relationship ended.

I think you could be friends, or at least I really want it to be possible. I do know exactly how you feel though, you can't help but still notice all the little things that you love about her. When she says just the right thing it reignites that flame that you have been trying so hard to put out.

I would definitely recommend limiting your contact with her, and possibly cutting it off completely for a couple weeks or maybe even a month or two. You will have to basically reteach yourself how to live without her before you can start to live with her again (if that makes any sense.) I know that you made a promise, but at a time like this you will have to be a little selfish and do what's best for you. Your health comes first, you can't have a healthy relationship if it's killing you emotionally.

I know this post is rather rambling, but I hope that it helps you in someway. I really wish you the best of luck, and remember that it will get better.
 

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Update: She and I remain nominal friends and communicate online on rare occasion, although she did call my cell phone a week ago after I was in a serious car accident and she heard about it. We both recognize, I think, that we care for each other. But the contact continues to be consistently one-way. She will ask about how I am, but she shares little or nothing at all about her life even if I directly ask, which is why I said we are "nominal" friends. It doesn't really feel like a genuine friendship at all.
After breaking up with my ENFJ, I rejected all her proposals to be friends, because I know what friendship really means to her. Might be a one-off case, but this sounds familiar.
 
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